Sunday, July 26, 2009

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Alayna and Lilly have always had long, beautiful hair. Personally, I love long hair. There are so many things that you can do with it and it just seems so much more feminine. But, Alayna's 2 best friends have shorter hair and she's always wanted to get hers cut. We have debated it for some time, but after Karli's leukemia diagnosis, Alayna approached us about donating her hair. Of course, the idea was so sweet and giving, that I pulled out the tape measurer. The minimum to donate is 10" for Locks of Love, and she would have ended up with shoulder length hair. So I agreed. Then Lilly decided she wanted hers cut. So, off to the salon we went.










Mikayla was so patient and after the girls were done, she thought it was her turn to get her hair cut. So our sweet cosmetologist plunked Mikayla into the chair and she sat perfectly still while receiving 2 french braids. It was so cute and she was so proud of her pretty hair!


















Friday, July 24, 2009

Ahhhh

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I LOVE fall. In fact, I have always said that I'd take fall/autumn for 6+ months of the year. This year, I may be getting my wish!

Our summer has been gloriously cool and it's fabulous! We had one week of awful heat in the low 90s and high humidity, but other than that we've been below average. Last week was an entire week with highs in the low to mid 70s. Bliss! This is my kind of weather. I have been dreaming about it for years and this year, it's coming true. I am completely in my element.

Let's hope it holds on, shall we? We have some big events coming up soon that would greatly appreciate cooler weather--the fair is next week (and is notoriously blazing hot) we have an outdoor wedding reception to attend in mid-August, and our annual end-of-summer party is the weekend after. Low to mid 70s would be wonderful for those events, as well as random days and weekends in between for camping, playing outside and softball. So I've put my request in with The Big Man Upstairs, but if any of you want to help out, I'd like that.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Totally Tubular!

We spent the afternoon yesterday with our great friends, Kate & Kris. They were at their family's cabin a few miles from our home, so we went over for dinner, swimming and tubing. Alayna was super excited to get out on the tube for only her 3rd time by herself, and Lilly went tubing for the first time! They had so much fun! Actually, we all did. It's always fun when we get to hang out. The kids get along, the adults get along, it's always just all around good times.

Alayna tubing


Lilly tubing!


Mikayla liked riding in the boat and watching her sisters


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Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Saddle Club

When I was younger, I loved to read just as much as I do now. I would spend hours a day reading book after book. Sometimes it was something I had to read for school, sometimes it was educational books about horses or animals, often times it was a book in the series called The Saddle Club by Bonnie Bryant.

The Saddle Club was my favorite series of books for years and years. The books followed 3 best friends who all rode together at a stable and had all sorts of interesting adventures. The books were interesting, funny, informational and something I totally wanted for my own life. I wanted to do nothing but ride every day and spend hours on end with my horse and my friends. Of course, at the time, I didn't realize that's what I had. I would spend every day (in the summer) riding horse for hours on end with my 2 best friends. We had several interesting adventures and tons of funny stories. But at the time, I didn't realize that. I wanted the books to be true. I wanted them for me.

Now, my daughter is reading the books that I saved my money for (and watching a tv series based on them as well!). She is secluding herself in her bedroom for hours, just like I did. The only difference? I read them when I was 10-15, she's only 8. And she's reading the copies I purchased so long ago, that have now collected dust on the bookshelf at my parents' house. I love that she's taken an interest in the same books that I spent so many hours with long ago.

When we were at the library the other day, Alayna asked if the library had one of the few books early in the series that I don't have (there are 101 of them total, plus some special editions, and I think I have 70 some books) When we went to look, I found the Pine Hollow series, which is a follow-up to The Saddle Club that takes the girls through their High School years. I had no idea this series existed. So while Alayna settled for Black Stallion (which is not settling by any means) I got the first 2 books in the 11-book Pine Hollow series. Do I feel like a dork for reading books intended for adolescents? Nope, I'm just reliving my childhood!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

It's a Tie!

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Monday afternoon Lilly asked me to teach her to tie. She made several attempts, but gave up in frustration when she couldn't quite get it. Yesterday, she wanted to try again and got it on her first try! She's done really well and now gets it almost 100% of the time she tries! We're so proud of her, and she's so proud of herself! (Of course, Alayna wanted to know when she learned how to tie and she was about 4 1/2 as well)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Yum!

I do my best, like most parents, to keep my family healthy. One of the ways that I do that is by providing them with healthy food and habits. The girls have all been exposed to various fruits and vegetables since they were old enough for "real food". As a matter of fact, one year as a joke my mom gave Lilly a carton of cherry tomatoes and a can of peas (low sodium). She was THRILLED!! My mother-in-law gets disgusted when we're together and my girls eat green or red pepper slices like most kids would eat potato chips. It's funny, but it's also great that they eat and actually like the healthy foods. The biggest kid I had to deal with? Andy.


When we first got together so many years ago, he didn't eat a lot of the veggies that I like to cook with or have as a raw snack. I told him that I would adjust some meals, but some would just have to have certain things in them and he'd have to pick them out or deal with them. The progression over the years has gone like this:


*Andy would gag over the peppers and onions in my meals, laugh in disgust at my spinach salads, and make a face at anything with fresh tomatoes.
*Then, he'd tolerate the peppers and onions, still laugh at my spinach and gag over the tomatoes.
*After awhile, he'd notice if something didn't have peppers or onions, and ask where they were. He tried spinach and agreed that it's not as bad as he thought. He'd eat tomatoes, but only if diced and in small amounts on a salad or tacos.
*Now, he's a "dork" (his words, not mine) He orders onions on burgers, eats raw onion and peppers on sandwiches and salads, he loves spinach and complains if I make a salad and don't have spinach for it. He likes steamed carrots, cauliflower and broccoli. He even, just in the last week, tried eating cherry tomatoes with me for a snack. Last night, he brought them out on his own.


So yes, according to him I've turned him into a dork because he now likes healthier snacks and foods. I tell him that he may be a dork, but he's a healthy one with a more varied palate. Regardless, he's eating it all and I'm smiling secretly. The other night I made this for dinner...




And he said, "YUM! That looks really good." (I sauteed them for Philly sandwiches) Such a difference from 10+ years ago when the smell alone would have driven him far, far away.

(I also made this the other day for his birthday...could have been better, but I was crammed for time!)

Friday, July 10, 2009

We Love This Man

You see the man in that picture up there? He's ours.

He's funny. He's strong. He's tough. He's gentle. He loves my cooking. He's sweet. He's hot. He works really hard. He's loyal. He's a great dad. He's handy. He loves us. We love him. A lot, probably more than he knows.
Happy Birthday, Andy! We love you!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Some Days

Some days I just cannot do it all. Shocker, right? Lately, those days have been more and more often. I don't know if it's because I've been reading some books that just Cannot. Be. Put. Down. or because the weather has been so wacky or if I'm just becoming lazy. Whatever it is, my house is falling apart. I have folded laundry all over the living room, the family room looks okay at best, my dishes are done but the counter is almost unseen under all the mail to be sorted, and the entryway is like a field full of land-mines disguised as shoes. It's driving me nuts, but not enough to give me ample motivation to get off the computer or put down the book. I do enough to get by, and that's about it. It's killing me.

So if you've seen my Motivational Cleaning Lady, please send her my way. Maybe it's a him. I don't know. I know...Billy Mays can be reincarnated as a Motivational Cleaning Guy. He'd get me going and off my butt. And I'll even let him live in a van, down by the river if he wanted to!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Summer Nights


The epitome of a summer night in Wisconsin. I took this picture tonight, while on our way home from some music in the park. The girls wanted to drive home along the lake and this sight just caught me. I rolled down my window and took a pic while parked in the middle of the road (that's incredibly not busy, mind you) It's a lake just a mile or so from our house. You can almost hear the crickets chirping and the frogs croaking. It's like music to your ears. I love where I live.
Check out Tuesdays Unwrapped at Chatting at the Sky

Monday, July 6, 2009

Enchanted

Our girls love to sing and dance. They are always making up dances or singing songs or doing both at once. "Enchanted" is one of the girls' favorite movies, partly due to all the music and dancing. Mikayla, in particular, loves the grand dance scenes. She also loves to sing along, at the top of her lungs, in whatever she happens to be wearing at the moment.

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