Friday, September 11 0 comments

Chloe's Tooth

My beautiful granddaughter lost her first tooth! I can't believe how quickly she is growing up. Just when I got used to her being in kindergarten, this had to happen. I'm certain the tooth fairy was good to her.

Monday, September 7 0 comments


Today we had Jeff's cousins and his sister at the house all at the same time. It is a rare thing since his cousin, Toni lives in Phoenix and his sister, Linda lives in St. Paul, Arkansas. We do see Jeff's other cousin, Sherrill more often since she lives in West Bend. That's a mere 45 minutes away. Sherrill and Toni are sisters so Toni's been staying in West Bend while Linda is staying with us.

We weren't sure we were going to be able to connect. Linda got to Milwaukee and then drove up north for the week and Toni was in town during that time. Linda was getting on a flight back to Arkansas just a few hours before we all got together. It was the only opportunity left for everyone to be together. So we had a nice lunch while discussing the family tree.

Before everyone left, I snapped this nice photo of the four cousins.

Sunday, September 28 0 comments

New Raspberry Patch

Right after we built our house I started growing raspberries on the south side of the house.  They were in the sun most summer days and out of our view for the most part since our house faces east. It seemed like the perfect place to grow them.

Over the years the raspberries started appearing around the corner and really took over the west side of our house, as they do love to spread out. So as we have had this whole southwest corner full of the bushes, I've had to install some fencing to hold them up and out of the way. Every time the grass would be cut it was easy to brush up against the prickly branches and end up all scratched up. Although there was also the benefit of picking them and eating them as we walked by.

We talked a lot about moving them out to the parkway where they could grow more freely. We would transplant them in the fall. That's what we've told ourselves we would do for at least the last 7 or 8 years.

Finally, the project has hit the top of the to-do list and here is the start to our transplant process. The spot Jeff dug out looks a little small right now, but we plan on starting by transplanting some of the plants from the west side and leaving the ones on the south side where they are.  If the plantings take, we will make the new raspberry patch even bigger next year. We are still picking the berries so as soon as this season's crop is finished, we will start digging!

I love when things get scratched off of the to-do list!

Monday, September 1 0 comments

Labor Day Barbecue

We pulled out all the stops for our labor day barbecue. Since it is a symbol of our passage from summer to fall we wanted to make all our summer favorites.

We had barbecued pulled pork with a slaw I made with cabbage I picked from my garden....can't get much fresher than that. I also slow cooked baked beans from scratch. Since one of the ingredients for the baked beans is a half of a package of fried bacon, I used the other half of the package to make the delicious broccoli salad.

Our neighbor crocks his own pickles and they are fantastic. They have just the right amounts of garlic and dill that one spice does not overpower the other. I am so glad he shares them with us.  We also grilled corn-on-the-cob to top off our wonderful day.

Luckily, the weather was perfect enough to carry these hardy plates outside where we could enjoy them on the deck. A funny thing happens to me around the middle of August - all of a sudden I get this sort of desperation feel, like I have to eat outside as often as possible because the days of doing that are numbered. So not only was it nice to have our dinner outside, I had a deep appreciation for being able to do that.
Sunday, August 31 0 comments

Oak Creek Lions Fest

Cotton Candy covered tongues!
Yesterday we took our granddaughters to the Oak Creek Lions Fest which is a carnival that has been held over the Labor Day weekend since I was a kid (probably even longer) over at the local legion post. During the 4-day event, Saturday between 11 am and 3:30 was designated for children's events so it was a perfect time to take them to their first carnival. When I checked the weather report, there was 0% precipitation between 11 am and 1 pm but after that the chance of rain went up to 75%. So we were going to get there at 11 and hope for the best.

As we headed to the car, it started rain hard. So while it poured, we debated whether we were going to grab some umbrellas or scrap the whole idea of going.  By the time we grabbed the umbrellas the rain stopped.  It was a short but hard rain that left very large puddles on the road.  Since the children's events were being held in a large dance hall, we weren't terribly worried about the weather, however, the girls' chances of going on the carnival rides were pretty slim.

The ride to the legion post is about 5 minutes. It's about 4 miles away. When we got there, we pulled right up into one of the available disabled parking spaces. We were a little surprised that there weren't many people there but we decided they must have stayed away because of the rain.  We ordered some beverages and the server told us it never rained! So the rides are going and no one will get wet. Yay!

The first thing we saw were horses.  There were two and the girls were tickled to go and pet them. That is until they saw all the trailers selling popcorn and cotton candy and games with all the stuffed animals to win.  It was toddler eye candy. We gently guided them into the dance hall where all the activities were going on.  Chloe instantly wanted to get a balloon animal made for her.  As we waited in line, I also took a number for her to get her face painted.  Avery is too little to care about these things so her mother took her over to a 'fish pond' (a kiddie pool full of water) that had about 50 little rubber ducks floating in it.  Each one had a prize value on it and each kid could pull some out of the water for a prize.

Avery had fun with this while she waited for her sister.  The balloon wielding clown was making Chloe a Twilight Sparkle balloon animal fashioned after her favorite My Little Pony character.  It took him a very long time.  After making the purple pony, he added pink wings and a dark purple mane to complete the look. It was impressive. He even took a photo of it for his portfolio.

After that was completed Chloe headed over to the 'fish pond' by her sister. There she proceeded to win her choice of not one, but two of the top prizes available.  She took home a giant stuffed Care Bear and a stuffed Husky dog and a blow-up sword and some other little trinkets. It was the mother lode!

Chloe's number was called and we went over to the face painting table and when she sat down, all of a sudden she changed her mind.  That was surprising because she loves having her face painted.  The artist-clown doing the face painting talked her into a arm tattoo with the characters from Frozen. She was thrilled by the time it was done.

We ordered the girls some chicken tenders and french fries so they could eat before we headed outside to the rides.  They ate while attending a puppet show. The puppet show had a penguin character so Avery chose a penguin  for her balloon animal. So the very talented clown made here a penguin balloon animal that was incredible.

By then it was 1 pm and surprisingly, it wasn't raining. It looked absolutely sunny so our risk was paying off, no rain! We took the girls on the merry-go-round first. They loved it. So we took them on the little cars next, they were faster than the merry-go-round and they still loved it.  So we headed to the little roller coaster shaped like an alligator. Chloe was so excited, she couldn't wait.  I don't think Avery knew what she was getting into, she was just happy to follow her sister. So off they went, Chloe was grinning ear to ear, Avery didn't look so excited. I don't think it helped that Avery was getting tired.  Once the ride was over, Avery was done with them, she didn't want to go on any more. Chloe didn't care. She was going again without her sister, she liked it that much.

After that, I took Chloe on the ferris wheel. I figured it was something I could do without injuring myself and Chloe would get the thrill of being way up high.  When we got to the top I put my arms up in the air and yelled 'weeeee'! Chloe asked me to hang on to her, she was a little nervous.  After the first time around she relaxed and said I could let go of her. She commented on how pretty the view was. Of course she was repeating what I had said on our last time around. By the fourth time around Chloe was holding up her arms yelling 'weeeee'!  That's my girl!

Chloe just loved the rides and I was glad for that. It was her first time and it was wonderful.  After the rides we sat and listened to a band called SuperFly.  Jeff's co-worker, Carlos is in the band and Carlos was thrilled to see him.  We stayed until the girls fell asleep then we left.  By then it was after 5. Here we thought we would be at the carnival for just an hour or two and get out before the rain came. Some of the best days are the ones that surprise you.
Saturday, August 23 0 comments

Taste of Egypt

There's a beautiful church two blocks from our house and when we drive by it my granddaughter, Chloe calls it the big green castle. Yes, it has a green roof and it is large enough for a child to think that it really is a castle.  We would always correct her and tell her no, it's a church. But she continued to call it a castle.  Sometimes she would say "Let's go there." And we would again tell her, no, it's not a castle, it's a church.  In fact it is called St, Mary & St, Antonious Coptic Orthodox Church.

Taste of EgyptWith the church's celebration, the Taste of Egypt coming up we decided it was the perfect opportunity to get a tour of the beautiful building and show Chloe that it really wasn't a castle, just a church.  Little did we know how much we would learn. According to the scripture, the only country Jesus traveled to was Egypt. The journey was chronicled in books and the Egyptians celebrate Jesus' time in country throughout their church. It is a beautiful account of history.

St Mary & St Antonious Coptic Orthodox ChurchAfter our tour of the building, we experienced the food. Jeff had something called schwarma which had lamb and beef with a relish-like condiment on it that he said was so delicious. He wants to come back tomorrow for more! It is that good. The people running the event were so very friendly and inviting that it wouldn't surprise me if he did come back tomorrow.

Of course the girls saw the tents full of the children's activities and Chloe instantly wanted her face painted.  So we did that right away. They had a bouncy house set up and the girls spent the afternoon jumping while we watched.

St Mary & St Antonious Coptic Orthodox ChurchIt was a beautiful day to sit and relax and meet new people.