Monthly Archives: December 2015

Thoughts from New Years Eve 2015

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We are about to put 2015 to bed, commit it to history, and I am having some thoughts.

Our Christmas was nice and quiet. It seemed a fitting end to the year.

We celebrated Christmas Eve with our dear friends The Hostlers. I do not have one picture to show for the evening, but we checked out a new restaurant in our area called Black Rock, and had a lot of fun cooking our steaks on our own, personal 750 degree, boiling hot lava rocks in front of us. It seems tricky and dangerous, but produces a yummy steak! Several of us ordered the steak and lasagna combination and I was not the only one who took the entire lasagna home! I have had it twice for lunch since and I’m pretty sure there is still a slice kicking around in the fridge.

I totally lifted this picture from Awesome Autumn’s instagram. That cheesy blob in the background? Lasagna. That steak dipped in garlicky butter? YUM.

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We came back to the house and played some games, including 2 card games that I am ashamed to tell you I could not figure out on threat of death. We also played a fun game we have played before that I cannot recall the name of. Honey coined a new term that will passed down in our family for all time, unless we forget it and we only remember when someone stumbles across this blog post. I give you the CHIMINEY SOCK.

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Nurse Lauren talked a little bit about our evening on her vlog here. We are very thankful that they feel the same way that we do, much love to them! And ALSO, we are clearly internet stars now, having actually appeared on a VLOG!

On Christmas Day we headed over to my brother Beeve and his wife Stacey’s for MORE STEAK!!! We quite enjoyed the nontraditional Christmas meal and could have possibly started a new tradition! The Ab-Cat, our resident carnivore, said that Beeve makes great steak, and then added in a hushed tone, possibly better than Honey! Then she covered her mouth and said she felt sacrilegious saying that!!!!!

Medium Goomba received many games, Abby is always up for a little game playing with him!

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Such concentration.

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Honey got a selfie stick for Christmas!!! We had a LOT of fun trying to figure out what the heck we were doing!

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They are a little blurry and I have no idea why.

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There is an art to the selfie. We are not artists.

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Now I can understand all those weird pictures on Facebook of people looking in the bathroom mirror trying to capture their best sides. Kind of sorta. Not really. You are in the bathroom people, can’t get past that.

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At least we are all looking in the proper direction and no one is being inappropriate.

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No idea what this is about.

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I then took the selfie show on the road to the other couch with Medium Goomba and The Grandpa.

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I think Goomba has done this before, just a guess.

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Obligatory strange pose.

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Our host and hostess, Beeve and Stacey!

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Stacey’s parents were also in attendance. Sharon and Turk were good sports when I brought the traveling selfie stick around.

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We hate glasses glare.

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Another Mrs. Davis’ coconut pound cake consumed.

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Thanks guys for a very nice day!

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We left there to go to see the new Star Wars movie, FINALLY! Everyone was in agreement that we loved it!

And here we are, the tail end of the year. A time of reflection.

As usual there have been high and lows. My year started with the funeral of the husband of a lovely gal from BSF. It was completely unexpected and will never be understood this side of heaven. Many more funerals followed, some were tragic because they were sudden and struck people that seemed too young, too full of life to be taken. At one time I was praying for 5 widows daily. Others were more of a natural, circle of life variety. All bring a change that no one seeks.

Yesterday was the final funeral of the year. Honey’s neice Brandy, a young wife and mother, spent the last 2 years bravely battling cancer. Forty one years is way too few for a beautiful woman with a family to raise. I will always remember her smile and gentle spirit.

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Life is short People, way to short for some of the nonsense that can consume us.

I love this verse. I want immeasurably more, we need immeasurably more, and I am so thankful that it is according to His power within me because I am not powerful on my own.

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So I am going into 2016 looking for that immeasurably more than I could hope or imagine, looking for how His power is at work within me and in our life. He is able to do immeasurably more. That is going to be my phrase for 2016. To Him be the glory.

Happy New Year Friends.

Pictionary 1988

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I found these old Christmas pictures while looking for something else, as you do. I don’t think I ever did find what I was seeking, but these make me smile. I know it’s not Way Back When-sday, but humor me if you will.

For many years we got together around the holidays with my Aunt Ava and Uncle Frank, Girl Cousin Kay and her husband Stan and daughter Carol, Beeve,  Honey and I. And then added our kids as they came.

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It was always a LOT of fun!

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We usually had dinner, opened some presents, visited and then got down to the business of playing games!

That precious peanut of a little gal is probably around 30 years old now!!!! How did THAT happen??!!

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I was pregnant with The Ab-Cat and nearing my all time fighting weight.

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Many times we gave and received our latest, favorite games.

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As you can see, we frequently had the same good idea.

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After dinner we got down to business playing Pictionary for the first time. Many of the drawings were hilarious, but there was one in particular that we about lost our minds over.

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I’m not sure who documented Girl Cousin Kay and I, but these are some of my favorite pictures of all time.

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Going,

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still going,

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I’m dying here,

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And gone! Here is the artist,

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and his “Hall of Fame” drawing of a horse!!!!!!!

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Ahhh, good times!

The Week of Christmas List

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Good morning and welcome to the week of Christmas. For a child that statement is nothing but exciting! For an adult there is much mental work going on. Reviewing your to do list, checking it twice because you doubt your mental acuity, and making yet another last trip to the store to get that one last gift you forgot or ingredient you need for a Christmas meal.

It’s a lot people.

How about a here and there list because that is where my mind is lately.

Went to see Young Goomba’s piano recital yesterday! He played When the Saints Go Marching In like a boss!!!! Very proud of him and all of his hard work! He was rocking a cute new do as well, hopefully I can capture that on Christmas Day for y’all.

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Mousey is a fan of the sleep mask. She has had many over the years but I do believe she bought my favorite one EVAH yesterday from Five Below! Cat Woman!

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Don’t read any support into her sweatshirt. It came from a thrift store, she cares for NO team.

This is on our mantel. I was standing in front of the fireplace trying to warm myself in our house on planet Hoth, and I thought it looked right purty. That is all.

My photography skills are…lacking.

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I am reading this verse daily. I need its assurance. I am distracted and need some mooring.

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Those verses dated 1980 were memorized in my junior and senior years of Bible class in high school. I have never forgotten them. See? Hidden in my heart.

I don’t know about you, but this makes me nervous. This is WAY below my comfort level. I like to have this cabinet full, with a package or two in the closet. Who am I? I need to get to Sam’s. Pronto.

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We also only have a half of a pint of half and half left in the fridge. It’s like I don’t even recognize myself. We still have butter though, I’m not a complete basket case.

I am sad that my Uncle Bob and Aunt Phyllis and their family will not be in The Mitten for Christmas. I can’t remember a Christmas without them in all of my 53 years. We will miss them as we gather at Beeve and Stacey’s on Christmas Day. We will joyfully see them in February when we travel down to their neck of the woods in Florida!

Speaking of my Uncle Bob, I have been trying to convince him to have a DNA test. His wife is too. She thinks he looks so much like Bernie Madoff that we must have Jewish blood in our veins. Which would be AWESOME! I watch a show called Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. and he does a more specific type of DNA testing that can tell you a more detailed view of your roots. Percentage of Asian, European, African, Jewish and other things. So detailed that it can sometimes tell African Americans which country they came from!

All of this is very appealing to me as that side of the family does not have any information concerning their origins. Honey is half Belgian and half Italian, easy peasy. On my father’s side they can trace back to Mennonites from the Swiss Palatinate. No one was more shocked than I was to discover I descended from this!!!!

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So anyway, here is Bernie Madoff.

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And our beloved Uncle Bob. Clearly superior in looks AND character!!!

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There’s something you can get me for Christmas Girls!!!! A DNA kit for your old Uncle Bob!!!

Ok, time to go walking with Keelyody. We can hardly believe we are still walking! This is the latest we have ever continued into December in all our years!

Well, I lied. Just went outside and its raining. We are total fair weather walkers. There’s always tomorrow.

Have a productive Monday.

Wednesday Hodgepodge

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Welcome to the last Hodgepodge before Christmas! I’m glad you could stop by. If you would like to join us click on the button below and head over to link up at Joyce’s, there is always room for more!

1. What’s your biggest ‘first world’ problem?

I talk about it in number 8. Our cats keep knocking over our Christmas tree.

2.  Each year Time Magazine names a ‘Person of the Year’, someone who has ‘for better or worse…done the most to influence the events of the year.’ It was recently announced they’ve named Angela Merkel Person of the Year for 2015. You can read more about this year’s selection here. Your thoughts? If you were in charge, who would you declare Person of the Year?

 Well she certainly has been in the news this year. I haven’t followed super closely to all of it but I do wonder if she will live to regret taking so many displaced refugees into her country, especially when her countrymen were not all supportive. I think we are going to be hearing about all of this for years to come. I don’t have another suggestion, I can’t even remember what happened in January! I did look at the list of the others being considered and I guess she was a better choice than a lot of them.
3. Do you have a nativity set in your home? If so share it’s history and how you display the pieces.

We have three. This little one my Mom gave the kids years ago. They were always rearranging the folks, especially Mousey. Whether they were in a line or square, circle or all jammed up together, Jesus was usually in the center, as He should be.

This year Sy has been a little disrespectful to the holy family and I have had to set them back up.

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We also have these two, also given to us by my Mom.  I brought her angels home after she passed away. I have another nativity with the same pieces only all white. My Grandma gave us that one shortly after we married. Maybe I will get that one out again some year.

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4.  Do you make an extra effort to give back in some way during the holiday season? How do you encourage those who need encouragement this time of year?

Our church has set a challenge to raise a certain amount of money for World Orphans, who are currently setting up safe havens for the displaced refugees of Syria and Iraq. We also help with support on two residences for about 40 young boys/men. In the past they have used funds to help them with buildings and a well.

There is also a theological seminary, B.E.S.T,  that we have partnered with for years. They have been greatly used by the Lord lately to provide safety for refugees of the civil wars in Africa. Our pastor was telling us on Sunday that the Pope heard about all they have been trying to do to help those in need. He was so impressed that he visited them!

And there is always BSF. It is a world wide Bible study and it does not cost to attend, but there are lessons to print and ship. Our country probably supplies the majority of funds to send lessons to China, India and Africa, among other places. It is our pleasure to give to these organizations that are the hands and feet of God in providing food, shelter and other necessities, as well as taking Jesus to a world that needs to hear why He cares about them..
5. Who is your favorite person to shop for? Why?

Don’t have one. I like shopping for everyone.
6. What’s the last delicious thing you ate?

I had a delicious steak the other night with the gals from Birthday Club at Black Rock.
7. The best way to spread Christmas cheer is________________.

Singing loud for all to hear? Isn’t that what Buddy the Elf said??

How about I say the best way to spread Christmas cheer is being patient, polite and friendly. I have already seen some pretty poor examples in stores and parking lots. People, get a grip! Do you really think you are the only one with things to do and places to go? Sheesh!

8. Insert your own random thought here.

We did not put up a Christmas tree last year because Sy had only been living with us a month and he was getting in trouble enough without the temptation of a tree with dangly enticements hanging from it. Our solution was to dig up a ceramic Christmas tree that has been in a box in our basement for a sweet forever.

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Kind of pitiful, but there were no mishaps and no one went to prison for destruction of public property. In an effort to have a little more festive tree, I went to Michael’s to purchase a 4 1/2 ft tabletop tree. Here we are.

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This tree has resulted in a lot of spritzing with the spray bottle and the repetitive yelling of NO!!!!!!!!

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It was irresistible. Like catnip, with branches.

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I woke up to this. In Sy’s defense, the Ab-Cat actually witnessed this vandalism and lo and behold, it was the elder old ladies who brought it down. They work in tandem, like The Mob.

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This was the scene this morning. 

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I am going to call this experiment a failure and box it back up. Pitiful ceramic tree, here we come.

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Thanks for stopping by, enjoy this last week before the hectic really sets in!

A Warm December List

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Last week was a little bit of hectic tangled into a ball. How about a list?

BSF is over for the month, to be resumed the first week of January. The Lord knows I love our class and all the women, and the Lord knows we need a break in December.

But before we could get to a break there was a fellowship luncheon to pull off on Wednesday and then class day on Thursday.

The luncheon was fine, it just required many bursts of activity on Admin’s part to shop, prepare and set up, but it was a nice afternoon.

Class day is usually not an issue. I seem to recall I actually used the phrase “it’s all gravy”. BUT our good friend Marilyn up in the tech booth is transitioning from Admin to a group leader position, so she was training Dear Sandra, our former class secretary, to take her place. And our class administrator Trenda  was learning as well because sometimes it’s good to have a backup. So that left me as the face of the lobby, and for some reason a great many people had great need to speak with me and my face and ask me many, many questions! Hectic!

I received a surprise phone call from The Grandpa on Thursday evening telling me not to worry but he was again in the emergency room at University of Michigan Hospital, this time with pain in his side.

He told me that they were releasing him that evening and he would talk to me in the morning. Imagine my surprise when I got home from walking on Friday morning to hear that he was still there and he was going to have surgery to remove a kidney stone!! I spent the day with him and our good friend Mrs. H in the short stay area until they finally came and got him at about 5:30 p.m.. They returned him around 9:30 and he was able to leave the next morning in pretty good shape. I told him he has used ALL of his hospital points for the year!!!

I don’t know if all of you non Michiganders are aware of this but it has been in the upper 60s around here this weekend!!!!! Perfect weather for Honey and I to get that last smackeral of outside work done and put the yard to bed for the winter. I raked a tiny bit and cut the front yard grass (because The Boy cut the backyard on Thanksgiving weekend) in a long sleeve shirt, and even that was warm!

Keelyody and I are still walking! We have already walked in heavier coats, headbands and mittens but today we were back to hoodies with no gloves. Spring in December! Our bigger problem is the darkness at 7:30. It’s a little too darkish out there.

Is anyone excited about Star Wars coming out???!!! The Ab-Cat is BESIDE herself! I predict there is a movie in our future this weekend!

Speaking of movies, Abby brought home Ant Man from the library last weekend. We are all in agreement that we quite liked it!

My number one, two, and three priorities today are to finish my Bible study for our Tuesday class, go to the beauty supply store to buy my hair color so Mousey can fix me, and go to the library in the next door town and get the book I need to HURRYUPANDREAD for book club next Monday night. It’s Black Heels to Tractor Wheels by Ree Drummond, otherwise known as The Pioneer Woman. Our hostess and good friend Laurie assured me it is a quick read. Please Lord, make it so. Abby has been unable to get it for me from our library in any way, shape or form, all month.

Tonight is the last Birthday Club of the year! 2015 is winding down people!

Have a good Monday!