Sunday, February 24, 2013

Let's wrap up February and get on to March!!!

Totally done with winter.  Had it up to the proverbial eyeballs.  Ca put. Finito. Stick-a-fork-in-me.

Hubbykins finally plowed the driveway on Friday afternoon, but we hadn't shoveled the steps, sidewalk, and front porch stoop that lead up to our front door all winter.  Our youngest daughter was going to a friend's house to play for the afternoon on Saturday and I figured that her friend and her parents would come to the front door when they came to pick her up.  So, I resorted to a little old-fashioned bribery: 

This kid's price is TWO Doritos Loco Tacos from Taco Bell.

I let him wear my muck boots, otherwise it might have cost me three...  Our ferocious beast, Rex, helped a little, too.  He did not demand tacos. 
Hey, it worked.  He might even be for hire.  I might also mention that it is understood that he gets his own drink.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The 4th annual "No Boys Allowed" weekend!

This past weekend I met up with 4 gal pals in Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin, for our annual girls weekend. 
Jenny, Jami, Keli, and Natalie

These girls are quite the mix--Keli is the glue that binds us all together:  She and Jenny and I went all through K-12 together, and Keli and Jami and Natalie all went through real estate school together.  While their real estate careers were short lived (due to the collapse of the housing market...), they stayed good friends and we've all gotten to know each other through Keli.  (Jami, Keli, and Natalie live in La Crosse, WI, while Jenny and I live here in Northern IL.)  This is the fourth year in a row that we've gotten together and we were all crying from laughter within the first 15 minutes of our reunion on Saturday afternoon!  That's how you know you're true friends!!!

We went to the Wollersheim Winery and toured their wine making facility.  It is a beautiful location nestled in the bluffs of central Wisconsin.  I don't think of Northern Illinois as being "flat", but the bluffs in central WI really are beautiful and a real change of scenery.  The winery consists of a beautiful limestone barn and an adorable limestone house, as well as some other out-buildings that have been designed to fit nicely into the landscape. 

The tour was interesting, but that knowledge is lost on me because I don't drink wine and I don't care that much about grapes.  It was interesting from a production standpoint; Jenny and I both worked at a local apple orchard in high school, so we have that to compare the whole fruit business thing to... 

If you're looking for a quick afternoon get-away, Wollersheim Winery is about an hour and a half away from Rockford, about 15 minutes Northwest of Madison.  They're open year round, 10am to 5pm, and tours and a tasting cost $5.00.  Here's a link to their website:

Now, I'm not going to lie:  I walked in to the place thinking, "This is the moment when I'm going to learn to love wine.  I will officially be an adult when I leave because I will be able to enjoy a glass of wine with my wine drinking family and friends."  

Didn't happen.  I just can't get into it.  If I'm going to have a drink, I really just want a Coke.  Sorry. 
But I'm happy to be the Designated Driver!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

I walked in the door this afternoon after a LONG day at work (if you think kindergartners get crazy, you haven't spent nearly enough time around teens on "holidays" like today...).  Anyway, it was as if St. Valentine himself thrown up all over my kitchen table!

You'd think she had received a million dollars, she was so thrilled!

 This one was a little hopped up on Fun Dip... It'll be an early night for her when she crashes from her sugar high...

And now let me pan out so you can get the full effect.  From this angle you can appreciate the magnitude of the chaos.

Then as I was digging for the bottom (because the mess got worse before it got better,) I found Drew's Valentine collection.  His class did an activity where they each wrote a kind word to their classmates.  His were so nice! 
Some of my favorites are: 
I like how your hair is always messed up.--Warren
You are super funny.  It is funny when you say, "Beat that Homie."--Lauren
You are the best farrmer in the world!--Kenny  (I like farmer with two r's!)
You are unique because you are one of a kind.--Jules  (And a mini-vocab lesson!)
I think your a good friend because you always help.--Chucky
You are a great friend to all of your classmates, and you always give me sports knowledge I never knew.--Miss Erickson
    Happy Valentine's Day!  Hopefully your sweetie spoiled you rotten!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Kara's Brownie Truffles

I have great work friends.  They're so nice and friendly and funny and sometimes they bring treats! (Even if the treats are technically left-overs, I don't care!  I love treats!!!)

Anyway, Kara from work introduced me to these little balls of deliciousness a few weeks ago, and I whipped up my own batch for a certain 7 year old's birthday party a few weekends ago.  I made another batch last weekend for a super bowl party and I might just make a batch every weekend for the next 7 to 12 years.  They are SO delicious and SUPER easy.

Step 1:  Make a pan of brownies (from a mix, Of COURSE!!!)

Step 2:  When the brownies have completely cooled, scoop out balls and roll them up into perfectly shaped 1.4 inch balls (NOT!  Just round 'em out kinda..)

Step 3:  Melt chocolate chips and dip the balls in the melted chocolate, sprinkle with sprinkles (optional, but usually necessary because everything in life is better with sparkles/sprinkles/glitter). 

Step 4:  Be the hit of any and all parties and/or events at which you share these ooh la la brownie balls--I mean "truffles"!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Who is this kid?!?!?!

Now that it's Februrary, I've accepted the fact that it is 2013!!!  Wow!  Where did the last 13 years of the 21st century go?!?!  I still think it's only about 2001 or 2002.

And speaking of time flying, this kid was born in 2001.  Where did 11, almost 12 years go?  Who is this young man?  When did he learn to shoot a shot gun and actually hit something!?!?  Wouldn't he rather just curl up on the couch with me and let me read him a story?
When did he get to be old enough to play middle school sports, handle homework on his own, be responsible for studying for tests and do pretty well all on his own?!?!?  Shouldn't he just be playing in the back yard on the swing set?
Why does time have to pass so quickly? Isn't it amazing that with the passing of years, kids get bigger, they gain more experience, and they need mom and dad's help even less?!?!?!   Dave said he changed the oil in one of the tractors the other day, almost all by himself!  Oh well, I suppose this is the way it should be. 
I guess all we can do is sit back and enjoy the ride!