Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Morning!

Merry Christmas! A few pictures from our morning.

Maddie's revenge....a cell package for Daddy which started this big

then got smaller

and ended with Yoda boxer shorts.....

Whittling book from Poppa & Mamaw

Cabinet of Curiosities....for Maddie but I think we will all be reading it! 

I think the smile says it all here! 

a stowawayrosaurus!  
New notebook...important for the #1 Sherpa to have in the woods! 

getting right into the oil pastels! 

I don't think I have words for this one! 

New scissors for Momma! 

A pocket for the fridge...I wonder how many little people will end up in there from the day care kids???

And a new shirt for Little Owl from Uncle Evan & Aunt Jan

Hope you are having a great Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Yarn Along

Merry Christmas! I haven't participated in the yarn along for a few weeks because I have been busy with.... and ..... and hmmm....well secrets! I finished yesterday with all the secrets and wanted to try some of the acorns from The Sitting Tree. The first acorn didn't look to acorny but the second one came out much better! Maddie has been making ornaments from Truth in the Tinsel over the last few weeks. She is at the point where she makes her favorite ones but we still read all the Bible verses so will have read the whole Christmas Story by tonight. Its a fun tradition!

Acorns and Truth in the Tinsel with our advent wreath

We have been busy making cinnamon rolls and cookies too!

Merry Christmas! 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Christmas? Well, maybe!

About 2 weeks ago Maddie and I saw a squirrel steal one of her small pumpkins and make his way in a hilarious fashion over the fence and zip up the backyard with it. Then we were sick the next day and over the weekend so were not in the backyard. The next Monday we took the kids out to the yard and discovered the squirrel had cached the bottom part of the pumpkin in the tree stump at the top of the hill. Maddie zipped inside to get her camera but was too late. The squirrel saw us looking, got nervous and grabbed it while we weren't looking! This led to more fun of watching him try to balance way out at the end of the tall hemlock tree while keeping the pumpkin in his mouth. He failed at that one and the pumpkin ended up bouncing down on our neighbor's picnic table. This morning I decided to go see if anything else was in the stump. There was something but not what I expected despite the unusually warm weather here!

Thats right, a pumpkin sprout in December! Its no wonder I am so behind on Christmas just doesn't feel like Christmas! 

Maddie did get busy today with a Christmas project. She made "new" crayons from old crayons for the day care kids and a couple of friends. Here is what she did. 

Soaking the crayons in warm water to get the label off. We read this tip and it worked well! 

Maddie broke the crayons into pieces and filled the cookie pan we purchased for the project.

After 10 minutes in a 275 degree oven we had melted crayons!

When they were cooled Maddie was able to remove them from the pan.

And package them up with labels from Balancing Home.
That was a fun project and I think we will soon be actually ready for Christmas despite the weather! 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Saratoga Battlefield Hike

Happy Thanksgiving! We decided to go to the Saratoga Battlefield the day after Thanksgiving to take a hike. We had never done the whole Wilkinson Trail and decided to give it a try. Maddie took along her camera and her GPS unit so she could gather information and try making a tour at home. That is still in the works! It was a beautiful day! Almost 60 degrees and sunny with a warm wind blowing. We could see for quite a long distance too. We have been following Fall Outside with Mud Puddles to Meteors. The prompt for Friday was to listen to nature. As we walked along the trail we realized that the different grasses were making different sounds which was fun! We may have noticed this regardless of the prompt but we have been having a good time trying each day's prompt and discovering new things as we go along.

View from the Visitor Center

We were attempting to get a Christmas picture here. We will see how that turns out! We may need a less windy day.

I told Maddie to be careful. That looked like a tree that likes to swallow Hobbits! 
Cannons from below

I kept seeing pinecones stuck in bushes! 

I believe this is a house sparrow. She was having a drink in a puddle and flew into the bush as we approached.

A quote from Brian while Maddie and I were taking this picture and he was trying to read to us "Have you two never seen milkweed before??" 

Maddie asked for her picture next to the tree because it was so cool!

It was a fun day! We hope to go back and try again. We also need to see how Maddie's map comes out!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Yarn Along

When we made our weekly library trip last Friday the illustrated Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was just sitting there waiting for Maddie to snap it up. We decided that we had to re-read the book together and are enjoying it so much! The illustrations are beautiful and detailed.

I am slowly working on my Pioneer Girl shawl. My day care re-registration paperwork is due at the state so everything else (including dinner a couple of nights!) has taken a back seat. However I got that mailed off yesterday so hopefully things get back on an even keel here! 

Happy Veteran's Day to all the veterans. Thank you for your service!

Joining Ginny at Small Things for the Yarn Along.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Nature Walk at Five Rivers

On Saturday we took a nature walk at the Five Rivers Environmental Center. We had a bit of fun in the visitor center before heading out to the Beaver Tree Trail.

Moose Consultation

Maddie took a heading in the parking lot before we headed out. She marked some way points as we walked along and later we will try to put her photos into those waypoints on a map. Well, maybe I should say Maddie and Brian will figure those out! 

This trail was very short but it still took us quite a long time to get around it. This was due to our need to stop and examine everything we saw that might be new! This included checking out the trees. We had just read in the past week that trees put out their buds in the fall when the light is better than in the spring.It was so much fun to look for them on the trees! 

We are participating in Fall Outside from Mud Puddles to Meteors. The challenge for the day was to look at things from an insects view so Maddie was crawling around to get some shots. You can see her photos here.

This was my shot from the bugs view. 

We are still trying to figure out the tree these cones were on. It had cones and long seed pods. No leaves so we are stumbling a bit!

Dam built by the Civilian Conservation Corp.

The green in the water is called duckweed. We pulled some up on our fingertip and were able to see the tiny rootlets!

When we headed back up to the parking lot to trade cameras for lunch another photographer stopped us and asked Maddie if we had seen the owl. No, where! was the quick response. The man was nice enough to take us right over to the spot on another trail right off the parking lot and point out the eastern screech owl snoozing away. He even made sure Maddie was able to get the owl with her camera before going back to his car to pack up. Maddie was so excited that all tips from Poppa Bill on how to get up close without a telephoto lens went right out of her head. She was very cute. Here is my shot. The owl is reddish brown but blends really well with the tree.

That was an excellent cap to a great day!