Sunday, September 30, 2012

breakfast, lunch... dinner?

My Sundays are off.

We used to come home from the early service and Bill would make Big Sunday Breakfast. It was divine and would keep me full until popcorn after youth group.

Things are different now.

That doesn't mean bad, I'm just still trying to adjust.

Bill made Big Saturday Breakfast yesterday. It was just as good and I'm happy that we are still able to enjoy it.

This morning I had my normal bowl of cereal.

Cereal tangent: I've created what I think is quite possibly my new favorite breakfast cereal combo ever. I have no other combo to compare it to but I really enjoy this one. 1/2  cup of Multi-Grain Cheerios mixed with 1/4 cup Peanut Butter Cheerios. It's just the right balance of healthy and tasty -at least I think so.

After church today, we had a picnic to kick off our Lot Party. Pulled white meat (I thought it was supposed to be pork but someone else thought it was chicken), chips, baked beans, carrot sticks and celery, watermelon and a chocolate chip cookie.

We don't have youth group tonight. I will likely still make popcorn but I'm hungry now. Do I eat dinner to? I don't know what to do. How do I adjust? Maybe I'll just go have my yogurt and granola to tide me over until popcorn.

I feel like I'm in bizarro-land.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

I can't help it...

...I love this city.

The festivals, the art, the music...

and so much of it is free!!! 

I hope that if you have visited our fine city before that you find it to be a great city. If you don't, I invite you back to give it a second chance.

Or if you haven't been to visit at all, please come check it out!

Art Prize is a great time to come visit, but so is every weekend in the summer. The fall and spring are amazing too. I love winter, so if you like snow and cold, you're also welcome to come visit but be prepared, you will be handed a shovel.

Below is a very small sampling of this year's Art Prize.


 This quilt is actually made of wood...! How amazing is that? I heard about it from a friend and I'm so glad Bill and I went to find it. It's incredible.
 The chalking I wrote on the side of our Administrative building.
The Komodo Dragon made out of buttons. Suspended from the ceiling. 

What is art? Well, I've been thinking about that. The difference between an artist and anyone else is doing. An artist doesn't just look at something and say, "I could do that." An artist goes out and does it. So whatever the artist creates is art. This is my opinion. Not an official definition. 

Just thought I'd let you know.

Friday, September 28, 2012

take time to stop and smell the roses

Even though I'm now running three miles (yes, without stopping, look out! I'm a machine...) I have still noticed a few things on my walk.

There's a house on a corner that has beautiful roses blooming in red and white. They are blooming now, even though it's been so hot and we've had frost.

The leaves on the ground look like frogs, giant bugs, crouching chipmunks and other random things that my imagination sees.

I passed a woman pushing her baby stroller while talking on her phone. I said hi and she didn't seem to notice me.

I try to notice the small things on my walks/runs. Life passes us by so quickly. Of course I have taken time to talk to a friend on the phone when she called me in the middle of my walk.

I'm not better than anyone else, I just wanted to remind you to take time to stop and smell the roses. Or at least notice them.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I like to draw using chalk...

Here is the chalking I did yesterday. I don't want to say I "graffiti-ed" the church because I had permission. But that's basically what I did.

Working on coloring in the letters, I had to make them big enough for cars passing by to see.

My blue hand.

Behind me (not pictured) is all the information on the Lot Party. I hope this advertising works!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

we made it a verb

"Art Prizing". It's what you do in Grand Rapids during Art Prize.

There is a lot going on downtown. We went out and about with the Youth Groups on Sunday night.

This weekend is the Lot Party hosted by our church! (If you live in Grand Rapids, check it out! Here's a link for more info.)

I have taken pictures (and had pictures taken of me) but it's too late and my battery is dying. Perhaps tomorrow you'll see some photos...

Of course you will! For now, I'm going to go try to wash the chalk dust out of my eyes...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

and here's my blog post

My second year of blogging every single day is winding down. Which is good because so are my thoughts. I used to be really good about blogging in the morning. Then it started getting later and later in the day when I would remember. Often times I have thought of something during my walk.

Lately it's been a struggle.

I feel as though I'm running out of ideas or repeating myself.

Have I talked about this before?

Going back and searching is akin to trying to find a needle in a haystack.

Or finding lost keys in a pile of leaves at a park at night in the fall.

I speak from experience.

And I never found the keys.

I had to use a pay phone to call my parents and ask them to bring me the spare set of keys. I was on a double date. Then, due to my brilliance of losing the car keys in the pile of leaves (honestly, we had started a leaf-throwing fight, tip: don't put the key ring on your finger and then throw a handful of leaves with the same hand, bad things happen), I had to explain to the parents of my friends why my friends were home past curfew.

As we say now, "awkward".

There you have it, an embarrassing story and a blog post all in one.

Monday, September 24, 2012


Are we reduced to a world that only uses acronyms?

I drove past the UICA.

I have a meeting on Thursday at OCBA.

Bill belongs to IFMA and BOMA.

Our church is known as FUMC.

Out of those five, I only know our church acronym.

I don't know if that is good or bad.

How many acronyms do you see in one day.

aka hmadysiod

But that's not official...

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Saturday, September 22, 2012

the ball...

We got all dolled up and went to a fancy ball for Metro Health Hospital. It was fun. Here are the pictures.

On the front porch...

At our church (with one of the Art Prize entries)...

At the table...

Friday, September 21, 2012


Really, who doesn't love croutons?

I know I do.

Awhile ago I started making my own.

It is so simple it's ridiculous.

First, start with a loaf of crusty bread. Our store sells a loaf for $1.79 or, if I'm near the bakery, I stop in there and buy whatever they have (this time it was French bread).

Second, and this is the key to good croutons, you want the bread to sit on your counter for two or three days (which is very difficult when the bread is aromatic and every time you walk by it you get a whiff of that delicious smell).

Third, slice the bread and then dice it into whatever size croutons your heart desires.

My heart desires bigger chunks.

You can even go crazy and pull it apart with your bare hands. I like the civilized approach using a knife.

Fourth, drizzle the bread with olive oil. Sometime I add a little salt and pepper just to give it some flavor. But you can just use the oil (especially if you buy a loaf of bread with garlic or rosemary baked into it).

Fifth, put the chunks of break onto a baking sheet and place in a preheated 350 degree oven.

Bake for ten minutes.

Or longer if you have a full tray of croutons like I do.

Or if you like them super crunchy.

Sometimes I have to put them in the toaster oven to crisp them up right before adding them to a salad.

Sixth, and last, enjoy!

Okay, six steps may sound like a lot. But it's really not. Especially when you control the flavor. Does this make it easier; take your loaf of bread and cut or tear into pieces. Place on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake in a preheated oven for ten minutes.

There you go. Three easy steps. Homemade croutons. Go forth and eat salads!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

a driving memo from Emily

Let's talk about driving. I realize this could easily be a Blah, Blah, Blog post but I'm going to lament here.

There are people (friends, family) who think that Bill and I are a bit aggressive in our driving. I would like to clarify if anything, we are defensive.

Coming from someone who has taken a defensive driving class, you should listen to me.

I digress.

What ever happened to the act of driving?

When one is sitting at a stoplight how does one miss the signals (pun not intended) that one is about to get the green arrow which does not last forever?

The right turn arrow changes from green to yellow. That's a sign.

The cars turning left have ceased. That's a sign.

The crosswalk sign has stopped flashing and is a solid "Don't Walk". That too is a sign.

Literally and figuratively.

So why does one choose that split second to look away from the big yellow traffic signal hanging right in front of them to look at their phone?

If you want to talk. Talk.

If you want to text. Text.

If you want to read the news. Read the news.

But please, please I beg you, stop doing it in your car. Period.

It doesn't matter if you are driving.

It doesn't matter if you are stuck in traffic because of road construction.

It doesn't matter if you are cruising down the interstate.

It doesn't even matter if you are sitting a stoplight.

We used to be able to change the radio station and drive.

We used to be able to eat fast food and drive.

Apparently the tipping point was the phone.

I know I'm preaching to the choir but since I had to honk at the person in front of me, who just happened to glance down the moment the light changed from red to the green turn arrow, I thought I would regale you in my driving education moment of the day.

Please drive your car and focus on the road in front of and around you.

Thank you.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

two of my favorite things

I made one of my favorite soups last night. It's called Autumn Harvest soup. It's a lovely shade of pumpkin but there's no pumpkin in it. It has a butternut squash, a leek, an onion, a potato, carrots and a Granny Smith apple. Once you cook all of it with chicken stock, you puree it. I like to top it with Mascarpone. And of course it's best served with crusty bread.

Tonight I made the corn cakes (which I realize I never blogged about the first time), this time with ricotta. They were much better. I can't say what the ricotta does exactly other than give it some depth. I made them last week and they were okay. I knew they needed something more. I decided that since I make my pancakes with ricotta why not try using ricotta in the corn cakes?

The results?


I'm behind on trying new recipes. Most of the ones I've found to try I've set aside because they're heavier dishes. I save those for fall and winter. I'm trying to eek out the last of the summer with salads and grilled meat.

Soon. I will be back to pasta soon.

'O pasta, how I have missed thee...'

I wish I had better lighting so I could take pictures. I'll do my best to be descriptive.

By the way, I have found a great use for my nemesis, corn starch.

Take a ribeye (or whatever large chunk of red meat you prefer) and mix together; corn starch, salt and fresh ground black pepper. Rub the mixture all over the meat. Place the meat in the freezer for thirty minutes. Remove and cook on grill for approximately seven minutes each side (this is for medium, we like our meat cooked to medium). The corn starch mixture creates this crust that is pretty darn good.

The bonus is using up the corn starch that sits in my cupboard mocking me because I can't make pudding.

But I can make pasta.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

part of Art Prize 2012

Our church has these beautiful banners hanging in the proscenium (yes, that's a Bill word).
There is one on each side, they are identical. They are three-dimensional or maybe just layered.
These, which are difficult to see between the stained glass windows, are throughout the sanctuary on the pillars.

You might not be able to tell what kind of material they are made from.

I'll tell you.

Are you ready?


They are part of an Art Prize entry. I think they are just stunning. Especially in our Sanctuary.

I told my mom about them and told her I would post the pictures so she could see them.

Monday, September 17, 2012

a photo essay

Or something like that.

Here are photos that I said I would post, you know, back when I took them.

But because this program is frustrating me (it loads the pictures backward from how you select them so while you go in order which is sometimes important for timelines, it loads them opposite and it is also currently refusing to move the photos... really?!) I'm going to also have to post the pictures in opposite order. In the end it doesn't really matter so here are the pictures.

This is the game, Turning Over a New Leaf (think team-building exercise).

This was balloon tag.
This is everyone (except Stacy who took the picture) with our art project!
Apparently I was lost in thought. With the scissors.
Ahh! They're attacking the camera!

These are pictures of the cherry pie I made for Emil.

I seriously am loving this new kitchen gadget...The end result! It was one of my best looking pies, despite the lighting.

That's all for now. I can't handle posting any more. Plus I don't remember what else I said I'd post.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

what will I find...

... on my camera.

This is going to be an adventure.

I let the other leaders take pictures at youth group tonight. I'm not quite sure what I'm going to find.

The youth worked on an awesome art project, they painted with their fingers and hands. It was super messy. Then we played silly games. Well, they played a few and we all played one together.

Google youth group games and you get a lot of choices. Some are brilliant, some are not.

Balloon tag. Brilliant.

We blew up enough balloons for each student to have two tied to each ankle (we tied them tight enough to not fall off but loose enough that no one had their circulation cut off) and then we walked out to the parking lot where they proceeded to play tag by popping each other's balloons.

There was waddling, dancing, prancing and hopping. It was highly entertaining.

They were good stewards and picked up all the pieces of balloons.

We played another game (no pictures were taken during this because everyone played) called "Zip Boing" (that is not the same names used in the version I found online). You sit (or stand) in a circle. One person starts by saying zip and looking or pointing at the person next to them. That person says zip and it moves around the circle. At any given time a person can say boing and reverse the whole thing.

Here's the catch; you can't show your teeth. If you do, you're out. Likewise, if you say zip or boing when it's not your turn, you're out.

It gets silly enough that you're laughing so hard it becomes almost impossible to not show your teeth.

So tomorrow I will find out what fantastic pictures were taken. I'll post a few of them on here to share. I am curious...

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Saturday, I'm caught up

This morning Bill and I went to a "Secrets To A Successful Marriage" workshop.

It's premarital counseling required for couples getting married in our church.

As Wedding Coordinator (in training), I send couples to these classes. My predecessor, Pat, attended the class when they were first offered. I wasn't about to go to a couples class by myself so I asked Bill to go with me.

He graciously agreed.

It was a lot of fun to think about how far we've come. What we've done "right" and what we can still work on.

Our table consisted of two other couples, both of whom are getting married at our church! One couple will be married next month, the other couple will be married in December. We had a lot of fun.

It's a gorgeous September day here. Bill was hoping to watch some college football but isn't, so I'm not sure what's going on in there. We have friends coming to visit on their way up north. We may possibly go to Meijer Gardens. We shall see where the day takes us!

For now it's beckoning me into the kitchen to wash the sink full of dirty dishes...

Friday, September 14, 2012

What I missed, Friday

Yesterday, I slept in. This weekend is going to be two days of getting up early and since we don't have children we get to do fun things like sleep in on whatever days we want.

Except that sleeping in for Bill usually means 7:15a and for me it's 8:00a. If I sleep past that, I can't fall asleep that night. What a predicament.

I also watched some Skit Guys videos. Man, do they make me laugh. This is now my job. As Jr. High youth director, I have chosen to use their material for Sunday school. So I get paid to watch these skits and laugh.

I'm okay with that.

Then, after a "date-night" dinner at Twisted Rooster, Bill and I went to celebrate Brent's 30th birthday at their new house. Since we had to get up early Saturday (see next post), we didn't stay too late.

But it was fun to actually be out, on a date, on a Friday night.

Okay, next post.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

What I missed, Thursday

Okay, I missed some days blogging.

Here's what happened Thursday:

After dinner, Bill and I went and watched Forest Hills Northern play Forest Hills Eastern in girls volleyball. It's a huge rivalry. They play best of five.

Northern came out and won the first match. It had been close, passing the points back and forth.

After that, Eastern dominated. They played the back of the court and the net. Even though their girls were shorter, they could get the ball over the net.

We were there to watch/support Sarah, one of the high school youth from our church. She played very well. Considering I have seen her play since she was in 7th grade, I sort of got a lump in my throat watching her again Thursday night. She's a senior. She used to be the tallest girl on the team, now she's just one of the tall girls on the team.

It's fun to watch them grow up. It's also fun to support them and watch their sport/music/theater events.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The lights are bright...

(name that song!)

This morning I attended a Downtown Development Authority meeting.

The mayor was there. So were two tv cameras!

Good thing I dressed up.

I promise you that there was no exciting reason for me to be there (no, I'm not working on developing a historic property that will become a well-known commercial site). Perhaps I'll explain as the project moves forward now that the D.D.A. unanimously supported our decision. But for now I'll just refer back to an older post where I couldn't get out of the parking lot.

I made it out of the parking lot today. I think the reason I couldn't make it out before was because I de-magnetized my chaser card.


I guess you're really not supposed to put it near your mobile phone.

I did that day.

Today I did not.

I can only imagine how many of you I'm helping to get out of parking lot ramps with less hassle. It's what I do.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

five minute post

I have a banana bread in the oven that will be ready to come out in five minutes.

Last night I baked a cherry pie. It was Emil's last dessert of the month. I took pictures, those will have to get posted later.

It was a lot of fun pitting the cherries. Although it looked more like I had murdered them. The pitter, which has a shield, worked like magic. I can't wait to buy olives.

Back to the cherries. They were a bit juicy. That meant that juice was all over my hands, the table and basically everywhere. Cherry juice is a dark red. Fortunately it does not stain.

I wondered how I was going to try to explain that at church today...

The banana bread is because I bought bananas for Sunday school (I also had grapes, apples and danish, why am I surprised that I had leftovers of everything except the danish -I'm not really surprised, I expected that).

It smells divine in our house.

And my timer has gone off. This was not a five minute post. Nor is it a scented-blog... don't you wish? Cinnamon. The house smells like baking cinnamon. Yum.

Monday, September 10, 2012

nope, I'm not as fit as I thought I was

Remember when I bragged about working out last week? I wasn't really bragging. Really, I wasn't.

And remember yesterday when the Jr. High youth went zip lining? I do, because those team building exercises are really use-muscles-that-you-forgot-you-had-building-exercises.

It's time for Ibuprofen.

I'll keep working out. But I'm definitely not as strong as I thought I was.


Sunday, September 9, 2012

just your typical Sunday

Today was just your typical Sunday.

It was my first Sunday teaching Sunday school (in five years).

Our Goddaughter, Addison was baptized.
Isn't she a cutie?

We (the Sr. & Jr. High leaders) took the youth to Camp Manitou-Lin.

This is the Jr. High group.

We did team building.

Then we crossed camp and ended up here.

The Zip-line.

Check that off my bucket list.

I did it.

I even took a picture of myself zipping.

And it was fun!

We saw the animals (a couple of goats, pigs, a sheep and horses) and pet them. Then, after washing our hands, we ate dinner.

It was just your typical Sunday...

Saturday, September 8, 2012

the window project

Pictures are still to follow.

I want to have the finished product before sharing the long process.

Besides, with my memory, if I posted some of the pictures on here today by the time I finish painting I'll have forgotten that I already shared them and you'd be forced to look at them twice.

Plus I don't want to take up my photo space on my blog with duplicates.

Needless to say I primed the windows and the sliding glass door trim today.

All that is left to do is paint. I like painting and I'm excited to get the color on. We picked out new colors for the windows. I'll have to remember to take a picture of an existing window so you can see the difference.

Friday, September 7, 2012

the longest short week ever

I don't know if any of you feel that way but I sure do.

Bill says he feels that way about every short week.

This week seems to have dragged on for twice as long. It was extraordinarily longer than it should have felt.

I swear that I went shopping two weeks ago. It was actually only on Monday.

This makes me dread next week.

Will it go by faster?

We'll soon find out since we haven't been able to stop time yet.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

pictures of sunflowers!

Yay! I posted them! These started growing in the community garden plot we are sharing. But they soon outgrew the space. D.d. and I thinned them out. She took home several and I brought home four plants. They are all doing very well and, I think, are just beautiful!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Pictures will be posted tomorrow.

Although I meant to post them earlier when I was on my computer.

I forgot.

And I ran out of time.

I had to go to work.

I didn't ever mention my other job, did I?

Hm, I'm too young to be this forgetful.

I'm working as administrative support for our Associate Pastor (Tish) as she takes on the Adult Education classes for the church.

I actually have to go into the office! So I have made office hours as Jr. High Youth Director too.

I have to go in tomorrow too, to finish getting signs ready for Sunday. Eek!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

"work"ing out

I deserve bragging rights.

I was told the other day that I have nice legs.

Well let me tell you, there's a reason it's called working out. It is not easy and it is not about lounging around.

I've worked hard for these legs, so thank you.

Here is a picture of me after my run. I think you can tell just how sweaty I am. No, I did not just pour a bucket of water on my head. That is sweat.


(I don't sweat I glisten... like a pig)

My goal is to run (jog is the better description) a 5k. By no particular date, perhaps next summer. We'll see how the winter goes.

There are all kinds of things I've learned about running.

Keep your mouth closed, unless you want bugs flying in it. But keeping your mouth closed will most likely cause you to hyperventilate so you really should breathe through your nose and mouth.

Stay to the right.

I believe you should wear a shirt over your sports bra, the bra itself is not clothing. But that's just me.

Take a tissue with you (that is what mopped up most of the sweat pre-photo, yes it was worse).

And the all-important answer to the big question: running is where I get most of my ideas for blogging. Oh the ideas. They just come to me.

Most of them escape my mind as quickly as they entered. There are a handful that make it here. This is one of them. Although there were more things I learned, at least that I had thought of in the last quarter mile, those didn't make it to this post. Maybe I'll remember them at some point.

In the meantime, thanks for liking my legs they took a lot of work.

Monday, September 3, 2012

northern lights...

It's all Bill's fault.

We don't live in Scandinavia therefore we missed the solar flares that were visible earlier this morning. They appeared in the form of Northern Lights.

I just tried to find the same picture that Bill had shown me but alas, cannot find it.

Search engines sometimes drive me bonkers.

But solar flares are pretty.

And it's Bill's fault that we missed the one this morning.

Just because we live in Michigan.

*Editor's note: it's not really his fault. I just needed something to blog about...

I also probably didn't need to tell you that. But felt compelled to. It's the mood I'm in...

Tired, three-day weekend, shootings near our house kind of mood.

See? I could have blogged about all of that. But who wants to read about that (when you can watch it on the news) when I can write nonsense about not living in Scandinavia.

Okay, I'm finished now... get it? Finn-ished...

Oh boy. Okay. Now I'm done.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

three day weekends...

...are glorious.

I hope you're enjoying yours.

I've gotten the paint scraped off the windows (I think I've typed scrapped a couple of times), we went to a house-warming party for friends, we had Big Sunday Breakfast, and we played a couple games of Cribbage.

It's time to watch some Formula 1 racing and enjoy the evening.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

gettin' ready...

We are getting in good practice for when we are old enough for AARP memberships.

We had eaten dinner and were sitting around by 5pm.

We worked hard today. Bill ripped out the snowball bush in the front garden. I scrapped more paint off the windows.

By 4:30pm we were hungry. So we started dinner.

I really don't think either of us paid much attention to the actual time.

We paid attention to our stomachs.

I asked Bill if he wanted to play Scrabble or Cribbage. He said, "No. I don't want to play Scribbage or Crabble."

Hm, perhaps we will sit around inventing these new games!

In case you were wondering, we had bacon cheeseburgers with onion rings for dinner. Yum!