Grandpa comes to town

The girls had the best time with their Grandpa. We, of course, missed seeing GranJan but were so happy he could come for Father's Day.

The girls got Grandpa (or "Gramma" as Katherine insisted on calling him) to play Barbies, fill water balloons for hours, sing and sing outdoors and in, tell stories, carry them and buy them gelato. I think he even tolerated playing Hair Salon with Anna for a while. She says, "Boy, you really like your hair short on top." Ha!

Katherine wants Grandpa to come back and has gone looking for him a couple times but the other girls realize we are going to see him in just a month!

People pay for this kind of hair


Wisconsin Trip

The farm life.

So idyllic, peaceful and close to nature.

All these things being so, we decided to head up to Wisconsin to stay at a real (sortof) farm which operates as a bed and breakfast. I found this farm in my Bed and Breakfast cookbook and was excited when it said "family friendly". We were scheduled to stay in a one bedroom cottage starting on the last day of school.

This place truly was beautiful. The arched tree driveway was just breathtaking and the animals were picturesque in their farm setting.

I think the only problem was the size of the cottage, us and perhaps the shooting of wildlife that coincided with our visit.

It started with fear. Lots of fear. Anna is afraid of anything that flies. So, she was terrified to be outside without a grownup right next to her. Claire is afraid of getting dirty. So, she wouldn't go very far off the clean(ish) paths. Katherine is afraid to not be with her Daddy. So, she stuck to him like super glue.

As the girls slowly overcame their fears, the trip seemed to be getting better. But, nighttime was long and painful and Anna didn't finally fall asleep until around midnight. Matt & I stayed up playing cards very very quietly just a few feet from where the girls were trying to sleep.

The second day (of 3 planned) was full of very cranky kids. We had crying, fighting, hitting, and whining. When we had had enough of it all, we took the kids down to the "town" to look around. The town is about 2 blocks by 2 blocks and is, um, rustic. We saw lots of Amish people and horses which was exciting and stopped in a little antique shop, an Organic Valley shop and the "farmer's market". This market consisted of some baked goods being sold off the back of an Amish buggie and somebody's extra plants for sale.

The town was the reality behind the pictures you see. That old rugged face, the beat up cars, the crusty Stop-n-Shop - the pictures are amazing but the reality is a bit boring and stinky.

The farm itself is basically a safe haven for abandoned animals. They have miniature donkeys, goats, sheep, chickens, a pot belly pig, bunnies, dogs, cats and geese. The owner said she doesn't kill anything and takes in animals that others can't keep. As she and I were talking I thought to mention the skunk we had seen earlier that day. It had been sleeping under our car and came out when we left to go to town. When we got home we had discovered it next to the back porch. When I mentioned it to the owner she said it would have to be "taken care of" to avoid an infestation and perhaps rabies. We said okay and moved all the kids over to the other side of the farm (Did I mention the farm owners had 3 kids the same ages as ours?).

10 minutes later a shot rings out.

5 more minutes - the stink begins to drift over.

A few more minutes and we hear another shot.

We think, oh good, no more worrying about this skunk. We can sleep easy tonight.

Except we can't. Upon entering the cottage a few minutes later we realize the skunk must have sprayed under the cottage and the smell has infiltrated the entire place. And all our stuff.

It was bad.

Really bad.

We had to leave pretty much right away to make the 5 hour drive home in our new skunk-mobile. The kids were so disappointed. They were having so much fun playing with the kids who lived there and we were just beginning to feel that relaxed vacation feeling. We were not prepared for a long, painful drive home.

The drive went okay though. We stopped at Cracker Barrel for dinner and apologized profusely to anyone who looked at us strangely. Could be our cranky kids... Could be the smell of us all!

So begins our summer break. We are hoping for better things next month when we travel to a cabin in Kansas. But, we are feeling a little wary. I'm thinking resort or cruise, babysitting provided - that kind of trip next.


Mutiny on the Bounty

I almost put this book down. I had gotten halfway through it and was just bored to tears. Since Matt had already read it, I asked him if I should keep reading. He said, "Have you gotten to the Mutiny?" Hmmm, the book is called Mutiny on the Bounty. And I had read all about the ship called the Bounty.

The very next chapter was called "Mutiny" and from that point on I didn't hardly want to put it down. I was riveted.

It was a great book and I highly recommend it!


Who me??

Finished project

It IS true. The impossible has been done. I have finished a sewing project. Without help. I did it all by myself.

I have lost track of time but I think it has only taken me one year. I am so proud of myself!

There were those who had long given up on me ever finishing any project and probably even planned on finishing this one eventually. (Yes, I have pawned off many half-finished projects to my Mom & Mom-In-Law which they always finish beautifully.)

Now it's on to the embroidered pillowcases - I might be able to give them to one of the girls for their wedding!

This is approximately 2 inches by 4 inches. So, tiny but cute.

Dress up

Gotta love dress up!


Summer project

The summer is fast approaching and I am trying to be ready for it this year!

I decided to make a large family calendar in order to keep track of what is going on and to help the kids see what is planned. So, when Matt got me a very cool Chicago poster for Mother's Day, I got very excited about the butcher paper it was wrapped in!

It's not the most beautiful brown paper but, I plan on filling in all the blank space with photos and other memorabilia from our summer.