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We put away winter jackets and snow pants.  It was warm enough to run in shorts.  Then we got winter weather again.    It was a beautiful weekend, the ice is officially off many lakes, but I woke up to snow this morning.   Today's scheduled track meet was canceled due to the snow.
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I have chicks hatching in my classroom!   These three hatched Sunday night and another one during the school day for all of the kids to see.   I am posting some more pictures and videos on my instagram account if you want to check it out!

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This act of sharing photographs and ramblings of our daily life is a practice in gratitude that brings me joy.

I encourage you to reflect on the good in your life.

What are you grateful for today?



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We have been enjoying the warmer temperatures.  It is feeling more like spring!  I have been enjoying getting out each day running with the track team as well as venturing to familiar places, deeper in the woods with my trusty trail buddy.   Our shepherd has been dealing with some medical issues over this past winter and we have been working to help him get better with a variety of medications.   I was happy to take him out for a hike on the trail this past weekend without any setbacks.

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We have some new pups in our family (not ours!).  My parents lab companions Ally and Maya both passed away last fall.  Recently, my parents' hearts were open and ready to adopt the two pups pictured above.   It is quite entertaining to hear their stories of running around after two active puppies.  It was fun to meet them this past weekend when they came up for a visit.Around Here.. - 5
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check out the sap-sickle pictured above that we found this week

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We are experiencing good weather for sap collection (below freezing over night and above freezing during the day).   I am enjoying sharing this activity with my kindergarten students.  There is so much learning involved.   They are practicing writing the date each day, learning about volume and capacity along with their participation in outdoor learning each day.

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This act of sharing photographs and ramblings of our daily life is a practice in gratitude that brings me joy.

I encourage you to reflect on the good in your life.

What are you grateful for today?


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We are just winding down from our "Spring Break" (a Thursday - Monday break from school), although we did venture anywhere tropical, the kids and I did have fun with an overnight at a hotel in Duluth and we had a day fun with friends at our nearby ski hill.   We also had a couple of days just to relax and catch up, which was great as well.
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The buckets are up!   The weather has been just about right, below freezing over night and creeping above freezing during the daytime.  We put the buckets up on Saturday, but as of this morning the sap had not started to run.   The forecast predicts temperatures conducive to the flow of sap in sugar maples.   My hope is that I can start to share this experience -and get a taste of sweet sap- this week.

Over the long weekend I completed an article for Lake Time Magazine all about my experiences small-scale spring sugaring over the last several years.   The article will be in the next issue, which will hit stands in late April.

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This act of sharing photographs and ramblings of our daily life is a practice in gratitude that brings me joy.

I encourage you to reflect on the good in your life.

What are you grateful for today?

 


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This is what we woke up to this morning.

Needless to say we will be hunkering down and doing some hibernating today.

So far we are keeping cozy with hot coffee, oatmeal with summer blueberries and a couple games of bananagrams.    

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There are some other shenanigans going on in the house as well like drone flying, bedroom basketball games and everyone's fair share of screen time, whether that is movies or internet surfing.    What do you do. 

We are fortunate that we have all our needs met and we are warm and safe during this arctic blast.    With above zero temperatures in the forecast for the weekend it seems like there is light at the end of the tunnel!

Stay warm!


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This mama has been out of commission.  Monday I got hit hard with a sore throat, fever, aches and exhaustion that overtook me through today.    

While I have been awake I have been resting and fueling my body with hot tea with raw honey and chicken noodle soup.

Today I went in to the doctor today to rule out influenza, worried mostly about the possibility of infecting my young students and family.     After FOUR days of rest I am finally able to sit up and participate in life a bit.  

Relieved that the influenza test came back negative,  I plan to give it a go in kindergarten tomorrow (braving forecasted -35 to -45 below zero windchills).    It has been a challenge lesson planning and being a mom while sick.  I am ready to get back into the routine.

Going through  experiences like this make me truly experience health.

Stay well friends!


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Christmas 2018 has come and gone.   For us it was rich and full with travels and celebrations.        We have been spending much of our winter break playing outside enjoying the snow (12+ inches) that have fallen in our north woods.

We have a couple more days off now before the kids and I head back to school.   Our agenda will include a balance of rest, play and preparation.   

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This act of sharing photographs and ramblings of our daily life is a practice in gratitude that brings me joy.

I encourage you to reflect on the good in your life.

What are you grateful for today?


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We have been enjoying time together outdoors on the weekends on the slopes at Giant's Ridge.  We are enjoying alpine skiing and snowboarding - and - this mama even tried snowboarding with the boys this past weekend.

James got out on the lake with his brother ice fishing (and catching!) last weekend a well.

I am finding that when we schedule some time for fun it is a refreshing break from day to day responsibilities. when we schedule time for fun.  Making experiences like these rhythms of our life has is providing opportunity to strengthen our relationship as a family through conversation and play.

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We are getting in the holiday spirit.  As a family we are focusing on advent, we made cookies and put up decorations, including our Christmas tree.

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This act of sharing photographs and ramblings of our daily life is a practice in gratitude that brings me joy.

I encourage you to reflect on the good in your life.

What are you grateful for today?

 


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We have been on skis almost everyday.  Our daughter started practice with the nordic ski team and the boys and are also spending some time together on the trails after school.  

Our oldest son (11) tried skate skiing for the first time last Friday, he picked the technique up very quickly and is enjoying the speed associated with this style of skiing.  The other two younger boys are impressing me with their endurance, so we are already able to go a litter farther together.

The weekend held opportunity for some outings with more daylight.  It feels good to transition from running to skiing and too to have something different and fun with the change of the weather.

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Our family participated in a community Gifts that Give fair that was coordinated by our church.  At the event there were tables set up by various community groups where you could buy holiday gifts or make donations to support different programs in our community and others in need around the world.  It was great to have all of our children involved.

 

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My eldest two and I are back in the grove of guitar lessons.   The past several winters we have had Nick (pictured above) come to our home to share the gift of music with our family.   Now he is getting busier with his own musical career, performing at more and more venues with his band Van and the Free Candies.   Because of this, we had to go in a different direction for lessons.   To make it work best with our schedules we went with an online option:  GuitarTricks.com.   So far, it has been working for us.   And, this mama is participating as well!  I am developing finger calluses once again, practicing and learning new skills alongside my two oldest children.   We are trying to do a new lesson/activity once a week, with time to practice in between.  It is not quite the same as having Nick come into our home, but I am grateful for the time and experiences he shared with the kids and happy that we have found a way that works for us to move forward in developing our guitar skills.

 

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This act of sharing photographs and ramblings of our daily life is a practice in gratitude that brings me joy.

I encourage you to reflect on the good in your life.

What are you grateful for today?


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Around Here 10-22 - 2 (2)We are spending as much time as we can outside.   Savoring the sunshine and above zero temperatures when we have them, because soon enough true winter will arrive.

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Around Here 10-22 - 11We are making progress on the sauna building!  The roof is on, the wires have been pulled, the interior has been framed up, and a trailer load of supplies have been purchased for the next steps in the construction process. 

Around Here 10-22 - 2We are participating in the rituals of the season.  Several pumpkins have been carved and we have been roasting batches of pumpkin seeds.  This year we tried a new recipe from the Magnolia Journal for pumpkin seed turtles that were a big hit!  We improvised and used roasted pumpkin seeds, purchased cartels and chocolate chips.  Yum!

Around Here 10-22 - 3We are cheering on this girl as she is heading in strong to the section cross country competition.   She has had an amazing season and we are excited to see her run in her race tomorrow!

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This act of sharing photographs and ramblings of our daily life is a practice in gratitude that brings me joy.

I encourage you to reflect on the good in your life.

What are you grateful for today?

 


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We have been soaking up the bounty of the early fall harvest.  We had our first hard frost this past weekend, which concluded the tomato harvest and altered the landscape of my garden.  Early Sunday  morning my kids helped me harvest our garden pumpkins and completed the job of pulling the wilted vines and leaves out of the garden.  

I will be bringing several of these pumpkins into school to share with my kindergarten students and using the rest at home with my own kids.   Likely using the pumpkins for some of these recipes in the upcoming weeks that I highlighted in a post on mothering.com

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The fall colors are starting to appear!  I enjoyed a beautiful trail run with my canine companion Sunday afternoon.  Speaking of running - I am proud to share that I completed a local half marathon this past weekend.  I have been working hard, in my efforts to run back into health, and I met and exceeded a personal goal on this race.  I am continuing to keep self-care and fitness a priority in my life and it is making a positive difference in my overall well-being.

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My husband James has been making amazing progress on our sauna building!  The kids have been helping too and are learning a lot in the progress of helping out.   This building is going to be a fun and purposeful addition to our homestead.   We are hoping to have the sauna portion functional by wintertime!