Monday, January 31, 2011

hula hooping

We have been gathering together with several dear families after Christmas for over 20 years.
This year we spent the day at Rand & Michelle's amazing property out in Waddell.
And this year we hula hooped!
Kayelen (middle) constructs the best hula hoops... perfectly weighted for adults.
Even my husband took a turn. God love him.

I loved it! I felt like a kid again, so freeing and fun!

Emolyn loved watching the chickens peck...

... and later giving her Mommy a peck while picking lemons.

Terry, Randy, Rand and Shawn sharing a good one.

We're a very distracted bunch. It was like herding cats to make this group photo shoot happen.

But it was so worth it!

Once the sun started setting behind the Estrella Mountains,
we all bundled up and gathered our chairs around the bon fire.

Miranda and I took turns holding Elsie to keep warm.

Elsie was mesmerized by the fire. And so was I.

I am so grateful to Nancy for capturing some of these amazing, memorable moments!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Emolyn's favorite things

I have fond memories of sifting buttons through my fingers 
at my Grandma Larson's house.
My Mom also had a basket of buttons that I would spend hours picking through.
Remember getting so excited when you found a button with diamonds!

So like any good grandma, I have oodles of buttons for my granddaughters to play with,
along with an assorted collection of vintage dice, marbles and thimbles.

And it happens to be one of Emolyn's favorite things to do at Mimi's house!

Be sure to click each picture for a better look.

Of course Emolyn can't do anything without her baby by her side.
She is the most nurturing little girl I have ever known.
And what is she making? Soup. She is always making soup.

Emolyn loves my sewing/craft room.
She loves sorting through my collection of wooden spools
covered in every color thread imaginable.
She will spend hours sticking pins in my collection of pincushions.
I first posted about my collection of pin cushions and buttons almost four years ago HERE

She's like Tinker Bell in a candy store...
"what do I play with next?"

I recently decided to store most of my buttons in the old pickle jar
 that I got at Aunt Evelyn's estate sale many years ago.
I found the side table on the side of the road.
And do you see that aqua blue Nano?
I got it over three years ago for my birthday and it's still empty.
But you gotta admit, it looks pretty cute in my aqua blue room.

When Emolyn is finally all played-out,
she cuddles up on the floor with her Pop Pop & Koda and watches "Brave Little Toaster".
Don't you just love Toaster, Blanky, Radio, Kirby & Lampy?
My kids loved that movie growing up.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

felt garland

Yes, that's exactly what I said when I pulled out this stunningly beautiful felt garland.
 Gwen, whom I had never met, came to Randy's Christmas concert in December 
and brought me this lovely gift that she created just for me!
And I was giddy with glee!
And then I proceeded to misplace the lovely homemade card that came with the gift,
so I was unable to send her a thank you card.
Well, I was thrilled to find it today and decided to blog about it too.

How is it that Gwen knows me so well?
Well, she reads my blog, so she knows that I love buttons and fabric and all these delicious colors.
So as you can imagine, everything about this garland is so me and my sewing room!!
And I especially love the dusting of glitter on each circle.

Thank you Gwen!
I am humbled and grateful and tickled that you would do such a thing.
And my granddaughter Emolyn adores every single unique circle!

Sunday, January 23, 2011


You bet I'm wearing my very own PACKER jersey that friends surprised me with on my 50th!
And I'm planning to be back after the game for some serious Super Bowl bound celebrating!
Till then~


True story, I actually didn't wear my jersey till after the half.
(because I really don't like wearing polyester very long)
Well, that's when the Bears started scoring, and that's not good.

So I finally took off the jersey, and the Packers started scoring again! YEAH!

All to say, I will not be wearing my jersey on February 6th. Haha!

Friday, January 21, 2011

my 4-H blog friend

Just when you think you've got enough blogs to read...
along comes a blog with the cutest name and you can't help but check it out. 
I instantly knew that Applestone Cottage was my kind of blog, 
when the very first post that I saw 
was a trip that the blogger had taken to the Mississippi River. 

Mmm, she lives in Wisconsin, actually quite close to where I grew up. 
And her son lives in Tempe, where I currently live. 

This was getting more interesting with every post I read. 
Especially when I found out her name was Cindy. 
Because I instantly thought of someone I knew back in my high school 4-H days.
Cindy & I both entered our sewing garments in the Jackson County Fair 
and competed against each other at the annual Jackson County Dress Revue.
Just so you know, we're talking over 35 years ago! 

Well I couldn't stand it any longer. I had to know. 
Could this be my long-lost 4-H friend Cindy?
She was not only the Cindy from my 4-H years... 
but she was also married to someone I went to high school with!!

Cindy & I have had more fun reconnecting through our blogs 
and emails for the past two years
and I always look forward to her visits to see her son and daughter-in-law
and all her Arizona blogger friends.

Last Saturday she came over and we talked non-stop 
for hours while thrifting and yard saling.
Our 3 month old granddaughters were born two days apart,
so we had lots to talk about, as only grandmas can. haha!

Check out the sweet post she posted on her blog about her visit to my home, 
along with pictures of my craft/sewing room  HERE.
Thanks Cindy! Can't wait for you & Dan to be snowbirds in Arizona someday!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

praying for Joanne

me & Joanne
I met Joanne's husband Toben shortly after I started blogging back in 2006. I was new to the blog world, so when he told me his wife Joanne also had a blog, I knew I had to visit The Simple Wife. I not only realized I had been to her blog before, but it would become one of my very favorite blogs. I was thrilled to finally meet her a couple years ago when they moved to Phoenix for a year. They have since moved back to Denver to be near family.

                                                     Joanne needs your prayers right now.
On January 11th, 38 year old Joanne suffered a major stroke.
I cannot even begin to tell you how this has hit me and thousands of others. 
I am heartbroken for Toben, their daughters Audrey and Emma and their precious extended family.
Joanne is still in a coma after two brain surgeries... and they are praying for a miracle... 
that she will wake up and make a full recovery. 
You guys, they have a long road ahead of them, so please keep them in your prayers. 
You can follow along on their journey through The Simple Wife... 
or by clicking my Praying for Joanne button on my sidebar.
Thank you so much for believing with us.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Thursdays with Emolyn

Emolyn & Elsie's Mommy recently went back to work after 3 months of maternity leave. She works as a nurse every Thursday now and two Saturdays a month. Elsie is cared for by Nicole's Mom and also a friend that lives near the hospital that Nicole works at in Phoenix. And Emolyn comes home with me after the Mom's Day Out program that I work at every Thursday morning at our church. Emolyn loves going to preschool and spending the rest of the day with her Mimi & Pop Pop. Her Daddy (my son) works in Tempe, so he picks her up when he gets off work at 6. And of course, he cares for his daughters on the Saturdays that Nicole works. I know I've said it before, but Shawn & Nicole really are the best parents.

I love my Thursdays with Emolyn. She talks non-stop all the way home from preschool... and says the darnedest things. She is so entertaining. And so adorable. And I love her vivid imagination. We pretend all day.
I plan to share some of those darnedest things now and again on my blog. So, here goes.
I'm always calling Randy Pop Pop or Daddy in front of Emolyn. Well, she finally confronted me last week and said "Mimi, he's not Pop Pop or Daddy! He's Randy! Call him Randy!" And she could not be more right. I needed this reminder. Even from a two year old :)
Yesterday she told me she was going to marry Pop Pop because "I like him so much Mimi". So I said "I love him!" And then she replied all serious and dramatic "And he's so beautiful!"
Oh how she makes me laugh.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My family

Nicole ~ Shawn ~ Linda ~ Emolyn ~ Randy ~ Elsie ~ Miranda ~ Tyler
My family and I would like to thank you for being a part of 2010
and I invite you to hang around for another year.
This blog is my journal and sometimes it's all over the place.
But it's my life and my journey 
and I am thrilled that you would want to follow along.
Together let's see what 2011 has in store for us.
I can't wait to get started!

Monday, January 10, 2011

my Arctic Cat jacket

I was recently reminded of my last winter living in Wisconsin. I was 20 years old and working as a hairdresser. I had graduated from cosmetology school the year before... and working at Nadine's Beauty Shop in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. It would be my first, last and only job in that field. Btw, my boss was 65 years old and my fellow employee was 69. I'm not even kidding.
Anyway, I lived in an old house a mile from work, with great roommates and I walked to and from work every day (up hill both ways- ha). I never had a car until I met Randy a year later and bought his Mamaw Beans '62 Chevy for $500.00. 

Mrs. McGillicutty modeling my beloved jacket
Well, one morning, during that winter of '77 it was 52 degrees below zero when I walked to work. I'm not even exaggerating. Ok, so maybe a tad. It was probably 49 below zero in Eau Claire, but my Mom called and said they were recording 52 below at the farm, so for drama's sake, I choose to error on what the farm recorded.
First of all, there was no wind. In fact, there were no sounds, except the crunching of my boots as I walked briskly along the snow packed sidewalks. Every inch of me was covered in thick layers except for a slight sliver of light allowing me to see.
And, I was wearing my newly purchased neon green Arctic Cat snowmobile jacket that seriously made it possible for me to get to work that day. I was not cold in the least. Yes, a very quality jacket. For those who are curious, I paid over $50.00. That was a lot of money back then. And as you can see, I have yet to part with that life-saving jacket all these 34 years later. Ok, so it didn't actually save my life, but I believe it to be the one jacket that will, if I'm ever in danger of freezing to death. Which isn't likely living here in Phoenix.
To be honest with you, I have had a hard time parting with four items that I brought out here to Phoenix 34 years ago... my Arctic Cat jacket, my Sears Kenmore sewing machine, my bike and my 13 inch TV. They were all big-time, hard-earned purchases. Randy & I used that 13 inch TV for the first 13 years of our marriage... sold the bike at a yard sale... and still have the jacket and my beloved Sears sewing machine. Does that make me a hoarder? Maybe only half a hoarder. Or maybe just extremely sentimental.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

passion and stuff

  • finally found a way to ingest Psyllium Husk without gagging... mix with cranberry juice instead of water. FYI, it's to lower cholesterol.
  • found the perfect 'pantry' door off Craig's List yesterday. And yes, it says 'pantry'. When we go pick it up, I find out the gal knows several people that I know. Small world.
  • every Christmas we are gifted with a fresh baked English Muffin loaf. I savor every single slice. And I don't share.
  • Another words, I need to lose several pounds.
  • I'm pretty passionate about repurposing, refurbishing, recycling and restoring.
  • my daughter Miranda has been attending PASSION 2011 in Atlanta for the past 4 days. The sessions are streamed live... and truly life-changing.
  • speaking of passion... I photographed these Passion flowers at Joe's Farm Grill on my birthday in December. Love these breathtaking flowers and love free meals on my birthday. Thanks Joe's Farm Grill!

What about you? What are you passionate about entering this new decade?

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Wisconsin winters

A year ago Jan. 1st, we arrived back in Phoenix after driving to Wisconsin for my Dad's funeral.
These images of the farm were taken just days before we left.
What a beautiful, crisp winter wonderland.

This is the house that built me.
You can read about my memories growing up that big old farmhouse HERE.

I love how my sister-in-law Debbie decorates the farm so beautifully for Christmas.

Randy & my brother Gary
Attempting to walk on top of the crusted snow to my brother's cabin.
I would make it a few steps and then crash through the surface of the snow.

A lovely Amish farm a few miles from the farm.

What is it about cows that we find so endearing?
Or is it just me...

Thanks for taking this little trip down memory lane with me.
Parts of the Valley actually had snow flurries a few days ago.
Randy & I were singing at an outdoor wedding near the Estrella Mountains past Goodyear
and missed out on all the excitement.
But trust me, the bride & groom were very happy that it didn't snow.
Anyways, I've been nostalgic for winters in Wisconsin ever since.
And wishing I was there with my family.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

a perfect scenario

~ Welcome 2011 ~

I was home alone the other night and the unthinkable happened. 
A perfect scenario began to unfold before my very eyes.
All the necessary components fell into place and it was good. 
Very, very good.

Let me set the scene-

~ split pea soup simmering on the stove ~

Umm, lest you thought that spiral ham on Christmas Eve was the end-all... 
well, you would have been sadly mistaken.
It was just a precursor to the much-anticipated split pea soup... that's all.

~ a roaring fire in the woodstove to warm the cockles of my soul ~

Seriously, I do not like the sound of a heat pump heating our home.
I like the quiet warmth of a woodstove.

~ the constant pitter patter of rain ~

We had rain all day and all night. And it was heavenly.

~ curled up on our cozy couch with a blanket and a good movie ~

And that movie would be the 4 hour BBC miniseries "North & South".

I loved every single second. So beautifully filmed. So well done.
I want to see it over and over again.

~ The End ~