Saturday, November 17, 2012


 Andrew was packing his lunch the other day and was attempting to make homemade "lunchables".  As he slicing a round piece of ham into smaller squares, he called me over to check out his America.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Happy Veteran's Week

On Veterans Day, Andrew's third grade teacher handed each child the lyrics to Lee Greenwood's God Bless the USA and played the song in class.

She played it a few times and taught the class the song. Going through Andrew's folder later when he was busy doing something else, I found the lyrics and started singing the song.

His head shot over in my direction with a shocked look on his face.

"Mom! How do YOU know that song?"


God Bless The USA

by Lee Greenwood
If tomorrow all the things were gone,
I'd worked for all my life.
And I had to start again,
with just my children and my wife.

I'd thank my lucky stars,
to be livin here today.
‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom,
and they can't take that away.

And I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

From the lakes of Minnesota,
to the hills of Tennessee.
Across the plains of Texas,
From sea to shining sea.

From Detroit down to Houston,
and New York to L.A.
Well there's pride in every American heart,
and its time we stand and say.

That I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

And I'm proud to be and American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Pinterest Project Spectacular

We are blessed with a large garden tub in our bathroom.  One that we hardly take advantage of because our hot water heater runs out before the tub is filled.  However, that being said, we love it and feel confined whenever we travel and have to use a standard size shower.  Spoiled, I know.

Now our shower is all white tile and over the last several year, the grout has gotten mildew-y.  Really mildew-y.   Like black grout.  It was gross and made our shower look disgusting.  I had tried everything to clean it.  Bleach, baking soda, vinegar, tile cleaner, all purpose cleaner, bleach pens, etc.... all with no luck.

This photo is just a small snippet and as much as I don't want to admit it, wasn't even that bad of a segment compared to the rest of the shower.  Sad, I know.

Again, a larger segment of nasty, yet not the worst of it.

Then, I came across this post on Pinterest that recommended using cotton beauty coils.

I used masking tape to tape the cotton stings along the grout.  Then using a spray bottle and eventually a face maska and glove (didn't use the last two the first go around and regetted it).

I sprayed down the the coils with straight bleach until they were saturated and push them right up against the grout.  Then waited.  Because I had tried so many other things, I didn't have high expectations.  However, a few hours later, I removed the cotton and to my amazements, the grout was white.  Amazingly white-white!

It looks like a whole new shower!  Thank you Pinterest for saving my tub.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

My Punkins

In mid October the boys had a Friday off school for a teacher's inservice day.  Unfortunately, I still needed to work, however, I was blessed to be able to take a half day.  The boys came to work with me in the morning, and then because it was a gorgeous fall day, we grabbed lunch and hit the Meijer Gardens in the afternoon.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Chill Out!

Andrew has been reading the Michigan author Johnathan Rand for a couple of years now.  He writes the American Chillers, the Michigan Chillers, and the Freddie Fernortner and the Fearless First Graders series.  They like to tout themselves as scary books, but every time I start to question them (mostly based on the cover art - which I do NOT love), the read one and realize they are mostly just suspenseful and age appropriate.

In fact, when we went on vacation last year, we detoured on the way so we could stop at Chillermania, the author's headquarters.  They boys picked up a few books and Andrew got a t-shirt.

So, when I found out merely coincidently, the Johnathan Rand was coming to Grand Rapids the next day, I was thankful our schedules worked out so I could take the boys to hear him speak and meet him.

He came to a local library, so I picked the boys up from school, we grabbed a bite to eat and then just went to the library early to work on homework until it was time to start.  I was thankful we were there early, there was a much better turnout than I anticipated.  They had a little book store set up, so mom caved and bought them each another book, plus they brought a few of their own for autographs.

I wasn't sure what to expect, but I really enjoyed his presentation.  It was obviously geared toward the kids, but had enough thrown in for the parents to keep it really interesting.  They boys were glued and he encouraged them to write and revise and write and revise.

After the presentation he held a book signing where he signed the boys books, signed Andrew's Chillermania t-shirt and allowed photos to be taken.  In fact, AJ took his words to heart, came home that night and wrote his very own adorable super scary story that very night.  I need to scan and post it... it's awesome.  Thanks Mr. Rand for the visit!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

My Civil Duty

Took me an hour and ten minutes during an off peak time.  Poor Marc is in line now and it's WAY longer than when I was there.  But proud to be able to do it!

Little bit of Heaven last Sunday

This was part of our evening dinner last Sunday. Homemade biscuits fresh out of the oven with honey. I don't think we would have even need any other food.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Where I joined the ranks of Soccer Mom.

We just finished up fall soccer around here. It was the boys first year playing organized soccer and they really loved it. Especially Andrew... that boys eats, breathes and sleeps soccer, playing it every recess and every other chance he gets.  AJ had a great time just being out there with his buddy and getting his energy out.

The improvement we saw in the boys between the first week and the final week was huge!  We started the season a little hestistant about the program but in the end signed back up for the Spring 2013 season.

Marc coached AJ's team this year, the Silver Sharks.  Andrew played for the Blue Lightning.  All through the AYSO program.At one point during a cold rainy game day, not enough player showed up, so AJ got to play goalie for Andrew's team.  I'm pretty sure it was the highlight of his season.
Since either myself or Andrew was the "assistant coach", we were eligible for one free family photos.  Since we don't really do family pictures, this one actually is pretty good.

By the way - this soccer season led us to invest in 2 large golf umbrellas that have proved to be an extremely wise purchase.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Blog Update

So... a little blog history....

Fall 2004 - I started this little blog, mostly to share pictures and our days with grandmas and grandpas in other states and to be a alternative to time consuming and space consuming scrapbooking.  Blog created on Blogger, the free blogging platform.

Six wonderful years of blogging and family history and photos get beautifully documented.

Spring 2010 - after working for a year where blogging was in my job description, attending a few blogging meet-ups, and doing my own research, I took the plunge, bought my own domain name and moved my blog to a Wordpress site.  Loved the new platform.

Spring 2012 - while I loved my domain name and my Wordpress site, life got busy and I wasn't blogging as much as I used to.  I have no intention of quitting, but struggled to justify paying for something not being used as much.  Granted the cost wasn't great, but felt for what I needed, a free service would be adequate.  Move site back to free Blogger platform.

Shortly later - realized I lost all photos during my time with Wordpress when I moved blog back over the Blogger... along with other nice features.  Plus, in order to at least keep my domain name, I was still paying, not much  but more than I expected.  Mostly, I was very dishearten about losing 2 years of photos.

So dishearten  I practically gave up blogging since I felt my blog was "all messed up" anyway. I very much had a "why bother" attitude, even though I did miss it.  I knew there was a slim chance to fix it, but I knew it would be a long shot, a LOT of work and a LOT of phone calls to hosting IT depts.  It was something I just didn't want to do and so I put it off.  The more I put it off, the bigger of a job it seemed so the more I wanted to put it off.

The cycle grew bigger and bigger until I didn't want to add any more content to my blog even though I have great family content from many years before.  Warped logic, I know, but still how I felt every time I thought about putting a post together.

Current 2012 - So, this morning I receive an email from my previous hosting company telling me my account was about to expire.  Since my account has been expired since spring, I was confused and actually took the time to call them.  Turns out the email was sent in error, but since I had them on the phone I talked to their IT dept and started the process to repair my blog.  I spent a LOT of time on it today and it could take a lot more time, but I think it's do-able.

I am still not sure how the repair will work itself out.  I may stay on Blogger and manually repair each and every post that's was missing photos.  It would suck, but at least it's a possibility now (wasn't even an option before today).  Or I may go back to Wordpress, a better platform in my mind, especially if they can fix all my photos at once. Again...more calls to IT dept.

All that to stay - stay tuned.  I will keep you posted and I do plan to posted more anyway, but that's the long story of why the blog has been neglected to severely lately.

Andrew's third grade science project

Andrew recently completed his 3rd grade science project on Boa Constrictors.  

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