Monday, December 9, 2013

Not forgotten

Blogging is obviously not the sharing-medium of choice these days, but for me it's still the only place I'll actually share.  And although I haven't posted since October, I still look every day to see what our friends and other well-loved blogs have to say.  But I'd say it's past time we actually did some sharing around here.

So much has happened.  We've been doing more on our much-neglected house (we had so many plans when we first moved in;)), we've also gotten into full holiday mode.  We've had visits from both sides of the family, specifically to celebrate two, very special, 8-year old's.  And we had family pictures from a real photographer:).  We've done our own family pictures for the last two years with the aid of a timer and fast running legs:).

Here's the background for the pictures ... not excuses, just giving the whole story:).  It had been a busy day already (very busy week, for that matter).  When we went to try on Kate's jeans, they were floods.  Seriously, that girl grows a half inch per week these days.  I didn't have time to buy jeans so I went up to the attic where I knew we had some older-aged hand-me-downs.  The jeans I found were size 12, but I figured she needed the length for a 10-year old anyway, so an extra 2 sizes wouldn't be too bad, right?  Poor girl spent the whole time tripping over the leg excess.

It was also misting, if that's a meteorological term.  Not drizzling, misting - the air was very heavy.  By the end it did turn to drizzle, so as the shoot went along, my hair gained volume.  I wish I could say that was a good thing, but it is what it is.  I was blessed with wiry, mostly-unmanageable, locks.

Joshua was not in prime form, but he was cute - we'll leave it at that.

Our photographer also took some pictures of just Matt and me.  Boy we've aged, and could both use a little slimming down (once again I'm just giving the background, no excuses).  When I described some of these things to Matt after I'd seen some samples of our shoot, he said, "you mean it was real-to-life?"  Leave it to him help me appreciate reality.  I laughed and decided that I loved the pictures. Every. single. one.  It's who we are at the point in time, and it's with the people we want to be with more than anyone else.  I also appreciate that our photographer doesn't photoshop to make us look better (not that she doesn't know how to, but that she chooses not to).  It makes me wish I would have relaxed a little more that day, and not worried about Joshua's craziness and everyone's hair, and just sat back and enjoyed the fact that we're all healthy and happy. Glad I can do that now as I reminisce.

So here we are ... Bailey Family 2013.
I especially love the zoned-out looks and gray hairs:).

I love my family.



  

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Halloween 2013

We have some friends from church who are the most social family we know.  They are party planners and do it often!  So tonight we just got back from a Halloween party that was so fun for the kids, and so nice for the adults to come and mingle too.

Parties like these make me have to get my act in order, if we're making costumes.

This year Wes chose to be Harry Potter, Kate was Jack Frost (or Kate Frost, in her words), Sophie's been dying to be Cinderella for two years now (and has asked for a Cinderella dress up since last Christmas), and Joshua was supposed to be the Tin Man (Wes' costume from 2009).  He wasn't diggin' that and so was a combination of Peter Pan (Wes' costume from 2007 & 2008) and Batman.  Go figure.



 I'm noticing a trend here .. Kate's a picture poser:).
I am no seamstress.  I can make clothes, but it's best not to look too closely at the finished product:).  But it was fun this year.  The only real problems were that I didn't get Wes' Gryffindor scarf finished and Kate's head wouldn't fit through her hoodie until we tugged and tugged, pushed and pushed (with a slight rip here and there).  Matt was supposed to be Hagrid, and I, Professor McGonnagal, but that didn't happen.  So Matt went as himself and I threw on a witch hat.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Pictures

We decided to opt out of school pictures this year in favor of a photo shoot with a friend.

When we were arranging the time and details, my friend said, "just bring a couple of outfits for each child."

I kind of froze.  A couple of outfits?  This is going to sound strange, like we don't dress our children properly, but it was the end of summer, and we were living in shorts and t-shirts - we didn't have outfits.  :)   (Back to School shopping = school uniforms, socks and undies:)).  So I quickly emailed my sister-in-law for suggestions of cute and reasonably priced options.  She's the master and gave me a list in no time.  Joshua and I set off for a handful of stores and scored some great deals and outfits.

We showed up at the appointed time at my friend's house and she put us at ease.  Soon we were finished.  It wasn't a perfect photo shoot - anyone with children knows those don't exist - and we actually didn't even get any pictures in our dress-up outfits due to a major meltdown resulting in all four children crying, but I was pleased with what we had and so we called it a morning.

Thanks to Mandy for these wonderful shots!  Here are some of our favorites.









Joshua was too busy running around so his pictures are few and far between, but she caught his personality so well in the ones we did get:).

Fall Fun

A couple of weeks ago when our kids were out of school we headed north to Fifer Orchards, after Matt finished with his morning class.  It's just south of Dover and is a family-run orchard.  It's the same place where we picked peaches earlier this year.  

As we hopped on the tractor-pulled wagon, the tractor driver told us some cool facts about the farm.  
  • There are 26,000 apple trees, with 20+ different varieties (30,000 peach trees and 30+ varieties)
  • The family farm started in 1919 with 300 acres.
  • There are now many farms associated with Fifer Orchards throughout the surrounding area.


That day we picked Fuji apples.  You can either pick by the bag or box.
 They have a market with tons of produce, decorations, homemade donuts, ice cream, jams, jellies, honey sticks.  Pretty much anything and everything you can think of associated with a cool place like this.
 In the fall they have a section of the farm they turn into a festival area, complete with zip line, big slide, corn maze, games, painting, etc.  We weren't planning on going to this part, but when you see it, it's almost too much to say no to.  So we decided to bag our other plans for the day (start the Delaware History Trail), in favor of some harvest fun.  Here's Wes and Kate on the zip line.

 Joshua went down this slide at least 50 times, no exaggeration.
 We love these duck races.
 This was a cool ring game - let's see if I can describe it.  See the main wooden post with the bull horn picture on it a few feet in front of Wes?  It has a hook on it.  There's a green string connected to the the end of the wooden arm that has a heavy, metal ring on it.  The object of the game is to swing the ring and hook it on the hook. Make sense?  Matt was really good at it.  Wes kept at it for a while and finally hooked it.
 There were probably 10 of these tractor tricycles available to pedal through a hay bale maze.
 This tunnel led to the pumpkin table game area.
 Pumpkin Tic-Tac-Toe, Pumpkin Checkers.
 Pumpkin bowling.  The pins were big bottles that you feed baby calves with - they were weighed down with some sort of grain inside, probably corn.
 A huge corn crib where Joshua kept making corn angels.
 They had several displays cleverly made out of bales of hay.  This tractor took the cake.

 This was the small maze.  We were running out of time and figured we didn't want to get lost in the giant maze.
 This image is from Fifer's website ... we did the duck corn maze in the lower left part of the picture.  (Notice the large maze is called 'Delmarvalous', haha, we live on Delmarva ... the maze was cut to display life on the peninsula: turtle, crab, beach umbrella, dolphins).
Then of course we had to get a family picture:).  Such a fun day.



Thursday, September 5, 2013

Back to School - 2013

My dad has sayings that are uniquely his, Barry-isms, if you will, and one of them is "one who cannot sleep is a fool for trying".  So since I cannot sleep, I'll follow in his footsteps and get up and do something:)   ...

We have been back in school for one week now.  My days are very different than they were 10 days ago.  I seem to be even busier than before, if that's possible.  I miss my kids, and Joshua probably does even more than I.  But it's been very exciting and challenging.  Sophie is in Kindergarten and seems to be adjusting well to the full day.


Kindergartners have staggered days for the first week and she only went Wednesday, but has been going full steam this week.  The first day was somewhat traumatic as she was taken to the bus line after school.  We waited in the van until the school officials walkie-talkied back and forth and finally brought her to us.  She came around the corner of the school building with tear stained cheeks and when she saw me she broke down into sobs.  My heart ached for her and the emotions she was feeling.  She stayed in my arms a full three minutes until she calmed down enough so we could buckle up and drive away. But after that, it's been a breeze.  Wes is our worrier and that first day she didn't come to the car rider line he kept asking me, "Mom, what if we can't find her?  What if she goes on the bus and we can't find her?"  He was very concerned.  I think that's why he's taken special care to pick her up from her classroom now.  That, and also because in Wes' back to school Priesthood blessing, Matt blessed him to watch over his sisters at school.

There are some people who don't like school uniforms (including Kate) but I love them.  Shopping is a breeze and they look so darn cute in them.  Sophie is a dress wearer, so she's taken all the practically unworn parts of Kate's uniform from last year.



 Here's to a great school year!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Pick Your Own

One of the many things we've loved about Connecticut and Maryland have been the 'Pick Your Own' farms.

Last weekend one of our friends texted us about a farm they just went to where you could pick your own peaches for what turned out to be about 60¢ per pound.  She said they had a fun little tractor ride to the orchard and a box that you filled as high as you could for $19.  The catch was that this weekend was the last weekend for it.

So on Friday we loaded into the van and headed north.  Matt had work and had to miss out on the fun.  I've decided it's a whole lot more fun when everyone in the family is there because I kept thinking, "Matt would love this place."

It's a family farm that's going on 100 years of producing peaches and apples as their main crops.  When we pulled up we were greeted with a farm house with a large fruit stand building that had all the fun touches that these places often have: apple cider donuts, heirloom tomatoes, home grown produce of every kind, hand dipped ice cream cones, flavored honey sticks, jams, jellies, honey jars and such.  It was the first hint of Fall I've felt.

Off to the side there was a huge old tree with three tire swings that were made to look like horses and two Corn hole games with bean bags set up.  It was so much fun!

We loaded up on the wagon and set off for the orchards.
(Joshua had just woken up from a nap and wasn't happy about me not holding him)

Some of the peaches were larger than softballs!  They're still pretty hard but in a week or 10 days they'll be perfect for bottling.  If Matt went with us I'm sure we would have come home with four boxes and not two.  He's the bottler in our family:).

It's definitely a place we'll return to.  Our friend said they do the same for apples and then have fun pumpkin and corn maze activities later in the Fall.