Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween!!!

Halloween Party at our house!!
 Grandma Mary was in town, so she brought over Auntie Carrie, Uncle Sam and Vera to join the party. 
 Justin was very focused on carving his own pumpkin this year.
 We had a pirate.....and a mouse---
 And a guy with a Yorkie.  Hey, wait!  That's not your Yorkie!  (We had our friend Amanda and her daughter and puppy join us as well this year!)  I don't think Spike the puppy quite knew what was going on, but he was a good sport.
 Justin was a daddy Wolf-- with gray sweatpants, his winter hat turned inside out, and a baby stuffed wolf in his ergo.
 Alex was a pirate in a self-made costume....and she had a first mate of the canine variety.

 Alex and Justin made sure to show Vera the art of candy-sorting.  Which pieces to keep and which to give to the Pumpkin Fairy???

Friday, October 30, 2015

More mummifying a cat!

And now it was time to sew.  She used a sock from our 'lonely sock bin' (seriously.....what happens to all of our socks?) and stuffed it with plastic bags until it was firm.  Sewed some ears on and.....well, you'll have to stay tuned for more cat updates!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Mummifying a Cat

Don't worry.  It's not Percy.
As part of our Ancient Egypt studies, we checked out an 'Egyptian craft book' from the library.  Alex flipped through it and decided that she wanted to create a mummified cat.  So that's what we did.
 We tore and dyed some dishtowels with teabags for an aged look.  Then Alex set to work making the sarcophagus.
 She used photographic sources from two other books to model her cat after.  I think he's pretty cute.  Updates to follow!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Pee Wee Riding Lessons

It's Alex's second riding lesson (they have 1 - 2 every month at this age).  She was so excited to go see Racer again. 
 Justin was a bit goofy..... as you can see....
 I am blown away by how confidently Alex handles herself.  I expect nothing less, but it still amazes me to see her ride.  She has a lot to learn, and I am excited to see her progress through the levels of Windy Ridge Ranch's program.
 Artsy horsehoe shot. :-)

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Gunflint: Back Down to Town

On the way back down to Minneapolis, we stopped at another of our favorite spots- Lutsen Resort beach.  (See "Poohsticks Bridge" in the background).  It had really gotten chilly, but we still spent some time playing by the waterside.

 Kolachi enjoyed jumping in and out of the waves.

 Instead of Gooseberry Falls (since it was a bit rainy), we stopped at Split Rock Lighthouse.  The lighthouse itself was closed for the season, but we were still able to walk around the grounds and visit the museum.
 Where Justin discovered a LEGO replica of the lighthouse itself!!  Day made!
 Final stop was at Betty's Pies.  I think Alex approved.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Gunflint: Day Five

This morning we decided to show Gramps and Goldie (dog) our favorite trail.  Justin was totally in charge this time, and did a wonderful job leading our group.

 After the hike, we were able to have a meet and greet with the Gunflint Lodge sled dogs (K and company stayed at home).  They are incredible athletes who are really looking forward to winter coming!
 One final activity for the day: Dreamcatcher Making with Alex and Justin.  Since we were the only ones signed up for the class, the leader let us combine two different activities and brought us to the teepee to make the dreamcatchers!
 Weaving the 'sinew' (waxed cording) was a little hard for Justin, but he kept working until he got it!
 Alex did a gorgeous job on her dreamcatcher as well.
 For the last hike of the trip, Kolachi and I decided to go 'solo'.  We had a wonderful afternoon excursion-- here's my attempt at a selfie.
 She was quite the fearless leader, until we got 3/4 of the way up a very steep, rocky (and slick from the rain) hill.  She froze in her tracks, uttered a very guttural growl and pointed her ears straight at the top ridge.  I shouted 'hello- anyone there?' to give the other hiker (??) warning that a concerned GSD was below them.  After getting no answer, I decided that we'd better just turn around.  I detached her leash from my waist  (so she didn't pull me face-first down the hill) and put it in my hand so we could slowly descend.  Let's just say she didn't exactly get my memo.  She wanted OUT of there, and QUICKLY.  Who knows what was lurking around that corner, but she kept me safe.  Good girl.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Gunflint: Day Four

The cabin we were in was beautiful!!  The best part about the Gunflint Lodge (in my book) is that they are dog-friendly. 
 We stopped at Trail Center to show Grams and Gramps the size of the pancakes (I had actually forgotten just HOW big they are!), and then it was on to Grand Marais to spend a slightly rainy day touring about.
 Both kids ended up with new winter hats from the Grand Marais Trading Post.  Cute, huh?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Gunflint: Day Three

Today was a Mama-Justin day.  Alex stayed back in the cabin and learned how to play cribbage (math lesson for the week...;-)  while Justin, Kolachi and I had some adventures.
First up was a hike.  I had K on a canicross lead, and she was really starting to respond to my directional commands.  As long as her boy was way out in front of her.  She did NOT like not being able to keep an eye on him when he would fall back and walk behind me.
Just checking in with her boy...

 Justin is quite the orienteer.  He led the hike, following the red trail markers the whole way.

 Later on that day Justin got to go fishing off of the dock.  No fish caught today, but there's always tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Gunflint Lodge: Day 2

Day 2 consisted of a Nature Tracking hike, led by the same young gentleman that we enjoyed learning from in the spring.  It ended up being his next to last hike of the season-- so we were able to bookend his summer employment experience!
 We saw a ruffed grouse!!  (see below!!)
 And beautiful fall forest sights.  Just a few weeks late for the brilliant foliage, but it made it much easier to see lots of vistas through bare tree tops!
 The kids loved feeding these ducks.  They had JUST been cut off of the lodge's complimentary corn and seeds (the ducks, that is, not my kids), so Alex and Justin got to feed them their 'last meal'.  They'll have to loose a little weight in order to migrate south for the winter!
 The guests, however, were encouraged to snack.  Complimentary fresh baked cookies, hot chocolate and coffee are always available in the lodge.
 The horses were also getting ready to be 'winterized' (relocated somewhere a bit warmer), so we weren't able to ride, but we did get to visit and feed them some apples.
 Later that day, we attended a birchbark bookmark making class.  Alex got right to work and cranked out 6 or 7 bookmarks.
 I had a slightly different idea of a craft I wanted to make-- a birchbark heart garland for Christmastime.