Spring decided to pay us a little visit last weekend! It's timing was very punctual too, as it was on the heels of a nasty storm that blew through here days before. The guys took advantage of the warm up by spending the day out in the woods getting 30 some taps in our maple trees. Yum! Our first taste of spring. The icy cold, mineral rich, sugar water tasting sap is a favored treat as well as a sure sign that spring is near! The kids decided to take advantage of the warm temps too, by following the guys about the woods in their tee-shirts, running at every opportunity. Bikes were dug out of the snowbanks and the sleds were kicked aside. However, I noticed that even though they so willingly traded their jackets for tee-shirts, a good pair of gloves and their trusty hats were left in place. I'm sure the gloves were in the event that an unexpected snowball fight were to break out and the need aroused to defend oneself, but I'm not sure on the need for hats. I guess old habits are hard to change when it comes to the farm fashions. Johnny keeps asking if they can herd the sheep now that we can see patches of grass here and there. Overeagerness seems to be the correct term for these kids!
The boys have been getting into archery all of a sudden. They played with a friend's bow last week and were inspired to make their own. What started out as a simple toy has become a test of survival skills and competition. They're making their arrows with real chicken feathers and artificial sinew. Andrew went further yesterday by pounding out some real sinew, making a pine pitch glue and fashioning an arrow head out of bone. They steam bended their arrows over the boiling sap they were tending outside. They compete against each other for distance and accuracy which causes them to dig deeper into their wilderness survival books and internet sites to further refine their arrows.
They've made some quick and dirty bows too, but since they are a more complicated and time consuming project, they haven't delved into those as much. They use an old bow that we got a rummage sale to test their arrows on.
We girls are content to just be outside. The warm sun feels so good that we've been finding small jobs outside to take precipice over the inside duties. We've been enjoying long walks together, filled with silliness, singing and snowballs. Theresa, Mom and I have also been catching up on all the horse hooves, giving them their spring trims. That job is almost done now. Theresa is shearing her bunnies again, (she has four baby boys and one adult female for sale, too, if you're interested!) and I guess that means the sheep will be next to loose their coats. House keeping has the added disadvantage of the mud season hitting it. We have to mop at least once a day to keep up on our floors.
The kids also found a spelling site (www.spellingcity.com) online that they've been playing in turns against each other. Not quite sure how this one came up... probably an older sibling questioning a younger sibling's spelling abilities. Using the site and turning it into a game has made it a lot more fun! They take turns making a list of words to test their opponent with, the only rules being that they have to know the words themselves off the top of their head. Education at it's most fun!
The creeks are running high again. Their roar of new life can be heard as soon as you take a step outside. That body of fast moving water is so fascinating to sit down and watch. Who knows whether the burst of energy and life that rippled through the farm this past week was caused by the warm temperatures, sunshine, new patches of grass or the first taste of sugary sap (spring tonic as Mom calls it). Regardless of the reason, the ripple was contagious and easily tapped into, as it sang out with new life! How good God is to bless us with yet another spring with which we can experience new life once again.