Monthly Archives: February 2010


Last week the kids made snowmen in the yard. I think that this might be the first time they've ever made a proper snowman that was more than a foot tall. They had a really good time - there was plenty of sticky snow, but the air temperature was actually pretty balmy. The downside is that those snowmen melted in record time. I love the pinecone mouth on Sean's snowman - and the carrot hair on Carter's cracks me up too!

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Snowy Night

We got dumped on with snow one night last week. When I went outside to shovel it, I invited the kids to join me. They've never played outside, at night, while it was snowing before, and they jumped at the chance. None of the pictures really came out, but here's one anyway.

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Maple Syrup – Boil Down

I don't have any pictures yet of the finished syrup, but the past two Sundays in a row I've boiled down that week's sap into some delicious maple syrup. It's nice and sweet and maple-y, and it's got a background flavor that I would swear tastes just like vanilla. It turns out that the boiling down takes a long time. But all told we've managed to produce about 3 pints of syrup to date. If the weather keeps doing what it's doing, I'll probably get another 1.5 - 2 pints this weekend. If we end up with more that we can use, I think I might try making some maple sugar candy sometime soon.

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Maple Syrup – Tapping

Last fall, I decided that I would try to tap some of maple trees this year, and see if we can make some homemade maple syrup. Last week, I tapped the trees. Instead of the traditional splies-and-bucket approach, I'm trying something I saw others in the area do last year - covered 5-gallon buckets with polyethylene tubing. I tapped the trees on Wednesday and Thursday night, and when I checked yesterday afternoon there was already sap in a some of the buckets. Not a ton yet, but it's a start. And it's still pretty early in the season. If there is enough sap in the buckets when I check today, our first syrup-production experiment may take place this afternoon. The sap has to be boiled down into syrup within 7 days of collection, so I can't just let it accumulate all season. And the sap-to-finished-syrup ratio is about 40-to-1, so we may end up with about a thimble-full of syrup, but it will be fun anyway.

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Mt. Avalon

Dad and I went for a winter hike up in Crawford Notch last weekend. We climbed Mount Avalon. We ended up with a beautiful day. It was pretty cold, but the skies were nice and clear. The view from the top was amazing - the view of the Mt. Washington weather station was crystal clear. The last quarter-mile was incredibly steep, and without crampons I backslid a half-step for every step forward. But on the way down, the steepness was an advantage. I sat on my butt, and slid for a hundred yards at a shot halfway down the mountain. Next time, I'm going to bring a little saucer-style sled!

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Lazy Sunny Morning

Aren't these pictures so sweet? Carter came to find Sadie. She was lying in the sunny spot in the kitchen, and Carter laid down beside her. There were lots of cute little moments between the two of them. It's so nice that the kids have finally started to take an interest in the dogs. It took five years, but it's finally happening.

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The kids got snowshoes for Christmas, and we tried them out last weekend. Carter tired of them quickly - I think it was because they are so big compared to her feet, that she had trouble walking without them overlapping. But Sean loved them. When he would struggle with them a little, I would check with him to ask if he wanted me to take them off. And every time he said no, and kept going. He and I went exploring out in the woods, and did great. I should try taking him on a short hike with those snowshoes. He might love it.

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Just a goofy picture of Carter. Lori asked her to make a silly face, and this is what she came up with. I love her eyes - sometimes the blue of her eyes looks so pale, it's almost gray. Sometimes when she's just playing around, she'll make these eyes and just stare me down until I bust out laughing.

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Last Friday night, Ryan slept over and Lori took the kids to gymnastics. I still can't get over how cool that foam block pit is. Wouldn't you love to just dive right in there?!? It's all I can do to restrain myself on the rare occasion when I get to go with Lori and the kids.

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Goofin’ Off

This one is just a pic of the kids being silly. They were laying upside-down on the couch, with their heads on the floor. They they'd raise their legs over their head, and put their feet on the ground, stand up, and do it all over again.

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