Play Time

I’ve been feeling like a kid these days.

I’m reading like 9 books already, but that doesn’t stop me from continuing to open new ones. There’s so much to read! So much to learn! So many stories to experience!

I also did an online sketching retreat last week, which has made me want to always. be. drawing. I learned some new techniques…

…practiced some old ones…

…and even got brave enough to try digital art. I’ve been pretty resistant to involving technology in my art, but I’m trying hard to be open to new things and not to let fear get in the way of my choices. So I downloaded the app and bought myself a stylus. It’s been a great experience! Not because it’s going well in terms of results, but because it’s good to be a beginner. It’s frustrating and satisfying and challenging all at the same time. One day maybe I’ll show you something I make digitally.

Friday, I was happy to facilitate some non-digital art at Henry’s school. I ran the Make-Your-Own-Comic table at their Readathon Celebration, and it was a lot of fun. Henry and his pals were comic-making machines!

Right after that, I headed over to Wisconsin to meet up with friends.

We rented a cabin for a long weekend, where 20 of us spent the days eating, laughing, eating, singing, and eating. Here’s Zac’s amazing ‘Lebanese Dream’ spread he made for us for dinner.

The hit of the weekend was the player piano. It was like doing old-timey karaoke. Jon has actual piano skills, so when there wasn’t a scroll for the song we wanted to sing, he would look up the chords and play it on the fly so we could keep belting out tunes.

The boys spent the weekend with the Novaks, where Blue apparently got a lot of attention.

Henry can’t believe Blue would make that move!

We headed right to Family Dinner on our way home, which was the perfect way to get back into real life.

Charlie taught Archie how to play Legos baby-style.

Nothing like lounging with cousins.

This week we finally got snow. It threw me for a loop Monday morning, because I hadn’t wrangled our gear yet. But we made it happen. Henry has come home the last two days, dropped off his backpack and headed right back out into the snow.

It was great packing snow on Tuesday, and yesterday it was good for making snow-splosions

There was a half hour til my dinner would be done baking, so we headed to the park. Here I am crouched behind my snow wall while I stockpiled snowballs for our fight. It got dark really quickly between these two photos! I even increased the brightness on the one below. But they were both taken around 4:30. I guess that’s when it starts getting dark these days.

All the more reason to keep lightness in your mood. Happy Thursday!

What’s New?

How wonderful it is to see a place you know well with someone new.

Bringing Grandpa Jim to the Zoo was like seeing it for the first time. He took time to read all of the signs and placards that I’ve long since stopped even noticing. It was quite refreshing!

It was also just good fun!

We went somewhere new ourselves over MEA (Fall Break). In a last minute spontaneous decision, we ended up at a resort hotel on Gull Lake–just north of Brainerd.

There was an indoor pool, don’t worry. We weren’t swimming in the lake in October. Although the weather was gorgeous.

A nearby resort had a huge lawn of games.

We enjoyed multiple games of soccer pool.

Joe got a little acrobatic

We found a beautiful spot on a peninsula and just basked in the sun for awhile, Charlie and I on a porch-style swing, and these guys down by the water.

The resort had several styles of water craft to try out.

Did I mention the weather was wonderful?

There is nothing like watching the sun slowly rise over an expanse of water.

On our drive back home, we stopped by the area Joe grew up going to, when his parents’ cabin was there.

We also checked out Mille Lacs Kathio State Park to climb the old fire tower and take a walk in the woods.

The view! The darker blue bit on the horizon is Lake Mille Lacs

We took a group selfie at the top of the tower before another kind tourist offered to take a photo for us.

The weekend of Halloween, we finally made it to the Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular at the Zoo.

My little Hogwarts students! The robes were my first attempts to sew from a pattern since the days when I was making cloth diaper covers. I think they turned out quite well.

The light made photos hard, but this appropriately captures the energy and mood of our adventure. It was so cool!

It started with lone jack-o-lanterns on pedestals, then expanded upwards into the trees.

The carvings and lights got more intricate, and there were different themes for each stretch of the walk.

Before you knew it, you were wandering through a sea of lit pumpkins.

Sarah and I wanted to get some use out of our costumes, so we met up on Saturday. I dressed up as Luna Lovegood with a blonde wig and Ravenclaw Hogwarts robes, but…the effect was more Lucius Malfoy.

Jake asked if I was Hogwarts Daenerys. So for trick-or-treating, I ditched the wig and the accessories (that the wig hid anyway). I should have made myself a Hufflepuff robe after all, but oh well. I do think blue is prettier than yellow.

Joe always gets left out of the Halloween and trick-or-treating photos, since he documents us in our costumes, but he’s always there!

Hope you had a happy Halloween!