Blue Skies

I love how beautiful the sky looks when the ground is all covered in white.

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We got dumped on last night–we’re talkin’ nine inches–and thus we were granted an actual snow day!

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We got some beautiful snow last week, too, and the temperature was incredible, so we were out in just our sleeves. Meant it melted fast, though, so it’s good we’ve gotten it replaced now.

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Joe was gone for a lot of the past two weeks on work trips, but he’s finally back! And he brought lift-the-flaps shirts.

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We got an extra special guest this Saturday, when Rebecca came to town! The boys trained her in the art of marble contraptions.

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This weekend was Art Shanties weekend, which this year were on Lake Harriet. We trekked across the icy lake (how exciting!) to find some glorious surprises in store.

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Bikes riding on the lake

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Tip-up swings

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And a whole host of shanties filled with theater, sound, objects, ideas and even wishes.

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Whale shanty

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Rocky was a favorite

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Inside were hammocks that swayed as the boat rocked side-to-side

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You could climb up to the top of this one and send a duck (or a gray duck) down the slide

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The Wish Factory. Henry’s wish is being processed

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Making sound in the sonic shanty

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My favorite was the Theater of the Tiny Clandestines, where some fantastic ladies sang us the Burton Carols to celebrate the Blood Moon

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Thanks Art Shanties!

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Isn’t winter the best?!

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Finally, it’s cold!

I love an unusually warm day, but the past couple winters have been filled with so many unusually warm days that it makes the really cold days feel like the unusual ones. And that’s freaky, because I live in Minnesota. It should be cold. And when it just stays cold, you know what to expect. -10 sucks, of course, but it makes 5 degrees feel exciting! But you stick a 20 degree day in there, and it makes going back down the thermometer much more painful.

So we’ve finally gotten a good stretch of cold.

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And…I know I just rambled about low temps, but when it does warm up a bit, we get to do some good snow molding!

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Henry eating his friend.

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We built this snowman about a month ago, and whenever it’s lost weight, we’ve packed fresh snow into it to keep it going. Henry requested I photograph him and his buddy together.

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We got snow paint for Christmas, and the boys have fun sprinkling the color around. One day, Henry ended up dribbling it down the front stairs, which caused Joe and Sarah to have heart attacks thinking someone had gotten seriously injured.

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This past weekend was the Novak winter cabin trip. I arrived later than everyone because I had my first Ceramics II class (!!!) on Saturday, but since it was MLK weekend, I still got plenty of time.

There is always a lot of game-playing, and the boys are starting to join in more. Henry just uses the game pieces as toys, but Charlie taught people how to play a board game he brought up, and he even joined us in a full-on game of Quiddler. It was so fun to play with him, and he was incredibly giggly and happy.

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Little Dude went skating for the first time, and did a great job

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He decided that going on the snow is a whole lot easier than going on the ice, but he definitely did a good chunk of both

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Charlie was Mr. Snowball Man

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A few of us skated Henry around, so he could feel what it’s like to go fast on ice. But that was reeeeally tiring. I preferred skating side-by-side with him holding his elbow.

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Look at these fellers!

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Hi Joe!

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Dog pile on top of Katy!

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One of my Happy Places.

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Christmastime

We spent nearly a week in Iowa to celebrate Christmas with the fam

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These two did some nice bonding

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Especially while trying to figure out the Perplexus

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We celebrated in Pella with the Petersmas on Tuesday, and had quite the crew

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Then on Wednesday, we headed up to Polk City for Sikkink Christmas at my grandparents’ new house

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The boys were happy to see that Grandpa still stocks pistachios in his new living room

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Back in Des Moines there were lots of good times and shenanigans to go around.

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We also ventured out to enjoy the city. I got to spend quality time with Bret, Leslie and Julia, and Phil met up with us at a cool new place in the old Des Moines Register building. Arlys even showed me a bit of Ankeny.

The Historical Building has been one of my favorite places for a long time, so I enjoyed sharing it with the boys. Charlie, especially, got really into it.

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Charlie exploring population densities over time in Iowa

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They currently have a special kids’ room, wherein they display this great LEGO version of 801 Grand

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And a sweet trains-around-Iowa setup

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Henry and Grandma got some good ol’ snuggle time on the couch

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And here’s Hennie preparing for our sledding adventure at Perkins School

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Which also turned into a snowboarding adventure!

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Turns out Charlie’s a natural!

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We headed back to Minnesota in super-low visibility and it took 6 hours to make the 4 hour drive. We’re all back safe and sound, though, and have also gotten some good celebration time in with the Novaks. We started with Colleen’s birthday celebration at Day By Day Café, where the boys had their very own table! It was so adorable.

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Pre-Christmas, I took a woodshop class with Laura, and we made some beeeeeeautiful cutting boards together!

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We also enjoyed a new birthday game with Phil and some of his pals. Joe got some new games for Christmas, so we’re all set for the next game night. Who wants to come over?!

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