Sunday, September 30, 2007

Second life

This amaryllis is an old one, which I put into the basement when it was done blooming. I basically ignored it for a long time, and suddenly it started growing again.

Now I have a new beautiful bloom, so amazing. Another one has started growing again too. I love flower bulbs!

Today, I took my three little ones to the play ground, and while they were playing, I cleaned out the car. It didn't seem that long ago that I did it, but boy, what a mess it is again! I just threw out trash and sorted through everything else, now I will have some more space in the car. It is in dire need of vacuum cleaning, but I forgot to bring vacuum cleaner to the playground.

I will take any tips about being organized in the car, and what kinds of things I should have with me at all times, since I feel I am not doing well on either subject. I am not sure whether 'Don't allow the kids in the car!' counts as a workable tip though. Even if it is tempting. And would be very effective.

Go Tournament

Today, I got up super early, to drive up to Middlebury for a go tournament. There were so many good things about the day.
  1. I got to spend some early morning time with Cees, while everyone else was still asleep. I dropped him off at McDonalds on my way to the tournament, the timing worked out perfectly.

  2. Driving through the Green Mountains was just awesome. The clouds were still very low, and enveloping the mountains and the valleys, and it felt like driving through Fairy Land.

  3. The go tournament was fun, I am happy that I decided to go. I saw my friends, played good games, and even won one of them! (Yes, I do realize that that means I lost three, but that's not the point :p)

  4. I went geocaching after the tournament, and had a DNF (Did Not Find) but there was such an amazing bridge and tons of beaver activity, I couldn't care less about the cache.

  5. One of the next caches, I observed a river otter on the bank of the river. Very cool, I had never seen those in the wild before.

  6. Driving by myself was very calming, just to be with myself, enjoying the mountains, being able to finish a thought without being interrupted every five seconds by complaints such as 'Mama!!!!!!!!!!!! He is LOOKING at me!'

  7. I had coffee on the way back, and now finally am starting to get sleepy at almost 2:30am, even after getting up before 7am and driving four hours. Gotta love caffeine.

  8. Today got me one day closer to the arrival of my new camera. It is supposed to be here on Monday, only 35 hours from now. Not that I am counting of course.

Friday, September 28, 2007


Proud of My Kids!

We did some moving around in our house, and the Tara and Jane moved out of the room they have slept in for the last nine years, to another bedroom, that was used as a play room. The cleaning out of their old room was quite a lot of work, as was cleaning out the play room to get it ready for them. They spent many many hours, organizing, and throwing away all kinds of crap.

They had decided they would like bunk beds for their new room. Two weeks ago, we went out and found them some nice bunk beds, with the tiny complication that it came in a boxes, in 89 parts, with 513 screws to be screwed in. The kids decided they wanted to put it together by themselves, but in the end, it was just Cees and Tara who did the bulk of the work. And a lot of work it was. Things kept falling apart. Fingers got hurt. New curse words were invented. Screws got bent.

But, they did it! They got it put together. Then when hubby pointed out they had made some mistakes, they partly disassembled it , and put it together again. It was a huge amount of work.

I am very much in awe about how Cees and Tara just did this, and admire their persistence and determination.

Now the girls have a new room with new bunk beds and are very happy about it. Next project is cleaning out the rest of their old room and moving the little ones into it.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Children of the Corn

My little ones went to visit a corn maze.

They had an excellent time, even although sometimes they did get just a tiny bit frustrated.

Luckily Kate was there to help them figure out the hard parts.

At some point, they decided that going around in circles was just not fun anymore. They had the brilliant idea to put down arrows, to help them know where they had been already. They were not the only ones doing so though. So they made sure to decorate their arrows in an unique way, so they would know which arrows were theirs.

One of Kate's inventions was to add the text 'I am DOOMED!' to her arrows, which makes you wonder whether other people ever would follow those.

Finally they reached The Bell of Success. One thing to say about it, it was LOUD! All the kids got to hit it the number of times of their age. Altogether they were twenty-five years old. I feel for the other people in the maze.

Tomorrow, our homeschool group will visit another corn maze. Very much looking forward to it!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Quote of the Day

Sylvia: 'When it is my birthday, I want everything that I have already!'

That will be easy :D

Jujutsu Workshop

Tomorrow, I'll be attending a jujutsu workshop. All by myself! My hubby was not amused and pondered how he would get the kids to their activities. I have to admit that, after a week of driving around like a madwoman to get everyone everywhere, I can not muster up too much empathy for him. It's not like there are many activities anyway, so he can just suck it up and deal with it.

Very much looking forward to the workshop.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Good News

Tara 'Mom! Guess what?'
Me 'Hmmmm?'
Tara 'We caught another mouse!'
Me 'I see.'
Tara 'And we think she is pregnant, she is so fat!'

Some mouse pictures.

Math question of the day: What are the chances of not ending up with babies now that we have two mice of unspecified gender? That is, hoping that this current one isn't pregnant already.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Hiking Barefoot

Hiking barefoot
Uphill both ways
What a view!

Today was yet another busy day, but in the afternoon things finally calmed down. I called my friend and said 'Want to go out caching?' She hesitated for at least 47 microseconds before replying 'Sure!'

We parked at 458 m (1500 feet) elevation. Up and up we went. The trail was kind of muddy at some points, so it didn't take me long to kick off my flip flops and hike barefoot the rest of the way. There was such a nice atmosphere. We tremendously enjoyed soaking up nature. The hike was pretty long, about two miles up to the pond, and surprisingly enough, another two miles back!

We got a FTF on a new cache and then made it over a pond with another cache. Such tranquility. The leaves starting to turn. The mirroring of the trees in the water. It was just perfect. We did wonder about the snow mobile on the way in though. What kind of story is there behind it? Did someone decided to leave it there and hike the way out? Two miles in the middle of winter? It was just parked next to the trail, half falling apart. If it was falling apart already, how did they get it up there? If it wasn't, why did they leave it?

We found many moose tracks, it was fun to know that moose had gone here not too long before us. Coincidentally, the moose were hiking barefoot too!

This pond is higher up than I expected, at around 600m (2000 feet). I love the way geocaching gets us to ponds like these, which we would never have known about otherwise. I am not sure whether I loved as much that this whole hike was 500 feet elevation gain ^^ Over a distance of 2 miles, it might not be too bad, but we still could feel the strain. Maybe I am just out of condition :p

Images thanks to speeding druid, who posted them on his cache log. Did I mention that I don't have a working camera at the moment? I really missed it today. Heck, I miss it every day.

The best thing, when I came home, tired, very muddy feet and ankles, and of course it was dark by then, Tara and her friend had started dinner already! Potatoes were baking in the oven. Corn was being husked and cooked. This was totally amazing! I took a quick shower and could sit down to a wonderful home cooked dinner, cooked by someone else!

Monday, September 17, 2007


Today was a crazily full day. So when I saw three new caches pop up last night, I knew it was going to be hard to fit those in. I can happily tell that I got two of them fit in anyway ^^

I met some fellow geocachers on the trail. They were way more set than I was on getting FTF, so I went out of the way while they found the cache. Glad I could make their day :)

Not only did I find two caches, but I managed to hide two on the same bike trail too. Not bad. It was so nice to be out on a crisp fall day. The mountains are starting to show some blotches of colour already. The sun was shining brightly. It was a beautfiful day for a hike in the middle of all the Monday madness.

I really miss my camera, I might have to replace it with a new one. So for today, posting a pic of all the kids with our very new and beautiful birdhouse. My sister gave it to us. I can't wait for birds to find it. Although, with our luck, it will be a loud red squirrel family. Cees and Tara helped putting the bird house on the tree, because I for sure was NOT going to go up a ladder to do so.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Making Pasta

Yesterday, Tara was looking through some books which a friend gave to us. She discovered a pasta making / cooking book. She decided that she wanted to make pasta.

This was perfect, because a few years ago, I got us a pasta maker. Very nice, but way more work that I expected, so we used it once or twice and then it joined the stack of 'Kitchen Appliance Which Seemed Like a Good Idea at The Time'. I still loved the way it looked and worked, but didn't use it really.

Tara got it out of the cupboard, and made beautiful and great tasting pasta. Did I mention how I love having kids old enough to do things like this?

She also was drooling over his Japanese cook book, so I hope we'll get many great Japanese meals in our near future ^^.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Love Thursday

Just had to share those pics for love Thursday

Sylvia with her very best friend. Playing in the sunflower seeds. I think this is the night we ended up with a visit of that skunk. I guess it likes sunflower seeds too ^^

Happy Love Thursday!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Hurting Everywhere

Hurting everywhere, but in a good way. After a few weeks of missing my aiki budoin classes, I finally managed to get back to them last night. It was awesome, but my body is protesting very much today. I can feel that I got really out of shape. It is going to be my priority to make it to class three times a week again.

My visitors left, so the house is ours again. It was nice to have them over, but maybe even nicer to be back to 'normal' again.

We took them to the Museum of Science in Boston. It was a good trip. We watched a planetarium show about the origins of the universe, which was especially good for Kate, since she has been asking a lot of questions about it. She still doesn't believe in the big bang though. It is just impossible in her universe.

Sylvia made sure to wait till it was really quiet and then ask many questions like 'Which planet is that?' 'Oh, what is the name of that star?' and my favorite 'I see pink!' (that was when they showed some Mars landscapes)

We visited the butterfly garden and I really lamented not having a working camera. The butterflies were just stunning.

Yesterday, we had a very full day, and in the middle of it, my 'check engine NOW' light came on. This did worry me and made me wonder whether the car would explode on me any minute now. I managed to squeeze in a visit to the garage, all prepared to drop it off and give them another $1500. But their solution was way more simple 'OK ma'am, you are all set, we turned off the warning light for you.' Um... OK, I do not really want to know :p I guess you can call that a fix. Or not. I don't care.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Quote of the Day

Sylvia 'I want a bunny'
Tara 'Wonderful! I was just making a bunny for you.'
Sylvia 'Remember, bunnies have three legs.'
Tara 'Um... bunnies have four legs.'
Sylvia 'Oh yeah, bunnies have four legs. But make my bunny with three legs, because that is how old I am!'

Friday, September 07, 2007


Tonight, I wanted to go put a waypoint on my house, so I grabbed my GPS, opened the front door, and started walking out. Well, that was, until I almost tripped over a skunk. Right in front of our door, on the steps. You have no idea how fast I closed that door.

And as every good mom would do, I called all my still awake kids (six out of seven) and told them to be VERY quiet as we opened the door again. Yes, I made sure the kids were in front of me, just in case. The skunk was still there, happily eating sunflower seeds (don't ask!) and they all saw it and admired it. It looked amazingly cuddly for such a stinky animal.

If only my camera wasn't broken, I even would have taken a pic. For now, you just have to mentally imagine me tripping over a skunk and what could have happened.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Mount Washington

We took our visitors to Mount Washington, the highest mountain in the NorthEast. This mountain has a cog railway, which has been in operation since 1868. It was quite fun and impressive.

We did many other touristy things, including a trip to Burlingon, where I met an old neighbor at the Echo center. Last time, i met a good friend from here. This time I met an old neighbor from nine years ago. Interesting coincidence. Or maybe it proves how small New England really is.

I uploaded many pics to flickr.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Happy Easter!

Dutch Bliss

They are here!

Not only are they here, but they brought Dutch delicacies. Dropjes, hagelslag, and spekjes. Here a picture of all the kids enjoying the Dutch treats.

Here is a close up of the hagelslag, chocolate sprinkles to be eaten on a slice of bread. A Dutch staple.

We are having a good time, it is nice to spend time with my family. Today we went to Mount Washington, but I haven't even downloaded the pics yet.