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. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

'Cozy Country Cottage' Guest Bedroom -

       When our friends bought their cottage a few years ago, they had decorated it with items picked up here and there, stuff out of her dad's storage unit, etc.. Time passed, and after getting a feel for their cottage, what they do there, looking through magazines, visiting cottage shows, etc., Julie had decided what theme she's like to go with and how she'd like to do her cottage. One time, while we were sitting out on it's deck, she shared that she'd decided to let me handle the re-do of the guest bedroom.
      I was both honored and THRILLED!  I LOVE decorating!!!  She gave me 'X' amount of dollars towards the project and I started spouting off ideas. She asked if I wanted to paint the room. I shrugged and said I didn't know.  We decided that I was to take my time with the project, thus being able to scout for "finds".  What fun I had doing just exactly that!
    Time passed. One day, as we were again sitting on her deck, this time discussing some of the treasures I'd found, she again asked if I was going to paint the room.  "That's the second time you've asked me that, I take it you want me to paint the room?"  "I've hated what they did with that room since the first time we walked through this cottage!!!"
    You know how when you have an overall idea for something, there is always a big gamble involved with how close to your concept the finished thing will actually turn out?  It's that way with cooking, baking, customizing cars, sewing, crocheting, and decorating, among-st many other things. I am so-o-o happy to report that the bedroom turned out exactly as I had envisioned!!!  I wanted to create a 'cozy cottage themed bedroom', incorporate some of the colors she'd chosen for her decorating, as well as some of the wood tones from the cottage itself, and some relaxing and encouraging touches.

     I so-o wanted a particular type of bed frame. I looked and I looked and I looked.... had started debating if I should change my goal, when it showed up while we were out shopping together. I was ecstatic!! Another shopper was quite befuddled why I would want that bed frame.  I explained the theme I was going for. With quite the expression on her face, she questioned if I was going to strip and redo it then.  "Nope, I'll just get a dark brown colored paint and paint very thin lines between each of the balls, which will change the whole appearance and make the whole frame really "pop". She wasn't convinced, but another shopper whom had been listening in, exclaimed that was a brilliant idea.
      Before -

   After - (I had brought along several small sized (even kid type) paint brushes... ended up wiping each one off and using a tooth pick... yes, a tooth pick.

    I wanted several wood shelves... but had troubles finding enough that weren't painted over or that fit the size and styles I wanted.... so I ended up picking up a couple which had been painted over and painting over them again.
     Before -

     After - (besides just paining the shelf, I also painted thin lines to make the trim part "pop".)
         (reminder, you can click on picture to see them larger / clearer)

     Julie had wanted the room repainted for two reasons. One, was how poorly of a job they had done applying the white paint, the other was how bad the corners of the room looked.
     Before -

    After - (It had taken Brian quite a bit of time and effort, applying filler/spackle.. wait for it to dry, add another layer.... but once the two coats of paint were applied and dried, it showed how worth it his efforts had been!!! )

  This is what catches your eye when you first open the door -

    Close up of the frame - (At first I had printed off what we had come up with... didn't like the effect hanging in the room, so re-did it using colored pencils)
              [Reminder - you can click on pictures to see them clearer/closer up]

    Close up of the little shelf - (the gate is bolted to the frame seeings how it sits above where they sit up the port-a-crib ;->)

This is what you see when you look down upon entering the room -
        The wicker hamper holds sheets and blankets for the port-a-crib and works as a night stand. The rug feels good on your feet in the morning.

       Placed four (4) pillows on the bed, 'soft', 'medium', 'firm' and 'extra firm'.  It's a guest room, thus it's used by lots of different people.  Marked the pillows so it's easy to figure out which one you might prefer (also cut off all of those huge annoying tags they come with)  -

    I was again ecstatic when I stumbled across the quilt. It had the blue and white with touches of red of Julie's main theme, it totally fit the "cozy cottage" style I was going for, and the price was perfect!!
    Julie had thought I should make one of my wreaths for the room, I was again honored. It hangs above the bed -
      (PLEASE click on the above picture to see it clearer/better)

     A larger sized wicker hamper is the night stand on the other side of the bed. Brian made the lamp for me out of a large Ball canning jar. Picked up the shade at Menard's. Plan to fill the jar with acorns out of the yard this fall.  The jar didn't like to sit balanced on the hamper, so found the solution in this wooden board from a mission store. It had a wire attachment on it that Brian said had been used for .. unscrewed the screws, the ring came right off, turned it over, and wa-la, love the look!  The book under the tissues is a four version Bible. There is also a blue rug on the floor on that side of the bed. 

    While this picture is included above, here is what is above the bed in that corner of the room -
 The candle on the side wall is a battery operated one.
     The wicker look container on the bottom shelf holds hand lotion.
     The second shelf up holds favorite books from my youth. Books that would now be easy to read through on a rainy weekend. From right to left - 'Farmer Boy', 'The Boxcar Children', 'Little Men', 'Little Women', 'Anne of Green Gables', 'Heidi', 'Pippi Longstocking', 'The Trumpet Swan' and a Hymn Book (because old hymns can ease a down spirit wonderfully!)  Found all but the Hymn Book via Abe books on line.
    The wicker look trunk on the top shelf is currently full of whatever your imagination deems to be in there... ;-]

    The wall on the bathroom side of the room had not gone all of the way to the ceiling. It does now.
      Brian also replaced the outlets and the outlet covers in the room.

    The other outside wall of the room -
         If you pull the curtains tight to both ends, your get the black out effect. Seeings how it's a east facing room, that's a bonus when you have young ones in the port-a-crib!  (the little white nob hanging down in the picture is connected to the ceiling fan/light)
   Close up of the two (2) quotes (also made using colored pencils) -

     Julie had picked up the frames the quotes are in... we had both really liked the frames... here is what they looked like before -

    The mirror is actually a gold colored plastic framed mirror, sanded down and painted with some of Kayla's 'shiny bronze' finger nail polish. Then inserted into a picture frame after the picture had been removed and the frame had been painted and fine lined.

    Julie, THANK-YOU for allowing me the privilege of re-doing your guest room for you!  I had so-o much fun doing the 'hunt' for the re-do and 'planning' everything.  :-D !
   Brian, thank-you so-o-o much for all of your labor in helping me actually re-do the room! ;-} !

Monday, August 1, 2016

Elliot and his tools

   Last Christmas, a few of the items Brian and I gave Elliot were tool related. Items such as, his size  leather work gloves, a leather pouch tool belt, an adult sized plastic tool box with tray, a few tools and three (3) child size hard hats (so he could share). 

           Here is his adorableness with the hard hats

            (reminder, click on the pictures to see them larger and clearer)

      His favorite, was the battery powered screw driver. He got so excited helping any and everybody open their gifts using it.

      We celebrated the July B-days in our 'little' family during our mini vacation this past weekend. Yet again, God had gone before us, so that when Brian and I went to Toys 'R Us last week to pick out a gift for the now five (5) year old Mr. Elliot,  we found they had their 74 piece tool set on sale for half price.  :-D.  (Thank-you Lord!!)
      At one point after dinner, when all of the kids had been dismissed to play, I pointed out to Brian that all of the other kids were playing with Elliot's tools (the hard hats and tool box had been brought along), but it seemed that they weren't letting Elliot play with them. Brian got the biggest, proudest smirk on his face, while he leaned close to share that he had thought so too, so had started watching closer. In actuality, all of the kids had hit Elliot up to play with his tools, Elliot had then assigned each of them different tools/equipment along with a task. This child had been assigned to fix this part of the fooseball table using this tool and wearing a hard hat, that one the wood part of that couch using the hammer, etc.. Elliot himself was their supervisor, watching and then wandering over to instruct anyone whom wasn't doing their task the way they should be. Together, we watched for a couple minutes and were sharing a quiet chuckle over it, when Analyse walked up to Mr. Elliot and in her ever so dramatic way, totally confirmed the whole thing. "Boss, may I p-l-e-a-s-e take a break?!?!!!  I'm so-o-o tried. I've been working so-o-o hard. Isn't it break time y-e-t?" 
    We couldn't help it, our chuckles exploded into laughter. Our adult children then wanted clued in. Brian explained. Our GRAND children then further confirmed the whole thing, by loudly interrupting one another to share what task they had been assigned and how good of a job they were doing on it. :-]  
    Later, Elliot came over wanting Benson and I to do such and such with these cards he was holding. I got the part about his name on them, told him that later I would fill the info out, but for now, used my pencil and wrote a 'E'  on the back indicating they were his. His puzzled face told me I hadn't gotten all of it right. He tried explaining again. Finally I understood, we were suppose to take his picture and attach it to his little ID cards. Had to explain we couldn't do that directly from the camera, but that we could later via our computer and printer at home. Benson then took this picture to use....
   I wonder if I'm suppose to write Elliot B___ or Mr. Elliot, Boss Man.  ;-b

  [ Linked to http://brazierchildren.blogspot.com/ ]

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Two (2) multiple thumbs up Salads

   My brother BL and his wife host a yearly summer party at their house, for both sides of their family.  Laughter, good food, swimming, boating and a campfire are the main activities of the event. This year, instead of making something from my recipe box, I decided to try things from one of my Pinterest boards.  To be honest, I had tried the pea salad one on Father's Day, and my husband raved over it, so I made that one again and another new one I thought he would like. He did!  In-fact, I got lots of thumbs up on both recipes and promised to post them. Here they are then ;-]

     (Reminder, you can click on the pictures to see them in larger (clearer) version) 
    It was hot 'round here on Saturday!!! Hot and muggy and what some consider as 'summer at it's finest' and others consider as 'summer at it's worst'. It was the kind of heat that I knew would do damage to these salads in no time flat! But how to help them on a buffet? The above picture shows the remedy I came up with.

    Now for the recipes... I haven't yet figured out how to post them, so that you can print off just the recipe.. Byron was going to help by walking me through the process... but 'life' hasn't cooperated for two days now... seeings how I have promised a couple of people that I would post them, here goes the only way I currently know.... Sorry!

~ Creamy Pea Salad 
   Adapted from the version posted by Jamie on 'Love Bakes Good Cakes'
     (http://www.lovebakesgoodcakes.com/2012/08/creamy-pea-salad.html )
  ~ 2 pkg.'s (16 oz. each) frozen peas, thawed and drained
  ~ 2 to 3 cups Colby Cheddar Cheese, diced med. size
  ~ 2 to 3 cups diced Mozzarella cheese
  ~ Half of 1 fist size Red Onion
  ~ 1 cup each of both Miracle Whip AND Mayonnaise
  ~ Salt and Pepper, to taste
  ~ 8 oz. Real Bacon Crumbles

    Dump the drained peas and both cheeses into a large bowl.
    Slice the red onion quite thinly, then dice up the slices.  Add to bowl.
    Use your hands to mix everything thourally.
    In another bowl, blend together the Miracle Whip, Mayonnaise, Salt and Pepper. Scrape this mixture out onto the contents of the big bowl. Use a large wooden spoon to thourally blend everything together. Take a sample bite. If necessary, add more Miracle Whip and/or Mayonnaise.
    Chill for an hour or two.

~ Bacon Tomato Cucumber Salad
    Adapted from the version posted by Jessica on 'Simply Healthy Home'
     ( http://simplyhealthyhome.com/bacon-tomato-cucumber-salad/ )
  ~ 3 extra large seedless Cucumbers
  ~ 16 oz. container of grape size Tomatoes
  ~ 8 oz. Real Bacon Crumbles
  ~ 1/2 to 3/4ths cups each of both Miracle Whip AND Mayonnaise
  ~ 1 1/2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
  ~ 1 1/2 teaspoons Sea Salt
  ~ 3/4 teaspoon black Pepper

   Slice your Cucumbers in half lengthwise. Slice each half into 3 sections lengthwise. Now chop them into rather small chunks. Dump them into a large bowl as you go.
   Cut each Tomato in half lengthwise, then in half width wise. Dump on top of the cucumbers as you go.
   Add the Real Bacon Crumbles to the bowl.
   Use your hands to mix everything thourally.
    In another bowl, blend together the Miracle Whip, Mayonnaise, Garlic Powder, Sea Salt and Black pepper. Scrape this mixture out onto the contents of the big bowl. Use a large wooden spoon to thourally blend everything together. Take a sample bite. If necessary, add more Miracle Whip and/or Mayonnaise.
  Chill for an hour or two.
  [due to the natural wateriness of cucumbers, this salad does not have a long shelf life]

I hope you, your family and friends enjoy them as much as mine have!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

a smile producing memory

     Facebook asked me if I wanted to share a memory, something I had posted on July 14, 2015.  I do, just not on there.  I'll share it on here.
    "I had gone up to bed very early last evening. While coming back down an hour and a half later, just turned 4 year old Mr. Elliot questioned why I was up. "Oh, cause my body told me I need to use the bathroom" (read while hearing a totally in awe young voice) "Really grandma? Your body talks to you?!?" While trying to camouflage my chuckle I replied, "yes, some times it does" (add more awe and wonderment to the young voice) "Cool! Can I listen to it with you sometime grandma?" Oh the delight young ones add to our lives!"

Friday, July 8, 2016

Last week Wed.

   Our 'back yard neighbors' moved out last Wed. evening.  Yes, you read that right.  See, Brent and Kayla found a house in time to put a bid in on it before it was already off the market (that happened a LOT!). Their bid was accepted. :-].  The very next day, they received notification from the company they had been renting from, that they had to be out by the end of the month. The company was going to take advantage of the current housing market and put the house up for sale. It could have worked out just fine, seeings how the people they were buying from had already put an offer in on another house and wanted a quick flip.
    But you know how 'could have's' and 'should have's' go. Especially when your dealing with any branch of the government. While Brent had been pre-approved for a mortgage, it was a government backed one... sigh. While he had been super careful to cross every 'T' and dot every 'i', it seemed that the line on the 'T' must have gotten too close to the dot on the 'i' or something. (Insert eye roll). It was one delay after another.  Crazy things. Such as, even though all of the money for his down payment was in one (1) account, the proof of where every dollar of it had come from wasn't in the proper order of deposits for them. Such as, the guy from the county who did the lot survey, didn't fill out his paper work to their (the governments) satisfaction. This ended up having to be redone more than twice. Like I said, crazy things!
    In the meantime, or should that be 'in reality', time had passed and they had gotten to the end of when they could live in the rental house. The cost of living in a hotel for an extended time was either too high, or at a location you wouldn't want to do so at.
   Seeings how they DID have a new house lined up and even if the deal on that place didn't go through, they were going to be buying a house; and it is summer, we said "yes" to their request of moving into our back yard. They came inside to get water for dishes or to use the bathroom, but other wise, by their own choice, mainly stayed outside.
    It worked out just fine. We'd had concerns about their dogs and barking, due to where they were set up and neighborhood traffic, etc., but were very pleasantly impressed with how well they have trained and controlled their dogs! :->
    They ended up living out back longer than they had hoped, but not as long as they had feared.  Last Wed. we helped them load up, and move their stuff to their own new house. With 17 acres. And a garage. And a barn. And tons of wild life. A perfect 'Brent'  and 'Kayla' location!
    I snapped this picture early Wed. morning.   The picture of their dogs in yesterday's posting was taken then too.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

"Family Day", June 2016

    Last week was such a busy week!  Perhaps I'll post more about all of it later (o:-b ). For now, I want to share a brief glimpse at our "Family Day".  I had gone through our 'little families' calendar via the Cozi app. and picked a day that everybody was at least available. If they chose to participate or not, was then up to them. I'm seriously thankful they all did!
Scheduled to have all of our GRAND children here for the entire day. Kayla and Brandon were going to be here too.
     Here is a picture I took that day of all 7 of our GRAND children, lined up in order of age.

             (Reminder, if you click on the picture you can see it in larger form)

 Currently, Marcus is 8 1/2, Mikaedam 8, Analyse 7, Marlie and Kadriel are both 6 1/2, Elliot is 4 9/10, Rylee is 3. While the names of our GRAND dogs are listed, we chose not to put them up there* for the picture. The reasoning was that it would probably scare and scar one and over encourage the other. (;-b).
    But here is a picture I took of the two dogs the next morning. Daisy is the white one, Aria the black one.

    Up there* = part of the 30 foot long play center our adult kids built out of mainly scrap materials (less than $100.00 was spent on the build) and gave to our GRAND children for Christmas one year. That thing was climbed on, ran on, swings swung till occupants hit the tree branches, etc., to the max that Grandma would allow that day. (to the disappointment of many, I would not let them go out on the section of board that goes over the swings... experience not fear was my reasoning). Our kids did an awesome job in designing and building it and the GRAND kids are ever so grateful they did!!!

      The GRAND kids are now questioning when the next "cousins" day is.... this GRAND ma is scheming on that....

 Blog about our GRAND children

Wednesday, April 13, 2016


   A song came on the satellite kids radio station we were listening to while traveling with 3 of our GRAND kids this past weekend, that Brian and I rated "JUST GREAT!!!".  I had pulled out my notebook and scribbled down the name of the singer and the song.  I was sure I could find it on YouTube or something and share it with all of my facebook 'friends' that I know are Harry Potter fans.
   I searched and I searched, but could not find one good link to share ;-\  However, through persistence, I did come up with a way for you to get the overall just of it.  [for the record, I am not techie enough to know if you can do this on your smart phones, or if you will have to get to a full computer to do so, but I think it will be worth your effort to do whichever way it takes ;->]
   First, open up a screen/tab for this web address - http://www.stevegoodie.com/kids/lyrics02.html  Scroll down quite a ways to the section with the dark blue back ground. The lyrics for the first song in that section is "Quidditch Ball Wizard". Don't start reading the words quite yet...
   Second, open up an additional screen/tab for this web address -  http://www.madmusic.com/song_details.aspx?SongID=508 in the gold square on the left, click to 'play sample'. Then QUICKLY switch back to the first screen/tab you had opened and read the lyrics while the music plays. Seeings how it's only a sample, the whole song does not play, but it plays enough for you to get a feel for the song and have it keep playing in your head while you finish reading the lyrics.
  "That magically inclined kid, sure plays a mean quidditch ball!" 

   PLEASE let us know if you too enjoyed (and even laughed) at it.

For purposes of giving credit where credit is due, the name of the song is "Mean Quidditch Ball" and it was written and performed by Steve Goodie. It is a Parody of "Pinball Wizard" by The Who.

Monday, March 7, 2016

We witnessed the most romantic little scene

  It was within minutes of 6:00 pm last evening, when while on our way to something, we stopped for a stop sign and were ever so glad we had needed to. The road we were on was ending and we had to turn onto the street it ended at. Straight ahead of us, I spotted a guy helping somebody from a car in the driveway by the little house. It captured my attention. After a moment, it looked like he must be helping a lady out in a long nightgown. But I wasn't positive that was what the material I was seeing. I kind of shrugged and thought maybe he was bringing her home from the hospital. Then I was able to see more of the material, definitely not a night gown. And then, when she stepped free of the car, 'is it really?' my mind wondered. I turned to ask Brian, figuring we were still sitting there waiting for on coming traffic, but no, he too was lost in the unfolding scene.
  She was wearing a full length, no train, beautiful, creamish colored, wedding dress, covered around her arms and upper body by a white fur, tight fitting cape. Her hair was all done up and she was holding a small bouquet that seemed to be wild flowers or something. I really wanted to see it closer! Told Brian I wished the camera was in the car so I could zoom in to see 'details'.
   Smiling ear to ear, the young (to us) man, straightened up, straightened his suit jacket, offered her his arm and they proceeded up what must have been a sidewalk to the side door of the house. He unlocked the door, they talked for a moment, then grinning ear to ear he hurried back down the sidewalk while she stood waiting by the door. He jumped in the car, drove it to the garage at the back of the property, jumped out, said something to her while waving keys in the air and hustled to unlock the overhead garage door, opened the door, then hustled back to the car and backed it into the garage.
   We figured he'd come hustling right back out, but he didn't, to the point we wondered what he was doing. In reality, it probably didn't take him that long, but we were so wanting to see what was going to happen next and desperately hoping no car would come up behind us.
   The bride was standing next to the door waiting. She turned her head to look down the street a couple of times, seemed to shiver and pull her cape tighter a couple of times, once, we thought she had turned her head far enough that she spotted us, but we weren't sure. She was on the other side of what we're guessing to be a rose trellis (or maybe that description just fits the romantic-ness of the situation best ;-]).
   Finally, the groom appeared in the door way of the garage. He closed and locked the overhead door, then came hustling forward, wearing a small sized duffel bag over one shoulder and proudly holding a floral (almost gift shaped bag) up in the air with the other arm. He rushed towards his bride, beaming with happiness.
    When he got to her, she stepped back while he entered the house and sat the bags inside. He stepped back out, they said something, then he reached in to the house to sit the bouquet in there. Then he did what we had been wondering if he was going to do. He bent and swept his bride up in his arms and carried her over the threshold. They had disappeared in to the house.
   I giggled with happiness. What a cute, sweet, intimate, romantic scene, we had just been privileged to witness!
   Brian questioned if it had been a Sunday wedding. I said that maybe it had been Sat. and she had put her dress back on to arrive at their new home in. They had seemed to have overnight bags. Then again, her hair was all done up nice... .  
    We hope they strive to keep including little romantic touches in their marriage as they progress on in life.
    We thanked the Lord for the absence of other traffic as we continued on our way.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

I've sold wreaths :-}

    Back on March 20th of 2015, somebody had left this comment on our blog, "Heard you sold a wreath, tell us more about it".  That was right after I'd had my first order off my etsy shop. I waited to write it, so that I could include the comment from the buyer. Never got one. Which me, being me, made me question if they hadn't really liked it, o-r .... ? 
    Since then, I've sold several wreaths. Some were orders I shipped to unknown people. Some were sold to people I know in real life. Then recently, I received a message from a lady, inquiring if I'd do special orders and if I'd make extra large sized wreaths. My answer was yes to both.
    It turned out that she really liked one of the "spring grass" wreaths I have listed and she wanted two (2!) of them made on 30 inch frames.  I gave her a quote, she was fine with the price. She questioned if the shipping price was per wreath, or if they could be shipped together. I replied that I 'should' be able to ship both in one box for $__ . She answered that not only did she want to order two extra large wreaths, she also wanted me to go ahead and add her order to my site, so she could pay for it. I was thrilled!
   It took me a couple of weeks, but I got both wreaths made and a ride to the place I ship from. The next morning, I sent this message to the lady,
   "Your wreaths are on their way :-> They are coming to you via FedEx Ground Home Delivery Tracking #:______________ .
    Remember when I said, "By putting both in one box, it 'should' be able to go out for $55.00. " Well, I was wrong. W-a-y wrong 8-/. Turns out, that the size of the box needed, made a huge difference in the price of shipping it. While it wasn't very heavy, they charge for how much room a package takes up in their delivery vehicles. That, combined with the distance the wreaths were traveling, came to a shipping price of $102.17 . And that was the lowest price I could get amongst the various shipping options. I was literally stunned!
    I enjoy checking every day to see how far packages have traveled :-]"

   That cost for shipping not only stripped me of any profit, but also cost me. But I had set the price, so I sent them to her, figuring lesson learned. Turned out that God not only taught me a lesson, He also had grace planned out for me as well, because the very same day the lady replied, "I will be happy to pay the difference in shipping if you set up an invoice for me. I can't wait to receive the wreaths." I literally had tears of joy as I replied back, "Thank-you ever so much!! !! I will set one up as soon as I figure out how to do so ;-b" 
   I never did figure out the "how". Instead, Byron used his phone to take a picture of the receipt and I sent her this email, "Hi ____ :-]    Cheryl B. here.  I could not figure out how to set up an additional invoice on etsy. So instead, I'm sending you the info. this way. If you know how to go ahead and pay me through Pay Pal, please do. Otherwise, I'll give you my mailing address so you can send the money to me.  THANKS AGAIN for being willing to do this!!!
   The total for shipping was $102.17 - $55.00 (you paid) = $47.17  (difference)
    there should be a copy of my receipt attached to this email ;-] "
   She didn't know how to use paypal like that either. So I sent her my mailing address. Yesterday, I sent her this message, "Hi _____ :-]   the check arrived today, THANK-YOU!!  According to shipping notification the wreaths were delivered to you this weekend. Hoping you like them.   Cheryl B."
    Before I went to bed last night, I checked to see if she'd replied. She had. "I was gonna email you today.  I received the wreaths on Sat.  They are beautiful.  Thank you!! I am hoping to hang it this weekend as it's supposed to rain for the next couple days.  Thanks again."  I sent back, "your absolutely WELCOME!!!  :-]  and thanks for the compliment! ;->"
     I was so-o-o-o-o excited and happy last night, that it took quite awhile to go to sleep. :->  I'm still thrilled to pieces!!! 
    Here's the wreaths I made for her -

And here's the link to my shop -   https://www.etsy.com/shop/CraftedbyPinkbunnies

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Entertainment via Netflix :->

   Due to my now long (6 years) reining title of 'Ms. Vertigo' , I have watched a LOT of TV. It started off as just TV. Then a son got us Netflix. I not only learned how to work that remote while also having to work the TV remote (ours is hooked up via a Play-station system), but I also learned to navigate and find shows I liked. I've found  A LOT of them. o;-] Such as:

Netflix Shows (Series) I've Enjoyed:
Drop Dead Diva (the first few seasons)
The Glades (first few seasons)
Monarch of the Glen (several seasons)
McLeod's Daughters ( a slew of seasons!!)
Firefly (watch the show FIRST, then watch the movie Serenity)

Movies I've enjoyed that are on Netflix:
Quartet (watch the credits too!!!)

Shows (Series) I've enjoyed on HULU:

And recently, thanks to friends posting about it on Facebook, I've found another good way to search Netflix.

Lots of friends have asked me for recommendations, and I of course can always only think of one or two at the time ( 8-/)... now I can refer them to this list ;-]

I'm curious, what shows have you found and enjoyed?!!