Monday, May 31, 2010

Duluth, Home Sweet Home.

We finally reached Duluth after 3 long days in the car. We arrived close to 11 pm, after having stopped at our familiar Tobey's in Hinkley for some caramel rolls for breakfast (oh how I have missed them!) , and at White Castle (Eben's choice!) for a case of sliders.And just how did we know we were just about to hit Duluth? The air changed. Not just the fresh smell of the air (and the absence of LA mold!) or the air temperature either. My nose started to drip. Seriously......if any of you remember from when we lived in MN years ago, my nose was always running. Always. Running. I'm allergic to birch, and we haven't seen birch trees in forever and a day. I am glad to say that I have finally found some good allergy meds that actually compensate for all of the birch and pollen that was floating in the air. But the air just smelled beautiful to say the least.

I have to clarify something, first of all, about this trip. It was not a vacation.

It was a work-cation. My bestest friend in the whole world (and her family) has been seriously effected by our trashy state of economy. It has forced her husband to find work in another state, and leaving my friend at home raising the kids and selling the house by herself. Geez....that sounds familiar! She asked me to come and help her pack. So that is just what I did. Between packing boxes, sorting memories over a glass of wine, and arranging a moving sale, there was very little time for visiting friends and relatives, seeing the sights, or making new memories. But we did manage to squeeze in a few little this trip out to Park Point. I was NOT, I repeat, NOT going to let another day
go by without having the Little Apple seeing Lake Superior for the first time. It was a beautiful moment, to say the least.This picture right here, makes a little tear come to my eye.....The Middle and The Big Apple came to this beach a couple of times when they were just babies. But they remembered. And went running and screaming down to the Lake's edge, as if it was a piece of them that been removed for many years. They remember.
And I remembered too.
And it felt like home.

Going Home....


Whenever we drive in over 35W and see Lake Superior and the City of Duluth, the city set on a hill, that's the feeling I get.We had the grand opportunity to go home again couple of weeks ago. We were just in Minnesota last Thanksgiving, so for us to be able to go back just a few short months later, is nothing short of incredible.In spite of the big oil spill in The Gulf, Eben was able to secure some leave time and drive us. Normally, he is the type of driver that conquers the distance all at once, and then rest when we reach the destination. This time, we took the scenic tour to Minnesota. Scenic.....another word for saying, we were locked together in the car for 3 endelss days, with only bathroom breaks in between. I'm still trying to figure out how we ended up in Texas is nowhere north of Louisiana at all. But Eben did make up for our detour by purchasing the girls some gorgeous cowgirl boots.....that they really haven't removed from their feet since.Hotels are a boring waste of time to me. Unless, of course, you are going to be spending time at one. We didn't. There was no time to swim in the heated pool, or work out in the gym, or see the sights. We were usually in the lobby eating our continental breakfast by 7 AM. There was time for luggage carrier rides, however.We stopped at a fantastic little country store on the Iowa border that boasted in their roadside signs to have authentic Amish handycrafts. I convinced Eben that I NEEDED to go there.

I am so glad we did. I met a wonderful Amish woman and her granddaughter, who sold me the most gorgeous handmade dinner roll basket. There were so many wonderful things in that store, it was almost impossible to pick just one item to carry with us in our already overcrowded van. Since the Amish are such private people, I did not photograph them, although some Amish communities allow people to photograph their children. I did ask for permission to take a picture of their buggy, and she was quite happy to allow me.Directly behind the Amish Country Store was an authentic One Room Pioneer Schoolhouse. The door was locked, but someone came out and let us in. It had rows and rows of the wooden desks, some of the old schoolbooks that the children would use, and even some of the old clothing that the children wore to the school back in the early 1900's. It was really neat. The girls played school for a few minutes, and The Big Apple pointed out that our own homeschool is very much like the one room schoolhouse. This is an old woodstove....and quite obviously, the schoolhouse has been renovated to allow for electricity, as seen in this picture.
The rules for conduct for the teachers is a little extreme. I mean, not allowed to hang out at the ice cream store? Not wear bright colors? Really?

I would have failed the 8th grade for sure.

But at least prayer was still permitted in schools back then.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Gettin all the ducks in a row....

Taking a brief blogger break....we are getting somebody's ducks all in a row. Um....and I have proof.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


Heard yesterday from The Middle Apple:

"I didn't invent 'random', but I perfected it!"

Friday, May 14, 2010

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Baby pedi....

I painted the Little Apple's toes for the first time today. When she looked down at them she said, "Happy Birthday, Feet!" It got quite the chuckle from everyone in the family.

And then, of course, I had to paint everyone's toes.
It amazes me that I have 39 toes to take care of. (We jokingly say 39 because The Big Apple has 2 webbed toes). I also have 40 fingers I am responsible for.

I'm soooooo blessed.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

How To Train Your Own Dragon......Fly

The Big Apple captured her first dragonfly while playing at a friend's house the other day. She requested a net so that her captures be made a little more easy, and I was happy to supply My Apples with a net and a bug box so they could observe their winged friends.

Ever since, our days have been filled with dragonflies. FILLED. The girls were up and dressed and chasing dragonflies before I was even out of the bed this morning...their bug box filled with 3 of the flighty creatures.

We have abandoned our regular homeschool curriculum for the week, and have been studying dragonflies...where they live, what they eat, their lifecycle, the different species of dragonflies. It's been a very rewarding experience, to say the least.
And I bring you this very rewarding picture...The Middle Apple has become The Dragonfly Whisperer, so to speak. She captures them in the net, lets them hang out in the bug box for a few minutes, then she pokes her finger in the box and they climb right on it. I guess transferring said insect to your nose would be the next logical place.