Tuesday, October 30, 2012

My mom's annual Halloween Party

My mom's annual Halloween Party is something I look forward to all year!

There is a fire, hot dog roast, potluck, family, costumes, prizes, outdoor movies, hay rides, black smithing, candy hunt in the corn and a LOT of laughs and good memories!
Marc is the one on the left... just in case you thought he was the one with the white wig... didn't want any confusion there.

My mom is always the life of the party and I was excited to dress up as my Grandma Ruby (50's version) this year.
Do you see Sister to the right? She is actually dressed up. See her white gloves? Those are Power Ranger gloves.
She was so happy to "dress up." Oh the sweet little thing she is. In fact it reminds me of a little post I saw today on my Facebook page about Halloween trick or treating... let me copy it and put it here.
I don't know who wrote it originally but, my friend Barbara got it from her friend Lori:

"Over the next few days, a lot of creatures will visit your door. Be open minded. The child who is grabbing more than one piece of candy may have poor fine motor skills. The child who takes forever to pick out one piece of candy might have motor planning issues. The child who does not say 'trick or treat' or 'thank you' might be painfully shy, non verbal or selectively mute. If you cannot understand their words, they may struggle with development apraxia of speech. They are thankful in their hearts and minds. The child who isn't wearing a costume may have SPD or autism. Be kind, be patient, smile, pretend you understand. It's everyone's Halloween. Make a parent feel good by making a big deal of their special child"

 Loved that little saying because it summed up my kids.

This mask just makes me laugh. Marc loves to be in disguise... uh oh, I might be in trouble for ruining his disguise for tomorrow... sorry, sweety (smirk)

I got a kick out of my cousins Jelly Fish costume!! What a cute idea!
I knew Brother would love it so I had to get a picture.

Tee hee! A Bee!

The trash bag and the trash man!

This wasn't even the entire crowd. They counted almost 150 by the end of the night!

My mom.
Always good for a laugh!
My mom saw this picture and was amazed because it reminded her of a picture she remembered of her mom. I wonder if it was this one (below)... kids gathered around, husband with a big grin... maybe.

It was fun honoring my amazing grandmother for a day. I hope I did it justice.
Mom and Dad thank so much for putting on this big party every year! We all truly look forward to it!

Monday, October 29, 2012

44 ain't so bad...

doesn't look too bad either... (eyebrows raised twice)

My hubby turned 44 during all the craziness of life that has been going on. Because of visitors, trips and fun we just had a little birthday at home with some neighbor friends.

I made brownies, homemade hot fudge and caramel toppings and whipped cream and we had some fantastic brownie sundaes to mark the occasion. (Ha ha! Did you get that one. Marc... mark... the occasion...)

Brother said he's old and Sister was just excited to sing Happy Birthday to him and well, Baby, I don't think understands what was going on. She was just a bit overwhelmed with the party and just needed some sensory input from her sweet friend, Indy.

Brother, of course had to get in on the action. It's funny because if it's my idea to have him be in a picture...
forget it, but if he comes up with the idea you can't get him out of the shot...

Happy-belated-on-the-blog birthday Honey!

I pray I get to spend, at least 60 more with you!


Saturday, October 27, 2012

My visiting brother brings back childhood memories

Dan the Man, also known as my brother, Daniel, and his family came into town for a week for his wife's brother's wedding.

We were so excited to see him again and spend a little time together. We didn't get to him very much, but tried to take advantage of it as much as possible.

My favorite was when Daniel was at our parents with his kids and Kirsten and I went down with Millie and Baby to get some extra visit time and my dad took us all out on a hayride. He was getting everything ready for my mom's annual Halloween Party and figured he should take Daniel and his kids out since they would be leaving home before the party.

My sister, Kirsten was there too. She is VERY pregnant and we thought for sure some of the bumps we went on would start some labor...

Popi waits in his GQ mode while grandpa gets the trailer hitched.

Lil Mr is waiting patiently

Me and Baby wanted to prove we were there too.

She loved wrapping up in the blankets on the ride.

Little bright Daniel?

It was a bit of a dusty ride... OK, that is an understatement... it was a VERY dusty ride.

Millie didn't mind.

After the hay ride Jessie showed up and we gathered in our old bedroom, which is now the toy room and we sat on the floor like we did as kids and just laughed and talked. We started to reminisce about childhood and such and then we got talking about the old piece of machinery my dad had sitting in the front yard that we used to use as a trampoline. We just had to go outside and see if it still worked. Oh, goodness we had too much fun. It worked just like I remember only on a much smaller scale than it seemed at the time. It mostly brought back fond memories and got us all giggling.

Jessie took a video of it:

I am so thankful for my happy childhood! It wasn't easy, but it really molded me and my siblings, I believe we are all grateful for that.

After "jumping" we were quite giggly and got quite the kick out of checking out some of mom's yard sale stuff/junk and really got rolling when Kirsten picked this up:
She said, "What is this? A ceramic slug?" The reason we laughed so hard is because we realized it was actually feet that had broken off of a ceramic elf... OK, maybe you just had to be there... but really, it does look like a green slug. I don't think I'll ever be able to look at elves the same way without thinking they look a little... sluggish.


On Sunday evening we all got together at mom and dad's house and celebrated all the October birthdays, painted pumpkins and ate homemade pudding and popcorn. The kids had a great time painting pumpkins.

I didn't get many pictures this time, just because we didn't see them much because they were here for the wedding. But I did get a picture of Lil Mr on the infamous porch horse.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Back to the Tetons

I am so excited to be able to FINALLY tell you all about our wonderful trip to the Tetons in Wyoming!

It all started with an email that I just happened to see by accident... I have an old email address that I no longer use but for whatever reason I don't know how to delete it from my old email program I also never use... anyway I was trying to make more room on my computer for some files and noticed a red number pop up in my Mail icon on my iMac.

I wondered why there would be mail on an account I never use and why after all this time would a red number 77 appear on it. So, thinking there was some sort of malfunction (sorry, I've been watching Star Trek Enterprise with Marc every night for the past few weeks...) I clicked on the icon and saw that there were 77 new mail messages. I was about to delete them all assuming it must be junk mail since I never use that email anymore and happened to catch the name "Achim."


Our wonderful friend Achim! How on earth did he have my old address. We just saw him last year... it must have been in his old contact list.

Anyway, he was letting us know that he and Thomas were coming to the United States from Switzerland and Germany to take a holiday in the Tetons!

They were not going to be this close and us not go to see them! While reading Achim's email I realized that this message had been sent some time ago (about 3 weeks prior) and they were going to be here in the US in 5 days! We had to scramble to find a way to work out finances to get there and to arrange child care for the kids so that we could go and, at least spend 1 night there with them.

Because of the generosity and sincere love for us our friends and family made it possible for Marc and I to spend 3 days and 2 nights in the Tetons with our friends who are more like brothers to us.

I truly had not realized just how much Marc and I needed this getaway until we started the drive there. We had 7 hours of drive time to the Tetons and had things to talk about the whole time. It was so fun! It was like we were dating again. I cannot explain the connection we were able to have just while on the drive.

We were enjoying the views and open skies during the drive.

This mound of a mountain was cool because there was nothing but flatness around it in Cokeville, Wyoming.

Then at the end of the drive to see Achim and Thomas again after a year was a great reunion. We true love for those 2 and were so excited to be able to spend time with them.

Achim and Marc go way back. Achim came to Marc's family as a foreign exchange student during high school and built a bond with Marc's family that has never faded. They have always stayed in touch. Thomas is best friends with Achim so when Marc went to Europe after high school to visit Achim, he of course, became friends with Thomas also. Achim has always been very busy with work and Travel and Thomas owns his own business that currently works with Red Bull so they are both very, very busy... so being able to spend time with them here in the states is really a blessing.

The first night we just reconnected, had fun and went out to eat.

We are relaxing outside of Thomas and Achim's cabin. Check out the reflection of the Tetons in their window! Awesome!

This was the view from their room.

Thomas and Marc.

The beautiful Tetons. It was moments like this that I wished I had something other than my iPhone...

This was all in preparation for our big hike the next day. We hiked the Two Oceans lake hike and it was amazing. The fall colors were on, the weather was brisk, we were the only people on the trail 98% of the time... notice I said people? I say that because there was a part of the trail that we spotted and then followed bear tracks. Real, bear tracks!!! I was kind of excited freaking out! Excited because, well,   it's just cool to see an animal in the wild, in its own habitat. Freaking out because they were fresh -- like poop-on-the-trail fresh! It was pretty intense for a bit there, which totally added to the excitement! Once we got past the bear tracks and the thick brush I felt a little more safe, not saying that the 3 big men I was hiking with didn't make me feel safe.... anyway.

Achim and I documented our entire trip... mostly Achim, he had the GoCam. I really need to get his videos!

Ya, I know, I have a horse mouth... anyway... moving on.

This picture makes me laugh because Thomas' arm is framing in Achim perfectly. The reason is because Thomas had some major shoulder surgery a few weeks prior to the trip and was still healing so he would have to stretch it every so often and I just happened to click at the right time... 
Marc leading the way. 
one of the beautiful views

How cool is this! We couldn't believe how close it was letting me get to it for the picture.  We think it was frozen from the cold or something... but hey, it was cool!

Two Oceans Lake and a yellow tree

Tee hee!

so here are the bear tracks, I spared you by not taking pictures of the bear scat...

On up the hill

So we made it to the summit and it was incredible! We had a great view of the Tetons and it was just awesome having hike this beautiful and adventurous hike with my husband and our friends. It was amazing to have hiked this 8 mile hike with these mountain men and still feel like I had energy left to go on another one. It made me feel like I am not old yet. (smile)

View of the lake from the summit

That's the bear spray Achim has in his hand. Thank goodness we didn't have to use it, but we're glad we had it...

Checking the big view

The Four Musketeers

Those are the Tetons behind us. It was breathtaking. Like I said, wish I had my awesome camera at this point.

I really just came along to be their photographer... ha ha! This was at the end our hike when we finally reached home.

We got back to our lodges and quickly got ready to head back out for a night on the town at Jackson Hole where we went out to eat, checked out some shops at Jackson Hole and just had a great time laughing, joking around and listening to Johnny Cash. (Europeans know how to travel in style, you know.)

On the way to Jackson we saw a black bear just off the side of the road. That was so cool, but made me realize how close we may have been to one of those things on our hike!

I'm sorry, but furry underwear is never a good idea... even in Jackson! Ha!
Too funny! Sorry, Jessie, I couldn't help it, it's funny!
(If you look close at the label below it offers two options--with or without tail... Bwa ha ha ha!!)

Me and Thomas had fun trying on some good looking hats!

Elk are big!

I just had to give it a kiss

The famous Jackson Hole antler arch

This is the kind of underwear that would be useful while staying in Jackson!

On our last day there we went on a short walk/hike below the lodge and then went to lunch at a little bagel shop outside of the Tetons.

Another binocular picture... I love these.
A photo that Thomas took from the lodge window that morning, the moon was still up.

Our last lunch together at the bagel shop near the river. Check out the pterodactyl in the tree. Random. But, funny.

It was so hard to say goodbye, but I know that we will continue to make efforts to stay in touch and hopefully go on a trip with them again some day. I am so thankful that Achim and Thomas made it possible for Marc and I to have some time with them and with each other. We really needed it and it was so much fun to be with them again.

I am excited to get the video of all our fun posted, hopefully soon. Who knows, at the rate I am playing catch up it may be a while...