Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!!

The calendar is all ready - I spent yesterday afternoon filling in all the birthdays and special events - for me to flip the page at midnight!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Cat Nip

Our pets are members of the family and we don't forget them at Christmas. The doggies got treats and the kitties got cat nip! The boys & I spent a couple of afternoons stitching little fabric mice, which we stuffed with nip. Aly thought this was a wonderful idea and got right in the middle of everything! She rolled in the catnip and spread it all over the house. It was really funny! I heard from my sister-in-law Christmas morning. Sometime during the night her kitties had discovered their presents under the tree, tore the wrapping paper off and had a cat nip party!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Daisy's New Friend

Daisy made a new friend this weekend! My niece and her family were amongst our overnight guests, but they didn't want to leave their yellow lab, Zoe, at home alone. We have plenty of space for the dogs to run, so we said that Zoe was more than welcome to join the party! (My brother's family also brought their dog, so that made 4 canine guests!) Daisy thought Zoe was just wonderful and they played and played for hours!! Here you can see Daisy's favorite trick. Maybe you've noticed that my dogs never wear their collars & tags? This is why! We ended up taking off Zoe's collar too because we didn't want Daisy to bury it in the deep snow. The thing that amazes me about these 2 dogs is that they are both Labrador Retrievers, but with such different bloodlines that they look completely opposite. Daisy is compact, short & round; Zoe is tall, long and lean. The disposition is the same though, happy-go-lucky and super-friendly. They are both great dogs!!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Hay Fort

This morning, (And I swear it was a coincidence!) our delivery of 300 hay bales arrived. Our guests were all happy to pitch in and get it stacked into our barn. We really appreciated the help and it made the job soooo much more fun!! About halfway through, my brother-in-law decided to rearrange the bales and build a fort for the kiddos, complete with a maze. They were thrilled! And, some of the adults couldn't resist and climbed in as well. That's my sister climbing back out, while a line of kids patiently waits for their turn inside...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A trip down memory lane...

So sorry that I didn't get a chance to post yesterday! We had our big family gathering here - 29 guests, 22 of whom stayed overnight (10 children & 12 adults) - and it was a wicked rowdy good time! On Christmas Day, I posted a photo of our boys in front of our Christmas Tree. This is a tradition that my parents started when I was born. Each year, my siblings and I pose in front of the tree for a group photo. This first one, dated December 25, 1977, was taken the year my sister was born. (There are 4 from my earlier years, but this is the first photo with all 3 of us together.)

And here is the one taken December 25, 2008...
(That is my parents' dog, Duke, in my lap.)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Hairloom Treasures

This gift was the hardest to keep secret! I was so excited about it that I was just dying to tell everyone. But, I didn't, and it was worth the wait. Remember this post from last summer when we had to have my old horse put down? Well, before that fateful day, I had cut some of her tail hair for a keepsake. I contacted Giselle Rec of Hairloom Treasures and she made some wonderful bracelets, key chains and zipper pulls from Moonie's tail hair. I kept a bracelet, but gave the other pieces to my family members. They were thrilled and very surprised because they had no idea that I had stashed away some of her hair!! We will treasure these forever, as our last tangible contact with Moonie. I photographed them on an enlargement of a picture that I took way back in 1987...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


My husband brought home a 2 pound block of milk chocolate! It was beautifully decorated and yummy!! I guess all the snow shoveling will help us work off the extra calories...
Santa will be here soon!! Our family will be following his progress on NORAD. It has become a tradition for the boys and one of their favorite parts of the holiday!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Snow, snow and more snow...

Yesterday's photo of Lily was taken in the morning, before the storm started. Compare it with this one taken in the afternoon! See how the snow has made a blanket on Tillie's back? It's amazing how well her winter coat insulates her! Her body heat doesn't even penetrate it enough to melt the snow as it falls on her. I don't worry about the horses during snowstorms because they are so well prepared. We did throw them some extra hay though, because the overnight temperatures dipped well below zero degrees Fahrenheit and the wind was really blowing hard, so I knew that they would appreciate extra munchies...

Monday, December 22, 2008

Winter Wonderland

Lily doesn't mind the snow! It sure beats the ice that was covering everything last week - the poor horses were stranded out under the trees where there was still bare ground! Their hooves are absolutely useless on ice - it's scary to watch them slip and slide. A fall would be horrible..

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Get her Haley!

The dogs were having so much fun playing in all the fresh powdery snow yesterday!! That's Haley, our almost 12 year-old shepherd mix, chasing Daisy, the 1-1/2 year old, big black lab.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The House on the Hill

This house looks out over our valley, and yes, right down into our pasture. Sometimes I wonder if they enjoy sitting out on their deck and watching our horses. I know I would, if I lived up there. The scenery from up there is amazing, looking out over West and South Paris. Someday I'll have to visit and ask to take pictures. The people who live there just moved in last summer, so I haven't met them yet. I thought their house looked very pretty this morning, after all the snow we got yesterday...

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Day the Frogs Went Hopping Mad

I'll tell you what, it's not often that you can get 2, much less 3 boys, between the ages of 8 & 10 to stop running around playing and read together. They just have such varying interests and can never agree on what book to read! However, when they saw this book that was written by my cousin, Heath, they all sat right down and took turns reading out loud to each other. (Without bickering or anything!) They loved it! So, I'm highly recommending that you go find the book, The Day the Frogs Went Hopping Mad by Heath A. Roberts. It's a wonderfully imaginative story that they are still talking about many days later...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Big brother to the rescue!

He saved the hat from getting chewed up...

Daisy, the dog, just loves to chew up everything she can! I'm told that's a labrador trait. The other night we rescued a pair of scissors from her mouth!! Although, from the look on her face, I don't think she intended to chew on them. She had just picked them up because a boy had dropped them on the floor and she picks up everything that she finds on the floor...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Naughty puppy!

That big, fluffy pom-pom was just too much to resist, so she snatched it right off his head!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

Isn't it pretty?

We're so lucky to have such beautiful trees right here on our property!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Measuring the tree...

The tree that we cut down was much too tall to fit into our house, so the boys laid down beside it and Dad was able to cut it to size. The extra branches around the base will be used for making wreaths.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Cutting down the tree...

My husband used the chain saw to cut that wedge out of the tree, and then gave the boys a hand saw so that they could finish taking it down. That way, they could say, "We cut down the Christmas Tree this year!" You can't see him, but he was behind them, pushing on the tree, so that there was no chance of it falling on the boys...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Santa's Helpers

The boys wore their Santa hats when we went out into the woods to get our Christmas tree. They're all excited about the coming holiday. Last night we bought some gifts and they had fun picking them out. Each year they get more and more helpful! I had to drag them kicking and screaming into the girl section though, to pick out a tiara and princess slippers for their cousin. The color pink terrifies them....

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Santa & Mrs. Claus

Throughout the day Saturday, during the West Paris Christmas Fair, children were able to sit on Santa's lap and share their wishes with him. However, as it turns out, children weren't the only ones with wishes...

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

Here you can see the little tree, all lit up, and the people, all bundled up and ready to head home for a nice, warm dinner...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Lighting the Tree

As a 'thank you' for participating in the parade, one of our Scouts was asked to plug in the tree lights - what a thrill!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas Parade

This afternoon, West Paris held its annual Christmas Fair and Parade, followed by a tree lighting ceremony. The Cub Scouts were honored by leading the parade to the Christmas tree, which they planted a couple of years ago, down by the town hall. Here you can see them marching behind the firetruck that was lighting the way. Unfortunately, just like during the Veteran's Day Parade, you can't see their handsome uniforms because of their winter jackets and snowpants...

Friday, December 5, 2008

Architectural Detail

Does anyone know what these are called? They are on several of the houses in the village and they dress them up so much!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Bizarre Car!

Spotted outside the West Paris General Store...

...and if the paint job doesn't catch your attention, the damaged muffler will do the trick...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Too chilly for me!

Not that I skateboard anyway, but it sure seems too cold outside for that sport to me! I guess this kid doesn't think so, as he was skating down Main Street...

Monday, December 1, 2008

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Castle Entrance

Remember the castle library that I showed you last spring? Well, when I was walking by with the parade a few weeks ago, the doorway caught my eye, so I took a picture of it. Isn't that a great looking entrance?

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Here's another example of a typical farmhouse with a connected barn. There aren't any animals living there now, but it looks like it must have been quite a hike out to tend the animals back in the olden days. At least you were inside and protected from the elements...

Friday, November 28, 2008

Pretty House

This is one of the houses in the village that I particularly like - it has some interesting architectural details.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Patriotic Jacket

This little boy was excited to show off his new jacket at the parade!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Trophy Truck

I've seen this truck around town quite a few times. It is rather eye-catching! And beyond that, I've always wondered about that license plate. Is she a 'trophy wife'? Was the truck a prize? Well, it turns out that it is owned by the proprietor of Trophy Transport. Mystery solved!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Doggie Kisses

This chocolate lab got to ride in the patriotic truck that I posted a few days ago...

...and he got to enjoy smooches from the girls!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A timely sermon...

...although I was a few days late getting the shot & then I forgot to post it! But, I liked the photo and I figured it was appropriate to post a church photo on a Sunday, so here it is.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Little Dog

This lucky little doggie got to participate in the Veterans' Day Parade. Her mom held her during the Memorial Service. She was taking it all in and seemed happy to be out with all the people!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thank You Veterans!

Here is our youngest, with one of his fellow Scouts, standing beside a sign that was posted in front of the West Paris General Store.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

West Paris Honor Roll

This is one of two memorials in the park that are engraved with the names of local veterans.

Here is the back side...

Just as I was taking the picture, the mother that spoke at the service stepped into the shot, but I think it's quite fitting to see the soldier's portrait, along with his name on the memorial.

Tomorrow I'll show you the second memorial...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Proud Mother

This woman marched in the parade, carrying a portrait of her son, who is overseas serving in the Army. During the service she read a message to the town from her son, thanking us for our support.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Memorial Park

We gathered in the West Paris Veterans' Memorial Park for prayers and tributes to our veterans, past & present. For such a small town, we have more than a dozen soldiers currently serving in the Middle East...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Patriotic Truck

This truck was all decked out for the parade! It was proudly driven by a local veteran and his family.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Final March

The lady pushing the walker has been leading and organizing the parades on Memorial Day & Veterans' Day for over 20 years. Sadly, she has decided to retire, so this was her last parade and she is passing the torch on to the next generation.