Saturday, September 29, 2012

Precious Things

A big reason for our trip out to Wisconsin this summer was to bring home stuff. Lots of precious stuff. Mom had inherited several antiques from her grandmother and mother, and she also had exquisite taste and had accumulated some beautiful things of her own over the years. Dad didn't need the additional dusting, and - the perk of being the only daughter - he graciously gave me the opportunity to rehome them. I'm kind of strange. On one hand I'm not sentimental AT ALL. I can throw away stuff and declutter with the best of them. But if something has a family tie, I'm completely enthralled with it. My home is now the proud possesor of some beautiful, very special items. On the one hand, it can be difficult, because, well, those items are Mom's (will I ever stop thinking of them as hers? I don't know). But mostly, I just really, really love them and hope that my own children feel the same way about them as they grow up.  Mostly the pictures are for Dad, who wanted to see where we put everything. 

The cabinet belonged to my Gramma Stieve and then Mom had it in her living room - the porcelain black panther on the bottom is from the 50s and I remember thinking it was weird when I saw it in my Great-Grandparents' home as a child.  The plate is an antique (not sure how far back) as is the handkerchief, and the little colonial figurine I got after Great-Grandma Stoddard died.  Then on the top shelf that you can see is a handbeaded Christmas ornament in my birthstone that my Mom made for me several years ago, and two antique rose glass candlesticks from Great-Grandma Stoddard that my mom has had for many years.

The top two shelves of the cabinet hold a blue bubble glass pitcher, a blown glass starfish of mine from the Oregon coast, a Prussian dish from Stoddard's, two 1800s/early 1900s German bibles, and Great Grandpa and Grandma Stoddard's German wedding cups (amongst my mom's favorite antiques).

This is my memorial shelf in progress.  I still have work to do, but I'm waiting until the living room gets painted so I can put up one of those wall quotes I bought several months ago.  My mom picked out the tealight "When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure" holder after Gramma Stieve passed away and it was used at both her and Mom's memorial services, and I have pictures, Mom's watch, and the heart is a Grandmother present that we had gotten for her that has the birthstone charms from all of our kids on it.  The orchid on the top (which is not currently blooming) was a gift to me, from Dad's coworkers, at the memorial service, which I brought back home on the plane.

My hutch has mostly stuff I've had for several years in it, including our wedding china and champagne flutes, some random pieces of glass and antiques, and then a lovely vintage green picture and glass set that was at Mom's house (I'm imagining it's from either Stoddard's or Stieve's - unfortunately I never asked her about that set, and now I'll never be sure).

The chairs were in Mom and Dad's living room for several years and were part of an antique dining room set, which Mom recovered several times over the years.  Draped over the arm of one of the chairs is my Grampa Stieve's prayer blanket.  It was specially crocheted for him by ladies when he was in the hospital, dying of cancer.  It was always laid over his chest and lap while he was sick.

And then we have a a few new pieces on the plant shelves too, including a lovely English antique platter with goldplating, Mom's punch bowl, and a lovely antique rose print bowl.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

New Beginnings

While my in-laws (James' brother and his wife) have more exciting new beginnings to celebrate (a new baby girl, just born!), we have just the garden variety kind - a new school year. Hero started her second year (8th grade) at West Junior High, Allegra is in 5th Grade, Ian is in 3rd Grade, and Colin started Kindergarten, all at Maple Grove. Cecily also started her first year at Shepherd of the Valley Preschool. I love school time, and thankfully my kiddos do too! While my big kids are gone, my little girls generally play Barbies. They love Barbies, and I do at least 50 wardrobe changes for Elinor's dolls throughout the day.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Packer Time

On Thursday Dad surprised the whole family with a trip to Green Bay. We got to visit the Hall of Fame, tailgate outside the stadium, and then attend the preseason Packers-Browns game. It's only the second game in Lambeau James and I have ever been to, and the first game the kids attended. Of course, we're not going to talk about how the Packers played (terribly), but that's okay, because with a 2 year old and a 3 year old and steep bleachers, you don't pay as much attention to the game as you usually would LOL. It was so, so much fun, and I hope it's a memory that the kids treasure forever. And they are champion yellers of GO PACK GO!

The 2011 Superbowl trophy that wasn't there when we visited on Spring Break 2011

Cecily getting hyped up pre-game at the Packer Hall of Fame

Colin admiring (licking?  I dunno) Aaron Rodgers paraphenalia.

Allegra and Ian successfully completing their Lambeau Leap (with some help, of course - it's really hard!)

Cecily and Allegra watching a movie (that lasted for all of about 30 seconds)

Elle was big enough to sit on one of the bikes this year

Grandpa, Uncle Ryan, and Elinor

Tailgating and playing a little toss with the mini-football

Dad serving as the grillmaster (mmm, brats)

Pack n Plays come in handy for tailgating too - who knew?

Cecily and Aunt Liz

Some of the crew: Allegra, Aunt Liz, Ian, Uncle Ryan, Cecily, Grandpa, and then you can see the side of Uncle Troy's head, and Aunt Becky is standing up in the white jersey

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

More Vacation

 After the adults in the house were felled by a nasty, lengthy illness, we are finally on the mend (knock on wood), so its on to catching up with our vacation pictures.  We did so much, but we didn't actually take a lot of pictures (which was fun in the moment, but a bit of a bummer afterwards).  Our activities started bright and early the morning after we arrived with a trip to Bletsoe's cheese factory for some curds and string cheese, and then the big girls and I got our hair done, on Friday I drove over to Appleton and met up with some friends for lunch and light shopping, and that evening we had Cheesy Brat Stew and then Dad took all of us to a frozen yogurt place to "celebrate" the kids' birthdays.  Saturday was probably our most relaxed day - the Stieve uncles, aunts, and cousins came over for a brief visist, Dad treated James and I to an anniversary dinner date at Pinewood Supper Club while he babysat (with the help of some aunts and uncles) and then we took the girls skating.  Sunday we went to church (an outdoor polka service!) and then the rest of the day was Grandma Plautz's surprise 87th birthday party, which was a great opportunity to meet friends and family on the Plautz side.  We had loads of fun with the Photo Booth, which Becky and Troy did a test run of.  Originally we were supposed to go to Noah's Ark waterpark on Monday in Wisconsin Dells, but after some bad weather was forecasted (which, of course, didn't happen), we decided to do the Deer Park, the outlet mall, and Marley's (a Caribbean themed restaurant) and then Tuesday was the Noah's Ark extravaganza.  It was really fun, and the day just flew by (yay, I got to actually ride on fun rides!).  After that we drove over towards Milwaukee and spent the night at friends of Dad's, who graciously allowed all of us to descend upon their lovely home, before going to the Milwaukee Zoo on Wednesday with my cousin, Courtney, and her two boys Oliver and Henry.Whew, I feel tired just writing about all of this, so hopefully you can imagine how busy we were.  Time to break for some pictures and the second installment will come tomorrow.

The brothers and brother-in-law hamming it up in the photo booth

Colin and Ian with my cousin's son, Oliver, at the zoo

The kids hassling a peacock (I promise, they didn't get any closer than that)

One of the few pictures of the day where the little girls weren't crying (they were epic bad that day)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Grandpa's House!

It seems like forever ago, but it hasn't even been a month since we left for our summer vacation to Wisconsin!  The drive there was a dream.  I mean, as much as that long a roadtrip with eight people in a car can be considered a dream.  We departed Boise at about 10am on Tuesday, August 7th and arrived at our hotel in Miles City, Montana around 11:30pm (the dark hours are the hardest - the car makes me naturally sleepy, and James too, as long as he's the one driving - bad, I know!).  We departed Miles City the following morning aat about 8:30am and arrived into Wausau at 10:30pm.  It's always so fun to cross the river into Wisconsin - we rejoice every time we see the Welcome to Wisconsin sign!  We were busy, busy, busy, so much so that I didn't get the chance to take a lot of pictures.  There were relatively few moments that we spent hanging out at Dad's house, but when we did the kids enjoyed playing with the Sphinxs, Tut and Yoda, and Uncle Troy and Aunt Becky's cat, Zeke, playing in the yard, and playing video games in the basement. 

Cecily & Uncle Ryan enjoying some sane weather this time around
Ryan's such a chick magnet
Cecily fishing for cats (aka harrassing them)
Cecily napping and sporting her vacation war wound
Yoda only tolerated the kids
Tut was a good sport and played with them, though