Monday, December 16, 2013

Dare to Deck the Halls: Paper Christmas Tree Advent Calendar

At the beginning of December, I instagrammed a few photo of the making of our homemade paper Christmas tree Advent calendar.

Well, Kim of Newlywoodwards requested that I blog about the little paper trees and join the link up for her Dare to Deck the Halls blog party. Since this was back in the beginning of December (practically a lifetime ago) it's a miracle that I even remembered! So, this is for you, Kim. :)

I bravely gave my kids lots of red, blue, and green paint while they were inside my house. I proceeded to hand them an assortment of Christmas cookie cutters, tp rolls, and corks with which to "stamp" a large quantity of white paper.

After a while, our process devolved into hand printing and finger painting. Possibly even taste testing.


Then I dumped my tiny hooligans in a bathtub and attacked our table, floor, and walls with soap and water. Victory was mine.

Once our prints were dry, we traced circles onto the paper using different size dinner plates. Later, after the wee ones were abed, I cut out the circles and cut each circle in half. Joseph would point out that you call this particular shape a "semi-circle". He knows things.

Then I hot glued (screw you, Elmers) my "semi-circles" into 25 rolled Christmas trees and topped them with white pom poms and some star and angel shapes cut out from cookie cutter stamps. Voila! Transformed kitchen table into Christmas Tree Forest!

Under each tree, I hid goodies for the munchkins. Mostly leftover Halloween candy, but I also included card games, popcorn, hot cocoa, and the crowning 25th tree treat:

Giant Christmas lollipops. Every kid needs one of those for breakfast on Christmas morning, right?

Now, ideally, I would have also included written activities under each tree. Love that idea. However, my schedule is ever changing and full of chaos, so it seemed unwise to write down fun activities that may or may not be practically achieved on any given day. Recipe for disastrous 3 year old disappointment! Instead, Mommy has magically come up with a "very special Advent activity" on the spot after checking under our tree each night. Whatever worked best at the time, particularly given the closeness of the holy grail that is bedtime. Examples include setting up our nativity set and discussing family, watching the Polar Express, baking cookies, reading Twas the Night Before Christmas, etc.

The trees have been a big hit with the kiddos and I love that they helped to make them. They get so excited to check under them after dinner each night!

I can't imagine why...

We brush our teeth really well. With extra care.

It has even led to amicable sharing. So heartwarming!

Of course, it has also led to tantrums by little 1.5 year old girls who want to look under all the trees RIGHT NOW and don't see why they have to wait or why their brother should get a turn. Drama queen.

Less heartwarming. More eye rolling.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Probably the Same Accident?

In my excitement at having new-to-me historic photos in my hands, I typed up my last blog post in about 3 minutes flat before dashing out the door for library storytime. However, reflecting on the photos throughout the day, I started to think that I was probably looking at the same car accident, but from different angles. I mean, what are the chances that there were two separate wrecks right in front of (or in) our house in the 40s/50s? I know this is pre-interstate highway... but, really? It seems fairly obvious now, but like I said... Excited, cursory glances, Tiny People, dashing out the door, etc.

So, here we have the 1946 car accident:

The wreck of the car looks so completely horrifying that I tend to focus on that when I look at the picture. However, the caption for this photo from a newspaper article includes the following:

Those who think traveling on Interstate 81 today is hazardous can't remember what it was like on old U.S. 11 in the days before the federal interstate highway system was created. Heavy trucks moving alongside passenger vehicles on a three-lane road resulted in more than 30 deaths per year in our [our] county alone. This wreck, which occurred in [our] town in about 1946 involved a car and a tractor-trailer. The buildings in the background were on the the side of the main road across from the present day car wash.

You can see the "NOVICK" on the back of the tractor-trailer behind the group of men milling about in the first photo. If you focus on the angle of the tractor trailer, it looks like it is most likely sitting in the middle of where my front porch should be. The angle and size of the truck look like they match up with the tractor-trailer in my newly acquired photo of the accident:

Additionally, the damage done to the Nails Curio & Camera shop in the 1946 accident looks like it matches up with the damage you can see after the vehicles were removed.

Then, there's the fact that you can see a "Nails Curio" sign on my front porch after the vehicles were cleared away. Focusing on the signs for the Traveler's Inn, I didn't notice it at first. But you can see it in both the picture above and below. 

Side note: My backyard used to have giant trees. Now it has none.

True, in the 1946 picture, the "Nails Curio" sign is intact and had neon lighting, but they could have had a sign on either side of the building. I'm thinking that the black square hanging from the awning in the middle of the edge of  the right side of this picture... this Nails Curio sign hanging above the wrecked car.

Anyways, those are my speculations. Sorry for obsessing, I'm sure you guys are bored stiff. What do you think? Same accident?

At least it gives me a starting point for the microfiche. I can look at newspapers from my town in 1946. And since the trees in the background all have full leaves, I can focus on late spring through early fall. I wanted to look at microfiche at the library after storytime today, but something told me Joseph and Juliana wouldn't sit around like patient angels while I dug into old newspapers... Ahhh! Nightmare!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

That Time A Truck Crashed Into My House

Note: This post somehow got deleted. I'm just putting it back up. Sorry if it reappears in your reader!

HOW CRAZY IS THAT?!?!?!?!??!

fORTUNATELY, THIS OCCURRED BACK IN THE 40s/50s. I would not be at all excited if this happened while we lived here. (Please, God, let's skip that lovely adventure. Amen.)

My source wasn't sure exactly when this happened, but you can bet there was probably a newspaper article on it and you can bet I am on my way to the library to look through the archives for said newspaper article.

Oh, fine. You got me. I'm really on my way to the library to see a fire truck with my kids. We do love our storytime... But THEN! Serious. Historical. Research. (Because my kids will so sit through that...)

Not gonna lie, it's a little scary to think about a truck crashing into the front of my house. But the pictures are SO COOL! I mean, seriously?! How many people have pictures like this of their home?!

When Jeannie (Bless her!) at the town office told me she had pictures of a car accident in front of my house, I thought for sure she was talking about this photo of a 1946 accident that I unearthed 2 years ago:

I was so freaking excited when I realized she had photos of a completely different accident. Not that I'm happy about the actual accidents. especially since we're talking pre-airbags. But, still... so excited. I'm a bad person. I've accepted it. You can just see the sign for the Traveler's Inn and Coffee Shop in the background of the 1946 crash. Back then, I was so disappointed that I couldn't make out all of the words on the lower sign. Now? Problem solved.

"Traveler's Inn"
"Coffee Shop"
"Home Cooked Meals"

I'll be recreating those signs for the inside of the Sandwich Shoppe when we get around to finishing it. For sure!

Blogger Protective Services

If this blog were my kid, Child Protective Services would have taken him away from me back in May. I mean, 5 months of blog neglect is just criminal.

Sure, I have plenty of excuses:
  • My life is ruled by Tiny People who apparently need my attention, or something?
  • Home DIY projects... Ha! What are those?
  • My photography blog is an attention whore. 
  • I like sleep. I'm told it's good for me.

But it all comes down to an Epic Fail on my part. I am a Terrible Inconsistent Blog Parent.

So, I'm going to attempt to fix things up around here. You definitely won't get a post a day from me. That's just crazy talk. However, I'm going to try to show my poor neglected blog some attention.

Fortunately, I have gathered a lot of information about the house in the last few months, not the least of which includes:

  • new photos of the house exterior in the 50s
  • a photo of the inside of the Sandwich Shoppe when it was in operation
  • the epic Civil War love story of the property deed holders in the 1860s
Honestly, I'm so excited about the photos, I would share them with you this second... but my internet is being wonky and won't upload the files. Womp womp.

So, now that I have reassured you of my continued existence... Stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Joseph is 3. Juliana is 1. Somebody hold me!

Joseph turned 3 last month. Juliana is turning 1 today. I keep tearing up while watching them play together. Crying actually. Really it's quite absurd.

It's just... I didn't give them permission to grow up so fast! I just want to sit and snuggle them as much as possible. They want to go play. Snuggling is LAME, Mom! Well, too freaking bad. We are snuggling, damn it!

I had the chance to take portraits of them together when they were rested and happy and, if you can believe it, cooperative. I may have been carrying fruit snacks on my person for bribery and there may have been a PEZ dispenser attached to the top of my camera. It was kind of the greatest thing ever. Just sayin'.

I love how they all turned out, but these ones really make my heart hurt:

"Ew! Get him off of me!"

"I want to run, too!"

"Mommy, I'm so handsome!"

She makes this face all the time when she's up to no good:

We call this one, "The Uncle Rob".

My baby girl's pigtails.

She makes this face whenever she's thinking about grabbing something off the ground for a taste test.

The hat kills me. Special thanks to my sister Kate for "losing Auntie points" to get Joseph this outfit for his birthday.

Best of all, I'm so glad my kids like each other. They are so sweet when they play together.

I have to go get a tissue now, but you can see the rest here.

I need a hug.