Ballerina Girl

We were thrilled to find a Christian dance company when we moved to NY similar to one Novella participated in in Alabama. She only got to dance for one semester in Alabama, but she was hooked. It is clearly one of her passions!

Kings Dancers works an entire school year towards one big end of year recital. The girls worked hard all year and it paid off with a beautiful show! It was hard to get pictures at the actual recital because of the lighting but I did get a few shots with my purse camera at the dress rehearsal at the dance studio.

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The looks so beautiful and graceful as she dances!

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I did get a couple of shots during the performance before the audience was reminded not to use flash. 😉

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In addition to her main ballet dance, she had a hip hop part in the opening dance of the recital:

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This shot is back at the studio at the dress rehearsal when she received her dance medal. She is with her teacher, Mrs. Suzanne.

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Right after her main dance concluded:

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After the whole recital with her friend, Emily:

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Another shot after the show:

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With me and little sis:

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I’m so proud of you, my sweet girl! And thank you for making breakfast while I got this blog post up! 😉

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Have fun!

I have the most amazing husband. He’ll roll his eyes when he sees this post, but it’s true. If you’re facebook friends with me you probably saw that he let me sleep late yesterday and prepared a wonderful breakfast for me.

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It was SO nice not to have to worry about breakfast and to get to eat something so interesting that fit into my diet!

He also brought home some daffodils recently. (Have you guessed that daffodils are my favorite? I LOVE SPRING!) I’ll post about them in a separate post, though, because I cleaned up the whole bedroom with the inspiration of $3 worth of daffodils. 🙂

Today, however, I want to share a bit of his silly side. The other night he took out the dog and came in with two handfuls of mini snowballs. He walked into the bedroom and said, “Let’s have a mini snowball fight.”

“Where?” was my reply, thinking about how messy that would be!

“The Living Room?”

“How about the bathtub?” I said. That way we could have our fun and I wouldn’t pay for it later. 🙂

So without further ado, I bring you the video of the mini snowball fight in the bathtub.

God has blessed me abundantly with such a wonderful man. He is so much fun!! What fun and crazy things have you done with your spouse lately?


Valentine’s Day Fun

I haven’t had time to write a good post lately, but wanted to share some pictures of the fun we had yesterday on Valentine’s Day. I absolutely LOVE Valentine’s Day and yesterday was one of the best! We crafted, we sewed, we baked, we partied, and we took Wesley to the doctor (plus x-ray) for a possible broken ankle (turns out it is just swollen soft tissue). We even got a wonderful surprise package in the mail from Grandma with movies and Valentines for all of us. Oh, I almost forgot. The kids got Valentines in the mail from their best friends in Alabama, too!! Like I said, it was a great day. 🙂

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Field Trip Friday: Covered Bridges and Back to Bennington

If you’ve been wondering what happened to the Field Trip Friday posts this school year, there haven’t been any posts because we haven’t managed to go on any field trips! This school year has been one of our busiest ever. That combined with the death of our trusty old van has made it very difficult to accomplish our grand field trip plans. But not impossible!

Last Friday we got up semi-early and headed back to Bennington, Vermont. You may remember that Bennington was our very first field trip after moving to New York. In the fall of 2011, we drove over just to see Robert Frost’s grave. What a great field trip that was. {contented sigh}

This year for picture study we’ve been studying the life and works of Anna Mary Robertson Moses (aka Grandma Moses). We had heard that there was a museum in Bennington that has a Grandma Moses exhibit so we knew we had to go back.

We’ve been meaning to go since September but kept putting it off. What spurred me into action last week was Christmas cards. “Wouldn’t it be cool”, I thought, “to take a Christmas card picture of all the kids in front of the red covered bridge museum?”

Turns out it cost us $18 to get into the museum. I suppose we could have just jumped out, taken the picture, and then headed on over to the Grandma Moses exhibit. But after an hour and a half drive, the four year old had to use the facilities. And I wanted happy children for the picture! 😉

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The kids were immediately fascinated by the huge electric train set. Especially my little future train engineer.

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We also learned some cool information about covered bridges. Did you know there were once over 600 covered bridges in Vermont but now there are less than 200?

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We attempted to watch a slide show with audio which told a lot more of the history of the covered bridges, but we knew we were pushing our luck if we wanted “happy” children outside. We looked around for a few more minutes and then headed outside.

I had to take a picture of this moose. I don’t know why there was a moose at the covered bridge museum. We actually saw a lot of moose hanging around Bennington. I should look it up. Maybe it’s like the horses all over Saratoga. Maybe Bennington has moose races in the summer…

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We had a little trouble with the Christmas card picture. Isn’t that just par for the course?

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I eventually got one that would work (I’ll post it closer to Christmas) and we headed over to the Bennington Museum.

The Grandma Moses exhibit was AWESOME. I was giddy! I had to go back to the car and get the stroller for Jesse because I was GOING to enjoy this exhibit!! I was a little disappointed not to see any of the paintings we had studied, but I was still thrilled to see her work. We also got to see her actual painting table and many of her supplies. They had a video interview playing but I didn’t get to see much of it. People kept pressuring me to get out of there and go look at the Christmas trees on the 2nd floor. {sigh} Who cares about Christmas trees when you can see REAL LIVE GRANDMA MOSES PAINTINGS, PEOPLE!! I yelled at calmly asked everyone to give me a few more minutes and found a replica of the schoolroom where Grandma Moses went to school. Novella enjoyed that part quite a bit. They even had a “Dunce” hat.

Kenny finally tore me out of the exhibit and we wandered around upstairs. The coolest thing I saw was one of the oldest American flags still in existence. The 13 stars were not even in the typical arrangement.

We weren’t allowed to take photos at all inside the museum — even without flash. We asked Abe to take a shot of just mom and dad outside the museum before we left.

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The boys were planning a camping trip that evening so we headed for home around 2:00 p.m. Next up — Amherst, Massachusetts!


Field Trip Friday: A Trip to Apple Tree Farm

(*technical note: Photobucket just updated their site and all the new pictures are posting HUGE. I’ve GOT to go to the store so I’ll have to re-size all the pics later. For now, just enjoy the close-ups!)

A quick note: it wasn’t really Apple Tree Farm but Sophia loves those books from Usborne so that’s what she called it the whole time. 🙂

Wow! The start of school has really been wild! We may have to do the good vs. best list on activities soon because it seems like we’re a little too busy this school year.

We have not completely abandoned Field Trip Fridays. In fact, we had a fantastic time at one of the local orchards a few weeks ago.

We loved the Farm Fest weekend at the apple orchard last year, too, and were eagerly anticipating it this year. Until we saw this sign…

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We had heard rumors that the unseasonably warm days we enjoyed in February (I remember skipping school one day and going to the park because it was 80 degrees!) had damaged the apple crop. We hoped it wasn’t true but, unfortunately, many of the blooms died in the frost that followed the heat wave. Some orchards were forced to close for the season. We did find a few that still had enough apples to celebrate — including Riverview Orchards, the orchard we visited last year.

Remember last year’s picture in front of the Riverview Orchards sign?

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Here they are this year in front of the same sign:

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We had to pick apples in designated areas because of the crop damage, but we still had a great time. First, after parking next to a swamp

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we looked at some super cute farm animals. I *so* want some chickens and goats some day!

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Soph was getting a little bored with farm animals

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so, after snapping a quick picture of the foliage that was just beginning to change, (this was a couple of weeks ago. The vivid colors are amazing now!)

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we headed into the country store for a bathroom break. I thought we’d wait and get cider donuts at the end like we did last year, but last year we waited an HOUR because the waiting line was so long. We were there earlier this year and there was no line so Kenny wisely advised to go ahead and get the donuts first and just eat them there. We took our time and even sipped some lovely coffee.

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The kids were again fascinated by the real live honey making machine. 😉

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Jesse started getting tired at this point so I ran back to the van for the sling before heading over to the orchard. I was so excited to get to use the ole trusty sling one more time. 🙂

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We had to wait a while for the hayride.

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With the apple picking slim, the hayride was probably the most popular attraction of the day. Finally, we saw it coming around the bend.

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So many people were waiting to get on that Dad and Abe decided to be all gentlemanly and walk along behind.

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The rest of us were quite cozy.

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Look at my pretty girl. 🙂

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And then it was apple picking time!

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Jesse was big enough to pick his own this year.

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Remember this great shot from last year?

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If it’s possible, Jesse loved apples even more this year!

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He even did the sign for apple with an apple…

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And nobody better say nothin’ about him havin’ two apples at once!!!

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We picked a big bag full of apples and headed back to the country store for some decorative gourds and fresh cold cider. The kids couldn’t resist a quick photo op at the backside of the hay maze before we left.

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We made some great memories and can’t wait to go back next year!


Thankful for Flylady!

Don’t you hate it when you manage to keep your house clean for weeks and the day after you let things fall apart you get unexpected company? I used to feel like that ALWAYS happened to me. Yesterday evening we had a chance to meet with a friend from college for dinner. We had planned to go out to dinner but circumstances made it easier for him to come to our home instead. Normally I would have panicked. We had about an hour’s notice and I hadn’t cooked dinner yet.

Since I’ve been back on the flylady bandwagon, things were OK. They weren’t perfect and the kids and I did run around picking up random toys and doing a quick swish and swipe of the bathrooms. But overall, it came together very quickly. The kids were proud, too. And we had a wonderful, relaxing evening with an old friend.

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To be honest, I didn’t feel I had that much to do in the kitchen this month. It was already completely de-cluttered. But I managed to find plenty to do once I got started.

Monday I decided to clean out the fridge. It definitely needed a de-cluttering!

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It only took a few minutes to take everything out, wipe down the shelves, and put things back neatly.

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Tuesday was a crazy day and I couldn’t even squeeze in the 15 minutes. Shameful, I know. But on Wednesday I was able to clean the windows, wipe off the top of the refrigerator and clean the inside of the microwave — all in 15 minutes! I also swept and mopped half the floor. I only did half because it was close to lunch time and I didn’t want anyone to slip getting lunch.

Yesterday was errand day, dr. appointment day plus company for dinner. So the 15 minutes again eluded me. Today is baby boy’s birthday so I’m not sure anything else will happen. Hopefully I can at least mop the rest of the floor!

How was your kitchen week? Do you get frustrated when you can’t seem to squeeze in even 15 minutes?


Field Trip Friday: Little Troy Park

The Field Trip Friday feature on Daffodil Days is going on hiatus after today. I could list lots of reasons to take a break but the main one is that we found this lovely little swim club and we’ve decided to go there every Friday through the summer!

I read once that to a kid, the mark of a good summer is how many times they get wet. 😉 We’ve never been great with getting the kids to the pool (it’s scary to keep an eye on six at once!), but this place is small enough that we feel pretty comfortable with it.

It has play equipment…

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And trees to climb…

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It has a beach…

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and a small pond to splash around in (with lifeguard!)…

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What more could you ask for? (oh yeah, it has a couple of grills, a volleyball net, and some picnic benches, too!)

We’ll continue our exploration of New York come fall when we’re back in school. For the summer, we’ll be relaxing at the beach!


Too tired to post!

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We’ve been having lots of fun lately. So much fun that I’m too worn out to get a post up. Plus I’m a little bit sick. This week’s Field Trip Friday post is in progress and will be up by Monday if not sooner. (hopefully!) Today was the last day of our school year. I’m celebrating by going to bed early!!


FIELD TRIP FRIDAY: National Bottle Museum

Welcome to this week’s installment of FIELD TRIP FRIDAY! We’re having so much fun exploring New York. I’m not sure why it took us so long to get started. I think we just needed a plan. And boy do we have a plan now. Field Trip Friday may go on for quite some time. Although today I’m posting last week’s field trip and we’re having a much needed “Do Nothing Friday” to catch up on our rest! Tired

Last Friday we went to the town of Ballston Spa and visited the National Bottle Museum. The kids were not really jumping for joy at the thought of touring a bottle museum. They weren’t grumpy or anything. They just weren’t overly excited.

Kenny worked on that on the way to the museum. He explained that we weren’t going to just any old run of the mill regular bottle museum. We were going to the National Bottle Museum. The bottle museum representing bottles from all over the entire United States and possibly even the world! By the time we got there even the teenager was wowed and anxious to see the collection.

The cool thing that none of us knew going in (well, except me, but only because I looked at their website before we went 😉 ) is that bottle making was our nation’s first major industry. The museum was set up to preserve that history and houses literally thousands of bottles — some of which even hold uranium within their glass and set off alarms if you get too close. (and no, thankfully, we did not learn this first hand!)

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By the way, have you been wondering if we were taking all of these trips in two vehicles? Nope. My super fabulous rockin’ husband found an extra 3 seat bench for our mini-van for $50 buckaroos! Here’s how we squeeze everyone in:

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Live like no one else, right? 🙂

Here we are standing on the sidewalk outside the museum:

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I’m not sure they get a whole lot of visitors at the National Bottle Museum. Perhaps we just went on a slow day but a very friendly tour guide practically met us at the door and gave us a wonderful and informative tour of the whole place.

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We saw lots of bottles.

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There were bottles from many of the states of the U.S. I couldn’t resist taking a picture of the one from Alabama. Alabama still feels like home to me.

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Oh, and Jesse was lots of fun in a bottle museum. Afraid

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They gave us plastic cups when we left the museum and suggested we walk down the road and visit the natural spring and take a sip of the water. We’re gullible. We did it.

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We all took one teeny tiny sip and then poured it out! Yuck! It tasted like iron.

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Dad tried several times to take a drink for his health.

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He didn’t succeed.

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John Elijah was not as gullible as the rest of us. He refused from the outset. And, of course, we didn’t give any to Jesse as the tour guide suggested that it may bother your digestive system if you drank much. Yeah. I know. I don’t know why we did it. Maybe so we could say we did?

To get the yucky taste out of our mouths we had to go out for ice cream afterwards. We let Jesse partake this time.

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Even John Elijah agreed to join in.

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Some people experienced “brain freeze”.

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And some people let the sugar go to their head!

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All in all, another fun field trip in New York!


FIELD TRIP FRIDAY

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As soon as we arrived in New York I signed up for a Friday co-op for the kids. They enjoyed the peer interaction and I enjoyed the peer interaction but we seemed to lose our Fridays every week. Friday is Kenny’s only day off so we decided that during the spring semester we wouldn’t do the co-op but take every Friday to explore something about our rich historical area.

Hmmm…

It really was a great plan. But we didn’t make a list as we had intended. Today was the first day we actually made it anywhere.

It was a great day. We should do it every Friday! 😉

Today we drove to Stillwater, New York, to the Saratoga National Historic Park — the site of the Battle of Saratoga. If anyone needs a quick brush up on their history it was this battle that was the turning point of the Revolutionary War. (and no, I did not remember that until I was reminded during the overview film in the visitor’s center. I knew it was an important battle but that was about all I remembered.)

We arrived a couple minutes late for the start of the film but they let us sneak in. Afterwards the kids played dress-up.

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They listened to the battle story again while watching lights representing the British and the Americans dance across an elaborate topographical map.

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They played in a tent like the Revolutionary soldiers would have slept in.

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Finally we made it outside.

And we were *blown away* by the beauty of the landscape.

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We looked at lots of cannons.

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And babykins got to stretch his little legs.

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It was a glorious day in God’s creation. We can’t wait to go back and explore more.

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