"Anyone can have one kid. But going from one kid to two is like going from owning a dog to running a zoo." - P. J. O'Rourke

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Spa Night

One of the many advantages to being a mentor to high school girls is that I get to do high school girl stuff....like Spa Night!

Last night we had the girls over to enjoy a night of food, facials, and fun! 

Emily looks great even with white stuff spread all over her face!

They were lining up for their facials.

I've never seen young ladies so happy to put paraffin on their hands! 

More fun with paraffin!

Not all cucumbers were for eating apparently.

Did we mention the pedicures?  Our foot bath was small, but in demand!
These ladies were beautiful before their spa treatment, but their skin and nails were radiant after being pampered for the evening.

Have I told you already that I love these ladies?  Well, I do!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Memories Were Made, Feet Were Frozen

Sorry for the delay in getting you the detailed description of our concert adventure! Lack of sleep, post-concert depression, and adult responsibilities all prevented a post concert post.  They did not prevent me from uploading my concert pictures to Facebook, however! If you care to, you can view those photos here.

For those that care for a somewhat detailed account of our adventure, here you go...

We got to the venue around 3:00, and discovered that there were about 40 to 50 people in line already, despite the 25 degree weather.  This was only temporarily disheartening, as we were aware of something that the people in line were not, that being that the venue opens doors on two sides of the entrance and the doors are fed from two different line.  Sooooooo, we promptly and without great fanfare, started line #2 on the adjacent side of First Avenue, thus placing us at the very front of the line.

The lesson in that story is: know your venue, folks!

It was cold!!  We had a few "band member sightings" while waiting in line.  We high-fived Kyle as he walked by, and I got a wave out of Dan when he discovered we spotted him across the street. I also spoke about five words to Kyle when he was locked out of the venue and came to our door to try to get in...poor guy! My dear, sweet hubby brought us coffee, and by us, I mean, half of the people in the line.  We made lots of friends :-) Did I mention it was cold?

When doors finally opened at 6:00 we made a dash for the barrier and secured prime spots there.  Can I just say once again, it was cold out?  We were so happy to be inside a heated building, oh, and being at the barrier was pretty sweet as well.

Opening act was To Kill A King, and they were great.  They put on a great show.  Bastille came next and they did an amazing show!  If you go to my FB pictures you can see the set list, which was tossed to us after the show.

While the concert was over quite early, we stuck around for a looooong time, hoping to get pictures with the band.  Unfortunately, they never came out.  We discovered the next day that they were next door in The Depot, and if we had gone in there we could have chatted with them.  Live and learn, I guess.

It was a great time! Just to prove it, I will leave you with a video someone made of the song Poet.  I was SO happy that they sang it, as it is one of my favorites!  To get your bearings, I was directly in front of the two drums to Dan's left.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Why?

Way back in January when I bought tickets for the April 1 Bastille concert, I imagined April first being sunny and around 60.  Perfect weather for waiting in line to get the front row at a concert.  It could have been....

Now that it's April 1, I see the reality of April in Minnesota.  Like some cruel April Fool's joke, it is snowing and in the 20's with a nasty wind to boot!

Will we still wait in line to be at the front? Yup!

So, you might ask, why do I do such a crazy thing?  Why would a 48 year old mom freeze her fanny off to see a band with her kids...and other people's kids? Why did I drive 11 hours in September and stand in line in 102 degree weather to be at the barrier for Mumford & Sons? Why do I do all the crazy things I do?

Maybe I read too much G.K. Chesterton.

Say what?

Well, I was reading a book of his a few years ago, and the premise of it was to live while you're alive.

We're each given about 80 or 90 years here on this earth.  They go by fast, I hear.  The problem is that many people stop living long before the lid closes on the casket.  Everyday life sucks the life right out of living.  We're all breathing and our physical heart is beating, but is our heart still beating?

I want to taste and experience life, not just pass through it on the way to the grave.  I want to make memories for myself, for my friends, for my family.  To quote Ben Howard,  "I've come to know that memories Were the best things you ever had."

So, to experience life today, I'll freeze on a cold sidewalk. I'll stand at the barrier to see Bastille. I'll sing loudly. I'll jump up and down. I'll stay up way too late.  And I will make memories.

Monday, March 31, 2014

We Were Running a Little Low

We've only had two pets around here since December, having lost two that month. I think our all time high with regards to number of pets was six - two dogs, two bunnies, and two hamsters.  That's excepting the time when we had fish...there were a lot of those...but they died off quite quickly!

Two pets seems like hardly any!

Well, yesterday we decided to remedy that sad situation by adding two more members to our family.

Emily, at long last, was able to get her much-longed-for guinea pig.  After throwing out many names, such as Papua New and Gluten, she settled on Lila.  Lila is an adorable little piggy who makes all those cute little guinea pig noises! 

Marcus, after a seemingly interminable wait, finally got a replacement hamster for the one that passed away in December. His cute little friend is named Midnight. 
The rodent population is definitely on the rise at our house!

Molly is waiting (not so patiently) for when we will say "yes" to a husky, and Nina is holding out hope for a kitty.  Not seeing either of those things in the near future, but you never know....

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Caramel Corn Recipe

A request has been made for my caramel corn recipe, so here it is!

Caramel Corn
14 cups popped popcorn
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. soda

Place popcorn in 9 x 13 pan. In a medium saucepan, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt.  Bring to a boil.  Boil for 4 to 5 minutes, being careful not to burn it..  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and soda. (this is my favorite part because of the little chemical reaction thing that goes on.  You'll just have to make it to witness it for yourself!) Pour caramel mixture over the popcorn and stir.  Bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Take out of pan immediately and allow to cool.

There you have it.  It's really, really tasty.  Trust me!


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Tasty!

In the last post I mentioned that we were collecting sap from our maple trees.  Well, that proved quite successful last week, and we ended up with many gallons of sap by Saturday.  Since we had no more room ANYWHERE to store all that sap, we decided to boil it down into syrup.  Little did we know how LOOOOOONG that would take!  Because of our inexperience, we didn't start the process until the afternoon, and Chris was still manning the sap boiling late into the night.
When it was all said and done, we didn't have a lot to show for it, but what we did have was very, very tasty!! 
Looking forward to the weather warming up again, so we can do it all over again!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Something New

We get a little bored around here this time of year, so this year we are trying something new...
We have a couple large maple trees in the yard, and after talking to a friend at church on Sunday, we decided to tap our trees and make maple syrup!

So far, so good. The sap seems to be flowing, and we have over a gallon of it collected after just one day.  Not sure how much syrup we'll get when it's all said and done, but it's a fun, new experience!