Finally Outside

It was warm enough outside today to finally get out and enjoy spring.
I went out for a 4 mile run and came back to find Avalon hard at work:


So I joined in and we vacuumed, wiped down, washed and cleaned out an enormous embarrassing amount off snacks and miscellaneous kid paraphernalia. But to the small vaccumer go the spoils:

Just enough to pay in coin for an ice cream:

While I splurged and treated the carro to an ultimate wash :

Oh man does spring cleaning feel good here in Minnesota. We have been cooped up and frozen in and are ready to be outside and open the windows!!
Anyone else tackling spring projects. Any annual chores you do?
I know my blogging has been sparse but we have been working hard on a front entry nook project that is almost finished. Stay tuned for the before and afters!!


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:

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But caught them on their way home.

I always wonder what the conversation topic is.

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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:

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A bucket full o’ bait:

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

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

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!

Easter…Spring Break Day 3

Here are the eggs we worked on so hard for no more than 29  minutes on Spring Break day one…. it is  amazing how fast these soak up color and how quickly little hands can work.

You can see evidence that some egg “dyers” were more gentle than others….

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The Easter Bunny came and hid 6 candy filled eggs for each child around the living room, dining room and kitchen.  He left some small trinket toys, and books in the girls baskets and Solomon got an all in one tool, everyone was really happy.  It is so fun to see children bubbling over with excitement and zest for life!

Each holiday I try to capture all of the kids in a fairly coordinated picture, feel free to view the Christmas Card photo outtakes post from last year.  The outfits today were a  little more casual  (sidenote: Solomon added the velvet blazer and top hat on his own…since he could dress himself  he has loved blazers and being fancy)  since we were having brunch at my aunt’s house, nothing fancy since she always has some painting crafts for them:

Loud and Proud:

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Bunny Ears in your face:

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And one with Farley:

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After brunch at home Solomon, Jon and I played a game of scrabble and we all just lazed around, it was perfect, the kids played and giggled and Jon and I laid down, digested brunch and listened to our happy family.

Jon and I tucked the kids in and finished our taxes…whew!!!  That is a relief to check off the list, especially owing a business, seems to take a lot more number crunching.

That big lug of a dog turns 3 tomorrow, think we should cook him something special?? Anyone have any good doggy reicpes??

Spring Break …2013…Day Two

All three girls (yes they are feeling better, must have been a 24 hour bug, thank goodness!)  have dance this morning so Jon is taking them, they are missing out on the neighborhood Easter Egg hunt in the park which they participated in last year and had a lot of fun.

However, the weather is dreary and their dance recital is in 5 weeks so I think they need the practice…I am sure they bunny will bring eggs filled with candy tomorrow so even though they are bummed, I have zero momma guilt!

Speaking of dreary weather, I am scheduled for an 11 mile training run today, how crazy does that sound, 11 miles of practice!  It was warmed up here and I was realllllly hoping to take it outside, but windy rain does not sound like awesome running weather , just for practice.

Change in plans, I did an hour kettlebell work out instead, since Jon keeps telling me how much nicer tomorrow is going to be, and to be honest I have been training so hard, it is nice to have a break when we are all home together.

Jon and the kids went outside to clear the downspout for the sump pump after lunch, all of a sudden I hear ” oh my gosh!!!”  “ewwwwww”  “no way that just came out of there” so of course I grabbed my camera and here is what came out…..

Warning it is a little icky.

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We think this is the vole that was running a muck through our garden last year, not sure how he lost his head….poor guy, but of course the kids were fascinated.  Ahhh nature, never a dull moment.

On a lighter note,  we ventured out early in the evening with my Aunt and saw the movie “The Croods”,:


I have to say I was hesitant, after watching a trailer for this movie.  Jon and I do not go on movie dates, at home or to the theater so most of my recently watched movies ARE kid movies and The Croods was better than I expected, we all enjoyed it, this movie gives a clear and important message to live life and not hide in fear.  Instead of fearing the unknown explore life, travel, try new things and LIVE….what better message is there than that.  And on a side note, lets say I was a young animated girl, this “Guy” would be my heart-throb:

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I know that is not weird at all…thank  you. And tonight I am considering movie popcorn and the fresh strawberries I smuggled in (yes, I am that mom….shhhh please don’t tell, they sell nothing that comes from nature at the theater) a well-rounded dinner.

Everyone went to bed REALLY excited to see what the bunny has for them in the morning!

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?!

Egg dying 2013

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….!!

One day…not including normal household chores…

breakfast, coffee, school, flowers, doughnuts, Dr. appointment, sports store, grocery store, home, lunch, stories, shower, school, ice cream, home, snack, baseball game, baseball game, dinner, baths, stories, download pictures, back to bed, ……glass of wine!!

It was the last day of school and really quite a perfect day cool and perfect weather to watch the kids play ball in a hoodie and jeans.  No pictures, just a sampling of a day in the life….

Signed up for a local garden plot

We have always has in our backyard a garden, clearly laid out, with a nice border or fence of some sort, which has produced numerous healthy and great tasting fruits and veggies for our family.  I really enjoy going out at lunch time and picking fresh tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, and sometimes peas in June for my salad.  I love watching the kids run out and pick fresh strawberries out of the patch staining their lips and fingers red.

We have a lot that is 1/2 an acre, on this sits our house so the amount on actual space to play is much less, with 4 kids and a small horse of a dog, we are trying a new gardening tactic this year.  This will open up some of the precious green play space for the kids, but still allow us to grow a garden.

I am keeping the strawberry patch and will have some tomatoes in containers on the deck these are the items I can’t have farther than this 1/2 an acre away.

Our city has 2 large spots that they till up and section off into 30 X 30 garden plots.  Each gets a number and is $30.  on May 1st we are allowed to some and plant in our spot.  We will have to carry in all the water that our plants will need.  I think the kids are going to love this, Solomon really likes to garden, he told me once, “gardening is more fun than playing”.   The plot is located just down the hill from our house it will take about 5 minutes to get  there and it is right off the bike path that connects to the kids school and fields where they practice soccer. 

We now have to decide what plants we are going to grow, and how we want to organize our 30 X 30 plot.  I  plan to post a weekly picture of the plot so everyone can see how quickly (hopefully;)) our plants grow! Stay tuned!!!

Gearing the Kids Up For Spring

I am gearing up for spring, it is a must, it is like getting closer to the light in the tunnel of dark winter gloomies.  I see swimsuits in the weekend ads, and it reminds me that warm weather is coming and our closets need to be prepared.  Keeping with my New Years Resolution, I think there is no time like the present to start gathering what the kids will need for spring, since knowing that is may be a bit of a challenge, I have noticed that boys clothes are harder to find, especially in Solomon’s size.  I know how hard boys can be on clothes so this is not that surprising. Below is the start to the list of what I think they will need:



Rain boots

Mid weight jacket for chilly days


2 or 3 hoodies

4-5 Long sleeve tops

6 -8 short sleeve tops…keeping in mind that spring is muddy and messy and we will be fully enjoying it!!


3-4 Pants maybe a few more for Solomon since he does not wear dress/skirts;)

4-5 pair of shorts or capris for the girls

2-3 Skirts

3-4 Dresses


Rain boots…also listed above

Good pair of running shoes…these will be bought new

Good pair of Sandals…every year I buy each kid a pair of Keen H2 Newport Sandals they are hands down THE BEST!!!





What did I miss?