Wednesday, February 19, 2014

random doings in mid-February

Camille's Valentine's nails

Sylvia's Valentine's crown

gluten-free sweet biscuits topped with strawberries and hand-whipped cream

Camille made us a lovely Valentine's-inspired strawberry dessert. Papa and I spent part of Valentine's day resurfacing concrete.  Romantic, no? Oh, well, it was nice to be able to spend some time working together on the house.
Camille now plays saxophone in the local school band twice a week.  When I drive her into town for that, Sylvia, Ayla, and I go on mini-adventures if the weather isn't horrid.  We've checked out a hydro-electric dam, climbed on trains, walked out on the ice, or just gotten doughnuts and went to the library.

The chickens are venturing out of the coop a little more often these days with temperatures inching above freezing some days.

 full moon drive

 We're finishing up our play / homeschool / rumpus room.  It still needs trim and two more doors, but it's getting close!  It's a large L-shaped room that previously had unfinished walls and a concrete floor that was all bumpy around the edges.
 I love to bring color into the house and can be counted on to pick some wacky paint colors every time.  This room didn't turn out at all how I pictured it in my head, but if I don't come around to liking it more, it can always be repainted. I brought a lightly-faded terracotta pot into the paint store to match for the floor color, and picked a lighter shade of the same color for little accents.  I really wanted a warm earthy, forest-y feel, but the floor ended up being really orange and the accent color went almost sherbet. Ack. With the green walls and the pale blue sky, it's all a bit much, even for me.
 Maybe it'll feel right when it's laden with tables and toy bins and bookshelves and a rug and chairs and whatnot....

 a stroll around the 'neighborhood' in black and white

 a snowperson in the shade of the solar panels so it won't melt as quickly

 happy pup

 We had a cooking day today where each girl picked a project to work on.  Ayla chose granola.  We used gluten-free oats, walnuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, almonds, cashews, coconut oil, vanilla and maple syrup. Ayla cut up dehydrated apple rings (from apples from our trees) to add, as well as dried cranberries.  It turned out delicious.
  Camille made grain-free honey-sweetened 'thin mints'.  They turned out nothing like the girl scout cookie, but were tasty nonetheless.  They were chewy, chocolate-y, and rich.
Sylvia's choice was greek yogurt (in the crock pot).  It's still in the works. We've never made yogurt before, so I hope it turns out well.

I helped the juniors from Camille and Sylvia's girl scout troop make recycled paper last weekend and ever since we've been in paper production mode.  I think I'll save the rest of that process for another post.  This one is getting long.

Cheers!  Here's to bringing in lots of color and flavor and adventure in the middle of a long snowy February!


  1. Love the paper! The colours are gorgeous :) Your homeschool/rumpus room looks amazing and I am sure you will think so too when it all comes together. :)

  2. thats cool that the school lets your daughter play in the band. it's nice to have a nice looking home but i'm leaning more and more toward the people making the home (to make me feel better). it is nice to have that warm and cozy homey feel though. our disgusting carpet and colored on, holes everywhere, dirty walls are better than no carpet and walls. lol. a safe warm place right? anyway, i'm rambling. the rug and furniture will make it a new and exciting place for the kids.

  3. Thanks, Brooke! I think you're right.

    I'm totally with you, Megan. It's funny that I'm worrying about paint colors since the reason that we were able to afford this place is that it was largely unfinished. We've constantly got areas of the house that look more 'construction zone' than not. The bathroom has no ceiling other than the floor above it, the kitchen floor is half-tiled and half cement (so far), and there are cheerfully drawn on walls and holes where we had to replace pipes, etc. Safe, warm, and full of love is the criteria of a happy home, for sure. It's always a work in progress (and on a tight budget). Fits right in with our ragamuffin style ;)

  4. You guys have been super productive there! How do you go with the gluten free? I have been thinking of doing that for R but worry she won't touch anything!

  5. Jessica, Camille discovered for herself that she feels waaaay better if she eats gluten-free, both physically and emotionally. When she describes how gluten used to make her feel she says it made her angry and gave her stomach aches (and other gut issues). It took us awhile to find things that she enjoyed that were gluten-free and was a lot of experimenting at first. We found one pasta (Tinkyada) and one bread (Udi's) that she likes and then we pretty much make everything else either from scratch or just cook a lot of foods that naturally don't have grains or sub out some gluten-free flour in a recipe. It took her a while to get to a place where she doesn't want to touch foods with gluten, but now it's all her choice, and I just support her in it. The rest of us sometimes choose gluten-free and sometimes don't.

  6. I took a tiny tiny babystep today and brought some gluten free bread (she will eat sandwiches with nutella and banana) When she is over this sniffle I will try her on it. We have the "gut issues" and meltdowns and stuff, and I have heard its good for a lot of ASD kiddos. Its going to be good having some people to follow who are already there :)

  7. Your house is coming together so well!
    It's wonderful that you have those huge windows down there... you can paint any color you want, and it won't seem dark!
    The colors and brightness of Outdoors is still lovely... even if there's snow. ;). (Can you tell I"m tired of snow!?! And thoroughly enjoying a respite?)

    And I love the crown!! :)

  8. Super cute Valentine's nails. My son would love to see a child size train like that. Your play room is going to be awesome. Love all the light that's coming in!


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