I guess it's an "only in Minnesota" thing. Ice shacks turned into art installations for the month of February on a frozen lake!
We ventured out there this morning to discover what a group of kind-minded people have been busy working on during these stir-crazy winter months.
We discovered everything from an "Arcade" shanty with full-on AIR HOCKEY table - to a Justice Shack where they were making peace flags for our changing world.
We traced Otto on a wall, made an alien bookmark and told fortunes at a slumber party. We climbed into a bird house.
Axel when asked to hang a leaf on a tree answering the question, "What comforts you?" wrote, "My brother."
Perhaps my favorite part was playing giant-frozen-lake-author-style "GUESS WHO."
Playing against each other - with 24 writers to choose from - my two white little boys chose the SAME BLACK WOMAN as "their person."
Toni Morrison - the Stephens boys got your back!
Announcement coming this week about my new adventure. Sorry to keep you waiting.
This just never gets old for my sweet Axel. His nurturing bones are strong and his love is real.
When I remember what it was like to have a 5-month old for the 3rd time...I will remember what it was like to raise a baby as a family. It truly is requiring all hands on deck and we've got the 'A Team' on duty.
Love these brothers.
For the sake of "old long ago" I wanted to re-cap this Boy Crazy year.
Boy total 1/1/2016 : 2
Boy total 12/31/2016 : 3
Dog total : still 1
Properties owned 1/1/2016 : 1
Properties owned 12/31/2016 : 2
Home remodel projects : 7+
Hours spent selling real estate and treating patients : many
Photos taken (weddings/engagements/kiddos) : a Bajillion
Pairs of Shopko pants purchased and mutilated to make cabin scarves : 1
Hours spent sitting on my butt : 0 (must do some improvement here)
While New Years is just another day at our home and we rarely pause to acknowledge the passing of time - it is significant to notice that things are changing, stuff is happening, our world is getting bigger and our kids are growing like weeds.
For Auld Lang Syne - I do hope we meet in the New Year, that our worlds continue to grow and change, and that my heart leave 2017 even fuller than it has left it's precesessor.
Seriously folks. This is my jam.
Fifteen minute project = yield x 50.
Here's the recipe to my best ever "Mistletoe Lip Balm":
Makes approx. 50 chapsticks.
50 empty Chapstick Tubes (Amazon Prime)
Double boiler situation
Plastic Syringe (10ml preferred)
7.5 TBS Shea Butter (Amazon Prime)
6 TBS Beeswax (Amazon Prime)
5 TBS Coconut Oil (Amazon Prime)
20 drops Vitamin E Oil (Trader Joes)
20+ drops Peppermint Essential Oil (Anywhere)
20+ drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil (Anywhere)
(Add any essential oils your like to your desired level of smell/flavor.)
Melt together in a double boiler over medium heat. Stir constantly. Leave on low heat as you fill the tubes.
De-cap chapstick tubes and line them up. Each one holds approx. 5ml.
Fill syringe from the double boiler. Slowly fill tubes. Let harden. Re-cap.
Wrap with a piece of washi tape if desired. Package if you're feeling fancy.
Anybody want to make a round with me? I'm obsessed!
As I explained to Axel the other day - a hole-in-the-wall is a place that doesn't exactly look appealing. It's often run down - likely wouldn't pass a visit from the health inspector - yet it's the place that hits-the-spot like no other.
We've found it! We bought it! It makes us giddy on so many levels - and we're even making progress on the whole "health inspector" standard.
Here are a couple of first looks at Camp Hole-in-the-Wall. Now featuring "fewer critters," the same amount of "paneling" and lots more "love."
We hope you'll visit soon!
If you haven't been to the Faribault Woolen Mill, you are missing out. If you haven't experienced their warehouse sale...with two kids under 5 and no giant bags...you're probably still sane.
This weekend the mill is having their warehouse sale and through wind and rain Ollie, Otto and I made it down the HWY35 corridor to the most beautiful site on earth. WOOL!
No clue what I was after and with Christmas on the brain I figured this was my one stop shop.
It went like this.
Me: (thought) Full parking lot.
Me: (thought) On no.
Me: Ollie, prepare. We're going in.
Ollie: This is taking too long.
(Observe) A sea of people dressed in plaid...sitting on piles of blankets, digging through bins - endless bins - no other strollers.
Me: Ollie stay here.
Find a camp in which to ditch baby, stroller, 4-year-old and acquired future-heirloom-blankets.
Scurry like Cinderella's mice to find the perfect Christmas gifts for everyone on my list.
Me: Ollie put these in a pile and guard them.
Ollie: This is taking too long.
When the mound was larger than said 4-year-old I decided to stop.
Looked up. The front of the warehouse may as well have been 1 mile away. Getting the entire show there seemed insurmountable.
Me: Ollie, snow plow.
Watched him slide everything in plastic across the bare wooden floor. Carried the rest.
Pay the lady, be helped out to the car by fellow hippies in plaid. Make plan for next year.
The result: total blanket envy. Act surprised my lucky peeps.
I told Axel I didn't have time to pull together a Harry Potter costume. I told him he needed to choose from something we already had.
"That's ok Mom," he said. As he waved the wand he bought for $3 at the book fair.
The kid wanted to be a character from a book. A series we've been reading together for the last 2 years. I didn't have time to find a pair of round glasses?! Right...sometimes there just aren't enough hours for everyone.
Today I stopped at Target for last minute preparations when I happened to stroll through the Halloween clearance.
Sticking out from the rack - amidst a bunch of crappy costumes - stood Harry Potter. Just one of him. In Axel's size. It included the spectacles.
Bought it! I did have time for him after all. He's my main man. Always will be.
I am Otto. Two Months old. I enjoy being held, sleeping while in someones arms and convincing people to hold me.
While being slightly concerned about my receding hairline I find it easier to hold my head up without the friction of the wind blowing through all that baby hair. My big person locks will soon fill in and I'll have to consider a more serious shampoo regimen.
Sleeping is on my terms and preferably with a solid bathroom fan running in the background.
If you ask me - the 3rd time's a charm. Mom and the three "dads" think I'm the hottest ticket in town.
Here's looking at you, world.
This back to school season Friday fun day is more like Friday flop day. I find with 3 kids and 5 schedules we hit the end of the week a bit flat.
With Ollie-Boo under the weather I thought we'd all take a "personal day" and stretch out a bit. Easing into the weekend at more of a jog than a sprint.
We found the woods. It's been a bit soggy and we've had to keep our new "school shoes" to the path. Today we ventured a bit deeper to breathe in the decomposition and all things lovely that are Minnesota Fall.
I love fall photo sessions! Looking to get a family pic for your Christmas card? I'd love to help you with that.
School pictures of your sweets uninspiring? I can help with that too.
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