Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Showalter's Orchard

We are into the routine of everyday life and not much is going on other than the regular--which is great!  Our heater isn't working properly and that is adding to my sadness of summer being gone because it is kind of cold at our house! It would be better if the house was insulated a little better, of course.  We have had some great, warm fall days recently that have helped warm me up a little.

The girls were able to pick out a mini-pumpkin on their field trip to Showalter's Orchard a couple of weeks ago.  They enjoyed drawing faces on their pumpkins.  They might attempt to carve them with Lee during a daddy date.
Oct 5 2012 Shanna and Haley mini pumpkins

The kids are enjoying playing with our neighbors.  The other day I was chatting with their parents and later we got together and we ate dinner at their home.  We had a great time visiting and eating pizza.  It's so nice having good neighbors!  They spoil us with yummy treats here and there too.Oct 5 Elden Haley Cal Shanna Brooklyn & Abby Clark

Last Friday I made jam for the first time ever!  I normally buy jam at the Valley Pantry as it's here in Elkton, very yummy, and the store is closed on Sunday.  But it is kind of expensive.  I figured out the cost of buying strawberries (even in the fall), including using the other ingredients, and realized that making my own freezer jam would be a whole lot cheaper.  It was super easy of course, and tastes yummy.
Oct 12 2012 First Strawberry Jam

While I was busy in the kitchen, Elden was sitting in his bed reading books.  Then he just laid down and took a nap.  He's a sweet boy.
Oct 12 2012 Elden

The same afternoon Elden and I went to school to eat lunch with Shanna. I should have thought about it and had Haley come and sit with us.  Oh well.  I of course went over and said hi to her. 
Oct 12 2012 Shanna Ruth Elden Elkton Elementary Lunch Oct 12 2012 Haley Elkton Elementay

On Saturday we met Lee after work and headed up to Showalter's Orchard. After being there for the kindergarten trip I wanted to bring the whole family there.  We didn't have a lot of time at the orchard, but we can always go back next year! I love that there are apple orchards here--though of course there are apple orchards in lots of places. Afterwards we had dinner at a park, then I did a little shopping and Lee took the kids home.
Oct 13 2012 Showalter's Orchard Cal & Elden
Oct 13 2012 Showalter's Orchard Clark Cal
Oct 13 2012 Showalter's Orchard Elden
Oct 13 2012 Showalter's Orchard Haley Lee
Oct 13 2012 Showalter's Orchard Ruth Shanna

I bought these dresses for the girls two years ago, and they have worn them now and then. They are their designated "fall" dresses this year since they were already on hand, but the dresses were too short so I added some brown fabric. I cut off the bottom and added the fabric in between. I wanted the added fabric to look like it was part of the dress. Not sure if that was achieved, but they turned out cute!
Oct 14 2012 Shanna
October 14 2012 Shanna Haley

Now I need to get going on a little pile of mending....
As for some great news, Lee's secretary is coming back to work. She was out for a few weeks and we are so excited she'll be back next week!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Jessie's Baptism

We made a second trip to Darrell and Stacie's the last day of September.  It was Jessie's birthday and her baptism day!  We had a great time there.  The night before we drove up to Lois'.  I went to the Relief Society Broadcast with her and enjoyed a nice meal beforehand.  After the broadcast we chatted a little and then drove up to Darrell's.  We went to church with them again, this time with our kids.  We had been there a week prior, but just Lee and I went to church with Darrell and family as our kids were at Lois'. 

Happy Birthday Jessica and congratulations on your baptism!  We're so proud of you!  As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we believe in being baptized at the age of 8--the age at which children are accountable for themselves.  Children younger than 8 are innocent and need no baptism.  Read more here at
Sept 30 2012 Darrell Jessica (2) Sept 30 2012 Darrell Jessica Sept 30 2012 Jessica Sept 30 2012 Stacie Jessica Sept 30 2012 Stacie Darrell Jessica Sept 30 2012 Ruth Stacie Lois Kylie Jessica

Cal was stung on his cheek by a wasp right before the group picture was taken. Poor guy.
Sept 30 2012 Robertsons, Darrell Bartholomews, Heits Sept 30 2012 Haley Jessica Shanna Lisa Katie

After the baptism we had a yummy lunch and went on a walk to Duck Weed Pond.
Sept 30 2012 Jessica (2) Sept 30 2012 Haley Lisa Sept 30 2012 Haley Sept 30 2012 Eric Cal Reed Joseph Jessica Katie Shanna Sept 30 2012 Duck Weed Pond PA Sept 30 2012 Elden Lisa Shanna

Yes,those are tears coming down Elden's face. He was sad he couldn't hold the toad Darrell found, but immediately cheered up when his turn was granted.
Sept 30 2012 Elden Lisa

Lisa really likes Uncle Lee! It's so cute!
Sept 30 2012 Eric Elden Lee Lisa

Thanks Darrell and Stacie for all the yummy food and letting us stay overnight! We had a great time and I am so glad you live just hours from us!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Twins' First Field Trip

The end of September Shanna and Haley went on their first field trip to Showalter's Orchard.  They had a tour of the apple orchard and got to pick out a mini pumpkin too! We also tasted some delicious, fresh apple cider. I was able to go thanks to my friend Abby, who babysat Elden. The teachers said it was okay if Shanna and Haley went with me, but Haley wanted to stay with her friend (Shanna and Haley are in different classes).  The next field trip, later this month, I am going to "go" with Haley.
Sept 25 2012 Showalter Orchard Kindergarten Field Trip Sept 25 2012 Showalter Orchard Kindergarten Field Trip (2) Sept 25 2012 Showalter Orchard Kindergarten Field Trip (3)

It is so pretty out here!
Sept 25 2012 Showalter Orchard Kindergarten Field Trip (4) Sept 25 2012 Showalter Orchard Kindergarten Field Trip (5) Sept 25 2012 Showalter Orchard Kindergarten Field Trip (6) Sept 25 2012 Showalter Orchard Kindergarten Field Trip Brooklyn Clark & Shanna Sept 25 2012 Showalter Orchard Kindergarten Field Trip Haley Shanna

It will be interesting having two kids in the same grade.  My first time experiencing this happened when I took the girls to "meet the teacher night".  I should have had Lee with me, but the letter asked that other siblings not come and Lee was home with them.  Anyway, at the same time the teachers had separate meetings in their individual classrooms.  I took both girls to one room, then left one girl there and took the other to the other room, stayed for a bit and filled out paper work while all the other parents were listening.  Once the teacher had a break I talked to her really quick and had Haley meet her, then went back into the other room to get Shanna.  I guess it doesn't sound that complicated, but for some reason I was caught off guard and realized I should have had Lee with me. There are three K teachers. They know that the girls are twins and are very helpful in that respect. (Not that extra help is necessarily needed, but they understand that I am dealing with two kids in the same grade and not one, but nevermind...this probably doesn't make sense at all!) I was really glad too that Haley didn't care that I was on the field trip and stayed with Shanna.  Thankfully kindergarten homework is really easy (of course) and their teachers are doing similar, if not the same thing, each week. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out in the years to come! Happy Fall!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

New York City

Lee and I recently celebrated our 10-year wedding anniversary.  For a couple of years we've wanted to do something "big" for our 10-year mark.  (Especially since Lee forgot our anniversary two years in a row, and I forgot last year!)  We had a big four-day trip planned out, but decided to be a little more modest and just went up for a day.  We really enjoyed it and the kids had a fun time at Lois'-thanks!

After spending lots in toll roads and $14 to go in a toll tunnel into Manhattan, we parked about 10am.  We found an awesome parking garage RIGHT across from the Gershwin Theater where we'd be seeing a play later that night.  We took off for the subway.  I have been to NYC two times prior to this, but never on the subway.  It's a little confusing.  Lee finally got the hang of it later.  I sort of did. Oh, and this is what made me sick. While standing, waiting for our train to arrive, other trains would loudly zoom by and watching them made me sick.  Once I was inside the train I was fine.  Ever since Elden was born I get nauseous so easily.  Weird.
Sept 22 2012 Subway (2)

First stop: the free Staten Island Ferry. I have been to the Statue of Liberty (Lee too) and Ellis Island (not Lee) before so we decided to take the free ferry to see the Statue of Liberty.  It was great seeing the skyline of the city too.
Sept 22 2012 (3) Sept 22 2012 Sept 22 2012 NYC

A guy at the ferry station playing...he was really good!
Sept 22 2012 Staten Island Ferry Sept 22 2012 Staten Island Ferry (2) Sept 22 2012 Staten Island Ferry (3) Sept 22 2012 (2)

Next we walked around seeing points of interest like Wallstreet, an old cathedral, Little Italy and Chinatown.  I wish NYC's Chinatown was more like San Fransisco's Chinatown.  Lee said the one in San Fran was much more touristy--not an actual China-town like NYC's was.  We had a hard time figuring out the subway at this point and wasted a good 1/2 hour, maybe 45 minutes of trying to figure it out.  Lines 4, 5 & 6 are confusing! We headed up to Little Italy, bought some dessert for later at Ferrara's, then ate at Da Nico's Ristorante. We didn't do much in Little Italy and Chinatown and actually visited those spots again later in the afternoon.
Sept 22 2012 NYC (6) Sept 22 2012 Wall Street Sept 22 2012 Wall Street (2) Sept 22 2012 graveyard Sept 22 2012 NYC Cathedral Sept 22 2012 NYC Cathedral (2) Sept 22 2012 Ferrara Sept 22 2012 Ferrara (2) Sept 22 2012 Ferrara (3) Sept 22 2012 Da Nico Ristorante (2)

We then headed to the Ground Zero memorial. It was amazing. 9-11 has always been far removed from me, if that makes sense.  I was on my mission when it happened and I basically just heard about the terrible ordeal and saw a tv clip only here and there.  I never saw a lot of coverage of the disaster and of the proceeding months that followed.  Anyway, I was really excited to go to the memorial and see it.  It was amazing.  It's a special place.  What courage and strength those people had; what a great country we live in.  God does love us and is mindful of us. Sept 22 2012 Ground Zero Sept 22 2012 Ground Zero (4) Sept 22 2012 Ground Zero (6)

After Ground Zero, we actually went back to Little Italy and Chinatown and looked around more. We bought some cute mini-mugs at a Chinese store for our kids. I wanted to buy something from our trip for them, but not something I would want to throw away the next week. The mugs have New York stuff printed on them. Sept 22 2012 Chinatown Sept 22 2012 Chinatown (2)

After getting some gelato/Italian Ice, we headed back on the subway to St. Patrick's Cathedral where mass was in session. We also stopped at Central Park, yet another place I hadn't been to before. We ate our yummy pastries from Ferrara's there. Sept 22 2012 Chinatown (3)

There are some amazing street artists there, like this one! Sept 22 2012 Street Artist Sept 22 2012 St. Patricks Sept 22 2012 St. Patricks (2)

On the way to Central Park we of course walked through upper Manhattan. So nice! Lots of fancy shops. We walked past a Cartier store where a group of people were standing. I asked who was inside and a couple people told me that it was rumored that Michelle Obama was in there. Right after we left a cop car drove up with its lights on, apparently to break up the crowd. We walked into Tiffany's too and looked at some of the displays. It was fun seeing ladies walk out with their little Tiffany bag getting a picture in front of the store. Definitely not a bag to flash around after that...we walked past a Gucci store and I had no idea they sold kids' clothes! Thought you might like this picture Steph. Sept 22 2012 Gucci Kids' Store

We then went on a speed walking trip to try and see the Manhattan Temple. We should have traveled one more block West. Oh well. It was getting too late and we wanted to make it back to our van to change for the show that night. Lee bought tickets to Wicked. It was a fun play. We splurged big time and got some fun drinks and some M&Ms for $4. A single-serve king-size bag for $4. That was expensive! I told Lee it's for all those times we don't buy food at the movie theater (when on the rare occasion we even go to a movie! I think that last movie we saw was Harry Potter the summer of 2011). But truly, it is so rare that we buy food at the movies, or the zoo, or the fair! Anyway, it was a fun night. Sept 22 2012 Wicked

On our way out of town we decided to drive all the way down Manhattan to Brooklyn and over to Staten Island. The bridge from Manhattan to Brooklyn was free, and I thought surely the toll bridge from Brooklyn to Staten Island would be maybe $5 or so. Wrong! It was $14. Ugh...all that driving for nothing. And Lee turned right at a red light (after stopping of course) and got pulled over. How were we supposed to know that you can't turn right on red in the city? They don't have any signs up stating so! Luckily Lee didn't get a ticket. That would have ruined the trip budget for sure!Sept 22 2012 (5)

Farewell New York. It was so, so fun! Sept 22 2012 (7)

Lee and I are excited to take the family back there. We drove to my brother's that night (Darrell & Stacie) as he lives under two hours from there. We stayed for church and had a fun lunch with them. Thanks Darrell and Stacie!

I saw this sign on our way home and thought of my good friend Ruth. Sept 23 2012

After lunch at my brother's, we were off to the Heits to pick up the kiddos and go home. Thanks for a wonderful weekend Lee! Happy 10th Anniversary!