Thursday, September 25, 2008

Mountain House Floor

Creative title, eh? The floor is stained at long last. It still needs a coat of poly.

I don't know if you can truly appreciate this floor without knowing what the before floor was. It was four layers of flooring saturated in pit bull pee. Vivid sensory experience, no? It looked kind of like an archaeological dig when Rich tore up the floor. Layer after layer of icky flooring. Culminating in rotten subfloor. Woo Hoo!

Yeah, this is better.

The landscaping efforts outside have begun.

We're not foolish enough to think we can make the entire two acres look tamed. We'll settle for the garden along the side of the house.

I feel like I understand our ancestors that hacked home sites out of the wilderness a bit better now.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Gettysburg Fall Family Fun

While it seemed like all I did for the last two weeks was glower at the computer and direct some colorful language its way, it's not true. To start with, Atlee's playing her first season of soccer.

A classic sign of the approaching autumn is the Gettysburg Heritage Festival. The festival is designed to celebrate and encourage diversity in our community. Lots of different food, music and activities for the kids. (As an aside, Atlee ate a hot dog and all three had ice cream. They didn't appreciate the opportunity to sample exotic food.) First, Atlee made a tissue paper windsock.

Then she looked at the reptiles and amphibians visiting from Strawberry Hill.

We moved onto the face painting. At first she declined. Then I pointed out she could have kitty whiskers. On her face. Kitty whiskers. She was quickly down with the plan.

Perhaps you were wondering if it was just Atlee. No, Shea and Greeley were along for the ride. Shea hid behind Greeley's stroller each time I tried to snap a shot of him. He relaxed his guard on the playground for a moment.
Can you see her kitty whiskers?

Greeley got a balloon. Well, each child received a balloon. Shea and Atlee requested uninflated balloons. The nice woman kept looking at them and then me. "Really? They want UNinflated balloons?"

It wasn't all partying. We've managed to work on the Mountain House too. Pictures soon. Pinky swear.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Did You Miss Us?

Because I certainly missed you. And you. And you. And even you. Our computer was consorting with some bad, bad web pages and picked up a computer transmitted disease. The sort of virus that does all sorts of evil things to not just the computer, but goes even further and dirties all of the dishes, leaves an empty milk jug in the fridge and eats the last of the jalepenos. Bad, bad virus. The computer has had a long time out and a serious talking to. A serious talking to with a computer expert. A serious talking to that required my writing a check for $200.00. Bad computer. So many pictures to post. Missed you!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

It's Long AND Rambling...

What's a good post if it's not long and rambling? Wait. Don't answer that.

I wanted to make some soup for a neighbor recently. She's a vegetarian though, so chicken noodle kind of went out the window. I started with an onion.

Atlee must have been distracted by the bright, shiny cable TV. She didn't come into the kitchen to beg any onion while I was chopping. I really wanted to say whilst I was chopping, but I thought it might sound a little contrived.

I got a little bored taking pictures of food on the cutting board. See how the carrots and garlic just magically jumped into the pot?

I continued on. Adding red pepper.

Mushrooms? Sure, why not?

Oh- look! Chopped spinach jumped into the pot, too. Right about here is when I started to think about adding bacon. If I ever want my husband to eat this, I had better add bacon to the ingredients. This time though- no bacon.

Instead, we add cubed tofu. Rich was out of town the last few days for work. He's happier if he's out of town when tofu's in the house.

Then I added some vegetable broth. Every time I've ever tried to make a good broth or stock, I've failed. I've given up. It's like pie crust. I know how it's supposed to work, but it just doesn't. After I added the broth, I figured the soup should simmer for a bit.

While the soup simmered, I looked around the kitchen and saw a few different things. First, did I mention Greeley's been sick the last few days? She's not quite her usual charming self.

Second, my sink was overflowing with the cooking efforts.

Third, I'm looking forward to replacing our kitchen cabinets some day.

I think they need to be replaced.

The microwave will be going away when the cabinets do. It won't be anytime soon. Someday.

The wall between the kitchen and dining room's going to go too.

While I waited for the soup to simmer, I realized I should bring a dessert to our other neighbor's house. She was having a few neighbors over for dinner. Did I already tell you I love this neighborhood? Anywho, I had a left over pie crust from the Labor Day breakfast shindig. (Remember, I can't make pie crust.) I also had some raspberries from the mountain house and plums from Uncle Michael.

Greeley heard we were going to the neighbor's house for pizza and cheered right up.

I told you this post was going to be long and rambling.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Not So Photogenic Family...

In the comments of the last post, Uncle Michael mentioned he wanted to see these pictures. I really figured nobody would ever want to see these pictures. Then I realized there's a certain humor in bad pictures. So, here we go.

Picture 1: The Atlee action shot. Rich and I were both looking into the sun (I think). Our eyes our closed in all of these pictures. This is not a Shea action shot.

Picture 2: Atlee's starting the previously mentioned meltdown. Shea looks like we just told him we're going to give his DS to some other kid. Rich and my eyes are still closed.

Picture 3: I can't explain the look on my face. My husband looks confused. Perhaps wondering how his wife talked him into bringing three kids to the Gettysburg Visitor's Center on a holiday weekend. Shea has given up all pretense of being interested in anything. Atlee may appear to be studying her hair, but she's really an 1/8 of an inch from losing control.

Greeley doesn't care what any of us is doing in any of the shots. Don't you love how you can almost feel the warm, fuzzy joy my children were emitting? This has been a round of the unphotogenic family. Hope you're happy, Uncle Michael.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Gettysburg Family's Great Labor Day Weekend, Including a Bad Trip to the Visitor's Center...

It was a good three day weekend around here, for the most part. Friday morning, neighbor Deb brought the kids donuts with their names in frosting. In frosting. You know it's going to be a good weekend if it starts with frosting.

But wait! There was even more excitement. Uncle Michael was coming to visit. I mentioned this to Atlee Wednesday night. For the next two days I heard a lot about how Uncle Michael would roll her into a taco when he was here. She was not disappointed.

After the rolling, there is the traditional taco toss. Greeley likes to help.

OK- So she's not really helping. But she's having fun too.

And Atlee was having a lot of fun. But the weekend couldn't be all fun, right? Because we're cruel, cruel parents we brought our herd of children to the new Gettysburg Visitor's Center.

I don't have any pictures of our visit though. It looked like a wonderful exhibit. What I saw of it, of course. Atlee dragged me by the hand, not interested in any of it. She wanted to get through it and get through it fast. She almost managed to make it through the experience. Almost. In the parking lot, there was a bit of a meltdown.
See how Shea in the foreground just watches Atlee in the background get in trouble. He knows she's not listening to Dad. He's telling her to stop, and she's not stopping. She's probably thinking something like, "What's he going to do?"

Carry her to the car. This was the low point of the weekend. It got better. It turns out our neighborhood has a Labor Day tradition. A tradition involving breakfast foods. All of the neighbors get together for a pot luck breakfast on Monday morning. Rich and neighbor John chat during breakfast.

We have a lot of neighbors.

I love our neighborhood.

The kids ate their chocolate covered donuts and headed out into the yard.

The weekend started and ended with donuts. That's a good weekend.