Friday, November 29, 2013

Fun Project Day

Christopher was the first to finish his studies today so he 
got to be the first to do a project with Dad.
He's been wanting to make a weasel box for
a while so that was the project of the day.
(If you have to ask what that is, 
you probably don't want to know.)

Bob is really great with little projects like this.
One hour of labor and $0 spent.

The latches and hinges have been following us
around for about the last twenty years.
The wood was leftover scrap from past projects.

It's always fun for the guys to be able
 to use their own tools too.

Project completed and no injuries!

Once the wood project was done, Bob packed up the 
three youngest and headed over to Grandma's 
apartment to help her with some baking.
Grandma is in her mid-80's and has always done quite
a bit of holiday baking.  Now that she has lost a lot 
of the strength in her arms she can't do as much
any more.  Her solution is to have the grandchildren
come over to help.  She spends quite a bit of time planning
what to have each one do.

James's first task was to start breaking up graham crackers.

Benjamin's job was to make lemon cookies.  
Grandma has a very small apartment so you have to 
be creative finding space for three in the kitchen.

James is still working on those graham crackers.

Benjamin's almost done with the cookie dough.

Helena and Grandma measuring ingredients on the step stool?
Well, like I said, you have to be creative.

Helena rolling out dough

Helena gets to use the other sink for her mixing bowl.
Anyone starting to think they shouldn't be 
complaining about their kitchen anymore?

Benjamin is already getting his cookies on the tray.

Meanwhile, James is helping Grandma 
with a different recipe.  

Benjamin's are out of the oven!

Taste testing
Very serious business

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Our Very Happy Thanksgiving

I don't know how your morning began, 
but mine went something like this...

"Mom, can we go outside, please, please?"
"It's only 11 outside, please wait till it gets
a little warmer, okay."
"Mom, it's 15 now can we go out now".....

Christopher and James got ready to do some sledding.

As you can see we don't have much snow yet.

Okay, this doesn't seem quite fair.

The inevitable snowball fight has begun.

James stayed out of the snowball fight, but he had 
a great time in the snow anyway.
Well, all that play worked up a good appetite!
So...bring on the feast!

Pax Vobiscum (Emily's name choice)
Delicious Dinner (James's name choice)
You can pick your favorite.
By the way, yes, this is one of our own turkeys!

The table pre-mess

Emily is obviously pleased that her dad is carving
the turkey.  That's a job nobody likes!

Ah, time to eat.

Grandma was our "turkey angel".  
What a blessing that she actually likes deboning
the turkey.  She got the job done while we did
the rest of the clean-up.

The dessert table

Yeah, no more glop!  This is our dairy-free whipped
cream and it is/was good!

The finished pumpkin/molasses pie

Time for dessert!

Emily got to serve up the pies.

Jonathan picked apple pie.
Now, for the ultimate in Thanksgiving irony,
we had a great time playing a marathon game of Monopoly....

in front of a roaring fire.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Preparations

I don't know about you, but one of the worst things for me
when we had only small children was trying to make
a large holiday meal on the day of the holiday.
Not fun at all!
Spent the whole day in the kitchen...
No time to do fun things with everyone else but eat.
While eating was good, I would have liked to do 
other things too :)
So...I've spent quite a bit of time teaching our
ladies to pre-prepare many of our holiday
dishes and to choose those that can either be
prepared in advance or are just really fast and easy.

These pictures are from Monday when they had James help with the 
bread for the stuffing and making the molasses pumpkin pies.
(all gluten free/dairy free of course!)

Licking the beater is the best part!

Yum!  Bread and pies ready for tomorrow!
Lest anyone think everything always turns out
perfectly when we cook, (this should be followed by a laugh track),
we have a container of glop in our refrigerator that 
should have been our dairy-free whipped cream.
Since we really like the molasses/pumpkin pie with the
 whipped cream, we'll
have to try it again later today.
Glop anyone?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Different "Violin"

Helena tried her hand at violin making.

I think she'll have to keep trying, 
it doesn't have very good sound.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Sometimes Your Standards Need To Be Flexible

Such as when you tell your six-year-old to hang up his
Sunday clothes.

At this point, I'm just happy they're not on the floor :)
(Yes, I did straighten them later--there's no way I want extra ironing!)

Monday, November 18, 2013

James's Big Announcement

Well, today was the big day.  We were talking about having a vision
for the future during family worship this evening and our 
conversation went something like this:

Bob:  Do any of you have a vision for what God
wants you to be?

James:  I do!

Bob:  That's great, James!  What do you think God 
wants you to be?


Bob:   A vacuum cleaner?

James:  No, I mean a vacuum cleaner salesman!

So, I guess you all need to be on the look-out for James in a few years.
He may show up at your door with a great selection of vacuum cleaners!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Project Find Wood

We have been lamenting our lack of wood supply for winter fires this year,
and thankfully God provided a good day yesterday to take care of that.
Soooo....Bob and the guys scrounged around in the back of our
property for some "logs".

You'll notice this one is so small in diameter that Jonathan was having
a hard time splitting it.

Even Benjamin got to help.

In the end, we got a nice little pile which will be enough
for fires on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and
my birthday!  Yeah!

The Final Touch to the Entry

Sometimes the little details get forgotten about.
For the past six weeks we've had the two doorbell
 wires hanging out of the doorway.
The only way to ring the bell was to touch the wires together.
(Admittedly this was kind of fun, but not aesthetically pleasing.)

Bob had time yesterday to install the doorbell.

It's much easier to drill through the mortar joint.

Tightening the last screw

Bob gets the official first "ring".