Thursday, April 10, 2014

Big Backyard Play Adventure

Fun at the Big Backyard

We took Christal to a place called the Big Backyard for kids.  It is in a large warehouse that they have converted into a backyard atmosphere with jungle gyms, climbing toys, basketball hoops, and a ton of riding toys.  The walls were painted like outside. Very nice place and fun for us today.

It was a great place to take her to encourage her to use her large motor skills and strengthen her muscles.

Riding toys were fun too : it took a little while for her to get the hang of using her legs to push the toys around.  Once she got it she was off and riding....

She liked crawling in and out of the caterpillar.....
                                                                        Driving a car
Playing ball with Grandpa

Grandpa gets a basket

The jungle gym was a challenge at first but she climbed up several times
 and went down the slides too

After all the playing we had a drink and some pretzels then off to naptime! (for all of us)

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Club 252

I have the privilege of working with the 4th & 5th graders at our church each week in Club 252.  I have been serving in this department for over 10 years now.  I feel this age is very important as far as keeping them engaged and wanting to come to church.

I have a great team of table leaders that work with specific groups of kids each week.  They all enjoy the kids and love to share God with them each Sunday. 

We have a great curriculum to work with each week. 
  • The kids start out the morning at their tables with a leader and do an activity related to the story or theme of the day. 
  • Then we move to large group for story, worship, and fun!   Our story team is awesome and the get the kids so excited. 
  •  Recently, there has been teams of praise kids added for worship time. Each week there is another team comes in to lead us in worship. The kids are doing great and they are excited to sing about God each week. 
  • Sometimes we end up with a video clip to wrap up or a skit
  • The kids then return back to their tables to do an activity to bring the whole morning together

Once a month I run a Bible drill with verse relating to the theme of the month.  I feel this is important to teach kids how to find verses in their Bibles. They have fun racing to find the verse and of course, there is a piece of candy for the winners!

Each month the kids are taught a virtue, they have a memory verse, and a bottom line every week to reinforce the virtue.

April :
Virtue - Humility
                       Putting others first by giving up what you think you deserve.
Memory Verse :
"Don’t do anything only to get ahead. Don’t do it because you are proud. Instead, be free of pride. Think of others as better than yourselves." Philippians 2:3,

Story for large group time:

Feet First (Jesus washes the disciples’ feet) • John 13:1-17

Bottom Line:(Week 1)

I can put others first by serving them.

Spring Bunting to Welcome Spring

At our ladies retreat this past February we had an awesome team of girls put together craft kits for us.

This is one of the crafts I purchased to make at home.  A spring banner - I'm thinking now that I made it and hung it spring will finally "spring into action" - tired of winter around here!

Supplies needed:  the kit had a pattern, sheets of scrapbooking paper, precut spring letters, twine, tape runner, paper flower, and some fabric pieces.

Use the pattern and cut one from each piece of scrapbook paper.

Use the tape runner to stick the letters and flower on the scrapbook paper pieces. 
One letter per sheet and the extra sheet put the flower on.

Use a paper punch and punch 2 holes in each scrapbook paper piece about 1/2 from edge on each side

String the twine through the holes on the scrapbook paper pieces

Hang the completed bunting and wait for Spring!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Did you have a plan for your life after high school - did it change?

I recently was going through a box from way back when (not telling you how long ago).  There were a bunch of things that I had saved over the years.  Love letters from my husband, pictures from school, awards from school, my creative writing notebook from high school, and the last thing I found was a worksheet from senior year in high school.

The worksheet was interesting to reread -  it was titled "What do you see yourself doing in 5 years?"

This is what I wrote: remember I was a senior in high school -
I will have my college degree in Business and will be starting my career as an Executive Secretary.  I will be married and have 2 kids.  We will have our own house and live in a bigger city. 

This is what I actually did :

 Year 1: 1981 - 1982
I didn't really want to go to college after I graduated - but I did with the encouragement of my boyfriend and mom.   I enrolled in a technical college for an Administrative Secretary diploma.
I went one semester and decided I did not want to do that at all.  I thought that maybe a dental assistant sounded like a good choice(don't ask me why) so I enrolled and was put on a waiting list.
I finished one year of secretary classes.

Year 2: 1982- 1983
I went to school for Dental Assisting and completed the one year program.  I thought is was fun and looked forward to working.  I got a job in a town about a 1/2 hour from home.  I worked in dental assisting for 6 months - did not like the dentist very much.  He was a screamer and very impatient. One day we didn't have many patients so he sent me to the lab to see if I could help with anything.
Dave the guy who ran the dental lab was nice and explained a lot as he did the work.  He showed me how to make dentures and had me set one up for fun as he said.  I did great and really enjoyed it.  After a few more visits to the lab I transferred back there and learned how to make the dentures from the beginning to end and found I had a talent for it.  I did a little on crowns and then also started doing deliveries for the lab.  I found my career! 

Year 3: 1983 -1984
I got married to my awesome husband, Wally and we moved to Milwaukee.  He had graduated from college and got a job in Fox Point. I found a job in a dental lab. We lived in an apartment.

Year 4:  1984-1985
I continued to work for the dental lab in Milwaukee.  No kids or house yet.

Year 5:  1985 - 1986
I worked for the dental lab in Milwaukee.   1986 - Bought our first house. $47,000  a 3 bedroom ranch with at finished basement.

We had our first son -Oct. 1989, #2 son - Dec.1990 and our 3rd son - Jan.1991. I stayed at home with my boys and ran a home based daycare (still doing the daycare) . I am in my 24th year of daycare in our home.

It's interesting how God intervenes and guides our lives. I wouldn't change any of it either!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Saturday time away from home....

Blogs, website business, fantasy sport leagues, web surfing, little facebook , and pinterest - who has time to keep up with it all?

The way we handle it is by trying to get out of the house on a Saturday for a few hours to devote time to these activities only.  We will go to a coffee shop or sandwich shop to relax and work on our computers.  My husband works on his side business website (, fantasy sports leagues, and lots of other stuff.   I work on my blog and surf the web. We have found that leaving the house for awhile we actually get a whole lot more done.

Today's choice of shop is Panera.

 We both enjoyed a soup and sandwich for a late lunch/dinner. He will probably have a cup of coffee and I will enjoy a chai tea latte with a sweet treat a little later.

I have written 3 posts already in the short time we have been here. Not sure exactly what Wally has done except he is in first place in one of his baseball fantasy leagues.

Well... time to get busy......

Thursday, March 20, 2014

She has the laptop and boxes ....

Here she goes again......

Those would be the words of my sons as I walk through the house with my laptop making notes.  They panic and start to hide in their rooms.

It's the time of year that I decide is Spring cleaning time (whether it is spring weather or not).  My goal is to clean, purge, clean, purge, organize, purge.

1. Make a list of what needs to be done.
       I am a list person so I start the process by walking from room to room and making a list of all the things I want to get done in the room - that way I don't miss anything. I open an excel spreadsheet (see below)

To Be Done

Our bedroom

Wash windows/ curtains/blinds

Steam clean carpet

Go through dressers

Go through closet

Organize jewelry

I make this kind of list for every room in the house. I print it out room by room, for the bedrooms and bathrooms I tape it to the inside of the door for easy reference. Also, since my sons are old enough to do most of their rooms they can see the list and work on it. I do put a date to be done for them on it - then after that date I go in and finish it. They have learned over the years it is in their best interest to work the list first.

 2. I have a box for donate this, toss this, and put this away.  These 3 boxes are in the hallway as I work through  the rooms.  If you haven't used an item in 6 months get rid of it!
  • donate box - self explanatory
  • toss it - anything not worth donating or broken
  • put it away - this is for the stuff that you find in the wrong room - DO NOT stop when you find stuff that doesn't belong in that room to go put it away - it only distracts you when you are working put it in the put it away box and check the box when you start a new room 
 3. Have all the cleaning supplies together in one bucket so you are not wasting time running back and forth to get them.  TIME WASTER

4.  I set an alarm on my phone to keep me focused and on task.

5.  Turn off  TV, stay off computer, and turn on music! Get moving.....

Monday, March 17, 2014

Another blessing to our family

Just when you think you have no more love to give God gives you another gift of a child to love.

We have been blessed with another granddaughter this past week.  Our son Christopher and his fiance' Kaelyn had a beautiful baby girl.

Aubree Isabella - The Isabella is a name that has been passed for 5 generations on our side. It was 4 in a row - then my generation there were boys - and my son has picked it back up again.

 9 pounds  14 ounces and 21 inches long

Proud Daddy and Mommy


Big Sister Abby was so excited to hold "her baby"

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Book Review - Fifteen Minutes by Karen Kingsbury

I just finished reading Fifteen Minutes - it really makes you think about what happens to young kids who go on the television shows that end up making them famous quickly. 

This story is about a young kid whose family owns a horse farm that they are in danger of losing it to the bank.  Zack is a great singer, leader of a worship at church who decides to go on the show and hopefully win so he can save the farm. 

Zack leaves the farm and his girlfriend to compete on fifteen Minutes a reality television show for singers.  It tells his family that if he makes it he will Not let fame change him at all. He has no idea what he is in for.

Zack does very well in the beginning and attributes it all to God.  He is asked to do some things that are testing his faith as he moves on in the competition. They ask him not to be so vocal about his beliefs on the show, in his tweets and on Facebook.

His girlfriend, Reese starts to notice the changes but tries to convince herself that he is just really busy and doesn't have the time to contact her on a regular basis. She has a job offer come up as a therapeutic horse instructor overseas.  She ponders whether she should go or not - realizing that her relationship with Zack is changing and the future they planned may never happen.

One of the judges, Chandra Olson has a strong feeling that she is there to help someone not get all caught up in the fame.  She has experienced great pain since winning Fifteen Minutes in the past years. She just wants to understand it all. She is very open with Zack about fame and it's costs.

This story is about morals, character, having to compromise beliefs, and what fame costs in the long run.  Is "fame" really worth all you can lose?

I know after reading this book I will have a whole different view of shows like American Idol and reality shows.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

How can this be happening to me?

Are there times in your life when you wonder why is this happening to me?

I have had several of these moments in the last few years -  I have joked several times about writing a book about it.  Titles could be Why Me?,  Again God?, What's Could Happen Next? and the list goes on....

Instead of writing the book I have gone to my Bible ...Jeremiah 29:11 - For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  I love this verse because God has proved it to me over and over.

Through each of the challenges that have come my way - I can honestly say that I know God has everything in control and trust him totally.   It's not always easy but I do know that there is a reason for the everything that is happening in my life. 

One example:  My middle son came to me and told me that he and his girlfriend were expecting a baby -  she wasn't out of high school yet - he was just barely!   As you can imagine I was seeing a bunch of negative things coming out of this situation.  Boy was I wrong -  we have a beautiful granddaughter and have watched our son mature into a great daddy for her.

I now look at each of the challenges as a learning experience and watch for the blessings that come out of them.

I may someday write the book and you will see I how God has been there all the way!

How do you handle the tough times in your life?

Saturday, January 25, 2014

High Tea at the Quarry Coffee


This past week I went to a Cooking Class at my favorite coffee shop "The Quarry Coffee". The  class was called Dowton Abby High Tea.  I went with a couple of good friends and my mom.

The tables were set with different tea cups that they collected over the years and a beautiful 3 tier display of yummy treats.

First tier had scones, egg salad and cucumber sandwich. There was orange marmalade and Devonshire cream for the scone.
Second tier was salmon and ham sandwich with a flavored butters and chicken curry salad.
Third tier dessert! Shortbread cookies, lemon meringue tart, coconut macaroons, and some candies.

As we enjoyed our food we were served different
types of hot tea for the evening.   My favorite was the white pomegranate.

Emily demonstrating how to make a basic scone. She is an apprentice program in Culinary Arts with the owner of the coffee shop.  She did a great job!

Scott demonstrated how to make trifles. They were served in a wine glass.

Adding jam and fruit
The finish dessert  -  Yum!
 Throughout the night Scott asked trivia questions from Dowton Abby. 

 We had a fun evening and enjoyed lots of good food!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Resolution or Goal list?

Happy New Year everyone!

Are you the type who has made the resolution list, goal list or just going with the flow kind of person? 

A resolution to me is a cut and dry type of commitment and most of the time they are not realistic.

Goals however, seem to be things or ideas that can be listed and worked toward.  Even if they are not met most of the time you have improved or achieved some part of the goal. Going with the flow is just to flimsy for me I like to have a plan for myself.

I have started the year in a few different ways over time. But, each year I try to sit and reflect on what my previous year was like, what did I accomplish in several areas of my life. I review my list from the last year. Then I think about what I might want to change or do the next year. I sit down and make a list of things that are important to me to try to work through. I pick several areas in my life.  I thought I would share some of my goals I have made for this year with you.

1.  Health -  eating healthier and in turn feeling better physically.  I know I need to lose weight but that is something that will come with the change in my eating life style.

2. Family - enjoy the time I have with my kids more(as they are all grown and doing their thing now).Would love to have them all over once a month for a nice relaxed dinner and movie.

3. Organization - I would like to get my house a little more organized and purge what we don't need.   Also, work on my time management organization.

4. Spiritually - get a better method for my quiet times with God.  I have been loaned the read your Bible in a year and that is a challenge I am taking.

5. My Blog -  to post on a more regular basis with several topics.

6. Communication -  I would like to try to keep in contact with family members and friends more often via written letters, phone calls, or visits.

7. Scrapbooking / crafts - I have an awesome room for myself to work in and want to spend more time getting projects done.  I have spent lots of time on Pinterest and pinned a bunch of fun crafts but need to do them now.

These are just some general goals -  I have put more specifics in each of the categories in an Excel spreadsheet and will check them off as I go along.

So what is your method of resolution for the New Year?


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Great Way to Spend a Friday !

        On third Thursday of the month our church sponsors a Senior Lunch for up to about 250 seniors.  Some are members of our church, others are from assisted living facilities, other churches, and friends of someone attending.
         Laurie and Scott organize and run the lunch.  There are about 15 volunteers who come to help in many areas : table setting and decorating, preparing the meal, serving food, dishes, and greeters. It is fun to work with everyone and see how happy the seniors are with the meals.  

        Making the salads   


Serving tables almost ready

Waiting for their table number to be called 

Lunch is served

            I was asked to sub for the regular emcee last winter - I was a little nervous about it I will admit.  The person I filled in for is no longer able to do it so I am doing it monthly.  I will say that I am really enjoying it.  I have asked to do a couple of new things - acknowledge birthdays and anniversaries, and ask questions to get them to interact a little more.  This past month I used a roaming mic and it was so much fun.  I walked around to each person with a birthday or anniversary - there were seniors who were turning 98 and 87 !  I also found a couple that had been married 63 years! How awesome is that in this day and age?   The seniors also had to answer the question - What are you thankful for this year?  It was so neat to hear their responses ranging from family, health, our lunch to Jesus their Savior. Another new thing we are doing is cheering when I call their table number.  I take in a small treat in bags for the loudest most energetic table.  They are doing a great job at this.

            Now to the meals -  they are not the sandwich and soup type of meals. Laurie does an awesome job of providing a great meal each time.  This last month it was turkey, potatoes, a waldorf salad and a pumpkin pie dessert.  Next month is beef tenderloin with the fixings. She has had some chef's come in and cook a specialty as well.   They get the meal and a concert after for $8 when they sign up at the lunch.  It's $10 online or at the door.  

          The entertainment is high quality as well.  They have groups that's are professional come for the entertainment.  In December our Worship Pastor does a Christmas performance.

            All in all the day is spent serving seniors and I love to see them chatting with friends and having a good time.