We have had lots of struggles and challenges in our lives, but we've had even more blessings!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

This Years Wedding

    As you know, I am w-a-y behind in posting about things in our family. . .  

    April 9th, 2016 was the date. The event was Byron and Paige's wedding.
    They had a small immediate family only wedding. Originally, it was going to be an outdoor wedding, but we woke up to cold temps and s_ _ _ that morning, so we moved indoors. We used the lodge. Moved the couches into rows, which turned out to be a trumpeted win.
     Byron's new family -
        Byron and Paige, Paige's son Marcus is 8 1/2. Byron's kids - Analyse is 7 and Elliot is 5. Rylee is Analyse and Elliot's sister and she is 3.   LOVE all the smiles.
      We had picked Analyse and Elliot up from their mom's on Friday, stopped at our house to change clothes, then went to the rehearsal. We had said that we would take all four kids home with us from the wedding, but we sent them home with Byron and Paige after the rehearsal so they got in a bit of time with their daddy. In turn, we'd go and get the food ready, etc. Sat. am.. Brian and I decided to do a surprise for Paige.  We pulled out china, linens and candles and set the tables. (Her mom loaned the cloth on the mantel, the candles are mine.)  Thankfully, Paige was literally THRILLED with our surprise.
  Close up of a guest place setting -                     
  and of the head table -                     

        The pictures of them were taken by their friend / photographer Karen Veltman.
        The pictures of the tables were taken by Brian. 

         Welcome to our family Paige and Marcus ;-]

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

at Brent and Kayla's

   Last Saturday we took Papa Honey up to see Brent and Kayla's new home and property.

   They have acreage. A garage, a shed and a small barn. Four goats, three dogs and two cats. Apple trees. A field of alfalfa. When they moved in they had millions of rabbits, their dog Ariel has since made them scarce.  A creek. Deer. And from the pile they found in their woods, there must be a bear.
   After the tour and lunch, we set to peeling and cutting up apples -

  Kayla was so thrilled to be making applesauce out of apples off their own property.
   We had to head home before the process was finished, but she posted  a picture of the finished process.
   While it is a bit of a daily drive for Brent to get back and forth to work, we're happy that they were able to get out of the city and hope that they are able to fulfill a lot of the 'plans' they have for the place. 

Monday, September 19, 2016

GRAND kids conversation with "Mrs. Moon"

   Brian and I got to drive Analyse and Elliot to Illinois a week ago Sunday. What a delightful trip it turned out to be!!!  See, at one point, while the sun was still hitting us ever so brightly (in big part due to us heading west), Mr. Elliot suddenly asked, "hey, why is the moon out already?!" He was looking out his side of the car as we were going around a bend. We gave him a couple of possibilities before he turned to the window and loudly asked, "Excuse me Mrs. Moon, why are you up already?". I chuckled and in a sort of different voice answered, "because it's later than you think Mr. Elliot. It's almost your bed time, but Mr. Sun is shining extra bright not wanting to go to bed tonight."
   That started a conversation that Brian and I agree easily lasted over an hour. Very possible that it was over two hours. It'd be going really strong for quite awhile, then due to something said, something else would be talked about, or, there would just be a  pause, either way, after a bit we'd again hear, "excuse me Mrs. Moon......."
   He questioned if I had any children. "I have a bunch of sons".  "What are their names?" My brain went blank. When we had hit the road, we had pulled away from our little family having a weekend gathering together. I had done all of the shopping for it on Fri.. My head was a mess, but there was no way I wanted to put a stop to a delightful conversation with these GRAND children!!! So just loud enough that Brian could hear me over the roar of the highway, I questioned Brian about the names of planets, hoping that either a) the kids wouldn't hear us, or b) due to the fun of it all, they'd ignore it. One of the two worked. ;-]. "The names of a couple of my sons are Saturn and Uranus". 
    "Excuse me Mrs. Moon, do your sons every do anything that gets them in trouble?" I chuckled. "Yes, they are typical children who often do such things".  "Excuse me Mrs. Moon, is one of your sons naughtier than the others?" Brian and I both chuckled. "Saturn gets in trouble a lot!"  "Excuse me Mrs. Moon, what does he do that gets him in trouble?". "Oh, sometimes he doesn't take care of his plate and stuff off the table (something we had been working on with all of the GRAND children that weekend). Sometimes he won't help pick up or clean up when he's told to." And several more examples were listed. But he kept re-asking that question. We decided later that it was something he could think of to ask, and he wanted the conversation to keep going. So did we!
    "Excuse me Mrs. Moon..." every single time he asked a question, whether I had just answered his previous one, or if  there had been a lull in the conversation, he always started with that.  So darn sweet, cute, fun!
    At one point, the name of the planet 'Pluto' got brought up. Elliot explained that people don't think it's really a planet anymore, it's something else, but he wasn't sure what. Analyse had tried to explain but didn't get real far either. With a chuckle I commented, "Pluto is definitely still a planet, it's just that a lot of those muggles on earth keep confusing things since they don't understand our ways."  "Excuse me Mrs. Moon, did you say MUGGLES ON EARTH?!?!!!!" "Yes". Delighted laughter came from the back seat.
    After I had sang a song to the GRAND kids at bedtime the night before, Benson had then played a section of a Harry Potter book on tape for them to listen and fall asleep to. Thus, they totally got the reference to muggles. "Excuse me Mrs. Moon, who are the 'muggle' people?" "Oh you know, the ones that don't laugh very often, the ones that don't believe in using their imaginations, the ones that often aren't very fun to be around."  Both kids shared that they knew exactly who those type of people were. It was quite comical!
    When asked if I had a dog, Brian whispered that it was of course 'Pluto'. When I spoke that answer, Analyse exclaimed, "Just like on Disney!"  Our cat's name was 'Mercury'. 
     "Excuse me Mrs. Moon, do your sons have any sisters?" "Yes, one".  "... what's her name?" "Venus". "... your sons are lucky they only have one sister, I have two"  "HEY" Analyse exclaimed. Elliot's delighted laughter proved he had totally meant for that jab to hit.  Brian and I again had a hard time controlling out laughter.
    I used the word "again" because it happened frequently. A few times we were quite glad for the roar of the busy highway. Such as when after finding out the Mr. Sun was my husband, Elliot had questioned why we (Mr. Sun and Mrs. Moon) were always going up and down on one another. Mr. Sun had winked at me and quietly stated, "Oh, you'd be surprised how much fun that can be". "Excuse me Mr. Sun, what did you say?"  "Oh, he's just being naughty Mr. Elliot". Mr. Sun got hushed when he continued to make  quiet little comments. ;-b
    One of the things my sons were suppose to do, were things like light the stars at night. That got a totally awed reaction/response. "... how come sometimes a lot of the starts are lit but sometimes only a couple?" "Because sometimes Saturn doesn't do what he suppose to, or he does but then goes back and blows them out."  In an altered voice Brian had started talking as though he was Saturn, stating how he didn't like to have to do so much work, etc.. Analyse started talking over the top of him, as though she was naughty son Saturn, she didn't seem to like what Brian had to say. Sigh...
    Somewhere along the way, the name of the "Milky Way" had been brought up. "No, that's a candy bar". "Really?!" Elliot had replied in amazed awedness. He didn't think he'd ever had one. He's going to be getting one in the mail soon from Mrs. Moon. (Shhhh ;-] )
    When questioned if I had any friends, I had replied "Santa". I tell you, their responses were making this so-o-o much fun!!! I was asked if I knew Santa's wife, and elf's, and reindeer (who's names were then listed both verbally and in song form). 
    I was always "Mrs. Moon". I've since decided that the next time I sing the ole song, o/~ "Mr. Moon, Mr. Moon, you're out too soon, the sun is still in the sky....."o/~   I need to change it to 'Mrs. Moon'.
   After the third hug and kiss goodnight, as Elliot rounded the corner to go up to mommy's apartment, he called back "see ya later Mrs. Moon".  "See ya soon Mr. Elliot"  with a giggle he stated, "Yeah! 'soon!!!' ".

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The epitome of irony

   Facebook showed me a memory which I had posted there on Sept. 6th, 2015. I'm not going to re-share it there, but I will post it here.

   ""What's on my mind?" Yesterday I experienced the epitome of irony - Analyse and Elliot were arguing. I had let it go for a bit longer than I normally do, because what they were arguing about, was how much they loved me. Which turned into who loved me more. Analyse had said she loved me. I replied I loved her more., thinking that we were going into the little sparing game we play. But once Elliot joined in, Analyse just HAD to out do him. She said she loved me to the moon. He dittoed that. She said she loved me to _____ (a planet which is beyond the moon). Elliot said it was the same thing, because they were both up in the sky. She informed him that her's was further away from earth than the moon was, so she loved me more than he did. It was quiet for a moment. Knowing him, I knew he was thinking. Sure enough, he then declares he loved me to the milky way (not the candy bar type). She then had to set him straight about distances... they both love me. They were both declaring their love fore me. But the arguing about how much was building, so I had to put an end to their declarations. The epitome of irony, I tell you! :-b  "

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Laughable memories

  In the process of sorting through lots of stacks of paper recently, I came across two different times that I had written down funny things about our GRAND children. I really need to start doing this on a regular basis. I'm always so sure I'll remember them, only to find that I remember the incident, but not the conversations. Sigh...     Here's the two I found -

The first one is a conversation with Elliot. I 'think' he was 3 years old at the time.
"  "You're silly" he reples
"I'm not silly" (while I'm thinking I thought we'd conquered that it's okay to be silly).
   He continues with, "I'm a secret agent". Then, adding complete sincerity to both his voice and his face, he continued with "Secret agents are NEVER silly!!!"   (Guess we'll wait awhile to introduce him to 'Agent 5' 0;-b)   "

Also on that paper I had written,
"You're tricky"
"Robots are never tricky. They're hard to find"

Off of the other piece of paper, I think this one was from a couple of years ago too.

  "It took Analyse 45 minutes to eat her lunch, 3/4ths of a PB&J sandwich. Oh, her handful of corn chips were long gone. Elliot had eaten all of his sandwich, one quarter of hers and half of his chips. I told her to "hurry up and finish your lunch. It's taking you forever!" From behind me Elliot emphatically says "AMEN!!!"  "

They are such FUN!!!


Monday, August 29, 2016

Weekend Fun - Just the 2 of us

     Brian didn't have to work Sat., and  had asked if I'd like to go on a "color tour before everything starts changing colors, so then when we go again in the fall we'll really see the change."  Sounded like a fun idea to me. But what I didn't realize was, that he was being very spontaneous and actually planning a mini vacation for just the two (2) of us.
    Started off by treating me to breakfast Sat. am at Arnie's. Delicious!!! We then stopped to get car chargers for our new phones. When he got back in the car, he asked if there was any place in particular I'd like to head to. "How about Mt. Pleasant?  I never did get to take you there and show you the places Julie and I have found." Which route?  "The Amish way". And off we headed.
    We had so-o much fun spending time together!!! Even the '70's satellite radio station we like to listen to, was cooperating. We heard songs we've never heard them play, songs we thourally enjoy but hadn't heard in ages. Such as Charlie Daniels 1973 hit, "Uneasy Rider". {and all that long hair fell out from underneath}  (the link I used shows you the lyrics while you listen to the song).  And, Clint Holmes 1972 hit, "Playground in my mind" {"My name is Michael, I've got a nickle....."}, amongst many. Oh did we laugh when, after playing Cheech & Chong's hit "Framed", the DJ said, "I wonder about us here at this station, playing "Rocky Mountain High" after a Cheech & Chong song."
    After introducing Brian to St. Germain and Vintage Sisters Antique shops, we decided we were hungry. It was between 4 and 4:30 and we beat the rush to "Mountain Town Station" . It is a restored/renovated Train Station, with beef sandwiches that make your taste buds rejoice. (they offer other selections too). And their prices are amazing considering the quality of their food and the service you get. Sure hope they stay that way, because he definitely wants to go back. [And take the camera this time.]
   We had also stopped at "The Painted Turtle", a ceramics shop. Due to something we had seen at one of the antique shops, we came up with a gift idea for our daughter-in-loves and GRAND daughters. Thought maybe we could do our own version....  that's all I can say about that at this point in time.
    We then tried to find an additional antiques shop in Mt. Pleasant.... but it was no where to be found. Turned out, they had moved to a new location in the spring, and just last week the city had taken down their old location, due to the bad condition it was in. No wonder I couldn't find it.
    According to an antiques shop directory we had picked up, there were shops in Midland. En-route from Mt. Pleasant to Midland (along M20 I believe....), we passed the relocated antiques shop, "The Antiques Center". Much larger location! Cleaner, brighter, still friendly owner.

(pictures is from spontaneous dancing at Byron's and Paige's wedding this spring) 

     We ended up spending the night in Midland. Spontaneous overnights with out overnight bags are great with out children, GRAND children or friends along (wink, wink). Using my new phone, I had found a hotel via Google. Byron stated that he was "so proud of his mom's accomplishments with technology". We stayed at "The Baymont Inn". It was so-o cool! They had a Double-Decker bus parked out front (along with a red phone box and British styled post box), and display cases in a hallway of a large collection of miniature Double-Decker bus's which the previous owner was loaning to the current owners. There were also framed articles about Santa Clause School. And the previous owners wife's collection of birdhouses and chickens. Gave the place a real 'homey' feel instead of the usual 'sterile environment' of a hotel. Brian would have used the hot tub if we'd brought anything besides the clothes on our back with us.
    Turned out that none of the antique shops which had been listed in the directory, were still in business. But we did find one that had just opened the day before. "Now and Then Treasures". Had wonderful conversations with the male owner! We had also spotted this building in Midland, was it the old court house? Not sure... . But WOW!!! Amazing architecture!!! Had been built by both the Indians and the settlers. I so want to go back when it's open and walk around the inside, besides taking pictures of the outside of it. And loved how the main roads of the city/town were lined with flowers courtesy of Dow Gardens. Not potted plants, but beautiful foot thick blooming flowers between the edge of the road and the sidewalks. Might visit the gardens themselves next visit.
    En-route home, we came across a "Ponderosa Restaurant". Due to m-a-n-y fond memories of taking our sons their when they were young, the good food, their buffet, etc., we decided to get dinner there. Sigh. No wonder there is no longer any locations in our area. While our server was wonderful, the food was so-o disappointing. We'd ordered one Rib-eye steak dinner and one buffet. Both exceeded disappointing. We'll just focus on 'what once was' and drive past any locations we see in the future.  

     Brian, THANK-YOU so much for your spontaneity, your love, the fact that we're still friends, how cherished your words made me feel, EVERYTHING!!!  I LOVE you!!!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

phone conversations with GRAND children

   Two of our currently out of state GRAND children started school Wed.. We'd called them that night. Just thinking about our conversations make me both smile and chuckle. 
   When we called the first time, Elliot wasn't home, but we had conversations with Analyse. When I asked what she wore, she described every item. Brian had chuckled and commented to me, that it was proof she was my GRAND daughter.  Her Auntie Jamie snapped a shot of her and sent it to us. I then commented to Analyse that it was too short to be a dress. It was a long top with long stretch shorts underneath. "But grammie, when I spin it goes way out like the dresses you get me do, so it's a dress!"  I chuckled and asked a different question.
   When I asked if "Grant" was still at her school, she'd bust out with an excited laugh and loudly declared, "Yes, he's even in my classroom!!!"  "So-o, do you still like him?" "GRAMMIE, how did you know?!!!?"  While laughing I said, "Oh, you only talked about him all summer and even wrote him a note"  "That's because he's my boyfriend!" Papa inserted, "Your to young to have boyfriends!!!" (she's 7).  "Oh papa, no I'm not".   Their debate went back and forth for a few minutes then Analyse called out, "Grammie, is he teasing me?!?"  I chuckled and answered, "only sort of" "What does that mean?" and in the same breath continued on with, "And I know he still likes me because when he saw me, he gave me the funny little smile he always use to give me".  "Best warn the uncles" papa muttered.
    Later in the evening we called and talked with Elliot. He proudly informed us that he's 5 now and in kindergarten, as though we had no prior knowledge of it. ;-b He made a new friend named 'Mickayla'. "That's a little different than Mikaedam (his cousin)" "NO, Mickayla, like auntie Kayla, but it's not Auntie Kayla, cuz that would be weird to have my aunt be in kindergarten with me" He didn't 'get' why that was funny to us.