Thursday, October 30, 2014

Cute Wildlife Find of the Day

The guys found this cute, baby beaver today.

It looks furry and cuddly, but when it's
baring its teeth at you it isn't quite as cute :}

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

"Little Fix-it" Helps Daddy

James really likes to help with projects.

Today he got to use the cordless drill...

...and clamps.
In the end he enjoyed it all but still asked,
"Dad, are we going to use my hammer now?"
Obviously, the hammer is his tool of choice :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

U.P. Beauty

Now this is the way to start a week...

...this sunrise just seemed to explode in the front
of our house.

Thirty minutes later, Helena pointed out the unusual
cloud pattern and colors in the back.

The colors just deepened as the moments went by.

Ten minutes later, she spotted a partial rainbow.

Unfortunately, I didn't photograph this well.
This must require skills I don't yet have :)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Random Weekend Outdoor Pictures

Sunday morning brought a beautiful sunrise.

We wandered down by the creek and saw the remains
of both bridges.  BIG sigh....

Andrew and Christopher had some fun in the afternoon,

and some opening day of trapping success.
It wasn't too cold yesterday--today is a different story.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Happy Birthday Jonathan!

Today is Jonathan's 19th birthday.
Hard to believe, but true.
We got a family pic minus Bob but plus Grandma.
(weird that I'm in this picture)

Jonathan chose an apricot torte for his cake.
We substituted peach for the apricot since I 
couldn't find any apricot.
We also had to arrange the candles in the shape
of numbers at the last minute since all our remaining
ones are pink.

That looks like a Jonathan sized portion, I wonder
what the rest of us will have?

The three hams enjoyed their dessert.

Jonathan enjoyed his dessert...

....and his gifts.

Hope you had a great day, Jonathan.
We love you!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Jonathan and "Little Fix-it"

There is nothing that makes James happier
than a chance to use one of his tools.
(or someone else's tools)

Since Jonathan had the day off on Friday, he had
James help him fix the treadmill.
(yes, something else broke)

All of the shock absorbers had cracked or broken so they
first had to be removed.
James got to use his screwdriver.

Jonathan showed him how the new parts had to go
on the machine.

James got to tighten the screws.
That's a big deal when you're seven!

Coffee Cake Casualty

Lest anyone thinks everything goes
perfectly in our kitchen...

...think again.

Music Room Finishing Touch

I'm sure I've mentioned before just how loud it is in our house 
when we have lots of practicing going on.  To take care of 
this, we've been wanting French doors on the music room
for some time.  Last week, it actually happened !

Jonathan did a little prep work to make sure it would fit :)

In it comes.  Apparently it was very heavy so it
was a very good thing Jonathan was available to help.

Will it fit?

Once the bottom board was off, it was very hard to move.

It fits!

Nothing left to do but add a handle

Now we can keep the doors open if we want to listen,
or close them when the ears can't take any more.
It is amazing to hear (or not hear) the difference.

Friday, October 24, 2014

A New One For Me...

I seem to be having a lot of firsts lately.  
Another first for the past week was watching
Jonathan get ready and drive off to work in his
own car.

Papa graciously bought him a cover for his car which
made the problem of frosty windows no big deal.

Obviously it was a little chilly.

It was a really different experience seeing him in his
own car.  It was a really great one, though, since this 
means I'm not stranded here at home.
What a blessing!

Another Recital for Nonnie and Papa

While Nonnie and Papa were still here, 
we took the time to have another recital.

This time, Helena played a flute piece...

a piano duet with her sister...

and a violin piece with Benjamin.
It's nice to have someone to play for after all
that practice :)

Then, Helena challenged Nonnie to a game of 
checkers.  Nonnie told Papa, "This won't take long."

She was right.  Helena won quite quickly.
I think Nonnie might need just a little more practice.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Tea for Five

Today we had our traditional tea with Nonnie.
Emily and Kristin came up with a quick and easy
menu since we were rather short on time.

Pumpkin Ice Cream

3 c vanilla coconut milk divided
6 egg yolks
3/4 c sugar
1 t pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 pureed cooked pumpkin

Scald 1 1/2 c milk in heavy sauce pan.  Whisk yolks and sugar in med. bowl.
Gradually whisk in scalded milk and add spice.  Return to sauce pan and stir
over med. heat until thickened.  (about 10 min. -- do not boil)
Remove from heat.  Whisk in remaining milk and pumpkin.  Refrigerate until
well chilled.  Place in your ice cream maker and follow directions 
according to your machine.  We placed ours in the freezer for two hours 
afterward which gave it a wonderful consistency.  
It was delicious!  Of course, the meringue cups and homemade
chocolate syrup didn't hurt either :)

The hot tea was wonderful with the ice cream.

We had such a nice time chatting with Nonnie.
We will miss her and Papa very much when they
leave us to go back to Texas tomorrow.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Completed Mahogany Chair

After nearly four years of various stages
of repair, the chair is finally done!

It had been intended for the big guys' room,
but after further consideration it is now in the 
music room and makes a perfect cello chair.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A First Recital

for James, that is.
He requested to play for Nonnie and Papa, 
but the hour was late so we improvised and
he played in his pajamas :)

First he played his piano piece which was
"Canoe on the Lake".

Then, he played his pick of cello pieces which was
the first "Twinkle" variation.
It was a treat to have Nonnie and Papa in the audience!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Enjoying Nonnie and Papa

One of the things we like to do with Nonnie and Papa
is to play games.
(Papa especially likes this.)
Here, Nonnie got stuck playing the memory game
with Benjamin.   He did let her get one pair :)

The other thing we always do is to do at least one
puzzle with Nonnie.
Here, Benjamin gets the hand off from Nonnie.

This is by far the hardest puzzle we have ever done.
All the pieces are the same shape!  Aargh!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Jonathan's Car Is Fixed!

Jonathan got the call just after 5:00 P.M. yesterday--
his car was done!
So, Bob and Jonathan hurried on over to pick it up.

This time he made it all the way home without the aid
of a tow truck :)

He has officially arrived.

Just a little happy

An additional bonus...

...Nonnie and Papa are here visiting so he was able
to show them his fully functional car.  Yippee!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Good Arm, Bad Aim =

....yet another new window.
We had planned to replace this window-next year.
Notice a problem with this window?

How about now?

Benjamin got to learn how to remove a window.
He was able to learn how to use a cordless drill...

...on a ladder...

...and a reciprocating saw.
(Isn't this the most amazing picture.  It looks like a 
painting outside the window.)

Window removal complete.

Window installation begins on the interior.

Exterior installation

Installing the backer rod

This was the end of the installation Benjamin was
involved in.  Bob finished off the exterior caulking
and the interior spray-foam while Benjamin went 
off to play baseball with his brothers.

Somehow that doesn't seem quite fair.
Hopefully this really is the last window replacement 
for the year.