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Monday, February 28, 2011

Old News

 Salad sprouts are growing beside the kitchen sink.  Batches and batches of doggy biscuits are cooling on the counters (the kids' afternoon handiwork).  And I'm catching up on old news here in the blogosphere.  I just couldn't move on with current news before I posted these.  Laughing Water had made it known for months and months that she really, really, really, really wanted a fancy recipe box.  So I put a bug in the Wood Artist's ear around Christmas time.  This is what he came up with. 
 The corners are beautifully dove-tailed.  Inside the lid it says, "Laughing Water's Recipes".  Well, o.k.,not quite, but you get the picture.  She is justly delighted!  The Wood Artist outdid himself yet again.
 Here's my growing-up-girl at a super bowl party.
Here she is again all dressed up to help her friends serve at a Valentine's Day banquet.  My next post will be about a private Valentine dinner she and Mr. Blueberry Eyes put on for us.  - Nanette

Friday, February 25, 2011

Laundry

 Here's an example of what I mean when I talk about having lots of laundry to do!
Oh, I guess this load comes with a helper!  This is what happens when its cold outside and you're hard up for entertainment! - Nanette

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Ski In the Night

If there is one thing I love, one thing that invigorates, yet relaxes me, its cross country skiing.  I found the pristine snow covered hills of the Palouse country absolutely irresistable last December while visiting family.  The Wood Artist snapped these pictures after I'd sliced through the perfection.

Lastnight, the call of the wild came again.  There would be a moonlight ski led by a ranger.  The winter winds were whipping and we really didn't know if we should attempt it.  I figured it would be cancelled.  We left the kids with Grandparents and decided to give it a try.  Imagine my surprise when there were 55 people waiting for the rangers!  We were in a relatively sheltered area where the winds were a non-event.  We skiid for 3-4 miles, hearing stories of nature and Native American lore.  The swish of 110 skis and the chk, chk of 110 poles, faceless rangers in the dark, telling stories was a charming experience! The moon never did show its face, but we had fun!  Next time, I think we'll go by ourselves, or with a small group.  We'll take the kids.  And we'll tell stories.

In other news, the winter is grinding away.  I'm having difficulty providing enough exercise for the kids.  Getting together with friends has been a bit sketchy this winter, too.  I'm learning a sad fact that when you commit to a debt-free lifestyle and the chips are down, friends you never thought would go away, do.  They stop inviting you to go along down-hill skiing or out to dinner.  You have to forego your kids' friends' birthday parties because they require an expensive hotel stay in another town.  Its isolating.  And that makes me sad.  Life comes with enough tough decisions without having to forego time with those you love.

On a positive note, our immediate family has had a very sweet, bonding winter.  We've turned to the simple joys in life - board games, stories, puzzles.  We've laughed together.  That makes us rich beyond measure. - Nanette

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Of Pets and Coats (of arms, that is)

 We've been studying the medieval knights and lords and kings.  Making our very own coats of arms seemed the thing to go (especially since we had a book that told us all about it.)  It is quite a technical pursuit.  Each color has a meaning.  Each design has a meaning.  You cannot use certain colors on each other (because you might not be recognised quickly enough on the battlefield, for goodness' sake!)  Each person or family has their own coat of arms.  We learned that, even now, families can have a coat of arms.  In the process of our studies we learned that some of our relatives even have an official one on record.  We're still trying to obtain it, but in the meantime, the kids made their own.  The above is Mr. Blueberry Eyes' coat of arms.  The red stands for courage in battle, the blue, loyalty and truth.  The lion stands for courage in battle, also.
 Girls also had coats of arms, but since they did not go into battle, it generally had a more decorative, diamond shape.  If the girl was unmarried, a blue ribbon was tied at the top.  Towers represented protection or safety.  This is Laughing Water's coat of arms.
 We finally started getting back into our art curriculum and had lots of fun making color wheels last week.
 It was a review for Laughing Water because when she was in third grade, she took an in-depth art course.  It was, however, new for Mr. Blueberry Eyes (and me, too!)

 Here's a funny picture of Hong Kong kitty, sitting in her castle atop the entertainment center.  Yes, she always has a 'tude on her face!
A few weeks ago, The Mighty Hunting Hound ate chocolate.   We had to get activated charcoal down her and monitor her heart rate for three days.  Mr. Blueberry Eyes made a great little veterinarian!

Life has been confusing and up in the air for us lately.  We're not sure what our future holds and it has had me in a bit of a dither, hence, the lack of posts.  Maybe I'll make up for lost time soon!  - Nanette

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