Saturday, November 29, 2008

A valuable lesson learned

I just had to post this real quick.
Arianna and I went to the grocery store today and there was a young man checking out in the aisle right next to me. He had torn up clothes on and a back pack on his back. All he was buying was a loaf of bread and he was having to fumble through his pockets to get enough change to pay for it.
When we got out to the van I asked Arianna if she had seen the young man and she said yes. I told her I wanted her to watch a minute for when he came out of the store. When he did, I pointed out to her that the backpack was probably everything he owned in this whole world and the sleeping bag he was carrying around was where he slept at night because he was homeless. Arianna's eyes got big when she realized the reality of his situation.
You see- earlier she had been not happy with me when I told her no when she wanted to go out for lunch. This was a real lesson for her. I have told the kids so many times how fortunate we are and how blessed we are. This time she was able to witness it in reality.
She told me she when she gets home she's going to go through her things and bring some to LOVE (Love in the name of Christ- an organization in our area).
I hope this is a lesson that is remembered for a long time.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

I'd like to share I Cor. 1:3-9 with you:

Grace and Peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way in all your speaking and in all your knowledge because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you. Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord is faithful.

Yes- that's Arianna reading the Bible verses. Pastor Paul called on Monday to see if she would be willing to read this in church for our Thanksgiving Service.
She did great and was so proud of herself- as were we! You were supposed to be watching a movie of her reading it, however I gave that job to my husband and it didn't go so well...sigh

I won't be posting again until after Thanksgiving. I'd like to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving. We all have so much to be thankful for- I wish we remembered it more than 1 day out of the year.
Have a great time with your family and friends!

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Oscar pretty much sums it up

The day to take the kids Christmas pictures this year was Saturday. This is always such a fun time!
It's not that the kids don't behave- it's just so hard to get everybody looking the right place and smiling at the same time.
Let's just up the stakes this year shall we! We decided that we wanted the dogs in the picture this year- not just 1 dog but both together, next to each other...Do you see where I'm going with this?

We did get it accomplished, but it's far from my favorite picture of the past years- but it will work.
It's my own fault- if I hadn't dragged my heels I would have had more planning on this picture. In years past I try to get it figured out by summer time- I'm a slacker this year (and it shows!)

When I was going through the pictures I had to laugh at this one. I just cropped out Oscar because this pretty much sums up how we all felt by the time we were done.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

1st winter fun!

We had our first snowfall. The girls were so excited so right off the bus they went outside to play in it.
Here's Halle's snowman- she did it all by herself!:

Here's Arianna's snowbaby:

Halle decided to help dad out by shoveling the back deck:

Look at that great form!:

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

5 facts

has passed on this award to me- thanks Jodi!
Go check out her blog- she is such a sweet friend and she posts some great recipes. I joke with her that we are actually sisters because a lot of her recipes are one's that I cook too- she has good taste!!!

Requirements for accepting this award are to list five favorite addictions and then pass along the award to five other fabulous blogs.

My five addictions are:

1. Computer- be it blogging, facebook I love it!
2. Deadliest Catch- I just love that show
3. Survivor- I know I'm a reality tv junkie!
4. cheesecake- I don't feed this addiction very frequently, but there's nothing better than a nice piece of velvety cheesecake
5. My family- God has blessed me!

Apparently I'm a rebel- because I can't limit it to five. If you read my blog- consider this award passed on to you!

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Great Lesson

I heard on 105.7 this morning the following story below- they put it on their website so I'm copying it for you to read.
What a great lesson for us all to remember.
PS- the T.O.Y means thinking outside yourself

Sara's Story...
Thursday 11-20-2008 11:50am ET

Dear Tommy and Brook...

I wanted to send off an email about my own T.O.Y experience this morning. (I had meant to do it earlier, but had an 8am meeting and couldn’t get to it until now).

Anyway…my day started out as usual…yelling at the kids to hurry up and get ready for school because we were running late and I had an 8am meeting that I absolutely had to be at. It’s a new job and I’m still learning a ton of things, and being late is not a good thing.

So, we were running out to the car, grabbing boots, jackets, and lunches as I go. I couldn’t find many of my 5 year old’s things. I asked her and she said they were in the van. Ok – she sat in the backseat and I didn’t think about it when I picked her up from daycare late last night.

As we’re driving down the road I’m asking my 12 year old sitting in the backseat to find her sister’s snow pants, gloves and hat. My 12 year old daughter started freaking out because she couldn’t find them anywhere and since we were already running late, I couldn’t turn around to head home to look for them – if they were even there.

I asked my 5 year old where they were. She said she couldn’t remember, but that they were probably still at school. She started crying, and as any mom knows – that’s upsetting.

So here I am blowing down 131 towards school, running late and my child is going to go to school without her snow pants, gloves or hat. I was very agitated because these are all brand new purchases. We recently moved to MI and so we had to outfit our little one with all the appropriate warm weather gear which means hat, gloves, snow pants, boots and jacket – preferably multiple sets of each.

Just this past weekend I had to purchase another set of hat and gloves because the previously sets were too small and not "waterproof", which the school recommends. It took us multiple trips to the store and finally found just the right items and they matched the new jacket and pants perfectly. My daughter was so excited she called Grandma to tell her about the new hat and gloves and even wore them to bed Saturday and Sunday night. They were her new prized possession.

Here we are on Tuesday morning and the new beloved items are nowhere to be found. I could not believe all the wasted time and money…and here they were already lost. This was going to be a very long winter!

I was determined to march in to the school and figure out why they let this child of mine leave school the day before without her things. I didn’t have time to take this march, but I was going to make the time. Luckily we always carry extra hats and gloves in the car for emergencies so I knew that even if I couldn’t find them, my child wouldn’t be cold….she wouldn’t have what was recommended, but she’d be ok.

We pull up to school and I get out of the car with the kids – practically dragging them across the parking lot because I have less than 20 minutes to find the missing items, and get to work for my 8am meeting.

I barely made it in the front door when the principal saw me and said, "I’m so glad you came in today – can I see you and Sara in my office for a minute?"

It’s never a good start to the day when you get called in to the principal’s office first thing and unexpectedly.

We walk inside and there’s a mom’s sitting at the desk in tears holding what looked like Sara’s new snow pants, gloves and hat. I looked at the principal as she closed the door and told me how my daughter gave her things to a classmate yesterday who didn’t have these things and was too cold to play outside. Many of the recesses she spent inside and my daughter felt bad for her and wanted her to go outside and play…my daughter gave her her things and then stayed inside. Then after recess Sara told her to keep the things because her mommy has more at home and she could just use those.

Ok – so now the principal and I are tearing up as my daughter is thinking I’m going to get mad at her.

The other mom tried to hand me back the items and say thank you. I told her that it was ok if she kept them…it was true that we had more at home and Sara obviously wanted to share with her new friend…so no worries. It took some convincing, but eventually the mom left to bring them to the room for her daughter.

I just leaned down and scooped up my daughter to say thank you to her for reminding me the true spirit of’s giving away your new favorite gloves when your friend has none and you have more.

I felt so selfish and out of touch. I am so proud of my daughter for thinking outside herself!

For doing the TOY.

Then I practically cried myself all the way to work (late for the meeting I no longer cared about)…with pride for my daughter and embarrassment for myself.

I don’t think I’ll soon forget today’s lessons.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

You're Going To Love Me!

If you love Olive Garden- I have a treat for you!

Here is a recipe for their Fettuccine Alfredo sauce. It is wonderful and it does taste just like theirs!
It makes a Gallon so you'll probably want to cut this recipe in half.

Take 1 T. garlic puree and brown it a little bit. Then add 1 lb butter until melted. Add 2 Qts of heavy whipping cream and 8 oz. milk. Add 1 lb Parmesan cheese (I used the real stuff- not the stuff in the jar) and 4 oz. Fontina cheese with 1 tsp. salt and 2 tsp. black pepper. Stir on med-high until thickens. Turn off heat and continue to stir. Enjoy!

Just don't blame me for the 5 pds you'll gain after eating this healthy dish!

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What does your Height say about you?

This is a fun little quiz- and for me it's pretty accurate.

What Your Height Says About You

You are a warm, outgoing person. You are a very social creature.

You value harmony, and you often play the role of mediator.

You are a very real and honest person. You know how to kindly tell people the truth.

You crave love and approval. Luckily, you are a very easy person to love.

You are about as tall as the average Australian woman.

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Friday, November 14, 2008

I love this stuff!!!

I have to tell you about the best invention ever!

It's called Wall-Pops. You can find it at our local hardware store or I imagine online.

It's such an easy way to decorate a room. I wasn't even looking to do this but I saw it today and it was so cheap I had to try it.

Here's Arianna's wall before:

Here's her wall after I added the wall-pops:

Isn't it so cute!! It cost me: are you ready for this???


Better yet- they are completely re-positionable. You can peel them off and re-put them anywhere you want. I love these things. They have all kinds of designs and colors to pick from.
What a cheap, great way to re-do a room and in about 15 minutes!!

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Halle's Birthday

Halle turned 7 today!! I can't believe my baby is 7!

My first clue that she was getting older was when I asked her what she wanted for supper and she told me a roast! What????? Not macaroni and cheese!
So she got her roast and mashed potatoes and gravy. I have to say- I was thrilled with her choice!

Here she is opening her gifts:

She got new jammies, a barbie doll and a new webkinz- what celebration wouldn't be complete without a webkinz!!

Here she is with her cake:

Here's a close up view- she wanted a cake with bunnies. I think they did such a good job- I love this bakery!

Happy Birthday honey- we love you so much! You are such a fun part of our family. I can't imagine not having that sweet smile greet me every morning!

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

How comfortable are you?

I'll get to the title in a minute...But first look who came to visit me today:

Lauren came over today and it was so much fun to have her visit. She looked so cute with the peanut butter and jelly all over her face I decided to get a picture.
The first one she wasn't smiling so I told her I was going to take another one.
She informed me she didn't like pictures and proved that she meant it with the next shot!

We had fun baking pumpkin bread together and she was a great helper!!
On to the title:
Oscar also had a big day today. He got his surgery to neuter him.
He's doing great but after supper he was a bit tired and my back was killing me so I decided to just rest my eyes for a bit and he laid down on my lap. Well apparently, my "eye resting" turned into a real quick snooze and apparently he decided to get a bit more comfortable. The kids snapped these pictures- so funny- I'm glad I can accommodate him!

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Mark's Birthday

Mark turned 42 today. I was feeling bad because he got his birthday present (a tool) about a month ago to help with a job he was working on.
I knew I had to make his favorite cake to make his day special.

It's called Angel Food Waldorf:

Bake 1 white angel food cake as directed. Place cake upside down. Slice off entire top of cake about 1 inch down from outer edge and 1 inch from edge of hole- leaving "walls" on each side. With a spoon remove cake within cuts- being careful to leave a base of cake 1 inch thick.
In chilled bowl- beat 3 cups whipping cream, 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar, 3/4 c. cocoa and 1/4 tsp. salt until stiff.
Spoon into cake cavity. Press mixture firmly into cavity to avoid holes in cut slices. Replace top of cake and press gently. Frost cake with remaining whipped cream mixture.
Chill 4 hours or until set.

Here are some pictures from our Birthday celebration.

Halle showing Mark the card she made him:

The blanket the kids gave him:

He loves dark chocolate so the kids said we had to get him this candy bar:

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The shopping Trip Results

I could really make this short and sweet. This about sums up our day on Friday:

In case you're wondering- that is crying- but crying preceeded by laughter. The kind of laughter that hurts because you're laughing so hard!
A LOT of that happened all day long on Friday and into the night. We probably laughed off a good 10 pds. It's a good thing because this is another picture that sums up our day:

Yup- empty plates. Between the delicious lunch at Camilles and then supper and dessert at the Olive Garden those 10 pds we laughed off were right back on!!

Here are the results of our shopping ALL day long:

We started at 8:30 a.m. and got back to the hotel around 7:30 p.m.----11 hrs of shopping!!!! We had great weather this year- that was wonderful.
I am done except for 1 gift I need yet!! It feels good to be done.
We have SO much fun. I'm looking forward to next year's trip already!
And a bonus- everything went well at home too!!

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Don't be alarmed!

If you hear any strange sounds throughout the day on Friday- don't worry. It's probably wild cackling and laughter.
That's right- it's the time of year that "the sisters"- as we've been named by a few- hit the town for our annual Christmas shopping trip.
Mari, Terri, and I look forward to this weekend all year long. We shop ALL day Friday and then head to a hotel to relax and just enjoy each others company.

There WILL be much laughter I can assure you. I just can't wait!!!

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Taco Soup

I made this for supper tonight and it was such an easy, tasty supper I thought I'd share the recipe.

1 pd. hamburger
1 onion chopped
3 cans (15 1/2 oz) mild chili beans, undrained--- Note- 1 used only 2
1 can (14 1/2 oz) whole tomatoes, undrained
1 can (14 1/2 oz) corn, undrained
1 can (14 1/2 oz) tomato sauce
1 pkg taco seasoning
1 1/2 cups water

sour cream, cheddar cheese

Brown beef with onions in large saucepan; drain. Add all remaining ingredients except cheese; stir, breaking up tomatoes. Bring to boil. Simmer on medium-low heat 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve topped with sour cream and cheddar cheese.

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I'm late in posting this, but better late than never.
Halloween turned out better than I thought it would. The girls are old enough now that I didn't even hear one whine about being tired! The weather was perfect out and we were home by 7:00!!
I'm glad the kids have fun dressing up- I just have mixed feelings about this day- it's not my favorite day by any stretch of the imagination.
The girls did great though and here they are in their costumes and with their haul!
Arianna was a 50's girl and Halle was a leopard.

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Sunday, November 02, 2008

The Great Camping Adventure

Mark and Nick always go camping in the fall with our brother in law Brett and his boys.
They left Friday after work and got back about 4:00 on Sunday afternoon.
The weather was nice- they said it got cold at night but they did ok with the heater they used.
I love that they do this every year. It's so fun for the boys to have this time together and the memories they make are wonderful.
My brother Duane let the guys borrow his tent- it's 12x15 so it's big. It worked great that way they could all be together and only have to set up 1 tent!

I just love this picture of Mack running up the hill- look at his ears flying in the wind!

This is the tent illuminated at night:

This was a stick that Nick found. A beaver had gnawed it in the middle and the top. Pretty cool:

This was a fort that Nick made:

Nick having fun with his GPS:

Shooting at pop cans:

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