Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wishing you Many Blessings in this New and Peaceful Season

Monday, December 20, 2010


The first and last pictures on my camera card, with 163 in between.  We have boxed, loaded, driven through freezing rain, unloaded, unboxed, and made merry with friends and family all within a weeks time.
It's starting to feel like home.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

November 30...

In which I abandon the to do list, go out for lunch and spend the afternoon crafting.
Today's highlights:
~Ella being so proud of the mittens she sewed up for herself out of a felted sweater.  (this picture shows off  the mittens and Caitlin's newly fashioned knitting bag.)  I am also very grateful for a generous friend who offers up her cashmere sweater for creative purposes.

~Hanging up the children's Advent calendars

~Joshua surprising me by making my bed

Monday, November 29, 2010

Happy Advent

 I am so pleased with the way our makeshift Advent wreath turned out.  I was tempted to have a single Advent candle for the center of our table, but the four candle wreath is a tradition all the children love so much, that I couldn't just do away with it.  Finding traditional purple and pink colored candles that don't smell horridly repulsive is a trick, so we splurged on beeswax tapers that smell delicious!

My idea yesterday was to write a highlight of each day of Advent here, in this space, to share (this is especially for you Mother Dear).  However, last night I fell asleep early, and blew my plans on the very first night!  So, while I won't promise every night, I will post our ITOTMs when I can. 

Yesterday was:
~Seeing Joshua outside passing the football with our neighbor

~The three children gathered in a tight little flock at the end of our row in church, arms around each other,  watching Father Joe light the first Advent Candle

~An impromptu Chile dinner at Maggie's, followed by malted chocolate cupcakes YUM!

~Knitting in the morning sun over breakfast

~Watching Joshua and Gabriel playing a *new* version of football together

~Seeing Joshua play football by himself...this is's like he's reenacting plays in slo-mo

 Finally finished my "newborn" hat, I'm guessing it will fit our baby in July, just when one needs a wool hat!

 Ella thought Star Baby might like to model

Joshua was SO proud of this football field he built today.  The end zone says VMI

Saturday, November 20, 2010


 After I read yesterday's post over, I realize I didn't mention Gabriel once! Yet he is the busiest little guy in the house!  So today, I am focusing on Gabriel, with a few examples of his creations that have popped up on the kitchen table recently.
And as for the sweetness factor, today when he was missing Ella he said, "Remember those wonderful chocolate muffins Ella made for us?  That was so nice."  She made the muffins at least six months ago when she was on her Jiffy muffin kick.

A set of stop signs Gabriel made all by himself!  As in cut out the shape and did the lettering and everything!  I guess walking by stop signs everyday left an impression in his mind.

Here he wrote down numbers 4-14.  Don't you love the four that looks like a goal post?  He said the eight is supposed to look like a bicycle wheel.  Once again this was his own idea.

Here he made an eight out of cuisinaire rods, then a nine.  Then asked what eight plus nine was.  I told him seventeen, which he made in green!  I tell you this kid astounds me!  He is fascinated by numbers, especially the concept of doubling numbers as in "what's 1+1? , 2+2? , 4+4? , 8+8?" etc... 

Friday, November 19, 2010

November 19

I realized that I never posted anymore "scenes from New York" so I thought tonight would be a good night to add one.  Two men were blowing bubbles with gigantic wands made out of bamboo poles and string.  The wands were exactly like the bubble wands the kids and I made this Summer out of dowel rods, only bigger.  And of course these guys had a much bigger crowd and a hat out to collect cash! 

Notes from today:
Finished this book.  Highly recommended.

Helped Ella make a hat for her friend out of a felted wool sweater.  She was VERY pleased with the way it turned out, which was great because in the beginning she seemed close to tears.

Filled up the ipod with Christmas music

Ella made some comment about the "eternal hard drive" which made me laugh.  I really hope it is eternal because all of our pictures are stored on there. 

Joshua was gone until suppertime tonight after sleeping over at his friend's house last night.  I asked him if he missed me at all and he said, "No, I kind of forget about you when I'm doing other stuff."

Patched Ella's new favorite corduroys out of her old pair of favorite corduroys.

And otherwise puttered around doing the usual.  Oh, and today marks 27 weeks, but I didn't take a picture.

Also, a lego link for you.  Joshua wanted to know both how legos are made and in particular how the heads and faces are made.  This video shows both.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Feeling Pressure...

to post! (from a certain know who you are:))  No blogging has occurred recently because of one main activity: WALKING!  Walking to dance, to Latin, to the library, to choir.  You get the idea, our legs have been mobile!  Actually, it has been great; good exercise, beautiful weather (with the exception of yesterday when we hitched a ride to Girl Scouts with friends)  Really, I enjoy it.  The only trouble is we are all exhausted by the end of the day.  Which means we all (including myself) are asleep by 8:30.  I generally wake up around 9:30, back aching from being in the toddler bed and in a fog.  I am too sleepy to DO anything and if I go back to sleep in my own bed then I wake up around 2AM and can't sleep.  So usually I stare at the computer.  Blogs, videos, emails, knitting patterns; not really coherent enough to put together a blog post or even upload pictures. 
However, here is my attempt, rambly as it may be, to put up a few pictures and tell y'all what we've been up to.  Without further ado:

A picture of Ella that I like because her eyes look so blue.  This was taken today before her last choir practice.  I got kind of emotional at her choir rehearsal today.  Luci gave her a gift and had all the kids say something about Ella that they liked.  She will be singing for the last time on Sunday.  (last time in the choir at St. Patrick's...I hope she never stops singing)

Gabriel seems to have grown a bit since last winter:

Joshua working on a spear today.  He has been soaking up this glorious weather.  Outside from morning till night.  Mostly playing soccer, basketball, and a new game he learned called 500.  Gabriel follows his big brother around everywhere.

The two brothers again, this time in a band.  I think that's pomegranate juice all over Gabriel's face. 

Saturday, October 30, 2010

First Frost

We had our first real frost last night.  Not terribly heavy, but heavy enough to do some damage.  So long impatiens, zinnias, basil.  The marigolds and Echinacea came through as well as most of the nasturtium which always seems so delicate.  According to Lavender and Rosebuds, last year's first frost came to Rebel Ridge on the night of October 18.  Also last year one picture told the story, this year you get six!

Friday, October 29, 2010

24 Weeks

 So many people this past week have made a comment along the lines of "Wow! You finally look pregnant!"  Indeed I do. Today marked 24 weeks, so I took a picture in my most revealing shirt for all to see.

Here's the episode I was going to post last night if I hadn't fallen asleep (in the toddler bed, all the lights on, sink full of dishes and turkey stock simmering away on the stove):
We had such a commotion over what the new bed time read aloud was going to be.  Tears, angry words, the whole nine yards.  We were all so tired, so very overtired, and I finally said something along the lines of, "Fine! If there's going to be this much arguing I just won't read!"  But with that I pulled My Side of the Mountain off the shelf and headed into the bedroom with a wailing parade behind me.
After the first page Gabriel was asleep and Ella and Joshua quietly listening in their beds.  After the first chapter, Joshua begged for more.  Towards the end of the second chapter  I read this, "Fortunately, the sun has a wonderfully glorious habit of rising every morning."
With that we all fell asleep, awaiting our fresh, new day.  What a beautiful day it turned out to be!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Scenes from New York

I have so many pictures from our trip to New York that I thought I'd post a few here and there when I get a chance.  Tucker already posted all the yummy food pics on his blog
Here on a block in Manhattan (down near Chinatown?) we came across these amazing crochet pieces.  Are they functional?  Are they art?  They certainly are intriguing and brilliantly crafted!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pumpkin Moonshines

       The pictures give away who carved which pumpkin, in case there was any question.  To me there is no mistaking which of my children designed which pumpkin!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

            Very happy to report that they had some success!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Remarkable trees?

 We took a detour heading home to Lexington from Charlottesville to visit this avenue of sugar maples featured in the Remarkable Trees of Virginia book.  Not exactly sure just when we were going to enter this splendid corridor, we had our eyes peeled for stunning colors, when it occurred to us that all these barren trees we were passing through were maples.  Indeed they were the very ones we were seeking!  We did however have a beautiful drive through the quaint towns of Raphine and Brownsburg, all along listening to the sounds of the wild, hungry, and generally needy children in the backseat

Friday, October 8, 2010

What have we found here?

What is everyone gazing at so intensely in this photograph?  A marvel of nature just as remarkable as our yellow buckeye, that I am identifying as a Rabid Wolf Spider.  Check out those pairs of eyes!  And do you realize what is covering its back?  Yes!  Babies!  Hundreds of spider babies!  Every few seconds one of these babies would jump off ready to be out in the big world by itself.  

According to our spider book, the spiderlings ride on the female's back until ready to disperse.  The species is harmless to people, but its bite is feared.  The yellow and black head stripes are what marks this spider as different from other wolf spiders .

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Yellow Buckeye National Champion

 I have been waiting for weeks to go see this tree!  Last night I even had a nightmare that it was raining and our car broke down and we weren't able to go.  However, the day was beautiful, and we all (me and my chickens and two other families) trekked out to see this tree.  Truth be told it wasn't much of a trek.  This National champion is minutes from Keely's house and a short walk down a gravel path.  I find it astounding that this is the largest yellow buckeye in the country!  Finding the fallen nuts in the surrounding grasses was like treasure hunting.  Most were still encased in their hull, which was soft and spongy and easy to open.  The hollow inside the tree was certainly impressive.  Regional legend has it that the inside of this tree was once used for a farmer's pigs. 

 Plenty of knobs for climbing and vines for swinging.  Lots of poison ivy too...hopefully we left that behind.

Our tree crew:
Maggie and Keely, Gabriel, Eli, Ben, Evan, Joshua (not looking!), Emma, Caitlin, Ella