Tuesday, November 18, 2014

No shortage of books.

Tonight my lovely daughter told me, after learning that I had picked up new books at the library today, that If there were ever one thing we were short on, it would NOT be books.

Very, very true. We take books seriously here. We probably won't ever have enough bookshelves and baskets for them all. I spent a good chunk of my day at the very least thinking about what I'm reading or going to read next or when I can read again. I hope we are passing this on to our children.

They just finished these books: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (Fisher), and Magic in the Mix (Alla). Both recommended!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Ten on Tuesday.

1. Whew! We made it to California and back successfully!

2. We went from flip flops and sweating while out for short walks, to Uggs and temps in the 30s when we landed at home two days later, to snow boots and gloves and back-breaking shoveling the next day.

3. The reunion itself was AMAZING. Can't say that enough, to be around people who you don't get to see regularly, and others you haven't seen since graduation, it was just so fun to catch up. If you happen to be in charge of planning your high school reunion, take some notes from the classy ladies that put on ours: a wine bar. Super casual (well I still had to wear heels, ugh!), lots of mingling, a slideshow (!!) of during and after high school, even gift bags. Seriously, girls, you OUTDID yourselves.

4. So, our flight was delayed coming home and we spent 3+ hours in LAX. In. Instead of out, where the sunshine was. Thanks a lot United. Speaking of which, I still have to go and claim my lame gift to try and make up for making me late picking up my children.

5. And getting groceries. No time for that Sunday night, it was 9:00 when they got to bed as it was. So we ate frozen peas on Monday. But today I shopped! The lady in line behind me at Target, as well as the cashier, both commented on the amount of produce I was buying. I admitted to them I really was starting at zero.

6. Spent 3 hours at the Honda dealer this morning having that airbag recall done.

7. Good thing I had a book: Orange Is the New Black.

8. Now that we're getting down to the end of the year, I've had to narrow down my to-read list, which means prioritizing what I can actually read before December 31, which means the following: Station Eleven, A Man Called Ove, and Rain Reign. I'd also really like to read Unbroken before the movie comes out, but let's face it, I'm going to see that on Netflix, so I have some time.

9. When you've just returned from a short trip, had a snowstorm that impedes driving, spent 3 hours at a car dealer, and then finally done the weekly grocery shopping, you need an easy meal: Crockpot Chicken Tacos, which assumes only that you have some defrosted chicken and a few taco-ish ingredients on hand.

       Brown salt and peppered chicken in a little butter and olive oil for a few minutes on each side. Place in crockpot. Add some chicken broth to the pan to deglaze. (I know it's an easy meal but this step isn't hard, so don't skip it or else you're leaving all those flavorful browned bits out of your taco dinner.) Add in some green or red salsa, stir into the broth and browned bits. Pour over your chicken in crockpot, add a little more salsa and mix around in the crock. Turn on high and leave for 3-4 hours. Serve, obviously, with your favorite taco fixins, which for us  are: cheese, guac, sour cream, red pepper slices, and SLAW. The slaw always makes the taco.

10. Lastly, thank you military service people, who are too many to list, but specifically my husband, my brothers, and my father in law.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Ten on Tuesday.

1. Not sure what I feel best about today - voting, running, or selling (yes selling!) the kids' leftover Halloween candy. I can tell you what they were happy about. Earning three dollars eaches for that haul.

2. I went to the dermatologist last week and she told me my daily SPF 15 (that I love) was not cutting it and I needed SPF 30, so there's your PSA for the week: get your SPF 30 on every single day.

3. This weekend is my 20th high school reunion celebration. 20 years.

4. What I'm really thinking of is what I am going to read on the plane.

5. Alla found a new read that she says is going to be as good as Half Upon a Time. She can tell from the first chapter.

6. Dinner has been a nightmare lately. One kid hates soup. One kid hates chicken. I'm going to start eating dinner someplace else just to avoid the whole thing. Anyone want to invite me? I might have a few diet restrictions, too, though.

7. At least we have vegetables. In the regular rotation: broccoli (roasted), carrots (raw), beets (when I can get them, sliced and roasted), green beans (roasted), red peppers (raw), sweet potatoes (sliced and roasted with coconut oil and cinnamon). Of course the grown ups around here have a whole slew of other vegetables we like, so there's often a series of them on the table, but still I think we can expand our regulars.

8. Kids are looking forward to seeing Big Hero 6 this weekend!

9. Kids also have a 3 day weekend this weekend, lucky ducks.

10. The temps are dropping so I am no longer craving the iced beverages of summer. It is time for the Hot Toddy. Cheers!

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Sunflowers are the best.

That gardening girl of mine got one lucky sunflower this year to grow big and tall in a pot on the deck, and didn't break when the winds came due to some yarn love. Next year we're hoping to plant tons of them, in the hopes that a squirrel couldn't possibly gobble them all. Until then, we have this beauty to brighten our days.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Ten on Tuesday.

1. It was a warm 80 degree weekend, and then Monday, upper 50s. It's in between time. Too chilly for shorts (I'm trying to convince Fisher of this), but snow stuff is a ways off (hopefully). We went from flip flops to Mom where are my mittens this morning.

2. I personally am now very glad I purchased that lovely fleece in the middle of the summer on sale. It really came in handy this afternoon.

3. This week I'm reading I'll Give You The Sun and it's so intriguing.

4. The school is putting on a musical this year, Annie, and I have a little girl auditioning on Friday! I think the boy in our house is going to get tired of Tomorrow before auditions, let alone the performance in May.

5. One of my jobs that I take very seriously in our family is Library Book/CD/Movie Requester and Picker Upper.

6. As such, it is on my calendar for October 1st to request all of our favorite Halloween reads.

7. I daresay the bathroom is done. Ron's favorite part are the cabinet drawers that catch when they're closed so they close ever so softly. Mine is the light in the shower. It's just everything being able to see in there.

8. Conferences tonight, eager to hear about my rotten children. Ha!

9. The latest request for a pet from our children is for a trained monkey.

10. Tomorrow is October. October is a wily month here in Minnesota. It can be warm, it can rain, it can be windy enough to shake all the leaves from the trees, it can s-n-o-w. Whatever happens, when we meet back here again on the 31st, it will be quite different here on our street.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Ten on Tuesday.

1. The bathroom is almost done. Just almost enough that all the pieces are in place but we can't yet use it.

2. A few images from our trip to the apple farm two weeks ago, where we bought those two pecks of Zestars, which are now gone.

3. Really the best part of any outing for Alla is the possibility of finding new animal friends.

4. We are having an extended run of 70 degree weather which is just phenomenal.

5. The school year is certainly wiping me out, and Ron has taken to calling me a grandma because I'm falling asleep by 9:30 every night.

6. Falling asleep so early means that it is very difficult for me to finish a book these days, even when I'm less than thirty pages from the end!

7. Oh how I cannot wait for Parenthood to start this week!

8. I'm just going to say it. I hate hashtags. Probably that's not going to help with my grandma status.

9. I've been working for months on a canvas with TONS of iphone pics on it, and it's almost done!

10. Well I'm off to Home Depot, such a fun place, to get door stops. Have a great Tuesday!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Ten on Tuesday.

1. Fisher wins the prize for first cold of the school year.

2. We are in the throes of our bathroom remodel and it would be an understatement to say that we are greatly anticipating the completion of this project.

3. The kids and I just finished a fantastic book, Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes. Seriously amazing language. We're onto this author's second novel, and I'm hoping it's not too creepy!

4. In other reading news, Alla and I both just read All Four Stars, which we both wholeheartedly recommend!

5. It's September, which means there are three months left in the year to read books and still so many on my list!

6. Today I ran not only in sunshine but in warmth, so I say that for any day I can run in September in just shorts and a t-shirt, I am grateful. For any day that I am able to do so in October, I may run an extra mile and kiss the pavement.

7. Despite the warmish weather, we had lentil soup tonight, eaten al fresco, and it was lovely.

8. I'm going to have to make a product recommendation here, and it's for a pencil sharpener. Maybe you have a pencil sharpener, maybe you have a few. All you need is this one. My kids are excited about sharpening pencils, and the adults in our house are practically hyperventilating at the sight of such perfectly sharpened pencils.

9. With two kids in school all day, I get an extra day to help out in Alla's class, so I'm quickly getting to know all of her classmates.

10. The biggest news around here is my daughter getting her ears pierced! She looks stunning:)

Friday, September 05, 2014

One perfect day: Fisher.

If I had to pick one perfect day for Fisher, it would start with a breakfast of honey buttered toast and yogurt, along with the sports page, please. Then there would be exactly thirty minutes of reading, exactly thirty minutes of screen time, and then the entire rest of the day would be spent outside with the neighborhood kids playing and running for as many hours as the daylight would allow. And this is pretty much how summer went.

Found this gem taken the last day of kindergarten.
So, school this week has been a bit of an adjustment, but I think that, like most Americans, he has figured out to just hang on for the weekend to restore his very soul.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

First day 2014.

Well there you have it, the first day is here and the summer is over. Even though I got them to laugh with a silly Fisher-invented joke, I'm pretty sure that they really feel more like the bottom picture. What are you gonna do? First and fourth grade!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Ten on Tuesday.

1. Here we are, at the tail-end of summer, squeezing out every last drop, having all the fun.
2. Some days I think if I hear that front door open and close one more time I'm going to go completely insane. And then I remember that this time next week no one's going to open and close that door all day.
3. 'Round these parts, school starts the day after Labor Day. As it should be.
4. We recently spent a lovely week up north. 'Up north' loosely means north of the Twin Cities. We were approximately two and a half hours north in Breezy Point, which is a lovely little resort with all the amenities right there. It was our third summer there, and perhaps our best.
5. The kids "fished" daily, with nets, catching many.

6. I am letting my hair turn to straw.

7. This boy finally learned to pump! And he is pumped!

8. A week from tomorrow we are finally getting started on our bathroom renovation. If you've been to our house, you know how exciting this is!

9. I could no longer live where there aren't summer storms. They are just amazing...the lightning and thunder and hail and the hunt for rainbows. One evening we got a brilliant storm and as soon as the lightning stopped, all the neighborhood kids took to the street. Such happiness!

10. This is how I feel about the end of August, the end of summer:

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Ten on Tuesday.

1. Summer. Busy but lazy. Perfect.

2. Alla has just finished From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, and then Wonderstruck. I think she is wonderstruck! Seriously, Mr. Selznick, when will you be writing another book??

3. The kids are 75% and 80% through their Mama-made summer reading program.

4. Alla has discovered The Parent Trap, which I loved. She's on her second viewing in two days. We'll definitely have to watch the original soon.

5. This weekend we celebrate our twelfth wedding anniversary, and seventeen years together!

6. This is our last week of summer sports. I always look forward to the sideline time watching them play, and visiting friends. But then I'm ready to get our MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursday evenings back. Maybe go for an after dinner bike ride.

7. Summer has been perfect weather-wise. Cooler than most prefer, probably, meaning warm days but cool enough to keep the a/c off. Fewer beach/water park days, but less sweltering. Good trade-off I think. We seized a rare hot day this weekend, and hit the water park, where both kids did a lot of sliding, Fisher climbed, and Alla rocked the wave pool.

8. The neighborhood kids have a renewed love of chalk this summer, literally filling the street with the fruits of their drawing contests. We're almost wishing for rain just to give them a clean slate. Otherwise, we'll have to start taking over other blocks.

9. Alla has been taking a knitting class at the library. This new hobby is definitely a summer highlight for her.

10. We are headed up to Breezy Point in August, where the kids will climb the fire tower and fish off a dock with nets. See? Summer = simple.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Ten on Tuesday.

1. I've thought about doing a Ten for the past few weeks, but usually by the time I think of it, it's really not even close to still being Tuesday, or even Wednesday for that matter. Summer can be wonderfully lazy.

2. We have our second round of newly-hatched robin babies, so clearly summer is not lazy time for those guys.

3. Lazy summer means to me that we are gathered around the table while the breezes blow in through the screen, book pages fluttering, feeling slow. This is today.

4. The perfect summer dessert is a grilled peach drizzled with honey, homemade whipped cream generously heaped on the side. Must get more peaches.

5. We had a lovely Fourth, starting with a morning canoe on Silver Lake, and ending with taking the kids to see fireworks for the first time. Alla said they were "too pretty for words." Agreed.

6. We of course had our Ron Killins fireworks show at home first, though.

7. Alla started orchestra yesterday, and seems just perfectly suited to this responsibility. I hope that she'll continue to be excited to learn as the days (and years) wear on.

8. Ron and I are nearly done binge-watching the first five seasons of Sons of Anarchy and starting to feel the panic of it ending! At least we haven't watched season 2 of Orange is the New Black yet. Whew.

9. I started the new JoJo Moyes book yesterday and am feeling that this is a perfect summer read.

10. With that, we're off to the library for summer reading prizes, and then the Farmer's Market for (hopefully) something for dinner. These kids sure eat a lot.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Ten on Tuesday.

1. Here we are in the second week of summer. The sun is hot, the day is bright. Truly the best days of the year.

2. Our first two weeks are full of swimming lessons in the morning.

3. Kids are busy being kids. Our true summer day is sandwiched between swim in the morning and sports in the evening. The down time is lazy and feels like summer should. A little bit of learning, a little bit of helping out around the house, and a lot of playing outside, Rainbow Looming, and even cross-stitching.

4. Lots of rain. The garden is growing!

5. It's been six summers now that we've done at least one summer (evening) sport, and by now I could have written a book on summer meals, yet every summer I wonder what's for dinner and when we're going to eat it.

6. On today's to-do list: make a 2014 block party flyer!

7. The kids and I finished reading Hoot after lunch today! How amazing is it to finish a book outside under the umbrella!

8. A sports update: Alla is playing soccer again, and Fisher has added baseball to his roster. It is great fun to watch both of them play.

9. This year for summer reading I made each of the kids a list of 20 books and if they read any ten, they can choose their own reward. They still have time to read things they have in mind, but are also being exposed to things they might not pick up otherwise. Case in point: on Fisher's list was Diary of a Wimpy kid, which we'd been suggesting for awhile but he didn't seem interested in. Well, he read that one first and now wants to read the whole series!

10. We have been taking advantage of our drive time to and from swimming by listening to our first audio book of the summer - Escape, which is about the life of Houdini. I would say the kids are interested in his 'tricks,' and Alla wants to find out how he died, but other than that it's reading pretty dry, so I'm looking forward to listening to something a little more energetic next!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Good Job, Honey.

I'm calling this a win! Mother's Day photos with everyone looking at the camera, genuine smiles, everyone in focus. Best Mother's Day gift ever.

Hope you all had a lovely day, too!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Ten on Tuesday.

1. We have a robin's nest! They built it one day last week, but we got nervous when we didn't see them around much of Saturday or Sunday. Then Mama Robin sat in it all day yesterday, and sure enough, a perfect blue egg!

2. Alla had her Reading Hall of Fame ceremony last night. The kids record their reading minutes each month, and if they reach the goal for their grade in seven of eight months they receive a medal at a special ceremony in May. Alla is an old pro, and Fisher will have his first ceremony tomorrow night!

3. This is the start of what is a busy May for families all over the country, I suspect, with schools cramming in ceremonies and field trips and sports starting up.
4. Fisher, in fact, will have his first field trip tomorrow!
5. Since all this activity is leading up to summer vacation, I'm wondering just when summer might actually arrive? The kids would love to get the summer box out, with all the warm weather clothes, but I keep telling them we need warm weather for that.
6. Same goes for planting. I'd really like to plant more than peas and radishes. I'd really like to put in some new perennials and fill up my planters and deck containers with colorful annuals. But who wants to be out gardening in 50 degrees?
7. Somehow, though, the weather on Saturday mornings hasn't been half bad. Fisher has his tennis lesson then, and it's been relatively lovely to sit out and watch him, even it's from under a blanket.
8. Tonight's dinner - Crockpot Pinto Beans. Family favorite.
9. The kids and I went to Barnes and Noble to spend their birthday gift cards this weekend. Alla found Maleficent and is just giddy to see the movie.
10. I am nearly done reading The False Prince for the second time around and eager to get onto the next two books in the trilogy but also picked up Year of No Sugar at the library, and have a week to read that. Such good things to read lately!

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Ten on Tuesday.

1. Yesterday was the first day I thought, Spring has sprung.

2. I am absolutely eager to start planting stuff. Flowers! Veggies! Herbs! Baskets! Bring on the color!

3. Yesterday was also Cinco de Mayo, which in our house means carnitas, homemade salsa and guacamole, slaw to go on top of your carnitas tacos, and margaritas! I squeezed a lot of limes yesterday.

4. Relishing reading The False Prince again!

5. Alla has taken on another role at school: walk patrol. (This to me means getting her there earlier and picking her up later, and trying to keep Fisher occupied for those 10 minutes on either side of the day, both times that he'd rather just be outside at home playing with friends.)

6. Yesterday I did what Ron has coined the "Mother's Triathlon." Run 4 miles, bike 4 miles, work in the garden.

7. The tree pollen is trying to beat me down, but so far my lemon, lavender and peppermint are getting the job done. I'm sneezing like crazy but this year not scratching my eyes out, so we'll call that a win.

8. Today we planted peas and radishes. Does anyone know of anything good to do with radishes?

9. I start out the day with a list and ambition, but by the time the kids are in bed, all of that is gone and it's all I can do to keep my eyes open on the couch. Here's to a good night's sleep and more ambition tomorrow, since my lists don't seem to get any shorter!

10. Greatly looking forward to Mother's Day this weekend!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Ten on Tuesday.

1. We're on day 3 of downpours. Today it's cold enough to mix with snow. Lovely.

2. Tomorrow we're supposed to be heading to the Twins game, where Alla's school choir will be singing the National Anthem. I have a feeling we will be leaving shortly after, if this weather does not improve.

3. Speaking of that lovely girl of mine, she turned 9 over the weekend. Last year of single digits.

4. I now have a 6 year old and a 9 year old. Just getting used to saying that.

5. My 6 year old lost his first tooth yesterday!

6. The kids and I are reading HOOT as their bedtime story, while Ron just started the 4th or 5th Narnia book on his reading nights.

7. Alla is deep into the first Fablehaven book.

8. Fisher is on the 37th Magic Tree House book.

9. The first tick of the season was spotted - on ME!

10. I'm off to build a boat, seeing as how rowing may be the only outdoor exercise I'm going to get all this rainy week!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Ten on Tuesday.

1. A classmate of Alla's was lucky enough to visit Harry Potter World (I'm pretty sure that's not the official name, but that's what we've called it.) last week and told Alla that she got a wand. Alla then learned that they don't really work (as in, no real magic), so she's decided she doesn't even want to go there. Makes life a lot cheaper for this family.

2. We are in the middle of a great bedtime read, The Invention of Hugo Cabret. Tonight Alla hit on the fact that she likes the way Brian Selznick organizes this book and leaves you hanging. She says she likes books that "unveal" things.

3. On that note, apparently we aren't spending enough time at the library!

4. Alla says she has a list of authors in her desk at school, in case I need any help finding bedtime books. Ha! As if! My list grew longer today when I came across this other list again.

5. Next Wednesday night is World Book Night! I'm a giver!

6. Little Passports looks like a super fun way to learn about the world or the country over the summer.

7. I ran today in 29 degrees and seriously cold wind. My January self would be appalled at my wimpiness, but I declare my exhaustion with the crisp air that requires tights and mittens. I want to feel warmth again! I want to challenge my body to make its own vitamin D!

8. The kids are not swayed by the chilly weather, however. Fisher spent two late afternoon hours outside with the rest of the neighborhood kids as usual, playing kickball, soccer, basketball, tag, one game until they decide it's time for the next. I'm so glad he's a tough one, as the rest of the kids (all boys) are third, fourth, and fifth graders.

9. Alla's activity of choice, after doing some math and reading homework, was tree climbing. Today no one had to come tell me she was stuck in a tree! She scraped her hands pretty good though, and thinks some tree-climbing gloves are in order. I don't think that's an actual thing.

10. No school Friday, and aside from Memorial Day next month, this is it until the kids are out for the summer. Though it's still quite a distance to the last day of school, we can all feel that excitement that comes when the school fills up the last two months of the calendar with fun things. A busy month and a half is ahead!

Thursday, April 03, 2014

LA Getaway: A List.

The best way to capture the spirit of our first [airplane] getaway sans children is a list -

Direct flights rock.
Carrying-on just a roller bag and a purse rocks.
I'm like my son, never getting over the hugeness of a plane flying right overhead.
Thank you, Laughreys, for the fun, food, and sunset walk!
I can never get over palm trees.
Alla has had a photo of this street sign in her room since right after she was born.
LA = Land of Punch Buggies.
Reconnecting with Air Force Academy friends after many many years = awesome.
Everywhere we went, I took a picture of succulents and palm trees and blossoms.
I finally found my grandparents gravesite, after walking 20 minutes around the cemetery.
You cannot leave California without some In n Out.
We are so lucky.
People drive a lot in California.
I can never get over the traffic and congestion.
It's nice to feel the sun.
You should not wear new shoes to the airport, where you might have to walk a ways.
Café Brasil in Culver City has delicious plantains and tilapia.
48 hours is a really perfect little getaway.
I really like Ron. He's fun.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Ten on Tuesday.

1. Happy April! I wish I could say it was April Fool's that we woke up to snow this morning, and temps in the 20s, and wind chills in the single digits, but that's just how we roll here in Minnesota.

2. How else we roll is by expecting 6-12 inches by the end of the week.

3. But spring is definitely in the air. Signs of spring, which may be different depending on where you are: daffodils in a vase on my table (not in the ground, silly!), geese returning, longer days, fewer layers, can't remember the last time I wore a hat, and the remodeling bug has returned.

4. We are notorious for having lots of remodeling/house ideas and not going through with them, mostly because I am incredibly indecisive and commitment-phobic when it comes to house changes.

5. Consequently, I made myself a giant list today and purposely included many smaller projects that don't involve having three different people out to our house, waiting for bids, checking references, and then scheduling something three months out.

6. We are in the midst of our cable company's week of free cable, meaning we are trying to watch an entire season of The Walking Dead in one week.

7. Tomorrow Fisher is participating in a study at the U. He'll be excited about the $10 they pay. He's a complete miser and never spends a cent.

8. April is a busy month for us with Alla's birthday, Easter, and Fisher starting tennis lessons. I believe May is equally busy.

9. I am halfway through the last Phoenix Files book.

10. Did I mention that we spent a quick weekend in LA? Just the two of us? As in 2 days ago we woke up in LA and wore t-shirts and flip flops?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Ten on Tuesday.

Today we're celebrating Fisher's last day as a five-year-old, so today's ten is dedicated to the boy I love.

1. He loves Legos, but probably more than that he loves to be outside with friends doing stuff, which means lots of running around, tackling, Zombie Tag, and, eventually when the snow melts, bike riding.

2. He loves to play sports: tennis, baseball, soccer.

3. He loves to play games: Speed, Farkle, Uno.

4. He gives the best back rubs.

5. He is incredibly smart.

6. He loves to read. He's made it his goal to read all the Magic Tree House books.

7. He loves to be read to, and he and I are currently in our second reading of Flora and Ulysses.

8. He sleeps with multiple stuffed animal friends: Lovey, Tempy, Mimi, the new frog Bulkhead, Elmo, little Elmo, Glowworm, and a few smaller ones that are constantly getting lost.

9. He is really really hard on his shoes and clothes. Keens have been a lifesaver for shoes.

10. He is one inch shy of four feet tall!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy Monday!

Hope your weekend included lots of snuggles and good books. We are enjoying a lovely spring break sans coats and mittens!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

What a difference.

 Just two and a half weeks ago, this was our front step.
Two days ago, roller blades were pulled out of the attic for our first 50+ degree day, and even though the snow remains, and will remain, for a long time, it's really the reason March feels so good. We can hope.

 This face pretty much sums up the feeling of every Minnesotan on a 50-degree day in March!
That said, I sure do think our family is hardy, and that we do our darndest to get out there and enjoy and appreciate Mother Nature even in the deepest depths of winter. It's easy to do when it's this pretty. Or when you have six school days cancelled. Take your pick.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Ten on Tuesday.

1. This is Fisher's last week as a 5 year old.

2. I think I was right about having my last single-digit run last week. It was 53 yesterday!

3. Super excited to see my brother!

4. Last night (and tonight) for dinner was our favorite Black Bean Quinoa Bowls.

5. I finished a wonderful children's book, Esme Dooley, over the weekend that would be a fantastic read aloud, especially for Minnesota kids, because it takes place here!

6. Finally decided on a vacuum and am amazed at either how well it works, or how poorly my old vacuum performed.

7. Spring is so subtle here, and Minnesotans really do appreciate things that are only earned by months of frigid temps: seeing a robin and a woodpecker this morning, seeing our deck, playing catch.

8. As such, the next thing I'm greatly looking forward to is the sound of geese returning.

9. They are wise to wait a bit.

10. I'm planking again. That challenge in November was so great that I'm doing it again this month. There's something about the daily task of it that trains your muscles in a way that doing a plank here and there, even for longer periods, just can't accomplish. Here's to looking ahead to bathing suit season!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Photo-a-Day, January 2014: Part Six.

Top to bottom:

Jan 28 Fifth "snow" day, progressive party
Jan 29 My son at 10pm
Jan 30 actual snow, but not a snow day, 5-6 inches
Jan 31 My daughter at 10pm

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Photo-a-Day, January 2014: Part Five.


 Top to bottom:

Jan 23 "Snow" Day number three, Suspend
Jan 24 no school, forts are for reading
Jan 25 Fisher gets his library card
Jan 26 after dinner reading
Jan 27 "Snow" Day number four, the Surprise Jar saved us, Muffin Tin Monday returns 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ten on Tuesday.

1. I didn't apologize to my kids for not telling them these "muffins" were really a lot less muffin than cauliflower. They were just too yummy. I should have told them, though, because then they wouldn't have eaten them, and there'd have been more for me. For the record, they didn't like them. Pooh.

2. Over the weekend I read the book Wave, which I really and highly recommend. I enjoy memoirs a great deal, and this a tragic one, about the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia, but it's just so very true, how she takes you right through it, and honest, how she deals with every harrowing moment in the years following the wave.

3. Have you heard? The Polar Vortex has returned. At least it's sunny.

4. My favorite day of the year is coming up: Spring Forward Day!

5. Alla cannot wait to hear Idina Menzel sing at the Oscars on Sunday!

6. Fisher is up to #25 in the Magic Tree House series and says he's going to read them all.

7. Alla is reading a great fractured fairy tale trilogy that starts with Half Upon a Time.

8. I am in desperate need of a new vacuum and am currently in research mode.

9. I cannot believe that Fisher's sixth birthday is next month.

10. But I am super happy that spring break is next month!!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Photo-a-Day, January 2014: Part Four.

Top to bottom:

Jan 18 Saturday morning train tracks
Jan 19 Afternoon stroll in the open space, hammock in the middle of the woods
Jan 20 Reading what they found at Half Price Books, family outing on MLK Day
Jan 21 Breakfast reading
Jan 22 Afternoon reading/snuggling in Mommy's warm quilt

I'm sensing a theme here! Lots of reading happened in January with The Return of The Polar Vortex.

Did you miss the rest of the month?
Part One
Part Two
Part Three

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Ten on Tuesday.

1. Today Fisher and I finished Zombie Baseball Beatdown, which is exactly as it sounds, and just a perfect read for a mom and her 5-year-old boy.

2. Ron and I ate the most amazing filet mignon for Valentine's Day.

3. I am patiently waiting for the arrival of daffodils at Trader Joes.

4. I am so over the Olympics. Ready for regular programming, thank you.

5. Current bedtime books: Ron has just finished reading the third Narnia book, and I am reading this lovely Australian trio of books about a boy named Jack.

6. Our family pretty much never eats breakfast before eight, lunch before noon, or dinner before six.

7. We awoke to 25 degrees this morning. Can't explain how balmy that felt, or how warm 40 felt by late afternoon.

8. We were all dragging a bit this morning, and Fisher told me, "I need more time."

9. My children lose an inordinate amount of crap.

10. As cold as it's been, we really haven't gotten tons of snow. Curse me now, but I could handle one really big snow storm.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Photo-a-Day: January 2014, Part Three.

Top to bottom:
Jan 13 Someone turned 37
Jan 14 Some birthday spoils
Jan 15 Looking at photo albums
Jan 16 Asian Scotch Eggs, yum
Jan 17 Afternoon screen time, Angry Birds
Catch up on part one and part two!