Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

Best wishes to all of you for a blessed new year!

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Sunday, December 30, 2007

My Year in Review

Here is a cute idea I got from Sandra at Diary of a SAHM, who got it from Kelli. Here's what they are doing.
"With the New Year right around the corner, this is the perfect time for a peek through the past year of blogging. I would love for you to join in with me!Post the first sentence of your first blog post of each month. You can also add a favorite picture from each month. "
I only started my blog in May, so I don't have a full year, but here goes!
"Alright people - I have been told many times that I have to start a blog, so I'm giving it a try."
This is a picture of our back yard, with the spring flowers blooming.
"Well, it is official. I am getting old." (this is in regard to my youngest graduating)
Here are Andy and Bob goofing off instead of standing nicely for pictures.
"Recently I saw a blog where the writer had a feature called "Everyday Wonderful".

This is a picture of a hummingbird moth I snapped in our backyard.
"It's Thursday and that means it's time for a crock-pot recipe."
This is one of our wedding pictures that I posted on our 26th anniversary
"Sunday night Laura and Aaron asked us to come over and enjoy their new fire pit with them."

In September we were able to travel to South Carolina to see Andy graduate from basic training. This is a picture I posted of him when we were there.
"One last post about vacation. Hope you aren't all sick of this!"
This is a picture of our flowering hydrangea tree, changing colors in the fall.
"Most of you know that Andy has been interested in planes and the Army from the time he was very young."
This is a picture I took when I stayed at a cottage in Traverse city with friends. This was the road that led to the cottage.


"Red sky in morning, Sailor take warning.
Red sky at night, Sailors delight!
If that old saying is true, we are in trouble."

Here is the picture I just posted of all my kids in front of the Christmas tree.


It's been fun looking back at all my posts. When I looked back over this period of time, I was reminded again how the lord has blessed me and guided me throughout my life and in this past year. I also realized while doing this, that this will be my 200th post. I have had such fun with this and met so many new friends. I wish you all God's blessings for the next year!

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

The army's got nothing on Mom!

Here's how I found Andy the other day - sleeping on the couch! You would think that life here would be a breeze compared to army life, but we seem to have tired him out.

Actually, he is enjoying himself, doing things with some friends and having fun. He's not working too hard, although when I came home from work on Wednesday I found that he and Heather had taken down all the Christmas stuff and put it away for me. I was really happy that I didn't have to get to that yet this week. Wasn't that nice?

We have 5 days left to enjoy having him here. I think they will be busy for him because there are lots of people who want to see him. I know they will go by too quickly for us!

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Day

This year we had my side of the family at our house on Christmas Day. When we are all together there are 19 of us, so it is quite a group. Here we all are eating dinner. We put tables up in our family room downstairs where we had room to set up 3 tables.
Those of you that know my family have probably heard about the "Santa letter" tradition. Anyone who has done anything unusual or to tease someone during the course of the year is a candidate for one of these letters. It is a letter that tells the person how disappointed Santa is in them and often contains a gift that may help in the future. These are handed out after the regular gifts are done and if you peeked in at us during the reading of a letter, you would most likely find us laughing so hard we have tears running down our faces!
Andy received a letter reprimanding him for not telling Santa where he would be on Christmas Eve. Santa feels that ever since Andy joined the army he has been moving all over and not leaving a forwarding address.

Here is my Dad's new wife, Ann. She was initiated into the family by receiving a maternity shirt to wear. Santa thought perhaps she could use this, after that quick wedding occurred. (It's a good thing she has a good sense of humor!) My niece Katelyn also received a gift from Santa, but I don't have a picture of her. She got some brown hair dye as she has been observed doing some "blond" things lately.

Here is Laura opening a gift. She was suspicious of this gift and was very careful when opening it. She has been a frequent receiver of Santa gifts, in part because she is easily teased but also because she is often the instigator of pranks on other people!

There was a stuffed squirrel in the box. She got this as a pay back for a squirrel incident that happened to my sister Cheri last year. (we went away for a weekend as a family and Laura and Aaron propped a dead squirrel on the top of Mark and Cheri's van) We do have a strange sense of humor, but we sure have fun when we're together!
It was great to have the whole family together to celebrate and have fun.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Eve

We have always had our family Christmas on Christmas Eve and were able to do that this year as well. Laura and Aaron came over and we had supper together. We had lots of finger foods and a few too many goodies! Here are all my kids.
Heather, Andy, Laura, Aaron
(every year I take a picture of them in front of the tree and every year they complain but I think it's worth it!)
Andy opening one of his gifts. He got some DVDs which seemed to be a recurring theme this year.

Here is Heather with some Twilight Zone DVDs. She has always loved that show so I knew she'd be happy to have her own copy of a season.

Laura and Aaron got a few DVDs as well!

This was the big surprise for Bob. He has always teased Andy about his Army boots. Since Andy joined, he said he wanted a pair. Andy bought some for him and brought them back on the plane. Thankfully they fit! Bob was pretty happy and I know they'll be worn a lot.
It was a fun night and so nice to have the whole family together!

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A bear for Bob!

Laura brought a few extra gifts with her when they came to do our family Christmas on Christmas Eve. One of the gifts was this bear from Bob's sisters. Most of you know that Bob likes to carve and does other carpentry work. This bear is a woodworker. Diane made the bear and he is holding a little wooden bear. The tool box he came with has a few wooden toys in it and is filled with miniature tools. He is just adorable. We were all amazed by the detail of the bear and the cute little tools. Don't you think he's cute?

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Sunday, December 23, 2007


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I have to share a link with you today. This blog belongs to my friend Joanne from One So Blessed and her post this morning goes into detail on the prophecy's that Christ fulfilled. She explains the probability of this happening through one man. Amazing! So go and check it out - I'm sure you will be blessed as I was. Here's the link - One So Blessed.

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Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Nativity Story

I know it's almost Christmas and it's a busy time, but I want to recommend a movie to you. We watched this movie tonight and really enjoyed it. It really helps you to realize what is was like living under Herrod's rule, and why the people of that time were so anxious to have their promised Messiah come and rescue them. It also made me think a little more about the stigma attached to Mary and Joseph when people realized she was pregnant. Watching her riding miles on a donkey when she was near term looked miserable. Of course, it is just a movie, so the details can't be taken literally, but we thought it followed the Bible closely. I thought it helped put the focus back on Jesus birth, instead of parties and presents! I bought this, so any of you that know me are welcome to borrow it - just let me know!

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Party time

We had Bob's family party on Friday night. This year we rented a meeting room at a local hotel, because it's getting to be too much to have at any ones house.
Here are some of the kids, playing games. We have some card sharks here!
Chris, Heather, Grandma, Alecia
Here is Bob's sister Diane, attempting to look angelic.

We had pizza and goodies. No one left hungry!
There's a troublesome looking group of guys!
Aaron, brother Tom, Step dad Rog and Bob

Here are Grandpa and Grandma opening gifts

Andy and Laura having a good time catching up.
We had a good time, with lots of talking and laughter. We also said good bye to Bob's Mom who is leaving for Florida next week and won't be back till spring.

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Friday, December 21, 2007

Here's what happening today

We are enjoying our day today. Bob and I both have the day off and I was woken to the smell of bacon cooking. Bob made us omelette's for breakfast and they were really good. Andy said he woke up feeling like he went AWOL! He's not quite used to being home on leave. Their project for today is to get Andy's truck to run so he can use it. It required a $12 part so it would start - a solenoid? (probably spelled wrong) . Here they are replacing it and now it is working again. I am making some last minute goodies. We have a family party tonight and so these have to be finished. If you want a few quick and easy things to make, here are the recipes.
Candy Cane Crunch
1 pkg white chocolate bark or candy coating
24 hard peppermint candies or 16 small candy canes
Place candy in plastic bag and crush with rolling pin. Sift and separate larger pieces.

Melt white chocolate. Stir in small pieces of candy. Pour our onto cookie sheet that is covered with parchment paper or waxed paper. Sprinkle larger pieces of candy on top. Cool and break into small pieces.

Pretzel Candy
Hanover snaps pretzels

Hershey Hugs
M & M's
Set out pretzels on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Set a hug on top of each pretzel. Place in 300 degree oven for 3 minutes. Take an M & M and place on top of hug, pressing down into center. Cool in frig until set.

In the meantime my Dad stopped by to check up on Andy. He had to see him again before Christmas. I'm off to do some more baking and cleaning. Enjoy your day!

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

I'll be home for Christmas!

The words to that song have been a lot more meaningful to me this year. I have been blessed to always have all my family around me, and never had to think about being separated from any of them. This year I have been so excited that Andy was coming home for Christmas and thought of him each time I heard that song. I am now one happy Mom - my son is home. Here's a few pictures from the happy event. His plane was about 30 minutes late coming in. Here's part of the group, anxiously waiting his arrival. Can you believe my camera wasn't ready when he came down the concourse, so I don't have a picture of that. I can tell you that he was greeted with cheers and applause. Here he is greeting my Dad.
Here he is with his cousin Nick. There were lots of hugs and happy tears! A few people in the airport stopped him and thanked him for his service to the country.

We all went to the Old Country Buffet afterward. Here you see Andy with Halle and Shaelyn.

Can you see how happy Andy is in this picture - the Old Country Bee wanted his picture taken with Andy too!

Here is the whole family together again.
Heather, Mari, Andy, Bob, Laura, Aaron

As you are together with your families this season, say a special prayer for the soldiers who aren't able to be home for Christmas and their families who are missing them.

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A precious moment!

I just had to share about something that just happened to me at the grocery store. The carry out girl was helping load my groceries into my van. She asked - "Will you see all your kids on Christmas?" I said "Yes - as a matter of fact my son is coming home this afternoon". She asked where he was coming from and I told here he was in the army. She stopped loading groceries and asked what his name was and asked what she could pray for him. She then said "Tell Andy that my name is Autumn and I have Downs Syndrome so I work at the store. Tell him I will pray for him." I thought that was so sweet and a good lesson for us. How often do I ask a stranger how I can pray for them and tell them I will? Not often enough.

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