Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sunday in the Snow

Andrew is now learning the ropes from Matthew on
how to use the snow attachment on the tractor.  Not
a moment too soon either since this is Matthew's last
winter on the snow removal team.  It's just great that 
the weather has been providing lots of chances for 

And off he goes...

Helena dug out poor little Olaf this afternoon

Jonathan found what he had tripped on.
My flower pot which is about 30 inches tall was
buried and provided a nice obstacle.

Jonathan and James are in the tunnel by our front door.
The snow mounds are higher than James, but not
as tall as Jonathan.  Yet...

And, by the way, we'd like to wish a 
very Happy Birthday to "The Colonel".
I'm sure you're wishing you were here!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Poor Olaf

Remember our cute little Olaf?  Well, this morning
we found him chest high in snow.  We appear
to have gotten a little snow last night.   Helena may
have to make him a little friend .

If you click on the picture above you can zoom in on
the chickadees at the feeder.  One appears to be 
hanging in midair with no wings  :)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The First Lesson

First you have to learn to pull out the endpin just
the right amount.
(This will take some help for quite awhile.)

Time to hold that bow again.

And reposition again.

Okay, got it.  Now to put it on the string.

Whoops!  Reposition again :)

Or maybe put it on your head!

Around and around

And back to the string.

A little crooked, but he's getting it.  
It looks like it should be a simple thing, but
until you hold a bow, you'll never know about
some of those little muscles in your hand you
never use.  The bow shows them to you in a 
mighty way!

A little pizzicato to learn the string names.

It was a good lesson.
He's still asking for more!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful

20 Below

When it starts out the day at 20 below, 
you start to feel really good about seeing
the temperature climb up to 0!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

James Meets the Little Cello

You'd think that something out in plain sight would
be seen.  You'd especially think that something repeatedly
asked for which was in plain sight would be seen.
You'd think wrong.  Kristin finally had to show James
the "little cello".

He squealed.

He was introduced.

His fingers were placed on the bow.

He played his first notes...

...with a little help :)

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Coffee Cake Queen

We are so spoiled in our family.  Every Sunday before worship
 we are treated to a wonderful coffee cake of Emily's
making.  Yesterday's breakfast was just amazing!

Wishing you could have been here to share :)

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Percussion in the Window?

Last night was the first orchestra rehearsal of the new year.
Jonathan graciously agreed to do the percussion for a 
couple of the pieces that needed it.  The only trouble is, 
we have a rather large orchestra and a rather small room.
What's the answer?

Put him in one of the window displays!
Doesn't he look thrilled!
I'm sure passersby got quite a laugh!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Our Newest Member of the Family

This past week, we welcomed home a new member
of  the family.  The instrument family that is.

Kristin is gearing up to begin teaching cello
lessons to some wee little students so she
acquired a wee little cello to be ready.
It actually sounds like a full size viola, 
but what do you expect when it's only a
1/8 size :)

Friday, January 17, 2014

Good Morning Moon

Bob got this beautiful photo of the moon this 
morning right before breakfast.

We are getting ready for it to not be dark at breakfast.
It's very gloomy and makes it hard to get started on the day.
We just have to remember that each day is getting 
a little longer now.  Yeah!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Fort

It's probably no surprise that we spend a lot of time
in the snow during winter.  Yesterday was a good 
day for building a fort since we were staying home for
the afternoon.

The children used the play equipment as the "base" and
then started to add "walls".

Here comes another boulder

More walls taking shape

Helena and James--soaked, but happy

The lower enclosure is made and Benjamin is trying it out.

Christopher and Andrew get ready for a little "snow wrestling".

We even have our own little "Olaf" to keep us company now :)

Friday, January 10, 2014


Most of our children play multiple instruments.
This is great except when there are comments about
how someone else is playing.  Sometimes this ends
up with a little instrument trading which doesn't always
sound that great. 

 Here Kristin and Matthew traded
and found out that perhaps they should stick to their
own instrument.

What's your opinion?

P.S. They're going to love that I posted this video :)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Bridge with Grandma

You'd almost think no one is enjoying the game.

When Grandma comes over, bridge is serious business!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

It's Been One of Those Days...

I'm definitely not one to do many posts without pictures, but 
after today, I just don't feel like looking for pictures. 

Sometimes I get the feeling people think that things go just
perfectly for us all the time.  Just in case that was you...

Today's schedule started out with a thud and quickly
escalated to a splat.  I had a 1:00 meeting at the house
today so that meant that I really needed everything to be
on schedule and certain areas neat.  That was apparently wrong.
Some of the children were right with me, others were, well...

I had a good meeting and felt good about that
until I finished downloading and viewing the string
octet we/I had decided on for the least advanced players.
Awesome octet = eek = totally not doable by the people it
was intended for.  Plan B.   Wait,  I didn't have a plan B!  Aargh!

PreCalculus and Physics--need I say more?

This was also a teaching day for Kristin.  At about 4:45, I 
got a panicked call from Kristin letting me know that her 
cello had spontaneously exploded within her case during 
a lesson--definitely not a noise you want to hear.  Could I 
come and bring tools?  Well, I did go, with Matthew, tools, and
a spare cello just in case.  Assessment....cello unfixable except by
a luthier...left other cello and took tools and broken cello home.

Some days are just like that.
It will make tomorrow seem just that much better!

Now about that giant pile of laundry I forgot about on my bed....

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Quiet Time Reading

On an ideal day, Helena and James have their quiet
time readings at the same time.  In this respect, 
today was an ideal day.  We won't discuss other things :/

Helena was reading and actually finished reading
Adara by Beatrice Gormley.  It is a biblical historical
fiction book that Helena says is "really good"!

Kristin caught James while reading 
If You Give a Dog a Donut by Laura Numeroff.
James really likes this one because the dog is "so cute"!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Zucchini's Number One Fan...Or Maybe Not

Not everyone in our family agrees on zucchini.
Some like it.
Some tolerate it.
As you can see below, someone doesn't like it too much.

Poor James!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Baby Shower Time

This afternoon the girls and I got to attend the baby
shower of our good friend.

We also enjoyed many different foods for lunch
contributed by attendees.
We brought Kristin's spicy beef and bean casserole
which everyone seemed to like.  Then we got to
sample other people's offerings :)

There was even a special "gift deliverer"!

Helena made a little of the hat on the table and Emily
finished it for her.
Emily made all of the afghan and I finished up
some more cloth wipes.  (Wow, my contribution
took a whole fifteen minutes!)

Helena and Emily with our friend.

Now we just have to wait a little longer for baby
to arrive.  Patience is a virtue.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Fun at the Falls

I really like to visit Tahquamenon Falls in the winter.
It is especially beautiful after a snow.  We had a nice
snow last night and warmer temperatures today, so 
today was the perfect day to go.

Bob and I at the first observation point of the upper falls.

It's so interesting to see the ice formations.

The ladies

Christopher is ready to launch yet another snowball at an
unsuspecting brother.

The river as it approaches the falls

This small island became the target for snowballs.

Will it make it?   Noooo

How about Matthew's?  Yes!

Winter family picture

In case you think we're always serious....

Friends of ours and possibly their last photo together as
a couple.  They are expecting their first baby in about 
three weeks!

Icicles from the spray

Resting after returning from the observation deck.
Those 94 steps will really wear you out!

Yep, that's two feet of snow so far.

Apparently we came in the wrong vehicle.

There were about ten cars in the lot and about thirty 
sleds.  (Yes, I know they're snowmobiles, but up here,
they're sleds :)