April 30, 2016

The first bit of a week of spring break

Because of state testing, our school system decided to take spring break at the end of April, rather than the usual March or early April. It actually was rather nice, since the weather is a bit nicer. Or nicer-ish. It has been below freezing every single solitary night, so it isn't super warm. But it is sunny and the kids have played outside a ton!

Last weekend we down to Clover and Evan's and had a jolly party Friday night with lovely people. It was nice to just sit and talk. It feels like it has been ages since we have done that! I was enjoying it all so much I forgot to get my camera out once. But this is Saturday morning. Before Justin and Evan took the little boys with them to a job site. 

Cousins and friends

Rilla taking orders. Or something. 

Stinkin' Lincoln!

These two have had a wonderful time this past week hanging out together!


In the afternoon, we played a little more Dominion. Just for something different. Poor Andrew was lured to the Whites house under false pretenses. The guys planned on making poutine for lunch, so Andrew came over to have some. Except Scott and Sarah made a lovely big brunch and we weren't hungry. We neglected to tell Andrew we had changed our minds. 

But he got a game of Dominion out of it anyway!


After Dominion, I wandered around outside taking pictures.

Rolling down the hill


Lily doing a trick. Clover and Evan have a terrific dip in their yard to allow for a daylight basement. The kids adore it for riding bicycles down and back up very fast. They also like to do tricks.

A cherry tree I believe.

New leaves

More cherry blossoms

This terrible picture is of British Soldier's Lichen. Great name, eh? The red parts are the spore producing reproductive organs. 

Trout Lily leaves

Lacy lichen

Rocks and an unnamed species that I cannot find in my field guides or google. I suspect I am just not using the right guides or words in google. I mean, is this a plant or a woody groundcover? Is it coniferous or just spiny? 

Sunshine-y straightforward pine needles.

This I did find on Google. Meet the partridge berry. 

Grape hyacinths

Abandoned toys--the drum

Bat and soccer balls

Pencil and piece of drawing wood

Rocks and wood

And then, back home for some reading. Number the Stars! Oh how I loved that book! Orianna was engrossed!

Harry Potter is a big deal around here.

Dollhouse play

Fairy tale book

More fairytales

I had really big plans for my spring break. We are moving in a few weeks (just a few miles away) so packing is pretty important. And cleaning and getting our house ready for listing. Somehow, nothing really major was accomplished this week. On Sunday, after having the family over for lunch, I took a nap and read a frothy novel (Madeline Wickham--The Wedding Girl) from cover to cover. Monday saw us running some errands in town and more book reading. (The Hypnotist's Love Story by Lianne Moriarity) Tuesday was finishing up the Hypnotist's Love Story and attempting to make some sense of the chaos my kids created when I was bingeing (why is that not a word?) on reading. Wednesday was applying for Graduate School and applying for a mortgage on the place we are buying. Also starting The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson. Thursday, Clover and the cousins came north and Cody came home after five months. Friday was more cousin/family/errand time. And today, my house is clean, I am further into The Summer Before the War, and the sun is shining and I am contemplating a nap. 

Large sigh. I accomplished absolutely nothing much this break. (Well, I guess it was good to get the Grad school and Mortgage apps in.) 

But oh! the fun of doing nothing much! I hadn't really realized how uptight I am when I am working. I get up at exactly 5:30, go for my walk, go to work, come home, do housework, feed my family, tidy up, write a book blog post, and go to bed again at precisely 10. Every day. There is a part of me that thinks if I vary the routine in the least, everything will fall apart. So even though I didn't accomplish much, I feel so refreshed by the whole week. I have loved being with my little family. The extra snuggles, book reading, silliness, and relaxing that has happened this week are worth a little self reproach for not accomplishing miracles.  

A lot of painting has happened this week. I always tell the kids they can't paint because it is messy and more work. But this week, as I lolled about, reading, it seemed like I couldn't really plead the too-busy-to-clean-up-yet-another-mess card. So the kids have painted a couple times a day several days this week. By now, they are pretty good at cleaning up after themselves. 

I always wanted to be the sort of parent who would view painting as a regular part of life. 

It was nice to pretend to be that parent for awhile. 

My Elsie June with her wild dabs

Orianna, very neat with a tidy paint tray.

Lily and her sunsets. 

Gilbert wasn't feeling good this day, after a stomach bug night, so he was napping instead of painting.

Can you tell which tray and rinse water belonged to the older girls and which one belonged to the little kids? Yeah. Gilbert and Elsie's paint always turns into a lavender-y grey. A nice color actually. But very monochromatic. 

April 19, 2016

Oh to be in NNY now that April is there!

I am willing to say that Northern New York is just as spiffy as Robert's Brownings England. Although England probably has the jump on Northern New York in regards to green grass and daffodils. We are just starting to see a greenish tint to the grass. After an incredibly mild (spring-ish) winter, our spring got shy and kept hiding underneath freezing temperatures and snow flurries. 

At long last, it warmed up and was actually hot on Sunday. It hit 75. Since then, we have been in the fifties. But we had our day in the sun! So many sunburned kids at school on Monday... 

Isn't this girl marvelous? She has two teeth, although you can only see the one here. She will be one in a few short weeks. Hard to believe!

It was so nice, the guys dug out the baseball gloves and ball before Sunday lunch.

Do you see the fuzz of spring on some of the trees behind Owen?!?! Yay, spring!

Meanwhile, Hoyt and Elsie were busy inside with coloring and tractors. They look related. 

Concentration and crowns.

Abilene spent a good little while, crawling around with a little people in her mouth. If she knocked it out, she carefully picked it up and put it back in. It kept her from eating the Sunday paper anyway. 

Adoring George who was just trying to sleep in the sun.

Calving is in full swing!

Somehow, this area always seems to become the nursery with a lot of calves and a few cows standing guard.

This calf has a map of China on it's head. 

Despite the lovely day, Gilbert was not wanting to walk. So he sat down. Probably in a cow pie. 

But then his adored Daddy coaxed him onward.

Picking the very first teensy leeks. They were just barely up, so we will go back next week for some more. 

Showing Gilbert the fungus growing on the fallen tree.

Bare trees and sky

As we were walking into the woods, we saw a cow's water break. When we came back out, she was still laboring. She was a first calf heifer, so it took her awhile. We stopped to watch. 

Serious, quiet stuff, calving. 

Thankfully, she settled in to calve in a location handy to the stumps. 

Lily did some leek design while we waited.

Dirty fingers

Gilbert was so quiet and still watching the cow that he fell asleep. 

At long last--a strapping bull!

Slightly crazy looking calf.

Nose to nose

Attempting to stand. But failing. 

Trying to pet little Miss China face.

And success! He is standing!

Homeward bound!

Riding with Daddy