Thursday, November 20, 2014

Three Things for Thursday

I thought I might start sharing a few random things here on my blog on Thursdays.  I might share links to recipes I have tried lately, a project I like, or something funny I saw.  These will vary, but I thought these quick posts might be fun.  Here we go!
1.  It has gotten quite cold and a little snowy here in Michigan.  We had our first little bit of snow last week, and we got a couple more inches yesterday.  
I saw this on Facebook a few days ago, and I thought it was pretty funny.

2.  Jim loves gnocchi, and I have made this Ham and Cheese Gnocchi a couple of times.  I leave out the peas and serve another vegetable on the side (since Jim doesn't care for peas), and it is delicious!

3.  We have had the same hand-me-down TV stand for years.  I have never really liked it and have always wanted to replace it.  I bought this dresser at Salvation Army a few weeks ago.
I am planning to repaint it using chalk paint and use it as our new TV stand.  I will post an update when we get going on that project.
So, there are my three things for this Thursday.  I hope you have a great weekend!  We are looking forward to a short week of school next week and a visit from my parents for Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Project Life 2014 - Weeks 30 and 31

Week 30:
We started this week at church on Sunday, like we usually do.  I was in Maddie's class for Sunday School that morning.  Maddie loves to play basketball in her class, and she got a little creative that morning by shooting from the top of the slide.
 We picked Jim up from work a little early one afternoon, and drove over to Metro Beach on Lake Saint Clair.  The boys spent a few hours golfing at the Par 3 Course.  It was Drew's first time playing his own ball the entire time.
Drew did pretty well (he got a little overwhelmed with having to play his ball from wherever he hit it).  I love that Jim and Drew share a love of golf and that they enjoy being together.
Maddie and I spent a lot of time on the playground.  Maddie loves slides!
 She kept climbing up and sliding down.  It was a fun afternoon!
Maddie loves to "help," especially when it is something she wants.  When she wants a drink, she often goes and gets the jug of milk out of the fridge herself and carries it over to wherever we are in the house.  We have had a few messes.
Maddie likes to give/get a thumbs up when something good happens, and she often combines the thumbs up with a high five.  Here, she and Jim are doing a "thumbs up high five."
The faculty at Jim's school had a strategic planning weekend on Friday and Saturday.  Since Jim has become principal, he has really been trying to include the faculty in more of the planning and decision-making.  They had two great days of meetings and came away excited about the school year ahead.  I catered their lunch on Saturday, and the kids and I had a bit of an adventure as we had to drive through part of an auto show to pick up the subs.
 I also made fruit salad, potato salad, and chocolate chip cookie bars.
Here's what I did for Week 30:
I saved a few bits from the golf course map and our parking pass at the beach to use on my layout.  I love to use things like that and am trying to remember to grab things from places we go and save them.

Week 31:
Our church hosted a big choir and band camp this week.  Drew had been looking forward to going, but with our change in vacation plans, we ended up being gone for most of the camp week.  We were in town for the first day of camp, and the leaders said that Drew could come for the day.  He loved it!
 We left on Tuesday for a week with my family in South Carolina.  Drew and Maddie are very good travelers (we are thankful, because it is a long trip!).
While we were in South Carolina, Drew got to pick blueberries from my Dad's garden.  It was the very end of the season, but there were a few left for Drew to pick.
 We had several Wii bowling tournaments.
 We also did some shopping.  Maddie wanted to carry our thrift store purchases out to the van for me!
 We had a big kebab dinner with all the cousins.  My dad cooked the kebabs on the grill.
 We were able to get a picture of all the cousins.  SO cute!
 The dinner was delicious!
 Drew had been wanting to try kebabs, and we had put them on our summer list.  My parents helped us check making kebabs
 and homemade ice cream off our summer list.
Here's what I did for Week 31.
Jim and I spent a couple days of that week in Charleston.  I blogged about that trip here and here, so I didn't share the pictures again in this post.  For this week's Project Life, I made an insert about our Charleston trip.  Here is the front,
and here is the back.
Here are Weeks 30 and 31, along with the Charleston insert,
 and the Charleston insert flipped.
Here are Weeks 30 and 31, without the insert.
I hope to be back later this week with another post!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Halloween 2014

We had lots of fun with several Halloween events this year!  I found a vintage cowgirl costume for Maddie at a South Carolina thrift store this summer, so her costume was all set, but we had to find something for Drew.  We stopped at a new thrift store near school one evening, and they had a huge rack of costumes.  Drew tried on a few.

 He finally settled on a Spiderman costume.  He decided that he really needed some red shoes to go with his costume, and he told me he wanted red Nikes.  I told him we would look, but I didn't really think we would be able to find any, and I didn't want to go spend a bunch of money on new red (!) Nikes.  I was in a different thrift store later that week, and I was surprised to find some red Nikes in Drew's size (and in pretty good condition) for under $5!  I was reminded that God cares for us and delights in providing both our needs as well as some of our wants.
 We got Drew a Spiderman mask to finish up his costume.
 Our first Halloween event was a Halloween party at a nearby retirement community.  A friend from church works there and invited us to come.  We had planned to go as a family, but the guys got stuck at school for a playoff soccer game that went into double overtime and shoot outs (we won!), and Maddie and I ended up going on our own.
 We missed the tick-or-treating, but we were still able to hear the music (I loved the musician!),
 have some donuts and cider,
 and get some balloons from the creepy balloon artist.  Maddie was his last customer of the night, and he gave her four different balloon creations.  She could hardly carry them all!
 The next afternoon was our Sunday School class costume party.  One of the couples from our class hosted the party.  They live by a lake, and they took pictures of each family in their back yard.  Our family included Spiderman, a cowgirl, Fern (from Charlotte's Web), and Brady Hoke (the Michigan football coach).
 There were lots of little boys at the party,
 and lots of superheros!
 The kids even got to break a pinata!  Maddie didn't get in on that, but she still got some candy!
 On Halloween night, we got together with some friends for dinner and trick-or-treating.  Maddie didn't want to get into the picture with the other kids.  It was a very cold and rainy night, but the big kids and a few of the dads still went out to trick-or-treat.  It was a fun night!
We had a lot of fun with Halloween this year!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Project Life 2014 - Weeks 28 and 29

Well, I fell behind on blogging again.  Maddie had a sprained knee a few weeks ago, and it was pretty all-consuming.  I didn't get to blog that week, and once I got out of the routine, things fell apart.  I am back today with another Project Life post from the summer.  I've already shared some of these photos from our Summer list, but there are some that are new.

Week 28:
Jim and Drew took advantage of the free slurpees at 7/11 on July 11th.
I took the kids to the Oakland University Chick-fil-a for Cow Appreciation Day.
After lunch, we went to Cook's Farm Dairy to see the cows and eat some ice cream.
 The kids enjoyed seeing the big cows
and the baby calves.

We all enjoyed the ice cream,

 and Maddie ended up with an ice cream mustache.
Both Drew and Maddie love "devices" - tablets, phones, Drew's DS - they love to play on them.
Jim and Drew went golfing one evening this week.
 Maddie moved up to a toddler bed!  She had been climbing out of her crib for a while, and we thought that a toddler bed might be safer (since it was lower) and that she might like it enough to stay in it.
 Maddie's cousin, Lilly, gave Maddie her old Tinkerbell toddler bed, and Maddie seemed excited about it the first night.
Unfortunately, she is still getting out and sleeping on the floor. 
Drew finished the Barnes and Noble summer reading program, so we went to the store to turn in his book list.  Maddie enjoyed playing with the trains.
Drew got to pick out a book to take home.  He was excited to find a Lego Ninjago book.
Here's what I did for Week 28.
 I wanted to include a few more pictures from our Cow Day, so I sewed on a 4x6 insert that flips out.

Week 29:
Jim's brother-in-law, Larry, passed away early this week.  We had spent most of the weekend at the hospital, being with the family and saying goodbye to Larry.  He passed away peacefully, early Monday morning.  Jim helped with some of the funeral arrangements.  The viewing was Wednesday afternoon and evening, and we were touched by the number of people from our church and school who stopped by the viewing or came to the funeral to support Jim.  We took Drew with us and asked a friend to watch Maddie.  Drew hung out with the cousins .
 They were good boys and had fun on Drew's DS.
The funeral was Wednesday morning.  One of the pastors from our church did the service.  After the service, we drove out to the cemetery for a little service there, and then we went to the funeral dinner. We all loved Larry very much.  It was hard to see him be so sick for the past year, and it was very sad to have to say goodbye.  We are thankful that we will see him in heaven again someday!
After a rough week, we decided to cheer ourselves up a bit with a fun dinner one evening.  We made pizza and s'mores on the grill.

Maddie just wanted a plain marshmallow.  I had gotten some huge ones from Aldi.
Drew ate a big, messy s'more.  Those huge marshmallows made the s'mores really gooey!
The kids and I spent an afternoon at the library.  They had fun playing and checking out some books and DVDs.

 We stopped at McDonald's afterward for ice cream cones.
Here's what I did for Week 29:
Here are Weeks 28 and 29 together:
I hope to be back again soon(er this time)!  I have lots to share from the past few weeks!