More Fun with the Family

When my family was here over Christmas, we squeezed in as many celebrations as we could: Christmas, Max's birthday, my birthday, New Year's Eve.

There was another five inches of snow that fell, and more snow play resulted. They cut a toboggan run down the hill to a snow fort. A massive snow fight ensued!

New Year’s Eve! Happy New Year to all of you too!

On New Year’s Day, we drove to Vermont for a sleigh ride! We had made the reservation weeks in advance, before there was even snow on the ground, in hopes that there would be by our reservation date! Thank you, God! There was! And it was even falling gently on us for our sleigh ride…a chilly 22 degrees too! The sleigh ride was at the historic Adams Farm, which has been in the same family since 1865. One of the descendants of the original owners was driving the team of horses that day.

We all laughed at these ducks, who eventually all crowded into this little whole left in their frozen pond.

The half-hour sleigh ride took us through the woods of the property, through their sugar bush, past their sugar shack, with views of surrounding ski resorts on the distant mountains, until it reached our destination, The Old Cabin in the woods.

Inside, the staff served us piping hot cups of hot cocoa, and we warmed ourselves by the wood stoves. For entertainment, there were games of checkers and a player piano.

Returning to the farm!  A beautiful way to start a New Year!

OSV in the Snow

While my brother was here, he and a friend of ours climbed Mt. Lafayette! And they made it to the summit! The top of Mt. Lafayette in the winter looks like another world, everything shrouded in snow and fog, 1 1/2-ft. long horizontal icicles (caused by the fierce winds), and an eerie sunlight illuminating the clouds.

While he was there, my sister-in-law and I took her kids and went to another world too! Our world here in New England in the 1830′s…Old Sturbridge Village in the snow! Everything looks so different in the wintertime!

In the Textile House (shown above) my niece practiced carding wool.

We came across this group of day-campers, who were apparently outfitted by OSV for their day’s (week’s?) adventure in the 1830′s.

My niece, a horse-lover, was very happy about taking a wagon (wagon’s not quite the right term, but you get the idea) pulled by these horses. My favorite part of the ride was going through the covered bridge in the village, where the driver asked us to be quiet so that we could hear a “common 19th century sound”, the sound of horse hooves on a wooden bridge and the sound of sleigh bells. Ahhh…positively transporting!

I love the Freeman Farm at any time of year. They were making candles in the kitchen when we were there (pics. didn’t turn out great though). I love how everything that was growing is now inside for the winter…squashes on the floor, herbs and apple rings drying.

The sheep were having their dinner.

On the hillside near the Freeman Farm were a bunch of hand-pegged, wooden sleds available for use! What fun! They went impressively well down the hill! I think I may have found a future project for Technohubby.

In sledding, the rule is: what goes down must come up. But it’s SO worth it!

Chilly, but fun day in the 19th century!

Cook and Play

Lots of fun was had with our extended family after Christmas!

The day after was “ladies day out”, and all us ladies went to the Stonewall Kitchen Cooking School in York, ME for a cooking class called “Cozy Up with Comfort Food”. Mmmm. Just the time of year for it too!

The menu for the class, which was cooked/demonstrated and then served to us, was: Gnocchi with Browned Butter and Sage, Peas with Shallots and Bacon, Glazed Roasted Carrots, Herb Crusted Loin of Pork, and Ginger Pear Cake with Fresh Whipped Cream.

We were really glad that the Lord provided us with good weather for traveling to Maine for the class, because the next morning we awakened to seven inches of fresh snow! Yay! A snow play day!

Very tired dogs at the end of the day. It’s tough work chasing-pushing people down snowy hills!

Excuses, Excuses

Whew! That was a crazy-busy Christmas season! I’ve never been such an inconsistent (uh…absent?) blogger at Christmastime before. I can’t recall any Christmas in recent history when I was as disorganized as this one, or when more things went wrong. If you received a Christmas card from us…well…let’s just not even go there. Just be grateful (please!), because it was one mishap after another until it went in the mailbox. (And while we’re on that subject, yes, that was a perfectly awful picture of me in your card. The picture where my face didn’t look fat, well that was lost until all the cards were stuffed with the wrong picture. Oh joy!) And if I find out that no one received a Christmas card from us, I will not be surprised if I forgot to put stamps on them. The good news is that after all the blunders, Christmas and the days until now were delightful!

Here’s a glimpse at some of the preparations leading up to Christmas, minus the photos of me pulling out my hair and reminding myself to keep my focus on the real reason for the season. Don’t we all feel like that sometimes?

We kept the UPS man very busy! Since my family was coming for Christmas, I suggested they just have gifts shipped here. I think the UPS man must’ve wondered what on earth was happening, that he was at our house daily for weeks!

Colette took over the kitchen for weeks making this year’s gingerbread house…the White House! Oops, I guess I forgot to take a picture of the side, on which she created a giant “RUBIO 2016″ banner. That’s her man! That’s my girl!

We had our annual Christmas party! It’s was Melissa’s first Christmas party!

I spent a lot of time wrapping presents! I LOVE to wrap presents! This particular one was headed to a friend who happens to love antique brooches. Fortunately, there also happens to be an antique store near us that sells vintage and antique brooches for bargain prices! I enjoy surprising her with a brooch pinned to the ribbon of her gifts!

Much time was spent in the sewing room with this message stuck to the door. Seven gifts handmade this Christmas! Much fun! Photos to follow in another posting.

Packages bundled and ready to ship!

And, as it always does, everything gets done just in time!

Christmas Day pictures coming soon!

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