Saturday, April 23, 2016

Edgewood Farm- checking out the Wedding site!

My baby sister is getting married!  Well-- we've known about this for a long time, but today it actually felt real.  We met Almost-Uncle Chris at the venue's (Edgewood Farm) open house to poke around and get a feel for what it will be like on the big day.  
This was imperative for my kids.  Now that they know what it is like, how the aisle looks, where the bathrooms and changing areas are, it will not be a big deal to be in a wedding.  
 I don't want to post too many photos and give too much away, but it's an absolutely lovely location-- the ceremony will be (weather cooperating) outside in a gorgeous little shady glen.  The reception inside the finished (and very rustic chic) barn.  Really looking forward to the big day!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

How do you make a cat tree??

With the imminent arrival of our two new kitties, we are in need of some kitty supplies.  We have a litter box and plenty of baskets to make into beds, but as I was thinking back to Percy and Huxley's kitten days, I remembered how ACTIVE and crazy they were.  We need a cat tree to direct any scratching to, and to give them a 'good' alternative to racing around the tops of our furniture.
Here's the problem.  I really dislike the way that traditional carpeted cat trees look.  I found some 'natural' versions on pinterest and Etsy, but didn't want to shell out $150.  I decided we could make it ourselves.

So Justin, Alex and I headed to the garage to see what we had lying around.  After a quick trip to Home Depot for some sisal rope (for the scratching post) and HomeGoods (for a bunch of wooden stuff that we ended up taking back anyway), we were ready to go...... and then I realized that I needed another adult to help me think through the construction process.

I have an AMAZING husband.  He didn't balk at a weird 'homemade hippie cat tree' project when it fell into his capable hands just minutes after getting home from work.  

I think they'll like it.  Right now Percy is warming it up :-)

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Business Plans- "Dragon Cookies"

Based on the feedback she got about her muffins yesterday, Alex has decided to start a business.  The Woodbury city-wide garage sales are in a few weeks, and it's the perfect opportunity to launch a baking business.  She came up with her business plan and then we took a trip to the grocery store where she financed all the ingredients that she will need.
 She did the math and needs to make $18 to break even-- everything she makes after that is pure PROFIT!  First task:  making a test batch of cookies :-)
 Tune back in to see how "DRAGON COOKIES" rises to the top of the Woodbury Garage Sale bake sales! :-)

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Becoming and Baking

Age 8 has been a little rough for this one.  There are a LOT of emotions that go into being a second grader, a big sister, a good friend, a responsible pet owner, a Christian and an obedient daughter.  Just writing all those roles out makes me appreciate Alex even more for the fantastic person she is becoming.  But, I digress......
She now has free reign in the kitchen (and has for a bit, I guess)-- today she made us breakfast.  Lemon poppyseed muffins with a homemade glaze.  Let's add 'aspiring chef' to that list of roles!  

Monday, April 18, 2016

Lessons learned..... Shaking the GRUMPS!

Parenting Win:  Breakfast in bed at a fancy hotel
Parenting Fail: a "fun" morning of all the tv they could watch from bed.  Sounds like a great idea, but no.  No it was not.  I had some seriously grumpy and un-fun kids from 11:00 onwards.  We NEEDED to shake the grumps.  We checked out of the hotel and headed to a really cool nature center.

 Where we explored the interpretive center and took a (teeny) hike (teeny because the oldest one was still grumpy).
But we DID find some wildflowers, which lightened our moods enough to enjoy the SECOND half of our hike.

And then we were happy enough to enjoy a picnic on the grounds.

 Since Daddy was in a meeting until 5pm, we had the whole rest of the day free.  It was too hot (!!!) to leave Kolachi in the car for too long (my remote starter isn't working correctly....send recuperative vibes its way), we decided to take a little drive......

And ended up at the magical LARK Toys in Kellog, MN.

After picking Daddy up in Rochester, we headed home for a good nights' rest........and no more media for at least a month.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Suburban Bee-keeping 101 (Or... "A Weekend in Rochester")

We were able to join Daddy for a night in Rochester (he had a meeting with some clients at Mayo), and jumped at the opportunity.  Even Kolachi came with us and enjoyed a lovely dog-friendly room (and pool area) at the Hyatt.
We were so lucky to be able to spend a really nice evening with our Ole classmates, Dr. Kristen and "Mr. Pete" (of the previously written about Somerskogen Sugarbush) at their family's home in Rochester.  We enjoyed playing with their littles, eating gourmet pizza AND discovering what suburban in-home beekeeping is all about.  They have a hive in their garage! Daddy and Pete got to catch up a bit, and we had a fun evening.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

STAR WARS Episode IV Party---

As a Waldorf-inspired family, we really don't encourage much screen time.  The kids get to use their kindles to watch videos when we travel, or need to stay occupied during someone's doctor appointment, but that's about it.  So THIS..... THIS was a big deal.
Let me set the stage.  We are going on a Disney Cruise in January (which is super-exciting in itself).  We just found out that the cruise will not only be a 'regular' cruise, but ALSO a STAR WARS DAY AT SEA cruise-- a special event that people get super crazy and excited about.  This means that not only will Alex and Justin encounter Captain Mickey, Pirate Donald and the friendly Disney characters, but they will also see Jawas, Kylo Ren, Darth Vader, C3PO and a Wookie......   Since even the friendly characters from Star Wars are intense and a little frightening, Dave and I decided that we needed to give our children a proper Star Wars education so they knew what to expect.  Enter the party.
Originally, it was going to be an Alex-only party, but Justin was a willing and able participant, so we decided to let him watch as well.  The excitement of the evening carried through to the movie screening, and he did just fine (although I think Uncle Sam was about to go crazy every time Dave or I would tell him ahead of time that someone would shoot a blaster or reassure him that 'character X' was going to escape)

And now the kids will know who the Stormtroopers parading around the ship are, and won't get embarrassed that they don't know what a lightsaber is.  Success!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Introducing....... Carl and Inga

Introducing Carl Snickett ("Carl") and Ingeborg Dahl ("Inga")

Yep.  We've officially gone off the deep end.  Dave and I have decided to add two more family members to the mix.  We're hoping Percival doesn't mind too much (the babies will have each other to wrestle with, and should learn quickly to leave the old man alone!)
  Justin's preschool (The Children's Farm) has two litters of kittens, and we decided that it was the right time to add two little souls to our menagerie.  They are currently only 3 1/2 weeks old and will come home on the last day of Justin's school.  Until then, he (and the other 20 kids in his class) gets to visit with them every day.  They will be the most kid-proofed kittens out there!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Airing the Bunnies

Victor and Basil have such a nice set-up in the basement box stalls that I hesitate to bring them out permanently this spring/summer.  For one reson, it is MUCH easier to tidy their pens in the basement.  For another reason, it's already been really warm, and with their wool coats it's a constant balance to keep them cool enough to not overheat.  The basement is air conditioned and climate controlled!  So--- we compromised and decided to set up their x-pens so they could nibble a little grass while we were working outside today.  They seemed very happy to have the earth under their paws again, and we'll probably just bring them up for a few hours here and there this summer.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Homeschool update

We've re-organized the classroom so that my newest full-time student (well, in a few weeks when preschool wraps up) has his own space.  He is really excited to have his own chalkboard!

 Alex now has her 'big kid' desk so she can properly spread things out to work on.  The small desk was a bit too restrictive for her.

 In other news, we're enjoying helping launch a new Family Yoga class at Blissful Balance in Woodbury.  We've gotten into a rhythm of Yoga on Thursday mornings, and the kids both like it (but Justin LOVES it).

Friday, April 8, 2016

A Visit from Gramps and Grams

I am headed out to Chicago for a first-ever GIRLS weekend with some dear friends, so Dave called in back-up of the grandparenting kind.  Gramps and Grams drove up to visit for a few days and help out.  They had a great time visiting all the favorite spots-- including enjoying a SNOWY April day at the MN Zoo.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Go, go, go Joseph!!

I brought Alex out to one of my all-time FAVORITE musicals this afternoon.  She really enjoyed this production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolored Dreamcoat, and we immediately hopped on Amazon and ordered the 1992 Canadian cast recording (con Donny Osmond) to listen to!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Justin's Photography journey

Justin has recently discovered how to use the tripod and is OBSESSED with digital photography.  Here are (my) favorites from approximately 150 images he's captured in the past couple of days.  He sets up 'scenes', and when we aren't available to be the subject, he has no problem using himself!