Thursday, September 30, 2010

Odds and Ends.

Guess which family member is having a friend? family member? sleep over for a couple of days?

He was horrified when his guest stole his bone. She's also competing for the space under Emerson's high chair. It's a popular piece of real estate among the canines.

As for her? She's waiting at the top of the stairs for her parents to come home. You know, the ones that feed her from the table and let her sleep in bed with them.

In other news, Greeley told me she doesn't need me any more the other day. Why all the new-found independence? She got herself a carrot from the fridge, grabbed the peeler, and got to it.

And the last photo? The Gettysburg Family purchased a new dining room table last week. Uncle Michael asked me to take a picture of it- so I did.

Atlee was our model. See how well the table supports her elbows?

And luckily enough? The new table is spacious enough to accommodate two large dogs under it.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Gettysburg Family at the Lincoln Diner

I seem to be going backwards chronologically through our weekend.

Before we went to visit Alpacas, we all got up bright and early to go out to breakfast Sunday morning. And when I say bright and early, I mean we were out the door by 7:00 to hit the Lincoln Diner. We wanted to beat the Sunday morning crowd and I'm happy to report our crazy method worked. Rich did wonder if some of the drunks from Saturday night would still be there. There weren't any.

So, not wanting to blind the other patrons, I turned the flash off on my camera. Which led to blurry pictures.

Shea's hair looks a little blurry here, but that was just bed head. But since he doesn't like to sleep in his bed- but rather on his floor- does that mean he has floor head?

Atlee was cheery so early in the morning. Atlee's always cheery.

Emerson was excited that there was food on the horizon.

So excited- he was a blur of flailing arm movement.

Greeley too. What could have Greeley so excited?

Oh, a mountain of whipped cream.

The spoiled monkeys all had not one, but two!, cups of hot chocolate a piece.

Atlee also had pancakes with whipped cream. No wonder she was so cheery.

Greeley looks so serious, but she was happy too.

Whipped cream is one of the food groups, isn't it?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Gettysburg Family and a Herd of Alpacas.

OK, so it wasn't the whole Gettysburg Family. It was the girls and Emerson. But if you think I'm using the phrase Gettysburg Girls in a post title, you're nuts. I don't get a lot of that type of traffic around here and I'd like to keep it that way.

So, did you know Sunday was National Alpaca Farm Days? The girls and I eagerly look forward to this day each year. I love alpacas. If our home owners association would let me have livestock or even, say, a fence, I'd have a herd of these puppies next week. But, they won't. So, I don't. So, instead, each year, the girls and I head out to Alpacas of Gettysburg to participate in a little alpaca awareness.

The girls were so excited, they were shoving each other to be first.

First stop? Bait, er, food for the alpacas.

We had a little talk on the way in about using quiet voices and not chasing the animals. Let's just say that the talk was not directed at Atlee.

She tried to convince me this guy would fit in the car. Well, maybe I tried to convince her. Well, maybe I never said it out loud and I tried to convince myself. Who really remembers the pesky details on these things.

This is the shot where they both realized they walked through a pile of alpaca poo, right after I said, "Don't walk through that pile of alpaca poo."

Chubs was trapped in the back pack again. Don't feel sorry for him because he didn't get to feed an alpaca. He gets to feed the dog often enough. Too often. On last Friday, the vet said Wilson has apparently gained 16 pounds during the last two months.

I think the herd was actually a little full from all of the excited kids offering them food. It became a bit of a challenge to find a hungry alpaca.

So, when luring them with food stopped working, Greeley went for a head on approach. She really wanted to pet these babies. Fortunately, for the babies, they were faster than she was. I don't think she remembered our talk about not chasing the alpacas once the babies were there in front of her.

After we fed the herd of alpacas, the owners were kind enough to feed our herd of girls some chips and soda. (This is the part that Shea was sad he missed the visit to the alpaca farm. "What? There was soda? You didn't tell me there'd be soda!")

And cheesie poofs too.

Do you think the neighborhood would believe we have a herd of, er pack or, a mix between a Great Dane and an Old English Sheep Dog? Me either.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Gettysburg Family Goes Ghost Hunting

So, last Friday we went out to eat at Appalachian Brewing Company. It was yummy, but that's not the point of this post. While we were waiting for a table (because hello? How did Rich and I fail to not realize that we roll as a family of six and need to call ahead?), Rich took the kids outside to burn off some energy.

From the front of ABC, you can see the Lutheran Seminary and the battlefields that were the setting for day one. While my friend Gretchen and her boys were here last summer, she took Atlee and her boys on a ghost tour. Part of the ghost tour told the story of how they had to clear all of the dead bodies so that Lee could set up camp. However, there wasn't time to bury them, so they stacked them in a barn. Apparently, a Confederate soldier was still alive and buried under all of the dead bodies, but nobody could hear his yells for help because there was a war going on around him. After the battle ended, somebody heard him, they pulled him out still alive- but then he died. Or so the story goes. (This website says the barn burned down later. I guess Rich was off base in going to the other barn. This is why we are silly locals and not ghost tour operators.) And Atlee has long been intrigued by this story.

Enough introduction for you?

Anywho, Rich decided to head out to a barn on the battlefield that you can see from ABC to see if we could hear any ghosts. Shea, Emerson and I decided to protect the car. We're brave like that.

Who's got baby toes? Who's got baby toes? Emerson's got baby toes. Who's got baby toes? Emerson's got baby toes.

Um, sorry.

I did realize I had the camera with me, and decided to take a few pictures.

When I saw that one up above, I was all, "Look! Look at all of those orbs! This place IS a paranormal jackpot! It's not just marketing to tourists!" Then I realized the van window was just filthy.

All of my camera flashes did manage to scare the two brave little girls who had gone off to explore the haunted barn in the dark with their father though. They came back to the safety of the van.

Here's where she gave me an earful for daring to scare her on her ghost hunt.

But. I took one last picture. Do you see the orb? Because I do. Aaaaaand the window was down.

What? You don't take the family ghost hunting on a Friday night?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Saturday Night Fever.

Are you even here to read this comment or did the cuteness overload kill you dead? Other wedding pictures to follow. Pinky swear.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I looked at a horse's butt, not like one.

So, as Uncle Michael mentioned, the grown up ladies and I went horseback riding on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend. Let me reintroduce you to our cast of characters.

Miss Kerri.* She'd never ridden a horse before.

Miss Amy.* Like me, she used to ride a lot- but it's been a while. Is calling ten years a while an understatement?

This is Miss Tammy, Amy's sister. She's ridden before.

So, Amy planned all of this for us. She'd been wanting to do it for awhile. I guess on Friday evening the ladies were discussing and planning other possible future activities like tattoos, sky diving, and pole dancing lessons. I don't know about all of that- but was happy to get in on the horseback riding.

Amy planned the riding trip for us. She called Elk Mountain Trails ** in Knoxville, MD and made the arrangements. We were a little surprised when we got there to learn Amy was afraid when she met her horse.

So very scared, in fact, she had to make a run to the ladies' room.

She was even looking kind of hesitant when she found out that was a dog and she'd be riding an actual horse. Can you see Tammy in the background? She's cool with it all. You can tell because she's giving the horse next to Amy bunny ears above the butt.

They even tricked Kerri into getting up on a horse before she could run away screaming.

It was a good thing she didn't run away. She fell in love with her horsey companion, Rusty. Although, judging by how far up his butt my horse, Max, was, I guess he's already in an exclusive relationship.

I tried to get some pictures while we were on the trails. I was going for Amy, but I got her equine escort, Rawhide. Yes, she did sing it for awhile.

Then I got the diagonal picture, which I thought was awesome when I took pictures when I was six years old.

Ah, much better. (It was taken after we had stopped. See how level it is?)

I'll even include a shot of me, although natural light's not doing me any favors here.

Amy was still a little giddy after the ride I think.

And then on the ride home, I got a picture of a coal car. Know why? Because after four kids, I saw a train car full of coal and was all Thomas! It's going to the Isle of Sodor to see Mr. Conductor. But, the trains on tv are a lot prettier. So, maybe- just maybe- not everything I see on TV is true. I'm not prepared for the implications with the Real Housewives of Wherever.

Maybe I'm in for tattoos and pole dancing.

* Everyone around here calls ladies in activities Miss First Name. Shea's teachers at Montessori are Miss so and so. I mocked this when I moved here five years ago. I argued it should be Ms. Last Name. I now comply with this very odd social norm.

**We were not compensated at all for this post. But if they want to kick me down some free rides, I will reiterate what an awesome time we all had and how great all the girls working the ride were. Oh, OK, I'll say all that without the free rides. We had a good time.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I guess I do remember how to do this afterall...

Do you hear all that whining around here?

"I miss Uncle Michael."

"When's Uncle Michael coming back?"

"Why did Uncle Michael have to go home?"

And the kids are even worse.

So, since I have to hold my own fussy babies and post my own blog posts, I might as well get to it, I suppose. There is a considerable back log of pictures on the camera.

A few weeks ago, before school started, I took Atlee on a special trip. You know how special it was? It was just Mommy and Atlee. Which meant Atlee had to buckle herself- which sometimes takes a little while.

So, I took a picture of myself and the empty seats and Atlee buckling herself into her seat. See my smile? That's because we were going for Mommy and daughter pedicures.

No pictures of the process- because we were too busy enjoying ourselves. But, here are happy Atlee toes....with silver racing stripes. Why, yes, they do make her faster. Thank you for asking.

A new version of Name that Offspring, perhaps? Who do these blue eyes belong too?

And you wouldn't think it was me posting if there wasn't a picture of my dog, right? He matches the new floor.

Another summer activity off the check list: mini golfing.

We were uncomfortable with the idea of Greeley being armed with a metal stick. Luckily, Mulligan MacDuffer's had an alternative for her.

Who won? We don't know. We didn't keep score at all.

But they all had fun.

I realized I'm digging on the pink lately. Or so says my recently polished toes, choice of flip flops and choice of golf balls. My mom will tell you I hated pink in my youth.

And I know, I know. Needs more chubs. Here you are.

Stay tuned for more summer adventures, including the wedding which required the return of the matching sun dresses and Mommy goes horseback riding.

Unless we talk Uncle Michael into coming back. Then I'll be the one sitting on the couch doing nothing but eating bon bons and watching bad realty, PBS.