Tuesday, December 7, 2010

christmas 2010

Shining Snowflakes Christmas Card
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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Downtown Tree Lighting

We attended downtown Oneonta's annual Christmas tree lighting festivities, and Graham certainly was full of the holiday spirit!
The kids got to meet Blitzen who made the long trip up with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

(Blitzen and Graham apparently have the same attitude when it comes to smiling for pictures!)

There were free horse drawn wagon rides...

and the store windows had live dancers!
Killian and Graham were mesmerized by the twirling beauties.

(Later, as we're getting ready for bed, Graham asked us if the dancers could come over to our house. He specifically asked for the purple dress lady below. I guess she made an impression!)

We then stopped into the Historical Society to see what they had going for the holiday.
They have restored a player piano that was originally built by a company right here in Oneonta back in the early 1900's and I was glad to see that some of the Christmas rolls I had donated were out to be enjoyed. It's been awhile since I had mine, but it felt good to get back on the bench again, and before long a crowd had gathered behind us to sing carols. (Funny side note, Killians mom Erika saw me at the piano and was stunned to hear me play so beautifully!)
Look Ma, no hands!

They were also exhibiting an interactive electric train display that I think was the highlight of Grahams evening.

Soon it was time to go, but there are still a lot more things to do before Christmas arrives!

It really is something special to relive the magic of the season through Graham's eyes.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Canadian Pacific Holiday Train 2010

The Canadian Pacific Train came to Oneonta again this year. It's a fun event that really gets you in the spirit of giving. The train pulls into town all decked out in Christmas lights for a special concert right on the tracks. They encourage attendees to bring a donation for the local foodbank and Canadian Pacific also makes a monetary donation at each stop along their trip.

Graham enjoyed the music this year (last year was just too loud). But the highlight was getting to say hello to the big man in the red suit.

Santa gave candy canes to all the kids and made quite an impression on Graham. Here he's too busy enjoying his treat to pose with the adorable Harter trio...

After the show, we rushed home to watch the train pass by from our back yard. Here you'll see a glum little boy say goodbye to Santa as he pulls out of town.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Holiday Decorating

It's that time of year again when 58 Hudson gets ready for it's annual Christmas display! My Nemesis down the street had his decorations up the day after Halloween, but we like to take a bit more time to plan, especially because this year Melissa consented to let me break the tradition of having a classy Martha Stewart style display and go for something a bit more kid friendly:
Retro 1950's blow molds! Behold the Santa train!

That's a great picture of Graham. It kind of looks like he's suddenly hi-jacked the train and a startled Santa's ready to swat him off to protect the toyload.

Graham had a ball playing with it in the living room, and I cannot tell you how mad he was when he came home from preschool and saw I had put it on the roof. ("Daddy, WHAT DID YOU DOOOO?!")

Here's a daytime shot of the finished set up. (Big shout-out Thank you to Jason for his help with the garland!)

The 2 lamp posts by the porch are also blow molds that came from the old Bresee's department store displays that people are still talking about. (They were a gift to us from Melissa's sister who scored them at auction. Thanks Amanda!) I kept the lighting the same red and white configuration we usually have, (no need to go overboard all at once, I figure I'll add a bit more each year to keep under Mel's radar!)

I also need to thank Abby who was this years winner of the "Who gets shoved up the tiny hatchway into the dark, dirty attic crawlspace to pull the wreath up" contest. Although Amanda currently holds the record for this event, Graham was very excited to see the debacle unfold and may be a threat to her title in the coming years. ("Abs! What did you find up there? Are there toys? Did you find a Thomas train? Can I see? What are you doo-ing?")

Here's a night shot-

We're also planning on multicolored lights for this year's tree (Melissa liked the pure white look, but Graham has something different in mind!)

Arctic Explorers

Abby and Jason came to town the weekend after Thanksgiving, so we headed to the Farm to join them for dinner. During dessert Graham suddenly asked if we could take the 4 wheeler out... at night... in the cold. Sure. Why not.

After much effort bundling up and getting our act together Jason, Graham and I made a quick run to the top of the hill to look at the stars. The view truly was amazing, and as I showed Graham all the beauty of the night sky, he simply replied "That's good, can we go back to the house and get some hot toe-toe (cocoa)? I'm cold." Sure. Why not.

Back at the house Graham enjoyed all the attention Abby and Jason were sharing with him.

In fact the fun Jason and he were having was still going strong when we had to extract him to go home to bed!

The Perfect Greeting

So it's that time of year -- the time I stress about having the perfect photo for the holiday card. We got lucky last year (see above) --a stranger snapped a cute shot in October which we pulled out for our card project a couple months later. Unfortunately there's been a lot less cooperation in the "Say Cheese!" Department this fall, so we have enlisted our friend Diana to take a few pics for us in early December...

In the meantime I have been perusing Shutterfly for "the card" that will hold the yet to be taken perfect holiday photo. We've used Shutterfly for about 5 years now-- we upload all our photos there (they store them for free and you can order archive dvds really affordably). Plus you can even keep a blog with them (also free!) -- we used this special feature when we collected family photos from my aunts and uncles for Grandma Shirley's 90th birthday. We then easily imported them to make an awesome photo book for her (and some relatives ordered their own copies and even specific photos. Being able to get copies of JUST the old photos each person wanted was an added bonus and Grandma loved her present).

I love to think I will pull together another huge project like that before the holidays, but time isn't on my side, I guess. I may fit in a photo calendar. Fingers crossed we get a great shot this weekend. But if we don't we can always use one of their non-photo card to send our holiday cheer!


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Friday, November 26, 2010


Aunt June and Jaci stopped by on Friday so we could play with Hannah. She's so cute-- I definitely think she and Graham look related.

One lesson learned: photographing 2 kids smiling at the same time is basically impossible. I decided to post this picture where neither of them is crying or making a ridiculous expression. It's the best I could get :).

Turkey Day

Graham was very interested in the Macy's parade this year. We hooked him up with some tasty pancakes, bacon and coffee (and dippy sirr-rup). I thought it would be Dora or the balloons that would get the biggest cheer; the funniest comment was, "I like the Kicking Girls!" So let's hear it for the Rockettes!

Here's father and son practicing their best turkey calls in what I expect will become an annual fight for the lime light...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Oneonta Parade

The holiday season began with the annual Christmas parade along Main Street. All the important people were there, like the Elves

the Penguins

the Alpacas (?)

and of course a few good friends:
Left to right are Sadie, her mom Sara, her brother Paul, Melissa and Graham, Joseph and his mom Nicole, and Killian and his mom Erika and strapped to her chest is little baby Declan (a.k.a. Duckling).

Santa also made his big debut, and Mrs. Claus took particular notice of Graham (thanks to his beloved "chi-chen" hat):

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Farm Friday Holiday Edition

Aunt Amanda came down for a visit, so this "Farm Friday" was an exceptionally special one.
Grandma Jean took the day off and while Grandpa Paul and I did wood, Graham and the girls were busy making pies (and having a lot of fun!)

Quality control is a very important job!
All in all 2 large, and 2 small apple pies were made, as well as a small blueberry roll. (Graham loves his blueberries!)