Monday, November 26, 2012

Giving Thanks for a Finished Deck!

So many big things happened this week.  The first was that I turned in my old car for a new (to us) minivan.  Yes, I am officially driving the "soccer mom" or "grocery getter" mobile...and I'm not ashamed. 

We traded in my 1998 Honda Accord as part of the van deal.  I've had this car for ten years and it's taken me to a lot of different places.  The official mileage at the end was 184,405.  The car had it's issues - the clear coat was peeling off, the windshield wiper switch was broken, it had some rust on the body, the CV boot was broken, etc., etc.  It's still a little sad that it's gone forever!

I forgot to take any pictures of the new van so hopefully I can post some next week.  We bought a 2008 Honda Odyssey Touring - so it has all the bells and whistles.  It will take me awhile to get used to it but I'm sure I'll love it.

On Wednesday morning I packed up the van and Samantha and I headed to Ohio for Thanksgiving.  Chris had to work on Wednesday and Friday so he just drove up for Thanksgiving Day.  We had a great time visiting with Chris' family.  Samantha got to spend some time with her cousin Zack and enjoyed all the attention.  Here are some photos from our visit:

The shirt that Samantha is wearing was made by me at a play date earlier in the week.  It isn't perfect but I did it in a hurry.  It was good enough for one day!

I went shopping on Black Friday and am happy to say that almost all my gifts are purchased (and over half are wrapped).  It was great being able to leave Samantha for a little while with the grandparents so that I could get it done. 

Friday afternoon Samantha and I traveled to Pennsylvania.  My hometown holds a "Light Up Night" the day after Thanksgiving every year.  They have a nice parade and all the small shops in town are open for the night and pass out cookies and hot drinks.  The parade always has a live nativity complete with camels.  It's a very unusual sight to have three camels walking down main street in the Pennsylvania countryside. 

It was very cold for the parade but Samantha was bundled (and very tired!).  She watched the parade and then got to sit on Santa's lap at the library. 

On Saturday we were able to go meet my cousin's son for the first time.  He was so small and adorable! 

We stayed to watch the Ohio State v. Michigan game.  Samantha was wearing her OSU outfit and was sitting with a Michigan fan!

Chris was able to finish up the deck on Sunday afternoon.  It is such an improvement over what was there when we bought the house. 


The food basket from the week included yogurt, bacon, eggs, bread, beef, chicken wings, onions, green peppers, cranberries, lettuce, beans, butternut squash, and apple butter.  Yummy!

Chris has been spending some time playing with our new camera.  Here are a few pictures from the week.

Samantha's weekly pictures - harder and harder to take!

We hope everyone had a very happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Dazzle Dashing

Chris worked to finish up the deck this weekendHe installed the railing on the stairs (a little challenging due to the angle required).  The deck is officially complete but we have a few boards to install to make it look nicer.  We wanted to put up extra rail sides so that it looks the same from inside and outside.  I didn't get to take good full deck pictures though...I'll try for next week.


The dresser that I worked on last weekend was very close - all it needed was some polyurethane and handles.  I was able to put on polyurethane but I still can't find the handles.  It's frustrating to be so close to finishing a project and be halted.

Early in the week I took Samantha to Port Discovery again with some of the moms in my group.  They had a great time again and Samantha was able to crawl all the way up the ramp three times.


We also met the moms, babies, and dads at the Dazzle Dash through the Christmas lights at Symphony Woods.  It was a great time!

Our basket this week contained milk, rolls, hot sausage, monk fish, cheese, peach preserves, sweet potatoes, apples, kale, spinach, broccoli, and the largest portabella mushrooms that I've ever seen. 

The Baltimore Sun was doing an article on the company where we get our food so they asked if I would be interviewed.  I talked to the journalist on Wednesday and just thought she'd use a quote.  It turns out that the whole beginning of the article was about us.  You can read it here:  Friends & Farms

Chris dressed Samantha on Saturday for the OSU v. Wisconsin game - she is cute even when dressed in scarlet and gray. 

Lately she seems to love stuffed animals and in particular her bunny.  She even wanted to take it with her when we went to pick up the food and when she was in her high chair.  Tucker also thinks that it's his and was using it as a pillow today.  Let's hope that they don't fight over it!

I still need to put up her weekly pictures but I'll do it soon!  We hope everyone has a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Three Day Weekend!!

We had an actual three day weekend due to Veteran's Day.  We needed to buy some additional materials for the deck and they needed to dry a bit first.  So we still have to install the railing for the stairs before it's complete. 

I did get to refinish a dresser that has been in the basement for a long, long time.  It had some issues but nothing that a little wood glue and wood filler couldn't fix.

After a good sanding and cleaning, it was ready to prime and paint.

It has a lot of great detail on it so I glazed it as well.  It really makes it look much better.  The glaze takes 8 hours to dry so we had to move it inside before the cold rain hit.  It needs a good coat of polyurethane and the handles before I can use it for my craft items.  

Chris has been playing around with our new camera...plenty pictures of Tucker and Samantha!



It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is next week!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

First Halloween and Camping Trip!

This was a big week for us.  It started with Hurricane Sandy.  Fortunately we only had a couple branches fall and we didn't lose power at all.  But Chris was home for an extra two days so we were able to accomplish some things inside.  The biggest (and most annoying) was going through all of our clothes.  We have four huge garbage bags full to donate - it's so nice to get rid of things that someone else can use!

Once the hurricane had passed, it was Halloween!  We went around to some of the neighbors just to say "Hi!" and they all thought Samantha looked adorable.  I made her "ear of corn" costume and didn't have a pattern so it has some issues (trying to fit something on a baby while they're crawling away is not easy).  At least people could identify it.




A couple carved pumpkins and we were ready to celebrate!


We tried to get some pictures of Samantha with the pumpkin but it was quite challenging.  These are the best of the bunch.

We decided to brave the cold weather and went camping with friends.  Samantha's friend Charlie and his parents invited us to go to a local campground (in case the babies weren't so keen on it).  It was fun - we hiked, sat around the campfire, and ate s'mores.  It got really cold (37 degrees) at night so Samantha was snuggled up in my sleeping bag.  Hopefully the next camping trip will be warmer!

When we got back from camping on Sunday, we started working on the stairs to the deck.  They aren't finished yet but pretty close.  While Chris was working on those, I assembled our furniture.  

The food baskets are getting into the fall/cold weather foods.  This week we had apple cider, pumpkin bread, milk, chevre cheese, pork, chicken, collards, Brussels sprouts, potatoes, onions, green peppers, and pears. 

As we watch Samantha grow we have noticed that she's showing interest in some things that could be potential careers.  

Future entrepreneur???

 Future teacher???

Future mechanical engineer???

I guess only time will tell!!

Here are a few other pictures from the week:

Maybe next week we can reveal the completed deck (minus paint/stain)!