Thursday, January 31, 2008

Rather Interesting...

I found this survey through another blog and surprised myself after taking it. To learn how your opinions on "the issues" line up with those of the candidates, take the following test!

Now I think I'll be trying to follow the debates and issues more closely... in my spare time, that is!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Little Something New...

Well, I've gone out on a limb- a short way out- and made a few changes to the format of my blog. Feeling somewhat adventurous this morning, (what was in my coffee?!) I thought I'd explore a bit and see if I could make this site a bit more interesting. Not that I don't have anything else to do...

Moving right along-

This past weekend was Jim's birthday and we managed to pull off a neat surprise for him! Unlike many guys, Jim enjoys museums and art. I found out from a friend that the Wyeth family of artists were from nearby and that a museum dedicated to their artwork is only an hour or so from here. So Jim was told to reserve Saturday for a full-day trip, and we went to the Brandywine River Museum for a day of American Art!

Kate explains the elements of this painting to Isaac.

We have several of the Classic novels that N. C. Wyeth illustrated so the kids were already familiar with some of the paintings we were going to see. We gave Treasure Island to Isaac for Christmas, which N. C. Wyeth illustrated in order to buy his farm in Chester County, PA. Once there we ate lunch, then rented audioguides for everyone. I was tickled to see Isaac using his audioguide for many of the paintings- and truly interested in what they had to say! He keyed in a random number at one point, then spent the rest of the time searching for the painting about which he'd learned. It turned out to be a giant Raven painted by Jamie Wyeth, which we found in the last gallery.

Portrait of Pig, by Jamie Wyeth

Outdoors there were a couple of life-size sculptures which we all enjoyed. There are gardens and the Wyeth house and Studio to explore in the spring, Summer and Fall, so we plan to return.

Hang on Cow-kids!

Now THIS is yard art!

Jim really enjoyed his day with the kids and without his Blackberry. Work has been crazy for him lately, so a day to unwind and think about anything else was a blessing.

Happy Birthday Dad!

This week Erin moved to her next phase of Orthodontia. She now has a full set of braces! The Orthodontist started her with a partial set to get her top teeth aligned first, and that happened so quickly it seemed we could watch them move! Now she's in the full set and eating only soft foods for a few days- ouch! I remember that feeling too well...

"Thanks Dr. Angle!"

Now that's a mouthful!

In other news, Isaac has been home sick for his third day now. It's his throat this time. I'd love to see the school district have a one- week quarantine; send everyone home for a week to get over whatever they are carrying to class! Poor baby. I know he's really feeling poorly when he stays on the couch all day long.

I'm sure there's more to tell, but I do need to run! Be back posting soon!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Snow At Last!

We finally have snow! And the temperatures to keep it! It started falling in the early afternoon and there was enough accumulation by 4 pm that Bekah and Isaac's bus had a hard time getting all the way up the hill. They were 20 minutes late getting home, so they wasted no time getting into their snow gear and back outside to play before it got too dark! Erin was already outside with friends. I made a video of Isaac's first use of his Christmas snowboard-

Bekah pulled out a sled for a test run as well!

This past Sunday we had a neat afternoon with friends at an art gallery of sorts. The Goggleworks was, years ago, a manufacturing facility for safety goggles. Once the business moved the building stood empty for I'm not sure how long. Skipping to the present, it now holds art galleries and artists studios as well as a theater and dance studio. On Sunday we went to explore the Goggleworks since they were having an open house with demonstrations free to the public. As it turns out, several friends from church were also going, including a family whose kids are Erin's and Isaac's friends.

We got to watch a glassblowing demonstration which was absolutely fascinating. Working as a team, four guys made a life-size pike (fish). Their teamwork, considering the weight of the material, the heat of the furnaces and the crucial nature of the timing was amazing; like watching an elaborate dance. When they reached their suspense-laden finale the whole audience applauded and cheered. Wow.

After the glass work we visited several art studios where the artists were all in residence, working or explaining their work. Another friend of ours was singing with her folk group in one of the galleries so we enjoyed an interlude of their music. The "can-we-go-nows" didn't begin until the afternoon was actually over, which was very nice indeed. The only drawback was that I forgot my own camera. (Our friend Mike took some photos which I will post when he emails them to me.) For a closer look, check out

In the meantime we will be lighting a fire and enjoying the snow, hot cocoa, and the American Idol tryouts!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

A Little Boy and a Very Large Cat

Lookie what I found on the computer! We have a camera that I've set up on the computer, but haven't used much. One evening while Jim and I were out Isaac figured out how to use the camera,... with some help from Milo.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Happy New Year- a tad late!

I am finally able to sit down with my computer after two weeks of (semi) forced exile. From Christmas Eve to January 4th our phone line, and therefore our internet connection, were going haywire. The repair guy finally diagnosed and fixed the problem- a loose wire out on the pole somewhere. With the crazy winter weather we've been having it's no surprise. But evidently we were the only house affected.

After that was dealt with, Jim set up his home office at my desk, effectively blocking me from the computer! Augh! He is now out of town for work, so I can re-acquaint myself with the computer, internet, and bill-paying,... whoopie!

But that's not the fun news. The fun was happening over Christmas with the kids home from school and cookies baking, church activities, and a video-conference with Nathaniel on Christmas day as we opened presents together! Our connection was just stable enough for the video connection to Hawaii as he opened the crock-pot and cookbook we sent him. Now he can cook some of his meals in his apartment- they have a refrigerator but no oven.

Jim was able, during his week of vacation, to finish the beautiful new tabletop for in the dining room. Now we can comfortably seat 8 to 10 people around one table! What a treat!

For New Year's Eve we had some friends come over for an extended meal and fellowship to welcome 2008. Kate had brought a small bottle of French champagne home from Europe which we popped open as the ball dropped on TV.

Here's a brief slide show. As usual, pass your mouse over the individual photos to see the captions!

Have a blessed 2008!