Thursday, November 19, 2015

Title.... title... title....

It's been really quiet around here, which I love.  But it makes for boring blog posts. 
Just chilling... for some reason Cecily needed her Elsa jammies and church shoes on.  And I have no idea what Emmy is wearing. 
 One morning they got out all the dress up clothes and Emmy wanted it all on at once.  So her outfit included the snow white dress, a fairy dress, a scarf, etc. over her pajamas. She looked hilarious.
 My mom came and picked up the girls Friday morning and took them for the day.  I got to go to Peoria to pick up my sewing machine and went to the mall all by myself!  It was so peaceful.  And so easy.  I didn't have to unbuckle anyone! Or carry anyone! 

Bob and I went to potluck that evening at Greg and Mary's.  It was a good time, as always.  When we went to pick up the girls they had taken a bath; Cecily had found herself some pj's and she was determined she was going to spend the night with Grandma.  So we let her.  And Emmy fell asleep on the way home so we had a very quiet evening. 

Mom and Grandma and Lori and Di brought her back in the morning.... after they took her to all the shopping and open houses in town.  She brought home several treasures.  "Grandma Lydiann at the condos" got her some slippers and she picked me out some potholders and she got a white purse... she was quite pleased with her whole morning.  Then she got to show them all her toys and her room.  Ha.

We spent the afternoon raking leaves.  Well, sort of.  All of the wind we've had pushed most of them into drifts, so we just had to rake a few spots and then Bob mulched them up with the lawn mower.  So much easier than hauling them.

This silly girl was sitting in the shoe basket trying to put my sandals on. 
Cecily got her song and verse for the Christmas program.  Should be interesting.  She has a tendency to segue into the Messiah version of "For unto us a child is born" so I'm not sure if I should hope that she'll start singing it at the program or not.  It would be awesome.  She does great on the syncopated "and the government shall be upon his sho-o-o-o-o-oulders" part. And now Emmy wanders around singing along with Cecily's singing birthday card "Goooooo!"  I love it.
After last years Christmas picture attempt fiasco I decided that I would save my sanity and have Elsie take it.  So we did that one morning.  It was fun-ish.  It took a while to explain that her name was Elsie, not Elsa.  And they sort of cooperated.  Emmy was more interested in her fuzzy pillows than looking at the camera, so we shall see how they turn out.  But hey- I didn't have to try and take one and I won't be getting all frustrated with them and annoyed.  Win-win. 


Sunday, November 08, 2015

Hobbits and Houses

I'm falling behind... I think I will blame it on our wireless router.  It stopped working and so I couldn't connect my camera to the computer.  Yay technology.
Anyway, Tirzah and Griffin came to play one day after story hour.  They all played so nicely and it was so quiet upstairs.  
 Sometimes when I'm trying to cook I ignore Emmy and she does things like this...
 Lena's church baby shower was the 30th.  The girls and I went to the farm that afternoon and they ate supper with Dad and Jake... then we went to "Shirley's house" (aka Cheryl) for the shower.  They had fun playing with her toys and I got to talk to Elise so it was a good night. 
I took the girls to Grandpa and Grandma Beutel's house on Halloween.  Emmy was a hobbit lass... Cecily has a matching dress but "I will wear my Elsa dress," so whatever. I can pretend like she's an Elvish princess or something.
 Such a cute little hobbit.
 We walked to several of our neighbor's houses- it's kind of our last chance for interaction before winter sets in and we all hibernate. We spent the rest of the evening keeping Emmy out of the candy bowl. 
 Our potluck had a wiener roast on Sunday evening.  Thankfully we had good weather and a shed to hang out in so we didn't freeze.  The girls had fun running around and being crazy.

They made me 'lunch' one day. 
 So our next door neighbors are moving and they brought over two big boxes of toys and clothes that their granddaughter is done with.  It was like Christmas.  And there was a leotard and dance skirt in the box.... someone found my old ballet book and wants to be a ballerina and was sooooo excited to get a ballerina dress. Now she wants pink shoes.  *sigh*
 Saturday I got to do something awesome!  If you've ever driven I-55 between Bloomington and Lexington and seen the huge old house rising abruptly out of the cornfields, we go to go tour it!  It's called Duncan Manor and its history is quite fascinating.  And it's gorgeous.
 The current owners are working on restoring it- since they bought the place last summer they now have new plumbing, electrical, and working HVAC.  The exterior and interior walls are solid brick (6-12 inches!) so it makes all of those things rather difficult. There was a lot of damage/ vandalism inside so some rooms are down to the lathe.  Cecily is checking out the wall in the servants staircase. 
 Emmy was very unsure, but she liked the antique couch.
 Look at those corbels...
 I didn't get many pictures inside- it will be gorgeous when it's done.  I was also busy making sure Cecily wasn't getting ahead of us or falling over short they-didn't-have-building-codes-in-1870 railings.  The three story spiral staircase is pretty amazing, even in mid-renovation shape. And the high ceilings....  swoon.
 "Oh look, that would be a great Christmas card picture spot. Cecily go sit by Emmy."  Yeah.  No luck. 
 So for a long time this house was rented out....  it sits on an acreage and it was built by a farmer, so technically it is a farm house.  Can you imagine cash renting the farm- 'Oh by the way, the property has a house on it so if you need a place to live....'  Ha!  Why sure I'd love to farm your ground and live in your seven bedroom Italianate mansion!   
So fun.  I asked Cecily what her favorite part of the big house was and she said the round windows (in the 3rd floor), and the little stairway (the steeeep servants stairs). 
Today after church we went back to the farm.  One of my mom's cousins was in town (they're retired and spend their summers touring in their RV and their winters in Texas) so she had the Roemersbergers in to see them.  Good times.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Frost is on the Pumpkin

Fall is not my favorite season... everything is starting to die and turn brown.  Except for the spiders and ladybugs.  They seem to think they all belong in our house...
We tried to fly Cecily's kite one afternoon but the wind wasn't constant enough.  I got it up for a little bit.
 Then it got dragged around by Emmy.
 Cecily is perfectly happy running around with it like this.
 I don't know why I'm running around with this thing, but I like it! 
 Silly girls.
 So Cecily has wanted to sleep in the tent ever since we actually camped in May.  Tuesday the forecast was looking pretty good- not too cold and no rain... so the girls and I set up the tent.  The plan was for the girls and I to camp out since Bob had to go to work in the morning.
 They had fun playing in it.  And covering the floor with flower petals.  *sigh*
 And then at some point all the forecasts changed and they were calling for 20% chance of showers.  Boo.  But that's a pretty small chance right?  Ha.  We were all ready to head outside for the night when it started raining.  And there was lightning and thunder.  And according to all the weather sites I looked at, there was maybe more coming in the middle of the night.  So we decided not to sleep in the tent... Cecily doesn't like storms from inside the house and I did not want to be out in a tent with her during one in the middle of the night.  She was very sad, poor girl.

And then Bob suggested we camp out in the living room.  "How did daddy know there was a camp bed under the couch?"  Ha.  Apparently she's never seen the couch bed opened up.   
 Emmy got to sleep in her crib, and I got to try and sleep with Cecily.  Woot.
 She thought it was the best thing ever.  Wednesday we dried out the tent and put it away... because there was rain in the forecast for that night... and then it didn't rain.  *sigh*  Can't win. 

They like to get books to sing.
 And they like to "help" me practice Messiah choruses... 
 Looking at a catalogue.  "I want this."  Basically she wants everything.  Also notice that the kitchen seems dark.  That light fixture quit working so it was very dark for a few days. 
Friday was Mole Day!  Happy, Happy Day!
Saturday was Change the Light and Clean Out the Drier Vent Pipe Day!  Woot woot!  I'm sure you're all jealous of our glamorous life... I was downstairs and Cecily said, "Mom there's a really big bug!"  So I looked, and shrieked, and said "I don't think that's a bug!"  And "Bob!"  "I think there's a mouse down here!"  It wasn't moving super fast though, so I pinned it with a cabinet door.  (It's a good thing we have them...)  Anyway, apparently I managed to dispatch said rodent with the door.  And Bob thinks it's a vole... Have I mentioned I don't like fall and all the things that try and get in the house??
 The girls helped me make sugar cookies.  Or something.  Some of them were a little deformed, and Bob found a hair, so we won't be sharing them with anyone.  *grin* 

Friday, October 16, 2015

The farm and pumpkin moonshine

We've been pretty busy the last week or so.  Bob has had to work late a lot because they had a deadline... which means lots of flying solo for me.  Woot.
Storyhour started for the fall, which Cecily loves.  The theme is the Farm or something, which she also loves. 
The girls and I made a trip to the farm last Thursday for a belated and spur of the moment birthday party.  Got to love a middle of harvest birthday when the weather is perfect.  *grin*  Dad was there long enough to eat supper...
Little miss loved her presents.  "I've always wanted chapstick!"  Good choice Lena!
 And Shelly got her glow sticks.
 Grandpa got her an "Elsa fishing hook!" 
 She's very excited.  She's been asking for one since vacation.
 Busy Little Bee was more interested in showing the things in her bucket to Uncle Jakey.
 And grandma picked out Frozen sheets for her... they had to go on her bed that night, of course. 
 Emmy is wearing my grandma's wedding shoes.  *grin*
 Friday night it was Tremont's turn for Timber Ridge singing.  I don't think Cecily remembers being there before so we talked about it all day.  How lots of people there have chairs like Grandpa Beutel's, and how Jesus made some people who don't talk like she does, and how Jesus made some people who don't look like she does....  I probably didn't do a good job.  Bob couldn't make it so it was just us girls.  They did surprisingly well for sitting and singing... we picked a spot without many residents around so there was minimal staring from Cecily, or awkward questions for me to fumble over.  We got ice cream afterward because they were so good.  And I like ice cream.

Sunday evening Dave and June had the family for a wiener roast and hay rack ride.  Cecily loved it.  Emmy was happy as long as she was eating.  We didn't stay late.

So then Monday evening I went to practice for the Messiah.  Shelly talked me into singing... it took a lot of convincing.  Ok, not really.  It was fun, but I am so out of my league.  It has been a very long time since I've sung in a group like that and they are all really good and I am a marginal soprano at best.  I am really not good at miasmas melismas. 

We checked out a Tasha Tudor book from the library called "Pumpkin Moonshine."  It's a sweet book; the title is an old fashioned term for jack-o-lanterns (not sour mash moonshine...). Cecily has been begging to carve pumpkins or paint them depending on the day.  So we stopped at a pumpkin farm on the way to get groceries.
 They wanted to take all of them home.
 And there were animals to see... and tour groups... Cecily inserted herself into one and it was rather awkward extricating her...
They needed Indian corn too.
 I'm pretty sure "why did I think this was a good idea?" was going through my head most of the time.
We had to carve it as soon as we got home.  She drew the face and I cut it out.  She likes her Pumpkin Moonshine.
 Emmy got to color on a little one with washable markers.
The next day she neeeeeded to paint a pumpkin.  We waited until Emmy was napping.
It turned out very glittery and colorful.  *grin*
Little Bee got ahold of the fly swatter.  She knows how to use it too.  
 Thursday we headed to the field (last one!) for rides.  We had to wait our turn because Waibel's were there and they had lots of riders.  Combine selfie! 
 Combine selfie with the old farmer! 
 And then we went to play at the farm a little bit.  Gus stole Emmy's corn cob and she was not happy with him... so funny.
Today we got Cecily's four year old pictures taken.  She did pretty good- she looked a little nervous in most of them.  We had to go to the playground and look at all the statues when she was done... and get a treat, of course. 

Monday, October 05, 2015

Cake! And a Birthday and a weekend full of good food.

Cecily turned four on Saturday!  Craziness.  She's so grown up.  She knows her letters, and can write her name (not in the right order), and draw stick people, and says hilarious things....
Friday night was potluck date night, so the girls went to Dale and Meg's to play with the kids.  Bob stopped at Famous Dave's on the way home so we got to eat LOTS of yummy food.  It was ridiculous but we couldn't let it defeat us...
I worked on frosting Cecily's birthday cake in the quiet.  It was so nice.  Ha.  She said she wanted a "Frozen Elsa cake" up until last week when we got a library book about dragons.  Then she said she wanted a dragon cake.  Umm... I don't know how to do a dragon cake, how 'bout we stick with a Frozen cake!  I thought it turned out cute, however there are always things I would have done differently.  Like leveling the top tier... it didn't look mountainy, it just looked not level.  And I should really practice piping edges more.  I really like how the drippy, melty, part turned out. 
The ice shards are basically hard candy- sugar and water and corn syrup cooked to hard crack with a little bit of food coloring.  
 Cecily got her first look at it when she got home.  "I like it!!"  Emmy is foraging in the cupboard behind her.
 She set this up by herself!  Silly little bee.
Saturday morning both girls slept in.  Yay!  Then we had chocolate chip pancakes because that's what Cecily requested.  Emmy finished her pancake and handed me her plate and pointed at the cake... sorry little girl, you don't get cake for breakfast.
 Cecily wanted to open presents, but Bob was still getting ready so the poor girl had to wait.
 She helped put a few more decorations on the top of the cake.
 She tried to rush Bob through breakfast... so we let her open her card.  It sings "Let it Go."
 Then she finally got to open her presents after waiting soooo long.  Ha!  An Anna doll:
 'We're going on a Bear Hunt.'
 A school bus! 
 Then we went downstairs where her new Lego table was waiting! 
It's a coffee table from Ikea with Lego baseplates glued onto the top. She loved it. Emmy also approves. 
 It's now covered in her Lego sets.  And the hats of the mini figures that Emmy takes off.  I think she enjoyed Cecily's birthday as much as Cecily did.
 We ate cake after lunch.  "Will you sing the Happy Birthday song??"
 "I don't want to blow out candles!"
 "Daddy, you blow them out!"
So he did... silly kid.  I guess I'm glad she's afraid of fire?

That evening we went to the Koch Pork Chop Fry.  It was a nice night, and the food was great, but I'm just not a big fan of cookouts.  And eating outside with kids is absolutely miserable, especially when they're sitting on hay bales trying to eat baked beans off their laps.  And mashed potatoes.  And getting ketchup from their hotdogs everywhere.  *sigh*  Then it got dark and Emmy does not like to be outside after dark.  She cried and kept pointing towards the cars.  So we left before the hayrack ride.  I think Cecily was the only one who was disappointed.   

To complete our busy weekend, Heather, Luci, and Lori invited us to supper on Sunday with some international students.  It was fun to see Grandpa and Grandma Koch's house all updated.  And the company was great.  There were three ladies that came- from Bangladesh, Nepal, and Iran and two of their little boys.  Matt and Lena came too so Bob wasn't the lone man.  I really enjoyed talking to them all.  We had soup for supper in bread bowls and I am craving soup.  Emmy tried to eat a bread bowl as big as her head and two desserts.  The girls did pretty well, they loved Luci and Lori's toys, and played all evening.  I'm not sure Cecily realized the boys didn't speak English until they got in trouble... haha.   

So anyway.  Good times.