Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas First's

This year marks many first Christmas moments for K. Ah, the Christmas season. The season of joy, happiness and of giving. Peace on Earth, goodwill toward man...

For some of us it's old hat to be sitting on Santa's lap...

The wonder and magic in a child's face..... (Santa - stuck between naughty and nice)

The Merriment, Joy and wonder of the moment.

(Please note Santa is clutching his heart... I swear I heard him mutter, My God what was that...)

Let's not let this moment pass (without trying again with Daddy's help) so that we will remember it forever.....

Of course there are some moments that aren't so Christmas scary.

Opening the Advent Calendar stocked full of chocolate has become a nice end of night Christmas tradition.

No problem here and don't need Daddy's help.

Merry Christmas - May you have a magical unforgettable Holiday!!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving, it's not...

Warning: I'm climbing up on my soapbox. By the way, how big were soapboxes back in the day that anyone with anything to say thought this would be the handy way of getting one's point across?

I digress.

About 2 weeks ago, while driving along, I switched the radio to a favorite channel and what do you think I heard???? Christmas music! Not a Christmas song for every 5 songs in between the regular pop hits, but Christmas tunes all the time, 24 hours a day. I have a real, and let me stress real, pet peeve about the Christmas hoopla before Thanksgiving. I want to honor Thanksgiving. We have much to be truly thankful for such as bringing our daughter home from China, and, how about my sister not getting seriously injured when her car (her brand new car) was hit by someone running a red light. Or, especially in these times, the job we still have, the roof over our head, and the food on our table.

Let us not sweep Thanksgiving under a pile of Black Friday ads and the 20lbs of catalogs you pull from your mailbox with covers screaming at you that you only have so many days to order that special gift for it to ship in time for Christmas!!! Hurry!!!! Hurry!!! You don't want to miss out on this deal!

With all that being said and with the phenomenal weather we've been having lately.... guess what I did last night???? Yes, me.... go ahead and guess......

Yes, I went to see this! Our zoo has a fantastic display of Christmas lights. How could I not go, Hubby's parents called and invited us, the weather was good for a night's stroll and it was so beautiful.

Look at that blue. So blue and icy looking.

K was taking it all in. Her first big Christmas light display! She was equally enamored with the ducks in the lake.

M played with the local wildlife.

So, in closing.. I am very thankful I went last night and will leave you with this short video. If I don't post again before Thursday, Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween and New Additions!

We had a wonderful Halloween. M was Frankenstein for trick or treat night, an indian for the school Harvest festival, and K wore M's first Halloween costume and was a bear. When M wore the bear costume she was 4 months old. K is wearing the bear costume at 16 mths old.

Bear with candy and a pumpkin!

I need help opening my candy!!!!

Indian girl!

Frankenstein with our owl cave! Daddy, Bear and Auntie D are in the background!

M's Pumpkin!

Lit up on Trick/Treat night! M receive way too much candy and we actually had some leftover which, I think, is a first for our neighborhood. We get around 200+ kids and are usually worried that we will have enough to make it through the night. We are taking our leftover candy to a local dentist that will buy it back ($1 per lb) and then send it all overseas to our troops. If you want to unload the sugar you can look for a dentist in your area here:

In other news, we have added to our family. Meet Guinea Pig 1 - to be named later....

And Guinea pig 2.... to be named later also.

And then I have these guys plus 6 more of their friends.

Anyone who knows me gets that I'm crazy about crows. I read a story about a woman who took unshelled peanuts on her daily walks. As crows would fly overhead she would throw the peanuts up in the sky to them. After time they would be waiting for her and would accompany her on her morning strolls.

I thought I'd give it a try realizing that it could take some time. It took 3-4 days. The first day that I heard them cawing in our neighborhood I went out into our backyard and as they flew over I threw peanuts up at them. I saw one of them turn its head and look.

The next day my hubby told me that they showed up in our backyard trees. When I saw one later in my neighbors tree I went out and pitch a few peanuts in our backyard.

This morning all eight of them were in my tree outside the kitchen window cawing. I grabbed a handful of peanuts, went outside and as I was throwing them in the yard the crows never got spooked. They just waited until I went in and started eating. By the way I thought they would crack open the shells and eat the peanut inside but they swallow them whole. You can see this guy gobbling up his peanut, shell and all..

My mornings are now filled with not only getting breakfast for K and M but for Guinea 1 and 2 and Crows 1-8.

How fitting on Halloween weekend to have a murder of crows come for breakfast!

Hope you all had a wonderful, magical, spooky, sugar-filled fun Halloween!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Last Weekend, part 2 - Young's Dairy

If you missed Last Weekend, Part 1 - Glen Helen, scroll below this post.

Young's Dairy Farm is an annual fall must do in our family. We usually get our pumpkins here and have our first tasting of pumpkin and cinnamon ice cream.

No matter how cold it is out we must have our ice cream.

Even me!

This guy was fun to look at and even let me pet him but he kept trying to eat my blanket!

M loves to feed farm animals. She could spend her whole day doing just this!

Or this..... thankfully she isn't old enough to be driving just yet!

The 20th of this month marked our 3 month anniversary of having K in our lives. So much has changed with this little girl in this short amount of time. She has become much more relaxed in her surroundings and we are learning more and more about her with each day.

For example, we didn't know she was an expert pumpkin picker outer.

I see it! Over there, that's the one!!

Follow me, I'll show you....

Perfect pumpkin!

And a perfect day!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Last Weekend, part 1 - Glen Helen

Last weekend we were able to get away to one of my favorite places, Glen Helen Nature Preserve. The nature preserve is the legacy of Hugh Taylor Birch, who, in 1929, donated the wooded glen to the local college in memory of his daughter, Helen. Glen Helen has a raptor rehabilitation center we like to visit before setting off on our hike. We were so pleased that on this day the birds were out of their cages for an open house event.

What a beauty! So elegant!

Such a sweetheart face! Can you see the reflection of it's handler in it's eye?

Yikes! So glad I'm not a mouse! Giving me it's Halloween look!

On the trail to my favorite two places. K actually stayed awake this whole hike!

First favorite spot - this tree. I've been visiting this tree for over 10 years. Yes, I think I have a bit of the druid in me. This ole guy (yes, its a HE don't ask me how I know) has been in a whole host of photos marking events in my life. When I was carrying M we shot me and my nine month pregnant belly portrait here. Okay, maybe too much info.....

My second favorite spot is simply called "The Pines" named that even by the locals that hike the area. The path opens up into an area of only very tall pine trees. The forest floor is soft and deep with fallen pine needles. You bring a blanket because you must lay on the ground and gaze up at the pine tops that dance in the breeze. Also this is a good spot to unload the little one (K) from your back and allow her to stretch her legs.

I'm free!

I love this place!

It's magical......

Last Weekend, to be con't.......

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Catching up!

October needs twice as many days for us to do everything we'd like this time of year. I can not even begin to express how much I love the Fall season! I just hold a grudge against Summer and Winter for seeming so long, the months drag on. Fall, on the other hand is gone in a blink of an eye.

Here are some pics of what we've been up to so far....

Lots of nature walks! Love the colors this time of year!

Bundled up and enjoying the view!

Apple picking time! I see applesauce, apple butter and pie in my future!

Soup season, yea! Last year I started cooking my way, page by page, from the A Beautiful Bowl of Soup, pictured below. I don't normally eat soup when the weather warms up and stopped cooking right before the recipe Chestnut Soup. This is where I will pick it up so I was pleased to find the chestnuts (pic above) at the farm stand where we went apple picking.

I also plan to start the doing the recipes from the other book, Vegetarian Sandwiches. After all, man can not live by soup alone.....

We did a little clean up of our garden and harvested the brussel sprouts. I don't think K knew what this was. Toy? Food?

And finally..... We have a tradition of putting M in one of my old dresses every year on her birthday. We use the same dress so we have pictures of her growing into it. We planned on doing this with K also so we purchased a dress in China for the occasion. Having the same birth day makes it even more special. Their pictures will now be together in their "birthday dresses". Their birthdays are in June and you'd think once we got home with K in August we'd do this right away. I'm embarrassed to say that we just got to it.

K could not figure out what was going on and it was cold outside.

Trying to walk in an adult size dress was a little challenging.

Posing nicely and getting a good picture was a bigger challenge.

For more of what's going on check out: