I realize that winter is weeks away, but I just didn't get to it this summer, and I just had to have summer in the archives. So in one post here is Maine, Cape Cod, Vermont and right around the corner from our house.
This kid is a real pain, but it's hard to not love him to pieces.
The day after his birthday we headed to NYC for some food and fun. Our first stop, China Town.
Our dear friends were out of town, so we stayed at their place and had a drink from their bar, played with their toys, and put our hotel saving towards a show at Radio City Hall. The Rockettes Christmas Spectacular....oh the things you do when you have kids.
The pace of city life is not for me, but I do love living so close to such an amazing one. We'll be back soon.
I am sad to say that we lost our dear Ollie this week. We held a candle light memorial for her, and laid her to rest under the spirea in the front garden. Elsa thought it would be nice to plant some spring bulbs over her grave.
She was a sweet little soul. She came as a surprise Christmas present for Elsa almost 2 years ago, and hid in our bedroom undetected for almost two weeks. She was carried all around the house by Elsa, and chased all around the house by Cyrus. She left many a dead animal for us, was always hungry, was always getting stepped on, and was always editing my typing. It amazes me how much we love these furry creatures in our lives. Ollie will be deeply missed.
Cyrus and Elsa go back to school this week. Elsa begins middle school and Cyrus Kindergarten. They are both happy to get back into the flow of things and I am looking forward to back tracking a bit and let you know what we've been up to this summer.
We celebrated Elsa's birthday recently. What a cool kid she is. She woke up and chose to be happy because it was her birthday, with no real expectations of the day. She was just thrilled to have completed one more year of life.
I've had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with her this past month. Volunteering at school, going on field trips and hanging out with her friends. She has so much fun. Her friends are a loud, fun, and talented crew of kids up for anything, and Elsa is so kind, accepting and confident. It was so exciting for me to be with her in her element.
We went to a wedding recently where she was the only kids amongst a sea of wild 20 somethings. As soon as the music came on she hit the dance floor and partied like a champ. When asked if she wanted to sing karaoke, she did not hesitate. She just squeezes every drop of joy from life, no mater what the scene.
Many science fair projects later, elementary school is wrapping up for my little girl. I cannot say that I am sad, in fact we are both looking forward to this next chapter, where her world becomes a little bit bigger.
There is a lot of chatter around the public middle school model. I hear many parents seeking alternatives for their kids because they don't want their kids to have the "deal with" that kind of environment. I feel I can give her so much, provide her with endless opportunities, indulge her in her passions, and push her to learn things that she'll thank me for later. What I also want for her is to be able to "deal", and that's a skill that I can only let life teach her.
Let's just begin here. The chickens are laying like crazy. We're getting so many eggs that one day we decided to decorate and hide them in the yard. We made egg salad, smoked a ham and had some friends over to share in the excitement.
For my birthday this year I received a chain saw from my in-laws. Bob gave me a safety lesson. I dragged downed trees out from the woods and chopped them up to make coals for the smoker.
Sarah (the stuffed monkey), is the new Meow(who went missing about a year ago). He has every meal with us. He never finishes what's on his plate, and yes, Sarah is a boy.
I have to say, that this year we have had our fill of winter fun, and can move into spring fully satisfied. This past week we drove north for some breathtaking skiing for the kids winter break. It was so cold and windy, the downhill lifts were closed for two days. But we cross country skiers are a tough breed.
With a hot water bottle tucked into a down sleeping bag, Cyrus was snug as a bug. Cuz it was cold, really cold, and in order to stay warm we had to keep a steady pace. Yes, I'm bragging but, my family is pretty hard core, Ben hauling close to 100 lbs up and down those hills, and Elsa, the only 10 year old kid I know who endures such ridiculousness with such enthusiasm.
Now don't get me wrong, there was complaining and cursing, and skis came off and were carried up the biggest hills, but at the top of the hill and at the end of the day, we were ready to do it all over again. I think that maybe back-country downhill skiing might be in our future.