Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Winter Time

What does a family of eleven, living in the snowy U.P. in their tiny handmade home do all winter?

The short answer: play!

... And the long answer would be this blog post. ;)



Heating up on the warm rocket stove bench before braving the weather for farm chores!

Once outside, it's often not as bad as the thermometer says, especially when the sun is out.

Fuzzy animals stay warm by staying ... fuzzy.

After a snowfall, there are impressive drifts hanging off the barn roof.

And a driveway that needs to be shoveled.

Laundry that needs to be brushed off.

  And sparkly snowbanks that little brothers have to push their sisters into (, constantly. Seriously, if Johnny asks you to go for a walk, just say no. What he really means is: 'do you feel like being tackled into the snowbank?') ;)

Theresa's been training these useless pups so that they're not so ...useless.

And Donna's sure enjoying the process! Yesterday they finally used our handmade dogsled.

Once the driveway's shoveled, we can get our big van out...

...and go play hockey!
With our family, we're four on four (dodging Donna who skates around with a stick and occasionally takes a swing at the puck if it comes by).

And on the weekends, it's snowboarding! Donna can't wait until she's old enough to come along.

Me sitting in the woods, taking it in.

Pretty sunsets, getting later all the time.

In the evening is band practice,

old movies, card games, puzzles, and finally, gloriously, after an active, playful day: bed!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

A New Year

It's now two thousand sixteen, and the biggest news I have for you, in this little update, is that our seven year old has lost most of her teeth. lol! 

It seemed like they all fell out within a week, and now her nickname is toothless (which is perfect, since Annie's currently reading her the How To Train Your Dragon series, wherein the cute little dragon is named Toothless).

Other news includes Lizzy's completion to her 2015 art challenge. She created a piece of art every day last year and now has 365 pieces of art to show for it. Because of that dedication, her skills have really grown. Follow her new facebook page to keep an eye on where those skills go from here!

Other news: snow and snowboarding are now happening! 

I feel so lucky to be able to play in the snow on a mountain that overlooks Lake Superior every weekend.



An afternoon spent up there is so exhilarating, good wintertime exercise and just dang fun. Our mountain is only twenty minutes away and the season pass is definitely worth the expense for how much time we spend there. 

I brought my houseplants out on the porch for some sunshine and a good watering on the last warm day. Now it's turned good and cold--ridiculously. Just like us ridiculous northerners expect it. :)

 Lizzy said riding and jumping in heavy falling snow is so much more fun (I don't know why--you'll have to ask her).

After a slight delay, the snow is being appreciated more now that's finally showed up.

Farm chores become tougher in the cold weather. 
Lizzy and Andrew are working on getting warm water to the animals this morning. Still, the kids come in rosy cheeked and happy after visiting their furry friends, bringing in an arm load of firewood or a pail of milk (frozen around the edges) and of course, trailing a whole bunch of snow for me to mop up. :)

The house feels cozier after having been out: shoveling, working or playing in the cold. The routine indoor chores are good for staying active, like drying our apple harvest over the stove.

Long evenings are for music practice, reading and puzzles.

And I love em! 

This cozy down time is so welcomed after an active summer. I'm always so grateful for the simplicity of my life, with lots of leisure time to enjoy helping Donna to read, watch Johnny master a new yo-yo trick, or just observe a gently falling snow.

You know you have a good life when you hope the new year is just as perfect as the last one! :)