Sunday, February 27, 2011

love, february 26

We try to hike every weekend. Easier said than done right? While getting out the door is less than peaceful sometimes, what comes when we get to our destination is pretty darn awesome. If I could sum up our experiences being outdoors it would be "discovery". We discover things about ourselves, we discover the best way to motivate our kids to keep moving, we discover things about natural history and we discover things about human history.

These pictures were taken a few weekends ago. I loaded them a few days ago and while I've not been stellar at blogging on a regular basis lately, I didn't want to throw this away.

This canyon is a beautiful place. It's shady in spots and in some, the sun was pouring over the snow displaying a shimmering light show that I couldn't quite capture with the camera. We continued up the hill, sometimes slowly and sometimes at a fast pace to find the warmth again.

The last time we were here, we were startled by a horse's neigh. As we looked up the hill and behind us, we saw a herd of wild horses. I think the horse wanted to say hello or perhaps tell us that we weren't welcome.

Along the canyon, the kids played in snow, we found animals prints, marveled at the view and eventually found the wild horse trail that we followed up the canyon. This, my friends, is quality family time.

This is the same canyon that the Donner Party and other pioneers traveled down to reach the Truckee Meadows and beyond to California. I tried to imagine myself on this trail in 1846. Wouldn't it be fun to travel back in time to see the wagons navigating this narrow canyon and their excitement in seeing the valley below? As always and as Jonathan always says, "It was a good day."

Thanks to Kerry for hosting a month of love posts.
Hello March!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

love, february

I love 4H.

(Amelia in the car, leaving early in the morning for the cavy show)

A few weeks ago we went to the local 4H small animal show where the kids show their guinea pigs (a.k.a. cavies), rabbits and chickens.

(We love to see all the other animals at the show, especially the poultry)

Amelia has had guinea pigs for 6 years and she's loved every minute of it. She loves her animals and takes good care of them. We actually have to wash and blow-dry our pigs before every show. She knows more about guinea pigs than anyone would care to know. She's bred her pigs several times and been witness to their births. It's been such a great experience for her. For all of us.

(Aren't these rabbits cool? I love looking at all the different kinds of rabbits)

But, all good things come to an end eventually. Ever since we've welcomed a dog into the family, our attention has moved away from our pigs to our dog. It's hard not to since our dog is so much more enjoyable. Our puppy has made his way deeply into our hearts. Along the way, I've pushed Amelia to make the hard decision to move away from cavy 4H to dog 4H. That was my plan all along. You know how us moms are! After all, cleaning guinea pig cages every week for 6 years wears on a mom.

(The rabbits at the show table waiting to be judged)

We finally made it to our first dog 4H meeting last Monday and it was so much fun! Not only do the kids run the meeting, taking turns each month doing a presentation but, two of Amelia's old friends from 4H are in this club. After learning about the anatomy of the dog's nose and learning about their sense of smell ( complete with play dough to make a 3D model), the kids spent the next hour with their dogs training them.

(Amelia awaiting her turn for showmanship)

(Amelia doing showmanship)

Tomorrow, if all goes well, we are handing off our last two piggies to a homeschooling mama that lives is Winnemucca. She has two young girls who would like to get into 4H. I want very much for our pigs to be loved, something that they've been lacking since our dog came along. They deserve it.

(Eli talking to his friend about rabbits)

I've been so thankful for everything the keeping of cavies has taught our family. It's been a great ride. But, I think what's coming next will be just as amazing. I can't wait.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

love, february 22

I love a yummy breakfast.
Eggs from our chickens.
Gluten free toast with beach plum jam.

What's your favorite breakfast?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

love, february 19

snow + hot springs = total silliness

We went to the hot springs yesterday. The snow was falling, the steam was rising and we left fully soaked in hot mineral water. Gosh, I love the hot springs!

Friday, February 18, 2011

love, february 18

Finally, finally we have some snow. I was beginning to worry. It's just been so warm here this winter. Yesterday the kids played in the snow until after dark and then came in very tired and very happy. As I write this, the snow is gently falling outside. I love snow.

The other day we were surprised to see this wild rabbit in our yard which is a first! They are all around the area but since the houses were built, they've been displaced. When I told Jonathan about it, he laughed and said, "rabbits love lettuce!"

Oh well, I don't mind sharing a little lettuce with them this summer.

Monday, February 7, 2011

love, february 7

I love puzzles. Actually, I love that my husband loves puzzles
and gets the kids interested in them.

Jonathan's parents sent this one to us. They got it at the Truro dump. It's quite the ingenious idea. In Truro, you don't get your trash picked up. Instead you take your trash to the dump. There, they have a little building called the "swap shop". It's all really neat and organized (at least the last time I was there). You can take what you like or leave something that someone else can use. We've gotten lots of stuff from the dump!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

love, february 6

I've been under the weather.

Yesterday Jonathan offered to take the boys for a walk down by the Truckee River. So, Amelia and I stayed home together. While she was doing her thing, I got comfortable on the couch with my knitting and some hot tea to melt the gunk in my throat.
The dishes would have to wait.

I'm making the hourglass sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. It's been on the needles for 6 months but lately I've been working on it a lot. Maybe because it just drives me crazy to see unfinished projects lying around but I also hope to maybe wear it before summer. And I can actually see the finished sweater in my mind. Before I was just so intimidated by it but I read the pattern over and over until it really sunk in. I think I may officially be a knitter now! I've only been knitting for 13 years!

While clicking and sipping, I listened to Carrie Elkin's Call It My Garden CD. Here's another link for Carrie and a video at the end. I had heard in on NPR's Risky Biscuit, Hayseed Hoot earlier in the day and decided I had to buy it. Does anyone know about her? I love her voice and it was just the kind of music to play while knitting and watching the clouds come in.

The boys (human and canine) finally came home all excited from their trip, chattering about the rocks they found and what they learned about the sewage treatment plant. All exciting boy things.

The calm was gone but I was really glad to see them. I love lazy Saturdays!