Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Semester in Random Pictures...

This semester has flown by so far! I don't know why, but Spring Semester always seems to go way faster than the Fall. I'm glad of it, though - I enjoy school, but I'm looking forward to graduating in May and getting to spend time at home! I'll actually be home for a full garden season - YAY!!! :D

I've put together an assortment of photos I've taken over the semester...I haven't gotten out nearly as often as I'd have liked, but I guess college is supposed to be busy. :)

We've actually had a pretty mild winter for Wisconsin - really very little snow at all. There have been some cold times, but we've also had days when it's warm enough to go on a walk in the woods. My sister and I went out a few weeks ago, venturing through the trees to keep out of the wind. We came across these dried flowers:

I love the symmetry and intricate detail in Creation! I really don't see how anyone could believe that this happened by chance:

I've always been fascinated by the clouds out here - they're quite different from New Hampshire clouds. I'm theorizing that it may be because it's so much flatter here; we live in a valley at home.

Cirrus clouds such as these have rightly earned the nickname "Mare's Tails." I learned this by listening to my sister practice her informative speech on clouds many times! ;)

We also spent some time scooting around on big frozen puddles - well, at least, mostly frozen. I scooched out onto this one and stopped very suddenly when I heard an alarming crackling sound! It couldn't have been very deep - maybe a few inches - but that's still a sound that will fire up your adrenaline!! We spent quite a while admiring the air bubbles trapped in the ice; these ones had an interesting 3-D quality.

A while later I went on a walk alone and spent quite a bit of time acquainting myself with this old truck that was sitting out in a field. I have no idea how old it is or if it still works, but it had definitely seen better days.

Just this past weekend my sister and I had one of the highlights of the semester - we got to go on a trip to the big city! This was connected with our Christian and the Arts class; we left campus Friday afternoon, went to the performance of the Symphonie Fantastique by Hector Berlioz at the Milwauke Symphony, and then stayed in a hotel for the night. The next morning we left for Chicago and spent several hours at the Art Institute of Chicago. Finally, before heading back to school, we stopped at a pizza place and had authentic Chicago-style pizza! :) It was a really fun time and very interesting; I've included a few pictures below.

Here's the Chicago skyline right outside the Art Institute. My sister and I were very impressed, being small-town girls. :) We were also impressed with the bus driver's ability to maneuver down the tight roads; a couple times we were concerned that the bus would get stuck!

At the Art Institute, they have art of every medium and time period that you could wish to see. My sister and I didn't especially care for the modern stuff, but enjoyed perusing the ancient artifacts, arms and armor, etc. The Institute has a large Monet collection, which we found quite interesting as well. We found that we liked the paintings better if we stood a ways back - the texture is too much if you're close. :)

Hands down, though, our favorite section was the Thorne Miniature Rooms. These 68 rooms were assembled by a woman and her team some years ago, and they are incredibly detailed. As people who have done a tiny bit of miniature work, my sister and I were totally enthralled. They cover many European and American styles of decorating, mostly from the 18th and 19th centuries, but with a few more modern designs. There are also a couple Oriental rooms. I included just a couple pictures on this post; I apologize for their poor quality - the lighting wasn't the best and I kept getting my reflection on the glass.

I love this bedroom! I want a bed like that! :) I also really like the stairs coming down into the bedroom... All of these models are in 1:12 scale - 1 inch equals 1 foot.

Why don't they make homes with high ceilings like this any more?

Looking at the pictures, it's almost hard to believe that these are really miniature - they're done so well!

Well, Spring Break starts on Friday; everyone on campus can hardly wait! :) My sister and I don't get to go home, but we're looking forward to a quiet, relaxing 10 days. Hopefully we'll get to do some baking. We've only made 2 recipes so far this semester - pumpkin muffins and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies! :) I didn't get pictures, but if you click on the titles, you can follow the links to the recipes. They were both very yummy! :D We want to do one of our family's all-time favorites soon: Outrageous Chocolate Chip Cookies. If you're looking for a spectacular cookie recipe, give this a try! Just keep in mind that my Mom (who makes the best cookies EVER!) doesn't actually follow the amounts recommended...she just globs in a bunch of peanut butter and oats, and they always turn out amazing. So feel free to play around with the amounts of ingredients. :)

I hope everyone has a great remainder of the week...thanks, as always, for reading my ramblings!!! :D