Sunday, November 27, 2016

October update

October seems like forever ago, but here goes. We went to the arboretum for their fall festival. We first stopped by the Apple House and learned from an employee that we could just go out in the orchards and eat whatever we wanted and it was open to the public, so we did. It was a real treat.

They have these insect sculptures everywhere around in the gardens, loved the scale.

 Steve got a break and went to visit with friends in Milwaukee and then went to a Packer game.

The yarn bus project launched in October. A coworker who does social media made this happen and I helped in a few ways. I got her connected with the Knitting Guild (who did a bunch of machine knitting for the project), knit a flower and leaf, designed a poster that I forgot to take a picture of and also helped sew some items on the bus. The bus will run for 2 months and it has brought a lot of joy to people.

My mom and I went to my cousin Karina's Prince Fashion Show. She didn't win, but it was a nice event and she appreciated our support in attending.

The next day the winners were displayed at the Institute of Art and Harriet and I went for Family day so we checked it out. 

Steve volunteered at Harriet's school carnival and made cotton candy all night. A sticky job!

I took a trip with friends to Zion National Park, more on that in another post. 

Steve and I went to a halloween party as Bob Ross and Blossom (not a group costume). 

Halloween costumes. Harriet wanted to be a rainbow, which I made out of cardboard and then did a sandwich board type thing with it. Eloise wanted to be a pink puppy, which I made with some felt and a hot glue gun to clothes she already had.
We went out with school/neighborhood friends and had a great time. We ran into people we knew along the way and the group kept growing! Lots of fun.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

September update

September seems like forever ago, but here is a recap. Above we went to the State Fair and had a great time and meet up with Adam and Ari.

We celebrated Eloise's 3rd birthday at Lake Harriet with family.

Eloise loving her birthday presents.

We went to the Monarch Festival at Lake Nokomis and Eloise and I got in the Star Tribune (see below).
We went to the 9/11 concert at Lake Harriet.

Family day at the Art Institute. Abstract art day!

Harriet and I collaborated on this artwork. I framed it and hung it up in our house. I love how it turned out.

Steve and I (with the help from our Lyndale parent friends Abby and Aaron) made this replica of Lyndale School for Nicollet Open Streets out of cardboard. It was a big hit.

Prink hair for Eloise at Open Streets.

Party in the Prairie with Harriet's friend Clara and her family. In the background Gaelynn Lea, NPR Tiny Desk winner, performing.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Monarch report

This year was a slow start with the monarchs. Apparently there was an ice storm when they were migrating back from Mexico and about 75% died. By the end of the summer though, it ramped up and we hatched 43 total. A few died after hatching due to misshapen wings, but we'll get to that. 

Can you spot this newly hatched caterpillar?

Harriet loved walking around the house and outside with them on her arms and hands.

A couple escaped and formed their chrysalises in odd places.

Here is an example of one about to hatch and a newly formed on.

Eloise smashed (but didn't destroy) a couple of chrysalises and I wondered what would happen. Mystery solved. A few of them died pretty quickly after hatched because they were unable to fly.

This poor thing wasn't able to properly dry its wings and thus, they didn't enlarge. This one was a goner.

By the end of August we just had tons of chrysalises.

One emerging.

We had the idea to bring them to Harriet's classroom, but the fish aquarium we were keeping everything in was too heavy/bulky to walk over there. So we looked up how to remove them and relocate them. You have to take a pin and detach them from the surface they are stuck on and then tie a knot with dental floss.

Then we hung them in this bee cage and it made it much easier to transport. The kids in her class just loved having them and watching them hatch.

It was a successful year of monarch raising, in my mind. It took up a lot of our time finding eggs and raising them, but the girls really enjoyed it, especially Eloise. Next year we will hope to do more than 43!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Field Trip event at Silverwood Park

This year Harriet and I went to an event we had never been to before called Field Trip at Silverwood Park. They had lots of fun activities centered around nature, mostly. Above we looked at flowers through a microscope.

We letterpressed a fall leaf with a poem on it as well as making a caliper that helped illustrate the Golden ratio to kids.

We made a weaving out of things from the forest.

We made a hideout with sticks and bungee cords in the forest.

We went into the lodge and enjoyed a snack while looking at this colorful art installation.

Played with giant homemade "Lincoln Logs" from upcycled deck material.

Watched a family play scramble on this giant board. It doesn't look hard to make, an idea for the future.
It was a beautiful fall day and they had bands playing out on the green.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Knit sheep

I forgot to post this from the summertime. I made this little sheep for our niece Sofia's 1st birthday. It is from Susan B. Anderson's Spud and Chloe at the Farm book. I made it from yarn (not the softest wool) I got when we were in Ireland for Dave and Lisa's wedding and thought this was a fun project to use it.

Sunday, September 04, 2016


Eloise is a real spit fire. She is an extrovert with a capital E, walking up to everyone (and anyone) with whom she can engage in conversation. She and Harriet are complete opposites in so many ways, but its so fun to see how much they love being sisters. They now play more and play together, although she is usually just bossed around, but seems to love just to be included.

She loves everything pink and girly (how did this happen?!). She tells us multiple times a day how much she loves us (in her cute, little voice) and the majority of the time is such a sweetheart. As we know with age 3 though, there are also willful times and, believe me, there are plenty of those. 

Height: 3ft 1 in, 55th %, Weight 27.8 lbs, 19th %

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Fair hills

This year it was just us up at Fair Hills due to scheduling. I missed my family who usually comes, but we still had a wonderful time.

A stop in P.R. at the pelican.

Playing in the foamy water.

Face painting during the kids' carnival.

Karaoke (with a dancer) at night the first night. 

Animal-shaped pancakes are always a hit.

Out on the water in the paddle boat.

It was a little chilly on the last day and Harriet and I spent hours all snuggled up in the hammock reading these fairy books that she just loves.

Usually there are family activities every night, but the last night there weren't any due to a wedding reception so instead we entertained ourselves by collecting objects from the ground and each creating our own nature art. This one Harriet and I did together. 

The few days before leaving to go up there I wanted to straggle both girls. Harriet was moody with back-to-school jitters and Eloise was just generally a pain. Going up there they were both in the best moods. No complaining about not being able to watch the ipad or telling us they were bored. They just had a great time doing all the kid activities, having sister time together and enjoying the outdoors. It was refreshing.