Archive for July, 2014

Black Hills break

We’re wrapping up a week in the woods—I promise to catch up with you in couple of days. See you soon!



Here are two of my favorite photos from the cabin—mostly because of the conversations surrounding them.

Grampa keeps a step stool in the basement; Owen was certain it was for his own convenience. He took several liberties as he checked out the new space, and he was astonished when he opened this styrofoam box.



Gramma reminded me that previous generations of grandkids were strongly advised against playing with the minnows. When I mentioned this to Grampa, he said something along the lines of, “Nothing catches fish like stressed out bait.”

I know I’ve heard that before somewhere in the last 36 years…probably as I stood in exactly the same place.

Minnesota round-up

It’s no longer Throwback Thursday, which would have been perfect for these photos from our vacation in Minnesota. It wasn’t that long ago, I suppose, but the month has gotten away from me.

You’ll have to wait even long for a special set of our parade shenanigans—that definitely deserves a post of it’s own!

Thanks, Gramma and Grampa Great, for a another amazing year at the cabin. We love you!

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Owen Fix




First harvest


Owen Fix

Another new appliance…




RV adventures

Earlier this summer, we made plans to join Gramma, Grampa, Mom, Dave, Katie and Tom at the Minnesota cabin for the Fourth of July. After a bit of work, I was able to convince the Kansas contingent to travel by RV. (Typical response from Katie following an update on the rental plans: “Are we really doing this? I guess this is really happening.”) IT DID, and it was AWESOME.

Katie and Tom came around quite nicely, I think.


We spent the first night of vacation at Smiths, then picked up our RV in Omaha on Saturday morning. It was nice and new and clean, if not a bit cumbersome.


Once we loaded luggage for what seemed to be 17 people, we hopped in, and Doug took a few photos for us. (You can see Doug’s entire set here.)


It only took us seven hours to travel up north—we passed the time by playing games, asking Bryan to share the wheel (no), and trying to get Owen to nap (also no). A few choice overheards, from an intended series I neglected to fully capture, probably provide the best insights:

Rebecca, regarding potential carsickness: “I’m making seating decisions based on who is likely to be the pukiest.”

Bryan: “Buckle up. I want to try something here.”

Rebecca: “Please don’t tell your brother to shut his face.”

Owen: “Mosquito!”

Rebecca: “Olivia, do not stand on your sister’s head.”





Once we arrived, we parked by the cabins and used the RV as our own quarters for the week. It worked out really well. For the most part it was very cool, and we slept well (especially after Grampa helped us level it).


The ride home was a bit dicier, as is often the case. The table leg snapped, leaving us without an easy spot for snacks or games, so the kids had to find other ways to pass the time.



MOST of the kids, anyway.


I loved traveling in an RV, and while Gramma was quick to remind me of the two happiest days (the day you buy a camper, and the day you sell it), I also loved my mom’s remark: “RV having fun yet?” — a perfect nod to a Bornemeier vacation. Thanks, family!

Ava takes the cake

As promised, here’s  an update on Ava’s weekend project. She  began on Saturday by baking the cakes—and since the recipe was for a single 9-inch layer, we just doubled it. She measured and poured and mixed—all I had to do was prep pans and set the oven.

She also made the pastry puffs on Saturday. It’s in interesting process, in which you melt butter and sugar into water, then stir in flour and eggs to form a batter.

photo 1

Ava piped about 60 puffs onto parchment. They bake up hollow, and she filled them with a raspberry-flavored whipped cream and dipped them into a chocolate glaze (the same glazed used on the cake–you can see them hanging out in the background, pre-glaze).

photo 2


We struggled a bit when it came to the glazing—I wanted to show Ava how to push the glaze with the offset spatula, and she had no time for my instruction. Really, though, that was the only issue along the way. (I’m trying so hard to let this independent child be independent…).


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Livie offered some assistance as well.

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The finished product looked pretty great, and Ava seemed very proud! Definitely worth the effort.

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Our resident taste-tester—seen here with a cream puff in each cheek—agreed.

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I’m looking forward to the next project!

Just desserts

Ava found an old issue of Martha Stewart’s  Everyday Food in an Ashland antique store, and she just had to have it. She paid 25 cents of her own money, and has studied most every recipe since.

She’s absolutely determined to make this cake. And, I’m all for baking, but maybe let’s start with a blueberry buckle or a pound cake. (Because, dear MARTHA, this is not EVERYDAY FOOD). Moreover, she’s making it with the cream puffs, which will of course be filled with raspberry cream. It’s the weekend, and what else is there to do, really?


I forgot to mention, she’s making two—one for brunch with Tom and Katie, and one to take to her grandparents. Two entire cakes, each with 30 cream puffs. NBD.

Send wine; stay posted. In the meantime, let’s hope she doesn’t find the 15 years of Living back issues I have stashed in the basement.

Owen turns two!

We celebrated Owen’s second birthday with family in both Nebraska and Minnesota. Up first, cupcakes and a cookout with the Smiths, just before we left for vacation.



On the 3rd, we were joined on the cabin deck by the Gramma and Grampa Great, my mom and Dave, Tom and Katie, and a few Minnesota neighbors.


















Happy second birthday, Owen! We love you so much, little guy.