Saturday, August 30, 2014

State Fair

We hadn't been to the state fair in awhile, so decided to go this year--not sure that we'll ever go again on a weekend--so busy!  We headed straight to the Little Farm Hands first, and the girls enjoyed all of the farm activities and the prize at the end.

We visited some more of our favorites--the pet building, education building, DNR building, animals, etc. and enjoyed our favorite fair foods (except for Sweet Martha's cookies--the line was WAY too long!).  We ended up picking up some Sweet Martha's frozen cookie dough and fresh strawberries at the grocery store and making our own cookies and strawberry smoothies at home after the fair.  Hopefully we can make it back another year on a weekday!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

First day of first grade

Abby started school on the Wednesday before Labor Day this year, because of construction next summer in her district.  I had a workshop day, but was able to see Abby get on the bus with her friend Avery.  We're so happy that she has such a sweet friend to ride the bus and go to daycare with (and her little sister Harper is also Norah's best bud).

On the Monday before Labor Day, we had a meet-the-teacher/conference and met Abby's teacher, Ms. Gleixner.  She is so sweet and Abby loves being in her class.  We've lucked out two years in a row to have the perfect teachers for Abby!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Little House in the Big Woods

We have been reading the Little House on the Prairie series since last summer, and I heard about the Little House wayside and museum just an hour and a half away in Pepin, Wisconsin, through someone that I follow in Instagram.  We planned a road trip with our friends Tiffany and Olivia, who are also reading the series.  Abby was so excited to see where Laura Ingalls Wilder was born.  The log cabin is literally in the middle of nowhere, but there were surprisingly a few other visitors while we were there.  You can go inside, but there is just a picnic table and some interesting articles/timelines on the wall to read.  The girls had fun pretending they were Mary and Laura (with their sidekick Carrie/Norah) and playing in the cabin and out at the water pump.  We had a picnic lunch before heading to Pepin to the museum.

At the museum, they had a few rooms that showed what things might have looked like in Laura's time (a schoolroom, a kitchen, and a bedroom).  They also had artifacts and tools from the time period, some even Laura's or made to look like hers.  We saw a replica of Laura's corncob doll, the straw they had to twist during The Long Winter to burn to keep warm, quilts that were Laura's, and much more.  The girls especially enjoyed playing pretend in the schoolroom and climbing up in a replica of a tugboat.

On the way home, we stopped in Red Wing for some ice cream and a walk down to the river to burn off some energy.  The day was so much fun--just one of those perfect carefree days of summer that we are going to miss in a few days!  Abby and I are now in the middle of Little Town on the Prairie and I've seen a little bit about the museum in South Dakota--sounds like there are more buildings and interactive things to do there.  Maybe a future summer road trip??

Feed My Starving Children/Pool party

Last Saturday, we had the BEST day with our group of friends that we met in ECFE when Abby was a baby.  We are so blessed to have known this group and made such great connections in the past 6 years.  We didn't organize a cabin weekend this year, but found a day that worked for all to have some fun.  We started the day with the older kids at Feed My Starving Children in Chanhassen.  It was such a great experience--very humbling, eye-opening, heartbreaking, and fun at the same time.  The kids did great with their jobs and as a whole, the room packed meals to feed 69 kids for a year.  We can't wait to go back and do this again sometime!

The other two dads and younger kids joined us for some fun and relaxation at Tiffany's family pool.  We enjoyed delicious brick-oven pizzas and pool time well into the evening.  It was such a wonderful night!


It's been on our summer bucket list to go to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, so I was excited when we had the opportunity to go with my friend Tiffany and her kids.  I'm sure there is so much more to explore on future trips, but we found plenty to do in the natural play areas.  The kids enjoyed being creative and played hard, stopping for just a bit to have a quick picnic.  I love how they used their imagination and needed so little to be entertained!