Sunday, October 3, 2010

Summer of Blessings

In order to make this the most relaxing vacation we tried not to cram so much into our time that we would be totally exhausted when it was all said in done. Most of the days we all slept in (which was quite a treat) and didn't actually leave the house until after lunch.

There were so many inexpensive things to do in the area we had a hard time choosing! One day we headed to Blue Springs State Park to do some tubing. Even in the hot temps of Florida the water was FREEZING. This was the park that I saw the manatee!! This was the HIGHLIGHT of my trip! Yep, I even teared up a bit! :) I had told the family that I just wanted to see a manatee at some point on our the wild...not in an aquarium. We had just finished tubing and decided to drive on to another part of the spring and was amazed at all the gar to be seen! The water was crystal clear and there were hundreds of them! According to a sign we read this was a refuge for the manatee in the winter months but they were usually gone by April. Well, one stayed behind....just for me!! :) It was huge...yet so graceful! And to think we were just tubing right up stream...I would have FREAKED if one of those swam by me! :) No pictures of this awesome experience...just in my head...and I don't think I'll EVER forget it!!

These pics are from De Leon Springs State Park. We just did some hiking and had a picnic. It was really hot so we enjoyed our time and then headed back to the pool! :)

The community pool at the house was unbelievable. I think Joseph and Anna could have spent their whole vacation there. Even if we spent the day at the beach, they wanted to go back to the house and go swimming!! :) When we first arrived Joseph was scared to get in the water...after two weeks we couldn't get him out!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Summer of Blessings

I wanted to share with you the wonderful vacation we had the privilege of taking in June. I haven't posted in full about this because I'm still overwhelmed with it all and just don't feel I can express in words how big a blessing it was to our family. Hopefully the pictures will do the talking! (and there will be LOTS of them) :)

Over a year ago Brian stumbled upon this website We took the time to fill out the application and thought we'll just see what happens. What happened was that God blessed our family in a BIG way!! :) We were approved and were offered a two week stay at the most b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l home in Deland Florida!! Two weeks...two SOLID weeks away from home. We have NEVER done that before!! What a wonderful time to unwind, relax, refresh and renew!!

The kids finished school on Friday and we headed south Saturday morning. We stayed in Georgia so that we would be able to worship with the Hill family on Sunday morning at their church in Americus. Brian was on staff with Pastor Steve at Bryant Wesleyan. Our kids grew up together and it was such a great time to get together with them again. For some reason I didn't take ANY pictures of this...not sure why but :(

Fun in the van!!

The amazing house! When we got settled in Joseph said, "Mom, this feels just like home!" I had to giggle knowing this was NOTHING like our house...but he was right. For those two weeks that was our home as we were together as a family enjoying one another!! God is good! :)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

I've got a little itch to start a new project!! I know a few of you who are rolling your eyes at this! That's okay, I'll finish a few others before I attempt this one. When I was a kid we macramed all the time. My sister taught me and I made owls, plant hangers, "bird cages", wall hangings, was sooo fun!

When we get our living room painted there will be one of these bad boys hanging in it
...made by little old me!! :)
Jess found this little jewel at the Upland rummages.
She brought it home just to inspire me.

Jessica making her own feathered friend...

...and she finished it...she's good that way! :)

The Jig is Up!!!

The teenagers is our house have gone to sneaky measures
to be sure they get what they want!!
The old hiding the "good" cereal in the "gross" cereal box gag...

But, we've caught on to their silly little scheme...
fool me once, shame on you...fool me twice, shame on me!!
You won't get away with it again!!! :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

They're Gone....

Joseph's 1st day at preschool.
There were no tears but he did keep rubbing his eyes when I dropped him off.
He said they were just burning!! :)

Jessica and Krista...the beginning of the end!
Seniors all bright eyed and cheery cause they
didn't have to show up to school until 3rd period!!

Anna 4th grade and Wes is a sophomore!!

Backpacks thrown by the back door...I didn't miss this sight all summer long!!

Saturday, May 8, 2010


The hemming of the dress.

Mischele did an excellent job on Jessica's hair.
Can you see the cloud of hair spray!!

Joseph wanted to wear his suit. He thought he was taking her to prom!

yea...they really love each other!

The look that says a thousand words!!

Well, what can I say...

Jess and Scott...with the heel pop and they're out the door...

...but back home again to get her prom ticket!


and dates

a lovely dinner hosted by Upland Christian Church!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easter Sunday

Easter pictures are almost impossible to take when your kids are on a jellybean high!!!

That's okay...I was too! :)

Jess, Joseph and Meredith

A brief moment of stillness....

...and back to being themselves!!

Anna and Allison with their build a bears...complete with their OWN Easter dresses!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Claiming Her Fruit..

In our house, you sometimes have to go to extremes to get a banana!
They don't last long...must be a bunch of monkey's livin' here!!

We're Goin' to Disney World....

We signed up for Disney's Give A Day-Get A Day program. The Holland Family made fleece blankets for Project Linus. In return we each earned free admission to Disney for a day!!
It was a win/win! Yippee!! I LOVE FREE THINGS!! :) does Joseph!

We all made 2 blankets each...except Joseph...he was too young to participate! We'll just have to break down and BUY his ticket!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


The attachment knob on my beloved Kitchen Aid mixer broke over the weekend.

It still works but...well, you's just not perfect like it was.

One little phone call to the company and my new knob will be here in 7-10 of charge.

Yippee!!! Kitchen Aid you rock! :o)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring Break 2010

The kids started spring break yesterday after school. I as well started spring break. I've taken the week off from work to spend some time with the kiddos.

Jaye happened to have a really short day at the office for her so when she got home we started to do some yard work. It was nice being outside in the sun. We picked up sticks, cleaned up some leaves, and I even got the lawn mower out....I had to put the charger on for a bit but it started right up. We got the van cleaned up, swept it out. All and all a great start to well needed spring break and week away from work.

The New Van

Monday, March 15, 2010


Seems that so much is going on, and with the old facebook accounts we have neglected our blog. Here is a run down:

· Church is going well, our pastor got a renewal vote this week, if he accepts he's good for another four years.

· The Hollands got a newer van, a 2002 Town and Country! It's nice, lots of cool gadgets inside! It's blue by the way, we've never had a blue car before.

· Looks like Anna's school is closing down which would move her to another school and add about an hour more bus ride....not a good thing. We got the official word tonight at the school board meeting.

· I'm losing another youth sponsor this month, they all seem to move away. It's hard on me.

I know it's not much but it's a step in the right direction. I'll work on being more updated on a regular basis.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I'm Reading!!

If you remember from my previous post...I said I wanted to read a book a month
Not that I want to get smarter...just to clean out my book collection!

Funny thing this book wasn't off my shelf...just recommended by Brian.

Plan A...And There's No Plan B by D. Robertson. You can get it here. It's a great book! Easy to read...lot's of stories! :) Although I already knew the "just" of it...I really needed reminded of it. I made a whole outline to put on here but thought...ahh, you should just read it yourself!! :) You'll be happy to know this one didn't find a place on our crowded bookshelf. It was too good to keep for ourselves and we passed it along!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Law of the Big MO

John Maxwell writes in his book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, about the law of momentum. It's law #16. As I watched the super bowl this year between the heavily favored Indianapolis Colts and the underdog New Orleans Saints I could see this law play out. With the second quarter coming to a close the Saints were able to get the football and score right as the half ended. They had controlled the flow of the game, they had the ball most of the second half. Knowing that they would have to come out of halftime and kick to the Colts, Sean Payton did something that no one had ever done to start the third quarter. He had his team do an onside kick. Very risky! They kicked and recovered the ball. This was what most seen as the turning point of the game. Why did they do that? The Saints needed to maintain the momentum of the game. They had risked it all to hold the momentum. Wow, is momentum that important? Is momentum something worth the risk? In the 2010 super bowl it was worth the risk. It was important. It totally changed the outcome of the game.
The question is are you willing to risk for the sake of momentum? Is it easier to play it safe? I say if you start to build momentum, don't risk losing it. Do whatever you can to keep it. Even if it is a big risk.

Sunday, January 31, 2010


I bought a replacement window regulator for my Jeep last week. It comes with a lifetime warranty. Question, why didn't the one that came with the Jeep come with a lifetime warranty?

Fox news. On their news program there is usually a story about American Idol. Is that news? It's like reporting "Plankton tries to steal the Krabby Patty recipe from Mr Krabs, but Sponge Bob saves the day."

The Wii. It's a video game. If you like bowling, go to the bowling alley. Iif you wanna exercise, exercise. Wanna play a video game, sit down and play a video game.

Beyonce if you were a boy, we really wouldn't care. But nice job on the Grammy's.

Quote from the sermon today, "My dad said the difference between me and God, God doesn't walk around thinking that he's me all day long." Kory Christensen.

Marion AT&T store: Brian, "I'd like to update my phone." AT&T guy, "Sorry, we can't do that, your mom needs to be here to sign the paper." (we are on a family plan) Brian "She lives in New York, can she sign the paper and send it in?" AT&T guy "Let me ask the manager." AT&T guy comes back, "No." Brian, "What can we do to work this out? How do we solve this problem?" AT&T guy, "Sorry, nothing we can do." AT&T offered only excuses no solutions.

Love the Grammy's. What a fun show.

Indiana North youth leaders: Love you all, you are amazing people!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Why Am I Like This???

As I was cleaning off our bookshelves in order to make room for all the new book Christmas brought I noticed something. I have two whole shelves of books that I have collected over the years. Most of them are the "self help" type of books like how to be a better mom (which I'll have plenty of time to read after the kids are grown), how to grow in your walk with Christ, how to deepen your relationship with your spouse, get the idea. I LOVE these books and I joke about "collecting" books. The sad thing is that I have never finished a ONE of these books! I noticed as I was rearranging them that most of them have bookmarks about halfway through. Obviously, started off with good intentions but got sidetracked along the way.

I did read a couple books last year. "Mistaken Identity" was a great book and I even read through the "Twilight" series so I could see what all the hype was about. But these books didn't come from my collection, so they don't really count!

So, this is the year. I will read at least one book a month! It's not a big goal, but an attainable goal for me! After I read the book, it's outta here...pass it along...donate it...GONE! Well, of course, unless it's a really good read that I want to keep!! :)

Funny side note: I found this book of Japanese gift boxes. It has beautiful boxes that you cut out and fold together for gift giving. This was a gift from my sis-n-law at least 15 years ago and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I have kept it all these years saving these boxes for special occasions!! Many special occasions have come and gone but I still have this COMPLETE book! I think I have a problem...I may need help!

The Gift that Keeps on Giving!

Years ago at Christmas when money was a bit tight Brian and I had to get creative in our Christmas gifts. We came up with the idea of a "coupon book".

Anna was too small to really benefit from one at the time,
but Jessica and Wes got one of these.

They cashed in on these coupons quite a bit at first. But over the years these particular books have kinda been forgotten about. That was until yesterday when Wes had homework that needed completed. Out comes the coupon for me to finish his homework. It was only a poster that needed "assembled". He already had done the research but the "crafty" part was not his thing. He asked me if I would finish it for him. He even suggested that I could use my cricut. Enough said, he's growing up to be a smart me a chance to use my scapbooking supplies!

Here are a few examples of the coupons:

awww...Lady Bird is no longer with us...

You will notice Wes "rated" his coupons.

Hey, this one has been used several times. Guess we need to sign off on it!

Anyway, these coupons books make great gifts. There is not a celebration that goes by at our house without a coupon book being given away. It's really fun to see what the kids come up with. I've even made one for Brian. They last quite a while...
this particular book dates back to '03!