Thursday, January 26, 2012

Nature Walk ~ Bald Eagle Spotting

Bald Eagle

On our nature walk this week we were treated to a spectacular show of bald headed eagles :) We have a network of trails that wind up the mountain behind our house and to our bottom field and it was down there that we came across a good half dozen of them.

Bald Eagle

A few of them were skittish and flew away but the others that remained eyed us curiously from their tree top perches. I would have loved to have gotten a little closer for a better photo as these ones are a little grainy but my little guy was so busy stomping tracks into the snow that I didn't dare go any further into their comfort zone *grin*.

Animal Tracks

Speaking of tracks we found these great bird tracks!

Now I'm not certain if these were from the eagles but we found them nearby and they look like the tail feathers of a large bird as it sat in the snow. I should have put my hand or shoe by them as they really were quite big. I have never found anything like this before so it was so neat to share it with the children :)


We hung around as long as we could before we became to cold to stay an longer but we got to see a few of them soaring back and forth between different trees and even a few juveniles that joined the older eagles. I wish I could have stayed much longer just admiring their grace and beauty. A true winter treat :)


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Unplugged Family Fun

The Snow Queen
{Our snow queen safely tucked beneath her umbrella}

Old man winter has been creating havoc around us this week and on Sunday afternoon he hit us with one heck of a windy snowball toppling trees up and down the island, knocking out our power for 23 hours and leaving us with no telephone service or internet for even longer.


But that didn't stop us from having fun *grin*.

Our evening was lit by oil lamp and scented with delicious smells of beeswax candles while our ears were filled with stories, board games, and silly chatter late into the night....


and plenty of outdoor play during the day. Thank goodness for wood heat and hot soup to thaw out our bodies after being frozen in the blustery cold and I'm sure that eating loads of icicles does nothing to keep children warm except it does bring giant smiles to their faces *grin*.

winter fun

The Girls

The 'girls' don't seem to be fond of the snow though and for the first couple of days they actually refused to leave the warm straw covered floor of their house :) My oldest ended up stomping down a nice path and area for them to come out to eat fresh scraps and in the end I think that it was stepping in the deep snow that they didn't like because they didn't mind staying on the hard packed snow. As you can see in the photo above though the lure of food would pull them into deeper areas if they thought it was worthwhile enough *grin*.

catching a ride

The falling snow has turned more to rain these last few days though and it is starting to melt our snow reserve but hopefully it won't all go away taking it's bright white beauty with it!


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Winter Wonderland

***Please note that there are a few graphic photos at the end of this blog entry showing the butchering of our cow and I just want to let you know in case you would rather not view them. ~ Rosina***


I am absolutely smitten with the beauty of winter :)
The snowy weather has continued here all week. While it hasn't amounted to much more than 5 or 6 inches it has tried awful hard and the temperatures dipped as low as -14 freezing our back door permanently shut for 4 days!! Thankfully we have another door so we didn't have to try to hard to get it unthawed *grin*.

Winter Drive

I had been holding off heading into the city for groceries and errands since the highway has been covered with slush and hard packed snow but the fridge was mighty bare and hubby has been home from work due to all the wind up this way so we bundled up and ventured out with the truck.

winter drive

Normally the trip takes us just under an hour but it was over an hour this time before we got into town as we slowly made our way over the mountain, through the fog and sometimes rather slippery conditions.

winter drive

The trees covered in snow and the silence that it brings made the trip so enjoyable though that I could have gazed out the window for much longer. You just can't beat a the winter wonderland that snow brings :)

Snowy mountain

The cold weather has also brought with it the perfect temperature for killing our beef cow. We raised him from a little calf on our own pasture and it will be so nice to have yummy homegrown beef in the freezer again since I never buy any from the supermarket.

We didn't have a cow for butchering last winter so we were behind. We always try to have one cow ready every second winter so that we don't run out of meat but it didn't quite work out that way this time.


With the hide removed Hubby and my dad worked on taking out the gut and all of the organs so that they could cover the meat and raise it up high where it will hang for 2 weeks before we do the big job of finishing the butchering and all of the wrapping.


My daughter was really interested in watching the men work and was not squeamish about it at all which was great and we got to have a really good look at the heart, lungs, kidneys and liver.


I should have thought of it sooner but it would have been really cool to have done a biology block for our homeschool courses so I'm going to have to think ahead next time and get a bunch of materials ready so that we can do a full dissection class. Every moment can be a learning moment *grin*.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Hello King Winter

Snow Covered

Winter has finally come to our little neck of the woods bringing with it breathtaking beauty.

Good morning

It started snowing yesterday evening, with the snowflakes falling quite heavily and this morning we awoke to a little over 4 inches of snow on the ground :)

Frosty Face

I could hear the squeals of delight from the family room as I lay all cozy in bed and I knew that I was going to have to officially designate today a snow day because there was no way that I was going to get the children to focus on school work with all that snow beckoning them to come out and play.


With their snowsuits on and their gloves cinched up tight they were all gone by 8:30. Not long after there was a knock on the family room window letting me know that they had made paths around the house to the chicken house, the woodshed and around the front yard :) The snow is so light and fluffy that they even shovelled half of the driveway and that is no small feat!

Face Plant

There were no snowmen built today because the snow refused to stick together but there was a whole lot of snow angels, sledding, snow eating and the occasional face plant *grin*. All I can say is BRRRR!!! The temperature was around -6 today and with the wind chill it was more like -15 making our little jaunt to the mail boxes down by the main road a little nippy so we really had to do some speed walking to get the old blood pumping and create some internal heat :)

Falling snow

More snow is forecasted for tomorrow so I can just imagine what filled their prayers tonight at bedtime *grin*.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Breaking the Silence :)


I apologize for the radio silence that has creeped up over my blog! I seem to have a bit of blogger's block *grin*. It's been pretty quiet around here since the holiday festivities quieted down and we settled back into a familiar rhythm of homeschooling in the morning, farm chores, making every effort to get outdoors each day to take in the beauty around us and spending time making nourishing meals to warm us now that winter has finally made an appearance with snow and freezing temperatures :)


We've had some lovely visits with our closest friends letting the kids have fun playing together and we even hit the skating rink earlier this week :)

Fun at the rink

It was the first time my youngest two children had been on skates so they were so excited. L took to it like it was second nature and took off without any instruction or help of an aid to keep her up while my little guy had fun making ice angels in the middle of the rink and getting pushed around wildly in one of the little kiddy cars they had. Afterwards we surprised the kids with a visit to a nearby coffee shop where they got to have hot chocolate to warm up with and us mamas soaked in the warmth from the fireplace :)

This morning I also had a chance to attend a fantastic seminar by Linda Kane an ICAN Certified Neurodevelopmentalist on effective ways to teach children and she shared all sorts of amazing information on the ways the brain develops in children. Really cool stuff that I'll have to share in another blog post :)


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Apple Nachos... How have we not met before?!

Apple Nachos

How is it that I had never heard of apple nachos?!

I was reading one of my new favorite blogs, Manifest Vegan, when I came across a very interesting recipe for a fruity nacho. Hence the apple nacho name.

Apparently this recipe has been around for quite a while and I seriously must be one of the last few people in the blogosphere to hear about it! Basically it's just thin slices of apple, and then I drizzled on a wee bit of organic peanut butter, unsweetened coconut, almond slivers, walnuts and a few chipits for fun :)

In the original recipe I linked to above she uses pecans which would be awesome to and what about a few dried cranberries on there instead of the chipits? I am SO doing that next time!!

What a great snack it made for the children this afternoon when their tummies were growling and it was way to early for supper :) It's pretty healthy right? I guess maybe the chipits aren't LOL.

Okay now be honest... if you have never heard of apple nachos you have to let me know that I'm not the only one that missed out on this fun food idea *grin*.


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Goodbye 2011... Hello 2012

New Year's Eve

Well I guess it's all over... 2011 that is *grin*.

Last night we pulled out a fancy table cloth for the coffee table, covered it with delicious finger foods for our annual new year's eve party and invited my mom and dad to join us :) We had cheese and crackers, hummus and veggie chips, fresh oysters that I breaded and fried, black Alaskan cod which is seriously to die for when you steam it in the oven....

Poached Pears

and poached pears in a merlot and grand marnier sauce. I've been wanting to make these for a long time and thought it would make a lovely dessert to eat at the stroke of midnight :) I made a syrupy reduction out of the poaching liquid and then drizzled it over the warm pears and vanilla bean ice cream. So yummy and a lovely way to ring in the new year!

Homemade Sushi

My dad just happens to be a new year's baby as well so today we got to have another party for his birthday with homemade sushi. We made California rolls and others with smoked sockeye salmon, shrimp croissants and my mom made cherry cheesecake for his birthday cake. I think I've eaten enough for an entire week in the last 24 hours LOL.

I'm not one for new year's resolutions usually as I tend to break them but last January I had vowed to live life more intentionally and 2011 lived up to what I had envisioned so I plan to do a whole lot more intentional living in 2012!

But when I read this lovely excerpt below from Ann Voskamp's blog, A Holy Experience a few days ago it just made me say 'YES'!

“I don’t really want more time;
I just want enough time.
Time to breathe deep & time to see real & time to laugh long, time to give You glory & rest deep & sing joy…
I just want time to do my one life well."
{read more here}

I can't agree more whole heartedly with what she wrote and I am looking forward to everything this brand new year brings my way :)

Happy New Year,