Friday, October 31, 2008

PSF- Costumes Of Halloweens Past

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

All Halloween All Week

I have always loved Halloween. What could be more fun than dressing up in a costume, getting free candy, getting spooked with your friends, and going to festive parties all on one night? Not much.

Getting older has not dimmed my love of Halloween in the least. I may even like it more now. It is hard to tell.

Back when I was young I had to wear whatever costume my mom could throw together for me. For three or four years in a row I had to wear a hand-me-down clown costume of my brother's even though I have a huge fear of clowns. Thankfully, I don't think I have any pictures of me in that costume.

I did find a bunch of other pictures of me in costumes from Halloweens past however. Come with me on this trip down memory lane. And try not to laugh. Thanks.

That is me in the dress and blouse at my first Halloween party in first grade. I don't really know what I was supposed to be. A princess or something? It was my mom's old prom dress and I just loved being able to wear it regardless of the eighteen thousand pins that were holding it up.Here I am after the clown phase as a farmer, or something. In case you can't see I have a piece of hay sticking out of my mouth. Cuz all farmers do that, right?
Here I am at my best friends house ready to go trick or treating. She went as a bum and I went as an Indian. Ahh, the days before political correctness. Yowsa!
This is me in high school (nice hair) going as a hippie. Lime, I posted this pic for you. Tie-dye!
Here I am on the far left of the pic. I think I am supposed to be a 50's girl. Not very convincing. And yes, all of my friends and I decided that at 15 we would go trick or treating one last time. Most people didn't have a problem with it since we were all dressed up, but we took my friend's little brother along just in case.
We are now entering my Halloween costume 'ho-bag phase. Yes, I dressed like a 'ho. And I liked it. So there! Looking back I'm glad I went as a 'ho-bag genie that year because I certainly would not have the guts to do stuff like that anymore. You only live once, right? Here I am with my friend at the UW Oshkosh dorms ready to go out for the night.
Still in the 'ho-bag phase, the next year I was a french maid. My hubby is sad I didn't keep these outfits. I'm pretty happy about it, actually. In this pic I was in Madison (at my boyfriend's horribly dirty apartment) celebrating on the infamous State Street with the rest of the loony college kids. No riots that year, thankfully.
And so ends the 'ho-bag phase. From french maid to doctor, that is quite a career jump in one year. This pic was taken at my place of employment. Can you see the shelf full of cookies and candy behind me? That was just our everyday snacks. You should have seen the treat table we had set up for Halloween. No wonder I was overweight when I worked there.
Now we are entering the mommy phase. The phase when I was so consumed with making sure my boys had a blast for Halloween that I completely forgot about a costume for me until the last minute when all that was left at the store was a child-sized bumble bee costume. And yes, I wore that out to the bars that night. Pride? What's that?
These are my best friends who went out with us that night. And they weren't even embarrassed by me! Such good friends. In case you can't tell Carl is a lame excuse, Sarah (the bum in the picture above and my best friend since 1st grade!) is a bloodied prom queen, Todd is Zorro, and yes, I am a bumble bee.
But I think I made up for it because this is what Joey looked like that year, his first Halloween. That was our doggy Lucy in her witch costume. She was not quite as happy about her costume as Joey was about his.
This is Tommy's first Halloween. He still has a fondness for dalnations and went as one again last year.
And this is my Benny bear for his first Halloween last year. It was very important to me that each boy had his own new costume for their 1st Halloween. The costumes are all carefully packed away along with the outfits they wore home from the hospital, their first pair of shoes, and all their other keepsakes.
After the bumble bee incident I gave up on the costumes for a while, but I still dressed up a little. A goofy wig and some Halloween themed tee shirt were good enough for me.

But this year my best friends (the same ones as the above bumble bee picture) will be coming trick or treating with us and then we are going out for a night on the town. So it is an EXTRA special Halloween. I put together an actual Halloween outfit for myself this year. And I am pretty excited about it. I hope it turns out as good in real life as it looks in my head. It is nothing too complicated or amazing, but it is my return to putting an effort into myself for Halloween.
I'm sure I'll have a million photos to show you tomorrow of our trick or treating jaunt tonight and maybe even some pics of our night out on the town. Until then, I hope you all have a Happy and Fun Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ghost Story #3

All Halloween All Week

When Todd and I were first married we decided it would be best if I moved into his dingy little apartment that was 5 minutes from his work and 45 from mine. It was the upper unit of an old house that he had gotten word of thanks to a good friend whose great aunt lived downstairs. Sure I knew about the walls that would drip with moisture in the winter, the shower (that was really a former closet) that you had to stand in crunched over like a humpback so you didn't hit your head on the slanted roof, the one small closet for both of us to share, and the less than normal landlord, but I moved in anyway. Why? Because the great-aunt-less-than-normal landlord only charged $150 a month for rent. That's why! A short time there and we could save up for our first house. It was worth the sacrifice.

So even when the landlord started asking us to come downstairs and check out her house because there was a little man hiding behind her TV, or a father and daughter sitting on her bed, or a spaceship flying in the porch area, we still stayed put. We did start to get concerned when she called me at work and asked my co-worker if I could please come home and collect all of my snakes, dragons, and alligators and put them back in their cages because they were scaring her. Sure she freaked us out every once in a while but we knew she was a sweet lady who was most likely just hallucinating from not taking care of her diabetes as she should.

We put up with it all to save a few bucks and it was worth it. Until it wasn't.

Our first Christmas in the apartment I tried to decorate and make the place look as homey and cozy as possible. I put up all my snowmen and reindeer, and even put little white lights and red bows on our fern tree. One of my favorite decorations was a set of snowman candlesticks. There was a momma, a daddy, and a little kid snowman, and they all had long white candles in them. I displayed them prominently on top of the television.

Soon I discovered that just about every time I would come home from being gone for a few hours the momma snowman would be turned around facing the wall. At first I just chalked it up to big trucks driving by and vibrating the floor. Or maybe Todd had bumped it. Or maybe I just nudged it when I was watering the plants. But then after a while I would specifically put the momma in a spot where I knew she couldn't turn around and yet, sure enough, I would come home and there she was facing the wall.

Seeing as how I had told Todd all about this strange occurrence I started to wonder if he was messing around with me. Was he turning the momma around? Nope. He promised. Then there were times when Todd was with me every minute of the day and we would come home and she would be turned around so I knew he was telling the truth.

This went on for as long as I had the decorations up and I was happy to take them down a little earlier than usual that year. There were a few other strange things here and there, noises and such, but nothing that really made me want to give up that $150 in rent.

Until one night.

It started out the same as any night. We went to bed, Todd on the right hand side closest to our bedroom door and me on the left hand side closest to the windows. We gave each other a good night kiss and then rolled over both facing away from each other. We are SO not cuddly sleepers.
A few hours later I awoke to footsteps walking across the living room floor. I listened as they approached our bedroom. Being too tired to turn around and look I just assumed it was Todd coming back from the bathroom. The footsteps continued into the bedroom, to the bed, around to my side of the bed by the windows, and then stopped at the foot of the bed. That's when I felt someone sit down at the end of the bed right by my feet. My legs even fell slightly to the side toward the dip in the bed.

I was so confused. Why on earth was Todd sitting at the end of the bed? On my side? What was he doing?

"Uh, honey? What are you doing?" I asked him, annoyed that he woke me.

And from directly behind me in bed Todd said, "Huh?"

I jumped about a foot in the air nearly giving Todd a heart attack. Hearing his voice come from his side of the bed, instead of at my feet where I expected him to be, gave me the fright of my life. I grabbed onto Todd and looked at the foot of the bed and there was no one there. The sensation of someone sitting on the bed was gone just like that.

I retold Todd the story through my tears and when I was done he got up to explore our tiny apartment. Of course, no one was there. And that was it.

The next week we started looking for a new house.

(Todd was just reading this to make sure I hadn't missed anything and he said, "Oh yeah. I never really told you this but someone who had lived in that house had committed suicide in the garage in the backyard before we moved in. I guess I didn't want to freak you out." Yeah. Thanks, hon.)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

WW- I'm In Big Trouble

Why do I always hand out my favorites?
I wonder if here will be any left for the trick-or-treaters.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ghost Story #2

All Halloween All Week

It was a long, hot, boring summer. Not at all the way I envisioned my last summer before starting high school. I was supposed to be at the beach working on my tan, not getting up four mornings a week at 5 AM to hustle over to my baby-sitting job. Wasn't I supposed to be having fun with my friends? Going swimming? Talking about boys? Stalking our crushes? Well, not if I wanted money. And this job paid pretty well for a fourteen year old. Never mind the fact that getting up early and missing out on so much fun had turned me into a grumpy, snippy, teenager that I hadn't been before. It would be over soon. Just a few more weeks.

My alarm clock went off at 4:50 AM, as usual. I hit snooze twice, as usual. I walked with my eyes half closed to the bathroom, splashed some water on my face, and as I threw my hair back in a ponytail I heard the timer on the kitchen stove go off. What in the world? Why on earth was mom up at this time? She's cooking something? Now? I rolled my eyes and headed back to my room to get dressed. Just as I was finishing up I heard the timer on the stove go off again. Feeling super agitated (what else was new?) that my mom was up at an ungodly hour baking I ran downstairs to show her my annoyance and make her see how loony she was acting.

I rounded the corner to the kitchen and there was no one there. I walked into the living room and then the dining room. No one.

A chill ran up my spine and I took off running out the back door to my baby sitting job. I cut through the neighbors' yards looking behind me every few steps. I ran faster and faster, so sure that any moment someone was going to grab me from behind.

I got to my job in less than 30 seconds and let myself in. I said hello to the kids' dad all the while trying to appear somewhat casual. As he left for work I went downstairs to their TV room and flipped on the tube for some company. I didn't want to be alone with my thoughts. I was freaked, to say the least. I didn't know what to think. Had someone been in our house? Was someone messing with me? Am I crazy? Did I really hear it? What if someone was still in the house? Mom was sleeping! Dad wasn't home from his third shift yet. Should I call her? I don't want to wake her up and freak her out. What if I'm just being crazy?

I waited until the clock struck 7 and then immediately picked up the phone and called my mom. No answer. I tried every 5 minutes for the next half hour. No answer. The kids were up now and asking me who I was calling every couple of minutes. I told them I just had a question for my mom, but I think I was starting to worry them too. Finally a little after 7:30 mom picked up the phone.

"Hello?" she said.

"Mom? Are you alright? Is anything weird going on?" I asked.

"Ha! I'm fine! Why?" she responded.

"Well, maybe you should just come over here. I have a really weird feeling. Have you looked around the house?" I said trying to stay calm.

"Why? I mean, I've been up and around, but what am I looking for?" she chuckled, slightly amused.

"Well, I heard the kitchen stove go off this morning. Twice. I thought for some crazy reason you were downstairs baking but when I got down there you weren't there." I finally told her.

"Oh! That wasn't you? I heard it too. I was wondering what you were doing." she said, finally understanding.

"No. It wasn't me. And, I don't know. I just have a bad feeling. I think you should come over just in case someone is in the house or something." I pleaded.

"Don't be silly! There is no one here. And dad will be home in a few minutes. Don't worry about it." she said, laughing now.

"Well, just call me when dad gets home and make him check around the house or something." I cautioned.

"Honey. It's fine. Trust me." she comforted.

I hung up the phone though I was still uneasy. I thought about it for the better part of the day, and it just didn't make any sense.

When 3 o'clock finally rolled around the kids' mom came home and I was free to go. I walked back home, opened the gate in the backyard and walked up to the back of the house. I could hear my mom singing in the kitchen and I was immediately put at ease.

I opened the back door and walked up the hallway steps. The minute I stepped foot into the kitchen where my mom was the timer on the stove started beeping again. Only this time not only was the timer beeping but the numbers on the clock were flashing and rolling. The numbers were jumping and flickering so fast they never really settled on one number. The just kept up their jumbled flipping craziness.

My mom and I stood stunned and grabbed each other's arm. We were frozen in our spots, clinging to each other with our mouths wide open.

Finally it stopped. I looked at mom and she looked at me. There were no words. Her eyes were big as saucers and mine were watering.

"Well, uh, um, there's. Uh. There's gotta be a short or something. I mean. The clock must just be broken or something. Because, uh. That doesn't just happen. Uh. Maybe it has a battery? Maybe it needs a new battery?" she said, again trying to comfort me.

Mom immediately grabbed the phone book, called the Sears where they had bought the stove less than a year ago, and asked to speak to a repairman. She asked if there was a separate battery compartment for the clock. Nope. Could there be a short? Not if the burners and oven was still working. Mom tried the burners and the oven. They both worked. The repairman asked why mom was asking and when she told him what had happened he said, "Eh! Spooky." Yeah. That helped.

Okay. So no reasonable explanation for it. What was it?

We couldn't figure it out. And we didn't understand why it went off right after I woke up in the morning, hadn't gone off all day, and then went off again the minute I stepped into the kitchen. What was going on?

Mom told me of something she had read once. She didn't want to freak me out, but she'd heard that ghosts are sometimes attracted to negative energy much like a teenage (bitchy) girl gives off. We talked about how foul I had been the past few weeks. How I had been talking back and grouchy, and an all around pain in the ass. Maybe that had something to do with it?

Then seeing how I was getting a bit freaked by that idea she said, "Or maybe it was just grandma telling you to behave."

"Well knock it OFF grandma!" I said, trying to see the humor.

I'm not sure I believed either theory, but I certainly didn't want to test it either. And yes I was still a grouchy, bitchy teenager from time to time, but nothing like I had been that summer. Somewhere in the back of my mind I really didn't want to find out if my mom had been right.

To this day the clock on my mom's stove does not work. And every once in a while when I am standing alone in that kitchen, and I glance over at the jumbled numbers on the clock, a chill runs up my back.

(Freaky, right? Well, wait until you hear the third ghost story on Thursday. It is so scary!)
(Oh, and one more thing. Don't be too hard on my mom. She and I were always watching ghost shows and talking about stuff like that together. She didn't really want to freak me out just to make me behave. And I didn't take it that way. We were both just looking for an explanation and she shared with me something she'd read about.)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ghost Story #1

All Halloween All Week

It wasn't a dark and stormy night. I wasn't all alone. It happened on a night not unlike any other night in my house when I was growing up.

I was about 10 years old. I had begrudgingly gotten ready for bed, brushed my teeth, gotten into my pajamas, and headed back downstairs to say goodnight to my parents one more time. Okay, if I'm being honest, I really went down there to stall. My 16 year old sister, and roommate, didn't have to go to bed until much later and I really pushed it every night trying to get my folks to let me stay up later and later. No such luck this night. They gave me kisses and the standard, "Goodnight. God bless you. I love you."s were exchanged and defeatedly I went upstairs to my bedroom.

I crawled into my twin sized bed and pulled the cream comforter with pink flowers up around me. I turned on the old fashioned clock radio for some sweet, soothing music to help lull me to sleep. I turned the knob on the side of the clock and watched as the needled slid back and forth on the faceplate with the orange backlight glowing. Jackpot! I found one of my favorite songs. I reached for the light on the bedside table and snapped it off, turned over to face the wall, and snuggled down in my bed thinking about my grade school crush as Huey Lewis sang "Happy to be Stuck With You".

Just as my crush was about to ask me to dance the music on the radio got fuzzy. Great! Way to ruin my fantasy! Stupid static! Stupid radio!

I turned back over to face the clock radio hoping to adjust the station a bit, and I froze. From the orangey glow of the clock I saw the needle moving back and forth on the faceplate and the knob on the side was slowly turning. I couldn't move. I couldn't look away. I just watched as the needle went back and forth, back and forth, up and down the faceplate, all the while going in and out of static and music. Finally it came to a stop.

I jumped out of bed and ran down the hallway, flew down the stairs, and jumped onto the couch where my mom and sister were watching TV. They immediately new something was wrong just from the sheer speed at which I burst into the room. Never mind the look on my face.

I whimpered as I retold my story to my mom, dad, and sister. My mom tried to think of things to calm me. Perhaps I had just fallen asleep and dreamt it. Dad thought that maybe my eyes (and ears?) were playing tricks on me. For once my sister backed me up. Maybe it was the look in my eyes, or maybe it was the fact that she knew I hadn't even been in my room long enough to fall asleep when it happened. Either way, they believed me enough to let me stay up later that night. At least until my sister was ready for bed.

When my sister and I finally went to bed later that night we put the clock radio down on the floor so that we couldn't see it, and we didn't listen to music to help us fall asleep. And for the first time in a long time I asked, "Anne? Can I sleep in your bed tonight?"

(On a side note: I had only fuzzy memories of this up until a few years ago. Todd and I were watching some kind of television show about hauntings. On it they had almost the same scenario play out with a clock radio that looked JUST LIKE MINE growing up, but it had a green backlight instead of orange. When I saw the needle moving on that clock radio on the television I immediately teared up. The tears just started rolling down my face. I wasn't sad or even that scared. I almost felt like I was reliving it again. So bizarre!
So anyway. That is Ghost Story Number 1. But trust me. They get scarier. Stay tuned tomorrow for another freaky ghost story!)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Halloween Week & Saturday Suggestions Part 5

I am so excited that Halloween is less than a week away! Yahoo!!!! I think I am just as excited, if not more so, than my boys. I just love everything about it. I love dressing up, getting spooked, eating CANDY! I love it! Add to that the fact that my very best friend and her family will be in town and will not only bring her adorable kiddos out trick or treating with us but then afterwards we are going out for a night on the town! Sans kids! Woohoo!

So, in honor of this wonderful festive time of year every post next week will be Halloween themed. I have mentioned a number of times how I have had some very freaky ghostly experiences and I will finally be sharing them with you. One ghost story on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Yes, there are three ghost stories total. I may even add some scary music! OOooooooo. Then maybe some fun jack-o-lantern pics on Wednesday, and a photo montage of all my past Halloween costumes throughout the years for Photo Story Friday. I know how y'all like to laugh at me.

So that is the plan. We'll see how it all turns out. Woohoo! Halloween!


And without further ado:

Since I usually don't post on weekends I thought I would give you all some great reads written by other bloggers. Every Saturday I will pick three posts that stand out in my mind that I have read in the past week. They can be posts that make me laugh, cry, or just strike a chord with me. Please feel free to visit the links and leave comments.

Catwoman at Canadian Thoughts In Texas with Complete Love

-This is the very first post Catwoman wrote after delivering her second son, and I think it is one of the sweetest things I've ever read. Love just oozes from the screen.

The Griper with Obama and Bill Ayers

-I have vowed not to write any political posts on this blog, and I still won't. But this man did and it covers one of my biggest concerns.

Siobhan at A Brit Different with A Tribute To The Greatest Generation And An Amazing Man

-Quite possibly the best tribute post I've ever read. I know it is so difficult to write about someone you admire and love so much. It seems impossible to condense to writing. But Siobhan executed it flawlessly. I can feel every emotion. Just brilliant and touching.

Friday, October 24, 2008

PSF- And So It Begins

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

The boys love it when Todd's work schedule allows him to drop them off at school in the morning. Yesterday was one of those days and Joey was thrilled. I gave both Todd and Joey a kiss, sent them on their way, and watched as they climbed into the truck. A few minutes later Todd pulled up to the curb at school, got out of the truck, and walked around and opened Joey's door. As Todd leaned in for his normally sought after goodbye kiss Joey said, "Uh, Dad? Could you not kiss me in front of all these kids?"
Todd chuckled and said, "Oh, sure. How about a good firm handshake?"
Joey smiled back, "Well, okay then."

They shook hands, Joey jumped out of the truck, grabbed his backpack from Todd, and took off running to catch up with his friends.

Ten seconds after that I got a call from Todd. There was a strange tone in his voice, hidden under his laughter, as he told me what Joey had said. A kind of mixture of pride and sadness I think. And I felt it too. Who knew it would start so soon? Who knew it would feel like this? Both exhilarating that our boy is growing up as he should, and devastating that it is happening so fast. One minute our first little baby boy is sleeping in our arms, and the next he is a little man bounding off on his own agenda. And yet again I find myself asking, "Already?"
Oh, be still my heart.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Birthday Blessings

Today is my mom's 69th birthday. It has been almost three years now since she was diagnosed with terminal cancer and I never imagined I would be lucky enough to still have her here with me today. It was estimated that she only had a few months to live and yet she is living an active and healthy life today. I can't express how grateful I am.

I am so grateful that my boys continue to have the opportunity to get to know their grandma the way I know her. To see what a beautiful example she is of not only motherly love but of God's love for us. She lives her life by example and continues to amaze me. She handles every situation with grace including her cancer, her daughter's death, her husband's Alzheimer's, her children's struggles, and what ever else life throws at her. Her faith and trust in God is something I strive for every day. She shows us that our suffering makes us stronger and prepares our souls for heaven's reward. She is a shining example of Christianity.

Mom is a positive light in this sometimes dark world. She is supportive, kind, generous, giving, and loving. Though I have been an adult for quite some time I feel I will always need my mom. She is a strength to me. And a best friend. I will continue throughout my life to try and be the kind of mother to my boys that she is to me.

I can not say enough about this amazing woman. And I am so blessed to have had her in my life as long as I have. I pray that today is a special day for her and that she will have many, many more special birthdays to celebrate here with us.

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

WW- Tales From The Pumpkin Farm

Ugh. Decision, decisions.
Found one!
Forget the pumpkins, gimme the chicken!
Mmm. Lunch!

Good old fashioned family fun.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Just Call Me Bessie

Joey: "Hey mom! Is this the little green pillow you used to put under your arm when you would milk Ben?"

Me: "Yep. Uh... wait. What?"

Joey: "Is this the pillow you would use when you used to milk Ben?"

Me: "Do you mean, is that the pillow I would put under my arm when I was breastfeeding Ben as a baby?"

Joey: "Yeah. That's what I said."

Me: "Um, yes. That's the pillow I used. Although more accurately I was the one being milked."

Joey: "Huh?"

Me: "Yes. That's the pillow I used."

Joey: "I thought so!"

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sick. In The Head.

Ugh. I'm just so blahhhhhh.

Yes, we had a fine weekend. We went to the pumpkin farm, fed the animals, took pictures, blah, blah, blah. Todd went bow hunting and I took a super long run, blah, blah, blah. We rented a movie and had my favorite pizza, blah, blah, blah. We had an open house, blah, blah, blah.

I am just feeling so blahhhhh.

The kids have been difficult and restless and I have been sick, grumpy, and tired. This morning Ben found lotion and covered almost the entire couch before I caught him. Tommy is whiny and sassy, throwing toys and stomping his feet. I'm hoping it is just a phase and passes quickly otherwise they may find themselves out on the front lawn next to the For Sale sign.

I don't know if it is the weather or the fact that this cold is still hanging on so, but I just can't shake this blah. I know I have to get myself moving and go to the grocery store (ugh some more) but I just can't get up the energy. Blah, blah, blah. Today's weather fits me so perfectly with the dark, dreary rain. I just want to go back to bed and pull the covers over my head but Nooooo. These kids want something more than just the Cheerios I chucked on the floor for them. They are just so selfish. Always me, me, me. "Mom, I'm hungry!" "Mom, I have to go potty!" "Mom, can I get dressed?" Ugh. Why can't they be more like these other lazy kids I always hear about that want to do nothing but watch TV? Where do I get me one of those?

Fine. I'm going, I'm going. I'll go and get out of these pajamas, dress the boys, go to the store, pick up Joe from school, feed the boys (again), blah, blah, blah.

"Rainy days and Mondays always get meeeeee down."

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Sweetest Day and Saturday Suggestions

I woke up this morning and groggily groped my way downstairs to find this waiting for me.I had completely forgotten that it was Sweetest Day today, but the hubby managed to remember. Such a smart man. He even remembered my favorite color roses. Bonus points for that, too. And yes, Sweetest Day is a sort of made up holiday but it is also kind of an anniversary for us so we like to acknowledge it every year.


Without further ado...

Since I usually don't post on weekends I thought I would give you all some great reads written by other bloggers. Every Saturday I will pick three posts that stand out in my mind that I have read in the past week. They can be posts that make me laugh, cry, or just strike a chord with me. Please feel free to visit the links and leave comments.

Ewe Are Here at Wherever Ewe Go, There Ewe Are with No, Really, I'm Not An Irresponsible Teenager, But I Can Play One Really, Really Well This is such a funny story and she tells it so well. I couldn't stop laughing. It really sounds like something I would do.

Kristen at Loving Our Simple Life with You Never Know... Such a good reminder for all of us and I think about that often. Looking through the pictures and reading her wise words really put tears in my eyes.

Beck at 5 Minutes for Parenting with Revelations Wow. I mean, really. Wow. I needed to read this post. And the funny thing is that I tried to get into the site a number of times and it wouldn't let me. For some reason I kept trying and kept trying and it finally let me in (a day later). I really needed to hear this. I think EVERY PARENT NEEDS TO HEAR THIS.

Now please go visit these lovely bloggers and leave a comment for them too. Happy reading and Happy Sweetest Day!

Friday, October 17, 2008

PSF- A Secret Wisconsin Sport

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

We are big sports fans in Wisconsin. Whether it be football, baseball, hunting, hockey, fishing, skiing, or drinking we like our sports. Most people know how big the Packers and the Badgers are in Wisconsin. And now that the Brewers went to the playoffs this year you may even know we have a baseball team too. Have you heard of the Bucks? Because they are our "professional" basketball team.

But there is another sport in Wisconsin that very few people know about. Surfing. Are you surprised? I am every time I think about it. I can't imagine getting in that cold water for hours on end like the surfers do, but there they are every time the waves show themselves. There is actually a large surfing contest held in my hometown every year and we have become known as one of the top fresh water surfing sites in the world.

I have proof. See? Just a few of them on this day waiting for the big waves that were predicted.
This was a relatively calm day, but there are days the waves are huge. Our rip tides are very dangerous because not only will it suck you down but your limbs are half frozen by the cold temperature of the water making it tougher to get out of. We have had many rescues by our local Coast Guard station this year alone though most where for high school kids jumping off the pier or fisherman that had capsized.
The surfers are usually very careful. Although seeing them come out of the water with frozen icicles on their face makes me wonder about their sanity. But I had three boys in less than four years, so who am I to judge?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Recovering From The Weekend

It was a busy, beautiful weekend. We decided to take the trek up north to the in-laws' cabin and catch what we could of the changing leaves. The boys were thrilled when we told them we were going up north and kept asking every 5 minutes when we were leaving. When we finally did leave on Friday it was well past their nap time and we actually managed to get an hour of peace in the car (even if Joey was faking).
Followed by two hours of, well, non-peace.
But it was worth it when we finally arrived at the cabin and saw that we had made it in time for the peak fall season. The leaves were at the height of their beauty and we took advantage of every minute. We went on walks down the road collecting sticks and stomping through the crunchy leaves.

We hiked up and down the trails through the woods.
The boys got out a bit of their energy running through the woods, lifting large fallen logs, and climbing on old tree stumps.
They even posed for a few (okay fine, 700) pictures for me of them in their first leaf pile of the fall. I managed, with the help of the boys, to accomplish the one goal I had this weekend and took updated leaf pictures of the boys for my sidebar.
After all that posing the boys were happy to burn off some more of that never ending energy.

And they even helped daddy collect kindling for a nice bonfire.
I hardly even noticed (that's a lie, by the way) the cold Ben & I were fighting off the whole weekend.
Now we are back home. Planning open houses, the boys' picture day at school, trips to the pumpkin farm, trips to the grocery store, and cleaning the house are occupying too much of my still cold-induced foggy head. I wish I could say that the lovely weekend left me relaxed and refreshed, but I am already in need of another weekend.
Oh Friday, won't you hurry?

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson