Around Here.....

Christmas - 73

Christmas - 16

Christmas - 73

Christmas - 73
Christmas - 73
Around Here....

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?


Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!Seasons Greetings from my neck of the woods to yours!

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I am signing off of this space and instagram until the New Year.  

My goal is to break away from the pull of my phone or the screen and instead working to be fully present with those around me as well as spending some time "recharging my batteries" with some activities like reading, knitting and outdoor play.

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Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas.  I hope you too find opportunity for some rest and rejuvenation as well!

 


saunanjälkeinen

Sauna 1
Sauna 1
Sauna 1

Our big excitement on the homestead this week is that:

We have a sauna!

My husband has been putting in a lot of time and energy and has created this beautiful and functional space for rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation.

The invitation to this space and this experience could not have come at a better time, as the last few weeks have been particularly challenging for me in terms of keeping balanced and managing stress.

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As a mother of four children who’s also a kindergarten teacher, I feel like I’ve jumped into the deep end of the pool — in terms of my commitments and responsibility.

Most of the time, this deep end is a wonderful place to be, as I have so many blessings in my life.

But there are waves. Waves, that we, as parents, all experience — not-so-pleasant moments involving our children, our careers, our family and home lives — can be overwhelmingly stressful.  

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About five months ago, my husband and I decided to sell our camper and invest that money in this more permanent space that encourages rest, relaxation and rejuvenation.

Now we have our sauna - our family resilience builder.

I am beyond grateful that we now have our sauna! The routine of taking a sauna is grounded in simplicity, mindfulness and connection  This avenue for relaxation and and outlet to experience, what the Finns term saunanjälkeinen, the state of rejuvenation that cleanses the mind, body and soul.

 

 


Meal Plan Monday

Meal Planning - 1Ashley English's book Year of Picnics.

I am getting into a routine of sharing my meal plans for the upcoming week.   I know so many of you are challenged, like me, with this ongoing chore, working to prepare nutritious weeknight meals that already before your kids fill up on after school snacks.   Read more of my ramblings on this topic HERE.

I hope you get some inspiration by what I post. Regardless, this practice is beneficial for me, as it is creating a database of dinner ideas (all you have to do is click on the meal planning category tag on the sidebar to see all my posts on this topic).  

I also value your feedback.  I appreciate your ideas and inspiration.  (Thank you to those of you who posted comments or sent me an email last week!)

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We have a busy week ahead as a family.  This week I have after school meetings, and the boys have their music concert and there is a skeet.  And it is the crazy week at school before Christmas break!

I am anticipating low energy for this mama after school and being proactive with weekend meal prep so I do not have to use too much energy getting meals on the table during the after school witching hour .    

Our weeknight family meal plan - December 17-21

weekend meal prep:  bake potatoes, make crescent dough, make lasagna roll dinner, *make pizza dough bread maker (I double this recipe), make and freeze calzones.

Monday:   Venison Chili with Twice Baked Potatoes

inspired by a meal suggestion in Ashley English's book Year of Picnics.

need:  potatoes, cheese, butter, chives, chili beans, onions.

Tuesday:  Taco Crescent Ring

As recommended by Stacy,  I will be making a variation of this recipe.

need:  homemade crescent dough, ground beef, taco seasoning, tomatoes, lettuce, black olives, green onions, lettuce, sour cream

*I have a great recipe for homemade crescent dough from Make the Bread, Buy the Butter: What You Should (and Shouldn't) Cook from Scratch to Save Time and Money that I will use for the dough.

Wednesday:   Lasagna Rolls  (a variation of this recipe) & Caesar salad

need:  lasagna noodles, mozzarella cheese, pesto, Italian sausage, canned garden pasta sauce, lettuce, salad dressing, croutons

Thursday:  Fried Rice & Wontons

need: pork sausage, brown rice, eggs, frozen peas/carrots & frozen wontons

Friday:  Quick Calzones

need:   pizza dough, pizza sauce, pesto, pepperoni, parmesan and mozzarella cheese.   

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I would love to hear what you are cooking too!  

Post a comment or shoot me an email.

Have a great week!

 

 


Welcome Grey Duck Bags!

Grey Duk Bags 7

Welcome Grey Duck Bags

as an official blog sponsor

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All of the sponsors I feature are carefully-selected businesses that I am proud to support.  I encourage you to check out their offerings in the coming weeks and months, visit their websites to learn about the makers and to shop their products.

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Around Here...

Around Here - 5
Around Here - 7
Around Here - 7

Around Here - 7 Around Here - 4
Around Here - 7
Around Here - 7
Around Here....

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.

Around Here - 9
Around Here - 9
Around Here - 9
Around Here....

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.

Around Here - 1 (1)

 .......

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?

 


Meal Plan Monday

Meal planning - 1last Wednesday's pasta bar

I am getting into a routine of sharing my meal plans for the upcoming week.   I know so many of you are challenged, like me, with this ongoing chore, working to prepare nutritious weeknight meals that already before your kids fill up on after school snacks.   Read more of my ramblings on this topic HERE.

Meal planning - 1 (1)last week's Crescent Bacon Breakfast Ring

I hope you get some inspiration by what I post. Regardless, this practice is beneficial for me, as it is creating a database of dinner ideas (all you have to do is click on the meal planning category tag on the sidebar to see all my posts on this topic).  

I also value your feedback.  I appreciate your ideas and inspiration.  (Thank you to those of you who posted comments or sent me an email last week!)

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Our weeknight family meal plan - December 10-14

Monday:  Sweet and Sour Meatballs

(inspired from Ashley's comment on my last post.

need:  frozen meatballs, barbecue sauce, sweet peppers, pineapples, & rice 

Tuesday:  Sheet Pan Pork Loin Dinner with doctored up stove top stuffing (as requested by my 11 year old)

The sheet pan meal worked great for us last week.

need:   Pork Loin, Brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, onions, parsley, mushrooms & stove top stuffing mix

Wednesday:   Spaghetti Carbonara and caesar salad

need:  spaghetti noodles, eggs, parmesan cheese, crumbled bacon, romaine lettuce, caesar salad dressing & croutons

Thursday:  Crock Pot Porchetta Roast Sandwiches

need:  porchetta roast & hamburger buns

*make pizza dough for tomorrow in bread maker - I double this recipe.

Friday:  calzones

need:   pizza sauce, pesto, pepperoni, parmesan and mozzarella cheese.   

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I would love to hear what you are cooking too!  

Post a comment or shoot me an email.

Have a great week!


Welcome Gypsy Bandanas

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Welcome Gypsy Bandanas

as an official blog sponsor

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All of the sponsors I feature are carefully-selected businesses that I am proud to support.  I encourage you to check out their offerings in the coming weeks and months, visit their websites to learn about the makers and to shop their products.

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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?


Meal Plan Monday


Meal Plan Monday - 1 (1)Last week I shared some ramblings about my weekly chore and challenge of meal planning.   I know so many of you are in the same arena, trying to prepare nutritious weeknight meals that already before your kids fill up on after school snacks.  

My Sanity Saving Strategy for Weeknight Meals: Here's How

I had some good feedback from my last post, so I am going to continue to share my meal plan for the upcoming week so that you might get some inspirations - or better yet, maybe you can give me some good ideas!  (Thank you to those of you who posted comments or sent me an email last week!)

Here we go:

Monday:  Steak and Chicken Sheet Pan Fajitas with Spanish Rice

(inspired from Jo's comment on my last post and from this recipe feature that I wrote for Minnesota Parent magazine last April)

need:  peppers, tomatoes, cilantro, steak, Spanish rice mix

Tuesday:  Meatloaf Muffins,  Mashed Potatoes & Garden Green Beans

I am going to try an adaption of this highly rated recipe this week.  Using some of the herbs that I have dried and stored from our summer garden and some store bought pork/hamburger grind and some venison

need:   carrots, onion, pork/beef grind,  saltines, potatoes

Wednesday:   Pasta Bar

Twisting a recommendation for "pasta boats" from Jo's comment on my last post to a pasta bar idea.

need:  ham, mushrooms, bacon, broccoli, chicken, red sauce, alfredo sauce, broccoli, parmesan cheese, pesto, noodles

Thursday:   Crescent Bacon Breakfast Ring

Using up eggs is always a great option when we have laying hens.  I am going to try this recipe this week: https://www.jocooks.com/recipes/crescent-bacon-breakfast-ring/

I have a great go-t0 recipe for homemade crescent dough from this book that I will use for the dough.

need:  eggs, bacon, green onions, peppers, cheese, crescent dough

Friday:   Mini Sub Sandwiches

need:  Sarah Lee Center Cut Hoagie Rolls, lunch meat, cheese, lettuce, and extras

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I would love to hear what you are cooking too!  

Post a comment or shoot me an email.

Have a great week!