Thursday, July 20, 2017

New Purchase

First, I must apologize for my lack of posts lately. I have been a poor blogger. 

On another note, my wonderful sister recently informed me of a local auction website (one item in particular) that she thought I would like. She was very right. I bid on it and was lucky enough to win! 

Isn't this vintage film reel cool? I love it sitting there with a stack of old books. 

Coming up next week, I have pictures of our vacation to Springfield, Illinois. It has been a place I have wanted to go to since I was little and I was so excited to finally visit!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Base Camp

When did life get so busy and time move so fast? 

We were very busy this past week at church. It was Base Camp week. Base Camp is our version of a VBS program. We have an amazing group of people that write the lessons for the week and an absolutely amazing creative team that decorates the whole church. Our theme this year was Jesus By The Sea. We heard the stories of Peter walking on water, Jesus calming the storm, Jesus serving the disciples breakfast after he rose again, and Jesus feeding the 5,000. 

There is also a drama team that performs every night. This year it was about pirates and islanders. You know the story; the pirates stole the islanders treasure and the islanders were trying to get it back. (Which they did by the end of the week.)

These two are in the sanctuary. We had a working waterfall, 

boats for the kids to sit in and the back of a pirate ship up top!

I was working with the 6th and 7th grade girls. We had a large group!

The islanders...

and their fearless leader, Chickbow.

The band of pirates (minus their captain). That tall, scruffy looking one in the back would be my husband. He makes a pretty good pirate.

And finally, our worship leaders. They always do some silly stuff at the end of the night. This was day 4. They really pulled out the disco; we even had a conga line going! 

I was also able to bring along my niece Alaina. She really seemed to have fun. Here she is with her cabin group (she is in the striped dress). She was lucky enough to have one of my friends teaching her.

Day 5 is always family day. We do a wrap up in the sanctuary and then it is off to hot dogs and fun. We have a couple bounce houses set up in the parking lot that the kids enjoy. We also have a couple really large tarps that we set up down a hill as a slip and slide. It is always a big hit with kids and adults alike!

 I went down, fully clothed, with both Alaina and Ruby. My blue jeans were still soaked the next day, but the girls loved it!

It was a long week, but such a blessing to be able to minster to all those kids. Now to make it through the first half of this week and it's off to vacation for Andrew and I!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Arts and Carafes

I tried something new with a couple friends. We went to one of those wine and canvas stores and painted. I am not an artsy person. Crafty, yes, but I do not have an artistic bone in my body. So, I was a little unsure and nervous about this. But, it was a lot of fun! The teacher goes slow and makes sure you are doing okay and following along and will help you out if you need it. They give you all the direction you need to end up with a great painting.

With that said, here is my finished product.

My crane has a couple issues like a small head and a large beak and I'm not thrilled with my moon, but overall I am happy with how it turned out and would definitely go again.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Blueberry Triffle

Sunday, Andrew and I got together with some friends for a lunch potluck. We had burgers, potato chips, potato salad, and some watermelon. We brought the dessert. I was going to use my go-to and make schoteroos, but then I saw this dessert on my mom's blog and knew that I had to try it. But, I changed it just a little.

Blueberry Triffle

2 cans fruit pie filling; cherry, strawberry, blueberry... your choice
20 -25 sugar cookies, broken
1 batch white chocolate mousse (below)

White chocolate mouse:
2 cups heavy whipping cream
4 tablespoons sugar
8 ounces cream cheese - softened
6 ounces white chocolate, melted

To make mousse:
Beat cream n bowl until it thickens, add sugar, beat until stiff peaks form.
In another bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add in the white chocolate and beat until smooth.  Stir in the whipped cream mixture.
To assemble the trifle;
Place one can of pie filling in the bottom of a trifle bowl.  Sprinkle half of cookies over top,  then half of cream cheese mix.  Repeat layers.

I love blueberries, so I used blueberry pie filling. The cookie need to be crispy so that they break well. I could not find a sugar cookie that would work, so I used Biscoff cookies. (If you haven't tried them, you need to. But beware, they are addictive!) It was the perfect combination. Everyone loved it. Definitely something I will make again!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Bubble Soccer!

Every year our youth group has a senior night to celebrate those that are graduating and leaving us. We always do a dinner and then a fun activity, be it at the church or out somewhere. This year the activity was bubble soccer. But first, a lovely dinner of lasagna!

Doesn't it look nice?

These little cups had M&M's and skittles in them.

After giving our food some time to settle, it we were all ready for the main event!

This is what the balls look like. Although I was busy taking pictures and did not play, I am told it is just like wearing a backpack. You put the straps over your shoulders and hold on to handles in front of you. The game is just like a normal game of soccer, except you can hit people and bounce around!

Our first two teams, ready to go!

Most of us hung out on the balcony around the gym for the best view.

Some waited downstairs for their turn.

These girls were ready to win!

And someone (not the only one) got stuck on their head. It was funny to watch their feet kick around, hoping to flip back over!

It was a fun night. I don't doubt that we will be renting this again! The kids, and kids at heart, had a lot of fun!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Great Grandpa Peter's Chair

I am so excited to share this with you. Years of work have finally paid off. 

A few years ago I got a chair from my grandpa. It had been his father's chair, but had been neglected and was in the basement collecting cobwebs. He didn't want it anymore, but wanted it to go to a good home where it would be loved and appreciated. I jumped at the chance to have a family heirloom. I knew it would take some work to get it looking good again, but I also knew that my wonderful dad would be just as excited to fix it up as I was. So, the process began.

This is the chair before. My grandpa had re-upholstered it himself at some point, so the fabric is far from close to what I imagine it originally was.

He had also added some stuffing to make it a bit more comfortable. As you see, this isn't normal chair filler.

Yes, that is insulation.

It was originally built with a spring seat. 

First, we had to dismantle it and mark all the pieces so we could put it back together.

We were excited to find the tag still attached from when it was made. We didn't put it back on afterwards, but I did keep the tag.

Then came stripping off the old finish.

Once that was done, we could fix any problems and put it back together.

There was one problem we decided to keep. At some point one of the arms broke and it was fixed with a long bolt. We loved the look so much that we left it alone and put the bolt back in place.

Then we got to put some new stain on it.

Unfortunately, at this point in the project it had to sit a while before getting finished. Dad and I had reached the end of our knowledge and were not sure how to finish the upholstery. Plus I got busy meeting Andrew and getting married. As much as I wanted it finished, we didn't really have a place for it at our last apartment anyway. So, it waited for a couple years. 

But, not anymore. Just yesterday we got it done. 

We didn't want to re-use the springs. They were old and untrustworthy. So, we put some plywood down for a seat and cut out some 4 inch thick foam.

It was a messy business...

...and required a number of tools. (Sorry mom. We used your knife!)

Then it was time for the fabric and tacks.

Only the corners left. 

And here she is all done and in her new home. She isn't perfect, and Dad and I definitely learned a few things along the way, but I am happy with how she turned out and so happy to have been able to save her and keep her in the family.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Rummage Sale!

Every 4 years or so a group of adults and students from my church youth group head down to Brasil for a mission trip. One of the ways we help to pay is with a rummage sale. We have one every April. 

This was the first year that I have been able to help out the day of the sale. It was crazy and hectic and exhausting, but so much fun. It is amazing the amount of stuff that gets donated.

This is only a small shot of what we had. What you can't see is all the picture frames, furniture, appliances and the kids clothes and toys in another room. Most of this sold.

We also have a bake sale going during the rummage sale. We had 2 tables set up in front of our kitchen. They were packed with cookies, cupcakes, muffins and even some homemade bread. Almost all of this sold, too.

We have a lot of fun while we are getting everything set up and ready to sell. 

We decided it was a little too small for him.

I am looking forward to another good year next year!

Easter Eggs!

I don't remember decorating eggs when I was growing up. We probably did at some point, but it wasn't something I recall doing every year. Andrew decided that this was not okay and must be fixed. 

We had 4 colors. Orange, lime green, purple, and cyan (my favorite color).  

Didn't the colors come out great?

Time to do nothing.

A couple weeks ago Andrew and I both took some time off work. Life had been busy and we were looking towards a busy week this past week. We needed some time to do nothing, which is just what we did. 

Our first day off was a beautiful day. So, we walked to the building next to our apartment complex (which happens to be the home to Panara) and got some coffee. 

Coffee is always better with a baked good!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

When the cat's away....

...the mice will play. 

This is what I found when I came home after spending the day with my mom. 

It looks like Oliver had a good time while I was away. This is hedgehog. He is stuffed with catnip. Do I need to say more?

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


What a weekend we had. Friday morning Andrew was on his way to work (he hadn't gotten very far at all) when the car stopped on him. We had it towed to a nearby car shop but they couldn't look at it until Monday. We finally heard from them yesterday, only to find out that it is bad news. The engine seized up and now we need a new one, which would cost a lot of money. So, it looks like we are going to be car hunting, but down to one car for a while so we can save up some money. That is not how you want to start your weekend or your week!

The fourth Sunday of every month our youth group goes to a local nursing facility to conduct a worship service. We leave right after church and stop at McDonald's along the way for lunch. No sooner had we gotten to McDonald's, and some of us ordered our food, than we found out that the facility has a number of people sick with the flu. They said we could still go, but it would be a small crowd and no of us want to get sick! So, we ate and went back to church.

Another Friday adventure. I had to take Oliver to the vet. It's never fun. He doesn't like being in the car and he hates being at the vet, so there is a lot of snarling and hissing when we get there. Since Andrew had taken the other car to get to work, my wonderful sister picked me and Oliver up and drove us to the vet. (Oliver was hoping that having a car in the shop would mean he would get out of it!) He had a lot of junk in his ears and a bit of an infection going on, so she put some gel in his ears to help clean them out and clear up the infection. He didn't like it. Not one bit. The problem was, that this gel needed time to settle all the way down his ears, so until that happened some of it was just hanging out at the top. He was also shaking his head a lot because he didn't like the feeling of that gel in his ears. Put all that together and you have a cat with a sticky head and very sticky, gross ears. He isn't as sticky by now; he has managed to clean some of it off. He is not going to be happy when he finds out that he has to go back in a couple weeks!

Every once in a while Andrews work will offer to buy tickets to some sort of game. During the summer it is baseball. Earlier this winter it was basketball. Now it is hockey. We always go for it. It is fun to get out and do something fun and we always get a good deal since it is priced for group tickets. When we got to the arena Friday night we found out that it was '90's night. They were playing all the good ol' songs that we both grew up with and the team was wearing fan designed jerseys. It was a fun night, made better when we won 5-3. 

It was a crazy, adventure filled weekend and I am glad that I have a few days off work this week! I am looking forward to relaxing and de-stressing!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Are you listening?

I don't know about you, but I frequently feel like God is teaching me something, and it is always something I really need to learn. Sometimes the learning comes easy and I get it right away. Other times God has to tell me again and again and again before I listen and get what He is saying. 

It isn't always what we, as imperfect humans, want, but it is always for our good. Our Heavenly Father loves us and wants nothing more than to spend time with us and give us good gifts, but we have to listen to His voice. 

What is He trying to teach you? Are you spending time with Him and listening to His voice? 

Psalm 37:7 "Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him;"

Monday, March 20, 2017

Happy Spring!

It's finally, officially spring and I couldn't be happier. Spring and fall are my favorite seasons. I love the change they bring.

This is what I think of when I think of spring. The warmer temperatures, the beautiful flowers (tulips are my absolute favorite flower) and the sunshine. Gone are the gloomy, dreary winter days. 

What does spring make you think about?

Friday, March 17, 2017

It's a Butterfly!

Every couple weeks I get together with a couple friends from church. We do a Bible study, pray, and share our worries and concerns. I love it. It is always uplifting. 

This week, we decided to do something different and met at Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park to see the butterflies. It's something the garden does every year. Thousands of butterflies are just hanging out in their tropical conservatory.

Here are some just waiting to hatch. (Is hatch the right word? I'm not really sure, but I'm going with it.)

There is a monarch hanging out on the orchid.

These two cuties, Emmy and Tori, are the daughters of my friends. They were very excited to see the butterflies!

It is hard to see, but this guy was my favorite. When he is flying around his wings are the most vibrant blue. I really was this close to him when I took this picture. He didn't seem to mind a bit!

We were able to spend some time outside playing as well, but the batteries in my camera died and I had not thought to bring more with me! It was a beautiful afternoon and I loved getting to spend it with friends!