A mix of photography, recipes, personal thoughts, faith, and lots of family stuff, but not necessarily in that order.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Enjoying Winter in Minnesota...

If you live in Minnesota and have never visited the "Art Shanty Projects" then you must.
 My Niece Jensen and I checked out this quaint little village of artistic ice houses
 located on frozen Lake Harriet in south west Minneapolis.
With temps  barely reaching 20 degrees and a brisk wind on our backs we trudged across the lake to where all the action was
I was a little leary when I saw this sign as we approached the lake, 
possibly planted there as part of the  event
Big cracks in the ice didn't deter us as I'm sure the ice is at least 10" think.... I hoped
One of the events taking place that Sunday afternoon was 
Folks brought their own snowga yoga mats and many participated.

 Jensen had her own style

 A fire on the ice 
This Art Shanty was named "The Tomb of the unknown Minnow"
"The Tomb of the Unknown Minnow is a mausoleum honoring the sacrifices made by minnows throughout the year as bait for Minnesotans fishing for food and sport. By bestowing rituals reserved for our most honored dead onto a part of nature commonly viewed as insignificant, we hope to engage participants in a deeper understanding of what the natural world sacrifices for our survival and comfort".
 Jensen's dad Darin works with Sarah who is one of the artist that created this Shanty
Here Sarah is giving us a tour of the minnows story. 

This shanty is called "Why not knit"
If you look close you can see the balls of yard at the top. 
Needles are attached to the started projects, you can even knit a few rows yourself. 
Here Jensen threw a scarf around her neck. 

Fun to watch these bikes with winged insects buzzing around the lake 
 Jensen on her monarch bike

 "The Thwing" 
Jensen checked out this wooden swing.
You can read about all the shanty's  Here

 Just a neat looking ice sculpture

Jensen and I 
 I love spending time with this one. 

All kinds of fun for the little ones 

 This was perhaps the most colorful Shanty
The "Monarch Butterfly Migration Shanty"
 "Butterflies are Welcome"
 These monarchs are all made of paper

Someone was creative and made a wheelchair for this elderly gentleman
equipped with skis on the bottom to make gliding along the snow and ice very easy.  

This boat allow for several people to board all at once. 
The captain (and helpers) then rocked it to give the occupants the feel of being on a boat at sea. 

The shanty's are new each year. This is definitely something I plan to revisit in the future.
Have you ever ventured out to see the Art Shanty's? I would love to hear what you think of the event.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

We shop til we drop...

A few times a year I offer to hang out with my 15 year old niece so that 
her Mom (my sister) and Dad can get away for a weekend. 

I love hanging out with J. 
We have a love for shopping and we usually make a day of it, shopping till we drop.
Many trips to the fitting rooms for J

Another favorite stop for us is "Ulta" a giant makeup/beauty store.
This nice make-up lady offered to  "Pop" my eyes!
I learned a few fun techniques from her.

Before we headed home J. talked me into
  driving her to the Humane society so she could pet the animals.
I can't really say no to this girl.

We had left that morning at 9:30 a.m. and didn't return home until about 5:00 p.m.
We only came home because the family dog Ruby needed to be let out and fed.
and well... she needed to have a little attention too.
 Can you see Ruby snuggled up against my foot.

Did I mention that J. and I also like to eat....
J. likes talking me places that I've not been before or places I love that Rochester doest have.

This was lunch on Saturday in Maple Grove. 
One of my favorite restaurants is "Granite City"
We both needed take-home boxes 

This was lunch on Sunday....
 A new place for me called "yum"

 and YES, it was "yum" 

 We both had an order of these little burgers and shared and order of fries.
Each burger was 3.5 bites  :)

 Did I mention Starbucks and Caribou?
We do those too  :)

Stay tuned for Part 2 of my weekend with J. as we went to check out the 
Art Shanty Village on Lake Harriet.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Nothing at all like it....

You will never know the love of a grandparent until you become one.
For those of you who aren't grandparents yet let me tell you...
There is NOTHING...NOTHING at all like it.
It's heart thing...
 to watch them grow, listen (and sometimes chuckle) at the things they say, 
and oh, the things they come up with.
Their expressions,  giggles, and the glee in their eyes when they see grandpa 
(I really notice that)
He is such a fun grandpa... and one of the reasons I love him so much!

This one and grandpa are like two peas in a pod. 
When they get together there is no stopping the shenanigans. 
 Sometimes I have to threaten "the corner" for both of them 😂

Grandpa having breakfast with Scar and Lew.

I will warn you, we had a weekend full of activity and grandkids, 
so there are lots of photos to document our fun.

 Scarlett is 3 and very aware that she needs sleepovers at Grandpa and grandma's house.
 We love having her here with us. She is full of joy, and her imagination runneth-over
with all kind of make-believe fun for this grandma.

She loves wearing my nightgowns that to her are very similar to Elsa'a gown in "Frozen"
She is the Ice Queen in this photo and most likely putting a spell on me.

Scarlett chose Audrey to read her a bed-time story.
Cousin-time is always fun at our house.
Both sets of mommy's and daddies went out on dates

The "middles" playing hot wheels together

After much play and ice-cream for snack, they all settle in for some Mickey Mouse shows.

This one is getting so fun. 
He now runs to us with arms stretch up toward us....
do you know how long we've waited for that moment Lew?
It's a milestone in Grandparents hearts!

Sunday twister games....ha ha
Jenny and Brice are making some new rules

Scarlett got to spend two extra night with us,
 she is so fun and happy to have us all to herself.
(The dress is for play given to Scarlett from my mom...it used to be my sisters)

Monday we visited both sets of great-grandparents
Carson and Brianna joined us. Here the kids pose with my mom & dad.

Lunch included "happy meals" and the play-land at McDonalds
All tuckered out, nap time was in Grandma's bed this time.

We got some bonus time with this guy when we returned
 Scarlett home to the Twin Cities on Tuesday morning
(This is the airplane that Grandpa Wayne made Lewin's daddy for his 2nd birthday.
Now Lewin rides on it with some supervision from Grandpa).

Monday night I was able to sneak away for about an hour to watch our oldest Audrey (third from the left) in a skit, she had a longer speaking part in this short skit. 
This group is called American Heritage Girls.... sort of like Girl Scouts with a Christian flare. 

Last but not least.... this morning we had Carson for a few hours while
 his mommy had nursing competencies at hospital
Making a fort with Grandpa!
The best part was hearing little Carson say, "tell me stories Grandpa"
This guy loves to play games...so we do  😍

Now things are quiet, but there are still remnants around the house that remind us of them, 
finger prints on the windows and mirrors, bathtub toys in the tub and
 random little toys laying around the house.
 I wouldn't want it any other way...we miss our four littles but feel blessed to be close enough 
to see them when we want.