Connecting

It’s been a week of connection and re-connection for me. I have new students for the final quarter of school, so I’ve focused on having them create art that shows me who they are, and where their interests and talents lie. One of their options for Week One was to show me what they carry with them, in terms of objects or experiences. I made examples of two different ways to do that, and got a liiiiittle bit carried away. I spent hours and hours on them, because it was so much fun to think about and explore.

  1. What I carry with me when I leave the house

2) Left hand, my past
Right hand, my present
Background, things that have stuck with me all along

It’s also been a joy to re-connect with people we’ve been isolated from for awhile.
Mom got to give her art skills a workout with clay and rainbow scratch paper

Dad learned a little about swordfighting

Henry says, “Grandpa’s not the greatest at sword-fighting, but he always wins at tickle-fights!”

I had a yoga anatomy workshop that Saturday, but Joe brought the troops up to Nicollet Island to enjoy the river, sunshine and cherry blossoms

That night, we got lucky with two more visitors: My Grandparents!

It was a quick visit, but a great one. On their way back south, they had arranged to take a casual tour of their former house in Apple Valley. We sort of invited ourselves along, and guess what’s still there?

The growth marks of my cousins and I as we grew up!

The backyard looks dramatically different. I’m curious to see what it becomes over time. It was weird to see the putting green and sand trap gone, but the boys really enjoyed hopping along the old stepping stones that are still there.

Inside, the house is decorated differently, but for the most part has the same feel to it. It was so much fun to explore. The owners were so kind and friendly!

Monday, we got to see both of the babies together again!

Nora was so curious about whatever the boys were up to

They wouldn’t let her turn the pages from down on the floor, so maybe if she climbed up on the couch???

Aunt Carlye, why won’t those boys let me turn all the pages?

She’s also great at finding belly buttons.

It was a tense and heavy week in our city, so it felt good Tuesday evening to walk up to George Floyd Square and feel the collective lightening of spirits.

The boys were learning from home Wednesday-Friday this week, so there was a return of some of those cooped-up feelings. The best way to let that go turned out to be a rubber duck race along our neighborhood creek!

Our neighborhood association put on the race as a fund-raiser and way to bring some joy! There were 2,000 sponsored ducks ‘racing’ from one part of the creek to the next, with people cheering and helping stuck ducks all along the way. We did a combo of walking alongside them and staying in one place.

These two ducks just floated to the short by us. I think they were feeling tired and just wanted to take a breather.

We found a nice island where the boys could get a good view, help ducks, and play in the water/mud. It was perfect.

We saw every duck, first-to-last, float down the creek. Here’s the crew coming through in waders to rally on the stragglers. Henry decided he wants some waders. Boots that are pants? Just what he needs.

The event was very well attended, but as you can see here, we were some of the last spectators standing. It’s always so hard to leave a creek

Lovely Days

We had a spot of lovely weather for awhile there! It just snowed, but I do hope we’ll get back to warmth soon.

While it was nice, we got to enjoy some backyard relaxation and fairy-garden tending

Even when we were inside, the sunshine meant rainbows were everywhere!

Vaccination is so sweet! Family dinners are such a joyful part of the week.

You don’t have to be a kid to have fun zooming around the driveway! A lot of us get in on the action.

The toddlers can’t WAIT to get to do their own zooming

We’re still not to outdoor planting time up here yet, but I’m so proud of how well my indoor plants have been doing.

Now that we’re not all at home during the day (just Joe), our family time has become more precious and so much more appreciated.

A good Monopoly session on Saturday morning was the perfect way to start off the boys’ spring break.

Then we had a sunny Easter celebration in which we actually had to apply sunscreen! What a world!!!!

And then, my three guys headed off on their spring break adventure. I missed them oh so much! But they had Lanesboro, Decorah, Dubuque, Madison, etc. to discover.

Here’s a pic Joe took of them in their cozy window beds in Dubuque.

I’ve started my final quarter of the schoolyear. I can’t believe I’ve made it this far! I’ve learned just oh, so much in these long months.

Alright, let’s end on a Henry creation. Wouldn’t you love to sip some iced tea out of this?!
Kids just know how to do life better, I think.

Getting Out

Bonfires, man. That’s where it’s at.

These two are quite a delightful pair. I imagine this year has had profound impacts on all sibling relationships. It’s been fun to see these two navigate everything together.

We got out for a couple of impromptu hikes last weekend in the Hastings area.

There was water, and we are magnetically drawn to water we can play with.

All of our shoes got wet, but Henry’s actually had to be dumped out after

Then on Sunday we had another delightful afternoon at Powderhorn Park

We found what is definitely the best seesaw in the world.

We even got to have a Sarah accompany us!

After the park, we had a girls date to the Museum of Russian Art, which is one of my top favorite museums anywhere. There was a Marlena Myles exhibit that we had to check out, and I’m so glad we did. We also got the chance to snap this selfie with Don Quixote, a literary acquaintance from way back when we first met, over 15 years ago.

And then…it was my spring break!

Apparently I was the only person who thought a hike in Kinnickinnic State Park in Wisconsin was the place to be in the middle of a weekday.

You can’t really tell, but that’s a very long, very steep, and pretty slippery hill behind me in this next shot. I made it down and up with no problem. What a difference a month makes! Still feeling feelings around the tailbone, but they limit me no more.

SPRING BREAK!!!!

You have to go to the beach for Spring Break, I heard.

Hello, St Croix River

I couldn’t make a sandcastle, so I made a snowperson named Sandy.

Found the Purple Trail, because I love purple.

The main destination of the day was River Falls. It was lovely, but photographing Main Streets just doesn’t ever turn out. There are always too many cars that end up in the middle of the shot. So you’ll just have to go there and see it. I mostly enjoyed the town’s river walk along the Kinnickinnic. I liked what they called the Swinging Bridge.

Something I’ve missed dearly during Quarantimes is reading a book in a public place while enjoying a beverage of some kind. I’m so glad patio season is back!

Here’s one more Henry grin to send you off to the rest of your day in a good mood. Go forth and be awesome!

Inching Along

There is a lot on the horizon, with my vaccination process half-over, students coming back full-time soon and spring just peaking its head out every so often! Co-workers are even talking about things for next school year.

I am a planner. I like to know what things will happen, when they will happen, and what I can possibly do ahead of time to be prepared when that moment comes. I sometimes pack for trips a week in advance.

But right now my homework for myself is to say, “Enough.”

This is not a year where planning far in advance does any good at all, so what I’ve ended up with are a lot of scrambled, re-worked plans that cost me much more effort and stress than if I’d just waited until closer to the time.

I’m allowing more space in my brain to prepare enough in advance, and then stop. I’m trying to more intentionally enjoy the moments.

It’s enough to just listen to a Henry story while whisking myself up some matcha.
There’s nothing more important I could do with my time.

Luckily, with the weather turning, there is also more opportunity for gathering with our friends! But even on bitter cold days, we’re still making it happen.
I find that all those work cares and scheduling stressors vanish magically when I’m with friends.

I don’t have a lot of photos of the boys to show you, because with my students back in school, the yearbook committee hounds us daily for photos of them. And it’s not actually ethical for me to post photos of my students, so I can’t even share those.

But I can show you this silly tower I made while we were taking an outdoor break during my 3D Art period.

Also my silly sculpture. I call it Essence of Elephant.

And beads! We were not working on a beading project at all, but amongst their experimenting, several students managed to find some and make themselves bracelets!

So that’s all, folks. It’s a short pop-in for now from me, but rest assured we are all doing well at our home. Joe’s said goodbye to skiing season and is welcoming biking with open arms. Both boys are now having positive experiences in school, and we’re all sleeping much better at night.

My back and wrist are feeling hugely healed from my accident, and with the help of a wrist-guard I’m back at the yoga mat! It’s been huge for helping me embrace the “enough” mindset I’m going for.

Here you can enjoy all my patterns for Wacky Wednesday at school for Spirit Week today

Happy March!

Transitioning

Frost those cupcakes everyone, for distance learning is coming to a close!

Hopefully it will stick, and the dinner table can go back to just holding food and books as it should.

While quarantine isn’t at an end, it does feel like this is a new chapter at least. I baked a loaf of bread recently, and I realized it was the first one I’d baked since I was in grad school. I never actually baked bread during our time all together at home, which would have been a great time to do it. Ah well!

It has been bitterly cold around here for awhile now, and I’m looking forward to being able to get out again without fear of frostbite.

Joe, on the other hand, has been skiing and going for long walks throughout it all. You just can’t keep this man inside. Unless it’s hot and sunny out, that is.

Joe basking in the -12 temps

The boys don’t get out in it much, but they’re in for a short walk now and again.

For Henry it’s more of a sprint.

Then he stops and wonders what’s taking everyone else so long.

Guess it’s gonna be awhile.

For Christmas, the boys got a great Escape-Room-in-a-Box, and we had a ton of fun solving all of the puzzles

Finding wrong answers were just as much fun as finding right ones!

We escaped! WHEW! It was a close call there for a minute

Even though Henry’s now back in school in person, and Charlie starts next Monday, after-school stuff is still online. Henry’s been liking watching Charlie’s chess tournaments so much that last week he did a little playing of his own during the meet.

Charlie had a yucky stomach the other night, so the couch bed has made a return! It was the first time any of us has been “sick” at all this winter. There are some definite upsides to quarantine

I can’t say I’ll miss teaching in the chilly basement…because I’ll keep doing it on Fridays.

But at least I’ve got my setup all nice and cheery now. I’m nervous about going back in-person next week, and I have not enjoyed having to keep switching up my teaching format back-and-forth. So yet another switch is making me anxious and exhausted.

Hopefully it will all go well and there will be minimal change for the remainder of the year. I’m ready for some good solid routines to be able to develop, but I’m hardly holding my breath.

Think good thoughts for all of us as we transition–the boys and I to being at school, and Joe to working from home by himself. It’ll be an adjustment for all.

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming

It was a long 6 weeks of recovery for my poor bum.

But I do think that in that time, the boys and I learned to embrace comfort, rest and snuggles to a whole new level.

Joe, who was in GO Mode to take care of all of us, embraced the cold outdoors by cross-country skiing as much as possible.

Charlie and I have learned some new, complicated games, like Tzolkin (below) and Dice Forge, and Henry has figured out how to kind of turn distance-learning into doing the kind of learning and experimenting he feels like doing.

It’s not exactly great for developing life skills like paying attention and following directions, but the kid is curious, active and experimental.

Charlie’s all about those directions, but he got pretty creative with his decorate mask assignment for his art class. A mustache!

Outside, they practiced making the sounds of all of the different instruments they could think of. Do-it-yourself music class!

Charlie joined an online afterschool chess club. Henry likes to be right there!

And then we’ve got mountain-climbing for P.E. See? We’re making it all happen.

Two Sundays ago, I was feeling considerably better and antsy to get out of the house and moving. So I put on my yak trax and hit the sidewalk.

I made it to Lake Harriet, which is a mile and a half away. I felt great, and was inspired by the hockey-players on the lake to keep on truckin.

Then I came across a steady stream of people doing a Polar Plunge. Not for any event, charity or anything…just people who want to dunk into an icy lake for kicks.

I felt further inspired and kept on.

I ended up making it to Linden Hills, fueled up with some coffee, and enjoyed my return walk, totalling up 5 miles that day. It was a big accomplishment, especially after barely making it two blocks just a few weeks ago, and a wonderful sign that the next day I wasn’t even sore.

To celebrate…well, mostly because we were inspired by Cupcake Diaries…the boys and I made sweet zucchini cupcakes with avocado frosting.

It was difficult to get a photo where they didn’t look gross, but I promise you, they were delicious! Charlie did a great job icing

…and Henry, of course, came in when the sprinkles came out

Bolstered by my walking success, the boys and I drove up to NE Mpls to explore around the river and St Anthony Main.

It was…super cold! We didn’t last long, but it was nice to be out nonetheless.

It’s the end of Quarter 2 of my first year of teaching. I made it halfway! With a fresh start ahead, I’m trying to come up with ways to improve my curriculum and try out new projects. Toying with having the students do a weaving project with homemade cardboard looms and plastic bag strips…

I do enjoy the creativity and flexibility that has come out of this time we’re in.

Now that I feel like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, AND I can, you know, move again, I’m feeling such joy.

Just Keep Swimming

For my birthday, I usually go to an art museum and go ice skating. When I envisioned my COVID birthday, I thought, “Hey! At least I’ll still get to go skating!”

With my injury, that was obviously not an option either.

Luckily, my mobility keeps getting better, so we were able to go on a short hike. Joe’s the expert at finding great places to walk, so I asked him for somewhere flattish, with dirt trails (paved ones can be icy, which is scary for me right now), and is a bit of a drive away so we could really get out there and listen to some How to Train Your Dragon, as read by David Tennant. He remembered Cleary Regional Park, the place where Henry found his great quill feathers.

A lot of people were out cross-country skiing there as well. We even saw someone with an infant car seat tucked into an inner-tube that they pulled along behind them as they went! So cute.

Henry would sprint in bursts, making some kind of vehicle noise, and then would rest in the snow to regain his energy.

I thought a break sounded nice, too, so the boys and I took a rest together.

While we ate our lunch back home, we enjoyed some winter rainbows courtesy of prisms Meagan sent!

It really was a lovely birthday! I’m so happy for the darling people I live with

For Christmas this year, we got the boys Nintendo, and they’ve been loving their Mario Kart break of the day! They have also been enjoying some of the classic Mario games, which is fun to watch.

Those silly boys bringing some last minute joy to me right before their bedtime.

The next day, we celebrated Colleen’s birthday belatedly with a lovely walk through Como Park. Babies!!!

It was a gorgeous afternoon

Henry was curious what he looked like in his snowpants. I told him I’d take a picture, and that he should make the face he wanted to see. Hahahahahaha!

School started up the next day for all of us. Henry was really looking forward to it, and Charlie was bummed. I was…ambivalent.

But now that we’re halfway through the week, I can honestly say it’s been good. It’s nice to have some more purpose to our days, and it gives me a good distraction from my butt!

Henry’s learning oodles about snakes and other animals, and loving sharing his new facts. Charlie is finding he still has plenty of time to create Lego scenes and read, so being back in school’s not so bad.

Happy New Year!

Look at this serious performer

He and all of his small groupmates are performing the story they wrote called, “The Mittenbread Man.” They all made backgrounds and act out their parts using their gingerbread characters. Watching the pride in the students’ faces was the highlight of my week.

That was one of the few spots you could find me around the house over the past few weeks. Here’s another: snuggled up in my new blanket on the couch. One of my biggest challenges post-ER has been sleeping, since it’s pretty difficult to find a horizontal position that doesn’t put pressure on my butt in one way or another. The couch provided okay possibilities, so I enjoyed soaking up Christmas Tree joy at night.

The boys have really enjoyed having the couch transformed into a snuggle zone.

It was lucky that my school is doing distance-learning, because it meant I was able to get by only having a substitute the days I was in the hospital. As soon as I made it home, I was able to work those last few days of school without leaving my cushioned chair.

Joe and the boys have been taking wonderful care of me during what has felt like a very slow healing process. Charlie cheers every time I do something I haven’t done before. My favorite was when he sang me a song after I managed to sit down at the breakfast table all by myself.

Last Sunday, 14 days after my accident, I finally made it out for a two-block walk a few days ago. It was slow going, and I was arm-in-arm with Joe the whole time, but it was so good to be out of the house and moving my muscles again.

Every day since then I have been able to do much more than the day before.

After a reviving evening of nonsense and games on Zoom with friends for New Year’s Eve, I woke up this morning ready to try out some yoga. I have to do it in sloooow motion, and the most difficult motions for me are the “easy” poses like forward-fold and child’s pose. I actually can’t even do the final resting pose, because of where it puts pressure.

But going slow enough, I made it into some shapes that surprised me!

After that warm-up, Joe and I hit the trails!

No no no. I am not skiing! But Joe has taken a dive back into cross-country skiing, and he’s been loving it.

I took the walking paths, and ended the outing curled up in a cozy snowbank (felt good on my sore bum) and read my book.

Most people were wrapped up in their scarves and masks and sunglasses, so there was not a lot of inter-personal interaction at the park, but one young girl gave me a huge smile as she walked past and said, un-prompted, “Happy New Year!”

It was a small gesture, but it just lit up my day!
So I’m passing it on.

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU!

Lots of Stars and a Wish

We had fun getting our house ready for Christmas two weekends ago. Got a beautiful tree, made some hilarious gingerbread cookies (including cowboys and ghosts) and discovered some new Christmas tunes we hadn’t heard or appreciated before

That Sunday, I got to see Julia!!! First time in a year. We met up in Clear Lake and walked the whole area. Luckily, the weather cooperated, and being outside for five hours wasn’t too chilly. We found a cool kids’ camp that was definitely worth a good explore.

Then, after a week of teaching, I got to see her again! We got to enjoy a snowy walk and have coffee loitering like teenagers. I told them to look loiter-y and this is what I got:

Then we walked over to my brother’s new home! They’ve got some fantastic patios, and we tested one out that night wrapped in blankets. It was lovely!

After the tour, we did some sledding on the hill across the street

We warmed up by baking some more gingerbread and enjoying Grandma Penny’s extensive sprinkle and cookie cutter selection.

Evening reading time always seems to get silly somehow!

Sunday morning, when it was time to wrap up our visit, I suggested sledding as a final activity before we loaded into the car to head north.

It was super fun, with some great rides. Unfortunately, the final ride was me slamming into a downed tree. The EMTs had to drag me up the snowy hill to the ambulance, and they were pretty vocal about what hard work it was.

My tailbone area has a lot of healing to do, but the big problem was getting dizzy and nauseated when I sat/stood.

Therefore, it’s Tuesday morning and I am still in the hospital. I’m feeling much improved, and am able to move around on my own, so hopefully I’m out of here really soon.

I have felt so loved and cared for while I have been in here, even though visits aren’t allowed. Bret and Leslie brought me Chinese (including my ultimate comfort food…egg drop soup!) and a blanket knit by Grandma Betty, which has been warming and comforting me to no end

I’m super lucky in so many ways! I do wish I’d skipped that sled run, though

Celebrate Good Times

With the pandemic at its worst yet, it feels a whole lot like March again.
But this time, it’s not new. We’re readjusting instead of reinventing.

We’ve learned some great new tricks from WFH and Distance Learning, like:

BALLOON POP!

and doing sun salutations in our own home instead of in a studio.

But most importantly, we know, without really even thinking about it anymore, how to take full joy in the company of those few people we get to be with. We know that it’s the things we do more than the things we say that matter.

And that’s why, when Charlie said he wanted lasagna for his birthday, Henry and I made those darn noodles ourselves!

Because 10 is a big deal!

It’s also a big deal (though second nature these days) that he can’t celebrate with his friends. So, when he asked for hagelslag (a Dutch breakfast of chocolate sprinkles on toast), I sure did drive to three different stores around the metro to find the right kind of sprinkles. He had been excited about his birthday for a month, and whether he noticed or not, I wanted to do everything in my power to make his day as happy and celebratory as I could.

We were able to do outdoor visits with family, which were really special.
(My toes, which suffer from painful frostbite, were so thankful for Jim’s sauna!)

And he got that Lego set he wanted!

He chose an adorable Thankgiving-themed DQ cake, and Henry, twirling around as he blew out his candles, reminded him to make a wish! It was a day full of joy.

As you probably know, this is a joy-filled week for our family. Thanksgiving, of course, but shortly after comes Henry’s big day! SEVEN

He was born on a Thanksgiving Day, so I’ll always think of his birthday as Thanksgiving. We started the day with bagels and doughnuts, and then spent the day at an elaborate playground in Medicine Lake, soaking up the 50 degree weather.

We’re deep into a book series about a cupcake club (book 26), so picking out cupcakes at Sweet Retreat was the perfect birthday cake options. Before we even saw the cupcakes, though, the boys were enthralled with their gingerbread houses.

And the evidence of the elaborate cakes they have made for people over the years. Charlie loved the Corvette cake, and Henry was most impressed by the cake that looked like a can of Diet Dr. Pepper.

We all looooooved what we chose.

He got a set of bows and arrows for his birthday. Here is his first shot!

It was pure joy watching him experiment

How awesome is this?!

We got two bows, because he’s a partner kind of dude, so Charlie’s training up, too.

How wonderful to have each other

Switching it Up

Eeek! Scary how the time flies sometimes. Here we are mid-November, and I still have Halloween photos to share.

I’ve always loved Halloween decorations. This year they made me especially joyful. The boys are able to carve their own jack-o-lanterns now, so it’s pretty fun to see what they come up with independently.

We didn’t do any trick-or-treating or handing-out of candy, but Joe set up an elaborate candy scavenger hunt around the house. Donna did the same thing at her house (she even got magnifying glasses, flashlights and piano-accompanied singing involved), so the boys probably had more Halloween fun than ever before, even if it looked different.

Henry then had fun playing the piano while Donna told us stories.

The next night, we went out on a walk to enjoy where we normally trick-or-treat and to see the decorations other people had up.

Up until this week, it was really nice out, so we got some fresh sidewalk chalk and had been spending a good amount of time enjoying the sunshine.

In my classroom on the big, important Tuesday, I had my students fold paper cranes. I figured the country could use all the healing, peaceful vibes we could get. YAY!

The boys and I had a Friday off, and supplies to pick up at their elementary school, so they took a walk down memory lane and hung out on the playground. It was so fun (and sunny and warm!) that we decided to hit another nearby playground. And then another. It was delightful!

Then we got hungry, so we grabbed some burgers and found a nice spot at an amphitheater by a little lake to enjoy them.

The next day was just as beautiful, so we raked some leaves.

Can you spot the Zombie hand?

Joe played some tennis (and ran errands…check out that full bike basket!) and we all decided to go back to the playground we’d enjoyed most the day before. I brought roller blades!

On the ride home, Henry put the blades on. They’re bigger than his head!

It was a super busy week for me, work-wise, since I started a new quarter. That meant a chance to start fresh and do things better, but then also a whole new group of students to get to know. Lotta pressure!

But it went really well, and I’m feeling great. Sadly, now with the spike in COVID cases, my school has to go back to distance-learning, which means I head back to teaching in the basement.

It’ll be nice to be home with these boys again, though!

Last night, we watched Frozen, at the Charlie’s request. To prepare Henry for some of the intense parts, Joe read him a brief, Little Golden Books version of the story. It seems to have eased his mind, because when the movie was over, he asked how soon we could watch Frozen II!

Very weather appropriate, now. BRRRRR!

A Lot

Life is just a lot these days. I’m now steeped in the new job mode where everyday I learn about some new system that I was supposed to be implementing all along.

So it’s wonderful to enjoy those parts of my life where I feel helpful and capable instead of the fumbling newbie. Helping get my neighbor, Dale, to bed every Thursday has been a wonderful lifeline during COVID. It’s nice to have a weekly, guaranteed, in-person chat with someone I know well but who doesn’t live in my house.

Another lifeline has been, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, STATE PARKS! We had a long weekend recently, so we loaded up the car and headed to Minneopa State Park near Mankato.

There was an idling train there at the beginning of our walk, and we had to finally convince Henry we couldn’t keep waiting for it to leave or we’d never get our hike in. He was verrrry displeased by that, but luckily, it was just taking off as we ended our hike. How fortuitous!

Then we headed across the road to the other part of the park, which was a bison enclosure. On our first pass, we saw nothing. There was another path that took you up to an old mill, so we figured we may as well investigate. Turned out…that’s where you were able to see the bison anyway!

Afterward, we had a lovely dinner in downtown Mankato.

The next day was New Ulm! A monument we’d hoped to climb and a playground we’ve enjoyed in the past were both closed for “construction.” So, we found a different park to entertain us.

It was suuuper chilly that morning, so eventually I had to move on. I made it my mission to find us lunch in town. I found an adorable place called Lola, with wonderful food and an outdoor patio in a cool old alley. It was a cold lunch experience, but the food was definitely worth it.

On our way to the Schell’s Brewery, we hit a dead-end by accident. It turned out to be a happy accident, because we found a back entrance to another state park: Flandreau. It was a gorgeous trail along a hillside, complete with trees to climb, great views and a log bridge to tackle.

And then we headed to Schell’s. The brewery tour wasn’t happening, because of COVID, but you could still check out the grounds, and they had a biergarten set up, complete with poppy German music playing!

That last picture was Henry playing in the little stream that flows down their hill. He ended up kind of falling in an getting soaking wet. Not ideal on a cold day, but luckily we had a trunk full of clothes.

Then we found a great wooden playground with this silly photo opp.

What’s this? Another New Ulm sight?

No! It’s Henry waiting to get into a trick-or-treating event at Living History Farms in Des Moines!

This was last weekend.

We got to do a wagon ride and everything! It felt so autumnal.

Would that not make an AMAZING haunted house?! Maybe someday.

After the wagon ride, we listened to some stories being told in the barn. It was pretty hard to hear, so we had fun later trying to piece together what each of us had picked up from the tale.

And then there were lawn games!

I loved this broom guy, and think the building behind it is just SO cool. Turns out it used to be on the main street of Polk City! Fun, huh?

So yes, we’ve put a lot of miles on our car lately. Luckily, we’ve been enjoying excellent audiobooks (the Magnus Chase series), and the boys claim to love long drives. Certainly seems so!