A glimpse


Well I was on a role there for a little bit with this space.  I kept waiting for some time when I could "catch up" but thankfully I realized that will never happen.  Best to just jump in now.  So here we are now.  October 4th, skipping right over our summer.


I need to begin with apples.  This is the first year we've really had apples!  So many apples!  They started in August and we just picked the last of them.  I made so many pies and muffins and sauce.  And while the novelty may have wore off for the kids, it didn't for me.  The idea of my (four!) kids out picking apples in our "orchard" is my dream come to life.

Apple muffins
Apple pie


I climbed the mountain of our basement over the past few months and created a really special homeschool space for us to use this winter.  This isn't the best picture.  I plan on taking some more once it is truly finished.  For the most part I kept it a surprise from the kids.   A few weeks after school started I finally let them come downstairs and see it and they were so cute- just loved it so much.  I think it's going to be really great come winter when we don't go outside as much.  A nice fire in the wood stove and it will feel just like our own little schoolhouse.



Grace auditioned and got into the play Cinderella at Festival Theater this fall.  It was so fun to see her back on stage again, totally in her element.



We made a spot in the forest that we've been doing school in as well.  Forest school.  It's a real happy place.  Fixes almost anything.  I'm going to try and keep it up through the winter.  I hope I can.



Garden!  As usually the garden was neglected come the end of the summer.  But it was still a pretty good year.  Most excitingly we got SO many delicata squash which are my favorite.


Our homeschool group is still going strong.  This week we had our annual Stone Soup.


And Iyla, oh Iyla!  She is growing so, so fast.  She says so many words already.  My favorite might be "tubby" which she says every night (before putting her pjs on) while patting her bare belly.  Often we can't resist and give her a tubby wether or not she needs one.



The North Shore- Day 1






~ Back at Cascade River State Park
~ Hiking to the lake
~ Sloppy joes for dinner
~ Ending the night with a campfire with Katie and Kris



{My favorite}


These two are both getting their bottom teeth in.  Did I post a picture of Nora loosing her first tooth?  It think I did but I will go back and check.  Anyway, shortly after she lost her two bottom teeth Iyla got her's in.  We keep asking Nora if any of her other teeth are loose to find out which tooth Iyla will get next.


It is the end of the school year and it's hard to keep our focus.  We were in the garden the other day and Jackson and Nora and I had a great conversation about how we could get re-inspired with homeschooling.  That led to us foraging for wild edibles for the afternoon.


We tried wild violets, nettle tea, dandelion fritters and fiddleheads.  I was the only one who liked the tea but they loved everything else.

It felt good for all of us to work together at something that had us so engaged.  I wish I could come up with more things like this.  That is my goal before next year...


Grace has been enjoying giving Iyla a bath on the porch.  Of course Iyla loves it as well.  Her and anything water are always hit.


I am trying so hard to keep up with this blog (and my life) but it seems we are in the thick of things here.  Even if I am able to post a few times a month I will be happy.  We'll see.


Mother's Day




I loved my Mother's Day so, so much.  When I was reading the cards they gave me this morning I said, "This is the BEST Mother's Day I've ever had!" and Jackson said, "Don't you say that every year?"  I might.  But this one really was.  A few highlights from the weekend...

~ We took my mom out to dinner on Thursday to Lake Elmo Inn and Katie came too!  It was so fun to celebrate with them both!

~ Friday I took a long bath

~Friday and Saturday Ryan and I watched comedians and SNL (Amy Schumer) and I laughed until I cried.

~ Saturday morning Ryan solo parented for a few hours so I could paint!

~ Saturday afternoon I got my hair colored and the later Sam, Scott and Aleta came over to grill.

~ Today.  Oh today.  I woke up and was promptly sent back to bed where I was delivered a two course breakfast.  This was followed by homemade cards and flowers.  (Later I found a sheet of paper with a list of all the Mother's Day things they were going to do for breakfast and then their names by each thing- toast: Nora, scrambled eggs: Jackson, etc, so sweet).

~ I gardened.

~ Ryan worked on the bookshelves he's building us.  They are beautiful and finished!  They just need a coat of paint.

~ Dinner on the porch.

Mostly what was so great though was how kind they all were to each other and me.  I could tell they were trying hard not to fight with each other and that is just the sweetest gesture.  My cup is full.


Magnolias and Random Thoughts


The magnolia tree is finally in bloom.  Looking back over my blog this is the latest date I have record of it blooming.  I think the earliest is March 20th.  It feels so good to have everything come back to life again.  And all the flowering and green.  As much as I hate early spring, I love late spring.


Jackson went up north with Ryan to sucker spear and Grace of course is at school.  So this morning when Nora woke up she said, "I have our whole day planned!"  And she did.


We managed to do everything on her list too.  Read books in bed, do some art, garden, and finally- have lunch and then ice cream bars on the deck.  We even managed to sneak in a trip to the thrift store for some new spring clothes.  It was a special day.


And now we're headed off to pick up Grace and go out to dinner.  We will then head to my parent's house where the girls will have a day with their friends tomorrow and I will have a day to myself.  I need it too.  Life seems to be going so fast these days.


Especially with Iyla.  She is at the stage where it is really starting to get hard to do anything else.  The house isn't as clean (not that it was ever that clean) and dinner preparation is almost impossible.


She is almost crawling and I want her to do it so bad (even though I don't want her to).  It is just so exciting for her.  Everything is so exciting for her.  I love watching her watch the world.  It is such a good reminder for me.  It's all so amazing if we really stop to take it all in.





Every spring when the snow finally starts to melt, if we have had enough snow, this lovely stream emerges in the woods behind our house.  This becomes all they want to do and every morning one of them will say "let's hurry up with breakfast so we can go down to the stream!".  Then they gear up in their rain boots and whatever else the chosen "tools" are of the moment and head down.  Sometimes I won't see them for hours.  This weekend this involved the kayaks as well.  And apparently a saw.  They tell me they are building a dock.




Not One But Two


Nora lost her first tooth yesterday!  It was very exciting and then we had a mishap with the actual tooth (she put it in a cup and I later put the cup in the dishwasher not knowing the tooth was in there) which was terrible.  We looked and looked and never found the tooth so we had to leave a note for the fairy.  Thankfully Nora seemed okay with this in the end also the thankfully the tooth fairy still came!


Then today her second tooth came out!  I have to admit it was hanging on by only a thread and very crooked.  Both of them had been in there loose for so long just waiting for someone to help them out a bit.  So the tooth fairy will be back tonight!


April Blizzards Bring May Gizzards

I think that's the saying anyway.



We made the most of it.  Ryan started building our new bookshelves and the girls made cookies.  I read and napped and didn't ever look outside other than taking this picture for reference.  But really I didn't mind being stranded at home one bit.  Last time I hope though.








Well I know from looking over the "springs" on my blog that sometimes spring never comes.  I'm not sure I would have known this if it weren't for my blog because like birth, we Minnesotans tend to forget the reality of such things once it's over.  When it is still winter in April people start to get a little stir crazy.  That was what I was dealing with on the day we decided to make tortillas- two crazy children.  It turns out it is a good solution- mixing, pounding and rolling out dough.  Plus they were delicious.  And they smelled amazing.  AND we had dinner half way finished which was also a real plus on this particular day (or any day for that matter).  And now I have it in the blog for next "spring".  Recipe found here.