Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Timbuk Tree Farm and a Little Christmas Cheer

Before the weather turned arctic we made it out to Timbuk Tree Farm to find the perfect tree.

On the hunt

Will supervises the harvesting of the tree.

Waiting for a ride back to the lodge.

The 'After' picture

Oh- and these are the cupcakes I made for Will to take to school for his birthday.

Merry Christmas!
I hope your holiday is warm and cozy
and your New Year full of health and happiness

Friday, December 3, 2010

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Santa Train

Thanksgiving at Grandma's House was wonderful as usual. Uncle Ed drove up to join us for a warm and cozy holiday weekend. It was nice to spend a few days not doing anything in particular other than spending time with family.

On Saturday morning we got up bright and early and bundled up to head out into the snow (!) and ride the
Roaring Spring Santa Train.
It was so much fun to ride the circa 1920's train through the Pennsylvania countryside, singing Christmas carols, and visiting with Santa.
This was Soren's first trip on the Santa Train, but it was Will's third.
I think this just might be becoming a tradition
I'm sure that will be a comfort to the boys as I'm dragging them on to the Santa Train when they are teenagers.

Wild Lights

In years past, I had read other people's blog posts about
Wild Lights at the Columbus Zoo
My thought was always that the people in the pictures looked pretty cold. Not that I consider myself all that wimpy about cold, but still. We took advantage of the warm-ish weather last weekend to kick off our holiday season and finally take in the Wild Lights.

It was fantastic!
Though I'm not sure I would have enjoyed it as much if the weather was freezing or (heaven forbid) actually snowing.
And another pleasant surprise- there was a very handsome Santa and we got our annual picture on Santa's lap checked off the Holiday To-Do list.

Stadium Cake

On November 13th, the Nittany Lions played the Buckeyes.
Though Ohio State didn't give JoePa his 401st win, the weekend was still very festive on account of the
Twentieth Annual Stadium Cake.
We went down to the stadium to visit our friend Jen as she and her family displayed the cake it took them a week to make, slice it up, and pass out pieces in exchange for donations to a scholarship fund.

Jen gets ready to wield her cake server.

Fans begin to gather.

My camera battery died before I got a picture of the Smiley boys enjoying their cake. I managed to get us all pieces that had tiny Penn State fans on them (little blue and white dots of icing).
They were delicious.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Boo at the Zoo (or Halloween Burnout)

It seemed like the Halloween celebrations went on and on, so by the time October 31st finally came along I think we were all a little burned out.
But we decided to partake in one more festive event:
Boo at the Zoo.
First, Will refused to wear his costume.
Then, when we passed the first station where they were passing out candy treats I asked Will if he wanted to go over and he said,
"Don't you think I have enough candy?".
(That was actually a Proud Parent Moment for me)

One good thing was that the zoo was not that crowded. So you know those animal statues that are all over the zoo that you can never get a good picture of your kids on because there are always 10 zillion other children crawling all over them? Well...

Trick or Treat!

Got Milk Chocolate?

The Fourth Annual Trick or Treat Extravaganza in the 'Burbs
commenced last Thursday. The excitement kicked off with Vannessa's spooky yet tasty Mummy Dogs.

Then we stuffed the kids into their costumes and tried to keep up while they made the rounds of the neighborhood, gathering treats, and terrorizing the good people of Westerville.

Then it was time to bundle up next to the fire pit and chow down!

Thanks, Rich & Vannessa, for another
Spooktacular Halloween

Caught in the Act

Why did God make babies so fond of sucking on lemon slices?Was it so their parents would be endlessly entertained by the funny faces they make?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pigeon Roost Revisited

No busy pre-Halloween season would be complete without a trip to the pumpkin patch.
Our pumpkin patch of choice is Pigeon Roost Farm.
So much fun!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Poor Noodle

Because Rick served on submarines during his Navy career and my dad was a sub Captain, in our house we are suckers for all things 'submarine'. Unfortunately for Noodle, he became the latest victim of our obsession.
Today at Target Rick found this priceless number in the dog costume section.

Poor Noodle.
He really is a good sport about the whole thing.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Stamp It Up!

My super creative friend Mary graciously agreed to put on a Stampin' Up workshop at our house last week. Little did I know I would have the honor of hosting Mary's very first workshop!
She did an awesome job and everyone had a great time stampin' it up.

Mary demonstrated this fun project

And we all got to make this card

Thanks for the fun night of crafting, Mary!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Another Fall Foliage Festival

Once again we made the traditional trip to Bedford, PA for the glorious Fall Foliage Festival.
The weather both weekends was picture perfect and we had tons of fun visiting with our favorite artist friends, watching the antique car parade from Grandma's porch, indulging in the endless choices of comfort food, and reveling in small town American life.

I was excited to see what new creations had sprung from the mind of Jill Zieglemeier- the woman responsible for my favorite Halloween decorations. Some of the creatures that come home with me this year were Party Pumpkin (upper left), Winged Skeleton (center), Walking Stick Skeleton (right), and Skeleton, Pumpkin-Guy, and Hoot Owl (lower left).

Check this out.
Jill made this Bogey Man doll with a head that swivels to reveal 4 faces.
Isn't he neat?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


This time the produce came from the Farmer's Marketbut that doesn't mean that we are enjoying the pickled green beans any less.

Hooray for Fall!

Mums and pumpkin on the porch: check

Cement goose

(which Rick insists must live on the back porch so only our closest friends who love us anyway will see it)
dressed in his Buckeye uniform: check

Pumpkin spice latte: check

Photo-op in front a display of gourds: check

Aaahhhh- it must be fall.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Fishin' with Grandpa

Earlier this summer Will vacationed at Grandma and Grandpa's house and spent his week riding horses, picnicking, and geocaching through central Pennsylvania. When we drove over to pick him up, I had the opportunity to go fishing with Will and my dad. Because fishing requires two things that Will lacks: patience and the ability to remain quiet for several minutes, we didn't catch anything. But it was a beautiful summer day and we spent a nice afternoon torturing the worms.

Summer of Ballet

At the end of the school year I asked Will what activity he'd like to try for the summer. It may have been because he happened to be watching 'Olivia' at the time (that's a cartoon featuring a ballet dancing pig), but he said, "Ballet".
runs some really neat summer camps that last for a couple of weeks and culminate in a 'recital' for families. Will participated in Folk Dances from Around the World,
Magic Garden
Dance Me a Story

If you've never seen little kids dancing ballet, it's pretty hysterical. And those teachers have the patience of saints.

I heard Will say to one of his friends on the playground, "I've been doing ballet so I can jump really high." He told me he enjoyed it and would like to continue in the fall.
I don't mind telling you that I would probably die of excitement if Will ever danced in the Nutcracker.

The Canning Craze Continues

As promised, Rick planned a peach picking trip to Apple Hill Orchard.
From this
To this
The next Adventure in Canning:
Pickled Green Beans

(which I hear are great as garnish for Bloody Marys!)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Mr. Smiley Goes to Washington

This past weekend Rick, Soren, and I traveled to Washington, DC to attend the
Restoring Honor Rally
at the Lincoln Memorial.
We got there Friday evening and walked down the National Mall from our hotel to see some sights, take in the event preparations, and share in the building excitement.

There were already people camped out on the grounds, chairs and blankets set up, ready to stay all night to claim their choice spots.
On Saturday morning we met up with Grandpa who had taken a bus down with a group from Pennsylvania. Then we trooped down the National Mall again, this time with about 500,000 (by official reports) other people. We got there early enough to find a nice shady spot under a tree toward the end of the reflecting pool.
There were JumboTrons set up so that we could still see the program that included singing, prayer, and speeches by Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and Alveda King that honored the military and urged people to include the principles of Faith, Hope, and Charity in their lives.
Despite the crowds and potential for politically charged atmosphere, I am pleased to report that everyone we encountered was polite and pleasant and respectful.

Being a politically active citizen suited Soren well.
Or maybe what suited him was being an only child for the weekend.
Will was at Grandma's house doing equally cool things like making home made Play-Doh.