Sunday, September 30, 2012

Animals of Avonlea

Are you tired of my Avonlea posts yet? You're not? Good, that's what I was hoping to hear!

I actually thought I was done posting about our day at Avonlea, but there was a petting zoo there and I love animals. I wasn't going to do a post about them, however, but then I came up with the title "Animals of Avonlea," which I thought was pretty cute, so that changed my mind. When brilliance strikes, you have to go with it

Okay, thanks for bearing with me. Now on to the animals of Avonlea.

There were pretty doves...

 And the cutest little bunny rabbit...

We were impressed by these two huge horses. This picture doesn't do them justice. They were enormous! And very shiny and beautiful.

Sam chased the farm cat around, trying to share his drink with it. The cat was not interested.

 This goat took a liking to Peter.

 Sam also offered his drink to the chickens. How generous!
 John made friends with some cute piggies.


 And this was the sweetest dog who patiently tolerated everyone who wanted to pet her. 

We had such a nice time that day! At the risk of sounding like an advertisement, Avonlea Village really does have something for everyone!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Five Things for Friday

1. My blog was semi-famous for a day! Last week I was randomly checking my blog stats, and I was surprised and amused to see this on the pageview chart:

On September 13th, my blog got 563 hits! As you can see, the rest of the time I'm usually in the 30-50 range, sometimes higher, sometimes lower. What the heck happened on the 13th to make that many people visit my blog?! I tried to figure it out but it's a mystery to me. I've been blogging for about five years but I'm still not sure how to do many things like that, as evidenced by such things as having the same blog header for years because I haven't taken the time to figure out how to change the font or put in a picture, and I still don't know how to put pictures in my posts that don't have to be stacked one on top of the other. Oh well! Maybe this will be the year that I learn how to do those things. (Probably not.)

2.  Another place where I've achieved a little bit of fame is Pinterest, specifically for something I pinned this summer that I never thought would garner much attention or re-pinning. It's a "Road Trip Checklist + road trip tips." I get e-mails almost every day or at least several times a week notifying me that someone has re-pinned it. So far it's been re-pinned 485 times and it has 93 likes. Yep. I'm totally famous.

3. I've been spending a lot of time this week hot-gluing pom-poms onto little magnets. Magnets that I have to cut myself from long magnetic strips. Needless to say, I can't wait to be done with this! I'm doing a busy bag swap with 19 other women, and I chose a craft that involves pom-pom magnets, and we each have to make twenty bags of our craft to swap with everyone else. By the time I finish, I'll have cut and hot-glued 1400 of these little devils! I guess it's good exercise for my fingers. Those kids better like their pom-pom magnets!!

4. I was reading an article yesterday about the NFL referee problem, and I realized that I really don't know what the difference is between a pension plan and a 401(k). I know they're both retirement plans but that's about it. (The referees want one type of plan and the NFL wants to give them the other type.) My ignorance on this topic is even more shameful because my husband works in the insurance industry and does a ton of work with retirement plans. He even has a patent for one, and has been published in a book and in The Wall Street Journal for it! My mind always wanders when we talk about this kind of stuff. I can't help it; I think it's boring! (Sorry Peter.)

5. I'm sick and feel like I've been punched in the stomach, plus my left eye is infected with something. My kids have been sick this week too. I need to go take a nap now....

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Family Pictures at Avonlea

At Avonlea there was a lovely archway filled with the prettiest lavender flowers that was perfect for taking pictures under. The pictures turned out okay; my dying camera made them blurrier than they should have been. My camera used to take very sharp, clear pictures. As you can see, I'm still in pursuit of the perfect family picture. And a new camera too!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Adventures with Stilts

Walking on stilts is hard to do. We found that out firsthand at Avonlea Village, where we had a fun time making fools of ourselves as we attempted to do some stilt-walking. It's harder than it looks!

After a few tries, Peter was able to stand on them for a few seconds while hunched over with his butt sticking out...

John got some help from a skilled stilt-walker...

And check out this great sequence of pictures of my mother's attempt!

Step 1: Step onto the stilts.

Step 2: Stand on the stilts while holding your balance and trying to take a step.

Step 3: Fall off the stilts. Ha ha!

Still, she did better than I did. Everyone did better than I did! It turns out that stilt-walking isn't one of my talents. That's okay; I think I can live without it. :-)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Donna of Avonlea

(Possibly my most favorite blog post title I've ever come up with. I know. I'm a genius!)

One of my favorite things on Prince Edward Island is the village of Avonlea. It's a made-up little village devoted to Anne of Green Gables with some actual historic buildings that have been transported there. We went here on our honeymoon and it was one of the first things we did during our week on the island this summer. I love it there! It's a mecca for Anne of Green Gables fans and it attracts people from all over the world. (Did you know that Anne of Green Gables is required reading for students in Japan? Lucky them!)

Old-fashioned school-houses are the best!

The slates on the desks remind me of when Anne broke her slate over Gilbert's head after he called her "Carrots," one of my favorite movie/book scenes ever.

Notice the date on the chalkboard? (We were there on June 19th, only it wasn't 1908...obviously.) This is a stage where actors perform skits from the book. The actress who played Anne looked a lot like Ellie Kemper from The Office.

 Anne, Diana Barry, and Gilbert Blythe:

  Avonlea even has the church there where Lucy Maud Montgomery worshipped. It was moved here, but it's the real church. The village also has the house she was born in (also moved here).

We got our lunches from the same place that Peter and I lunched when we were here on our honeymoon ten years ago...

I like it when a place classes up their trash barrels and makes them part of the decor. That's done on Nantucket too. Truly a sign of a good-quality place! 

 My guys taking in a fun local band in the fishing shanty...

We got some goodies and ice cream at the Anne of Green Gables Chocolates shop. I bought a canister of hot chocolate that turned out to be really, really good. I'll probably order my hot chocolate from their online store from now on. Seriously, it's delicious.

Sam didn't want to get out of this cool green buggy in front of the chocolate shop. That's my boy!

There was a big sandbox for the kids to play in. Check out that beautiful red sand!

I had fun shopping at The Anne of Green Gables Store. 

Sam had fun shopping there too--he found the toy trains and lined them all up on the floor. He was allowed to pick out one, and thankfully he didn't throw a fit that he couldn't take them all home!

Look at me, I'm Anne of Green Gables! I love this picture! It's one of my favorites from the whole summer.

It was such a beautiful day and such a special place!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Five Things for Friday

I wasn't going to do "Five Things for Friday" today, but I'm feeling the need to write about some things, so here they are. I feel kind of censored on Facebook because of the risk of making people mad (many of my friends and relatives are rather liberal, and other people don't want to hear anything about politics), but I have the freedom on my blog to write about whatever I want. Blogging lets my voice be heard! Or read, anyway.

1. This whole leaked video of Romney thing? I think it's being way overblown. I don't get it. Although I do get why the media is gleefully pouncing all over it since they are pretty much Obama's most influential fan club. What is the big deal here? There have been clips of Romney's speech on YouTube since May. I don't really agree with what Romney said and with how he said it, but it's not like Democrats don't generalize about Republicans as a whole. And it's not as if President Obama hasn't done his own judging based on party and class. In any case, I know that if Mitt Romney were president, he'd care about everyone, dependent on government or not. I hope his campaign is able to bounce back because this is certainly nothing that should derail it or make undecided people not vote for him.

2. Speaking of politics, I came to really like John F. Kennedy, Jr. when I was in high-school. I toured his presidential library and museum in Boston on a field trip once and came away very inspired by him. A friend on Facebook posted this this week and it was a good reminder of why JFK was great, and how different the country could be now if Democrats today were more like he was.

Did you know JFK believed in capitalism and cutting taxes to grow the economy? And he practiced what he preached and cut taxes across the board for EVERY American that paid taxes and the economy flourished as has every time a president cut 
taxes. He was also against entitlement programs. Remember "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country"? A wise man ahead of his time.

LIKE and SHARE if JFK was a great president

3. Another thing I saw on Facebook this week was this pretty picture, posted by Penn, where I went to college. Look at the sky! What a great picture.

Ahhh, memories and nostalgia! I miss college. It was a lot of work but also a lot of fun. This is Bennett Hall, where I had my English classes and a few other classes. I lived across the street from Bennett during my first two years at Penn. I miss it there! And I miss the great city of Philadelphia.

4. This week I bought a pair of knee-high flat boots that are designed to be worn over skinny jeans. It's taken me awhile to do this because I don't really like trends and I suspect this will be something we'll look back on in the years to come and say, "Why did we wear our boots like that? What were we thinking?" But I got them anyway because the look has grown on me and I like to feel stylish and trendy sometimes, even though I don't really like trends overall. So that's about as trendy as I'll get this season. I'm all about the classics. My personal motto? "Trends? Not buying it. Literally!" Except for in the case of the boots. And I have to remember that skinny jeans finally won me over. (As long as they're not too skinny and they're dark blue denim. Colored skinny jeans are taking it too far!)

5. Remember how I wrote about how hard it's been for me to find high-quality clip-on ties for my boys? I hit the jackpot at Kohl's this week and got five good ties for John. They were on sale too, and a nice yellow-gold one was only $1.50. Hopefully they'll hold up better than the ties from The Children's Place did. The boys' ties at Kohl's were my find of the week! (Besides the great new owl stuff I found at Target...seriously? Are they trying to make me into a crazy owl lady AND tempt me to spend as much as possible at the same time? Actually, I think that's exactly what they're trying to do.)

I bought this neat candleholder for my mantel. I want to get another one so that I have a matching set, but I got the last one. I'll have to get another one on my next trip!

I debated about this awesome owl candleabra. I don't have a candleabra and I really like this one. But we don't have a real dining room and our formal dining room table is in storage, and I can't think of anywhere else good to put it, so I passed on it. See, I do think before I buy, or in this case, not buy.

But I think I'm going to end up getting it anyway. I like it a lot and I'll find a good place for it! :-)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Best Three Years...

On this day three years ago, after almost a day of being in labor, our sweet little Sam was born. A long labor was symbolic of the time we had to wait for him to arrive in our lives, but he was worth every second of that wait. Our family feels so much more complete with him in it. We're so thankful that he was sent to us!

Sam on his original and actual "birth day," 2009

First Birthday, 2010

2nd Birthday, 2011

We love our little Sam-man so much! Happy 3rd birthday Sam!

Also for your viewing pleasure:

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Brotherly Love. Not!

I wanted to get a cute picture of John and Sam on a playground on Prince Edward Island. Here's what I got:  

So much for that!