Weekend Signs of Spring

{Magnolia tree officially in bloom}

{Mud cooking}

{Bare feet}

{Sap bucket recorder}

{Tree climbing}



Ski Day


Nora has watched the three of us talk about, plan and then go off skiing ever since she's been a baby.  This year she asked if she could pleeeeaaaase go skiing with us.  I was hesitant about all of it but then remembered Jackson was skiing when he was four so thought maybe she might be ready?


The two big kids were really excited to get her on the hill.  But I could tell once we got there she was feeling apprehensive about the whole thing.  By the time her skiis were on she starting to get clingy and weepy and I just new it wasn't going to go well.  She still wanted to give it a try but when we got to the top of the hill she started crying (but saying it was because she didn't want to hold my hand) and yelling and well, we made it down the hill but then it was time to be done for the day (year).  Thankfully they let both of us return our skis.
Later we found that this was just the type of skiing she liked!  Much better.


So for the first time Grace and Jackson went off to ski on their own.  They would check in with me every hour or so letting me know which direction they were going.

{Jackson's in this picture too on the far left blending in with the trees}

And then before we left they decided to give some of the jumps a try.

{Nora and I left our games and puzzles in the warm chalet and went to watch}

{Grace comes down the hill first and the right after Jackson. Also notice how there are NO other people on the hill, we are spoiled homeschoolers!}

They had a lot of fun practicing on the various "jumps" and Jackson especially decided he wanted to spend a lot more time here next time.

Not sure there will be a next time with the weather warming up but we will see.


Swim Day


{Nora swam in the deep end with her life jacket on for the first time!}


This week we opted out of our homeschool group activity and instead Nikki and I took the kids to the pool.  While kids swam happily for 6 hours Nikki and talked happily about books (for 6 hours).  Yes to homeschooling!


Random Thoughts From Our Week

{Some of our library books from this week.}

{Finishing up learning about Sweden}

{Next year's wood looking pretty in the sunset}

{Spring trying to peek through}

{Making carrot muffins}

{despite my love of aprons I always forget to put mine on, she never forgets}

{Sampling their work}


{Melting skating pond}

{Reading a family favorite}

We have decided to make Thursday our library day.  Not sure how this will go considering each time we go to the library we come home with 89 books but my hope is that we can return some each week as well.  Jackson and I just finished that book on top "Elmer and the Dragon".  It is the second in a three part series and they are our favorite.  This month I've also decided we are going to learn about John James Audubon.  I think they will enjoy that along with studying song birds for nature studies.  It seems like a good fit for spring.  Jackson also picked out a book on making homemade bird feeders so maybe we will do that too.

This weekend Ryan and the kids put the taps in the trees for syrup making.  We didn't really expect to be getting any yet but by the end of the day several of the buckets were starting to collect sap.  We managed to get through a whole year with our syrup from last year (still have a few jars left actually).  We have only managed to do that with a few things (edemame and venison a few years back and this year I think we will also make it with frozen strawberries and apple sauce) but it always feels so triumphant.

We have had some lovely days with our homeschool group over the last few weeks.  Two weeks ago the kids spent four hours playing games together- red rover, freeze tag, etc.  I kept thinking we were going to leave but everyone was so happy none of the moms could bring themselves to break it up.  This week we went sledding and then after lunch played gym games.  We again ran into the same "problem", no one wanting to end the happy game playing (this time basketball and soccer).  It is of course not always like this but whenever it is I am reminded how capable, kind and thoughtful children really are.

At home we have been having some really peaceful days too... with the exception of last Friday. We had a rough day here on Friday.  This happens periodically and yet somehow each time I am surprised and taken down by it.  In my head I start plotting to immediately register them for school or just put them on a bus (any bus).  Even after Ryan got home the day never really let up and finally I decided I just needed to go to bed early and start over.  This was a good choice for me.  Everything really was better after some sleep.

I am almost finished working on my art room upstairs. I am so in love with it. I spent a good portion of my Sunday working on various projects in there. I'm hoping to get in the habit of working in there after the kids are in bed. Two weeks ago for two nights in a row I set up all my paints after dinner so that I could get right to painting as soon as everyone was sleeping. It was so enjoyable and fulfilling, yet for some reason I haven't done it since.  Why that is I do not know. Anyway, working toward a habit.


Happy Valentine's Day


We don't do much for Valentine's Day but we do have a tradition of turning the kitchen table into a valentine making station.  I like this simple tradition and I love how into it they get.  Sometimes we like to spend a day delivering our valentines but with all of this busyness lately I decided not to do that this year.  This year my mom came out on Friday and had the idea of having a valentine party.  So we did that, again keeping it simple.  We exchanged our cards with her and played charades with valentine candies (it's really fun and funny).  Might have to be a new tradition.



{The pool all to ourselves}

{Grace teaching Nora how to swim}

{Katie and Kris shoveled an ice rink in front of their cabin}

{My little skater}

{A wild game of fox and goose}

{Ice fishing}

{The puzzlers}

{Bubble wigs and beards}

{Their "room"}

This year for Christmas Katie and Kris gave us a weekend "Winterfest" up north.  We stayed in a cozy hotel with a separate room with bunk-beds for the kids (they loved this part). We spent a lot of time in the pool in the mornings and evenings.  On Saturday we spent most of the day at their cabin, having a bonfire, skating, playing games and of course eating.  My favorite part was just being able to spend some relaxing time with my family.  Such a great weekend!




{They are building sledding and snowboarding runs}



{Eating snow as usual}




Yesterday I had my camera with me on my little trail walk and I couldn't stop taking pictures.  It was the most beautiful winter day I have ever seen.  Snow covering every last twig, I felt like I was on another planet. Later that night when I tried to upload my photos somehow they had all disappeared.  Today was beautiful too, but unfortunately most of the snow on the trees had already melted.  Oh well.  We still enjoyed it.