::10 minutes

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IMG_2016We are experiencing a winter cold snap here in Northern Minnesota.  With temps far below zero,  it can hurt to breathe when you are outside - but the beauty of the sunshine on these cold winter days is remarkable.  

So today, after school when I was tending to the chickens I decided just to linger just a little bit longer (than 5 minutes) to pause and appreciate the beauty and wonder of the outdoors that is so easy to miss on these cold, frigid days.  Even if it was just a couple minutes longer - enough time to grab my camera and preserve a couple of moments through snapshots - it was a gentle reminder that I need to take more moments like this - to pause, savor and appreciate - the beauty in each new day.  This is a practice I want to make more of a habit to  help me stay present and  grounded in the fullness of my life.


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IMG_0167It was a beautiful winter wonderland kind of a weekend in our north woods.  I was able to sneak out on a nice hike with my pup Sunday morning and I scratched much of the to-do list for Sunday afternoon and just went out and played with the kids.  (playing in the snow is much more fun than preparing taxes) - And, I am glad I did.  

Wishing you a great start to your week!


American Girl -Lea; Girl of The Year 2016 Book Review and Doll Giveaway!

I am happy to share in the excitement of the new

American Girl® -Lea™; Girl of the Year® 2016!

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My daughter and I recently read the debut book for the Lea Clark series by Lisa Lee,

Lea Dives In.

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As a mother and daughter team of reviewers, we thought it would be fun to share some of our insights from reading the debut book:

Z:  “I really enjoyed the book!  Lea's character is so realistic.  It is fun to read stories about girls my own age.”

Mama: “It was fun to travel vicariously to Brazil with Lea and her family.”

Z:  “I liked to read and learn some Portuguese words.  There was a glossary in the back to help with pronunciations. ”

Mama:  “This is an inspirational story for young girls!   Throughout the book Lea navigating relationships, problem solving and acting upon her courage to overcome a fear.   Lea's character is true to life!

We’re both excited to read the second book in the series, Lea Leads the Way.

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Giving Back with Lea

To show girls that, together, they can make a difference in helping protect animals and their habitats, American Girl has created Wild at Art, a year-long fund-raising campaign in support of World Wildlife Fund (WWF). In addition, from January 1 through December 31, 2016, for every purchase of one of the three plush animals in Lea’s collection—the margay, sea turtle, or sloth—American Girl will donate $1 (up to a maximum of $100,000) to WWF.

Fun and Games

We have also both been exploring some of the unique activities available online to extend and enrich Lea’s character and story.

(click on the image below to check out some fun activities)

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In celebration of the release of the 2016 Girl of the Year, 

I have an amazing giveaway!

American Girl is generously offering one Kids and Eggs reader an

 American Girl® -Lea™; Girl of the Year® and book!

Lea Doll and Book Giveaway

Yes, that’s right - win your very own 

American Girl® -Lea™; Girl of the Year® and book!

To enter this giveaway, leave a comment below (one entry per person, please). Comments will close by 9am CST on Saturday, February 6th, 2016. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced in this post shortly after.  

This giveaway is open to residents of U.S. & Canada.

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Note: The views and opinions expressed on this post are my own.


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We are going through our January cold snap.  This morning we woke up to -35 below wind chills, so inside activities were a little more inviting.  But, as we got through the day this girl and I needed to get out.  So we bundled up, drove away and pulled into an empty parking lot for to a trailhead of a familiar path to a beautiful waterfall.   It was worth the effort.

 


::serenity

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It is the last day of our Christmas break.  We are counting our blessings as we move forward in the new year.  And, when I say that, I truly mean it.

This serene photo above was taken this morning, as my four children were at our kitchen table.    With the posts and images that I share, (or others you may come across on the internet) there may be an illusion that family life could be serene -defined as calm, peaceful, and untroubled; tranquil.  

However, to believe this is a misconception.

The very moments leading up to this tranquil image, my children were quarreling over where they were sitting at the table, which mug would be theirs and who would get their hot cocoa first.  That after several rounds of sibling squabbles punctuating our morning, at this very moment my patience was starting to run low as I was tired of putting out their small fires they were creating - that were likely triggered by the slight anxiety we are all starting to feel knowing that we all need to be back in the routine of school and work tomorrow.

So, before I poured their hot cocoa I made them all stop for just a moment -  instead of grabbing or continuing the pattern of conflict we had all fallen into - I told them to wait as I grabbed my camera.  I took the snapshot, which to me elicits a feeling of peace and gratitude, and I flat out told them that I was going write about how much I love them, but how they can drive me nuts at the same time.

Although serene is not the word that accurately describes our life in general.  There are moments of serenity in this rich and full life that we live, and -no doubt- an abundance of blessings.