Monday, November 4, 2013


My sweet little black kitty...

My adorable panda bear...

And the grim reaper? This was the first year my oldest had wanted to be something scary, and...against my better judgement I let him go with it. He is such a GOOD boy, that I thought...if he wants to play bad, let him for a night!

First thing he did when his neighborhood friends left after counting candy in our living room? Practice his piano!

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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Fall Weekending

Finishing up proofing Will's writing work for tomorrow. Can't believe I had never read this book! So happy that my son has and is thinking, discussing and writing about it at age 9! It has been amazing to see his writing improve by leaps and bounds in less than two months with higher expectations set.

Fitting homework within another weekend with four, yes four!, soccer games for my boy... This guy was TIRED tonight!!!!

The girls and I had our troop hike on Friday afternoon, then an outdoor skills day with local girl scout troops all day Saturday...

Now poor Molly has a fever, so will low tomorrow.

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Saturday, October 19, 2013

One Final Island Visit

My helpers...a lot of bailing to do after the boats sat through some rainy days...

All that bailing was worth it! We made it over to the island for one last fall trip before the boats and docks were pulled this week...

Catching lots of starfish in October...crabs during the summer, starfish in October!

Lots of treasures...

Have a safe island winter...see you in the spring.

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Friday, October 18, 2013

Current Scouting Happenings

Cub scouts - popcorn sales - what a learning opportunity. This year, my son was in charge of his popcorn take home order numbers and money...

Girl Scouts - fun and yummy investiture and rededication ceremony held outside at the farm this afternoon, then a wonderful autumn hike in the late afternoon...

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Friday, October 11, 2013

Pumpkin Coffee Cake

I saw a link to this recipe over at The Frugal Girl and had to try it. Well, we have made it twice in the last week. It is seriously to die for.

Iced Pumpkin Coffee Cake

First I had to make my pumpkin purée...

This is the SECOND cake this week - almost gone. As you can tell, it was a hit!!

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Posting Signs

Our family has been blessed with shared stewardship of an amazing island off the coast of Maine. It is a place like no other...salty ocean breezes, woods filled with paths and fairy houses, a not too high mountain to climb and gaze down over the bay...I could go on and on. Well, over the last couple of years, we decided we needed to update the signage posted around the perimeter of the island. I took this job on - utilized a local sign maker to do the manufacturing of the signs and then posting the new signs. Over the weekend, we posted around approximately half of the island - will need to finish in the spring, but what a beautiful fall day it was! It is rare that I am out on the island this late in the fall - what a treat...

Yes, I am rockin' the green nail polish thanks to my 5 year old ;)

One of my trusty companion helpers...

Picked up a ton of trash from the shoreline...

Putting the island to sleep for the winter is bitter sweet. The boats and docks will be pulled in a week and we will dream of summer island days and nights. Until next spring dear isle...

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Saturday, October 5, 2013

Auctions, Birthdays and Ballets

This morning started off with visiting Daddy's work for their annual open house. It is the only time we get to see where he is all day, as he works for a company that has security that does not allow family to visit at other times... They hold an auction to raise money for Toys for Tots every year and this year the girls cleaned up! We won a homemade chocolate raspberry cake, a gift certificate to LLBean and (drum roll!!!) an outing on a lobster boat where you get to also keep the lobsters out of one the traps! Not quite sure how they figure our which trap you keep the haul from...the one that came up empty vs. the one that had 6 lobsters ;). Anyway - this should be a total blast when we schedule it!

Then while big brother and Daddy headed off to their soccer game (Daddy coaches), the girls and I celebrated their friend's birthday by seeing The Little Mermaid ballet!! What incredible dancing and fabulous costumes!!

Fun day of fundraising for a good cause, sports, experiencing the arts, bonding with friends, and just plain fun!

And I also got prepped for my adventure tomorrow...

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Friday, October 4, 2013

Balanced But Busy

Thursday afternoon and evening were crazy scheduled with my oldest's piano lesson followed by swim team practice...

While he swims, the girls and I play in the gym...

Followed by a soccer game under the lights. No pictures of that. Thursday night is definitely a crock pot night! Let me tell you that these kids are TIRED when they finally put their heads down on their pillows at night.

Friday afternoon was much less structured but also very busy today with seven kids here to play...

Open door policy at the craft closet led to the youngest kids creating water color, stamp, scissors and paper work with gusto!

The middles set up outside and immediately became lost in pretend play in the front yard.

And the oldest engaged in game after game of Blokus and Checkers.

I am grateful for the time when we are home and the kids are playing with friends to leisurely prepare pizza and salad fixings ahead of the dinner rush... Such a nice afternoon.

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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Pre Dinner Fun

Tonight, was one of those evenings when we needed to wait for dinner... My oldest has a variety of evening commitments - swim team, soccer, scouts... It is so fun for me to see what my girls come up with for activities to keep themselves busy while waiting for big brother and daddy to get home. Tonight activities included: helping me make our quiche & smoothie, making Valentines (yes, indeed...who cares that it is only October!?), and making puzzles out of little notes. That last one was my personal favorite...

Entirely self created and directed by the girls!

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Bunnies and Ballet

While my youngest practices her ballet...

My older two like to hang with the chickens and bunny that our super cool ballet teacher has on her property...

Sure, we have chickens at home, but we can't currently let them free range, are not allowed to have a rooster and do not have an ADORABLE bunny who also free ranges and lives with the chickens. How unbelievably cool is that? I plan to do some reading about this. Now that we have our chickens and knowing that my kids push for a bunny on a regular basis, if they could live together in the coop outside...well, that would be just too convenient, eh? Anyone know anything about doing this or have experience with it? I need to get my brain neurons chugging along on this concept! It just sounds so cool!
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Monday, September 30, 2013

The Waiting Game

Well, we are playing the waiting game now for that first egg... The kids are beyond excited. They put a single egg from the toy kitchen in each of the nesting boxes over the weekend.

And now, we wait...could be any day now!

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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Pick Your Own

So this is what I think of when I think of picking apples...

But, this is really what it is all about when your orchard has a super fun swing in the barn, right?!

And, of course, this!

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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Off Grid and A Okay

This afternoon we lost power in our town and surrounding towns for a little over 4 hours. It felt great to be just fine without electricity. Indeed living without electricity is something we do every summer. We spend time on an island with no electricity every year and we love to camp. But, at home?


My stove works with matches! So happy we had to upgrade a little over a year ago to propane... I cooked up some rice and curried eggplant and tomatoes from the garden. Excellent.

Will was off with Daddy playing in a soccer game this afternoon - no electricity needed for that! And the girls played in the backyard...

I got some reading done...

We even have this beautiful ships' clock that my dad gave to hubby years ago. It gets wound regularly and tells time no electricity required...

We heat with a wood stove so heat is no problem in the winter in a storm.

And once these chickens start their daily laying? Well, I will feel that much more self-confident. Power out for days in January? No problem! Eggs every day! I do need to work on preserving food. I make a lot from scratch but have not tackled canning. Next on the list...

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Common Ground

What a day! Today was the first day of the Common Ground Country Fair in Unity, Maine... We go every year, but made it in a Friday instead of a Saturday this time. There were still a lot of people, but not as many as there will be tomorrow, I am sure.

Highlights: border collie/sheep/goat/duck show, poultry barn, rabbit barn, highland cattle, the limeade, running into some friends we haven't seen in too long, and coming to dinner at a neighbor's house tonight...have I mentioned how much we adore our neighborhood?

I took only one picture all day. When I realized I had not taken a picture all day on the tractor shuttle ride on the way back to the car, I snapped this one of my sweet 5 year old and me. Had to take one.

It was a lovely day.

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Garden to Mouth

We are getting down to the last week or so of pulling carrots out of my garden. Next year, I plan to plant more. They are such an easy thing to grow - the difficulty is in being patient until they are big enough to actually be worth while. We kept checking them throughout the summer and being tempted to eat them when they were still small. Patience has paid off and we have some nice (relatively) big ones now - big for us, I mean.

Not bad.

This morning we also found a large cucumber - possibly the last one for this year - and some cherry tomatoes that were ready. I am waiting and crossing my fingers that a whole lot of green tomatoes that are just starting to turn orange will make it to edible status before we get a real freeze here in Maine.

Not a terrible pull for my tiny vegetable garden in mid September in New England.

Straight from the garden to the chopping block for lunch preparations...then the greens and scraps head straight out to the chicken coop for the girls!

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