Thursday, May 30, 2013

Amazing Toothpick Sculpture

Did you ever have to do a toothpick sculpture for a school project? I remember having to do a few of them and mine were never any work of art! The one I'm showing you today is. Scott Weaver, the man who did this one has been working on it for over 35 years and has put more than 100,000 toothpicks into it. It's 9 foot tall and is filled with scenes of San Fransisco. Better yet - it's a kinetic sculpture which has several "tours" which moves ping pong balls through different neighborhoods of the city. Here's a few pictures of it.






Here's a short video if you'd like to see it with the ping pong balls going through it.


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

You can do it!

The other day we were watching tv and an ad came on that caught our attention.  I don't remember what they were advertising, but one of the actors said a piece of an old poem.  Bob asked if I remembered it.
It was a poem his mom had put on the back of a cabinet door in the bathroom where he and his siblings saw it often. A few of them even memorized it.  It's a cute little poem and I think it was pretty smart of his mom to put in a place where the kids would see it and be reminded that you can accomplish quite a bit if you put your mind to it!
Here's the poem.  Have you ever heard this one?

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done
      But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
      Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
      On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
      That couldn’t be done, and he did it!

Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
      At least no one ever has done it;”
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat
      And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
      Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
      That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
      There are thousands to prophesy failure,
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
      The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
      Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
      That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.
Edgar Albert Guest

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Monday, May 27, 2013

Tassels of a different type...

Our yard had quite a look going last week.  We have a lot of oak trees and in the Spring they drop something called tassels.  I'm told they are the flower of the oak tree.  We always have some, but this year was incredible.  Here's a few pictures to give you an idea.

Our front steps.

And here's what our entire yard looked like.  The roof looked brown instead of black.
If this has anything to do with acorn production we will be overwhelmed this year!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Grrrrr.... Mini rant time!

Do any of you use Google Plus?  I've heard of several people who had trouble with their blogs after signing up for it, so I've avoided it.   However, it causes me trouble when someone who uses it comments on my blog.  I can't see their blog or content unless I'm in their "circle" and I can't comment unless I'm a member.
When someone comments, I like to visit them and this doesn't let me.  As a matter of fact, if Terri D. is reading this, I've tried to visit you several times, to no avail.  :(
So - if you visit me here and are on Google Plus, maybe you can leave the link to your blog and I can find you that way, because clicking on your name isn't working.
That's the end of my rant.  :)   Does anyone have any advice for me?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Childrens Hospital

Last month when our Dad was having his heart surgery, we spent a long day at the hospital.  My sisters and I took lots of walks.  One of the things we checked out was the new Children's Hospital which is attached to one of the hospitals downtown.
We are blessed in Grand Rapids, to have lots of high quality medical places.  This area is called the medical mile.  There is a cancer center, a heart center (which has been wonderful for my Dad), research labs and this Children's hospital.  It opened last year and this was the first time I was in it.

The fun sculpture at entrance gives a hint of what's inside.

Just inside the front door are these big windows with more bright colors.

 In the back is an enclosed garden, with paths and benches.  I'm sure it'll be beautiful in the summer with real plants and flowers, but it's fun even now.  There are several big metal flowers sculptures out there.

 I also liked this metal tree with children making up the branches.

Inside were several computer stations that let kids read books on them.

This colorful mosaic covered a huge wall near the cafeteria (which served healthy but kid friendly food)

The mosaic extended over to this little seating area where little movies were playing.

Even this walkway, which crossed over to Dr's offices and testing areas wasn't standard.

No one wants to have a child in the hospital, but when needed it's wonderful to have a place like this!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Monday, May 20, 2013

Tulip Time

Every May,  Holland, Michigan is host to Tulip Time. People come from all over to see the beautiful tulips, see the Dutch dancers and see Dutch heritage in West Michigan. There are Windmills, parades, wooden shoes, shopping and most of all - tulips!
 We live about 20 minutes from Holland and usually go to see the tulips, but we don't always go during the official week as we like to avoid the crowds.  So, we went this past weekend to check out the flowers and they didn't disappoint.

Pictures don't do justice to a field with rows and rows of tulips.


Here's a few different varieties.


They are beautiful in mass and also individually.


Have you ever seen a fringed tulip?


We had a great time walking around, enjoying the flowering trees and the tulips.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Baby Robins!

We've been having a great time at the nursing home where I work, watching some Robins with their babies. They built a nest right outside a window in our residents TV lounge, allowing us to have a front row seat to the whole event. Both residents and staff really enjoyed watching this.

Here's the mom building the nest.  She would fly in with the nest materials in her beak, place it on the nest, then wiggle around to smooth it out.  Then - off she went to do it all over again.


Two days later the nest was done and there were 4 eggs.  It wasn't easy to get this picture because she rarely left the nest.


Here she is in her customary position.  What a good Mom!


Then one day the eggs hatched.  You can still see one egg intact.  Later that day, they had all hatched.  I must say - baby robins aren't very cute!


It was fun to watch her feed them.  Sometimes the male Robin would show up and give her something, which she would then feed to the babies.


"I'm hungry, Mom!


They grew fast...


Not much room in that nest anymore.


They're getting so big they are sitting on each other.  Right after I took this picture one of them flew off and by later in the day they had all left.  We saw them hopping around in the yard for a few days though.

Back to an empty nest - with a little wear and tear.
I was really surprised by how fast this went.  The eggs hatched after 4 days and 2 weeks after hatching they were gone.  We really miss watching them!

"Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?"
Matthew 6:26

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Think before you push that button...

I found another funny video to share with you.  It's less than 2 minutes long so check it out.  
I have to admit that if I was in this position, I'd be one who would push the button.  How about you?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Cooking Thursday

Time for another recipe!  I bet most of you have made the famous Texas sheetcake brownies.  They're a favorite at our house.  I recently got to try another version of them - instead of the usual chocolate, these were white and were almond flavored.  I got the recipe, made them myself  and we all liked them.
For more recipes, visit Sandra at Diary of a SAHM.

White Texas Sheetcake

1 cup butter
1 cup water
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

Place butter and water into saucepan and bring to boil. 
Meanwhile stir together flour and sugar, then add eggs and sour cream.  Stir in almond extract, salt and baking soda.
When butter and water begin to boil, stir it into other ingredients.
Pour batter into greased 10x15 pan.
Bake for 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees or until golden brown.  Cool 20 minutes, then frost.

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
Bring to boil, take off burner and add:
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract.
Mix together until smooth and spread on warm cake.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

(Our flowering crab tree)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Bob can build it!

Before I get into the the main part of this post, I need to share my great deal with you!
I found this Tiny Tikes Cozy Coupe on our local online garage sale page.  It's in near perfect condition and it only cost me....     $8.00!

Alaina loves it.  There is a little opening behind the seat that her bear can go into while she wheels around.

 Is this cute or what?

Alaina and Laura on Mothers Day

I had a really nice Mothers Day.  I had to work during the day, but we were invited to Laura and Aaron's house for supper.  Aaron grilled steak and Laura made some fancy potatoes and a corn casserole that was yummy.  Heather made a fabulous mint cheesecake to finish off that wonderful meal.  When we got home I had a nice phone call from Andy.

When we went to Laura and Aaron's, Bob brought something along that he's been working on for awhile.

Here it is, in progress.  He made a little rocking chair with no plans - just figured it out on his own.  There are no screws or nails in this chair.  It's made the old fashioned way, with lots of love thrown in!

Here's the finished project, drying in his shop.

Laura and Alaina checking it out.

Hmmm - how does this thing work?

I think I got it figured out!

Bob put a verse on the bottom of this chair.  Psalm 91:1
"Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty."

He said a rocking chair gives comfort and rest, so he felt this was a good verse to add to the chair.
I think this chair will be a treasure for a long time!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

May flowers

Oh the joy that Spring brings! The warmer weather combined with the flowers that keep popping open is the best!  Here's what's happening in my yard this week.

I'm always thrilled to see the bleeding heart blooming.


The forsythia provides such a nice splash of yellow.

Our tulips will soon be done, but I still love seeing them.


I can't wait for the lilacs to bloom.  Their beautiful scent brings me back to my childhood and the lilac bush that bloomed outside my parents kitchen window.


The oak leaf hydrangea looks pretty, opening up and stretching toward the sun.


The flowering crab will be open any day!