Happy Halloweenish

In preparation for the impending onslaught of Elf on Shelf photos, I’m starting a holiday season tradition I can really get behind. So here it is: Halloweenish. (Feel free to suggest another/better/more appropriate name.)

Ways to celebrate Halloweenish include:
1. Wearing your costume around the house, just to get into character.
2. Attending early Halloween parties or making “fall” parties, Halloween parties by wearing your costume.
3. Putting aside household chores to focus on crafting the perfect costume.
4. Bobbing for anything.
5. Candy Corn Cleanse Diet, eat only candy corn and apple cider.
6. Making plans to pilfer your kids candy.
7. Pumpkin patch visits.
8. Pumpkin Carving.
9. Scaring people. I do this bi-weekly but if you need a reason here ya go.
10. Wearing themed undergarments. Socks work but try really getting into it.

Here’s some photos of the start of our first ever Halloweenish:






Jewel of Denial

I deal with Minnesota’s “season who will not be named” in two ways: dread and denial.  I’m like a schizophrenic squirrel.  One minute, I’m wearing flip-flops in 40 degree weather, the next I’m hoarding craft supplies and canned foods like we’ll never see the sky again.  As a part of the denial process, I embrace any and all outdoor fall activities.  (Maybe its dread too either way if its outside, I’m on it.)  One of my favorites is picking apples.  This year we went back to Pleasant Valley Orchard, where we picked strawberries this summer (see U Pick I Pick U).  Shafer is a bit of a hike but the ride out is beautiful, the people are nice and the crowds are nil.  We had a glorious day.  In addition to plucking way too many apples, the boys climbed on hay bales, “drove” the tractor, and bounced around on a nice long hay ride.

To help prevent an apple overdose I attempted some Vitamix applesauce (aka I’m too lazy to cook the apples but I didn’t want them raw either.)  The result was a hot apple slushy.  I can’t recommend it but a little spiced rum makes everything better.  I did succeed in making a delicious apple crisp.   My secret is half the apples, twice the crisp.

P.S. This weekend they have Honeycrisp apples!  If you don’t know why that’s so wonderful you have some apple eating to do.


Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike What Day is it, Mike?

Have you seen this commercial?

Silly, yes, but it gets me every time.

Wednesday isn’t even my hump day.  As a SAHM (sounds more like it don’t constantly have food on me if I use an acronym), my hump day is Saturday, halfway to my kids being back in their respective classes.  But it’s probably your hump day so I’m sharing what makes me laugh.  If the happy camel doesn’t do it, maybe this will.  My kids thought it was BUMP day.

Bro, bro, bro, bro, bro what day is it, bro?

Bump Day.





Any other 90s-one-hit-wonder lovers out there?  If so, perhaps you know this one:

You burden me with your questions
You’d have me tell no lies
You’re always asking what it’s all about
But don’t listen to my replies
You say to me I don’t talk enough
But when I do I’m a fool

I’m pretty sure this first verse was written by the parent of a 1st grader.  The need to know is as ceaseless as the tides.  And when I finally find a wave I can ride; a question I can answer, ‘Zach’ from the bus says differently and I’m just the dumb-dumb who spent twenty minutes verifying what I already knew on the internet.  To make matters worse, we decided it would be a great idea to send our kid to a Chinese Immersion School.  I literally have no idea what he is talking about.  (Maybe, I didn’t think the whole immersion thing through all the way.)

All jokes aside, I do really think my kids are unbelievable.  (I know, welcome to the club.)  All kids are these amazing, brave sponges that just soak up and roll with all the things we adults struggle with and against.  After a three month break with very little practice, Fletch strolled right into class and told his new teacher (in Chinese) how he has three, three year old brothers.  He didn’t even hesitate to jump right in, even though there were only three familiar faces in his class.

The three year olds are no less unbelievable.  Their first day of preschool, they nailed it, no tears, no fits, just kisses goodbye.

Then tonight they kept saying “I go school.”

The things, you say
It’s why I love you more

You’re unbelievable



7 New School Year Resolutions

It’s the eve of our oldest son’s first day of 1st grade and just a week before the triplets’ first day of preschool.  I’m not sad, I’m not overjoyed, I’m not worried, I’m not overly emotional one way or the other but I do recognize this will be a big change. When faced with change, I feel the need to make changes in me, to make a fresh start, to begin anew.  A little like New Year’s Resolutions but for the new school year.

The thing is, I am terrible with New Year’s Resolutions.  In year’s past, I’ve written down the typical five or so things that every one wants to do: eat better, exercise more, drink more water, read a book a month, go to bed earlier.  Nothing too ambitious and yet, I cannot remember making it past the first week.  Worse yet, the last few years, I haven’t even managed to write anything down until two weeks after New Year’s.  My case in point, see my post from January, It’s a New Year!  In this post, written four days after New Year’s Eve, I allude to resolutions that I had yet write and never did.

I’m hoping that the start of the school year will be different.  Unlike New Year’s Eve, a new school year really does signify change: a new season, new teachers, new friends, new classes.  Perhaps with all this new, I will really be able to turn over a new leaf.  And if all that doesn’t work, I’m telling you so you can hold me accountable.

Here are my promises to me and my children for the new school year:

  1. I will not leave everything until the last minute. (says the woman writing a back-to-school post the night before her children go back to school) I recognize that none of us are at our best when we rush and the more I leave until the deadline the more we have to rush.
  2. I will come up with something better to ask then “How was your day?” If I expect an answer beyond “okay” then I need to change the question.  So instead, I will try “What made you laugh?” or “How were you brave?” maybe “What did you talk about with your friends?”
  3. I will encourage your efforts as much as your accomplishments.  When life gets hectic, its easy to hold out praise until the report card or conferences.  Instead, I promise to watch you work and recognize how you solve problems and develop good habits, not just wait for success.
  4. Along the same line, I will not do your homework.  I will help but I will not give you the answers or make corrections without you.
  5. There will be room to play and do nothing in our schedule.
  6. And we will have a schedule.  I will maintain a routine so that you know what to expect and what I expect of you.
  7. No matter what any of us make of our new school year, I will remember that any and every day can be a new start.


“One step must start each journey.” – Unknown


Let’s Get Together

This week is the Great Minnesota Get-Together aka our state fair. Taking things literally, we had a get together and went to the fair.  Does it qualify if the friends were from Maryland?  There was so much to do that even with 6 hours we only scratched the surface.  Here’s a brief run down of our day at the fair:

1. Visited Twins Territory.  A little wiffle ball for the boys while the girls hit the Horticulture Building and made pollinator promises (this is not as weird as it sounds and there was a bee hat to be had.)

IMG_77212. Breakfast on a stick. OMG! BREAKFAST ON A STICK!

IMG_24973. Drank all the milk we could drink.

IMG_25014. Witnessed the Miracle of Birth.  There was actually a calf born during our short visit.  This is not that calf.

IMG_25035. Parenting fail of epic proportions.  The kids spotted a lazy river type ride that seemed like the least painful way to satiate their cries for rides.  Rides check, spinning heads and long lines no thank you.  But here’s the thing, there is nothing lazy about that river.  As a result of our parenting genius, we were still soggy on the bus ride home 5 hours later.

6. Soldiered on and met a giant Emerald Ash Borer and put out some fires at the DNR Building.

7. Met some Box Trolls.

IMG_25068. High tailed it to the 4H building to see the agility rabbits but missed them by a hare. (hah! get it.)

9. Froliced in the Alphabet Forest.

photo 4-911. Planted some seeds with the Kemp’s Little Farm Hands.


12. Watched the parade.

13. Rode some rides.

14. Ate some corn.


15. Visited the Butter Court.

IMG_781716. Ended the day, as everyday should end with 4 dozen Sweet Martha’s chocolate chip cookies and more milk.

 Whew! the recap is almost as exhausting as the day itself.  Just a taste for all of you who have never experienced the wonder that is the Minnesota State Fair.


They was a Splishin’ and a Splashin’

Cooper, Hudson and Nathan love Splishin’ and a Splashin’ but most of the time I feel like I’m reelin’ with the feelin’.   So we went for it and threw them a swimming party. The day was like a lot of other days this summer except with better food and more friends and family to enjoy it with.  Our weather was iffy, so we started inside, swam outside, gobbled cake inside, and then had a monster squirt gun fight outside.  The boys got cars to ride and cars to drive, binoculars to see and backpacks to go but most of all they loved being surrounded by people adore them.  Thanks to all the friends and family who helped us get our three little men to three years old!  It was a glorious way to celebrate our 3×3.