Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween 2010

Gretel's Halloween was a fun one, with great weather, good friends, and excellent trick-or-treating! She was a beautiful butterfly, thanks to the handiwork of Grandma Liz who made her costume! The Hess family and the Tappan-Pecks were at our house and so there was plenty of action to keep everyone entertained.
The butterfly with her cousins, Harry Potter and Elmo.

Prior to dressing up the kids were reading books together.
Below, the Tappan-Pecks were all animals, a rabbit, a bear, a little field mouse and a little squirrel!

The Decks were once again as scary as possible in tacky wigs.....

Going trick-or-treating! Gretel got the gist of it pretty quickly and was soon charging up to people's front doors by herself. Perhaps she was dressed as a "social butterfly"?!

Eating treats back home.

Later that evening, the costumes came off and the pajamas went on (in most cases). Here are the three cousins, just plain old Gretel, Soleo and Orion again!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Our New Stairs!

At long last, we have stairs out our back door into the yard! After months of debate and calculations, we settled on sand-finished concrete stairs, in a semicircle coming out of the new french doors off the sun-room. We are quite happy with how they turned out. Soon we will be able to lay sod and have a somewhat functional backyard!

The forms for the concrete.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Vacation in Maine Part 4 - Out and About in Maine!

Each time we visit Maine, we get to know the surroundings a bit better. This time we did some exploring in the town just across the river, Bath. It's really a neat place and Gretel sure enjoyed the farmer's market. She sat down right in front of this owl and didn't want to leave!

Casey and I left our little girl for our first overnight away and drove the two hours up to Bar Harbor to visit Acadia National Park. It was a beautiful drive, with the fall colors just beginning and plenty of neat little coastal Maine towns to explore on the way. We caught the sunrise on Cadillac Mountain in a very chilly and blustery Acadia at about 6AM the next morning. We were thus the first people to see the sunrise in the United States that day. Well, us and about 150 others . . . !
We later spent the day exploring the rest of the park, including a nice hike above Sand Beach with beautiful views.

Later in the week we all went to the Common Ground Fair in upstate Maine. It was a bit chilly but such a neat fair! We say lots of animals and lots of vegetables and even heard some great accordion music that Gretel and Grampy Frank really enjoyed.

Vacation in Maine Part 3: At Grammie and Grampy's House

Grammie Daisy and Grampy Frank have a beautiful house in Maine, near the shores of the Kennebeck River. Their garden is spectacular, and the new kitchen and bathroom additions are really gorgeous as well.

We all had hours of fun exploring their garden. It's full of flowers, veggies, beautiful brick and stonework, interesting plants of all kinds, and even a little frog pond!

Here's Gretel wearing her new (very old) backpack that was my sister Sally's when she was tiny.

We were very jealous of Grammie Daisy's chard, which is about 4 times the size of ours!

Here's the new bathroom. It also has a clawfoot tub off to the right and room for the washing machine. Such a transformation from the closet that it was previously!

Gretel loved sitting in Grampy Frank's kayaks, and letting him pull her around the yard!

Three generations. Two first-borns and a fourth-born!

Dancing with Grammie.

The frog pond was Gretel's favorite place (or was it the raspberry bushes?). In any case, she is now a huge fan of frogs. Grampy Frank has them trained to come out when he feeds them, so at any given time there might be 5-10 frogs hanging around waiting for a meal!

We picked and shelled many runner beans. Here's Gretel doing her part of the picking.

And Grampy helping...

Nerds in Daisy's garden!

Tea in bed, a Lackaff family tradition.

Gretel and her Grampy. These two really hit it off!