Saturday, November 27, 2010

A time to be thankful and a time to freeze your buns off

 As a guest writer for my wife's blog I come to you faithful readers with humility, gratitude, meekness, appreciation and a keen sense of the monumental task at hand.  My lovely better half mentioned that she had selected a few pictures of the festivities over the last couple of days and that having a guest writer step in and commentate on the visual display would be a treat.  I'm all about treating the wife so I agreed.  Insert hisses and boos here.
This year we hosted Thanksgiving lunch for the first time ever.
To make the day more exciting our power went out at approximately 10 am and the guests were set to arrive at 12 noon.  We called everyone and postponed lunch until 1 o'clock to give the power company enough time to correct the situation and they came through.  We had power by 11:30ish and the festive mood returned.
Below you can witness the spread before we sat down to eat just enough so that we wouldn't walk away hungry.

 Here's my Mom enjoying a lovely beverage...

 There wasn't enough room at the main table so the kiddos had their own feast at the other end of the kitchen.
 My younger brother knows how to fill a plate and here he is showing off his food placement skills.
 There was plenty of frivolity and laughter at our table between bites of turkey, potatoes, gravy, baked corn, stuffing, french green beans, and of course the pies and pumpkin rolls.  In this picture I'm sure we are calling my older brother out on some indiscretions of his youth.
Here the new (week old) twins make their appearance.  My wife is a real sucker for babies as you can clearly see by the longing look in her eyes.
Brooke is the oldest cousin and little Suzy loves her attention.
Here's Ma and Pa G with all 10 of the grandkids.
More baby adoration...
Jack and Cale enjoying some marble action...
All in all it was a great day with time spent with those that we love making memories and traditions to enjoy for years to come.  We are extremely thankful for our family and extended family and hope that you had a joyous Thanksgiving Day with much to celebrate as well.

The next day didn't start out so leisurely as the wife and I got up at the crack of the crack of dawn as you can see in the official time picture below.  That's correct, the clock said 1:47 on the way to the 2 hour waiting line.

There were some hard-to-pass-up deals to be had so we headed out to join the masses in weather that was less than stellar.  Here you can see me braving the 5 degree wind chill factor in pursuit of some decent bargains at the local retailer.  I will mention that the kiddos stayed firmly in bed while the pretty one and myself ventured out in the frozen tundra.  Usually I draw the short straw and get to go it alone but this year the green-eyed one decided that going along sounded like fun.  Isabella is 10 and enjoys the responsibility of "baby-sitting" for short spells of time on occasion so we took the opportunity.
I'll just say that the lines were long, the weather was uncooperative, the frostbite nearly turned me into a quitter but the deals that we came home with warmed the heart.

Some other mind-numbed shoppers with similar intentions. 
We returned home with time enough to crawl back into bed for 2 more hours before the rest of the house woke up and started the day.  Thank you all for reading.  May your toes never be frostbitten and may your leftover turkey be gone within a week.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Congratulations are in order.....

 Yesterday Donovan's younger brother & wife made a trip to the hospital.  They went from 3 to 5 in one day!  So excited for them for safe delivery for their twins, even though they are 2.5 weeks early. 

Kegan Hayes 5 lbs. 8 oz.
and Kelby Myles 4 lbs. 15 oz.

 The fun thing about twins, is we didn't have to wait as long to hold a baby.  :) 

 Such tiny, little, sweet boys!  How very very little and fun to hold 2 at a time.  I wonder how long I will be able to do that?
 Cale~your whole world is about to change!  But I think it's all for the good.  What a gift that God gave you~to have 2 brothers.  I'm sure in a couple of years you will see how much fun they will be.  Until then you may need to learn how to change diapers.  :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Choosing to See

I heard about this book on our local radio station, and it peaked my interest.  I'm not really one to buy books that I will read once~So I asked our library since they didn't have it if they could request it via an inter-library loan (borrow it from another library)  But our library actually bought it!  I got to be the 2nd one to break it in.  I felt so privileged.  This book is categorized as a "Memoir/Inspirational".  I have not read many books in that category.  And if I had started one~usually not really motivated to finish it.  This book was totally different. 
Could NOT put it down.  I took it with me to a hair appt., and actually read it over the new copy of "People" sitting there.  It's just that good.  After my hair color I stopped to pick up some bread sticks from Pizza Hut and just sat there in the van reading.  I couldn't wait for her to reveal the next step in her adoption story.  As pathetic as I felt reading while eating, with the reading light in my mini van, in a parking lot....I knew when I got home I would not have that kind of uninterrupted bliss.  Totally lost track of time and got a call from Donovan to make sure I was "o.k."  Awww...I love when he's concerned.  I told him~Yep! Just reading.  He told me to take my time....just was concerned.  :)  Another collective Awwwww...inserted here. 

Anways...I expected it to be sad.  I expected it to be something totally different.  It was very amusing and found myself relating to Mary Beth in many ways although I had never adopted or lost a child.  Some of her interesting chapter titles are...."When the puppy Eats your Birth Control Pills", "Crying in the Bathroom at Chuck E. Cheese", "My friend Prozac", and "Rambo Goes to China".  Who doesn't want to read to see how she finishes those sentences?? :)  Very, Very good read for this winter for you.  Highly recommend it.  No wonder it has been on the New York Times Bestseller list for 5 consecutive weeks!!

Here are some of the reviews written by others who have read it:

"Mary Beth makes the deepest places of our being easier to embrace and grasp.  I felt like I was looking at my own heart exposed on the pates of this book." Denise Jonas, mother of the Jonas Brothers

"Every now and then a book comes along that is not only great.  It is a gift.  An extravagant gift.  This is one of those books." Beth Moore

"Mary Beth has opened the doors of her stories to us so that our deepest fears may be overcome with hope.  And so that we can all walk in a deeper trust that God is good....all the time. "  Toby (TobyMac) and Amanda McKeehan

"Mary Beth and Steven Curtis Chapman are living their story in a way that brings glory to God and real, practical help to the body of Christ.  You won't be able to put this book down until you've wept, laughed, and relished every page."  Chuck Colson

Quote of the day:
While I was snuggling in the recliner with Jack....
Jack: "I hope the fan doesn't fall on us."
Isabella: "Jack don't be a drama king"
Jack: "I'm not I'm just exaggerating."

Friday, November 5, 2010


Yesterday I had some errands in town and one of them was stopping off at Highway 35 to get some Amish grown eggs.  I usually buy a flat of 2 1/2 dozen.  When we pulled into the garage I totally forgot about the eggs in the back, on the floor.  Suzy was in her car seat collecting her backpack (full of misc. toys to keep her busy while we were the Chiropractor earlier) a dry erase board, and 2 baby dolls.  I thought nothing of it when I went in the house and got busy in the kitchen that she was making several trips from the garage to the mud room and then back out again.  Then she walked into the kitchen with the flat of eggs I had forgotten in the van~ I nearly screamed.  
WHAT!?  Amazed, proud, and panicked that I would be cleaning that 2 1/2 dozen off the floor.  Little 4 year old had gotten the eggs out of the van, set the eggs on the garage floor while she shut the van door, set them down again to open the garage door into the house and made it into the kitchen with out cracking one shell.  Utter disbelief.  Complete surprise.  And a tad proud of her!

I'm sure if I would've asked her to bring in the eggs~we would've had a scrambled mess on the floor.  I love surprises of not cleaning up a mess.

Quote of the day:

While putting dishes away, dropped a glass bowl.
Suzy: "Thank God that didn't break."
Donovan: "you can say that again."

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

fall party

 Last Saturday we had our Sunday School here for a little fall festivities.  It went together smoothly with the planning and it was so fun to keep getting calls with RSVP's and have such a great turn out.  53 all together!! 
 There were 3 of us that each made a different soup and 2 loaves of homemade bread.  I had said I would do chicken noodle.  I should have known better.  My chicken noodle is made without a recipe and always hit or miss.  Either uck or really good.  The soup I did for that night needed to be a big batch, I started by having Isabella cut up potatoes and Jack cut up carrots.  Started well~until I put a bag of noodles into the boiling broth.  Someone had once told me once that you will get more flavor into your noodles if you turn off the burner and just let the noodles sit into the boiling hot liquid.  Hmm...I missed a step somewhere~because when I went to check on how the noodle soup was doing--it was a starchy mess.  Absolutely disgusting.  And our party was starting in 45 minutes.
 Hmmmm...Didn't actually have time to send Donovan to the store~I needed him getting the garage ready.  So I scoured through the cupboards to see what could be made with what I had.  I ended up doing a double batch of Cheeseburger soup.  Isabella cut up another round of potatoes and Jack started more carrots.  While I finished up the soup~Isabella got clothes out for Suzy to change into...some friends from our class started showing up and helped me finish up the soup, make coffee, warm up hot water for hot chocolate, set the food out, etc....My mind was in about 100 different directions. 
Thankfully the cheeseburger soup turned out well.  It was completely gone by the end of supper. 
  We also had a couple of people bring salads, desserts, plates, cups and all the plastic wear.  Some others brought~cheese & crackers, pumpkin bars, apple pie, donuts, apple cider, and other treats. 
 We did some games after supper, and then carved some pumpkins...several adults said this was their first time!!!
 I think Brian is grossed out by the seeds.  Or what is that face??
Way to cut it up Marlys!  
There were also sharpie markers if some kids wanted to just color their pumpkins...good thinking on the markers~Jen. 

 Ben, Jen, and Jacob
 Their boys scoopin' it out.
 Isabella deciding what pumpkin face she wanted.
 Laura helping her daughter Claire.

Stan making a train on his son's pumpkin.

 Rose's son Wes was just enjoying putting the rubber gloves on and off.  Good idea to bring the gloves~Jen!

 Donovan was thinking of an easier way to cut these pumpkin faces up....
 and made a smiley face for Kiera.
Because I hate the smell and feel of the inside of the pumpkin was documenting the evening with pictures....And Donovan was helping Isabella and Jack carve....Richard helped William cut, clean out, and make a face on his pumpkin.  What a guy!  William had drawn a happy face that was too small for Richard to carve, so Richard made a "sample" for William to proof~before he carved.  So very, very nice of him.

 Ben & Jen also brought a popcorn popper and corn....WOW! It was a hit.  Brooke hung out there all night in interesting poses.

 Patient Richard with William
 Thanks to Marlys for the hot chocolate and marshmallows!  Great idea! 

 One of the pumpkins had way to much candy that night.
What a fun, fun night!