Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Great Pumpkin Part II

Carving the eyes. . . such intensity!

I am not sure what Mason is doing, but he is having fun doing it!

The finished product. The star like eyes are a signature feature on Maddison's faces.

It's the Great Pumpkin!

Maddie took the whole "pumpkin carving" activity very seriously. She wanted it to be just so, and she put forth a great deal of effort to get it just right.

Mason loved the pumpkin carving tools. He scrapped, punched, outlined and sawed every inch of the pumpkin that he could sneak by us. The finished product has quite a few "flaws" in it that he was very proud of!

Maddison "sketched" what she wanted the jack-o-lantern's face to look like. She is a perfectionist when it comes to art. She spearheaded the project from sketch to finish!

The kids had a hard time believing that the meat of the pumpkin was what pie was made from. Papa tried to get them to try a bite. I caught this look on Mason's face at the thought of eating that "yucky stuff". I took a mouthfull to try to get them to sample it, but they would have none of it.

We looked for the ugliest, biggest pumpkin that we could find this year. This is the backside of our beast before we did anything to it. We thought about keeping it just like this. Mason pointed out that it already had a scarey face!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Easy Rider!

I know, I know. Kids and lawnmowers don't mix. But just once, before the mower is put up for the season, Papa took the kids for a ride (mower disengaged, of course!). Shy, quiet Maddison is our thrill seeker. She loves the fastest, steepest, scariest rides at the amusement park. Little daredevil, Mason, holds back when it comes to stomach flopping events. He will walk on any cement wall and will jump from a dining room table, but he tends to be cautious when it comes to moving objects. Anyway, Maddie persuaded her papa to take her for a turn or two, and then Mason spotted them and wanted to try. Maddie could have gone in circles all day if Papa had been willing (is it my imagination, or is that pure joy on her face?).

On a separate note, we attended a most wonderful wedding last weekend. Jenny and Rhys got married in front of a standing room only crowd. But the best part was the dinner and party after the wedding. We entered the reception hall to a gloriously decorated feast for the eyes. The colors were black and white, and the tables held trees trimmed with crystals and flickering globes. Behind the head table was a modern piece (made from twigs) of lights. There were slushie fountains of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, a buffet with 3 meat choices (including boiled jumbo shrimp) and a dessert table with tuxedo white and chocolate covered strawberries, cake, cupcakes, mints and a great nut mixture (special recipe of the grooms family). Each place setting held a treat bag with two dipped jumbo pretzels rolled in a nut mixture. I am telling you, it was spectacular. I got to visit with a cousin I don't see often (Hi Toma!), and an aunt. After the meal, another cousin DJ'd and we enjoyed watching the dancing. The bride and groom filtered through the crowd visiting with the guests. This is the second wedding in two weeks, each event special and different as the couples hosting them. The very sad part was that I forgot my camera, so I have to be as descriptive as possible to share the event. Both weddings were memorable and oh so much fun! When growing up, I remember weddings as rather somber affairs with a mostly punch and cake reception. I have to say, I rather prefer the way things are done these days (of course, as long as I don't have to pay!). Cheers to a long and happy married life!

Black Sunday

Okay, the title is a little misleading. On Sunday I had 3 little munchkins show up at my house all dressed in black. Maddie and Mason brought along their 2 year old cousin, Haley, for an afternoon at the farm. They were very protective of her and had a good time showing her the "ropes" at our house. We fashioned some more animal shelters, rode bikes and took a spin in the 4-wheeler. We have been so blessed to have a long run of beautiful fall weekends this autumn. I know winter is coming, but we are sure enjoying this great weather while it lasts.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Hey Mister Squirrel!

The kids got me a squirrel feeder for my birthday. We got it hung last weekend, now we are waiting for the little mammals to find it!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Through the Glass

Maddison helped me clean last weekend. I snapped this when she went outside to clean the full glass front door (hence the glare on her face). We have such a great time when Maddie and her brother come to our house. Maddison is usually our activity planner, and Mason and I are happy to follow along. Papa can usually be prodded to get out the 4 wheeler or help us have some other outdoor fun. It is kind of sad when nice weather gives into winter and cold days. We still get outside to play, but it is not as easy as it is in fall and summer. The fall in our area has been wonderful. A little shy of rain, but the weeks have been warm and sunny. I am not sure what will be on tap this weekend. We have another wedding to attend, but other than that we have no plans. Randy and I took some time off today to do a little early Christmas shopping. Wish us luck!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Wedding Extravaganza!

Maddie is waiting for her turn on the dance floor with the groom, Jesse.

Josh was a groomsman, and Amanda was a bridedsmaid. They looked great in their coordinating colors.

We enjoyed a relaxing fall evening at the reception. After the outdoor wedding, the guests were treated to snacks while they waited for the photographer and wedding party to finish. Then an excellent supper was served followed by a DJ and dancing.

Mason does like the girls. He had his eye on Macie, the flower girl. Mason danced with her and then spent some time with her collecting roses off the cake table.

It was a wonderful family event. Jesse and Mandy (bride and groom) are good friends of Josh and Amanda, and the rest of our family. They hosted a great wedding and reception! Congratulations to them!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Times Are A Changing (or not)

A funny thing happened to me on my way to Subway this week. As I was walking in, a tall man in a baseball hat was walking out. "Hey" he said, "Aren't you Diana?". Well, yes I am, I said. "I am sorry, (said I) I don't recognize you". He shared his name with me, and I realized that he was a long lost friend from my early college days (Jr. college, now called Community College). I told him that I should have recognized him since he looked the same as he had since those college days. He lifted his hat and showed me that he had quite a bit less hair these days. I asked him how he recognized me (after all, it had been 35 years or so since we had seen each other) and he said: "Well, you still have the same hairstyle".
Yikes! I had to laugh at that remark. My family, especially my daughter in law, who happens to be a cosmetologist, often remind me that my style, especially my hair style may be a tad bit behind the times. I mean, who keeps the same hair style for 35 or more years? Oh I had a brief period of trying to grow it out and wear it in a page boy (that sounds so old fashioned, don't laugh). And I have recently been highlighting it to cover some of the grey. But for the most part it is short, brushed to the side (a bad habit I am in) and brownish blondish.
So, on Friday, I made an appointment with said DIL and told her that I was ready for a change. She highlighted, cut and curled. She styled, sprayed, greased and teased. I went home looking pouffed, curled, quite grandmotherly. My husband never noticed (or maybe he knew it was futile to say anything since it wouldn't last). This morning the style is all gone. I can guarantee that when the "do" is washed, it will look nothing like it did when I walked out of the salon, and totally like it did when I walked in. That is just the kind of hair I have. Hair dressers love my hair. It is thick, coarse and absolutely will lay just the way it should. However, what they don't know (and I do) is that it does NOT like to change. No matter how hard they try to make it into what they want, it will ALWAYS go back to where it wants to be! A cold, hard fact that I cannot control. So, I should have taken a photo of my glammed up do, but instead you will (or maybe will not) get to see a picture of me after I and my hair have had their way. I will try to post soon (even though I don't like to post pictures of myself), so you can see this independent and stubborn head of hair that tops my oh so round head!
And for the long lost friend. . . we talked for almost an hour and really caught up. He has two college aged children, is active in a small country church, farms and does software on the side and seems to have a great life. His wife has a U-pick berry patch and even wrote a cookbook. Funny thing is, we have lived 15 miles apart all this time and this is the first time we have run into each other. He is a genuinely nice man and I was glad to see him again. I have his wife's business card, so I may just wander to his place come spring and pick some berries. I can almost bet that my hair will still look the same!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Bucket List

Do you have a bucket list? I never really thought too much about having a wish list of places to see and things to do before I leave this good earth. But having just turned 54, the realization has hit that most likely I have lived at least 2/3rds of my life. I am in good health and have limited responsibilities (children are grown and gone), so this is the time to start marking the items off my list. Trouble is, I don't really have a list yet. So, not wanting to get the horse before the cart, I need to actually make a list. Here goes an attempt to organize my random thoughts on things I would like to do before I expire:
Visit Alaska/preferably on a cruise ship, so I can take care of two desires in one trip. I never really thought much about Alaska until family and friends journeyed there and told of the raw beauty of the country. I hope to convince Randy to go next year.
Learn more about gardening. I am ashamed to admit that I have a horribly brown thumb. I grew up helping garden and grow flowers. But somehow it all went wrong! Randy and I are taking baby steps to green up our lives. . . needless to say, we have a long way to go!
Fit into the same jeans I wore in college. . . I won't say how long that will take me, but I have a ways to go. I would also love to walk a half marathon. These items also go together, but it is much easier to write about them than to do them!
Stroll the San Antonio River Walk. I have been to the Branson riverwalk, but the festiveness of San Antonio appeals to me.
Visit Oregon with my husband. He talks with the fondest of memories of spending time on Crater Lake as a child. . . I would love to re-experience it with him.
Put together a book of memories for my children and grandchildren. I think I am actually working on this with my blog. I just need to get it on paper so they can look through it and remember. . .
I think this is a very doable list to have. I may add more later. What is on your bucket list?

My kind of "Tea Party"

Maddison got an old tea set from a friend of her Great Grandma's. It was a 1980's set complete with candles and napkin holders. So, on Saturday afternoon, we had tea. I don't usually like pictures of myself, but this photo with Mason was too sweet to pass up. He enjoyed the fun, especially the chocolate covered raisins we had!

Papa even got talked into coming to tea (in spite of the Mizzou game being on!). These are the memories that I hope Maddie and Mason will keep with them all their life. I know I will always remember these moments!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Maddison is showing off her "crafty" hat. She made the hat at the annual Parks and Rec Fall Festival. I think her season is fall. . . the colors highlight her beautiful red/orange hair.

Mason is such a ham! He loves to be the center of attention and is willing to be silly to accomplish that.

I love the way Mason is learning to write his name. My favorite letters that he makes are his "a" and "n". He is very meticulous when he writes. The kids have been enjoying playing school with the easel.

Clowning Around

Who doesn't like a farm and home store? Even the kids enjoyed our recent shopping trip to the big "O". We didn't end up purchasing these hats, but it was tempting!

Monday, October 3, 2011

It's a Parade!

Last weekend was homecoming in our town. Randy's brother, Jim, was in for his 40th year reunion. We enjoyed a little small town parade while he was in. Maddison got to practice her parade smile in the convertible with Grandpa and Uncle Jim. Mason takes a free ride on Aunt Bea's shoulders while borrowing Jim's hat to keep the sun out. Mason (top photo) and his buddy, Ava line up to watch the parade march by! It was picture perfect weather, the local team won, and the reunions were a hit!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Beauty Beyond

I love to watch the sky and see the changing colors and cloud formations. This is a fairly new hobby of mine which I have acquired in the last 2 or 3 years. My favorite sky is a fall sky. It almost forecasts the coming winter and offers a rememberance of the summer. Pictured above is the scene I witnessed last week one evening on the way home. The beauty of God's world can stop me in my tracks when I least expect it. I have said this before, and I will say it again. . . if I don't do anything else in my life, I hope I can open up my Grandchildren to the beauty of the earth around them. So many of us take it for granted. . . and I hope they never do!