Winter weather is here! The boys and I found opportunity to go out for our first ski of the season this past weekend. Bracing for a long winter, we are ready with our gear and activities that help get us through. It was fun to get out this weekend!
A week ago today I traveled just a little farther up the road, joining three of my great friends at a Northwoods women's retreat at Camp DuNord. Over the weekend we spent a lot of time outdoors, we were fed great food, we jumped in the frozen lake after a sauna, we were pampered at a local spa had time to reconnect.
Oh what a wonderful experience it was!
We spent a gorgeous winter day at our friends' resort harvesting ice, as has been a mid-winter tradition in our neck of the woods. We got a wonderful dose of sunshine, we all broke a sweat and shed layers. Today I am happy with sunburned cheeks and a fun and productive day under my belt. It is fun to get more involved as my role has changed from children-tender and life guard to ice block hauler. It was fun to see our children get more involved as well - almost all of them made it the mile ski out to the resort on their own power and they all helped out throughout the day as well. Fun times with good friends, keeping a fun Northwoods tradition alive.
Although we are experiencing some sub zero temperatures, we are finding our way outdoors. We have a solid base of snow for cross country skiing and between after-school ski practices, MYSL and weekend outings, we're logging a fair amount of kilometers on the trail.
We are staying warm, even given our recent sub-zero temperature cold snap. We recently tried out a new coffee shop in town with a welcoming atmosphere after a cold and snowy ski. We have been keeping ourselves busy inside, the kids experimenting with duct tape crafts, the mama with some knitting projects. On these winter days we are also savoring summer blueberries and backyard maple syrup with pancake breakfasts.
Wishing you a great start to your week!
Yesterday I took the opportunity to take an after school ski with my four.
This year already we are going a little bit farther, the older two setting off on their own course with the added comfort and connection of a cell phone, and me with the younger two.
A lovey late afternoon in the woods enjoying above zero temps and a beautiful sunset.
Happy Solstice Friends!
Yesterday I was able to get out for my first ski of the season! With the cold temps that have accompanied our recent winter snowstorm (waking up to 13 degrees F this morning with a predicted high of 28) the snow is likely to serve as a solid base for ski trails. Just in time for the start of the nordic cross country ski season!
Enjoy these snapshots of our winter wonderland here in the Northwoods of Minnesota!
When we were not outside playing in the snow, we took advantage of our bonus 'snow day' at home to do some projects. We're big fans of audible, both the mama and the kids had an audiobook going on and off throughout the day. I spent time away from my responsibilities of home and made time for some hands-on creativity: making a batch of soap, spinning and knitting, making some jewelry and guiding my daughter in her own soap-crafting efforts (making bath bombs).
I am a homebody at heart and days like this, where I can just soak up the experience of being at home with my four children are so recharging for me. And it was quite a productive day as well!
Our sugaring season was short - and not that sweet this year in Northeast Minnesota. We have had warm temperatures that told the trees to "think spring." The maples were starting to bud out as soon as I started to tap the trees. I collected sap with my kindergarten students for about a week and we only collected about 4 gallons before the sap started turning a yellowish tint (an indicator that the season is done). I wasn't even going to boil down what we had collected, but the weather yesterday was so beautiful - I needed a good excuse to be outside.
With such a small amount of sap, the process went quick. I am so glad I have the experiences of previous years to build upon, the process this year was quick, easy and fun. The 4 gallons yielded just under a pint of dark (late in the season) maple syrup. I am excited to share the yields of our efforts with my kindergarten students this week. (My own kiddos had their fair share of tastes along the way.)
It was a beautiful winter wonderland kind of a weekend in our north woods. I was able to sneak out on a nice hike with my pup Sunday morning and I scratched much of the to-do list for Sunday afternoon and just went out and played with the kids. (playing in the snow is much more fun than preparing taxes) - And, I am glad I did.
Wishing you a great start to your week!
We have used some pockets of time over the last few weeks to do some making, both for use in our home and for holiday giving.
New this year: bath bombs! We made one experimental batch, which was fun and easy - and another for gifting.
I have also been doing a little more experimenting with my soap making. I have made four batches this year: peppermint , calendula, lemongrass and oatmeal & honey. I have been trying out some layering techniques and experimenting with colorants, exfoliants and textures. I am pretty happy with the results.
We also made a large batch of homemade fire starters for our own wood-stove fires and more to give (a very practical gift in our north woods).
We have had fun so far - and I do have a couple more projects on my list for the upcoming weekend - stay tuned!