Category Archives: friends

First List of the New Year

Standard

Hi Guys! I am trying to think blog-ally in 2019. I have gotten out of the swing of going on the big computer to post, as well as taking pictures to show you the usual this and that that make up a lot of my ponderings. Before and afters, documenting life, things we find humerous/ ironic, places we have gone. You know, the usual nonsense. Plus, Mrs. Schmenkman is back to blogging and reminding me to JUST GET IN HERE AND DO IT.

I was downstairs yesterday trying to get the too full basement in some kind of working order, because if you were not aware, The Boy and The Dane are moving in there!! I kept hearing a dripping/draining sound, but Mousey was doing laundry and I just associated it with that. As I got further back I heard a burbling noise, and that is just not a normal thing. I went into Honey’s workroom and lo and behold it was the water heater. Not spewing, but an unhealthy, more than a drip, gurgling. I hate to wake Honey up with bad news, but up the stairs I went. I told him on a very good note, the water was snaking into the very nearby drain, so YAY us for that one! Y’All, what IS it with us and water heaters??? This will be our 4th or 5th one in 20 years!! The last one was Halloween of 2013, handy to have that memory of date, made it easier to go back and find it on the blog, for reference purposes. DTE is coming sometime today between 8am and 4pm (nice narrowing it down DTE) and then we will have our old friend Mitch come and haul it out and install a new one. one kiss on the cheek from God in this whole thing, it was still under warranty til next December!!!! It would have been the norm for it to have expired last December! Thanks God, we really appreciate that ❤

Did I mention The Boy and The Dane are moving in??!! Oh, I did 🙂  Next Thursday they will board a plane at SeaTac for the last time and fly back to The Mitten with MoonPie and Little Dipper! We have been moving things around trying to make room for them and their belongings. Can’t wait to smooch those little faces ❤

We have confirmed what we already knew; we have a LOT of stuff in our basement. In our defense, we are a holding tank for a goodish amount of our children’s stuff, but we are absolutely guilty of contributing to the problem. The Ab-Cat would like to get her own place this year, there is talk of Mousey moving out with her best girl Chip sometime, and when The Boy and The Dane find a place to live on the other side of town, and everyone takes their belongings with them, we will see what we need to do! It is our goal to purge then, and prepare for putting our house up for sale and downsizing to a home with a much smaller yard and driveway. #goals. In the meantime, I have been going through some things and doing what I can.

Speaking of going through things, I have watched several episodes of Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up on Netflix. I enjoy a good before and after and found the process inspiring enough to light a fire under me to facilitate getting rid of things we don’t, nor will we ever, need. I went through some of the kids toys that we currently have in baskets, buckets and containers in our basement. Yikes! There is a lot of really good stuff down there! Through the years I kept what I considered to be the best stuff for the future grandchildren to play with. I know our kids loved to play with Beeve’s and my old toys. I went through all the holding implements, dumped them out to make sure there were no broken or small choke-ables at the bottom, and sorted by some loose categories. Play food and dishes, dress up clothes, little animals/characters/people, BARBIES and gear!, stuffed animals, Legos, Star Wars and Super Heros, so many BOOKS!,and Beanie Babies. Oh my goodness the Beanie Babies! I had a basket full and then found another whole tote full! Our kids loved them and played with them a bunch. Most were pretty well loved and I know for sure some of Mousey’s kittys have been through the wash. I think it will be so fun to see which toys the Grands gravitate towards.

Some of the toys made it into the ever growing Salvation Army donate pile, but only 2 things I actually threw away. A Pocohantas doll, that Abby got when she was in the hospital in 1995, because she had lost her arm, and a Pocohantas head where you can style their hairs. Mousey said she learned to braid on that head! No one was ever going to be able to comb that hair again #ratsnest  So what up Pocohantas??!!

They are predicting the first snowstorm of the winter this weekend. We really can’t complain, we haven’t even had many dustings. But this is Michigan, so the predictions are wild and anywhere from 1-8 inches. Pure Michigan. Honey works tonight (when the majority of the snow will come 😦 ) but then will be off all next week. There is some sort of strike in Mexico and that is causing a shortage of parts. Works for us!! The Usher has been looking forward to snow all winter! He works at a local community college and snow means overtime to him! Plowing and salting = that green paper 🙂

I’m going to leave on that note. Not going anywhere, just here, waiting on DTE, the snow, and our kids 🙂

Advertisements

Pre and Post Holiday

Standard

We are one week into the new year already! Happy New Year!

Today I’m here to say that I am two days into a better eating regimen, and if I’m being honest, just about anything is better than my habits from November on out. Friends, I’m not going to lie, it was a free for all and I was ready to stop with all the chowing. I say that, and I do mean it, but there was about once or five times yesterday that I thought it might be nice to have a piece of shortbread. Lucky for me I finished it the day before.

All aboard!

IMG_1261 (1)

Me and Honey.

IMG_1263 (1)

Honey said he wants to join me, but I have no idea what he does at work, so I am my own accountability partner. He and Ab-Cat are going to Schzezuan tonight and I am navigating the tricky waters of Birthday Club, so we will see if I am feeling proud of myself on Day 3. But like I said, anything will be an improvement.

Not sure if I will do full on Keto, but reigning in the carbs and eliminating sugar is a fine start.

I feel we need to head back to the middle of December, when all of the Christmas festivities started. This is our last leaders meeting at BSF. We typically have a luncheon for our leaders and we invite the church staff to join us. This is our pal Pastor Andy! I saw him earlier in the morning when he helped me track down some salad bowls from their locked kitchen and he was NOT looking quite so spiffy then! He said he changed just for us! You can’t beat a Christmas llama!!!

 FullSizeRender (5)

The next day was our last class day for 2018. This is Davis, his Mama is on Admin and he is an honorary member with his own nametag and tasks! He likes to help me put out the cones and put chairs in a circle and hold the door open for our ladies. ❤ Here he is with his friend, Buckwheat.

FullSizeRender (3)

After class, Admin had lunch at our usual Chip and Dip. It was so nice to visit and relax! From left; Kalena, Trenda and Dear Sandra, and across the table are Sarah (Mama of our mascot Davis!) and Capri K! Class starts up again tomorrow, so yeah, this was a little bit ago! 😉

FullSizeRender (1)

Next we moved on to faux Christmas Eve with our Dear Friends the Hostler’s! Their daughter Nurse Lauren is married now and lives with her honey William in Minnesota. She was not able to get Christmas off so they came in early and we snuck in our annual Christmas Eve get together! Thanks for being our photographer Awesome Autumn!!!

IMG-8509 (1)

Medium Goomba came for cookie decorating again!

IMG-8526 (1)

Honey’s ….masterpieces!

IMG-8532 (1)

The Ab-Cat is always good for a bunch!

IMG-8533 (1)

We tried some pastry bags with thinner frosting for outlining. Mousey found the recipe on Pinterest and we will definitely use it again!

IMG-8527 (1)

Mousey and her friend The Usher were also in attendance.

IMG-8528 (1)

Especially enjoyed the pirate with one leg and the broken shark bit man! A+ for creativity!

IMG-8529 (1)

The Usher made good use of the peppermint sprinkles.

IMG-8530 (1)

This was Seymour’s favorite napping spot, some random present.

IMG-8522 (1)

REAL Christmas Eve!!!! We had carry out Lee’s Chicken and it was AWESOME! More games, more stories and a bunch of well fed folks 🙂

IMG-8551 (1)

I have not one picture of Christmas Day. Seriously, not a one. But we had a very nice day with Grandpa, my brother Beeve, his wife Stacey, her folks Sharon and Turk, and Medium Goomba, and The Usher. Merry Christmas Y’All! ❤

Zipping right along to New Years Eve, a fine fondue with the fam and The Usher. Oh, it was good 🙂

IMG-8571 (1)

IMG-8572 (1)

These two were trying to recreate a picture they had taken their first time around. The Usher was around about 4 years ago and then he wasn’t, something about a ghosting by someone whose name starts with M. We are happy to welcome him back to the table.

IMG-8576 (1)

Same recreation process.

IMG-8578 (1)

Then we watched this until the ball dropped.

IMG-8579 (1)

Yeah, we are wild cats. And then I went to bed, because 12:10 was plenty of New Year for me.

FullSizeRender (7)

There you have the festivities of Christmas 2018, it’s a wrap!

BSF Leaders Retreat 2018!

Standard

I can’t let 2018 slide into 2019 without getting these pictures and thoughts down in a post! I was going to use the thankfulness prompt of the word Experience on November 15 to document our BSF Leaders Retreat to Cincinnati, Ohio last March 16-18, but then that little GrandGirl came and I got busy 🙂

It was an EXPERIENCE, that’s for sure! Over 4000 women and men from our surrounding states, united by our love for the Lord and our leadership in this wonderful, worldwide organization! It felt a little like the end of an era, they probably won’t be doing retreats on this scale in the future due to size and cost, they will most likely go the way of more localized simulcasts where leaders can gather and eat, but be close enough to sleep in the comfort of their own homes.

I am going to put names to the lovely souls that I serve with, because while I know each and every sweet smile now, I have been around long enough to know that sometimes when our precious sisters in Christ move on from our ministry, we never see each other again. Which always makes singing “God Be With Us ‘Til We Meet Again” on the last leaders meeting for the year so WRENCHING!.

God be with you till we meet again;
When life’s perils thick confound you;
Put His arms unfailing round you;
God be with you till we meet again.
Till we meet, till we meet,
Till we meet at Jesus’ feet;
Till we meet, till we meet,
God be with you till we meet again.

We rented a bus to tote us down because fellowship is our favorite! Loaded up with our leaders, luggage, sack lunches, snacks to share, and a restroom in the back, we talked and laughed and took Enneagram and Meyer Briggs personality tests all the way down I-75!

This is my good buddy Sarah! She is on Admin too and we spend a lot of time hauling chairs, fielding questions, running around and exchanging prayer requests. She comes with her spunky son Davis, who is also a member of Admin and he has a nametag to prove it! He’s a helper! Carrying parking lot cones, holding the door and welcoming the ladies, making circles of chairs, he’s your guy! I introduced Sarah to Snapchat and we sent some videos to her kids to let them know she was missing them 🙂

IMG-6661

Welcome to Cincinnati!

FullSizeRender

Jip the Farm Dog, Sarah and Capri Kel 🙂

IMG-6669

Marilyn, Sally and me, again.

IMG-6674 

Mary, May and Yvonne ❤

IMG-6667

Marilyn, Sarah and I were thick as thieves this trip.

IMG-6682

Suzie Palmer Weber!!! And Barb!

FullSizeRender (1)

One of my favorite memories of the trip involved Barb. Honey was also in attendance with his men’s class, but we were not able to find each other too much. For one of the sessions we did end up in the same section, but he was a few rows behind us. Barb ended up sitting next to him that time and she was saying something to the gal she was with about poutine, which is the Canadian specialty of fries with gravy and cheese curds. At this point, Honey chimed in saying he loved poutine! They had a little conversation and discovered they both hailed from Canada, knew some of the same places, and both lived in the same town in Michigan! Barb then asked his crossroads and asked if we knew her friends who lived on the same street, Honey said he did, they lived across the street! Barb then said, Oh, you must know Kelly! Honey said I do, she’s my wife!!! The realization on her face was SO FUNNY!

This group was such a treat! The gal in the middle is our former Teaching Leader Cicella, who now works at BSF Headquarters in San Antonio! She was there and we met up with Suzie Palmer Weber! and Pam, both former leaders in our class who are now part of other classes! Jip and I are on the other side. So good to see them ❤

IMG-6686

There was a line to get a picture of Suzie Rowan, executive director of BSF. I didn’t get in on it, but some did!

IMG-6688

Sarah. Lisa, Michelle, Suzie and Diana!!! Suzie Rowan Y’ALL!!!

FullSizeRender (3)

Denise, YuLing, Marilyn, Pam, Sarah, Jip, Capri K and Dorothy.

IMG-6698 

Our 2017-18 Admin Team, with our Teaching Leader Jip. Sarah, Jip, Sandra, Trenda and me.

IMG-6699 (1)

This is my Dorothy. When she sees me she says “there’s my Kelly” and I say “there’s my Dorothy”! She’s my favorite ❤

IMG-6690

Trenda was in the gluten free dining room and texted that she was in DIRE need of some protein because they equated gluten free with being a vegetarian, so Jip found some unclaimed poultry for her and the other GF crowd!

IMG-6700

Me, Sarah, Adell, Melissa and Sandy.

IMG-6691 

That selfie stick was giving us grief! Michelle, Pam, Trenda, Lisa Bell, me, Sarah, Diana and Lisa.

IMG-6835

It took a burst of about 60, but we got it!

IMG-7038

Look! There’s Honey! And Diana!

IMG-7024

Diana used to be on Admin, she always claims, “once on admin, always on admin”. She is very suchy muchy! ❤

IMG-7026

Joined by our favorite Farm Dog.

FullSizeRender (2)

Jip and I roomed together for the umpteenth time, and the party was in our room! Sandy, Sarah, Trenda, Jip, Lisa Bell, me and Melissa.

IMG-7032

in between the bus rides there were awesome speakers encouraging us to magnify God and mature His people, engage the culture while standing strong for Christ, why community matters and making people a priority. We need to be spiritually fit and find our identities in Christ alone, looking at our BSF lessons as heart work, not homework. and making it our life goal to be light to a dark culture.

Before we knew it we were back on the bus heading for The Mitten. Yvonne, me and Sarah.

IMG-7047

There was still a lot of conversation and laughter, but we had been changed by all we had heard. Pam and Melissa.

IMG-7052

Yvonne, Marilyn and Mary.

IMG-7050

Diana, Wendy, Barb, Emily and Patti.

IMG-7053

I consider serving at BSF these last 16 years to be one of my greatest blessings from a really good God ❤ Bible Study Fellowship has changed the trajectory of my life. Me, Sarah, Marilyn and Sandra.

IMG-7046

BSF is 2 years into a 5 year plan of change. Many things have changed as we seek to become more user friendly to millennials and the tech savvy crowd, less focused on guidelines (rules!) and more interested in extending grace and love, they have even altered what a traditional class and community looks like with the addition of satellite and virtual discussion groups. They cited a 2015 Barna study by Navigators that Christians rated BSF as the best organization enabling discipleship. That was the mantra all weekend. “Magnify God and mature His People” They continue to stand in the fight for Biblical understanding by engaging the culture for Christ.

I am proud to be a small part of such a God honoring organization.

Honey and I were tired from a hectic and full weekend. Someone was glad to see us.

IMG-7060

I missed him too ❤

IMG-7063

I encourage any of those unfamiliar with BSF to head on over to their website and see if there is a class near you.  bsfinternational.org and go to find a class near you. It will change your life ❤

8-Restaurant

Standard

I am thankful for the Mexican place that we go to almost every Wednesday after BSF! Affectionately named Chip and Dip by our children many years ago, I have passed the name on to all of delightful gals who gather around the table to enjoy chips and salsa (dip!), tacos, burritos, and all of the other things we apparently cannot get enough of! You never know who will be able to come, sometimes 2 and sometimes a crowd!

IMG-8052 (1)

We have spent hours around these tables discussing life, our families, our lessons, our God and the mighty ways we have seen Him work. There has been much laughter, a few tears, and a lot of love, heart eyes emoji inserted here 🙂

Thank you Lord for Mexican Fiesta, OLE!

Halle Berry, Survivor

Standard

Before Mousey and I left on our trip to Washington state at the end of July we nearly had a tragedy. Our sweet Halle Berry required an intervention. All of the sudden she became socially unacceptable in the tail end and we noticed she had lost quite a bit of weight. I blame the in and outs of summer for my lack of observation. This all happened days before we left for Washington.. Mousey and I took her in to the vet, where they x-rayed her and determined she had a serious blockage. They sent us home with a stool softener, a mineral oil enema, and strict warnings to keep her in a small room because evidently that stuff is explosive and stains. YIKES. insert a horrified face emoji right here!

Here she is on her car ride in, she would have used the horrified emoji here.

IMG_0789 (1)

For the most part she was such a calm, good girl, even throughout her humiliating exam. She still didn’t know what was going to happen when she got home!!!

IMG_0788 (1)

Our plan of action was to remove the litter boxes from our coat room to the next door laundry room for the other 3 felines, so we could then put some old sheets and towels on the coat room floor before we began the “procedure”. At this point all of the other nosey parker cats came out of the woodwork to see what was going on because Halle was still contained in the cat carrier and suggesting regularly that she would like to be RELEASED. I found a small litter box in the garage for her to use because we were going to need to check that to see if there were any… deliveries. Then we shooed the gawkers out of the coat room and let Halle out. Her one and only desire then became to get OUT of the coat room. Mousey helped hold her while I squirted the stool softener down her throat and gave her the enema, which I have to say I did not feel qualified to do. We left her alone with some food and water and an old bed, all of which she never touched out of spite. Or fear.

The poor thing was starting to look like a hot mess, sticky stuff all down her chest from the stool softener, some other stuff on her paws that the directions assured she would lick off. She never did. And because she thought she was being punished by being left in the coatroom under mortifying circumstances, she was a very sad kitty. She never ate or drank at all. We did have a little success in the toileting area, but it didn’t seem like it was enough to solve her problem.

I was really getting concerned with the lack of eating and drinking, so the day before I left, Abby and I hauled her back to the vet to check on her progression. Was she dying? Do we need to put her down? Has my massaging her belly helped one iota? They took another x-ray and sure enough she had unplugged!!!! Thank you LORD!!! We brought her home and released her back into free reign of the house!

Mousey and I left the next morning. The day after Honey sent Mousey and I a video of her at the water bowl, delicately dipping her paw in the water and licking it off!! We about cried in relief! Thank you Lord again!!! She has been right as rain since. But I’m pretty sure she used one of her 9 lives.

On a hilarious side note, and not to be gross, but we were having to help Halle through this debacle with some bathing. We call this a bum wash and it requires a tail holder, so it is a two person job.

During this time I was making plans with my good friend Shari, who was going to be in town from her home in Texas the day after I returned home from Washington. On accident Shari received my text to Mousey, making plans around her work schedule!

IMG-7623 (1)

OH.MY.WORD. I laughed SO hard when I figured it out!!!!!!!! Every time I read it I laugh all over again!!! I can only imagine Shari reading, then rereading the text!!!

So we are thankful for Halle Berry, the Survivor!

South Haven

Standard

This was our TENTH year of loading up someone’s vehicle and heading across the state to Lake Michigan!!! The roster has changed throughout the years, due to work schedules, life situations and the passing of our friend Jan, we have gone different months, but each summer we gather the available troops and hit the road. This year we went in June, we loaded up our Johnny Cash (The Man in Black 🙂 and lit out. I think we get better at packing lighter each year. Plus we buy our food at Wal-Mart when we get there now, that helps a LOT!

This years group was The Peanuts Champ, Three Good Kids, The Oreo Mom and myself, Capri Kel, aka Shaq and her short friends.

FullSizeRender (3)

We could not get into our house until later so we decided to try something new and go to St. Josephs for a little shopping and lunch. We met our great friend Ally who lives over that way, it’s always fun to see her!!!

IMG-7533 (1)

There was the usual farmers market in South Haven, shopping in Holland, day at the beach and games!!!

D31F033C-8B28-4B33-ABE1-4DDD6F79E974 (1)

Such purty flowers over there!

IMG-7854 (1)

I think this may have been our worst weather ever!

IMG-7544 (1)

This was beach day!!! It never did rain when we were there, but it must have been hazy because I got some sun!

IMG-7547 (1)

It rained and drizzled a lot, but we did mostly what we wanted and had a lot of fun.

IMG-7563 (1)

We reminisced about our decade of having this Gals trip, I went back on the old blob and screenshot pictures of us all through the years to put on Facebook! Good times, wonderful memories!

IMG-7860 (1)

The Peanuts Champ wanted to do something special to celebrate her 50th birthday and now here we are still going strong for a decade!

IMG-7855 (1)

And now I just told you how old The Peanuts Champ is!!

IMG-7856 (1)

Some years big groups, some smaller, all have their unique charm. We have even laughed that some years pictures feature the same clothes!

IMG-7857 (1)

There are always sunsets, lots of laughs and shopping 🙂

IMG-7858 (1)

So many hair-dos!!!

IMG-7859 (1)

Always signs and words that ring true.

IMG-7853 (3)

I am thankful for these gals in my life!

IMG-7557 (1)

Until next year Ladies!! ❤ ❤ ❤

Celebrating Trenda!!!

Standard

We celebrated a sweet friend’s birthday last weekend!! Our Class Administrator at BSF is a lovely gal named Trenda. Her friend Marci gathered some of her family and friends from various areas of her life to get together and make some super cutey cute signs!

Here is the birthday girl with her sister, and they must have gotten the memo to wear coral shirts with jean jackets! Trenda is the tall one 🙂  I had not met her sister before and did not know they were related until her sister spoke and then I KNEW! They sound exactly the same!

IMG-7457 (1)

And with their Mama!

IMG-7453 (1)

I have never been to anything like this before! I did not make anything because you had to sign up in a timely fashion and tell them what you wanted to make so they could have your stencils and wood ready with your words or design. Because our e-mail is hatefully filled with spam and I did not read closely, I ignored the email. When I heard from Jip the Farm Dog what it was all about, registration was already closed. I wished Trenda a Happy Birthday that morning on Facebook, she asked if she was going to see me that day. I gave her my sad tale and she said to come anyway and chat, and I said I would do just that!

I’m not going to lie, it was overwhelming!! The guests had already made their selections as to what they were making, so there was that, but then you had to choose stains and washes and colors and paints and even glitter was available! It was a lot!

Then there was optional distressing with both ends of the hammer and sanding and things got very loud.

IMG-7454 (1)

And peeling stencils and getting things exact and using dental picks! Then staining, shading, drying, picking paint colors and peeling stencils off!

IMG-7456 (3)

And an air nail gun!! They were BUILDERS!

IMG-7458 (1)

Such creativity! Such patience! Such endurance!

IMG-7455 (1)

I was going back and forth between the tables, watching and seeing first hand their angst in making decisions and then discovering they were uber creative little sign makers!

Those skinny wood pieces were for their frames, all sanded and stained, ready for their masterpieces!

IMG-7451 (1)

IMG-7452 (1)

With Jip and our new Substitute Teaching Leader, Sparkles! I did not chose that name for her, she came with it 🙂

IMG-7450 (1)

Jodi was working hard on a Father’s Day present for her husband.

IMG-7441 (1)

I was very impressed with everyone’s skillz!!! They ALL turned out SO good!

IMG-7446 (1)

Trenda and her friend Marci, who planned the party.

IMG-7447 (1)

Jip and Sparkles did the same Bible verse, but with chose different colors. And of course Sparkles added some glitter to the center of her flowers!

IMG-7443 (2)

Well DONE Ladies!!! And Happy Happy Birthday Dear Trenda!

And IF I ever get invited to something like this again, I will know just what to do!