Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanks(giving) for the Memories

We had a lovely weekend in NH with Mike's family for Thanksgiving. I didn't realize it beforehand, but it was the first time all four granddaughters have been together at once. It was WILD and there were periods of four-way screeching, but it was mostly joyous screeching and everyone had a marvelous time.

We also had two other big first-time experiences over the weekend: Maggie went to her first movie in a theater and we went to a tree farm and cut down our Christmas tree ourselves!

Now Ana is five and a pro at movie theaters, but we've never taken Maggie to one, mostly because of Kate. What to do with that younger kid who will certainly want to spend the movie running up and down the aisles throwing popcorn?? So when Jeannette mentioned that Ana really wanted to see Tangled, the new Disney Rapunzel movie, I jumped at the chance to take Maggie along too. She LOVED it. She was excellent, quiet and rapt, inhaling her popcorn and sucking down my root beer. Both girls ended up sitting in Jane's lap for the last third or so of the movie! Not because it was scary; just because they could, I think. After the movie was over, Maggie had an emotional breakdown in the hallway outside while we were trying to get her coat on... She said she wanted to stay there forever and ever! We're keeping an eye out for something else she might like that Mike can take her to see sometime soon, poor thing!

Then yesterday the four of us went with Mike's parents to a tree farm near their house. The girls had a fantastic time running around looking at trees and eating free cookies and hot cocoa. It was pretty cold but there wasn't more than just a dusting of snow on the ground, so it was fairly easy. I'm glad we didn't go alone though because it would've taken us A LOT longer if we'd had to chase two kids running in two different directions through a maze of trees while trying to choose a tree, cut it down, carry it out, and tie it to the roof of the car! When the girls can help with the sawing and the hauling, then... well, then we'll make them go get the tree by themselves and we'll stay home and drink coffee in our pjs!! Ha!

Eating cookies and stomping on a patch of snow

Pretending to be presents under our tree

Kate chatting with some other little girl

Manly men cut down trees in the woods

Eagle Scouts know how to tie excellent knots!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Maggie Sez...

[while listening to some Charlie Brown Christmas in the car - we had hoped that Maggie would just listen to it because she loves it and not talk the entire way home - we are fools...]

... is that sound a harp?

Mike: No, that's a piano.

... now is it a harp?

No, I'm pretty sure it's just a piano.

... and just a little bit of harp music?


Friday, November 19, 2010

Katie Sez...

... Hi dair Biff, I'm Kate! (said to our niece, Elizabeth, while pointing to herself.)

... Hi fox, I'm Kate! Hi owl, I'm Kate! (said to pictures of animals in a book while pointing to herself.)

... Hi Kate, I'm Kate! (said while looking in a mirror and pointing to herself.)

Let's just say she has a strong, positive sense of identity.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Giving Thanks

What's so great about living in New England? People (Northerners and Southerners) ask me this fairly frequently, actually. They can't believe we would move to the frigid North from the sunny South. They can't believe we would want to spend three times as much for a small house. They can't believe we'd want to put up with the crowds. And truth be told, we do sometimes question our decision (usually around March when it's still snowing 10 inches every day), but for the most part we like it here and feel settled. One huge reason for staying is the quality and availability of cultural resources. Want to know why I love living in New England? Yesterday we took the girls to the Plimoth Plantation with my friend Erin.

The Plimoth Plantation is a recreation of the 1627 Pilgrim settlement in Plymouth and a Wampanoag homesite. You can walk around both, talking to Native American cultural interpreters and role players who take on the personas of 17th century Pilgrims, going in the houses and gardens, watching crafts people work and villagers cook, farm, and make canoes, etc.

It was a gorgeous, crisp and sunny fall day. It's two weeks before Thanksgiving and we're walking around out in the woods, enjoying the smell of ocean air and campfires, showing the girls the real Pilgrims and Indians experience right where it all really happened. I know they didn't understand much of all that we saw (although I had checked out a book about the Pilgrims from the library for Maggie last week, so she knew some of it), but they had a marvelous time just chasing the chickens!

Maggie climbing into a canoe in the Native American homesite

Kate running through the homesite - she did a lot of running!

The English village with a view out to the ocean. Note: the Pilgrims didn't call themselves pilgrims, they just thought of themselves as English colonists.

A water cistern at the English village

A role-player/interpreter talking to a crowd of visitors

Sneaking up on chickens!

Both girls loved the chickens, cow, goats, and sheep

Communing with the chickens in the English village

This is not Plymouth Rock! Maggie resting in front of the village church. Mike though it was a barn at first, but Maggie set him straight!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Jeepers, Creepers, Leaf Peepers

Fall in New England = Raking Leaves. Mike says it's how Nature gets you in shape for snow-shoveling season. It's pretty much what's on our agenda every weekend from now until Christmas. I hate it. Mike doesn't enjoy it. The girls on the other hand, eternal optimists and silver-lining aficionados that they are, love love love raking leaves. That's because they never rake but only frolic in the piles that we make, spreading all the leaves around the yard all over again. Their enthusiasm does make it slightly less of a chore.

Kate took a break to ride her bike ...and wear hats. She insisted on the helmet-stocking hat combo look. Very warm and safe.

Maggie is always full of nutty ideas and imaginative schemes.

So many wacky ideas...

Kate was really not as sure about this whole escapade as Maggie was.

But in the end, it was terribly fun!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Trivial Pursuits

Check out this picture that Maggie drew over the weekend. I'm quite proud of her as it's the first picture she's ever drawn of something. There's a mommy on the far left, then a little girl, and then a long baby wrapped in a yellow blanket (she says that's not a halo, it's just a circle). As you can see, they all have eyes. Very well done! She and Kate have been coloring a lot the last few days because I bought them a package of mini Crayola markers called Pip Squeaks, which Maggie calls Pip Squats.

And in other news, the girls spent part of the weekend fishing for cats...

And they caught one!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Maggie Sez...

... I'm trying to get some positive attention.

After Mike and I asked her why she was being so huggy and cuddly.

... I want a pet bunny to own and I will name it Mr. Hoppy-man and we can keep it in the basement so the cats can't get it and if they go down there then I will go down there and get the rabbit and take it up to my room so it will be safe!

[Kate hops by saying "Wabbit wabbit hop hop hop!"] See, there you go. Kate's a rabbit, so you can have Kate. I don't even mind if you call her Mr. Hoppy-man.

... OK, Let's go put her in the basement. *grin!*

Smart aleck.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


The Secret Sisters is a new Jack White/T Bone Burnett discovery who have just released their first record, The Secret Sisters. Maggie loves them! They do a very shreddy electric guitar version of Johnny Cash's "Big River" with Jack White, but it's mostly old school Patsy Cline-esque country folk tunes.

"Tennessee Me" (written by them):

"Do You Love An Apple" (old Irish folk song):

Here are some more songs they did for a Rolling Stone magazine session.

Monday, November 1, 2010


Carving their pumpkin with Dad

Maggie insisted on having 11 teeth

Kate loves it!

Family Resemblance

Maggie was pretending to have a camp out with Mike by the "firelight" of her Halloween buddies

The annual Halloween leaf raking extravaganza

"Monkey Jane Fowler" (as Maggie dubbed herself) and her duck sidekick Kate

Because monkeys and ducks go together like... whatever

Kate was actually having a good time

The morning after... Kate still loves the duck costume and wears it while watching Sesame Street!

More pictures on Snapfish, as usual!