About The River

Monday, August 29, 2011

Leaving on a Jet Plane....Kiev, Ukraine

I was told, you have to carry what you pack. I would not have a husband or extra time to get my bags from here to there! I packed a big suitcase. I put some of my items for the children in the suitcase and some of it in my carry on. Just in case...yes two members of our team had their luggage lost! They had one change of clothing in their carry on. We were in Kiev for two weeks. They had one change of clothes! Their luggage arrived two days before we started back to the States! Thankfully, several of the other guys on the team gave them stuff to wear. We did not have laundry facilities.
The cool backpack, was my son Sam's. He still thinks it is cool is backpack went to London, England and Kiev, Ukraine.
I packed simple outfits, bedding and a travel pillow. Some art supplies, sidewalk chalk, candy, prizes for the kids and some snacks. We were told to bring some snacks...I brought nuts, dried fruit and granola bars. I did not know I needed to bring a water bottle. Once settled in our quarters at the Shelter,  I had to boil some water and sanitize someones plastic Coke bottle. I was so afraid, because we were warned over and over not to drink the water out of the tap. I boiled the water and poured into the bottle. (we had an electric hot water pot, for making tea in our quarters at the Shelter) Of course the heat started to melt the bottle. I quickly poured it out. My bottle was disfigured, but everyone knew it was mine!
Jeremy seeing me off. Our Pastor drove us to the Airport together. It was not easy for me to say goodbye. It was not easy for Jeremy to let me go. He would not hear from me for over a week!

More to come...stay tuned.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Slow-Cooker Taco Hot Dish

Slow-Cooker Taco Hot Dish
2 1/2 lbs. ground beef, browned and drained
1 large onion, chopped
1 can cream chicken soup
1 can cream mushroom soup
1 pkg. taco seasoning
1 jar extra hot taco sauce or mild
1 15oz. can of tomato sauce
1 can water (use the tomato sauce can to measure)
1 1/2 cups uncooked instant rice
1 bag of regular or nacho cheese flavored Doritos, crushed
Shredded cheese
Place everything in the slow cooker except for the cheese. Cook on low for 4 - 5 hours. Top with cheese about 45 minutes before serving. Serve with taco sauce, sour cream and chips.

You can make this the day before...a helpful meal for a busy day. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

My favorite house

I love this house! It is a cute little house in the woods on the way to Brill, WI. I was nervous taking photos of it, I thought the owners might come out and say something to me....like... why are you taking photos of our house?  :-)
Jeremy said he could see the two of us together in this house when we are old and gray. The grandkids are playing in the woods and I am working in the flower garden. In the winter we would have a fire in the fireplace. After an afternoon of skiing we would sit by the fire with hot cocoa and marshmallows.
I would loved to see the inside of the house....then I would start to day dream about decorating.
I am already starting to day dream....have a good day.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Harvest Time!

It is harvest time. We have been busy canning beans, eating cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and summer squash! I am thankful for the fresh veggies from the garden. I smile at how excited the boys are to go out and check if any thing is ready to be picked. Happy Harvest to you all!

Monday, August 22, 2011

History Lesson part 2 - Ukraine

I wanted to give you a few more facts before I start to show my photos and explain my missions trip. Ukraine broke away from Russia  in 1991. On July 16, 1991 Ukraine declared independence from the former Soviet Union. A new country, starting out on its own. The current currency is called hryvnia (pronounced grivna).
If you keep up with current events world wide you will know that the fight for freedom is daily. The Ukrainian president, Viktor Yushchenko was poisoned. Who did it? You have to come to your own conclusion on that. Lets just say, he is for FREEDOM!
Corruption! Poverty! Hopelessness!
It is estimated that in Kiev alone there are over 25,000 homeless children. Thousands of children from 3 years old up through their teens live under buildings, they are old bomb shelters from the war. The children are brought to the Government Shelter (where I worked) by the police. They are wild. The shelter is made up of two parts. For the wild kids, fresh off the streets, it is called the Isolator. The other area, for tame kids,  is called the Shelter. I worked in both areas and will share many stories and photos.
The kids in the Isolator do try to run away. So the area they are in, looks like a jail. They feel just like an caged animal. Many do not know how to eat with a fork, spoon or knife. They do not know anything about manners or even the simple things of living. Some do escape, back to the streets. Others begin to let their guard down, and start to feel!
This was one of the hardest parts for me. After two weeks of crafts, skits, stories and special outings...we pack up and leave. Back to the United States. I prayed to God, to be sure they knew we loved them and so did Jesus. Our last night we had a party, they called it a DISCO. We gave out candy, glow sticks, balloons and ice cream cones. As I hugged them goodbye I remind them I loved them and to remember, Jesus Loved them. I would point to the heart and tell them to keep Jesus!
More to come...from this missions trip that changed me!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

God Loves you

God loves you in the morning sun and the evening rain, without caution or regret.
Brennan Manning

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.
Sir John Lubbock

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Fruit'n Yogurt Pasta Salad

4 oz (1 cup) uncooked macaroni rings or small shells
1 (11oz) can mandarin oranges, drained
1 (8oz) can pineapple chunks, drained
1 cup halved seedless grapes
1 (6 oz) container low-fat lemon yogurt (I have used key lime pie too) very good
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 cup of strawberries

Cook macaroni to desired taste - drain and rinse with cold water to cool
In medium bowl, combine cooked macaroni and all remaining ingredients except strawberries, mix gently to coat. Cover and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours to blend flavors.
Just before serving add strawberries.

This is a favorite of ours for picnics. I do not always add the strawberries..depends if I can find fresh ones at the store :-)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hummingbirds, Hiking trails, Interpretive Center

One of our favorite places to go for a hike is  the Ice Age Trail located by New Auburn. The Interpretive Center is a great place for kids and adults. They have several animals and reptiles you can feed, touch and learn about. In the summer they start to feed the hummingbirds. We enjoying going for a hike and then sitting on a outside bench and enjoying the hummingbirds. It is a great place and worth the drive.
Chippewa Moraine State Recreation Area

The view!
They have several flower gardens. They have different garden themes...some are prairie, woodland, early spring and many more. It is fun to look at all the plants and blooms.

Hummingbird Time!
It is amazing to see all the hummingbirds come to eat. They zip that way, then that way....it is fun.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

We missed you

Our friend Skylar took care of our cat Max, three rabbits, Rex, Fuzz Buzz, Snowball and our goldfish George while we were gone. Molly our dog, she endured the Great American Road Trip with us! We missed Max and so did Molly. 
"Guy's do not leave me again"
Max did not give us any silence treatment when we got back. That is because Skylar did such a great job helping us. She played with Max everyday and gave him some of his catnip from Sam's Catnip plant outside.
It is good to be home.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Two Medicine Dinosaur Center

We visited the Two Medicine Dinosaur Center in Bynum, Montana with our friend Bobby Jean. It was amazing. At this time they are digging at a site - they believe they have found a new species of dinosaur! You can go out on digs with the paleontologist. It was very interesting. We will have to save up some $ if we decide to go out on a day dig.
The Lab
A replica of Sue's head. You all know Sue, right? Sue is the big T-Rex that was found August 12, 1990  in South Dakota. She is the most complete T-Rex found. You can find her in Chicago today The story is really cool, and the boys loved reading it. The young lady "Sue" who found the T-Rex had help from her black lab!
Our Great American Road trip is coming to a close. It has been a lot of fun! I will be blogging more about the trip and special places we visited when we get home.
Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana and North Dakota! 
Heading back home to Wisconsin!

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Great American Road Trip

Dinosaur Time
 We visited Two Medicine Dinosaur Center in Bynum, Montana. Montana has a Dinosaur Trail running along US  89 - US 2 - Hwy 200 and Hwy 7
Two Medicine claims fame to the first baby dinosaur bones found in North America. Also the largest dinosaur Seismosaurus halli (earth shaking lizard)
It was a great time for the boys.
Next door is a rock shop. Another fun time for the boys.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Pierre, South Dakota

Hello from Pierre, South Dakota
We toured the Capitol of South Dakota. It was beautiful. We enjoyed walking the grounds and I will post more facts about the Capitol and the grounds later. I loved the display of the First Ladies dresses. They have miniature replicas of the inaugural dresses that the First Ladies of South Dakota wore. It was fun picking out my favorite. Then having the boys try to guess what one was my favorite.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Great American Road Trip

We are off and heading west! It was a great day on the road. We all are so excited to see new territory. We stopped in De Smet, South Dakota to look at Laura Ingalls Homestead. We did not get to tour it because of the time. (Another trip)  Just looking at the homestead  made me smile. I have read all of Laura's books to the boys. We loved every one of them. Their favorite book was Farmer Boy. I loved reading about Almanzo's life as a young boy.
This photo is of the original Cotton Wood trees  that Pa planted when he received the claim. I could not believe how huge and beautiful they were. He planted five trees. All five are still standing. It was a special time and we all had huge smiles on our faces.


Savor little glimpses of God's goodness and His majesty, thankful for the gift of them: winding pathways through the woods, a bright green canopy overhead, and dappled sunshine falling all around, warm upon our faces.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Fruit in the Garden

It is that time.
We were blessed by receiving raspberry plants from my parents when we moved to Cameron. They have done very well. I make jam, fresh pie and raspberry shakes!
Taste of Summer
Do have a special raspberry treat you like?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Slow down and grow

Sometimes we just need to slow down and grow.
Lois Wyse

Can you spot the butterfly and bee?