Thursday, January 31, 2013

Being helpful

Lately Leif likes to help me do the laundry, load and unload the dishwasher, (sometimes putting soap in and starting a cycle without me knowing), and make he likes to make dough in the mixer-- he still has a love of flour! Leif also plugs in the vacuum and vacuums the living room and kitchen everyday. He's currently doing it right now so I thought I'd post a picture.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


Today Joel and I decided to make Sundays "technology free". We don't have tv, but it's still too easy to spend the entire afternoon surfing the Internet or watching Sunday movies that used to be ones like "Mountain of the Lord" but lately have turned into the "Swan Princess". (How is that a Sunday movie? Good question.) We've noticed that all of us, including Leif, are getting way too addicted to being entertained. So this quiet afternoon everyone read more, Joel went home teaching and then all, but Torsten and I, took a nice Sunday nap. (I would have preferred that we went for a nice long family walk together but hey, since the temps finally got into the balmy 30's the Idaho wind decided it needed to start blowing to keep things feeling a tad bit more wintry.)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Chinese New Year

For activity days I thought it would be fun for the girls to learn about another culture. (We are pretty culturally isolated in this area-- the population is made up entirely of white and hispanic farmers, ranchers, and agricultural workers)
The girls gave presentations on New Years traditions, legends and geography of China, the written language, etc. I made an Asian meal and fortune cookies to go along with the theme and they got to try out eating with chopsticks!

Monday, January 21, 2013


I know I keep posting about food. But food has been on my mind lately! Especially when I see yummy things on Pinterest. I tried out this idea today for lunch and it was TASTY. Toasted mini torta rolls from Walmart, little mayo and pesto, diced cherry tomatoes and avocado, sprinkle of salt and pepper, squeeze of lemon.

Ready to play in the eternal snow

We haven't had new snow in weeks but there's still enough to go sledding, thanks to the single digit highs we've been having. The kids sled almost everyday or explore down the big drained canal and look for burrows or signs of other creatures. Leif is a big boy now and goes along too. He's waiting for the kids.....

Home for the Evening

We had a nice Sunday evening with nothing to do but stay home and be cozy. We tried playing dominoes but we've forgotten how. (Grandpa Pearson, you'll have to show us again. It was so much better with you.) So we switched to a lively game of Yahtzee. What a great game for kids learning their multiplication and addition facts! Then the little kids and Taylor put on a hilarious short play complete with tickets, original music and lighting, and after-show Koolaid. These are the kind of Sundays I like best..

Friday, January 18, 2013

Easy breakfast

Stir fry mixed greens- kale, spinach, collards, chard, etc., in olive oil. A squeeze of lemon and sprinkle of salt.....then I eat it right from the pan!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Frozen lake, frozen ears, frozen solid

I know I keep talking about the cold...... But it's really COLD!!!!! I think today's high was 12.  Seeing the huge CJ Strike reservoir out our front door freeze over tells me without a doubt that it's a cold winter. At Homemaking tonight, I heard talk from the ladies concerning their cows ears getting frost bitten. They say their ears will soon fall off, ear tag and all and in the spring they will see the tags littering the pasture. Cows are beginning to calve right now and because the calves are wet, they need to be taken to the house and dried off really quick. The ones born at night often die of frostbite or lose extremities because they are wet too long. My friend Mandy, who lives on a ranch in Oreana, said a big bull spends most of his day on their deck next to the sliding glass door because he realizes it is warm.  Her kids feed him apples out the door.  They nicknamed him Deck. :-) The talk at Homemaking also centered around the morning chore of chopping creeks and water troughs for livestock and how the ice has been over 12 inches thick. I feel like I've stepped inside a little house on the prairie book. (isn't there a book called "The Long Winter"?) The women around here are such strong capable ladies. They remind me of pioneer women, only now they drive tractors and loaders rather than covered wagons. Pictured below are scenes from my camera the last 2 days. The last photos are the frozen reservoir. The flock of sheep was crossing the road on my way home from grocery shopping.

That flat of expanse of white is all ice! 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Messiest snack ever!

And yummiest too! Leif downed an entire pomegranate on his own this morning. We eat a couple Costco flats of pomegranates every winter. I wish they were available all year! But then again, the constant red juice splattered countertops, floor, fingers, and clothes make me glad for a break from this messy fruit.....until winter rolls around again.

The arctic tundra

So I thought I lived in the relatively warm banana belt of Idaho, where the skies not are not cloudy all day-- or at least rarely. But this winter has been different. Some days it feels like we've moved just a bit north of the arctic circle. This morning it was 3 degrees as I drove the kids to school and there was beautiful fog crystal formations everywhere. To be honest, it really didn't feel that terribly cold because there was no wind! I tried to capture a few scenes to share with our family in Arizona. I hear it is cold down there too!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

What is Leif doing?

He's watching videos of freight trains on YouTube. His favorite pastime. What I'd like to know is who are these thousands of people who think to upload videos of trains going through crossings or just driving past? Are they bored out of their minds?

Small town shopping

The other day, Reagan and I stopped for a few groceries at the small store in our town. I always feel like I've stepped back in time when I walk on the wooden boardwalk to reach the door, it's cowbell (or sheep bell?) jangling to announce my entrance. High ceilings, creaky wooden floors, open bins of nails and bolts, pallets of chicken feed, and open 5 gallon buckets of various dried beans share the store with the normal groceries I'm there to pick up. It seems surreal to me that places like this still exist, only 1 hour away from Boise! I thought I'd share a couple pictures I took. I tried to do it discreetly with my phone because I didn't want to be recognized as a total city slicker-- taking pictures like I'm a tourist or something. :-)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Healthy eating

I've been trying to eat healthier lately (haven't we all!) and I thought I'd share one of my favorite vegetable dishes : Oven roasted brussel sprouts. Just toss quartered sprouts with some olive oil, cook at 375 on a cookie sheet stirring once or twice and until some are slightly crispy and browned. I squeeze fresh lemon or lime over them and sprinkle with salt. I could eat this 2 or 3 times a week, no problem. Except there actually is a slight problem. Brussels sprouts are in the cabbage family and they stink like cabbage when being cooked! When asked, my friend remarked my house smelled like a really stale diaper after I made them for lunch. Lovely. II just try to eat them when I don't think any one is coming to visit. :-) So try it! You'll love them but not their aroma.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Grandma time

A sweet picture of grandma (my mom) and Leif. It's so nice to live near 2 grandmothers!

That was easy!

Whoa! This iphone blogging capability may mean a new era in my blogging! Making posts with photos is soooo much easier when I'm not worried about memory cards, camera batteries, which hard drive the pictures were downloaded onto, not to mention that the computer is always being used by someone in the house other than me. :-). It's more clumsy to navigate on the phone than
on the big computer but that's a small price to pay.
Here are some recent photos of Heidi's birthday. She turned 11 and I can't believe it. I cried and cried the night before. She's one of my "little" kids but she's now eleven and growing quite tall. Sob. Hiccup. For her birthday she had her best friend from Kimberly come spend the weekend and they had a wonderful time playing board games and sledding the whole weekend. Then when Christmas break was over she took her 2 best friends from this area to the ice skating rink. Even Leif tried ice skating! H

Post by iPhone!

I got a free iPhone 4 for Christmas (that's the kind of gifts I like--the FREE kind) and it is so useful! When our Internet and wifi problems are resolved I know I'll love it even more!

Today Taylor put a blogger app on the phone and I'm excited to try it out.:-)

Here my current sewing project: