Sunday, May 31, 2009

Memorial Day 2009

Memorial Day weekend had our house filled with friends, fun and food. Ed, Anthony, Liz and Tom came up from Connecticut to help ring in the summer.
Here Anthony (a.k.a. "Uncle Bacci") and Graham enjoy a simple game of "Pick the petals off Mommy's daisies and blow them where they can be tracked into the hot tub"

I'm glad I got that pic early, because the flowers look nothing like that now!

Here Ed (a.k.a. "Uncle Cookie") and Graham share some educational time with magnetic letters on the fridge. Since this is a family forum, I'm unable to post pictures of the surprising words and phrases Graham taught Eddie.

Here's the gang in the backyard. On the left it looks like we've propped up Tommy's carcass for the picture, but he's really just leaning back in a futile attempt to avoid being in the shot.

Sadly, as the night progressed, the picture taking stopped and this is one of the only pictures we got of him. (Sorry Tom, but if it makes you feel any better we completely neglected to take pictures of Toby, Tony, Genevieve, Ted, Judy, Rachael, Wesley, Emily and Anna who were also a great part of the evening!) There were a lot of cameras there that night so if anyone has any photos they'd like to add, please send them along and I'll make another post for them.

Here Ed and Liz carefully scan the paper looking for upstate opportunities. (What are they looking for? Jobs? Real Estate? Love? We may never know...)

Memorial Day morning arrived and we made our yearly trip to Gilbertsville to watch the parade pass just outside The Major's Inn where we were married (7 years ago!) Here, proper respect is shown while the Star Spangled Banner is played

After the parade everyone made the traditional hike up the big hill to the cemetery where Melissa's cousin Jaci read the Gettysburg address. (well not everyone. Graham, Grandpa and I took the car around!)

Although she did an excellent job, Graham was much more interested in meeting all the dogs that were around.

After the services we said goodbye to our CT. friends and went over to Great-Grandma Shirley's for some home made goodies. Grandma Jean made her infamous blueberry buckle, and Aunt June made hot cinnamon buns that were just coming out of the oven when we arrived.

Here's Aunt Dawn, Great-Grandma Shirley, and Aunt June.

And here Grandpa Paul poses with his sisters.

Below are a few more shots from the weekend I wasn't sure how to work into the post, so I just tagged them on here at the end.

Grandma's chalkboard

Mmmm- Yogurt!

Visiting the firehouse

How much water can a diaper hold?

Morning face

Monsters! Grrrrrr!

Splashing in the sun!

Thanks to everyone who helped make the weekend great! The summer's just starting, and we hope to have many more fun filled BBQ's now that it's finally here!

So cute I could throw up

Now somebody get this kid a washcloth.

Solar Powered

Another little drawstring bag... this one holds clothes pins for our new backyard clothes line built by my crafty husband! I want to paint the 4x4s. Do you think Jim will let me do polka dots? We were able to get 5 loads dried outside this weekend, including some sheets that smell SO GOOD. The towels are scratchy; they may need to get a start in the dryer so we don't over-exfoliate :).

***Note from Jim- Melissa failed to mention her ulterior motives for this kind of clothesline. Apparently it will also be used as a theatrical stage (4 lines means there's room for a curtain and a backdrop!), as well as a fort frame for overnight camp outs. (or as a cozy place for me to sleep when I'm not allowed in the house.)

Another side note, while digging one of the holes needed for the posts, my shovel suddenly fell about 2 feet into a deep cavern. After panicking and checking to be sure I didn't dig a hole into my cellar or something, I discovered I had tapped into a giant woodchuck burrow, so while the right post only needed a half bag of concrete, the left one took a bag and a half, plus some creative sheet metal forming to hold the concrete in place. Hope Mel likes this thing because it's going to be there for quite awhile!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Hudson Street Taxi, junior division

This looks cute ...but what you don't know is I dumped him out of his red wagon into the street about an hour before this picture was taken. That resulted in a bump to the back of his head. And about 10 minutes after this picture was taken he somehow tipped this little wagon over and gave himself a matching bruise on his forehead. Running the Wagon Taxi business can be tough!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Brownie/Whoopie Pie Filling -- take 2

There's no other way to say it. Graham's a double-fister. Grandma enjoyed the leftover brownie when he'd had enough of the whoopie pie icing.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Seven Years of Wedded Bliss

We celebrated with flowers, a dinner out (without Graham; thanks Mom and Dad!) and commemorated by taking the traditional Anniversary photo in front of the Major's Inn in Gilbertsville. (previous years here)

It was nap time which created a couple funny outtakes for the "family shot" but at least one is good enough. Nevermind that I hadn't combed my hair that day. Parenthood changes things :).

C is for Cookie

We made an inaugural run with this new fun pan from Williams-Sonoma (thanks Lauren!).
Despite some questionable reviews that surfaced on their site post purchase, the brownie mix/PAM combo worked perfectly for us. I filled it with Whoopie pie filling and it was amazing. We're going to recreate the whole thing again later this week :).

Whoopie Pie Filling
(traditional amish recipe found via ye olde google)
1 cup solid vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 cups Marshmallow Fluff
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

The Beet Goes On

I am sad to report that the last of the beets from the Harvest Supper (a mere 7 months ago) have succumbed to frost bite in the back of our fridge and thus been put down the garbage disposal and out of their misery. They were good beets. I loved them. I defended them every week as Jim tried to oust them during the weekly clean out of the fridge.

Jim is doing the victory dance as he reclaims the 16 square inch footprint they inhabited. He's heartless.

Baby Book Bag

We haven't started the fancy baby book yet. And he's 19 months. Oh Well.

We have been keeping a Baby Journal-- it's called The First 1000 days, and I love the gorgeous block prints and the way Jim and I both note the notables in our own handwriting. The monthly format is frequent enough to keep things fresh, but not so often that it is daunting.

After a year and a half of toting it around it a grimy ziplock bag I finally made this cute drawstring tote to hold our book as it travels from office to living room and back to the book shelf. Yay, another project off the list!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Grandma is 29 Again

Happy Birthday Mom. Enjoy your day!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Starting Young

Graham loves to help with the dishes. I'm wondering, is it too late to get him a summer job?

Baby, It's Hot Outside

It was 93 yesterday, Hello Hot! Graham has decided tossing the ball back and forth will be the official game of Summer 2009. Apparently he has heard of my Pep Ball career in Jamaica (and has also inherited my incredible talent).


I made a banner to celebrate the impending birth of Jack (to former co-worker and matchmaker Debby), and another to celebrate birthdays here at home...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Hudson Street Taxi Service

Our neighbors, Emily and Anna took Graham for a whirl in his wagon. They are definitely his favorite girls. The ride ended with lots of kisses for them and Kuoadio; and lots of tears when it was time to go in for the bath.

Bunny Slippers

An overdue pic from Easter. Grandma knitted these up. They're a little small, but the cute ears overcome the possible pain of footbinding.

Early Views from the Backyard

The lilacs are gorgeous and the herbs look good. The tomatoes took the frost last week a little hard, so they may get replaced this weekend. The materials for a clothes line are in the garage. I can't wait until Jim gets the 4x4s in the ground!

Ankle Biters

Tucker's Mama (and seamstress extraordinaire), Debbie turned me onto this adorable pants pattern... And since then I have been pumping out Graham's summer wardrobe at a rapid pace. In fact I even made a (bigger) pair for Jim... I will try to sneak a pic of him modelling them this weekend :).

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


In the last week Graham has shown an increased interest in book reading, pulling us toward his comfy chair and requesting several books in a row. It reminds me of the afternoons I spent with my own mom and a big stack of stories.

Grandma is still a great story reader. This week she shared an old favorite from my childhood about Cindy the cat and her kittens. Twice. Other current favorites are the Baby Elephant pop up book; anything with flaps; Can you Moo with the pig finger puppet; and books with texture.

College Research

Laurel and Rachael helped Graham pick out some college guides at Green Toad on Saturday. He's leaning toward Hamilton through the (really) Early Decision plan. (Go Blue)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Truck Bed = Play Pen

Graham has discovered that riding in Jonesy isn't the only way to have fun with him.