Sunday, November 12, 2006

Changing Seasons

Our bodies are beginning to adjust to the rhythm of the new season, enjoying more quiet time spent indoors by the fire. The girls have once again expressed an interest in learning to sew, so we've brought out the sewing kit and big bucket o' fabric scraps. They've been patiently focused on learning this new skill, mending anything they can get their hands on, including some of their dad's pants. Jules set up a stuffed animal triage center and mended all animals as good as new—some multiple times as Buddy, our one year old dog who still loves to chew, decided to help her out a bit. Even Sam got in on the sewing action, though not with the same singular focus as the girls.

The kids have been having fun helping to preserve, cook, bake and prep our own mixes. Jules made a bunch of jars full of pancake and waffle mix mostly by herself, which we're now able to pull out whenever. The kids also enjoy making monkey bread as a morning treat, which is basically dough balls rolled in butter, cinnamon and sugar, and baked together in a bread pan—a great homemade alternative to donuts.

We've had more time for reading, too, as the kids keep themselves busy sewing or building or creating. Even Sam, who used to get angry when we'd read because he didn't want to listen, has been passively participating more. Time and maturity have helped. We're nearly through the 6th book of the Harry Potter series, The Half-Blood Prince, which I've already read but the kids' haven't.

I love quiet, snuggly days inside—I love the balance of the seasons!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


This is one of those retrospective kinds of posts, full of snapshots from our first year on our homestead.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


One of the rainy day activities we keep in reserve is a box of defunct small appliances and electronics that are fun and interesting for the kids to take apart. Sam was looking for something to do this gray day, so I pulled out an old keyboard for him to open and investigate. The girls soon joined in pulling apart an old coffee grinder—as you can see, this meant taking time out from the game they'd been playing.

This quickly led to the dismantling of all kinds of old toys, some that no longer worked, others that still worked but seemed more interesting as projects than toys. Sam chose to take apart one of his old Buzz Lightyear toys, a rocket that made quite a lot of noise. He hadn't played with the toy for a long time, but it offered a whole new level of interest once we could see inside!

Sam had the spaceship apart in no time, and play rapidly turned to cutting the electronics wires in a kind of Mission Impossible style game. Once Jim got home from work, Sam showed him lots of the wires he'd cut and told his dad that the toy had been working when he took it apart. Jim showed Sam how to strip the wires and splice them back together, and the two of them were able to play with the different buttons and see the electrical connections that made the different noises possible. Very cool!