Dinner From Our Garden

Taco Salad
Layer in a baking dish...
Cooked Zucchini
Cooked Ground Turkey
Black Beans


Highlights From My Favorite Weekend

- Being back together again and back HOME
- Sleeping in
- Playing outside
- Putting Grace to sleep
- Eating our ripening black raspberries
- Cleaning the house
- Making a salad from our garden
- Having my sister over for dinner
- Enjoying the fresh flowers


Just the Two of Us

It was really nice, for both of us I think, to be able to spend two weeks alone together- just Jackson and I. Though it was not exactly one on one time (he managed to sneak in my class as a student which really kept things interesting), we did squeeze in our special moments each and every day. They usually involved sand in some form or another as this is his most favorite thing right now (to play with and to eat). And we stayed with the most amazing family with two gentle and loving children who just adorded him (I think the feeling was mutual actually) and couldn't wait to play with him every night.

So while I was so glad to back home and be a complete family again, I will treasure that special time we had, just the two of us.


A Meeting In the Middle

In the weekend in between the two weeks away, we managed to squeeze in a small mini vacation with the four of us.

We stayed in this tiny cabin

And swam a lot in the pool

Did some finger painting

Ate smores for the first time

And celebrated Father's Day (Shirtless. Well for those
in the photo anyway. Photographers were allowed to where
their shirts)

A very nice family weekend, just what we needed in the middle of such a long separation.

Where I've Been

I spent the past two weeks here, at this amazing early childhood training program in Milwaukee. It was, and always is (this was my forth session here) very inspiring learning. It is unlike any other school I know of in that it prepares you to work with children on so many levels. One of the deep values that is embedded in almost all of the course work there is that we are the young child's curriculum. This has some pretty big implications if you think about it. If you knew that your child was absorbing everything you said and did how would you go about your day? This is the question that has been sitting with me ever since I returned home. It is a good question to sit with I think. I also came away with so many new wonderful songs, games, recipes and other creative ideas...and as always, a deeper appreciation for all things domestic. And most importantly, I am feeling very ready to start planning the new business (more on this later) with Kirsten.

The picture above is of some of us kneading bread for lunch. Something I can't wait to do with Grace very soon.

First Haricut

Grace had her first haircut a few weeks ago (I'm a little behind on my posts since I have been gone for two weeks). Well I should say her first real haircut. I have cut her hair a few times myself but this was the first time we went somewhere to have it done officially. She wasn't such a big fan of it either, though the stylist put glitter in her hair at the end and she was a fan of that (and two weeks later I am still finding it in her hair).


The Beach

Today I decided we needed to shake things up a bit so we headed into Bayport to do some exploring. We stopped and got some lunch at this yummy bakery and then headed to the park for a picnic. The park, which we had never been to before, is most definitely going to become one of our new favorite spots. First of all, it is right on the St. Croix River (the most beautiful river in the world if you ask me), which we loved of course (and I think made Grace feel instantly at home). And second, there was a great playground and beach that we had all to ourselves. Between dipping toes in the water and eating sand I think we all had a very enjoyable afternoon.


Evening Walk

The sun (having returned from a very long disappearing act) lured us all outside this evening for a nice long walk. I love to daydream as we pass the houses... what people and adventures might be in store for my children in this little neighborhood of ours. The friends they will meet... the memories they will make. Roots they will one day look back on as the foundation of thier lives.
But for now, it's just the four of us here, building roots, making memories. And that... is a dream of it's own.


Fresh Nettle Tea

Why, why you might ask. Why would anyone make tea out of stinging nettle? Well to begin with it is loaded with nutrients- calcium, iron and antioxidants. And with a little lemon, it tastes pretty good too.

Nettle Tea
1. (Using gloves) cut just the tops of nettle plant off.
2. Cut leaves into smaller pieces
3. Boil water
4. Poor water over leaves and let soak. Equal parts nettle and water seem to make a good tea, but you can make it stronger or weaker with less or more water.
5. Strain the leaves out.
6. Add lemon slice and enjoy


The View

A few little scenes from my new favorite spot.


A New Play Space

One more little tidbit that I wanted to blog about today. As I mentioned a few posts ago, we have been playing a lot upstairs lately. It makes for a fresh new space to play and explore in. But I wanted to do a better job making use of the space. So the other night I decided to work on it. I did make one rule for myself- I could only use things we already had, no buying anything new. As usual I forgot to take a before picture, but I was pretty pleased with the results. The numbers mat had been sitting unused in the closet downstairs, and those Cleo posters have been shrink wrapped to the backs of the books they came in since we bought them a few years ago. The storage baskets/book rack was downstairs in the playroom but it is getting much better use up here. In the future I would love to frame the posters and get a nice Pottery Barn rug to play on, but for now, this works great.


When my sister and I were little we built a tepee in the woods behind my Grandma's house that we would spend hours playing in. Hours. So when we moved here, I knew I had to make one for our kids. And after much talk about it with Grace, we finally decided to build one today. She did her fair share of helping too, carrying sticks over one by one. And once it was finished, she immediately fell in love, and has already started to make big plans ("we can sleep in here, eat in here, we can even make another one for Jackson...") Yes, I think the tepee will definitely be a hit this summer.