Monday, June 30, 2008

cousins and concerts

Wow! We have been so busy having fun, I have not had time to write and fill you in. Cousins were here for the weekend and they have grown a lot since the last time we were together. Cousins are so much fun and we never want them to go. We always wish we lived closer so these times could happen more frequently. We will miss you and can't wait until the next time.

Beyond cousins our time has been spent in the park and taking in concerts (and sometimes the concert is in the park). Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, Chamber Ensemble, Show Tunes, Symphony Orchestras, etc.

Today we were in Valle Crucis Park. Kids played in shorts and t-shirts, I wore a sweatshirt and sat in the sun.

Tonight, after our concert, we tried to go to the park and play. It was 58 degrees and windy and because everyone was too cold, we simply could not stay.

Friday, June 27, 2008


Happy Birthday MOM!
I wish you were here with us. Today we had lunch in the park.
The evening activity tonight was a concert on the lawn.
Unfortunately, this was cut short due to rain.
Tonight is cool after the rain.
I hope you had a wonderful day.
Coming soon to a mailbox near you......... 6 lovely napkins embroidered and ironed by your grandchildren. Enjoy! xxxooo

Thursday, June 26, 2008

a few of our favorite things

Forgot to post last night due to getting a little flustered. Finished my first sewing project, a shirt for me. Many times I heard the question, "Who's that for Mom?".
Well, that would not be correct. When I finished and tried it on, it did not fit me. Some friend will be blessed with a shirt just like mine. A friend who is smaller that is.
Today the sewing continued, and after a few modifications, the end result was well......fitting.
Desperately needing new bathing suits, $20.00? (Haven't gone to get them yet.)
Playing in the river for hours, priceless.
The beauty that surrounds us, endless.

Bandana shorts for Caleb, sewn by him.
Today included a trip, to another of our favorite places here, the library. We signed up for summer reading and the rewards have already started coming. Everyone is suddenly a bookworm.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Sweet Summer Days

The children went with grandparents to their beloved Valle Crucis Park. I did not go so I that I could get the last blog posted. It only took five hours but, yeah!, it is finished. No pictures of the park since I did not join them; not to worry since we frequent this place the entire time we are here, pictures will come in time.
Along with blogging was the much planned for sewing projects I have been so looking forward to.
Fabric, for the girl quilts, has been washed and folded. (the pictures do not show true colors)

Fabric, for my shirts has been washed, ironed and cut out.

There has also been time for reading, drawing and painting.

I even heard the keyboard as light began to fade over the mountain.

Artist Anonymous

The night is cool and pleasant. Sweet dreams

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Back On Line and Somewhat Rested

Friday, June 13, 2008 continued..........
An afternoon of resting and recovering from the accident in the street; we stayed at the apartment in Woodside. We watched several Walton’s (a favorite past time at our house) and leisurely got ready to go into the city. We took the trip into Manhattan, and Jacob, Seth and I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, while Dad, Caleb, Hannah and Rebekah went to FAO Schwartz, and American Girl Store. We all met back up and had Chinese and pizza take out for dinner in Rockefeller Center. Seth and I waited for Jacob at the Hyatt in Grand Central Station until 12:30am only to find out he had already taken the subway back to Queens.

The best priced items in NYC are the dollar iced tea and ice cream cones at McDonalds. We had this treat quite a few nights while there.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
The morning began very early at the Early Show on CBS. This was one of the highlights of our trip. The boys and I went with the Orchestra to be the audience for the show. As it turned out, we were the entire audience. Due to the death of Tim Russert, we are guessing the large morning show crowd was over at NBC and therefore the crowd where we were was...just us. This allowed for much interaction with the anchors of the show and we were grateful for their friendliness and easy accessibility. Caleb got a ball thrown by one of the Manning brothers to him while he was over across the street with the weather anchor. Jacob left with the Orchestra, while the other boys and I lingered and conversed with the weather and news anchor. They were so nice and happy that we wanted to stick around. We also got to meet Kerry Butler, the lead singer in Xanadu, a Broadway play.
As all this excitement was ending, while the first set of grandparents and an aunt were arriving in the city. We met them at their hotel and had breakfast together.

Dad and the girls arrived shortly after and, of course, we headed for Times Square. After checking out the discount tickets, Seth decided to see Mama Mia with his grandmother and Aunt, and he had a great time. The rest of us did the M&M store and ToysRUs. We all took the subway together to Chinatown for Seth’s birthday dinner and I was so glad his birthday was finally over. Due to all the traveling and preparations this birthday has been celebrated for a month. I know for him it was fun. The rain was coming down so hard we could ring out our clothes. We wish the weather had been better because there was no shopping and lingering in the city, after dinner we headed for the subway. All 10 of us crammed onto an elevator with a little Asian woman and another couple. As we were getting on, a man just outside the elevator who had been begging for money began to yell obscenities. We could not get the door closed fast enough and when it was finally closed everyone felt releived. For the first time in what seemed like a very long time we felt safe and dry. After a couple of silent moments, a small voice out of no where said, “Can someone please push the button so we can go somewhere?”. This was followed by much laughter and lightheartedness. This was from the couple from California. We may still be there if she had not suggested we get moving. We were very tired from lack of sleep, being up for the Early Show, and headed back to the apartment so we would be rested for our last full day in the city.

Sunday, June 15, 2008
Happy Father’s Day to all dads! Today is finally here. We have been waiting for this Carnegie moment since the first of November and now it is here. Jacob had a busy day with dress rehearsals, meetings, sightseeing and eating. The orchestra began the day at Carnegie Deli for brunch, continued on to The Museum of Natural History, returned to the hotel for meetings, a snack, to get dressed and were transported by bus to Carnegie for dress rehearsal.

Getting ready for the show on the corner of 7th and 55th. You would think someone could have prepared better. We have flewn by the seat of out pants for most of this trip. New York is a place where people take care of mainly themselves so you must think outside the box when taking care of others is necessary.
The show began at 8:30 and was wonderful. I was so happy that we were blessed to all be there, including our parents, brother and sister. What an experience, the building is beautiful and the sound like no other building they have ever performed in. We had front row balcony seats and decided there is not a bad seat in the house. We could see Jacob clearly and greatly enjoyed the show.
After the show we headed for the sidewalk out front for family photos. We recruited a guy that kept us in stitches while talking our pictures. When we had had enough of the flashes we moved over a couple of blocks to a great little deli for pizza, bagels, dessert, coffee and just about anything else you could want. The prices were reasonable, and they were open all night. After finishing there about 12:30am we headed for the subway. At our first stop the gates were closed and locked. We headed for the next stop and realized our subway passes had expired; it was after midnight (now day 8) on our 7 day passes. We made our way back to the street and began the very long walk for the Hyatt. We did this because dad wanted us to all stay together and Jacob had to go back to the hotel room to gather his belongings. This would have required an additional cost to leave the station and then re-enter to head to Queens. SO, we walked.

We finally arrived home at 2:30am and, feeling wide awake, continued packing. At this point we thought we could possibly pack and leave the city before rush hour. At about 4am, I decided this would not be possible, went to bed and got up early the same morning. We rolled out about 9:45.

Monday, June 16, 2008.
One final ride through the city and we headed south east for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
When we pulled into Philly, the first thing we saw was a huge building with William Penn on top. It was a great building and the kids were so happy to recognize it from the movie National Treasure. Too bad this great building was the current City Hall and not historical. Not all was a total loss. When we got to this current city hall it was set up for a press conference and a ribbon cutting ceremony so the street could be temporarily renamed Road to Beijing. All this was to kick off the Olympic Trails for gymnastics. We had fun watching the gymnasts and sighting Bella Karolyi in the crowd.
We headed back to the car, lost all the parking time we had paid for on the meter, and headed to the historic area. We were too late to get passes to Independence Hall and so went to see the Liberty Bell.
We went from the bell, to the visitor’s center, to find out how to get to Betsy Ross’s house. The girls and I headed for the Ross house, stopping for a minute at Benjamin Franklin’s grave. We really enjoyed the house and gift shop. Dad called to let us know He and the boys had made it into Independence Hall after. This was due to tickets being issued to guests for the 4:30 entrance time and then not showing up. The girls and I raced to the car to add money to the meter and head for the Hall. We made it into the square to see the copies to the U.S. Constitution, Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights. We were just waiting on the guys when a man opened the door to the hall. The girls and I made it into the hall acting as though we were supposed to be there. Boy were Dad and the boys surprised to see us. We also got to see the first Supreme Court courtroom. All of these buildings are just beautiful. They are woodwork and architecture supreme. We circled the city and could not find a street vendor selling anything other than smoothies and fruit. Is everyone on a diet? Where are the philly-cheesesteaks?? After heading for the business district, and no luck there, we went to the shopping district. We finally found a deli advertising cheese-steaks. We bought two, split them between us and they really were great!
We left Philly thinking we had seen enough and do not need to return. The city is filthy, the people unfriendly, the monuments non-viewable, and history rewritten to satisfy an agenda. What a shame.

I did make it down Elfreth's Street, a sweet little lane of the oldest residential dwellings in the country. For just a split second, I thought it would be nice to live there.
We now began the trip to Lancaster County, arriving there about 8:30pm.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008
We slept in today. We are staying on a dairy farm with beautiful surrounding views.
We went to Intercourse, PA, to the Amish canning kitchen and spent a very long time tasting and watching the Amish women can. We then took a leisurely trip through the countryside, enjoying the beautiful large Amish farms. We continued to Paradise and had dinner at Dienners, an eatery owned by an Amish family. They serve a reasonably priced buffet and travelers and locals alike frequent. The food was good and filling. This was the closest thing to home cooking we have had since leaving home and that was nice. After dinner we returned to the farm for milking and feeding the cows. This is a long process that we found fun and relaxing to watch. Later, Jacob and I headed out about dusk in search of coffee cups and snacks. It was still light out and we noticed right away that everything, including gas stations, was already closed. We went through Strasburg, a quaint little township, filled with historic homes, the railroad and small shops. We did notice lots of people on the street eating ice cream from the creamery, and made a mental not to self that we may have to visit there. Everyone was in bed early, watching the Celtics win the NBA finals.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008 Today was an unplanned day of rest. We are just too tired to keep going. I do not think Lancaster was a great choice for our entire family. Please don’t misunderstand, it is beautiful here and, had we not arrived after a week in NYC and exhausted, we may have done better. My fascination with Amish, Mennonite and Plain people has been nurtured, and I hope to one day return here without my children. They do not have the same curiosity and interest that I do and this is just not the time in their life for this. So, we rested and the children played on this beautiful farm we are staying on.
We traveled to Strasburg for dinner with some dear friends and neighbors from home. Yes that’s right, our neighbors from home are here with family and they had us over for a BBQ. They treated us to red beat eggs and whoopee pies, two geographical foods. After dinner we went for a walk following the creek to the covered bridge. There used to be an old mill next to the bridge, I bet that was beautiful. Lancaster is very much like Boone, NC. I am not sure how to describe it, it just is. The land is rolling hills and farm after farm. Add farms to Boone and it would look much like it does here. One of my favorite things to see here is Amish laundry. For someone who finds hanging out laundry therapy, I find laundry on a line pretty as a picture. No, I did not manage to get even one picture of laundry hanging. The Amish hang it on a pulley system from their back stoop to the top of their barn. I guess they do this to keep it high and out of the way and so they have an extra long line. I may have to find a tall tree when I get home.

Thursday, June 19, 2008
Hershey, Pennsylvania……the sweetest place on earth. Today we traveled to Hershey Park, arriving at 10am. We began with a tour through the chocolate factory, finishing with a piece of chocolate, yum. We went with our friends from home and therefore everyone had a buddy with the same level of interests in rides. We experienced wooden roller coasters for the first time and they are unique. If you continue to ride them over and over, you will get a headache from clanging over the track. We closed the park and 10pm, did all that we wanted, including the last carousel ride for Rebekah. Hoping this fulfills all amusement park desires for a long time to come.

Friday, June 20, 2008
Today we are moving slow. As we travel on, we seem to just get slower and slower. We had to call for a late check out after closing Hershey Park. We headed west out of town for Gettysburg. It took about an hour and a half to get there and we were overwhelmed when we arrived. Where to start? There are so many choices and ways to approach this wonderful historic place. We decided to start in the brand new museum that has just opened in the last month. We spent two hours here and did not have nearly enough time to finish. We moved to the very crowded book store and gift shop and overwhelm certainly did not get any better. After consulting an employee we settled on the two and half hour dramatized audio tour of the battlefield. This was a good choice for our family and we thought we could accomplish it in the amount of time we had available. We were doing great when a huge storm blew up just as we arrived on Little Big Top. This was the turning spot in the battle. We would have liked more time to stand on this spot, and look down over Devil's Den, but the rain did not allow for this. We did not get to Devil's Den at all and that was disappointing. We finished up at 5:30 hoping this would not be the last we see of Gettysburg, we definitely want to come back.

We left the sweet little town of Gettysburg, headed south for Boone, NC without a plan.
After some quick calculations and family discussion we decided to attempt to make it to Boone tonight. Expected time of arrival 2a.m.

Saturday June 21, 2008
We made it to Boone early this mourning and slept in until about 10:30. Everyone is happy to be here and the weather is is after all summer in Boone.
The children went with Grandparents to Todd, for music in the park, to hear Amantha Mills perform from 2~4. Dad and I went to Makotos for Japanese dinner, our favorite restaurant. More resting and game playing, Scrabble tonight.

Sunday, June 22, 2008
We went to a sweet little church we like. The praise and worship was great, the preaching hitting home, and the people, as always, friendly. The kids and I will attend the next couple of weeks as well.
We went to Horn in the West, an outside drama on the settling of Boone during the Revolutionary War, it was a great performance. We wore hoodie sweatshirts and still had to wrap up in blankets. Now that's a treat during the summer. We arrived home at 11pm and went straight to bed.

Monday, June 23, 2008
Today is a travel day for Dad. Someone has to return home to work and take care of things at home. His flight leaves late tonight.
Caleb is sick with a stomach bug we are hoping he does not share and that will pass quickly.
We had a family lunch, everyone but Caleb, and then Dad and I started the couple of hour trip down the mountain to the airport. We had dinner in this great little Italian restaurant, the food was fantastic. I left him at the airport with just enough time to make it to the fabric store. I am happy to have some free time to work on some great projects I have been wanting to get to.

Thank you for your patience with my lack of posts. I am finally to date and should be able to post daily. Have a blessed day!