Thursday, October 30, 2014

The quarterly report

This looks like the best I am going to be doing these days.  As the kids get older life gets busier and busier and I hardly remember to capture the moments with the camera let alone blog about it.  Plus that and every time I sit down to do something I get interrupted every 30 seconds with a question from someone and it makes putting my thoughts together very difficult.

This year for vacation we were not able to get away until September.  It was a long summer and Christian really needed this vacation, but I think next year we will try to take a week off in the summer as well.  Working straight through this summer was so hard on his body that he threw his back out and ended up in the ER in the middle of the night with such intense back pain that took him about two weeks to recover from.

My grandparents were able to help us find this great rental on the bay in Ocean City, NJ.  It was great because even if the weather wasn't great for the beach we could still play in the lagoon with the kayaks, swim or fish.

Thankfully we still did get some really gorgeous days at the end of the week to spend on the beach.

 We discovered that the best and cheapest place to get your ears pierced is on the boardwalk.  Grace has been so nervous about getting her ears done, but I talked her into it this time, and since she didn't have enough time to get worked up about it she was able to go through with it without throwing up.  :)  We figured since the price was right we would get Claire's done as well.  She was happy to sit in the chair for it until......

 The crying didn't last long though and there were big smiles afterwards!  She was so excited to have earrings like the big girls.
 We biked on the boardwalk nearly every day and that was a big highlight of the trip.  The scale tells me that all that biking didn't make up for all the visits to Brown's donuts that week though. 

Back on the home front we are overrun by bunnies again.  We acquired this guy as sort of rescue situation.  He had been neglected and needed a new home.  He has got to be the friendliest and floppiest (although not the prettiest) bunny ever.

And the baby bunnies are back again!  Six this time.  We have two ginger colored boys left for sale.

Our Polish Tolbunts that we got this summer turned into quite the beauties  I just wish they would lay eggs consistently so we can sell them!

We also "borrowed" a new boyfriend for Lily a few weeks ago and I am happy to announce that Lily will be having her last litter of puppies around Thanksgiving.  I think this guy (who we called Georgie because his real name was weird)  is so adorable and we are planning on keeping one of Lily's girl puppies to continue breeding.

Grace started a face painting business and was able to make some extra money at the 4-H fair, a local farmer's market and an event at our alpaca farm.  She is saving up for a new violin and has done well enough with little odd jobs here and there that we should be able to get her one in December.  She is very excited!

Of course there is a whole lot more going on than that, and as soon as I remember to take some pictures you will hear about it!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Music, trees, eyes, politics, and more trees

Usually a post around these parts will have something to do with music, art, trees or books, and this time is no exception.  But politics, you say?  Oh yes, read on dear reader.....

Grace started taking violin lessons this past fall and started progressing so well that I knew pretty quickly she needed a better teacher than the one we had originally chosen.  She has been taking with her new teacher at Elite Strings since February and we both think he is fabulous and an excellent teacher with high standards, but also very encouraging.  I am so sorry we didn't start with him to begin with.  She has learned so much in such a short amount of time.  She had her first recital last month and I was able to accompany her, which was fun.  I wish we had it on video, but obviously I wasn't in charge of the camera, so all we got was a few pictures.

The beginning of this month Christian had his state tree climbing competition finals in State College.  The day of the competition happened to be on Naomi's birthday, so we just couldn't leave her home and decided to take her along for some special mom and dad time.  She was in her glory staying at a hotel, swimming in the pool, eating out and getting drinks at Starbucks.  The competition day is a long, and most of the time is spent waiting for the other guys to go, so we had some free time to ourselves until it was Christian's time to go.  He had a great climb and placed fourth over all. 

 A few weeks ago our state representative, Marci Toepel visited our 4-H alpaca farm and our club leaders asked me to bring the kids over to show her around.  She was very nice and was the least "political" politician I have ever met (not that I have met a lot).  The kids even said she was like a "normal person."  So it was a good lesson for us all.  Even politicians can be real people, too.  She invited us to come visit her in Harrisburg and get a tour, and I think we will take her up on that next school year.

Last week Asher got some sawdust in his eye and ended up with a scratched cornea.  He had to wear a patch for a few days until it healed.  He was embarrassed about it at first and didn't want to go out until he realized that it would be funny to have Aiden draw and eyeball on his patch.

He begged me all day long to take his picture with him in bed pretending to be asleep with his patch on.  He thought it would be so hilarious.  It is pretty funny now that I look at it.  He also got quite a few double takes from people when we were out and about, which kept me snickering.

This past Sunday was so beautiful, so we headed down to Morris Arboretum for a walk through the park with Christian.  This was our fourth time down there this year already and only the first time Christian was able to go with us besides Christmas time last year.  We had a lovely time of course.  The weather was absolutely perfect and we had fun exploring parts of the arboretum that we had never seen before, most notably the Japanese gardens that are off the beaten path.  The garden railway is fantastic as well and I highly recommend a visit even just to see that display.

And we finally got a family picture at our favorite tree.  And yay, everyone is looking and smiling!

I wish I didn't have to post all these events in one post, but if I don't then it won't get done at all and I like to have it all here for posterity.  Better to blog imperfectly than not to blog at all, I say.

Friday, May 30, 2014


We missed Lily's last heat (long, long story) so we would have had puppies right now if she had gotten pregnant, but we don't.  Boo hoo.  However having baby bunnies is proving to be just as, if not more, fun. 

Every night while we read now at least two baby bunnies are snuggling on someone's lap.  I just had to share their adorable fuzziness with you.  These pictures are mostly for you Denise.  ;)

Two are already sold, so there is only one left for whom we need to find a good home.  I don't think we will have any trouble though.  How can you possibly resist that cuteness?!  And they certainly will be friendly with all the handling they get.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Rock Climbing at Ralph Stover

Christian has been talking for a while about taking the kids rock climbing at Ralph Stover State Park and today he and a friend from church finally did it.  He had been hesitant to go on a weekend for fear of the crowds and not being able to get a decent climb, but it was surprisingly not crowded at all and they were able to set up at a really nice spot.

He took the four oldest kids and they had a blast.  We weren't sure how Asher would do, but he's a natural and thinks it is pretty much the "funnest thing ever!"

Aiden coming down.
"Is it my turn yet?"
Now that the kids know how much fun rock climbing is, I have a feeling it won't be too long before they are going again!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A brief update is better than none

I have been meaning to blog, I really have.  It just keeps getting put off because the longer I wait the more that happens and the less I know where to start.  I have to start somewhere though, so here we go.

Grace is still apprenticing at the Peter Wentz Farmstead and volunteered at the annual sheep sheering day in April.  She ended up at the tape loom weaving table, which she liked, but she did end up a bit bored because the lady she was apprenticing with was about 1000 years old and not exactly super helpful.

So she ended up wandering over the the popular egg scratching lady's table and had fun learning how to scratch eggs.  These are not wooden eggs but eggs dyed with red onion skins and carefully scratched with an exacto knife with beautiful patterns.  I like this idea for decorating Easter eggs much better than the modern way ,so this is how we did our eggs this year.  It was a lot of fun!  Apparently they will dry out inside and last forever as long as they don't get cracked.  

A couple weeks later we headed to Pennsbury Manor for their sheep shearing day.  We don't really care so much for the sheep shearing part since we have seen so much of it, but we do enjoy the colonial reenactment part.  Pennsbury Manor was interesting because it was much older than the Peter Wentz Farmstead, being that it was the home of William Penn.  It was beautiful property and such a lovely day right after that huge two day rain storm that we got.

Interestingly, I think this "joyner" guy was their favorite.  I think it was because he was the most interesting and was the best at explaining his craft.

We also extended our Morris Arboretum membership for another two years and have been down there twice this spring already.  I attempted to get a new header picture at our favorite state champion katsura tree, but it didn't turn out as good as last time due to poor lighting and poor child placement, so we will have to try again.  It is always a fun and relaxing time there though and they had an interesting birdhouse display going on around the garden that was fun for the kids.  I love how Morris keeps it educational for the kids with scavenger hunts and passbook stamps at different stations around the arboretum.

And back on the home front.  We bred our two rabbits and now have the most adorable baby bunnies.  I don't think I realized how adorable baby bunnies are, but they are so stinkin' cute I can't stand it!  

That's all for now!

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