Meg recently read a Berenstain’s Bears book about Mother’s Day, which included making breakfast in bed of blueberry french toast for Mama Bear. She wanted to replicate it for Clare. We woke up around 7 yesterday and got to work. Meg did a wonderful job cracking 4 eggs without getting any shell in. Spencer helped a bit mixing it up, and cutting up some strawberries. Meg cut some tulips from our garden. Clare doesn’t actually like eating breakfast in bed, so we actually ate in the dining room altogether.
After church, we had Grandma Ellen and Great-grandma Dorothy over for Steak and Shrimp. It was a very nice mother’s day.
After we had some great fun in Philadelphia we headed up to Clinton, New York to visit the Dibbles. We had a really nice time. Highlights included visiting the Rich Dibble farm, meeting the newest addition Rosemary, hiking around Hamilton college, some great New York pizza, incredible food for Thanksgiving dinner, and a very relaxed, mostly unplugged time. Keep reading for about 80 magnificent pictures.
p.s. The above group picture was the only one which didn’t have a kid sticking out their tongue! It looks like Spencer is giving us the bird, but I think that is unintentional. Unfortunately Abe had to leave to tend to a cow before we took the picture.
This year for Thanksgiving we traveled out East. The ultimate goal was Clinton, NY, but it is kind of hard to get there, so we decided to fly into Philadelphia, and take the opportunity to visit some friends from grad school – Wendy and Craig. Wendy is now living with Pete, and Craig is living with Felicia. We stayed with Craig and Felicia, but got to hang out with Wendy and Pete too, as well as their children – Isaac, Aaron, and Vera. On Saturday, we went downtown and saw the Liberty Bell, which the kids and I had not seen before. It was a bit smaller than I expected, but it was still really cool to see. I also thought that the signs at the Liberty Bell about slavery were very interesting. Other than the Liberty Bell, we mostly just let the kids play, and the adults got to catch up. We did do a movie night – Happy Gilmore, which Spencer and Meg really enjoyed. We also went to a bounce house, which is always fun. Meg really loved playing with Craig – he spent quite a bit of time pretending to be a monster and chasing all the kids around.
We had quite a bit of fun for halloween this year. Clare dressed up as sadness from the movie Inside Out. I was a Minion. Meg was Rapunzel, and Spencer was a football player. It looks like we forgot to get a family photo, but at least we got some of the kids.
And for comparison – I was a football player for halloween when I was five. Look similar?
We have had a lot of winter fun in the last week or so. We have gone sledding several times. There is a pretty good hill right behind our house, which is super convenient. The day after Christmas we went ice skating at the Apex (indoors), which was really great. I want to thank my friend Daniel Reeves for teaching me how to roller blade. I think that my roller blading experience really made my first try at ice skating much easier. In fact, I found it easier than roller blading, especially since there are no hills! Thanks also to Ellen for suggesting it, and for Grace, who pushed us to go.
On the 29th, Spencer and I went skiing on Monarch mountain with our friends Rick and Tao. Spencer and I both took lessons. I skied once, about 11 years ago, with my friend Rachel Rose. I thought I had forgotten all of it, but apparently not. It was also a bit easier than I thought. I also feel like ice skating helped me prepare, since it uses some of the same muscles and concepts, like balancing, and leaning forward a bit. Thanks Rick for showing us the ropes at Monarch! And thanks to Ellen for getting me and Spencer snow pants, and Clare and Ellen, for getting me and Spencer nice down jackets.
On January 1st, Rob, Spencer, Dave, and Grace hiked up North Table mountain – a tradition we would like to continue in future years. Hopefully we can get more people to join. Spencer was pretty tired, but he managed to make it all the way to the top.
Somehow, Santa Claus magically made an appearance at our house Christmas Eve, and brought us all more toys to open on Christmas morning. The kids patiently waited for Dave, Ellen, and Bret to come over, and then even waited past a tasty breakfast of egg casseroles that Clare made, to open their new gifts. They also helped everyone else open gifts as well.
After a day of hanging out and trying out all the new toys, we had a traditional Christmas dinner of sushi rice, Korean barbecue, sweet and sour vegetables, teriyaki chicken, and teriyaki seitan. Meg really loves seitan (though she calls it chicken).
This year we spent Christmas Eve at Dave and Ellen’s house, with Drew, Grace, Bret, and David Halla. In the tradition of my friend, Sean Gallagher, and his family, we made several different soups to enjoy. I made creamy red lentil chowder, and Clare made beef stew.
One of Spencer’s favorite Christmas gifts was some real football equipment from Ellen and Dave. We spent quite a long time on Christmas day trying it out. We had hoped for a bigger team, but Dave couldn’t play because he had recently developed a blood clot in his eye, and Bret wasn’t feeling well, so it ended up just being Drew, Spencer, and I, but Dave was able to take pictures.
Today, Spencer, Dave, and I went to a friend’s cabin in the mountains to cut a Christmas tree. We found a real dandy. We have a tall ceiling in our living room now, so we decided to get a big one – it’s about 13 feet tall. The tree we cut was actually about twice as tall, but the upper part was denser. We cut up some of the lower part and will use it for firewood. It’s pretty handy that we have a chainsaw, and Dave and Ellen have a pickup truck. Maybe this will start to be a yearly tradition.
Spencer, Dave, and Rob wit the xmas tree in the truck