Monday, November 29, 2010


Many years ago I brought back this cob of corn from the farm in Wisconsin.
We have made it a part of our Thanksgiving ever since.
Means even more to me this year, since the passing of my Dad last December.

This Thanksgiving was made extra special because our new friends from Ukraine were joining us.

Our nephew Lyle & his lovely bride Anya were married 5 days before,
so Anya's cousin Alyona and dear friend Zhenya were able to stay an extra week
and join us for our Thanksgiving celebration.

We could not be more thrilled to have Anya a part of the Thompson family.
She is such a delight and has the most beautiful voice.
Her & Lyle sang at their wedding reception and it was amazing.

So thankful that I could prepare the meal in my new kitchen!
Have I told you lately that I love my new kitchen? Well I really do!

And I love remembering how this moment made me feel.
Peaceful. Grateful. Full of love.

What a precious photo of the whole Thompson family at Lyle & Anya's wedding.

Pop Pop & Elsie in our backyard enjoying the cool, crisp Thanksgiving weather.

Emolyn's favorite part of the meal was the whipped topping on her slice of pie.
She kept saying ever so sweetly, "Mimi, more cream please".

Whenever the Thompson's gather, music will surely follow!
We're that guitar strumming ~ singing sort of family.
Sometimes the harmonies are so tight that I can hardly keep from crying while singing.

Emolyn fell in love with beautiful, sweet Alyona.
Which shows that you don't need to speak the same language to connect,
as they did so beautifully.
Alyona is hoping to qualify for the 2012 Olympics in archery.
And her extended American family will be among her biggest fans!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

sledding on the farm

Today I got out the old sled to decorate for Christmas.
It's similar to the ones we used growing up.
Yes, that would be me and my brothers & sisters sledding in the early 60's.
I'm the one in the middle.
And that would be the little two-seater outhouse in the background,
with a dusting of snow...
that we never used in the winter. Ok, so maybe if we were desperate.
Sometimes I just want to go home... 
and be a kid again.
Don't you?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

always a princess


Miranda & her niece Emolyn
at Lyle & Anya's wedding this past weekend.

Princess Miranda & her friend Elizabeth 
sharing a pot of tea in Disneyland a few weeks ago.
Our daughter Miranda will always be our little princess.

Miranda's 18th birthday (2002)

Miranda's Junior Prom (2002)

Miranda is such a loving, loyal, thoughtful, generous person.
Her friends are blessed to have such a friend.
I watch her and I marvel at her unwavering faith in God.
She demonstrates to me that she is indeed a Princess...
to her Lord & Savior Jesus Christ,
the King of Kings.
I love you Miranda!
I thank God every day that you are in my life.

Monday, November 22, 2010

homemade applesauce

I love my job!
Every Thursday I work at the Mom's Day Out program at our church.
My dear friend Kathy is the teacher
and she is truly the most gifted teacher I have ever worked with.
And the kids simply adore her.

My granddaughter Emolyn loves Teacher Kathy!
She also loves curly apple peels.

A few weeks ago we made homemade applesauce in the classroom
and I'm not kidding you, it was the best applesauce ever!

Clic the pic to enlarge the recipe. 
I think what made the recipe extra awesome-
Kathy purchased a variety of apples
(Gala, Granny, Delicious and Rome)
and using my apple/peeler/corer/slicer made for small, even slices.

Oh my gosh, seriously the best!
Nothing better than warm applesauce.
Ok, so maybe adding a dollop of whipping cream on top.

I'm thinking I need to get me one of these 
Maybe I'll ask Santa for Christmas.

And who do you suppose Sophie and Elizabeth are looking at?

That would be Emolyn,
who devoured her cup of applesauce!

I am so thankful  that
I get to pour my life into these adorable little kiddles every Thursday.
And thank you Kathy!
I will leave you with one of her many amazing teaching tools...
that she made!

No, those are not french fries.
She cut up a sponge from the dollar store!
What a fun clever, counting tool! 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

plumbago & shamrocks

Our Cape Plumbago is blooming,
and I didn't even know it till today.
Does that give you any indication as to how busy I've been?

We've been preparing for a yard sale that we had Saturday,
along with making room in our side-yard for our Cozy Cottage in Wheels.
And we're determined to get one of our vehicles parked in our garage.
That's no easy feat when you consider we don't have basements in Phoenix.
Our garages really do function as a major source of storage.

Anyway, needless to say, we haven't stopped long enough to take in the beauty of our backyard.
Until today.

This is also the time of year that our Shamrock's start blooming.
Not sure if you've ever described flowers as adorable.
But these really are adorable.

I don't edit or photoshop my photos,
so you can imagine my delight when I saw these images.
Late afternoon really is the best time to shoot.
Thanks for visiting my little backyard abode.
I am linking to Cindy's SHOW AND TELL FRIDAY,
where you will find many more home & garden blog posts!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Mamaw & Elsie

Elsie met her Mamaw this week.

Nothing sweeter than a Mamaw holding her great-grandbaby.

Especially when she sings "Sweetest Little Lady" to lull her to sleep.

My high school friend Mary, that I recently reconnected with on facebook
sent me these precious little baby shoes for Elsie.
That she made!

Oh my gosh, her skilled handiwork is beyond exquisite.
I literally cried when I opened the box.
Thank you Mary!

Monday, November 08, 2010

The house that built me

This is the house that built me
But unlike the song...
I can go back home to Wisconsin any time
and touch this place and feel it... 

... and recall the hours washing dishes... playing the old upright piano out on the screened-in front porch... pretending I was Donna Reed or the Beave's Mom in my basement playhouse... scurrying down those dark, damp basement steps for our nightly Schwan's ice cream, and screaming up every step, fearful that some-thing would grab my ankles through the open staircase. Oh the places our little minds go.

I would tell my brothers make-believe stories from across the hallway, never knowing whether they were still awake. Finally Mom hollering up the staircase to finish up the story and sure enough, the boys would already be asleep. But that didn't stop me from finishing the story.

I pretended I was Audra from Big Valley, Rebecca from Daniel Boone, Billy Jo from Petticoat Junction... and I wanted to be Janet from the Lennon Sisters

The storage room next to my brothers room was filled with winter coats, seasonal clothing, Christmas decorations and piles of Life and Look magazines. I remember pouring over the copy of President Kennedy's assassination... and reading for the first time about Richard Speck systemically murdering the nine Chicago nurses in 1966. This 10 year farm girl could barely comprehend such a heinous crime. My innocence was forever shattered.

Up those stairs in that little back bedroom, 
is where I did my homework and I learned to play guitar.

Peaceful Easy Feeling (the Eagles), Country Roads (John Denver) and Diamond & Rust (Joan Baez), just a few of the songs that I spent hours learning to play in that little back bedroom

I sang all the time in that house. And I mean all the time. Some of the songs I sang as a young girl was Tammy Wynette's D-I-V-O-R-C-E and It's My Party by Leslie Gore. I wanted to be Carly Simon, Karen Carpenter and Olivia Newton John. Music was my constant companion.

I would spend hours practicing my bassoon throughout high school. Wondering why I didn't choose the oboe... would have been so much easier to lug home each night on the bus.
(image found on google. Clic to enlarge and see how beautiful the bassoon is)

Loved sewing and knitting and crocheting for days on end. 
And watching The Lawrence Welk Show every Saturday night and The Wonderful World of Disney and The Ed Sullivan Show every Sunday night.
Coming home from school to fresh baked loaves of homemade bread on the counter...  along with pies, crisps and cobblers.
All 8 of us (Mom, Dad & 6 kids) shared one bathroom. So at times we were grateful for the optional two-seater outhouse. But not so much in the winter.

Oh the hours ironing hankies and pillowcases while watching Days of our Lives during the summer months. I can still smell the freshly laundered clothes as we ironed in the living room. (anyone remember sprinkling clothes from the pop bottle?)

I would scrub the sinks every night after the supper dishes were washed and towel dried... always pretending I was the Ajax white tornado lady that flew through the air. Only I flew from the kitchen stool.
And when I dusted, I was the Pledge lady... always wanting the furniture to be thickly covered in dust like in the commercials. But my Mom wouldn't have it.

I dreamed of becoming a singer, an actress, a designer and a mom.

Yes, I pretended a lot and I dreamed a lot... 
in the house that built me. 

And it made me who I am today.

Friday, November 05, 2010

a broom & a boy band

  • Thank you for following me on Google Friend Connect. (top sidebar) 
  • I love Followers and well, more the merrier! 
  • Have you been voting for Kurt Warner on DWTS? I have.
  • Randy bought an Andy Williams Christmas CD at Target the other night.
  • We happen to have the most extensive collection of Christmas music that I know of.
  • But we're purists so no Christmas music till after the pumpkin pie is served on Thanksgiving Day.
  • Emolyn spent yesterday with me and I didn't take one picture. 
  • That has never happened before.
  • She went wild over the child-size corn broom I found at a yard sale and swept all the leaves off the back patio.
  • She swept for over a half-hour and talked nonstop to her Uncle Tyler.
  • Her Pop Pop took her home on his way to band rehearsal and I missed her terribly.
  • I am rather excited about seeing the Backstreet Boys Reunion on Oprah this month.
  • Not a big boy band fan, but "I Want It That Way" happens to be one of my favorite songs.
  • And they're actually going to sing it!
  • I am in love with THIS cabin in Nova Scotia.
  • I'm so in love with my new granddaughter Elsie. 
  • Had my favorite meal last night... grilled salmon, asparagus and angel hair pasta. Yum.
  • Our daughter Miranda and friends Elizabeth and Kendra drove to Disneyland last night.
  • A year ago this very weekend Randy & I drove our family to Disneyland.
  • We arrived home to a flooded house.
  • I was left so traumatized by the whole incident that I can't stop reminding people, even total strangers, to turn off their main water valve when they leave overnight.
  • I'm sorry for yelling. I couldn't help myself. 
  • I also couldn't help but post a pic. I mean, what's a post without a pic or two... or four.
Emolyn's 99 cent apron from Tiedemann's
She always wears an apron to cook
She loved her Mama's Halloween wig
And Koda loves giving Emolyn puppy dog kisses

    Thursday, November 04, 2010

    Randy's Christmas Concert

    I can hardly believe it...
    Randy's Annual Christmas Concert is in a month! 
    I want to invite all my Arizona bloggers and blog readers to come! 
    I'll be singing with Randy so it will be easy to find me and introduce yourself
    and that would make my night!
    Oh and feel free to help spread the word about the concert.
    It's truly a wonderful evening to help set the tone for the Christmas season.
    And you will be so welcomed
    and so blessed.
    Click the poster for all the concert info or email me with any questions.
    More info at Randy Thompson Ministries.

    Tuesday, November 02, 2010

    Halloween Highlights

    Emolyn's Momma & Daddy had their annual Halloween party Friday night.
    They were Toy Story Ken & Barbie.


    Our daughter Miranda was a butterfly, but all eyes were on little Elsie.

    And yes, that would be me, Little Miss Muffet...
    along came a spider and sat down beside her
    and frightened Miss Muffet away.

    But apparently the spider did not frighten Miss Emolyn away.

    Oh my, we were all a little smitten with 3 week old Elsie Lane...

    especially her Uncle Tyler...

    and Pop Pop who held her most of the night.

    Saturday night was the annual Fall Festival at our church.
    Emolyn was Little Bo Peep...

    ... who found her sheep.

    Oh my gosh, the sister's first Halloween together!

    I created Emolyn & Elsie's costumes 
    and had the most fun repurposing from odds & ends found here & there.
    Doesn't Emolyn remind you of the Holly Hobbie dolls from the 70's?