Sunday, September 28, 2008

Malachi's Big Announcement

That's right! Malachi is going to be a big brother sometime in late May (or early June if things go the same way they went last time!). We are really excited about a new addition to our family and can't wait to see Malachi in his new role as a big brother.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Fun Weekend

Last week Yaya and 'Buelo decided to come to Ohio to visit us. They arrived in the middle of Malachi's nap on Thursday (which ended as soon as he heard us talking downstairs) and left early Sunday morning.

On Friday we went for a bike ride on the path that runs from Chillicothe to Frankfort. It is about 13 miles round trip, and mostly very flat except for the short part they were repaving where we had to go out to the road and go over a few big hills.

We had a picnic in Frankfort and spent a little time playing at the you can see even 'Buelo had fun on the jungle gym and slide!

Friday night we cheered the Paint Valley Bearcats on to a victory over the Adena Warriors. Malachi especially loved the popcorn that 'Buelo supplied!

On Saturday, 'Buelo, Yaya, Malachi and I went to Hirsch's Fruit Farm for their annual Apple Harvest Open House. We took a wagon ride to the top of the hill to see the orchard and the amazing view of Chillicothe. Yaya even learned the secret of growing larger apples.

Back at the bottom Malachi got to pet some miniature horses, play in the hay and take a ride on a horse. We also saw them making apple butter and bought some apple cider to enjoy at home.

We are so happy that we could spend last weekend with Yaya and 'Buelo. We had a blast and can't wait for the next visit!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Buying Flowers

As I mentioned before, Malachi and I love to go out to the Mennonite garden center, Pickett Run Farm. The owner, Chris, has seven children (I think), four of whom have really taken to Malachi and play with him every time we go out there. Now that school is back in session, only the youngest, Alaina, is left at home during the day. Alaina is about 6 months older than Malachi and they love chasing each other around the rows of flowers and terrorizing the pet kittens. This week when I was paying for my mums, I heard Alaina say Malachi's name and then rattle off a sentence in Pennsylvania Dutch, which is the language used in their home. The children generally don't know much English until they go to school. Malachi turned around and responded, "Goo-goo gaa-gaa!" I guess they'll figure out how to communicate one way or another!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Summer Projects...Completed!

The two biggest projects on our To-Do list this summer were 1. Landscaping and 2. Building a Deck.

The landscaping has been an ongoing project all summer. Erik and I began picking out plants in April, and Mom helped me a lot in the afternoons while Malachi was napping. We landscaped the entire front of the house in the spring, and then we finished the side by the garage and the back by the deck this week.

I think we are favorite customers at Pickett Run Farm, the Mennonite-owned garden center near Bainbridge. Malachi has even become friends with the children there and their pet kittens!

The landscaping is now at a stopping point until next spring, and...

The deck is finished!!

We began building on July 28th, complete with a Litter family picnic (all the guys were told to come ready to work, the ladies watched from the air-conditioned kitchen), and the final screw went in on September 4th.

We had a lot of help from Uncle Joe, Uncle Mark, Aunt Laura, and some other family members and friends, but Erik and I did the majority of work in two hour shifts after long days at the store (at least for Erik), which is why it took over a month to finish.

I do have to brag a little, though. After finishing some landscaping that didn't take as much time as anticipated, Mom and I decided to tackle the last of the construction....the railing. We worked for about 4 hours Thursday afternoon and completed the project ourselves. Erik happily looked on as he played with Malachi.

We are so happy to have these projects behind us and to be able to use our new area now, even though we still have some cleaning up to do and returns to make.

Come on over to the Allsops' and we'll fire up the grill!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Almost a Disaster!

I met with a bride a couple of weeks ago to discuss her wedding cake and she asked if I had ever had a cake fall or not make it to the reception. I honestly told her no and that I wasn't sure what I'd do if something like that happened. Then, last Saturday, I had almost everything go wrong...

I woke up at 7 a.m. in order to finish icing and decorating the cake that was due by 1 p.m. It had a fountain that went under it, so I got the box out to make sure I knew how to set it up. On the box it said to use plates that were at least 14" diameter to support the cake above the fountain. When I got my 14" plates out I realized that the fountain wouldn't fit in between the columns that supported the plates and that I would need larger plates. I was already running late by the time Kelsey arrived to babysit Malachi, but I would have to fit in a trip to Hobby Lobby before the delivery.

I was on my way to the Bell Tower (I had a shower cake that needed to be set up there) when I realized that I had forgotten my camera. I always take my camera to document my work, so I turned around to head home to get it.

After setting up the shower cake at the Bell Tower, I sped into Chillicothe. Hobby Lobby didn't have the 16" plates I needed, so I went to Walmart. I had no luck there and began calling other stores. In a near panic I finally located a store (the fourth I called) that had the plate I needed.

After buying the correct equipment, I headed to the reception site, the American Legion on Main Street. I had never been there, and didn't know the difference between the AMVETS, the V.F.W. and the American Legion, all of which are on the north side of Main Street! I tried all three before finding the correct place.

After setting up the cake, which somehow hadn't melted in the car, I went to plug in the fountain and realized the extension cord was too short! I tried moving the table closer to the wall and ended up knocking the topper off, which gouged a hole in the middle tier before crashing to the floor. I was able to repair the hole with icing before washing the topper (thankfully it wasn't broken) and returning it to the top of the cake.

I got my camera out and took a picture of the cake as quickly as possible so that I could leave before anything else happened. It was 1:15. I'll make sure I'm more prepared for the next cake!