Sunday, October 25, 2009


We were lucky to have a bluebird couple build their nest inside a decorative watering can under the shelter of our barn porch. The female laid 5 eggs, and both the male and female took turns feeding the babies. Here are the photos showing the complete cycle of a bluebird being born...pretty amazing stuff!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Kayaking the Pere Marquette!

What can be more fun than 37 friends Kayaking the Pere Marquette River?
the Kidders, Moyers, and the Kruis family got together for a day on the Pere Marquette. It was a perfect day, lot's of fun, and beautiful scenery. The Pere Marquette and the Pine River are both national scenic rivers in Michigan, and both are right in the area of Kidders Cabin, so Tuff and I get to kayak them alot. It was a blast to do it with so many friends, and some of them were first time can bet it won't be their last trip! Here are some fun photos..

More Raised Beds...

Tuff also put in raised garden beds for Missy and Jessica..they wanted a garden but didn't really have a large area to till, so this worked out perfectly for them. Everyone pitched in and helped build, fill & plant them, and they had a very successful growing season. Click here and here.. to see!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Time Flies!!

OK, so I haven't posted ALL SUMMER! We have so much to catch up on, and so many photos to share of the last few months. We had visitors from out of the country, projects, cabin time, family time, and (I hate to admit this) Facebook time! I've gotten to where I'm posting to facebook and farming on farmtown, and I've neglected our blog. That's going to change and I'm going to catch up this month, guaranteed! Watch for an update soon..!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

'Shroom Hunting 2009

Most of our family gets really excited when Mushroom hunting season is near...We start planning & plotting, we look online to see if anyone is finding them near us, what color, how many, etc. Missy actually looses sleep over it. I don't loose sleep, but I dream about huge woods full of them, and I am standing in the middle of all of the golden morels with a huge bag picking them all by myself. Then I wake up. So, we went to a few spots around home that we usually find a few, and planned some time at the cabin so we could check out the woods where we went last year with Pete & Rachel. To make a long story shorter, we did find a few. Jessica & I scouted the area at home on a rainy day and Jessica found a handful to take home & eat.(MMmm good!) Tuff & Missy headed to the cabin a few days ahead of me, and we went to our new favorite spot, and found quite a few, all colors mixed together, blacks, greys and whites. It sure is exciting to spot them! Then a few days later, Brian, Lauren, Drew, Jim & Melissa drove up & had some fun picking! We were lucky and had great weather, and the woods was beautiful. We drove the jeep through some fun 2-tracks and did some exploring..and took LOTS of photos, click here to see them!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Easter Hunt 2009!

It was another fun Easter Hunt at the Kidders! Great company, good food, great fun! We still haven't decided who has the most fun..the kids or the adults? This year we added another element, musical chairs! It may sound a little corny, but it was a blast, and we saw a little competitiveness going on with a few of us. (of course, it wasn't me) What can I say, I'm already looking forward to next year. Want to see some fun photos? Then click here!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Signs of Spring 2009!

Tuff and I have been itching to get out and do a little mushroom we went for a 2 hour hike through the woods with Buddy. We didn't find any 'shrooms, but it sure was nice to get out in the sun and smell all of the good spring woodsy smells & hear all of the birds & frogs singing. I think it's been a little to cold for the Morels to pop up, but with the warm weather coming in the next few days it won't be long, so keep your eyes peeled!

Saturday, April 18, 2009


All I can say is "Finally!" "At last!" "It's about time!" I know you're all enjoying the warmer weather, too. It just makes me want to get out and start digging in the flower beds & garden, but I know it's still a little early. Especially since I heard the "S" word on the weather forecast! At any rate, I know it's just a passing thing, and soon we'll all be saying its too hot! Welcome back SPRING!

Buds' Raised Garden Beds

Tuff & Bud recently put some raised beds at Bud & Irenes house. As we all know, Bud is an avid gardener and grows lots & lots of produce. He even donates much of what he grows each summer to a couple of organizations. These raised garden beds are a great addition to his garden & Tuff was excited to help put them in. Bud also has awesome compost piles and got to fill the beds right away...We can't wait to see lots of veggies & strawberries growing in them! Here are some photos of the day...

Wildflower field, year 3!

This will be the third year for our wildflower field. We went to a seminar 4 years ago and learned as much as we could before starting it. One of the things suggested was to burn or mow 1/2 of the field after the 2nd year. This is beneficial for the soil, and it keeps down unwanted woody growth. Well, we burned 1/2 of ours, and we just can't believe how things are growing in that half! We have lots of lupine, lobelia, yarrow, dianthus, rudbedkia (black-eyed susan), and lot's more coming up! We can't wait to see what comes up compared to last seems to change a little each time. Here are some photos of the field after the burning, and some of the growth that started just a few days later. We'll post more photos as it grows, so check back soon!


We wanted to show you our composting pile! Anyone that gardens will know the benefits of's great stuff to add to your vegetable or flower gardens. Tuff keeps several piles in different stages going all the time. We have one that's ready to till in our garden beds now, one that will be ready next spring and a brand new pile that's just being started. We put grass clippings, chopped leaves, sticks, kitchen scraps, (which includes veggie & fruit scraps & peels, coffee grounds, eggshells, etc., no dairy, meat, or fat) into the pile all summer & winter, along with topsoil, water, & turn every month or so. You end up with awesome compost which adds benefical nurtients to your garden beds! Here are a few photos showing the composting process..

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Lowes Kids Clinic

Ty, Grace, Eli, Kesse and Yvonne signed up for the kids clinic at the Lowes where Alys works, to build a racecar. I think there were a total of about 50 kids attending, and loud hammering was heard through-out the store for about 1 1/2 hours! The kids get goggles, an apron, the kit, a certificate and patch to keep. Some kids have over 10 patches sewn on their aprons, and come to the clinic regularly. Irene, Bud, and Tuff came along to watch the parents help the kids build their racecars. I hope that Grace, Ty and Eli become regulars at the clinics, it's so much fun for them! Click here to see more photos of the morning.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sledding at Dr. Lawless Park!

Since warm weather was in the forecast Tuff wanted to plan a sledding/picnic day at Dr. Lawless Park. During the month of February they normally turn the outside flood lights on the sledding hill and are open late. They also have a wonderful pavilion with a huge stone fireplace with fire-wood provided! It's a great place to sled all day, and have a nice fire & warm food. So, Tuff did all the prep work, made the chili, loaded up the truck with sleds, food, grill, crock-pots, hot cocoa, and lots more!
The snow melted faster than anticipated, and there was a pond at the bottom of the hill, but even with the thin layer of snow the kids had no problems getting the sleds to move pretty darn fast! The park cancelled the lights due to the lack of snow, but we all stayed anyway and told scary stories in front of the fire. Kesse, Lauren, Drew, Elizabeth, Madison and Morgan had a great time, as did all of the adults. Here are some photos of the day. Thanks to Tuff for planning such a fun time!


Tuff headed up to the cabin after Pete called and said there was too much snow on the roof!
This has been a record year for snow, and our neighbor Pete said he hasn't seen this much snow at Wolf Lake for 25 years. Tuff headed up on a Wednesday and stayed until Saturday. He had to snow-blow all around the cabin first just to make a path to walk around it. He then used a snow-rake to pull the snow off. One of our other neighbors brought him an electric snow-blower to use on the roof, and that worked much better for him. It was just Tuff and Buddy on this trip, but we are planning on heading up late February or early March for about a week just to relax and maybe do some ice-fishing or 4-wheeling. Here are some of the snowy cabin photos!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sledding Day!

Kesse, Lauren and Drew recently spent the night with us. We had a "build your own pizza" night, followed by a night-time sled ride! Tuff pulls the kids through some trails with the 4 wheeler, and Buddy is never far behind! Everyone had a blast! These are great memories being built, and it's going to be so much fun looking back at these photos years from now. Click here to see more!

Winter Scenery

We've really had alot of snow and record cold temps this year! We have gone from temps in the 30's with snow to temps that are -15 with wind chills of -20! We've also had a few mornings with freezing fog. Now that's something you don't see everyday! Here are some of Tuffs awesome nature photos.