Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Happy Saturday

Mary played her cello at district solo and ensemble this afternoon and received a #1 rating from the judge. The judge was very nice and even read her comments to her right on the spot. She said that she had one of the best intonations of the day. Many or most people ask if she is going into music as a career. She is still considering teaching music, but is content with teaching English too. Mary is very talented in both. After her performance we went to Jimmy's Roadhouse, another restaurant that is owned by Brandon's dad in Newaygo. We had a delicious lunch accented with the best ranch dressing in the world!

When we got home, I watched a little of the Hope/Calvin game on public TV before taking a little nap. Matt Mary and I watched the movie "Deja Vu". We gave it 5 out of 5 stars. Still need to go to the store and get milk, dog food and a few other things. Mary and Matthew are going to return pop cans that have been collecting. We will use that money toward their Village Green trip. For those of you in Florida, review the previous blog for their trip agenda. Perhaps you can make a trip to Downtown Disney to hear them sing!

I worked yesterday for 12 hours and came home and had dinner prepared by Mary. Steak Umm sandos with Ranch and Cheese! MMmm they were really good. She also made homemade applesauce! The evening finished up with a high school basketball game. The Jackets had a strong first half, and then lost in the end to Grand Rapids Christian. The big raffle ticket giveaway was last night and we didn't win anything... oh well money for my daughter to have a great time at the end of her senior year!

Tomorrow is church. It will be a little weird without Jeff there. I think I will do some bill paying and paperwork. So far so good with all that business. Jeff helps me out over the phone when I have trouble, thanks Honey! He is doing well down in Miami. Briefing the "higher ups" about weather and Haiti. His brother Andy lives in Miami not too far away and I think they will get together some while Jeff is down there.

We found a bowling substitute for Jeff. We welcome Doug to the Guys and Dolls team! We hope that he has a lot of fun with us and put up with our craziness. I sure hope I have a better night tomorrow!

Monday is a day off of school. I have my first PT appointment which can't come too fast. My feet hurt just terrible. Tuesday is going to be a dumb day. The school decided that the finals not taken on the snow day would be taken last Friday. So Friday's finals are on Tuesday morning. So, that means Mary is supposed to take her pre calculus class final on Tuesday morning and attend her college Spanish class at the same, where there is a 5 question listening test. Can you say clone? The plan for now is that Mary will take the math final and take the listening thing on Thursday. I guess Mary thinks the spanish teacher is more flexible than the pre calc guy.

For now it off to the store and then prep for Sunday School. I do that best at night, an that is the real truth! My creative part of the brain works better then!

Grace
PS: If you can see my facebook, you can hear Mary play for the judge!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Snow Day!

Went to bed late last night. Watched TV and then read an email from Jeff and of course I decided that I needed to write back. I did have a few questions for him. Needless to say I didn't sleep too well and the alarm went off just before 7 am. Matthew had finals today. I woke him up twice, got my Gator sweatshirt on and started the van. Luckily I checked the email and got the message that there wasn't any school! Snow Day! Ran up to tell Matthew that he could go back to bed, only to find him dressed and brushing his teeth. He played video games instead. I tried to go back to sleep, but the dog had other ideas.

So far this morning I baked a cake for quilting, got a haircut and received answers from Jeff about my questions. He is quick! Mary had a Spanish test at the Community College. Matthew has OT today and I have a list of things that I need to get done. Shouldn't be too bad if you just do it. I work early tomorrow, so no getting to bed late tonight!

Talked to our friend Rhonda Knudson last night. Mary and Brandon are going to a Barbershop Quartet conventionin Philidelphia this summer and the Knudson's are happy to let our singers stay with them . They are doing well and very happy in New Jersey, just across the border from Philley.

We also received the tentative itinerary for the Village Green Trip.

April 28- Arrive in Orlando. Have fun in the parks. Staying at the Country Inn &Suites.

April 29- Epcot Center, Disney Sings Workshop and Illuminations

April 30-Perform at Retirement Village (10 am)
Magic Music Days Performance at the Waterside Stage located in the Downtown Disney Marketplace (~11am)
Lunch to follow at Planet Hollywood. Finish the day at Hollywood Studios and Fantasmic.

May 1-Breakfast at Rainforest Cafe and then to Animal Kingdom & Epcot. Where is the day for Magic Kingdom? Guess that has to be the first day. It is the best park.

May 2- Fly home!

Well, I'd better go frost the cake and eat lunch with the quilters.

Later Gators! (I am proud of Tim Tebow for standing up for what he believes in!)

Gracie

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Safe and Sound

Our family is safe and sound. Mary Matthew and I are safe at home. Jeff is safe in Miami in his suite and Sarah is safe at Hope College doing homework. Praise the Lord!

Jeff flew out of Grand Rapids around noon and was in his suite in Miami by 2030. Guess he had a 1/2 hour delay but otherwise all went well. He has a nice room with fridge, stove and dishwasher. Reports for duty in the am. He needs lots of sleep tonight since he has been burning the midnight oil here to get things done and easier for me and the church!

I attempted to return a gift at Target, but need a receipt. I waited a long time since there was a lady with a cart FULL of clothes. It was taking forever. Another worker came and talked so fast I almost spun around! HAHAHAHA. Stopped at a Burger King for a chicken sando and got Candian money back for change. Requested Amercian money back and the first lady refused as her she "couldn't" open her drawer. The next window lady got my "real" money but was put out by my request. I don't want to deal with getting rid of the canadian stuff. Wal-Mart was my next stop for food and needed household items. I had success there! Yay! The rest of my day has been going through papers, clearing my desk and organizing my brain to pay bills and manage day to day business. I work tomorrow and Friday. Want to get the FAFSA and financial aid stuff all set ASAP.

Mary and Matthew had a good day at school and came home for after play practice. Mary had enough time for dinner and then went back to school for cocoa and cram night. Finals start tomorrow. She studied for her pre calculus class. Matt doesn't have tests tomorrow, Mary has one. Matt has some on Thursday and Mary has none. Friday I know Mary has math and I think Matt has a test too. I am sure they will be glad when they are over! Saturday is Solo and Ensemble for Mary. We will all go and then have lunch at Jimmy's, Brandon's dad's restuarant in Newaygo MI.

For now, I think I have a handle on things. I am going to keep my sense of humor as Jeff suggested. I am glad he can still be reached by phone and computer.

Time to spend with Matthew. Mary is on the phone..What a surprise! (not really)

Grace

Monday, January 25, 2010

Here is the Latest

Jeff got authorization for travel today around noon. We are still waiting for orders to be published. Reservations are made and he is scheduled to fly out tomorrow at noon. Need to leave home by 10 am. Hopefully he will get his orders tomorrow morning, if not he has verbal authorization to get to Miami and they will catch up paperwork later. That is my understanding of the whole thing.

We are working hard at getting things done before he leaves. I think I have a pretty good handle of what I am supposed to do. He has lots more to do than I. Wants to get taxes done tonight! He just popped open a Mountain Dew!

Matthew had a good OT appointment and then went to theatre practice. He is on the lights team this time. Mary had practice every other day. She continues to work on scholarships and housework to earn money. Her big math exam is on Friday. Matthew has finally been able to exempt exams this year! Yay for him!

Sarah passed on information about her living arrangements for next year! She will be living in a campus cottage with 6 other girls. SHe is very excited. Her good friend Kara will be the RA. Had a good day at work and just loves being at Hope College.

That is all for now..

Grace

All Good Scores Come to an End

The last few weeks have been really great at the bowling alley. I can't much for tonight though. I bowled terrible. Our team lost all 4 points tonight. We won't be in first place next week like we were going into tonights round. 8-0, now 8-4. Darn!

We still haven't heard any news on Jeff's deployment. The HR people are trying to get authorization for his travel and lodging and then he still needs to get orders cut. He could possibly get a call and say that his trip is cancelled. Never know what will happen until it happens!

Matthew went to baseball practice tonight and did some pitching in the batting cages. He said he did ok, needs to get back to speed and throw a little harder. JV coach this year will be the same coach he had for freshman year. That is good, I like him a lot. Matt still goes to therapy and is doing well. Will start working on increasing his strength this week.

I am going to PT this week for my terrible feet pain. Pills shots and special shoe inserts just are not helping. Losing weight would be great, but it hurts to walk. Guess I need to try swimming, Hey? Work on Wednesday and Friday this week. I have been learning a lot about our finances this week and how to manage them when Jeff is gone. Hope my note taking skills are good enough so that if I need to refer to them, they will make sense. Hahahaha. Played for church this morning and it went really well.

Spent the day at Hope College on Saturday. Arrived for one of the presentations about reserach going on at the college. When I checked in at the desk to get me prepaid basketball game tickets they told me that someone picked them up already! I said that was impossible. They got me new tickets, but I wonder how they got that mixed up. Matthew drove to Hope and watched a movie with Sarah while I was at the meeting. Since I got a coupon for the bookstore, I had Matthew come over and get a new shirt since his last one got too small. Sarah drove to lunch at Red Robin where we had some delicious burgers, then we all went to the men's basketball game and watch the Dutchmen win! THere are lots more people at the mens game than the womens. The women have a better record too! I watched the ladies play earlier in the week.

The kids have only a few full days of school this week and then finals on Wednesday Thursday and Friday. Tomorrow we will eat at Applebees for dinner. There is a fund raiser for the senior mystery trip from 4-8 pm. CHoirs at 6:30 pm! I'll be busy.

That is all for now...will keep you posted on the military duty as information is available.

Gracie

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Proud To Serve Our Country

We learned yesterday afternoon that Jeff has been called to active duty status with the United States Air Force to serve at US Southern Command HQ in Miami, FL, beginning Monday, Jan. 25, for a minimum of 30 days. Our family is calm as we prepare for the next month ahead. I am learning his filing system of bill paying etc. Jeff is determined to complete all the information for the Financial Aid applications and get me up to speed on other business at hand.

In other news, I have been to the foot doctor again for my feet. They still hurt a lot. The doctor suggested some therapy. I will do just about anything. While I know that losing weight would really help, it is very painful to walk. Swimming would be good I guess. Where is the question and how much will it cost me? The pool out at the Community College is 20 minutes one way. I'd like to have a buddy to exercise with, helps keep you accountable.

The High School boosters are forming, and I am part of the intial group. Trying to invited parents to come to our first meeting and set up a facebook page for the group. We have an excellent program at our school and we want to keep it that way. Budget cuts have already cancelled a show.

Back to the grind. Off to quilt for a few hours, Matt has OT and then I will have a few hours to work on papers before dinner and church orchestra.


Gracie

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Fun in Holland

This morning I slept in and then got a few things done before Tuesday lunch with my golf buddies. It was a nice time. Stopped at church to work on some music for chimes and orchestra and then came home ready to leave for Holland.

Matthew drove without any problems. He is a good driver. The only thing I haven't seen him do is parking. We did stop for gas and a few groceries for Sarah on the way. Both the Jr Varisty and Varsity won their games against rivals Calvin College. GO DUTCH. JV game was much closer, in fact they won in the last minute of the game. Varisty allowed their second string to come and play the last few minutes. It was nice to see Sarah in her element, although she didn't need to attend to any injuries while we were there. I guess they had a minor incident before we arrived. After the games were over, Sarah joined us for dinner at Steak and Shake. I drove Sarah to her dorm and then back home. We had a wonderful evening together.



Back in Greenville, Mary and Jeff took a journey of their own to neaby Rockford, MI. Pizza Hut is opening there and Mary was advised by a co-op teacher to go down and interview for a job. When they got there, only construction people were working. I guess there was some misinformation. Father and daughter had dinner together and came home with free cupcakes. I got a free coke glass at Steak n Shake.

Tomorrow is a short day of work for me, and I will be orienting another new nurse. That should make the day go a little faster. I do have choir in the evening and I still have lots of things to do on "my list".

For now, I am going to finish up this entry as I listen to my nephew, Eric's music compostions. They are very nice! Matthew received the football bowl trophy today!

Good night!
Gracie
More Pictures ~Click on the Link to the Photo Album

Monday, January 18, 2010

University of Michigan Men's Glee Club 150th Anniversary Concert 11/09

Remember to pause the blog music first.! Enjoy!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Celebrations and Sadness

Celebrations!

We watched the Greenville Yellow Jackets basketball team win against East Grand Rapids with a spectacular finish! Their record is now 8-1!

Our indoor Christmas decorations are down and put away. Mary and Matthew did most of the work. Thanks guys!

I found my Gators Hoodie sweatshirt. It was hidden behind two guitars!

Rejoiced in church. A family of nine were baptized today! It was awesome!

Good bowling~ We won all four. My average went up again.. 134, 134 and 114. Missed my award for a triple (same score all three games). That's ok!

It is my brother Dave's birthday! Gl├╝cklicher Geburtstag!

Sadness :(

Two Hope College students died in a single private plane crash tonight. Our prayers are with their families and the students. Sarah knows a sister of one of the victims.

We continue to pray for the country of Haiti as they struggle after the earthquake. We heard that some are still being rescued!

The Week Ahead

I work Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Normal Hours.

We should be getting Mary's senior pictures.

Matt has OT Monday and Thursday.

I am going to Hope College on Tuesday for a ladies basketball game. Sarah will be on duty. Taking her some gatorade and pop. Jeff and I will be going back on Saturday for "Winter Happenings". Listen to some speakers about current research going on in several departments. Have lunch with Sarah and Matt (He is going to hang out with Sarah in the morning) and go to a men's basketball game. Dinner with Sarah?

I have a GHS Theater Booster meeting and a Foot doctor appointment on Thursday. We will see about quilting.

Don't forget our normal evening activities choirs and orchestra Monday Wednesday and Thursday. Have my regular list of things that need to get done little by little. I just keep plugging away at it!

Leaving you with a picture of the week...My patient and her boyfriend, Woody!

Gracie


Thursday, January 14, 2010

It's Official!

We paid Mary's admission fee tonight. She will be going to Michigan this fall. The only thing that could hold her back is if she gets bad grades added to her high school transcript. Needless to say, Mary is very happy! Go Blue! Next thing is to schedule a visit for admitted students. Probably in February.

I got a lot done for orchestra tonight and rehearsal went very well. The blend was so nice. We did miss our french horn and it's player, he was at a Habitat meeting. Mary has rejoined the group and it is nice to hear her cello. Matthew is taking a break from his trumpet and helping out with the JV basketball team as their video taping technician. He got home late and is now working on homework.

The snow is melting pretty fast. We had above freezing conditions with sun. Our snowmen are no longer standing tall. We are supposed to have warmer weather next week too. Guess it is our January thaw!

I am working the next few days. Long day tomorrow and four hours on Saturday. I will be training a nurse tomorrow too. Later in the evening, Mary and Matthew will sing with National Anthem with the school's Village Green singers. We will stay for the basketball game too, it is a big one, against East Grand Rapids. The team is doing well this year with only one loss. Hope they can keep their winning streak with another win!

Wow! It is after eleven, better get some sleep.

Grace

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tuesday's Topics

College Funds~Jeff and I went for a meeting in Grand Rapids and also at the high school to get some free advice about college financial aid. We need to double check our numbers on the FAFSA, always a good idea, and try to find a way to lower our EFC aka Expected Family Contribution. Learned about some more grants and did some exploring on the U of M site about what grants and scholarships are available. The whole thing can be overwhelming. Mary also wrote a poem that will be published and is part of a competition. That is all I know for now.

Spanish Update~ Mary received word from the University of Michigan yesterday that she does indeed need a second semester of Spanish at the community college or she cannot be admitted to the University this fall. So she started spanish two today. Everything seems to be under control.

Senior Pictures~ We are very close to ordering Mary's pictures. It certainly was hard to choose between all the wonderful poses. If you have not seen them, use this link: http://www.melissavannestphotography.com/ Click enter then clients. Then click on Mary and use the password wilhelm09.

Matthew's Progress~ Matthew's occupational therapy is going well. He is improving each day and continues to have therapy twice a week. Still working on flexiblity this week and maybe start some strengthening next week. He also went to open gym this morning for baseball. He didn't participate in the activities yet, but wanted to let the coaches know that he is dedicated to the team. I think it is a good idea. Matthew got a haircut yesterday, back to how everyone knows him. He no longer needs a comb!

Sarah~ Classes started today at 0800! She was also recertified in CPR and worked in the training room this afternoon. She will be working in the biology department again twice a week for a few hours each. Training room hours are 3 days a week in the late afternoon, in addition to working her sporting events. I plan to go to Holland next week for a ladies Basketball game. Sarah will be there as a trainer. Her classses start at 0730 tomorrow! FYI- Sarah has her own blog now. It is listed under the section My Blogging Family and Friends.

What's Ahead?~ I work Wed, Friday and Saturday. Choir tomorrow. Quilting on Thursday after a theater booster meeting. Matthew has therapy and then church orchestra. Still need to transpose music, especially for french horn. Need to get the Christmas decos down too!

Well, I think that is about all for now...Have a good day!

Gracie

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A New Season of Bowling Begins

Tonight was the first night of our new season of bowling. We won all four points! I had a great first week...161, 117 and 166 = 444 series. My average went up two point to 120. Can I keep this up?? I hope so. Jeff bowled 191, 192 and 147 = 530 series and his average went up to a 165 I think.

Making final decisions on senior pictures. If you'd like to order one, please let us know STAT~! Tomorrow we are going to get a free visit with and education finance advisor. I went to a seminar a few months back and finally called to see if they could advise us a little with 2 in college next fall. Work Wednesday, Friday and Saturday this week.

Want to get the Christmas stuff down and prepare my music for the rest of the year for kids choir, chimes and orchestra. That is a lot! Plenty of other things to get done and cross off my list of things to do.

That is all for now...Have a great new week!

Grace

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Weekend is Here

Matthew was so happy at lunch time. He drove for the first time since he broke his arm. Too bad the happiness didn't last. His black pants were not ready in time for him to go to work at the theater. I hope to get them to him later this afternoon. He works until later this evening.

Mary is working on homework for her personalized English class. We are trying to make decisions on her pictures too. Right now here friend Gia is here. They are going to sing together again in a few months. They like Simon and Garfunkel.

The van went in for a safety recall and I guess all is well. I did a little shopping and want to work on ongoing project. Plan to put some picture collages together too. We were invited to a small group tonight. Will try to attend if Jeff can get all his work done. I have prepare for Sunday School too.

The snow looks especially nice today with the sunny blue skies. Not sure when we will see more snow fall.

That is all for now...

Grace

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Winner Is...

Congratulations to Matthew, aka jediknight, for winning this years college bowl picks. Texas looked pretty strong until they lost their quarterback. The Wilhelm's are proud to have the trophy come to Michigan.

We have had lots of snow today picking up three inches. It is still snowing. Holland got 5 inches so far. The roads got pretty slippery by late afternoon, so I cancelled church orchestra. We wonder if there will be school tomorrow?

Mary received a part in one of the winter one act plays. Although it isn't the full one act competition, she is glad to be back on stage. We are still reviewing her senior pictures and hope to play our order by Monday. It sure is difficult. The newest monkey wrench right now is the whole spanish class getting cancelled at the community college, which will most likely mean she can't take spanish this semester as planned. She finally was able to talk to her admission counselor at U of M to see what ramifications that might have on her acceptance. We should have a firm decision tomorrow. Let's hope...I can't imagine that this should be a problem as she got an A in the first class and then the college cancelled the class, Mary didn't drop it. We just like to make sure everyone is on the same page so there are no surprises.

Matthew's therapy today went really well. He likes the therapist and she was very encouraged with how Matt responded to his first day of stretching and exercising. He has "homework" and goes back twice next week. He really wants to drive and play ball as soon as possible. Thankfully the therapist was able to explain to Matt why baseball is dangerous right now.

I wanted to work on a project, but never got around to it. There is always this weekend. I am working on Friday till 4 pm and then we have a pastor's get together in the evening.

Guess that is all for now...

Gracie

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Be sure to pause the blog music before playing the video~ Grace

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Happy Epiphany!

My video of snow won't upload on the blog. I did load it onto Facebook. I think it is pretty sweet! We didn't get a lot of accumulation, but I guess the roads got pretty slick last night. I go to work in about 30 minutes, so I will see how bad it is out there. I have another orientee today.

Matthew is ahead now in the College bowl picks, followed by Me and then Jeff! We hope that the trophy will come to Michigan this year! Last nights game was a good one. It is all coming down to the wire. That is how it should be!

Matthew starts therapy tomorrow. Mary's auditions went fine, just was a little awkward for her as she was the only senior there and really had no one to sit with..

Senior pictures are more expensive this time around. The 5 x 7 and 4x6 are the same price. With our budget this year, grandparents will receive a 5 x 7 and aunts and uncles will receive a couple of wallet sized photos from us. If there are other pictures you would like to order let us know and we can order them for you and you can send the funds. Thanks for your understanding.

Grace

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Big News!

Mary's senior pictures are up. Enjoy viewing them. We haven't decided on a favorite.
http://melissavannestphotography.com/?load=flash
should be under clients and then of course click on Mary. (password wilhelm09)

Today is audition day for the winter play. The auditorium manager decided that they would have a play even though they wouldn't participate in the one act. Kudos for Mr Chapman... he cares about the students!

We had BIG flakes of snow this morning. Hope to post a little video later today or tomorrow. Trying to get Matt's OT set up for his wrist rehab.

Off to lunch with my golf buddies..catch you later.

Grace

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Christmas Break is Just About Over

It is just about midnight, and I am feeling a little sad. Sarah will be back at college in less than 24 hours. We have had a wonderful time together. Yes we have church and the afternoon, but I know the time will fly by. I did get all her laundry done.

I got lots done today. Laundry and then I cleaned out my closet, drawers and wardrobe. It looks so organized. I hope I can keep it that way! That is usually not in my nature.. Right mom? Brandon came over and had taco dinner with us and watched the movie Public Enemies. It was a good movie. I practiced for church, as I am the clavinova player. Tomorrow's story for sunday school is the boy Jesus at the Temple. Think I am ready for that too.

Tomorrow after church, we have a Christmas get together in the afternoon and then we will head back to Holland with Sarah around 5-6pm. We always treat her to dinner on the way. My guess is that we will have steak.

Monday is back to the old grind. Kids are back in school and I am back to work. For Mary 2010 means the last 5 months of high school. I can't believe it. Jeff and I will celebrate 25 years of marriage. Sarah will turn 21 and Matthew will be 16. He can't wait to have a car. We will have two in college. Thinking about it's funding is very overwhelming.

As 2010 begins, I am thankful for my loving family and friends. I am grateful for the all blessings God has given to us. Here's to a great year for all!

Grace

PS Happy Birthday Dad W.!

Friday, January 1, 2010

A Tease

Mary just got a sneak preview of her senior pictures! The photographer just posted on her blog a small sampling of Mary's pictures. They look great! Check them out for yourself at:

http://melissavannestphotography.blogspot.com/2010/01/mary.html

The rest of them should be available this week sometime. I am sure we will have to give out a password, as I don't think she will post all of them on her blog.

Oh, by the way- Happy New Year! We have had a nice quiet family day. Watched the parade and some football games tonight. Mary and Jeff worked a good part of the afternoon on numbers for financial aid applications for college. Sarah is working on hers now too. I am working on laundry so that Sarah has clean clothes to take back to Hope on Sunday.

Back to the Football games. I am in the lead of the Heumann family college bowl football game picks. We will see how long I can stay on top! Good luck to all..not really. I want the trophy in Michgan this year! LOL!

Grace