A Dickens Christmas

If you ever get the chance, and need a scenic little town to visit
Check out the little town of Skaneateles in North Eastern NY
Fantastic little town in the summer
And just charming in the winter.
Every weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas
The streets are full of tourists 
And the townsfolk all come out dressed as characters from old England
It's a Dickens Christmas!
You're sure to run into Scrooge...with all his "bah humbug",
The village constables, Bob Marley in chains,
Dozens of carolers, Charles Dickens,
and lots of yummy smells wafting from the cafes.
We took the kids into town a couple weeks ago,
As a final last "hurrah" before baby comes
And our lives get turned upside (in a good way!).

There is the old village inn, in its Christmas finery.
The wagon and carriage rides had long lines of people
Waiting to mosey through town.
I adore the colors of this inn.  If I ever built an "old" farmhouse, these would be my colors of choice.

We got drawn into a hole-in-the-wall cafe, 
By the smell of donuts wafting onto the sidewalk.
The place was comletely overrun with tourists,
But the donuts and hot chocolate (with all that luscious cream)
Were well worth the jostle of the crowd.

 The cream on that baby is making me salivate all over again.
Real, just whipped, and miles high.
And those donuts...hot out of the fryer, crispy on the outside
And so soft and warm inside.
Yes, my pregnancy cravings are kicking into high gear.
 The kids weren't too sure about the whole "sit on Santa's lap" thing,
But I had to have a picture of Father Christmas.
Isn't he adorable?
 There was an impromptu play by Charles Dickens,
Bob Marley, and an unnamed passerby.
Full of good humor, but at this point the carriage rides
Called more loudly to the kids, than standing on the courthouse lawn,
Listening to classic literature.

 There were carolers in the gazebo,
And lots of good hearted chatter from all the jolly townsfolk, acting their parts
 The kids had the high seat in front on our carriage ride,
And a birds eye view of the big horses derrieres.
Worth the 20 min. foot stomping wait.  By this time, our toes were feeling the chill.
 We left town just as dusk was settling in, and the lights were coming on.
There are some grand old houses sitting up on the hill,
Looking down over Main St and the lake.
On the trek home, we complained about how cold it had been,
How badly we needed to pee, and how hungry we were.
You know kids...if they're warm and fed, they're happy.
If they're not, it tends to destroy any sentimentality or romantic notions
Of a day well spent back in time.
So we stopped at Bass Pro to watch the fish, 
And warmed our bellies over food at Chili's.


School Room Redo and I Got Junk

So we've got about 4 weeks of school under our belt.
I'll be the first to admit, I never, in a million years, 
Thought I would homeschool my kids.
But, walah, it's exactly what I'm doing.
We've shifted rooms quite a few times in the last couple of years
Always thinking, that maybe, we've found our perfect "school room"
And have always landed right back on the kitchen table.
Granted, it's not a bad spot to hang out at,
But to have to clear the mess every few hours for another meal
Isn't exactly making me dance any joy jigs.
So this year, we're trying out the "front room" aka parlor
That never got used for anything anyway.

*What a mess!  In real life, I hate such messes, but with 3 1/2 kids, 
Let's be honest, it looks like this way more than I would like*

I didn't want to go all "kid crazy", because it might not last,
So I went with a dark gray, that warms up the room,
And can be a mature color for later use, at the same time having the capability
Of taking on some bright colors.
In my fantasy world, this room would have floor to ceiling bookshelves
With a library ladder.
Built in computer station, and cabinets for storing every manner
Of school supplies, games, etc.
Maybe we'll get to that...someday.
But for now, the room just feels much more closed in and cozy.
Which is a good thing in a big house

 We had a single bed set up on our screened porch
For the summer, but I needed a place to go with it during the winter months
I schlepped it in, and it was one of the best things I've ever done.
The kids have spent hours laying on it and looking at/reading books.

Got junk?

There is this crazy box of junker parts, that I've kept.
As weird as it sounds, I sometimes get the box out
Just to dig through it and admire it's properties.
You know you're crazy when you do this.

My box holds things like:
metal brackets, silverware, turn latches, hinges
old castors, drawer pulls, door knobs, etc, etc

 At random times, I'll get a piece or two out
And I'll know just what I'm going to do with it.
Like the hinges I've used to hang a curtain in my laundry room
Or the drawer pulls I've used many times as name tag holders or napkin rings
For dinners with guests.
Sometimes it's just good to let my creative juices ruminate
Over a great box of junk.
What about you?!?


Miracle Brick Lay

 I finally found time
to "lay" the brick chimney in the kitchen.
I had used this product on an office building project,
we put it in the basement, to give it a "loft"feel.
I loved it, and saved the leftovers.
It's a wallpaper product, from Lowe's
and I'm now a big fan.
It comes pre-pasted and only needs to be dipped into water
to activate the paste.
On the office project, I papered to large walls
And I've had so many people walk in
and feel the wall, to see if it's real or faux.
I had lots of little scraps left over that I had saved,
so I pieced them together,
which was a bit like putting a really bad puzzle together.
I love how it came out.
 And after:
 We just ordered our countertops--finally!
The kitchen has been in for almost a year,
and we had grand plans of making concrete countertops,
but our prototypes just weren't working out very well.
Myron isn't a guy who loves a project that require experimentation.
He'd rather have a tried and true method,
so the whole project just frustrated him.
We both decided it's been long enough, and we're ready to have a finished kitchen.
 And in case we forget,
Here's a picture of how the whole room looked,
almost 2 years ago, before we started this whole crazy project.


Tea for Little Girls

Our family was blessed 
To have another family (of 8!) move in with us for a few weeks.
They are missionaries in Honduras and have been in the states
For some rest and to find their purpose again.
While they were here, their youngest daughter had a birthday
And since she's never celebrated with friends in the states,
We had a tea party to celebrate.
 I've got to admit, this tea wasn't my idea
Hannah's mom thought it up and I just went along with it.
She made all the food, and I dug out the decor to with it.
Each of the girls got a porcelain doll as a party favor.
They were all smitten, and we won't tell them
That they were only a few dollars from the local Salvo

 The food was all so yummy...
Cucumber/cream cheese sandwiches, chicken salad on crousant,
Strawberries, cupcakes, piroulines, and tea

I had picked up the tea service below
At a yard sale, wondering what in the world I'd ever do with it.
It actually brews coffee and serves it, in one elegant carafe.
So glad I bit for that bargain.

 They served themselves tea and it was so fun
To hear them commenting on what they would have
And whether they "take cream and sugar with that?"
 There were pretty dresses to be worn

 We tried teaching them how to walk like ladies,
Balancing a book on their heads
 And then we took fun pictures,
Just because


It's Why We Love Sundays

At our house, Sunday is a rest day.
We attend church in the evening, and altho it took some getting used to,
Since we were raised going to church every Sunday morning,
We have learned to love our Sunday schedule...or lack of.
We often spend the day doing something together as a family.
In the summer, it could be tennis, biking, swimming, a picnic...
Since the weather is cooling off here,
We wanted to make the most of our time outside this Sunday.
So we headed for a nearby back 40 with the kids.

 There were woods to be explored, 
And teepee's to be built.
Along with the attempted grass mats for flooring
And the stacked cobs of corn for future preservation
 There is something about the smell of fall
And that crunch of leaves

 We took the kids to a pond
And attempted to fish
But apparently our casting skills are rusty
And we had lots of tangled lines, plenty of drowned worm, and too much mud for fish to bite.
 I'm laughing at these pictures
Because if you knew my family,
you'd know that seldom do they wear red neck hats.
Or look so much like the kind of dudes that fish, drink beer, and drive big 4x4's
 Oh, it just felt so good to sit, enjoy the sunshine 
And the beginning colors of fall