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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Hiking on a Frozen Swamp in Minnesota

Allow me to introduce you to my in laws. They're not quite your average grandparent type figures. My father in law, for example, loves to do really cool things. He can be seen popping wheelies on his motorcycle as he drives by his home in the summer time when the kids are out playing on the front lawn. During the summer, he goes for motorcycle rides with them and takes them fishing. In the winter, he drives them around on his snowmobile and they target practice firearms together. When our oldest daughter was little, she wanted to grow up to be a small engine mechanic just like him. When our oldest son has cool experiences, the first person he wants to call isn't another teen, its his grandfather.
We must not leave out their grandmother. Last night, there was a conversation about target practice. The kids encouraged me to challenge their grandmother to a shooting contest. Kiana figured I shouldn't bother, because, undoubtedly her grandmother would win. I know better, anyway, than to take on someone coined "Dead Eye Debbie". She is also dubbed "The Gift Giver", because she gives more gifts to more people than anyone I know. On Christmas, the entire living room is so full of presents that there is only room for each child to sit in one spot and not move. The presents tower over them so that once they are handed the presents, you can no longer see the child. She also has the incredible knack to find just the right thing for whomsoever she is buying the gift for. She reads the kids stories at night or plays games with them. She encourages most every hobby they pursue. I fear I will never be quite the grandparent that they are when my time comes. The children all think they're the best thing ever.
I have spent many an hour hiking on the frozen swamp behind their house on this visit. My father in law made all kinds of neat trails over the frozen bog. I've been making "swamp bouquets" out of the cedar, balsam, cat tails and other shrubbery and weeds I have found out there. Today it warmed up to 0 or a little above, so we all took a long hike in the swamp. It was so much fun. Karsten and Kaleb watched vigilantly for Sasquatch lingering around, but they didn't see any. We saw a deer and 2 snowshoe hares. The rabbits were so pretty. I tried to photograph them, but my camera batteries refused to be resurrected.
Here are some photos of the breakfast I prepared before we marched across the frozen bog. Cheesy Hash browns, Sausage and Gingerbread Snowman Pancakes as an accompaniment to eggs. It is decorated with one of my "swamp bouquets".


Anonymous said...

Now I will warn you that since I can follow your blogs easily, I might comment more. Feel free to tell me to go away! :P

Those pancakes came out so cute!

Do you know in all the years we've been married, I've NEVER walked behind their house??? Not even in the nice weather. I guess I am totally missing out!

outdoor.mom said...

You are always welcome here :-) When the weather is nice it's a swamp. The hwy is great for walking or biking then. Have you ever been to The Bear? Its fun to go for ice cream there in the summer.
I love your #1 choice of screen pics. I also love that snowman Emmy pic! As for the spork-well I'm not sure how to vote.
Debbie says Zeb uses sugar alternatives - so do I. What does he use?

outdoor.mom said...

ps. your cheesecakes were lovely.

Gracegirl said...

Wow, what fun! And the pancakes are so cute!

Heather said...

There's been a sasquatch sighting on our road, according to internet reports, so the boys can come search for him here if they want. :)

As to your snowman pancakes accented by swamp bouquets. . .I can't think of a nicer breakfast! :)