Thursday, April 26, 2007

Choir Friends at Food Court

My vacation is over and things are getting back to normal, whatever that is. Last night I went to the Food Court at my church to have a little supper before attending choir rehearsal. This is a wonderful idea our church leaders came up with a few years ago, allowing families or individuals to come from school, work, home, or wherever, to buy a delicious meal at a small price, and be able to eat together before heading off to the various programs happening on our church campus Wednesday nights: youth group, Bible studies, choir rehearsal, etc.

These photos show a few of my dear choir friends.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Singing Nuns

Returning to work this morning after vacation, a co-worker asked me to come to his office as he had something to show me. He made it sound like it was very important. So, I hurried down there to view this:

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. :-)

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Revolutionary War, April 19, 1775

Yesterday, my final day of vacation out East, Hans, Josiah, Annika and I drove to Lexington, Massachusetts, to tour the Minute Man National Park. This park includes: Lexington's Battle Green where on April 19, 1775 the famous "shot heard 'round the world" occurred during the very first battle of the Revolutionary War. The Green is also where the Minuteman Statue by H. H. Kitson is located. Concord's Old North Bridge where on April 19, 1775 Colonial militia men turned back British troops after the Battle of Lexington. This site includes Daniel Chester French's well-known Minute Man Statue. The five-mile "Battle Road Trail" between Lexington and Concord, including a restored colonial landscape approximating the path of the running skirmishes between British troops and Colonial militia, the site at which Paul Revere was captured during his midnight ride, and the Hartwell's Tavern, a restored 18th-century tavern on Battle Road. The Wayside, home in turn to authors Louisa May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Margaret Sidney.

I won't attempt to give a review of this historical time of the birth of our nation, but tell you in my words that it meant a lot to see the area and made me appreciate the difficult struggle our forefathers had. Freedom always comes with a price. It's easy for us to forget that price they paid.

Touring this area with Hans was fun because he is so knowledgeable. I can ask him just about anything, and he knows the answer. It was also fun having the kids along. Though they didn't understand what went on here, they loved seeing a duck in the pond. Annika got so excited and waved at it with both hands. She loves saying, "Quack, quack, quack" whenever she sees a duck or a chicken. It is adorable. Josiah was intrigued with the big rocks here and there and wanted to climb to the top of most of them.

At the conclusion of our visit to this area, Hans drove me to the Logan airport terminal in Boston for my flight home. It was such a great time. I miss all of them.

Thank you, Hans, Rachel, Josiah and Annika!!

Reasons Why I Had a Great Vacation





Fun, fun, fun!!!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Fun in the afternoon

Hans, Josiah and Annika playing in Josiah's Christmas tent.

The Elms

This morning Hans and I toured the mansion called The Elms. It was built in 1902 by a wealthy couple, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Berwind, who made their fortunes in Pennsylvania coal - worth 31 million dollars. This was a time when there was no income tax, so they could spend their $$$ any way they wished. Mind you, this was their summer home, where they spent only 6 to 8 weeks during the summer. They entertained other wealthy neighbors such as the Astors, the Vanderbilts, and so on. Often Mr. Berwind only came up from New York or Pennsylvania for the weekend. Word has it that Mrs. Berwind had ladies over every day to play bridge. If she couldn't get a four-some, she would ask the butler to play. One stipulation followed, however. He had to stand during the game. One can only imagine what their home in New York was like.

Once again, this was a self-guided tour. Head sets were provided. Throughout the tour, I learned that the Berwinds had no children. They had 4 neices whom they entertained often. They employed 43 servants/staff members. They loved the French cuisine, so French chefs were hired.

The rooms had huge floor to ceiling windows, encased in marble. Beside the bedrooms for the couple, they had 7 bedrooms for guests. The floors were mostly wood, done in a herringbone design. Many of the family furnishings are still in place. I especially liked the china cabinets in one of the pantries. I know, this comes as no surprise. When I first spied them, I remarked to Hans, "Oh, boy. Here's the part I like." To which he replied, "Do you think you'll be alright, Mom? Can you handle it?" I love that my kids know me so well. And then, of course, I sneaked a few pictures as no one was around. Lord, help me. I just love dishes! My motto: You can never have too many dishes.

When the tour was over, we made our exit to walk around the grounds. And guess what? The clouds had all cleared away and the sky was an amazing blue. It was just beautiful!

I have included a few of the photos I took.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Wednesday in Rhode Island

It's cloudy and raining again today. Chilly too. The daffodils here and there add some cheer to the dreary skies - as do Josiah and Annika.

Today Josiah spent the day at preschool. He was there from 9 to 4, which I think is a long time for a little one. While there he played with other kids, made two art projects: painted a tree and made a kite, had his lunch, and took a little nap. When we picked him up, we got to see the tree painting, and Josiah introduced me to the class hermit crabs, Crabby and Patty. He is getting to be such a big boy. When he had his coat on and was ready to leave, he turned to the other kids and said, "Goodbye, friends." They all said goodbye and waved.

After dropping him off at school, Rachel, Annika and I went shopping. I picked up some new yarn since I had finished the prayer shawl I had been knitting last night. We wandered around Michael's a bit. It was really interesting seeing the different decorating items offered here on the east coast - light houses, bags of beautiful seashells, sea glass, baskets made from rope. It made me think of my next door neighbor who turned her extra bedroom into a sea side cottage/beach house. She would have loved the things I saw! I'll be sure to tell her about it the next time I see her.

Annika loved shopping with us. She is so cheerful all the time. All the clerks say she is adorable. Do I argue? Are you nuts?! She's beautiful!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Sinful Treat

Okay, I'm on vacation, right? So what's wrong with having a little treat? I know, Weight Watchers wouldn't approve, but I had it anyway.

Trip the the Public Library

Yesterday we made a little trip to the public library where Josiah returned and borrowed books. In the children's section, they have a darling set of play rooms. One room had a puppet tree. Annika and Josiah loved playing in these rooms.

Children's Museum in Providence, RI

This morning we took a little trip to Providence to tour the Children's Musuem there. Believe it or not, this was my first trip to such a place! It was really full of curious kids. I enjoyed watching their enthusiam.
Josiah and Annika have been to the one in Boston, which Rachel said is much larger with more space for the activities, but this one was okay. Josiah took me by the hand and off we went. He wasn't afraid of trying anything. But the first thing that really attracted him was a building site, complete with hard hats, florescent vests, a crane, beams (styrofoam), and other tools. He climbed up the ladder and joined about 15 other kids and immediately found a beam that he wanted to bring with him down the ladder. Once on the floor again, I explained the beam should be attached to the crane (with a Velcro strap) and raised up by the crane to the building site. He complied and watched another boy raise it up with the crane. He seemed to like it.

Another room had a slide, tunnel, and lots of little animals. Annika loved the slide and running through the tunnel. She also climbed into the little teeter-totter rocker. Josiah was compelled to line up all of the animals. He has such organizational skills!
Probably the most fun room for both of them was the water room. Many pools of water filled this room and they had balls, boats, watering cans, and other toys that the kids could play with. Both Annika and Josiah spent lots of time adding balls to the tubes where water moved them down to the bottom. The museum supplied some plastic aprons; Josiah was one of the lucky ones to get one. But by the time we were ready to leave, their sleeves were soaked. They had fun, and grandma had a good time too. :-)

Sunday, April 15, 2007