Got Smoothies?

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Our new favorite breakfast treat. Some vanilla yogurt and a variety of fresh and frozen fruit. Strawberry, peach, and blueberry holding strong at number one.

(yes, my son is wearing a barrette).

Watchin' Deer

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We had a really nice weekend. Ryan had Friday off so it felt nice and long. Though we both spent some time working on various things (him the fireplace and me homework) there was still plenty of time for those precious family moments that leave me feeling so fullfilled.


Old New Books

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A few weeks ago we were at my parent's house and I stumbled upon some of my old books. It is strange how reading a few pages of an old book can bring you back not only to the story of the book, but also to that time in your life. Delightful. Also delightful, reading them to Grace. Or maybe I should say devouring. We started Charlotte's Web just a few days ago and are already on chapter 13. She loves it. And I love it. One of those moments I have waited for all of my life I think... to be laying in bed with my child reading aloud a chapter book.



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We've been doing a lot of painting around here lately. I am craving more bright colors to compensate for the whiteness all around me I think.

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Experiment 1: Day...

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Drum roll please... Day 7. It only took two weeks and two days to do an experiment that was suppose to last one week. Aside from that though, I think we may have made a habit out of it. Not an everyday habit, but a habit nonetheless. Had I not made up this experiment, I probably wouldn't have gone out once during the past two weeks. Really. So, I'm calling experiment 1 a succes. A good example of how you can know something in theory, but you really need to experience it for yourself to bring it to life. Fresh air (even really cold fresh air) is good for the soul.


Up North... and Experiment 1: Day 6

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This past weekend we went up to Ryan's mom's cabin for a few days. It was a very wintery weekend... snowy and icy... but a good one for the cabin. We did a little ice fishing, Grace took her first shower, and we celebrated Ryan's birthday with lots of snuggles, pumpkin muffins, and a new harmonica.

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Experiment 1: Day 5

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Well we had to take a small time out from the experiment to leave for the weekend. But we are back. So outside we went. It might finally be starting to feel like a habit. In the very least, an obligation, as I cannot ignore how good we all feel when immersed in the fresh air. Plus there is still a lot of snow to be eaten.



18 Months

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Jackson was 18 months yesterday. Since this blog is also my "baby book", I feel the need to gush (just a little) over my baby boy and the little person he has become in just a year and a half. I have not stopped being amazed by this little being and his determination to do, well, anything. He is persistent. Whatever he sees Grace, Ryan or I doing (or eating) he is certain that it is something he must experience as well. And the talking, I love the talking... and he is a chatter-box. Again he is determined to keep up with the conversations around him and I have lost track of all the words he can say. Not to mention he astonsihes me with what he understands. It is so exhilarating to be able to actually communicate with him. My favorite was the other day I asked "who wants an orange?" and from the other room I heard two little voices say, "I do!"

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A few of my favorite current Jacksonisms
- When he hurts himself he comes running over with the hurt appendage outstretched in my direction for a kiss. After the kiss, he's usally happy again and runs away to play. Ahh,the power of a kiss.

- When we sing "Old McDonald" and get to "and on his farm he had a..." and pause, Jackson will shout "horse" every time. (Except that it sounds more like "hoose", which makes it even cuter.)

- When he is in the mood, he will go up to Grace, give her a hug and a pat and say "nice".

- He has his own baby ("Baby Boy") that he likes to put to sleep by holding and rocking him and saying "shhh shhh shhh". Melts my heart everytime.

- And his newest one... he said "bless you" today after I sneezed.

Oh how I love this little boy. And he's only just begining.

Experiement 1: Day 3

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Not much new to say about our outside adventure today. Other then that it surprises me how much I still resist going out... even in light of everything I am observing. I did not want to go out today, but I made myself do it anyway. And as always, I'm glad I did. It was beautiful.


Experiment 1: Day 2

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Today we went outside in the afternoon due to other daytime obligations (my internship). I'm so glad I am doing this experiment because in the later part of the day I really had two overtired children on my hands... and normally when I am in that state of mind dealing with that, my mind would not even think to go outside. But today I knew I had to go outside. So, cranky and all, we bundled up and headed out. Ahhh, breathing space. We all needed it. Chippered everyone right up... at least for the time being.


Experiment 1: Day 1

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So last week, in attempts to squelch any winter boredom or after Christmas blues feelings, I designed a set of four experiments. Each one will be tested everyday, for one week. I decided to begin with my outdoors experiment (building on my outdoors enthusiasm from this weekend). I will record our daily tasks and reactions here on the blog. So, here goes...

Experiment 1

Task: Go outside everyday and enjoy ourselves... no matter what the temperature. Observe feelings, reactions, effects.

Reactions of Day 1, Experiment 1:
Even though I know it is soooo good for children, I become a big baby when it comes to being outside in less then ideal weather. In particular, the cold. It seems like so much work to get everyone all bundled up only to still be cold. So I created this first experiment to force myself to brave the elements and get out there. I also wanted to notice if my children seemed different from this experience.

Today when I announced we were going outside they were ecstatic. "Snow" Jackson exclaimed in his little one year old voice. I decided to go out shortly after breakfast, let them wear their jammies (under their snow clothes) and then take a hot tubby when we came in. This worked great for many reasons, first of all, it eliminated some of the steps to "getting ready" allowing us for a faster get away with less of a production. And the tubby served as both a way to warm them up when they came in, and a way to get Jackson to agree to come in without a fight.

Being outside itself was great. Once again I was reminded that I love the winter... once I'm out there. The snow was deep and adventurous. We found deer tracks and deer "beds" in the woods. Grace made snow angels and trekked through what she called "the deep". Jackson ate snow... a lot of snow. I marveled at the beauty of frozen surroundings and stillness. After about a half hour Grace said she was cold and ready to come in.

The rest of the morning went really well...due to fresh air perhaps?? I know for me, I felt calmer and more peaceful after being outside. Not to mention I felt good about myself, knowing I had provided with them with a morning of snow play and adventure.


Up North

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We went up north to Ryan's dad's cabin this weekend. It was a very peaceful three days. One of the highlights for me was taking the short hike through the woods to see the swans. I could have sat there all day watching them honk and frolic in the open water. They are such beautiful birds. It also helped remind me that I actually do love the winter. Sometimes when it gets so cold I feel like I just want to hibernate and stay under the covers all day... but once I get outside I really do love it. There is a serenity to the whiteness and silence of winter. I need to remember that for these long months ahead... get outside... just do it.