Friday, June 26, 2009

The Swamp

Shawn's dad, Cliff, has some property just past Pine City but before Hinkley right off Interstate 35. It's about a 90 minute drive so it's perfect for an impromptu camping trip. We leave our pop up camper there year round and have been able to enjoy it so much more over the last two years now that it has a permanent home.
No one agrees on what to call this place. It used to be farm land and some sheep graze part of it currently. Ryan and Jess call it the Farm. But to be a farm I think it needs to have a Barn and something growing. It has a few ponds and lots of low marshy land so our family calls it The Swamp. Cliff's family simply calls it The Property. Whatever the name it is a fun place to visit.
We spent the night there on June 13th but I forgot the camera. We also stayed there on June 20th and this time I remembered the camera. And we brought home the frogs.

The kids just love it here. They find all kinds of wild life. One night last year Shawn and Heidi were going into town to get gas and they saw a bunch of deer jumping a fence. We hear coyotes at night (they are always close to the sheep) and of course there are frogs, worms, and any other kind of bug you want to find. The above picture is Heidi holding a worm over my soda.

This is a cute picture of Emily. She photographs so well, even after a hard day of playing in the dirt.
Jess's sister Carrie and her kids have been staying with Ryan and Jess for the last few weeks. They are visiting from Kentucky. Above is a picture of Alex standing by the fire. This girl is rarely still long enough to take a picture and this one turned out so beautifully.

We were sitting by the fire as the sun went down. Carrie and I took a ton of pictures of this sunset. It is rare that we see one without houses and buildings in the way. And it was such a wonderful color.

Shawn is tending the fire here. He is the unofficial Camp Fire guy when we go camping. He stays up to make sure it's out long after the rest of us have gone to bed. He seems to be doing a rain dance here.

The dogs really love The Swamp as well. Daisy Mae gets to run around without a leash or a fence. She is to timid to go to far on her own so we don't have to worry about her to much. Pig spends most of his time in the camper or the van, he is such a baby :) This is such a cute picture of Dasiy. You can really see the color on her face (note the gray beard) and the contrast between her coat and the grass. Too bad my foot is in the shot!

First, I need to point out that Heidi has a temporary tatoo on her arm, that is not a bug :)
Last year at the state fair we picked up a number of yard sticks for the kids to play with . Heidi is holding a pink one in her hand. They used these for everything - measuring each other, sward fighting, digging, you name it.
Carrie, Jess's sister, is sitting in the chair behind Heidi and Zack is standing behind her. That's Alex on the 4-wheeler, where she spent most of the daylight hours.
We keep talking about moving the fire pit because no one likes the location. Ryan and Alex dug this perfectly round piece of dirt out of the ground when making the hole for the new pit. It's like a piece of sod! We relocated it and we will see how long it lives. That's Emily admiring their handy work. I am sure Heidi is already in the hole looking for worms, that might be her hair in the corner... All of the kids just love to take the 4-wheeler out for a spin. Zack, Willy, and Alex are just taking off for a ride. The little kids have to go one at a time so there is always a little bit of crying envolved as it is hard for 3 and 4 year olds to remember who went first and who is next. Someday we will have a windmill in the yard. A very large one that feed energy to the power company. I am very excited about this as I love the idea of alternative energy sources. However with the economoy the way it is, there is a back up some where. No one is clear what the issue is - back order, a company in bankruptcy... I just keep hoping this will work it's self out and we will get our windmill. In the meantime there is a cement slab with some stuff sticking out if in the yard. In this picture Heidi and Emily are checking it out.

This is the best camper! My aunt and uncle were so wonderful in selling this to us. We didn't use it much right away but over the last few years we have really been enjoying it. Here is Heidi napping on the bed. The nap is a fake and she was up again as soon as I took this picture. There is just too much to do at the swamp when the sun is still up!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Heidi's New Pets

As you know Heidi loves animials. She would have 20 cats and 20 dogs if we let her. So would I. Thank goodness for Shawn putting his foot down. However Shawn would like to have a lizzard if I would agree to take care of it. Thank goodness for me not agreeing to that!

But someone let their gaurd down and we now have two pet frogs. Or I should say Heidi now has two pet frogs.

Here is Heidi putting the frogs in their new home, with the help of Shawn (you didn't really think I was going to touch them did you?)

Here is Sara in her new home.

Here is the box we brought them home in. Heidi caught them at The Swamp - Cliff's vacation property in Pine City. We needed to find something to put them in so the $3 foam cooler would have to do.

Shawn removing them from the cooler...

Heidi transporting them - and a good shot of the frog house. We already had the fish tank from when I had fish some 10 years ago. The rest was picked up at PetCo on the way home from the swamp.

Above is Sara - she is slightly orange in color.

Here is Froggy - he is slightly brown in color.
Heidi named them and I assigned the gender (very scientifically I might add - Sara is a girls name therefore Sara is a girl, Froggy sounds like a boy name therefore Froggy is a boy.)