Monday, October 31, 2016

The Making of Good Memories - Firsts and Lasts

Rather than posting a quick picture or two of our Halloween and the time we spent together I have decided to leave Facebook and get back to writing about life instead. I'll admit I was tempted to put my prized possessions (my pictures) on Facebook tonight but stopped myself. Sure it would have only taken me just a few minutes as compared to writing a blog but I feel a sense of urgency to be serious about my decision for taking a break and now I can see why it is so desperately needed.

Life already goes by fast enough, why be in such a hurry to post about it on social media and in return become distracted while looking at a thousand other pictures of people you probably haven't even met when you can enjoy and relish in what you were feeling and thinking in the moment your pictures happened? Those dishes I didn't do tonight are not what I want to remember in life nor do I want to be remembered by.

So I tried my first hot apple cider with a cinnamon stick for the first time. Something as small as this is a big deal. Being 44 you don't have much "firsts" left. I don't know why I never did it before. I never thought to and growing up I never really had my cider hot. It was delicious! I've been missing out all this time!

I just love happy Jack o'Lanterns!

The colors of the ivy crawling on our chimney are so pretty.

We had a busy weekend with cleaning up all the leaves in the yard and dead foliage. But it was perfect weather and we all did it together. It brought back memories for me and how I rode in the back of my Dad's pickup sitting on the wheel well along side those bagged leaves that us kids raked and were now ready to go to the dump. This was also the first time I remember the smell of fire from the house chimneys against the autumn air. We didn't get curbside pickup service for the leaves back then like we do here. 
Savannah and I made caramel apples. I found many options for buying already unwrapped caramels or even thought about using a home made recipe, but I like unwrapping the candy, that is what makes part of the fun. 

We carved our pumpkins while watching It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. I even got a shot of our TV during the famous, "I got a rock" -heh I'll never get tired of watching these and it will always be part of our tradition as it was mine when I was little. I felt bad for Savannah, her pumpkin had double the size of rind as ours did so we had to help her a bit. Charlie's turned out pretty neat, it resembled a robot. When I told him this my guess based off his smile in response, I think he liked that.  

Savannah and her best friend went trick or treating. I thought she did a good job designing her costume. It was a lot of fun to watch her and Ari go off together - almost like watching her for the first time. I often try to soak it all in as I know it is going to be one of many "lasts" as we approach adolescence.

 We even dressed up the cat. He went with it, but he is so wiggly it was hard to capture the perfect shot.
 This cat meows with his nose scrunched up. I don't know if I have many pictures of him without squinting his face all up. It is so cute. He talks a lot and is quite animated. Who knew a cat would give us so much entertainment?

Here's a throwback....Savannah's 2nd Halloween. She is much happier here than her first.
BTW there is a special story behind this little pumpkin with green shoes...and I'll never throw it away. My goal this upcoming year is to organize all my photos and get more scrap booking done. I find I may be better organized to do an online scrapbook but we will see. Memories seem to be more tangible in good old fashioned photo paper. 

Have a good night folks!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Finding Fall

So fall is upon us, the leaves are starting to get scares, soon the colors will be gone, but it is always a good change too. On the weekend I love the cozy slippers and hot coffee mornings and soon the fireplace will be where we will gather and watch the pets play. There's just a different atmosphere to the start of the day. The season for more baking and cooking indoors to make the hearth warm and rich means more time spent as a family in the kitchen and less yard work!

My birthday came and went, 44 years old now. Funny how that number doesn't seem so big when you are living in it. For work I made some pumpkin spice cupcakes that turned out so delicious and when I got home Savannah had surprised me by decorating the kitchen. Charlie took the kids and I all out for Mexican food (of course) and it was good day.

Charlie and Savannah gave me a new sewing machine for my birthday and I am waiting to finish my current embroidery project before I start anything new. It is hard cause I want to get started on making a quilt for myself for winter or try my hand at some crafts but knowing how I am I made the rule to finish the project I'm on before starting another.
My sister, Monica, wrote the cutest note in my birthday card and sent me this little hen recipe card holder and some candy corn. It is so cute!

Jake is so sweet and bought me delicious chocolates and a card!

My in-laws gave me some really nice binoculars so I can watch the birds. Not many out there this time of year but I will definitely be keeping them near the windows in case any red cardinals appear this winter. They are so lovely with their contrast in color against the glistening white snow.

And even though I am taking a break from Facebook right now I can't forget all the warm wishes from the rest of my siblings and friends. I think that list grows larger each year. I appreciate feeling so loved. I guess that is the best part about having a birthday. Some people look at it as a day of getting older but I look at it as a day to be celebrated.

I've never embroidered before, and it is quite relaxing. I've been wanting to learn something new to do with my hands before bedtime other than sit on the computer or on my phone while watching TV, and also for those days that I am in a lot of pain from FM to take my mind off it and focus on something else. The thing I am finding with it is I have learned I do want to get a needle threader because trying to put three or four threads through a tiny hole all at once is a bit more challenging than I thought it would be. With Garfield on my lap and playing with the thread I feel like a true granny. LOL

We made home made lasagna with our past maker and accessories that we received for Christmas last year. The ravioli and the fettuccini have all be so good we had to try this too of course. Charlie is getting the hang of it and become pretty efficient in making it too. He normally doesn't like pasta but with making the dough fresh like this he often craves it.
Just looking at the picture of the lasagne out of the oven makes my mouth water all over again.

Here are some fun pictures from the rest of the month:
Bear playing in leaves in the yard, I caught him in the act. 

Savannah's science project for the anatomy of a cell. She was really creative and made slime and thought of using a rubber bouncy ball for the  nucleus. Cute stuff! I miss seeing hand made projects like this from when she was in elementary school and so you can imagine this would have ben hard to keep in a file so a picture will work fine. 

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Fun Day Out

For a gloomy Saturday with rain dribbling off and on, we went to see the Monster Trucks today...personally it wasn't my first choice but a while back and recently Savannah mentioned that she'd like to see them. I didn't get the chance to get us to the Demolition Derby this year before summer ended and so I thought why not? Besides I've always heard about them myself.

Jake and Sasha went with us and we had great seats. The dirt almost flew to our aisle! Savannah didn't look too excited when we were there but what 12 1/2 year old girl is ever wanting to get caught being excited at outings with their parents (we won't discuss the pre-teen going on 18 stage here but if you have ever had a daughter you'll know what I am talking about and why were my boys never like this?) but did say she was scared off and on when they were doing the wheelies.

Jake and Charlie were all smiles and it is so fun to see them enjoying themselves. Besides, it took me back to a time of having two little boys. I remember when those two would play off and on with toy trucks, not a lot, but they would have loved to have gone when they were little if only I could have afforded to take them.

Afterward we went for a late lunch/early dinner at Pasquale's International Cafe in De Pere. I love this place, it has so much character and you just feel like you are in another city when you are in there. Their Chicago dogs are soooo good too and the hand cut fries are just like what we make at home. Good stuff.

We plan to go to the budget cinema tonight to see Ghostbusters. Hopefully it is good, but either way just being together is the best. I love family days. If only we could take our pets with us, now that would be even better!

I didn't get any selfies or pics of everyone and my phone doesn't take the best shots so out of all the pics I got these were the best two. It was fun though. Happy October!

As far as other things going on the leaves are starting to turn out here, I hope not too much more before mom comes out for a visit. I want her to see how beautiful they are at peak fall time. We found a good place for Chinese last night we want to take her to also. I am looking forward to her coming.