Young showman wins two world championships

Parker VanDyke wins a championship with his horse Brit. Parker traveled with his parents to the Pinto World Show in Tulsa, Okla., in June 2009 and won two world championships.

Parker VanDyke wins a championship with his horse Brit. Parker traveled with his parents to the Pinto World Show in Tulsa, Okla., in June 2009 and won two world championships.

Some family traits skip a generation, but for the VanDyke family, a love of horses and success in competition at shows is, if anything, stronger than in the parents. Rockford equestrian Parker VanDyke, 7, is a first-grader at Lakes Elementary School. Although he has been attending horse shows since he was two weeks old, he only began showing them recently. In just this second season of competition, he twice accomplished what few people ever achieve: he won two world championships.

Parker competes on several family horses, a gelding named “Indelibly Cool” a k a Chase and a mare “Modern Elegance” aka Brittany (owned by his grandparents Charlie and Janet Closser). Parker began the season showing in May and had a very good month. In June, the family headed to Tulsa, Okla., to the Pinto World Show. They had planned to just bring Parker along for the fun of it, but he wanted to show, so his parents entered him in two classes. Amazingly the young man took first in two different world championship categories.

As the season continued, Parker’s success proved the win was not a matter of luck. He was undefeated at the Michigan Fall Color Classic show Michigan State University in October with his horse Brittany, and ended the season with two top 20 placements in the nation. He tied for seventh in Youth Mares with Brittany, was 14th in the nation in Youth Geldings, and was fifth in Zone 8 for ages 13 and under with Chase. He also was High Point Youth Gelding with Chase in the Michigan Paint Horse Club and the Northern Michigan Paint Horse Club, as well as the High Point Youth Mare with Brittany in the Michigan Paint Horse Club.

Parker practices daily and loves his horses, and is very proud to show his horses to friends. He will be getting a new horse this season to continue showing.

Parker’s mom and dad have shown horses since they were kids, and actually met showing paint horses. Parker was beginning to get bored at some of the shows, so his mother asked him if he wanted to show her horse in Halter. Her horse at the time was a great animal, and Parker trusted and loved him. He did such a nice job that year, his parents decided to let him take over his dad’s old horse, Chase, in 2009. After the first show, when his grandparents saw what a nice job he did, they offered to let him show Brittany, too, if he wanted.

“Parker proved to be wonderful showman,” said his mother, Katie. “Of course his horses helped some, too. Parker’s horses are very kind and trustworthy animals. We would not allow him to show anything that was not.”

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What’s Cookin

Jeanne Briggs

Jeanne Briggs

Rolling in Dough


Now you can make mealtime, family time, anytime more special. Start with refrigerated dough and create the kind of homemade treats that everyone loves. Turn biscuit dough into a gooey, nutty breakfast loaf; make savory pot pies with crescent rolls; transform pizza dough into cheesy twists perfect for snack time—and fresh-baked by you. Your success is virtually guaranteed when you pick up some refrigerated dough. Let’s bake.

Crescent Caramel Swirl

1/2 cup butter (do not use margarine)
1/2 cup chopped nuts
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon water
2 (8-oz.) cans Crescent Dinner Rolls

Heat oven to 350F. Melt butter in small saucepan. Coat bottom and sides of a fluted tube pan with 2 tablespoons of melted butter; sprinkle pan with 3 tablespoons of the nuts. Add remaining nuts, brown sugar and water to remaining melted butter. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Boil one minute, stirring constantly. Remove dough from both cans; do not unroll. Cut each long roll into 8 slices. Arrange 8 slices cut-side down, in nut-lined pan; separate layers of each pinwheel slightly. Spoon half of the brown sugar mixture over dough. Place remaining 8 dough slices alternately over bottom layer. Spoon the remaining brown sugar mixture over slices. Bake at 350F for 23 to 33 minutes. Invert onto serving platter. Serve warm. Makes 12 servings.

Canadian Bacon and Potato Quiche

1 refrigerated piecrust
1 cup frozen diced hash-brown potatoes, thawed
1 cup cut fresh asparagus spears
1 cup diced Canadian bacon
1-1/2 cups shredded Havarti cheese
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 375F. Prepare piecrust as directed on package for one-crust baked shell. Prick crust generously with a fork. Bake at 375F for about 8 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove partially baked crust from the oven. Layer potatoes, asparagus, bacon and cheese in crust. Beat the eggs, milk, marjoram and salt until well-blended. Pour over mixture in the crust. Bake at 375F for 45 to 50 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut into wedges. Serves 8.

Cheeseburger Fold-Overs

3/4 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1 can Grands Flaky Layers Biscuits
1 cup shredded Cheddar and American cheese blend
16 dill pickle slices
1 egg beaten
1 teaspoon sesame seed, if desired

Heat the oven to 375F. In a large skillet, cook ground beef and onion over medium-high heat for 5 to 7 minutes or until beef is thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently. Drain. Stir in ketchup and mustard. Separate dough into 8 biscuits. On an ungreased large cookie sheet, press or roll each biscuit to form a 6-inch round. Spoon the beef mixture onto one side of each biscuit. Sprinkle each with cheese. Top each with 2 pickles. Fold dough in half over filling; press the edges with fork to seal. Make 2 or 3 small slits in top of each for steam to escape. Brush each with beaten egg and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Bake at 375F for 18 to 22 minutes or until deep golden brown. Makes 8 sandwiches.

Biscuit-Topped Green Bean and Beef Casserole

1 pound lean ground beef
2 cups frozen cut green beans
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 small can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1/2 cup milk
1 small can French fried onions
1 can Golden Layers Refrigerated Flaky Biscuits

Heat the oven to 350F. Spray an 8-inch square glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Brown ground beef in a large skillet until thoroughly cooked. Drain. Add beans, soup, water chestnuts and milk; mix well. Reduce heat to medium; cover and cook 8 to 10 minutes or until bubbly, stirring occasionally. Stir in half of the onions. Spoon mixture into sprayed baking dish. Separate dough into 10 biscuits; cut each into quarters. Place biscuit pieces, points up, over the beef mixture. Bake at 350F for 15 minutes. Slightly crush remaining half of onions and sprinkle over biscuits. Bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until biscuits are deep golden brown. Serves 5.

Chicken Taco Stew in Bread Bowls

1 can refrigerated crusty French loaf
1 package southwestern flavor chicken strips, coarsely chopped
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained
1 cup frozen whole kernel corn
1 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Heat the oven to 350F. Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Cut dough into 3 equal pieces. Shape each into a ball, placing balls seam-side down on sprayed cookie sheet. Bake at 350F for 18 to 22 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine all remaining ingredients except the cheese; mix well. Cook over medium heat until mixture boils and thickens, stirring occasionally. Cut off the top of each bread loaf. Lightly press center of bread down to form bowls. Place each bread bowl in individual shallow soup plate. Spoon about 1 cup of the stew into each bread bowl. Sprinkle with the cheese. Place top of each bread bowl next to the filled bowl. Serves 3.

Salmon a’ la King Casserole

1 jar Alfredo sauce
1 package frozen baby peas in a pouch, thawed
1 small jar sliced mushrooms, drained
2 cans pink salmon, drained, skin and bones removed
1 (2-oz.) jar chopped pimientos, drained
1 can refrigerated Crescent Dinner Rolls

Heat oven to 375F. Spray a 12×8-inch glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. In a saucepan, combine Alfredo sauce, peas and mushrooms; cook over medium heat until bubbly. Remove from heat. Gently stir in salmon and pimientos. Pour into prepared baking dish. Unroll the dough into 2 long rectangles. Press edges and perforations to form one rectangle. Place over salmon mixture in baking dish. Bake at 375F for 12 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. Serves 6.

Cinnamon-Apple Crostata

1 refrigerated pie crust, softened as directed
1/2 cup sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons cinnamon
4 cups thinly sliced, peeled apples
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons chopped pecans or walnuts

Heat the oven to 450F. Remove piecrust from pouch. Unfold piecrust; place on ungreased cookie sheet. Press out fold lines. In a bowl, combine 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon. Mix well. Add apples; toss gently. Spoon apple mixture onto center of the crust, spreading to within 2 inches of the edges. Fold edges of crust over filling, ruffling decoratively. Brush crust edge with water. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar. Bake at 450F for 15 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Sprinkle pecans over apple mixture. Bake an additional 5 to 15 minutes or until apples are tender. Serves 8.

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Classifieds — January 28, 2010


HOMEMAKER TO MONEYMAKER—Thinking of a change? Highly selective Real Estate company seeks career-minded individuals. Must be willing to work hard and be trained. Call Lew Boersma, Coldwell Banker AJS-Schmidt/Rockford Office, (616) 866-4434.      b04


Mixed hardwood. All-nighters, extra long, or the way you want it. Excellent burning. $60 a face cord, delivered. (616) 773-4549.      p04cp



REDUCED! Antique Victorian desk, 5 ft. tall, 4-1/2 ft. wide and 2-1/2 ft. deep, $675. Call (616) 866-1478 and leave a message.      ftfn








Lake Bella Vista apartment—2-bedroom, air, garage, free lake access, seniors welcome. No pets, no smoking. $550/month plus utilities. (616) 874-7871.      b04

3 Mile/Alpine—two separate offices for $350/month for each, $650 for both. Furnished, free parking. (616) 785-7272.      b04

2-bedroom, 2-bathroom, cathedral ceilings, fireplace, 1,800 sq. ft., large porch, 2-car garage, freshly painted. Nature, river-front condo. No pets. (616) 866-9190.      p04

PUBLISHER’S NOTICE: All real estate advertising in this newspaper is subject to the Fair Housing Act and the Michigan Civil Rights Act which collectively make it illegal to advertise “any preference, limitation or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, age or marital status, or an intention to make any such preference, limitation or discrimination.” Familial status includes children under the age of 18 living with parents or legal custodians, pregnant women and people securing custody of children under 18. This newspaper will not knowingly accept any advertising for real estate which is in advertised in this newspaper are available on an equal opportunity basis. To report discrimination, call the Fair Housing Center at (616) 451-2980. The HUD toll-free telephone number for the hearing impaired is 1-800-927-9275.


Guitar Lessons—Learn guitar the RIGHT way and enjoy it for a lifetime. Lessons also on banjo, fiddle, mandolin, Dobro, etc. Call Joe (616) 874-8582.     btfn


Tax Preparation! Quick and accurate! Fixed rates—$55 single filers. $120, joint. Includes Federal and State e-file. Call Financial Visions, LLC. (616) 863-9760.      p05

Dump truck for hire to pick up and deliver bulk materials, large items, etc. We clean attics, job sites, yards, etc. Clean, modern truck. Courteous, professional personnel. Daily rates available. References upon request. (616) 890-2515 between 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.      p06

I’ll design your flier, brochure, business card for a low rate! Other graphic design also available. Over 18 years experience. Professional design guaranteed. Flier design starting at $30. References available. Call Melanie Ragsdale at (616) 889-9082 or view design samples online at      ftfn


FOUND—one set of keys, found on Thursday, January 21 in front of Young Insurance (downtown Rockford). Call (734) 675-2030 or e-mail to describe and claim.      ftfn

CL-found-dollFOUND—much loved baby doll left at Rudy Kazooty’s before Christmas. She wants her mommy! (616) 433-9361.      ftfn



FOUND—very friendly male cat with black and tan markings, white paws, red collar with bell. Found on Byrne Industrial Dr. on Monday, January 4. Call Wee Folk, (616) 866-4740.      ftfn

FOUND—tame white rabbit with brown spots. Found on Maple and Fremont in downtown Rockford. Call to identify, (616) 862-5313.      ftfn

LOST—Burton Blunt snowboard near 13 Mile and 14 Mile roads in Rockford. Lost on Sunday, December 20 off the back end of a truck. (616) 889-9931.      ftfn

LOST—blue Olympus digital camera at the Rockford Freshman Center, December 18. Family pictures on camera, reward. (616) 874-1150.      ftfn

FOUND—gray cat, one year old or younger. Yellow eyes. Found in Oak Street/Jericho area. (616) 863-8460.      ftfn

FOUND—six-month-old black male kitten with white spot on chest. Found on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2009, Courtland/Pearl area. (616) 915-3028.      ftfn

FOUND—young, gray, long-hair cat, found around 11 Mile and Young area. (616) 874-8284.      ftfn

FOUND—Did your child lose money while trick-or-treating? Call and identify amount and approximate location. (616) 866-6565.      ftfn

FOUND—tripod found by the Rockford dam Sunday, November 1, late afternoon. Call and identify. (616) 240-1175.      ftfn

LOST—domestic short-hair cat, dark smoky gray, 8 years old. Very friendly. Answers to the name of “Smokey.” Last seen on 14 Mile, between Wabasis and Heintzelman. (616) 843-1020.      ftfn

LOST—two teenagers’ purses in downtown Rockford pavilion on Sunday, October 11. Call (616) 874-2632 or (616) 970-2632.      ftfn

LOST—cat, orange and white tiger, striped front paws, declawed. Last seen at Wolven and 11 Mile Rd. Call (616) 863-8278.      ftfn

LOST—orange cat with white paws and white chest. Lost by Peachtree and Natchez Court. Comes to the name of “Ginger.” Reward. Call (616) 826-9785 or (616) 884-0068.      ftfn

FOUND—yellow Lab/Siberian husky mix at Thunder Hawk resort in Pierson on Sunday, June 21. Call to identify, (616) 788-9725.      ftfn

LOST—missing since May 1, 2009. Blonde and white mixed Lab, comes to the name “Zoey.” If found, please call (616) 863-0546, or take her to the Kent County animal shelter. Please return her!      ftfn

LOST—11-year-old black-and-white male cat. Declawed, right ear misshapen. Last seen on Hessler Dr. in Rockford on Friday, Feb. 20. Call (616) 874-1702, leave a message.      ftfn

LOST—small Siamese female cat, seal point, spayed. Lost west of river in Rockford near Jericho and Cahill. $50 reward! Call (616) 866-1021.     ftfn


Free kittens—playful indoor kittens, three girls, two boys. Litter-trained, free to indoor homes. (616) 866-8633.      ftfn

Free—one calico cat, 2 to 3 years old, indoor/outdoor, plays well with kids. (616) 696-9225.      ftfn

The Rockford Squire’s “Free” and “Lost & Found” classified ads are free of charge. Call (616) 866-4465 by noon on Monday to place your ad in next Thursday’s issue.

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Weather cooperates in annual outdoor Ikes Winterfest

Amy Overeiner teaching a new skier Saturday on the Ikes property.

Amy Overeiner teaching a new skier Saturday on the Ikes property.

The annual Izaak Walton League (Ikes) Winterfest was a big hit on Saturday, January 23, on Myers Lake Road. “It was a great day with almost 400 people out to enjoy the outdoor fun,” said president Georgia Donovan.

The ice fishing, skating, sledding, candle-making, and cross-country skiing were very popular. Watch for more fishing events in the spring. Next up will be their annual fundraising banquet on March 5. Call (616) 866-4769 for information.

The Isaak Walton League here in Rockford is the Dwight Lydell Chapter, which has a 30-plus acre conservation center at 5641 Myers Lake Road.

New members are always welcome. The group is a non-profit conservation organization. Visit for more information.

Erika McGuirl in the snow castle. Each year the Isaac Walton League Winterfest features many fun and healthy outdoor activities. The conservation group invites visitors to find out more about the organization.

Erika McGuirl in the snow castle. Each year the Isaac Walton League Winterfest features many fun and healthy outdoor activities. The conservation group invites visitors to find out more about the organization.

Bill Skallos teaching archery to a youngster at the Ikes Winterfest this year.

Bill Skallos teaching archery to a youngster at the Ikes Winterfest this year.

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Education Blackboard — January 28, 2010

Ehinger named to Dean’s List at Albion


Doug Ehinger has recently been named to the Dean’s List at Albion College for the fall semester of 2009. He is currently a junior majoring in history, minoring in physical education, and playing football for the Britons.

Ehinger is a 2007 graduate of Rockford High School and is the son of Rick and Michelle Ehinger. His brother, Parker, is a Rockford High School student.

School Beat

Keep kids busy this winter with RPS activities

Rockford School Board Trustee

During the winter, when it is cold and wet and darkness falls early, sometimes it is hard to keep the kids busy after school. Most of us don’t want our kids spending all their free time in front of the TV or computer. Rockford Public Schools have outstanding after-school activities available for kids of all ages and skills. It does not have to be a sport or something that your child dislikes—make it fun for them. This is the best way to get them involved in an after-school activity.

Through Rockford Public Schools Community Services and the After The Bell Program, there are so many different classes, clubs and sports to choose from. Whether your child wants to take up archery or learn to speak French, it can be done with an after-school activity.

The key to success for your child with a new after-school activity is that you need to make sure that you as a parent are involved, as well. Parents who do not keep up with what their children do in their after-school activities are more likely to have children who do not want to continue. Support your child when they decide to take up a new activity—perhaps even volunteer to supervise or co-coach. While it may not be something that you personally loved as a child, if it is something that your child has shown a genuine interest in, it will help them grow and learn. If your child is not the most social person in the world, or is not sure where to start, consider having them attend with a friend.

Check out all the great activities in your Winter 2010 Rampage/Community Services newsletter or visit for more information. Have a great, busy winter!

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