Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

The Fall Festival at our church this year was so much fun!

I spent the week putting together Emolyn's Little Mermaid costume,
so I could hardly wait for them to arrive! 
And I must say, she made quite a splash! (I know, I had to say it)

I found the mermaid tail at Savers and then reconstructed it to fit Emolyn. 
And then after many attempts, I finally gave up and bought a girl's bra at JC Penney Outlet
and transformed it into Ariel's "crab bra". (as Emolyn calls it)
When I was done, I sprayed it with fabric adhesive and gave it a generous dusting of glitter.
I am more than pleased with how it turned out. And so was Emolyn!

 Introducing ~ The Little Mermaid family!

I made 75 miniature cupcakes for the Cupcake Walk that Randy & I love doing for the kids.
And they were gone pretty fast!

The kids loved walk 'n rock 'n to Phil Collin's Tarzan CD!

Point the camera in Emolyn's direction ~ when she's in her element ~ and the girl shines!

This innocent bystander got caught in the middle of Emolyn's theatrics, 
or maybe he was just a prop for her spontaneous antics.
But he sure was a good little sport... and as cute as can be!

 Ariel ~ King Triton ~ Ursula ~ Sebastian 

Our son Tyler loves Clint Eastwood movies and recently watched all his Spaghetti Westerns.
So this year he dressed up as "The Man with No Name" for Halloween.
I love that my adult kids still love pretending and playing dress-up. 
And Halloween gives them (and us) permission to do just that!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Appleton in October

After two days in Door County, we were so excited to visit family and friends in Appleton.
My brother Gary and I are so close, and as siblings we're only 14 months apart.
And let me tell you, we could talk for hours and hours. And we did!
We had so much fun with Gary and his wife Kathy.

Erica, Preslie, me and Kathy
 First up ~ they took us to my niece Erica & Nate's lovely home ~
so I could meet my great-niece Preslie. Oh my gosh, isn't she quite the beautiful baby doll!

And speaking of beautiful, my sister-in-law Kathy has the most beautiful flower garden!
This is but a fraction of the flowers that are still blooming in October.

And my brother Gary knows my husband so well. He & Kathy took Randy & I 
to the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh.
My husband was in heaven. He was like a little boy. He LOVES military planes.


In fact when he was a little boy, while his Dad was stationed in London,
their whole family flew to France in this transport plane ~ the C-47
and this is exactly what the inside looked like! Can you imagine!

Randy always wanted to be a fighter pilot and has had the pleasure of experiencing the Air Force simulators out at Luke Air Base. But watching him in the cockpit of this F-100 gave me a glimpse into his undying love of fighter jets.

Nothing better than the yard sales and thrift stores in Appleton...

... that is until they took us to their downtown Farmer's Market. OH. MY. GOODNESS.
Check out that GINORMOUS pumpkin stem! And how cute is the proud owner!

I was blown away! Yes, it was windy, but seriously, what a Farmer's Market!
And they kept telling us this is nothing compared to what it was like at the start of the season.
And that sweet corn up there ~ THE best sweet corn EVER!

I know, I've got a flare for the drama... but this cranberry scone was the best too!

Gary, me, Anna, Kathy, Erin & Erik and Randy 
So, SO fun hanging out with my brother's family! 
And as you can see, we put away a LOT of that sweet corn
along with Kathy's scrumptious roast meal.

Then we spent a couple days visiting our dear friends Jim & Laurie.
Jim was one of my dearest friends throughout high school.

And he knows me so well ~ 
Sunday morning we went on the most refreshing, exhilarating hike 
and then we watched the Green Bay Packers remain undefeated!

As we were driving back to Wausau for our flight back to Phoenix,
I couldn't help but long for a simpler life. 
I want to be on that hayride up there, with not a care in the world.
I want to be fully immersed and mindful of the little things in life.
And I want to never forget being in the van with my niece Anna,
after picking her up from UW-Oshkosh, talking about music and 70's fashion...

... and being stunned by the glorious sunset taking place right outside our window.
And sensing at that very moment that I was right where God wanted me to be.

Monday, October 24, 2011

tool box & pulleys

Every time I wear a Wisconsin t-shirt I meet the nicest people... 
and I get the best deals... because Wisconsin folks are nice like that.
Saturday morning I stopped at a yard sale near my home and the homeowner asked if I was from Wisconsin. I had forgotten I was wearing my Wisconsin cow-tipping t-shirt that I found at a yard sale a few months back for a quarter. Well, come to find out they were from WI and had recently returned from visiting family. We had the best visit till I was leaving and saw this ginormous old wooden tool box! I had passed one up several months ago and I was not going to let that happen again.

It had twenty dollars on the tool box... but it was also filled with old wooden pulleys and railroad spikes, tons of rope and barbed wire. I told him I would need to go home and get more money. He asked what I had in my wallet and I told him $15.00 and he said "that's plenty". I was thrilled! 
And I truly believe it was because I was a fellow-Wisconsinite. 

Any ideas of what I could do with these awesome wooden pulleys and rope? 
Yes I could put them on eBay and make a boat-load... but I might keep em.

Because seriously, look at them. How could I ever part with them.

Anyway, I have plans for this baby... BIG plans! But I welcome your ideas too.
Linking up with ~

Friday, October 21, 2011

acorns, pumpkins & gourds

Yes, roadside stands such as this one is a common occurrence while traveling throughout Wisconsin. And my husband, bless his heart, stopped at every single one. Not so much for me to buy anything, but to photograph everything. And that I did!

I love the rural farm settings and how they decorate big for fall. 
Had we driven to Wisconsin (like we always do), I would have filled up the van with pumpkins, gourds and produce galore. But I refrained till we headed back to Wausau for our flight home... better able to gage how much room we actually had. Which wasn't a whole lot :(
I now believe 10 days of dirty clothes actually take up more room in your luggage :)

So yesterday when emolyn came over, I was determined we would celebrate fall in Phoenix,
even thought the temps are still hovering around 100.
So we made edible acorns.

Here are your cast of characters ~
donut holes ~ Nutella ~ crushed peanuts ~ pretzel sticks.

Oh my gosh. So cute. So yummy. 

"Hey Mimi, you can eat it by holding onto the pretzel stick!"
She's so smart, that girl.
(and happens to think she needs to wear glasses while visiting Mimi)

I bought a white pumpkin off this wagon to decorate for my granddaughters.

And my plan was to paint black polka dots all over...

... but instead I applied each of their names (stick-on lettering) and painted the stem black.

I love how it turned out. So simple. So sweet.
Emolyn couldn't wait to take it home and show her Mama & Elsie!

And what's up with this strange new variety of pumpkins! They sorta creep me out.
So we dubbed them ~ leprosy pumpkins.

Linking up with ~ SHOW AND TELL FRIDAY

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Washington Island, WI

The day was supposed to be overcast and rainy but as you can see it was the perfect day 
for a 35 minute ferry ride to Washington Island. I was so excited!

And land sakes alive ~ I had no idea that Lake Michigan was so massive!

And looky here ~ the ferry light fixtures are just like my kitchen barn lights!

"Most of the people who settled on Washington Island were Scandinavian immigrants, especially Icelanders. Today, Washington Island is one of the oldest Icelandic communities in the United States 
and among the largest outside of Iceland itself."

So, now that we're here... what do we do? We eat lunch at the Ship's Wheel Restaurant.

Then we decided that rather than rent bikes, we'd just start walking towards town...
and came upon this unbelievably beautiful hiking trail!

I'm serious, it was like this the entire hike ~ vibrant, lush foliage ~ rich, brilliant colors.

And then we saw these... everywhere.

Every single stone was covered in thick kelly green moss! Almost fake looking.
And kinda creepy. Unlike anything I had ever seen.

And every time I would look up ~ I would gasp.

And every time I would look down ~ I would gasp.

You know how I said "Oh my gosh!" like a million times at the North Rim?
Well, I did that again throughout this entire hike...

... along with pointing my camera in every direction. I couldn't take a bad picture.

Oh, be still my heart... I want to live in a cozy cottage in the woods 
at the end of this storybook lane...

... and live happily ever after with this dear, sweet man.

I can't believe I get to live this life alongside someone so accepting and adventuresome.
Thanks Randy for taking me back to my home state of Wisconsin for the past 32 years.
And loving it as much as I do.

(be sure to clic each pic to enlarge)