Friday, October 28, 2011

Photo Friday: Ella's Mummy Gourd

I saw this adorable mummy in a Martha craft email this week and couldn't resist trying it with Ella. Martha suggested using crepe paper, but I found this great plaster stuff at Saver's a couple months ago and was just waiting to use it. In elementary school art class I created an entire Italian meal using similar plaster material and loved it. It was easy enough for Ella to use! She soaked it in the water and I shaped it. We attached a pair of googly eyes and that was that! Our own little mummy! And that's about as Halloween as we get.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Day of Apples: Part 1

Never to miss our beloved Apple Fest, we recently made the trek to Bayfield, Wisconsin for the apple festivities. This time we took our new friends, Eli & Krista, to partake in the joy of apple picking, cheese curds, apple chili, and brisk, fall air. It was a gorgeous day to be outside, taking in the loveliness of the small town.
Ella & her new friend, Eli
 We have pictures with this cuddly creature on every Bayfield trip.

Ella was a bit hesitant at first
but a quick cuddle helped break the ice
then she couldn't leave without a kiss

Our first food stop is, without argument or a second thought, for cheese curds.

apparently the doctors recommend them!
Nice work, Daddy. Show her how it's done.

sitting on the pier with artist tents in the background

self-taken family photo
can you tell she's crazy about her daddy?

We love this bridge. It's beauty is inexplicable, particularly in the fall. A single path runs beneath it, surrounded by thick trees in all shades of autumn. In the distance, there is a gorgeous, sparkling view of Lake Superior and the sailboats between Bayfield and Madeline Island.

Eli & Krista
After spending the first half of the day in town, we headed out to the orchards. Ella loved picking the little red fruit off the trees all on her own, and we have plenty of pictures to prove it! Those will be coming soon...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Nap Time Sewing

On Wednesday I made this little apron during Ella's nap. Yes, I could have been doing school work, but I had been thinking about making this baby for weeks and didn't want to put it off any longer. Such a lovely way to spend a quiet nap time!

hanging slightly crooked

I've made quite a few of these aprons through the last year. I've got the pattern down now, so they don't take long. It's fun to look for different fabrics to put together to fit the person who will be getting it. I won't say who this one is for since it's a gift that hasn't been gifted yet.

pocket detail
I originally created the pattern from a vintage apron my Aunt Jean found for me at a garage sale. I would have just kept using that apron, but it was getting pretty worn. I basically put the apron down on newspaper and cut the same shape for the pattern. Over time I've made a few changes, including adding the pocket frill in the photo above. I like the character it adds.

back view
I made mini versions of these aprons for Ella's birthday and for my nieces Hailey and Malena at Christmas last year. They're pretty adorable when they're that small! I'll try to find pictures of those and post them before long.

Coming soon: our Apple Fest adventure!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Walking the Mouse

Ella told me she was taking the mouse for a walk. (from Daddy's computer)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Run, Girlies, Run

Oh, my dear friends, I do so wish that I could sit and write all of my intended blog updates rather than write a paper today. Alas, I have to choose the latter. At least it's an interesting paper. To me anyway. I'm beginning to narrow things down for my thesis, which I'll be working on for the next 14-15 months. Good thing I think it's interesting, right? I'm going in the direction of high school students who are struggling readers and what their teachers can do to help. (Did you have any idea that studies show that 70% of all high school students struggle with reading in some way? No lie! That's a lot!) I was working with struggling readers before Ella was born, so I'm happy to be getting back to it in this way. It'll be very helpful when I go back to teaching.

Anyway, I didn't want any more time to pass before posting these pictures of our races two weeks ago in St Paul. The whole weekend was beautiful. Perfect running and cheering weather - partly sunny skies and 60 degrees. Yes, please.

I'm so excited to share that Miss Ella ran her very first race! She didn't know what to think when SHE got the number this time, instead of Mama.

Daddy took her to meet the race's mascot. I thought it might scare her, but after he walked away she kept running after him. 

And then came the race! Waves were separated by age, so she ran with one of the two-year-old groups. You should have seen her go! As soon as they blew the horn, she was off, stepping right over the little boy who laid down in the grass in front of her at the start. I had to run to keep up with her, unlike many of the parents who had to coax their children along the course. And, I must add, she was going so fast that she knocked a little boy over and kept right on going. I quickly picked him up, said sorry to the dad, and moved to catch up with my little runner.


Ella seemed a little disappointed when we reached the end and I picked her up...until they put a medal around her neck. She couldn't believe it was for her. I was so proud!

This little diaper dash was too adorable.

Ella's race was on Saturday morning. Sunday morning was the 30th Twin Cities Marathon. You didn't know I was training for another marathon? Don't feel bad if I didn't tell you. I wasn't sure I'd be prepared for it, so I didn't tell many people. The race was on October 2. It started at the Metrodome in Minneapolis (where the Vikings play), wound around the Lakes (gorgeous!), along the Mississippi River, and ended at the State Capitol building in St. Paul. That's 26.2 miles. And I finished. I was so happy to run over the finish line and get my medal. Next time I'll train a bit more...if I can find the time. 


Aaaaand...back to writing that paper. I'll put up another Olsen update when I need another break. Thanks for reading! Have a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Kitchen Helpers

Today I had lots of kitchen help from Ella & her friend, Ava. Miss Ava has been spending every Tuesday morning with us for the last few weeks while the girls learn how to share & play together. This morning they did a beautiful job helping me by cracking eggs & stirring cake batter in the nook. You can see our finished product in the last photo. Five lovely rose cakes for a marriage class at the church tonight.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Birthday Trip Up the Shore

The day before my birthday, Uncle Jake, Ella & I drove an hour & a half up the shore to one of my favorite places - Temperance River State Park. My parents were camping there for a week, so we went up to spend the afternoon with them.

Ella now refers to my parents as "Nana, Papa, Puppies." She loves the dogs.

Ella & Gracie
lovin' on Gracie
Nearly everything I got for my birthday this year has to do with baking. Oh, joy!

Ella took Uncle Jake on a walk using the dog leash.

I love this apron! My mom found it at a garage sale. Perfect in The Little Yellow Kitchen!

Heading out on a walk to the lake.

Gorgeous Temperance River.

Throwing rocks into Lake Superior.

We went up to Grand Marais (not far from the Canadian border) to have dinner at Sven & Ole's. Oh, Sven & Ole's. They have amazing pizza. Such a birthday dinner! And then we headed back to the camp site for s'mores. Yum. Yum. Yum.

More to come on the 30th birthday festivities!


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