It has been an interesting time around our house. My daughter was home for 9 days! You have no idea what a gift that was for me. She hadn't been home in 18 months and she only gets here once a year. She hadn't experienced Fall since she moved 5 years ago, so that was her only request...she wanted to experience the season. We picked her up in St. Louis and took her along the Great River Road to Alton, Grafton and Elsa. The pictures above and below were taken at Pere Marquette Lodge.
We also took a day and headed to Arthur, IL to Amish Country, where we went to an Amish auction (the handcrafted furniture is stunning), shopped at an Amish grocery store (noodles, homemade butter, fresh bread) and enjoyed being surrounded by all the horse and buggys. It is such a different world and yet not that far away.
Her visit home was at the same time as my girlfriend's annual Witch Party, so of course we put on our witche's hats and had a fun luncheon with a coven of witches. Some of these women really go all out with their costumes. We completely took over the dining room at a local restaurant. It was such fun! Even more so with my girl child with me.
We did arts and crafts! I know that you all are aware that I have no talent in that category, but after reading about making swearter pumpkins on StoneGable's blog, I thought we might be able to handle it. I went to Goodwill for sweaters and had them washed and ready. Believe it or not, ours turned out really well (for us). I'm linking to Yvonne's tutorial here. Believe me, if I can do this, you can.
We spoiled ourselves a little bit at a spa. We actually went to Branches twice. My daughter had a facial and manicure while I had a pumpkin pedicure and then a few days later, she had a massage while I had a facial. Everything was wonderful, relaxing and very comfortable. I think a monster has been created as I can't wait to go back.
She had planned this trip to be home for my birthday, which was last Monday. I kept saying that between my trip to Michigan and then having my kiddo home for so many days, I simply didn't need a birthday this year. Well, it is a good thing that I felt that way, because Sunday night I had food poisoning from a local restaurant lunch. I have seriously never been that sick in my life. So, my daughter spent her last day home bringing me ice chips, rubbing my neck and making jello. I couldn't stand without getting dizzy until Wednesday and it was Thursday before I got dressed. I lost an entire week...Happy Birthday to me! I will admit, if I had to be that sick, it was certainly nice having her home to take care of me! One thing about it, life is rarely dull around my house!
I kept reminding myself as I was sick last week, that it was really nothing compared to what this brave little guy has been going through. As you can see, he has lost most of his hair and is a bit puffy from the steriods. He has been having some wonderful experiences made possible by generous people in town. Our local fire department made him and honorary fireman, even letting him go on a call and hanging his picture on the wall. One of the most moving things I have ever seen is that they put out the word to other fire departments in the state, and over 100 departments each sent him a hat...such kind people in the world.
Today is an important day for our friends and a very difficult one. Luke has his bone marrow test today and this is the day they have to decide to either have the bone marrow transplant or extremely strong chemo. Whichever direction they choose, it makes the other no longer an option. The doctors are split on their advice, so our young friends have to make this decision on their own, with God's help. Either choice will be dangerous for their 5-year-old, but may save his life. I can't imagine being in their shoes. So, please say a prayer for them today...for guidance and peace with their choice.