Monday, August 30, 2010

Minnesota State Fair

We went to the Minnesota State Fair this year! I chaperoned a bus for work and Grant came along as my guest. Grant's parents also joined us on another bus! We had a good day walking around, eating, and listening to the band Pete Neuman and the Real Deal.

Grant enjoying our milk shake.


Having some cheese curds.

Mmm greasy goodness.


Gary and his deep fried cheese burger.

I can't believe I didn't get a picture of the mini donuts. Hm. Well, we had a fun day at the great Minnesota get-together!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sewing the Stake Loops on our Tent

We worked on our tent more tonight! It's taking us forever to finish but we ARE going to get this thing done before Ice Fest in Sandstone! And if anyone else would like one I promise it won't take us as long after we get this first one figured out :)

Tonight the task was to attach the reinforcing webbing for the loops that the stakes will go through and then we even attached one of the loops.

Grant pinning the reinforcing webbing into place.






Me sewing the reinforcing webbing on.


Once we had the hang of making the 'X' on the webbing we tried it on one of the loops too!






Next we have to figure out how to sew the zipper in and then make the fiberglass patch for the stove pipe and it'll be done!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Grant's 27th Birthday!

Grant turned 27 this year and we had a little get-together for him at the Mississippi River County Park near Sartell!

Mom Vickie, Chris, Ella and Heather swinging.



Darrell and Jake playing polish horse shoes.


Gary and Dave taking on Darrell and Jake.


Grant and Cody doing some slack-lining.


Hanging out at the park.

Uncle Darrell took over the grilling job. We had brats, creamy cucumbers, chips and dip and, of course, Grant's favorite - Suddenly Salad!

Peg, Marla, Chris, Ella, Heather and Dave trying out the brats.

Mom, Suzette and Darrell.

Hi Ella :)


Jake, Cody and Grant doing more slack-lining.

The cake! Matching the river theme party :)

Gary lighting the candles.



Happy Birthday to you, Grant!


Woo hoo! An atlas from the Johnsons!

And a clever 'What would Grant say' board :) hehe

Cody, Brody, Marla, Gary and Grant seeing 'what Grant would say.'

Mom, Heather, Chris, Ella, Darrell and Suzette.

Evan, Ryan and Luke stopped by for the party too.
Grant, Evan, Ryan, Angie, Luke, Marla, Brody, and Gary.


And of course they had to shot-gun a beer before the night was over ;)

Happy Birthday, Grant!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Mr. Beer Continued

Today we bottled our beer!
Grant sanitizing the bottles.

Brody adding a little sugar.

So excited to fill the bottles and cap'em!

Grant's job was to fill.
Brody making it look a lot more difficult than it is to put the cap on :)

My turn to try!

After they were capped we had to shake them gently and now they have to sit for 2-3 weeks to become carbonated.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Canning Tomatoes

We're learning so many gardening and canning tricks this year - it's pretty exciting really :) Today at Mike's we canned tomatoes for the first time!

Grant, Shorty and Ben taking the stems off.


To can tomatoes: first, start some water boiling in a large saucepan. Once it comes to a boil, add tomatoes. Once it returns to a boil, let it boil for 1 minute or until the tomato skins start to crack.


Next, dump the tomatoes into ice water and peel the skin off.
Mike peeling tomatoes.

Then cut the core out and any black spots (be sure to cut any bad spots off - one bad spot could ruin the whole jar).


Cut the tomatoes into slices (usually quarters unless it's a big tomato).


Then, put them into a jar.
Nice work, Grant :)


Use a butter knife or something similar (they do make a special tool for this that you should be able to find with canning supplies - it just looks like a long butter knife) to jab the tomatoes and get any air out.


Once the jar is full, add a tsp of salt and put on a hot lid and finish with the ring.

Once you have enough jars ready for whatever size canner you have, put a little vinegar into the canner so the jars don't get a scaly residue on them. Then, put the sealed jars into the canner and fill the canner with soft water. Once it gets to a rolling boil, don't let it boil too rapidly. Boil for 25 minutes. Reduce heat if necessary if it gets boiling too fast (this should hopefully avoid making water at the bottom of the jars). The boiling can be done on a turkey fryer base as shown below or on a stove with coils. It's not recommended to boil for that long on a flat top stove because it might break.

After you're done boiling, take the jars out and as they cool they should seal. That's it!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Ella's First Birthday Party!

I can't believe Ella turned 1 already! We went over to Heather and Chris's to celebrate and had a great time :)
Awake from her nap and ready to party!

Getting the veggies ready.

Gramma Rosie watching Ella.

All dressed up for the party!
Reading with Gramma Vickie.


Paul, Grant, Marilyn, Suzette and Mom.

Dad and Judy.

Bear and Gramma Rosie.

Cody trying out the tacos in a bag!

Ella having some birthday lunch.

Darrell and Suzette posing nicely together :)

Digging in to the tacos!
Chris, Dad, Renee, Steve and Paul.

Ella's birthday cake!

And her 'smash cake' too!

Gimmie the cake, people.

Family portrait.

Mmmm digging into the smash cake.
After lunch and cake it was time for presents!
A new wagon from Mom, Dad, Grant and Me!
Happy 1st Birthday, Ella!
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