Shrove Tuesday

February 21, 2012 | Leave a Comment


Our traditional pancakes

I made a batch of traditional Shrove Tuesday pancakes tonight, and the kids liked them, even if they were different to what they were used to…



Spring has Sprung

February 5, 2012 | Leave a Comment

Angel and the kids in the snow

Eoghan and Conall sledding, with Angel

Christmas was a big hit this year, with the kids getting trains, Breyer horses, and…more pets. Yes, as if we didn’t have enough animals already, we added some rats guinea pigs, one for each of the children. So now we’ve fish, cats, dogs, chickens and guinea pigs. Everything else has gone to the great menagerie in the sky…

Meanwhile, continuing with the Christmas news, Eoghan and Orla both got a start on their musical careers, since there was a guitar under the tree for Eoghan and a violin for Orla. She has started her violin lessons at a local college and she’s really enjoying it.  Her teacher has promised that she’ll be learning some Irish fiddle music along with the classical violin, so we’ll be able to have a seisiún at An Grianan in the near future.

Christmas brought Jenn’s family up from Florida and the kids enjoyed having the company of their cousins. Eoghan and Conall both discovered the world of Minecraft through Zach, their college-aged cousin.  Now, Eoghan has even set up his own server on one of our computers, which lets him play with local friends and even with Sean, his cousin in Ireland.  Orla plays Minecraft too, but she also continues to enjoy playing with her Breyer horses,  and will occasionally even let her little brother Conall play along.  He got into the swing of things and has christened his horses with unique names – Baby Jesus Japanese Horse, Renewable Energy Saver, and Christmas Train.  We have no idea where he comes up with this stuff!

I took the opportunity to scoot up to Portland over Christmas to catch up on Anthony and Ruth, and the timing worked out well as I was able to bring Zach there to meet a friend that he had planned to visit.

Conall also tags along with his sister Orla when she bakes.  They went on a baking craze over the winter and we enjoyed a selection of homemade cookies, breads, and cakes.  We were surprised to find that actually they were all very tasty! Of course, they were all made with our farm-fresh, organic, free-range eggs from Orla’s flock of chickens.  The chickens keep the kids busy during the day looking after them – feeding the, collecting the eggs, and watching anxiously to make sure there are no predators like hawks or wolverines about.  And, unsurprisingly, Eoghan is hoping to make some money off them.  He already sold his first carton of eggs to a mom at the playground, and has plans of cornering the egg market…

Speaking of predaqtors, we have all sorts of wildlife around. There are skunks, deer, coyotes, possums, and foxes. Not to mention hawks and eagles. I saw a wolf several months ago, Orla and her friend Kayla saw a black bear, and Jenn recently saw a wolverine.

The kids are keeping busy with their classes. In addition to Orla’s violin class, she also goes to a ballet class, and a jazz dance class, both of which she really enjoys. And all three of the kids have an art class with a local artist, and their work is truly impressive, especially Eoghan’s. Together with the other students in the class they had an art exhibition at the local library, and everyone who came was amazed by the standard of all the kids. My kids clearly didn’t inherit their artistic ability from me!

Eoghan at 10

Eoghan just turned 10

And they’re getting BIG!!! Eoghan turned 10 in January, and Conall will turn 5 in March. Jenn, of course, still wants them to be babies…

The weather has been unusually mild here in the north east this spring, and so the kids have enjoyed getting to the playground frequently with their friends.  It’s remarkable to see them playing outside barefoot in a warm 60 degree February day in NY.   Luckily, the good weather has kept Jenn from getting too stir crazy this year.  Usually around February she’s itching to get down to Florida sun.