Joy Peters – co-creator and writer for FamilyFunTwinCities.com.
Besides Family Fun Twin Cities, I spend my 9 to 5 at a day job pursuing my weird passion for calendars and organizing things as a legal secretary. When I get home I spend my time with my four kids, 10, 6, 4 and 1. My amazing husband is both a full-time musician and full-time stay-at-home dad. Together we run a small radio empire — SiaNet Radio — playing, promoting and enjoying the wide variety of local music and art in the Twin Cities. I juggle all this while writing about exploring the Twin Cities with kids. I couldn’t be happier.
One North Star is a delightful book that pleasantly exceeded my expectations. The illustrations by Beckie Prange and Betsy Bowen are beautiful and engaging; and Phyllis Root manages to pack a great deal of information into lyrical prose.
I first sat down to read the book with my math-loving preschooler, assuming he would enjoy any counting book. However, within a couple pages, my first-grader was wedged in by us, playing along as we read. By the end, I had three of them engaged (ages 4-11).
This is the kind of book that can be read repeatedly but with a different focus each time. It can be read as:
If we left it up to Anne to write her own bio, it would never get posted. She doesn’t enjoy talking about herself, but Anne does love exploring the Twin Cities with her family and sharing her finds here. She, her husband and their four kids are lifelong residents of St. Paul.
Fall cannot officially commence for our family until we’ve taken a trip out to an apple orchard. The kids look forward to this tradition as soon as the State Fair wraps, school is back in session, and the weekends take on a twinge of crisp in the air. Having maintained for a few years an orchard directory of sorts for Family Fun Twin Cities, I feel like I’ve got a pretty good handle on the crop of apple farms to choose from in the metro. And yet, every fall an orchard pops up on my radar that I hadn’t considered before. Deardorff Orchards in Waconia was this year’s new find.
Our visit had nothing to do with blogging or business, it was simply an afternoon meant to be spent with friends — picking apples, taking a tractor hayride, munching absolutely delicious wood-fired pizza on a picnic blanket, and in the kids’ case, building log shelters and throwing themselves heedlessly off hay bales.
The pickings weren’t as superior as we’ve found at other orchards in the west metro and be prepared to pay $20-$30 for your pecks, but we appreciated that there was no admission charge or nickel-and-diming for any of the simple activities. Our kids found plenty to do clambering on logs, getting up close to the horses, touring the orchard by tractor ride, and enjoying the fresh air.
Had we the time and/or inclination, there’s the onsite Parley Lake Winery, located adjacent to the classic white apple barn. Long after the last apples have fallen from the trees, the tasting room is still open Friday-Sunday until Dec 20.