Wednesday, March 26, 2014

One of THOSE days

David and I really have a lot of free time.  We are looking for something to do to while away the hours now that the kids are all in school.
He has said for many years that we should/could sell the bulletin boards we made for the kids' rooms.  I have always laughed it off as a crazy idea.
When we took down John and Emily's bulletin boards during their room makeovers, David again said we should try and market them. 
Let me stop right here and say that forever David and I will be the best and worst partners for each other.  David can find us more than our fair share of crazy things to do, and I can usually find some crazy way to do it.
With the internet being today's market to the world, I spent an evening setting up an account on the Etsy website to sell bulletin boards.  See?
Sure enough.
In a matter of a few short weeks we sold one.
David jumped right up from the couch, threw down his beer and TV remote and got to work.
Soon he had a lovely bulletin board ready to ship.
Wanting to keep our buyer up to date, I sent him a picture of his new airplane bulletin board.
His response?
It was supposed to be green.
So I cancelled my spa treatment and my tennis lesson for today.  I'm off to Lowe's for green paint
Because the customer is always right.
Who comes up with these brilliant ideas anyway??

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Computers Compulsions and Celebrations

We are here and we are EXCITED to think spring is on its way!
Never mind that white stuff blowing around outside my window as I type.  I refuse to acknowledge anything that looks like snow.
the computer is completely dead.
I am grateful to have David's Surface to work on while the computer is off being fixed.  I just wish my eyes were better or the Surface was bigger.  We aren't very compatible in the visual department.  I'm old, and it is not!
We have been busy around here the past couple weeks.
It would appear there is more than one person in this house with OCD tendencies.  I promise I did not sort the M & M's according to their color.
In the time I have NOT spent sorting M & M's I have helped a certain little girl celebrate a birthday.
Grace is now officially nine years old.
She celebrated by having a sleepover with a few of her friends Friday night.  They played outside and made bead pets and suncatchers then finished the evening watching the new Disney movie, FROZEN.  They talked and giggled themselves to sleep by eleven that night and were up bright and early the next morning to play with Grace's new American Girl doll accessories she received as birthday presents.
Saturday evening we enjoyed visiting with Cale and John who helped David clean up fence rows at the farm all day Saturday.  Thank you guys for all of your hard work.  We really appreciate you taking the weekend to help and to visit.
Grandma and Grandpa joined the fun Sunday for a birthday lunch and cake in honor of the birthday girl.  What a nice visit!  Thanks for coming.
Lots more to catch up on now that I have figured out how to post on this teeny tiny computer.  Right now I'm off to sort some more M & M's.
Not really.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

If you give a kid a knife....

Grant has pestered his dad for a pocket knife for many months.
David recently decided a seven year old was old enough to carry his own knife.

Rules were laid down about
when to carry the knife
where he could NOT take it - like school
when it was okay to use the knife
and how to operate it by himself
Grant listened attentively to all of Dad's rules 

then accepted the knife 
and all of the grown up responsibilities that came with it

then he carefully slid his new knife into his pocket and trotted off to play.

I know this will not end well.  I fear for the well-being of little fingers and probably my furniture too.


Grace proudly displaying her science fair medal

She is mighty proud of it.

Spring is fast approaching.  Grace helped me start seeds for the garden.

 I always save this chore to do when she is home.  She loves helping plant the seeds.

She will eagerly watch them sprout and report how big they are getting each day.

Speaking of getting big....look at the long legs on this little girl.
The kids played outside quite a while Tuesday evening when the temperatures were hovering in the seventies.  I was shocked when I saw Grace.  Somehow during the winter she has morphed into this lanky creature that is all arms and legs.  Hopefully the rest of her will catch up to those long limbs this summer!

And John, who is not signed up to play baseball this spring, has been throwing a baseball every chance he gets. Mom's intuition tells me he has some very mixed emotions about retiring the baseball cleats this year.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Sap to Syrup - A Tale of Two Weeks

My computer is in a good mood today, so I'm going to see if I can get some pictures loaded. 
Wish me luck!!

Some of our forty taps

We had great luck with weather conditions this year.  Sap was running great with buckets overflowing at times.  The trees were running as much as a gallon each day on good days.

Collecting was the part the kids enjoyed most.

You would assume correctly if you guessed this bucket ended up on Grant's head.

After collecting sap, it was off to the house to begin cooking it down.
I refused to cook it at home this year after last year's experience, so we moved it to the garage at the farm.  David brought a stove from ECO's breakroom to use.

And since we had it to use, we took the stove out of the house we just bought and used it as well.
If we cook this much next year, I hope we can get something more efficient.  Even with eight burners, this was SLOW.  We cooked through the night the second weekend taking turns watching it boil.
I'm proud to report that during my shift from ten to two thirty in the morning I not only boiled off almost twenty gallons of sap, but I managed to flap my way to level thirteen on Flappy Bird on my iPhone before it died.

I'm pathetic at that game.  Don't judge.

Once the sap was boiled to an almost completed state, we pulled it off and hauled it back to town where I finished it in my kitchen on Monday.

Jars ready to fill

Not quite done yet!!

Finished product from first week

Finished product from second batch

Pancakes, anyone?


Emily called me just as I put Grace and Grant on the bus this morning.  She was not feeling well and is now asleep in her room.  One more perfect attendance gone for this year!

Grant is still clinging tenaciously to his perfect attendance.  It has not come without its own share of challenges though.  As I was getting in carpool line Monday morning to drop off Grace and Grant, Grant told me his bracket had come loose on his tooth.  Sure enough in less than one week a bracket was already off.  Of course it was the fourth and last bracket in line which left the wire poking right into his lip.  The orthodontist could see him that day, but Grant was more upset about ruining his perfect attendance to fix the bracket than he was with the wire cutting his lip.

What is a mother to do?

I called David to the rescue.  He showed up with wire snips and we did a little dental procedure of our own right outside Grant's classroom.  David cut and bent the wire for Grant.  

Now Grant refuses to get it fixed.  He insists he will wait until school is out in July June to get it fixed since he would have to miss school to get it done sooner.  Now THAT is dedication accomplishing his goal of finishing the year with perfect attendance!


It would appear I have succeeded in getting this post finished!  Yeah!!
Happy Humpday!

Thursday, March 6, 2014


since I cannot load pictures, I will pretend it is Christmas.  I loaded these a few months back and never posted them. 
yeah, there's a lot I don't post though sme might argue I overshare as it is.
what can I say?  guilty as charged.
cranberries grace and Emily helped me string for the tree at the farm

homemade salt dough of these years we'll actually paint them!




Grant is doing well with braces.  It has not slowed down his caloric intake!
John got promoted at school.  I think he is corporal now...I could have that wrong though.  I'll have to check. Emily is working to get the next promotion as well.  She still has to get a few more perfect scores on her uniform inspections for that to happen.
Going to collect sap tomorrow.  Im hoping there is not another one hundred gallons waiting on us this weekend.  I might cry.
Computer now officially dead.  Working on a surface from ECO.
No idea how to use this thing, but I like it.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Brace Yourself

UPDATE - I finally got the pictures to load!  Yeah!!!

This little fella finished his first one hundred days as a big time school kid.
Didn't think that would ever happen.
Darn snow!

In honor of the 100th day of school the kids made hats that say "I am 100 days smarter".
They also walked one hundred steps, listed one hundred things they like to eat, counted one hundred seconds and a few things I am probably forgetting as well.
Due to snow and ice this past weekend, school was cancelled once again on Monday and Tuesday.  Guess they really do want to go to school all summer!!
Grace got her wire changed on Monday.  Since the orthodontist had so many cancellations related to bad roads, he went ahead and evaluated Grant for braces while we were there.
In fact, the orthodontist had SO MANY cancellations related to bad roads that he not only evaluated Grant for braces, he also put them on while we were there.

Here is the before...

And here is the after.....

He is so proud to have them. He was disappointed that school was cancelled Monday and Tuesday.  He wanted to show everyone at school his new hardware.

Yes, you counted right.  We now have three in braces at the same time.
There is a cup placed beside the front door.  Feel free to drop in loose change if you come visit!

The computer is all but dead.  I finally outsmarted my electronic devices tonight and figured out how to load pictures from phone to iPad to blog.  It's a slow process but better than nothing.
Maybe I can get back to blogging again.

Maple syrup update

Pictures later, but just the numbers for now.....

40 taps
1 week
100 gallons sap
36 hours boiling
~3 gallons syrup

Taps still on trees.
We will see how this week goes.