Squirt Level Triathlon

Summer, how fast it flies, I love it, for real.
It seems like calendars are full of events, fairs, festivals, friends; endless opportunities.
We may have accidentally hit the ground running faster this summer than we sauntered into last school year, but there are such so many fun thing to participate in when the weather here in Minnesota is sunny and warm, we really do know how to pack a year of run into the summer.
There are so many things I would like to share, but these photos I had a chance to sit down and edit and it is so cool that Santanna has made family history by being the only one to complete a triathlon….and at the squirt level.
60 feet swimming
.9 mile bike ride
.4 mile run
I am so proud…I also hope that by involving all of our kids in these small races at young levels they will carry these skills throughout their lives as hobbies, emotional management time, a way to stay fit and/or a way to compete at their own level.

TRI

 

Advertisements

Frozen Raspberry Lemonade Popsicles

Today marks the official first day of summer…I know some of you have been enjoying summer weather for a while, but blue skies and wispy clouds combined with higher mercury readings are finally here in MN!!!  Yeah!!!

That means little bodies are heating up and taking to the water.  At our house my kids are huge fans of anything sweet that comes from the freezer.

This is a rendition of a recipe I saw on-line and tweaked a bit.

None of the ingredients in this are hard to find or really all that great for us…(read: no paleo here;)), however it is a treat and as treats go, they are not usually broccoli…am I right?!

Ingredients:

  • One box of Raspberry Jell-O (you could really use any flavor, strawberry would also be really tasty)…8 serving size.
  • Lemonade mix, enough for 8 servings, more or less depending on your tartness preference.
  • Water
  • Ice
  • Sugar (Optional)
  • Dixie cups
  • Plastic spoons or Popsicle sticks

Ebay 1589

Boil 4 cups of water and stir in Jell-O, lemonade and any sugar if you like to sweeten your mixture.
Add ice cubes to a glass measuring cup, add water to equal 2 ½ cups total, then add to Jell-O Mixture.
Pour into paper cups; I put mine into a muffin tin to keep it steady for the little helpers I had, also to catch the drips.  I also used a funnel to help keep things neat. Put in freezer for 2 hours.

Ebay 1591
After 2 hours they should only be partially set. This is when we added plastic spoons, I did this so little hands could hold onto then better and avoid a stick, put back into the freezer for another hour or two. This made about 14-16 pops with the Dixie cups approximately 3/4 full.

ENJOY!!!!

2013 June 658

Poppa’s Day

At our house he goes by Poppa, some families use different aliases, dad, pop, daddy, padre, poppy, fathter…and not all are created the same, but thanks for life right?!

This Poppa here has a heart of gold, he has been a trooper since before they were born, he went to almost every OB appointment, got up and brought the baby to the milk supply every night that he was home., changed and washed countless diapers.

Rocked and sang all these littles to sleep with more patience that I could muster some days.

He trades shifts to be at ball games, pick up from camps; music performances and pre-school special days.,

2013 June 565 copy

I am immensely thankful that all 4 of his children have been patiently taught how to fish, quietly catch frogs and bugs, and have had his soothing voice read them stories for bedtime.

All that being said, he still knows how to be a circus dad and get them riled up right at bedtime, taught them how to make fart noises with their hands, and probably other fun/gross tricks when I was not home.

Poppa

I am so very thankful to celebrate with day with my kids, because they truly have a special Poppa who loves them more than he could have ever imagined.

Lasts and Firsts

Last morning of school for the 3 bigs today, Avalon has been out since before Memorial day.

It seems like ages ago I took their first day of school photos.

Total we lost 7 six teeth, had 5  haircuts, 2 calls from the principals office, only 1 time did someone miss the bus, and we got one new pair of glasses.

This is Solomon’s LAST day of elementary school , where did my baby boy go?  He is so big and confident and independent…my heart!

Santanna is the LAST kindergarten class that her teacher, Mrs. C, is teaching, she will be moving to first grade next year, she has been teaching kindergarten for 25 years….she was barely holding it together this morning, I think we both almost starting crying.

Raiven in the FIRST 3rd grade class that her teacher has had and she has been amazing, I hope she is still teaching 3rd grade when our littles come through.

In a few hours it will be the start of The FIRST day of Summer vacation…

Did a little photo shoot this AM:

2013 June 206 copy

Look at all those legs, just getting longer and longer!

This is the “jump shot” from the FIRST day of school this year (this is their favorite way to have me photograph them, they think it is so funny to look at themselves in this frames):

2012 August 078 copy 2

And here is the LAST day of school jump shot (with my own personal statistic):

2013 June 270 copy

You can see with all this energy at home all day my posts my become more spaced but hang with me, I have lots of ideas just waiting for these little hands to help me with, plus lots of trips to share.

HAPPY SUMMER!

Wormin’

Not sure what yours was like, but our Memorial Day Weekend was R-A-I-N-Y!!Which actually worked out perfectly because instead of working in the yard, we ripped out our carpet and installed that hardwood flooring we bought earlier this month.
It is still raining, not all day but most, I can’t tell you how many sports practices the kids have missed due to rain.. and snow…in May. Weather is not my area, but I am thinking this is strange.
Solomon’s class is going on an end of year tour of a local fish hatchery and then they get to fish for few hours, before Jon left for work he suggested he go out a gather some of the worms that are crawling all over to use as bait.
No need to tell him twice, this boy was born a naturalist, one hand in the dirt , one foot in the water and both eyes in a book, taking in all the information he can gather.
Best part is: he includes and teaches his sisters.
So him and Raiven set our with a shovel, a bucket, slickers and boots..I did some of this:

2013 May 689 copy

But caught them on their way home.

I always wonder what the conversation topic is.

2013 May 723 copy

The orange in his hand is a candy package he found and brought home to throw away, this is something I have done with him since before he could walk, I would pick up recyclables and garbage on walks and hikes and bring it home.

They also found this guy:

2013 May 733 copy

A bucket full o’ bait:

2013 May 734 copy

And picked a few up from the path on the way home:

2013 May 740 copy

I am eager to show you our new floor, it looks amazing, but these moments are way more fun to share.

This Cake is on Fi-yah!!

Raiven just celebrated her 9th birthday.

We chose to have it at our house and she was allowed to invite up to 9 girls, including her self to spend the night.

All but one was able to spend the night, they all came and played, made a craft and had cake and ice cream.

We are big campers at our house so we set the tent up, since there was still 6 inches of snow outside, in the base ment, for the girls to sleep in.  In nice weather we would have set it up outside.

After seeing this cake:

Credit: Amam Cara…Cakedecorating website

Hubby and I decided to do our own take on a bonfire cake:

Here are the ingredients:

2013 May 160 copy

Cake mix of your choice, along with ingredients needed to make cake, which may vary.

Pam or non stick spray.

Pirouette cookies.

Hard butterscotch and cinnamon candies, at least 25 of each

Here is how we did it, as always feel free to do what you like and works best for you.

Bake cake according to directions on the package.  We used a yellow cake it is a favorite, also I thought it would be neat to take some scoops of the cake mix before baking it and add red or yellow coloring and plop them in so when you cut the cake the inside had more of a fire look,…maybe next time.

We baked the cake in a 9 X 13, cut it in half and sacked it, you could do 2 round pants as well.

Let it cool, frost as you normally would, we used chocolate.

Then take the butterscotch and cinnamon hard candies, put them in a baggies and pound them until crushed, almost like a sugar.

Then put them on a sheet of tinfoil that has been sprayed with non stick spray and put in the oven at 350, here are the candies we melted:

2013 May 172 copy

This does not take long 5 minutes or so, it will look a little liquidy and bubbly, also when you melt the candies you can choose how thick to make them which will change the time depending on the thickness.

Once cooled, break into pieces and put on your cake however you like, add pirouette cookies as the “loge for your fire.

We added fire to the edges, the candy stuck very well to the frosting.

2013 May 169 copy

Ta-Da bonfire cake!

2013 May 164 copy

Sing with me This cake is on Fi-yah!

2013 May 167 copy

Happy 9th Birthday!!  This girl knows how to party 🙂

2013 May 253 copy

 

We’ve Got Wood

Seriously …number one in speech writing is an attention getter right?!? Well I am applying that to blog writing and titles..today.

Yes we do , we have wood: white oak unfinished 3 1/2 by 3/4 inch various length hardwood flooring,  wanna see??

Ebay 929

We have it set behind the love seat in the living room so it can “acclimate”, so that when we put it down, nail it in, sand it and clear coat it, we don’t end up with any seams shrinking and gaping open.

Ebay 930

The salesman at Lumber Liquidators said it should sit for about a week to 10 days.

Ebay 931

Can’t wait to show some progress on this pile of wood.

Exercise Room

Still working on organizing the house, from my New Years resolution.

This pace used to be our office, we had 2 desks on each end, after the kids went to be Jon worked on his homework and I worked on Ebay/blogging.

Jon recently bought a laptop and can work wherever he likes  and I have moved my office into the unfinished, large, laundry/craft room.  I just have so much inventory it was not enough space and kept spilling into the living room.

Here is a picture from our living room:

raiven 022

Notice the exercise area behind the futon?  Well it is gone!  During my Fab Five February I sold the futon and the recumbent bike!!

This living room downstairs, serves as the TV room, a playroom, you can see the dress up on the middle left side of the picture, and until recently a workout room.

This space needed less responsibility!

So we moved all exercise related items into the old office and viola! No more exercising in the living room. (living room pic still to come)

Some before and after shots of the new workout room:

Notice there are glass french doors so I can close them if I need/want to.

Before.                                                                After

Ebay 552 (2)Ebay 565 (2)

Before                                                                  After

Ebay 554 (2)Ebay 567 (2)

Before.                                                             After

Ebay 555 (2)Ebay 569 (2)

Before.                                                            After…my 7 mile run at night…hence the lighting.

Ebay 558 (2)Ebay 572 (2)

I still have  a few things that I would like to do in this room:

  • Add some audio/visual maybe take down one shelf dn add a small TV, definitely something for music.
  • Take out the wireless modem..move it into the office.
  • Add some inspirational sayings? Wall art?
  • Relable the Ikea bins, since those no longer house shopping bags and mittens/hats 😉

It feels so good to have a clean space to exercise inside, so I can run while the littles nap, and since spring has yet to get here, I may need this space for a while.

We do have a gym membership to a fantastic club in town, but it is nice to have this option. In about 3 years will all 4 of our kids are in school full day I will probably sell the treadmill and run at the club or outside.  AS an avid runner this is still a vital piece of “home decor” for me.

 

 

“Room” for Improvement.

Previously I shared Avalon’s room, you can see it here.

It seems no small task to get their rooms tidy enough to take photos to share, but I am sharing Santanna’s room because it needs to be redone read, paint, and decor.

By far it is the hardest to get her to keep her room organized, it seems like every time we “deep clean” it and I give her bins and tips, and take more out, it just ends up haphazard all over again.  Cool with me if she can find things…but thats not the case.

Anway…here is her room AS IS:

Walking in we have a coat hook, I think this might have to go, it feels like a catchall and clutters the entrance?

Ebay 555

Looking in from the hallway, can you see that we have started to patch holes in preparation for fresh paint, probably evident in every picture;)…oh and there’s Farley..he loves Santanna!

Curtains need to go/change, I painted her name in one color than was going to change it to match the Circo Love and Nature bedding, which will probably stay, but never finished…add that to the l ist.

Ebay 562 copy

Bed side table….less stuff, or maybe one on each side, for books and alarm clock, lamp?

Ebay 556 copy

These shelves used to be over a bookshelf, and now just look out-of-place, I think they need to move to a more thoughtful/purposeful place.

Ebay 557 copy

Here is what houses almost all her books and toys, it was 2 bookshelves ( that we built) and repurposed into a cubby system. Notice those green woven bins from Target again that I used in the pantry …man I might have bought them all from our store.

Ebay 558

I would love to see a cushion on part of this??  She likes to set up her toys and play n it, so maybe just 1/2 for a cozy reading spot.

Ebay 559 copy

View of her bed sitting on the cubby system with my back to the window, you can see the heavy blanket peeking out from under her bedding, it gets COLD here, layers are cozy!! She needs a headboard or bed frame of some sort.

Ebay 561 copy

Recap of to do list for this room

  • Paint
  • Move coat hook
  • Paint her letters or remove
  • Bedside table…add another/declutter
  • purposeful shelving and wall decor
  • Headboard/footboard, bed frame
  • Cushion on cubby system

Spring Break….Last Day

Well that FLEW by!!

Not even sure that much more happened from day 4 to today, just living, breathing and eating.

I was a little bummed at the prospect of just hanging by “our dish” and not traveling for spring break, I really love an adventure, I even considered  packing up the kids and the tent and driving south until it was warm enough to set up camp for the week. However, we all had a great week, there was loads of down time, games, puzzles, a few playdates, and today even warmed up to the middle 4o’s.

I went to pick up 2 kids from my mom’s house in Lake City and we went for a walk and got pizza to eat in the park…yes if you live in MN a pizza picnic in the park is totally acceptable once the thermometer passes 40.

Lake City boat docks, not sure when they will get the boats in, but I bet it won’t be long!

524731_10151161169697706_1033159953_n

Papa Tronnios pizza, if you ever venture to this side of Lake Pepin, get you some of this pizza!!  It is awesome!  We also noticed that Rabbits Bakery does a wood fire pizza night the first Sunday of every month, which we will be enjoying in May, I will post details then.

537460_10151161169772706_254318744_n

Swinging after devouring some za!.

shot_1365372105295

I just love all of our time together, it can be a lot to organize and the house gets messy, not everyone’s hair is always smooth and pretty, but man we have fun together, and that is what is important!

Hope everyone had a great 2013 spring break.

Now that the weather is nice I am going to be posting more home and wood projects, it is just to hard to get to them in the winter without proper ventilation.  Can’t waist for you all to see them!