Autumn Harvest

grandma's grape tomatoes

We are picking the last of Grandma's summer vegetables and starting her autumn harvest.

Grandma's grape tomatoes were the perfect size for EJ's little hands to pick.

We picked them by the bowls full.

Grandma has a pumpkin half the size of EJ that she has a special plan for that involves EJ's Pinkalicious book...

EJ is developing her eye for spotting gourds.

She found some splashes of yellow and picked some perfect little gourds.

Camping Booklist

The first thing I did to prepare for our upcoming camping trip was pick out books from the library about camping. EJ loves reading about things we are about to do, and then gets even more excited when we do them. I will hear her exclaim "they did this in my book!"

Here are the books we read for our upcoming adventure:


Ladybug Girl left the biggest impression on EJ and wouldn't you know Grandma had a ladybug costume in the dress-up box. EJ could be her very own Ladybug Girl and that's just what she planned to wear on the camping trip!

Greek Festival

I know we have been to a lot of festivals when EJ asks me what "festibel" we are going to this weekend. The Greek Festival just down the road was just what she was hoping for...dancing, dancing and more dancing

She wore her new red coin skirt and learned some new steps up on stage.

The moussaka was my favorite.

And the loukoumades were EJ's.

Welcome Home Shooter Outfits

the shooter pose
 It's just about the time to start thinking about what we're going to wear for DaddyO's homecoming. A very important consideration. DaddyO's shirt in the above picture made the decision easy. We received one in a package a few months back and have been saving it for something special. This seemed special enough.

The kiddos will be wearing his shooter shirt. EJ in a dress and CJ in pants.

I laid the shirt out, set down the pattern and started cutting.

The top and bottom portions of the shirt was used for the dress, the sleeves were used for the pants. The dress took about an hour of ironing and sewing, the pants were less than 15 minutes. It was a project I could complete with a prince and princess looking on. 

I was quite happy with the results and I don't think DaddyO should have any problems finding us in the crowd!

Autumn Tea Party

The autumn season seems to bring out the tea party in me. With the onset of cooler weather comes the desire for a warm beverage in the hand .

A friend was visiting for the day so it seemed the perfect excuse for a tea party. We picked up an assortment of cupcakes at the Moravian Bookstore, set the table with Grandma's finest china, put out the place cards (EJ learned to identify everyone's name), and donned our hats and pearls.

Eastern Shore Tea Company's Blackberry tea was the perfect accompaniment to the sweets.

EJ used her best manners for a tea party, but it's still nice to be needed once in a while (couldn't let any of the cupcake fall).  

Backyard Bonfire

By my dad's standards this wasn't a true bonfire, but for EJ and CJ it was more fire than enough.

EJ was ready before any of us. 

She helped Grandpa build the fire.

 And helped Grandma load up the skewers with hot dogs.

Then I had the pleasure of teaching her how to roast the perfect hot dog.

Russian Festival

One thing there is not a shortage of in this area is festivals. We enjoyed a weekend of music and food at a local Russian Orthodox Church's 31st Annual Russian Days Festival.

The food was delicious and perfect for sharing family style. A little of this and a little of that. Many of the dishes were new  and I want to try making them with DaddyO when he returns (halupki, halushki, kugel, pelmeni, and pirozhki) while some were quite familiar (perogis and borscht).

EJ made a ring of ribbons to dance with at this festival. She met a little girl whose parents moved here from Russia a few years ago and they danced and twirled away to the polka music.

Five Months Old

This was a special month for CJ, not only did he get to meet his Daddy but he also became a world traveler while doing it. I couldn't have made the long trip without his cheerful disposition.

 Gone are the days of me leaving him in one place and him staying there. He can scoot and crawl across a room in less than a minute and is very determined to get where he wants to go. EJ is excited to share her toys with him and I'm enjoying that for as long as it lasts. Every toy goes directly into the mouth to be chewed to be chewed by his budding third and fourth teeth are ready to break through.  

Philly Zoo

A great perk of zoo membership, besides being able to visit your local zoo whenever you want, is the ability to visit other zoos for free or a discounted rate. We decided to put our Virginia Zoo membership to work and visit the Philadelphia Zoo. Amazingly I hadn't been to a zoo since CJ had been born so this was a first for him!

EJ donned her "zoo outfit", we found one for CJ as well, and Grandma wore her Africa necklace. EJ was thrilled that everyone had matching giraffes.

The Philly zoo is the perfect size for a morning or afternoon visit. We decided to go in between nap times. Both kids were wide eyed watching the animals. 

Giraffes and elephants are EJ's favorite animals but she spent the most time watching the gorillas and chimpanzees in the monkey house with Grandma.

The Philly Zoo allows you to bring in your own food and provides nice seating throughout the park so we enjoyed a picnic lunch with peacocks, geese and ducks.

We also enjoyed some dipping desserts while we watching the rhinos.

We finished our visit in the barnyard area and EJ got to feed pigeons, ducks and goats.

EJ and CJ took their afternoon naps as soon as we got in the car. It was a wonderful afternoon excursion!

DIY Garden Wreathes


Grandma usually composts the unruly vines growing above the deck but she came back from her monthly garden club meeting with a better idea for them. Why not make wreathes to hang around the house? It was a free and easy project!

She taught EJ how to trim the leaves from the vines.

 Then they wrapped the vines in circles to make large and small wreathes.

The wreathes will harden into place and be ready to hang in just a couple days.

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