Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ride, Joseph, Ride



The strange noises are because he thinks he IS Spider Man when riding his Spider Man bike.

About two weeks ago we did a big garage clean out. Since everything was cleared out there was room for Joseph to try riding his special bike. WOW does he love this! He rides round and round for at least 30 minutes and every day he is faster. He has had two crashes, but they don't seem to bother him much. Actually, I have been trying to post this for awhile and we are now a bit out of the habit of riding the bike. For some reason Brad decided that Joseph was ready to have his training wheels off (!?!?!?). I am pretty sure two and even three-year-olds need training wheels still. Needless to say, that did not work out and actually scared Joseph! Now he thinks his bike doesn't work and he keeps getting off to "fix the wheels." I am sure we will get him going again. Actually, it's been a nice break from the constant begging to ride his superman bike.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

New Porch!

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Monday, April 5, 2010

Sugar time!

IMG_0205Ok, I know it’s been about 80 degrees and amazingly beautiful recently and we are all in spring and summer mode, but, I finally solved some technical issues and can use my blog again.  So, I have to share our early springtime adventure.  As I eluded to previously, and as most of you know, we (well mostly Brad) rigged up a boiler this year and made some of our own syrup!  What a fun!  The season started surprisingly early and our boiler wasn’t quite set, so the first weekend we boiled on the grill and didn’t even have a candy thermometer.  But, boy was it yummy nonetheless.  That week we bought a 50 gallon drum, used a kit to convert it to a stove from the local hardware store, and added a pan welded by a friend to come up with:

IMG_0154(Brad is not going to be happy about that pic . . .)  We boiled four batches and ended up with over 3 gallons (in case you don’t know it’s about 30 gallons sap to 1 gallon syrup and it takes a LONG time).  Here are some pictures from our adventures:

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Collecting sap

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Boiling well into the night (and then I would finish it on the stove)

Cousins Bree and Jacob visited (along with Amy and Bernie):

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Sugar on snow!  Actually, we have been enjoying syrup on lots of things.  Joseph loves adding it to yogurt, oatmeal, and even to dip apple slices in.  Of course it is amazing on vanilla ice cream and pancakes, French toast, waffles, and my special waffle breakfast sandwiches.  I am also now experimenting using it in savory recipes, like on chicken and pork chops and plan to try it as a sweetener in baking. 

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Loot

We also visited Grandpa’s horses at the Russell farm where they live and work:

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The sugar house there

 IMG_0200 IMG_0203  IMG_0209 IMG_0213Headed out to gather sap

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Back at our house:IMG_0229