Monday, April 26, 2010

Some Cuties

What do you think?  Does she look like Gretchen?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Maple Syrup

We used to make our own maple syrup.  We had a yard full of beautiful sugar maples.  Ken's dad would do all the tapping and boiling.  We had large blue bags hanging on each tree.  It's been many years since we lived on DeWoody Road.  I've had to import and plant my own sugar maples where ever we lived since then.  (It's my favorite tree.  The leaves are the most incredible orange each fall.)  The younger half of our family never got in on all of that.

So recently we went on a field trip to Lake Geneva to see maple syrup being made.

The incredibly huge homes that surround the lake.

Anna and Robby drilling the trees.

They didn't use bags to gather syrup, but tubes!  This is impressive.

In the boiling room the excess liquid is boiled off.  It was so steamy in there that the pictures didn't turn out.  This is the only one where you can see anything at all.

At the end of the tour everyone warmed up with drinks and cookies.  =)

 Our group of kids.
After the field trip the kids had the opportunity to just play on the beautiful grounds.

Looks almost irresistible.

Yes this does belong to the camp's chef!

Friday, April 23, 2010

In Paris

Andrew has been gone on a vacation visiting friends in Europe.  He shortened his total trip time because of the pressures of the economy on his job.  Now he finds himself stranded in Paris.  I know that sounds wonderful to some folks, but believe me it has it's draw backs.  We've been watching the news and wondering how long it takes to become fluent in French.  HA!

Well this morning I awoke to find a message, Andrew is on his way home!  Hooray!!

Welcome Home Andrew

Portraits of a Family

This could be any family.  
This is what happens in our family. 

These pictures just make me smile! 

I treasure these times!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Easter Weekend Catch Up

We had a wonderful weekend celebrating Easter.  Here's a peek at our activities.

Saturday we all headed to the Rehab to visit Grandpa Bud.  We brought pizza for lunch together.

Gregg and Sharon and the girls came out.  It was so fun to be together.  Their girls are growing so fast. 

Alaina "found" an egg right here on the window sill, imagine that!!  She spent the rest of the time just shaking it.  "grin"

Matthew is helping Sidney find these really well hidden eggs.  I love that jelly belly.

Leslie was really the only one of the little kids to catch on to the hunting idea. 

Here we are putting eggs into and out of a bucket.  FUN

Oooo  Oooo Look at what Alaina found!

Uncle Nate

Wonder what's on his mind???
Actually he was helping with the under the table issues. 

We had a great visit.  Dad had a pretty good day and really enjoyed the kiddos.  He was the one who always hid eggs for us when we were little.  He didn't just hide eggs, but whole nests.  Yes, with Easter grass and a pot load of goodies.  I tell you, you couldn't find those things even though they were huge!  We would hunt for the entire day.  He would sit in a chair and say "I can see one from here."  Ya know he was right---- they could be seen if you knew where to look.  I know that he enjoyed watching our little hunters.

That evening Alaina helped dye eggs. 

Kyle got some darling video.  Maybe they will put some up!

What do you do with these things anyway??

They sure were pretty.
Easter part 2 coming up.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sisson Hollow

Welcome to Sisson Hollow.  Please watch your step!  We are heading back in time to the late 1700's.

Yes we experienced hands on history this week.  Each family in our history group researched and prepared a colonial shop or service.  We gathered our materials, produced our goods, practiced our skills and came together to set up a village, "Sisson Hollow".

The Sisson Hollow Merchants

 Each shop keeper gave a report on their shop, their products, and other interesting things they had learned in their research. 

Here's Haley's Milinery Shop.  Notice her manikins showing the latest fashions in her store window.  She sold mirrors, needle cases, soap, boxes, gorgets, handkerchiefs, rosette cockades, and peacock feathers.
Abby's Game Shop and Anna's Syrup
Abby had the game of Graces, checkers, tops, and mancala.  Anna had Maple Syrup.  Yummy.

 This is how the boys play Graces! (keep away, sword fighting, and threaten to stab your neighbor!)

Here's how it's supposed to be played.  Gracefully.

One of the goals for our merchants was to experience bartering.  They all had goods to trade and products and services they wanted from each other!

We invited a few time travelers otherwise known as grandparents, fathers, and mothers.  Now they came empty handed with nothing to barter.  So they received gold and copper coinage fresh from the sisson mint.  "smile"  It was interesting to watch as the money slowly made it's way into circulation. I think you get the picture. 

Here are some of the Grandparents enjoying lunch and keeping warm around the fire.  Sweet potato and apple bake, venison stew, salted fish, biscuits, apple cider, cake and apple mincemeat pie.  Yum.

Our wig-maker Katrina.  She would make you a wig, powder your face, give you beauty marks, and had bath accommodations.  She does not recommend bathing more than twice a year.  She could shave you, and of course offered lice powder.  "smile"

She made the wig on the left out of hair.  It took her 6-8 hours!

Beautiful hat with  rosette cockade and feather.

 Our dyer was extremely wealthy.  He was able to afford the wig made from hair!

 He also could afford the fancy beauty marks and moles.  Anna had her face powdered and a star beauty mark. 
Who is attacking who??

Grandma Sisson at the wigmakers shop.  Maybe she'll get a beauty mark or a mole.  "wink"

The two sister's bake shop.
Their shop was the first place everyone visited. 
These candied orange peals were the afternoon hit.  I couldn't believe how delicious they were.  They tasted just like the orange slice candy we have now!

Robby coming up in the world with a wig!

Wow he looks great!

Here is Jason the Weaver & Dyer

You could purchase yard goods and have them dyed to suit your tastes.  I got a half a yard of light blue.

This was dyed with indigo!

Here are two of the three colors that he was prepared to do on this day.  He experimented all week to be ready for our hands on day.  It helped that his craft included working with fire.  "grin"

The Wood Hands Grocer
Matthew's store was inside the fort.  That way if there was an attack his supplies would be available to all who took safety there. 

Grocers carried many things but Matthew had popcorn, dent corn, coffee beans, raspberry tea, dutch tea . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . .sugar, jerky, wooden pouches, and chocolate.  

He too had a fire pit for heating his water. 

Our baker having her hair done at the wig-makers shop.  She looked like royalty when she was done!

Something is amiss at the grocers.  

There may be a robbery in progress.


The Apothecary

This is the man to see if you are feeling the least bit sickly.  He carried everything; leeches, blood sucking worms, powders, elixirs, herbs, and excellent advice.  If you catch the flu put a dead chicken at your feet.  Roast and grind a toad, then eat for your general good health. 

His shop was EXTREMELY popular.

Matthew being fitted for a wig to show his rank in society.

Notice what he has in his teeth?

Here he is in his wig wearing his gorget.  The gorget indicates that he is an officer and on duty.

Fabulous Fun
History comes alive!