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Monthly Archives: August 2010

Buy me some Peanuts and CrackerJacks (and pretzels, and cheese fries, and pie…)

Last Tuesday we took another trip down to Milwaukee to take in a Brewers game with Aunt Jean, Uncle Mark & Aunt Phyllis, and Cousin Joseph.  It was just plain fun.  We laughed a lot, ate a lot, cheered a lot, and ate some more.  One nice thing about Miller Park is that you can actually carry in water and soda, as well as food.  We all brought in our water bottles, as well as some roasted peanuts, but mostly searched out our favorite ballpark foods.  It was a great night.

Awww Justin, perk up! There's a hot pretzel waiting for you inside!

About 30 seconds before we all jumped up to go get food...

The rain showers let up and the roof began to open!

Phenomenal seats to watch the Brewers take on the Dodgers!

Bernie Brewer making the rounds to birthday boys and girls!

Everyone's favorite part of the game - the Sausage Race!

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Posted by on August 31, 2010 in Family, Food, Julie

 

Last minute plans.

The weekend before last was free.  A free weekend.  Minimal plans.  Very little to do.  Rare.  So rare, in fact, that it didn’t happen!  On Thursday Mom called and asked if I would like to join her to drive down to Milwaukee, stay with Aunt Jean, and then head down to Northbrook (north of Chicago) to visit their Aunt Louise (my Grandma’s sister) who had been diagnosed with Leukemia.  I thought through the weekend and what could be rescheduled and jumped on board.  We drove down on Friday afternoon, had an excellant dinner at PF Chang’s, got caught in a downpour, laughed ourselves silly and then headed down to Illinois on Saturday morning.

It was, and always is, so nice to catch up with Aunt Louise, as well as with Aunt Marilyn, Aunt Therese Ann, and Therese Ann’s daughter Donna, who were able to stop by as well.  We enjoyed visiting, looking at pictures, and having a nice lunch together.  We’re all praying that the chemotherapy treatments will do their job, so that we can have more visits together in the years ahead!

On Sunday we drove up Hwy 43, along the coast of Lake Michigan, and stopped to check out Kohler-Andre State Park, just south of Sheboygan.  What a gem!  Wisconsin is very well stuck in the middle of the continent, but this park has such a feeling of being at the ocean.  The bright sunny day, wonderfully soft and smooth sand, and breaking waves were reminiscent more of Kiawah Island than we would have previously given the Lake credit for.

We drove through and took stock of the campground sites, walked the beach a bit, and then continued our drive north toward Green Bay.

My brother Tony has settled in Green Bay and has an apartment right downtown.  We picked up sandwiches and drove over to the marina, and found a nice quiet spot to enjoy the day, visiting and watching the boats and yachts come and go.

Afterwards we drove past the packed-to-the-gills Bay Beach, as well as around Green Bay, with Tony showing us some new apartments being built that he plans to move to, as well as some other areas he is familiar with.  Then we headed back to Wausau, drawing to a close the last minute, fun family weekend.

 
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Posted by on August 31, 2010 in Family, Julie

 

Once upon a time…

I used to have this blog, see.  And I was pretty good about writing and posting regularly, see.  And then I thought about starting a bakeshop, see.  And now I just want to go to bed or sit on the couch like a lump.  Don’t get me wrong.  We’ve been busy.  Way busy.  Too busy.  But in a good way busy.  Going to IKEA to get another van load of furniture.  Making cookies and cakes for baby showers.  Trying to remember and keep appointments.  Catching up with friends and family.  And so the blog dropped on the list of priorities.  And then I start receiving emails and comments inquiring as to what the heck is going on with us.  So here I am.  After a long hiatus, I’m back and ready to fill you in.

Two weeks ago I went up to Wausau to take my mom’s post for the Fill-A-Back workday.  I met up with Ruth and Shelley and we helped unload a bus, trucks, and vans filled with donated school supplies.

We sorted notebooks and folders by color, organized backpacks, and filled bags with the supplies kids will need to start the school year.  It was a nice cool day, though we all warmed up pretty quickly as we worked hard to get the supplies in order.

It was great to see the generosity of so many, wanting to help all children start a new school year on equal footing.  We even caught glimpses of ourselves on the news that evening!

 
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Posted by on August 31, 2010 in Activities, Julie

 

Bunch of stuff

We have been really really busy the last couple of weeks, so this post is kind of a catchall for things that have happened recently.  A couple of weeks ago was “Corn on the Curb”, where the city closes down the square in front of our building, hosts musicians, and sells corn on the cob and beer.  The Kings came over and we climbed up onto the roof to take in the festivities.

The King clan and I, just chillin'

Madie - all innocent when she knows people are watching

But how quickly she turns...

Last week we had free tickets to the Wednesday practice round at the PGA championship so we went down there and watched the pros sweat.  It was ridiculously hot and humid that day.  A storm had just rolled through when we got there, so most of the pros were on the range.  Whistling Straits is a fun course to watch people play, but very hard to trek around and watch.  There are no trees for shade and very little flat terrain, so it always drains a lot of energy from us, but was fun nonetheless.  Also, on practice rounds they allow cameras so we got some nice pictures.

Made out of sand

Tiger, warming up. Didn't seem to help him too much

Padraig Harrington

Ian Poulter

Coming back from Milwaukee, we stopped at Fresh Market in Brookfield and got a few things.  The first meal we made was noodles and sauce, but with extremely tasty egg noodles and awesome sauce.  The noodles were different than standard spaghetti.  They cooked extremely quickly and had a really nice texture and flavor.  The sauce made the meal though.  I’m already planning on grabbing more of each of these when we get in the area again, and I think Julie is planning a pizza with the left over sauce.

Before

After

Also purchased was a Frontera Taco pouch (not sure why they only show it in the wholesale section).  I’ve been tempted to go to the Frontera Grill in Chicago ever since we saw Rick Bayless on Top Chef Masters, but this taco pouch solidified it for me.  It was just a simple taco mix that I added onion, potatoes, and ground beef to, but it was some of the best taco filling I have ever had.  We definitely will be loading up on these the next time we are in Milwaukee

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2010 in Justin

 

We don’t work hard enough to eat like this…

Isaac & Dyani’s wedding took place in the heart of Amish/Mennonite country in Northern Indiana.

There are many small communities with an abundance of bakeries, family-style restaurants, craft and quilt stores, and farmers markets.  Our first evening we drove about 5 miles over to Middlebury, to a Amish-style restaurant called the Das Dutchman Essenhaus.

It definitely catered to the tourists in the area, but it was late and it was open, and we were hungry and ready for some great homestyle cooking.  And then the platers began to arrive.

Crisp and juicy fried chicken, creamy mashed potatoes with rich gravy, tender homemade egg noodles, a flavorful stuffing, corn swimming in butter, and freshly baked bread.  Everything was amazingly delicious, and when we were stuffed to the gills, we were each brought a slice of pie to top it off.  So. Crazy. Good.  But even if we had run all the way back to our hotel, we would not have burned off enough calories to even make a dent in what was consumed!

But we’re on vacation, right?!  So the next morning John, Justin, and I drove off in search of a couple of bakeries, to see what the local offerings entailed.  We stopped at the Rise ‘n Roll Bakery just a couple miles down the road.  This place was definitely hopping, both with locals and tourists alike.  We waited in the long line, straining our necks forward checking out the case ahead.  There was a selection of amazingly fresh donuts, including apple fritters, chocolate glazed, and powdered sugar.  I had read in a local magazine that their Caramel Cinnamon donuts were extraordinary, so a couple of those went into our bag.

Oh gosh.  Oh my gosh.  This officially is the best donut I have ever consumed.  The donut was lighter and softer and air.  Look!  In the picture it looks like I am crushing it, but I am holding it as lightly as possible!  It was coated in a caramel glaze, and then covered in cinnamon-sugar.  So fantastic.  It disappeared quickly, even while trying to enjoy each tasty bite.  Justin and John enjoyed their apple fritter and powdered sugar donuts, but this was the clear winner.

We walked around Shipshewana (where our hotel was located) for awhile in the afternoon, checking out the little shops.  We happened across JoJo’s Pretzel’s, and seeing a fresh batched being pulled from the oven, we stepped into line.  Sorry.  No picture.  They were that good.  Gone in 60 seconds.  Honestly, I was very tempted to get another one, but the long line won out.

On the way back to the hotel, we came across a little Hawaiian Shave Ice stand.  Shave Ice!  The Shave Ice we had a few years ago in Honolulu is firmly planted in our memories, and we decided to give this little stand a shot.  And it held up pretty well, with the shaved ice soaking in the sugary sweet syrups, rather than gushing through like a typical sno-cone.  Granted, it wasn’t quite as good as what we had in Hawaii, but we decided that everything tastes better in Hawaii, and we certainly couldn’t fault this little stand for making the most of Northern Indiana.

And now we are back home.  Eating cereal for dinner to make up for the calorie explosion that was the weekend.  But what a tasty tasty calorie explosion it was!

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2010 in Food, Julie, Travel

 

Congratulations Isaac & Dyani!

This weekend we drove over to Northern Indiana to celebrate Cousin Isaac’s wedding to his lovely bride, Dyani.

Despite some morning showers, the afternoon and evening could not have been more beautiful for their outdoor ceremony and reception.  The park they chose was was quite idyllic, quiet and secluded, with the clip-clop of horses pulling Amish buggies down the lane being heard in the background.

After the marriage ceremony, we were able to explore the grounds a bit, as well as admire the rustic elegance of the table settings and decor in the old barn where the meal would be served.

Following the meal, Justin and the guys tried out some of the stilts that had been set out for the party.

They all did pretty well, though this did bring up stories of backyard fun resulting in terrible injuries!

It really was a beautiful, relaxed, fun evening with family.

Congratulations, Isaac and Dyani!  And very best wishes, and many blessings upon your marriage!

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2010 in Family, Julie