Monday, September 29, 2008

Mommy Moment

First of all I have to say how I love reading everyone's blog in my blog list. I love seeing where you're going, what you're doing, seeing your children grow, and just your regular posts of bursting into song at the end of a talk (inside joke). It really is a good 'out' for me.

Tonight I was rocking Sophie and singing to her. Kate came and sat by us and started requesting songs. First it was 'flowers' ... her title for the Primary song "I often go walking in meadows of clover". Then she said, "Mom, sing bice." For the life of me I couldn't figure out what she was saying. She repeated it several times, but I just couldn't get it. Then she sang a little of it for me and I figured out that it was "Edelweiss" from the Sound of Music, a sound track we often draw from.

Another funny thing happened tonight. Many of you know that Wes has a very weak gag reflex. But we're happy to say he's down to maybe 1 or 2 throw-ups a week. But tonight he said "throw up", so we quickly directed him to the kitchen garbage can. Kate was very interested and went to stand by him. So visualize this now... Matt and I are sitting at the table, Wes and Kate are at the garbage can. Soon, Kate starts to gag as she's watching Wes. It was so funny, kind of one of those "you have to be there" deals. But needless to say I had many smiles tonight.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Just what I needed!

Wow! Tonight's message by Elder Uchtdorf (sp?) was exactly what I needed. Am I seeing some heads nod in agreement? Every day I get my nose barely above water before I go to bed, and then wonder what I accomplished in the day. But now I'm going to CREATE and be COMPASSIONATE! He said it wasn't a pep talk, but I feel pretty pepped!

Another note ... Today we went to Boston on our ward temple trip. It was beautiful. A church is on the grounds of the temple with a sidewalk connecting the two. But that doesn't adequately describe it. You feel as though you're entering a rain forest as you descend steps to enter the path that leads you on the 2 minute walk to the church. It's absolutely beautiful! It was very humid today because of a storm that has brought another 3+ inches of rain (and it's still raining). So as we approached the temple, it was shrouded in fog and mist (there goes my hair-straightening job). But what a great experience. Unfortunately, I forgot the camera so you'll have to imagine it yourself.:)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The first colors of Autumn


Happy Autumn everyone! Our days are cooler and the colors are starting to change. Matt took the camera out this morning to document the event for us! Our massive tree in front has this one little patch of color amidst the greenery! I clipped out a section of the paper last week that gave '6 must-see drives for Fall foliage in New England'. I promptly posted it on our fridge and we are awaiting the time to hit the road!

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Big E












On Thursday this week we went to Springfield, Massachusetts to what's called "the Big E", which stands for the Eastern States Expo, essentially the equivalent of a state fair, which incorporates 6 states - Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. It's huge and so much fun. It includes booths, fried everything in food (oreos, pickles, cheese cake), displays, and has buildings that look like state houses, one for each of the NE states. What a great thing! We left here at about 3 p.m. and got there at 3:30 ... once again, total amazement at how close everything is here. I'm posting a video of Kate and Matt going down this massive slide. It's pretty funny.
video
In the evening time there were a couple of parades that went down the streets of the grounds and one of them was a Marde Gras-type parade with the throwing of beads. Wes and Kate loved it and gathered about 6 each (which tonight they've promptly cut into little pieces with their play scissors). The Big E goes practically the entire month of September with big-name concerts and such on weekends.

Monday, September 15, 2008

It's all relative ... Dunkin' Donuts & Jumpy


...Today we took a trip to the nearest Super Wal-Mart. I got the twins pepped up for the trip because I, myself, was excited. Just a couple miles from our home is a regular Wal-Mart and I'd forgotten about the conveniences of the 'Super' part. (Sorry to those who don't like Wal-Mart ... to me it's almost a necessity). I got the map out and thought ... oh it will take a while. I programmed it into my Garmin and was surprised to see it's only 17 miles away. Here I was, ready for a 1/2 day trip at least. It's all relative, I've learned, about how far away something looks, and what it actually is. It's funny to me at how close everything in the East is to each other. I basically took a trip from Smithfield to Wellsville today, and thought it was going to be comparable as a Logan to Ogden trip.

...Also I've decided that Dunkin' Donuts must be headquartered here. There are 5 within 2 miles of our home. They're everywhere ... mini shops in the grocery stores, and shops on nearly every corner, kind of like LDS church houses in Utah!

...Matt took the squirrel picture over the weekend because we've declared it unofficially as 'the state animal'. They, like Dunkin' Donunts, are EVERYWHERE! Kate sees them and says, "Look Mom, Jumpy the Squirrel" (ring a bell, anyone? Curious George watchers.)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Tourist-y Day





After hitting the town fair we decided to visit some of the tourist sites people see when coming to Hartford. One of them was Cedar Hills Cemetery. What?! A cemetery! Yes, and this one is the final resting place of none other than Katherine Hepburn and her extended family. But this just wasn't any cemetery ... it was a true sanctuary. It's tucked away behind acres and acres of trees and ponds. It also has other famous people like Sam Colt and JP Morgan, not to mention the founding fathers of Hartford. So we walked around a bit and noticed that most all of the headstones are upright, very few are flat on the ground like in Utah.

Then we ventured into downtown Hartford. The old State House is where the first constitution was first drafted and it's right smack dab in the middle of 'huge sky-scraper-ville'. It was closed for the afternoon so we went over to the current state capitol, which is still probably 200 years old, or more and happened upon an open-air Gospel Festival with a choir and everything, all in the pavilion green.

Near there is this archway that was built as a memorial to all the fallen during the Civil War. Really pretty.

Day at the Fair




We started off our Saturday by going to the town fair. In the fall here in New England, we are told there are multiple fairs in every little town, so today we experienced one. It had the typical booth set up, an awesome playland, and great food (corn on the cob, yum!). But what was different was that it is in the 'old' section of town. That doesn't mean rundown, that means OLD, as in 1700's old. COOL! So here are some pics of the playland and the 'old' town.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

AHHH ... A/C!



Just random little thoughts on our 2nd week here ...

...We've been struggling with our AC, meaning we haven't been able to get it working since we moved in. With humidity at least 70% nearly everyday, it has made it so we're sweating in places we didn't know possible. So after two days in a row of 84 degrees inside our house, and humidity about the same, we jiggled and wiggled the AC short until, voila, it kicked on! Oh, what heaven! .... The twins chest-of-drawers is old-school, in that it doesn't have tracks and rollers, so the drawers have swollen and it takes a mighty pull to get them to open.

...I've had my first experiences of hanging our laundry out to dry, per the picture, and asked my neighbor, "does it ever actually dry will all the humidity?" She laughed and said, "yes, just hang it in the morning and don't forget to get it by late afternoon," (when the storms pop up).

...It's amazing what joy the discovery of an inexpensive grocery store will bring. We discovered one only blocks from our home. It's the kind where you have to insert a quarter before you can get a cart (that insures you return your cart on your own to retrieve your quarter, and saves the store from having to hire a grocery cart gatherer). And it's also kind of like Sam's Club, where there are no grocery bags - no boxes either, unless you bring your own. But oh, the prices! We found prices comparable to Utah's on most items, and a tad higher on others.

...We didn't do any real exploring this weekend. Decided to stay home and try to organize the house. Matt got this shot of the kiddos in a cardboard box.

...As I write this we are getting drenched by the remnants of Tropical Storm Hanna. When I heard on the radio today that we could get 3-6 inches of rain today/tonight, I thought "that's 1/4 to 1/2 of what Utah gets in a YEAR!" No wonder it's tree and green happy everywhere! The TV news just said we have a flood warning in effect (even heard about a tornado warning in Southern CT), because it's raining at a rate of 2" per hour! Crazy.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day at New Haven




We hit the road this morning for our first 'real' adventure here in CT and made our way to the coast ... New Haven, the home of Yale and some pretty lighthouses. It was a short trip and we arrived, had a little seafood (very abundant here in the NE) and then went to the beach. I don't know what we were thinking because we didn't pack any swim suits or beach gear, but the kids had fun wading in the water and looking at sea shells. We then spotted some lighthouses and checked out the 'attractions' feature on our Garmin and found that "Lighthouse State Park" was just around the corner. That's where we took some of these other great photos and appreciated the view of the Atlantic Ocean, or at least the harbor. Being out in the sun and wind tired us out so we shortened our trip and stopped at an ice cream shop for a treat before heading home.

Before reaching home we took a detour to an Orchard Farm. Yesterday in church we were handed out pamphlets that showed where you could Pick Your Own Fruits and Veggies, to help save on the grocery bill. So we stopped by and bought some delicious Jonamac Apples. They don't start the "Pick your own" feature until next week though so we'll be back and take some photos to report our adventure. There are about 5-8 of these farms within striking distance of our home and so we're anxious to check them out and enjoy the pumpkin patches, corn mazes and hay rides that are to come. All in all, it was a great Labor Day!