Thursday, May 31, 2012

it's time for making dinner with the ingredients we have...

...instead of using the ingredients the recipe calls for.

Tonight the recipe was: gnocchi, sweet corn and arugula in a cream sauce.

I made: pierogies, sweet corn and spinach in a cream sauce. 

In addition I added sauteed some onion in olive oil before making the cream sauce.

It was good. And basically still the same dish.

Do you agree that gnocchi and pierogies are the same thing, just from different countries? Okay, gnocchi is supposed to have ricotta; the addition of potato to gnocchi is a "recent innovation". While pierogie are always potato and are typically cooked with onion. (I get points for doing that, even though I didn't know it was the traditional way.) Both are called "dumplings", hence the similarity.

I am getting much better at being creative in the kitchen. I still can't whip up a dish out of nothing, like Bill's infamous Beef Burgundy, but I can figure out what will go with this or that and find things to try.

The trouble is remembering it for next time if we really liked it.


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

workin' hard...

...for no money.

I went and helped at a Habitat House this morning. Sami (our Youth and Young Adults Leader) set up the date for the Young Adults group to help there today. I could only stay until noon because we had the repairman coming this afternoon to fix our dryer (again). 

We all worked hard.

The rest of the group worked in the basement while I stayed outside; chopping, digging and picking at two trees that had grown into the fence and needed to be removed.

The work had already been started. The hole was about a foot and a half deep. I dug deeper, finally getting under the main roots. I used the Sawzall to cut through the roots. I cleared the dirt out from under the roots and then, just like that * had one of the trees pulled out. The other one needed a little more cutting before I was finally able to pull it out too.

I walked over to the site because it was less than a mile from our house (0.86 miles to be exact). When we broke for lunch, I walked back. I had just missed the repairman.


I called the office and the very nice receptionist told me she would call him and send him back over.

He showed up within ten minutes. And then he fixed the dryer. 

The pile of laundry is growing smaller. Which is good, because it got pretty deep since it was clean sheet day on Friday when the dryer broke and, with Heather staying over the weekend, her bed needed fresh sheets. Then there's all the towels. First, ours from last week. Then, those added in from the weekend.

One broken dryer can sure make the laundry pile up quickly. 

I worked hard today. I just wanted to let you know that.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

too much dessert?

Is there really such a thing? I'm fighting temptation to go in the kitchen and have some of the strawberry shortcake I have leftover from the weekend. 

But I already had two desserts at the church meeting (if there's anything United Methodists know, it's how to eat). I had a chocolate cake/brownie thing and a cookie.

Normally two desserts would be enough. Right?

Yes. *big sigh*

I'm going to resist temptation. But tomorrow, I'm having strawberry shortcake.

Monday, May 28, 2012

the not-on-my-bucket-list list

Jumping out of an airplane (parachuting, not suicide).

Holding a camera while jumping out of the airplane.

There's probably more, but I thought of this while watching a commercial on tv.

So I thought I'd make a not-on-my-bucket-list list.

Other things I don't ever care to do:

reread "Vanity Fair" (the novel, not the magazine)
tightrope walk across anything

swim across the English Channel
swim with sharks
stand in the clear windows at the Sears Tower (or whatever it's called now)
star in a Broadway musical

Maybe I can add to it. Maybe that's it for now.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

things that go bump in the night

Last night Heather went to bed first. A little while later I decided to turn in. So I headed upstairs.

I didn't turn on the hallway light.

I don't like to turn on the overhead light in our bedroom, I like to turn on the bedside lamps. They're a softer light when getting ready to go to bed. The overhead light is so glaring. It's good for the morning, when you're trying to wake up. But at night, you don't need that bright light to jar your senses. You need the soft light. At least that's how I feel and so I typically walk around the bed to my side and turn on my lamp.

Last night was no different, except I didn't have the hall light to guide me. I was being very careful. I have a habit of miscalculating the end of the bed and running right into the foot-board. This causes a lot of bruises. So last night, I took that into account. I avoided this incident by using my hand to feel along to find the end. I walked around it and followed it to my side.

I was home-free.

And as I high-tailed it to my lamp, I crashed right into the tote that Bill had brought down from the attic. I had asked him to. It has my summer clothes in it. It had been sitting there all day. I had walked by it, gotten into it and for all intents and purposes knew it was there. Until the moment I forgot, which was in the pitch-black of our bedroom.

My second toe from the little toe (my ring toe?) took the brunt of the blow. How? I'll never know. But it did. My knee also took a bit of a hit and I managed to skin it, like I was a seven year old all over again. 

Remember Heather sleeping in the room next door?

I did and it was all I could do to not scream out in pain. I loudly whispered a few choice phrases, one of which included the oldie but goodie, "Ow".

Bill told me later it was all he could do to not laugh out loud because he knew something happened, and my reaction was entertaining, but he didn't want to wake up Heather either.

We're nice that way.

Today my toe feels fine. I think I'll live.

As for the tote? It was moved out of the way until I can switch clothes. It's safe, for now.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Saturday, it was a good day

Are you enjoying your holiday weekend? We are. Dinner last night was delicious. So was dinner tonight. 

We had steaks and veggies on the grill. 

What veggies?

I'm glad you asked.

A zucchini, asparagus and a yellow squash. 

We also had a salad with the homemade Caesar dressing.

We got a lot done too. I planted veggies with D.d. in our community garden plot. We have a couple pepper plants, lettuce, a tomato, an eggplant and sunflowers. We are excited to see our little plot thrive!

Then, when Heather W. arrived, we did a little shopping. We went to three garden centers. We also visited several stores searching for furniture. Heather is looking for a couple of specific pieces; a sideboard and a sofa table. We did not find what she was looking for. 

After our lovely dinner, Heather and I worked in the backyard, pulling the grass out of the bricks.

Then, strawberry shortcake.

It's been a good day.

Friday, May 25, 2012

good friends

It's nice to catch up with long time friends. Of course it's nice to catch up with short time friends too. 

I've heard, in a couple of different settings, how important community is. How important it is to us as humans to be surrounded by others. How it's not healthy to live a life alone.

I couldn't agree more.

But I'm an extrovert.

I leave a group of friends, or even just one friend, and I'm full of energy. I don't know how you can't be excited after having seen friends. It's good. It's healthy for the soul. 

I've found being alone is also recharging for the soul. But overall, I still agree with the statement about being in community. Which is why I always invite (or quiz) my readers to come and visit. I really would be happy to fix you dinner. Let's sit and laugh and catch up. 

Thanks Heather O. for the warm fuzzies and for reminding me how important you are to me.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

here's what's in store...

for the weekend.

Starting tomorrow evening, we'll be having Heather O. over for dinner. On the menu: Hamburgers (cheese optional), homemade baked beans (the beans are soaking now), homemade potato chips, and strawberry shortcake.

Saturday, Heather W. will be coming for her traditional Memorial weekend visit. We have sandwich fixin's for lunch. For dinner we'll be having either steaks or ribs and whatever else we feel like eating. Then Sunday night dinner will be whichever meat is left over.

Extras include; corn dip, potato salad, onion rings, homemade biscuits, apple pie, and Bill's big Sunday breakfast. 

Oh yeah, we have salad fixin's too. 

And there will be ice cream!!!

Have a safe and fun weekend!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

being active

I joined the Presidential Challenge (PALA) that Michele Obama talked about on "Biggest Loser" back a couple of months ago. If you want to know more about it, click here. It was simple for me to do. I met my six week goal and I'm shooting for the eight. I think I'm going to get a t-shirt.

All I had to do was log in, choose my activities, and log the length of time I did the activity. It's really simple. They have a very long list of suggested activities to choose from.

They do not have Zumba. But they have dancing.

For the first time tonight, I did Zumba. It was fun and I didn't care what I looked like.

I will let you know how the eight weeks for the PALA challenge goes.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sandwich week update and finale

On Sunday, I had a croissant sandwich. It was at the luncheon for the Confirmation Class. I crashed their party. 

Okay, not really, but in some ways I felt like I did. I didn't help with Confirmation (okay, I helped once). I helped with youth group. Chandra asked me if I could be there for the luncheon to help her watch Addison. Since I was planning on crashing, er, being there I said of course.

They had a great spread! I chose ham and American cheese for my sandwich.

I think I put some lettuce on it too.

Yesterday, Bill made delicious chicken sandwiches. He put them on garlic bread. They also included tomato, roasted red pepper, Munster and Provolone. 

To end the week, tonight I had a classic B.L.T. with a side of corn on the cob. My favorite summer meal. Maybe next year I'll plan a little better for having more variety in sandwiches. Or not.

I was amused that both the conference and the luncheon had sandwiches. It's not typical of our conference, so I would have never guessed. As for the luncheon, I had only hoped they would have a good spread. The sandwiches were just a bonus.

Monday, May 21, 2012

from an earlier post

I was looking through my photos for a picture of the garden because I finished pulling the grass out from between the bricks in the front yard. 

I told you I had painted some pottery and I would show you what it was. Well, I wanted to wait until after Mother's Day because Skylar painted a mug for Cyndi.

It's after Mother's Day and Cyndi loved the mug.

As I was going through the photos for the garden I was reminded of the pottery! 

Here it is!
I painted the food dish for Atticus last year with our Jr. High girls on a retreat.
 Here's the water dish I painted this year.

 And here they are together. What a pair!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Saturday in the 'Zoo

Day 4 of Sandwich week

We had sandwiches for lunch! I had a ham and cheese. Perfect. It's like they knew it was sandwich week.

We made it through our "business" portion of the meeting. We're sitting around enjoying each others company before the semi-formal banquet tonight.

So while I had a minute, I thought I'd just write a quick post. Nothing too exciting to report. I hope you're having a lovely weekend!

Friday, May 18, 2012

in the 'Zoo

I am in the city of Kalamazoo (you must pronounce it with emphasis on the "zoo") for a Quota Conference. You may recall I've been to exotic places in the name of Quota. Dubuque, Iowa most recently. Vancouver, Canada in the summer of 2010. Traverse City, Frankenmuth and East Tawas are a few of the other places (oh, I almost forgot St. Louis, Missouri).

I took the long forty-five minute drive down here earlier today. I was able to meet up with a former youth group student, Maria. She is attending Kalamazoo College and since they're on tri-mesters, she's still in school until June 6th. We had ice cream. I'm guessing I walked a total of three miles. 

Our Conference began with Spa night which was perfect since I did all that walking. Now it's time to get some rest because tomorrow will be a long day full of bylaws, policies, procedures and all that other Conference stuff.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

a week of sandwiches

"National" Sandwich week.


(I didn't blog about Day One, Bill and I had cheeseburgers)

We had the Mini Italian Subs that I made last week for lunch today.

In case you want to check out what we did last year, you can start by clicking here.

I have a conference this weekend, so Bill and I won't be having sandwiches together every day. Plus, Sandwich Week isn't Monday - Friday. I guess I could have made it M-F since it's not an official holiday here in the U.S. but I didn't. So we'll just make do (or sandwiches) and live accordingly. Whatever that means.

I plan on having a sandwich for breakfast; an egg, cheese and croissant sandwich. That way, in case they don't serve sandwiches for dinner, I'll have already taken care of it. Saturday will also be questionable. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

a song that goes like this

I keep humming random songs. Songs like "Yankee Doodle Dandy". That's only one of the many that I keep finding myself humming. But I won't mention the others so that you don't get them stuck in your head, like me. It's the nice thing for me to do.

It took me a long time to realize how these songs were being put in my head.

Can you guess?

Have you been outside lately? It's been lovely weather here. So lovely that the ice cream trucks have been out in droves...

Ah ha! That's it. The weird, creepy ice cream trucks driving through our neighborhoods blaring these songs. That's how I've been getting these songs stuck in my head. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

the grass is greener...

We love our house. We bought it for many reasons. One of the perks was (and still is) the landscaping.

There's a lovely flower bed that lines the front of the house. It starts at the driveway and wraps around to the other side of the house and stops at the corner. That side of the house (the non-driveway side) used to be covered in ivy. Bill pulled that out when we discovered it had grown through the foundation and was in the basement.

There was also a peach tree on that side of the house. But we pulled that out too. We really are tree hugging type people (okay, me more so than Bill, I recycle everything), but the peach tree had to go because it was diseased.

Where the ivy had grown, I transplanted grass. Then, with Heather W's help, I made a flower bed. I lined it with rocks. The rest of the landscaping, that existed when we bought the house, is lined with bricks. It's very pretty. 

I should stop writing these on my laptop because all of my photos are on my desktop.

Back to the bricks. 

The grass I transplanted came from between these bricks. Boy does that grass grow. Currently the flower beds are being taken over by rogue grass. The grass just grows right over the bricks like they're not even there. Every year it's a summer-long battle to keep it looking nice.

Bill takes great pride in our lawn and it's somewhat of a neighborhood "fight" over who has the best lawn. We have Jerry, the retired military man who spends hours (I'm not exaggerating) upon hours blowing every single leaf off his lawn. He also takes great care in creating the "great divide". You know the large gap between where the lawn ends and the sidewalk begins. Children have fallen in there never to be seen again.

We have Scott, who just decided to start something.

Poor Justin bought the house next door not realizing what was going on, and has joined in.

Glenn across the street has tried valiantly, but they're moving and they have a dog, so he's given up the fight.

So it's my gardening duty (hehe, duty) to keep the grass where it belongs. 

I should buy a hoe. That would probably help. Instead I kneel down and pull out the grass with my hand spade. I do have to get all the roots. So maybe it's better I do it this way. 

There's just a lot of brick left to clean up. I'll just do it one day at a time. In a month, I'll start all over again.

Monday, May 14, 2012

the year of the scavenger...

...hunt, that is. 

When Spencer was born, Cyndi missed her own baby shower. I took lots of pictures, Jerry opened the gifts and Skylar helped. Mom took care of the food. Then, to capture what she missed, I made a photo book for her. When I gave it to her, I decided just handing her a gift wasn't fun; so I created a scavenger hunt. That was on Easter Sunday.

Yesterday, we celebrated Skylar's upcoming thirteenth birthday. She has asked for a telescope for the last two years. Mom, Dad, Bill and I found one and got it for her. But again, just giving it to her wouldn't be fun (plus, have you ever tried to wrap an assembled telescope? It's not easy). Mom asked if I could make up a scavenger hunt for her, which of course I said I could. I worked on it and came up with thirteen clues. Appropriate since she's turning thirteen. Okay, so I had planned that all along. This time I worked hard to rhyme the clues.

Yes, I was quite proud of myself.

I'm just giving all of my friends and family, and anyone who might expect a gift from me, that you might also expect a scavenger hunt to go along with it. I'm just saying.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mom's day

Happy better-late-then-never Mother's Day to our mom's and all of our friends who are brave, courageous and strong enough to be moms. We admire you and love you. And wish everyday could be full of thank yous, flowers and love as you received today.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

ice cream and pirates

No, I'm not talking about baseball.

We just had vanilla ice cream, with homemade hot fudge sauce and strawberries. I added chopped pecans. 

Ooh boy was it yummy. It's just a hint of summer. 

No, the strawberries weren't local, but they were still delicious.

Now we're watching a certain Pirates of the Caribbean movie. 

Johnny Depp is just so good as Jack Sparrow.

It's okay if you don't agree. I hope we can agree to disagree.

Remember when I told you that I have in my possession a first print (English) edition of the Neverending Story? I'm about halfway through it. The first part is portrayed very well in the movie. The second half has proven to be an entirely different story and I'm enjoying it.

Just thought I'd share.

Friday, May 11, 2012

going for a grand

I'm doing it. I'm going for 1,000 posts. This is number 699 (excluding drafts).Which means I will have to continue posting at least for part of another year. 

Why? You ask.

I don't know. I like goals. They give me something to aim for (isn't that the point?) and they keep me busy. Why not?

I have tons to keep talking about. 

For instance; I'm going to start going through all my "stuff". Instead of holding onto these treasures that mean only something to me, I'm going to take a picture and then blog about it. If it's worth anything, I'm willing to sell it. If it's not, it's going to be given away.

Can you tell recently I've read that Bible verse about "treasures in heaven"? You can't take it with you, so why hold onto it? 

Besides isn't my "junk" someone else's treasure?

I'm sure most of what I have will end up recycled. It's not worth to be anyone's treasure.

Let's be honest, what good is it doing taking up space in the attic?

See? It's another goal. 

You have that to look forward to. 

Here's a picture of a treasure that I never brought home.

Skylar and I painted pottery two years ago. I painted this, it was a coaster. I was super excited about it. It took a long time. I knew after it was fired it would glow like a stained glass window.

Alas, sometimes things in the kiln don't fire properly. This was one of those times. Inexplicably, the paint didn't stick and flaked off in paint chips (don't eat them, they may contain lead, click here for that story). The paint-your-own-pottery story gave me credit for a new piece but what they couldn't give me back was time. All the time I had spent in each individual mosaic. And then getting the black paint between the raised edges... 

What I painted instead was a food bowl for Atticus. I was going to post pictures, but don't have them on the laptop. Really? Are you surprised? It's my sad story and I'm sticking to it. I'll get pictures of the bowl up next week. I've been waiting. I'll explain why when I post the pictures.

Mystery. Intrigue. I've got it all... in my head.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

mini Italian subs


They're Joey's favorite food (from "Friends" in case anyone reading this didn't watch the show).

It's National Sandwich Week May 16th-22nd. I blogged about it last year. I made a different sandwich for each day. (I think. I don't remember. You can fact check me. I was going to fact check myself until I realized how convoluted this new setup is.)

I'm planning to do that again this year (make a different sandwich each day, not fact check myself).

Without meaning to; today I found a new sandwich that will be on my list to make again.

It's called a mini Italian sub. It used the fresh focaccia bread (actually they were rolls, if you can call a 7" diameter hunk of bread a "roll" which you can because it could literally roll) that I picked up at the bakery yesterday. I fried up some bacon. Then I made egg crepes.

I had never made an egg crepe before. It was a lot like an omelette, but not. It called for two tablespoons of heavy cream to be scrambled in the bowl with the eggs (three eggs, in case you're interested in trying this). I poured a quarter of the egg mixture into a medium-hot, buttered, non-stick skillet; gave it a swirl to coat the bottom of the pan, and then covered it with a lid for 1 min. 30 seconds. When I took off the lid I don't know what I expected. What I found was a poufy egg crepe. That's the best way for me to describe it. It was thin, light, and fluffy.

I set it aside and made two more.

I cut open the rolls and toasted them (on the frying pan, not in the toaster oven; I only wanted one side to be toasted, not both sides), then spread pesto on both halves. On went the egg crepe, sliced turkey, provolone, bacon and the top of the roll. I cut them into quarters.

It was a really good sandwich. I can't wait to have them again. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

random stream of consciousness

Bill said to me earlier, "you are the busiest, unemployed person... I don't know if that's good or bad..."

I had my last day of tutoring today. Then I walked over to Wealthy Street Bakery for some Focaccia bread. It's for lunch tomorrow. Before I left for tutoring, I baked Vanilla Rich Chip cupcakes. The recipe was on the Vanilla Extract box. It sounded yummy, so instead of making the cake as it actually calls for, I made cupcakes. I did not make the suggested Vanilla Glaze but instead made Buttercream Frosting. How can you go wrong with Buttercream Frosting?

After lunch, I finally sat down to check my email.

Then, after our walk and my various other exercises, I picked up Molly and we went to Jersey Junction. I haven't been there yet this season! I think that is a terrible thing. But I've been there and other then the prices going up, nothing has changed. 

Our house smelled just like Jersey Junction today because of the cupcakes (JJ often smells like fresh waffle cones because they made their waffle cones fresh). 

Molly and I went to the Sparks service at the Vine after ice cream. The Sparks service is a laid-back service geared toward our young adults who can't always make it to church on Sunday. Sami, Iain and Laura lead it and I have helped when I can. The Wednesday night Young Adult group meets almost every Wednesday, but they dedicate one night a month to the service. 

When I got home from that, I frosted the cupcakes. Then I realized I never made granola, so I baked up a batch of that too. I also talked to my mom and did the dishes.

It was while I was doing the dishes that I realized I hadn't blogged yet.

There is more to blog about.

I have, in my possession, a first edition copy of "The Neverending Story".  Kayla (from the Young Adult group) is letting me borrow it. She had a reprint, but couldn't find it. I am geeked that she is letting me (ie trusting me) to borrow this copy. I trust myself. But I don't know if I owned this copy, that I would trust anyone. 

I also returned the copy of "Blue Like Jazz" to Laura. I really liked that book and could go on and on about it. I had it on my long list of books to read, so now I can cross it off. I find myself referencing it. I think Donald Miller did a spectacular job writing this book. I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone. No matter your faith or religion. 

Now it's time for bed.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

lights on please

Here's my P.S.A. for today:

Please turn on your headlights when it's foggy.

Thank you.

This has been a P.S.A. from me.


On the other hand what started out as a foggy day turned into a sunny day. That was nice. It seems that no one can predict the weather here lately. It was supposed to be a nice, sunny weekend. It rained. But we're blaming that on ourselves because we both got our cars washed. Then Bill stained the deck. It was rainy yesterday too. It's always nice to have some sunshine between showers. Bill just informed me that tomorrow's weather is also questionable. It's supposed to be kind of nice, but it might not be nice.

Well, I'm glad we cleared that up.

So rainy or foggy, please use your headlights when driving. It helps the rest of us see you. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Dad's birthday

The class of 1965 turns 65 this year. My dad is included in that. Today is his birthday.

Happy birthday Dad!

I'm sure I have a more recent photo of him, but not on my laptop. This picture was taken from Skylar's birthday last year. That's KC on dad's lap. They're watching Skylar open her birthday presents.

I hope you had a great day! We'll celebrate this weekend!!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

sugar rush

When you have too much sugar you do silly things. You might giggle, act silly, dance like no one's watching and other things. 

Bill and I had a lot of sugar today. This morning was Teacher Appreciation at church. Since we both help with youth group, we were appreciated with cake, pastries, fruit and other sugary foods. As a result we didn't have Bill's Big Sunday Breakfast. But we did have lunch. 

Bill broke in his new grill with filets and veggies. They were delicious. I can't wait for this summer and more grilling.

Then at youth group, the Sr. High appreciated their seniors and the Jr. High appreciated moms. The Sr. High went to Jersey Junction. The Jr. High decorated (and ate) sugar cookies.

I wish I could describe and show you Bill's "overdose" episode. Thank goodness Chandra and Jason were there to witness it too. There was running (think Phoebe from "Friends"), jumping onto cars (still in the parking lot) and more running. It was definitely a sugar rush. And it was so silly.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Life in the Midwest

If you're not from the Midwest or have never had the pleasure of visiting our beautiful section of the country, you should know we are pretty friendly here. 

Neighbors help neighbors (I've borrowed sugar, our neighbor has borrowed Baking Powder, they've cleaned the snow off our driveway both when we've been home and out of town, we share plants, food and lots of laughter).

We say hi on our walks. Dogs and kids use everyone's yard as their own.

Today was no exception when a woman driving her car stopped to ask us directions. Glenn, Bill and I actually had no idea where she was going, so I ran inside and grabbed the iPad. I looked up the address she was searching for and went back to tell her how to get there. She was pretty close, but needed a dead-end street that she probably would not have found (and for whatever reason she didn't have a cell phone with her). 

Then, as I was walking over to D.d.'s, a man was out with his adorable little hound. He didn't have the dog on a leash (very common around here), but the dog wasn't listening. As I passed the man I said, "it looks like a game..." because the dog would stop and wait for the man to get about ten feet away, and then he (the dog) would take off running down the sidewalk. The problem I had with this is the dog kept crossing the streets that were perpendicular to the street we were walking along. It's a pretty busy street. I was so afraid the dog was going to turn and run out into that street. I was walking faster than the owner, so I caught up to the dog. He came running right over to me, so I let him sniff me and gave him a little scratch on the ears as I reached for his collar. The owner caught up and put the leash on him. That made me feel much better.

As for Cinco de Mayo, yes, we will be celebrating. No matter that we have no Mexican or even Spanish in our blood. It's basically an excuse to eat food that likely has nothing to do with that culture anyway. I'm making skillet tostados. I'm sure they're going to be delicious.

See? We even like to share holidays. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

May the 4th be with you

My mom, sister (with new baby) and I met at Grandma's house today. We went out to lunch with her and the aunts.

The whole ride there, I was thinking about family and thought I'd write a post about it.

That was twelve hours ago. I don't remember what I was going to say. Something profound and likely poetic, I'm sure.

I got distracted by the cuteness that is my nephew. He makes the best faces. Of course I took photos. And yes, they're still on the camera. It gives me something to post later when I finally get to them. 

Yup, that's all I've got. I haven't slept very well the last two nights. Bill and I both had sore throats the other day, but by this morning I was really feeling better. All day I felt fine. Now, my nose is pretty runny/stuffy. How is that possible? Do you know what I'm talking about?

I'm going to bed. I'd promise a better post tomorrow, but I don't want to be held accountable for that kind of disappointment.

One last thing regarding the title of this post: I heard it on the radio this morning and that is what my brain chose to remember. I think it's amusing, being a Star Wars fan. How have I never heard this before? 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

more to countdown

It's time for random post Thursday!

Okay, if I could make that have some alliteration it would sound better. But I can't. Wait, how's this?

Thoroughly thrilling Thursday things

That's better.

We have our grill!!!

It will be several weeks until we get the new patio furniture. But since we haven't had patio furniture we won't miss having it. We are very excited about the grill. It's purr-dy.

I should have taken a picture, but now it's tucked away under the old (actually new, we bought it close to the end of last summer) grill cover.

I'll take some grilling photos, action shots when Bill breaks it in.

That won't be today because he's headed to Detroit. I don't know when it will be.


You know how much I love t-shirts. Here's one that I think is super clever.

Tulip Time Festival is going to be disappointing in terms of tulips in bloom. Here's the link so you can read the full article. I love the shirt. It made me laugh when I saw it this morning. This is good marketing.


The summer Olympics are slowly approaching. I saw a countdown the other day. Eighty-five days from today. Yippee!! I enjoy the Olympics.


I'm trying to think if there's anything else to talk about. But I think that's it. That's all I wanted to post. Completely random, but not nearly as long as random posts could be...

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

since I'm counting...

Yesterday it was a post about babies. I made it clear that it wasn't an announcement from us of any kind. Just an observation. So today I'll talk about another observation I've made recently.

General Conference is currently underway for the United Methodist Church. It is taking place in Tampa, Florida. This is where delegates from all over the world gather and update our Book of Discipline (and something else which has temporarily slipped my mind). The GC occurs every four years. 

There is a lot to be discussed at these conferences, but I'm not going to get into all of that. If you want to read more please check out greg's blog or Laurie's blog (specifically what Laurie wrote on Friday, April 27).

So there are two people who I know personally who are following GC. Laurie is actually there, representing our West Michigan Conference.

I have another friend who's there, Taylor. I have known Taylor since we met at the District Youth events back in, what 1994...? Oh geez, that's almost twenty years. I'm going into denial. I am not that old.

I digress. Taylor is there with her beautiful baby, Evelyn who is around six months old. I don't know if Taylor is a delegate. I do know that she and her father have always been passionately involved in missions around the world, but more specifically Africa. Up until she had Evelyn (a few months before) she was in Africa, preaching and being a missionary. It's probably a lot more technical than that, but I think that's a simple way to explain it. She is an amazing woman and I knew from the moment I met her that she would wind up (in a good way) serving God in this way.

Okay, so that's three people (not counting the baby because I haven't met her and because I don't think she really knows what's going on...) I know who are actively participating and focusing on GC. Add our pastors and that brings us to five. Add in another friend, Adriane, whom I have known for twenty years and that brings us to six.

Those are just the people who I've heard comment directly about GC. This is not including all the other pastors I know who are probably listening and following along. 

If you are at all religious, or a United Methodist, please join our prayers. It is my deepest hope that we can join Christ by learning to love everyone. It's not about who's right or wrong, it's not about changing laws. To me, it is more about opening our hearts, and using our words to be loving, not discriminating. So if not now, I hope and pray that it changes, soon.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

babies out of the wood work

It's baby time!

My cousin Laura and her husband Dave just had their baby girl, Addy. 

Our friend Julie and her husband Peter just had their baby boy, Joseph.

A couple who sits behind us in church just had their baby.

A friend, through a friend, is due at the end of May. I wonder if she'll go early. It is her third (boy), so it could happen! But I know she doesn't want it to.

And let's remember Spencer who came early!

Is anyone else expecting a baby???

Let me be very clear, we are not. Don't get excited by this post.

I just wanted to comment on all the babies being born. We are very happy as "Aunt Em and Uncle Bill". Remember? You can send them to visit once they're eight years old, with a two weeks notice, and only one child at a time please.

It's how we roll.