Tuesday, April 29, 2008


While there are a gazillion people out there in blogland sharing themselves and all aspects of their busy lives, there are a few that I check in on regularly. It's fun to be a passenger on their journeys, to see what they are sharing that day and to explore new ideas to incorporate into our family life. I am especially inspired, both from a parenting and from a crafty perspective, by SouleMama, and more recently, her book, The Creative Family: How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections. Her simple approach has definitely given my creativity a much needed boost over the past year, from which we all benefit. In this house, a crafty mama is a happier mama.

Two of the projects in the book are simple to make and were perfect gifts for a co-worker's baby shower last night. I used free clip art, freezer paper stencils and fabric paint to embellish the onesies and already have more ideas for the future. Logan helped with the design, layout and construction of the felt blocks and it proved to be a satisfying mother-son activity.

stenciled onesies

felt baby blocks

Last year, Logan and I collaborated on a cloth book for Owen's first birthday. All photos and captions were by Logan, with sewing by mama. It has definitely become a favorite in Owen's library. Stay tuned for more birthday craftiness later in the week...

cloth birthday book

inside cloth birthday book

Monday, April 28, 2008

weekend leftovers

Logan and Dad enjoy the swimming pool at the hotel.

tony and logan in pool

Four boys, several cars, and one loop-the-loop race track equals fun in Golden Valley.

racing car

Sunday, April 27, 2008

cloud cult avenue

So Saturday was the CD release party at First Avenue for the new Cloud Cult album entitled, "Feel Good Ghosts (Tea-Partying Through Tornadoes)". JP, Penny, Geoff, and I attended while Tracy, Rondi, and the Kids hung out at the hotel.

For those of you planning such a event, I heartily suggest you obtain visual confirmation that the concert tickets are physically in the car with you BEFORE driving 50 miles down the road. This point can not be stressed enough. Needless to say, our journey took longer than originally anticipated.

Opening bands Mason Proper and The Forms were both cool. We all enjoyed watching the lead singer from Mason Proper flailing about and generally just "going for it". Cloud Cult came out and made the world a better place for 90 minutes. I cannot even begin to describe how their songs overwhelm me.

All in all, a great night and lots of fun had by all.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

oye como va

Last weekend we met Kristin, Craig, and the Boys for a trip to Como Zoo. Although the weather could have been better, most of the animals were inside so the trip was still enjoyable.

These two animals were running around loose.

Logan and Owen had never seen a Gorilla in person before. The great apes weren't exactly working it for the camera, but finally this beautiful creature provided a photo opportunity.


Prior to the trip we mentioned to Owen that the zoo would have giraffes. From the moment we stepped through the door, he kept asking where they were and couldn't wait to see them.


A big pile of spider monkeys hanging out in the primate house.

spider monkeys

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

first picnic of the year

With temps in the high 60's, lunch just tastes better outside.

spring picnic

Monday, April 21, 2008


The last of the snow has melted away, revealing all sorts of interesting things on our neighborhood walks. Bits of nature are just waiting to be discovered and poked by little fingers, as many as the hand can hold.

pine cone discovery

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

welcome to the big top

Logan and I attended the Shrine Circus last Sunday and fun was had by all. Favorite performers included the dancing elephant, the acrobats who jump on seesaws to launch themselves up on each other's shoulders, and of course the human cannon ball. Good thing we received free tickets to attend or we would not have been able to spend all of our money at intermission. Spinning light-up toys were purchased for brothers and cousins, popcorn was eaten, and Logan and I even got to ride...(drum roll, please)... the elephant pictured above. As luck would have it, we were the first in line so Logan sat right behind the ears and we could pat the beautiful animal's head as we circled around.

Owen plays with his new light-up toy.

by glowing light

Sunday, April 13, 2008

let it grow

Oh, the weather outside is frightful
But planting flowers is so delightful
And since we've no place to go
Let it grow! Let it grow! Let it grow!

The kids love planting seeds in these little pots. This year's selection includes marigolds, sunflowers, and zinnias. Gently press the seeds into the soil...

owen plants flowers

...and add water, sunlight, and love.

tiny flower pots

Friday, April 11, 2008

april showers bring may flowers

Are you kidding me? Last time I checked the calendar, I'm quite certain it said the month was April. Between the vast amounts of snow and the tremendous winds, nearly everything was closed and/or cancelled today. I didn't even have to work, unless you count the effort involved in opening the door to our house, which was drifted shut.

spring blizzard

The unexpected family time was great and many fun projects were accomplished. One such project involved making a new batch of homemade cocoa. This stuff just tastes better in this kind of weather. Yes, it is topped with both marshmallows and whipped cream.

best cocoa ever

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


According to the calendar, we have been in the spring season for just over two weeks. This was our first glimpse of robins in the yard--these poor feathered friends braved the freezing rain, snow and wind to forage in the ice covered grass. Miraculously, one bird was successful in his search for worms.

And they're predicting more snow later in the week...

Saturday, April 5, 2008

day at the beach

Tracy had the afternoon off today so the whole family packed it up and headed to the beach. A few ice formations still remain but spring is definitely starting to take hold.

Owen's footprints in the sand.

owens footprints across the beach

Logan playing on an ice slab moments before it collapsed into the water.

logan at beach

Owen performs his solo from Puddle Dance 2008.

owens puddle dance

The grand finale of Puddle Dance 2008 features not one but two dancers.

boys puddle jump

Friday, April 4, 2008

a ramble at the zoo

Sun on our faces, fresh air, little hands dirty with goat and llama food, and the sound of kids squealing with delight upon spotting the elusive walking stick--I can't think of a better way to spend four hours on a beautiful spring day.

Owen enjoys watching the giant hissing cockroaches. From personal experience, I prefer to observe cockroaches which are enclosed behind glass, as opposed to cockroaches which are running amok in my apartment because my less than stellar landlord swapped my broken refigerator with a used, bug-infested replacement unit. Yes, fourteen years later, it still gives me the creeps.

owen at zoo

Lazy male lion, one of three new cubs at the zoo.

lazy lion cub

Dolly Llama poses between handouts.

dolly llama

One of Owen's favorites, the snapping turtle.

snapping turtle

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

empty bowl 2008

Today was Empty Bowl 2008. This awesome benefit, organized by the Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank, helps feed people in need, and provides family fun every year. Basically, you buy a ticket that entitles you to a bowl of delicious soup from a local restaurant, and a handcrafted earthenware bowl created especially for the event by school children and local artisans. Located downtown at the Depot, there is also live music, a silent auction, and self-guided tours of the railroad museum. Logan selected his bowl almost immediately this year, choosing one from the first table he looked at. Tracy and I did our traditional wandering around, surveying the thousands of bowls, until the "One To Be Selected" made itself known.