Winter Feed

Around Here - A Season In Transition



Kids and Eggs - 9

We're still experiencing winter weather. We still have lots of snow, we even were downhill skiing last weekend!   I am hoping that when Spring weather finally does arrive, it will be fast and furious.  Now, bets are on if the ice on the lakes will be melted by the Minnesota fishing opener early May.

Kids and Eggs - 9

The sap is has started to run again.  We have had several days in the past few weeks that the temperature has not reached above freezing.  Just this week the sap started running again.  I plan on collecting for another week, then I am planning on pulling the spiles and boiling down what I have.  

Kids and Eggs - 9I am leaning into traditional rhythms of Spring.  I have eggs in my classroom incubator and I am reading Charlotte's Web to my kindergarten students.  Usually, this happens after our classroom pancake party, where I share syrup made from the sap we collected from our schoolyard maple trees.   This year there is a little overlap, but I am making sure these fun experiences happen.   We are holding off a little bit on our planting. Our school garden will be ready for transplants any time soon.
Kids and Eggs - 9

Taking it day by day, with hope and a knowing Spring will be here soon.  Until then, I am working with intention to enjoy the beauty of this season in transition.

Kids and Eggs - 14


Around Here....

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Around Here.....

We had an extended break from school with the holiday weekend, which allowed for some extra time for some outdoor adventures.  

I enjoyed a long, solo hike on a familiar trail as well as a couple of ski outings with the kids.  Today we enjoyed getting out on the 10+ inches of new snow that we received on Sunday on our local cross-country ski trails.

We topped the weekend off with a hot chocolate date and some much needed down time at home.

I hope you had a chance to do some outdoor exploring this past weekend.  

Cheers to the week ahead!

First Ski

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First ski 2
First ski 2
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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!

Northwoods Mama Getaway



Girls 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!


Harvest of Ice

















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.

Around Here


Ski 5 Ski 5
Ski 5



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.

Coffee shop 2
Coffee shop 2

Duct tape crafts
Duct tape crafts
Duct tape crafts


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!

solstice ski



IMG_1085Yesterday 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!

First Ski

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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!

snow day projects







IMG_5060When 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!

Backyard Sugaring












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.)