Thursday, March 25, 2010

One Day Without Shoes..... April 8

If the world were a village of 100 people, 40 would have no shoes....

APRIL 8, 2010

All day....
Part of the day....
10 minutes....

I'll be going barefoot. Will you?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring Break Chronicles - Kelley vs. The Pickaxe

For those of you who know my husband, he is a construction-working, Mr. Fix-It, tougher-than-nails, man's man. Last week we were in his car driving to church and I noticed a pickaxe and a sledgehammer in his back seat. I asked him if having these things in his car made him extra manly. He replied, "You know it, babe." (Upon reading this part of the blog, he admitted that the sledgehammer actually belongs to our friend Nels Jacobson. I asked if we needed to give Nels some credit for manliness, and Jer replied, "Yes - I get my manliness from my friends.")

The weather was so pretty yesterday that we decided to do some garden work. I had one raised-bed veggie garden last year, but we were planning to put in two more for this season. After the trip to Lowes for lumber and to Gene Gohlke's for some compost, we were starting to run out of time to build the garden. I decided the most efficient way to *ahem* get 'er done was to double-team it. Jeremy was already sawing the boards and constructing the boxes, so I reached for the pickaxe to break up the ground.

I have to admit that I'm pretty proud of myself - I hacked up 17 square feet of our yard in record time. I think that was my official initiation into the Irwin family, because everyone knows an Irwin can use a pickaxe like nobody's business.

Here are the pictures of our lovely finished, empty beds. Empty because there's a winter storm warning for today, so I didn't want to risk it. Just use your imagination and think of them like blank canvases ;)

And for good measure, since the above pictures are semi-boring, here's a picture of the amazing blooms showing up on our peach tree: (please please PLEASE winter weather - don't kill my peach tree flowers...)

So after my initiation into Irwin-ism, I did what any tough hoss of a woman would do.....

I went and got a massage.

Love ,


Monday, March 15, 2010

Spring Break Chronicles - The Irwins vs. Equestrian...ism...

Today kicks off the official start of "no school because it's spring break" week. The weather has been beautiful the past few days. I've planted all our seeds - flowers and veggies - in preparation for spring planting and started many of my potted plants this weekend as well! The only downside of the nice weather is the dog. Cooper is LOVING this weather, but won't stay outside for longer than 10 minutes. So the day goes like this:

Cooper bugs me for 10 minutes until I finally get up and let him out.

10 minutes later he's scratching at the back door. 

He's content in the house for 5 minutes. 

Cooper bugs me for 10 minutes until I finally get up and let him out...... Repeat ad infinitum.

I've been getting this face a LOT:

Today our friend Darby met us out at Isle Du Bois to take us out on her horses. We've been excited about this for weeks. However, before today I had been on a horse 1 time. It was a trail ride in Alberta when I was 12, and all I remember about the experience was:

- We nicknamed my sister's horse Flatulence shortly into the ride (and for good reason). Guess who was behind her the whole time?

- My mom's friend Janet fell off her horse and had to sit on a donut pillow for the rest of the week.

The ride started off well - after learning some basics, we were off down the trail. I was in the back on Darby's sister's horse, Flecka. I was doing just fine until we started to trot. I couldn't quite get the hang of posting, and the WHAP WHAP WHAP of my booty slamming rhythmically into the saddle tickled Jeremy to death. It didn't help that with each WHAP my helmet slid a little further back on my head, until it was pretty much just protecting the base of my skull (silly bike helmet...) His laughing made me laugh, which only increased my inability to control my bodily movements, so I pretty much bounced along on the back of Flecka the whole time. Thanks honey for the bruise that is sure to appear on my bum tomorrow. 

Towards the end of our ride Flecka and I started to do a little better. There was much less WHAP-ing and a little more control until......

Darby said "canter".

I didn't expect it. Flecka took off. I just hung on while visions of Christopher Reeve post spinal cord injury via equestrian accident spun through my head. 

But I didn't fall off!!

So I learned that I am not necessarily a "natural" horseman, but we did have a blast and look forward to riding again sometime soon.

Thanks Darby!

Jeremy and Darby's horse, Cameo

Darby's sister Cheryl who was SO sweet to meet us out there

Remember the helmet-bouncing incident from above? 
That's why my hair looks like that. Don't judge.

Darby and Cameo

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Date Night Adventure - 'C'

One of our New Years Resolutions was to go through the alphabet in date nights/days. Our 'A' and 'B' dates were pretty low-key with a strict budget (thus there were no posts about 'Avatar' and 'Breakfast in Bed'). However, in honor of the beginning of spring break we saved and pulled out the stops for date night 'C'.....

Cooking  class at Sur La Table. And we brought Aaron and Denise :)

Here are some pictures from our fantastic date last night:

Jer peeling and slicing apples for the delicious caramel apple tart for dessert

Aaron learned how to zest :)

Coolest little hand-peeler ever - of course they would let you use all the cool kitchen gadgets so you'd want to buy them...

Aaron was apprehensive about being in charge of the potatoes - but did a wonderful job :)

Rosemary flank steak - good gracious this was amazing!

Apple tart!

Now we're just trying to talk the boys into date night 'D' - salsa dancing!!

Check back for more spring break adventures!

Love you-


Saturday, March 6, 2010


Thanks to everyone who was praying for my grandpa's recovery - he is now with my parents back home in Midland recovering :) He's eating sans feeding tube, walking with a walker, and showering. Woo hoo! We are VERY thankful that his recovery has gone this well.

In other news (and very MINOR news compared to the praise above), my knees are feeling great and I've been able to SLOWLY bump my barefoot-esque running up to 2 miles. Yay Vibrams - I sure do love you.

Now that the weather is finally starting to resemble spring, I've started daydreaming about our vegetable garden again. After having learned from my mistakes last year (don't plant watermelon or pumpkin, they will take over your tiny yard and you will get approximately 1 watermelon and 1 pumpkin...), I planned out our crops. 

Yesterday was so beautiful outside that I set to work uprooting remnants of dead tomato vines and dried up bean stalks and chopping it up for compost. I also dug up some compost from the bottom of our bin (which smelled lovely for sure) and mixed it in with our existing beds. I have a whole new respect for my husband now. He built the bed for me last summer by hacking up the ground with a pick-ax. I stir a little dirt up and I have a VERY sore back this morning. My hubby is a hoss. 

I now have my little seeds germinating in preparation for planting outside in a few weeks. I can't wait. Watching plants grow definitely stirs my affections for the Lord.

Love you-