It was a nice Saturday morning and I was up early to work in the garden. Potatoes, peas, and carrots were in order for the day. While I was out there enjoying life my father in law, Bill, shows up on his motorcycle. He said he was there to pick up an apple mill to make sauce for his wife. I think he came to remind me of what days like this were for, riding a motorcycle.
He left as quick as he came, but an hour later the call came. Him and Mark were going for a ride. “Was I in?”. Of course I was, the zucchini could wait. Given the heat level I kept my full face helmet off and enjoyed the wind of my shield-less Vulcan. Mark had a half helmet that I tried and quickly took off because of the lift and extreme noise it was creating.
What a great ride with my two favorite riding partners. We stopped at the Wolf River at one point and as we were leaving, Mark asked if I wanted to lead. On most rides he leads, because he knows every road and I am the sweeper so I can pick up things Bill drops along the way. (yes I did turn around to get his glasses that flew out of his pocket) I looked at him and said, “I don’t know where we are going but of course I could lead”.
I love riding because when you are out with your gang it doesn’t really matter where you are going. Like Frodo leaving Rivendale I got to the T and just picked a way. We made our way to White Lake Wi to ride by the 60 people that live in that town hanging out at the beach. We came into the deserted town to find a young teen doing circles in the middle of the intersection. We asked him where the best burger in town was and with a point over his shoulder he said, “Black Bear”.
With a stop for a late lunch and the reminder that you should always get the home fries we were off back home. The last 20 miles I switch bikes with Bill because I hadn’t yet got to ride his Sabre. It was a sweet ride for me. When we pulled into the driveway the first words out of Bill’s month were, “God made windshields and He said they are good! That was a lot of work with the shield gone.”
That is the way I like it!
We have had a couple of Root Beer nights that I haven’t blogged about yet. I can tell you feel like you have been cheated out of useless information from me. So here ya go.
#1: We had a Root Beer for our youngest’s birthday. He wanted to try out the Flavor 8 brand which is brewed in New London Wis. It is a normal tasting Root Beer. The cool thing about this particular brand is that the bottler uses the same bottle for all their flavors. So while sitting on the shelf they look-alike. The only difference is the cap. I got this one on a trip to Appleton and it is really cheap for a six pack…but the bottle deposit is steep. Like most I get I won’t be returning the bottle so I will eat that cost.
#2: We had two brews at our church family camp. I tried Thomas Kemper and Thomas Kemper Natural. We had a few extra to share so we invited a few youth by for a tasting. I didn’t particularly like either one of them but others in the group seem to like whatever they tried first. Even though I couldn’t see anything different in the ingredients listed, they both had a distinct taste. This still confuses me.
#3: With my wife’s two sisters and niece in from out-of-town I couldn’t resist having a Root Beer around the fire. We drank Polar Root Beer from MA. I have had this one on my self for some time and was looking forward to drinking. It was a nice simple taste that would have been nice in a float. We also cracked some of the Point Diet for those that wanted to try something else. My mother in law said she could drink that all the time. That is an endorsement!
We just got the best news of our life last night (ok in the top 5). A girl named Sophia will be able to be adopted by our great friends. Her birth mother just lost parental rights. This was after over 3 years in foster care. This is a big deal to us because we had Sophia for nearly a year in our home before we moved to Wisconsin two-years ago. We always did foster care to help reunite kids with their birth parents (and sincerely tried in this case) but it was clear to us then that this would not be a good decision for mom or her children.
When we were deciding to move to WI Sophia was the main reason and at the end the only reason why we felt we might stay in Washington. We really loved her and were willing to stay months longer to possible adopt her ourselves. It became extremely clear that would not happen any time soon. It was also at that time our dear friends Will and NaKena decided to get their foster license to take care of a teenage boy (who they later adopted). They grew to also love Sophia because of their interaction at church and other activities and offered to be her foster parents.
We felt good to leave at that point. When we left Washington we gave many people in our lives gifts of remembrance but there was no greater gift then Sophia. She was truly part of our family and we deeply loved her. She has now been a part of Will and NaKena’s family of six since we left. Anyone that has foster cared or entered into the world of adoption understands the up and down roller coaster that occurs after every visit or court date. They have valiantly navigated those times these last two years and now are moments (barring any crazy court stuff) away from being able to call Sophia their own.
Side note about Will and NaKena. I have done some good things as a pastor but the day I decided to marry this young couple and choose to look beyond the negatives that others saw was the greatest thing I have done in ministry. That day when I pronounced them husband and wife at the Purple Wedding Chapel (a whole other story) and NaKena’s daughter Toryia promptly corrected me, in front of everyone, of my mispronunciation of their last name…I knew I liked this family.
I saw something that others didn’t. I normally don’t brag about things I have done, but I love to brag about the EgelerSix and the impact our family has had on them. I am really proud of them even as I sit in my writing chair some 2ooo miles away wishing to be with them as they celebrate. The FehlenFive is bursting with tears, pride, joy, excitement and any other adjective similar to those you might think of.
We love you guys.
Here are few pictures:
This was the day we had been planning for months. The opening day of Nelson’s Ice Cream, April 2nd. We had visited last fall and it was already closed for the winter. I have been depressed all winter long and I blame it on that one day. We were not going to miss the opening (at 3pm) Tuesday.
Nelson’s Ice Shop in Stillwater MN is a place where our family has frequented as long as I can remember. Even at a very young age I remember reminding my mother about how to get there when she was lost. It is in a local neighborhood on Greeley Street. It is a place where you don’t feel like a wimp when you purchase a child size(and you get several flavors). Also a single scope size is way more ice cream than one should ever eat.
As you can tell from the pictures the weather not completely cooperating with our outside eating adventure. But on the bright side it wasn’t melting as fast as it does in the summer! AGrowingFamily had a great time with our parents (Bernie and MaryAnn) that we met there. Joseph and MaryAnn had licorice ice cream in honor of mom (Eileen). That was her favorite and would talk about it all the time.
The prices are great, the size amazing and the taste is beyond expectation.
After our Easter lunch and egg hunt downstairs with our family we decided to have our biggest Root Beer Night ever! I found two cases (8bottles) Virgil’s when I was in Madison. After our daughter’s track meet I stopped at a grocer and found a couple other cases of Virgil’s which gave me the idea to get more for Easter. With Christy’s parents and brother’s family over we went to the basement for an egg hunt and a family night sharing a new brew.
Everyone seem to really like Virgil’s. It had several nice natural flavors added…Anise, Licorice Vanilla, Cinnamon, Clove, Wintergreen, Sweet Birch, Molasses Nutmeg and Pimento Berry.
That is not your normal mixture! And the bottle is one of the coolest yet with a guy that has a sweet beard.
Elliot took to an old stand by to another level. He makes macaroni and cheese all the time. But it is from a box with the powder cheese. He wanted to give homemade Mac&Cheese a try. He did a great job. With a recipe at hand he added all the ingredients…the cream cheese, shredded cheddar, milk, flour and salt & pepper. He got to do something that he hasn’t done before by melting the butter then adding the table spoons of flour until it was stirred together in a paste. From here he added the milk and cheese followed by the noodles.
The funny thing about Elliot is he hates to mix foods on his plate and that came out in his cooking. He measured the butter in a measuring cup after that he had to measure milk. He insisted that he clean the cup of its butter before the milk was added. He didn’t care that it was mixed together in the pot he had to clean the cup.
He added a few steamed broccoli to the bowl as a garnish. He made four cups of dry elbow noodles which is more than enough for a family of five. We had extra to give Grandma and Grandpa for them to have as leftovers.
Want to see more of kids cook night? Put ‘kids cook’ into the search bar on the right.