Wednesday, August 20, 2014


I first saw this project a couple years ago on Meg's blog, and then was reminded of it again this summer through my friend Alicia's blog. And while we didn't reinvent the wheel or anything, it was a project that both the kids and I enjoyed making, and thought perhaps you might too.

We started by painting a blank canvas. No particular size, I just used what we had in our art cabinet. I think they were 11x14.

We gave it a good coat of acrylic paint, making sure to get the outside border too. While that dried, we painted any way we pleased on pieces of cardstock. (I think we were supposed to use watercolors for this part, but we used the acrylic paint we already had out and it was just fine.)

Once that part was dry, we made the butterflies using a paper punch like this one (click here). We borrowed ours from a friend, but you can find them at JoAnn's in the Martha Stewart line.

Alicia used a low temp glue gun and let her kids glue down their own butterflies, but I don't have one of those. Since my kids are still little, I manned the hot glue gun, and guided the kids safely in securing their butterflies on the canvas.

They put them anywhere and everywhere to their liking, and I love their imperfect perfection.

And there you go! Some super simple, yet sweet, summer butterfly art!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


A nearby ice cream shop has done this "Free cone if your name is ..." for as long as I have lived here. When we drive by, it's always fun to take a quick glance and see what the names of the day are. One morning a few weeks ago, a friend alerted me that the boy name of the day was Milo! And even though I was exhausted and going on day 6 of parenting solo (with Nick camping in Canada), I could not pass up the opportunity...mostly just for this picture :)

We grabbed some neighbor friends and had ourselves a tasty little adventure.

And yet again, we were soaking up the summer fun!

Monday, August 18, 2014


This weekend was plum full of fun, and since I seem to be overly sentimental about sending my first child of to Kindergarten, I want to squeeze every last breath out of summer and carry the memories in my heart forever.

Friday night Orelia and I got fancy, stayed up waaay past her bedtime, and went on girl's date to the Chanhassen Dinner Theater, where we saw the play The Little Mermaid. And let me just tell you that it was phenomenal! I had heard it was good, but no one said just how good it was. I've had a mermaid loving girl for four years now, and it was perfect in every way. Well, our seats could have been a tad better....but if they had been, we wouldn't have been sitting by a stage exit door, where countless characters ran to and from, giving us a close up view! One seahorse even gave Orelia his maraca to play during Under the Sea. She was over the moon. At one point she ever turned to me and shrieked "This just keeps getting better and better!". My heart exploded. (Disclaimer to Milo: I wanted to bring you too buddy, but you had to be at least five years old. Next time.)

 Saturday led Orelia and I to volunteer some time to Feed My Starving Children with a group of friends from ECFE. It was a very humbling experience to prepare and pack food that will make its way to Haiti to provide 25, 056 meals for 69 children for a year. (Which still is only one meal per day per child.) As I worry about sending my girl off to school, other Mamas worry about feeding their children. I don't take this life for granted.

The packs consisted of a scoop of powdered vitamins, one scoop of dried vegetables, a cup full of soy protein, and another cup of rice.

This is what it looks like prepared. We even got to try it. Again, very humbling.

After our time volunteering, we headed over to a pool party with our friends, stopping first to grab Daddy and the brothers (because again, you had to be five years or older).

We settled Sunday by visiting with some friends over lunch, then headed to the farm to play, mow, and catch frogs! Whew. It was all so exhausting, but so very good.

Long live summer!!!

All in favor say "I"!


Sunday, August 17, 2014


A friend recently reminded me how much little time is remaining of our summer days. School starts in two short weeks, and I am determined to get that Summer Fun list checked off (plus adding in a few more!). As a wise blogger, Kelle Hampton, likes to call it, we're sucking the marrow out of life.

Last week we took a day to trip to Stillwater, a little over an hours drive. I wished Nick could have been along for the adventure, but if we waited until we had a free weekend day, well, we'd never get there.

The big kids both agreed that their most favorite part of the day was watching the lift bridge rise, allowing large boats to pass underneath. By the time we left, they were experts about what the bells and honks were signaling. Two bells rang when traffic was to stop and the bridge went up. Boats honked twice once they safely passed underneath as if to say thank you, followed by two more bells to signal that the bridge was back down and traffic could resume. Such a well oiled operation. However, Nugget did not want to cross the bridge and walk over to Wisconsin, for fear she'd get stuck while it was going up. In the eyes of an almost six year old, yes, that's very logical.

After boat/bridge watching and a picnic lunch, we hiked up a steep hill (seriously, they are everywhere in this town!) and played at the Teddy Bear Park. It was very hot and crowded, so we didn't last all that long.

 Only two more weeks of being 5!
The kids tolerated me slipping into a handful of quaint shops, and by tolerate, I mean I had to bribe them with a sucker from the sweet shop. And also ice cream. But whatever, cause that's what summer days are made of, right?

I could have spent all day there, there was so much more to explore. But nap time was approaching and that's a risky gamble. They ALL fell asleep on the ride home, which happens never. So I'll consider the day a success.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


I seem to be off the blogging band wagon more than I'm on it, but here's to attempt #163 to get back on track. So. Long time, no blog.

A friend told me today that there are 20 more days until school starts. Wait, what? You are counting?! I know it's soon-ish, but I hadn't taken the time to count. And I don't really want to know! You see, my girl is entering kindergarten (in twenty days, apparently) and that fact has been like a black cloud hanging over me. I am trying real hard to accept that it's just the next logical step in life for her. Millions before her have gone to Kindergarten and survived. But I still don't like it. I like her home with me. All the time. If we could just go on like that forever, all would be well. Right now, I'm probably 60/40 with excitement and anxiety. I know once we get the whole school gig figured out she's gonna love it, but it's the getting there that has my stomach in knots.

My girl attended a cheer camp this week, and it gave me hope for Kindergarten. It went like this: There were tears at drop off and she tried to follow me out the door every time I turned to leave. I had to ignore the other eyes on me and just keep walking. I had to trust the coach that she would help her get acclimated, and call me if she needed me. I had to keep myself busy until pick up time. And when I went back to get her, she was LOVING it! Truly, madly, deeply loving it. Like she saw me and WAVED, instead of running to me and crying. It made my Mama heart swell, and makes me think that maybe, just maybe, this whole Kindergarten thing is going to go better than I'm expecting.

She really knocked my socks off when I came a few minutes early for pick up on Day 2, and watched her VOLUNTEER to go up to the front and do a jump with a cheerleader. Wha? Whose kid is this?

The best part was coming home each day and getting to hear all about the things she learned, and hear and see her excitement. I mean, she loves dance and gymnastics, but cheerleading sparked a different kind of excitement. Maybe this is her thing? It was mine for a long time (in high school and college), so maybe...

And you wanna know how a Mama heart bursts into a million little pieces? At the end of camp, your girl wins a (super awesome plastic) medal for winning the "Jump Off" for her age group. And she didn't hesitate once to get up and go claim it. My shy girl is a-growing.

Overall, I'm just so proud of her, and know that we're gonna get through this, like we do all things :)

And just for fun, here's what the boys think of cheerleading: