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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Leaves' Last Hurrah

This morning yielded a cloudy sunrise.  That made the last trees with leaves in our backyard area seem to be on fire.  The leaves were so vivid and bright - I have a feeling this will be the last of the fall color back there.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

October Birds

The other day, while sitting in the window room, I saw a hairy woodpecker on the suet feeder.  The camera was on the end table next to me, to I took a picture of the woodpecker.
 The next thing I knew, a little downy woodpecker landed on the suet feeder.  So I snapped his picture.
 And then, a red-bellied woodpecker landed on the suet feeder.  Three of our regular woodpeckers landed on the feeder within five minutes of each other, and I got some great shots of all of them.
 A few days later, I got this cardinal, perched in what the girls call the "waiting tree."  This is where birds wait before landing on their favorite feeder.
 The next day I saw a female goldfinch in the waiting tree.  If you look closely, you can see that she's losing her summer color, and the drab winter brown is creeping in.
 I also got this nuthatch as it hopped around the tree trunk.
 And today I saw a regular visitor - Julia's favorite bird, the Carolina wren . . .
 . . . and I also saw a new-to-us pair of birds - purple finches.  This was the first time I've seen these birds at one of our feeders.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Pumpkin Patch 2014

When we lived in Maryland, our trip to the pumpkin patch was an all-day ordeal, where we would stay for several hours, doing as many activities and games as possible.  Last year, our first year in Massachusetts, we found a smaller venue for our pumpkin patch experience...and we really liked it.  So we returned this year, which basically makes it a Luster tradition.

We went on a short hayride around the farm . . .
. . . where we stopped to pick out some small pumpkins.

We all found our sugar pumpkins!
 They have paint sitting out to decorate your pumpkin.
 And the girls really enjoyed getting creative with their pumpkin painting.
 The girls probably spent close to half an hour running through the hay maze in the basement of the barn.  We learned last year that we should bring our own flashlights, which we did this time.  (And that also explains why I don't have any pictures - it's too dark!)  The last thing we did was splurge on their homemade ice cream, chocolate of course.  See you next year, Tangerini's!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Saturday Creativity

This morning I took Julia and Evelyn to Lowe's for their kids' "Build and Grow" activity.  Today's theme was building a haunted house, which was perfect for my Halloween-loving girls.  It was also perfect for Julia and Evelyn, who enjoy building things in their Grandpa Luster's garage.  Since they have prior experience with wood, a hammer and nails, they did great.  Evelyn made her haunted house completely on her own, and Julia just needed a little help getting the nails started.  Now that I know about this monthly activity, hopefully we will be able to attend most of them.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Thursday Shorts

Julia looked so festive and cute in her outfit today, I had to take a picture.  Plus, I know she won't always be shorter than the mailbox, so I wanted to document that, too.
 This evening, Troy had to stay in Boston for a late meeting.  At about 8:15, while the girls were getting ready for bed, someone went bonkers ringing our doorbell and pounding on the door.  There was no way I was going to see who was at the door.  And, as luck would have it, Evelyn is in the middle of a scary ghost mystery for her bedtime story.  It's likely some kids were pranking us with the doorbell nonsense, but their timing was really poor!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Fall Colors

Fall foliage in Massachusetts is ever-changing.  Last week, most of the trees around our backyard creek were at peak color.  This week, trees around other bodies of water (here in the Boston suburbs) looked absolutely gorgeous.  While shuttling Evelyn to ballet this afternoon, I saw these colorful trees.  I pulled over to take this picture with my phone.  I knew if I waited for another day to take the picture (with my "real" camera), the lighting would be different, and the trees might not look like this.  Carpe diem!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sunday Soccer and Ice Cream

Today was a beautiful fall day, especially for soccer.
 Julia had an added incentive to play well this afternoon - her Grandma and Grandpa Luster were watching the game.  I have to say, Julia was more assertive in today's game than she has been in past games - we hope she continues that trend.  But no matter what, she has fun, and that's the most important thing.
 To celebrate Julia's hard work on the field (and Evelyn's creative eye as a photographer . . . and the girls' grandparents visiting from Nebraska), we went to Spruce Pond Creamery for some post-game ice cream.  Delish, as always!