Thursday, August 31, 2006

Halle and her practice bus run

Halle had her practice bus run a few days ago. Oh the excitement was about brimming over on her! She couldn't wait. It ended up being daddy who went with her because as I was talking about it- I heard from Arianna how it was only daddy who went with her because I was too busy! OUCH!!!!!!!!!!
I tried to explain to her that Halle was much littler then and Nick was too young to babysit and I didn't want to hire a babysitter for a bus run etc.....
But I felt it was better to make it fair and have the bus runs be a daddy thing.
So we took pictures and waited anxiously for their return to hear all about it.
She had a great time and felt like big stuff! Sorry for the very cropped bus picture but I didn't want her bus number out there for all to see!
We had orientation for both girls last night and Arianna had her first soccer practice also. Oh the joys of the busyness of school starting again!

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Works for Me Wednesday

To save time when I'm making bread in my bread machine I will set out a couple of ziploc bags and add all the dry ingredients. As you put them in the bread maker- also put them in the ziploc bags. That way when you go to make bread again you can just dump the bag of ingredients in the machine and all you have to add is the liquid.
It's much easier and it works for me!
Now head on over to Shannon's to find out the other great ideas for the day!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Arianna's special weekend

Arianna was the flower girl for my niece- Laura's- wedding. As her gift she got a build a bear wedding dress and then after the wedding she would get to spend the night at her house and go to build a bear and actually build a bear to wear the dress.
Well the day came and Arianna was beyond excited! Laura sent her an email telling her what they would be doing and what to bring and so on. Well, Arianna carried that email around and did EXACTLY what Laura said. She had packed what laura said to pack, she had a restaurant picked out for supper (I told her to say Red Lobster!)
she ended up at McDonalds!
She had so much fun- she built her bear, picked out a movie- had ice cream- got to stay up late. The next day she got to run around with laura- they made me a beautiful flower arrangement! She got to go out for lunch again!!
What special memories this weekend will always be!
Thanks so much Laura!
Here's Arianna with her new bear- princess!

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Monday, August 28, 2006

Just a quick one!

A couple of days ago I posted about the freebies. I went to Target and used the coupon for the free Downey simple pleasures fabric softener. I love it! If you haven't got the coupon yet- go to Amy's blog. You can print out the coupon there- but hurry it expires on 8-30-06!
I got the lavendar vanilla scent- it is wonderful! I'm not sure if Mark will love it as much as I do since his clothes now smell like this as well!

The innocence of sleep

Since the kids all got behind on their sleep this weekend- I wanted the kids to sleep in for awhile this morning. They all look so innocent when they're sleeping- too bad that naughtly little glint in their eye appears the moment those peepers open up for the day!!

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Saturday, August 26, 2006

It's a sideways - down - day

You know how I have the saying at the top of my blog about how life is filled with ups and downs but most of the time I'm going sideways? Well today is a sideways- maybe even a little down day.
Not for me, but for Halle.
You see, Arianna is gone today and Mark and Nick had to run some errands this morning so it left me and Halle. Well she wasn't happy that she got left behind to do cleaning with mom. That started the whole episode. Then for some reason beyond my understanding, she decided it should be a toy day ( which in her mind means she gets a new toy) I don't know where this came from except that Arianna is having a special day with her cousin. Anyway- Halle totally had a melt down! She was just besides herself in her despair over her terrible, unfair life. I tried to calm her down and reason with her but I got nowhere. Apparently, the tubs filled with toys are only Nick and Arianna's and she has NOTHING! I even morphed into my parents for a short while and before I knew it I was speeling off the whole- "there are children in this world that have nothing and you should be thankful for what you have" speech. This got nowhere either. Finally I left her in her pathetic little world of nothingness and went upstairs to continue my cleaning. For a good 10 minutes I heard her continue in her self pity downstairs not able to understand a word she was saying because she was so beside herself. She finally came upstairs and we hugged and talked a little more and she is going about her day. Someday she will realize that that world of nothing is so close to what her life would have entailed in the orphanage in Russia. God has blessed her life so much (and ours) by bringing her into this country of overabundance! We are going to have to continue working on having a grateful heart- because it really bothers me when we take all our blessings so for granted.
I will make 1 excuse for her!! She did get to bed terribly late last night- since Arianna was gone I let her stay up late and play with Nick. Aparently, that wasn't such a good idea since she still woke up at 7:30 and obviously didn't get enough sleep!
I think it might actually be a nap day for her today!

If anyone has any creative good ideas that have worked to teach kids to be grateful I'd love to hear some!

Friday, August 25, 2006


Check out Amy's blog today. She has some great freebies listed that you can get.
Gotta love freebies!
Ok Go on Treadmills

I saw this on Boo Mama's blog today and it's pretty funny. It just amazes me that this is exactly what my treadmill routine is every morning and someone else is doing it too!!!!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

We've had a miracle!

You probably remember that about 1-2 months ago Halle damaged her tooth. I was so upset about this. I know it sounds silly- it's a baby tooth and a new one will take it's place eventually. I felt the same way when a friend had the same thing happen to her child. I kind of downplayed the whole thing. THEN- it happened to me! Well this was a whole different scenario! You see if she is anything like her sister- she won't get her adult teeth until she's 7! That would mean 2 years of no tooth! It wasn't such a little thing to me anymore!
So I asked my prayer partner to pray (Thanks Brenda!), my sisters to pray, and I prayed. We took her to the dentist because it continued to get worse and he said the tooth was indead dead and we would just have to watch it to see if it needed to get pulled. This is what the tooth looked like:


Well, I got my miracle! Look at her tooth now! There's no explanation except that God saved that tooth. I don't know why it surprises me so- why do we sometimes think that God doesn't care about the little things. I mean I know God cares about the little things, but if I'm honest- I really didn't think this tooth was going to be saved! I love how God uses even the littlest things to show us His love and power!

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Works for me Wednesday

My mini van has some sort of electrical problem and will on occasion "lock" itself.
I'm usually very careful about never leaving my keys in there but it has happened before and I got locked out!
The solution is if you have a 2 key pads (that you push the button to unlock all the doors) You can call your husband or whoever has the other one and have him hold the button by the phone and hit the unlock button. The signal will go through the phone and the doors will unlock!!
Another quick idea for anyone that loses their keys- clip them to your cell phone and then if you can't find them you can just call your cell phone and you'll know where they are!
Head on over to Shannon's and check out all the other ideas!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Yeah- It's time for the fair!

The kids always look forward to the fair week. Well it finally arrived. We went today for the rides. The library offered a program that for every 90 minutes they read they got 1 free ride- up to 5. So today they got 5 rides and were thrilled.
I only got pictures of the girls because Nick went off with his cousins to do the rides for the big kids.
The girls had a blast! We go back tomorrow night because they also earned entrance into the grandstand so we'll get to see the offroad race. I can't wait- it's always a lot of fun.


When Halle got off this ride I asked her if it was fun and she gave me a classic reply:

That was fun mom but I screamed like a girl!

Well I'm glad honey because you are a girl!!!!!!!!!! Look at those faces- that says it all!
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Monday, August 21, 2006

Monday's Menu

I know I am always looking for different recipes- so I thought I'd share one of my favorites!

Chicken Spaghetti

3 c. chicken- cooked
1/2 stick margarine
1 small onion, diced
3-4 stalks chopped celery
1 green pepper- chopped
1 cream of mushroom soup
1 cream of chicken soup
8 oz. spaghetti, cooked and drained
8 oz. cheddar cheese
8 oz mozzarella cheese

Saute onions and celery in butter. Add chicken, pepper, soups and spaghetti. Mix well. Put mixture in a 9x13 pan. Top with cheeses. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

We love this supper- it's easy to fix ahead of time and then you only have to bake for the 30 minutes and you have supper ready.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

chicken bbq

Every year we look forward to the chicken bbq. I don't know what their secret is but it's the best chicken- I wish I could make mine taste like that!
They've added a corn maze for the kids to go through also- the kids like it because they get prizes as they go through. We didn't even get lost too many times this year.

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We love Uncle Duane

My brother called Saturday and asked if the kids wanted to come over to fish and ride the quad. Of course they couldn't wait! They had a great time- what great memories this will be for them. They are so lucky to have an uncle who loves to spend time with them!

Friday, August 18, 2006

The fruits of my labors

Our garden really produced well this year so it was time to get to work. I haven't canned salsa in a few years so this was the year.
It was fun to do it when almost everything came out of our garden. I only had to buy the jalapeno peppers. I'm still processing them as I speak, but I will have 32 pints when I'm finished- sometime tomorrow morning! I didn't get started until about 3:00 this afternoon because I had a funeral to attend today. It wasn't a great day to start because of the late timing but the tomatoes wouldn't wait!

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Thursday, August 17, 2006

Ideas Please

The time is fast approaching for Arianna's big Birthday Party. She has decided that she wants a lady bug party. I need help with ideas for this. I'm not creative and I know there are so many of you out there that are!
Please, Please, Please share your ideas for what to do with this party.

A must read

This post is so funny I thought I'd share! Go to: The post is called Dirty Talk- It's not as bad as you think!

Thursday's Thanks

I have so much to be thankful for but today I'll list these:

For my health and my families health- I take that so for granted!

That my husband has a good job that is still intact after the company got bought out

That God continues to bless our family

That summer weather is almost done- I LOVE the fall

That school starts soon- I like having my kids home for the most part- but I'm getting pretty ready to get into the routine of school again

That I have been blessed with wonderful sisters who I can't imagine my life without(if that doesn't get a comment I don't know what will!)

That vacation went really well and we got the time to just slow down and enjoy each others company

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

We're home!

We're home from Indiana. We had a great time and the weather again was nice.
I love going here- it's so nice to kind of go back in time and see how simply others live. Some times I wish things were slower here also- but as I'm typing this I'm realizing then I wouldn't have a computer and no blogging fo me! Maybe I'll rethink that!


Here we are at the
Das Essenhaus Restaurant- it is the best! Look at all that food and it tasted so good! Arianna couldn't even put down the drumstick long enough to take the picture!
Now I'm off to try to catch up on the laundry. Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 14, 2006

just a quick one

I took the girls shopping tonight for their 1st day of school outfit.
We're in the changing room and Halle tries on her new jeans and shirt. She poses in front of the mirror and says
"I really do look like a rock star!"

We don't even listen to rock music- where does she come up with this stuff!!

terrorist threat

Wow- We found out last night about the terrorist threat for the Mackinaw Bridge! I'm glad we didn't know about it at the time. I don't want anyone to take this wrong- but normally I'm not somewhere that would be an area high on the "target" zone so it's not on my mind on a consistant basis.
It makes you really think when you are somewhere and find out that terrorists were trying to hit that area!

We're safe and sound back home for the night and tomorrow we leave with my sister and her family for a trip to Indiana.
Hopefully that shouldn't be a target zone!!!!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Our day on the Island

We are having a wonderful time! This was what we woke up to this morning!

Here we are all aboard the boat waiting to set sail. It was amazing we all had our eyes open- we got up at 6:30 this morning! (no it wasn't just Mark's idea- I wanted to get to the island early too!)

This was a demonstration they showed us of the soldiers firing their weapons in the 1860's. They used the Island to hold prisoners at that time. They didn't have to really guard them though because there was no place for them to go. I thought this picture was really neat.

This was my favorite place on the Island. It's called Arch Rock. It was awesome to see. God's creation is just incredible!

This is Arianna on the boat ride home- a little wind blown!

It was absolutely perfect weather- I couldn't have asked for any better. I'm enjoying my fudge and trust me I have burned off every calorie! I've decided I really love flat land. It was quite a climb to go to the fort! Since no cars are allowed you have to walk everywhere but it was nice. I really love this place I'm so glad we decided to come here!
Tomorrow we head for home for 1 night and then on to new adventures in a different direction!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

more pictures

Mackinaw City

We're taking a break and resting a bit so I thought I'd take this chance to post a quick entry. We're having a really nice time and things are going well. Today we traveled the rest of the way to the Mackinaw Bridge. I'm really scared of heights but I did fine crossing the bridge when we were in the middle lane. The outside lane wasn't as good! The kids loved crossing it. We went to the Castle Rock. I had heard this wasn't an easy climb- Brenda you were right! I wanted to die on the way up! It made me feel better that everyone was stopping to catch their breath- even the skinny ladies!!!! I took a picture to prove I made it- well almost. I couldn't make myself walk over the green plank to get to the lookout. I got halfway and I just couldn't go any further- I can't explain it but when you're scared of heights it can really be paralyzing!
Our hotel is right on the water- beautiful! Tomorrow we go to the Island and spend the day there- should be fun.
The weather is PERFECT! It's about 78 and sunny- very comfortable. I'm so thankful.

This is at the top of Castle rock- it doesn't look like it but we're very high. This was as far as I went!

This was at the entrance to Fort Michelamackinac:

This is the view out of our hotel room- Beautiful isn't it!

Friday, August 11, 2006

The start of vacation

Well we had an interesting start to our vacation. Mark got home early from work so I was excited that we could leave on time! I had the vehicle all packed already so we all piled in and we started to get the DVD player ready for the trip. We plugged it in and it wouldn't turn on. Great! There's no way we're going for this distance without something to entertain the kids. So out we all pile and we start messing with the plug and everything we could think of. Finally I tried a different plug and it worked! So everyone piles back in and Mark asks me for his keys back (which I used to get back in the house) Much to my horror I realize they are sitting on the kitchen table, which is safely tucked inside a VERY locked up house! We start checking all the doors and everything is completely locked. After about 1/2 hr of messing around, I call a locksmith and run over to my sisters house to see if my wonderful niece would be willing to be at the house when they show up. She says yes- I say thank you so much- I really owe you- and head back over to the house. I get there and TADA- my wonderful husband has jimmied the door and we are back in buisness! Back in the vehicle we all pile and off we go! 1 hour later than we started. The trip here went smoothly- the kids did well and here's the pictures of what we did tonight.
I'll post more tomorrow with the days adventures- hopefully all the glitches are out now and the rest will be smooth sailing!

Arianna and Halle jumping in together

Nick swimming and being caught off guard by the camera- there's no where you're safe when I have blogging to do!

Halle playing with the hot tub bubbles:

I just love this one- This is how Halle gets all ready to jump in and make the biggest splash she can!