Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Spring Break with Jessica and Quin

We enjoyed two wonderful weeks with Jessica and Quin here during the boys' Spring Break.  They are flying home right now, so instead of being sad, I'll blog about the great time we had together.

Quin finally meeting Grandpa Dodge - best buddies!

Quin with Trevor, he even got Trevor to smile!

Quin with Curtis - he was nervous to hold Quin at first, but got better at it.

We went on a few day trips close by (Quin doesn't like his car seat or being put down for naps).

Jessica, Quin and I enjoyed the afternoon at the Butterfly Garden

After Jessica and I went to the temple, the boys met us and we went to North Bridge in Concord where the Revolutionary War began.

First day of Spring Break we played mini-golf at Mel's Funway

Nature Hike at the Audubon's Massabessic Center

Scenic Massabessic Lake (notice Jess' tick protection)

We went to the beach in New Castle NH

Curtis was the only one brave enough to go in the water

Quin loved feeling the sand (and even ate some)

Picture Perfect!  Jessica is a such a great mom--I'm so proud of her.  She says Quin makes her look good.

Our last outing was to the Shaker Village in Canterbury NH.  It's been a museum since the last Shakers left in the 1990's.

 It was interesting learning about the Shaker's history.  Only 3 are still alive. They are dying out becuase they don't believe in procreation.  I think communal living would have some benefits in the 1800's, but lack of privacy would be hard.

It was opening day and they had demonstrations such as butter churning, broom making, and the printing press.

We also enjoyed some down time at home, playing boards games, eating yummy meals...

Our 32 new chicks arrived (26 for meat, 6 more layers)

Quin: "Napping is OK as long as someone is holding me"

Quin "Jump Up" and exploring the hall closet

Relaxing in the Hot Tub - Quin loved it, but was hard to hold on to.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Winter's End

The snow is finally thawing and I feel it's safe to say this winter is finally at an end.  It was one of the coldest in decades, so we had major snow accumulation.  One or two storms a week of 8+ inches piled up in January thru mid March.  

I learned the hard way last winter--you have to clear the way for the mailman or you don't get mail

You may think I'm exaggerating because this shows what was "blown" off the driveway, but we still had to move the snow to get from the garage to the street, so you can still be impressed.

Our front walkway goes from puddle in afternoon to ice overnight as the days get warmer.
Pathway to the chicken yard

So, what do you do for fun in a long New England winter?  Winter sports!

Curtis and Trevor both improved their skiing skills.  Curtis took lessons thru the school ski club every Friday for two months and Trevor often came along to ski on his own.
We tried ice skating at the local park (very bumpy)

We decided it's much more fun at the indoor ICEnter

Trevor's harder to capture because he moves so fast!
 We even went to our first professional ice hockey game (it's a big deal here).

Another thing we're trying for the first time is maple sugaring (it's kind of like making lemonade out of lemons).  Here's some pics of Trevor and Jonathan tapping our trees.

Here's the set up--tap, hose, milk jug
 Now that the afternoons are warm, the jugs are starting to fill up.  The downside is one gallon of maple sugar boils down to 1/4 cup syrup.  So, it's cheaper than the beehives, but not as much product to show for it.

Jonathan, Curtis and Trevor went on a winter campout with the YM.  They did lots of outdoor activities, but slept in cabins with woodstoves (the high temps were in the 20s and lows below zero).