Beach Day





Summer Glimpse

{Kite flyers}

{Can you imagine my surprise when I came downstairs to find 200 of these hanging out in my kitchen window.  I bought a praying mantis "egg" to put in the garden but in typical me form I never got around to setting it out there.  Low and behold they hatched anyway.}

{Working on her "tangrams"}

{Black raspberries are HERE!}

{Secret beach}


Ryan worked a lot this weekend, trying to finish up some jobs before we go up North.  So on Sunday we decided to go out to dinner in Afton at this resturant.  The food was really good as always and after a quick pop in at Secret Beach we decided we might have to make this our summer Sunday evening tradition.

Despite the fact that our summer so far has been slow in nature it is moving along at record speed.  Grace and Jackson spend a lot of time playing with the neighborhood kids, often biking off after breakfast.  They come home by noon to eat lunch (on account of their new watches- best purchase ever) and then they're off again.  Other days the whole crew of kids spends the day here.  I appreciate both sides of that coin.  Nora spends most of her days "chasing chickens" or inside playing dolls with her imaginary friends Galla and Gaggy.  Life is good.


Strawberry Picking






New record this year... almost 40 pounds of strawberries!  Aside from all of the fresh berries we ate and the small batch of jam I made, I was able to freeze 29 pint size bags of strawberries.  If we could get through the summer without eating any of the frozen ones (which we probably can't) we would almost have a bag for each week of the rest of the year.  Exciting.

The morning we were to go picking I woke up to find Jackson dressed and completely ready for the day (this happens almost never), "I'm all set to pick strawberries mama!"  When we got there we were given a tractor ride out to a new picking field.  Upon entering the field we found each row thick with large perfectly red berries.  Much easier picking then last year.  Nora sat beside me the whole time carefully dropping berries in her basket saying things like " Oh I really like this day of strawberry picking".

We planted several strawberry plants in our garden this year which of course I'm looking forward too.  But I'm not sure I'm going to be able to let go of our June tradition.


Four Magic Moments


~Today I walked outside to this.  Nora has become quite the chicken girl as of late and she came up with this idea all on her own.  (Don't worry, I released the chicken after I took a few pictures).

~Last night Grace and Jackson were all wound up for some reason and not going to sleep.  This was after I had already put Nora to bed and I had been alone with the kids all day as Ryan was working extra late.  AND I didn't feel well (I think I got some super short version of the short flu that all three kids had).  Anyway, I wasn't handling it the best.  I had started making various threats as I do when I'm at the end of my rope and finally thought I had them at tomorrow night you will go to bed a half hour earlier and for ever minute you keep getting out of bed it will be another minute earlier!!!  (lots of exclamation points)  I came down hoping I could finally relax when a few minutes later a paper airplane soared down the stairs.  I walked over to it and opened it up to read "we are sore.  Love, Grace and Jackson"  My laughter broke the crabby spell I was under (Grace has inherited my horrible spelling) and also reminded me that I do actually love them.  I went up and apologized too and we got to end our night on a good note.

~Today Nora said to me "I don't know why I'm feeling so happy while I'm eating this cereal, I think it's because you're sitting by me".

~This afternoon Jackson had his friend over and after many hours of playing in the woods they wondered into the garden.  Soon Grace and Jackson were giving him a tour and I watched as he excitedly sampled arugula, dill, basil, pineapple weed, wood sorrel.  Then he said, "it is delicious in here, it's like a giant salad bar!"


Big Brother




Butterflies and Summer


{The "Red Spotted Purple" butterfly}

{Grace's beautiful hairdo to help attract butterflies}


{awww... the pool}


We are spending some time learning about butterflies as the school year is coming to an end.  It is something everyone is enjoying and I hope our interest continues through the summer.  In the very least I plan on picking it up again in the fall (when we tag Monarch's with our homeschool group).

One day Jackson came and told me of a butterfly that he thought might have actually been a fairy.  "It was blue and very special and I got a really good feeling when it was near".  Later we were able to identify it as the Red Spotted Purple.  Though I still think it is very special and it really might be a fairy.

While it is not official yet, the feel of summer is here.  Hot weather, the "pool"... we are spending most of our time outside.  A few days ago Nora found a toad in her playhouse and spent a good hour playing with it.  She talked about it nonstop as she was going to sleep.  Then first thing the next morning she went out to look for it again.

I am looking forward to summer break as much as they are I think.  As much as I love homeschooling it is so wonderful to have the freedom of long summer days.


13 Years


As usual we were spoiled by family on our anniversary.  On Saturday Katie and Kris took us out to dinner at Heartland.  YUM!  And so much fun.  My parents had the kids overnight too so on Sunday we got to enjoy the day just the two of us spending the afternoon in Stillwater restaurant hopping and eating so many delicious appetizers.  Today it is back to reality with a sick kiddo at home and Ryan back at work.  That's okay though, it's all part of this amazing, messy, challenging, and wonderful life we have carved out for ourselves.  Happy Anniversary Ryan, I love you.