Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Laura Turns 11 Months

Laura turned 11 months on Sunday! What a big girl she is getting to be!

March was a rough month for Laura. She decided to start cutting 4 teeth at once at the same time a nasty cold hit her. She fought this by not eating much at all and scaring her parents. I was much relieved to have her weighed on Monday and see that despite all the trouble she gained 12 ounces this past month!

Now that some of the teeth are through and the cold is gone Laura makes more progress everyday. She pulls up on things and has even climbed one step. Mom and Dad finally kicked her out of their room and she has settled into life in Rachel's room. Everyone is getting much more sleep.

She's working on a few words (namely Rachel and Andrew) and is becoming more and more interested in finger foods.

She hasn't lost her crazy hair!!! Ha ha!! Once again we have much to be thankful for.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Domestic Sort of Day

Today was a very nice sort of day. I didn't have to leave the house at all! That is a rare occurrence. It was a day to get schoolwork done, "leisurely" do the laundry, enjoy the flowers on my table, watch Laura climb a step, turn leftovers into chili, make a batch of bread bears, write a letter, take some pictures, actually sit down and read a magazine(!), and read to my children. A few more days like this would be very welcome........

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Visit to the Farm

I took a friend up to the nearby Creamery the other day and we had a nice little visit with the cows.

I love cows, probably because the first years of my life were spent in rural Vermont. My mom used to get milk in a giant gallon-sized round tupperware container, raw milk it was! I'm sure one of the first smells I recognized as a young child was cow smell.

Spring means babies and there are already several calves on the farm.

Can't help but photograph the chickens too. Chickens are incredible artistic and I just love their color schemes and crazy hair-dos.
We are still enjoying warmer weather and the chance to smell the fresh air and get outside. I should probably start some gardening......

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Look Who's Back!!!

Remember the ducks we had last year? The ones that made a nest in our front garden?

I think they are back!!!!! At least we have a mallard couple visiting our bird feeder again and checking out the neighborhood! I hope they make another nest in our yard!

We've had a few tastes of spring in the last days. Robins chirping, heat off, windows open, grass greening, that faint green haze appearing in the roadside bushes. The first day of spring is tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Life, Lately

Things have been so busy around here I haven't been able to post much. I do have plenty to post about, but I thought I'd just catch you up on a few things.

Of course the sad news coming from Japan keeps us thinking often and praying for all the victims of the tsunami. It's just awful to watch the videos and think about all the devastation. Michael's April trip to Japan has been shortened by a week and we'll see if that changes again as things unfold.

A friend took me to a new tearoom over the weekend and we enjoyed some incredible food all with a St. Patrick's Day theme.

In keeping with St. Patrick's Day, I'm planning to cook some corned beef sandwiches with cabbage in them too for dinner and I really need to fit some Irish soda bread in there as well. Here is the recipe I use.

The kids joined 4-H last week and we had our first meeting with our club. The kids LOVE it! I hope it is the beginning of many happy memories.

I made oxtail bourguignon over the weekend. Amazing depth of flavor. Must post more on this sometime.

My taxes are alluding me and I can't get time to finish them up. UGH!

Laura is on a feeding strike because of a two-week cold combined with teething 2-4 teeth. It's getting a little scary. I was encouraged that she took some solid food again today. We'll see how things end up. Prayer is appreciated.

Michael's 40th is around the corner! Some plans are in place for simple celebrations, but hopefully that will be just what he enjoys.

I guess I need to end this post and get a few things done before bedtime.......

Friday, March 11, 2011

Book Review: Marriage to a Difficult Man

Brenda recently recommended this book to me and I thoroughly enjoyed it! Although I have my finger in an entire pile of books right now it was Marriage to a Difficult Man that I kept picking up to read before bed each night.

The book whimsically tells the story of the marriage of Jonathan and Sarah Edwards who lived in the 18th century and whose ministry has had an enormous impact on our nation and theologians worldwide since that time.

Honestly, I think the subtitle of the book more accurately describes the contents of the book: "The uncommon union of Jonathan and Sarah Edwards." At a time in history when life was hard work and many marriages were of necessity and not so much of heart, this book describes the precious relationship that Jonathan and Sarah enjoyed despite raising 11 children, serving several pastorates, and undergoing much opposition.

This isn't a how-to book but a story book. If you enjoy biography, I highly recommend it!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Visit to the Sugar Shack

Yesterday the kids and I headed into the deep countryside to visit a maple sugar shack.

I've read about maple sugaring to the kids, but there's nothing like seeing the real thing for yourself. Here's what sap collection looked like for several hundred years:

Modern collection is much less asthetic. It involves miles and miles of plastic tubing intertwined through the sugar bush, picking up sap from each of the maple trees as it winds its way toward the "sap ladder" and the holding tank:

Tanks outside the sugar shack fed the sap through a reverse osmosis machine to remove as much water as possible and then dropped the concentrated sap into the evaporator, which in modern times is fueled by diesel, not wood.

Everything is now mechanized and automated! When the proper temperature is reached at the front of the evaporator, the syrup pours into a holding tank, ready for filtration and bottling.

The smell of maple penetrated the shed and made me feel as if I was transported for an hour to Vermont and my childhood memories of visiting sugar shacks. Back then it was boiled in an open evaporator fueled by wood, and the syrup was tested by hand to determine it's readiness.

We had a delightful time talking with the owners and helper. So far this year the sugarbush has produced 900 gallons of pure maple syrup. Last year they produced only 500 gallons total. I guess it's a good year!

We came home with some maple cream and some dark amber syrup and some great memories!

Saturday, March 5, 2011


A friend wanted a few tips on calligraphy recently so I got out my pens and googled "calligraphy envelopes." Oh my, the eye candy! Once I started I couldn't stop, it was so much fun!

It's amazing how many resources are available FREE on the internet if you want to take up the craft of calligraphy. A simple google search will yield all you need. Good pens do help! I suggest "Staedtler Calligraphy Duo" and these can be bought from Amazon if your local art store does not carry them.

It all boils down to a little time here and there for practice, practice, practice. And, if you don't have time to do that, just practice when you are writing things you have to write: to-do lists, addressing envelopes, menus, birthday cards. Adding a little beauty to someone's day is fun!

Here is the site I recommended to my friend:

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Laura turns 10 Months

Baby Laura turned 10 months on Sunday! It's been a great month of growth for her, with more developmental milestones for which we are thankful.

Check out the chubby tummy! This little girl weighed in at 15 pounds 6 ounces on Monday, which is up 12 ounces in the last 2 weeks. She's figured out how to stuff cheerios in her mouth and is taking baby purees twice a day.

The fingers still come out when she gets tired.

Clapping is the new favorite game and she figured out the kissing noise at least.

Daddy is getting ready for a trip to Japan for one month and we are all thinking about how much Laura will change in that time.

Big sister is always there to play with or cuddle.

And we are almost crawling on hands and knees. Laura can tummy crawl now but is still only rocking on the knees. Maybe by next month!

She's just about always happy!

We continue to give thanks for all the good milestones and ounces gained. Thank you all for your prayers for Laura!


Happiness is smelling the scent of hyacinth waft throughout the house for nearly two weeks. Ah, the perfume of spring!