The Places I’ve Been

In my 20’s I was a frequent traveler. I was up for any adventure. Oh, the places I’ve been and the things I’ve seen are astounding. The following are all pictures I took on my journeys.

Some of the things were just right in my neck of the woods here in Wisconsin:


Copper Falls in Wisconsin


Me canoeing down the Wisconsin River

I also ventured throughout the United States to places like California, Washington D.C. and all over the south:

An alligator in the Everglades in Florida

An alligator in the Everglades in Florida

Key Largo, Florida

Key Largo, Florida

I’ve also been to Mexico:

an island in Mexico

an island in Mexico

children on their way to school in Mexico

children on their way to school in Mexico

I have also seen quite a bit of Europe and even had my own apartment in Venice, Italy for a bit:












And then I met this guy. We fell in love.

My husband and me

My husband and me

This in turn started me on my grandest journey. The places I’ve been and the things I’ve seen are astounding!

The most astounding things I have ever seen!

The most astounding things I have ever seen!

What Are Wisconsin Children Made Of?

When you’re from Wisconsin like my family is, you have to have some thick blood. The winters here are long and cold. People here are well versed on driving on icy roads and having fun in the snow. A blizzard doesn’t scare us and school closings are few and far between. We are tough.

I shouldn’t actually lump us all together. I used to be tough. I could stay outside for hours upon end playing in the below 0 degree weather when I was a kid. After many years of extended outings and near frost bite several times; my feet and hands ache if I spend more than 15 minutes out in the conditions. I tend to stay home when the roads are bad after so many spin outs in my lifetime (I almost always got them under control though because I am a Wisconsinite after all) to keep the kids and I out of harm’s way.

My kids have proven this year that their blood is getting thicker. In years past I would send them outside and 10 minutes later they would be back in, dragging snow all over the house and requesting hot chocolate immediately to warm them up. I thought I had produced wimps and that they had their Dad’s New Mexican blood coursing through their veins instead of mine.

Last week, Iris and Bency built snowmen outside for 1 ½ hours. I gave them their leftover Halloween candy and they decorated their snowmen with Starburst eyes, Whopper mouths and whatever else they could find.

Iris and Bency outside building snowmen

Iris and Bency outside building snowmen

The other day I took my kids and nieces sledding at my parent’s house. Everyone stayed out playing except for me and Cesar. I was cold after 15 minutes and Cesar’s face got dragged down the length of the hill when he wasn’t quite on the sled all the way when it started traveling downhill. He called it quits right after that.

All of the kids going sledding at Grandma's

All of the kids going sledding at Grandma’s

My two older kids really earned their Wisconsin wings yesterday. They were outside for 2 hours and Iris only came in once to ask me for a plastic bowl and piece of paper.

Apparently after reading a book called Snow Babies they were inspired to build a fort for snow babies in our yard. Snow babies are similar to fairies but only live in the….snow. They made a sign that said, “All Snow babies Welcome! If you come inside, please put some coins in the bowl.”

The Snow Baby fort

The Snow Baby fort

And if the fort wasn’t enough for the snow babies they also built a wall around the perimeter of the yard to keep out the “Snow Baby Monster” (the Snow Baby Monster was completely made up by them because there are no monsters in the book we read).

The Walls of Safety

The Walls of Safety

In addition, Iris made booby traps (her words) out of icicles to fortify the safety of the snow babies. She said the Snow Monster would slip on the icicles that were placed strategically at different entrance points around the wall.

Iris building a booby trap

Iris building a booby trap

So yes, my children have finally got that thick Wisconsin blood. Snow and below 0 degree temperatures will not get in their way of having fun…until they get old like me and a warm heated house, blanket and a good book is equally exciting!

Iris and Bency

Iris and Bency

The Magical Forest Wonderland

I would like to share a little beauty from my corner of the world with everyone that I experienced this weekend. My family and I went to our local Botanical Gardens. This name does not do it justice. It is indeed botanical and a garden but if I was given the honor of naming it, I would have called it The Magical Forest Wonderland or something equally as fascinating as it really is!

This was the perfect place for kids. They could run, explore and not have to worry about breaking anything. The only minor incident that occurred was when our 5 year old Bency stepped into the koi pond. I told him he could stand on the edge and look in and apparently he heard, “step into the pond and become one with the koi.” He was slightly disturbed with his wet socks and shoes and a bit flabbergasted that I didn’t have an extra set on me but he soon got over it and began running and playing in all the beautiful glory!

The kids were disappointed to leave on Saturday so with Sunday being Grandparent’s Day I invited my Mom who has never been there to join us in one more day of nature’s beautiful splendor all encapsulated in one wonderful place!

Enjoy and have a wonderful and beautiful week!

Iris, Bency and Cesar excited to start their adventure!

Having fun running around


morning dew on the ground cover





The kids climbing a huge hill

The kids getting water from the rain barrels to water the animal topiaries

Bency water the bunny topiary

The dragonfly bridge

Cesar and Dad

Bency disgruntled with his wet shoes and socks after going into the pond

Iris on butterfly bench

The kids love the stars on the walking path

Beautiful garden art everywhere

Mr. McGregor’s garden from The Tales of Peter Rabbit

A huge maze for the kids!

a beautiful view from the tower in the children’s garden

The rainbow garden


Iris posing in the stone structure


The kids crossing a stream

The kids having so much fun running around

This is the bathroom!


another beautiful view from a different tower

The roof of one of the towers

The fairy garden

The kids waiting for the fairies to move

Nature’s artwork

Grandma spending the day with me and the kids

A door knocker on the English cottage