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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween in July

It was an unbelievably warm Halloween tonight! Fourth Avenue was a really happening place with scary houses and ghouls everywhere - we didn't even want to come in. Just about all the neighbors ran out of candy...too bad it wasn't a weekend night. Here's a shot of Cameron's costume - continuing with the economical Halloween costume theme, he's dressed as a pile of leaves. I bet you didn't even see him, he was so well disguised!

Two Dog Night

Today is Halloween! That most American of holidays when we revert to childhood and dress up in silly or scary costumes for work, school, shopping at Wegmans...

I'm not one to spend a lot of money on costumes. Usually we try to use dress up stuff and accessories we've collected over the years, and we may need to buy an accessory or two, but that's about it. As an example, this year, I got Annalisse a dog mask thingy and a tail, and VIOLA!, she's a dog. Cameron is going to put on sweatshirt and some packing tape, roll in the neighbor's leaves, and be a leaf pile (his main motivation is to be camouflaged when little kids go by so he can jump out and scare them). Jasper will wear a Halloween bandanna that Grandma made him. As for me, I'll probably be the stay-at-home-hand-out-candy person, which is probably not the greatest idea since I bought six bags of my favorite treats.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Wet Dog Blues

Hurray! We're back in business with a new digital camera (actually, it's Annalisse's camera that she bought with her birthday $$, but she's letting the family use it until we get a new one). I'm sure everyone is just dying to see what our 6-month old 40-pound boy looks like!

Today's picture is of a tuckered out wet dog. Since the weather's been so nice we've been able to take him swimming on the weekends. Fetching sticks in the creek and running around with "friends" makes Jasper one tired dog! Today he came home so dirty and smelly he was rewarded with a shower (he's really good...he just sits in there with his eyes closed while Annalisse suds him up). That's about the most exciting news to report!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Helmet Head

Earlier in the month we had our picture taken by Olan Mills for our church directory (a very expensive proposition for very few pictures). At the time we were "pleased enough" with them, but when they arrived yesterday it jumped right out at me: my cotton-candy helmet-head hair. When did that happen?! I've been fighting with my hair for a while now as it seems to be gaining more body and curl as time passes. When I went to Florida back in April it was a downright disaster with all the humidity - totally out of control. Anyway, it's nice to have an updated picture of the family, even if one furry member was missing. Maybe we can "photoshop" him in and use it as our Christmas card...

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Libra moves on...

Well, we are on the cusp of Scorpio now, as the sign of Libra moves on until next year. But, the celebrations continue. Since the last two weekends have been so busy, tonight we are having family and friends over for cake and treats for Annalisse's birthday (might as well thrown in Mark and my birthdays while you're at it). Another milestone: today is Jasper's 6-month birthday! I'm sure he'll enjoy the benefits of that with a little ice cream! [I'm hoping to get a new camera this week...we're all going through blog-picture withdrawl here...]

Of Mice and Men(nonites)

Yesterday we took a ride with our neighbors Morey & Ann to The Windmill, a farm and craft market about an hour way in Penn Yan. The Windmill is an eclectic blend of nice crafts, junky crafts, baked goods, meats and cheeses, speciality foods [jams, dips & spreads], and flea market stuff. As always, the goal of the day was food-based: to buy sticky buns and cheese curds. Those Amish and Mennonites! Man, do they know how to bake (and make cheese)!! It was a really nice day, with Cameron's highlight being able to buy those really tiny donuts (smothered in powdered sugar ~ although he did, once agan, lament the closing of Krispy Kreme) at a Mennonite stand (thank God they can use electricity). When we got home, we took Jasper for a run in the field, then, the kids each had a sleepover. What a day!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Barktoberfest Champs!

How could I have forgotten to tell you this? Our team was the top fundraiser for this year's Barktoberfest (no thanks to Mark and me)! We joined an already established team that my co-worker, Melissa, had a connection with called SOS/Off-N-Running Tours. You can see our team photo here. For being the "winning" team we have also been invited to a wine tasting event and "behind-the-scenes" tour of Lollypop Farm (I can only imagine what that would be...the operating room? the feed storage bins?). Just the same, very cool!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Blog Bore

You've probably noticed there's not really been anything exciting on our blog lately. That's because, as predicted, once the kids got back into school and our fall routine started things got pretty boring. Even this entry will probably end up being boring! You know the drill: get up, go to work/school, come home, eat dinner, go to whatever evening activity we might have, walk the dog, watch some TV if we can, go to bed, get up and do it again. Throw in a couple loads of laundry and some grocery shopping and you've got yourself unbearable predictability! Adding to the boredom factor is the fact that our digital camera is officially D-E-A-D, so no fun pictures. By the time we get a new one, the pup will probably be fully grown!

Just the same, there are a couple things I can mention:

  • My girls weekend was great. Four of us were able to make it, and it was a really mellow, nice catch-up weekend.
  • The kids got their 5-week grade reports today and Annalisse is kicking Cameron's butt! Sweet justice for her!
  • I had a great, low key birthday. We were all off (the kids were off for Columbus Day, Mark was still home with his arm, and I took the day off) and the days activities included taking Jasper to the park for a swim and going out for a nice birthday dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. Our awesome neighbors, Ann & Morey, brought me a lemon meringue pie!
  • Mark's birthday is tomorrow, and, unfortunately, I'll be in Western New York at Grad Fairs all day. : (

That's about all the boring news to report. Now, it's off to puppy class!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

BFFs, or FL Winos?

Last night my friend, Sue, flew in from Virginia for our yearly girls weekend. (In today's "kidspeak," she'd be called my BFF ~ Best Friend Forever in case you haven't guessed that already.) This year we're heading to Ithaca for a weekend of "fun" and a wine tour of Cayuga Lake. I'm really fortunate to live in the beautiful Finger Lakes area which is home to almost 100 wineries throughout the region. Each fall we usually tour one or two Lake's worth of wineries to stock up for the holiday season and beyond. Then, in the spring we usually head up to the Niagara region and hit their wineries.

Getting back to our girl's weekend: we'll head out tomorrow to meet two (and possibly three) high school friends for a weekend of indulgence and abandon. And to rip-off the Vegas slogan, whatever happens during girls weekend, stays with girls weekend!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Puppy Class Graduate

We had our last puppy class (kindergarten level) the other night. Everyone had a lot of fun with agility training, it all starts again on Tuesday with "Advanced Puppy Class."

Today we walked the 1.5 mile course for Barktoberfest at Lollypop Farm. There is something really wrong with the weather when it's 85 degrees on October 6...we were so hot, and the dogs all seemed to be having a hard time with the heat (between the long walk and the beating down sun). I'm sure today ranked as one of the funnest days in Jasper's life!

I'm not sure when new pictures will be on the blog...the rechargeable battery for my digital camera died and I have to figure out how/where to find a new one!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Last Call for Barktober Fest!

This is your last chance to sponsor either Mark or Judy (or both) for Lollypop Farm's Barktober Fest happening tomorrow! If you feel so compelled...!

Happy Birthday, 'Lisse!

Happy birthday to our wonderful 12-year old who is on a bus touring the Amish countryside buying her mother freshly-baked sticky buns!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

But is it an Amish water park?

Can you believe this...

Tomorrow (which also happens to be Annalisse's birthday), the kids will be gone for a German class overnight to Lancaster, PA and a tour of Amish country. For students taking German, this is probably the closest the school could come for a visit of a culture with roots in Germany. We won't mention that the German that the Amish speak is very, very old German. Anyway...

The kids will leave at 7am tomorrow morning and spend Friday and Saturday in the Lancaster area. While there they will experience such events as having dinner at an Amish family's house (I'm having trouble picturing 50 kids in a house...maybe they'll be eating in shifts? Please, please please God, make my kids act politely), a tour of a pretzel factory, and a couple of other neat tours. To top it all off (and I'm sure this was the selling point for my kids), they will be spending the night in a hotel with an indoor water park. What could be more fun? Is it an Amish water park? Will there be plainly dressed fellows at the top of a wooden slide pouring water down? ~all questions to be answered in good time.

In the North Country, there was a settlement of Amish nearby. They hold endless fascination for me, and I am very envious the kids get to take such a cool trip!

(And when the kids are away, the parents will play. Well, not exactly play, mostly eat out, our favorite pastime!)

Happy Birthday, Nick!


Twenty-three years ago today...at 8:00am...my niece Nicole was born. She was the first grandchild at the time, and very special. She's grown up to be a great young lady! Here's to you, Nick, on your big day!