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!


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.


Swinging after devouring some za!.


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!

Spring Break day 4…..No joke

Man I wished I would have pulled off some amazingly witty and creative April Fools Day pranks on some unsuspecting kids or husband that I know and love.

Truth is I didn’t.

However all 4 kids actively helped out cleaning our 3 bathrooms, and they are shiny and clean.  Give a kid some water and soap and once all the excess water dries up, there is not a dirty spot in the place.

I did pull off making dinner for everyone, look who showed up:

This little kitty cat who daintily ate her meal:

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A 2 horned super girl, she mostly snarled and ate:

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This girl time traveled from the disco era to join us:

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Then there was this guy….and he’s no joke:

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Anybody pull off any great pranks???

Also Happy 3rd Birthday to Farley, wasn’t he cute?  He now weight 135 pounds, one of these days I will tell you all his story, but for now…..Awwwww!  Look at how cute he was!!!:


Spring Break….Day one

5:43 AM….I hear a whimpering, Jon goes in to check on Santanna, she has thrown up all over 😦

6:03 Jon left for work Tanna is tucked in and has a “bowl”

6:40 I hear someone crying, I go into Avalon’s room…she is also throwing up.

Ahhh yeah, Spring break, Bring. It. On.!!!

The older kids had a blast the rest of the morning setting up a sick hospital upstairs, complete with patient cards with their diagnosis.  I just love seeing them care for each other when they are not feeling well.

We still managed to dye eggs, most of us anyway.

Yes at our house we use our hands 🙂

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Both hands.

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And sometimes skewers?!

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The 2 big kids and I went to the gym and the played while I ran 3 miles and bikes 10.  Still going strong on my training plans for my 1/2 Marathon in May and my Dualathon in April.

Then we went to the Public Library and stocked up for the rest of vacation. We listen to LOTS of books on cassette tape, I mean to the point that is Jim Dale came and ate supper at our house, the kids might not even notice, his voice is just like the paint on the walls.

This is just a small sample of the 36 library books/stories we checked out. The rest are already being poured over in other spaces.


We has spaghetti for supper that was lip smacking delish!!

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Every Friday night we have a “Friday night movie” Original name I know.  Jon and I are not strict about many things but screen time, or audio-visual time as we call it, is one thing that we really limit.  They get one hour a day and most days it just doesn’t fit into the schedule.  So each Friday night we kick off the weekend with a big bowl of hot buttery popcorn and a movie of one persons choosing.  We rotate through all 4 kids, we get a lot of repeat Pocahontas, Homeward Bound and Disney’s Hercules.

Tonight was Solomon’s choice and he chose Goonies….Love this choice!!!!


I did forget that there are some “scary” moments, dead guy in the freezer with ice cream??!! and a few bleep words, mostly the S— word but overall what a fun adventure movie for kids to watch!


HEEEEYYY YOU GUUUUUUUUYYYS!! Have a Happy Spring Break everyone!!

Happy Spring???

Dear Spring-

I know we had fun when we were together, I am sorry I left you behind for summer, but she was fun.  She made my skin glow; she didn’t mind if I only wore a swim suit all day under shorts and a tank, she warmed me up when your showers ended.

Summer,  she left on a whimsy, then it got cold, winter came he was dark and cold, had that bad boy feel, I am known to like, I chased that bad boy down some hills, but he is still dark and stormy, and refuses to leave.

Please can we give it another chance?  Winter doesn’t bring me flowers like you do, doesn’t make me feel hopeful.

I need that spring.

Please come back.

I am buried in snow with more in sight?!?!?

All my love


Avalon get the news that preschool is cancelled AGAIN:

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All out angst at the idea of not going to activities again…get it all out girl!

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Mind you this time last year it was in the 80’s….!!

Putting Modesty Aside.

This may not be going where you think:)
I want to take just a moment and share some parental pride in this post regarding our son, Solomon.
I know that as parents we are all ridiculously proud of all our children, and revel in their accomplishments big and small. This is not meant to be boastful, just a momma sharing her pride.
Solomon participates in the highly gifted education opportunities that are provided through our neighborhood public school, he tests into these with an aloof ease that I wish I had more of as a student. He is also extremely fortunate to have a fantastic, well articulated, very organized and enthusiastic teacher, who expects from her gifted students what they are capable of.
That being said, she encouraged her students to participate in Letters about Literature

What LAL Does:

LAL is a reading promotion program of The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, presented in cooperation with participating affiliate state centers for the book across the country. LAL invites readers in grades 4 through 10 to enter our annual writing competition.

To enter, readers write a personal letter to an author, living or dead, from any genre–fiction, nonfiction, or poetry, contemporary or classic–explaining how that author’s work changed the student’s way of thinking about the world or themselves.

There are three competition levels:

  1. Level I for children in grades 4 through 6;
  2. Level II for grades 7 – 8,
  3. Level III, grades 9 – 10.

Solomon chose the book The Evolution of Calpurnia Virginia Tate, which I reviewed here, so his letter was written to Ms. Jacqueline Kelley, we edited it and he carried it off to school in his backpack.  As his mom , I of course, was proud and thought he had done a great job.

Last night my husband got an email from Solomon’s teacher that his letter has been advanced to State Level for judging at Level 1, in Minnesota there were 1,265 entires, so this is quite an honor.

The state level results will be back the first week of April, so keep your fingers crossed for him, and I will update when we find out.


Today, broken down mostly by kid’s activities*:
Sent son off to Polar Camp right after Breakfast
Creative Dance Class
Tap Class
Ballet Class
Jazz Class
Pump gas
Pick up Polar Camper
Scarf a lunch
Run a 5K (Raivens First!!!)
Drop son off at a bowling party
Off to the Post 5K celebration with friends, and supporting Ana’s fight again cancer
Screech home to meet bowling party drop off
Shower; throw on acceptable “going out” outfits on everyone (read matching shoes, pants in winter, etc) I even had 2 seconds for eye make-up.
Arrive one hour late to a surprise 40th birthday party…surprise we are here
Scarf dinner to take home oldest who is getting a migraine.
Get everyone in bed
Lie down for a second, greet husband through the slits in my eyes, all I could muster.
Dream of me at a rock concert….not quite a beach but I ‘ll take the mental escape.

*This post brought to you by caffeine, patience and will power.

Pantry Organization

Quite possible the biggest road block we hit in the day is the dreaded “what’s for dinner” question. Not so much that the kids are asking, but neither Jon nor I have made any plans for this meal. As a family we all sit down to this meal 90% of the time, it is not generally so much what the food will be but the experience, that being said, no one enjoys waffles or cereal or an afterthought meal thrown together EVERY night. So what we need is a plan, an organized plan that can smoothly get us through this meal.
Problems that we need to address: ‘The Rut” we need to expand beyond the same old recipes that we have as tried and true stand bys, “The Time” unfortunately with a family of 6 we often do not have a large amount of time to prepare a meal with loads of steps, and hoards of dishes in the aftermath, and lastly “The stash” Jon and I are known offenders of grabbing a few things from the store on most days of the week, this has provided us with a nice supply of staples that we can usually creatively come up with something that will pacify everyone hunger for dinner, but can also lead to waste in excess and no again no firm plan.
Jon is gone for 2 full weeks this month, which gave me the push I needed to detour all 3 of the above problems. I planned out 5 days worth of meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner, including new recipes for dinner and shopped for all of the weeks needs, ( minus a few items that I will buy fresh the day of for a certain recipe). I brought the entire horde of groceries home and went to put them away in our pantry….

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Whoa!! Where in the world was I going to put all these groceries??? What in the world was I thinking, whose stuff is this in the hallway pantry?? The cart was obviously in front of the horse on this plan….

First Problem “the Stash” aka the pantry was no in desperate need of being solved….I set to work immediately.

It took me 3 days, and 2 trips to target since they ran out of the certain bin that I needed, but I successfully made our pantry into an organized, planned evening meal, stash closet in an OCD fashion that I did not even know I was capable of executing.

Our pantry is in a hallway making it very difficult to get a good straight on shot without crawling into the wall, but I think you get a good idea of what is going on with the Stash:

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Top Shelf: Food dehydrator, bread maker, small hand mixer and small crock pot, these are appliances that we do not use on a regular basis.

Lower 2 Shelves: Each of these has 3 green plastic bins, each bin has a designated food, from left to Right: First Shelf: Soups/broths, sauces/dressing, pastas, Second Shelf: baking mixes/cake mixes, canned fruits and veggies (we don’t buy many of these, most of the time we buy fresh), rice.

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Bottom Space: Kitchen aid mixer, large Crockpot and water bottle hoard. We use these appliances at least once a week, and the kids can grab and fill a water bottle anytime. With all our activities I need these to be easily accessible for them.

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The dinner plan is in full effect with these clear bins, I can fit 6 across the top of my second from the top shelf. I have clips on the front of everyone. This is where I clip a dinner recipe and then I put all the dry ingredients needed for the recipe in the bin. Simple I just grab a bin and there are the ingredients and recipe I can either use fresh ingredients I have or pop to the store the day before or morning of and dinner is set.

Here is another bonus to this project, I realized that some of the food on our shelves had expired, that is waste that I am going to try and avoid with proper planning. There is an over flowering box of items ready for the spring garage sale, and a small grocery bag of items to donate.

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All for sale!!

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Holiday Photo Card Out Takes

It’s that time of year, everyone that was on top of their sh*t got their family pictures taken in October, even November with lovely fall colors, amazingly pulled together outfits, and perhaps with that angelic yellow light from behind, or maybe it was photo shopped in but really whose judging?

Last year we did a photo shoot in late November/early December, I wanted a little snow in our picture, it turned out lovely.

This year I had a whole shoot in mind, but time slipped by, outfits and accessory got to be more work to find and pull together for 6 people than I had imagined, I worked 80 hours at the hospital in the span of 3 weeks, normally I am home….on so go my excuses.

So, no well-planned photo shoot for us this year, just me, my Cannon 7D, all 4 of my favorite players, and some natural light streaming from the windows full of crisp wonder from a fresh layer of snow.

Ahhhhh, sounds magical right?  Well here is what will NOT be sent out on my cards this year:

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Avalon was obviously having the best time….you can see here that she is mortified that no one else is having fun.

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Santa’s tassle is blocking Santanna’s face.                              Avalon, again loving every minute, and eyes on me, please.

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Ok so this might not have been the best idea, someones head got bonked, eyes of madness oing on , and again Avalon just not feeling her cooperative mojo.

Ok… lets try single pictures, just a head shot, that won’t be too hard right?!?

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ALriiighty Season’s Greeting from our family to yours,

Love, Jon (attention getter, prop man, not pictured), Sarah (behind the camera, also not pictured), Crazy laugh guy (who was apparently snacking), the
Pouter age 8, Squishy face and the Joker.

In all honesty I can’t help but laugh when I look at these,  the best part about pictures is that when you look back they mean so much and are great memories, of small teeth, hair styles, chubby wrists that are now gone, and memories made, out of the 395 photos I snapped I did get 1 that I used for the photo card and 1 head shot of each kid that I am going to make into wall canvases, but please tell me that others of you have these amazing moments stored on your hard drive as well??!!

Appliqued Turkey Shirt Tutorial

Happy to update from yesterday’s post that the Turkey shirt has made it through BOTH the washed and the dryer!!

Here is what I now have for Santanna:


I am very happy with the way it turned out, I really like the raw edges on all of the appliqué, it gives it a bit of a feathery feel…if you make a shirt like this you can use a product called fray check on the edges and it should prevent this from happening, it may make the edges a little more stiff though so keep that in mind.

Please keep in mind that I am in no way experienced in the art OR science of sewing, especially with a machine, that being said here is how I made this shirt:

1. Grab a shirt, this black one was for sale in my ebay store, it was a new with tags Target cast off that set me allllll the way back 49 cents….so really if you are a novice like me, just take a shirt that you already have or thrift one, just in case…..

2. Gather fabric, I recommend getting material that is not very stretchy, it will make this much easier when sewing onto the T shirt that is stretchy itself, I am pretty sure the fabric I used was quilting fabrics that someone had donated. If you have old sheets, tablecloths etc, these would be great

3. Grab templates for a circle, and feathers, our local bread store gave the kids these “feathers” to color and return for a free cookie, and the circle is a trace around any round object that you have at home. I know some of my directions might not seem super concrete but I think that any artsy/craft project should be more of how you like it with guidelines than solid have- to’s..

4. Cut out all your templates, I free handed the eyes, the fabric I used dictated the eyes, you might want circles or layers, play around with what you have until you like them the I had a few different styles before I decided I has them right. For the beak I cut a triangle and for the snood (the bacon looking thing, yes I had to Google that) I cut a free hand bacon shape. I cut different size circles for the body which was dictated by the size of the shirt. So you have a circle (body), arrow shapes (feathers), triangle, (beak), and a bacon shape (snood).

5. Now lay out your feathers on your shirt, move them until you like how they lay, I did some at different lengths to give it a natural abstractness, then lay your circle over them and carefully pink the feathers to the circle but NOT to the shirt. Sew around the circle to set feathers in place, do not forget to backstitch. Continue these steps, continuing with the beak, eyes and snood (are you comfortable with this word yet?…not sure I am :))


6. Now you should essentially have a turkey patch or an appliqué, lay it out on your shirt, and pin it into place, after I did this I found there were some feathers that needed a little trimming here and there. Now here comes the trickiest part, sew around and up and down your circle and feathers to completely secure your turkey into place. Here is what I learned: the first shirt I made I actually just went whole hog and stitched the turkey parts onto the shirt like above, but I found it got very bulky and was hard to keep all the feathers straight. I did complete my first shirt by sewing right onto it so if you feel like this will work for you please do not let me discourage you. I just think it works better especially for the eyes and smaller parts to already have them sewn on prior to sewing on the shirt, otherwise it gets to be quite thick, and this starts in the T word….tension, I am not there yet. I appliquéd my turkey one feather at a time, and then laid my shirt back out to make sure all the parts were where I wanted them. I did end with some puckering some pieces moved a bit, but I really like the originality of the way it looks.



7. Decide if you want legs, or any other special details, a little fabric bow would be cute if you want a girly turkey. Snip any loose threads, turn the shirt inside out and wash in cold in and dry as you would any cotton T shirt. ENJOY your Turkey shirt!!!

The kids are really having fun with this, I just finished Solomon’s shirt tonight and he decided his needed legs, Raiven has decided that she would like hers appliquéd on with dark aqua thread. What better way for us to all hang out and be creative, then THEY get to wear it!!

You can see it is not perfect, but I can tell you that I have less than $6.00 invested in each shirt, if even that. I will post a picture of all of us at the Turkey trot.

Thanks for looking!

Gobble gobble:)