Thursday, October 22, 2009

New Additions

This month has been a busy one in the niece and nephew department. My brother, B, and his wife Cindy welcomed #6 into their family on the 10th. His name, as far as I know - and I could be wrong - is Kevin. I can't believe their little family is not so little anymore. Congrats to them, especially to Cindy as she never delivers on time!  Baby #5, Alivia Estelle, made her debut - after a tough labor - on the 19th in Steev and Tam's family. (I thought that name was correct, but I am looking at an email from Steev from earlier today and he said it was Alicia not Alivia.) Who knows? Not important really though. What is important is that they are all healthy and safe and well.

As most of you know, I have two amazing kids. For some unknown reason, I have not been able to have more. In the past, hearing of others new additions has been difficult. Heck, learning about the pregnancies was hard. The last year has changed that for me. I don't know why exactly. Point is, it doesn't hurt so much anymore. I feel happy, joyful even, to hear the wonderful news from friends and family now. My heart doesn't ache as badly as it once did when I think that Sis will never have little brothers or sisters to take care of or that E will never have a little brother to teach the fine art of Lego building to. Even though as I write this I am choked up, I admit it is somehow easier now. We live in a ward with very few older kids and many more little ones. Most of the families we are friends with here have children younger than Sis and E. My sister Lou has two little ones that we love to be with too. They have become those little brothers and sisters my children don't get to have right now. They are being taught the art of Lego's by E and being carried around by Sis. They are the ones I get to carry on my back while hiking through the woods and listen to their chatter when they come into our home. God has blessed me with lots of little children and more importantly He has blessed me with two of the most amazing ones of my own. I am blessed to be spending my days with them and watching them become the most interesting and wonderful people. I couldn't ask for anything more than I already have.

So I say congratulations to my dear brothers and sisters on their new additions. And congrats to other friends - you know who you are - on their big news too! I love you all and feel blessed to have each of you in my life.

A Beautiful Spontaneous Day in Western Maryland

I love my friend Dalynn. She is always good for an adventure. A truly spontaneous kinda gal. One day we're talking about heading to western Maryland for a day trip and the next thing I know - we're there. She's just like that. Pack up the cars with kids, cameras and snacks and we're on our way.

About an hour and 20 minutes from Baltimore is a little town called Middleton. It has a charming little main street that was lined with scarecrows for a mile or more from the various civic clubs in town. Just outside of town is the Washington Monument State Park. Check it out. An absolutely beautiful place to spend an autumn day. Halfway up the trail to the small monument is a connecting point for the Appalachian Trail.

After hiking for an hour or so, we decided to try and find another state park, Greenbrier. And find it we did. Let me just say, we could not have planned a more perfect day. Here it is, late October, and the weather was mid 70's and clear as ever.

We had the beach to ourselves. If I had know there was a beach and a lake on our outing, I would have brought a suit. It was that warm. The leaves were glorious and vibrant; the water cool. We wandered about finally relaxing on the dock before heading up the hill for the drive home.

With bike trails, hiking, canoeing, swimming, camping and fishing all in one locale with flush toilets and showers to boot, I know where we're going to spend many a weekend next summer.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Project Month - Day 21 - Pumpkin Dump Cake

Today was an easy one.

It may not be pretty, but it sure is tasty!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Project Month - Day 20 - My Favorite Wreath, Renewed

Jon bought me this wreath years ago at a great little shop in SLC. Originally it was stunning - seriously a beauty. However after years of hanging outdoors on my front porch, it looked tired. It needed a little TLC.

Just black I love it!

Yes, that is a little skeleton man hanging from a noose in the center. C'mon! It's Halloween! It's supposed to be scary.

First idea, spray it to be red again. I decided against this, feeling it would lose something, as it was never painted in the first place.  Second and better idea, paint it black for Halloween then later silver for the remainder of the holidays. I finished the black layer this afternoon, using an entire can of spray paint. I added a few random skeletons I had lying around and for now, I'm finished.

I like the (for now) finished product and in a few weeks I'll give it a coat of silver to cover the black.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fall Break in Virginia

No projecting this weekend! Good bye Baltimore. Hello Purcellville.

Sis' face is priceless!

Jays and Jon have been friends for over 30 years!

We got to spend the weekend with friends in VA. It was rainy and cold for the first two days and I didn't care a bit. We didn't go anywhere or do anything. 

I wish I had her skinny legs. What a cutie!

Okay, so we learned a few new card games, ate yummy food courtesy of Cori, went for walks, found a new way to fix popcorn - delish! and slept in. It was wonderful. Their 2 shorties and ours played together non-stop until they couldn't keep their eyes open any longer.  At church we ran into a gal from BYU who had her Senior show at the same time as Jon. We even own a few of her paintings.  I love how being LDS makes the world seem so small - and I mean that in a good way.

I like this pic even with E's bored expression, which he claims he wasn't feeling. My hair is getting long.

My little photographer

Today we drove up and down the country roads looking at all things beautiful. The lovely dry-stack walls were my favorite, but everything was gloriously celebrating fall. The colors were spectacular. Jon and I fell in love with the farmsteads and their many outbuildings and mature landscaping. There is this part of me that is so completely drawn to that life. Something about being from farming stock I guess.