Sunday, September 22, 2013

Autumn...the year's last, loveliest smile

 Happy Autumn!!!

Today begins the most wonder-fall time of the year!  Well, f,or me that is!  I know others love it as well, but I truly believe no one can love it as much as I do!   Fourteen years ago, this October, I got married in the fall.  I had a fall-themed wedding.  And it was beautiful!  I love everything about fall.

I love the sights, sounds, smells and beauty that is this time of year and this season!  I love the cool, crisp autumn nights sitting on our front porch and listening to the birds sing their last seasonal songs.  I love the temperate indian summer days with the warm sun shining down on you as you walk through the crunchy leaf piles.  Kicking them a little as you move along!  It's like being a kid all over again! :)

I love the smell of apples, pumpkins and autumn spices.  I love the taste of a pumpkin spice latte and pumpkin pie!  My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving!   I love Halloween too!  Everything good does happen in the fall!

I love decorating the outside of my house with orange lights and lots of colorful fall decorations.   I love those cold, crisp autumn nights and the orange lights and pumpkins glow brightly and illuminate our street with such warmth and beauty!

 I love that fall is the return of the Honeycrisp apple.  Dip it in caramel....fabulous! It's ones of the best autumn treats!  Well, besides those yummy orange mellow pumpkins and candy corn mixed with peanuts!  Yum!

I love all of my fall clothes.  Sweaters, boots, jeans and leggings.  Husker sweatshirts, comfy track pants and turtlenecks.   Comfy jammies and slippers to end a long day.

I love our fireplace.  I love lighting a fire on a cold, autumn night.  I love the smell of the fireplace outside knowing how cozy it is on the inside of our house!  I love sitting with my little family and watching television or reading with the fire crackling in the background.

 I love my fall candles!  Apples, spice and pumpkins abound!!  Mmmmm!  And I love the ambiance and relaxing mood that they bring to every room.  Just makes you want to sit and stay awhile.

 I love the changing of the leaves and the loveliness that comes with each turning leaf.   Red leaves are my favorite!  But, I'll take the oranges and yellows too! :)  As long as they all come and stay awhile....I love them all!

I love a cold, rainy fall day.  I love the laziness that it affords me.  I love lighting a fire, making some hot apple cider and letting it fill the house with a heavenly aroma!  I love watching a movie or reading a book while the rain pitter-patters against the roof and windows.  I love the grey, cloudy days and knowing I, and my family are warm, safe and dry inside our beautiful home.  One of the things I most look forward to about fall!  Those lazy, cold, rainy days and the warmth and coziness found inside. :)

Every year, I "FALL" in love with fall all over again!  It doesn't get any better than this time of year!  After the dog-days of summer and the heat and humidity that hovers over the heartland just makes the cool, crisp days of autumn that much more wonderful!

For me, it's the most WONDER-FALL time of the year!   It truly is the years last loveliest smile. 

“Of course, fall isn't just about preparing for winter. It's also about sitting on the patio in a worn wool sweater and warming your hands over the swirl of steam rising from a coffee cup. It's about walking across a darkened yard and seeing a flight of geese cross the face of
a full moon. It's about settling in, relishing sights and sensations of a world slowing
Brent Olson

Until next time and an autumn state of mind....

Friday, September 20, 2013

5 on Friday!

Here's what's up on this Friday!  Five things that make me happy this week!   Here we go! 

1.  This just makes me happy, happy, HAPPY!   It truly symbolizes that fall is here!   The Pumpkin Spice latte, creamer, really Pumpkin Spice anything is glorious!   I love fall and I love pumpkin spice anything!   Makes my coffee that much happier in the morning.  I want to hug my mug! :)

And these just look like a little slice of heaven!! 

2.  I got Alesha's shower invites all sent out at the beginning of the week!   They turned out so cute and it makes me excited for the shower!  All of the help from my friends, the bridesmaids for the event means so much to me!  I couldn't do it alone and I'm not afraid to admit it!  Sheila, Julie, Christine and all ROCK!  The perfect stone-cold pack of weirdos! :) 

3. Alesha and Mark asked me to go with them to the courthouse on Tuesday and be their witness for their marriage license application.  I, of course, said yes!  I remember distinctly 14 years ago going to that same courthouse with the love of my life and getting our license.  Mom was our witness.  That act brings them one step closer to matrimonial bliss!  So happy for them! 

We also got this in the mail that same day, too!  Yay! 

4.  This tree makes me happy.  It's on the West Monona High School campus and I see it everyday when I pull into the parking lot.  I've seen the evolution of its changing in the past couple of weeks.  It just looked so pretty that day in the rain. Plus, I love red leaves on a tree!  My favorite!  I can't wait to see all of the leaves start to change!   It's coming!! :) 

5.  You know, I'm tired so I can't think of anything better than the fact that it's THE WEEKEND!!  And we have no plans except to slug around.  Next weekend will be busy with Applefest so we're taking it easy this weekend.  The weather is great!  Very cool, crisp and fall-like so we'll hopefully get out and enjoy that.  Watch some Husker football and relax.  Catch up on sleep too!  That is a MUST for the weekend.  I may even do a little baking.  I've "pinned" a boat-load of pumpkin/fall recipes that I'm dying to try!  Might have to indulge in one or two. :)  Here's to the weekend!   Here's to the start of fall this weekend, too!  Whoo Hoooo!!!  My favorite time of year! 

That's all for now!  Until next time....and the start of another glorious fall season....

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I Believe the Children Are Our Future....

Ms. Whitney Houston had it right, indeed.  And I was privy to see the goodness, wholesomeness, sweetness and blessings of the children on an adventure last week.  And what a special adventure it was!   Be prepared!  This is a picture-palooza post!  Lots of pictures and like I said to the hubby at the end of the day....cuteness and adorableness overload!

Nolan's second grade teacher, Mrs. Klein asked me to help chaperone a school field trip to the Lauritzen Gardens on Friday of last week.  My first field trip with my little man!  It wasn't just any "ole" field trip though.  Every year the second graders from Woodbine Elementary partner with the second grade students from Central Park Elementary in Omaha, Nebraska and do a pen pal program.  Each student is paired up with one student and they write letters and correspond throughout the year.  In the fall our kids meet their pen pals for an outing and this year we met them at Lauritzen Gardens.  I LOVE the Gardens and it was an absolutely beautiful day for a garden walk and meeting of new friends!  After so much heat this month, we had a perfectly pleasant, cool, blue-sky fall day!

                                             ON OUR WAY TO THE GARDENS!


 Nolan and his new friend and pen pal, Calvin Cotton! cute!?!  Adorable! 

We split into groups and walked through the open parts of the garden.  Some are closed because the city is doing some underground work so a good portion of the gardens are closed, but what was open was just enough for the little people and big people to wander through.

My Group of Cuties! 

Nolan's best buddies, Franz (L) and Matthew(R) with their pen pals!  

 Holding hands.  Calvin wouldn't let go of my hand the entire day!  So sweet! 

 Admiring the beauty of Lauritzen Gardens! 

                                                 A hummingbird moth!  Look really close!

Stopping to Smell the Roses! :)


Franz and Ryan his pen pal.  She was teaching him a game.  Cute!

Heading back to the main entrance!  

Adorableness shining through!!! 

All kids love to have their picture taken!  Especially this group!  I loved it! :)

Patiently waiting. :)

I love these kids!  They were so good, well behaved and welcoming to one another.  Beautiful! 

My buddy, Calvin holding my hand.  So sweet! 

This picture is funny!  They were looking up at a BIG crane doing work!  

 Looking at the Koi Pond! 

After the garden trip, we loaded back on the bus and went to Central Park Elementary to have lunch in the classrooms with the students.  After lunch we took a tour of the school and then the kids went outside to play on the playground.  A perfect day for outside play and fun!   After playing for almost an hour, the kids took a restroom break, we took pictures with the pen pals, said our good byes and headed for home!

 Lunch time!  

Matthew & Franz having lunch with their pen pals!  Cute!

In the spring (May), Central Park will travel to Woodbine and spend the day with us and their pen-pals in our small town!  In the past, they've visited a farm, but they don't know if that's what will take place this year or not.  Either way, we'll have something fun planned for the group of friends to do and I know I'll be there!  I made several new little friends of my own too!  I don't think I've ever gotten so many little hugs goodbye!  Brought tears to my eyes.

Play time! They have a GREAT playground and the kids had SO much fun playing 
with them on this gorgeous day! 

 Nolan and Calvin playing chase!  Nolan found someone who loves to run and chase just as much as he does!  The perfect pairing! :)  

New Friends! :)

Having fun together! :)

Waiting to play.  This was the hit of the playground!  It had waiting lines! :)

Calvin took this picture of Nolan for me!  Super cute! :)

The gals having fun!  I love Grace's face in this picture! :)

                                                                                         Calvin and Nolan taking turns pushing each other! :)

Nolan's name tag with his teacher's name, pen pal's name and their teacher's name.  
Definitely a keeper! 

The day, my friends, was a Top 10 day weather-wise, but more than that, it was a TOP 10 DAY for me as a parent!!  I loved every single minute of that day!  The spirit and love of all the children was heartwarming, touching and beautiful to see.  There were no race lines. No differences...except maybe Huskers vs. Hawkeyes! :)  They held hands, talked, laughed and became fast, old friends in an instant. And it wasn't just the children either.  I had the distinct privilege of meeting several new, little friends too!  Again, LOTS of hugs good bye and "can't wait to see you in the spring!" from all of the children. Seriously, one of the best days that I've had in a LONG time!  In the cynical world we live in, it was such a beautiful sight to see and be witness to!

 New friends!  I wanted to put him in my pocket and take him home!  So cute! 

So yes, as the song says, "I believe the children are our future.  Teach them well and let them lead the way.  Show them all the beauty they possess inside.  Give them a sense of pride to make it easier.  Let the children's laughter remind us how we used to be."  It was a distinct honor and blessing to receive that reminder on Friday.  I felt so privileged and overjoyed to be there with all of them that day. (I don't know how many times I thanked Mrs. Klein for inviting me to go!) :)  And I can't wait to be a part of it again in the spring.  After a school year of corresponding and solidifying these new friendships made last week, it will be a precious sight to see the children reunited in May!

It's taken me this long to write about that day because it was so overwhelming and I couldn't put into words the beauty, affect, and magnitude it had on me.  I was so overwhelmed with love and happiness that day and throughout the weekend!  I still have trouble.  It was just such a beautiful day all around.  God provides.  And he provided in abundance for all that day!  I needed it too. My mind needed it.  My spirit needed it.  And most importantly....My heart needed it.

 The Greatest Love of All ~ Whitney Houston 

Until next time....with a full heart.....

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