Saturday, September 29, 2012

KLM...P :)

Hello all!  Mrs. here :)  Sorry it's been a while since I've posted (Mr. had so many hunting and sports posts going on that I kind of forgot I had to take a turn--GO VIKES!!!)
For those wondering if we stopped our A-Z dates, we have NOT! :)  Part of the reason I hadn't posted as well was because we did a few out of order...I decided that it was going to have to be long as we get through the alphabet, right?

K--We got a little "kreative" and went to "Kiln Kreations" with Little Miss.  This place was so cool!  We were able to choose from endless ceramics, use all of their supplies, and decorate as we pleased.  They fire it in their kiln and we can pick it up next week.  We all had a blast!  We made a Christmas ornament for ourselves, and made some Christmas gifts for the Grandparents. :)

L--Lion King.  Some might think this is cheating, but shortly after we decided to date through the alphabet, we were able to see the Broadway production of Lion King--a first for us both!  We decided on the spot that since it was such a special event (whose timing was out of our control) we would still count it for "L"....hope that's OK!

M--Mankato & Minnesota Vikings  So I may win "Wife of the Year" for this, if I wasn't equally as big of a Vikes fan as Mr....we needed a weekend away before the craziness of Fall started so we thought there was nothing more perect than Vikings training camp!!!  We watched practices, got some autographs, tried some new local restaurants, and even shopped a little. 

P--Pedicures  Yes, you read correctly....pedicures!!!  This has been many many MANY months in the making, but I finally got Mr. to cave and get a pedicure with me.  (It didn't hurt that Adrian Peterson had gotten a pedicure in this same salon the day before,signed their wall, and left a huge picture--love that guy!)  Unfortunately, Mr. did not "see the light" and agree to get regular pedis with me, but I think this could an annual occurrence. ;)

So there you go!  We're still enjoying this challenge of finding new and creative ways to spend time together or as a family, and looking forward to the next few letters. We currently have no ideas for N, O, or Q so feel free to send some our way!  Happy Fall :)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

More Vikes

So you might be sick of the Vikings posts already, but hey, fans need to be excited about something.  Who knows how this season will turn out.  My observations from the last pre-season game against the Bills were that we improved tremendously, especially Christian Ponder and our defensive secondary.  I'm becoming more of a fan of cornerback Josh Robinson after a quiet training camp.  He's finally starting to show his high draft potential.  Rookie Harrison Smith showed that he deserves the starting spot at the safety position.  Ponder showed poise and good pocket awareness, but he needs to continue that trend and not regress next game.  

I'm absolutely in favor of sitting Adrian Peterson the rest of the pre-season.  In fact I would limit his snaps as much as possible during the first part of the regular season, especially the first two games against the Jaguars, and the Colts.  If we can't beat those two teams without AP, than this season is lost anyways.  I'm of the firm belief that the life of a running back in the NFL is all about the number of hits they take and not necessarily how old they get.  Let's face it, odds are the Vikings won't make the playoffs this year, so why put AP out there if there's even a chance he could re-injure the knee?  I'm not a medical expert so it will be up to the Vikings medical and coaching staff to determine when that is, but why not prolong AP's career as much as possible by reducing the number of hits he takes this year?  

Now for my bold prediction #2.  Harrison Smith will be the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year.  I love how the kid plays…. Hard and fast.  He will be a good player for the Vikings for a long time.  For the third pre-season game against the Chargers Friday night, I look for Ponder to continue to improve and I'd like to see him go deep a few more times to stretch the field.  Since Jerome Simpson is out the first three games, I'd like to see Ponder develop a good chemistry with Percy Harvin and/or another WR that we can develop into a starter.  With Philip Rivers quarterbacking the Chargers passing attack, this will be a good test for our secondary and line backers.  I'll look for them to give a "bend but don't break" attempt at stopping Rivers, and hopefully an interception or two.  

There you have it.  See you after the next game.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Vikes, Vikes, and Vikes
It's that time of year and we're set to kick off another year of Vikings football.  After the Stadium drama is now behind us, we can all relax and know that the Vikings will still be here next year and the year after, and so on.  This is also the fun part of the season because there's no expectations.  All we can do now is HOPE that everything turns out ok. 
The Mrs. and I got the privilege of attending our first Vikings Training Camp down in Fankato (as we like to call it).  It was fun to get a way for the weekend, but we missed our daughter so it was bitter sweet.  Since I'm such a great football mind (LOL), here are a few thoughts on what I observed and what I've read so far about our favorite football team.  I'll be posting more as we go (no really I will) and provide 3-4 bold predictions for the year so stay tuned.

First of all, it was easier to observe the QB's, WR's, TE's, and Defensive Secondary because of the practice-type structure.  No one even touches the QB so they have all day to throw the ball, and the WR's and TE's are going pretty much full speed against the D-Back's.  It was hard to judge the Lineman, RB and LB.  That being said, Christian Ponder in my opinion is clearly the best QB in camp.  Click here for a good write up from Tom Pelissero about Ponder.

He looks more confident, and is making better decisions.  He and Jerome Simpson are going to be great together.  Simpson absolutely burned our D-backs a few times and Ponder lead him for a perfect catch for six.  It's a bummer Simpson will be out for the first three games.  Joe Webb has struggled to remain consistent so far.  He makes a great throw on one drill, but an absolute terrible throw on another.  He still has a the mentality of a "tuck-and-run" QB, which will not last long in the NFL, and he's not as good as Mick Vick.  I was actually really impressed with our current 4th stringer McLeod Bethel-Thompson.  He has a strong arm and has been extremely accurate for a young guy.  He needs to work on his footwork and mechanics, but if we ever could have a QB controversy, this would be it.  With 4 QB's on the roster right now, I'm curious to see what Speilman will do.  I do not think they want to, nor can afford to lose McLeod off the practice squad.  (If we cut him, he can get picked up by another team off waivers, he does not automatically go to our practice squad).  Remember Tyler Thigpen?  

Our D-Backs will be 10 times better this year.  We've added depth and skill to that position.  Winfield and Chris Cook look good, but I was impressed with Harrison Smith, one of our 1st round draft picks this year.  His hit on Percy Harvin shows he likes to hit, and that killer instinct is not something we've had in the safety position for a long time.  

Our Offensive line will also be 10 times better this year.  Matt Kalil is a beast.  I stood down by where the players walk into the field and I was in awe of how huge this guy was.  Not fat either, just built like an ox.  (All the players are huge, we just don’t realize how big they are watching them on TV).  One of my favorite things to watch at TC was the matchup between Jared Allen and Kalil.  Kalil was getting the best of Allen more often the not, which goes to show the Kalil is the real deal.  (My best attempt at being a rapper).  

Oh yes, and our new rookie kicker was booming field goals past 50 yards with plenty of leg left.  It seams the Blair Walsh Project could turn into a success.  We'll see how he does during real games.

Overall, I'm hopeful for significant improvement this year.  It's training camp so it's hard to know until the actual season starts.  Now for my first bold prediction.  The Mrs. said her bold prediction was that the Vikings would go 8-8.  "That's not that bold"  I said.  I'm not going to predict a record, just yet….  However, my prediction is that Christian Ponder will pass for over 3,500 yards, 28 TD, and 15 INT.  What say you sports fans?  What are you most looking forward to this season?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

HIJ :)

Hello there!  It's Mrs. here with an update on our Dating A-Z.  We're about 1/3 through the alphabet dates, and we have had a blast so far!  The past 3 dates are the perfect example of trying new things, but also adapting to fit our time and budget.

**No neighbors or pets
were harmed in the
making of this date** ;)
H is for Hunting
So the original plan was to take Mr. to a Horse and Huntsman club for part of his Father's Day gift.  However, we just didn't have the money for the whole deal (trip, babysitter, ammo, etc...), and we ended up spending the day with family too.  BUT....we were able to set up a small "hunting range" in our backyard. This is a prime example of something that I may not have taken the time to stop and do with Mr., but he really appreciated us spending time together doing something that he enjoys.

I is for IKEA
I know this is going to be hard to believe, but Mr. had NEVER been to IKEA!!!!! WHAT?!?!?!?!  I decided that we needed to have that be part of our "I" experience.  We took Little Miss with us, and had fun roaming through the exhibits, and were even able to find the perfect shelves to fit a bare wall in our living room.  We also enjoyed some iced coffee that I had made (thanks Annie's Eats for these tasty, and easy recipes!!!  DIY iced coffee and DIY coffe syrups).  Again, nothing super crazy, but fun to have a reason to make the trek to IKEA.

J is for Jazz
For those that know us, it's no secret that I love music.  I am always amazed at the amount of talent that some musicians have been gifted with; especially for genres like jazz--I am SO not gifted with jazz!  I actually surprised Mr. with this date and got reservations and arranged a sitter.  It was a great night of conversation, good food, amaing music.  So fun to have a night "out on the town".

So there you have it!  Onto our next letters....let us know if you have any ideas! :)  For those of you that have joined in by dating through the ABCs, or just going through the alphabet to try new things, we would love to hear from you too!  Here's to making some more memories with the ones you love...

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Pinterest+Garage Sales=FUN

Hey!  It's the Mrs. here.  I've been meaning to do another "pinterest post", but was waiting to score some great deals for the projects I wanted to do.  No more waiting.....I'm pretty sure I got the steals of the century at a farm sale the Mr. and I went to a while ago. 

flower/yarn wreath original pin here
not as professional as
the real deal, but it
will do for now :)
There are pictures of fun wreaths like these all over the place, not just on pinterest.  I was wanting to learn how to make them, and my friend ("Mrs. E") helped me out with a quick tutorial.
1. Wrap a wreath with yarn, twine, etc.... and fasten with hot glue.  Mr. was nice enough to help me with this can get tangled and messy quite quickly.  (I love the look of twine, but had some yarn leftover from making Little Miss's Cabbage Patch wig for Halloween--teehee!!!)
2. Add embellishments.  There are so many examples and ideas out there, but I stuck with the felt flowers, again with a tutorial from Mrs. E.  I cut different sizes of circles, cut each circle into "spirals", and rolled them into the shape of flowers.  I fastened the flowers as I went with fabric glue instead of hot glue (less finger burning!)
3. Attach flowers to wreath.  I was able to use push pins to fasten mine because my flowers were light-weight, and I knew I would be keeping it indoors.  You may need to use a more heavy duty resource depending on where your wreath will be.

There's really not much to say about this one....I've seen them all over, and thought they were so cute!  I found this chalkboard at the farm sale for $0.50....not kidding!  All it took to complete this project was some soap and water, and a little paint.  (I did put painters tape on the chalkboard while I painted the frame, but I tend to be a messy painter!)  If you can't find a chalkboard (they can be surprisingly hard to come by) you can always paint a surface with chalkboard paint too.

We ended up putting these both together
on a shelf in our living room.

(took us a couple coats to
get the deeper color)
chicken wire frame  original pin here
Again, this is a project I have seen several times, and have been wanting to do. Farm sale to the rescue again, I got this 2' x 3' frame for $0.25. That's right......25 CENTS!!!! I was so excited. :)
1. We gave the frame a good scrubbing, and spray painted it red.
2. The chicken wire was a tiny bit too narrow, but were able to stretch it out to fit.
3. Staple the chicken wire to the frame.  (We stapled it from front to back because the staples were long and would stick out the front.)

Finished product...fills up the bare wall in our bedroom perfectly!
Now we just need to add a few more pictures and things to it.

These projects were SO SIMPLE, but have really added a personal touch to our home...not to mention I just had fun making them! :) And because I was able to find some great used items, they didn't cost us hardly anything! I hope this inspires you to turn something old into something new for your home.

Monday, May 21, 2012

G is for Golf!!!

Mrs. here, and yes, it's true.....I went golfing!  HA!!!!  There was a time in my younger years (much younger) that I would golf our local par 3 course about once a week, and I got pretty decent.  But it was never a sport I excelled at......therefore I stopped playing it....great example of perserverence, right?!?  Anyways!  Mr. got the babysitter and the tee time figured out, borrowed some clubs for me, and we were off!  I have to say.....we had a blast!  I didn't actually "golf" every hole, but I hit a few drives, and attempted most of the putts.  The parties in front of us were slow so we had lots of time to sit and chat, and just enjoy the nice, quiet evening.  All in all--going golfing for G ended up being a fun idea!  YAY!

look at that form!  wow!!! :)

I discovered my gift as the "flag girl"

Chillin' while waiting for the next tee box to open up

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Is it fall yet?

So one of my recent posts talked about deer attractants and minerals we bought for our property.  We used Lucky Buck mineral from Gander Mountain, and I'm pretty sure this stuff works great.  Now lets be clear, these deer may not have much else to feed on in the area. Food plots and deer feed are all about availability, taste, nutrition, and digestion.  If deer have limited options in any these areas, they will jump at any new option they are given.  That being said, I'll continue to use Lucky Buck on our property until they stop being interested.  I also bought some seeds for a few food plots.  More on that in a couple weeks.  I'm excited to see what works and begin growing and expanding our habitat.  These pictures are some of several on our trail camera we received on this part of our property. 

Check out the little nubbins on top!
Should be a nice buck in another year or two!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Hello, it's Mr. and Mrs. here with our 3 latest alphabet dates.  Nothing too "flashy", but they are keeping us creative and intentional about ways to spend more quality time together. 

D~ We were actually able to have a date night without Little Miss a few Fridays ago in a part of town that we don't get to nearly enough.  We tried a new restaurant (for us) called Dickey's BBQ.  The service was quick, food was good, and they had really good fountain Diet Coke. :)  The Mrs. also had a gift card leftover from her bday to DSW so we stopped there.  She was able to find her first ever pair of shoes from that store. Shoe shopping is not something we often do together, but we had a great time.
cute, huh?


E~ We had a little help from the holidays for this one.  We dyed Easter eggs, and went on an Easter egg hunt.  Nothing too creative there, but it was Little Miss's first experience with both, so we had a blast!

 F~ Those of you that know us well, know that we both love football.  Thursday, April 26th, is the football draft, so we have some fun plans in store!  Of course we're going to watch it, but that seems a little boring, so Mr. has made a game that we're going to play throughout the evening....DRAFT-O.  Played basically like BINGO.....we each have to fill out our card with players that we think will get drafted first.  First person with a blackout, WINS!  The Mrs. has also taken some of our favorite football food, and found some new (*somewhat healthier) versions of them for us to munch on during the evening as well.  We're excited!

There you have it!  Up next, G, H, I.  We have heard from a few of you that have started doing this as well, and would love to hear how it's going!  And, as always, we would love any ideas for upcoming letters.  
If you're just joining us now, here's what we did for our ABC Dates.  Happy dating!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

DIY Workbench

Hey everyone.  It's the Mr. here.  Sorry I haven't been here in a while, but I'm back with some tips on how to make a DIY workbench for your garage.  Our garage is not huge, so I needed a space where I could work, and also help to organize our garage space a little better.

Here's a before shot....notice all of the random things accumulating around my tool boxes!

1.  Find a top you want to use.  I found an old counter top from a kitchen, but you can pick up some High Density Particle Board (HDP) from your local hardware store.  Cut it to a size you want and put some 2X4 or 2X6's around the ends for a frame.  Glue the bottom of the boards, clamp them together with the bottom of the table, and screw the two together. Be sure to screw from the bottom up.  You don't want to cut a hole in your table top.

2.  Cut your legs to your desired height.  Take a 2X4 and screw it to another 2X2.  Do this four times, one for each leg.  This allows an easy fit into the frame on the bottom of the table.  If you want to add a shelf to your bench, screw another piece of 2X2 in the corner of each leg so the shelf can rest on it.  Number each leg and frame just in case you need to take it down. (more on this later).

3.  If adding a shelf, find a scrap piece of plywood, measure and cut it according to the inside of your frame on the bottom of the table.  Pre-drill the plywood because it can split easy.  Screw the plywood into another frame of 2X2s.  This can rest on the inside of the legs you made earlier.  Screw the sides of the legs into the frame of the shelf to pull it together. Screw the back frame into the studs of your garage wall for extra support.

4. Vice (optional).  Determine where you want the vice on the bench and mark the four holes with a pencil.  Drill a hole through the table big enough to fit a 3/4 inch bolt.  Screw the nut and bolt together with the Vice attached.  


 The finished product:  A nice-sized work bench for me to work on, and a more organized garage.

The shelf pictured above my bench (pic on the right) is the poor man's shelf that I blogged about before.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Caramel Crunch Bagels

It's the Mrs. here, with one of my FAVORITE, EASIEST recipes!!!
I have made this so many times, for so many different types of events, and it's always a hit.  Plus, these are ingredients that people usually have around the house so you can make it on a moment's notice.  Girlfriends coming and caramel crunch bagels!  Family staying for the weekend......caramel crunch bagels for everyone!  Big day at the office for the Mr. and need a "special breakfast"......caramel crunch bagels!  Hosting book get the idea.  
mix, spread onto bagels before broiling
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 Tb. honey
1/2 tsp. cinnamin
**sliced almonds, optional**
Spread onto bagels and broil until bubbling
A few tips:
1. It depends what you're serving these for, but I honestly like serving them on mini bagels best (i also use whole wheat because then I can tell myself they are healthy-ish-ha!).
2. It mixes and spreads best if the butter is softened (room temp), and not melted.

(my camera and picture taking ability
don't do these justice)
3. If you are making this for a family breakfast (as I often am) and don't use all of the mix, have no fear!  Just put it in the frige, and soften again the next time you want to use it.  If you plan on doing this, I would wait to mix the almonds in so that they don't get mushy.
4. Use a cookie sheet with sides if possible.  If you don't have one, I would recommend putting foil, or another large cookie sheet below....the caramel topping tends to run a little as they are broiling and makes a very sticky mess if it spills all over your oven. :)

That's it!  Really!  I think I might go mix up a batch of these right now.....what are you going to make these for?  I'd love to hear!

....if you missed it, another fun and easy recipe is cake in a cup...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Outdoor Tip #3

It's the Mr. here with a short, Spring tip for all you deer hunters out there.  I've been anxiously waiting for Fall and have been doing some research to pass the time.  Now is a great time to go out on your hunting property and make some mock scrapes.  "Scrapes" is a term used to determine markings on trees when a buck rubs his antlers on the bark as a sign of territory during the rut.  Hunters use scrapes as a sign that at least one buck is in the area.  The larger and higher the scrape on the tree, the larger the buck.  Bucks also lick the edges of tree branches to mark their territory. They visit scrapes year-round, so hunters can go out and make mock scrapes to attract bucks to a certain area near their trail camera.  Just take a deer antler (or something similar to it's size, shape and durability) and rub the antler on the sides of trees about 5 - 6 feet high.  Rip off some bark along the edge of some branches of the same tree to show signs of licking.  Finally, put some buck urine on the ground for other bucks to smell.

Early spring is a great time for this because the lack of foilage (leaves) makes it easier for the deer to see your fresh scrapes.  Pick spots at or near water (streams, lakes, ponds etc).  A mock scrape will bring velvet bucks to the area of your trail camera all summer long, and can start a pattern that can increase your chances of seeing more deer in the fall.

One more quick tidbit.  We just purchased some minerals to see if they attract bucks to our property.  Minerals are a great way to help increase antler size.  There's several different types of mineral, so you'll have to do some research on what works for your area.  I read some reviews online and we ended up going to our local Gander Mountain to purchase Trophy Rock All Natural Mineral Lick.  It's a 12 lb.  life size rock that looks exactly like a rock.  We also purchased a 20 lb. bucket called Lucky Buck Mineral.  We'll just spread the mineral grain along the ground, stumps, and rocks.  We'll put these near trail cameras so we'll let you know if we see anything. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Mrs. here with a somewhat reflective post. :)  Nothing new or profound, but just struck me today.
Over the past few days, Little Miss's new (and favorite) word is "MINE!".  Everything that she can see or put her hands on she proudly shouts "MINE!".  She finds a toy or snack, gives a possessive squeeze and shouts "MINE!"  A little friend wants her doll, she holds on tight and shouts "MINE!"  I mean, this is not one of those words that we work so hard on getting her to say. It can take days to get her to say sweet things like "love you"....yet somehow by watching me, watching the world, she has learned this simple word and it's meaning.

For some reason, watching her in this new stage brought some conviction to me today.  The stuff that Little Miss is so possessive of is not really hers.  Yes, we have given it to her to enjoy or use, but we (like any other parent) want her to share....her snack, her toys, her books, etc... But I realized that this is the way I live so often.  Just like we provide for Little Miss's needs (and many of her wants) my Heavenly Father is doing the same for me.  He has generously provided for me in so many ways....and yet when someone with a need comes my way, instead of sharing, I just give my stuff a possessive squeeze and shout "MINE!".  Someone needs me to share my time, my resources, or something that isn't convenient and I just stand there and shout "MINE!"  Again, I'm sure this is not a new or profound thought to anyone, but I want to use this opportunity.  When I work with Little Miss on learning to share, I'm hoping that God can continue to work on me and ways that I can share as well.  Gotta' love how much a God can teach me through a toddler! :)