Monday, April 29, 2013

The Toddler Tornado

You know those times when you are just glad the toddler is playing happily in his room and you are afraid to look in because then he will spot you and your quiet time will be over?  Well, one day in early March, I came into Anthony's room on such an occasion to find his room looking like a tornado just went through it.  He took everything off his bed and the changing table, knocked the changing table over, pulled stuff out from under his bed, pulled out everything he could reach in his closet, including the contents of two tubs of sorted and folded clothes, and dumped it all into a big pile covering the floor of most of his room.  And there he sat, quietly looking at a book, while sitting on the mattress that he wasn't quite able to pull off his bed frame.
What on earth possessed him to start this project?

It took the girls and I a couple of hours to get everything back to normal.

At this point, he knew he was in big trouble.

Beware of the quiet toddler! 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Little Chicks!

Would you believe we were crazy enough to get our baby chicks in between our two big snowstorms?  And that we put them right into their brooder box out in the chicken coop even through the second snowstorm?  We got a little anxious during the snowstorm when the lights flickered a few times, but luckily we never lost the electricity, or we would have had a bunch of frozen chicks.  They all survived!

We looked into all of the different chick bins.

They were so cute running around.

The chicks were only 4 days old.

We bought 16 chicks and brought them home and put them into the brooder box.  12 of them are Rhode Island Reds and 4 of them are Iowa Blues.

The kids could have watched them for hours.

The chicks got acquainted with their new surroundings.

They sure were funny little things.

What a fun learning experience for the kids!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Big Snow, #3

These pictures are after the second big snow at the end of February, when we had gotten a total of 21-22 inches in less than a week.  Some of the snow had melted in between, but there was a lot of snow on the ground after this second snow. 

The deck was covered again.

More snow to break in.

More snow to shovel!

Anne made a new little snowman family.

Another big pile of snow off of the deck.

Dominic, the conqueror.

A new form of sledding!

Don't worry, Mommy kept a close eye out when this was going on!

Even the cat got a ride!

And finally, a video of Dan taking the girls on a fast ride out in the big field.  Only in the country!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Big Snow, #2

In the next few days after our first big February snow, the kids got out at least once every day to play in the snow.  There was so much snow that they could not get to all of the untrampled areas.  It was fun to take some snow pictures on a sunshiny day!

Joseph was on his way back from the sledding hill.

A picture to show just how high the snow still was. 

The big pile from when Dan shovelled off the deck had to be conquered!

They made it out to the playhouse... go down the slide into the snow...

...and also to collect some icicles for a snack.

Dan hooked up the sled to the lawnmower.

The kids loved that!  Whee!!!

Catherine worked on a snowman while she waited for a ride.

The snow forts were used in a big snowball fight.

Anthony and his little buddy, Cloudy the cat.

And finally, a short video of Dan pulling some of the kids behind the lawnmower:

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Big Snow, #1

At the end of February we had two big snows in less than a week, the first one was about 14 inches or so, and the second one was about 7-8 inches.  We have never had this much snow before!  What a winter wonderland!  Both times we were snowed in for a day or two until the snow plows made it to our area.  So we got lots and lots of playtime in the snow.  This first batch of pictures were taken at the end of the first giant snowstorm.

Dominic uncovered a buried toy lawnmower.

Joseph investigated one of the many snow drifts.


The pile of snow from Dan shoveling the driveway.

Anne and her snowmen.

Dan got out on the tractor to try to pack some of the snow down on the road.  He does not have a snow plow attachment, but it helped to just drive over it.

The twins helped pack down some snow in Daddy's truck, to weigh it down for safe travelling.

Anthony was glad of some tractor tracks to walk through.  He really had a hard time walking in the snow otherwise.

Dominic made a deep snow angel.

Anthony insisted upon going sledding, and every couple of feet he would fall down trying to get out to the hill.  I ended up dragging him out there on the sled, pushing him down the hill once, then dragging him back.

Snow mittens!

And afterwards we drank hot chocolate and ate freshly baked cookies, while we made snow ice cream.

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Anniversary Celebration

We celebrated our 10 year anniversary in February with a night away.  We chose to do this a couple of weeks ahead of time, since our anniversary was during Lent this year.  Dan's brother and his wife graciously kept all of our kids overnight for us.  This was a first for us in 10 years!   It was hard to choose a restaurant at which to eat dinner.  The first criteria was finding a place where we would never take the kids!  We decided to try the Chapada Chophouse and Churrascaria.  We had never been there before, which was also a plus.

The Churrascaria is an all-you-can-eat experience where the gauchos come to your table with all sorts of delicious, slow-roasted meats which they slice off for you right there.

Here is one of the gauchos slicing off pineapple.  They give you little tongs to grab the food as it is sliced off.  It was all so yummy!

Later in the evening, we went to Barnes and Nobles and drank some cappuccinos, then wandered around looking at books.  We found one on raising chickens that was full of pictures, good for the whole family to read.  Finally, we stopped at one of those self-serve frozen yogurt places near our hotel, which was near our hotel.  What a fun evening!

We stayed at the Homewood Suites by Hilton, at the Waterfront.  It was a very nice hotel.
We brought champagne!
The next morning we had a wonderful complimentary breakfast at the hotel.  The food was excellent.  After that we drove downtown and ended up at the Spice Merchant, where we bought some loose-leaf tea, as well as some fresh-roasted coffee beans.  That is definitely a place we would never take kids!  After that, we went to Bradley Fair and walked around, going into a few shops. 

We had a late lunch at Il Vicino, where we often ate while we were dating, though at a different location.  The pizza was not as exotic as I remembered, after all of our pizza-making!

 We almost called Dan's brother to say we just couldn't make it to pick up the kids til the next day,  but we didn't.  :)  They were happy to see us.  If you are wondering if I mean the kids or Dan's brother and his wife,  probably both!  A big thank you to them for making our night out possible!

On our actual anniversary date, we celebrated with wine and cheese after the kids went to bed.

We also looked through our wedding photos.  Happy 10 years to us!