Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!!!

Halloween just isn't what it used to be for me.  I've definitely done my fair share of trick-or-treating.  In fact, growing up in Ohio, we used to dress up and go out as early as possible all around the neighborhood and fill a large paper grocery bag with candy until it was so full that we could barely carry it.  Then we'd go back home, just to get another empty bag and head out again.  My favorite house to go to was the one that gave out hot apple cider and fresh donuts!  Mmmmm...

As a youngster, part of the fun of Halloween was figuring out what kind of costume to have my mom make.  She never used a pattern and NEVER bought those cheesy costumes with the stiff plastic masks from the 5 and Dime store.  We always came up with unique ideas and she just figured out a way to make it work.  I guess that's what you do when you have 6 kids and not a lot of money or ways to get to the store.

I'll admit that one year she got a little TOO creative and decided that I should be Mother Nature for Halloween.  Now what would you imagine Mother Nature to look like?  She decided that I should have leaves sewn all over my leotard (which later became dead and brown) and that's all I remember of it.  I also recall that my sister was a beautiful sparkly silver Christmas package with a huge red bow in her hair that year and she won a prize for the prettiest costume at our neighborhood Halloween Party.  People just kept looking at me and asking, "What are you supposed to be?"  (Not my most fun Halloween to be sure.)

I do know how to get in the Halloween spirit, as evidenced by this photos of me as an adult.  I'm the scarecrow on the left and yes, my belly was stuffed with straw.  This was at California Institute of the Arts where I worked in the Accounting office.  My boss, Christina (on the right) was so excited about Halloween that she would take vacation days just to decorate the office.  We won the CalArts contest almost every year for the best decorated office on campus.  She was the mastermind of it all.  I was just there to help.  That was in the mid-90's and may have been the last time I dressed up for Halloween.

I have had a lot of fun continuing the tradition of creative costume designs with our kids too.  It was always a challenge for them to come up with an idea and for us to make something from nothing.  Often times it was a matter of some thrift store shopping with a few alterations, props, accessories or make up.  Other times it was just whatever we could do to bring an idea to life.  As they got older they created their own costumes and they were much more creative than I ever was.

These last 2 shots are the first time we dressed Amy up for Halloween.  She was 17 months old and I debated and debated about whether to do anything.  On Halloween Day I decided it would be fun, so we went down the street to the nearby Salvation Army Thrift store and I bought her whole costume.  I love the one of her looking at her own face in the mirror.

So for those who love this holiday, have an awesome spooky day!  I'm perfectly content to decorate for Autumn and avoid all that scary stuff.  I enjoy watching others celebrate the holiday and that's good with me.

In fact at the very moment when this is scheduled to post, Terry and I will be on our way to North Carolina to visit his Dad and wife, so we'll pretty much miss Halloween altogether unless they have trick-or-treaters at their house.  But we're o.k. with that.

Have a Happy Halloween everyone!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Christmas Decor:

Can you believe that Christmas is right around the corner?

Only 8 weeks away!  Wow!  How are you doing on your Christmas shopping?  I'm hoping to pick up a few unique items when we're in North Carolina this week. Terry and I probably won't do a lot for each other's gifts since we've had some extra fun traveling this year.

But, I love decorating for Christmas!  I have quite a few stores that I like to check out for decorations.  Some are a little pricey, but I like to look anyway, especially for potential after Christmas sales.  Others have a wide range of prices that make some items a great deal anytime.

Crate and Barrel has some of my favorite ornaments at very reasonable prices.

Restoration Hardware has more retro, classic, but unique items, but still some sweet finds.

Target also has nice things for very reasonable prices.

After Christmas when this pillow goes on sale, I want to get a couple of these from Pottery Barn.  I really like it, but wouldn't pay $50 for any pillow cover, no matter how nice it is.  I think the colors have great potential for several of my rooms.  Can you see it on my red sofa or with the blues and greens in the Family Room?  It would even work on the patchwork quilt on our bed!  It's great to have options.

We're looking forward to a fun holiday season!  Hope you are too.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Today is Terry's dad's birthday and here are a few photos from his life!  

This first one is of him and his brother, Dick.

I love this one of him trying to do yard work with an injured foot.  What a hero!  I wonder if he actually got anything done that day.

And check out the primitive backpack that he used to carry Julie around when they were camping.  Pretty interesting, huh?

And then there's this awesome one of all the Hann boys.  Did you know that our Amy was the first Hann girl born in 3 generations?  Terry's little sister Julie was adopted.   Coincidentally, Amy is in the bottom photo with Dad, Ginny, Terry and I.  We were eating at the Mining Camp, one of the Hann family's favorite places to go.  Everything is served family style (all you can eat).  What other place would you want to go with 5 hungry boys to feed?

We are so blessed to have Terry Sr. (Theron) in our lives.  Especially for me, since my dad passed away when I was 20 years old.  Terry (Sr.) is the only grandfather that our children have ever known and they love him dearly.

He's such a sweet man, full of love, joy, compassion and kindness.  He loves to laugh, joke and have fun!

We're looking forward to celebrating his big birthday when we're back there visiting next week!


(Ginny, Don't forget that you can click on each of this photos to make them cover the whole screen.)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

These are pictures from Dad and Ginny's wedding day in Rochester, New York a few years ago when we officially welcomed Ginny into the Hann family.  It was such a special day!  My Terry was the Best Man and Ginny's daughter was the Maid/matron of Honor.

We're so happy to have her in the family.  She takes good care of Terry's dad and is so much fun to be with. She loves to laugh and has such a great outlook on life.

Very soon we'll be flying to North Carolina to visit them.  This will be our first time there, but I know it won't be our last.

Ginny, we hope you have an extra special day and we look forward to celebrating with you when we get to North Carolina.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Brunch with the Family

I have been so excited about sharing these photos with you!  These are from the restaurant where Andrew and Amy took us for Breakfast/Lunch the last morning we were in L.A.  It's on Ventura Blvd, in the San Fernando Valley (Tarzana) and it's called CiCi's Cafe.   If you're ever in the area, you MUST try it.

On Monday morning we drove down to A and A's apartment from Santa Clarita and Kevin still hadn't decided when he was going to fly home to Omaha.  After looking at some airline ticket prices and discussing logistics about how to get around if he stayed and how to get to the airport with Amy and Andrew working, he decided to ride back to Phoenix with us and fly out of the PHX airport the next day.  It saved him about $100 and we got to have a few more hours with him, which was great for us.

After Kevin booked his flight for the next day we loaded up and drove a short distance to one of Andrew's favorite places.  He said that he orders from there a lot for work as well and I can see why.  Everything that I saw and tasted looked delicious and their menu is HUGE!  It would take years to get thru everything on the menu unless you ate their every day, which would not be hard to do.

The restaurant itself is fairly unassuming.  It's located in a strip mall so you'd never know it was so appetizing unless someone took you there.  This is the basic dining room below.  They definitely need to expand because Andrew says they're always busy. from top to bottom - here are 3 of the gorgeous and delicious meals:

  • Andrew's Steak Salad
  • Terry's Banana Macadamia Nut Pancakes (not low carb!)
  • My sandwich, which is seem to recall had turkey, swiss cheese, artichoke hearts and arugala (and maybe more) plus sweet potato french fries.  MMMMMM!! 
Don't they all look amazing?  Kevin had some kind of an egg scramble which really doesn't photograph too well, so you don't need to see it here.

Sadly, Amy ordered some food, but then didn't feel good enough to stay and eat with us.  So we said goodbye to her there so she could go home, rest  and try to feel better before going to work.  I'm happy to report that she has gone to the doctor since then and they're trying to figure why she hasn't been feeling well for a while.  We love her and were sad that she couldn't stay and eat with us.  We hope that they figure it out soon.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

California Adventure with the Family

The middle part of our Disneyland day with the kids was spent at California Adventure, which you may know is right next door to Disneyland.  Kevin had never been there (I'm not sure how that happened) so we were excited to show him some of the great rides there.

My favorite one there, by far, is Soaring Over California!  If you haven't ever ridden it, it's definitely worth the visit.  You can't take pictures while on the ride though, so I can't give you anything to see there.

The guys did the Tower of Terror and liked it.   Amy and I saw several Disney characters while we were waiting for the guys to come back from the Tower of Terror.  We must have been near a "cast member" entrance.

The Muppet 3-D show was cute as well as the Monsters Inc. ride, but overall CA Adventure would have a hard time standing alone as a viable amusement park.  There are some interesting things there though.  We always talk about going to check out the winery, but never quite get there.  Have you been there?  If so, what's your favorite part?

Here's a link to more photos from the day.

I'm only 6 posts away from my 500th post!  Can you believe it?

This photo has no particular significance.  I just have always liked it and didn't want to post merely text.  It's a pull chain for a floor lamp that we saw when we stayed at the Majestic Inn and Spa in Anacortes, Washington a few years ago.

It was a great place to stay and a sweet little town close to one of the Washington Ferry Terminals.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Happy 75th Birthday Mom!

On Saturday we had a 75th birthday celebration for Terry's mom.  She has been a mother (raised 5 boys and a girl), wife, sister, aunt, great-aunt, grandmother, daughter, partner, co-worker and friend to so many and she hasn't had a birthday party in many many years so we thought it was time to honor her and celebrate her life.

We were a little disappointed (especially for her sake) that more people weren't able to make it, but we enjoyed our time with those who could be there.  We had Mexican food for dinner (one of her favorites) and showed slides of some of her life history.  We also had Costco Chocolate cake with Chocolate Mousse filling, which is her favorite dessert.  Fortunately, the smallest size we could get was the half sheet cake, so there were lots of leftovers for everyone to take home.  Mom said she'd freeze individual slices to spread them out over the coming weeks.  Good for her!

Another fun surprise was that her sister, Patty (in New York) contacted a bunch of their cousins and other relatives that Carole hadn't seen in a long time and asked them to send birthday cards to our house before the party.  So when she arrived we had a basket full of birthday wishes for her.  She really enjoyed hearing from all those folks after so many years.

I found another use for the branch in the living room, too.  These are photos from various seasons in Carole's life (click to enlarge).  It was so much fun going thru old pics to find some of these wonderful ones.  Thanks Amy, for scanning all those old Hann family slides and thanks to Patty and Susan for sending some that they had at home too.

I'm so thankful to have a mother-in-law that's so kind and sweet and loves to laugh.  She's always been patient with her children and their spouses, no matter what.  She has never tried to give unsolicited advice and always forgives and loves her family thru thick and thin.  When I hear so many horror stories about some "mothers-in-law" I'm so thankful that mine is so awesome!  What a blessing to have her in our lives.  I only wish we could see her more often.

So all in all several generations were in attendance for Carole's big day:

Check out a few of our favorites from the slideshow that we put together for her.



Monday, October 19, 2009

Save the Date!

You have your choice of two Randy Thompson Christmas concerts.  Terry will be playing in the band again this year, but even if he wasn't you should go anyway.

The concerts will be Friday, Dec 4th and Saturday, Dec 5th.  Click to enlarge the poster for more details.

Here are a few photos from the last Christmas Concert.  Sadly, the keyboard player, Gordon Barr is no longer with us.  He has graduated to playing concerts in that awesome band in heaven that never strikes a bad note.  He will be missed.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I'm Going to Florida!

I just confirmed that I will be going to Florida in early February with my mom and sisters.  I found a great rate for airfare (thank you Southwest Airlines!) and we're looking into getting a timeshare there too!  Woohoo!

We're going to visit my mom's step-sister, Alice.  She is really closer to the age of my oldest sister, Diane, so I've never really called her "Aunt" Alice.

We're going to the Fort Myers area, which is on the Gulf Coast in the southern part of the state.  Alice has lived there for a long time and will be our companion and tour guide.  It will just be a quick trip.  Arriving on a Thursday and leaving the following Tuesday.  Since both those days are essentially travel days, we'll really only have 4 days there.  That will be plenty for my mom, but will make me just want to come back to Florida again soon. 

Over the last few years, my sisters and I have been trying to do some kind of trip with my mom each year and we weren't able to go anywhere in 2009.  At 85, we never know how many more of these excursions she'll be able to do with us.  She has always loved to travel, and now of course, she doesn't want to go  alone.

I'm so glad that we have the chance to do this with her once in a while.  It's a gift for all of us to be able to share the uninterrupted time together. (Thanks Terry for letting me go.)

The only time I've ever been in Florida is when Terry and I went on a Caribbean cruise and flew into Fort Lauderdale to board the ship.  We were there long enough to go from the airport to the ship and back and that was it.  We've talked often about vacationing there, but just haven't made it yet.  Maybe someday soon we'll get to go together...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Disneyland with the Family

When Terry and I arrived at Disneyland with Amy, Andrew and Kevin on Sep 20th, they had already begun decorating the park for Halloween.  In fact, Space Mountain and the Haunted Mansion were both closed for decorating.  We were a little disappointed since Space Mtn had been closed for a total re-do when Terry and I were there the last time (which was about 5 years ago) and we've heard so many great reports on it since then.  Oh well, I guess it just gives us a good reason to go back again soon.
Here are a few highlights of the first part of the day.  You can also see more details on Amy's blog here.

Here are the guys doing Splash Mountain just before they plunged into the water.  They didn't get too wet though, which was probably good.  Amy and I decided not to go on it because it was in the afternoon and we didn't want to be wet when the sun went down.
I think part of the reason that the kids get tired before the end of the day, is because they wear shoes with no support, so their legs and backs hurt by the end of the day.   As I've gotten older, I've become much more picky about my shoes, especially when I'm going to be wearing them all day.  It's amazing the difference it makes!
Don't you just love the detail at the Disney parks?  These squirrels are at the tops of the pillars on one of the rides in FantasyLand.  I think it was Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.  Look for them next time you're there.
I was very impressed with how well frozen my Mickey ice cream bar was on a warm afternoon.  I'm not sure how they keep them so cold in those little freezers.  It was creamy and delicious!

And isn't it great how they made Captain Jack look like Johnny Depp on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride?
Can you tell that Amy was a bit warm that day?  It was actually warmer than I thought it would be, but definitely much better than a visit in the summer would be and the lines were great - especially for a weekend day!

Don't Amy & Andrew look so cute?

Terry and Kevin look pretty interested in something on the ground, but I'm not sure what it is.

Next we visit California Adventure, where Kevin has never been before.