Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tastefully Simple (and OH SO YUMMY!!)

I went to a Tastefully Simple party last night - I LOVE their stuff!! I spent $40 I didn't need to just because I wanted to, lol.

Something cool that I learned was that they do fundraising!!! So, it looks like Team Joshua is going to have another way to raise a little bit of moolah!! In the fall I'm going to enlist the help of my team members to do a TS for ACS fundraiser!! We can get a whole heap of catalogues to pass out, collect as many outside orders as we can, have the ability to email people so they can order right online and then have an actual moving buffet party. Combine all of that together and the consultant will cut us a check for 15% of the total! Not a bad deal for doing something fun! I don't think it'll make us "much", but anything is better than nothing! And there's not a whole lot of legwork for us, which is nice for an additional way to raise money for 2009!!

We'll see what happens with that. I'll keep everyone posted :)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Getting back to nature...

We were finally able to escape for a weekend to go camping. Well, we ended up going into Whitehall on Saturday so that Rick could work, but that wasn't supposed to happen.... Just goes to show how silly it is to try and control things - a lesson I'm really trying to learn.

On Friday, after running a million errands, I got everything packed up and went into Whitehall to grab Rick and the boys - my BIL was in town - that was kind of neat. That's saying a lot - my BIL and I clash sometimes, so to be happy to see him is a big step. The first place we tried to stay was booked, so we fell back on Plan B - Gilligan's Island at Hill and Hollow campground in Pentwater. It's not really a site, but we get to use it because Rick has connections. It's pretty much a dirt island with some trees RIGHT in between the playground, the camp store, and the pool/bathrooms!!! Prime location - even if it is a dirt island, LOL. Seriously, its surrounded on the three sides by the roads and you cross the roads to get to that stuff. It's great!! If we ever get a permanent site there, we're totally customizing Gilligan's Island and we'll park the camper there.

Logan is terrified of fire, we learned. It was pretty bad. He "adapted" (not well, but enough to stop screaming hysterically) by the end of the trip though. Poor kid would hightail it behind the tent if he could see or hear the fire... That's a little inconvenient since we were tenting it and using the fire for all of our "cooking", LOL.

We played putt-putt with the boys, got eaten alive by mosquitoes, went swimming in the pool, went to Lake Michigan, ate ice cream every day, Joshua spent HOURS at the playground - by himself - since it was so close that we could see him, ate way too much campfire food (hot dogs and brats), and really had a great time. Didn't take many pics though, it was kind of tough to be toting the camera around when we were so busy having fun.

I took Joshua fishing while Rick was working on Saturday. It was so nice to just hang out with him, We didn't get even a single bite, but it was still so much fun. I got a new fishing pole, and a fishing license so Josh and I can take off and fish whenever we want. What a neat way to bond with my son. I need a fishing hat, though - my poor part got burned pretty bad, lol. That's the only place I always forget to sunblock........

It was a good time. Had it's rough moments, but everything does. Way more good stuff than bad, so it was well worth it. Rick and I were chatting by the fire after the kids were asleep - we both decided we could do this every weekend in the summer...... We're lucky to live in Michigan where that's so possible!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

been awhile...

Wow, it's been a while since I posted! That doesn't usually happen, but life gets in the way sometimes.

We've finally got everything back to normal after the Relay for Life. I even had the team over Saturday night for a cookout to talk about this year's Relay and start brainstorming for next years. We talked about what worked and didn't work this year, which was good, and we've some idea's cooking for 2009.

We had a fairly low key weekend - VBS in the morning, and then went out to the "Big Lake" (Lake Michigan) with Lois and the kids on Friday, got some much-needed cleaning done on Saturday, and then yesterday was church (the VBS kids were singing the songs they learned for the congregation, so Joshua and I had to be there), and then off to help a friend with some yardwork that she has a hard time keeping up on.

One neat thing - I was finally able to find an outdoor clothes drying rack (THANK YOU, Menards) for my yard, so all the towels I had in the laundry this weekend were able to be hung out to dry. I love the smell of line dried laundry, so I was pretty happy about that. I figure if I can avoid running the dryer and heating up my whole house (even just for towels, sheets, blankets, swimsuits, etc) just a few times, I'm ahead of the game!!

Pretty slow week coming up. I have Bible Study tonight, which I'm really looking forward to! Rick is going to be checking out a travel trailer that we might be buying. We've been looking for a while and know exactly what we want, so I'm hoping this is the one. Whether we get the trailer or not, we're planning to go camping this weekend. We'll either be comfy in the camper or tenting it on the ground, LOL. As long as Rick can get away from work, we're planning to head up to Pentwater to bond with nature :) I'm pretty excited about it - I'll be even happier if we have a camper to take, though!!

That's about it from this neck of the woods. Quiet is kind of nice since it feels like we've been running around in circles lately. I can tell I'm pretty close to exhausted because my breathing has been all messed up for about 5 days now?? That only happens when I'm getting close to "Too Much" but I'm hoping it goes away soon. It's getting incredibly annoying......

Have a blessed week, everyone! Oh, and congrats to Amber - you know why ;)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I'm drowning in a Sea of STUFF!!!

Yikes - due to the rain on Saturday everything that was outside ended up in our camper. It was pretty packed already - that much "other" stuff certainly didn't help... We finally got it all unloaded from the camper and brought into the house after the kids went to bed Sunday night. It has overtaken my living room and in all the way into the kitchen. Stuff. Boxes of stuff. Bags of stuff. Everyone's stuff. I'm drowning in it! I'm pretty sure everyone who was there has something in that pile. It's going to take me weeks to get it all sorted! Ok, maybe not weeks, but more time than I currently have right now!!

With me having to be to work at 7:45am and not getting home until after 5:00pm, I don't have the hours (or energy) left in the day to even get started on it........ I did manage to get most of the food put away. And all the wet laundry has been washed and dried. That's about as far as I've gotten.

I won't get to it tonight - I'm going to visit my friend Janae in the hospital and meet her new son, Caiden (CONGRATS, you guys!!!!!!!) tonight, and then I have to work again tomorrow, so I don't think I'll get to it then, either. But, I'm off on Thursday and Friday, so I'll have all that time to get it all sorted and put away. Hope no one needs any of their stuff before then!!!!!!! But, if I'm going to be home, I've got to get it taken care of because it's pretty stressful tripping over all of it!! I need to get some big storage bins and get it put away for next year!!!

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Wow. I'm exhausted. Relay for Life was yesterday through this morning. It was SO hot during the day and then so humid last night and it RAINED AND RAINED AND RAINED this morning. We ended up calling it a day at about 7:30am. My brother and I ended up helping some of the other teams clean up in the torrential downpour and got soaked to the bone. Thank you to Rick, who made an executive decision while I was sleeping to pack up camp when they saw the rain coming and move our headquarters to under the awning of the camper :)

We turned in about $1072.00 this morning. Not as much as last year, but that's ok. I'll update more later on - I'm exhausted. We all slept on and off during the day today but I'm ready to go snuggle with my hubby since we were both so busy doing different things yesterday we didn't really get to spend much time together even though we were both right there.

Thank you to my Team Members - this would have been impossible without you. Special thanks to my overnight crew - Rick, Jamie, Mike, Katelynn, Jenny and Jess. I love you guys.

Night!!! Have a blessed Sunday :)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Relay Countdown...

Well, we're in the final time crunch for the Relay for Life. I've been up past midnight the last two nights working on the logistics of it all (t-shirt orders, scheduling, paperwork...). My brain feels like mush. I have a million and a half things to do still tonight and tomorrow.

Need to go shopping for supplies (posterboard, snacks, drinks, etc), get the boys packed, load up the camper, track down an air compressor or air pump of some kind. Oh, and we're still waiting for our raffle license too - that REALLY needs to come or we can't raffle off the moped and quad that Rick is donating, and we were counting on raising a lot of money with that raffle...... I'm a little bit stressed out about that inconvenient tidbit of information I learned last night.

Thankfully my team is awesome - I have enough volunteers to sit in the dunk tank, more than enough walkers to have someone on the track at all times, an awesome "Overnight Crew" that I know will do me proud, and so many awesome friends and family who are willing to donate their time, money, energy and best effort for this event that is so dear to my heart. And, an amazing hubby of a co-captain who spent a small fortune last night on stuff we can sell at the Relay (glow sticks, leis, light up swords, etc) on top of donating both a moped and a quad that can be raffled off.

I know it will be great. I'm just worried that it won't. I think I'm so disappointed with the lack of money we've raised so far that it's hard for me to look past that and be optimistic about the event. I'm excited, don't get me wrong, but I'll feel better about it once we're there and get things going.

Have a blessed week!

Monday, July 7, 2008

America's Birthday

(UPDATED because I forgot to add the funny tidbit of US history from my oldest son... While we were driving to Muskegon on Friday, they had American flags along the median of the road. Joshua asked me why they were there. I told him that we were celebrating the birthday of the United States of America. He said "oh, like America that John Washington was?" and I said, "Kind of - George Washington was the first President of the United States." He said "Oh yeah, and who was the second president, you know, the one on the penny?" And I laughed as I told him, "Well, John Adams was the second president, and Abraham Lincoln is on the penny. He wasn't the second president, but he did some very important things too, when he was the president." And Joshua said "Oh yeah, I remember now". So, there you have it. America was founded by John Washington Lincoln - the first president on the penny! I sure got a laugh out of that one!)

I hope everyone had an absolutely beautiful weekend! Here in Michigan, God somehow saw fit to bless us with 2 beautiful holidays in a row - Memorial Day and now the Fourth of July. And if you live here, you know how rare and special that really is!

Our holiday was wonderful. Rick had to work up north on Thursday and Friday, but it was really a dream come true for him, so it was worth it. He's always wanted to be a police officer and he finally got his chance. Thursday after work, Joshua, Logan and I just kind of hung out. We went out for dinner (I have a hard time cooking when it's just the three of us - I feel like I never make the right amount of food and we always end up wasting so much of it since we're not really "leftover people"), came home, took baths and they were actually in bed at bedtime and asleep pretty quickly - that's also rare, since they share a room and they're usually bonding for quite a while before they finally nod off.

After they fell asleep I had 2 whole hours to myself - such a rarity. Guess what I did to fill those 2 hours...... Yup, cleaned my little booty off!!! I was able to multi-task like never before to get everything done before it was time for me to go to bed. Dishwasher unloaded and reloaded, the remaining dishes washed by hand (how is it that even when you're not home, dishes still end up dirty????), counters cleared off and cleaned, table cleared off, bar cleared off (that was a feat since it's a giant flat surface and always "collects" all our stuff when we come into the house), floor swept, 3 batches of Jello made, living room cleaned up and semi-dusted, and laundry going the whole time - being folded RIGHT when it came out of the dryer!!!!!!!! It was incredible. When you're a busy working mom, it's amazing the small household things that bring you such joy!!!!!

Friday we went to Terry and Lois' house on Mona Lake for the day - Rick was able to sneak off work in between shifts to come see us for a couple of hours. That was a treat because I wasn't expecting it. Lucky for him, he happened to call me RIGHT as I was walking out the door and I was able to run back in and grab all of his stuff. There was SO MUCH good food, the weather was gorgeous, and the kids were in the water and in the sand just about all day long. I was even able to sneak to the grocery store to pick up a few things with only Logan because Joshua stayed at Grandma's house with Aunt Cheryl. When we finally left, to the tune of very tired little boys crying because they were having so much fun, it was way past dinner time and we barely made it to my mom's in time to grab her cookout leftovers. There wasn't enough time between then and bedtime for me to get home and make dinner. We stayed there until bedtime and then I dragged two crying (again) little boys home, stuck them in the shower and they were in bed only about an hour late. Better than the alternative, I suppose. We skipped fireworks because I didn't think Logan would handle them well and I'm glad I did. More on that in a little bit. After the boys fell asleep, I splurged on myself and made a margherita pizza and watched a couple of Brad Pitt movies (Seven and Twelve Monkeys), staying up WAAAAAAAY too late, but just enjoying my time off :)

Logan woke up at first light (way too early at this time of year in Michigan), and was so tired that he was still yawning and rubbing his eyes long after he was done protesting the fact that I tried to get him to fall back asleep. The three of us sort of stared bleary eyed at each other over our milk and cereal on Saturday morning, LOL. Not a single one of us got nearly enough sleep. We vegged out for a while, catching Saturday morning cartoons together on the couch. We were motivated enough about midmorning to get the toy room cleaned so the boys can actually use it again. That was nice - it's been on my to-do list for a while. Rick got home about 12:30pm, Logan and I took a nap in the afternoon and after a dinner of PB&J (mommy burned the sloppy joes because she was too busy painting her toenails purple), we headed back out to Mona Lake to watch some fireworks.

Logan was NOT a happy camper when it came to firework time. He doesn't like loud noises normally, but the fireworks pretty much traumatized him, poor kid!!! I ended up taking him inside and upstairs so he could watch out the window and that seemed to help, even though there were quite a few times where he would say "Logan hide" and lay flat on his belly with a blanket over his head. He seemed to enjoy the quiet, colorful ones, though. We finally got home from that at about 11:00pm and we "camped out" in the camper in our driveway. We are borrowing one from Fun N Sun RV (where my dad works) for the Relay for Life and he let us have it early. That's so great because I'll actually be able to get it packed up and ready to go with all our stuff so we're not making trips back and forth in the cars.

We had planned on going to church on Sunday but it was honestly too late by the time we got everyone in bed and asleep and I wasn't too keen on having overtired children for 2 days in a row. Sunday morning we went out for breakfast after everyone woke up - on their own - and then went driving around the area in search of a travel trailer. We're looking to buy one and so we've been keeping an eye out. We found one that looks promising in Spring Lake, so we'll see what happens with that. Then we went over to a friends house to enjoy her daughter's water slide - oh wow was that so much fun!!! We all had a blast. We got some ice cream and then they came to our house for an impromptu cookout. We had burgers, corn on the cob, chips, and cantaloupe with this REALLY good dip I made from a recipe in Fitness Magazine (yup - healthy too!!!). It was truly the epitomy of why I love summer!!!

Did you have as much fun as we did?


When I got online this morning, I planned to blog about our holiday weekend, the upcoming Relay this week and normal stuff like that. I still will, just not this second.

I love the way God works sometimes! Angie - Wow!! - thanks for stopping by.

I love how He causes things to happen, and you don't know why they do, but you know it's for something important and you just can't wait to see where He leads you when it's time for your questions to be answered. That, to me, makes all the wondering and unanswered questions about why things happen the way they do totally and completely worth it. I feel so blessed to be part of his intricate plan!

Have an awesome week, everyone!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Yay for Joshua!

I JUST got a phone call from the Hem Onc clinic - Joshua's MRI was ALL CLEAR and everything looks great!!!!!!! Praise God for answered prayers!!

Now, gotta get past the Relay for Life and then we can forget about cancer until December!!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Oh Happy Day

Oh yeah - I forgot to mention - I came into work this morning to find a box under my desk. Work had a summer cookout last week while I was on vacation - guess who won one of the raffle prizes - yup - ME - even from the the comfort of my own home, LOL!!!! I have worked here 5 1/2 years now and we do raffles a couple of times a year and I've never won until the one time I'm not here, LOL. I ended up winning a REALLY nice set of stainless flatware from Lenox - service for 12!!!!!!! That's double what I currently have at home!! Yeah, it's pretty awesome.

Ok, I'm off to lunch - my belly has been growling for hours now - I guess that's what I get for not eating much breakfast!!!!!

It's been awhile...

See, this is what happens when you take vacation. You get so busy "relaxing" (YEAH RIGHT) that you lose track of everything else. I haven't been on the computer at all lately, and when I finally logged into gmail - yup, like 370 unread messages! I finally got through it all last night, but boy was that a feat in itself.

What's new with us..... hmm..... let's think about that.

My sister was up for a week - that was so nice. My nephew is my new best friend and I miss him like crazy now that he's gone back home to Florida. We took a day and went to Michigan's Adventure - we had ideal weather for that! Sunny, warm, not too hot or humid - it was pretty close to perfect. My kids LOVED it there, even though I hated paying $25 for Joshua to get in (how can they NOT have a kid's price??? It's outrageous!!!)!!!!!!!!!!! They were little fish in the water park and had an absolute blast. As did we adults - nothing like a little sibling bonding while going down waterslides!!!!

Joshua met with his oncologist last week - labs looked good. Dr. Dicken's is pleased with how well Joshua is doing. It was a good visit even though clinic was waaaaaaay backed up and although we had a 2:30pm appointment, I bet it was between 3:30pm and 3:45pm before we were seen. That's how it goes with cancer kids, though... you never know what's going to happen hour to hour. In this case, someone had a problem that had to be figured out, and that was us, more than once, during treatment, so we understand.

Friday we took the boys to Duck Lake again. Weather was less than perfect this time around but it was still a good time. Kids LOVED the water. The sun came out for a bit, just long enough for me to re-apply sunscreen in time for it to go back behind the rainy looking clouds again, lol. Once the rain finally came in, we had to book it back to the truck, but it was a nice couple of hours.

Rick and I spent loads of quality time together this weekend! My MIL took the boys for us so we could have a date Saturday night (walk in Pentwater, dinner in Whitehall - I had the best whitefish EVER) and then we went out to celebrate Cousin Mike's wife Meredith's birthday. We stayed for a bit and then went home. Rick ran the Seaway 5K on Saturday morning so he was pretty tired. Sunday we went up to Silver Lake and I FINALLY got to go into the sand dunes. Rick's been there a few times already this summer and I haven't been able to go until now. It was CHILLY but a lot of fun. I love it up there.

Went to DeVos for an MRI yesterday - Joshua did "well" considering his track record of IV's and Propofol. No results yet - nurse Mary is on vacay this week so someone else is going to watch for the scan results in the computer. I'm so used to Mary calling me the same day that it's hard for me to wait like everyone else usually has to.....

Happy Anniversary to Rick and I today. We've been together 8 years now, 6 of them married. We aren't celebrating today though. I am back to work after being gone for almost 2 weeks, and Rick has a funeral visitation to go to for a friend's dad (I'm so sorry, Wally - you and your family are in our prayers). We are exchanging cards tonight and eventually we'll go out to celebrate and do gifts and such. Better late than never, I suppose!!!

Oh, my van is broken, sigh. So, I'm driving Rick's car, and he's driving the 10 mpg truck. Thank God LZ Motorsports pays for Rick's gas, lol... I can handle filling the Neon, but no thanks to the Dodge Ram!!! On a positive note, my van is on the schedule at the shop for Wednesday, so if we can get it up there, it will be done quickly. It's something new though, that Rick's never heard/felt ever before - I'm a little scared about what it could be... He's pretty smart when it comes to cars, and I'm nervous that he has no idea what's wrong with the van...................

Anyhow, there's an update. I'll be back on track, posting regularly, now that I'm back in the swing of real life, LOL. No more vacation for a while!!!

Oh, Relay for Life is next week. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE consider donating to our team in honor of a cancer warrior that you know. There's a link to Team Joshua's page on my "places I like to go" section on the right.