Friday, July 29, 2011

I Feel Like a Slacker...

REASON #1: Falling behind....that's been the name of the game the past week.  Sure, I am keeping up with the bare necessities of bill paying, some cleaning, laundry and making sure we eat.  I might need a bigger plate with all the other things I have going on: VBS~Planning a new year of Sunday School~Plans for our Vacation~Work~Car Shopping~Quicken. Whew!  I love blogging...but need creative time to make it happen.  Late night is best for me.

REASON #2: I meant to blog earlier and wish my Mom a very Happy Birthday! Now it's a 365 days until her next birthday.  So, just an hour after her birthday:  HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM! WE LOVE YOU!

Ok, now let's see if I can catch you up on the fun things we did recently:

  • We went to the West Michigan Whitecaps Baseball Game last Friday after work. We bought lawn seats and it was pretty neat.  Now I don't think I could do that every time, but it was enjoyable. Next game, I will either bring a blanket or lawn chairs, or buy reserved tickets and have a seat! Glad to report that we came home winners!  Stopped at Applebee's for a late night meal, where you can buy appetizers 50% off!  Love the Wings.  Mary and Matt usually get Mozerella Sticks or Mini Burgers
  • Saturday is when the  craziness began.  Several car dealers sent out "invitations" to their huge car sales, offering prizes, good trade-ins and even a new car!  So, We took the time to start looking at vehicles to replace our minivan. It had served us well, but has lots of miles and little things (some big) kept going wrong. Time for a new car.  The GM place showed us a Traverse, Equinox, and then a used Rendezvous. The used one was our favorite of the day. Had some blemishes on the interior. But still rode pretty nice. No decisions were made, except to wait and think.
  • Sunday after church, we were invited to meet Brandon's family at the Ionia Free Fair to watch a demolition derby. I wasn't too thrilled about going, but I do enjoy spending time together as a family and with Brandon's family too.  We always have fun with many laughs!  Here is the spin~the demolition derby was with Combines!  It was something I have never seen before, nor will I probably see it again. Huge farm machinery crashing into each other!  It took a long time between rounds, since they had to haul off the broken rigs.  There was also a riding mower derby. That took a long time and the heat of the day made it uncomfortable in the stands. Sure glad the sun wasn't shining!  Who knows how much hotter we would have felt. Matthew did catch a free prize thrown into the crowd.  It is a  plastic horn. The cool thing is that it is collapsible and he can make it sound a little like a trombone.
  • We stayed around the fair and saw some farm animals. My favorite: The cows. After all they give us my favorite drink ever! Milk!

  • Monday is the day with my buddy.  We had a nice day, went for a walk and worked on Pandamania together.  Jack emptied the can of materials and I looked at them and got more ideas and planning done for the upcoming meeting. Jeff and Matt did some car shopping and found a nice Toyota RAV4. Nice.  Again, no decisions because we had to get to the last church softball game. Jeff was still recovering from some back aches and his twisted ankle, so he was our official umpire. We played really well, and ended up with a strong win! Our team is great..we are having an end of year party on Monday. Maatthew nearly got a home run, Sarah pitched great and caught a line drive and threw to first for a double play. I think I got on base each at bat, either walking or hitting.  The evening ended with ice cream and thena 50% appetizers at Applebees. 

  • Tuesday we were back seriously looking at the RAV4. After many hours of talking with salespeople, loan/financial people and lunch for the family on the house, we bought the 2007 Crossover SUV.  It is nice to have another Toyota in the family and not worry about how long the minivan will last. It served us well over the past ten years. With the new car, we still have cargo room for those moves to campus and back home. Sarah will certainly need help moving to her next destination after graduation from Hope College next May. Wow! Had a VBS meeting where Matthew was able place the set and decorate for the staff to see how the church will look
  • Today I did accomplish a lot! Bulletin Annoucements, VBS planning, bill paying and letter writing. This evening Mary grilled burgers and hot dogs.  She and Brandon went to a concert down by the river tonight.  The rest of us went to another church to see their Pandamania set up and then they donated their decorations to us! They are nice and we are thankful. Saw a nice Thunderstorm cloud and Jeff and Matt were going to chase it, but it was too far and it would be dark before the next round moved in. Will have to chase another time!
I will be at work in less than 8 hours, for hours! Mary has been working all week, and will end up her summer job over the next few days with some short shifts.  She is going to remain available as a call in employee, but off the official schedule.  We will be going on vacation in just over another week, and then will have Mom H here for Danish Festival and the week of VBS!   We have other fun things planned besides Pandamania! Ball games, bowling, movies, Scrabble, craft shows, parades and just enjoy time together! Sarah is working her three jobs in Holland for the next few weeks before she starts back at Hope for her senior year!  She starts early, since she is the athletic trainer for Men's Soccer.  Practice starts 8/22, so she needs to be there too!

Our vacation plan is to head out to Mount Rushmore then work our way home through Minnesota and Michigan's U.P.  I am looking forward to some great scenery! Speaking of scenery, Matthew's Sunflower's are blooming and beautiful! He grew them for seeds!

That is all...better adjourn until next time!


Lots of new pictures in the family album!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Parachuting Into Michigan Stadium with the 101st Airborne Division

Mary sent a video from the spectators point of view when this event took place at the Big House last season. This is a video from the paratroopers point of view! Thanks for sharing mom!

Jeff, Matthew and I will be attending the first Michigan game of the 2011-2012 season against Western Michigan University (one of Matt's possible universities). It will be the first game for the new coach, Brady Hoke. We are hoping for a Michigan win! This was the perfect game to go to since we will have just moved Mary into her dorm the day before. Go Blue!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011


The summer heat has hit! The temps and humidity have risen to make it feel like we are in Florida or somewhere in the subtropics.  So glad our window air conditioners are making it comfortable in most rooms in our house. We enjoyed some swimming at Camp Concordia on Sunday afternoon. We enojoyed ice cream after a very hot evening of Church Softball.  We lost by one..again. It's all for fun right? Still winning feels better!  Mary helped me put up a new Sunday School Bulletin Board and then headed out for a day on the lake with Brandon.  Bet she did some swimming!

Matthew and I did some shopping for the VBS set this afternoon and came out with a great result.  The Daily News donated some plain newsprint that we can use for bamboo trees and murals for the Chadder Box.  The local carpet store will be donating some old carpet tubes for the bamboo trees as well.  What a wonderful community!  Matthew picked out the things he needed at Wal Mart to complete the frame for the shadow box.  He worked hard this evening and got the frame standing alone! Woohoo Matthew!

I battled a headache most of the day and ended sleeping two hours this evening.  Headache is gone, but still feel a little icky.  Hope I am back 100%  for work tomorrow.  The heat will continue through the weekend!  Hope my clients A/C keeps working.

Matthew's Sunflower Plants are growing like crazy and has several blossoms.  We are waiting for them to open. 

Have a cooool week...Drink fluids and stay out of the heat!


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Where Do I Begin?

It has been a while since my last entry and I am having a hard time remembering everything that happened.

  • Met Sarah at the Orthopedic office.  The doctor was very nice and he found nothing with her bones and nerves that would be the cause of her pains.  In the end, we wish he had paid more attention to her knee, since that is what seems to bother her the most. Medicine just isn't what it used to be or should be. No Obamacare for me though, it would be so much worse! On a side note, Jeff's ankle and scrape are healing well.
  • Mary is home from her Florida trip with Brandon. They had a great time and she came home with some new dresses, a watch and a hat!  Loved the pictures she showed us too.
  • Received word that or niece, Lori, is engaged!  Congratulations!  
  • Had a nice dinner with some of our church leaders.  But had to hurry off to another meeting about The Senior Mystery Trip for GHS Class of  2012.  Came away without volunteering to be an officer.  I have created and will maintain our Facebook Page and will be host for the meetings, held at Mount Calvary.  The meeting ended soon enough for me to head back to the church "party" and enjoy a pontoon ride on Baldwin Lake.  It was wonderful and enjoyed God's artwork in a beautiful sunset!
  • Had a productive day at work and enjoyed a home cooked meal made by Mary.  She made Grilled Chicken Alfredo, made from scratch breadsticks, and  broccoli. 
  • Worked on the Senior Mystery Trip website, fell asleep on the couch and then cleaned up after the chef.  That's our deal. If I cook, Mary cleans up and if She cooks, I clean up.  Did some laundry too, since Mary needed her uniform to be clean for work.
  • Got up early to take Mary to work.  We are down to two cars right now, since Sarah took the Camry back to Holland until her car is fixed.  Then got up an hour later to take Matthew to an all day birthday party.  A Harry Potter marathon! I should mention that he reread the whole last book earlier in the week to prepare to watch the last Harry Potter movie.  So at the party they watched all the Harry Potter movies in order, then went to the movie theater for the midnight (first) showing of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2".   You know what that means?  I got up at 2 am to pick him up from  the party too.  In reality, I don't mind. It is a fun time to talk with your kids. Get to hear all the stories while they are fresh in the minds.  
  • Watched two great episodes of Matlock and then watched the Memory Service for Betty Ford, here in Grand Rapids. It was very nice. It was a big deal here, thought FOX might cover some of the events, but I was wrong. Oh well.
  • Got my Sunday School curriculum for the Fall ordered.  Very excited about Groups BUZZ!   Nice connection with Greenville's Yellow Jackets.  Have a great vision...hope I can help make it happen! 
  • I also got serious about VBS and did some reading of the manual and planning in my head.  Time is ticking away, and soon it will be here!  Again so good ideas, hope I can make it happen.  Our Big Boy Fundraiser is a go!  Bring the flyer to Big Boy anytime on July 24th and VBS will bet 10% of the bill donated by Big Boy. We will also get some funds from Thrivent.
  • Jeff and I went to Praise Team and had a good rehearsal.  Some of the upbeats can be tricky, but we are getting a little better each week. 
  • Mary made me some delicious Triple Chocolate Chunk Brownies for my Baptism Birthday. Yum!  
  • A great day at work, but very tired.  Gee after getting up at 0200 to pick up Matthew and not falling back asleep until 0530, then gettting up at 0800 for work. Of course I was tired!
  • Pizza night at our favorite place, Mancinos.  Watched the Tigers lose. More brownies and discussion about VBS set. Matthew is going to build it!
  • Matthew and I walked downtown early, before 0800. He is going to be a scorekeeper for an outdoor basketball event.  The senior mystery trip will receive money for our volunteering.  Students need to work events to earn their trip, or pay a set amount of money to go.  It has been a very hot day, so I am sure that he will be very tired when he gets home.
  • I have been working on my blog on and off all day, and want to work on banking and laundry before Jeff and I go to a musical event at a local church. Need to go grocery shopping too. I guess that can wait until tomorrow.
Supposed to be HOT for the next week.  Hope we get a little rain with it, our plants are looking pretty peaked.  Wonder if we will get our softball game in this week?  I guess there is storms in the forecast.

Working on vacations plans and might go shopping for a new bike and some VBS supplies.

That is all for now...


Monday, July 11, 2011

Game Results

The storms are past and the heat and steam built up this afternoon.  Still we headed out to the softball game and  other than one large puddle next to third base in foul territory, the field was in good condition.  The game was very close and fun. Here are some of the highlights:
  • One of our players had her first big hit down the 3rd baseline!  
  • Matthew and our Shortstop turned two of three double plays!
  • Sarah had  a great hit and played hard and pitched well. 
  • Her friend, Bev had a great clinch catch in the outfield!
  • Yours truly got on base three times! Walk and two hits! That's a record..
  • Jeff had some good hits, even switched hit tonight. Unfortunately, he turned his ankle sliding into second base.  Good thing our Athletic Trainer was there. She had his ankle all wrapped in ice and cleaned up the scrape.  He is icing it and will see how it looks and feels in the morning.
The score was like a seasaw. We had it all tied up after our last at bats.  Unfortuantely for us, the home team scored in the bottom of the seventh and we had to take the loss.  Still it was fun and good fellowship was had by all. That is what we are there for.

Enjoyed ice cream of course, then dinner at McDonalds. Came home and I think a whole family of skunks must have passed throught the yard tonight.  PU!  It was pretty awful.  Luckily we didn't meat up with them at all.

For now we are watching an old movie and relaxing.  I am going to meet Sarah at the orthopedic office tomorrow morning to have a specialist check out why she has so much pain in her joints, and hopefully  a way to help her heal and gain strength.  Mary and Brandon come home tomorrow and I have a few meetings to go to in the evening. Will keep you updated on cars, ankles, doctor appts and travels.

Good Night!


Stormy Weather

This morning we woke to the weather alarm followed by thunderstorms.  While we needed the rain and the storm wasn't too severe, Holland got pounded.  Sarah reported heavy rain and severe thunderstorms.  I have posted a few pictures, but you can also check my Facebook where you can click on Hope College's photo album.

Sarah also reported that her cars battery was dead for the second day in a row.  After several phone calls by Sarah and Jeff, her car has been towed to get repaired from her accident over a week ago.  The insurance people were apologetic that it took them so long to respond.  Let's hope everything gets fixed up right and the car is back in good working order.

I had another nice day with my little buddy and also spent some time talking with Group Publishing about this Fall's curriculum. Now I am preparing for tonight's softball game.  Hope everyone comes out to play! It will most undoubtedly be muddy. It has been very hot and humid today, hope it cools down even just a little.

Mary and Brandon fly home tomorrow.  I will be glad to have them back, although I am sure that they have mixed feelings about their vacation being over.  

That about does it for now..


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Happy Weekend!

Hope all of you are doing well and enjoying your weekend!  I should have gotten a lot more done by now, but I have been fighting off a headache today.  Already taken ibuprofen and acetominophen. I don't know what to do next.  Think I will try to ignore it.

Matthew, Jeff and I went to see a Toyota Highlander on Thursday and it rode pretty nice.  There were lots of scratches on it and a stain on the inside.  I think we have decided to wait on trading in and getting a new vehicle for right now.

I didn't work on Friday, as my patient was on vacation.  Got some organizing done and then went to MCLC's Christian Ed meeting to discuss the direction of our Sunday School.  After lots of thought and consideration, I have taken back the role of Sunday School Superintendent. I am excited about the new possibilities.  Unfortunately, our attendance numbers are down, so my job will be leading a program that will not only retain our students, but to attract some of those who haven't been to Sunday School in the past weeks or months.  Please pray not only for us, but for all churches, since I hear many churches are experiencing a drop in Bible Study/Sunday School.

I woke up pretty at 0333 and couldn't go back to sleep.  Headed downstairs to watch some TV and then finally was tired enough to go back to bed by 0600, then slept till about 0930.  Jeff and I worked together to get our schedules and calendar on "the same page" and then I tried to get more laundry done. That takes more time than I planned.  Matthew and I have been watching Harry Potter the past few days.  The last Harry Potter movie comes out on July 14th.  I know Matthew is seeing it with friends and I am sure Sarah is anxious to see it too.

Tonight, we had thought about going to the Whitecaps Game, as it is Star Wars night with fireworks.  There were very few tickets left, so we will go another day. Sarah was thinking of  going with friends so I hope she has a great day at the game! Jeff Matthew and I are going to the rodeo instead at the Montcalm County Fair instead.  I had fun the last time we went. The fairground are new this year, so it will be nice to see how everything looks.

Mary is having a great time in Florida with her best friend.  Today was beach day and she sent me a picture. They still have a few more days before they head back to Michigan.

That's all for now.  Going to fold some laundry now...


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Even Steven

Not too much to report..Guess I will just jot a few thoughts:
  • Had a nice day with my little buddy on Tuesday. 
  • Good day at work yesterday with my princess.  Dinner and Ice Cream at Charley's.  One our our church members was playing his stringed instruments and singing with a friend for entertainment
  • Netflix Movie night: "Convicted" It was ok.
  • Sounds like Mary is having a good time in Florida with Brandon and his family
What's ahead?
  • Quicken computer work
  • Laundry
  • Praise Team practice
  • Matt wants to look at getting a new vehicles
  • Meeting at church tomorrow...I don't have work, my patient's on vacation.
Have a good day. Weather permitting, watch the last Shuttle is the last one FOREVER.


Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Birthday America!

It has been a very nice Fourth of July Weekend, including the weather!

Marlene and Ernie left early Friday morning and arrived in Oconomowoc, WI safely that evening. They will be spending time with Aunt Bobbie and Uncle Bill for a few weeks.  I had a nice day at work and then of course we had our Friday night pizza at Mancinos.  Watched the movie "Defiance". It told the story of the Bielski Brothers and their success of hiding over 1000 Jewish people in the Forest of Poland/Belarus. It is a true story and was interesting enough for me to google the subject and read more about it.

Saturday was pretty hot and humid.  We decided to have lunch out and ended up at Huckleberry's in Greenville. The food was very good. Unfortunately, they forgot to use our coupon and couldn't even correct the error. So they gave us a coupon for a free meal the next time.  Good way to get customers to come back, hey??  After lunch we headed to Dairy Queen to use some more coupons on ice cream. It was delicious and pretty filling.  With the heat and humidity still lingering, we all headed to Brandon's house for swimming.  We had a very nice time and Brandon made me one of the best Strawberry Daiquiri ever!  Mmmmm.  Jim took us all out on their pontoon. First stop was a spring with water temps of 51-52.  Too cold for me and for Vicky, buy everyone else jumped in and cooled off, including their dogs. Next stop was Blue Lake and we all got in this time and did some swimming. It was so refreshing.  I don't usually like to swim in lakes, but this was a perfect day and a truly enjoyed it.  Sure wish the lakes didn't have slimy bottoms, that is why I prefer pools. We enjoyed the boat ride back and then shared an ice cream cake together.  It was delicious and there were no leftovers!  Stayed while Brandon packed for Florida, and visited with Jim and Vicky.   Got home around  10 pm. Mary did some laundry and we played a great game of scrabble.  We are getting to be pretty good and fast too! We were all in bed by midnight, so we could get a few winks before 0400 rolled around.

I didn't sleep all that well and got up just before 0400 got ready to drive Mary and Brandon to the airport. They are visiting his mother who lives in Sanford, FL near Orlando.  It is  fun to travel with a friend! Our trip to the airport  was uneventful, even stopped at McDonald's for breakfast before dropping them off at the Grand Rapids airport.  Matt rode along with me so I wouldn't have to drive home by myself in the event that was super tired.  I did fine, but it was nice to Mr. Matt with me.  We were home by 0615 and I got another little nap in before getting up for church. Got a text from the travelers that they had arrived in Orlando twenty minutes early! So they were in Florida before I got to church!

After church we were all very tired and decided to take a little nap. Before falling asleep, I texted Sarah to see how she was doing.  After all she worked a double shift at the Yacht Club on Saturday night.  She is feeling better each day since her accident, but was pretty bummed out when she missed church. Got up and ready, then checked the website for her church in Holland and they changed the service time to one hour  earlier!  Good thing she checked before heading over, but sad that she missed her time to worship. She works Sunday mornings every other week, so it will be two more weeks before she can try again. Jeff said we should meet her for lunch. Great idea!  Today's destination was TGIFriday's.  We all had a delicious lunch complete with my favorite appetizer, pot stickers and and oreo dessert. After lunch, we looked at Sarah's car and saw the damage from the accident.  We hope that it can get repaired soon!

Later that afternoon, I made some yummy appetizers and we headed over to some friends for a send-off to the Army for Matthew's best friend, Mitch. Everyone enjoyed the assortment of foods and more importantly the fellowship.  As night approached, the guys built a bonfire and we watched fireworks from around the area. The younger  people lit off some firecrackers and  bottle rockets.  We all had a lot of fun. Midnight rolled around an we said our farewells to Mitch.  We pray for many blessings as he starts in his journey to serve America in the Army.

Today has been a "take it easy" day so far.  Slept in and  then watched TV with Matthew. Turns out it is "May the Fourth be With You" day on Cartoon Network. So Star Wars Clone Wars has been on all day!  It is an ok program, but I can't watch one right after another. So I am blogging and doing some other stuff on the computer. I might go and transplant my tomato plants to a better location and thought about maybe going shopping and look for more shorts. It sure is nice, so I better go out and enjoy God's great creation!

Tomorrow is Jack day and the youth are coming over to compile some pictures of the youth gathering and prepare a presentation about their trip for the congregation next Sunday.

That is all for now! IN GOD WE TRUST!


Here is a reprise of the best national anthem ever!


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Michael W. Smith - There She Stands

A nice way to start out the 4th of July Weekend! Happy Birthday America!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Good Times!

I feel like a got a lot done today:
  • Got all but two small loads of laundry done, including towels, sheets and comforters!
  • Cleaned the kitchen then dirtied it up again making delicious Chicken Crescents!
  • Had fun watching a Tiger Game and Secretariat with Ernie and Marlene.  Love that movie!
  • We all watched True Grit tonight together.  It is good too, but I prefer the afternoon showing.
  • Played another fun game of Scrabble with Mary and Marlene. 
Heard from Sarah this afternoon.  Still able to go about her daily business, taking motrin and tylenol.  She saw the Head AT and they have decided that she won't need to see a doctor yet. Thanks for your prayers, she still needs them!

Will be saying bon voyage to Grandma and Grandpa tomorrow morning.  Had a very nice week together.  They are heading to Wisconsin to see Aunt Bobbie and Uncle Bill.

Need to head toward bed, work tomorrow!