Sunday, October 30, 2011

October Snow


Surprise!  We really did have snow, in Virginia, before Halloween.

Who knew that fall foliage would look so pretty in a show shower?

The last of the preschool marigolds.
Of course, Betsy wants to know when we'll have enough snow for sledding.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mom

A few images from Mom's 60th birthday celebration at Shenandoah National Park.  There was a little hike on the Appalachian Trail, a picnic, s'mores, and general and assorted silly fun with the family.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Stay Off the Streets. And the Sidewalks.

I bring to you a recent dialogue with the older child.

Betsy:  (Out of the blue)  Mom, how do the police know if you're a kid?

Me:  I don't know.  Can you tell the difference between kids and grown-ups?

Betsy: Yeah.

Me:  So, that's probably how they can tell.  (Pause)  Why do you ask?

Betsy:  Like if you're driving a car, how could they tell if you're a kid.

Me:  Oh.  Well (a long explanation about how you need a LICENSE and how you have to be AT LEAST sixteen years old and how kids ABSOLUTELY should not be driving cars as they will be caught immediately).

Betsy:  (Disappointed)  Okay.

And then a snippet from another conversation, about going to school.

Betsy:  But I have to go to school, so I can learn how to be what I want to be when I grow up.

Me:  That's right.

Betsy:  (Pause)  But I could almost be a police.  (Pause)  I just have to learn how to drive a car more correctly.

Yes, now that she has mastered riding a bike (and by "mastered" I mean "uses the brakes instead of dragging her shoes some of the time") she is apparently contemplating moving on to other forms of transportation.

Friday, October 21, 2011

That, and the Tricky Snack Trap

While I worked in the kitchen on one of the seemingly endless cleaning and organization projects, Abigail was engaged in her own little project involving the drawers of plastic containers.  Why do all toddlers love these drawers so?  She had been very busy moving lids to the container drawer and vice versa when she approached me with snack trap in one hand, lid (matching lid, no less!) in the other.  She pointed to the inside of the empty container and said, "that."  Then she pointed to the pantry.  "That!"  The cup again.  "That."

She's brilliant, I thought, again confirming my suspicions that my kids are the most amazing kids in the universe.  Although she's only 14 months old, she can express herself perfectly to request a snack.

I opened the pantry door and lifted her up so she could choose.  "That!" she happily exclaimed as she tugged on the box of Trader Joe's Os.  Perfect, I thought, as I filled the snack trap and handed it back to her.  She can have a nice, healthy mid-morning snack while I finish cleaning the kitchen.

Appearing pleased, Abigail padded back to the drawers of plastic containers, turned the snack trap upside down, and carefully held the top of the snack trap open so some Os would spill out.

"Abigail," I said, in my nice-but-giving-a-little-warning voice, "No no."  She laughed and shook the trap, increasing the rate of O spillage.  "That!" she exclaimed happily.  "That!"

Oh, my children.  So very, very clever.  And my container drawers, so very, very full of Os.   Toddler cuteness triumphs over kitchen cleanliness yet again.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Volunteer Farm: Planting

I wish I'd published these pictures earlier, but this way you'll get to see the full cycle.  Today, images from The Volunteer Farm in Woodstock, VA, back in June.  This is a great organization that has provided literally tons of fresh produce to area food banks, filling a real need (and real bellies) in our community.

We were part of a group from St. Matthew's that went to help with planting.  Can you guess what was in the back of that truck?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Misery Rain and the Attack Tent of Glee

Today in Virginia we have Misery Rain.  Not cold enough to be snow or warm enough to play in, it brings endless frustration to children who don't understand why they can't spend the afternoon outside  like they usually do.  We've had fussing, we've had crying, we've had enraged flinging of books and puzzle pieces.

And now, in the living room, we have the Attack Tent of Glee.  Similar to such fun games as Under the Christmas Tree Attack Cat and Behind the Curtains Attack Cat, this game involves kids and a play tent in the living room and a whole bunch of giggling.

And now it's over.  Oh well, I'm thankful for that five minutes!

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Big Box Super Discount Store Babywearing Workout

In honor of International Babywearing Week.

Overwhelmed by chores?  No time to work out?  Don't worry, you can work out while you shop with this easy routine!  Don't believe me?  It's true, you can become buff while buying that two-year supply of mayonnaise that you've always wanted, with the Big Box Super Discount Store Babywearing Workout!

Step 1:
Obtain a small child of at least 15 pounds.

You can use one of your own kids, or borrow one from a friend.  In fact, I'd be happy to loan you one of mine, and not just because Matthew and I are desperate for a child-free date night.  No, it's because I care about your health.  Heck, I'll even come along to record the experience for posterity, because this workout is going to be so amazing for you!

Step 2:

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Parents, Pick Your Costumes

We got another one of those cheesy Halloween costume catalogs from the party store.  You know the type, with the costumes under $30 and made of slightly shiny materials not found in nature.  The costumes usually fall into one of three categories:

Naughty Lady

Includes classics such as Naughty Storybook Ingenue, Naughty Thing to Eat, Naughty Traditionally Female Profession, and Naughty Animal.

Pros:  Cheesy pick-up lines virtually guaranteed.  Headbands with cute little ears.  Fairy wings.
Cons:  Photos.  The internet.  That dream job you'll be applying for 5 years from now.

Scary Man

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Happy Things

The card reader is in little pieces, so we'll have text-only posts for a while I suppose.

Here is a list of things that make us happy, assembled by me and Betsy, in no particular order.  See if you can guess whose are whose.

Cuddling with Nina (the cat) in the couch or on my bed
Chocolate soy milk, in coffee or all by itself
Making leaf piles
Eating pumpkin cookies
Singing lullabies
Doing puzzles
Looking at the fish
Looking the birds Becca is crocheting
Nice warm weather so we can play outside
Playing in the snow, too
Playing with Abigail
Playing with other friends
Playing by myself, too
Cleaning up a little bit of the house
Reading the Little House books together
Watching movies

Sunday, October 2, 2011

First Fire of the Season

What's a family to do on a chilly, rainy fall weekend?

Go out walking and collecting firewood, of course!

Everybody can help.

Then we taught Abigail the fine art of putting one's feet up by the fire.

And we educated her in the delight of homemade hot cocoa.

A good use for a chilly, rainy fall weekend.

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