Mitchie and i made some bread this weekend. He is a great helper, at least for the first 5-10 minutes. :o) But, look how intense he is while he is helping. He did a good job and he has been asking for and eating the bread he made, which is great because we have been having some food issues around here as of late.
i found this challah bread in a bag recipe at this great blog, Blue Yonder. It was easy to make and nice to incorproate the kids in the process. And it turned out beautifully. I get really excited about the bread rising, like giggly excited. I have had a few that did not rise well and it is a bummer. i know i am a dork but there are so many things about breadmaking that i love...the smell, the feel of the ball of dough...the rise!!! I wonder why i don't do this more often?
It is finally here....welcome back autumn....welcome back socks, slippers and heavenly sweaters. I have missed you. Welcome back cool cozy days, and chilly breezes. I thought that you would never return. But you are here and i am so glad! There is cider to sip and yummy pumpkin bread to snack on. I mentioned a while back that when i finally had to wear sweaters all day long because fall was here i would have a hallelujah party...anyone care to join in? I made the pumpkin bread instead of cake because it just seemed right. What are your favorite things about autumn?
Amish Pumpkin Bread
3 c. Sugar 1 c. Vegetable Oil 4 Eggs, beaten 1 lb. canned Pumpkin(1 1/3 cup) 3 1/2 c. Flour 2 t. Baking Soda 2 t. Salt 1/2 t. ground Cloves 1 t. each Cinnamon, Allspice, Nutmeg 2/3 c. Water
Mix sugar oil and eggs together. Add pumpkin. Then add dry ingredients, mix well. Now add water stirring just until mixed. Pour batter in two greased and sugared loaf pans. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. (i find it takes a little longer, so check them at an hour and then add time appropriately)
Finally i am getting to some of those projects that have been waiting around. I made a few lovey's tonight....that is the name that we gave to soft cozy baby blankets that i make for our favorite babies. I have to get cracking since some are going to arrive soon. It feels good to sew something.
Here you go Colleen, Robert Frost's grave. I love the inscription on his gravestone....Mary, did you doubt that there were more cemetery pictures than just that one? For anyone else reading this that might think this is a little weird let me give you a little background. I was raised on cemeteries, so to speak. We always thought that they were cool. My dad was and is totally into geneology so we had several road trips just to go see family plots at varied and assorted cemeteries around NY. He studied the plots he was interested in and Colleen and I would roam around looking at all the cool, different headstones...reading all the clever sayings and dates. They seemed much more original back in the way back about what they said. We played games and jumped stones...Dad just let us have fun.
So i always thought they were fun, peaceful, beautiful places not scary or creepy...well, except for that one time that i was reading a headstone and started sinking into the dirt where i was standing. That kind of freaked me out. Anyway...now when we are traveling near(VT) or far(Scotland!) i like to walk through and see "who" is there. Although this is the first time i have gone with kids. Avery wanted to know what a cemetery was, i told her that is where they put dead people....she was not so sure she wanted to go. Mitch wanted to know why they put you in the ground when you are dead...Chris tried to explain that it was just your body and your spirit went to heaven but Mitch was confused and wanted to know why it was just your body. What did they do with your head? LOL....that took a little while to work out.
Mary, i thought i would try this barn in B&W to see how it was, and you were right. I love it. I played around with some of the effects on picasa and saved the color on the tree because it was so pretty.
This day did not end with the farm...afterward we came home, had some lunch and drove to Bennington, VT. It is a short trip. One that i have been wanting to go on for awhile. All i was waiting on was the leaves. Finally they are changing and are really pretty and i wanted to see them from the top of the Bennington Battle Monument. It is very very tall....it was fun to stand right next to it and look straight up. It makes you a little dizzy! :o) Chris was enjoying it from many angles, including lying on the ground. The views from the top were breathtaking. You can see three states and mountain ranges from up there...New York, Mass and Vermont. I was not let down by the colors. This probably is not the peak for color but i did not want to miss the chance to go.
The tower there is a memorial to Revolutionary war soldiers and battles in the area. So of course there was a soldier to take your picture with. The kids hammed it up appropriately.
Our final stop was a old,old very old cemetery down the road from the memorial. Where the poet Robert Frost was buried. The street there is lined with beautifully colored trees and the homes are the homes i dream about. There was a empty lot...it would be perfect for a home...a girl can dream right? By the end of this day...swimming lessons, the market, the farm and then Vermont we were all exhausted. A early night was had by all!
It was another fun filled day at the farm. We love it there. Today there was a tour of the local farms with activities at each farm. We only went to ours....but as always we were not disappointed. There was face painting, see Avery's flower, and potato stamping....and another hay bale ride with Farmer Brian....and more.
I can not help it, every time i am there i want to close my eyes and soak up every single moment. With the trees changing and the weather cooling down it is even more beautiful there than it usually is. Idyllic comes to mind.
These are some of my favorite places there...the creek where we caught crawdads and chased the little fish and spent a bit of time wading in the water on hot afternoons. This is one of their old barns...i don't think it is used anymore but it is charming and beautiful in its own dilapidated way.
Admittedly these are not the best pictures in the world. It hurt my apron strings a little to have them so far away from me. Thus the distance made for some not so great pictures. They approach things so differently...at dancing it was Avery that was hesitant and Mitchie who was boisterous and funny and ready to dance...while at swim Avery got right in and started swimming and it took coaxing from nearly the whole RPI swim team to even get Mitch in the water. I think they tried every trick they knew and finally his teacher just grabbed him and put him in the water with her. Trust me, it was the approach he needed.
Avery was amazing us with how much she was willing to do and was brave enough to do. This was the first time she had been in a big pool since she was very little...way before Mitch was born. She actually swam herself quite a few times...with the teacher right by her side, thank goodness. Look at her, i think she is smiling while she is swimming...she loved every minute. In fact, she did not want to get out and go home...she wanted to keep on swimming. She is a born fish like her dad!
Mitch had a death grip on his teacher the whole time and i am pretty sure he did not stop talking for even a minute. Poor girl must have had a headache. I am a proud momma...they were super swimmers, and they are not afraid to tell you so either!!!
We were able to participate in the yearly party/potluck out on our CSA farm. We have been looking forward to it for awhile and it did not let us down. We had a really great time.
There was food, hay bale rides on the tractor, music and dancing...and lots of great company. I think the contra dance was my favorite. Mitchie was my dance partner, and Avery was Chris'. They both did a great job following the caller and doing all the moves. We did not get any pictures because we were so busy dancin'!!
We ended up taking two hay rides. We thought about not going on the second one but then i figured why not? We are not going to get a chance to do this again. Thank goodness we did! Farmer Brian took all the kids to the potato field and let them dig up their own potatoes to take home. They loved it!! Ruby the farm dog was the highlight of the hay ride. The kids loved it. Avery is even writing about Ruby and her adventures on the farm. Seems we were both inspired by the farm.
It was a perfect day, with perfect weather, great company(i love my little family) and a great party. While digging in the dirt and riding a tractor may not sound like a rolicking good time to some...we are a simple family with simple pleasures and this was a really fun time. I was soaking up every moment, wishing it could go on for longer.
As we rode through the farm yesterday on the back of a tractor i quick snapped a few pictures as we were moving by, not knowing really what i was going to capture. I was pleased to find that the pictures revealed something to me...the farm is like a patchwork.
Maybe i have quilting on the brain, but there it appeared in beautiful shades of green...all perfectly lined up in rows. Oh sewing machine, where are you when i need you!?
pretty don't you think? It was a special treat to go around and see everything on the farm. We love it there!
My very nice Mom(and Dad) sent me a gift card for my birthday so i could go and get more fabric! Thanks mom. I finally got a chance to go yesterday and left with these beauties. Not sure what i am going to use them for or make with them but i love, love, loved the colors. That is what sold me. I also got a new quilting toy to make cutting triangles and little squares easier. So thanks. Maybe i will use the new triangle cutter and this fabric and make a quilt someday. When i can have my machine and stuff out again. I miss it.
The start of the school year has come and gone but it still felt like summer. But finally all that is changing. The weather is cooler and the days are shorter...and getting back into a routine has been nice.
It was time to say goodbye to one of our favorite summertime stops. The Snowman ice cream shop. It is a local favorite around here and always hopping with people enjoying a little taste of summer.
We took the kids down and got our last treat. Last because summer is over and because we are moving and will not be able to come anymore. For the first time our ice cream was not dripping down little arms and all over little faces because it was only about 65 last night instead of the typical summer 85 and humid.
Goodbye Snowman, we will miss you....Goodbye summer(we will NOT miss you!). I can not seem to get that old Jeff Buckley song out of my head...This is Our Last Goodbye. Anyone else know it?
My name is Leslie. I live in Virginia. I am a wife to Chris, a super husband/great daddy/army officer/PhD student. I am a mother to three very exciting kids, Avery and Mitchell, ages 13 and 10 and baby Delilah who is 4. I am a little crafty. I love fabric, quilting and I love my friends and family. I hope here I can keep up with all of you that are so very far away.
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thanks for coming by to read and check out what we are doing. Please, oh please, leave a comment and let me know that you were here. I love reading all of them...they are the highlight of this blog for me. I am so glad for each one. They let me know that we are reaching you, our friends and family that are not near.