Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I'll have a starling shall be taught to sing nothing but 'Mortimer'

We have had a flock of starlings haunting our bird feeding station these past few days. Our Song and Garden Birds of North America calls these birds the "aggressive bane of songbirds", but they have not seemed to bother our goldfinches and certainly our resident flicker holds her own. Also from reading we found these birds were first introduced in America in 1890 by a group that planned to introduce all the birds mentioned by Shakespeare into the United States. Certainly they succeeded in the case of the starling, which now covers the entire continent and whose numbers are so high that they endanger air travel and mob feedlots. One way to control them? Southerners have been known to eat them. "Wrap the birds in bacon, spit them, roast in a hot oven, serve on toast."

I think I prefer to simply laugh at their ridiculous antics and pompous strutting. Really, they are quite entertaining.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

daddy gos to woshingtin.

the tran.
the tran coming.

us wating fo the tran.

the tran stashon.


we had fun boing papas har.

Spring must surely be on its way

Yesterday: and today:

look at this little dare devil Gabriel! He can do anything in his tea cozy hat!

A sure sign of Spring; Joshua got his buzz cut

Friday, February 19, 2010

Good Morning Sunshine

Can you tell that I LOVE the way the sun shines into our house in the morning? It makes for such a cheery start to the day and my cup of morning tea seems so much more luxurious when basking in the sun. Here is Gabriel wearing my tea cozy (his hat):

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Snowy Boxerwood

Greenhouse thermometer read 80!

Spring in the greenhouse:

Up in the Haiku House:

Dale's Creek:

the play kitchen:

Friday, February 12, 2010

On our way

We're on our way to Denver again! Thank you Suzy! We are already VERY excited. Joshua made a countdown of the days and decorated each number with happy little folk. Eight is his favorite and I am rather partial to eleven. We leave March 15 ( I know, beware the ides of March!)

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Big excitement in the Yoder home! Our car is back out front looking shinier than ever! They even vacuumed out the inside which we had left pretty trashed. Just one more stop to have it inspected tomorrow a.m. Let's hope it passes!
We had a grand time riding around in it this afternoon, just to Ella's gymnastics and Kroger, but my it was nice to be OUT. The boys and I lingered in the grocery store, laughing our way down every aisle. Giddy would be an appropriate word to describe our mood this evening.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Remember those lovely morning shadows from a few days ago? Those branches have grown hearts!

This morning we woke up to fresh Spring leaves!!!!!
A highlight from this evening:
While I was getting dinner out Joshua was designing a dollhouse on He began shouting from upstairs, "Mommy! You have to come see my house!" Obviously very proud. I came up to see and laughed my head off! He had designed a bathroom with three toilets (one for himself and Ella and Gabriel) and every room had a refrigerator in it!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cabin Fever

Lets just say we are all needing a little S-P-A-C-E around here; mostly me I think. Anyhow, our day ended on a good note so I will include two pictures here that make me smile. Joshua made them up in his bunk bed the other night. I am off to prepare/brainstorm how to make tomorrow flow a bit more smoothly...

Monday, February 8, 2010

Playing Snowflake Bentley

Snowflake Bentley is one of our favorite stories. These are my own humble attempts to photograph snowflakes. They are all much blurrier than I had hoped, it's hard holding the camera steady and the focal length is ridiculously short. I wanted to take more, but alas, the snow had changed into small little pellets. Here's to more snow, the big fluffy kind. (and maybe not for another week or two)!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Yesterday may have been the perfect snow day. Tucker had the day off! Yeah! He and Joshua made a gigantic Lego tower over six feet tall. I did quite a bit of baking. Vermont oatmeal maple honey bread, big beautiful burger buns, brownies. Tucker and munchkins snuggled in and watched Star Wars. Went out for sledding and snow ball fighting. Came in for hamburgers for dinner and brownies for dessert. Fell asleep reading to the kiddos in Gabriel's bed before 9:00.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

My advice for you...

...hang a map where you eat! We have ALL learned so much just by having a map on our dining room wall. Even Gabriel can name the continents and find scattered tidbits (like the panama canal and Madagascar). A common request is, "can you ask us a map question?"

We are also trying Journey North this year. Ella is still a bit young for all the math work (like finding the photo phase for the day), but because of this project we have started discussing terms both she and Joshua can understand (such as latitude, longitude, equator etc.). Battleship has spontaneously become the number one game in the house this week, and it happens to be very useful in explaining grids and the coordinate system!

Just to top things off I got a book in the mail this week from paperbackswap called How to be Naturally Geographic! With the upcoming Olympics I am sure there will be even more "map talk" than usual. My this is exciting!

Here's breakfast with our map (notice the syrup dripping off Ella's forkful of bacon?):
And who knew India was almost the same size (and color) of a Dorito?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A flurry of baking

Ella has been baking up a storm these past few days. Today she made Honey Bee cookies from her Alpha Bakery cookbook. (Thank you Bee!) Yesterday she popped out corn bread and an apple cake just in time for dinner. I think she'd agree that the corn muffins are her specialty, although her downfall is remembering to grease the pan.

And thanks to our neighbor Bill we made snow cream for the first time today. He said his mother used to always make it for him and his brothers when he was a little boy. You mix milk and generous amounts of honey and vanilla together and pour it over snow. We ate it outside sitting on our sleds. Delicious!
Another from her Alpha Bakery cookbook: Yogurt cups. The recipe did not call for chocolate chips!

Monday, February 1, 2010