Monday, September 29, 2008


Don't tell Meredith that Jesse was playing with her most special treasures...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Fall is Here!

Yesterday I was reading one of my favorite blogs, and I was reminded that fall is most definitely here. Even though I'm already missing summer, I am ready for fall. Just a few things I love about fall...
  • Crisp evenings
  • Bonfires
  • Combine rides during harvest
  • Football games
  • Sweatshirts, jeans and tennis shoes
  • Homemade apple cider
  • Hay rides
What are your favorite things about fall?

Yesterday was Johnny Appleseed day for Meredith's kindergarten class. They all brought a few apples, had taste tests, and then made applesauce. In talking with my mom, she informed me that you can make applesauce or apple butter in a crock pot. Who knew? I was so excited that I picked some apples off her apple tree and started some apple butter this morning.

My mom let me borrow the most awesome invention ever: an apple peeler, corer, and slicer all in one. What a difference that made in the preparation! It took me just under an hour from start to finish (and that even includes clean up time.)

Now the apples are cooking away in the crock pot, and I can hardly wait for some homemade apple butter tonight! I also can't wait for the yummy cinnamon apple smell that will await me as I come home from work this afternoon! Now I just need to make some homemade bread to go with the apple butter - OK, so I just need to go to the bakery to buy some homemade bread!

Happy Fall!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Final Days in New York

We are back home and trying to get back into the routine of things, but I wanted to post some pictures from our final days in New York. Yes, there are tons-o-pictures. I promise this is the last batch of NY pictures...or at least, I think it's the last batch!We felt so groovy driving through Woodstock. This is one of the more stereotypical Woodstock businesses - but it did seem to be a town with a free-thinking personality!
We found an Ikea in New Jersey that was on our way from NYC to the Catskills. So of course we had to make a trip there on Saturday! That's the first time I've walked out of an Ikea with only 1 bag and a bill less than $50 - and I've been to Ikea a lot of times!

Sunday morning we packed everything up, left our resort and drove back to the city. This is us eating our breakfast on a park bench in the median of a divided street on the Upper West Side (don't I sound like a native New Yorker saying Upper West Side???)

We went to the Manhattan Children's Museum, and had a lot of fun. It was the neatest children's museum. 4 floors of things to do - some were for Meredith's age and others were for Jesse's age. The 2nd floor had a Dora and Diego exhibit. Considering Meredith loves both Dora and Diego (she wants to be Dora for Halloween) this was awesome for her.

There were so many cars and trucks at the museum that the kids could play in. And I believe Jesse had to try each and every seat out at each and every vehicle! This was a firetruck complete with lights, fire hose, fireman outfits, and a speaker from the outside to the inside.

This was a city bus.

There were things to climb around in - they had tunnels, slides, steps, bridges, everything you could think of.

This was my view for the first 20-30 minutes when we got there. Jesse headed straight for the sand table, and didn't want to leave to see anything else. That was of course before he saw the firetruck.
There was a water area where the kids could play with water toys in these tubs. There were also a couple other really cool water features that I didn't get pictures of.

On our way back to the parking garage...

The Brooklyn Bridge!

Monday morning we got up early, fought rush-hour subway traffic from our hotel in Brooklyn, and went to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

Meredith was so excited about seeing the Statue of Liberty. We didn't go into the museum at the base of the statue - maybe next time when our kids are older.

Yes, Meredith is the tiny pink blob - I took one picture like this of her standing right in front of the base, and you can hardly see any pink, much less tell that it is a person!

I think Jesse is laughing. Yeah, we'll just say that he is laughing and not crying!

Chasing after the pigeons and picking up their feathers.

Ellis Island. What an incredible museum! I would love to go there and spend more time. As it was, we were all really tired of walking by then, so we didn't see too much of the museum itself.

This was in Battery Park after getting off the ferry.
Yes, that guy is doing a flip over at least 5 people.

And that was our trip in a nutshell. OK, so it's not really in a nutshell, but you get the idea. We flew home on Monday night. I won't say much about it except that I have never been so angry - I was livid, actually - at an airline and airport as I was on Monday night. We made it home OK though. The kids did great on the trip. Especially considering that on Monday alone, we rode 4 subway cars, 2 shuttle buses, 1 city bus, 3 ferry rides, 4 airplane rides, and then our van ride home. I think we had all modes of transportation covered on Monday, what do you think?

Anyway. I hope I haven't scared you away from the blog because of all the pictures! We had an absolute blast in New York, and Kent and I both agreed that we haven't laughed as much as we did in that week for a long, long time. It was not always the most restful vacation, but it was a vacation nonetheless.

Friday, September 19, 2008

New York Day 5

Today we had a day filled with shopping, walking, sightseeing and of course afternoon napping (although today was the first afternoon that Jesse took a nap but I didn't!!) We went to the Saugerties, NY lighthouse. The lighthouse is accessible only by boat or by a 10-15 minute walk, and it was a nice little walk to the very picturesque lighthouse. And before you ask, yes, I was snap-happy with the camera!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Hairspray and Yankees

We had a great time in New York City yesterday. It was definitely a jam-packed day, but we still had a good time. I hope I don't bore you with all the pictures - this is just a taste of what our day was like yesterday...
Times Square Toys-R-Us: there is a huge ferris wheel in the middle of the 4-story store!
O Humanity!

Naked Cowboy singing in Times Square...

To say that Hairspray was awesome would be an understatement. Meredith and I absolutely loved the entire show. It was such a true Broadway musical - 2.5 hours jam-packed with singing, dancing, costumes and big hair. Seriously, what more could you ask for?

Yummy stadium supper - hotdog and pop (I mean soda - no one knows what I'm talking about when I ask for a pop...)

Look Mommy - I see a big balloon in the sky (a.k.a. the blimp). Our seats at the Yankee game weren't the highest row - but there were only 2 more rows above us! The game ended up being a good one for the Yankees - unfortunately we had to leave just as they were making their big comeback. It was still pretty cool to be in "the House that Ruth built." Yup, that's right, it's about a mile straight down to the field! When the grounds crew comes out in the 6th inning to drag the field, they play "YMCA" and the crew actually dances to the song while dragging the field!