Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge

The Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge has been on my list of places to go for awhile and Sunday we finally went. It was a nice short drive from our house and we enjoyed the peace of the country. We didn't see much in the way of wildlife but the wildflowers were beautiful and we already have plans to go back during migration.

An eagle's nest

A beaver's lodge

Some local residents

The lilies were in full bloom and beautiful!

A pair of beautiful swans - my favorite bird

My boys

My boys pretending to be eagles

39 Forever!

Flowers at a shop in Annadale - we noticed that everywhere in Buffalo and Annandale were planters spilling out beautiful riots of color and texture!
For my birthday my mom took me away for a much needed "chicks only" day. We headed west to the little town of Buffalo and what a day we had. We started out at the Saturday morning Farmers Market which was a wonderful way to start the day. We found great homegrown veggies, fresh baked bread, nummy honey and even some homemade bug relief which is a much needed item in the medicine kit this summer. We then made our way through all the beautiful shops that populate this little town - each one is unique in it's own way. We also drove a little farther down the road to the town of Annandale and will be going back there to visit their weekly Swappers Meet which we didn't make this time.

One of our favorite shops in Buffalo - it's located in the old post office.

A line of fabulous shops in Buffalo including Yesterday's Charms

Fabulous inspiration was to be found...

Beautiful colors at the farmers market

Friday, July 23, 2010

Highlights From The Week

It has been a full week for us. It started with a little recovery from a full weekend in Duluth. I started the week by filling a new acquisition from my in-laws antique shop. It is a little book shelf where I am currently housing my gardening books as well as a few favorite rocks. In the winter it will hold our field guides (during the summer they are in a basket with handles that can easily move from house to camper to cabin when needed).

We have also visited a local farmers market and bought corn, cucumbers, zucchini and potatoes which we have been enjoying this week. (One corn on the cob even turned into to-go food as my 3 year old took it on the road to football camp). We also have been harvesting some things from our own garden and the stir fry above and below (which I make on a daily basis through this season) was prepared using zucchini from the farmers market and green beans, red onion and purple and yelllow potatoes from our garden. I sprinkled a little parmesan and blue cheese on top and my 3 year old and I enjoyed every last morsel. He has quite the palette for such a young little man.

My hubby and littlest spent the evenings this week watching my oldest at football camp and they all had such fun. My oldest has tried soccer and baseball and didn't get into either one but I think that he has found a fit with football and karate. Football season starts in less than a month and he is excited!

Tomorrow is my birthday (my last since I intend to be 39 forever) and my mom and I are having a girls day starting with a farmers market. I can't wait. Photos will be shared later!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Transportation Themed Weekend in Duluth

Our future captain at the Maritime Museum in Canal Park
This past weekend we headed up to Duluth for the Air Show. My aunt and uncle live right by the airport so we had a lovely family gathering while the plane's flew over. My hubby and 2 littles as well as my dad and my brother and his family went to the airport to see the show up close and personal and had a wonderful time! The Tora! Tora! Tora! show and the Thunderbirds were the highlights (although the littles didn't make it to the Thunderbirds - but considering they did make it 5 hours there is quite a fete). We decided to make it a "Transportation Weekend" by adding on a visit to The Depot where you can see trains from all different types and periods as well as a good amount of time spent at Canal Park at the Maritime Museum and watching 2 big ships come in (as well as having a picnic, walking to the lighthouse and chasing the many seagulls). Round the trip out with a swim in Lake Superior (the kids thought the water was just fine at the recorded 58 degrees - I love Minnesota kids :)!) and lots of time spent in the hotel pool. It was a wonderful weekend and our 3 year old is already planning the itinerary for our next weekend up there!

The Depot

Swimming in Lake Superior

A ship passing under the Aerial Bridge

The Thunderbirds

Our future NASCAR driver

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Goose Lake Winery Artisan Saturday

This past Saturday my mom and I took the morning and went to the Goose Lake Winery in the next town over. It was our first visit and definately not the last. On top of being the first winery in our county (with some very good fruit wines) they are now also hosting an artisan market on Saturdays. There were about 10 dealers which wasn't alot but based on the number of people there I hope that it will continue to grow. It was a wonderful place to just soak in the country with their resident peacock strolling around along with their flock of chickens that call that farm home. They also have a llama, cows, donkeys, rabbits and dogs. Next time I intend to bring the boys - all those animals are right up their alley.

I loved that when we went home at the end of the morning everything I had purchased was local or second hand from the homemade dip mixes and fabulous homemade soap purchased at the artisan market to the bread I purchased at a great local bread baker (Diamond City Bread in Elk River) and the books I bought at a local antique store. It was a lovely morning! Below are just a few pictures from our morning at the Goose Lake Winery and Farm.

Friday, July 9, 2010

A Mommy (and Daddy and Grandma and ...) Made Room

My youngest's room is one of my favorites in the house. When I had my oldest child 9 years ago I picked a Beatrix Potter theme for the room before we knew if we were having a boy or girl or more importantly what his/her little personality would be like. Beatrix Potter did not fit his personality...so I changed his room within the first year of his life. With my youngest I decided to take a different approach. I picked some alphabet fabric I liked and let my oldest help in the decorating. Most importantly we continued creating the room as we got to know our newest addition. It worked! The room fits my little guy.

The photo above are the pictures my oldest created to decorated his new siblings room. We still love them!

Here is the little's bed - the quilt on the wall was made by my mom and the quilt on the bed was made by me (the same one I featured in an earlier post). The bed was made by my husband and all the pillows were made by me. It is a cozy little nest for our youngest little guy.

The pillows and octopus above were made by me. The apple tree was a drawing my oldest made and I turned it into a pillow for him to give his brother for his 1st birthday.

My little loves birds and these mommy made mobiles (barn owl and blue heron) are in his room.

This is Elliott wearing a mommy made sweater.

Above is Brownie the Gnome - another mommy made as are the pillows.

The dresser was an auction find for $2 and my mom found the knobs in a stash from my olders old room. One of the pics on the dresser was made by my sister-in-laws mother. A number of her pieces grace our home. The Snow White was a Christmas gift from his grandparents - he loves the Dwarfs (my oldest called them Ho Hos :)).
Missing is a pic of his other dresser that was a hand me down from my parents - it housed all our winter hats and mittens when I was a kid and it is full of snowy memories. Above that dresser is another pic from my sister-in-laws mother as well as a bug cast that my husband made in kindergarden.
I love that his room is so full of homemade and love. It fits him to a T!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

July 4th At The Lake

We spent the 4th of July at Pelican Lake. We had a great time full of all the things that make ups summer for us here in Minnesota - ice cream dripping off the chins of little ones, taking in the sites of small town life, watching the fields grow, boating and fishing until the sun goes down (or the bugs get too bad) and watching fireworks across the lake from the comfort of a bug free screened in porch. We also had a number of visits from 2 mama turkeys and their babes and we had great fun watching them wander around the yard and the tree tops. I even finished a book and started a new knitting project with some yarn I had dyed myself. More on that later...

(Soon to be Amber Waves of Grain - photo by the oldest)

(Sunrise on Pelican Lake - photo by me)

(Mamas and Babies on a Sunrise Stroll - photo by me)

(Fireworks on Pelican - photo by me)

(Central Minnesota Scenery - photo by the oldest)

(Our Sonny - So Cute Yet Such a $%*! - Photo by the oldest)

Friday, July 2, 2010

First Camping Trip of The Season

I meant to post this earlier in the week but was struck down by a malady - am finally returning to normal thank goodness.

For our first camping trip we headed to a campground we discovered last year and really liked. The trip had all the pieces that made up a great weekend - good friends, a muddy stream to wade in, good camp food, great margaritas for the moms and dads and nummy snow cones for the kids and even some great lightning storms to watch. If it hadn't been for the torrential rains on Saturday night it would have been a perfect weekend (I am choosing to forget that the bugs are worse this year then the last few :)).
For the 4th we are at the lake with Gramma Melon and Papa so there will be fishing and boating pictures to be had very soon!