Thursday, November 29, 2007

Here's the latest -

Carvings, that is. I had to show you Bob's latest work. I need to work on my photography though - It's hard to get a decent close up shot with good lighting. Anyway - these are 2 carvings Bob's sister commissioned him to do. She works for 2 lawyers and never knows what to get them for Christmas. One is a golfer, the other one enjoys hiking. She e-mailed Bob a few pictures to work from so these resemble the guys who are going to get them.
Here is the golfer.
He is looking to see where his golf ball went and it is still on the ground!



Here is the hiker.


I am impressed by the details on these. There are folds in the clothing and the hiker even has a grid on the bottom of his hiking boots. I think every carving he does is a little better than the one before.


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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

8 random facts

I was tagged last week by Nancy at In my Neck of the Woods and Kim from Scattered Stones to do a random fact meme. I have procrastinated long enough and decided to get it done, so here a a few random facts about me.

1. I am the oldest of 4 kids. I have 1 brother and 2 sisters.
2. My mom wanted to name me Melody, but my Dad nixed it.
3. My name is really Maribeth, but most people call me Mari (pronounced Mary).
4. I am called Maribeth at work because when I started working in the hospital there were too many nurses named Mary on my floor. The person who hired me when I moved on to the Nursing home, knew my from the hospital so the name followed. (That's enough about my name!)
5. I have never been on a plane
6. I had my first child when I was 21 and my last one was born when I was 27.
7. I grew up on a farm.
8. I was once caught by the police when toilet papering our youth leaders home. I was with friends and we thought it was some boys from our church so we took off running. Imagine my surprise when in the darkness I ran into a police officer! Believe it or not, this was something we did to people we liked, and our youth leaders knew this, so we didn't get into any trouble. We were teased about it for quite some time.

That's my list. I am supposed to tag 8 people but I've seen this on lots of blogs already. If you haven't done this one, consider yourself tagged.



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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Wreath making 101

The past few years I have been invited to a wreath making party. Bob's sisters Karla and Diane are great landscapers and started putting their trimmings to good use by making wreaths. A few years ago they started inviting a few of us from work (Karla works where I do) and taught us how to make wreaths too. This year they had quite a few people invited - 10 in all. Some of us still need quite a bit of help, others are quite self sufficient but we have fun. This year they invited my sisters Terri and Cheri also. Here you see the room all ready for the wreath makers. They had all sorts of greenery and accents set out. We all took along some of our own accents, greenery and ribbon.
Here you see Diane acting goofy while she helps Terri with her wreath.

Karla is instructing Laura, Jamie and Robin on how to do this.

Becky and Pearl are hard at work.

They served us a wonderful supper. We had minestrone soup, cheese soup, sandwiches, BBQ wieners, muffins and desserts. It was so good!
Here is Terri with her finished wreath.

Cheri with her wreath - excuse the lighting - the accents didn't show up well.

Nancy did 3 wreaths! She always does one to put at her parents grave as well as that of her sister-in-law. She also does one for her door.

Here is my finished product. Again - the lighting doesn't show the accents well. We had such a good time with lots of laughter and teasing and we all came home with beautiful wreaths. What a great night!



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Monday, November 26, 2007

Great Christmas Music

Those of you who know me well, know that my absolute favorite singer is Michael W. Smith. About a month ago I saw that he had a new Christmas CD coming out. I knew it would be on my buying list. Knowing all this, you can imagine how happy I was when Cheri called me at work to tell me that if I went to BooMama's blog, I could sign up for a free Michael W Smith Christmas CD. They were giving away 150 copies. I quickly signed up and was told I would receive one. When I came home on Saturday it was here waiting for me. I can tell you that I am not disappointed in it. I've listened to it several times already and enjoyed it. I can't say that I have picked out a favorite, but one I really enjoy is a duet with Mandisa. I know the picture here says to click for more info, but it doesn't work. However - if you look in my sidebar, you will find the same picture with a link you can click on and hear some of the songs. Check it out and if you are looking for some new Christmas music this year, and you would like it to reflect the true meaning of the season, I recommend this CD!




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Sunday, November 25, 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

This weekend I was able to go to Traverse City with some friends. I have been invited to do this for the last 5 years by my friend Lori, whose parents own a cottage there. Because of work, I haven't always been able to go, but this year I had off so we left on Friday afternoon and drove about 2 1/2 hours to arrive at the cottage. Their cottage is on one of the lakes near the city. Here is the drive heading into the cottages. It had snowed a little at home but as we drove north, it was snowing more. This drive is beautiful, with trees as far as you can see and looked lovely with the snow on the pines. I was paying too much attention to taking these pictures, because the others spotted 6 deer in the woods as I snapped pictures!
Here is the view from the deck of the cottage. It is very peaceful and relaxing and a great place to enjoy God's creation!
After we unloaded our luggage, we headed back to town and did some shopping on the outskirts of town, where there is an outlet mall.

After an evening of shopping we had supper at the Apache Trout Grill. This is our traditional supper stop. This restaurant is on the Bay and has the best steak and seafood around.
Left to right - Nelda (Lori's Mom), Jodi, Liz, Sharon, Lori, Amy
After supper it was back to the cottage about 10:00pm where we talked until 1:00 and then turned in to get ready for another day of shopping on Saturday.
Saturday was my birthday and it was started by a lovely rendition of happy birthday being sung to me before I even got up!
We went downtown on Saturday to shop at the many unique stores that are found there. We all has some successes and found some bargains. We finished around 5:30 with tired legs and lots of packages.
Here is the Christmas tree that is set up in downtown Traverse City.

The streets are lined with trees and they are all filled with lights. During the day, big snowflakes were falling and the stores were playing Christmas music. It really put us all in the Christmas spirit. We have fun every year and it is nice to get so much Christmas shopping done! We got back home around 8:45. When I got into the house I was thrilled to see that Heather had put up all the Christmas decorations except the tree. It was a great ending for a fun weekend!

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving is done


I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving day. I had to work this year and so did Heather. It was different for Bob as he was the only one home. He was invited to his brothers house and we stopped in after we were done working at 3:00.
We heard from Andy this afternoon. He had a nice day today. The officers dressed in their dress uniforms and served them dinner. He said it was a nice dinner and they were treated well. He has a 4 day "gold pass" until Monday evening, which means he doesn't have to report for anything and can leave base if he likes. He said he is catching up on sleep and relaxing. There are quite a few other guys still there so he isn't alone.
He just found out where he will be going when he is done training. He will be heading to Korea in May. I think he will be there for about a year. For now we are looking forward to him coming home for Christmas. He will have 2 weeks off at that time and we can't wait to see him again.
That's all my news for now. If you are shopping tomorrow - good luck!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day is almost here for those of us in the States. I have so much to be thankful for and I'm afraid I often take so much of it for granted. This month, I have enjoyed listing things that I am thankful for in my side bar. When I consciously think of things it reinforces the blessings I have, both large and small.

I am thankful for each of you, whether you are a family member, friend or blogging buddy. You each add something to my life and I am blessed because of it.

I wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving Day, including my blogging friends who live in other countries - we all have much to be thankful for!



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Monday, November 19, 2007

Six Best

I saw this last week on my friend Ginger's blog and thought it would be fun to do as well. It's all about taking time to notice the positive things in life.

Today I:
1... saw 2 women supporting each other as they sat at the bedside of their Mom and Aunt who was dying. They have shown such love toward her and each other as they wait for her to enter heaven.
2... ate chicken salad on a croissant for supper. Bob was working tonight, so I didn't want to fuss with supper. This was easy and really good!
3...recieved a package in the mail from the army. It had a letter thanking us for being suportive parents. It included a certificate, proud army parents bumper stickers, and army parent pins. I also recieved a call from Andy saying he got his ticket to come home for Christmas!!!!
4... I seem to be getting a cold, so I went to the store and bought cold tablets, cough drops ...for me!
5...did the laundry and picked up a prescription for Bob.
6...I had a crazy day at work today; one would have thought it was a full moon the way some of our residents were acting. One of the ladies was trying to tell me to write a report because someone had stolen her things. (not true) and was going on about a "dirty woman" who came into her room. (There was no woman). The funny thing was she then said to me - "Marilyn (she always calls me that) I think that woman isn't right in the head!" I had a hard time keeping a straight face!


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Sunday, November 18, 2007

You have to hear this

I saw this over the weekend on Melissa's blog and knew I had to share it. This is a 12 year old boy who called into a radio station in Houston to share his story. This is just a short little sound bite but the message is incredible and is really worth your time.



http://www.ksbj.org/eblogs/morningShow/wp-content/uploads/2007/10/logan-calf-story.mp3

For more info on Logan and the radio station, go here:
http://www.ksbj.org/eblogs/morningShow/


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Friday, November 16, 2007

Happy Birthday Laura!

November 17 is my oldest daughter's birthday. I can't believe she is 25 today. It seems like such a short time ago that we were waiting anxiously for our first child to be born. We thought we were all ready to be parents and had such lofty ideas of how great this was going to be. Well - it has been great, but certainly not because we were such great parents! God blessed us 25 years ago with this precious daughter. We were shocked right from the start because we really never expected to have a child with red hair. Within a day, we also were surprised by the temper that went with it. She was a strong willed child right from the start, but what a joy also. Laura has always had such a kind caring spirit. She is the child that always cared about the other kids. We had teachers tell us about her concern for other kids in the classroom from the time she was young. When she was quite young she told me she prayed whenever she heard a siren because someone may be hurt. She was also the kid who would stand up for what she believed - even if the teacher (or her Mom!) didn't agree with her. She has grown up to be a talented young women and more importantly she is a child of God. She is such a blessing to us and we thank God for allowing us to be her parents.
Happy Birthday Laura - we love you lots!

Here she is at about 3. Looks like she is enjoying herself!

Laura and Aaron last year, shortly before their wedding.

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The Colors of Friendship Award

Karen, from Karen's Ramblings has blessed me with another award. This is the Colors of Friendship award and this is what the originator of the award said about it:

I want to nominate my following blogfriends for the Colors of Friendship Award. They color my life with the beautiful hues of friendship. Although we come from different backgrounds and cultures we share the same spirit of friendship.

The bloggers I am passing this to, don't necessarily have different cultures, but they all live in different countries and I would have never known them without blogging. Yet - I now "visit" them daily and consider them friends!

I have to start with Karen and pass this back to her. She is from New Zealand. My other nominees are:
Bonnie - Australia
Jennifer - Japan
Saija - Canada

Thanks to each of you for being my blogging friend!


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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Simponsize me

I have another website for you to visit if you want to play around with some pictures. This site will take your picture and make you into a Simpsons character. It takes a few minutes to run it, but it's fun to see the results.













This is what they say Bob and I would look like as Simpsons. What do you think?
If you want to make your own character, go to this site:



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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Slow Cooking Thursday

It's slow cooking Thursday and I have another recipe for you. I recently got this different version of hash brown potatoes. If you like ranch dressing and potatoes, you will like these!


Ranch Hash Brown Potatoes

2# bag Southern Style Hash Brown potatoes, thawed
1 can cream of potato soup
16 oz sour cream
8 ounce cream cheese, softened
2 envelopes Hidden Vally Ranch Dressing
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
bacon to taste

Stir together soup, sour cream and cream cheese. Stir in dressing mix, salt and pepper, then add the cheese and potatoes. Transfer to slow cooker. Cook on low for 7-8 hours. Sprinkle crispy bacon pieces on top before serving.

For more recipes visit Sandra at Diary of a SAHM.


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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Works for me Wednesday


My tip for today is something I started recently. The blogging community is a family of sorts and we share all kinds of things on our blogs. Often people share about someone who is sick, changing jobs, having trouble at school... You know what I mean. When I see these things I like to pray for that person, but later I may forget the exact situation. So - I decided to get a small spiral notepad to keep on my computer desk. When I see the need, I jot down who it is and what the situation is. Then when I say I will pray for someone, I don't have to rely on my poor brain to remember.

I can then transfer them to my regular prayer journal and see them crossed off when the prayer is answered!


That's what works for me. For other tips, visit Shannon at Rocks in my Dryer.



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Monday, November 12, 2007

An afternoon with Cleo

Cleo is our cat. She loves it when I open the front door, so she can sit and look out the glass door. At times she will lay on on rug and relax, but usually she is quite alert, watching whatever is going on outside. You can see that she is intently watching something. The something this time is the neighbors cat who was wandering in our yard.

I heard her batting the door and I found the two cats, face to face with only the glass separating them. She wasn't upset, just wanted to get out.


After the cat left, another temptation came by. If you look closely you will see that a chipmunk is sitting on the edge of the porch. This was even more upsetting than the cat had been. Now she really wanted to get outside!


The chipmunk stayed there for about 15 minutes before putting Cleo out of her misery. As I watched her, it struck me that we are often like our cat. We keep her inside to keep her safe. We have had two cats get killed because they were outside. She doesn't understand that it is in her best interest to stay in. She wants to get out and play with the neighbor cat or run after a chipmunk. In the same way, God gives us boundaries and sometimes says no to things we want. We may not understand at the time, or possibly never in this life. However, we can be sure that God does know what is best for us and that his way is always in our best interest.



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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Girls day (and night) out!

Every year my sisters and I plan a Christmas shopping trip in early November. We go early in the season to beat the crowds and avoid bad roads. This year our trip fell on this past Friday and Saturday. We don't go too far, because we want to be able to return things if we need to. We started around 8:00 on Friday morning and go to a lot of different stores and the mall. We stay in a local hotel and often make a few more stops on Saturday. Here are Terri and Cheri, comparing coupons and Christmas lists in a toy store.

Look who we ran into at one of our stops - we thought perhaps Melissa was stalking us, or possibly she was spying and planned to report to Heather on what she saw in our carts!


Following a long day of shopping, our feet are aching and our knees are sore. We have made it part of our routine to have supper at the Olive Garden. Those of you who know us well, will not be surprised to hear that laughter is a big part of our day. Here is a picture of Terri, who is laughing so hard she can hardly breathe! (and no - we were not drinking!)

After eating too much at the Olive Garden, we went to the hotel. We always haul our bags up to the room so we can sort through them and mark down what was purchased on our lists. The night is filled with talking and more laughter and of course some dessert later. There was also a problem of noise during the night that kept a few of us from sleeping. I don't want to name the troublesome party, but I will tell you that Cheri and I were the ones that were awake! It's okay though - it gave us something to laugh about in the morning and I'm sure she will be harassed about it throughout the year! It's great to go home the next day and be able to say that most of my shopping is done, but what I really enjoy is the fun I have while spending time with my sisters. God has truly blessed me with a great family and I am so thankful that I am able to have fun and spend time with them.




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