Sunday, November 29, 2009

Getting An Early Start On My 25 Days of Christmas!


I've got the motivation, so I'm going to take adavantage of it!!!  While the "25 Days" doesn't technically start until Tuesday - I'm gettin a start on it now!  I finally came up with my design for our Christmas cards & since they are a lot of piece work, I'm working on them now.

Cut, cut, color, color, ink, ink, punch, punch, fold, fold, glue, glue!  I ordered our Christmas card photos last night.  I got really good deals on prints online = 50 free from Shutterfly, only had to pay the shipping, about $4!  Then I got another 25 @ 10 cents each from Wal-Mart via an email from Snapfish giving me a code for this price at the 1 hour service.  Can't beat that!  So for under $10 I got all our prints this year.  Awesome!

We have had a wonderful weekend.  Shaun was home from school since Wednesday night & Chad doesn't work nights anymore.  We were able to have dinner together EVERY night.  Can't remember the last time we all sat down to dinner in the kitchen together?  We went to the local Mexican restaurant (authentic) here in the village last night & then came home & rented a movie & all watched it together.  Now that NEVER happens around here ~ but I loved every minute of it.
Shaun just left for school & won't be home for a little over 2 weeks for Christmas break.  The rest of us return to work tomorrow.  These next 3 weeks at school will be crazy as always.  It's so hard to make the kids' stay on track this time of year, no matter how old they are.
I managed to (dutch) clean my house on Friday & get some of my Christmas decorations out.  I've never been one to put them all out at once, I like to add more as the weeks progress.
So let the festivities begin.  Through it all, remember to love those close to you & hold your memories even more dear.  Remember that Jesus is the Reason for this season too.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Annual Family Photo Shoot



It's that time of year again - time for the family Christmas Card photo shoot.  It always starts with moans & groans......no matter how early in the fall I start reminding everyone that it needs to be done.  Then there's trying to get us all together at one time.  Between jobs & school, we're not always at the same place.  Plus, Libbi must be in the shot, she is a huge part of our lives.
Libbi is what can either make or break the photo shoot.  She can either make us all laugh, or all really mad.  Today she succeeded in getting us all to smile or laugh at one time or another.

These pictures are just a few of the "bloopers" to show what process we go through.  Steve always tries to make her mind, she minds all right - with a mind of her own!
He tells her to sit, and she does, just usually not facing the camera!  She will turn & look at us as if to say, "What?  You told me to sit!"

Then  there's the decision of location....try to keep a Lab from going into the water...try to keep her attention on you & not the babbling, rushing stream off to the side.  Grab a stick - yeah, that'll do it!
Now, set the camera up, level the tri-pod, get everyone into position....get the dog to sit & THROW the stick to the front......and WA-LAA.....

....you get a family photo that everyone is happy with!!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday

Is it just coincidence that today is Black Friday AND my hubby's 50th birthday??? I think it's kind of funny to be turning 50 on Black Friday.
What a guy - and he's all mine! I love him so, so much. Do you know what he's doing on his birthday? He's been out in the garage since 7ish & is tearing my car apart. It has a major problem & he's fixing it. He's choosing to spend his day off working on my car! I hope this isn't too frustrating for him, as he has to pretty much pull the whole engine out to get to what needs to be fixed. And of course, it snowed this morning! Our garage isn't heated, but he's spent the week prepping the garage sealing off the attic space above it & hanging tarps down the middle so his heater will keep him warm out there.
I think I owe him a special treat - an extra special birthday cake & dinner. After ALL we ate yesterday I'm not sure where to start though. I'm sure I'll figure something out.
Happy birthday Steve - you are so special to me & I am so honored to be your wife! And remember, for the next 10 months you are an "older man" again!
So Donna Downey had a huge giveaway on her blog yesterday for Thanksgiving! I entered, I left the comment & then posted it on my facebook & left another comment.
So I go to check it out this morning & I see LISA YOUTZY is the winner!!! WOW - how cool is that? But yet - I was supposed to win....bummer.
I talked to Lisa this morning & she said she would share......she's so sweet. She saw it on my facebook last night, so she went over to Donna's blog & posted a comment & that's how she won.
It is a really cool package - really, really cool!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

New Project

Like I need another project to add to my already long list of Christmas things to do/make......but when I saw this, I couldn't help but make one!It's on Ali Edwards blog & it's a journal of the 25 days leading up to Christmas. You don't necessarily have to do anything "Christmasy" each day, but just journal through writing and pictures what you are doing each day. I thought it would be a fun way to keep track of our little happenings & traditions around here to pass on.
I used nothing but product from my stash! I tried a couple of new techniques from all the things I learned following Tim Holtz last year on his Twelve Days of Christmas projects.

The tag on here was an embossing project. Now if you know me, you know I hate to emboss!!! But this was actually kind of fun! You stamp your image - the clock & Believe - with white pigment ink or paint. You then cover it with your embossing powder & then use your heat gun to melt the embossing powder.

Next you use an inking technique to get the "tie dyed" type of effect. When you're done with your inking, use your heat gun to dry it. Then wipe off with a wet paper towel your embossed images to bring the "whiteness" back to the front.

On this picture, the "25 days of Christmas" was done in my label maker. I cut a strip of red paper, fed it into my label maker - punched the words on it & then lightly sanded them off leaving the imprint! How cool & easy is that?!?

I've used 2 large jump rings as my binding, but I'm thinking I may add another hole at the top & the bottom for more security. I will of course add ribbon ties to it when it's done, but for now to make it easier, I left them off.

I will try to take pics as I go along or at least when it's done to show you the final project.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I have so much to be thankful for, SO much! Both of our boys' are home for the weekend & we all had dinner together tonite!

We're celebrating our annual feast tomorrow with my sister Pam, her hubby Jeff, my nephews & my brother-in-laws family. It's an annual event! I have to make my chocolate pie tonite & my baked sweet potatoe casserole in the morning.

We have church @ 9AM & I'm singing on the Praise Team. I'm thankful for that - last year at this time I was preparing for the 2nd surgery on my thyroid that took place the day after Thanksgiving.

I'm thankful for that surgery as they found cancer and it was totally removed between the 2 surgeries.

I'm thankful for the friends' I have here at home and via cyberspace! Each of them is such a support system in their own way. I love them all!

I am thankful for my family. My hubby, 2 boys', my sisters' & their families & the legacy that my parents left us. The values they instilled & the loving home in which they raised us.

I am most thankful for the freedom to express my faith & love in God. The fact that I can openly worship Him & declare that He is my savior.

I am thankful for all the military personal who have fought to keep our freedoms in America. So many have sacrificed their lives, their time with family @ holidays, their time from jobs - thank you!

May you all have a wonderful day & a safe weekend. Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Meet Everett

I want you to meet Everett. No - I did not get a new cat. I have inherited Everett through pictures and cartoons.
Everett was the "baby" of the daughter of a friend of mine from church. So, in short, he is my friend's grandcat.....or was.
I don't know how long Everett lived or when he died actually, I just know that he must have been quite a character. My friend has asked me to compile a scrapbook of Everett to give to her daughter for Christmas.
Everett & his parents had a cleaning lady, Suki. She was quite articstic & very much taken with Everett.
Every time she cleaned she would leave little cartoons that she drew on the back of her cleaning list to let his momma & poppa know what he had been up to that day. She even went to the great lengths of making an illustrated book of Everett's disappearing act!
Everett's mom & dad came back to Michigan on vacation & from what I gathered, a neighbor poisoined him. He died not long after they returned home. But he was loved - oh how he was loved. I wish I had enough room to scan & post all the pictures & wonderful cartoons telling of his adventures, but you'll just have to trust me - he had a wonderful life!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Pumpkin Pie Recipe

I love looking at new recipes & my sister sent me this new recipe for fresh pumpkin pie this morning.....so I thought I'd share it with all of you!!!

Didn't you always wonder how that was done???

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Christmas Wreath

How cool is this? It reminds me of the gumwrapper chains we used to make as kids!
Our store is participating this year in the "Festival of Trees" at the Radisson in downtown Kalamazoo. The girls' have been busy making mini-wreaths, paper beads & a paper start tree topper.
So Friday night when I had to work Kim taught me how to make the wreaths, but in an extra large economy size!!! It takes 12 sheets of 12 x 12 paper to make this wreath. Once you get the hang of it, it's quite simple. But if you're like me, you need to see it made & have a sample to tear apart so you don't forget what you're doing when you make your own!
This took me about an hour to make. I think I'm going to try & "bling" it up a little, and then mod podge it to "seal" it so it will store better for years to come?
Dear hubby is off in the woods today hunting. It's opening day for gun season in Michigan & he & his buddy are gone for 3 days. So, I'm holed up in my creative corner working on lots & lots of projects! I only have a 3 day school week coming up, so I'll be able to work some more. I've got several projects going - almost too many - & I need to widdle some of them down to completion so I don't become so overwhelmed! So it's off to prioritize the list & projects & get busy!
Enjoy what's left of your weekend!

Friday, November 13, 2009

One Year.....

One year ago today this is what I looked like. This huge cyst was invading my body, my throat, my neck, my breathing. One year ago tomorrow half of it was removed. I was so excited to be able to breathe deeply again. To sleep normally. To feel that it was all behind me.
Until one week later when I heard the word cancer. Yes, cancer.
Another surgery a week after that to remove the rest of my thyroid. To remove any more cancer that might be there.
Four months later I had radiation. I know that I didn't have to go through half of what most cancer patients do. For that I am thankful, so very thankful. But hearing the word "cancer" sets your mind a reeling. I didn't go through the nausea & constant treatments, but I did go through the thought process of "what IF there's more"? I never thought I'd get cancer, but I did. Will I get it again? Maybe, maybe not. It is in God's hands. He knows the plans HE has for me!! (Jer. 29:11)
Now - one year later, I am a cancer survivor. I look at things differently. I listen & pay attention to my body & what changes it may be going through. I thank God everyday for the life He has given me.
The last few days a song has been in my head & I feel the peace it brings me,

"In the morning, when I rise,
In the morning, when I rise,
In the morning, when I rise,
Give me Jesus.

Give me Jesus,
Give me Jesus,
You can have
all this world,
Give me Jesus."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom

Happy birthday mom. I may have posted this pic before, but it is so fitting for today. It would have been my mom's 74th birthday.
I miss her terribly. Not a day goes by that I don't think of her or hear her voice in my mind. I think of all the things that she's missed, but I carry her in my heart every day.
Mom, your kitty - Angel - can be quite the devil sometimes. Like just now when I walked past her on her perch, she swatted me. She is so sassy!
Your granddaughter Dani - what a beauty she is growing up to be. Did you know that Pam has her picture on her desk & her co-workers thought she might be Scott or Chris' girlfriend?
Scott is working hard, every day! He's still quiet, still shy, but he's a wonderful young man.
Chris is Chris. What can I say? He marches to his own drummer & that's why I love him so much. He is still in school, finally has a direction & is working hard to achieve his dreams.
Chad is now a full time adult. Working at a job that is awesome. He's reaching out to God again, he's grown up SO much in the past few months.
Shaun is loving life at Hope. He's still quite the athelete. You & dad would be so proud & would love to watch him on that field!
Kylie Sue is still a silly little, well......not so litle anymore. She's as tall as Dani! Until Dani's last growth spirt!
Life is going on for all of us, but all that you taught me, Pam & Robin - we hold onto dearly. We pass on the traditions (like chocolate pie at Thanksgiving) & we share you love of Jesus.
Miss you mom.
Happy birthday mom!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Once Again....

Our son has been honored by the MIAA and named Defensive Soccer Player of the Week. WOW! He didn't even know it when I texted him yesterday to congratulate him!
Not many players get this honor bestowed on them in their total college career, so to have it twice in the same season is huge!
They played 2 games last week and won both. Their biggest rival & the 1st place team in the MIAA lost both of their games! So we are now in 1st. If we win tomorrow, we go on to tournament play next week & possibly nationals after that.
This past Saturday night, Halloween, was the final home game of the season. Seniors were honored and afterward we were able to get shots of the guys' with their classmates. From left to right are Mitch, Sam, David, Shaun, Logan, Paul, Andrew & Scott.
Mitch, David & Shaun grew up playing travel together. Shaun & David room together. These guys' are super & have such fun families to be around!
And here we are with the honoree! It was cold Saturday night, as has been most of our season. But we were thankful that it didn't rain!!!
So on to Olivet tomorrow - Dutchmen, Dutchmen, Dutchmen, Dutchmen, Dutchmen!!!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Give Away At Donna Downey

So, who doesn't like a free giveaway?? I certainly do! You can check out Scarlet Lime or head on over to Donna Downey & check out this giveaway.....

It has been an awfully long time sinced I've blogged - my sister told me so!!! But I haven't had time to.....don't seem like I have anything to blog about.......oh.....I just don't have a good answer!!!

I have been busy & it seems like when I am on the computer (other than to play bejeweled on FB) I'm editing pictures. Soccer pictures, senior pictures, baby pictures, lots & lots of pictures. I'm also working on some Christmas presents, trying to get a jump start on the season. LOL!!!

We ended up having 4 days off from school a little over a week ago due to the H1N1 virus. It has spread pretty rampantly over the state of Michigan. SEVERAL school districts had all or some of their schools closed. In our building it seems to have helped. I haven't had very many calls in the morning at school for illness like I was getting in the weeks leading up to our closing.

I will try & do better with my posting - but now I have to run off to my niece's birthday party! Enjoy the rest of your Sunday & have wonderful week!