23 February 2015

11!


Practicing back handsprings.



We returned from Chicago just in time to celebrate Kaylo's birthday on Saturday.  My serious, thoughtful, and creative guy is 11!  
The train ride home was exhausting.  It was 3 hours late leaving, which meant I was trying to keep Fenna happy (or sleeping) in the train station until 12:30am (1:30 our time).
Then we ended up an additional 4 hours late, which meant we didn't arrive back to Albany until 10pm (we were supposed to arrive at 3pm).  The drive from Albany was another 2 hours.  So, we technically made it home on Kaylo's birthday, 28 hours after stepping into Union Station in Chicago.

So, Saturday was pretty low-key.  He invited a friend over and they built legos and we had ice cream sundaes since I didn't get a chance to make an ice cream cake.

I'm missing my sister and her family, but I'm so thankful for the chance to meet my little niece so soon after she was born.  It certainly was a big trip (and a lot of extra work for Adam here on the farmstead). 






16 February 2015

chicago




As I mentioned in my previous post, Fenna and I took the train to Chicago to meet her new cousin!
The train ride was delayed a bit during travel, probably due to the cold (check out the way the areas between train cars looked!)
Our visit overlapped briefly with that of my parents, so Fenna got to visit with her Meme and Bapa before they headed back to Michigan.  
And now we are enjoying fun times with her cousins, including lots of snuggling with a tiny newborn (*sigh*...I can't get enough of it!) :)  
I guess we are missing even colder temps in Vermont, as the boys woke to -26ºF this morning.
So thankful that the timing worked that we weren't sugaring yet and could make this big trip. 

14 February 2015

loves


Missing my little loves tonight.  
Fenna and I ventured westward by train yesterday to meet the newest member of our family.
But since I'm rarely (well, never) away from the kids, I'm already missing the boys so much!
We are enjoying the tiny baby snuggling a lot, though.  

06 February 2015

baking with toddlers




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Micah and Fenna love to help in the kitchen.  I don't know if I was quite as patient with the older boys as I am with these two... maybe it is because it slows Micah down for a while even if I end up with pantry full of flour (which I forgot to photograph).
But it's fun to bake with these kids.  They both take it very seriously, Micah cutting most of the crackers and Fenna rolling dough.  There was, of course, a break for "dough soccer" and tumbling before we enjoyed some spelt bread and butter fresh out of the oven.

Cracker recipe from Soulemama, bread recipe from America's Test Kitchen but I substitute fresh ground spelt for 1 or 2 cups of unbleached white flour...oh and I made 2 loaves from 1 recipe.  We used to use either white spelt or whole spelt flour instead of the unbleached white until the price of storebought spelt flour more than doubled in the last few months.  But that works great, too!

03 February 2015

in the kitchen, on the needles





On the needles:
After the arrival of my new niece, I knitted up this little bonnet to send her.
And today, upon news of a dear friend's dad who is very sick, I wanted to make something special for her.  I used a lovely birch branch slice from Vermont Branch Company and The Sitting Tree's heart pattern. 

In the kitchen:
My first decent loaf of sourdough bread (sorry for the funny coloring of this late night photo).
I'm embarrassed to say that I've tried and tried sourdough for many, many years.  My loaves are too flat, or too dense, or just not right.  This is with fresh ground spelt and unbleached white flour and my own sourdough starter.  Thanks to my new Taproot issue, I tried a thicker levain and folding the dough multiple times (rather than letting it proof and than rise again before baking).  Unfortunately, my next loaf wasn't quite as nice.  I love fermenting foods (we consume a crazy amount of yogurt here and many fermented veggies, too) but I'm still working on the sourdough.  We have enjoyed quite a few sourdough cinnamon rolls, though.

What's going on in your kitchen or on your needles lately?

Joining Nicole this week.

02 February 2015

these days




micah's falcons




First, I'm so excited to announce the arrival of our first niece (after 6 nephews)!  My sister (who just flew with my nephew a couple weeks ago to visit) had a baby girl on Thursday night about 3.5 weeks early.  Everyone is doing really well and little Estella went home just in time to be snug at home before the snowstorm hit Chicago.

These bitter snowy days have meant a lot of time inside...
working on our bird studies
knitting, reading, rocking
and even time inside for the littlest animals in the farm.

I've also started another online college course to slowly finish up my prerequisites for becoming a lactation consultant.  Which means many more nights like this.   

Hope everyone is staying warm!


28 January 2015

the rink this year





Some years, after a good January thaw, we end up with enough ice to clear it for an ice rink.
Remember our rink last year?  Well, it's not nearly as big.  But it's big enough for a hockey game and the boys have not minded the cold, cold temps...sometimes playing until dark.