February 24, 2008

You Know It's Been a Cold Winter When...

You know it's been a cold winter when you discover your children have donned their spring jackets when the thermometer hit 20 degrees above zero and when questioned said "It's HOT out!"

At least they still had their boots on!


After our non-successful experience of raising a pig (for a month or two) someone decided we should inherit their apple orchard eating goats. I have never been much of a goat person. But decided I'd venture down and visit our new inheritance.

Well, they weren't such bad creatures afterall. I thought the brown one particularly cute.

The funny part was going down into the shed to visit them and having to climb back out due to all the snow, which at this point is quite well packed down.

Merry peeking in at the goats, who, incidentally are in the former pig-pen if this tells you how high our said pig jumped out. The goats haven't jumped out... yet.

Everyone enjoyed the little critters.

Charlie was very intrigued and wanted to get in at them.

Ice skating on sad-excuse of a pond is impossible due to the fact it's covered with quite a bit of snow.

Bilbo is a firm lover of cold weather if that isn't the craziest thing for a 2 month old baby! Of course he has layered up with plenty of blubber for the season.

Total Lunar Eclipse

On February 13th there was a total lunar eclipse which Sam and I stayed up to watch... the first 1/2 anyway. It was a beautifully clear night but *very* cold... as in *minus* 13 degrees. This made picture taking a bit chilly. But we managed! To read about the lunar eclipse go to NASA. We took the following pictures.

Woops! Once the moon "turned" orange-y I had to play with the camera, apparently I do not have a steady hand.

A bit blurry from coming inside out of the cold but Sam used a spotting scope to try and get a better view.

Sam looking outside before we got too cold. Fortunately for me I was able to watch it from the window inside. It was really beautiful.

Winter Wonderland

We're up to 88" of snow for the season which is already about 10 inches above the all-time record for our area. The children love it of course!

A view up the driveway.

This is our road right in front of the house, the trees are all thick with snow.

Other end of our property.

Some trees are just covered with solid ice.

The trees actually had icicles.

Lots of ice for out door picnics!

This picture doesn't do the beauty any justice. Some of the trees look like they are made of solid silver with the sun shining through.

February 17, 2008

Eleanor Turns 5

Happy Birthday Eleanor!

Eleanor was a profuse thumb sucker and we've been trying desperately to break her of the habit. Not only was she sucking her thumb but she would rub a cut on her upper cheek (ran into a thorny rose bush while sledding) while she sucked her thumb. We tried thumb sucking paint on stuff, bandaids, tape, etc... Two things have her on a roll for not continuing the habit 1. She can only play with her birthday dollies if she doesn't suck her thumb and 2. PINK duct tape! (it's not as sticky as regular duct tape and it's PINK)

She wanted a yellow cake with chocolate frosting.

I hope my Reeses loving SILs see this!!! Edy's Peanut Butter Cup ice cream! I do prefer chocolate with reeses pieces but this was plenty yummy!

Bilbo Second Month

Biblo gained another 3 pounds, weighin in just over 15 pounds. Here he is sporting a BumGenius Diaper and these really cute Johnny's Trumpettes socks that look like little high tops.

Pippin was always lean so it does look likeBilbo does have a chance to get his revenge in a few months! They'll be a bit like Laurel and Hardy!

Snowing Snowballs

I think it is actually snowing *snowballs* today.

WE're all in awe at the size of these snow flakes! It's literally coming down in large clumps!

February 14, 2008

Celebrating St. Valentine's Day During Lent

St. Valentine's Day sort of snuck up on me before I realized it was today. Since I make my own bread I added red food coloring... *voila* pink bread. Some of the bread I made into very slightly sticky buns. A few white cheese chunks and cut up sweet beef sticks and we were ready to celebrate (more on the honey pail, napkins and coloring book below).

Some of the pink dough was made into buns for the barbecue beef. Ok, it gets worse, we also had "cardboard soup" as we call Ramen Noodle soup with same said red coloring added. But I did run out of the color so our sour cream remained white! (BBQ and pink buns do not look pretty together)

The book St. Valentine retold and illustrated by Robert Sabuda is available at Hillside Education.

Click the images below to enlarge the coloring pages (and thank you to whoever gave me these last year... sorry I can't remember where I found them!!).

St. Valentine Praying

St. Valentine in the Prison

Gifts of goodies were sent to us which we all sampled and thoroughly enjoyed!! THANK YOU!!

Now to the honey pail. We had run out of honey. Although we gave it up for lent we use it just the same in things like granola. So I called the place and asked if they give tours. If we were going to drive an hour to get there we might as well make the best of it. The man was terrific and asked if we'd like the 2 or 4 hour tour. Being that I had all 9 children I said we'd take the 10 minute tour!

Here he is showing us one of those old fashioned beehives used in Egypt some many moons ago. He had quite a bit of history and stories to tell.

This is the inside of the beehive. The cross wood pieces were how the bees got started. I'm sure it was a very messy project to get out that honey!

Since we have some honey comb here at home we plan to melt it down into candles so we bought a cute lamb mold. This is Sam helping wind up the wicking and Frodo looking on.

The wicking spools. Pippin was interesting to have along... where was my stroller?!! The people were so nice and great with the children. They gave them each a coloring book as a gift.

On the way home we saw this neat train. Since there was a policeman directing us across the tracks in front of the train and a man taking pictures I figured I best get a picture, just in case this was a world famous train, I'd have proof we saw it too!

One of my lenten projects is to try to get as organized as my SILs. I just want things practical as pretty isn't my style (I guess!) So one of the first projects was our pantries. (yes, it does somewhat resemble a grocery store in quantities!!)

These 2 pictures are the upstairs pantry. See, not pretty but functional. I really wish I had taken a before picture. But I didn't as it was so bad you couldn't walk in here, so I was rather humiliated by it. But I guess it would have been more entertaining that way. Well, I have taken a "before" picture of the kitchen cabinets so if they ever get done I'll show both!

Eowyn rocking Bilbo. Bilbo is both a thumb sucker and takes a pacifier. Our first baby ever to take a nuk. (or nookie-cookie as we call it).
Pippin's favorite pastime is coming up with ways to torture Bilbo. One of those ways is to take Bilbo's fine hair and pull little bits of it. 3 boys in a row is too much energy and mischief.