Thursday, October 30, 2008

Applesauce day

Two friends+fresh apples+one afternoon in the kitchen=

Monday, October 27, 2008

Curling a third generation

Yesterday Abigail experienced a girlie-milestone -- I did her hair in hot rollers before church! And these were not just any hot rollers...they were the rollers that my mom used as a girl, then did my hair with when I was a girl (and I still use them as an adult), and now they've done Abigail's hair, too!
Here she is with the curlers in...
...and here she is modeling her curls (although Mommy needs to use the smaller size next time), her new sweater from Grandma Minota, and her new daisy dress from Mommy...
She has my straight, silky hair, so by the end of the day, there was no curl left! She was still adorable, though, and full of sass, too!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sweet potato harvest

Yesterday we harvested our sweet potatoes. We had a good harvest, considering that only two of the plants survived their journey from Burpee to us this year! Harvesting was quite an adventure! We inadvertently planted the running variety instead of the bushy variety, and "run" they did! ...the vines had run over almost 3/4 of the now-fallow garden and we dug up quite a few false leads in the way of fingerling potatoes. But when all was said and done, it was well worth our effort -- aside from quite a few respectably-sized spuds, we were all thrilled to find the monster-sized ones pictured below! (To give you perspective, my hand is just over eight inches palm to fingertip, and four inches wide across the palm/thumb...)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Happy birthday

Happy birthday, Grandma!
We love you so much
and are sending you lots of birthday hugs...

What the guys did...

This will not be a complete listing of everything the guys did, because they got a lot done and I'm sure to miss something! Bruce, of course, had to work, and aside from his regular schedule, he was also in California on a business trip Sunday-Tuesday (however, as my mom pointed out, he and my dad managed to lose to the ladies during two nights' worth of Wahoo!!!).
My dad and David dabbled in just about everything:
they worked on my car,
insulated part of the garage ceiling (i.e. my kitchen floor!),
pulled overgrown bushes out of my landscaping,
trimmed the remaining bushes,
cut down a few small trees,

cleared underbrush, rigged up our dehumidifier to drain outside (no more daily water-tank emptying for me, hooray!), mowed the lawn, sprayed poison ivy, watched Gunsmoke, drank fresh cider, and ate apple pie. :)

David thoroughly enjoyed the chance to be outside all day, everyday, working like a little man to burn off all of that excessive energy of his. It was a hard adjustment back to low-key yesterday...and back-to-school on Monday could be interesting!!!
Thanks, Dad, for all of the work you did to whip this place into shape for us! We love you! (...and not just because you got so much done...that was just a nice bonus! :)

Friday, October 24, 2008

What the girls did...

...aside from the usual chores around the house,
we went to the Georgia Quilt Show on Saturday
(no pictures, but we had a great time!)...
we stayed in pajamas as much as we could...
...we sewed and sewed and sewed...
(more details on these projects in a later post!)
...we played lots of Word Twist...

...and we shared all of the goofs, giggles, conversation, and encouragement that we always do when we're together. Abigail happily read books, played piano, played with toys nearby, and went outside for the occasional visit with the guys.

I do not take it for granted that my mother is also my dear friend.

Dairy farm field trip

On Tuesday my parents and I took the kids on a field trip to Cagle's Dairy, a local dairy farm which also happens to be the last dairy farm in Georgia to do the whole operation, from raising their own calves to milking their cows to packaging the milk and distributing it to local grocery stores.
They have a hopping agri-business in addition to the regular work of a dairy farm, so we were able to go on their Dairy Tour. Aside from learning all about cows, milking, and milk-processing, we also fed corn leaves to calves, watched a cow being milked, went into the processing plant, took a hayride through the farm to see all of the sights, watched a beautiful Border Collie herd the cows in the field and bring them up to our haywagon for a snack, and fed the goats. To end our visit, we got a free mini-jug of fresh chocolate milk (or a free mini-pumpkin to take home, in my mom's case!) and visited their store. (unfortunately, I didn't realize that the setting on my camera had gotten switched, so some of the pictures aren't the best...)

Apple field trip

Last Thursday we enjoyed a field trip "up north" to get fresh apples. Karen came with us and brought her mom and grandma, too. Although we were too late for U-pick for the varieties we wanted, we were able to buy fresh apples and fresh apple cider at Penland's Apple House, and then we headed across the street to Panorama Orchard's barn, where we got to wander around and check out all of their apple- and other harvest-related products, watch their bakery in action, and look through the viewing window into the packing room, where the apples are gathered, washed, packed, etc.
It was a lovely fall day, and we enjoyed the time together as well as the lovely scenery. After that were piano lessons, groceries, and then we arrived home where my parents -- and a week of fall vacation -- were waiting for us!

Back to real life again!

I have been on blogging hiatus while we enjoyed a week with my parents here. We took the whole week off, with the exception of a field trip on Tuesday, and we filled the days with all sorts of good things. I will try to catch up on posting throughout the day today... I plan to upload pictures and get posts written amidst housework, sewing, and kid-time. This is our last day of fall vacation, and it's a wonderfully rainy day, so it's perfect for inside puttering, snuggling, reading, and fresh apple pie...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008

Happy birthday

Happy birthday to my friend
Karen...
hope you have a great day!
(Lest anyone get confused...I wrote this ahead of time and scheduled it to post while the computer is in California without me!!!)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Behind-ness

I know I'm terribly behind on the blog...but after a busy week, we now have the delight of a visit from my parents, so we went from having too much busyness to be able to stop and post to having too much fun to stop and post! Bruce will be leaving tomorrow for a business trip, so I will be computerless (AGGHHH!!!) until Tuesday evening...so the blog will have to remain woefully behind until then...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Christopher Columbus!

(...saying it with the exclamation point always makes me smile as I think of Jo (as portrayed by June Allyson) in Little Women, who used it as a mildly epithetical exclamation, much to her sisters' horror!) Today the kids came to school dressed as explorers (their version of one, anyway), and we finished our school day with a short lesson and fun activity book about Christopher Columbus. (For anyone interested, the activity book was downloaded from Enchanted Learning, a great website that I use often for school activities. A lot of their stuff is free, and some of it is members only. I just joined, since I have more than gotten my money's worth just from the free stuff...and I wanted access to all of it!)Today we introduced our last few "special sounds" in phonics class. They are designed to last throughout the first grade, but David & Abigail have picked up on them quickly and I saw no reason to slow them down. Here they are with big smiles just after they finished the corresponding book. Good job, kiddos!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Abigail's first haircut

My stomach is still clenched, but we did it! We cut a few inches off of the bottom of Abigail's hair. It has needed it for a while (even before the kerfuffle with my haircut and her attempt), but I couldn't bear to cut off those wisps of "baby hair" left at the ends. She did great, and it looks nice, but I need a few days to feel sentimental over another piece of babyhood lost and then I'll like it! :)

This is what the best Saturdays are made of...

...Home and Family...

Friday, October 10, 2008

Shenandoah Costume GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!

My little southern belle would look adorable in this, don't ya think?!

Quilt progress

The quilt top that Karen and I have been working on the last couple of months is complete! Karen dropped if off last week to be quilted by a local long-arm quilter. When we get it back, we have only to sew on the binding and label in time for the presentation of the quilt at the end of November. It has been so much fun to be a part of it all coming together, from pattern-selection to design to fabric-selection to piecing to finished top!

Field trip to the zoo

Yesterday we took a field trip to the zoo with my friend Greta and her three oldest children. At my house, we woke up to pouring rain, but Greta reported no rain (both she and the zoo are a good bit south of us), so I packed raincoats (we can't get our HAs wet!) and off we went. The Lord gave us lovely weather all day long, pleasantly cool and no rain, and we had a great day. The kids went at top-speed all day running on the trails and playing in the play areas...they burned off more energy in one day than Greta and I ever get in a whole week! We drove back into the rain a few miles from home, so we were doubly grateful -- one, that we got so much rain at home (we've needed it), and two, that it all stayed north and not at the zoo!

^A classic scene at our house at the end of a long day. The first thing David does is strip down to the bare minimum of clothing. Anyone who knows my brothers will recognize this behavior. :) The first thing Abigail does is head for the couch to stare into space. Their mommy likes it when they also snuggle up together!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Sponging mouths and sweeping acorns

Today in science we learned about the three different types of insect mouths -- chewing, sucking, and sponging. A very disgusting fact I learned today? ...flies have a sponging mouth. That is, their mouth works on the same principle as your kitchen sponge. When it comes in contact with liquid, it soaks it up, thereby nourishing the fly (yum yum). However -- and this is the gross part -- if a fly wants to eat a solid (think of a fly sitting on your piece of candy?!), it vomits onto the solid, which liquefies some of it enough for the fly's sponging mouth to absorb. Oh, and by the way, along with whatever else is in the vomit that causes the solid to liquefy, there are also germs. Still want that piece of candy off of which you shoo'd that fly?! We did a really cool experiment with M&Ms, a cup of water, a straw, and a paper towel to demonstrate the different types of insect mouths. (Again, have I mentioned how much fun I'm -- er, we're -- having?!) David is still looking for jobs to earn extra money, so today we bought a push-broom so that he can sweep the acorns off of the driveway. We have a towering oak that gives us a bumper crop of acorns every other year, and this is its "on" year. Unfortunately, it drops a large portion of its harvest on the driveway, which makes it hard to ride bikes and rather dangerous to try walking without twisting an ankle. Ergo, David's newest job!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

School year milestone

On Friday, we completed
of our school year -- hooray!

Friday, October 03, 2008

A lovely fall day

...and we all enjoyed it! I sat in the porch swing for a little while, the kids played outside for a long time, and I even let the cat enjoy the sunshine from the porch just outside our bedroom door while I folded laundry with our bedroom door open.
Below is Abigail swinging on the climbing rope. This spring she didn't have anywhere near the strength to be able to hold her own body weight...now look at her!