February 28, 2010

I love maple syrup!

We spent the afternoon at the Cincinnati Nature Center, helping collect sap from maple trees and watching it boil down to a sweet syrup. John and my little niece, Emma...I took LOTS of pictures and thoroughly enjoyed this outdoor learning adventure. I wish we lived on a piece of land with a lot of maple trees!
Drilling a hole...
Tapping the spile in...
My littlest sister with her husband and son, Isaac. He's always smiling, has long eyelashes and just learned to sign for "more."
It smelled so good all around the sugar shack...and it was really warm there...look at the steam coming out the top.
Yum. It was really good.
Andrea carrying Emma and Susanna (whose belly is getting so big, but you can't really tell here) walking up to the cabin.
Olivia and Juliana peeking out one of the windows in the cabin.
The cousins...the 6th one will arrive in about 50 more days!
Look at that's been like having the Olympics in our house this week!
I've been growing juice. My mom mentioned it and I thought I'd give it a try! Have you tried it?

February 24, 2010

The letter C...

has been kausing lots of problems. Why kan't we just stik with the letter "K" or "S" instead of letting "C" make those sounds when it wants....well, I'll keep it just for "CH." Olivia has been having a hard time with it. She's been writing so much lately, but all phonetically.

We've loved having all this snow. Spending hours outside...learning about the science of snow and temperatures, watching it melt and move. It was fun to watch the snow melt and under the trampoline was LOTS of icycles. Today the girls cleaned off the trampoline. Going down the back deck, we have a few steps and turned it into a ramp. It was wicked fast to slide down, Hannah, Olivia, Rob and I each took turns....we threw snowballs at each others.

The girls have been enjoying reading Shel Silverstein's poetry and have each memorized a poem by him. His illustrations are so funny. While Rob and I were dating, he bought me a Minka fountain pen...I have been buying ink to refill it and just love using it. It's my favorite pen. Do you have a favorite pen? I think everyone does. Tell me about it...or what kind.

February 15, 2010

The best winter ever...

I bought each of the girls a new headband...just $1.50 at XXI, pretty satin bows on the side. Hannah wore hers to see the ballet, Cinderella with Galina.

It's like the winter I remember as a child... our years in Vermont were wonderful! I liked to make snow forts from the piles accumulated after shoveling our driveway. I sat in there, read the Sunday funnies, wrote notes, ate Lemonheads... Sledding down the hill in our backyard, from the top where we had the blackberry bushes and garden to the bottom near the old grape trellis and crab apple tree was always fun...I liked to stand on the sled, that was before I ever went skiing. I am so happy to be doing those things again...with my own children. I'd love to have an ice skating dad made one with a tarp and several 2x4 in our driveway.
Friday, was the Russian Winter's Night fundraiser for our elegant dinner, auction and concert. Irina Mozyleva came from NY to can hear her opera-like voice if you click on the link! It was in the beautiful house on the Peterloon estate in Indian Hill. There is beautiful art there by Charles Dana Gibson and John Singer can see one behind me in the photo at the mirror. I love that rose wall paper.

We are now upon Great Lent...the 40 days, plus Holy Week in which we fast and prepare for the Passion and Resurrection of Christ. Every day this week there are services at church. Tonight, however, I will not go, as the snow is still coming down, like crazy... I will read the Canon of St. Andrew at home. I wish you all many blessings and peace of soul during this time!

February 10, 2010


Some double scoop ice cream cones...looking like hearts, just in time for St. Valetine's day. That last one I made for myself, to remember my aunt who passed away a couple of months ago...and a quote by Tennyson "tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all."

I love when my girls share...Hannah bought some stick on nails back in December and there was enough in the pack to share with Olivia. I crocheted some pink yarn into a scallop for an accent...I rather like it.

AND today is another snow day. I shoveled the driveway at dawn. So quiet and peaceful...Lusy our dog came with me, did her business in the snow, then sat there enjoying it all with me. I think I'm going to make some french toast for breakfast.

February 8, 2010

A snowy weekend...

Friday afternoon it started to snow. We stayed home...I gave the girls a pedicure...painted their little toenails and massaged their feet with lotion. They loved it.
Saturday we woke up to see everything outside beautiful. That's Rob at the top of the hill in my parent's backyard, Olivia mid-hill on the black sled and Hannah walking back up for another ride! My mom's 65th birthday...and the snow was such a lovely gift...from God! We went over to visit my dad and mom and ate lunch with them. I got these pretty square paper plates at TJ Maxx (unnecessary, but less dishes in the end)...while I was shopping for things to put into the basket I'm donating to Russian Winter's Night. It's just a few days away...
Hannah doing her school work. Homeschooling has its ups and's hard when Hannah and Olivia are working on 2 separate things, I try helping one of them and the other is distracted and wants to lean over... Hannah is doing a lot right now: she just read "The Lion, Witch and Wardrobe" by CS Lewis last week, she's studying Russian, practicing piano and going to karate. She has been studying Italy...Rome and Florence, artists, like Da Vinci and Michaelango, now we are moving towards Greece.

February 1, 2010

A short walk from our house...

There are a few parks we like to go to...that's one advantage of living in a more urban area...the weather was nice and sunny, but still pretty cold. We found some fun ice at one park. Hannah and Olivia wanted to take it home. It broke shortly after taking this photo below.
We read lots of books...since there's a library just a short walk away from our home, we go frequently, sometimes two times in a day. I read while laying in bed at night, alone on weeknights, since Rob works 2nd shift. This is a cute book, but the same author who writes Charlie and Lola books. It's a good story about a poodle who doesn't want to stay clean and have pom pom haircuts, but have FUN.
The children's librarian, Garrette, also known simple as Miss G was interviewed and read a story on how to make chocolate banana pops. Yum. All you need is:
  • bananas
  • chocolate (I melt it in a glass dish in microwave for about 60 seconds)
  • sprinkles (colored sugar, chopped nuts, or maybe shredded toasted coconut)
  • popsicle sticks
Simply peel banana, chop in half, insert popsicle stick and dip into melted chocolate and then place on wax paper and sprinkle, freeze or refridgerate until chocolate is set. Enjoy. Something fun to make with young children...and then eat together!