Lake Homes Northern Minnesota

Now that it is finally nice in Northern Minnesota, I am dreaming, just dreaming of a lake home. The lake homes seem like such a nice place. Problem is Minnesota winters are brutal and the homes are so expensive to spend just a few days there.

Here are a few of my favorites (just for fun)!


Or how about this one:


Contemplating contacting the owners and asking if we can rent for a week??

Progression of Little Sister Winning


Ahh… I love it when the little one gets pinned, then gets back at her sister! I happened to just be sitting on the deck, enjoying a new book, when my nice evening was interrupted with shouts, screams and MOM!!!

I just let them fight it out…not sure if that is wrong or right…


Here come the strong legs..



She’s up with the pug rooting her on in the background and grass stains on the back.


Oh now they are friends after I had to warn them that they are the only kids on our block and the neighbors might not appreciate them screaming at the top of their lungs..UGG

I am so proud of her…youth firearm safety


Our 11 year old is sure enjoying her first time shooting a shotgun and rifle. In MN we get the opportunity to have lots of hunting opportunities and youth firearm safety is a very important part of that. We took the opportunity of a nice day to get some target practice.

I think not having bad habits sure makes a difference. She hit the target about 95 percent of the time. Better than her seasoned ma!

Oh, check out the Dad! He just had one gun jam he had to help with..hehe


Love it!

Rafting the Grand Canyon with Colorado River Discovery Page, AZ

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One of the things I really wanted to go when we visited the Grand Canyon was raft down the Colorado river. We had done some whitewater rafting a few years ago in Yellowstone and loved it. The only raft trips down the Colorado that are not week long trips depart from Page, AZ, where the famous horseshoe bend is located. We booked a 1/2 day smooth water rafting trip. This is the website Colorado River Discovery.

It was a really long drive from the south side of the park. The road had buckled on the normal route, so the detour was through the Indian reservation. It was a drive that did not offer much scenery and was a lot of red dirt.

The rafting trip left from the Glen Canyon dam, a homeland security sight, so all items had to be in clear plastic bags and no weapons are allowed of any kind. You travel by bus through this tunnel (blasted out canyon)


Then when you get to the bottom of the canyon, you have to don the cute hardhats and take the walkway to the boat:

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Next up is the boats. Very comfortable. Can seat 20- we were there in early season, so there were 10 on our boat.

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We then moved into the middle of the Colorado. The water is a constant 45 degrees, negative for swimming this time of year, but in the summer, it is welcomed.

We saw a few birds, lots of ducks and a few egrets.

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We floated down the river a few miles, then stopped at a sandbar that was home to some eco bathrooms and lots of cool desert cactuses.

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There are snakes down here (ick) but it was too cold for them to be out. Thank Goodness. We ate our lunch that we picked up at the grocery store to save on meal costs on this sandbar.

Our guide was fantastic. He showed us these ancient petroglyphs that are very old. They are very interesting, Indians used to actually scale the canyon to get fresh water.

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And now for my very favorite part! This is a dinosaur track that was in the limestone. Archiologists estimate that this is over 3 million years old

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Do you see it?

Overall, the rafting trip was excellent. The kids got a little squirrely and it was a little more expensive that I wanted to spend. But, it was an experience that we will not forget.

With kids, I would not recommend the full day trip. It is a very confined space and not exciting enough to hold interest. Our half day trip was the best option.

Lower Antelope Canyon A Must Do in Northern Arizona


Lower Antelope Canyon in Page, AZ was so interesting. We drove 2 hours through a reservation to get to this town for the Rafting Trip down the Colorado River. While here, I saw these signs:


After looking it up on Trip Advisor, we decided the next morning to do a 8:00 tour. I guess we are the only people that get up and get going that early, as we were the only people on the tour. Our guide, Hope, was a native, and very friendly.


We were basically going into a crack in the earth:


The crack started with steps, really steep steps:


But holy cow, when we were at the bottom, we were totally amazed!


As the light changes, the reflections change, and I was amazed at the layers of limestone.



You end up walking through some rather tight turns, and have to climb around a lot. I had red dirt completely inside my shoes, red dust on everything, and was really dirty the rest of the day. It was worth it.


I would highly recommend doing this tour if you are ever in Page, AZ.


Grand Canyon With Kids & Blue Angel Trail






Grand Canyon March 2014


March 27th, as I am typing this, the snow is piling up outside the window. A fresh dusting of snow is really making it hard to think spring in Minnesota. Come on, just give us one nice day!

Grand Canyon 2014

The Grand Canyon trip that we planned for about 6 months, was exciting, exhilarating and most of all, great for our kids.


I specifically waited until the kids were a little older to go here, I was terrified that the kids would do something crazy and fall over the edge, or Randy would tickle Geneva and they would both fall off. They did not, but some crazy people do get a little too close and had me wincing.


Rocks are interesting for just a little while. Georgia really started to get into photobombing.




The Colorado river was visible, we did take a rafting trip- more on that tomorrow!


We hiked the Rim Trail, it goes along the edge of the canyon. It was not as exciting as decending into the canyon, so I insisted we needed to hike. We loaded up the backpack and headed down the Bright Angel Trail. I did not think it was steep on the way down. On the way back up, while the kids were running up the trail, I was rethinking how many dessert that I had consumed. On a 50 degree day (perfect for hiking) we were all sweating!


This is the view about 30 minutes into our hike to the top- Long ways.


Look how small the trail is! I made the kids walk on the inside.



Taking a break on another ROCK!


This rock tunnel was really cool. In order to get the trail to not have a steep grade, they had to dynamite out a little tunnel.


There were several places to stop and take a water break.

We spent one day here before we headed out to get some ice cream, and a good night sleep.

Saturday is the Big Day

Well, we have waited a LONG time for this trip. Normally we have to get out of our winter climate at least twice a year.

This year has been awful!

So, we leave Minneapolis at 5:00 pm and get into Las Vegas at 6:40 (time change). Going to try to catch a light show on Freemont Street before the kids crash. We could not find a decent hotel price, so we are staying by the airport, not on the strip. Bummer!

In other news, our house plans are complete. We now get to add the windows in. I am thinking really tall windows that will allow me to see the deer and turkeys outside.


Ice Fishing Report



A seven year old can clean out a hole after Dad drills the hole open. She can, yes, she can! Don’t drop it in!



An eleven year old can pull a Northern out of a hole 8 inches wide, with no jacket or hat on and her Dad watching closely, however, this one got up to the hole and broke the line, yep, our supper was back in the lake! While her mom is taking pictures and telling her she will get sick!

So, the fishing report has not been so great as of yet! We just got out of a really big cold spell and now it is just starting to warm up! Yea.

Sledding and -30 below zero

Happy Sunday evening. It is so cold here, a high of negative (-20) degrees Fahrenheit today.

Seriously- you can’t even leave the house, your nose hairs freeze, any exposed skin is frozen in 30 seconds and the sounds outside change. The eerily quiet sounds of winter are amplified when it gets this cold.

It is not supposed to get over 0 degrees until Friday of this week- It seems weird that people can even survive in this weather.

Anyway on Christmas day (15 degrees), we did this:

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Seriously fun!

Hopefully we can get back out there soon!

Keep warm.

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