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Monday, October 13, 2008

Soccer, Pumpkins and Indian Summer

It's been a fantastic Columbus Day weekend here in New England. We are having Indian Summer with temperatures in the mid seventies during the day and cooler -- in the forties at night. All the trees are turning and look gorgeous and the weather has been so fabulous that we wanted to be outside as much as possible. Luckily we had an excellent excuse to spend an hour outside watching Emma's soccer game on Saturday. It has become a tradition to take Maggie with us to the soccer games. She enjoys lazing around on the grass and being admired by all the kids.

It's hard to get good shots at Emma's soccer games as they are always on the go. I did manage to get a few this past Saturday. Emma is in the shot below, second from the left. She was captain this week. The team is playing better individually and together every week.

Today Emma and I did another shift selling pumpkins at our church. We were busy today as it was a Holiday for lots of people. Once again the weather was fantastic and we had a great time helping people pick pumpkins. Emma enjoyed helping the little kids and also making change. Back to the regular grind tomorrow -- back to school and work.


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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Birthday Party Sleepover

Last night was the big sleep-over party. Emma had five friends over, and four stayed the night. They ate pizza, and cake and danced and opened presents and then watched a movie. It was a manageable number and we actually got them to go to bed by 11:00pm. Well, Jim did anyway. They got up around 7 and we feed them more sugar in the form of frosted donuts. Emma and I made the cake -- and decorated it. We got the idea from a kids cookbook. I actually cut the top layer to make it smaller around and managed to do so without messing it up! A big accomplishment for me.

Here's Emma wearing the tiara (after I washed it off of course) and eating her cake. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Tour of Four Town Farm

This afternoon Emma, my mother-in-law Brenda, and I went on a tour of Four Town Farm which gets its name from the fact that it is located where the two towns of Barrington and East Providence, RI meet the two towns of Seekonk and Swansea, Massachusetts. So, as the tour guide said to the kids - two plus two equals four. The tour was organized by the Family committee of the Barrington Newcomers & Neighbors group which I am the Treasurer off. Most of the kids were younger than Emma, but there was a first grader there and she enjoys playing "older sibling" to my friend's kids. We rode in a wagon attached to a tractor and took a drive through the fields where we saw lots of things growing such as: red peppers, onions, pumpkins, flowers, corn etc... Emma was actually more interested than I thought she would be since they are just starting a unit in science on "living things" ie: plants and animals. One of her assignments this week is to bring in a fruit or vegetable with seeds inside.

We also got to go into one of the farm buildings and see how they get the carrots from the back of the truck and into bags for the store. They go up a conveyor belt and then into a big rotating tub where they get washed by running water and then they pour out onto the conveyor belt you can see in the photo above. The kids got to bag some carrots each and use the machine that tapes the bags shut at the top. It was a big hit with all the kids and it was particularly amusing to see two of the little toddler girls clutching their bags of carrots to their chests as if they were baby dolls. I was almost wishing that Emma was littler again, but it's also fun to enjoy friend's kids and then send them home.
Here's the sign outside the carrot processing area.

Some flowers from the cutting area, with a view of the fields beyond. It was also a great Fall day to spend outside. They also had a corn maze we all went through -- some of us more than once -- I think Emma and some of the kids went through three or more times.
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Emma turned Nine yesterday!

Here she is opening presents from the family yesterday evening before dinner. She put on her favorite new outfit and the tiara we got from iParty. She got a couple of DVDs and some books and some money and she had already received some really cool Hanna Andersen clogs and a nice watch. Then we had her favorite dinner: cheese tortellini with red sauce and parm cheese with carrot sticks and ranch dressing on the side. We followed that up with a Carvel ice cream cake, candles and singing. My mother-in-law is in town and it's the first time she has been visiting for Emma's birthday so it was neat to be able to include her. The big sleep-over party is on Friday so I am gearing up for that. Enjoy the photos -- the last one is of Emma talking to Aunt Kate and Uncle Ron who called from their 10th wedding anniversary trip to the Bahamas!




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Sunday, October 5, 2008

Square Dancing and Barbecue New England Style

This past Saturday we had a big gathering at our church featuring Barbecue and Square Dancing. The BBQ wasn't really up to Tennessee standards, but it was pretty good. A lot of us had fun dancing too and lots of people dressed up in western outfits. I always enjoy events where there are people of all ages from baby to elderly and this was one of those. Here's a photo of Emma and her friend Katie who is also in her class at school as well as in her Sunday school class. We finally got them to try square dancing before it was time to head home. I made Jim dance with me a lot too!

Baking for Pumpkin Junction


This past Friday Emma and I had a great time baking and decorating cupcakes for the Pumpkin Junction festival at our church -- St. John's Episcopal -- here in Barrington. We got the idea from a kids cookbook which Emma checked out of her school library. They were initially going to be sun cupcakes and the pretzels were the rays of the sun, but the pretzels were making the cupcakes fall apart at the top so we abandoned that and just made them into funny face cupcakes. I decorated some, but Emma did most of them -- she is so creative -- she came up with things I wouldn't have thought of at all. The recipe book had several ideas and gave me the idea of using mini M & M's and regular M & M's, but the candy canes were our idea. You can see the cookbook picture in the first photo. The other photos are pretty self explanatory. The festival at church was lots of fun and if I do say so myself -- our cupcakes were some of the most interesting looking things on the bake sale table. There were kids games and craft vendors at the festival and then the church members were selling food, baked goods and lots of pumpkins. Emma and I did a shift at pumpkin selling this past Wednesday and had a great time -- we had lots of customers and Emma enjoyed adding up the amounts on the receipts and helping little kids pick out pumpkins.

 
 
 
 
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Here's a shot I took with my phone while we were selling pumpkins. The whole lawn leading up to our church is covered with pumpkins -- it looks very festive and gets me in mood for Fall and Halloween whenever I drive by. The church is on the main road through Barrington so lots of people can see the display.