Monday, November 25, 2013

Handmade for the Holidays

Last Saturday Pam Wilke and I went to Handmade for the Holidays in Oshkosh.
This is the craft show that Courtney and many of her crafting friends are part of each November and February.
Pam and I went last year and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves so I was so happy when she suggested we go again.
This year we left a little earlier so we would be assured of a gift bag that goes to the first fifty craft goers.
We did indeed receive one of the bags, it was filled with lots of coupons to use at the show and a few other little handmade items.
The show itself is so nice because it is an upscale show, not a typical craft show.
The items are all beautifully made and displayed in such unique, fun ways.
Both Pam and I bought a number of items from different venders.
Courtney's display was awesome as usual.
Pam and I had our picture taken with Santa just like last year and then Soliana and Tizita joined us for a Santa photo and lunch at Becket's.
I cannot say enough about how good the girls were at our lady's lunch.
They were on their best behavior and so polite.
I was a proud grandma.
After lunch, I dropped them off at the bar in Becket's where Paul was watching football.
Pam and I headed over to another craft show at an elementary school in Oshkosh.
It was one of those typical craft shows with lots of junkie cheap items.
It did not compare to Courtney's show.
Then we spent over an hour in Hobby Lobby.
It was so much fun to look around at all the treasures and purchase more than a few items.
A quick stop at Goodwill and we headed back to Watertown to have pizza delivered to Pam's condo.
It was a fun day full of friendship and conversation.
Pam and I had a period when life got in the way of our friendship, no one's fault, just our lives took us in different directions.
I am sorry that I was not there for some of her most difficult times when she lost not only her grandson, but her husband as well, but we don't dwell on that.
We just reconnected and picked up right where we left off and I am thankful to God everyday for bringing us back together.
We hope to make this craft show an annual event .

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Where were you fifty years ago today when our beloved President John F. Kennedy was killed?

Some days stay etched in our minds forever.
November 22, 1963 was such a day.
It started as a very exciting school day for all of the students at St. John's Lutheran School here in Watertown where I was a fifth grader.
It was the day that the whole school would be treated to movie in the gym.
The movie was Treasure Island, but it didn't matter what the movie was because the fun was just being together with the entire school body, sitting with our best friends, and getting out of a half day of school.
There were 320 students and teachers in our little grade school gym that day enjoying the time with friends and of course, the movie.
All of a sudden about halfway through, the movie was suddenly turned off and our principal took center stage.
He made the horrible announcement that the beloved President of our country had just been shot.
The memories of Treasure Island were long gone as all the students and teachers bowed our heads in prayer.
Prayer for our country, prayer for the family of the President, and prayer for the killer, too.
I remember walking out in the hall during this break with my friends.
 We were all very quiet.
I remember talking with my friends about the fears that we all had.
I remember talking about the Communists and being scared that they would come and take over our country.
I guess that was a big fear for us in those days.
I am not sure, but I think we went back into the gym and watched the rest of the movie.
It had lost its excitement though and we were not on the same "high" as when the movie started.
I also remember the weather being very snowy that evening.
We were supposed to cheer at one of our Grade school basketball games which was out of town and there was question of cancelling it due to the weather.
The game went on though and I vaguely remember driving there with a car full of cheerleaders and somehow getting through that game.
Grade school basketball was one of the most exciting events we had in those days, but the game that night lacked luster and I am guessing we all just wanted to be home with our families wrapped in their safe, loving arms.
One other memory of that tragic day.
While watching TV with my family that night, we saw Lyndon Johnston being sworn in with his wife and Jackie Kennedy standing by.
I could  not believe that Jackie still had her pink suit on which was splattered with the President's blood and I voiced that to my dad.
I will always remember what he said to me.
He said, "There is much more to worry about right now than what she is wearing,"
Or something to that effect.
I remember he was mad at me when he said it.
I know now that I was putting the emphasis on the whole wrong thing at that time, but I was only a fifth grader and couldn't quite grasp the entire thing.
I guess since I still remember that so vividly, I learned something that night from my dad.
Funny what our mind remembers.
There have been other tragic days since then.
The assassination of Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr. and of course, Sept 11, but there is something about the events of November 22, 1963, my first experience with a national tragedy, that makes those memories so vivid.
So tomorrow, I will take a moment to remember a scared fifth grader who had no idea how vivid the memories of that day would still be 50 years later.
And then, I will say a prayer for our country because right now we need to keep God's name alive in this great country of ours.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

My New Teacher Aid

Since Tizita did not have school last Monday, she came along with Soliana and worked as my teacher aid for the day.
Here are my two little sweethearts during Jesus circle.
 Our Bible story was Joshua and the Wall of Jericho.
I asked Tizita to be my photographer and she got some nice photos of me and the kids, a rare occurrence since I usually have to take the pictures and cannot be in them, so thanks, Tiz.

 Tizita also cleaned up the wall of Jericho after it fell down.
 Then during project time, Tizita was in charge of putting the glue on the kids' papers.
Unfortunately, I had forgotten how much Tiz loves her glue so
 some of the papers had a bit too much glue on them.
 Soliana had work to do, too.
Since she only attends one day per week, there is much for her to do on that one day to make up all the things she missed out on.
 Here she is painting her big turkey tail.
 Tizita did have some free time.
She was, of course, crafting things.
Here she is showing me how to make a book out of a paper bag.
 Here are the girls ready for a story.
Shortly after this photo, I took a second to get the book I was about to read and when I turn around here is what I am seeing:
 I find this scene so silly.
First of all, it looks to me like Tizita is disgusted with the whole situation.
Soli is smiling for the camera.
Not one other child is even looking at me, in fact most are facing the wrong way.
Some days I wonder how I do it day after day.
I somehow managed to get their attention and they did enjoy the book.
 Finally, we played our band instruments.
It was a busy, fun day.
I asked Tiz to quit first grade and come and work for me.
At last check, she was weighing her options.
This is Tizita after six hours of hair styling by her mama.
She now has yarn extensions in her hair.
I cannot wait to see this style in person this weekend.
I think she is the most beautiful little six year old ever!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Saying Good Bye to Aunt Pearl

My Aunt Pearl died on November 2.
Truth be told, she died a few years before that when Alzheimer's took over her mind and body.
What died on November 2 was just a shell of a beautiful, talented woman.
Today we will have a small memorial service for her and her ashes will be laid to rest.
She has already been living it up in heaven for two weeks with all her brothers, sisters, mom, dad, and many, many friends, including my dad who was her brother in law by marriage.
I can only imagine the celebration that took place as she entered heaven.
What a gift it is to have faith.
What a comfort to all of us left behind.
The saddest survivor is my Uncle Herb.
He spent every minute of these last years in their room on the Alzheimer's unit in a nursing home.
He never wanted to leave her side for fear she would be scared and wonder where he was.
Finally, he is able to find comfort in the fact that she is at peace and whole again.
I believe that God's plan in this was to give him these past two years to get used to the idea of life without her.
God was preparing Herb for life without his beloved wife of 75 years.
If she had died suddenly and unexpectedly, it would have been much harder on him
Yep, God's plan is perfect all the time.
I have many happy memories of Pearl, who by the way, is my only Aunt.
She loved all things outdoors.
She could walk around their large lot and point out all the flowers, weeds, trees and shrubs.
She truly had a green thumb, things grew for her and thrived for years.
Courtney and Paul have many of her plants growing in their yard and so she will be alive in their yard forever.
She had long fingernails that loved the dirt.
She was a terrific cook.
She fried fish with the best of them and could make a feast out of many critters that Herb shot in their yard.
She baked wonderful cookies and other treats.
She and Herb had nothing when they had to get married, having to get married 75 years ago was not a very accepted thing.
My only cousin, their son was born the day they married.
They went from having nothing to making a wonderful life for their little family.
They worked very hard as did most people in that era.
They both had a wonderful faith which they shared.
So, today we will share some memories and shed a tear or two.
But most of all we will say, "Well done Pearl, we will see you soon."

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

My vent on Halloween candy

I wanted to post this on Facebook, but I don't like controversy on there and I thought this might cause some, so I am venting it here since this is my blog and I can write about anything that I want.
It started to ruffle my feathers when I would hear commercials about bringing your trick or treat candy into the dentist in exchange for something or other.  Or take it to the gym in exchange for a membership.  Or have it weighed at the dentist office and they would give you so much cash per pound and then they would send your candy to the troops overseas.
The final straw was a post by an acquaintance on FB last night.
It showed a picture of her daughter sporting a new skirt which she got in exchange for her bucket of trick or treat candy which her mother then dumped in the garbage.
Okay, so why let your kids go trick or treating if you are just going to throw the candy away.
Just go shopping instead and buy the skirt already.
I pick out my candy for my trick or treaters with care.  I buy something that I would enjoy getting if I were a kid and something that John and I can eat in case there are any leftovers.
If you are coming to trick or treat at my house, I expect you to eat the candy I gave you.
I do not want you to take it to any old dentist or gym in exchange for goods.
If you want to send candy to our troops, just send it and skip the trick or treating.
(By the way, sending candy to the troops is wonderful, I don't want anyone to think that I am opposed to that idea)
What I am opposed to is going trick or treating and then taking that candy in to be sent to them.
Buy your own candy and send it yourself.
And taking it to a gym in exchange for a membership is just plain silly.
Just join the gym and skip the trick or treating.
I get the whole thing about having so much candy especially if you trick or treat like we did and hit half the houses in town, but just do what my parents did and what I did with my daughters' candy, eat it yourself!
Let them keep all the gummy stuff and you, as a parent, take all the chocolate.
It is for their own good, take the cavities and pounds for them!
It's what we do for our kids and it is one of the perks of being a parent!
So, in closing, I don't want anyone coming to my house on Halloween unless they intend to keep all their candy, sharing it with their parents or eating it all themselves.
Stepping off my soapbox now.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

One Last 85th Birthday Celebration

Since Courtney and family were not able to be at my mom's official birthday celebration, we took her to Oshkosh yesterday so she could have one more celebration with the girls.
It was a fun day.
 We started with reading some stories together.
 Then it was time to ride on the little car.
Looks like Tiz is giving us some driving tips before we get started.
 Gigi played the piano with the girls.
She has her signature piece called, "Doctor, Doctor," which she has preformed many times over the years.
 Grandpa took some time to read with Soliana.
 We had a wonderful lunch at Becket's which included root beer for the girls.

 The birthday girl with Soliana.
 We bought some yummy cupcakes for dessert.
Soli had us light and relight her candle at least six times.
Each time she would delight us with her singing of "Happy Birthday."

 Here is our four generation shot.
 This family photo took quite a few shots and it is still not the best, but it will have to do.
And, I end this post with a silly picture of Tizita.
She is imitating me in this photo and it may or may not be very accurate!
I feel very good about how we celebrated my mom on her 85th birthday!
She is definitely a woman to be celebrated.
We all love her very much.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


We are experiencing a beautiful fall here in Wisconsin.
The weather has been mild, the days sunny, and the color is gorgeous.
Some falls are not this pleasant.
It seems we go from the heat of summer to the cold of winter without any fall at all, but this year is different.
This year is what living in a place with four seasons is all about.
We took a walk on Sunday and I took photos of fall.
 Our yard is full of fallen leaves.
 Our burning bush is beautiful this year.

 I love the blue sky against the colored leaves.

 The reflection in the river is so pretty, too.
 Lots of geese have stopped off on their way South.

We were amazed at the size of this oak leaf.
I know these beautiful days are numbered.
I want to live in denial.
I want to live the dream that this will be our first winter with no snow!
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