Monday, December 19, 2011

First Day

We've had two beautiful blue sky Saturdays of skiing this season.  Thanks to an early snowstorm Schweitzer is open.  Thanks to cold temperatures the snow has stayed great despite a lack of new snow.  The girls are doing great.  Hannah and Paige are fun to ski with on any run at any speed.  Maren can ski all over the mountain at her own speed and Izzy can ski down the blues.  Izzy's favorite speed is FAST, but at least she knows how to stop.  It is fun to have everyone on the slopes together.

We are asking Santa for some new snow for Christmas.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Big Guns

What do you do for Thanksgiving at your house?  When we travel to visit Kirk's family there is plenty of great food, cousins to play with, game nights, and after-Thanksgiving day sales.  But one of the things that Kirk loves to do is go skeet shooting.  Luckily, so does the rest of his family. 

Here are the boys checking out the newest purchase...

The girls aren't left behind.

You can never train them young enough, right???

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Bring on the Drums

I think that a 6th grade band concert is something only a parent or grandparent can appreciate.  Here's a look at Hannah's first band concert.  She chose percussion and is loving it.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

First Snow

We saw the first snow on the mountains last week and a little more this morning.  No snow at home yet, but we are getting ready.  

We have been busy at the farm trying to get some things done before winter sets in.  Kirk replaced all of the poles and some siding on one of the barns so it will last the winter.  Good thing too, because most of the posts were totally rotted at ground level and I can imagine a good wind or snow storm would have sent it crashing down.

Last weekend we all worked on clearing a trail from the creek up to the forest.  Kirk worked the chain saw and the girls cleared it out.

The fall leaves are really beautiful right now.  There are some western larches on the property that are especially beautiful.

The girls also enjoyed a little frolicking in the forest.

Today we spent some time clearing out trees to make a sledding hill for this winter.  Kirk cut them down. Paige and Maren ran the quad and pulled the smaller downed trees and branches to the burn pile. I drove the tractor (for the first time!) and pulled out the bigger trees.  We are hoping to have a nice sledding hill so all of our friends can come and have fun with us. 

Oat Drops

I found this great recipe on Pinterest.  I can't really claim that these are cookies since there is no butter and no sugar.  The bananas add plenty of sweetness and keep them moist. They taste great and will make a yummy, healthy after school snack for the girls.

Oat Drops

1 ½  cups regular rolled oats
1 cup coconut flakes
½  teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½  teaspoon allspice
¼  cup of almond meal*
½  cup mixed nuts, finely chopped
1 cup dried fruit*
3 ripe bananas, mashed
¼  cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350
F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine rolled oats, almond meal, mixed nuts and coconut flakes. Stir in allspice and cinnamon. Add dried fruit and stir until well and evenly mixed. Make sure the dried fruit does not clump.
In another bowl, combine canola oil, mashed banana and vanilla extract. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and stir until well combined.
Use a ice cream scoop to mold the batter into balls and place on baking sheet. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until edges are golden brown.
* For the almond meal, I put 1 c. blanched almonds and 1T. sugar in my food processor and processed until very fine.
** I omitted the dried fruit and used chocolate chips instead. A little bit of Chocolate always makes it better, right?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Here is our Island Princess, Artemis (daughter of Zeus, twin sister of Apollo) and the classic Halloween Ghost.

And here is our Gypsy enjoying her Candy.

And here are the girls teaching Izzy the art of the Candy Swap.
We had an unusually mild night (weather wise) for trick-or-treating with plenty kids swarming the neighborhood.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Tooth Fairy

Maren just lost her 3rd tooth.  Kirk found this note under her pillow along with the tooth...

Dear Tooth Fairy,

Please give me $200 for my tooth.
Hello, thank you for the money.
Next time I will probably keep the tooth.

Love, Maren

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Harvest

It's harvest time at the farm.  Some things we have planted (corn and sunflowers).  Everything else we are discovering as it comes.  There is an orchard with at least 20 trees.  It's kind of like 'The Secret Garden' and we are in the process of clearing out the weeds and overgrown vegetation to discover what lies underneath.

Kirk's field of dreams (a.k.a. the corn patch) has given us lots of corn to eat and share.  The girls like the corn so much, they will munch on it raw while we are at the farm.  We planted yellow and red corn.  FYI... red corn looks interesting, but doesn't taste nearly as good as the yellow.

My 'frutarian' children love all of the fresh fruit and are great helpers when it comes time to pick.

  Plums, apples & pears from the fruit trees.

 And, after all of the work, there is time to play. 
Hannah has found a friend next door (Lindsey) who has horses... perfect!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Work Detail

This weekend at the farm, we involved the girls in a few work projects.  While Kirk and I rolled a culvert down to the creek to make the beginnings of a bridge, Hannah and Paige were in charge of bringing the branches of a downed tree over to the burn pile.  They were good workers and made a great team.

Peaches, and Pears, and Apples! Oh, my!

I don't know what possessed me, but I've been on a canning binge this past month.  Normally I do a batch or two of pear sauce. And that's all.  My neighbor has these amazing seckle pears that make super sweet pear sauce with great texture and no added sugar.  But after a rather heavy pruning last year, there were no pears to be gleaned,
and this year my cupboards were feeling rather empty,
and the fruit at the fruit stands looked rather appealing,
and I went a little crazy.

It all started when my good friend Cassi did a day trip from Spokane to be my applesauce partner.  We tackled several boxes of freshly picked apples from the Whitby's. 
It is never safe to attempt applesauce without help. 
We make a good team. 
We make a good mess. 
We always wonder why we do it. 
In the middle of winter when we open a can of applesauce and enjoy it's fresh taste,
we remember why we do it.

 Processing outdoors on the camp stove is a lifesaver.

 After the applesauce came pears, which I always swear I will NEVER DO AGAIN.  Until next year, when I forget and do it all over again because, like childbirth, I forget how much work it takes. 
Then I did peaches for the FIRST TIME.  They weren't as bad as pears and I know I will have to ration them because my kids will beg eat them everyday, all winter.

This is why I dislike canning... the big mess. 
 But, with a little help from my favorite stove cleaning product 
and lots of elbow grease, it (usually) comes clean.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

School Begins

School has begun.  It actually started a few weeks ago and we are getting into the groove although it has been a hard transition from a fun summer.  I just found my camera, so this post is a little delayed. None of the girls were very excited to get their picture taken.  Paige was the least excited, can you tell?

Maren is in 1st grade with Mrs. Vanhorn. Going a full day is tiring and has been a transition for her.  She likes riding the bus home with the big kids.  She reports that 'there is too much math' but likes school otherwise.  I just realized that this is the year when I will need to sit with her EVERYDAY as she sounds out each and every letter in each and every word in each and every book she brings home.  This is tough for me. I am hoping that her learning curve is short and she can be a smooth reader soon.

Paige is in 4th grade with Ms. Litven.  Her group of friends got split up this year.  She is a little sad about this, but I am hoping this will give her an opportunity to expand her pool of friends.  She is in advanced reading and math.  This is the year she gets to go skiing for one of her field trips.  I have already signed up as the parent volunteer for that one.

Hannah is in 6th grade with Mrs. Roget.  Her first pile of math homework (she is in advanced math) was more than she has ever gotten before.  I have a feeling that this is the year when she learns how to balance homework and free time.  No more finishing homework on the bus. This is her last year in grade school.  I am already nervous to send her off to Junior High next year.  Is she that old already?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Boys Club

On our third night of our rafting trip, we had a perfect rock to jump off into the Snake River.  The boys got serious after all of the kids got their fill  and a little showing off was in order.

 A little back flip and muscle man from Kirk.
From Keith we witnessed a few twisting maneuvers.

Bruce won the silliest award with his excellent Popeye dive.

Bret showed off his running man and back flip.

Jake (aka 'the Fish') learned how to do a back flip with encouragement and pointers from the men.  Way to go Jake!

Megan finished us off with style as she performed her fashion dive.