Wednesday, January 8, 2014


Looking west of our property

Monday, January 6, 2014

tea and such

I enjoy tea almost daily.  Often, I'll make a pot or two and the boys and I will sip while doing school.  I find this ritual very relaxing.  As such, our household goes through a lot of tea.

I was very lucky on Christmas by getting wonderful and new varieties of teas from all three of my fellas. And if that weren't enough my mom-in-law gave Big J. and I a gorgeous set of Chinese dishes, which included this tea pot and cups.

It has been so fun to use, and adds such a festive air to our days.  We are feeling quite ritzy as we sip now.

If that weren't enough, Big J. went up to visit his folks this past weekend and came home with this little beauty:

I fell in love with it instantly and am so taken by how charming it is!!  I don't know where Grandma T. came up with this idea, but we are so glad she did.

Currently, it is set up in the middle of our dining table so that we can admire it as we enjoy our tea.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

duck comfort

It is really cold outside right now.  So cold that our water has stopped running, and the animals' waters are all frozen.  So cold that when I attempted to clean the coop this morning, it was like trying to chip ice with my shovel. And that's inside!!  Where there's abundantly strewn hay and 31 chickens hanging around instead of going outside.

Worrying about my creatures, I've taken some steps for their comfort.  I opened the chickens' gate and door and shooed them outside and up the hill.  Currently they are happily basking in the warmth of the sun on the hillside, and drinking melting frost.  Snow Bear has the creek to go to, so he is alright.  I pulled the cats' water bowls inside to thaw and they should be good to drink in a bit.  Right now both cats, and the dog have joined the chickens on the hill and are soaking up the rays.

This left me only the ducks to check on.  Their pond is a bit on the slushy side, but still drinkable and swim-able.  And unlike all my other animals who are seeking out warmth where they can find it, the ducks are tucked in behind their house - all in the shade!  I was told that my breed was hardy, and they do well in the rain and cold.  But I am still surprised to see them avoiding the sun.

I'd get a picture for you, but I'm warming up right now and don't want to venture back outside quite yet.

Hope you all are staying warm!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2013 reflections

 Yesterday we did what many do on New Year's - sat down and made resolutions.  This got me to thinking about the previous year and what happened during that year.  I realized that it was a jam packed year.  Here are some highlights in pictures:

Spending time visiting with family

Making it to the State LEGO Robotics competition

A.teaching sculpture class

The entire family taking block print classes

One of several garden areas being prepped

Lounging Around

The boys starting to make their own meals


Trip to the Prairie with Great Grandpa
(gathering wild onions here)

more harvesting

Little A. finding his style

Being given a rescued wild baby rabbit

Lots of  chicks and happy moms

And ducklings too!

Little J. taking up track
(not that this picture is an accurate representation of that)

mushroom hunting

Little J starting high school

Going forward, we have all set goals for 2014:

have lots of fun with the family
focus on more landscaping projects

Big J:
make better use of time

Little J:
drink more water
don't pop joints
finish coding projects

clean room and keep it clean

Happy New Year's!