Posted by: kwa0430 | August 8, 2010

Getting Settled

Well, after 3,000 miles and a week of having family here for a visit, we are starting to get settled in.

The trip to Montreal was uneventful…all the way for a 5 minute interview at the US Consulate. The staff at the Consulate were all vey friendly and helpful. Normally, the mail the intended immigrant the paperwork needed to activate your visa at the border, but they were nice enought to allow us to pick it up the next day.

We arrived back home on August 2nd and then went to a National Night Out event at our church. One of the first Minnesotans Nick has met since moving here was RAGNAR…the Vikings mascot.

More later.


Posted by: kwa0430 | July 26, 2010

Endings and Beginnings

Wow, it’s been so long since I last posted anything. As I mentioned in my last post, Nick had decided he wanted to move here with us.

Well, it has been a long process – and not always enjoyable, but it is almost over.

Today – almost 1 years since Nick let us know he wanted to move – Jane and I are heading out for Ontario. We’ll be driving through and picking up Nick on Tuesday evening. On Wednesday he has his immigration physical in Toronto and then we need to leave for Montreal – about a six hour drive – so that he can be at his immigration interview at the US Consulate on Thursday morning.

If all goes well, we will be heading back home by Sunday.

I’ll post later with an updae of our travels and an overview of the whole immigration process.



Posted by: kwa0430 | September 16, 2009

Changes – Seasonal and otherwise

Much has changed since my last post.

Trees are starting to show their first sign of fall. Jane and I camped down in Big Woods State Park last weekend and some of the trees already have some color.

I suppose the biggest change doesn’t have anything to do with the season. Changes are in process at home.

Nick was here for his annual summer visit during the last 3 weeks of August. Before leaving for home, he floored Jane and I. He has expressed his desire to move here with us. I’ve hoped this day would come for a long time.

Right now, we have Nick speaking to his Pastor back home. We just want him to talk through this with an impartial person to make sure that this is what he really wants to do.

In the mean time, I’ve started looking into the immigration process. If this doesn’t driive me to drink, nothing will. I’ve also assembled all of the paperwork I need and will be submitting my forms for Citizenship. As  a Canadian, I already know more US history than Americans, so I’m not concerned about the civics test.

It’s going to be an interesting few months, to say the least. All I know is that Jane and I are really looking forward to Nick moving here … and dreading the change in lifestyle that it will surely bring.

I’ll post about the adventure as it unfolds.




Posted by: kwa0430 | August 4, 2009

Catching Up

Wow, it’s been a while since I last posted…about 3 camping trips or so.

Jane is now addicted to camping. We’ve been to Nerstrand-Big Wood, Whitewater and St Croix State Parks and all of them were great. The trails at Whitewater (down near Winona) follow the bluffs and are great; by far our favorite so far (along with the Superior Trail). Coming up, we have trips to Flandrau, Itasca, Frontenac, and a return visit to Nerstrand and Whitewater. That will take us into October and I doubt we’ll be doing much camping after that.

Nick will be arriving here this weekend and we’ll be taking him on 2 of our trips – Flandrau and Itasca. We’ll see what else he comes up with to keep us busy.

We got a bike rack for the truck so we can take our bikes with us on our camping trips. MN is great for biking as well as hiking and there are always places to explore.

One of the things that we love about where we live is that we have awesome neighbors on either side of us. Jim and Jane and Mike and Nikki really are great. All of us have been getting together over the summer – front yard gab sessions, bonfire evenings etc. For National Night Out, we’re getting together and hosting a Bar-B-Que for the neighbors on our street.

We’ve also had the privilege of taking care of Clay and Tirza on Monday evenings. They are the kids of our friends Brett and Kelly. Even though Brett and Kelly know me so well, they still trust Jane enough to leave their kids with us. It’s a great feeling, knowing that your friends are so close that they trust you with their children. We haven’t seen much of Brett and Kelly as Brett is up to his neck in school work.  He wants to be a vet when he passes through his second (or maybe third) childhood. I admire both of them for so many reasons.

Well, I suppose that’s it for now. I’ll save my political rants, stories of home projects gone wrong and tales of my other misguided adventures for later.


Posted by: kwa0430 | June 17, 2009

Smiling Turtles

Jane and I have rediscovered a new pastime; camping. Years ago we both used to camp, but we’ve never camped together. A couple of weekends ago we were looking at different State parks to visit where we could do some hiking. We like to start hiking early in the morning so that would have meant we would need to leave at 5:30 or 6:00 to be able to be on the trails by 8:00. So, along with looking for parks, we looked into hotel rooms so that we wouldn’t need to drive there and back in the same day.

Home away from homeAfter deciding that getting a hotel room would simply be too expensive to do on a regular basis, we talked about camping. Off we went to “look” at tents. Well, needless to say, we didn’t just look and now, for less than the cost of a weekend away staying in a hotel, we have a tent and all the gear we need.

Willow FallsOur first camping adventure was from 06/12 to 06/14 at Willow River State Park in WI. Deciding to start camping was one of the best things we have done. We loved the weekend. We left straight from work on Friday and had the camp set up and dinner finished by 6:00. Saturday was a full day of hiking through the park, finishing around 2:00 in the afternoon; just in time for a nap. We woke up and started dinner….noting like steak done over an open fire!

Sunset on Little Falls LakeAfter dinner we headed out to watch the sunset. We would have missed this opportunity if we had stayed in a hotel or drove back home. There was so much to see (deer, birds and even a turtle that seemed to smile for the camera) and there is nothing like falling asleep to the sound of a breeze rusting through the trees or waking up to the sound of woodpeckers and chirping birds. And I had forgotten how good coffee tastes when made in a camp percolator. Ahhhhh.

Spotted along the trailWe have a few more trips planned for this summer and really look forward to getting away as often as possible. There is just something that is soooooo relaxing when you’re out camping. One of our trips will be when Nick gets here for his summer visit. We’re going to head up to Itasca so he can see the starting point of the Mississippi. We’ll probably go to at least one other palce while he’s here.

The only thing that sucks about camping is when you have to break camp. The is a finality to it that can’t be escaped. It brings a definite end to the weekend that just seems so….abrupt. It was really hard to leave the site and gear up for the week ahead. If only the rest of the week could be as peaceful as the weekend.

Well, that’s it for now.


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