Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Go, go, go...

It's not like I didn't do enough running with the kids Saturday, but I did it again on Sunday. July 12, I took the kids up to Itasca State Park. The weather looked as though it was not going to cooperate, but as we all know looks can be deceiving. The day turned out to be perfect - but like good little scouts, we were prepared for anything weather related.

On the way up there I saw the billboard for "The Logging Camp" restaurant. I had been wondering where it was considering I had been there one time a number of years ago as part of a large group from our family. I did not drive there at that time and therefore did not pay much attention to it's location (btw, it is well off the beaten path). I enjoyed it then and was quite happy to have another helping and allow my nephews their first experience there.

The atmosphere at "The Logging Camp" will take you back 100+ years. As you walk through the grounds you can take in the sights of a formerly working logging camp. Things such as logging chains (huge and heavy), logging sleds, sheds, coups for the chickens (chickens included).

The mess hall other small artifacts that really set this place apart as well. There are signs noting what the "rules" were such as no spitting, no alcohol and no talking. (the no talking one is not enforced - sorry men!). The tables are long bench, farm style split logs. Then there are the place settings all in metal - cups included.

The food is made from scratch and is served family style. The limited menu does not limit the value! The Menu: Meats: Ribs, Roasted Chicken with Stuffing, Pork, Ham, and Roast Beef. Added to that are the sides: Coleslaw, Baked Beans, Pasta Salad, Green Onions, Dinner Rolls, Cornbread, and a blueberry spread that is unbelievable! Drinks include: Lemonade, Water, Coffee (don't bother asking for an alcoholic beverage - they weren't allowed in logging camps). For desert a fresh hot doughnut just right to top things off! The limited menu does not limit the value, the meats and sides are all you can eat in as many combinations as you care to make. YUMMY!

By the way, did I ever tell you that I like to eat? I actually plan trips around food. On this one I just got lucky!

Well, we did make it to Itasca and had a blast playing in the Mississippi Headwaters, hiking and biking around the park and doing a bit of fishing (sorry, no fish for you). What fun!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Another day almost over

I am Totally tired! Wiped out! Exhausted! Are you getting the picture?

It is 11p.m. and I am just sitting down with the computer for the first time today with nothing else to avert my attention - unless you count "Saturday Night Live" (I had to ask my son how "they" spelled NIGHT - it could have been "nite"). I think I need my pillow!

Well, I took the kids (meaning my respite kids and my son and nephews) to Pelican Rapids for a full day of activities. First item on the agenda was to find a parking space. Talk about luck, we got a spot right outside the park. Amazing!

Once that feat had been accomplished time to soothe the beast that is a motorhead. There were wonderful vehicles throughout the park including the only corvette worth having, IMHO, a 1967. I think Eddie was pleased with the variety of vintage rides to feast his eyes on and wrap his mind around. The rest of us ooo'd and awed plenty of times during the viewing. Even the little ones had a favorite it was a Bel Air that was red and white don't ask me what year it was, but it was in mint condition - beautiful! I got a couple of pics of the Nephews with a GTO Judge that was not even in the show, but it should have been.

Next up: meet up with Mema (my mom - my son gave her that name and it stuck). She works at the Pelican Rapids Chamber of Commerce ( www.pelicanrapidschamber.com/visitcntr.htm ) It was fun to see her at her place of business. She looked like she knew what she was doing :) Anyway we set plans to meet up later on to have some turkey in the park, it is Turkey Days you know!

Quick, off to the water wars. Had to meet up with Tiffany over there! It was awesome to put my arms around her and let her know we are still behind her! Then of course we wanted to watch at least part of the water wars. I thought for sure the PRFD would win - who knows though, I did see them loose one round. Things that make you go hmmmm.

MOM??? Where are you??? Well, we are at the park getting food - you were supposed to be here. Oh...There you are! The turkey sandwiches were good. It was a fund raiser for the Pelican Rapids Rotary projects. Great job folks!

Food, fun, family, fast and fabulous cars - what more could a person ask for???

Answer: Shoes from Fargo, Demolition Derby in Detroit Lakes, and Fishing at Bucks Mill! YES, my son and nephews are being spoiled, and I am proud to be the one doing it! Tomorrow...Itasca State Park.

In the mean time - bed!

Nitey nite!


Friday, July 10, 2009

Neat Nephews

What???? Boys that are tidy - NO WAY! But my nephews from Atlanta are 2 of the coolest kids ever. Here are some of the reasons that I use to support my position:
  • They are very intelligent as proven by their acceptance to advance track classes
  • They are into classic rock music and I mean into it. They can discuss the bands, the music, the instrumentation, the names of the songs and on it goes.
  • They are quite capable of taking care of themselves.
  • They are very independent minded.
  • They are confident and sure of themselves.
  • They are as different as night and day.
  • They are siblings being raised by a widower father - who I might say is doing a great job allowing them to be themselves rather than carbon copy cutouts.
  • They are cute as all get out. Chuck is the younger one, has long curly brown hair and a smile and personality that is beyond magnetic. Edward is the older brother - always looking out for the younger one but still getting his licks in. Eddie has straight, short, black hair and is quite the conversationalist.
I have had the pleasure of having them visiting for almost 2 weeks now. This has been the case for the past couple of years. I love having them come up to hang out with me. They are so outgoing that even the flight attendants fall in love with them during the short flight between Atlanta and Minneapolis.

Here they are visiting me, but I am continuing my work with the kids I take care of for daycare and respite foster care. By that I mean that I am busy with other kids all the time. You'd think they would be bored outta their mind, aggravated by all the other rug-rats or outright frustrated at not being able to go sightseeing. But, not these guys, rather they want to go ride bikes around town, go to the community center to swim, go to the city park to play or swim at the beach, go eat lunch at one of the local eateries (on their own), and they even check in with me from time to time to make sure I don't worry.

The other thing I truly love is that they eat what I fix for dinners - NO COMPLAINTS! The worst I have heard is "I don't much care for that, may I only have a small amount". WHAT? No "eewe, yuck, gross, ugh, blah and etc."

These boys have been nothing but respectful even when I have had to scold them for being too loud during "quiet time" for the daycare or for running through the house. The usual response has been a short silence, hung head, and a "sorry", followed by a "yes ma'am" to given instruction. WOW! I love it! They even come home when they are told to. Really, they do!

To be sure Edward and Chuck are 100% BOY! The bikes they are using may be in pieces by the end of their stay. All of the frisbies and other toss toys will certainly be on the roof of the house. And each child will have their share of sibling inflicted hand-stars and bruises. Not to mention they have an older cousin that loves to get in there and pick on them too. Can you say wrestlemania - Gosh I hope not, but you get the idea anyway.

I am certainly having fun with them being around. Sundays is our sightseeing day. We do, however, take the respite foster kids with us for some of the shorter trips on Saturday. As a matter of fact tomorrow there is a car show and a Turkey Days Festival in Pelican Rapids. There is no way I would be allowed to forgo these events as Eddie is quite the motorhead. We will have a blast even with the extra kiddos!

Hey, Jeff (my brother for those of you that don't know) nice job with the boys - thanks for letting me borrow them.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

I Miss My Camera

I have had a Kodak Easyshare camera for quite some time now. O.k., it is about 10 years old, I think. It has more than served it's purpose, way out lived it's warranty, kept memories vibrant more than any camera I have ever owned. What's even better about this particular camera - I could use it and the photos would look good and that's saying something!

So, if you were wondering why my posts have been missing in action - now you know. It's just because I miss my camera. Since I had started this crazy blog this camera stayed attached to me like an extention to my arm. Thanks to the camera and this blog, I found out that I have WAY more fun than a person ought to be allowed. It is amazing how perspectives can be rearranged by truly focusing on the good things that are happening all around us. Unfortunately our brains are hardwired to remember the negatives. Going back and writing a quick blerb each day had refocused me into a more positive view of my live - which is huge considering that I am already quite positive and bubbly (or so I am told).

Any one know of a good camera that doesn't cost an absolute fortune, with good clarity, range, and is idiot proof? Help... I really need a camera soon. I am obviously going through withdrawls which is why the posts stopped for so long. While it seems I am starting to recuperate, it is still quite painful.......

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Suspect Honesty of Teens

Yup, that's what I said "suspect honesty". Kids are far too often looked at with a suspicious eye. They look different, act different and are searching for their own way in life by the time they reach their teen years. Heaven helped our parents get through our teenageism (a disease brought on by a determined # of years of life, approx. 13, and generally ending by 20th year of life).

This is a cycle that has occurred through out history. Kids know there must be a better way to live life than the way their parents do. Parents know the kids are just out to drive them insane with their antics. Adults on the outside looking in just look in wonder and amazement at the two cultures clashing all the while hoping they don't get any on them. :)

What do these things bring to mind:

  1. A group of teen boys hanging out by a muscle car, music cranked
  2. A mixed group of teens hanging out by a muscle car, rap music cranked
  3. A mixed group of teens hanging out by a muscle car after dark
  4. A teen couple sitting in a car at dusk in a remote area
  5. A teen boy dressed in black with chains hanging from his clothing
  6. A teen girl dressed in short, tight clothing
  7. A group male teens walking through town with baseball bats
  8. A group of teen girls giggling through the mall - not one of them looks like she has eaten a meal in forever
  9. a lone teen, male or female, walking sullenly down the street, unkempt, tears in their eyes wandering aimlessly

I know, you immediately thought: Wow, look at that great kid or group of kids, huh?

Look again at the list and think about the post title "The Suspect Honesty of Teens". Kids don't hide themselves (thoughts, feelings or otherwise) very well. Often there are reasons for teens to dress and act in particular ways.

  1. Hanging out at the park with the boy with the muscle car: COOL.
  2. Wearing chain drive black clothing: need someone to ask me what's up, maybe depressed, angry or just plain like the style (is that really possible?).
  3. Teen girls in short tight clothing: want to be noticed, experimenting with sexuality, going out to the beach to do some tanning, hmmm.
  4. Teen couple sitting in the vehicle in remote areas: Better hope the parents had "the talk" or they could be discussing calculus.
  5. Teen boys walking through town with a baseball bat: duh, pick-up game, unless of course it's a gang and then you can expect other gear to come out as well not just the bats.
  6. Skinny girls giggling through the mall: Fasion conscious, media fed, social divas?
  7. The sullen, aimless, tearful, unkempt teen: Please, someone ask questions - this person needs someone to talk to, they just got into a fight with their girlfriend/boyfriend or parents in which case they need someone to talk to. they are depressed/suicidal and they need someone to talk to. And the list goes on: They need someone to talk to.

So, what do you do when you receive a phone call from a couple of teen girls that say they have just found a check made out to you and they would like to return it? True story:

I had a check for $398 from one of my daycare clients that I was going to deposit in my account. I endorsed it and put it in my pocket then started getting the kids ready to go for a walk to the bank (the kids like suckers from the bank and like to stop at the park and the pet store on the way home). With kids loaded up, we went to the bank only to find the check was no longer in my pocket....ARGH! Not the kids fault and I can call the client and let her know. Of course I would pay the cancel fee, but ARGH!!!!!

So, off we went to the park to play, then home (we searched the ground as we walked for the missing check, heck maybe I left it on the counter at home) for lunch. No check to be found anywhere, bummer! I picked up my phone to call the client and found there was a message so I listened intently to the caller: A TEEN GIRL. The message went something like this:

"hehehe, uhhh, Terrie, this is , uhhhhh, Kiki and , uhhhhhh Whitney and I found a 400 dollar check made out to you. We thought you might like it back. We stopped by your house, but you were not there so call us when you get back."

The check was SIGNED - They could have CASHED it - They BROUGHT IT BACK TO ME not once but twice they came to my house to make sure I got it back. Oh, and by the way, they knew they could have cashed it - one of them "reminded" me not to sign a check prior to being at the bank or something like this may end up with someone not being as honest.

These girls were honest! I have known both of these girls for a number of years in a very casual manner (something to do with baseball teams). Both come from different backgrounds with different life stories, but both came to the same conclusion - HONESTY BENEFITS us ALL!

I rewarded their honesty with $20 each. A small pittance in comparison to what they could have had should they have chosen to just cash my check. What they gained from their honesty is immeasurable - strength of character!

Thanks girls!