Sunday, January 30, 2011

Wonderful Weekend

Words can hardly describe what a wonderful weekend we have had!  Just exquisite!

Our trip to Ann Arbor on Friday to pick up Mary was very smooth.  We left by 12:30pm and arrived back home with Mary by 5:45pm.  Had just enough time to change clothes, pick up some dinner and head to the University of Michigan Men's Glee Club Concert.  Good thing I bought tickets online several weeks ago, since the show was sold out!   The men's performance was stellar.  Lots of "wows" after each song. I had so much pride standing during the Michigan Alma Mater, listening to Mary sing along.  After the show we visited with Brandon and met some of his and Mary's friends.  Family and friends experienced a real treat when Brandon's Barbershop Quartet sang a few songs for us! 

video
We had 3 inches of snow fall Friday night and Saturday morning. It wasn't enough to cancel any of the day's activities.  Jeff attended a worship workshop in Jenison with 6 or 7 other church leaders from MCLC.  Mary and I attended the District One Acts at GHS. Matthew was very excited about our school's show and with good reason. They did a great job and will advance to the Regional Level in two weeks.  Great Job Matthew, Asst. Stage Manager and to the whole cast and crew!  We had a wonderful day full of theatre and enjoyed the other plays from other area schools.

Had a good Sunday morning.  Today's sunday school lesson was the Beattitudes.  Orchestra played very well and  had a father/daughter baptism~Praise the Lord!~  Enjoyed a pizza lunch with Mary before Jeff and Matthew went tubing (sledding) at Pando with the MCLC youth group.  Mary and I played two games Rapid Scrabble.(play quick, any word ok and no score). We finished one game in 23 minutes!  Luckily Mary got a ride back to Ann Arbor with friends which saves us a late night trip across the state!

Tomorrow we will head to Kalamazoo by 0900 for a College Visit at Western Michigan University.  Can't believe that it is time for Matthew to look at colleges!  Where does the time go??  We will visit the Theatre Department and School of Health Services before a general tour at 2 pm.  Found out there is a Cici's Pizza there, so that is where we will have a meal.  Matthew is excited about that!  We love Cici's!

Now I am off to bowl.  We are in second place right now.  Hope we can get some more wins tonight!

Will try to report back about our college visit!

Gracie

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Weekend of Arts

Tonight is the first public showing of the GHS One Acts "Complete Works of Shakespeare-Abridged".  Show starts at 7:30 pm.  I will be selling tickets starting at 6:30pm. Come out and see a great comedy!  Then on Saturday, GHS will be hosting the district One Act Festival all day!  Five plays for free! Should be a great day.

Tomorrow I will be making a quick turn around trip to Ann Arbor to pick up Mary so she can attend the  Men's Glee Club concert in Grand Rapids at 7pm.  Sure hope the weather cooperates.  We are all looking forward to hearing them perform again!  Mary will be going to the One Acts with me as well.  That was her favorite forum for theatre while in High School.  It would be fun if I could see her perform with the German Theatre group and with her chamber quartet.  She will have a performance on Palm Sunday.  Interestingly, I will be in Detroit the day before for my state bowling tournament.  Wonder if I can work something out?

Just finished making some pork roasts for our "Thursday Lunch" I think they turned out nicely.  Now I need to slice them and take some sauce to go along with it.  Got a lot of work done on my quilt last week, but have one square upside down, so I will be fixing that first thing.

Upcoming Events:

Quilting-Laundry-One Acts-Work-Ann Arbor-Glee Club Concert-One Act Festival-Work-Church-Sledding-Bowling-Ann Arbor-Kalamazoo-Western Michigan University and CiCi's Pizza! Wow what a line up!

That is all for now...not sure when the next blog will come!

Gracie

PS Pictures are up on the Photo Album!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Crazy Busy!

So it has been one week since my last blog and so much has happened!  Hope I remember to post all the highlights! Here we go!

Rehearsals:  MCLC Orchestra had a great rehearsal with some new awesome music.  Sure hope the pianist can get it together, LOL!   I have been practicing as much as I can. Chime Team played near perfection on Sunday and I was so proud of them.  Monday night's rehearsals for the kids and chimes were very productive and fun too!

We had a very nice time with some friends Friday night. Had a delicious meal and then played 5 rounds of the game Sequence.  Then men played the ladies as teams and the men won all five games!  Liked the game so much that we bought one the next day and have played it a couple times.  I finally won a game tonight.

Saturday Jeff and I went to a dinner and show at the community center.  The food was tasty and the show was a little hokie, but cute.   The fun didn't stop there though. Sunday Jeff, Matt, Matt's friend and I went to see the Harlem Globetrotters. It was a fun afternoon and of course the Globetrotters won the game against the Washington Nationals.  Their game included 4 point shots and a penatly box..how silly!  This caused the teams to be uneven and they GT's could still make awesome plays.

Bowling on Sunday was a struggle.  We won three  points but worked for every pin.  I bowled under average on the first and third game and had a nice 132 for the second. 

I tried my hand at putting up pictures in our bedroom with the "command hooks".  Applied properly and the hooks didn't fit the picture.  So I tried to follow the directions to removed them which ended up pulling off my new blue paint off the wall. There was no paint left from the job last summer, so I was at the paint store today buying some paint that should match pretty well. Someone else is going to have to hang my pictures. I give up.  Jeff worked in our den with home improvements yesterday.  He put in some new plug outlets so they are three prong and added a power surge to the one where are computers are plugged in.  He also changed out our TV cable box for an HDTV cable box and when I got home from choir/chimes Matthew said to me, "your going to love this".  When I saw the high definition picture I was blown away...it is so awesome, so clear!   It really makes a great difference.  Cake Boss in high def,  what is better?  Hahaha.  The other good news is that I got all the Christmas stuff down.  Thanks Matthew for hauling it all downstairs.

Sarah is staying warm in Holland with her down blanket that I sent. Of course she gets chilled walking around campus.  Unfortunately, her brand new LL Bean boots developed a hole at the back of the ankle area.  We j ust sent her first pair (from last year) back for a hole in the toe.  Hmmm.  LL Bean should hold up better than that!  Classes are going fine.  The Hope Athletic Training department is taking 3 students to Japan this May.  Sarah is applying to be one of them.  Let's hope they will choose her and she can return to the Land of the Rising Sun, where she was born!

Mary is very busy at Michigan!  She absolutely loves her German class and is now a part of the German Theatre class.  I guess her afternoon German prof is also the theatre teacher and she needed another actress.  When she found out that Mary had acting experience, she recruited Mary as an addition to the group.  Mary had her first chamber quartet rehearsal last night.  She is in a group with an oboe, violin, cello and viola.   Besides her classes she is working as much as she can at the library and the Law Club. Mary is coming home this weekend for the Men's Glee Club concert in Grand Rapids and to attend the district One Acts at the high  school. Tomorrow she will choose her dorm room for next year! 

Matthew has midterms starting tomorrow. It is also the last week of rehearsals for the One Acts.  Saturday they will get judged and hope to move on to regionals.  He said the show is very funny and things are going well.  They will perform for the community Thursday night as a trial run for an audience. I will be selling tickets!  I love that job.

The weather has been quite cold.  Sunday morning we had temps below zero and reached 7 in the afternoon.  Guess we won't be warming up until next month.  Still have flurries on a regular basis which keeps our snow depth about 6 inches.  The roads are  in pretty good condition.

Guess that is all for now...I will see if I have time to update during the next week.   Have a great one!

Gracie

I will be posting pictures soon! Check back and click on the photo album link!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Snow Day #3

Kudos to my personal meteorologist!  Great forecast Jeff!  We got snow, sleet and more snow, just as he predicted. This morning we woke up to a winter wonderland with 3 inches of new snow and 5 inches on the ground.  No School for Matthew, hooray!  He has been hoping for this day for a long time.  I am hoping that I can get Matthew to help me take the Christmas Tree down!

Kid's choir and Chime Team were able to meet last night before the weather got too bad and was quite productive.  The kids sang just great last Sunday.  Both groups are well prepared for their upcoming performances.

Mary and Brandon made it back to University of Michigan safe last night and are ready for another week of school. I am hoping to bring her back on the 28th for the UMMGC concert in Grand Rapids and for the District One Acts Festival on Saturday the 29th at GHS.  Hopefully the weather will cooperate with our plans!

We will be taking Matthew to visit Western Michigan University on the 31st as a possible college choice for 2012!  They have programs for both of his career interests: Theatre Production and Design and Occupational Therapy, quite different from each other.  We won't be pushing either one, want him to choose a job he would love doing! Makes going to work less of a job!

Sarah has been super busy at Hope and is trying to stay warm in the frigid weather. I hope the down comforter I sent back with her is helping.   Sarah's winter break is right around Matthew's 17th birthday! 

So what is ahead this week:
  • Classes for work online and a yearly performance meeting on Thursday.  I work Wednesday and Friday.
  • Choir on Wednesday and Orchestra on Thursday
  • Dinner with Friends on Friday
  • Going to the Dinner Show "Blazin Guns" on Saturday night at the Greenville Community Center.
  • Chimes play on Sunday and I play for church too...looks like some more music on the organ.  
  • Harlem Globetrotters Sunday afternoon followed by bowling in the evening.  Wow! I forgot to mention that we won all four points at bowling this week. I bowled over average 2 of 3 games and Jeff had a great night with one 201 game and a great series overall!
  • Have some minor home improvements to do and I really need to put away all my clean clothes. At least I got all the laundry done!
My brother  had a birthday yesterday. Happy Birthday Dave!

Have a great week!


Gracie

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Snowing and Happiness!

Jeff gave a snow forecast to family and friends earlier this week.  It snowed some on Friday morning and then again last night into this morning.  Got several inches. I love to watch the snowfall and see the fresh blanket of white on our lawn!

The snow did not cause any problems with my travel to Ann Arbor and back yesterday.  I picked up Brandon and Mary and brought them home for the weekend.  They attended a dinner together tonight in Greenville. We had a fun trip back in the car catching up on their first week of classes and the plans for their trip to Germany. They have learned a lot of German in a week. So amazing!  Mary is selling some 2011 vintage poster calendars to help raise money for the trip. Here is a link.  It doesn't have to be University of Michigan calendars, it can be MSU or even University of Florida calendars. Each is $18 and Mary would also benefit from each sale.
 
This morning Jeff did his weather stats and then we were off to TruValue hardware store in Greenville.  A local radio station was giving away free tickets and  prizes using a spinning wheel.  I won $20 to Big Boy and Jeff won the last set of 4 tickets to the Harlem Globetrotters event next weekend!  He was the last spinner of the day too.  We are very excited and hope Sarah can meet us in Grand Rapids and attend! 

We used the Big Boy money for lunch and then Mary and I went shopping for some clothes and socks.  We had a lot of fun.  Found a new warm coat for her to wear in Ann Arbor and Munich!  JCPenney had coats 70% off!  Still looking for some warm boots for the winter.  

Tomorrow is Church and Sunday School with the kids choir singing and I will be playing one of the songs on the clavinova.  I will still need  to practice a little tonight and prepare the lesson about the first disciples.  Of course we will bowl tomorrow night and who knows maybe we can get the Christmas Tree down too!  Wishful thinking.  Mary returns to U of M on Monday.  No school for them, it is MLK Jr day! I am sure they are glad to have a three day weekend.

We are beginning to help guide Matthew toward career goals.  His first college visit will be to Western Michigan University at the end of the month.  Matthew thinks he would like to be an Occupational Therapist or a Theatre Design Major.  He loves to build and work on sets!  

Guess that is all for now! Doing laundry, of course.  Have a spirit-filled SONday!

Gracie


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Lots of "Ones" this Year

1-11-11

Second day this year with all ones.  I think it is pretty cool.  Helen DeVos Children's Hospital moved into their new building today!  How exciting! I remember as a nursing student in St Louis, I was the last group of nursing students at the old St Louis Children's Hospital. They were getting ready to move just days after my last day of clinicals.  Years later I worked at the "new" hospital (that wasn't new anymore) as an RN in the NICU.   Maybe this will be the year that I will get hired at this new children's hospital as an RN, instead of being a mom of a sick boy! I would sure love to tour the whole hospital!

I got a lot of paperwork and music organization done today.  It doesn't seem like it should take a long time, but before I knew it, the day is nearly over.  Now I will need to practice the piano more often to be ready for our challenging orchestra songs, but they are so great!  Hope I can do it! Practice, practice, practice. Had a  great kids choir and chime team practice last night.  Thanks to Jeff for filling in as a ringer last night. Sure makes thing practice go better when all the chimes are ringing.

Here is some BIG news from Ann Arbor~Mary is going to Germany for Spring Break! They are going with the Residential College German Theatre Group.  Mary and Brandon are enrolled in the  Residential College and  in the German Language program.  When the teacher found out they have a  theatre background, she invited them to attend this educational vacation in Munich.  What a wonderful experience  and  I am very excited for them and a little jealous!

I work tomorrow and Friday, my regular days, from 9-5 and then have choir on Wednesday and will drive to Ann Arbor on Friday to pick up the Wolverines.  They have a dinner to attend this weekend.  Jim will drive them back either Sunday or Monday. Thursday I am back to quilting and taking part of our lunch.  Maybe I can get a lot done on my sheep quilt.  It will be so cute!

Still have plenty of things to accomplish and cross off my to do list...I just keep taking thing on at a time!

Have a nice day!

Grace

Monday, January 10, 2011

Back to Three at Home

Sarah is back safe and sound at Hope.  We were all sad to see her leave.  Christmas break is over and now we are back to the old grind.   I am out numbered with all guys at home, even the dog! It is ok though.. I love the guys at my house..still I miss the girls.

Before she left, Sarah helped my learn more about my iPod and iTunes. Then  we played a game of Clue last night and  Apples to Apples after lunch at Applebees today.  My Sunday School class went fine and Jeff led worhsip at the long term care facilities this afternoon.  I play the hymns for them and did pretty well.

Tonight was our first night of bowling of the winter season.  I bowled over average for two games and under 100 for the second game (sigh).  Craziest thing is that we only won one game, the second one! Hopefully we will do better next week.

I received reports from Mary that her first quartet rehearsal was fabulous!  So glad for her.  Won't hear about her Chamber group until later this week.  Glad my Wolverine is thriving in Ann Arbor.

That is all...try to keep you updated during the week!

Gracie

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Almost Over

Christmas Break is almost over, officially.  Sarah will return to Holland tomorrow.  It has been a good time for everyone.  I guess that means I should have taken down the Christmas stuff this weekend.  Will have to put it on my to do list, along with finishing the laundry and writing Thank You notes! Jeff brought our Nativity Scene in yesterday.   While I will miss Sarah when she goes back, as I did when Mary left, I am also very proud and happy that they are thriving while away from home.

Sarah has been named to the Dean's List at Hope College for her outstanding academics for the Fall 2010 semester.  Great Job!   We ordered some of her books for this semester on Amazon a few days ago and they arrived today!  She already has homework due on the first day of classes. Her first clinical assignment for the winter semester is to work at a doctor's office.  She is supposed to report on Monday, they day before classes start!  The Athletic Training Program is pretty rigorous. My last blog reported that we were going to watch the Hope Basketball game.  We did and they lost. Better luck next time!

Mary started classes on Wednesday.  So far so good, she is loving her German class, which is good since it is an eight credit hour course.  She may have the chance to  travel to Germany during spring break with one of her teachers.  What an awesome opportunity.  Will have to see what the costs are.  Yesterday she auditioned on her cello for her participation in a Chamber Group.  She played Breval's Sonata, the piece she played for her final Solo and Ensemble last winter.  It went well.  I am so glad that she will be playing her cello at college and getting credit too!  Today Mary was busy with Women's Vocal Arts Day.  I guess as part of the women's glee club, she had to sing throughout the day.  Maybe I will get a report of the day's activities this week. I will be picking Mary and Brandon up this Friday for a long weekend.  They have no classes on Monday.

Matthew is getting back in the swing of school.  He worked at the Performing Arts center at the high school last night and tonight for a local Dance School recital.  He gets good pay for working a job he loves.  One Acts in coming up and he is very optimistic about the play this year.   I will be attending the District Competition which takes place at GHS on January 29th.  Best thing is it is a FREE day of theatre.  Come out and see six one act plays and experience the highs of One Act Competition!

Jeff and I spent some time planning "dates" for the next few months.  Our calendar is filled with work and play which will keep our lives from being boring! Guess you will have to keep reading the blog to find out what we are up to!

For now, I had better read my Sunday School lesson, look over some music and spend "quality" time with my college girl!

Grace

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY DAVE AND LESLIE

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

It's Official~

Rich Rodriguez is no longer the football coach for the Michigan Wolverines.  After two days of meetings the Athletic Director announced today that he was relieved of his duties as coach.  The writing was on the wall.  Now the search is on for a new coach, one that will embrace U of M, the players, the students and the town of Ann Arbor.  There are already a few names floating around, but I am not going to speculate.

Sarah and I had a quiet morning watching TV and being busy on the computer.  The windshield finally got repaired in her car and now I have to get in the mode of laundry.  It is overflowing!  I have been to the post office to return some items purchased.  Sarah's expensive boots tore for no reason while in Wisconsin last week.  I called LL Bean and they are exchanging them for a new pair. New color, but intact and warm! Now I have to watch our accounts to make sure I get my refund!

Tonight we are having pizza and then I have choir and Sarah will watch the Hope vs Calvin Men's basketball  game.  Go Dutch!  Maybe I will get home in time to watch the last part of the game.

U of M Men's Glee Club Coming to Rockford, MI

University of Michigan Men's Glee Club

Winter Tour, 2011: Grand Rapids, MI

7:00 pm Friday, Jan 28, 2011

...Rockford Fine Arts Auditorium

4100 Kroes Street Northeast
Grand Rapids, MI 49341

It will be a great concert! Support the UMMGC!

http://ummgc.org/events

Link to stay updated!

(You can hear a song on Mary's Videos on the right column.)

That is  all for now..

Gracie

Leaving the Nest~Again

Mary went back to Ann Arbor this afternoon after a last morning of fun and games. We had french toast for breakfast, then she packed up her stuff.  I took the girls shopping and then a Burger King lunch.  Mary and I had lots of laughs and fun with a speedy game of Scrabble. We had some awesome words and finished in about 30 minutes. Brandon and his dad arrived here about before three pm and packed up the car.  I am glad to report that there was room for her cello in the backseat. It almost looked like another person in the riding along!  They made it back safe and sound..Thanks Jim!

We had some snow last night and this morning. There were some moments of pretty heavy snow. Matthew and I shoveled late in the afternoon when he got home from school. He has been busy with classes again and getting back into the swing of studying.  One Acts district competition is January 29th, so after school rehearsals are daily.  Matthew says it is coming along nicely.

Yesterday was really FUN day!  Sorry, Matthew had school.  The rest of our family and Brandon went to the Grand Rapids Museum and saw the Bodies Reveled Exhibit.  It was really  very interesting and informative.  Everyone enjoyed the exhibit and the rest of the museum. There are really nice things to see there.  Got back to Greenville in the afternoon and had a delicious lunch at Jimmy's Pub and Grub (Cory's).   Mary, Sarah, Brandon and I played a scoring game of scrabble with Brandon as the winner.  He won the dictionary game too the night before after the annual Bulkoogi Fest.  Jeff and I won as a team in Trivial Pursuit for the first game and then Sarah and I won the second round.  Ok let's get back to back to yesterday. We ended the evening together with Matthew and saw the movie "True Grit".  It was a good movie, more of a personal story of the journey with Rooster and Mattie. There was good acting, with drama and comedy. It was hard not to compare it to the John Wayne movie from the 60's.

The big scandal is whether or not Rich Rodriguez will keep his job as Michigan Football Coach.  The media reported him fired prematurely.  Guess we will know more tomorrow after another meeting.  I think it is time for him to leave.  Michigan was just terrible this season.  Was there a defense?  We need to get someone to bring the Wolverines back to the amazing team I remember! Champions of the West! Hail to the Victors!

Taking tomorrow off and spending time with Sarah.  She is home until Sunday.  Hooray!

Until Next Time~

Gracie

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

We welcomed 1-1-11 with pizza rolls, pot stickers and cookies.  Jeff and Sarah had a beer, I had a glass of wine and Matthew had some healthy Apple Juice! Sammy freaked out when we popped some noise makers and he heard some fireworks too.  He tried to hide upstairs and then tried scratching behind the refrigerator.  Poor dog.  I felt sorry for him.  Of course we watched some football, mythbusters and then played a game of Cranium.  Sarah and Matthew won.  It was still fun.  Matthew and Sarah played some Wii until 3 am and we all went to bed.   Mary reported that the Rat Pack concert last night was very good, especially the band.  I am glad that they had a nice time.

Watched most of the Rose Bowl Parade and then the football began.  Try to watch three games at once!  The Big Ten games ended up to be blowouts, so we focused on the Gator vs Penn State game.  It was a  good game and we were all glad the the Gators won!  It is great to be a Florida Gator, even if you never went to that school. I didn't watch the Rose Bowl, instead I made a nice Pork Roast dinner and made a quick trip to the store for some groceries.  The roast was very good and we had potatoes and stuffing to go along with it.  Mary, Sarah and I then prepared bulkoogi for tomorrow.  Mmmmm!  Back to watching football, and the Sooners are winning!  Boomer Sooner!  Forgot to mention that Mary and I practiced for church tomorrow. We are playing Gesu Bambino.  I took the time to write the melody in bass clef this afternoon.  It sounds pretty nice, especially since she just saw the music for the first time this afternoon.

Tomorrow has potential for being very busy.  Sunday School and Church (I'm playing for the service), then I will be making yakimondue while the youth group goes to see the new 3D Narnia movie.  I know Jeff and Matthew are going and maybe Sarah too. Mary will be cooking with me.  The Cory's are coming at 5 for our 2nd annual Christmas Korean Meal.  We always have a fun time together.

Time will fly by, Matthew goes back to school on Monday  and Mary goes back to Ann Arbor on Tuesday. Boo Hoo!  Sarah doesn't have to go back to Holland until Sunday.  Hooray! I am going  to work only one day this week and leave time for Sarah and me to do some stuff.

2010 ended with 50 degree temperatures and the loss of a lot of snow. This evening snow flurries fall for the first time in 2011! That is all for now!

Grace