Diving for Clams

17 Aug

Yes, my posts have been few and far between this summer.  I guess you could say we have been outside enjoying every minute of the sunshine.  I think the goal of people living in Northern climates should be to get as much vitamin D as possible before we don’t see a lick of it for 9 months.

One of the aspects of living up here in the “wild” is that we still get to do live off the land, pioneer style activities.  Things like berry picking and also diving for freshwater clams.  We were on another one of our adventures when we noticed these beauts sticking up out of the sand.  After collecting them for about 20 minutes we had a pot full.  Being the proud owners of our dumb (not smart) phones we could not google the best way to cook clams, so we had to improvise.  We boiled them over the fire until they magically opened on their own and then after trying them- decided they needed some extra help in the flavor department.

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We found that clams do not have much flavor but take on the flavors around them and have a very interesting texture (interesting in a bad way).

So, we looked at our supplies and decided to fry them in some shore lunch.DSC_0389

Perfection.  If you deep fry anything the kids are sure to love it =)

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And if they aren’t fans of the deep fried clams they can always make grass, leaf, pinecone soup.

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Berry Picking

4 Aug

The blueberries are out in full force.  They are big and juicy and wonderful.  I love that we live in one of the only places in the world where they grow wild.  How lucky are we?  This is one camping morning where we headed out in search of the gems.

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I think Hudson looks like a baby bear, happily sitting in this berry bush.

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Camping: Good Thing Its Free

20 Jul

We want to make the most of this fleeting summer so we headed north to Crane Lake to get in some family camping time.  People drive from all over the country to camp and enjoy this untouched part of nature and we only have to drive 40 minutes.  We have everything loaded up in the boat and the kids are ready and rearing to go.  We hop out of the car and Jared launches the boat.

Jared is leading the boat over to the dock when a part of the cement retaining wall collapses and Jared falls into the water while flinging his wallet into the lake.  No big deal, just reach down and grab it, right.  Nope.  Not exactly.  He reaches down and cannot feel it anywhere.  He searches for about 20 minutes and then he takes over kid duty while I search the iron rich depths.  Nope, nowhere to be found.

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How in TARNATION can a wallet disapear that fast?  Just so you know a leather fossil wallet feels a lot like the bottom of Crane Lake.  After searching for close to two hours we decided to cancel the credit cards and head on our journey, the girls were happy to be finally heading out.

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Fortunately he had no cash in the wallet (he had just spent his last $4 on fishing bait) unfortunately we have no credit cards at the moment and Jared’s really nice Fossil wallet is gone =( Sad, sad day.  Oh yeah and the worst part… he has to go to the DMV to get a new driver’s license- arg.

It is a good think that camping and these views are free.

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Rock Climbing

13 Jul

We headed out on a wild adventure:

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with our fearless and hilarious leader:

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I cannot believe my four year old and six year old daughters went repelling off an 80 foot drop and then climbed back up.  They are my heros and  I could not be more proud.

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The icing on the cake of this incredible day was wild blueberries all around to snack on and a waterfall to swim through.

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Paws to Read

10 Jul

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We have a wonderful library program here in Cook and the theme this year is “Paws to Read.”

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I have volunteered to be the project/craft lady.  Go me =)

As slightly overwhelming as this is, I am also excited about making some pretty neato things.  My main goal is to make things that will not immediately go into the trash can.  Things that the kids are excited to make and things that the adults will be glad their kids made.  We will be making useful and awesome stuff this summer!

The first week we made bags for the kids to carry their library books in.  I looked on amazon.com for some bags that we could use that were also fairly priced.  No such product existed since the ones that were about a dollar each had terrible reviews, I guess you get what you pay for.

Sooooooo, I went to our local thrift store and they kindly donated a bag of t-shirts.

I then sewed the bottoms of the bags shut and cut off the arms and neck of the shirt.  Then the kids got to stamp on the shirt and perhaps their library books will get back to the library since the kids are so so so excited to be able to use their new book bag.  That is the hope at least =)

The next week we made a dog toy out of t-shirts:

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Then we stamped on dog tags:

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Last week we painted rocks:

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This morning we made a mad lib timeline!  It was very fun and the kids maybe even learned about adverbs and adjectives.  Their craft is now hanging in the library, to show off their beautiful work hopefully get more kids excited reading.

So if you are local, come on over the Library at 10:30 and lets get crafty!  Next week the awesome and funny DNR guy is coming to teach us about the kind of prints that animals make.

We even get to climb trees!

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Summer Perennials

29 Jun

After browsing through some perennial flowers last year at a nursery and viewing the prices, I knew I needed to try and see if I could grow them from seed. Now that I have tried to grow them from seed, I understand why they cost so darn much money.  It takes a full year, sometimes two years to get a perennial to bloom.

Here are some of my success stories:

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I love that they will magically reappear every year. My goal was to make my front garden full of perennials so I will only have to weed and watch the beautiful flowers blossom throughout the summer. Here are two huge hollyhock plants I grew from seed that are now in front of the chicken coup.

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I really should know what these plants are, but I don’t– does anyone know the name of these plants?

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A Very Frozen Birthday!

25 Jun

We had a very Frozen Birthday Party for Aleah’s 6th Birthday.

The inspiration came from my friend, she has kids the same age and gender as our kids and we used to throw birthday parties together.  But now since she lives in Iowa, I have to throw my own parties and steal her awesome ideas =)

I loved searching Pinterest and coming up with my own ideas as well.  Our life up here in Cook, MN is Frozen about 6 months out of the year anyway- lots of inspiration.

Here are the signs that I painted:

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These are the Frozen themed foods I created:

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One of the games was the kids had to “Melt a Frozen Heart.”  I froze some hearts and other toys and the kids had to hammer the toys out of the block of ice

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We also played “Pin the Nose on Olaf.”

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this party was so fun to plan.

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Happy Birthday Dear Aleah, I am so proud of the smart, loving, strong, tough, kindhearted, artistic, gifted, persistent and thoughtful person you are and are becoming.  It is the best job in the world to be your mom, thank you for making me a mom. I love you.

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