west of Cleveland

27 12 2008

About 11 miles west of Cleveland. We’re on our way (driving) to Vermont, and were hoping to get to Erie tonight, but when we saw the weather forecasts last night and this morning at 5:30, we realized that we needed to leavedsc_0371 later, and not go so far. Icy roads seemed to be the theme for Chicago and Indiana. So, we did leave Madison eventually, after trying to figure out what to bring with us for a trip to Vermont, which has been quite cold, but is also turning quite warm this weekend. And with a toddler. Who likes shoes but has no snow boots.. and walks better barefoot.. but who can’t walk barefoot outdoors. And who needs plenty of distractions in the long car ride. Needless to say, the satelite XM radio in the rental car we have doesn’t amuse her quite as much as it amuses Jim and me. I love it. Fortunately for all four of us in the car (Jim, Kajsa, Abby and me), I overpack, and have lots of little distractions for Kajsa. But her favorite is Jen’s bag. 🙂

But I digress. The point is, we’re this far… west of Cleveland, at a Red Roof Inn, which accepts dogs. And tomorrow, hopefully, we’ll make it to VT. More specifically, West Townshend, VT.

This past Sunday we tried to get home to Minnesota to be with Jim’s parents before Christmas. But weather was a problem then as well. We made it to Black River Falls, had to pull over and spend the night, and the next morning we decided –sadly, though wisely–to return to Madison and not head to MN. We’ll have to celebrate Christmas with Grandma and Grandpa E. after the New Year sometime.

Yesterday was a good day. We relaxed in the morning, talked to some family, opened presents, and visited the puppies at Jen and Roy’s. So cute. I’ll have to post photos of the puppies later. In the meantime, the photo in this post is of Kajsa playing with some of her gifts. She did have PJs on earlier, but saw her Christmas Eve dress, and wanted to put that on. (So why not? Good Christmas Day dress, too, since next year she will have outgrown it.) Then I put a Santa hat on, and she wanted that on, too. Again, good photo op, so why not?

And yes, those are baseball and hockey cards she’s playing with… gotta love it. She was thrilled to find them in her stocking.

Time to go to sleep, so we can wake up and go past Cleveland tomorrow.

Christmas Eve Day

25 12 2008


Crazy times. Wonderful times. Good memories, these days. Most being photographed. It is very fun to have Kajsa at Christmas time, and her curiosity–about the tree, the lights, the ornaments, the other decor, joy over the music, etc.–is a fun reminder about having fun in this stressful season.

Anyhow, here are some photos from yesterday–Christmas Eve Day.

Merry Christmas, all!





17 12 2008





Ornament Hook Frustration

10 12 2008

I love to organize. And when I have the time, resources, good music, nobody else around the house (unless they’re really good at organizing and in the self-sacrificing mood to help me) and a great cup of coffee, I don’t do too badly. Of course, when these items occur together it’s rare, so ornament-hooksI continue to blame my lack of organization on that fact.  But I digress…
I need help. Does ANYONE have any TIPS on how to store/organize ornament hooks? You know, those green (or silver) paper-clip type things, twisted around to hook one end onto an ornament, the other end onto a tree branch..? I have tried different methods over the past several years, and none of my methods have worked. I always end up frustrated, trying to pull the hooks apart, wishing there was some inexpensive-but-fabulous product out there to do this.. maybe there is… the key word here is inexpensive. Nothing expensive will do. Not in this economic season.

So, any tips? I realize that this is not an earth-shattering or life-changing request, or cry for help. But it’d be a fantastic help in my holiday season. I wish my friend Jeff was around. He usually has great tips for this kind of thing.
And while I’m at it, how about storing un-used clothes hangers, off the clothes rack.. any tips for that?

more pictures

9 12 2008





Thanksgiving Weekend photos

9 12 2008

Thanksgiving weekend my nephew and niece were both here with us. Kajsa loved having them around–a constant audience! And play partners. Thanksgiving Day we ate at the Stehley’s house–good food, great people.. lots of fun. I’m thankful for the people in my life. dsc_0156
Friday of that weekend, Jordan, Kristina, Jim, Kajsa, Abby and I went Christmas Tree shopping at CaPaul’s Farm again. Fun. Saturday evening we went to a UW Hockey game.. Kajsa’s first! (and Jordan’s, and Kristina’s..)

In the meantime, Abby’s suffering the consequences of Kajsa’s agility: when Abby is in her way, Kajsa simply crawls over her. Poor Abby…. but she loves Kajsa, even so.




Shining Faces

1 12 2008

“Let your face shine” is the theme of our church’s Advent series this year. The way that is phrased makes it sound as though we have a “series” every year.. which we don’t. But this year I wanted to do something a bit different and found this series online, published through Mennoninte Publishing Company. “Let your face shine” is about seeing God’s face, but also about how we as Christians also reflect God’s face.

It’s hard to believe that today is the first Sunday in Advent. And, it’s easy to believe that I am behind, once again. Or still. But one of the the things I did do was to set up a flickr group page for our Advent Photo Challenge. Check out the group site. The theme of the group/photo challenge is also “Let your face shine”. Different interpretations of ways, places, how’s and maybe even why.. we see God’s face or reflect God’s face.

If you’re interested in participating, let me know. Even if you didn’t take a photo today. Send me an email, leave a comment here.. and we can talk. It will be fun, interesting, and hopefully revealing. I’m looking forward to it.