Thursday, December 30, 2010

Another Day Off - Another Day of Lunching With Friends....

These are my work buddies - my comrades - my sisters in Christ - my backbone in negotiations.
Wanda & Kim have become very special to me.  We are on the paraprofessional negotiating team at school.  We work hard to do the best for our group.  Through this last year especially, we have really learned through each other to lean 1st on God and then on each other.
Today we met and took a little ride to a town about 45 minutes away.  We ate lunch at the local apple orchard, in a quaint little restaurant surrounded by plenty of antiques & sitting close to the little wood stove for extra heat on such a cold, damp day.
I have a very blessed life with many friends all around the world & I thank God for the blessing of each one in my life.
Tomorrow -------- road trip with the Dream Boy to end the old year & bring in the new!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wordless Wednesday....

Wordless Wednesday it's a day to just post a photo & let it do the talking.........
.....I'd say we all did a LOT of talking!
Love you all!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Little Reflection....

 As we do every year, we got together with my 2 sister's and their families on Christmas day.  I love that we still stay connected at this time of year - it means so much to me.  It was a favorite time of year for our mom too and I think that's one of the reason's we continue to do it.
We once again did family baskets - a tradition we started a year or two before my mom passed away.  It's actually kind of fun to do - everyone has such different ideas on what to fill their baskets with.  I love doing this and really hope that we never quit it - it's one of my favorite things to do at Christmas.
This year I filled quart sized mason jars with ingredients to make chocolate chip cookies - Blizzard Bites - Instant Potato Soup - Texas Cornbread.  Everyone also got a bag of Ranch flavored snack mix, a packet mix for chili and chicken noodle soup.  There was a bottle of oil for popcorn (which was supposed to make your popcorn taste like movie theatre popcorn) and a jar of popcorn.  Everyone got new  p.j. bottoms and all the kids' got fleece tops to go with their bottoms.  There was also a new DVD and movie sized boxes of candy to snack on with their popcorn while they watched their movies.
Now this little cutie......
....is one week old Joseph Donald.  I had the wonderful privilege of doing a photo shoot with his WHOLE family, including great grandma!
I've been busy the last 2 days working on editing the shots from this family photo shoot and working on my new web page/blog.
Today I also got creative in the kitchen and made home made spaghetti sauce & meatballs for supper.  Dream Boy LoVeD it and so did son #2.  Son #2 didn't like having to do the dishes - oh well!
Now just to sit back & relax for the night with my Dream Boy.
Lunch tomorrow with my MM girls!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Breakfast King...

I'm enjoying my 2nd week of Christmas vacation!  Sorry to all of you who had to return to the office today.
Dream Boy is also enjoying a week off too - and he's doing it in the kitchen!  His favorite meal is breakfast and usually this is reserved for Saturday morning...but he treated me to a breakfast scramble this morning.
So while it's still hot - I'd better eat!
Happy Monday!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Random Blabbering.....

In the true spirit of Donna Downey.......I thought I'd play with my in computer video camera.
Just some silly thoughts of what is in my head right now as I prepare to take down the Christmas tree.  It's time.......our living room is so small & we need the room with son #2 home from college.  No one is home & it's giving me time to listen to my soundtrack from Wicked. 
I have a lot of "to do's" on my list for this week before I go back to school.  One of them is to complete my new web page........not sure what will happen to this blog page when I complete it.  Still trying to figure out if I can hook this one into it or if this blog will become obsolete?  
Well......enjoy my randomness.......and Happy Boxing Day!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

On That Christmas So Long Ago......Let Us Never Forget!

The Birth of Jesus
 1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register. 4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
 8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
   and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Luke 2:1-20

Jesus is the reason for this magnificent season!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas To All!

Libbi & I are enjoying a quiet morning with the house all to ourselves!
So from Libbi, me & the Groetsema household.....
We wish you a Merry Christmas,
We wish you a Merry Christmas,
We wish you a Merry Christmas!
And a very BLESSED New Year!

Thank you for following along with my randomness this year.  I don't know who many of you are, but I know some of you!
May 2011 bring much happiness, health & all that you dream of to your life.
Now I'm off to make potato salad, get the ham prepped, make the cheesy potatoes, dip the pretzels in chocolate, wrap the rest of the gifts, listen to Christmas music, do some scrapbooking, maybe some laundry, take a shower, go to church.........

Thursday, December 23, 2010

December Daily Day 23.......

Well - I missed posting yesterday.   Oops!  I got so busy around the house cleaning & then down in my creative corner that I ran out of time.
Also, 2 of my favorite former twin students stopped by around 4:30 to bring us a plate of goodies.  There visit ended up lasting until 9:00 last night as Dream Boy came home & we continued visiting & then their parents ended up coming over for pizza!  Our families have been friends for a long time so it was great to catch up & visit & have some fun together!
Today will be filled with more of the same - creating & grocery shopping & finishing the wrapping & more creating & baking & & & & &............
I'm sure you're all buzzing around with last minute details to make this Christmas extra special for you family & friends too.
Well, I guess I'd better get busy on my list of "to do's" so they don't make tomorrow's list any longer!
Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Daily December Day 21......

This is too funny!  I always loved Rudolph when I was little & then the song "Roxanne" when I was a teen.  The combination of these two is depicted in this funny video.......enjoy!   I'm off wrapping presents & finishing up some gifts.....

Monday, December 20, 2010

December Daily Day 20......

While creating in the kitchen this morning I pulled over the tablet by the phone to make a list of things I still need to shop for.
I pulled off the top piece that had an old message on it and on the next page I found this.........hubby must have been doodling last night while on the phone with family from Wisconsin.......
'nuf said.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

December Daily Day 19.......

Today was a nice day, for the most part.  I'm still battling a head cold that has now moved to my chest.  I have a "sexy morning voice" all day long.
Anyways, we went to church as a family this morning and then out to lunch.
After lunch Son #1 & his girlfriend headed off on their own & Dream Boy, Son #2 & myself headed off to the mall.  We didn't have much success, so we headed off to another few stores to check items off my list that I knew I could find.
We got home later this afternoon where I retreated to the couch downstairs, wrapped up in a blanket & took a snooze.  Dream Boy fixed dinner & Son #1 & girlfriend came home for dinner.
After enjoying grilled steak & shrimp Son #1 & girlfriend sat down & started playing with Photo Booth on the computer.  Oh.My.Goodness!  I waited until after they left to look through the pictures......too-too funny!
 This last one just cracks me up totally!  It reminds me of the alien in Men In Black where they shoot his head off, it shrinks way down & then blows up to full size again!
Well, I'm off for the next 2 weeks.  Christmas break from school - yay!!! 
So tomorrow Son #2 & I are going shopping in the morning to try & find what we couldn't today.  Then it's home to wrap & put together some of the gifts I have on my list.
Tis the season!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Daily December Day 18.....

I've been hibernating in the house all day - my creative corner to be exact.
I've cranked up the Christmas Tunes on Pandora & been happily creating.  I'm working on some Christmas projects, so I can't show you the whole thing, but here are a few sneak peeks...
 I've really gotten into my creative "Tim Holtz" groove......sanding, staining, painting, grunging......all of it!
But now I must go to the grocery store as my staff party for school is tonite & I need to bring a dish to pass.   I'm really not wanting to go anywhere today - just stay in & play & rest & continue to try & get rid of this cold.
I'll go - just won't stay too late.
Dream Boy & Son #2 are out Christmas shopping with the "guys" and won't be home until who knows when tonite - so I'm on my own.
It's also starting to snow again - we could get up to 5" by tomorrow I've heard.  We'll see!
Until tomorrow ........

Friday, December 17, 2010

Daily December Day 17....

On the 17th day of Christmas my true love gave to me......literally.....a nasty head cold!
I was fighting it & thought I beat it, but it's not so.  I'm all stuffed up, scratchy, sore throat & a little achy so Dream Boy & Son #2 just headed to high school bastketball games & I'm home to veg on the couch.  So I am doing just that & doing some online shopping.  Actually I'm checking out sales so I can go finish my shopping hopefully tomorrow.
I have a little elf looking over my shoulder making sure I find just the right gift for her too!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Son #2 comes home from college tomorrow for Winter Break.  Dream Boy went up last night to replace the battery in his car as the old one was dead.  #2 son took advantage of his pops being there & sent a few things home.....one of them being....er......I guess he's my "grand dragon"??
You know how people have grand dogs & grand cats, well, this is "Dahntey - the water dragon"..........
Son #2 and his suite mates decided awhile ago that they needed a pet dragon.  I guess it was pretty funny last night when Dream Boy was trying to get it out to the car so the RA didn't see him.  They were sneaking Dahntey out the fire escape so he wouldn't be seen.
Mission accomplished - he's home in Shaun's room, enjoying his cricket dinners & indoor swimming pool under the heat lamp!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

December Daily Day 15....

 In an effort to "simplify" things this year - I returned to making some of my gifts.  I always like to give a little something~something to the ladies in our front offices at school and as cold as our building is, I thought home made hot chocolate would help warm them up.
I pulled out some old mason jars & washed them up.  Then I put Snowman Peeps in the bottom of the jars - see them?  They're a little snowed in......hahahaha!
Each jar is topped with another Snowman Peep - I mean what's hot chocolate without a marshmallow on top, right?
Want to make some of this up for friends and family?  Here's the recipe:
2 cups powdered milk
1/4 cup sifted cocoa powder
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1/2 cup powdered non-dairy creamer

Mix all together - it's important to sift the cocoa powder & powdered sugar to break down all the small clumps you get.  It also helps it dissolve better in your hot water.

To enjoy ~ put about 4 tablespoons in a mug & fill with boiling water.  Stir & enjoy.

This has been a hit up in the dorms where son #2 goes to school.  I made him a big jar at the end of soccer season.  When he came home for Thanksgiving & his girlfriend came home with him - they went through it like crazy that weekend here at home.  I had to make up another batch & fill a mason jar for Kylie to take back up to school because she loved it so much!  It is really so much better than the packets you buy - it's a lot creamier tasting.  It tastes like you actually made it with milk and chocolate.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

December Daily Day 14....

A CHRISTMAS TEA

We haven't done this for 5 years.  My sister's church and mine have a special Christmas for the women.  Our church calls it a "Candlelit Christmas" where your tablescape must include candlelight.  My sister's is called a "Christmas Tea".  Both events include one (sometimes 2) woman hosting a table.  She comes up with her own theme and invites 7 friends to join her at her table.  It is meant as a time to share with other women a special evening during the Christmas season and an outreach to women you know who may not attend church.
Tonite my sister Pam hosted a table which was beautiful!  Her centerpiece was made of a wreath with holly & jingle bells & a beautiful hurricane candle jar in the middle that our little sister made for each of us a few years ago at Christmas.
The table was adorned with red plates and coffee & tea cups adorned with holly and on each of our plates was the story of Holly & a pretty little Christmas ornament.
We enjoyed a dessert of Red Velvet Cake = deliciously decadent!  And then we all spent some time singing several different Christmas Carols together.  Stories were shared of the origination of the songs before we sang them.  I love hearing a room full of women raising their voice in song - so pretty.
Of course, I brought my camera along for our annual pic that we take when we do these events.
Here we are - I'm in the middle, as always.
And then this guy shows up in the picture - our long lost ugly step sister - Donetta!!
Here are all the lovely ladies who shared our table.
It was a wonderful Christmas tradition that I was glad to once again be apart of.
Thank you Pam for hosting such a beautiful evening.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Daily December Day 13.....

Yesterday was a snowy, cold day.  I planned on staying in all day & working in my creative corner.  I got the Christmas cards addressed & finished up a project that's been laying on my counter for way too long.
There were winter storm warnings out - it was blowing & snowing.  I watched my favorite Christmas movie & was content.
Then at 3:30 I get a phone call from my BFF - Sandy.  She wanted to know if I wanted to brave the elements and go see WICKED????  Are you kidding me????  Her son-in-law had friends who lived an hour north & weren't able to drive down due to the weather, so he was giving the tickets to us!
We had 7th row seats - 4 from the center.  Can you say A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.????
It was fantabulous!
I drove home late at night very slowly & carefully.  Woke up this morning to find out school was cancelled.  YAY!  Then I ended up at the ER with my mother-in-law who ended up having food poisoning.  She was a sick little lady, but they gave her fluids & some meds & I had her back home & comfy on her couch by 9:30.
Tonite - I get to go have Christmas Tea with my big sister!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Daily December Day 12.......

Have you seen or heard of this little girl?  God has blessed her with a tremendous gift.......enjoy!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

December Daily.......Day 10 & 11......

Oops I missed blogging yesterday ~ but I really didn't feel well when I got home from school, so I took a little nap.
Then Dream Boy called me and said we needed to go to the Hope College Basketball game in Holland that night.  Son #2's college soccer team was being honored at half time & presented with the official trophy for winning their conference title.
Our drive up to Holland is just over an hour long & it was a great time to catch up on our week.  Dream Boy went back to work this past Tuesday after being off for a week due to throwing his back out the week before.  He's doing great now, so we've been busy & not having much time at night this week it seems to talk.
We went over ideas for Christmas gifts so that I could go out today & get some of it accomplished.
My morning started with a stop here for a quick bagel & hot Hazelnut Latte....
 I was up and out the door this morning by 8am - that's early for me on a Saturday.  But when I found out this place
 opened at 7am I had to get a move on & beat the crowds.  I really wasn't looking forward to fighting crowds of crabby people today.  It really bugs me how people go shopping this time of year & don't expect to have to wait in line or work around crowds of people.  I know this is how it's going to be, so I just deal with & try my best to be as patient & cheery as possible!
 My next stop was here ~ for a few more little diddies on my list today.
I got through both stores & was back in my car & ready to head home by 10am!  Gotta love that.
 When I got home I took out the camera to get a picture of the house "before" the big storm we're predicted to get tonite & tomorrow arrives.  It's supposed to start with rain late this afternoon & change to all rain/snow mixed by 9pm & then to all snow by midnite.  The snow is supposed to continue on into Monday morning with temperatures really dropping to low, low temps - in the teens.
Living in Michigan you get used to "winter weather advisories" all the time & you learn to not panic too much, because a LOT of the time the storm doesn't pan out to be what was predicted.  Living so close to lake Michigan has a huge affect on what the weather ends up doing.  It all depends on if the lake is frozen yet or not, and the temp of the lake & the way the winds shift when storms come across from Wisconsin.
So, I'm off to address the annual Christmas cards, head out & do some more shopping with Dream Boy - go to church tonite & then get home and await the......


Thursday, December 9, 2010

December Daily Day 9........

What would Christmas be without a tree?
Playing with my camera again tonite I thought I'd try it without any lights on in the house other than the tree.
Last year we replaced all our light strings with the new LED energy saving bulbs & we decided to go with the old fashioned bulbs.  They actually look like little pine cones when you see them up close.
I finished decorating it yesterday and the mantle too!  Maybe I'll post pics on that tomorrow.........

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Daily December Day 8......

Today I received my very 1st Christmas gift from my BFF - Sandy.  She finds the silliest things that express me in ways she knows best.......
She always refers to me as "sassy" and I guess this gift really says that...
I took this picture in my kitchen this afternon experimenting with a new technique I found on this blog.  It's a post on "bokeh"  - an affect you can get with the lights in the background.  I didn't have a lens with a small aperature as she said, but I think I got the affect okay with what I had!
We put our tree up this past Sunday & I still need to finish decorating it. It's pretty much done, but I do need to finish sorting through the ornaments so I can give son #1 his to put on his very 1st Christmas tree!
Plus, I still have tubs out in the living room blocking the front door because I haven't yet decorated the mantel - so I better get busy so I can enjoy it a little before it's time to take it all back down!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Food Court Flash Mob, Hallelujah Chorus - Must See!

I

I know I've posted a few videos & links to You Tube - but when I got this link through my email the other day I just HAD to share it!
I get tears in my eyes everytime I listen to this & watch it.  
Jesus is the reason for this wonderful season & the power of God is so apparent in this video!!
Enjoy!

Monday, December 6, 2010

December Daily Day 6......

You start with this.........

...and then you fold it, every single page, until it looks like this.......
 .....then you spray paint it the color of your choice, add a few little embellishments and you get this.....
 It was so easy to make, especially while I was sitting watching a movie!
I'll look for the instructions & post them later.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

December Daily Day 5.......

Today has been a relaxing, yet somewhat productive day.  I've spent most of it in my jammies.....cleaning & decorating for Christmas.
 ....with a little bit of this...........
 ...and a little bit of that..........and then some more of this.....
 Then there was some more of this.......
 ...and then there is this.......
 The tree isn't fully decorated yet - we'll finish that tonite.  But for now Dream Boy & I are going to a Christmas Concert put on at an old theater downtown.  We are headed out with 3 other couples. The concert is being put on by two of the top musical groups from our local college, Western Michigan University.
I'm a sucker for Christmas music & I love these kind of concerts.
Hope you're enjoying your Sunday!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

December Daily Day 4......

I spent last night & this morning editing the pics I took with Santa the other night. Instead of posting each pic individually, I've complied them all into this little video show for you......hope you enjoy!




The rest of our day today was spent with son #2 at his college soccer banquet...
he was awarded with the honor of Offensive Player of the Year for his team.  He also was named to the MIAA Team 1 - All Conference team.
On our way home from the banquet we stopped by the local ski area & picked up ski passes for the kids' at school who joined ski club.  They had several runs open already & it looked like a magical winter wonderland!  With the upcoming weather forecast here in the next few days - they should have even more runs, if not all of them, open.

Friday, December 3, 2010

December Daily Day 3....



This is my absolute favorite Christmas song! 
 Have fun singing along with Eartha Kitt!
You're welcome  :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

December Daily Day 2

It was the perfect weather last night for the local Winter Wonderland festivities!
We were under a snow advisory due to lake affect snow showers & it snowed & snowed & snowed.  We got about 3 inches, but it was the most perfect atmosphere for the kick off to the Christmas season.
The firetrucks of several communities were the hit of the parade all decked out in their Christmas lights!  One even changed their red flasher to a green one!
Following the trucks was the local G-A High School marching band and to bring up the tail end of the parade.........why Santa & Mrs. Claus of course!
I waited with several little ones surrounding us in the local hardware store for Santa's arrival after the parade.  Oodles & oodles of little ones all bundled up came in & stood in line.  They were so well behaved & it didn't hurt that right outside the door they were serving hot chocolate and hot dogs.  Inside the store there was a table ladened with Christmas cookies.
Santa finally arrived and the fun began.  Out of probably 100 kids that showed up to see Santa, only 2 decided he wasn't safe to approach......and of those 2, only 1 cried!
I believe the kids' had a wonderful time, as I did too.  It was so much fun to see the excitement in their eyes.  I think my favorite moment of the evening was after everyone had left & Santa & Mrs. Claus were getting ready to head back to the North Pole, 2 more little one's came in with their big brother.
The little girl all dressed in pink, about 4 years old, just stood next to the counter and stared at Santa.  He came over to her & tried to get her to talk to him, but she just kept staring at him.  Staring at him in a way that the look on her face said, "he IS real, Santa does exist!"  She was so taken with Santa she couldn't speak.  Mrs. Claus handed her a little stuffed animal & she turned to leave the store, but not for a moment did she take her eyes off Santa until she was out the door.
To believe with a child's heart - not just in Santa, but in the true meaning of Christmas and why we celebrate this season.
My hope is to continue through these weeks ahead remembering her childlike faith as I reflect on the birth of our Savior, Jesus.
Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December Daily......

December 1st - can you believe it???
Every year I try & do something every day on my blog for the month of December.  Whether it be memories or favorite things.
This year I'm going to do my December Daily on my blog.  If you are a scrapbooker, you'll know what a "December Daily" is.  If you are a journaler - you too will know what this is.  While I had every good intention of making a December Daily Journal, it somehow never got done......as of yet.  It still might happen, just in a different way - one day at a time.
So, welcome to December!  In a December Daily you record what you do every day during this month to preserve your memories of this festive season!  It can be a traditional thing, a daily thing, a family activity or just a day of peace & quiet.  You just record your day......daily.
Today is our 1st real snow of the year!  I'm so excited.  Yes, I said excited.  I have always loved the 1st snow of the year.  It's special, it's fresh, it's clean and even those in Michigan who don't particularly like snow - always seem to love the 1st snow for sure!
The roads were a little slickery this morning, so the going was slow.  But that is normal for the 1st snow.  
When I took Libbi out this morning, she was SO excited with the snow on the ground.  She ran around & around & jumped & dug her nose into the snow & sniffed & did her happy dance!  Well, at least I think it was a happy dance.
Tonite the little town next to ours is having their "Winter Wonderland" celebration.  They are starting at 6pm with a parade, then the big tree lighting & fire works.  I will be awaiting eager little boys & girls & their families to come to the local hardware store where none other than Santa & Mrs. Claus will arrive around 7pm!  I am in charge of taking pictures of the little kiddos on Santa's lap!  This is going to be so much fun!
So until tomorrow - enjoy today!