Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ten on Tuesday.

1. The kiddos have one more soccer game to end the season. I am so so proud of each of them.

2. Probably due to soccer two nights a week, we haven't eaten very inspired meals lately. It's my biggest gripe about summer: I can't be cooking dinner and outside playing with the kids at the same time. Usually that means something quick, which I'm translating to uninspired.

3. Where in the world would I be without Trader Joe's taquitos?

4. At least it's summer and we're eating tons of fresh fruit. We should also be eating tons of fresh veggies, but the fridge seems a bit barren in that department at the moment.

5. Alla was gifted a new book that she tore through and then started again. For all of you with Fancy Nancy lovers, this looks to be a great extension, and it's only book one of a series!

6. Fisher is thoroughly enjoying Machines Go To Work in the City. Good job, William Low, you have really made my son happy with your inclusion of Vacuum Vic. Seriously, no one else gets it. Now, if Matchbox would just get on board, because for the third year in a row, Fisher is asking for a Vacuum Vic for Christmas.

7. I myself am working my way through Wonder, which, as the title might suggest, is wonderful. If only I wasn't completely glued to the television every evening, I could give it the attention it deserves.

8. I really am glued every evening. I am watching as much Olympics as I can - it only happens every four years!

9. We are officially out of 2 Gingers, so that means I'll be switching over to Dark and Stormies. Until we're out of rum.

10. To get to my mom's, I drive over the Mississippi. Random, but true.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Instagram summer.

I'm on the one hand happy to have my iPhone there with me most of the time to capture all the little moments that I'd otherwise miss because it seemed silly to bring my big camera, but a lot of those images get stuck in Instagram Land and never make it to the party with the rest of our family photographs. This is my effort to show the little moments that thankfully did not get missed. Like the kids under the Stone Arch Bridge, on the banks (bank?) of the Mississippi., killing time before a big Okee Dokee show.
Like the times we luck out and capture Vacuum Vic in action. Those worker guys, as Fisher would call them, must have thought we were nuts for parking our car just to watch a sewer being vacuumed out.
Like the first day of summer vacation when we hit up the splash pad for the first time.
And Fisher set up his own little drawing spot, lingering in jammies. Ah, summer.
Like kiddos being able to have sleepovers any old night, and Alla feeling like the great big sister she is holding that sound asleep little brother of hers.
Like pajama walks with clean kids and their lovies.
Like the city's summer slip n slide on a gorgeous day with my favorite sky.
Like watching fireworks on our own street.
And Daddy taking a bow.

Like a date night walk around Minnehaha Falls on what might have been the best night of the summer.
Here's to continuing to capture, and continuing to share.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Ten on Tuesday.

1. Took the kids to the Twins game last night. Quite a high-scoring game by baseball standards, 19-7, and the Twins won, but we only assumed that would happen when we left at the top of the fifth. Turns out the kids were more interested in when they could have another snack. Even though we ate dinner before we left. Even though Ron and I were not hungry at all.

2. Just got the last of our windows replaced today, so we will hopefully feel warmer in here this winter.

3. I just read two five-star books. The first, Dinner: A Love Story, I read cover to cover, and believe it or not, I have actually purchased this book now. This is significant in proving just how much I love this book for two reasons. First, we rarely buy (grown-up) books here; that's what the library is for. Second, because of the dietary issues in our family, I would never purchase a cookbook without first heavily browsing through it, to make sure there were enough safe recipes to make the purchase worthwhile. This is not a specialty cookbook for special dietary needs or restrictions. This is a well-written book full of simple family recipes. I was also seriously influenced by the Dark and Stormy

4.Second stellar read: The False Prince. Oh, I cannot stop thinking about this book, probably like after I read the first Harry Potter, only there is no second book in this trilogy (yet!), so read at your own risk. It is a perfect story.

5. Fisher is in the middle of a three-week (twice-weekly) tennis class that he just loves.

6. I had a friend in fifth grade named Rachel who turned me onto jicama. I can't really seem to turn my family onto it, but I love it when I've got a container full of sliced up jicama in the fridge to munch on.

7. This salsa recipe is perfect. And did I mention it takes about ten minutes to whip up?

8. We checked spatter painting off the summer list, and now have a new piece of art in our living room.

9. Lately we can just count on it being at least 90 around here.

10. Tonight is a Tuesday, but it is a summer Tuesday, and that means the kids are sleeping together yet again. Oh, fall, don't you come too soon.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


We were lucky enough to take a drive two hours north to the lovely land of Duluth, which, I am ashamed to say, we had never visited in our six years of living in Minnesota. 
The kids are the perfect age to enjoy it. A lift bridge, constant boats, Lake Superior, and more rocks than they throw back into that big body of water. But they tried.

What is my daughter doing? Oh, just trying to stuff as many smooth Lake Superior rocks into her dress as will fit!

Yes the hotel had s'mores and after the kiddos stuffed their faces, they climbed all over the giant rocks along the shore.

 'Tis lovely to wake up with a view of Lake Superior. If I didn't know better, I might think I was looking at the Pacific Ocean!
We climbed the next morning around Enger Park, and were rewarded with this view of Duluth. There's our hotel down there! And the lift bridge!

 It was maybe a tad windy up there.

 The wind was even worse at the top of five-story Enger Tower.

 And Fisher didn't like it one bit.
But both kids were in love with Enger Park with all of its hidden paths and bells and sand "pond". Quite enchanting.
We left Enger Park for an equally enchanting park, one built directly over I-35, which the kids thought was cool but perhaps didn't quite get even though we drive under the park first.

It also spans a train track that I think hosts a train that serves pizza as it drives up to the North Shore? Might have to check my facts there, but I'm pretty sure that's what it does.

We had a lovely mini-vacation and can't wait to go back next year. It's amazing to be able to do all this with our kids and to feel how they experience it. We heart Duluth!

Friday, July 06, 2012


After a couple of busy, fun days in Duluth, we needed a down day, a day when no one had to be anywhere at all. Fisher's one wish for the day was to play War, which is a request he'd make on any other day, but I wanted to make sure we did it because that was the whole point of the down day - nothing to do.

We started our game after breakfast, it lasted an hour and a half, aces traded hands many times, I was down for awhile and then it looked like I'd win, but in the end, Fisher won all of his aces back and I lost all my cards. He threw a fit not because he lost (which he didn't), but because we couldn't play again right that minute. (I did mention that the game last an hour and a half, right?)

So, after he had a little bedroom time, he got super resourceful and decided to deal a new game between he and Big Elmo at the kitchen table. An hour later it was lunchtime, but he and Big Elmo agreed to start fresh at quiet time.
They made good on their plans to start a new game and played for over an hour. At bedtime, we moved the cards to a safe part of the room so the game can be resumed tomorrow. I love it when the kids go through these phases where they just loooove something so very much. That kid is a stellar War opponent.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Block Party 2012.

Here we are in the thick of summer, heatstroke warnings the norm, and yet four months ago we were in layers. Always hard to believe that in six months in Minnesota you can go from below zero to 100 degrees. What we do on our block is party, and the hotter the better, because then the kids are more likely to get a blast from the fire fighters!

 Fisher was not entirely sure he wanted to be blasted, but he sure did want to do the blasting!
 And the firetruck-checking-out-ing.
Alla ensured that all the kiddos would be cool by helping fill this tub with water balloons. In fact, every last one was tied by her. She is the only kid on the block who can tie a water balloon. (Either that or every kid has realized that she doesn't mind it, so they've gladly given the job to her!)
The kids were indeed kept cool by her thoughtfulness, and the adults were, too, thanks to a few icy margarita buckets. Another successful block party for sure.