Our delightful Kingston turned three years old and the thing he wanted to do most on his birthday was snow board! So the first half of his celebration was spent at the mountain.
Then back to their house for cake and presents. Gramma and Grandpa got him a tool bench which his little sister was also very much interested in.
Every now and then I took time on my drive to work to capture a bit of morning glory.
I had to take Dex to the vet for a nagging cough and stopped along the way to capture this church yard just because it struck me... anyone up for a picnic? (By the way, the cough still persists. It's just his old age.)
We took time to meander every now and then. Here's a pop of red in an otherwise colorless scene.
Ada's favorite place to perch is on the back of our couch. She enjoys squirrel watching from here.
Supposedly resting, he couldn't resist telling me stories. And I love them! They're always so animated.
Another pretty church yard/grave yard and some soothing evening light. (An impromptu stop on the way home after running errands with the kids (Kristiina, me and the two little ones). You never know when the urge will strike!)
We went to the ice sculpture exhibition in Woodstock.
Then meandered the old general store where there were lots of interesting things to see.
Riding on mama's back, this was her vantage point.
At the end of February, I started my Big George tomato seeds. See them dried onto the newspaper... that's just how Mountain Man Bob told me how to do it. ;-)
The snow still came down with a vengeance. This is what my road looked like as I headed off to work.
Little Miss was a drooly drooler as she cut her molars.
And this little man was intrigued by my camera shutter.
Mud season started rearing it's ugly head.
And our pretty little babe just can't resist that thumb.
The sun shone brightly and our regular visitors took full advantage of the newly filled feeders.
The tomato seedlings made their tender presence known.
We found a local farm source for grass-fed beef that's an easy drive for us (and right across the street from our favorite orchard... not sure how we didn't realize they were there the last two years... though, they are tucked back quite a bit).
We enjoyed the dusk light of snowy evenings...
...and the dawn light of snowy mornings.
And those tenacious little chickadees, previously enjoying the sun on their backs, were not going to be daunted by the blustery storm that came late in the month.
The calendar may declare that Spring has arrived the third week of March, but for me Spring has not sprung until I see these beauties, and what a welcomed sight they are!
This handsome dude got a haircut.
And sugaring season is in full swing (actually nearing the end). I love the old fashioned version of tapping trees with a dowel and galvanized bucket over the unsightly blue tubing winding through the woods. Even though the tube method is much more efficient, this is so much more romantic.
And, of course, we paid a visit to my favorite horses.
We explored a nearby cemetery and discovered the oldest grave to be from the late 1700s. We found it curious that they marked the graves with headstones and footstones, and engraved the headstone on the back side of it. I surmised it must be out of respect for the departed, so that when one is reading the stone, they would be not be standing over the precise location where the body lays. Not sure... but could be.
We celebrated Easter with baskets inside...
...and an egg hunt outside.
The snow finally left and it was a big job clearing the dead grass and leaves that had laid beneath it for so many months.
But, YAY!, the trees started budding.
And the daffodils bloomed.
And I started a new raised bed for vegetables right here.
May is one of my favorite months in the northeast, when nature is fresh and new and vibrant and GREEN!
And the flowering trees bloom and offer their sweet aroma.
At the farm stand where we get our beef (which utilizes the honor system), this is Kingston's favorite spot. He climbs up on that stool first thing, declaring "this is where I work" and doesn't move until it's time to go.
Meanwhile, Aria rearranges the maple syrup shelf.
Kingston, not caring for the noise of the pressure washer, dons daddy's "ear muscles."
And Aria, not caring about any stinkin' noise, was curious how it worked (though, it was not running while she was this close).
Oh, hello more May flowers.
I do love you.
Even you dandelions, who are beautiful in your own right... and so good to eat! Ever have dandelion greens in your salad? I do regularly... I weed and glean lunch from my yard simultaneously!
Oh! It was kids-go-to-work-day at gramma's office, so Kristiina brought the darlings. It was fun.
And then they got to play in gramma's car which brought just as much joy!
Playing happily together while Sophie stays tucked in just the way Aria left her. Good girl.
A respite in my woodsy and flowering yard. Mmmm, sit right there and feel the sun on your face. It's a favorite spot of mine.
Oooo, and so is this! The orchard - time for strawberry-picking!
"Gramma, sit right here and let's talk." Love him.
Had a few berries, Rah? (When she first learned to speak, she said her name as RahRah... it stuck. We call her Rah and RahRah all the time.)
Oh, and look how many still made it into the flat! Yum.
After picking, we played for a little while.
"Whee, look at me!"
And I was utterly delighted to have my LanaBird here for a visit! [sigh]
We had a good long weekend together...
We did fun stuff by day and relaxing stuff by evening... such as enjoying this delicious bottle of local wine out on the deck after dinner and a walk to the pond.
After church we stopped to see this farmer tend his sheep beyond this bed of blooming peonies...
...then had a picnic at the park.
How about a kiss for Toppa (what she calls her grandpa)...
Flowering pots on the front porch to welcome you.
In July, the temperature was warm and the kids delighted themselves with outdoor fun!
And we picked luscious blueberries at Charlotte's acre... our favorite place to get them. Charlotte is a lovely lady.
And she (with her family) grow beautiful blueberries.
Precious Aria got in on the action (though, notice there are none in her bucket...hmmm).
Oh, so adorable.
I went to a nearby farm to learn to process chickens.
It was a hard but rewarding experience; one I appreciate. The farmer and his wife are caring and respectful of their birds. They raise and process them in a manner I can participate in without regret. For example, when we were gathering the birds from their pens, he asked us to be gentle, and even talk soothingly to them, so they would not become stressed and fearful. "Thank you, farmer. Wish there were more like you."
This scene is summertime in Vermont... and the verse is one to hold in our hearts.
I did my first review and giveaway on the blog.
And I made my first fermented food; Orangeade Kraut.
Big brother lovingly helping his little sister through the tall grass at the apple orchard.
The other day, he was inside and Aria was outside. He asked me, "Can I go see my precious Aria just one time?" He loves her.
I grew my first sunflowers...
...and my first watermelon, which never got much bigger than a softball... but it tasted good!
And grandpa had fun playing in the yard with the kids!
And had more fun playing outside.
And fun playing inside.
His favorite color right now is brown.
I saw these beauties scampering on my neighbor's hill on my way home from work.
They are so beautiful.
We enjoyed fall foliage...
...and played outside...
...and gathered leaves.
In October I discovered that a sheep farmer just down the road from me sells her wool. I was looking for roving.
And what she offered me is beautiful! I learned how to make felted dryer balls.
The boys cut down a dead tree in our yard and loaded it up for the wood stove.
Here's some kindling you can take, too. Kingston is such a big boy and loves to help the men.
I discovered I'm married to an animal whisperer. That became clear to me when I witnessed him rescue this beauty from drowning in the river. She wouldn't allow me to get too close, but was at complete peace with him.
I got to tag along for the DiOrio's family photo shoot. Unfortunately, it was a drizzly day. They still got some great shots, though.
We went to the pumpkin patch...
...played at the park...
...and continued to enjoy fall foliage.
Our precious Aria turned two years old. She likes Minnie Mouse, so she got a Minnie Mouse cake.
After a few [hundred] shots of the birthday girl, big brother got in on the cake action. (These are just phone pics because I was mostly videoing while mama took the still shots.)
Kingston and grandpa went to the range to hit golf balls... notice his upside-down bag. [hehe]
It was his first time at a real range and he did great.
Our Dexie is getting to be an old boy. He hobbles and creaks and coughs. But he's my snuggle bug and still loves sleeping in a sunbeam.
I went back to the sheep farm. Whoa. These boys have some impressive horns!
I made some more felted dryer balls with their roving.
The kids also made things at gramma and grandpa's house... sometimes silly things...
...and sometimes beautiful things, like the canvases they painted that now adorn gramma and grandpa's wall.
Aria became enamored with this photograph of her great grandpa. Be still my heart.
An early cold snap brought art to our driveway.
When we went to the farm to pick up our pastured turkey for Thanksgiving dinner, I met "the world's biggest pig" so says the farmer. [grin] Seriously, though, she was huge... the biggest I'd ever seen.
After our Thanksgiving meal, RahRah fell asleep on Toppa.
It's not anything new [smiling]. This is her first Thanksgiving, and her third Thanksgiving... I didn't capture that one in the middle.
In December we went to the tree farm. It was a cold, but not a snowy, day.
This is Kingston's third year helping cut down their Christmas tree!
Aria helped some, but when it came time to cut, she was safely with Toppa.
Not Kingston... he was right under that tree with daddy. (While mommy and gramma took pictures, of course.)
Once the tree was selected and cut, we spent some time with Santa and doing other fun activities at the farm.
At gramma and grandpa's house, there were some relaxing, movie-watchng moments...
...and some fun, crafty moments.
We admired the Christmas Tree.
And we had a wonderful Christmas celebration.
The kids got presents...
...and I got a sweet delivery (bebes from Florida!)
We celebrated a 50th birthday!
Well... at least the birthday boy is looking at the camera. I'm getting my hair done, complete with bunny ears.
Super silliness! (Kingston, put that beer down!)
We got lots of heavy, sticky snow that weighed down tree branches, and knocked out power for some.
But that didn't inhibit outside adventures...
... where not even a setting sun and frigid temperatures would deter this boy from his snow-play.
But inside we warmed ourselves by the fire (big brother being sure little sister doesn't get too close)...
...and we enjoyed sweet dreams.
Bye bye 2013. Thanks for the memories!