cultivating habits of gratitude Feed

Around Here....

Around Here - 2
Around Here - 2
Around Here - 2Around Here....

We have been enjoying time together outdoors on the weekends on the slopes at Giant's Ridge.  We are enjoying alpine skiing, snowboarding - and - this mama's new style: telemark skiing.

Zoe and I are spending time on the nordic trails as well.   We are having a lot of fun together and it is good for everyone to get away from the responsibilities of home and have a weekend day of fun.

Around Here - 1
Around Here - 1
Around Here - 1Around Here....

It certainly feels like December in kindergarten!   There is lots of energy and excitement.   In December I like to pull out some of my favorite projects and activities to share with the kids.   We are in the process of  hand sewing project with felt and buttons. This week my kids completed a winter birds project (I get a lot of inspiration from Patty Palmer's Deep Space Sparkle site) .   The Kindness Elves have also been visiting our classroom, this week the kids were inspired to make Christmas cards for residents of our local nursing home.   (I love this alternative to the elf on the shelf idea.)  

Around here - 3 (1)
Around here - 3 (1)
Around here - 3 (1)
Around here - 4 (1)
Around Here.....

James is continuing to make great progress on our sauna building.   We now have an installed stove, a sheet rocked wall and a door!   

Zoe - 1 (1)
Zoe - 1 (1)Around Here...

The nordic ski season has begun!  Our daughter competed in her first meet this past week and did great.   We are excited to cheer her on at our first home meet next week!



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?

Morning Magic

Morning Hike - 17
Morning Hike - 17
Morning Hike - 17
Morning Hike - 17
Morning Hike - 17
Morning Hike - 17
Morning Hike - 17
Morning Hike - 17 Morning Hike - 10
Morning Hike - 10
Morning Hike - 10
Morning Hike - 10
Morning Hike - 10
Morning Hike - 7
Morning Hike - 7
Morning Hike - 7
Morning Hike - 7
Morning Hike - 7
The past two days the weather has been delightful.  We have been graced with warm temperatures and sunshine - neither typical for Northern Minnesota Decembers.

This weekend, I took advantage of opportunity for two quiet, secluded morning hikes on one of my favorite nearby trails.  Getting out like this is a meditation of sorts one that quiets my mind and recharges my soul.

I hope you had opportunity to do something grounding today, and I hope these images I share bring you a sense of serenity and peace similar to what I experienced on the trail this morning.

Have a great week!

Around Here...

Fall collage
The colors are reflecting the change in the seasons from summer to fall.  Our weather has been rather extreme, hot and humid one day, then cold and rainy another.  



The garden is producing.  We have had a stretch of warm and humid days which has helped to ripen tomatoes.  I have never has so many ripe tomatoes in the fall!  I have been busy canning tomatoes and making and canning salsa to line our pantry shelves for our family to enjoy.

IMG_0328The bees are hanging in there.  The nectar flow has pretty much ceased in our neck of the woods.  The warm weather has kept the bees active, but hungry.  I made a sloppy candy board with a pollen patty and consolidated the bees into one super recently as I start to prepare and transition them with hope that this colony will make it through our long winter ahead.

Other happenings:

We are keeping busy following our children in their athletic endeavors.  Fall extra curricular include cross-country running, a kids marathon race and flag football.

RaceI ran too!   I returned to the running scene and completed a local half marathon after having a competition hiatus for the last 13 or so years.  It felt good to accomplish this goal.

BdaySince I have last posted we have also celebrated this special boy's 8th birthday!  


Oh how our life is rich and full!  This mindful practice of reflecting upon still images serves as a reminder of all of the beauty in my life, especially on difficult days. This simple practice fills me with gratitude and evokes feelings of joy and love.   I invite you to play along.

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!

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!

my heart is smiling






IMG_4124Imitation is the best form of flattery, right?  How could I not be flattered when I found these images....and about 50 more... after my daughter had an opportunity to explore the garden with my camera.

 My hope is that I am passing on the value of practicing gratitude to these children of mine -and I think this daughter of mine is grasping the idea that:

We can find wonder when pausing to admire the beauty of dew drops on a piece of kale.

 With just the right light, a sunflower can seem magical.

By sharing an image that includes our hands or feet, can reflect how grounded, centered and grateful we feel.

Her understanding of this seems to be illustrated with the moments in time she was able to capture while on her own journey  cultivating habits of gratitude.

.....and this makes my heart smile.

In the Garden & In the Kitchen - Mid August



















Oh August, a month of abundance!  

This month is delivering an abundance of garden (work and harvest), preserving, gatherings with friends and family -and lots of lake time.   We have been so busy, but in a full, rich and wonderful way.   August, has its moments, but overall it is a wonderful time to be.