family · life · through my camera lens

Snow brings out smiles

So as I mentioned on Wednesday, we got a snow storm to start off the season of spring. Yesterday, Richard decided to work from home. After the boys finished their homework, and Richard finished up his last work meeting they all decided to go outside while I was making dinner.

 

It was in the high 30s, but there was little to no wind. This means that the snow is starting to melt. This didn’t stop the boys from going out on their sleds and snow scooters. Richard went out with Dixie and was tossing snowballs with her. It is too funny to watch this as she doesn’t understand why the ball disappears when she catches it.

 

Richard and Colby decided to make a snowman, but it turned into more of a snow mound. I said it looked like a stalagmite instead of a snowman. They got the shovels out and where shoveling all the snow around the back door and using it to make it huge. This mound was almost as tall as Richard.

There were snowballs, laughter and smiles for everyone. It may have been cold and snowy the last few days. Too many of us may have head colds and be blowing our nose more than we’d want. But, the moments when we can do things together. To have fun and smile… that is what makes family moments worth it all.

 

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family · life · through my camera lens

Snow Day Today

The forecast this week was for us to get a wintry mix yesterday and then they said 3-6″ of snow before 8pm last night. That my friends did not happen! We had a wintry mix on and off and did see some snow from time to time, but there was little to no snow when we went to bed last night. This morning we woke up to a white world.

At 5am we got the call saying there would be a 2 hour delay. Some how we actually missed this phone call and were up and moving with the thought we’d have to have Richard and the boys out the door before 7:20. Then I noticed the phone message saying it was a 2 hour delay. (I got my replacement phone yesterday so now I feel better again!). About an hour later we got the call saying that school is cancelled for the day.

Richard decided to stay home as well. He has been fighting a head cold for the last few days. There was already about 1.5″ of snow out there and it was snowing harder and harder as the hours past.

So we had a slow morning. Then Richard and I headed out to shovel. It wasn’t bad until the plow came along and plowed about a foot of snow onto the bottom of our driveway, oh and it also took out a huge swath of the grass off the edge of our property. (What do you call that strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street?? I have no idea what it’s called). After we got it shoveled, all 5 of us (4 humans and the dog) piled into the truck to go to the vet.

When we got home the boys headed outside to play in the snow. Me, I should go out and shovel again, but I’m not in the mood to do that just yet. I know it is a necessary evil of the season… oh wait it’s not winter anymore, but it is snowing. So instead I’m making dried strawberries and trying a new roll recipe to have with cheese steaks for dinner tonight.

Are you seeing spring in your area or are you seeing a winter wonderland like us?

 

family · life · through my camera lens

Snow day!

Today the phone rang at 5:15am. I actually didn’t hear it ring, but I heard the message as Richard listen to it… no school for the boys. We sort of knew this was coming since we were under a winter storm warning from 2am to 6pm. I got up and turned both of the boys alarm clocks off and went back to bed.

Richard and I got up around 7:30am and started our morning. Richard jumped in the Image may contain: one or more people, snow, tree, outdoor and natureshower and I headed down to shovel. The snow was HEAVY today. We had about 5 inches of snow already. While I was out shoveling it started a wintry mix with more rain than anything else… oh joy! Richard ended up coming out and helping me shovel the snow since I was no where near done when he was done with his routine.

We got the driveway done and moved on with our day. The boys and I played two rounds of Family Edition Trivial Pursuit. I said that we need to get another version of this game as they are really good at answering the kids questions and are probably ready for a full on adult version. I’ll have to go searching for the best version to purchase.

Image may contain: 1 person, standing, tree, snow, outdoor and natureWhen that was done the three of us went outside. The boys who live across the street were outside shoveling their driveway. My boys decided to go help them out… hey why don’t they ever offer to help me? Well I didn’t give up my shovel because I still needed to shovel where the truck was, the sidewalk and the walkway.

While we were outside it switched from a wintry mix to snow. I couldn’t keep up with the snow while I was shoveling, not that I expected to, but it was crazy how muchImage may contain: one or more people, snow, outdoor and nature snow was falling.

The boys then decided to head out back and go sledding. It was really good sledding cine there was a layer of ice on top of the snow. They were able to get in quite a few good runs down the hill. They will certainly be disappointed when there is a house on the lot next door next year since that is their favorite spot to sled.

While they were out there, I cleaned off the back steps and snapped some pictures. I loved the look of the icicles on the bird feeder. I did go over and clean off the feeder so the birds could get to the seeds.

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** this post contains links to products, please read my disclosure statement**

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Groundhog’s Day

We have had another huge swing the temperatures. Yesterday it was in the 40s all day and most of the snow melted. Last night we switched from rain to snow and this morning we woke up to white an it’s only in the teens. Brrr!

Well the groundhog says we are going to have 6 more weeks of winter. I’m not sure the groundhogs here in Wexford (we have a lot around we saw them driving around in the summer and fall), would have seen shadows this morning. The sun is just breaking through the clouds now and it’s already 10am. So when they pulled poor Phil out of his burrow at the crack of dawn this morning I don’t think the sun was shining enough here to make a shadow.

I decided to give in and take down my snowmen decorations today. This is the time of year when my decorations are really slim. It will get better for Easter, but then peters off until Halloween. I love having seasonal decorations up it adds a change to the house dynamics. So today I put out the Valentine’s Day decorations. I barely had enough to do the front hall cabinet and the fireplace. Oh well… it makes the windows seem bigger and brighter without the decorations on them?

Richard stayed home from work today because we are supposed to have 3 different people come and fix things in the house. I love when they give you time frames  like sometime between 8am and 12pm. Could you narrow that down a bit more? One of the guys just said “I’ll be around in the mid-morning time frame.” Ok! At least Richard can do some of his work remotely. But, taking a day off is good, he’s been working a lot lately.

Richard did the shoveling by himself this morning. Granted it was only about one inch and the plow didn’t come around, that’s the worst. I got to take it easy this morning and just herd cats get the boys ready for school. I’m feeling better than I was yesterday. I can almost breathe today and I’m coughing a lot less. I guess taking yesterday off and getting a decent night sleep helped.

I hope the Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction was wrong and we won’t have 6 more weeks of winter, but if we do, we will make the best of it!

family · life

It’s Monday again

 Last week was one of those weeks that felt like two weeks. Don’t you hate those never ending weeks? Yesterday I made a comment about not feeling good last Monday and I couldn’t believe it hadn’t even been a week since that night.
Well even if the week was long and tedious, the weekend was good. Saturday we woke up to spring type temperatures. Richard decided to go for a bike ride, the boys rode down to the playground with a football and I decided to tackle the backyard. The lot we purchased has a large wooded section at the back of our property.  While we intend pretty much leave it in its natural state, I want to start cleaning up the edge leading into the grass to start. So I went outside with my garden sheers and a trash bag. I started on one edge and cut back and removed about two feed of the weeds and brambles on the edge of the property.
As I was working I felt like I’d made a huge dent in it, but then when I stepped back you could hardly notice the difference, oh well it’s a a start. I would have kept working but mother nature decided to continue with the spring feeling of the day and it started to rain. It then rained all day long! So, we worked inside.
I unpacked my Lego Cinderella Castle. Richard purchased this for me last year and never really found a place for it in the Orlando house. I just moved a bureau we had in the office to the basement so that became the home for Cinderella’s castle for now. I also finally got around to transferring the boys’ height chart to the new house. When we were moving one thing I insisted was that I would find a way to move the boys’ height chart. I had a hard time knowing that those marks inside our pantry would have to stay and we wouldn’t finish seeing them grow in that house. So, we transferred the marking twice, once on a long sheet of paper and another on a roll of adding machine tape.  I finally decided where to put the marks in our new home. I transferred the marks, measured Blake (oops only a few months late, but still did it).
It feels like every time we unpack one more box, or add oneW more thing from the past to our new house it helps transform the house to home.
Saturday night I went to bed with a post nasal drip and a scratchy throat. This is never a good thing! I know it has to do with the pressure changes that are swirling around and come in and out with the raising and lowering of the temperatures. While I enjoy the spring like weekends we have been having, that coupled with the winter temperature weeks means my sinuses hate me. Sunday I woke up feeling like my head was going to explode and my throat hurt. Airborne and allergy medicine here I come. That didn’t stop me from completing our plans for the day!
Sunday we went on a hike in North Park. The hike was sponsored by LL Bean. I’ll post about it later today after I have time to upload and edit the photos. We have already signed up for another of the LL Bean hikes. This Wednesday they are having a full moon hike!
Last night I went to bed right after the boys. I think I turned off the light before 8:30pm. That on top of the fact that I took a nap in the middle of the day. Richard made bbq chicken for dinner and I did next to nothing. That was a nice break, sadly it came because I wasn’t feeling well. I did sleep last night, but still woke up feeling like crud. Oh well…. life calls. Time to shower, head to the grocery store, do laundry and so much more.
But, I do promise to get the pictures of our hike uploaded and a post about the hike will arrive before the end of the day today!  It’s my goal.
Hope you have a Magical Monday.

 

family · life

Rainy Monday, Sunday fun day, and warmer weather

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It’s a rainy Monday morning. For us this not only means it is gray and dreary it also means more snow melting. We have been warming up for the last few days. Yesterday we left the house with just light weight sweatshirts on (it was in the high 30s). This high temperature yesterday was 49 and today is projected to get to 60!

We headed out around 9:20 to take Dixie to doggy day care. The day care where we board Dixie during our travels is running a winter Sunday doggy day care special. You can drop off your dog from 10-4 and it only costs $10 for the visit. We decided this was a good way to get her out and running around. She loves going to The Dog Stop and was so excited to go play with her friends. Of course she was also excited because this also meant a ride in the car, one of her favorite things to do.

When we dropped her off we headed to the gym. One of the nice things about the gym we are using right now is the fact that they youth area has a kid size weight circuit, treadmill, and stationary bike. The kids are also allowed to use the basketball court, racquetball courts and track. The boys use the circuit weights for 3 sets of 10 do some kind of cardio, often running on the track, and then they can play on the Wii. This gives Richard and I a good chunk of time to workout together. I enjoy my workouts with Richard for multiple reasons. One being that I can test out heavier weights and he is there to spot me. The second is we very much think alike. I just have to look in a certain direction and if he follows my eyes he knows exactly what I’m thinking. There is something very funny about watching other people workout.

After the gym, we came home and Colby was over the moon excited. He had spent the Amazon gift card he got for Christmas on ordering more characters for the Lego Dimensions, and they arrived while we were out to the gym. The boys spent a few hours working together to build the Dimensions add on kits and then play the game. While they did this, Richard and I went outside.

I went out originally to feed the birds. I couldn’t walk near the feeder without my winter boots on. This is not because the snow was too deep, it was because the ice/slush pond of water was too deep. So in I went to put on my winter books. Richard decided to come out and move some of the “pond” so that the water could flow down the slope of our backyard. We spent a good 45 minutes working out in the backyard. I spent some time doing dog pile pick up, I also picked up 3 piles of deer skat. (We saw a 3 point buck in our backyard the night before). Richard got out a rake and was moving the snow piles away from the foundation. It was strange to be out in jeans and a long sleeve shirt, or in Richard’s case a short sleeve shirt, working with snow, but it was really nice out.

Image result for patriots vs jaguarsWe ended the day watching the Patriots/Jaguars football game. I grew up in MA, so I have Patriots blood… you can’t grow up in MA and not cheer for the Pats, it just doesn’t happen. But, Blake Bortles, the Jag’s QB, played for UCF. He is an upstanding guy and it’s hard not to cheer for him if you know much about him. (Plus his name is Blake and his younger brother’s name is Colby… how cool is that?) It was a great game. We even paused the game to have our dinner of fish tacos and finished watching it after we finished eating.  Got to love the ability to pause live tv.

After we finished the game, we decided to contact both sets of grandparents. The boys enjoy talking to their grandparents on Google Hangouts. This way all parties get to see each other not just talk on the phone. We have done this for a while with Richard’s parents. We also used this technology whenever Richard traveled so the boys could talk to him in “person” not just on the phone.

Today Colby is home so that he can get his teeth checked out again. Remember the story of the bike vs teeth incident? Anyway a trip into the city is on the agenda for the two of us today. Let’s hope this proves that his teeth are doing fine and we can put this behind us soon.

I hope you have a great Monday to start this new week! I hope you had fantastic weekend. Catch you later!

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I enjoy reading your replies to my posts. Keep sharing your thoughts, it helps motivate me to share mine! 

Is it raining in your corner of the world? What do you think of rainy Mondays?

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through my camera lens

Photo Challenge: Silence

The topic for this week’s photo challenge is silence. This is actually something I have blogged about in the past. (here and here) That didn’t stop me from jumping on this topic for a photo challenge.

I debated on taking a picture of my computer with a mug of coffee. Each morning after my sons leave for school I take a few minutes of silence to have my coffee and write my blog post. I use it to ground me before moving on the activities I need to do each day. But, a lot of bloggers feel like their time blogging is a moment of silence in their life to reflect on what is happening/has happened that day.

I debated on taking a picture of the book I’m reading and my glasses. Each night I take 30 minutes or so to wind down from the day by reading. If you follow my blog, you probably know that I’m an avid reader. (I’m almost done with the book I’m reading so watch for a book review soon.

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I decided to walk outside. to look at the wintered world that surrounds me and capture a moment (or two) of silence here. Having just moved (well moved back) to an area with snow, I’m truly enjoying the silence that winter brings. The silence of your footsteps as you walk through the snow. The silence of seeing trees covered in snow, and the creatures who line in them. The silence of snow covered grounds that have yet to be walked through by humans, dogs or any other animal. The freshness of the world in the frozen stillness of this silence.

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Take today to walk outside and enjoy the silence of nature. Find that patch of snow that is just calling for you to put your own footprints in the snow.

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via Photo Challenge: Silence

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Productive day

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What makes for a productive day? Why do some days feel so much more productive than others? I’m not always sure it is the amount of things you accomplish, but how you feel about accomplishing the tasks.

Image may contain: house, sky and outdoorYesterday felt like a productive day to me. I shoveled the snow 4 times… yes you read that right. It was light fluffy snow so it was easy to shovel, and I wanted to stay on top of it. There was about 1-2 inches of snow each time I went out. We have probably close to a foot of snow from the two batches of snow this week and it’s snowing already this morning.

Between shoveling; I cleaned the bathrooms, vacuumed the rugs, did 2 loads of laundryImage may contain: sky, snow, outdoor and nature and posted 2 blog posts (this one and that one). Yesterday I had the most views on my blog for a single day! WOOHOO! Where you one of my visitors yesterday? If so, thanks for stopping by yesterday and today… I love seeing people choose to read my blog! I also now have over 50 followers here and over 60 on my Facebook page. Hmm I haven’t posted on there in a bit, I’ll have to do that today too.

Image may contain: tree, snow, plant, sky, outdoor and natureSo what made my day feel productive? I don’t know. I did all things that I do on a normal week, ok except the amount of shoveling for a given day. I think it was just one of those days that I just ticked things off the list and felt like man I accomplished all I set out to do and more. I still had time to sit down and watch brainless tv. I didn’t feel rushed or over run. And, the funny thing is my day started late because the boys had a 2 hour delay so I didn’t start anything (other than shoveling) until after I’d brought them to the bus stop.

So what’s on the agenda today? The boys have another 2 hour delay (cold weather delay today it’s only 5F which is up from 3F at 5am when we got the phone call). After I drop them off at the bus I’m going to the gym and then the grocery store, they are on the same street so why not? Then, the cleaning that needs to be done. Maybe make homemade larabars (or Loribars as Colby calls them), prep dinner… hmmm Image may contain: tree, plant, sky, outdoor and naturewonder what else I’ll get done. I wonder if today I’ll feel productive? I guess if every day felt productive then that productive feeling wouldn’t mean as much?

I enjoy reading your replies to my posts. Keep sharing your thoughts, it helps motivate me to share mine! 

What makes you feel like you’ve had a productive day? Have you ever made homemade LaraBars? Would anyone like the recipe?

through my camera lens

Feathered Visitors

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On Sunday, we purchased a new feeder to put the sunflower seeds in for the birds. The one we had before was mesh and the snow was getting inside and freezing the seeds solid. Also, since we were only using it for sunflower seeds, they couldn’t get the seeds through the mesh.

When we went to switch the feeder, there was a lot of seeds stuck in the bottom. We just banged them off at the bottom of the steps and left them there.

bird_03Yesterday, some of the birds found these seeds and were having fun eating the seeds in the protected corner. I sat and watched them for quite a while. It was fun to watch them interact with each other as well as which ones would go up the steps. Dixie wasn’t sure she liked having the birds there. She tolerated them until they were up on the steps she could see, then she had to tell them it was her house.

I debated putting more seeds on the steps today. I haven’t yet because I still have to clean off the steps. Last night we shoveled 1.5 inches around 6:30pm. We woke up to another 2ish inches today. I still need to shovel the back steps, them maybe I’ll put more seeds on the steps for the birds.

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I enjoy reading your replies to my posts. Keep sharing your thoughts, it helps motivate me to share mine! 

Do you feed the birds at your home? Are you getting snow right now? What are your plans for today… mine… shovel and clean the house!

Have a Terrific Tuesday!