November 23, 2010

Gratitude - Day 23

Today I am grateful for heat.

We have been fighting with the furnace since we moved in. The electrical was not up to date and there was actually no power even hooked up to run the fan on the furnace. Oh, and someone before us took the blower. (took it away with them) It is impossible to run the furnace under these conditions.

A friend came in and got our electrical all set up for us. He is wonderful! Then, we were given permission to "shop" in the other empty units they are tearing down. Yipee! We picked up a new furnace! Also a few windows, a window air conditioner, a porch light, single cabinet for the kitchen (to hold the spices, microwave & toaster oven), a vent for the bathroom, small shelves for the wall and a complete line of cabinets I may incorporate into the living room with shelves above. Fun! holiday time = project completing time.
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November 22, 2010

Gratitude - Day 22

I am thankful for "bath cars." Tallen will only take a bath if he can have a few cars in with him. My sister gave him these two plastic cars. They don't rust, or leak afterward or anything. Love this.
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November 21, 2010

Gratitude - day 21

Today I am thankful for medicine. I know. SILLY.
Tallen has a cold and had an earache. The doctor didn't give anibiotics for the earache and it went away by itself. THANK YOU!!!!
Steven has also been sick - hacking and coughing - for about 10 days now and the end is not yet in sight. I am ever grateful for the cough meds he takes. So I can a seperate room. 

I will be happier when he is cough free and able to come back to our room. I don't sleep as soundly when he's not there.  I look to the day when all are germ and sickness free.

November 20, 2010

Gratitude–Day 20

I am thankful for technological advances.

My day went something like this:

- 6:00am – Awakened by Tallen squishing in

- 6:30am – Can’t sleep, turned on TV

- 7:00am – 1st call with my cell phone to the Laundromat(I had more to dry than time to do it in) This call was followed by 3 others at 7:15, 7:30 & 7:45.

- 8:00am – dressed for the day and breakfast (pastry in the microwave and tea on the stove)

- 8:05am – load the van with wet clothes drive to Laundromat

- 8:12am – put clothes for the children in ALL the dryers (I didn’t even get to knit,  it went so fast)

- 8:35-9:23am – fold clothes and drive home

- 9:45am – drive quickly to the airport

- 11:05am – girls board plane bound for GA

- 11:55am – giant plane- made of metal takes to the air (impossible!!)

A day full of technology!!

Cell phones-so I could call for hours and to calm the girls stress from afar

TV-to fill the empty too quiet times

microwave-to quickly heat my donut to make it soft and warm-like new again

gas stove-instant heat is wonderful. I didn’t have to chop wood, light a fire and wait for the heat to build.

And don’t forget the heated air to sit comfy in, the hot water just waiting by, ready to use.

vans-that carry my family and our stuff everywhere

dryers-to dry my clothes quickly-it no longer takes all day to hang and dry clothes.

airplanes- that takes the time it takes to get to Atlanta. GA from an long and hard trip of 12 hours down to 2hrs.  Amazing!

November 19, 2010

Gratitude–Day 19

Today, what I am grateful for the most is my home. It may not be big, it may not be fancy, but it is mine.

* a bed room and bunk bed = a very happy boy

* a large bedroom for the girls to share = must “communication” over the sharing of space, clothes, and things

* a bedroom for Steven and me = a cozy place to hide away from the children and try to knit and find peace

* the washer and dryer are in the bathroom, so as winter comes on, I’ll be able to put my socks and towel in the dryer to be toasty warm as I emerge from the shower = VERY COOL idea

* a space over in the corner, for my crafts & sewing machine = yippee!!!


* a 3-butt-kitchen = happy cooks and prep kids. (I know our kitchen in the apartment we rented before Tallen was born was a 1-butt kitchen) a small table fits, it seats 4.

* a new gas stove to cook on, and bake in = a relief after a few months of NOT having a stove at all.  How Creative with food can I be??

* a fridge with a water and ice dispenser = I don’t have to remind the children to refill the water pitcher or the ice trays = less stress for Mama 

* a living room just big enough to seat 8 for a cozy  and intimate conversation

* a dining room big enough to have our table opened to seat 8 = still able to host the D&D party.

* a deck large enough to have picnics and cookouts on = family time is great

* a playground and pool in our neighborhood = fun

* the girls are able to be in the same school with friends = happy girls

Like I said, today, I am grateful for my home. It may not be big, it may not be fancy, but it is mine. And we are able to be a family together within it’s walls.

Thank you Heavenly Father, for the blessing that is our home. I appreciate it.

November 18, 2010

Gratitude: Day 18

I am grateful today for knitting! (my one true passion, along with sewing, and baking and card making and...well, you get the idea.) I like knitting best, it's portable.

Knitting brings me such a sense of peace and solitude. And I am able to make beautiful things for the people who mean the most to me. 1454IMAG0122_thumb205140009 

Photo_032409_008  Those who know me best, know that I carry a project with me all the time EVERYWHERE.


I was talking to Beth; a friend and owner of the coolest spinning shop in Michigan, The Spinning Loft; yesterday. I stopped in to check things out and check in with her as she just returned from Peru.

So, we were sitting there talking as she unpacked her treasures. She brought back the most amazing and beautifully worked bags and scarves.  Alpaca that is cleaned, dyed, spun and then woven into beautiful bags, scarves and clothes. Truly renewable products = alpaca and llama and sheep wool.

Beth was telling me how The people of Peru do beautiful work and the real shame is that they work SO hard and make so little money doing it, because people now-a-days do no treasure handmade textiles (or handmade anything) as they should.  She commented that the MACHINES that make sweaters were invented to imitate what HUMAN HANDS have been doing for hundreds of years. And she is right. 

She also commented that that same mass marketed sweater (or shirt, or anything) is disposable. We go to the store, buy it wear it, it wears out and we throw it away in the trash. Then she told me about a bag from Peru, she has been carrying for three years and it isn’t worn at all, because it is made to last and last.

The whole conversation came to a fun conclusion. Beth unfolded a weaving loom that is typically used by the people of Peru. If you “Google” LOOM,

you will see pictures of a large and boxy thing that takes up LOTS of space on the floor.

This is NOT what Beth brought back.

THIS is what the people she learned about use to make amazing products. THIS is what Beth brought back. 

It’s called a back strap loom
(Do you SEE the woven goods hanging there!  They are made on what is essentially a few sticks. I have tears in my eyes.)  AMAZING!!!! (If you happen to be near the shop, stop in. and of course, Beth is posting the bags online as well, go check it out!.)

What a gift it is that we, as sons and daughters of God, can learn such things as knitting and weaving and sewing.

November 17, 2010

Gratitude: Day 17

I am ever thankful for the beauty of the Earth and skies.
This was an Amazing Sunset from July 2010.  Can you even imagine how beautiful the colors were in real life?
God is so good.

November 16, 2010

Gratitude - Day 16

You know what I am grateful tonite? I am very happy to have my hot water bottle. Love it!

On a chilly, cold night in Michigan...warm toes are wonderful!

I am even going to knit a cover for it...eventually. Right now it wears a onsie. We all have them. Tallen's wears a onsie with trucks on it, Mirnada has a onsie that says "party at my crib" (funny), Sariah's is less is just white. We were going to paint it.

Anyway, I am so happy to have this little bit of warmth to cuddle up to in my bed as I sit knitting until I am tired and then I push it down to my feet. I sleep so much better when my feet are cozy.

November 8, 2010

3, 2, 1, GLOW!!

My all time favorite part of the Howell Balloonfest is the Glow. 


The girls hanging out on the hill waiting.  Tallen wouldn’t hold still for a photo.


You (the public) gather on the grounds and hill surrounding a huge open area near the high school as some of the balloons are taking off. There was a live band to entertain during the wait. Nice. It’s cool to watch the balloons float over and hear the “Whooosh” of the fire heating the air for more lift, but the really cool part is later. Just as the sun has set and it’s getting dark (and the mosquitos are REALLY coming for you) the field by the is filled with hot air balloons still flat and deflated all over on the ground. Then they are blown up, all at the same time it appears, in a rush to be ready.









Then the countdown begins…  the crowd yells and counts…


3, 2, 1, GLOW!!!!

and the balloons go from big dark blobs to globes full of light as the pilots turn on the flames under the balloons.



























Balloonfest 2010
Balloonfest 2010
The pictures don’t really do it justice, so here are some video clips I caught.

Howell Balloonfest

Each June, Howell hosts the Balloon Fest. Challenge. It’s a hot air balloon race of sorts.  It amounts to lots more traffic through town, lots of area churches making the charging to park people on church grounds,  yummy fair food (so not good for you),  and there are plenty of hot air balloons that go overhead. There is also an arts fair and carnival.  Thursday night was “park for free and go to the carnival for $15 arm band night.”  Everything else opens on Friday.


The girls were dropped off early to hang as a gaggle of girls until 7pm when we got there with Tallen.


Tallen was not sure how to do this all and WOULD NOT get on any rides – and we had just paid $15 for the arm band!!

So needless to say, Mama was getting agitated by the boy crying and not riding. 

IMAG0202THEN, I had an “AH HA!! Moment” and pulled Randa off her rides and she introduced Tallen to the joys of carnival rides. 

             MUCH Better!!



IMAG0201Then, for the rest of the night it was hard to get him OFF the rides!

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Happy Boys are a good thing!!

Steven and I didn’t go for the arm bands, but I wanted to ride one ride with Tallen. So we chose the Huge Ferris Wheel  

IMAG0205Here is the top most car from the ground. WOW!!








This is Steven taking pictures. We were still on the ground.


IMAG0214Here he is from my view at the top of the Ferris Wheel. (He’s the tiny yellow dot) Boy was it high up!




IMAG0220The plan with the girls was for them to hang in the gaggle of girls and call or text me every so often to check in.  This is actually Sariah dialing the phone to check in with me. 


I crept up and scared them….

hahaha  !! (evil laugh)IMAG0221


I know, I’m bad!!


These girls  are  so beautiful!

I forget sometimes how grown up they are becoming.  I am finding that balance between holding them tight and letting them test their wings…but I digress.

Back to the fun…


Here are the kids while waiting to go on the bumper cars I think.  Sariah and Tallen drove together and Miranda in her own car.  We had tons of fun and stayed until 10pm!!! They rode and rode and rode!  Good value on that arm band.



This is video of the the girls on the tiny roller coaster.

And after of the roller coaster…don’t get motion sick. hahaha

This is one of Tallen on HIS roller coaster – his favorite ride of the night.