Saturday, January 24, 2009

Rhy's new Sweater

Thanks for the great new sweater you made for me Grandma! Isn't it pretty?? I really like my matching socks too! They keep my toesies nice and warm in our drafty old house!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Another Snow Day!

Miss Rhylah wishes she could go outside. Brrrrrr! Not today!

Gabriel has yet another snow day today, this one due to cold, as temps are dipping to -15 with the windchill. So I'm enjoying another day home with the kiddos. It's actually been quite fun.
Yesterday, I discovered the best cure for writer's block is to have your 6-year-old write WITH you. Gabriel has been learning how to write stories at school, so while Ash and Rhy were marathon napping (from noon to 4:30!!) we sat at the dining room table and played soft music and both wrote. I worked on my stuff ... which had been giving me headaches because I was sort of in a block about it... and he worked on his own story ... FOR THREE HOURS! Every once in awhile he would go do something else, but then come right back, wanting me to turn the music back on so he could work some more. His story ended up being about 8 pages long and was called "The Castaways and the Pirates." It was VERY clever, and I was proud of his hard work.
We finished the day by devouring a crockpot full of yummy pork ribs that were so tender they fell off the bone -- and some warm corn bread with honey. A GREAT day! I'm looking forward to another one -- although it WOULD be nice to get outside one of these days when the temps aren't sub-zero!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Sledding Hill


The white trail gleams
like a ribbon in the gathering night
Voices echo off that
closed-in place,
laughter ringing like memories
in a place that hasn't changed.
Out of the dark trees the children fly
wingless specters --
like seals in saucers, on their tummies.
In this strange light of semi-dark
it could be now or long before.
The laughter hasn't changed.
A man sits thinking in a
half-made snow angel --
a church bell in the neighborhood
marks the hour at six.


We went sledding the other night, just as it was getting dark, at the only sledding hill in town, at Kiwanis park. It's a funny little hill, winding down between the trees on a heavily wooded slope -- quite tricky. There were a bunch of people there and to me, it seemed poignant ... in the half-dark, you couldn't really SEE anybody, and I had the feeling that people had been gathering here, on nights like this, for the past 100 years. It seemed like it could have been 1950 or right now. It was a strange experience, because for me, for that hour, the sense that I used most, was my hearing -- existing in sounds ... people laughing and the shushing of sleds and people shouting at each other good-naturedly to "Get out of the way!" because, on the narrow slope, those walking back up co-existed so closely with those flying down. The boys enjoyed the sledding, but on a level that I don't think even they could understand, I think they enjoyed the camaraderie of the whole experience as well.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

This Old House ...

"My darling husband, It makes me feel so lonely, to think how many miles we are separated, and that I can't wait for you tonight when you come from the office. Last night we sat on the porch and talked until eleven-thirty and sweetheart, that wonderful moon -- I couldn't keep my eyes off it and I wondered if you had felt as I did -- lonely, and sorry that I hadn't gone to Detroit with you, sorry for those moments spent in dark thoughts..."

One of the main reasons I love old houses, is that you can always catch a glimpse of history in them ... in one way or another.
This morning, after church, Nathan came downstairs from cleaning his half of the closet...which he had really YET to do since we moved in (and much of his stuff was still in bags on the top shelf.)
While cleaning his top shelf, he came across something quite interesting! Four pieces of paper ... three letters and a postcard, two of which had dates ... 1912 and 1916. They appear to be written between an Arthur Knipschild and someone named Edna, or "Eddie" for short. One letter is from him, just before their wedding and another is a postcard from her, from what looks to be her family's vacation spot in Michigan, called the St. Clair Flats, northeast of Detroit. Then another is written to the couple from a friend, after the wedding, and the final is written from Edna to her husband, while he works in Chicago as she spends time at the Flats, yet again.
We were floored by this find, and can't figure out why the letters would be here, since we have a pretty complete record of who lived in our home since 1914, and it doesn't include these folks. But what a neat thing to discover! The handwriting, on original monogrammed staionary, is so incredibly precise and beautiful!
Here's a line written by Arthur....
"Just four weeks from today, you and I will be standing hand-in-hand, in some strange city, man and wife, with a world of love and happiness before us...Ed, when a fellow loves a girl with all the good that's in him, when the thought of and image of the wonderful wife-to-be possesses him to the exclusion of every other idea, there just can't be anything but good and happiness engendered(??) from such a union. So we should worry, what!"
Ah, l'amour! I find I'm much obsessed and would love to learn more, but am having trouble figuring out how. I'll have to consult my records of this house again, to make SURE they didn't live here!

Friday, January 09, 2009

If you could bottle would be labeled "ASH"

So I was tucking Asher into bed the other night, when I leaned down to give him a kiss. He's been giving sort of half-effort kisses lately, so I kept my lips planted on the little guy, staring him straight in the eyes, until he made an attempt to pucker up and actually smooch me back. Well, this must have counted as quite the LOOONG kiss in his book, because when he finally kissed me and I backed away, he looked up at me with an astonished little grin on his face and said, "Momma, you married me!!"

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Christmas Card outtakes

I promised everyone some photos from this year's Christmas card photo shoot... And here they are! For those of you who don't know, we shoot our own card every year. Well, I say "WE" meaning my husband. I am the official "baby wrangler" which, if you ask me, is the harder of the two jobs. It is my duty to keep the kids where they are supposed to be during the photo shoot -- under the lights and on the backdrop -- and make them smile whenever possible. Oh, and I also get to clean up any bodily fluids that may suddenly, and without warning, come shooting out. (Photographing naked babies has its drawbacks to be sure.)
Anyway, enjoy the photos! My particular favorite is the one where Rhylah is sticking out her tongue -- a sassy little angel!

Sassy angel!

World's cutest dimpled tushy.

This was on the front of this year's card.

My gang. We put a photo similar to this one on the inside of the card.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Christmas Photos

Here a few photos from our Christmas in Milwaukee and St. Louis!

My little elves help me make some cookies the week before Christmas.

Santa hats were a MUST this week, especially for Asher.

The ULTIMATE gift, a Wii from grandma and papa Staude and Aunt Gretchen and Uncle Leon. Gabe was so excited he could barely speak.

Rhylah got a stroller and baby for Christmas. She knew exactly what to do with it ... promptly stuffing the dolly in the stroller and pushing it down the hallway. Smart girl!

Me and my sister with our paper hats ... from the poppers we pulled open at the start of the evening ... it's a British thing ... :)

All kinds of smiles as very patient boys wait to open more gifts.

Rhylah and Sydney model their new hats and mittens, knitted by grandma!

Sydney LOVED the fish bowl we got her, and "dunked" in headfirst to get a good view of the fishies!

Ash opens a gift.

Rhylah and daddy sit at Papa Bruce's house after church.

A poofy, pretty dress for a pretty girl!