About The River

Friday, February 28, 2014

On the Road Friday ~ Apostle Islands ~ Sea Caves

Welcome to On the Road Friday.
Today we will be taking a trip of a life time. We have tried to visit the Sea Caves during the winter for four years! Each year the ice had either blown out from a Nor'easter or it simply was to warm.

We all know...we are having a COLD winter.
With that cold winter comes a true blessing, exploring the sea caves.

 The sea caves are honeycomb cliffs on Devils Island, Sand Island and near Mawikwe Bay on the mainland. Visitors are drawn to Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in summer and winter to visit the sea caves and witness Lake Superior's ever - changing handiwork.
 Winter visitors need to be especially careful. Warm clothing is a must. Sub-zero temperatures and bitter wind - chills are common. Walking on ice can be extremely dangerous and demands caution. The ice can be very rough or slippery. 
If you go, watch for new cracks or soft spots in the ice, wear sturdy boots, carry a ski pole or walking stick.
Watch for falling ice near the caves.
Okay, you are all ready. 
Ice Caves here we come.
 We called this formation "Frozen Fireworks".
 A close up of the Frozen Fireworks.
 The full view of the Frozen Fireworks.
 Heading into a cave.
Jeremy is still out on the ice. So I am taking a photo of him and he is taking a photo of me.
The boys are starting to head into the cave.
 Looking up!
Looking way up!
 Looking out at Jeremy from inside the cave.
 Exploring the cave.
 I love the ice. Each piece is different. It truly is amazing.
 It was always nice to be inside a cave and out of the wind. 

If you do plan to visit the Sea Caves check out the following for sea cave watch 
To learn more about the ice conditions at the mainland sea caves, call 715-779-3397
This photo is from the sea cave watch web cam. The cam is way up on a cliff. Jeremy has been busy looking at the photos from the cam for the past few weeks. On the evening we came home, he checked the web cam. Guess What? We are captured walking back to the parking lot. The four explorers you see walking in a line is the brave TePaske family.

We thought it was cool that we were captured on the web cam.
We enjoyed our day. 
I plan to post some more photo's next Friday too. We have so many, I did not want to overwhelm  you with one big post.
Join us again next week as we once again head out to the Sea Caves of the Apostle Islands.
Have a great weekend.
Stay Warm!


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Economy Car

 The Economy Car
Last week we were doing a few outside chores. I was cleaning out a box full of hay for our bunnies.
Atticus was sliding down our snow pile in our yard. I told him "Grandpa always liked to slide down the hill in a cardboard box when I was a little girl."  I gave him the box I emptied and told him " Give it a try."
He loved it!
Big brother Sam decided he needed to try it too. He went downstairs in the basement to get his own box, nope, not Sam. Sam decided he had an economy car.

Vroom, went Sam down the hill.
The boys laughed and laughed as they slid down the hill in their economy cars.

We decided we needed to try our economy cars at the BIG hill. 
The boys asked if daddy could bring some boxes home from work. They wanted to customize their economy cars. They put duct tape on the bottom.


I even went down the big hill in an economy car.
It was great fun.

I love how my boys came up with the name economy car. And how they thought grandpa was pretty cool to slide down a hill in a cardboard box.

So what do you think? Economy Car Sledding at the 2018 Winter Olympics?

Monday, February 24, 2014

Keep a smile on your face!

Have you ever had to stay on the high road?
How about in front of your kids?
It is hard. I had to do this with both my boys at my side.
 A true lesson learned in life.

How do you stay on the high road?
What are some ways you have taught your kids or others to stay on the high road?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

I thought I was lost...

"Where to now?"
He smiles and puts a hand around your shoulder. As He does so, you see the scar on his wrist left by the nail long ago. He says "Where do you want to go?"
You reply, "Well, I thought I was lost..."
And He says, "That is one of the good things! There are many roads to take. Some lead home, and some lead to new adventures. But whichever road you take, I will go with you. I will always be available to encourage you and care for you. That is what friends do. And in the end, you will find that all roads lead to the same place. You and I will go to a wonderful home I have prepared for you. But that is in the future. Until, then, you have adventures to experience and wisdom to learn. Until then, you have one day after another, each one offering its own gift and its own surprise. Come on, walk with me."

Lee Strobel

As they say, the adventure of a lifetime begins with one step. Which step will you take today?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Maple Glazed Pumpkin Bread

 Maple Glazed Pumpkin Bread

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ginger
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup cream cheese
1 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 large eggs
1 t. vanilla extract

Mix all the above ingredients together until nice and moist.
Place batter into greased 9x5  loaf pan.
Bake at 350 ยบ
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until your toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Maple Glaze

2 Tablespoons of butter
3/4 cup powder sugar
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

After your bread has cooled, go ahead and glaze.


We can not wait to visit our local Sugar Bush for some good ol' Wisconsin Maple Syrup! I used the last of our supply making this delicious bread.

Do you visit a local Sugar Bush for your Maple Syrup?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Chinese New Year Celebration

Some dear friends of ours adopted a little girl from China. To celebrate her first year with them, they hosted  a 1st Annual Chinese New Year Celebration.

The Chinese New Year is the most celebrated festival in China. It is a time for family and friends to gather to celebrate the coming of Spring.
The lantern festival is traditionally held around the 15th of the month to end the 15 day festival. 

We celebrated by ice fishing, cross country skiing, sledding and eating!

 It was snowing. The lanterns had no problem heading up...up...up.

 Once the lantern starts to pull up it is okay to let it go. It is ready for take off.

We wanted to try to have as many go together as possible.

 Happy Chinese New Year!


Monday, February 17, 2014

Keep Calm and Hug On

How did you celebrate Valentine's?  We went to the Lego Movie as a family.   We received some special gifts from our friends. Cupcakes baked in a heart shape!  Hope you had a blessed Valentine's and wishing you a blessed week!  

Friday, February 14, 2014

On the Road Friday ~ Hickory Ridge Trails ~ Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin

Hello Friends,
It is Friday, off we go on a little trip.
You will be happy to know we did all the exercise on this trip. You are able to sit back and enjoy.
 Hickory Ridge Recreation Area is a trail system for Cross Country Skiing and Snowshoe in the winter and Mountain Bike in the summer.
This was our first ski at the Hickory Ridge Trails. It warmed up to a balmy 5° on February 1st. We decided it was time to get outside. We have been cooped up long enough.

 We loved going down the hills. 
Getting up the hills was a different story. Especially when you get the giggles. That is just what happened to Atticus. He is trying to go up, he gets the giggles and slides down.
 Steep Hill
Up the hill we go.

 Down the hill we go to...Death Valley! 
Some of us began to feel the pain of going up hills.
I won't mention any names.

 Up and Down!

 Puma Playground is the name of one of the Mountain Bike trails. 
Hickory Ridge is very creative with names of ponds, lakes and trails.

 The balmy 5° brought out lots of people.

 Yay, most of us said as we passed each other on the ski trail. It is finally warm and we can get out!

Thankfully, Wednesday of this week, we woke to above 0 for the first time in over 45 days!!
And, no I am not kidding!

Thank you for coming along today on our trip to Hickory Ridge Trails!
Have a Happy Valentine's Weekend!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Share your life with me....

 About a year after Jeremy and I got married we found a journal called; Grandma, Tell Me Your Memories...
We gave it to my Grandma Martha for Christmas. 
Each day is a question. Some of the questions are easy. Name your brothers and sisters and their years of birth.
Some are a little more tricky to answer. What was the naughtiest or meanest thing you remember doing in school?
Some make you so happy you have down in a journal to read and read again. Do you have a good piece of advice for me?

I helped her complete the book. Her hands were crippled and writing had become difficult for her.  It was a special time for us.

Jeremy and I enjoyed the book so much we wanted to purchase one for his grandma and my grandparents. We could not find them. So we made our own. 
Using a pretty journal we hand wrote the questions for our grandparents to answer.

I was so happy to have my grandparents journals. During my time visiting my grandma in the hospital and hospice, I read to her. I read to her from her journal and my grandpas.
I was not able to do this with out crying at times. I know she enjoyed me reading about her life and grandpas. She smiled and laughed.

One of my favorites from my grandpa.
Tell about a school bully.
No one I could not handle ~ was his answer. 

One of my favorites from my grandma.
Tell about your first kiss.
I was 15 and Uncle Felix, Grandpa Sam and I were kidding around.
I stuck my tongue out at Felix. He chased me, caught me and kissed me.
I remember some fun times with Felix.

Do you have a special way to preserve your memories?

Monday, February 10, 2014

Decorating with Nature

I wanted to add a little nature to our winter decorating. I headed out the door to our backyard and I picked some of our Hemlock boughs. I made up some Hemlock bouquets.

My boys loved watching the pine cones or seed cone POP open. If you look at the above photo you can see a small pine cone. Isn't that neat how the warmth of the house made them POP open. We get excited about little things around here. ;-)

I did not put my Hemlock boughs in water. I just set them in jars or other vases.  After a month they lost a few needles, but otherwise look just like the day I picked them.

Do you decorate with nature?

Friday, February 7, 2014

A Valentine Treat ~ Winter Spiced Cocoa

Do you need a gift idea for Valentine's Day?
How about something warm and sweet!

Winter Spiced Cocoa

2 cups powdered milk ~ I like to use Peak Dry Whole Milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup natural cocoa ~ baking cocoa
1/2 cup non dairy creamer powder ~ such as Coffee Mate
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Put all ingredients in food processor and pulse until mixed well. Store in air tight container.
Mix 3 Tablespoons to a cup of very hot water.


Winter Spiced Cocoa will make a great gift.
Place cocoa in a mason jar and decorate!
 A perfect way to say "I Love You" on a cold winters night.

Do you give Valentine's?
What are some of your ideas for this Valentine's?

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Black Popcorn

 I am in love with this popcorn. It is my very favorite!

 My sweetheart said to me "Oh, I do not know about you,  it can not taste that much different than yellow popcorn." Oh, yes it can! I gave him a pile of my popcorn...yes it has become mine, I am not sharing. ;-) And a pile of yellow popcorn. "Oh, yes, this is good" as he reached for another handfull.

How about you? Have you tried black popcorn?
Do you have a favorite popcorn?