Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Right Tool for the Job

For the first time since we moved here three years ago, we are getting a "normal" U.P. winter.  This means lots of snow.  We moved here with a few shovels and two small snowblowers, and while we were used to lots of snow where we lived before, we had been exceedingly blessed with a wonderful friend who plowed us out at almost every snow.  Times have changed, and since both of our snowblowers decided it was time to die that meant break out the shovels!  Notice if you will the size of the snow banks directly outside our garage.  If it helps at all, that is Matthew who is about 5' 9 1/2".  It also helps to know that our driveway is about 80 yards long and that the snow bank is that high the majority of the way.  Whew!!  So...

...Enter the right tool!  Boy are our guys happy!  We were able to purchase a huge attachment for our lawn tractor which has cut the snow removal job down to less than an hour.  What a blessing!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

A New Hobby

Christopher has recently taken up whittling.  He read a book belonging to one of his brothers and found a new hobby.

I, of course, am thankful that he has been having fun, but also that he's being careful with his technique.     
(And that he cleans up all the wood shaving when he's finished)

This picture doesn't do his projects justice.  We'll have to get some better close-ups.   I'll post one soon.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

One More Post...

I decided to add one more post today.  These pictures were just too cute!

This is Helena and James with their aprons on and hands washed--ready to help Kristin make cookies!

 The cookies are made, it's time to decorate!

Frosting some rather large heart cookies.  We had to cut them out by hand since as usual I checked for the needed cookie cutter while the dough was being made and found we had none.  I have since found two at a second hand shop for a quarter.  Now we're ready for next year!

James helping too.

Christopher and Benjamin got to do some sprinkles.

Benjamin managed to get in the "all done" picture.

Posing with our Valentine Flowers--sort of

All the ladies in the family were given flowers for Valentines Day.
In honor of the occasion we took a serious picture.

Okay, maybe the second one was better.

Our Past Week

Our last week has been full and fun.  Today is a great day to reflect on that since we are having a major blowy, snowy day.  It makes us just that much more thankful for a warm cozy house!

We're also thankful for Emily's wonderful cooking!  Here she's juicing lemons...

...for making lemon curd.  This will go on top of her coconut breakfast bread.  I can tell you that even if you don't like coconut, once the lemon curd is on your slice, you won't mind it one bit!

Putting in the last of the ingredients...

stirring over low (very important) heat.

Emily would also like to point out that since this is quite thick and requires frequent stirring, trying to wash dishes at the same time is not a good idea!  I'll let your imagination finish this story. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

On Top of the Snow

It rained here yesterday.  Yes, that's right, rain in the U.P. in February.  Anyway, that made for quite a mess, of course, and as the temperatures fell it all froze again.  While this makes shoveling really tough, it makes for a fun time to play on top of the snow.  Keep in mind we have at least three feet of snow.  The children are just light enough that the ice crust will hold them.

James posing

Helena working on her snowman

Completed mini snowman

Helena and James on top of the snow

I know these pictures look really dark, but it's not because it's late in the day.
Surprise, it's snowing again!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Mom's Birthday

Why are they all smiling?

Because Kristin is bringing in the cake!

They are smiling because Kristin is cutting the cake!

Jonathan and James... a pose too cute to leave out.

Convenient how my birthday flowers cover up the size of my piece of cake!

Helena and James made a cool creation.

Another beautiful sunset brought the end to a great birthday!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A Little More Snow and Cold

It's been a little more "normal" in the U.P. this winter.  This is the view out the kitchen window with a balmy -16 degree temperature!  It just makes us even more thankful for a house that keeps us warm and...

out of the three feet of snow we now have blanketing our field behind the house.  These are our "turkey tractors" just waiting for their first guests in the spring.  Currently they are about half buried in snow, but you can still see part of one of the quilt patterns on the side.  I couldn't see leaving them boring white!

I have to credit to Matthew for wading out in the snow to take this picture for me.  He graciously set aside his history for five minutes to help me.  Thanks Matthew!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Daddy and "Little Fix-it"

James likes to help his daddy with projects.  He really likes to help when it involves the use of tools!
Today it was time to repair my clock so...

you take the new mechanism and read the directions!

Then you get ready to position the mechanism in the clock,

turn the clock over, and make sure the shaft comes through the face.

Tighten that nut--using a crescent wrench!

Next, you attach the hands.

Finally, you attach the pendulum.

All done!