The Little Elves have been busy

Today the temps finally rose above 25 degrees in Central MN, so we ventured to the park with the neighborhood kids.  I failed to get a video of the kids going down the covered slide.  It had ice at the end so the kids shot right out of it into a soft pile of snow.  So much fun!

On our way home, we found this great-big pile of snow to climb and have snowball fights!

The elves love all the snow we've had these past two months!  Have you been playing outside?

The week before Christmas

 Eme found JOY in un-decorating and re-decorating the Christmas tree.
 Griffin had a chat with Santa.
The kids had Santa on the brain.


My cup runneth over.... Psalm 23:5

Our Holidays have been very full this year.

Full of PEACE
Full of JOY
Full of LOVE

Hope your has been too!


Our 2010 Christmas Letter

Christmas Greetings!  We have enjoyed getting your Christmas greetings in the mail.  Going to the mailbox is the motivation Eme needs to go outside these bitterly cold days.  Your pictures and cards are well studied and throughly enjoyed.  Thanks!  As for us, this is our Christmas letter while we try to save a few resources this year.  Thanks for tuning in!  This is what 2010 brought for us:

Griffin turned 3 (he'll officially be 4 January 1011).
He's our energetic boy who loves playing outside.
He learned to ride a two-wheeler this summer, 
took ice skating lessons, goes to Sunday School and has preschool two mornings a week. He changes into a new superhero by the hour and loves to play cars.

Eme turned 2 in August.
 She keeps us laughing with her pronunciation and exploration of words ("This is calicious!" (delicious)

Emerson loves reading, animals, playing dollies, having tea time and any new adventure (camping, hiking, parks & zoo). 
She loves being around babies (luckily she'll have a new cousin come March).  You'll find her pushing around a doll stroller and being a very attentive Mama.    

Going to our first Twins game at Target Stadium was a hit!
  We went with a group of 16 and sported Pavano mustaches.  

One of my favorite moments of the year was having a few date nights with my husband.   
I took on a new adventure this fall with starting my own Norwex business.  It's the perfect compliment to being home with the kids.  I also got back on the volleyball court in the Lanesboro Tournament this summer and play league this winter. I continue to enjoy gardening, sewing, walking and now knitting!

Keir continues work at Brown Printing as a Technical Analyst.  He plays hockey during the week and continued showcasing his handy-man skills (and building his tool collection) while building a shed in the backyard this summer.  Recently he raised funds & awareness for cancers affecting men by participating in Movember.

Our Christmas card gives you a shot of our family favorite event of the year- vacationing for two weeks up North.  We spent time with both sides of the family, camped, swam, walked across the Mississippi, 
hiked, and played on the beach.  It was ideal and we cherished our time as a family.  

Our Christmas wish is that you, our friends and family, to be happy, healthy and enjoy life.  We feel blessed to have you in our lives and hope we can find special moments to spend with you in 2011.

You can always find us here on our blog to keep an eye on what we're up to.  Don't forget to leave a post so we know you are visiting us!


Preparing for Christmas- day 5

Oh, oh making Gingerbread Cookies is fun!
We used the recipe from our Gingerbread Mouse book.  It's yummier than I expected!
2 2/3 cups of flour
1/2 t. baking soda
2 1/2 t ground ginger
1 1/2t cinnamon
1 3/4 c packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 t vanilla

Sift dry ing. in large bowl
Beat butter and sugar until creamy.  Add egg and vanilla, beat until bleanded.
Stir in flour mixture, blending well.

Bake @ 350 degrees for 9ish minutes.  

Prepping for Christmas- Day 4

We merrily went to pick out a tree at the Y's Club.  The proceeds go to scholarships at the YMCA for children. What a great cause!  We easily picked out a tree while the kids had fun skidding on the ice.  We were able to decorate the next day.  First I thought we had to trim the bottom branch as it hung to low, then I realized it was because it's the only place Eme and Griffin were hanging ornaments!


Preparing for Christmas- day 3

 Today brought the trimming of Grandma's tree.  Griffin loved "decorating" and Eme loves to look.  When she went into Grandma's house and saw all the Christmas decorations, she took her time and studied each one intensly.
Here, Grandma and Eme went outside to see the Christmas lights once it was dark.  Notice, no snow.  Now, 24 hours later (11/29/10 @ 7pm), a blizzard.


Preparing for Christmas- day 2

Baking with Grandma & cousins is extra special


Preparing for Christmas- day 1

 It is official, we can enjoy the holiday season... the sounds of jingle bells and Christmas carols.  
Hang Christmas lights, trim the tree, send cards and bake cookies.
 We rode on a horse drawn wagon at the annual "Lighting of the Lights" Celebration
It's one of my favorite "firsts" of the season.
Eme enjoyed it especially this year.  
She sat watching the horses the whole ride.

 I love that we can share these moments with our family.


A Wintery Trend

There appears to be a trend early this winter.  Everytime we see my parents there is a snow storm (or at least the last 3 times) and it's not even December yet.  Happy Snow!


In Thanksgiving

This is such an amazing time of year. 
Gratitude swirls all around us.  

We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.  Cynthia Odic 

Thank you God for the everyday joy of childhood and
Enjoying the simple pleasures of life.

Thank You for every part of this life and all the special people we have swirling around us. 
We are so blessed.


Winter in MN is here

The snow is great, now when can I skate?
 The first blizzard of the year brought us endless entertainment!

We have also been reading some great books about snow.  
Here are our favorites:
SNOW by Uri Shulevitz
Waiting for Winter by Sebastian Meschenmoser
and of course
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

Do you have any favorite snowy, winter, and/or Christmas books?


Do I skate today?

Griffin took skating lessons this fall. It was the highlight of the week for him. He went down for his nap on Sundays easily knowing he would wake and get to go skating. The one day we mistakenly went to skating class and there was no class, he was sorely disappointed and shed a few tears. Luckily the pumpkin farm wasn't far away and his sorrows were soon forgotten.

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Griffin rides on 2 wheels!

Griffin rode on two wheels on Grandma Mary's 10-10-10 birthday! Does that mean your 30?
 Happy Birthday Grandma!


Enjoy the little things

Thank you God for these little people in our life. They bring such joy
 Enjoy the little things,
 for one day you may look back
and realize they were the big things.
–Robert Brault–


It's never too late

to find joy in the ordinary
to keep your word
to smile at a stranger
to share what you love
It’s never too late… to be enthusiastic
Our attitudes influence others.
Especially those who respect us.
Lack of enthusiasm can crush their spirit.
Maintain your enthusiasm for life.
For others’ lives.
It will boost your enjoyment.
It will energize your mind
and open it.
—Patrick Lindsay—


Fall hiking begins

Did I tell you I love to hike in the fall?  Now that the weather has cooled off (well it was cool last week) we went out for some hikes.  Seven Mile Creek (near Mankato) is always a great place for kids with all the bridges, play areas, rocks to climb and lots of trails. Just don't forget the Ergo for those little hikers.  Griffin (3 and 1/2) loves hiking and wearing his special hiking shoes.  Eme (2) is content in the carrier looking around and getting down when we find good places to climb, explore, or what-have-you.  With nap time in the afternoon, we always go in the morning and pack a snack and lunch.  Then we're all tuckered out and ready for a nap when we get home.  A perfect day in my books!

From Drop Box

Where's your favorite place to hike (in case we're in the area)?


First day of "school"

Yes, we started school here too.  Griffin is in pre-school two mornings a week and Emerson, one morning a week.  Eme goes half the time with Mama and half time with the teacher & kids.  The first day(s) went well!  Griffin ran into the room and didn't look back.  Of course I had to track him down to say, "Good-bye, be good." But he loves going to school.

From Drop Box

The first day with Eme went well. Luckily she has two other friends we knew from Griffin's class last year in class, so she at least has a buddy to help her feel more comfortable.  Not that they even played together when we were there, but oh well.  We met new friends as well and met for a hike later in the week.  I love fall hiking.

From Drop Box

So another "first day of school" under our belt.  Notice the picture of them with the tree.  I'm hoping to see how it grows with them over the years.