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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:


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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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.

Here Fishy Fishy

15 Jun

Now what to do with all those tasty sunnies and crappies?

After you have played with the fish in the live well (for a few hours) you have to line ’em up and count your bounty.

After you have your firstborn organize and count them numerous times; you let the cat check them out.

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Jared came into the backyard where the kids, fish and I were- only to find us smearing paint all over the fish and plopping them down on some paper.  He was a bit surprised but then when he saw the finished product he was alright with my idea =)

Here are some of the prints we made:

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THEN, you can eat them!



Good Bye Winter and Good Bye Fishing Pole

8 Jun

No one enjoys summer like people who have just endured 7 months of winter.  Not just any winter but a very looong, dark, cold, eternal winter.

Yup, it was a gnarly winter.

No one appreciate summer like us hearty folks in the Northland.

No one.

Okay, now that we have gotten that straight.  I must show you how we are enjoying our summer.  Yesterday we got into the boat and headed out for fishing, swimming and even some tubing.  I Love Summer.  I love it so much I would marry it if that was a thing you could do.  I will be outside until further notice (I am even writing this blog post in my backyard).  See you inside at the end of September when the temps plummet again.  Until then, we will be out- soaking up every ray of beautiful  sunshine.

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This is the last picture of Sophi’s fishing pole.  She was fishing, then Jared caught a fish, then we turned around and her pole was no where to be found.  Poor spiderman fishing pole at the bottom of Pfeiffer Lake.



Soph realizing her pole is gone.


Egg Hunt – and It’s Not Even Easter

31 May

By Jared

In the last few weeks we noticed a sharp decline in egg production from our 12 laying hens, and since our blue eggs had all but disappeared, we assumed our Araucanas had begun moulting (an annual phase in which a hen’s egg production slows down for several weeks while their feathers are replaced).   We thought, “Oh well, we’ll just have to make do with what we’ve got.”

Then, two nights ago, when I went to close up the coop after the chickens had gone in to roost, I only counted 11 birds.  We were missing Torrealba, one of our favorite birds – a bright and friendly Araucana!  I wasn’t too concerned, though, because we had seen her pecking around the shed around 7:00pm while the girls enjoyed their ice cream cones on the swings before bedtime.  I assumed Torrealba had simply found somewhere else to roost, and would return in the morning.

When Aleah and Sophi awoke the next morning, I reported to them, “Torrealba never came home last night, we need to go look for her in the woods and bring her home.”

Aleah responded casually, “No problem Dad, I’ve got good eyes and I can see through those woods real easily.”

So off we went.

DSC_0036I encouraged the girls to check near the shed, since that was the last place we’d seen Torri.  They crouched down to look in the small area beneath the shed, and then began yelling, “Dad, come here, we think there’s an egg down there, it could be a golf ball, but we’re pretty sure it’s an egg.”


Sure enough, it was an egg.  A beautiful, blue egg. And as I used a stick to roll the egg toward me, out of the shadows came Torrealba! Hooray!  She had spent the night under the shed, laid her morning egg, and all is well!

But as I lay on my stomach and nudged her out from under the shed, my eyes beheld a wonder that sent my sunburned lips stretching from ear to ear.  It was as if tiny, winged-fairies danced across streams of light singing Handel’s Messiah as they flew from a heavenly bassinet overflowing with blue eggs! DSC_0017

And then the fun part.  The girls and I (well, mostly them, since they were small enough to crawl into the tight space beneath the shed) slithered our way in the cool, damp dirt as we retrieved our beloved bounty.  Caitlyn, holding Hudson and watching our feet dangle out from beneath the shed, was wise enough not to mention spiders, while I snapped pictured of the girls passing eggs back from the nest.DSC_0020



Mystery solved!  We collected over 20 eggs and they are all still good as they’ve been in a cool, dark place awaiting discovery.  Thank goodness for brave little girls and adventurous summer mornings!  DSC_0021


Cards For Sale!!!

21 May

I have been wanting to open an etsy store for approximately 5,298 days.  Yup.  But following through on these projects is a bit tricky.  Since it is easier to simply plop down on the couch after a full kid chasing day- I have not followed through on this endeavor….until last night!!!

That is right folks- head on over to my etsy store so you can have beautifully handcrafted cards made by yours truly.

You know you need some cards and why not make me filthy rich while fulfilling your card needs.  =)

Here are some of my beauts for your viewing pleasure:

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Thank you kindly, love you all.

Head over and like my store, cause that would be pretty nice of you.

One LAST snow fall

5 May

A few days ago, we awoke to this beautiful yet not welcomed snow.



It caked the trees and fences with its white wonder and thankfully it was gone later that same day.


Does anyone know what kind of bird this is?


At least someone is still enjoying the fluffy stuff- even if it comes after Easter.

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Cheers to Spring, wherever it is.

Happy Birthday Little Guy

2 May

DSC_6010 DSC_6357 DSC_6390 DSC_6464How in tarnation has it been one full year since Hudson was born?

 I love this little boy so much my hearts feels like it is exploding sometimes.

Thank you baby Hudson for adding life and flavor to our family.  Thank you for always making chicken noises whenever someone says the word chicken or you see a chicken around.  Thank you for your dimple-filled/chubby cheek smile.  Thank you for patting my back when I pat yours.  Thank you for raising your right hand in the air when you agree.  Thank you for nestling your arms between our bodies and laying your head on my shoulder when you need a serious snuggle.  Thank you for being so sweet to us.

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We love you little guy, thank you for bringing so much joy into our lives.

A Chicken for Every Kid

25 Apr

If I run for president someday perhaps my slogan will be, “A Chicken For Every Kid.”  (kinda like the 1928 slogan of Herbert Hoover of “A Chicken in Every Pot”)  Maybe not.  But seriously I LOVE having chickens and they are so so good for kids.  I will tell you why every kid needs a chicken or two:


1.  They are fun to have around.  A constant source of fun right outside your front door

2.  Chickens teach responsibility.  If you don’t check the coup a few times a day, the eggs will get cracked or eaten.  And a couple times a week they need new water and feed.

3.  Chasing chickens is a great workout, running around the yard trying to catch your favorite hen is quite tiresome and exciting.

4.  Chickens are entertaining, whether the kids are chasing them or they are just pecking around the yard they are fun to watch.  Hudson often stands at the window making squawking sounds as the chickens scratch around in the yard.

5. Chickens are hearty, I am in no way worried about the kids hurting the chickens.  They can wrangle them and rough around with them and the hens will be just fine- beside maybe not laying for a day or two

6. Chickens are fun to name, we currently have 13 hens,3 old ladies who are destined for the pot– Spider, Fluffy, Ellen, 3 banties- Merida, Fancy, Spike. And seven others, Torrealba, Pecker, Cindy Lou Who, Star, Cardinal, Raccoony, and Chick Chick.

7.  They are photogenic, the kids are proud when they catch a chicken so they are more inclined to smile for a cute picture


8.  Chicken eggs are delicious, homegrown hen eggs are one of the most delicious thing you can possibly eat, what better way for a kid to start their day then a golden orange scrambled egg?  This is the most we have ever had!



So there, get some chickens, and vote me for president while you are at it =)


Give it another shot…

13 Apr

It is nice to clean up every once in a while and head to a wedding.  This past weekend Jared’s cousin got married to a wonderful and sweet gal.  It was a morning wedding with delicious breakfast food and good lighting for pictures =)



They are perfect for one another and they clean up nice too =)


I am so thankful for the digital camera.

When I was growing up we did not have digital cameras.  We took pictures, then brought them in to get developed, held our breath and hoped for the best.  It was not until you opened up that envelope full of pictures that you would know if you had any pictures you wanted at all.  And unfortunately you would have to pay to get all those crappy, kids screaming, pictures developed along with any good ones you might have luckily taken.

All I am going to say is every mom is eternally grateful for digital cameras.  You can delete 39 pictures after looking through them to find that one gem.

Here is an example of a bad picture:


And here is an example of a good picture:

And that’s why it’s worth it to give it another shot!


Love my sweet, sweet family.