Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Deep peace of the running wave to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the watching shepherds to you.
Deep peace of the Son of Peace to you.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A tree at last

So we finally put up our tree this week.  We all went for a hike last weekend and picked one out from the woods near our house.

Once we got the chain saws back from the shop, Matt and Abigail went and got it on one of the coldest days yet this winter.  The day started at -5 and topped out at 3 but Christmas tree mission was successful nonetheless.  It is a nice tree.  Different than what you get at a Christmas tree farm so the branches are a bit more spaced out and it is pretty round for its height.  I think it is beautiful, however, and free!  There was, as there is every year, a bit of a fiasco getting it up.  It fell over after we got the lights on.

We knew the bottom of the trunk was crooked when we put in the stand. We were hoping for the best.

But that's what sawz-all's are made for, right?

Back in the stand and 4 broken ornaments later, the tree was decorated complete with a Thomas the train track underneath.  The kids are happy (we are too, just tired, I think) and the living room now looks magical.

Friday, December 11, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like...

Winter/Advent/Christmas everywhere I look....

After our first real snow of 4" the other week, we decided it was time to decorate.

The Christmas lights on the back deck are a bit more blinking and Vegas-like for Matt and I but the kids love them and we do live in the country, you know.  In fact last evening, Matt came inside while he was stacking wood and fixing the snowblower/tractor in 10 degree weather with 35 miles an hour winds to see me sewing while listening to country music in the glow of our Vegas Christmas lights and gained a new found respect for red necks, now that we are ones I guess.
Christmas cookie making with the kids.  Yum!

Another snow storm on Wednesday.  We probably about a foot.  Good bye grass!  See you April!

Another season of preparation...for us: preparing for snow, for more clothes and shorter days,for a slower pace of life.  For the world: the birth of our Savior, the Son of God, Prince of Peace, Immanuel! 

Monday, December 7, 2009

Thanksgiving pictures

Pictures from Thanksgiving to share with the family and friends.  Thanks to each of you for planning your time around our visit and making this a great holiday.  We enjoyed spending time with each of you!

My brother's band, The Silent Wire, playing unplugged in the basement with my dad's collection of instruments...without my brother since he really doesn't play unplugged drums...
Thanks again guys for the awesome music and company!  I was singing
Wire songs all the way back to MA...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Recipe test #1

I have been looking for a yummy but nutritious but not-too-filling after school snack that my kids won't give me a hard time about eating.  I am looking for a miracle, I know.  Below is the recipe I tried from the Stonyfield Farm yogurt container.  After that is my review and revisions for next time.

Yogurt Cereal Bars

2 cups corn flakes
3/4 cup plus two Tbls all purpose flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tps cinnamon
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup Vanilla yogurt
1 egg, slightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Combine cereal, 3/4 cup flour, sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Cut in margarine until coarse crumbs form.  Press 1/2 mixture firmly into the bottom of a greased 8-inch square pan.  Mix yogurt, egg and 2 Tbls flour into another small bowl.  Spread over cereal mixture in pan; srpinkle with remaining cereal mixture.  Bake for 30 minitues or until golden brown.  Cool in pan on wire rack.  Cut into bars.

Review -
Overall, tasted yummy.  Yogurt and egg mixture made a tasty custard like filling that I liked and wasn't too sweet.  However, not happy with the corn flakes being so chewy instead of slightly crunchy.  Proportionally, way too much filling to crust-ness.

Changes for next time -
Use 3 or 4 cups of cereal -1-2 cups corn flakes & 2 cups granola
A bit more cinnamon and flour to keep taste a consistency the same
I used butter instead of margarine and I would not increase the amount.  There was too much for the original 2 cups of cereal. 
May consider using less yogurt next time.  The filling really rises and was almost overwhelming.  Need to experiment more with the amount.

Summary -
Tristan ate it up and I did too so definitely good enough to eat as is.  Just could use some tweaking.  Fun, easy, not time consuming recipe to make with kids.  If you try it let know about your experiments.  Enjoy!

Updated edit - This tastes much better cold than warm right out the oven.

Back from NYC

We are back from our whirlwind East coast urban tour and back in the woods with a coating of snow.  Here are some of my favorite pictures while we were in NYC.  We spent lots of time at museums and at parks: the Natural History and Children's Museum, of course, but this year we also made it to MoMA and the Intrepid.  And the kids' favorite tradition of riding the Ferris wheel at the Times Square Toys-R-Us.

View of lower Manhattan from the Staten Island Ferry

Tristan's favorite at the Natural History Museum - TREX!

The fancy hotel at the corner of Central Park by FAO Schwartz and the Mac store - the Plaza, I think?

The 4 of us on the Toys R Us ferris wheel

Art at MoMA (don't remember the artist but I love the light and character)

 The pace of city life...

Van Gogh at MoMA - could have spent hours looking at that

Matt & the kids at the "Bessie" statue in the Bronx zoo.  No crowds in November!  We spent the whole day there with lots of our students.  That was one of the best days of the trip.  Just hanging out with our students in the city talking about nature, animals, life, and learning.

Gotta have Heinz ketchup even if you are living on an aircraft carrier in the middle of the ocean sleeping in a bunk room with 30 other men and being attacked by Kamikazes...Go Steelers!

The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum.  Fun, educational, and expensive.

Well, don't those faces just sum it all up!  Thanks NYC for another great visit.