Hiking and Yard Camping

So! This past weekend was filled with wonderfulness. That’s a real word, just so you know. It’s also a real thing, that happens when you cram a whole bunch of good stuff into a weekend.

I already shared my Saturday plan with you, and it mostly happened. There were a few changes though:

  1. We didn’t go to Adventure Peak.
  2. We didn’t start with SeaLife.
  3. We went hiking someplace new! The Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge to be exact, which I’ll just call The Refuge from now on.
  4. We went to SeaLife after that.
  5. It rained! Water got in the tent because flaps were open! Then we cleaned up the water! And camped in the yard anyway!
  6. I’m not sure the tent is ever coming down, but we’ll definitely have to move it once it finally stops raining, or the grass will surely die.

The Refuge was fun to visit. The visitor center is massive, with high ceilings, taxidermied animals, books and a bird feeder with very high traffic. We even saw a Pileated Woodpecker at the bird feeder! It was huge!

The hiking was new- the trails were wide and groomed to accommodate vehicles when necessary. The highlight of the hike was probably a water control structure, where one side had rushing water and the other side was barely moving at all. Science! The second best thing about the hike were two dead fish. They had swum far out of their native river, probably when the water was higher.

We’ll explore a different route next time, which may be a while since the terrain wasn’t as interesting for the boys as our usual spot. I barely took any pictures, but will rectify that the next time we end up the in tent (probably tonight) or on those trails (probably in a month).

Here is where I would normally post my meal plan, but I haven’t gone grocery shopping yet! Sunday we went to church with Darian’s Grandma Janice, and she was nice enough to treat us to lunch afterwards. We went right home after that, and between reading books, braiding hair, and making dinner, I just plain didn’t get to the store. After a certain amount of activities in a weekend, I usually end up pretty spent. It’s one of those great things about being an introvert.

Since the grocery shopping is not done, but I have looked at all the stores “weekly ads” and here is my best guess about what we’ll do:

  • Monday Baked Chicken Drums with spicy BBQ dipping sauce, leftover mashed potatoes “loaded” with broccoli, cheese, and then topped with green onions & sour cream.
  • Tuesday Sloppy Joes, corn on the cob, green salad. Simple menu so I can spend more time playing with the boys!
  • Wednesday Coconut Chicken Curry with a variety of veggies, served over white rice. Taking pics to document for a far off friend! Next week you will know my secret “throw together and taste” strategy!
  • Thursday Pasta Primavera with sauteed chicken and ready-made garlic bread.
  • Friday Chicken pot pie casserole, topped with buttered breadcrumbs. Served over white rice cooked in bone broth, with a side of green beans.
  • Saturday
    • Breakfast: German Oven Pancake with fixins and fresh fruit.
    • Lunch: Mini pasta shells with beefed up marinara. Appetizer of veggies and dip. Carb loading for our afternoon hike at Minnehaha Falls.
    • Dinner: I ended up doing something non-lettuce wrap-y for dinner last Friday, and I couldn’t for the life of me tell you what it was. Something with leftover rice I think? So! I’ll be re-creating the Cheesecake Factory’s lettuce wraps and making enough for it to be a meal.
  • Sunday
    • Breakfast: Egg sandwiches on English Muffins, grapefruit supremes.
    • Lunch: Chicken salad (with apples, grapes & shredded cheddar cheese) sandwiches, green salad on the side.
    • Dinner: Chicken breast topped with sweet peppers, cheese and toasted breadcrumbs. Served with rice pilaf, homemade buns, and Brussels Sprouts.

There you have it. I absolutely won’t be making it to the store before Wednesday, so Monday and Tuesday are planned to use what I already have in stock. If you don’t buy meat in bulk when it’s on sale, then portion and freeze it, you should start now. I butterfly and salt the chicken breasts before freezing them, which keeps them juicy and majorly cuts down on thawing time.

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