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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Welcoming Christmas in Lebanon

Lebanon Christmas Parade

The Parkers kicked off the Christmas holiday season by heading down to Lebanon, Ohio for our traditional visit to the annual horse-drawn Christmas parade. The most exciting aspect for Mommy and Daddy? It was Corbin's first! It was mighty cold and a long walk from the car (we almost missed the 1 p.m. parade) but my, it was fun to watch the wonder on Corbin's face as each carriage passed - variously pulled by draft horses, mules, donkeys, gaited horses and miniature horses.

Corbin Catches Sight of First Carriage

Aunt Panda's Favorite

We took in all our favorites - the Paso Fino gaited horse demo, shopping at Broadway Antique Mall and Oh Susanna! and dining at the Village Ice Cream Parlor. Corbin had fun toddling up and down Broadway and spent 15-plus minutes popping into and out of this sale sign.
Thinking about it....

I'm Hiding!


We also took advantage of the free wagon ride - can't believe we hadn't done that before - and Corbin wasn't sure what to make of the VERY big draft horses.


We decided to leave before the evening parade, but lost our car! After 40 minutes of wandering through the cold and darkened streets of Lebanon, with tears from both Corbin and Mommy, we were hungry and popped into Bob Evans for a late night dinner.

While waiting for a table, we got confirmation from our waitress about a story we had been hearing all day. There was a deadly barn fire early that morning at the Lebanon Raceway, a harness racing track. Two groomers and 43 horses perished. My heart hurt as we drove out of town. On a day that celebrates the horse and people who love horses it was a sad counterpoint.

Thanksgiving Weekend in the Heartland

Ohio Amish County

It seems so long ago now - coming off of eight weeks of rotating viral infections, Corbin's transition to daycare, Christmas celebrations and two big snows - but Lee, Corbin and I had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We celebrated with PopPop's family and enjoyed catching up with his sister and her family.
Then, for the weekend, we headed north to Amish country to meet my sister and our niece and nephew. I had never been to Amish country, but with her usual attention to detail and eye for adventure, my sister planned a fun and packed day.

The drive up through Chillicothe was beautiful - crisp (a little cold) and blue skies as a backdrop to the fall colors. The view as we traveled over the rolling hills and through the winding country roads reminded me of the reasons I love Ohio. And how exciting to crest a little hill and come upon our first Amish buggy right in front of us!

After a hearty if chaotic (three hungry kids) lunch and some antique browsing, we headed to
Amish and Mennonite Heritage Center. The highlight of the center is Behalt Cyclorama - a indoor 265 foot mural in the round. It was moderately well-executed if a bit melodramatic. WARNING: Not for faint of heart or the very young! The mural tells the story of the Anabaptist people who were persecuted for centuries for their beliefs. As such, the moral contains many and various images of church leaders being martyred. The tour guide spoke for about an hour and described said images in detail. Corbin, of course, is precociously verbal and has giant ears. At about the mid-point of the tour, while the tour guide was commenting that the beheading image she had paused on was just a singular example intended to represent the countless acts of violence perpetrated on the Anabaptists Corbin enthusiastically called out "Violence!!!". So - you are warned.

Next we toured the other featured stops at the Heritage Center.
The schoolhouse, where reading primers used stories about learning to drive carriages to teach grammar and spelling -

Yes Ma'am!

- then the barn and the Conestoga Wagon (invented by an Amish pioneer - who knew!).

Outside the Barn

Next we headed to Lehman's , a giant general store full of old-fashioned goodies. Just the wooden toys and the clothesline supplies sent my heart atwitter! It makes my top three list for funky, rambling, unique but giant shopping adventures, right up there withJungle Jim's and Powell's Books.

Shopping at Lehman's

Little Amish Guy

Next, more yummy comfort food and a quick trip up to Victorian House in Millersburg, Ohio. It was one of the best architectural restorations I've toured - all done by historical society volunteers and even including the basement. Unfortunately, as the house had gone through several hands, very little of the furniture is original but each room contained different antique treasures from throughout Millersburg and many rooms were splendidly decorated for the holidays with too many Christmas trees to count. If you are a fan of historic homes definitely put this one on your list. At a minimum, take the virtual tour on their website.
We left the Millersburg under cover of darkness, with Corbin asleep in the backseat, footy pjs and all.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Just Some Cute Pics

Here are some random cute Corbin pictures from November.


Loading the Utensil Holder

Washing Spices

Hanging Out with Baba

Sleep Tight


Saturday, January 02, 2010

Leaves Galore

On a bright, crisp autumn day Daddy introduced Corbin playing in fallen leaves - what fun!

"Washing" Leaves

Daddy Covered Corbin in Leaf Piles

Giving the Leaves a Toss

Corbin and Mommy

Rolling Down the Hill

Later in the week, Corbin got to practice his new leaf pile skills at Gramma's house.


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