For many years, we never bought pumpkins. I think some of the reason was being frugal and the crops had some issues. One year, the boys and I picked out pumpkins and went to Nana and Papa’s house to carve them in their bigger kitchen. The moment that they reached inside the pumpkins and touched the guts inspired my recent post on Bedtime Math. There is just something special about carving pumpkins, playing with the pumpkin guts, and roasting the seeds. This year, we took the boys out to “pick” some pumpkins at a local gardening store. They spent a lot of time figuring out which pumpkin was perfect. Then this past weekend, it was time to carve them up. Pumpkin guts time was fun as usual.
We quickly learned that JSL’s pumpkin was very ripe and he did not like the strong smell. While NHL made a face at first about the feel of the pumpkin guts, he had a blast playing and experimenting while we got everything ready. Then, each of us designed out pumpkins and TechyDad did the carving.
Of course, when all was said and done, the boys were goofy and had a blast with the entire process. I had to take photos because these are the memories we will cherish years from now.
So to all of the kids and kids at heart dressing up as Harry Potter, Captain America, Doctor Who, and other fun ghosts and goblins – have a safe and wonderful Halloween.
The two of you adore making crafts. With a smaller house, it is sometimes hard to get into more elaborate items in our space. Last summer, we spent a lot of time at Michaels for their passport art program. One of our favorites was the sand art (Tibetan sand paintings) for China. This year, the library had a sign up for a Sand Card Art activity run by the Scotia-Glenville Traveling Children’s Museum.
When we walked into the room, everything was set up. This is what you both found on the table that we sat at:
Each of the tables around the room were set up the same way. There were items to trace, pencils, scissors, cardboard for glue, glue, q-tips to use with the glue, and cards to design. Then, in the front of the room, there was a table that had a table cloth strategically set up on it.
One of the librarians introduced the nice woman from the museum who explained the steps in making the sand art. She also showed everyone some card examples. Once she was done, it was time to get to creating. Both of you wanted to make a dinosaur, so you began with that.
After the dinosaur, you both created some other items and it was fun to watch. NHL, you wanted to make the scar that is on Harry Potter along with his name. JSL you did more modern art and mixed sand color technique.
One other thing that I noticed was the table where the sand had been sitting at the start. The sand colors on the table cloth were just fascinating to look at themselves.
Although it was hard to keep up with both of you at the same time, it really was a lot of fun. I can not wait to head to more events over the rest of the summer with you. Oh and perhaps we will get some supplies to try sand art for the holidays.
P.S. A huge thank you to the libraries in the area for hosting such amazing programs for the kids over the summer. Your patience and smiles are greatly appreciated.
Earlier in the week, I had almost forgotten about that white stuff that falls from the sky.
Of course, I know where we live and it is hard to forget the snow from last year. This could have been the least snowy on record for February, but it was not meant to be. No, that funny 29th day killed that plan thanks to Mother Nature sending us a dose of reality. As of Tuesday, we had only received .6” of snow during the month. With a storm coming on Leap Day, we were going to easily go over the 1.2” record.
The photo above was taken right before I went to get JSL from preschool on Wednesday. The snow had started quickly and was making an impact. By about 4:00, it looked like this outside the house:
Thank goodness we all made it home safely, although skidding on the road was an issue. This morning, schools throughout the area were closed for the first time this season. The boys stayed home with me as more snow fell. After lunch, I went out to take some photos and get rid of the giant boulders of snow at the bottom of the driveway from the plows.
So my question to you this week:
How has the winter been by you? Mild, typical, snowy, tropical, or something in between. Share below and let me know what you think.
Weather – not exactly the topic of choice for a blog post, yet it is one that is on my mind. You see, in my part of NY, we expect weather issues in the winter. Ice and snow often keep us home, make driving treacherous, and cause damage to our home. This is not usually true in the spring, summer, and fall. These seasons are relatively quiet most years.
Mother Nature apparently decided that she was going to get our attention this summer. Over the last two and a half weeks, it has been wild, wacky, and down right deadly in certain locations.
Tuesday, August 23 – The boys and I just got into our car that had been serviced. As I turned the key, the car started to buck violently. The boys did not seem to notice. I got out of the car. This is when I felt dizzy and like my knees were going to go out from underneath me. This should have been my clue, but I was tired and getting ready for a romantic 10th Anniversary getaway with TechyDad. Thanks to Twitter, I quickly learned that what I had felt was not my car – it was an earthquake. Yes, in NY we were experiencing the quake that started in Virginia. Linda Carmical wrote about the social media connection and how word spread.
Sunday, August 28 – Hurricane Irene, came up the east coast and left a major impression on regions that were a lot further inland than ever expected. Thanks to this monster storm, we had to cancel said trip to Disney World. Roads were flooded throughout NY, bridges closed, and rivers running into homes that are gone. We were so lucky, but so many others were not.
For a few days, the weather was quiet. The sun came out. People started to clean up, repair homes, and move back into areas that had been evacuated by the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers. Then it changed.
Sunday, September 4 – While at a birthday party, my father called us. He wanted to let us know that there were tornado warnings throughout the area. Sure enough, when we looked outside the wind was wild and the sky rather black. The party was over and we knew that closer to our house was getting better. As we left Chuck E Cheese, a clap of thunder shook the entire parking lot. A car alarm went off, and the sky was lit up with bolts of lightning. As we drove you could see the ominous sky fading behind us. By the time we reached our home the news of a tornado in Amsterdam had been confirmed. Here is a video that was filmed of the Tornado crossing the NY State Thruway (at about 5:48 in the video):
This seemed to open the rain up to the area again.
Monday to Thursday, September 5-8 – Yes, Mother Nature decided to dump more water on the area already inundated with flooding after Hurricane Irene. Welcome the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee. Pieces were not picked up and inches of water were back all this week. Back to school has been gray, rain filled, and nasty. The Mohawk and Hudson Rivers, along with countless other creeks and waterways are over their banks. Watching the reports out of Binghamton, NY and other areas just breaks my heart. At midnight on Wednesday, areas in Schenectady County that had been evacuated during Irene were once again in chaos. People were told to leave immediately as water started to spill into the streets.
My heart goes out to all of those who have been dealing with this horrible weather and damage. We will be working on a project to help locals with items that are needed. Of course, I so wish we could bring some of the water to those in Texas. Thanks to the drought that area could really use it to help stop the raging wildfires.
So my question to you this week:
Do you recall many natural disasters from your childhood? If you do what were they and how did they change your life? Dare I ask . . . how is the weather by you?
I hardly recall any other hurricanes in our area. I remember them going to Long Island and places south of us, but no flooding in our region like this. This week, we are expecting the sun to return, which is much needed. Of course, this flooding will be an on going issue with any additional rain for months.
For weeks, I have been writing up posts to schedule. At one point I had two weeks set and would not need anything until after Labor Day. Two guest posts are set for this week alone. I was on a roll, things were flying onto my computer from my fingertips. Then things changed. Our world became obsessed with watching the news, checking on weather reports, and debating what to do.
I should be on the road to Long Island, NY right now (writing this Sunday afternoon). Instead, I am home watching record amounts of water fall outside my home. I am numb. Worry for family, friends, and our own home is not letting all of the reality set in. All I can do is sit here and wait on my bed with power (for now), but no internet or cable
You see, Tuesday morning I should be getting on an airplane. TechyDad and I decided in late July that we were going to just do something crazy. We were going to figure out a way to do a 10th Anniversary trip. We looked at several different options. In the end, we wanted something magical, something that would remind us of our honeymoon. Of course, that was a trip to Walt Disney World.
My in-laws agreed to watch the boys for the first time ever. I was nervous about a quick trip (we booked in the end of July) and leaving the kids to only get back home the day before school started, but they would be fine and we needed this.
Then something happened. Hurricane Irene decided to slam everyone up and down the east coast. My in-laws asked us to try to go on Saturday. I could not do it. The storm appeared like it was going to be so much more in the NYC/Long Island area that I wanted to be at home to keep an eye on things here. Friday night, I was so restless. I tossed and turned. The what if aspect of everything was killing me. Sure, perhaps we would have a flight, but could we guarantee being able to travel from here to there? Right now, TechyDad’s parents have no power. There was no way I could leave two young kids with them for five nights without power. That was not fair.
So, just before noon on Saturday, I made a tough call. It was time to call our airlines and travel agent to cancel our trip. We needed to focus on getting ready for the storm and not worry about how/if/when we could get to our flight. Our airline was fantastic. We are not reimbursed, but have credit that must be used with us back home by a certain date. We can handle that.
When I tried to call Disney to cancel on my own, the woman asked how she could help make my day magical. With tears in my eyes and obvious sadness, I told her she could make Hurricane Irene go away. She immediately got serious and said she was so sorry. In the end, our agent called and we were reimbursed for the package we purchased.
Now, as the storm is likely at the worst. How will this week be? I know I should be thrilled that my family and friends are safe. I am, do not get me wrong. Still, with each passing day from Tuesday to Sunday it will sting. I will think about the meal we are missing. I will morn the special trip that should have been. I will be ok, but it hurts. I shouldn’t complain since the last six weeks of dreaming of the trip helped make the summer bearable. The weeks went by as we planned to meet friends, eat special meals, and more. This last week of summer vacation for the boys is going to be hard. We will be picking up the pieces from the storm, assessing damage in our basement, and wondering how and when we can reschedule the trip that we needed. Yes, I really am ready for 2011 to be over since she has been so very evil in too many ways.
Update from Monday morning: Sunday was a long day here. The rain intense and the wind got worse into the dark evening. We were SO lucky here. Some issues in our basement that we now have to look into, but no major damage. Unfortunately, others within our area were not so lucky. Irene may have only been a tropical storm when she came into our area, but she packed one hell of a punch. Mud slides, dams bursting, lakes in front of houses at the base of mountains – a massive mess. We never lost our power here, but across the street they have none right now. Sheer exhaustion from no sleep for days caught up. I went to a room where I could not hear the howling wind and fell asleep on TechyDad’s chest. Today, he managed to get to work after closed roads leading to Vermont were just reopened. Now to see what we can do around the area to keep our minds busy.
One other thing, I really wish people would stop talking about the over-hyped nature of this storm. Should more people have died? Perhaps they have not seen some of the damage and more that is coming NOW thanks to all of the flooding that is still not at the worst level. I think a lot of people living inland and in parts of South Carolina and Virginia would beg to differ. No, NYC was not destroyed, but lives were forever changed up and down the east coast. The fact that people were safe is not a fail, but something we should celebrate after the mistakes from Hurricane Katrina. We need to remember that less is more in the case of a hurricane – especially when it is not as much damage in some very populated areas. To those with damage and picking up the pieces – my heart goes out to you.