Monday, July 17, 2006

In Which My World Does a Flip

This is a picture of me bungie jumping at the Carnegie Science Center on the 8th. Our family spent the day there with several other families from church and had a great time. We spent the day discovering the science behind magic, soda pop, and sports including rock climbing. I wasn't brave enough to ride the roller coaster and jet simulators, though!

The day after I was called as Primary President. Three days later I discovered we are pregnant with our 5th child. Even though I am happy about both events, their almost simultaneous occurrence threw me for a bit of a loop. But, at least I learned my "sick to my stomach", emotional mornings were hormonal, not new calling angst. So, that is what I have been up to instead of blogging. Trying to manage the basics of home and children care, while getting the primary set up, and holding onto my cookies. It's been a bit overwhelming and has reminded me of when I did the rock climbing at the science center. The scariest moment happened when I reached the top of the rock wall and had to let go, trusting that my guide rope would catch me and carefully return me to the ground. I'm just trusting Heavenly Father is going to do the same!

"And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him. O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?" Matthew 14:31

Friday, July 7, 2006

Salem, MA

We did a day trip on our vacation up to Salem, MA. We've gone there before, in October, when the crowds were thick and full of unusually dressed people, making you think they are on their way to Diagon Alley. It seems Salem is a bit of a witch mecca, which is really ironic considering how fervently the residents in 1692 sought to eradicate any presence of witchcraft out of their town.

It seems some young girls started accusing women of practicing witchcraft, snowballing a flurry of accusations and trials. Hundreds of people were investigated, 19 were sent to the gallows, and one man was pressed to death for failing to make a plea. It didn't end until the girls went too far and accused the govenor's wife. There is a memorial next to the cemetary with each of the names of the sentenced. Some of their statements are engraved in stone and are really sad, "I am wholly innocent of this wickedness", "I will speak the truth as long as I live", "God knows I am innocent." Very sad. Moving on now...

I really liked visiting Salem when it wasn't so crowded, mostly because my favorite part of Salem is the Architecture. We first toured The Witch House, which dates back to at least 1675 and is a great example of 17th century architecture with its overhanging top story, narrow unpainted clapboards, and small diamond windows. I find this style very dark and dreary. The home belonged to Judge Jonathan Corwin, one of the judges responsible for trying the witch cases.

It has a typical enormous hearth from that time, where the women would have several cooking fires going at once, not unlike our using several stove top burners. With their long skirts moving amongst the fires, they were at high risk of catching themselves aflame. To prevent it, they often would dampen the bottoms of their dresses. Even so, infected burns were a common cause of death at that time. To keep the little ones out of the fire, they would tie them to themselves with strings. Thus the source of "tied to his mother's apron strings". Another reason to be glad we live when we do!

Enough of the depressing, and time for the pretty stuff! My favorite Architecture styles are Georgian and Federal. The McIntyre district of Salem, named after architect Samuel McIntyre, is one of the most beautiful neighborhoods to see these old houses, especially along Chestnut Street:

Federal Style
Georgian Style
Lovely fence.

Aren't they the most beautiful houses you've ever seen?

Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Works for Me: Reading Time

Time again for Works For Me Wednesday!

I've seen many reading incentive ideas, but never one as simple to execute as the one I use. Bedtime at our house is 8 pm, but lights out is not until 9 pm, as long as you are quietly reading in bed. I think most kids would willingly read if it was the means for staying up an extra hour. My youngest usually falls asleep before 9, but she, with the others, manages to do a significant amount of reading each night. Like most proud moms, I think my children are bright, but I attribute the fact they all read well above grade level due to this one thing we do. The potential of losing bedtime reading time is also an excellant behavioral motivator. They are more likely to cooperatively get ready and go to bed, if doing otherwise means an earlier lights out.

Works For Me!

Be sure to check out Shannon's list of other Works for me Wednesday tips!

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Happy Independance Day!

Enjoy your BBQ's and fireworks! But, don't forget what a grand thing this day celebrates. I read an article this morning that really emphasized to me what it's all about today. You can read it here, if you'd like!

Cape Cod: Antique Shops

The Spy Glass

I love antiques. Route 6A, especially as it travels through Brewster, has many wonderful antique shops. One of them is The Spy Glass. It has many maritime related objects and is a special favorite of Grandpa Tony, who is an accomplished ship model builder. They had a fantastic tiny ship model there, "Brigate Bertha", built in 1589. That's almost 200 years before the declaration of Independance was signed! (Be sure to click on the subtitle to see the close up photos!):

Brigate Bertha

I also really liked this English leather firefighter bucket from 1898. I loved the handpainted design of the front. People just don't make stuff like this anymore, especially beautiful everyday things.

English leather firefighter bucket

Another Favorite Shop is a clock shop called the The Village Peddler in Dennis. I love when any of the clocks start to chime during a visit. Grandma Sally is an avid antique clock lover and has collected several, many of which have been skillfully cleaned and refurbished by this gentleman, the proprietor of the shop:

The Village Peddler

If he isn't too busy, he will often sit in one of the rockers and talk about clocks. They are obviously a passion for him. He also often has a few other interesting items. This is, in fact, where we bought this on a previous visit:

Western Electric 302 phone.

It is an antique phone from the late 1920's. It is the same kind you often see in those old black and white movies. My husband figured out how to get it working again and it now sits on the table in the family room. It makes a wonderful clicking sound as you dial, but my favorite sound is the ringer.

We didn't come home with any new finds this time, but the continuing hunt is half the fun!

Saturday, July 1, 2006

Cape Cod: Penniman House

Captain Penniman's House

Edward Penniman was a wealthy whaling captain who built a house on Fort Hill in the town of Eastham. It has been under restoration for awhile, and this last visit we finally got a chance to tour it. It was built in the French Second Empire style with a mansard style roof and elaborate millwork and design on both the interior and exterior. It even has a cupola on top where the Captain would sit and watch the children playing below, and the sea beyond. It is remarkably preserved. Most of the interior woodwork and wallcoverings are the originals.

Curving central hall and stairs.

The Cape Cod National Seashore purchased the house in 1963 for $28,000 from the Captain's grandaughter. Today it is worth millions.

Furnished bedroom.

At the time, the grandaughter offered to sell the home's furnishings for a small additional sum, but was told the park service wasn't in the business of antique collecting. Talk about a mistake! Later they spent far more money in trying to locate and acquire some of the items from that original collection.

Millwork above back door.

The rectangular block design in the millwork is called dentil molding. Can you guess why?

As an avid lover of historical architecture, I loved visiting this house!