Monday, May 30, 2016

Gunflint Vacation

Here are a bunch of photos from our Gunflint Lodge vacation.  So much fun to explore with our family!  Unfortunately, I misplaced my camera on DAY ONE of the trip....didn't find it again until we were leaving!  These photos are all from my phone-  I missed a bunch of great shots!!
 Kolachi enjoying the view from the back of the Minivan--

 Labrador tea we brewed
 Alex, Vera and Justin feeding the ducks--
 Grandma Mary and Alex trying their hand at candlemaking

 My best hiking buddies-- we went out every morning!

 Donut stop in Grand Marais
 A day trip to Grand Portage....
 and CANADA (sans Dog-- she stayed with Grandma Mary and Papa Bob while we made a quick trip over the border)

Friday, May 27, 2016

Up to Gunflint Lodge

It's time for our annual trip up the North Shore with Grandma Mary and Papa Bob.  This year we drove separately, and made our way up on a very rainy and dreary day.  It wasn't TOO rainy to stop at our favorite beach, though--

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Okee Dokee Album Release Party!!

For Easter presents this year, we got the whole family tickets to the Okee Dokee Brothers album release party!  Today was the day!  We got to invade the Fitzgerald Theater with hundreds of other young families and enjoy a tremendous performance by two of our favorite artists.
 Two thumbs up for the new album- "Saddle Up!"

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Outdoor Classroom

It is SO nice out that we just couldn't stay indoors!  We broke out the screen tent and moved class outside for the day.
Doing some sunprinting with finds from around the yard.

Since we have discovered Life of Fred math books, the kids are BEGGING me to do math every day.  We go through two or three chapters at a time-- they love the silly stories and I love the content that is being taught.  Since this LoF book is entitled "Cats", we thought a special visitor would love to come and visit the outdoor classroom with us.

He did.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Garden update-- our yard in the spring

The seeds we started indoors are starting to sprout and the seeds we put into our pots are just beginning to peek their heads out of the soil.  Today was a perfect day for working outside!  Justin worked really hard readying our garden beds for the baby plants.

The bunny brothers have moved up and out to enjoy this lovely spring weather.  They are so happy to be able to nibble the grass and hop around with earth under their feet.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Dragon Cookies and Wolf Pop

The kids both decided to start up their own business for the Woodbury Garage Sales.  Since we were having a joint sale with the neighbor, it was a perfect venue for them to test their entrepreneurial skills.

If you remember, she wrote up the business plan for Dragon Cookies a few weeks back.  She purchased all the ingredients herself and the morning of the first sale (which was cold, cold, cold and rainy) she got up extra early to start her first batch.  Business was slow but steady.  When the second batch came out of the oven, all I had to announce was "warm, fresh cookies for sale!" and she SOLD OUT in a matter of moments.  She was so excited by this that the next morning she got up even EARLIER to bake.  Unfortunately it was even colder AND rainier day two.  We had almost no traffic.  She got pretty frustrated by this turn of events and packed up early.  As you can see from the photo below, the five year old also packed up a bit early.
 All in all, Alex made about $10 net profit.  She thinks if the weather would have been nicer, she would have easily doubled that.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Carl and Inga

The kittens are now 5 1/2 weeks old-- we got to visit them again this afternoon to confirm our picks of the litter(s).  We decided, after snuggling them and watching them play, that the brother-sister pair would be the perfect addition to our family. They'll come home on the last day of Farm School :-)

Sleepy Ingeborg....

 Slightly annoyed Carl (he didn't want to playtime to be interrupted)

 Hi Inga---

Justin and Mama Gloria

Friday, May 6, 2016

Justin's "LOST" Tooth

It finally happened.  The wiggly tooth that Justin has been working on for the past month finally fell out.  It happened during Farm School, right after he got done playing with the kittens.  He proudly brought it home in a homemade envelope.  We were ecstatic!  I will admit to being unexpectedly weepy when he smiled at me in the rearview mirror on the way home.
 As soon as we got home, Justin ran upstairs, blue paper envelope with masking tape sides clutched in his hand.  He thrust it in Alex's face and she opened it up to examine the treasure.  She was excited for him and perhaps gestured wildly (I wasn't in the room) with her hands--- all of a sudden the little tooth bounced out of her grasp, off of her nightstand and into the abyss of the air vent.  The world shifted.  What was bright and sunny became soul-crushingly dark and twisted.  At least in the eyes of a 5 year old.  There were tears.  Alex searched the floor with a flashlight, hoping the tooth had somehow ricocheted from the metal grate onto the surrounding plush carpet.  I searched the floor, hoping the same.  We decided to write a note to the Tooth Fairy, explaining the situation, hoping that she would be able to spelunk into the shaft and retrieve the treasure.  Alex offered Justin one of her dollars in exchange for the baby tooth in her room.  The tears stopped.  Playtime resumed.  Drama.  Drama.  Drama.
Hopefully the Tooth Fairy will be successful--- only a night's sleep will tell.

In a moment of prescience, I recorded Justin talking about his tooth this very morning.  Before the event occurred.  Enjoy the wiggliness.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

More gardening

he kids worked for three hours this morning, clearing out the garden beds.  I told them that if they did all the weeding and chopping and mixing of new dirt, I would buy them WHATEVER they wanted to put in it.  They took me up on the offer and worked their dirty little fingers to the bone.
 So we hopped in the car and took off for the garden center.  You can tell they were a bit excited-

 They chose FLOWERS.  All types-- an asiatic lily, gerber daisies, ranunculus, fuschia, begonias and marigolds, among others....  I let them decide where to place each plant. It is their goal to have "The prettiest yard in the neighborhood".

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Preparing for Summer

Now that we're home, it is time to seriously start preparing for summer.  This summer is going to be a little different than our normal traveling summers.  We only have ONE vacation planned (and it's in a few weeks).  Other than that, we're going to be at home- enjoying Minnesota.  So, we're getting serious about our gardening.  This year I've decided to do all my veggies (pretty much) in containers.  The kids want to clear out the garden beds, but I'm not sure what we'll do with them yet...

Tuesday, May 3, 2016


We also received a very cool surprise when we returned home from Arizona.  All of the 'mystery bulbs' that Alex and GranMama planted last fall have popped up--a gorgeous variety of tulips that make our home the prettiest on the block!

 photo by Alex

photo by Alex

photo by Justin

 photo by Justin

photo by Justin

Spring Trip to Phoenix

We just returned from a really fun springtime trip to Grandma Mary and Papa Bob's home in Phoenix.  The kids spent HOURS and HOURS in the pool (I think they might have grown webbing between their digits), we went on lots of desert hikes, we got to visit Kartchner Caverns AND Dave and I even got a few nights away at the hotel his conferences were at!  What a rejuvenating and  restorative vacation!  Enjoy these photos from our week in Arizona :-)

 I was serenaded on a morning run by this sweet quail

 Getting a taste of spelunking at Kartchner Caverns. They had very strict rules about not bringing ANYTHING (including cameras) into the caverns with you.  Check out the website for a taste of the magic that we experienced on the cave tour!  It was amazing!

 photo by Justin

 Enjoying the pool at the Westin Kierland while Daddy conferenced.

On BOTH flights, the pilots invited both kids up into the cockpits.  It was really special to have them take the time to actually talk to the children (and, I was impressed, actually LISTEN to the kids' answers!)  Alex is contemplating flying lessons when she's old enough--  Way to go, Delta pilots!

 Kids channeling Auntie Rorie