I made these for Christmas presents for the girls this year. Harriet got the santa since she is obsessed with santas and Eloise got the mouse. The santa took forever since there are so many little pieces to sew on, but it was well received so it was all worth it.
Although we decided we wouldn't subject Eloise (and ourselves) to much travel while she was small, we devised a plan to get back to the Milwaukee area to see my side of the family for Thanksgiving.
Harriet and I left a couple days early so we could break up the drive. We spent the first evening with our friends the Smith Family in La Crosse. Harriet loves their daughter Kya! We went out to a Mongolian bbq for dinner. And for dessert the kids made smores at the table. Pretty great time catching up!
The next day we spent the night and Thanksgiving morning with The Sauer Family near Milwaukee. They have two girls a bit younger than Harriet and they appeared to enjoy each other's company. It was wonderful to catch up with friends once Harriet went to bed through this trip, rather than sitting in dark hotel room.
Thanksgiving dinner was at my mom's cousin's house. They were very generous hosts to invite all of us. Harriet got to play with both my brothers and mom while I picked up Christina and Eloise at the airport (after their 50 minute flight). Lots of new faces and an opportunity for some hannukah present exchanges.
On Friday we had brunch at the Comet Café downtown with my dad. Then we meet Ari's family while Eloise napped and then meet some other friends before driving back. We made it just before midnight. Harriet literally watched cartoons the entire ride, while Eloise slept most of the time. Although a brief trip, it was nice to see everyone and the girls were very cooperative.
A little late here with this since it feels like it has been winter forever, but here goes! We had a great year in the garden this year. The neighbor's tree to the north of us was taken down in the spring and it shaded our veggie beds previously. I missed the shade of that tree every day of summer and fall, but there isn't much that could have been done since it was rotting. Good news from that though is that the veggie beds did extremely well. Steve had a bumper crop of peppers and my kale, basil and brussel sprouts grew insanely big. Also the herbs were usable until the first snow fall. It was wonderful. Despite the cool summer, we had a pretty good year with about 8 tomato plants on the side of the house, I forgot to take a picture.
Harriet made this little scarecrow named Polka Dottie in the fall and put her in the garden.
Pretty awesome haul on these delicious brussel sprouts! We also had our CSA again this year and enjoyed all the fresh veggies and fruits from that all summer and fall.
This kale was just awesome. I liked the texture of it so much more than the curly kale. It too lasted until the first big snowfall.
A really good year for the hops. We gave it all to our neighbors who brewed it up.
Steve canned a ton of peppers. We made an insane amount of pickles in many varieties with cucumbers from the farmers' market.