Chucky 2.0

When I asked Sophie this year if she was going trick-or-treating, she said she wasn't, because she was 13 and none of her friends were going. Truth be told, I was relieved, because I wasn't really up for the task of making a costume.

Two days before Halloween, Sophie changed her mind. Some friends of hers were, indeed, going trick-or-treating, 13 or not, so she was joining them.

"I want to be an evil doll," she said, and rummaged through her closet for something that would work. We made a quick trip to WalMart for false eyelashes and fake blood, and this was her presentation for her door-to-door soliciting of candy that night:

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The girl does love keeping in character.

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Even Big Papa was no match for her focus.

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So Big Papa turned his sights on other unsuspecting innocents.

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Oh, but that wasn't enough for Big Papa.

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I imagine the Yorkie was having a field day.

Happy belated Halloween! 🙂

Twenty!

Bean, Bean, the Party Machine.

That was the nickname given to Sabrina at summer camp one year when she was in middle school, and she's definitely still living up to it at twenty. But in a good way, mind you;  she loves to have fun wherever she goes, despite the new nickname given to her in college: Soberina. 🙂

This past weekend we headed to Kansas City to celebrate Sabrina's twentieth birthday by heading to the USA – Jamaica World Cup Qualifier. This was something we knew Bean would love to do, because when she was an exchange student in Germany, one of the highlights of her visit was getting to go to a Public Viewing, which in this case refers to the public's gathering to view a football game; her host family was quite proud of her for donning the colors of Deutschland!

This time, however, she was wearing her patriotic colors, joining the throngs of American Outlaw crazies who were there to cheer the USA on to victory. What a party!

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I'd be horrified at all those cameras pointing at me…

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After the game, the USA members walked the perimeter of the field, which was really fun for the specatators…

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What a fun time that was! The next morning we headed to IHOP for Sabrina's birthday breakfast, and she insisted on bringing her unopened gifts into the restaurant to open them there. 🙂 (Didn't I say she loves to have fun wherever she's at?)

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After our pancake breakfast we headed to Worlds of Fun and spent the day riding rides and going into haunted houses…

I love this picture of Bean and Soph trying to take a selfie on the Fjord Fairlane ride…

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We sure missed having Bre with us… I think it was her first year not being able to celebrate her sister's birthday with us, but her job wouldn't allow her the time off. 🙁

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Happy 20th birthday, Bean. We love you so much! Now let's see if you can hang onto that Soberina title for one more year… 😉

Hold that Pose.

Sophie and I headed out to the wooded area by the lake last week so I could take some photos, and I had such a fun time with her.. despite how self-conscious she is when I'm taking her picture, she manages to have a little fun and gets me to laughing.

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I told her that I would say the name of the store, and she had to pose like their mannequins or ad models, and this is what she came up with…

Hollister:

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Delia's:

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Urban Outfitter (known around our house for their corpse-like models):

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JC Penney (I laughed at this reaction.. clearly not her favorite place to shop):

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WalMart:

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Old Navy:

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I love blurting out things to my girls when I take their picture, just to capture their immediate reactions. (One time I told Sabrina that whomever's name I said, she had to picture giving them a smooch; that was a hilarious experiment, and we got a lot of laughs out of looking through the photos!)

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As fun as it is for me to take my girls' pictures (much more fun for me than it is for my girls!), there's nothing that makes me smile more than when I remember their laughing. Nothing posed, nothing planned.. just them being them.

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Cheese.

For a few years now, my oldest daughter Bre has been trying to convince me that I'd love her style of music if I'd give it a try – particularly if I'd give her favorite band (introduced to her by Josh), The String Cheese Incident, a chance. I love all sorts of music, but never actually listen to any, because I prefer the sound of peace and quiet (which usually sounds like a pot of coffee brewing and perhaps a DVD of Lark Rise to Candleford playing on the set in front of me-and-my-stitching).

However, a few months ago I found myself saying "sure" to her invitation to join she and Josh at Red Rocks in Colorado, and up until the day I left, I was pretty much a nervous wreck over it. What if the night lasts too long and I can't stay awake? What if I'm surrounded by hooligans who start body surfing? What if I can't find a quiet spot to stitch in? WHAT IF THERE'S NO COFFEE?

I'm here today because I survived it. And not only did I survive it, I had one of the best nights of my life! Bre and Josh were the most accomodating, fun adult couple to hang out with, and as I was getting dressed this morning, I was bummed that I didn't buy a concert tee shirt to put on.

Here are Bre and I in the hotel room before the show:

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And with Josh:

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When we arrived at Red Rocks Ampitheater, I was amazed at how beautiful it was!

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(If you follow Bre on Instagram, you'll remember that she won that really cool Kelly Moore camera bag/backpack that she's wearing.)

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The sun was very hot and very hazy, but Josh warned me not to complain about the heat, because as soon as someone does, the sky opens up and the rain falls in bucketloads, and then it's freezing the rest of the night.

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We walked through what's known as "Shakedown Street," because that's where lots of vendors sell their wares – jewelry, tee shirts, art work – and Bre's koozies! She had some made especially for the weekend, and she sold tons of them!

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(Josh was her koozie caddie, reaching into his backpack and refilling her handfull when she'd run out.)

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(I love how talented she is… for those of you who have gotten one of my little lip balms in a class kit, she helped me design those as well!)

I bought these crazy pants to wear to the show, as well as the necklace I'm wearing (which has a clay pendant of the SCI logo), but as soon as the show was over, I gave them both to Bre.  She was happy to adopt them, as they're much more her style than mine. (But it was fun wearing something out of the ordinary for a change.)

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These two are so fun to hang out with! This was before the show started. (And by the way, Katrina mentioned once that Josh looks like a young Matt Lauer, and I have to agree!)

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Incidentally (see what I did there?), Josh is a very calm, laid-back kind of guy. He's always soft-spoken and pleasant, and I was planning on sitting by him for the most part while Bre danced the night away. However, as soon as the band members walked out on stage, I was jerked out of my comfort zone by a never-before-seen Josh that one can only describe as the mildly wild sort…

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I need my cross stitch, I need my cross stitch, I need my cross stitch….

Truth be told, I never laughed so hard! These two were an absolute joy to watch, the way they danced and had so much fun, singing along to the songs they love and stopping frequently to see if I was still breathing.

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What a fantastic night! The music, the food (hot dogs, Philly steak sandwiches, and lots of peanut M&M's), and the friendliness of everyone there; young people, old people, and lots of children, all having the same wonderful time I was having.

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But best of all, I got to spend time with my girl. My sweet, talented, artistic, music-loving girl.

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Thank you for a wonderful time, Bre. I love you. And I love Cheese.

Homework.

Sabrina was home last weekend, and got her baby sister to help her with an assignment for her Environmental Communications class. The class was split up into teams, and each team needed to come up with a campaign ad to encourage others to be more aware of what we're doing to God's green earth. So Sabrina's team came up with a fun slogan for reducing and reusing all the plastic things that most of us are guilty of accumulating:

"Unplasticize UNL."

I loved the little 30-second video Sabrina and Sophie did to help out the team. And the professor loved it as well!

 

 

I hope you all have a great week ahead! I leave for Dallas on Friday, and I finally got all the charts mailed out last week. And just so you know, all those plastic bags that Tasha was sitting in came to good use: I always use them in lieu of bubble wrap when sending out anything that needs extra padding. So take that, Environmental Communications class! 😉

Duet

Any time a song comes on the radio (or pops into Sophie's head), Sophie and I usually start singing to it together. She will belt out the lead to any song, and I usually take on a background singer's role, which seems to work well for us.

It doesn't, however, work as well for others in the house; on a recent visit home, Bre finally had to ask, "Do you two always break out in song?"

Why yes, we do. And usually for no good reason other than to pretend we're famous singers.

 

You should see us when we break out in dance.

ETA: The song is by Bruno Mars, and these are the lyrics:

I shoulda brought you flowers,
and held your hand.
Shoulda gave you all my hours
when I had the chance.
Take you to every party cuz all you
wanted to do was dance.
Now my baby's dancin',
Now she's dancin' with another man.

It’s Been a While!

I've missed sitting here and "chatting" with you guys! I guess it's not really chatting, since I'm the one doing all the talking, but it feels like we're chatting sometimes. 🙂 I've been wanting to sit here and post something for a long time now, but I've been extremely busy with getting class pieces designed and releases organized, and have not had many chances to update this poor neglected blog of mine.

And since my older girls are away, and my Sophie doesn't like to be photographed very much, there isn't a whole lot to post about except for the animals that live here. 😉 But I did manage to find a few pictures I took over the Easter weekend, which made me smile.

My silly girls.. it was so nice having them all home again for a day or two.

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Tilly-Roux loves Bre's soft voice, and if you could have heard the purring going on here!  But then, Sabrina came into the room, and Bre turned into a different creature.

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Don't you just love it when a photo would have been so sweet, if not for one person with ideas of their own?

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We love to flex our muscles around here.

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That one was actually taken a few weeks ago on one of Bean's visits home, but I thought I'd include it.

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I love my girls. And it's possible that, since they've spent so much time apart, they may actually kind of love each other a bit as well. 😉

I may have just jinxed myself.

Thanks for checking in here, even though more often than not, there's not much new to read. I sure have missed you all though!

God’s Creatures

Sabrina has always had an intense love for animals. But she drew the line when Bre, a few years ago, suggested she buy herself a Spirit Hood. Spirit Hoods are faux-animal-fur hoods often seen worn by the mountain-loving younger crowd in Colorado (Breanna included) and a few other places.

However, the idea soon grew on Bean, and she decided that she wanted to support the Spirit Hood cause, which is to preserve wildlife with the help of hood sales.

Recently, they went on sale, and she bought herself the Red Wolf one…

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I love it! She already owned the Night Owl hood, which is one of my favorites…

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This is another picture of her in the Red Wolf… if I'm not mistaken, I believe this is also the one that Bre owns. I loved Bre's so much, I wanted one for my own!

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The girls surprised me this year for Christmas with a large box that said "To Mom, From Grey Wolf." I was absolutely thrilled! Thank you again, my sweet girls!

I really only showed you these crazy animal hoods because I wanted an excuse to tell you that Sabrina won a much-coveted internship at the Henry Doorly Zoo for this summer. I'm so happy for her, as she's been saying since she was about 6 years old that she wanted to work at this zoo some day. If you're ever in Omaha, take the time to visit it.. it's a fabulous place, beautifully built and huge! I think Bean will be very, very happy there, and she's feeling like she won the Internship Lottery since yesterday. 🙂 Congratulations, Bean! We always knew, somehow, that you belonged in the zoo.

Har har.

 

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow.

Okay, not the cleverest of blog titles, but I blame it on my afternoon of drinking tea instead of coffee.

Sabrina has been growing her hair out for years. Her long hair is sort of what she's known for around these parts, and she's always felt like she'd be lost without it.

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But earlier this year, she started thinking that she wasn't really doing anything with all that extra hair (except for putting it up in a bun on top of her head every day), so why not donate it? She slept on it a few days (literally), and finally announced that she was ready to do it.

So we headed to the salon, and she nervously sat in the chair while the stylist made sure and double-sure it's really what she wanted to do.

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Sabrina stated boldly, "Do it."  Then she let out a little squeak as the scissors sawed laboriously through the thick, strawberry rope. (I never knew Sabrina had so much hair to cut through!)

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The stylist and I waited for a reaction, as the length of hair was handed back to Bean… Then suddenly, the chair whipped around.

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I felt like applauding! I think I was relieved that she didn't faint.

I really hope someone gets good use out of her hair.. she's taken good care of it, and is on her way to growing it out yet again. Oh, and because her hair is much lighter now, flyaway hair is a new concept for her:

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Love you, Bean. 🙂

Tree Huggers.

We finally got the Christmas tree taken down, and if you follow me on Instagram, you may remember all the needles in the carpet I got to clean up. 🙂 Last week Mike loaded up the tree into the back of the car, and the three of us headed to a nearby tree recycling area to say goodbye. It was pitch-black out, even though it was only around 7 pm, so we had to shine the headlights on the pile of discarded trees just to see where we were placing it.

Mike and Sophie decided it would be best to make a huge production of throwing the tree, and they spent a few minutes formulating a huge plan for doing so. I was to be the videographer (with my cell phone), and they would be the Grandest Tree Tossers of All Time.

I'd like to share that major feat with you now, if you can bear to watch. And please know that after viewing this video myself, I've decided to try to come up with a laugh more akin to a chortle than a cackle.

 

Saying Goodbye to the Tree from Paulette Stewart on Vimeo.

 

And yes, Mike did actually say that the tree wanted to come back home with us.

ETA: The red item you see in the tree isn't a forgotten ornament, but rather the tag that was on it when we first purchased the tree; I had completely forgotten it was there, and never noticed it during the holidays.