Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Ten on Tuesday.

1. Both kids had successful (if slightly chilly) days at camp last week.

2. Two weeks left of summer here, and so grateful. I know some of you have started already or will be very soon and all I can say is I'M SORRY and THAT SUCKS because August is for summer.

3. That said, Back to School events are definitely on the horizon as the kids get to meet their teachers next week.

4. Fisher's buddy just returned from a two-week vacation, and to say he was excited to see his friend is an understatement. The kid went running when their car came around the corner.

5. It's been a bit chilly here with highs only in the low 60s, but we look to be in for a beautiful stretch of 70s and 80s for the rest of August and first bit of September, which is fantastic because we are not ready for fall. Fall is lovely and there are good apples, of course, but we know it will come and summer will leave no matter what we're ready for, so our family is the type to just want to hold on to summer as long as we can.

6. We are therefore excited for one last summer hurrah, which we have kept secret from the kids. I love secrets.

7. Reading a fantastically funny book recommended by Fisher and already read by Ron: My Near-Death Adventures. I'd recommend this book to readers young and old, as there's something in it for everyone!

8. Ron and I ran a combined 19 miles this weekend, which I will break down for you: 14 him, 5 me, both numbers of which are more than either of us are used to. Go us!

9. Unbelievably, the State Fair opens this week!

10. While Alla was away at camp Ron got her sunflower garden bed together and I hauled 800 pounds of dirt to fill it up. She was very surprised and delighted when she came home Friday evening!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Ten on Tuesday.

1. So it is down to this: 1 week of camps, 1 week of vacation, and 1 week to take it all in, mourn, and then it's second and fifth grades around here. I can't even say it yet, that's it's the end of one thing and the beginning of something else. Sigh.

2. Alla is on day three of camp. We miss her. It is incredibly weird and quiet with just one kid. I wonder what she is eating, if she is sleeping, who she's made friends with, what her favorite camp activity has been, what her face looks like when she gets all our letters.

3. Fisher is on day two of diabetes camp. Wow, this is the kind of thing I never thought possible for him, take him to camp, let him have all the fun, know he is safe.

4. While Alla has been away at camp, Daddy has built her a garden bed for her sunflowers. She is going to be so happy when she gets home, and that is going to be one happy garden when they are all in bloom!

5. I am nearly finished with Goodbye Stranger, but I think I am a little bit savoring it. To all the moms of pre-teens out there, this is an important book and down the road having a parent-child discussion over the themes brought up in the book will be very important.

6. Last week the kids and I finished Half Magic, a delightful read-aloud.

7. Since Alla is gone this week, we haven't started a new one, so I've been reading all of the Mercy Watsons to Fisher. My absolute favorite is when Animal Control Officer Francine Poulet shows up.

8. Today it rained all day. Cozy. Just not if you're driving 35 miles one-way, four times.

9. Kids at camp = running for me!

10. I dragged the school supplies out of the closet so I can label them because of #1. Then I'll be chucking them back in the closet as I continue in my denial.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Ten on Tuesday.

1. First Tuesday of the month, but my is this a great month, what with all thirty-one days and some camps for the kids, and a family outing to celebrate ten books read by each kid, and a family vacation and the start of the state fair. Please let August go slowly.

2. I say some camps for the kids as if they were just going to the local park program, when in fact Alla will be going to SLEEPAWAY camp and Fisher will be going to diabetes camp (just for the days in a week, thank goodness), so these are in fact really big deals.

3. Alla is in a day camp this week at Ron's work, an engineering camp from which she has brought home a light up hat and a contest-winning rocket, both of which she made. She is taking copious notes, love her, and this is making my engineer husband so very happy. She still wants to be a country vet with her own farm and animal menagerie, Babe. We have a long way to go.

4. This leaves Fisher and I with some days to fill. So far we've done bowling, a big hit, and Minnehaha Falls. I know this kid would love to do mini golf, so I'm looking for a good (shady) spot for that.

5. This is also Alla's final week of summer orchestra, and I am greatly looking forward to hearing her violin at tomorrow evening's concert, as she has really put in the time to practice this summer, what without the hours of math homework and all.

6. Fisher just today finished Harry Potter #3! I think he's hooked.

7. I am currently enjoying The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate.

8. One of my greatest responsibilities as keeper of the home is to supply my family with homemade granola, to be absolutely sure that we never ever run out.

9. Ron and I celebrated wedding anniversary Lucky Thirteen yesterday! Add to that the five years we dated before getting married, and that puts us at 18 together. Love that guy.

10. In cased you missed it, I was featured over on the Snap Maven blog, which I recommend you check out just for nostalgia's sake. Gosh I loved going through my files for favorite images!

Thursday, July 23, 2015


Beautiful, if a little hot at Tamarack Nature Center yesterday afternoon. Lots of space for personal agendas, whether dam building or pool forming or just redistributing buckets of sand. I'm always amazed at how peaceful and quiet it is there, unlike any other playground. Kids work together in their sand and water industries, adults are cooled by the kid-powered stream, too.

One of our must-do's every summer.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Duluth 2015.

We just returned from a lovely jaunt up to the North Shore. Yay! (Alla is showing how we all felt about being there. Nothing like dipping your toes in fifty degree water! It's refreshing!

Fisher has other faces, I think, but this is one of his best. Ha! Perhaps after an afternoon of hiking Gooseberry, this is the best he can do.

Thankfully my other child has better faces, even after the same amount of hiking.

Ah, Duluth, where you can make a whole day out of enjoying your lake view in an Adirondack chair, unless you have a kid like Alla who makes a whole day out of exploring every last rock and crevice and you're sure she'll just slip right into Superior and be lost forever.

Where no one can resist finding dozens of rocks, skipping them, collecting them, plunking them, stacking them.

Where someone used to an ocean can have that same immense feeling, of being so small next to something so big. Also, here, since I have never been in the winter, I always try to imagine what Superior looks like snow-covered. All of it.

 So thankful we got up there for a few days.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Ten on Tuesday.

1. I'm happy to report that my crockpot is ON, plugged IN, and making us chicken tacos for dinner.

2. Many of you will also be happy to hear that I have gotten up THREE times now to go for runs before the sun gets hot, and while it's not pretty or fast, I might be getting the hang of it, and at the very least I am certainly enjoying the fact that I can check that off the list before the kids are even up.

3. Kids and I went for a lovely bike ride this morning to a nearby park with big rocks to climb. Sometimes I am wondering as I hear them stirring in their beds what we are going to do today, do they want to do something from our summer list, the summer is so short! And then they rise slowly in only that way that happens in summer, with their books, curl up somewhere with them while I get breakfast going, and I hope not to rush out and do something.

4. I am super happy to report that Fisher has finished Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, loved it and wants to keep on with the series!

5. Last night we had one of our favorite dinners, crockpot baked sweet potatoes with bacon and cheese. Ron also added BBQ sauce and coleslaw and declared it the happiest meal ever.

6. Today we harvested the first of the beets! It's like magic putting itsy seeds into the ground and ending up with these big leaves growing red round deliciousness at the ends.

7. I had really hoped to finish All the Light We Cannot See before the end of May June, but as we are down to the last 5 or 6 hours of it that I'll be awake and I have 200 pages left to read, still, I am fairly certain that it's going to carry into July. Please don't be scared off. It's very, very good. Maybe it's one of those savor books. Maybe it's just that our May was crazy and our June was settling into summer, but the next two months I'm going to read 20 books.

8. A recommendation for your road trips: listen to The Wednesday Wars. I read it a few years ago so I knew it was good, but it might be even better on audio book, and the kids absolutely loved it. Funny, sad, witty, insightful, and interesting because it takes place in 1968. Highly recommend you run to your local library for it before you road trip again.

9. I've heard Harry Potter is also wonderful on audio book...

10. I can't believe it, but we've made it to the end of June and we've yet to turn on our air-conditioning.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Ten on Tuesday.

1. We are happily into our third week of summer here, and the schedules of school have pretty much been forgotten. The kids are sleeping in. Alla in particular is doing this like it's her job.

2. Last weekend Ron and I spent two nights in San Francisco! And then a night south meeting our beautiful twin nieces. They are so cute, I just cannot express the cuteness of two baby girls together.

See what I mean? I even have some great ones of them both laughing at the same time with Mama. Coming soon, as in the next time I get to sit down at the computer!

3. Father's Day, like Ron's birthday, was glorious, and by glorious I mean that the sun shone, no one had to wear a sweater, we dined outdoors. Glorious. Oh, and we celebrated what a great dad Ron is and all that. And saw Jurassic World. So fun!

4. We are headed to the [Air Force] Thunderbirds show in Mankato this weekend, which Fisher assures us is going to be so much fun.

5. The kids are also reading books like it's their job, which really sounds like a fun summer job. If only school didn't get in the way of reading. Hm. Anyway, we have finally got Fisher onto Harry Potter, and he is in the middle of the first book and seems to be enjoying it. I haven't heard yet whether he will continue with the series. Stay tuned. Alla will start a new book at breakfast (this morning it was Circus Mirandus), and by bedtime she'll have it half-read. Clearly I should have picked heavier books. As in tomes.

6. We were supposed to have delicious chicken burrito bowls for dinner, but the crockpot bandit struck again! Do you have this at your house, where you walk in expecting yummy smells but instead you smell, um, just house? Today the crockpot was mysteriously unplugged, last time it was set to 'warm' instead of 'high.' Ah, well, try again tomorrow.

7. The only downside of summer that I can see, and which is an every summer problem for me, is not finding time to run. I am not a morning runner, as in before breakfast or, gasp, coffee, and by the time the sleepyheads awaken it's often too hot. Yesterday I tried to solve this problem by running to Fisher's baseball game. Luckily the location was moved and Ron had to come pick me up mid-run. It was hot.

8. Our summer adventure yesterday was getting a Venus flytrap. Alla thinks it is the coolest ever. I'm going to have to watch her, because she wants to feed it critters all day.

9. We are very much enjoying our deck now! The chairs have been padded so as not to scratch and the pots are sitting on risers to do the same.

10. Our garden is in perhaps its best year ever since the first year or two. I attribute this to my husband building a new frame this year, higher, so there was an opportunity to put lots of new soil and compost in there, and the plants seem to be happy about it. Even the peas and beets we grew from seed are tall and full and lush! Yay summer!