What It All Comes Down To…

A glimpse into the life of our family. Some ideas, insight, recipes, and crafts. Maybe a baby picture or two.

Laughing: A Post for Kari, Aimee, Laurie, and Sheri K. (and probably a few others that have slipped my mind) March 31, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — What It All Comes Down To @ 1:46 pm

Okay, anyone from my middle school or high school days will totally get this link:


Is this just the funniest?  Remember that shoe store in Lancaster Mall that sold the Capezio jazz shoes?  What was it called?!


More Weekend Adventuring. March 28, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — What It All Comes Down To @ 9:50 am

Went on another adventure today.  Started at Charlotte Courthouse (it’s a town) to visit our favorite bookstore and gun store.  Sarah sat outside (with Bill) and played in the grass while Madeline and I looked for new books.  The boys meandered through the gun store, much to the dismay of the crabby gun shop lady.  Last time we visited, the shop worker was much more friendly and tolerant of little boys who like to look at guns. 

Next, we headed to Staunton River Battlefield (same as last weekend) to join in the Easter egg hunt.  Jon was a crazy egg-hunter.  He ran about 1/4 mile away from us, all the while picking up eggs and looking for the coveted golden egg (he didn’t find it).  Jack scoured the area after the hunt to be certain that all eggs were accounted for.

Jon, the egg hunter.

Sarah in the grass.

 There was a cool museum that had artifacts from the battle as well as information on the coal-burning electricity plant nearby.  Being from Oregon, I have no experience with coal power, so the information was interesting.  The power plant donated much of the land for the park surrounding the battlefield, as well as funding the development of the largest wetland in this part of the state.

After the hunt, we drove to Red Hill, the last home of Patrick Henry.  This was truly fascinating.  An informative and entertaining museum and walking tour of the house and grounds gave us all some new knowledge of Patrick Henry and his life.  For example, did you know that he died after consuming liquid mercury–on purpose?  He was terminally ill at the time and decided to end his life.  No one ever taught me that in school!  Had he not been in such poor health, it is suggested that Patrick Henry, not George Washington, would have been the first president of the US.

Red Hill.


Patrick Henry's grave.

A side trip to check out the newly built Amish barn (the old one burned) at our favorite Amish farm was our next stop.  We had a nice visit with the Amish lady who owns the farm, bought a few goodies for breakfast, and admired the many animals (baby chicks!) on the farm.

Pizza for dinner, gas for the car, and then the ride home while listening to a new book-on-tape about Greek myths.  Everyone was good, happy, and healthy.  Another succesful adventure.


Thank you, Jennifer! March 27, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — What It All Comes Down To @ 7:38 pm

I recently participated in a Vintage Swap organized by Heather of Shivaya Naturals.  My swap partner Jennifer sent me the greatest box of stuff.

A new blue bottle to add to my collection. How did you know I collect old bottles?!


Tons and tons of mohair yarn. I need to check on Ravelry for a new project idea. Also a vintage cigar box filled with felt strips. Hmmmm, what to create with those?


A lavendar pillowcase that Madeline has claimed for herself, a pink sheet with gorgeous floral trim that will be made into PJ pants for all of us girls, and a blue striped sheet that will be made into pjs or a dress or pillows or who knows.....

Thank you, Jennifer, for being such a great swap partner.  I loved anticipating the package’s arrival.  Fun stuff for fun projects.


March 24, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — What It All Comes Down To @ 4:33 pm


Jon has been coveting a tie for some time now.  Today, he was the lucky recipient of a way cool specimen.  He promptly clipped that bad boy on, slicked his hair to the side, and declared he was ready to be in the FBI or to attend a funeral.  This is no lie.  That is exactly what he said.  What you are unable to see in this picture is the handcuffs, marshall/FBI badge, and identification that he is carrying on his gun belt.  Naturally.


Piano Lessons

Filed under: Uncategorized — What It All Comes Down To @ 3:27 pm

I’ve decided that the bigger kids need to learn to read music.  Madeline had a nice start with piano lessons from about 5 years until 7 years, but Jack has no experience.  I really think that music lessons are great for building thinking skills and for encouraging concentration and diligence.  I’m certainly not expecting any Mozarts, but I am hoping to create a lifelong appreciation for music and musicians.  Since I am an intermediate (at best!) pianist, I figure I can do the teaching for several years at least.  Might even make me start practicing again as well!

My piano. My Mom's piano. My Grandma's piano. Made its way across the country and still sounds lovely.

I’m even using my old piano books.  The fingers are a bit stiff these days and I’m not seeing notes as clearly as I used to, but that’s okay.


The Thrifting Gods Were Generous Today March 23, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — What It All Comes Down To @ 7:45 pm

Since Jack and Bill have batting practice on Tuesday nights, the rest of us like to head to the local Goodwill.  Some of us like to look through all of the racks, some of us like to look for old records, and some of us just like to watch the cartoons on the crappy television sets for sale.  Tonight all of the planets were in alignment or there was good karma or something because I found some great things. 

Vintage Pyrex dish that I just happen to have the lid for. I broke mine (a gift from Grandma Barb) a year ago.


Really cute floral dishes. $.29 each! Enough for lunch.


New, with tags Christmas dress for Sarah. $.69


Adorable terry-lined tunic top for Sarah. Might even double as a dress. Also $.69.


Madeline found a Thompson Twins record for $.50.  I was informed by the Goodwill worker that the store will be raising prices at the end of the month.  Now baby clothes will be, gasp, $1.  I’m pretty sure we’ll keep going.


Weekend Adventuring March 21, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — What It All Comes Down To @ 5:54 pm

Since baseball season is upon us, our weekends are usually pretty full now.  We do, however, try to leave Sundays unencumbered by activities in order to go adventuring.  Our favorite way to adventure is as follows:

Start the day with a nice, leisurely breakfast during which we decide on a tentative direction to set out.  Gather all necessary provisions (water, candy, diapers, knitting, iPods), buy a coffee on the way, and start the adventure.  Stop at any and all interesting shops or country stores along the route.  Get lost or turned around at least twice.  Eat a picnic of crackers, cheese, lunch meat and soda.  Find chocolate.  Eat all of it.  Repeat until we’re all completely tired and then come home. 

Today we ventured to a Civil War battle site–I know, shocking!  This one is http://www.stauntonriverbattlefield.org/index.html

There was a really great walking trail that followed the old railroad grade. 

The view from the bridge spanning the Staunton River.


The field where the actual battle took place.


Can you see the owl in the very center? He was so pretty, just sitting there watching us.


Sarah's first stroller experience. It was a success!


We had a remarkable time.  This was probably my second favorite adventure of all time.  The kids were so good, which certainly makes the whole experience all the better.  We met some interesting bikers (of the nonscary variety) who were able to give us some insider information (they were locals) on the area.  Even though we were only about an hour from home, we saw many places that had escaped our notice before.  I’m sure we’ll plan another trip once the trees all leaf out, but before the heat sets in.   

Bill is making our customary Sunday night dinner of cheese sandwhiches and popcorn.  I ripped out my knitting project and will hopefully decide on a new version (vest for Sarah) to cast on.  Lesson plans for school this week.  Living Easter baskets to plant.  And then baths and bed.  A lovely end to the weekend.