Thursday, July 29, 2010

Four For Four

I love it when a plan comes together. As promised, pictures of Culver's.

This is the family that has been taking care of us all week. They've been really great and we've enjoyed our time here very much.

Other events of the day:

Shooting for dollars and candy bars, very fun.

Other exciting news:

This is Nikki, one of my best friends from my college days in Chicago. I haven't seen her in almost 20 years. She lives just an hour from where we are right now. This is her blog. I can't believe I get to see her tomorrow. Oh and if I haven't said it yet, I love Wisconsin. Let's see if we can make it Five for Five Friday.

Two-Custard Thursday

This trip has turned into the Frozen Custard Tour of Brookfield WI. Monday was Kopp's, Tuesday was Oscar's, and Wednesday was Culver's. I didn't have my camera last night, so I didn't get any pictures of Culver's. It was amazing though, we had something called a concrete mixer, a blizzard like concoction of whatever toppings you like. The flavor of the day? Nutter Butter. Deer Slayer was in heaven, he loves Nutter Butters and I never buy them. I try to avoid packaged cookies and snacks for the most part at home. This trip has for certain has wreaked havoc on whatever good I was trying to do with our diets. So back to the frozen custard, I did a little research. You can check that out if you wish. All of these custard places also have burgers and chicken sandwiches and great looking fries. Tonight we will try to sample some of those things too, as we are planning a return trip to Culvers. I will most assuredly try to take pictures of this trip. I've given up on donuts altogether for this week, I'm distracted by custard, you would be too!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tuesday from WI

Day 2 started at the Mission Cafe. This is the coffee shop that I referred to yesterday in my post. We dropped the girls off at day camp and went inside to do a little catch up work on the computer.

This coffee shop is as nice or nicer than any you would come across on the street. It has everything.

There were lots of people meeting together and some working by themselves just like in any coffee shop.

But then I noticed the walls. Pictures of children and people from all over the world, beautiful pictures, and I found out that all of their proceeds go to support local and global missions. Pretty cool. Then around 10:45 we started shooting archery again with the kids.

This is a cute one, she invited us to have lunch with her today, so we did, wouldn't you?

This is our whole group, Camp Northwoods.

Then after all the kids went home, we found more custard.... for supper.

Then our evening was spent doing an extra event with the church. They had fishing, a dog demonstration, free food, and of course archery. It was a long day, a good day, a hot day, and I've never been so happy to take a shower and get into bed day. Still no luck on the Donut front, I don't think I've ever gone this long without one and Thursday is fast approaching. It's the donut crisis of 2010. Ok, that's a little dramatic, I think I've been in the sun to long.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Monday from WI

I didn't think last week was enough chaos, so I traveled 10 hrs. to do it again. Only this time we're the guests and someone else is in charge.

Welcome to Vertical, a summer day camp of Elmbrook Church in Brookfield WI. This is a day camp program for 1st-6th graders, and I've never seen anything like it in the 20 some years I've worked with kids. There are hundreds and hundreds of children here every week for 7 weeks throughout the summer, doing everything from cooking and crafting to junk yard wars.

It is a well oiled machine to say the least. The day camps that we have at our church have been patterned off of this program. Deer Slayer went to seminary with the Children's Pastor here at Elmbrook. That's why we're here this week, he wanted us to come and run the Archery Range for their camp called Northwoods.

For those of you that don't know, Deer Slayer started a non-profit shooting sports ministry a couple of years ago, it's called On Target Outfitters. He's cut back to 32 hours with his current job as a Children's Pastor and has been steadily increasing his time with this new baby. Well actually the baby is more of a toddler now.

If you thought he was in his element before, check back now. This is truly his dream job. And who doesn't want to be married to someone who's living his dream. So of course I'm happy to be here with him this week. Yes, it's hot and we're in a parking lot. Yes, there is a fair amount of chaos in close proximity to me, but.... it really is fun. Oooooh and because this church is really, really enormous, it has it's own Starbucks like coffee shop with wi-fi. The blogging will continue this week, and somewhere, somewhere in this place is a secret donut room, at least that's what Myah, my 10 yr old said to me today. I promised her I would find it.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

We Made It

We settled into our hotel in Brookfield WI today and then promptly went out to find our usual Sunday night ice cream supper. We didn't have to look very far, this place was just down on the corner. It didn't look like a chain and it was very busy, two good signs. Kopps is known for their frozen custard. I'm sorry I can not tell the difference between ice cream and frozen custard, can you? If someone would like to explain the difference go right ahead, I guess I could google it, but I'm to tired. Custard might be creamier, maybe?

They also had big-as-your-head hamburgers and gigantic chicken sandwiches. I was going to take a picture of the inside for you but really it just wasn't that attractive. It had a sort of quirky interior, very different, like one of those places you've gone to since you were a kid, that's really dated but you don't really notice and heaven forbid anyone would change it. Sometimes these places sort of lose something if they get remodeled. I understand not messing with a good thing and judging by the crowd this is a town favorite.

Judging by this face, I think it's a Taryn favorite too.

Tomorrow the reason for our trip commences, and based on my 'Certifiable' post from last week, you all are going to think I'm a total gluten for punishment. I'll fill you in tomorrow. Oh, I almost forgot to tell you, we had to spend the night in our truck last night. That's right, after a 10 hr. trip, every Hotel in a huge radius around our destination was booked, every one. Some big convention that's held in Milwaukee every year I guess, who knew? Well we didn't. Making memories, that's what we're callin' it. It was actually kind of funny, we got a good laugh out of it. The kids didn't mind at all, they slept like babies, and we actually slept pretty good too, considering. We did have to buy some Aleve today though. I am happy to be in a bed tonight. On a serious note, I couldn't help but think of the families that have had to do that for real, not because of travel glitches, but because they've lost their homes. I can't imagine what they go through. We have it so good, we forget, we need to be more helpful, more thankful. Lesson no. 1 on my month long excursion...... somehow I'm thinking there will be many more.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Two-Donut Saturday?

I know it's Saturday, and I did not post on Two-Donut Thursday, but I assure you and I have witnesses that there were donuts on Thursday.

Today starts my marathon that is August, I will be home a grand total of 2 days this month. I'm looking forward to this adventure that starts in Wisconsin, makes a stop in PA, then ends in NYC. My bags are almost packed, and the fish and dogs are at there temporary homes and could someone please water my flowers? I'm hoping to be able to blog along the way, I'm sure the camera will get a work out and I'll try to explain where it is I'm going and why, if anyone would like to know:) I'm hoping to reconnect with some college friends and I am sure to make some new ones also on this trek. It should be fun, so check back often and by the end you'll be as thoroughly confused by my crazy life as I am. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Two-Donut Dinner

Tonight we went to some friends house for dinner. I fully intended to take pictures of the meal, as they are great cooks, but we were all so hungry, we just dove in. We had chicken enchiladas and all the things that go with that, guacamole, salsa, beans, rice, tomatoes and peppers from their garden. They are so wonderful, they keep having us over and insisting on hosting because they have two very young boys that go to bed early, and it's just easier for them. We don't complain. I have to say she even made chicken nuggets for the kids, knowing they might not be enchilada fans, silly children. Upon observing the nuggets I realized they were not of the frozen variety, they were indeed breaded and fried from scratch. Amazing. We had a wonderful time, talking and holding the baby, who by the way, has just been finally given a clean bill of health after some scary weeks of testing for some pretty awful things. We rejoiced with them and felt their relief as they thanked God for the miracle he performed for them.

These pictures are of their little garden off the patio, it is small but mighty, and beautiful ( just like their baby boy Derek). We enjoyed some of it at dinner, and I can tell you those banana peppers packed a wallop. So, thanks Jen and Jon for a wonderful evening, it did our souls good. It was definitely a two-donut dinner.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


When the goin' gets tough, the tough ..... bake. This is how I force a good mood.

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. Vacation Bible School is tough on a good day let alone this day. You see I have a small problem with crowds and chaos. Sometimes I can get by it, sometimes I can't. Organized chaos seems to be fine, which is what most everything is or is meant to be. The times that are difficult are actually before or after events when everyone is walking in opposite directions or crossing paths, then add noise to that and well there you have it..... chaos. I don't particularly love this element about myself, it makes most things kid related things a little difficult. Fairs, amusement parks, festivals, not super enjoyable for me. Don't get me wrong, I love rides, fair food and giant pumpkins as much as the next guy, so we just usually try to pick obscure times to go. The other difficulty with this particular quirk (i like to call it) is that my husband, Deer Slayer, is also a Children's Pastor by vocation. He only slays wild beasts as a hobby. He happily gathers the masses of little people and revels in their particular brand of chaos joyfully and seamlessly. He is the king of chaos, he initiates it, loves it and sometimes drives me absolutely insane with it. He also wants to have me with him so we can 'enjoy' it together. As you also know the children are many and the volunteers few, so I can't really in good conscience send my kids to things and not help out myself. Therein lies the rub. Moral of the story, my little 'phobia' can not be avoided, with children comes chaos, it's as simple as that. I love children I really do, why is it they just can't walk in the same direction?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Gone Swimming

Another great evening at the T's pool with friends.

It is so relaxing there.

This evening is sort of the calm before the storm.

This week we have VBS at our church every morning and just a very busy week in general.

No worries though, we'll have fun amidst the craziness......

...... we usually do.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Two-Donut Thursday, Literally

Somebody asked me today if I always eat two donuts on Thursdays. I said, no, sometimes I just talk about them, take pictures of them, take pictures of the people that sell them, and sometimes, but rarely, I make them, but I do not always eat two. Well today was not one of those days, some days are figurative two donut days in which no donuts are consumed at all and some days are well.... more literal. Today was the latter. These are from The Dutch Haus again, 34west is working at the Inn this week. Everyday there is a huge box of them in the break room, but then I usually get some to take home to the family also. Yes I said family, we get the kids back tonight! It's been way to quiet and we miss them terribly. I know for a fact they are having a great time at Grandma and Grandpa's though. In other new, the dog ate the fish food and my flip-flops, and all is quiet on the house selling front. Nothing to buy, no reason to sell, that's basically it. So I'm going to go throw some things in a bag, load up the dogs and the donuts and be on my way across the state. As always, have a Two-Donut Weekend everybody!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


July is speeding by, take time to smell the flowers, or if you're me, take pictures of them. Two Donut Thursday tomorrow, check back.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

It's Quiet Here

I'm back from the Big Apple. It was a great trip and as always, that city never disappoints. I love a lot of things about it, but mostly I love popping up from the subway and being in a completely different neighborhood than you were in 10 minutes ago. I like trying to catch the feel of the neighborhood. Sitting in a spot for a while and watching and listening. I love the diversity. This bird really caught my attention in the Lower East Village. (picture courtesy of Stephen Baldwins iphone). We will be spending quite a bit of time in that neighborhood in August, as that is where our theater for the Fringe Festival is located. It will be fun to be a pretend New Yorker for a couple of weeks. It's all a bit overwhelming, I try not to think about it to much or I loose a little sleep. I should tell you that I did not loose any last night though. I slept until 11 am today. That hasn't happened in a very long time. The kids are still at my moms. It's very quiet around here. I guess I was really tired from the trip and nobody was around to wake me up, so I slept. Wow it felt good. I miss my little chickies though. They are having a great time with G and G. and their cousins. They will be back soon enough, so I'll sleep while I can and take advantage of the quiet. I hope you get a moment of quiet this week too. We all could use a little more of it.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Guests and Dinner

I love drop ins, and these drop ins are some of the best ever. The tall one in blue is my nephew, Michael G., the girl to his right is his wife, Annie. Michael is 10 years younger than me. My sister, his mother is 15 years older than me, which always made Michael seem more like my little brother than my nephew. And believe me, no ten year old was happier with her new little play thing. The other two boys in the picture are lifelong friends of his, I've known them for a very long time as well. I watched all of them grow up and it is a real joy to get to see them as adults. That means I'm getting old:( I still feel like I'm in my twenties sometimes. They liked the crumb cake, so it's a keeper, you'll find it here. But a word of warning, the batter is good, really good.

They were only here for an hour and a half, as they were on their way to Pittsburgh for a Dave Matthews concert. So..... after they left I moved on to dinner.

This recipe is from the new Paula Dean Magazine, it was good, easy to make and picture worthy. We grilled some BBQ chicken and had some corn on the cob, a great summer meal.

Well I'm off again tomorrow, I leave for NYC very early in the morning, back on Tuesday. Wish me luck, let's hope surprise public speaking is not part of the agenda this time.

Twins and Surprise Guests

These two get along pretty well,

Don't you think?

Guests are coming, it's very exciting, we just found out last night. I had this recipe picked out for today anyway, that worked out well didn't it?

You'll get to see them tomorrow.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Two Donut Thursdays

Cherries from the farm stand, donuts from ..... Walmart. I know, Walmart? It wasn't the plan, but I was running out of time and Taryn really wanted donuts, NOW. I let her pick six. She did very well. My kids speak fluent donut, so I wasn't surprised. They were really good, of course very rare is it that you find a bad donut, anywhere. So now when you're pickin' up your light bulbs and your Doritos march on over and pick yourself up some donuts too. (sorry I don't know where that came from:) Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

My Evening In Pictures

Watermelon in a Glass

Steak Salad

Perfect Pink Chair

The Deck at Dusk

Hope you all had a great day, we lounged by the pool again, seams the thing to do on days like these. Maybe tomorrow I'll bring back Two-Donut Thursday, sound good?

Hot Days, Cool Friends

This is Tom T. He's sail's, he cooks, he's a killer photographer, Apple junkie, and all around cool guy. The Guy below only wishes he were the the guy above. Tom and his lovely wife let us swim in their equally lovely pool. They are the generous sort, the kind you are blessed to call friends.

Myah, Taryn and my friend Pam enjoying a balmy night at the pool.

Tom even got a picture of me when I wasn't paying attention, so I guess you all get to see my new haircut. Enjoy these hot days, think back to the 2 feet of snow in January and bask in the sun ..... for 5 minutes, then go inside and have a slushy. By the way, nobody makes a slushy like my friend Tom T.