Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Birthday Time Again

Grace turned 12 last Friday. We enjoyed a weekend full of celebrations. And a picture says a thousand words, so here goes - a few pics to highlight the weekend.

Trying on her new barn boots, which I absolutely love. I might accidentally wear them now and then.Getting her ears pierced. Did you know that Walmart offers ear piercing as a service. It's about 1/3 of the cost compared to Claire's. It hurt more than she thought it would.

Her first real deer hunt. She's carrying her bow and arrows. Until now she's always sat with Dad carefully observing, but now that she's 12 she can actively hunt. They didn't see anything that night, but earlier in the week Dh shot 2 does. We were getting very low on meat so it was a blessing for him to bring home a couple of deer.

Then Sunday she had over a group of friends. They played with the horses, painted their nails, played a card game and ate a lot of snacks.
And now we get a birthday break until January.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunday Afternoon Nature Walk

We carved out some time today to take a walk along the beautifully mowed trails on our property. DH spends a lot of time in late August and early September mowing the trails so they are ready for grouse hunting and bow and gun deer hunting. We had some friends over and really enjoyed the company. I think it kept the whining to a minimum, too. We walked for a solid two hours before coming home to Kool-Aid, water and muffins and cookies.

Here the men and boys are walking ahead hoping to flush out a grouse or two. We never even heard one.
We chatted as we walked, but always kept an eye out for interesting finds like this caterpillar.

We made guesses as to what might have dug these holes: a fox? a skunk?

I love the dried out blackberries in this photo.

We spotted the remains of a blue heron.

This is just one of many mushroom pictures.

By far the highlight was this flat nosed blow snake.

About 2/3 way through and everyone is still smiling. And I know the baby carrier is a backpack, but Little J seemed to enjoy being on the front better.
And now, everyone is tucked in and sleeping soundly from all the exercise and fresh air and I am going to spend a few minutes preparing for another week of school. We are in full swing of lessons, which is bittersweet. I do enjoy the structure it adds to the day, but I don't like how it reinforces the idea of learning only during "school" hours. Sometimes the kids seem to think that any writing outside of the traditional school hours is like punishment instead of enjoyment. Although, I have noticed a difference in Grace this year. She seems to be writing to friends all the time lately. She has three pen pals and numerous other friends and relatives she writes to occasionally. And as this comes to an end, the rain is beginning. Rain, glorious ran! It's been over 3 weeks since we had the last drops of rain.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Joys of Having a Part Time Employee

We've employed a young man for the past five years. He's worked on and off throughout the growing season and cranberry harvest, planting and weeding. At 13, he was just a young whipper snapper eager to please at every turn. Now at 18, he's a bit more worldly and has introduced us to some music we may have never known. He also works at the local theater and today he brought us quite a treat.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

And Yet Another Birthday

With a household of 7, it seems someone is always having a birthday. Lou celebrated 8 years yesterday. We had a little campfire cookout, which was a lot of fun. It's fair week so we even had a few extra champion chickens at the party along with the regular people type party goers.

She started the day opening presents.
Shoes are always a winner for 8 year old girls.

We had a cookout at the campout spot by the water.

And then for the cake. She saw this cake recipe in a Quick Cooking (old issue) earlier this summer and immediately knew she wanted it for her birthday cake. Angel food, Cool Whip, fudge, Butterfinger pieces. Yum!!
Happy Birthday sweet baby girl, who's 8!
You light up our life.
**The day before her birthday she was so excited and smiling so hard that I caught her squeezing her cheeks together to stop all the smiling. We all laughed over that one.