Wednesday, June 14, 2017

First/last day of 1st grade

 First day of school Harriet was just a nervous wreck.

Last day of school everyone is all smiles and excited for summer!

Harriet had a great year. She worked extremely hard on reading and loved her teacher, Mrs. Larson pictured here with her favorite specialist Mr. Thompson. He would come to their class to teach about geography and science and she listened to every word. She made some new friends this year including Clara above. She left 1st grade more confident in herself which is so great to see.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Other things we did in spring

Hard to keep up documenting everything we are doing so here is some stuff we did in the spring in no particular order. Above, canoeing with Uncle Adam.

Harriet and buddy Clara made an outdoor decoration for the Arts Extravaganza. They had a display and took classes about how they made it.

Typical day of Eloise, 20 barrettes in her hair while wearing a ballerina outfit outside watering plants. 

Many dance shows.

 Celebrated Grandma's birthday.

 May Day parade.

I got together with my Scotland friends in La Crosse for a weekend. Two of whom I hadn't seen in over 8 years.

 Steve and Eloise marched for the environment around Earth Day.

 Prince dance party for kids at 1st Ave.

 Twins game with friends.
 Matzo making with friends at the JCC.

Can Can wonderland mini golf for these two.

 Reunited daycare buddies while Achille was in Minneapolis from France.

Touched baby bunnies probably totally ensured that their mom would never return.

Open streets Lyndale was just too much.

Playing around at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, which is awesome by the way.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Oliver Kelley Farm

Now that we have an Historical Society member we figured why not use it again! We made the trek to the Oliver Kelley Farm in Elk River. We broke up the almost hour trip there by picking up Harriet's best bud Lauren about 20 mins in. The farm has a new visitor center that was just built in the past few years. We ate some food that a chef had prepared from greens from the garden.

The girls helped plant seeds in this veggie garden.

The farm has been here since the 1860s and we got to go into the old family house where people were making food as they would around that time. The land is still plowed and worked the way it would have been back then. We learned about how they made (and still make) sucrose.

They have a lot of animals on the farm and they had some new little piglets that were super cute.

The cattle are ready to work.

Lauren pumping some water.

Sheep just roamed around.

This fabric was on the cushion in the visitor center. I totally loved it. 

We weren't able to go on a house-drawn tour of the property or go on any of the longer trails because Eloise came down with a fever, but maybe next time we can explore more.

Fort Snelling visit

We went to Fort Snelling with friends over Memorial day weekend. I hadn't been there since I was really little and Steve had never been. We got a membership to the Minnesota Historical Society so now we can go whenever we want. Its not very far away.

A Fort employee with Sula, Harriet, Ruby and Eloise.

Up at the top looking over everything.

The girls seemed to love the school house the most. Family members of the soliders at the fort all went to this one room schoolhouse.

Carrying water to wash clothes.

Workin' it. Eloise was entertained for a very long time doing this washing the old fashioned way. We learned the the employees of the fort are not longer in character, they are just here to answer questions and show us the old ways of doing things.

What kids did for fun back then.

We were there for a cannon being shot off and also some soldiers in formation and then shooting off their weapons. The girls did not like the loud sounds.

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Last day of preschool

At the end of May, Eloise had her last day of preschool with teachers Shannon and Mariana. She only went for half a year, but really thrived at school and I'm happy we decided to enroll her. Without the help of my mom (and sometimes my dad) we wouldn't have been able to make it work and we appreciated their help picking her up. She will return in the fall and go three days a week, half days again.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Faribault Woolen Mill tour

This spring, Harriet and I spent a day with my aunt Sylvia and we went to the Faribault Woolen Mill. I have wanted to visit for a long time and since we went on a Friday afternoon, we basically had a private tour. The mill was founded in 1865 and has been running almost continuously since then and has always been family owned.

It takes 11 days to make the wool blankets and 22 processes (hence the reason why the blankets are not cheap. Here is a baler to begin the wool processing. They buy wool from southern states in 800lb orders.

After this it goes upstairs for dying (a step we didn't see) and then the wool is carded.

Next it is spun onto these giant spools.

Then put onto smaller spools.

So much yarn.

Then they string the yarn through the looms, which can take days, and the fabric is made.

Military grey. I was surprised to learn that they make all the Army blankets and all the blankets that are given to West Point Cadets.

Matchy matchy.
 Samples. There are some other steps in there that I didn't document because they weren't very visually interesting, but there is a lot of washing, inspecting and sewing the edges. We learned that they now are making summer cotton blankets too, but they import the cotton yarn.

Made in America. I was fascinated by the whole tour, although I think it got a bit long for Harriet.

After the tour we went out for some cupcakes in town and then headed over to the River Bend Nature Center.

We looked for the early native flowers and walked along the trails by the river.

Harriet was thoroughly entertained by this stick the whole time.

Teepee hideout. 

We really enjoyed the day we spent with Sylvia. There is still more we want to go back to explore, like a few of the state parks in the area. So we'll be back for another visit soon.