Sunday, December 23, 2012

Preschool Party....Snow....Bentleyville!

       Christmas is coming...the goose is getting fat...

       This time of year is busy for all of us...but we have filled our days with such fun...the Mom is working so Papa and Nana get to go to the preschool Christmas party...
Jillian was excited!  She knew Nana was coming, but Papa was a surprise!

Chloe is her favorite playmate...she goes to her house when Mommy works!

Papa sat in the corner during play time and read a book to the girls...and...

before long he had a crowd...Papa always attracts a crowd when he opens a book!

Later in the week, we headed to Duluth for an overnight getaway...

This was not a welcome sight on the roads, but...

the trees were beautiful with the snow hanging off their branches!

We arrived in Duluth and stayed down in Canal Park.  We shopped, went to dinner, relaxed...and walked on the lakefront at night...

The famous lift bridge on Lake Superior...the bottom of the bridge lifts from both ends...straight up when a large boat comes into the's a neat thing to see!
We continued on our walk for about 3 blocks to our destination...

Bentleyville...Tour of Lights 2012!

That's me waving with my hot chocolate...the huge tree is actually behind the sign!  The tree stood 128 feet tall and the lights blinked to the music!

Here's my companion for the evening....Papa!  It was cold, but we had so much fun.

One of the exhibits...dinosaurland...

The Nativity all in lights.
There were lots of families in the park with little ones...we decided that next year we need to bring some of our little ones to see the lights!

I'll write again next week with highlights of our Christmas with 10 grandchildren and their parents!

Merry Christmas...let's not forget that Babe in the manger who was born so many Christmases that we could live in Him!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


           So...December, 12th month, 12th day, 12th year in  Just another day for us...I went shopping with my Wednesday Quilters friends....we are making Christmas for a special family this year.  It's so much fun shopping for someone who has no idea that their holiday is about to be a little bit better...for them and especially for their little ones.  God has blessed us ladies and we want to bless others!  Fun times...

           I'm also waiting very patiently for a special blogging friend to have her 5th child today!  Waiting is so hard...wouldn't you think she'd be on facebook in recovery just to let us all know the babe is born!!

          Our home gets festive this time of the year....we don't have alot of visitors, but the grandkids sure enjoy the traditions at Papa and Nana's house each year!  The musical snowmen, santas, snoopy, the Charlie Brown crowd dressed for the Nativity....and the tree....

Check out that sunset out the window...makes the tree appear a little darker, but you get the idea!

Steve's sleigh & reindeer project he made in grade school! 

The Charlie Brown nativity set...these characters get rearranged frequently!

My Mom's little spot...her Christmas Village, characters and ceramic tree...I sure miss her!

Just a glance at our cozy living space, warm fire...snowing outside...Christmas everywhere...

The swinging lodge door gets closed for the winter...our cozy fireplace in the kitchen.

Santa's workshop...a.k.a....the sewing room.  Lots of projects planned with little time to finish them!

One of our favorite things to do all winter long is walk through the woods....

The dog leads the way...she gets so excited when we put our boots on!

This day was a cold one!  Only about 5 degrees with a 20 mph wind...but a refreshing walk through the Elfun Trail!

We even stopped to climb the treehouse!  See my new walking sticks?  I must be getting old...I like the stability of these poles!

Thought you cabin #6 guests would like to see your new screened be stained in the spring!

A new roof for shade on the deck of cabin #5...

and a new one on cabin #12 too!

There you are....what's going on in December at Cedar Rapids Lodge.  If you'd like to come vacation with us when the snow is melted, let us know!  We'd love to vacation with your family!
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

My latest project....

      Oh Pinterest...wherever did I get my creative ideas before you existed?  It's an addiction, friends...that's the only way to describe the site!  Here we go....I found this on pinterest...
It's cute, huh?  Well, when I went to Joann Fabrics to buy the green felt, I spotted a bolt of sparkle green felt...doesn't that sound more exciting than just green felt?  I thought so, too!  So I bought 2 yards....used my 50% coupon since sparkle is seldom on sale in this world.  When I got home, I started measuring and figured out I could get 6 trees out of 2 yards!  Bonus!  So, thinking I remembered the picture above from pinterest, I cut my tree out...

Gee...I thought that's what the tree looked like!  But, alas, I like my tree so much better!  Yes, I free-handed this little project.  Folded the felt piece in half and drew my branches on the back side(non-sparkle side) and cut it out....THEN I LOOKED ON PINTEREST AND REALIZED I GOOFED!
But...I like my goof a lot!  So I made ornaments and even garland!  Jill, 3, took her tree home yesterday...I'm delivering 2 more trees to little girls in Shakopee...I think they'll like them too!

I know...thank love it don't you?  But this project is a work in progress.  I used 3M "velcro" sticky strips on the back to stick the tree to the seem to be able to peel the tree off the wall if you need to...and move it from room to room.  That's what little girls like to do sometimes!  I cut skinny strips of felt for the garland.  Felt sticks to felt so you just push it on the tree.  For the ornaments, I used a small drinking glass and traced circles on different colored felt sheets...all of 28 cents each a sheet...and you get tons of ornaments from one sheet.  My pencil marks are all on the backs of the ornaments...I hot glued the little strips on the ornaments so the littles wouldn't put the "wrong" side on the tree!  Didn't want those pencil marks showing from the tracings!!  Here's a close-up...

Don't you just love that sparkle!!  I think I'll try cutting zigzag garland or just cut a little curve into it...a girl can't have too much garland on a tree, you know!  I would guess that each tree costs way less than $5 to make...and the possibilities for ornaments are endless!  Keep it simple, those little ones are going to re-arrange all day long!
Merry Christmas!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

I am Thankful !

       Tis the season....and the be thankful for all we've been given!  I have so much to be thankful for, I don't know where to begin!  Maybe here...with family...
Our daughter Jen, with husband Marc,
Calvin, Nate & Jill

Our son, Max, with wife Sara,
Will, Greyson & Tate

Our middle son, Sam, with wife, Roz,
Ben, Lucien, Monica & Olivia

Our youngest son, John & his wife, Alicia...
and grandbaby #11 in May!!

Our kids and their families have been such a huge part of our resort...we couldn't have done it without them!
Everyone pitches in when they come to visit!  What a blessed part of the summer our family has been...heck, we love them all year long!!

I'm thankful for a Papa who builds a car wash for the kids....just because his wife saw this crazy idea on pinterest!  It was a hit!!

I'm thankful for the "chipmunk hunting crew" who choose to play outside instead of video games inside!

I'm thankful for special resort visitors who bring new elves for the "Elfun Trail"....even if it is the Milwaukee Brewers!  Thank you, Luke & Gracie!

I was thankful for 2 days in July to sew with my cousins...what a fun time!

I'm thankful for "beach hunks" who wander the resort with an apple and a pinecone...and that's a great day!!

I'm thankful we have a pool for the hot summer weather...and the grandkids are thankful too!

I'm thankful that for the last 11 years, we've always had a smiling grandbaby....year after year after year!

I'm thankful for 25 years of sunsets over the lake...a picture we never take for granted!

I'm thankful that we have this nice pile of wood for the winter fires!

So thankful we finally got one of make that woodsplitting a little easier for the Lodgemaster!

I'm thankful for walks in the woods with my husband...where we get to see God's creatures...up close!

Heck, I'm even thankful for this crazy dog...she loves the resort life!

Wow...I guess I have alot in my life to be thankful for!  We'll cook the turkey and fixins on Thursday and contemplate all our blessings...and thank God for this life He has blessed us with!
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

October Travels...Memories...and a New Recipe!

How's that for a title?  I'm a little slow on the posting these days...I have buried myself in my sewing castle, creating all those things I couldn't make all summer long!  I'm finishing baby quilts for new babies born to friends/church family, making tablerunners for gifts and to sell in the lodge gift shop next of all, organizing everything that speaks of sewing!  Organization is my passion, but you wouldn't know it sometimes when you see my gets pretty messy when I'm searching for fabrics or patterns to create something new.  So...sewing room photos will have to wait until I concentrate on the organization part of the room.

In October we traveled to IL to attend my cousin's son's wedding....what a wonderful time we had seeing relatives and resort friends we hadn't seen since summer. 
Sara & Tim had an outdoor ceremony on a beautiful fall afternoon...

And we got to see one of our favorite girls...Eva!  My cousins and my siblings call me Susie, but Eva calls me to my ears everytime she chats!

From the wedding, we traveled to our hometown to visit our family.  We couldn't resist driving past our "old houses" we lived in when our kids were littles before we moved to Minnesota.
We lived in this house from 1975 to 1985....our 3 boys were all born when we lived here...a teeny house that we didn't know was teeny until we moved into this house...

My absolute dream house!  I thought we would live here forever...I even imagined grandchildren in the house!  We lived in this house for almost 2 years, then found our dream resort and left Illinois with all our stuff and 4 kids and moved to Minnesota.  It was fun to go back in time and see the small town where our kids lived for those years and had a great time!

Now....back to Minnesota and our resort and all the fun we have living here!  Let's see...the rest of the title of this blog post...a new it is:

Reeses Pieces Fall Crunch
12 oz. Golden Grahams
3 cups pretzels
1 cup peanuts
3 cups Bugles
24 oz. almond bark
1 cup Reeses Pieces

Mix together the cereal, pretzels, nuts & Bugles in large bowl.  Melt the almond bark and pour over the mixture...

Stir gently to not crush ingredients; spread onto waxed paper...sprinkle Reeses Pieces onto wet mixture...

Let set in freezer or on counter until almond bark is hardened.  Break apart and put in bags or jars to share...but taste it first to make sure it's good enough for friends & family!

The variation on this recipe is to add Mint M & M's at Christmas time...the subtle mint taste is so yummy...then you have to change the name to "Snowflake Mix"! 
I don't know which flavor is better...let me know!

A post note...the Papa in our family is in his late fall/early winter mode...creating things requested by certain family members.
Here's the products of one day of work in his shop...

A lemonade stand/grocery store counter/target store/produce stand/toll booth, etc., for some grandkids in Shakopee.

A table for another little one in Shakopee...I see lots of tea parties in my future!
Can't wait!