Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween-Family Style

We got a head start on Halloween yesterday when our church hosted our annual Fall Festival with Trunk  and Treating.  Jordan and I had a special afternoon prepping at the local "glam" spa for young girls

where she got the special treatment, including her first pedicure,

and a manicure 

topped off with the most sparkly polish treatment available.

Then it was on to the hair styling

where French braids were the perfect "do"

for Dorothy, her Halloween persona!

Making her rounds around the cars in the parking lot, Jordan found her Poppy

and her Aunt Holly and Mama Rue, my sister and mother who gave her the special treatment.

And who else was there? Brother Jackson, as the Scarecrow,  and Daddy Tin Man!

Who needs candy when you're already this sweet?

Part of the fun was hanging out with friends, like Emerson, who was very interested in Jackson's pacifier,

and Addison, one of Jordan's buddies.

Definitely a family night for the whole Wizard of Oz family!

Hope your day is full of sweet treats!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Happy Birthday Jordan

Today is Jordan's fourth birthday, and we celebrated in style on Sunday afternoon with a big princess party.

In preparation for the princesses and princes to come, royal clothing was hung with care,

the tiaras and royal jewels shined and polished,

all sorts of delicious sweets and treats were prepared

in anticipation of one little girl turning 4.

The princess and her court were quite excited to pose for the paparazzi.

There was time for a spot of tea,

and even a couple of little princes thought it was cool to stop for tea-time.

In between sword fights, that is!

This little prince and this little princess have taken quite a fancy to each other over the last year, and Princess Jordan has claimed him for her own. She anticipates their wedding day quite often and dreams of how it will unfold.

In addition to friends, there were so many members of our family who accepted with delight their invitation to attend the royal occasion, even Kiss-Kiss and Jason who skyped with the guest of honor all the way from London.

And we can't leave out The Little Prince, brother Jackson, who thinks parties are so much fun!

There was a lot of lovin' going on,

and many well wishes from friends so dear.

The highlight of the party was the arrival of Princess Heather who charmed the birthday girl

and read one of her favorite stories to the adoring crowd.

She was the "rock star" of the day!

We are eternally grateful to God for gracing us with a princess so fair, so loving, so full of joy, who has turned our world upside down since her arrival. 

Happy Birthday, Jordan!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Ahoy Matey!

We knew on our final day in Croatia that we were going island hopping along the coast of Dubrovnik, but we had no idea what kind of boat or ferry we would be taking.

Much to our hilarious surprise, we realized that the ship docked at the pier was totally ours for the day.

Although the boat could have accommodated well over a hundred people, we had more than a little elbow room with our group of 26, which included our own crew with a bar and refreshments on board for our pleasure.

We headed out early that warm October day to visit three of the fourteen Elafiti Islands off the scenic Dubrovnik coast.

Each of the three peaceful islands had their own treasures with idyllic views,

romantic villas, little chapels tucked away up a hillside path,

and the richest vibrant colors:

the greens of the shallow waters,

 the blues of the deeper seas,

and the yellows and oranges of ripening pomegranates.

The grapes were almost ready for harvest at the 15th century Gothic rector's palace we toured on the island of Sipan,

and the fishermen were busy bringing in their catch of the day,

which turned into lunch for us.

The final island we visited was Lopud, which draws the most tourists, but has less than 100 families calling it their home.

The sandy beaches there were a draw for a few swimmers in our group, but 

our little foursome decided to relax and take in the view after viewing the fishing ports, shady hillsides, and abandoned "escape" mansions of the old Dubrovnik aristocracy. We didn't run into too many people along the way--the islands in October were very quiet and tranquil, but we did spot two little gals

who had experienced just a little too much fun in the sun,  for one day anyway.

 A great trip: wonderful memories and vivid photos are what we now hold in our hands and hearts that capture the soul of Dubrovnik. Who knows if I'll ever make it back there--there's a big world out there to still explore, but if you, my friends, have the opportunity to see Croatia someday, grab the chance and take it! You'll be so glad you did.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Where in the world is Montenegro?

Our second day in Croatia found us taking a day trip to the neighboring country of Montenegro, where the picturesque coastline did not disappoint us.

We first took a quick boat trip to Our Lady of the Rocks

where during the 17th century, locals built a Baroque church on this island and filled it with symbols of thanks for answered prayers.

A jewel of a chapel, it is a popular wedding site, and through the years, brides have left behind a huge collection 

of wedding bouquets.

Also fascinating to us was an amazing embroidery made by a local woman who worked on it for more than 25 years, using her own hair for the hair of the angels, and when you look carefully, you can see the subtle change of her hair color through the years.

Sailing back from Our Lady of the Rocks, we headed next to Kotor, an historic

and lovely town oozing with charm. The Cathedral of St. Tryphon, built in 1166 is situated up against the limestone cliffs behind it.

The cliffs are fortified with ancient walls which stretch for 4 and a half kilometers above the city.

The Old Town is about wandering,

taking in the churches, and seeing the sights of the Old Town which was built between the 12th and 14th century.

We strolled through alleys and passageways,

we posed

and we treated ourselves to a "pick-me-up" of Italian ice cream in the town square.

As the day drew to a close, we headed back towards Dubrovnik, stopping for dinner first in the small resort town of  Cavtat.

Much calmer than bustling Dubrovnik,

the sunset inspired us as

we enjoyed strolling the seafront promenade,

catching our breath after a busy day.

The boats anchored on the shore were of all shapes and sizes, but nothing compared to the boat which took us island hopping on our final day in Croatia. More about that in my next post--hope you'll  stop back by for a visit!