Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Last of 2008

Well it's been a while since I've blogged hasn't it?? Not because I didn't have anything to say. Not because I didn't have time. Not because I was busy babysitting or shopping (even though I did quite a bit of both!). No...I have mostly been without power this entire Christmas break! Most recently the power went out Saturday night and didn't come back on until about 6:30 last night. I was sitting here with Julie, Steve, Chelsea and all the kids yesterday afternoon when we all heard the generator sputter and quit. Naturally the kids thought it was great fun - kind of "Little House on the Prairie". I was not amused. Especially since none of us could find the gas can. Eventually Tom came home with a full gas can and then the lights came on....all by themselves!!! Oh well, we have gas for the generator so we'll be ready next time!
So - I had a great week. I shopped right up until the day before Christmas Eve. I had everything wrapped before Christmas Eve (that never happens!). We had fun Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Went to the movies a couple times, shopped some more after Christmas, visited my brother and his family in Holland one day, slept late - I'll pay for that next week ;~( Yep now it's New Years Eve, tomorrow is New Years Day and after that I still have 3 days before going back to work!!! YAY!!!
Top photo from left to right: Mom, dad, brother Greg, sister-in-law Melanie, me, Maggie, niece Lauren, Tom.
Bottom photo: Brother Greg and sister-in-law Melanie.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Morning

Three of the kids stopped by on Christmas morning. Grandma & Grandpa were also here. In spite of having no power we had coffee and a big breakfast just like we always do. I guess the kids could smell the food just like they always do! And they had to see if Santa filled their stockings like he always does!
Nicholas, Chelsea & Maggie ate and left to spend the day with Chelsea's family. Julie & Steve & their kids were with his family. We enjoyed a very peaceful quiet day that was only improved when the power came back on about 4 pm!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas to Us!!!

At about 8 last night in the middle of Christmas Eve festivities and with a house full of family the power went off. Did someone say "Murphy's Law"? (see yesterday's post) Fortunately for us we have a generator and it actually had enough gas in it to run the lights long enough for everyone to pack up kids and gifts and food and everything else and head for their own homes! Unfortunately it is now late Christmas afternoon and we still have no power. So much for DTE's promise last night that power would be restored in about 5 hours. Oh least our party wasn't today! Haha to you Murphy's Law!!

Scary Baby Picture!

If there was ever an argument for bald is beautiful this is it! Click on the link below to see a scary Maggie picture!

Facebook Elson Larissa Liu's Photos - Buchanan's Christmas Party

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve!

I think I killed my camera this morning. I had to pry the shutter thing open to take this picture and then the camera started making this weird growling noise and that was it! Dead camera. Just in time for Christmas! I think they call it Murphy's Law.

"Whatever can go wrong will go wrong, and at the worst possible time, in the worst possible way."

- Wikipedia

Oh well! My birthday is in a few Tom will know what to get me :~)

Merry Christmas Eve everyone!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Meeting Santa

On Thursday night we had Olivia over. After dinner she went with Uncle Nick (!) and Aunt Chelsea and baby Maggie to see Santa at 12 Oaks. Both girls bravely sat in his lap and smiled for this picture. I guess Olivia has already visited Santa and Maggie probably had no idea who was holding her. Oh well, we'll haul this picture out every year and reminisce about when they were little. Cool looking Santa huh?

Here are two of my friends meeting Maggie for the first time last week! She was extra cute too, talking to them and smiling and being precious! Shirley is holding her in the top picture and Carol has her in the bottom pic. I think Maggie has plenty of people to spoil her, don't you?!

Friday, December 19, 2008


Top picture is the view out my front door. Bottom picture is looking out the family room window by the computer where I sit.
If you know me at all you know I love winter! And SNOW....especially if it means we get a snow day like today! It took forever for the call to come this morning and actually I saw it on the news first. We thought yesterday that today might be a snow day and so we packed up all the Christmas stuff and cleaned up the classroom. It would've been super depressing to have had to be there today!
So now I am sitting here with Maggie and we are watching the snow fall :~) and working on my second pot of coffee. Hey I've been up since 4! Chelsea is on her way to Webberville for a job interview. She may be gone for quite a while but I think she'll get the job....she'll probably be the only one who makes it to the interview!
Right after Chelsea left I kept hearing this kinda weird squeaking sound and I could not figure out what it was. As soon as I would get close to where I thought the sound was coming from it would stop. So I am wandering around the house looking like all kind of stupid before I realized the weird sounds were coming from the baby monitor on the dining room table. Duh.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


The Swedish Santas & Tomtes
Ever since I was a kid I have loved Santa. I think I knew from a really early age that he wasn't real but I loved the idea of him anyways! When my kids were little I always tried to make a big deal of Santa ... from leaving cookies and milk out (and then having to remember to get rid of it before the kids got up!) to sprinkling reindeer food on the lawn to making Santa's foot prints on the carpet. My kids humored me for a long time, way past the time their friends quit believing in Santa. I told them that once they stopped believing then Santa stopped coming. But someone here must still believe because he still stops by our house every Christmas without fail!
Sometime soon after Tom & I were married I started collecting Santas. I must have a hundred of them! Every year I bring them out and put them on every shelf, table, window sill, ...... Last year I was feeling Scrooge-y and I did no decorating, no baking, no Christmas cards. I didn't even bring out the Santas!! So today when I opened their boxes and unwrapped them it was like seeing old friends after a long time! So here are some of my favorites! And some weird ones for fun!

Okay since I don't know how to caption the photos I will take them from top left and just go down the page.
So this is the white chocolate outhouse with a Santa in it. I have never unwrapped it because I don't want anyone to eat it! In front of him are some of the tiny Santas.
Next is the feathery white Santa - don't even know where he came from but he always makes me smile!
Then there is the black shiny Santa that I got in WV made from what else? - coal!
Below him is a Santa made from the ash of Mt St Helens. Seriously!
Then there is the Santa on a corn cob that came from Williamsburg.
The next photo has a Santa made from a 100 year old cedar vineyard post from PawPaw, MI.
And there is Coke bottle Santa - the coke is beginning to evaporate!
Next to him is a salt glazed stoneware Santa from PA.
I'll post more photos another day......there are a lot more......timer Santa, hunter Santa, bare bottom Santa, musical Santas, African American Santa, antique quilt Santa, light up and bubble light Santas!

The Gun

Today after church Alec asked if he could come and spend "special time" with me. That's code for I want to come to your house, eat candy, drink Mt. Dew, play Wii, play Legos and be loved and adored individually! So of course we brought him home with us. Duh.

And today we added another activity for Alec to do at Grandma's house......


Yep, he looks dangerous doesn't he? Good thing it is only a pellet gun that he and Grandpa were shooting out the dining room window!!
He is actually really really good at this!!! He hit the target almost every time!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Girl Week

It was a busy week at our house. Last Saturday, Julie, Linnea and my mom and I went to the Lucia Swedish breakfast at a church in W. Bloomfield. If you recall, it was an incredibly snowy, slippery day. Exactly the kind of day that makes winter be my favorite season!! For real! Anyways we had a lovely time. My mom had fun seeing a lot of her old friends and the rest of us enjoyed the food and festivities. For me it was nice to get a dose of our family heritage and culture....something missing since my grandparents have all passed on. Here is Linnea, feeling sick with a cold, but smiling anyways!
The next day we went to watch Linnea dance in the Nutcracker. She was a white mouse this year and a finer white mouse you will never see!

Then on Thursday we had Olivia over for the evening. She was in high gear that night! She and Chelsea are here below feeding their babies :~)

Maggie had her 2 months (!) check up this week and tipped the scales at a whopping 10# 6!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008


This is Nicholas & Chelsea. Last night they cooked us all dinner! They actually bought all the stuff AND cooked it! They set the table and they even started the cleanup but ......well you can't have everything!

This is what they cooked...baked spaghetti, salad and garlic bread.

This is what was left. It was delicious!!

I'll let you know if it ever happens again!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Okay, so continuing from yesterday's post......Saturday was a much nicer day. Still cold but sunny. We spotted this Indian fishing boat leaving the harbor early Saturday morning. The lake was as smooth as could be. Good thing - they had a pile of nets to set.
Here is Lake Michigan - looking much more summery wouldn't you say??
Murphy found a discarded flip flop and we tossed it around for her. She actually went into the water after it! BRRR! (No, she wasn't wearing her sweet coat.)

Later in the afternoon we took a golf cart ride. That was a really cold thing to do, by the way!!
It gives new meaning to the term "wind chill". Even Murph would only peek outside the cart!

And this is what I like to call a typical up north party store. I was going to describe it in some detail but then thought better of it. I was actually sitting in the truck waitng for Tom to get something so I snapped this pic for no other reason!
We probably won't be back up there again until spring :-(

Monday, December 1, 2008


Tom & I went up north after Thanksgiving. Well.....the next day actually. It was so stinking cold when we got there that my olive oil turned back to a solid...not quite an olive but no longer oil either!
Even though it was freezing cold we still went to the beach. This is a photo of Lake Michigan. Taken through the truck window. You didn't think I was going to get out to take a picture did you??
Thank goodness I remembered to bring Murphy's coat. She's cute isn't she?? Tom thinks she looks stupid. At least a hunter won't have any excuse to mistake her for a deer or squirrel or other wild life.
This contraption is something Tom rigged up a number of years ago so that we could have water during the winter. It only partway does what you'd expect. For example it does allow you to flush the toilet. And....well I guess that's it. Which is still better than lugging buckets of lake water up the hill! This thing is powered by our boat battery so every time you flush the battery runs the pump motor and people in the next county will know that you've just used the toilet. We have to use bottled water for drinking, coffee, brushing teeth, etc. If you're wondering about bathing - my answer is hahahaha! So after three days I was really ready to be home if only just to take a long hot shower.
So you KNOW I wasn't happy to slippy slide home Sunday afternoon in heavy slow traffic. Worried that if we crashed the EMS and hospital personnel would think that we had terrible hygiene! Do you know how hard it is to wash your hands in a coffee mug??? And gross!!

Anyways, we had a great time. We were extra grateful to make it home alive. And it's been a long time since a shower felt sooo good! By the way, the weather was beautiful on Saturday - I'll try and post photos from then later!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Whew! We made it through another Thanksgiving!We have so much to be thankful for this year - Family, friends, health, jobs, another new baby! Below is a photo of six of the grandbabies with the teddy bears that Great grandma gave each of them.

This next photo is the first we have of all seven grandbabies. You've no idea how difficult it is to get seven kids all posed and looking in approximately the same direction! This was the best we could do! Next time we'll take them to Penneys.

This is (or should I say was?) our turkey. It was 22#.

Over on the right is Maggie. She is 2 months old today! And she weighs 10#. That means our turkey was more than twice as big!

Monday, November 24, 2008


This is Maggie sucking her thumb. The other picture is her daddy Nicholas sucking his thumb. They are both about two months old in these photos. That seems to be the age for finding your thumb! It was inevitable that she would be a thumb sucker, I guess, since both daddy and mommy sucked their thumbs.
Anyways...she is the first of seven grandkids to be a thumb sucker. And I think it is stinking cute! Especially since I won't be the one refinancing the house to pay for her orthodontics! LOL

Friday, November 21, 2008

Random Pictures

Nothing exciting to report...thank goodness!!! So here are a couple of random pics.......
Top pic is the boys -- Nathan (27) and Nicholas (24). YIKES!!!
And this is Olivia (2 1/2) --- Christina's daughter. Which makes her our grand daughter, doesn't it??? She is #2 of the Joys. In case anyone didn't know this little bit of trivia....all 4 of our granddaughters have the same middle name....First there was Linnea Joy (8)
then Olivia Joy
then Selah Joy (1 1/2)
and then Maggie Joy (8 weeks)
I'll post the other girls pics later.....and the grandsons......who all have original middle names!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Wal Mart

I pretty much hate Wal Mart. For many reasons. In fact the only time I go there is with students on our CBI (community based instruction) trips. The rest of the time I avoid Wal Mart like the plague. Who needs it?? We have a Target here in Hartland. And there is a Meijer on the way home from work. I'm all set. What more do I need???

But Saturday, after Target and Meijer both failed to have a few things that we needed, I went to Wal Mart. I actually found most of what I was looking for and some other items that we needed as well. So I went to the U-Scan lane and proceeded to scan and bag my items. I then prepared a check and took it to the cashier. Here is what happened there...
Cashier: I need your drivers license.
Me: I don't have it. What other ID can I show you?
Cashier: I need your drivers license.
Me: Well I still don't have it.
Cashier: Do you have a credit card?
Me: Yes but I am NOT charging a few groceries on a credit card!
Cashier: How about a debit card?
Me: Okay.
He swipes the card, I enter the pin and it is rejected. Twice. He actually hands me a little rejection slip just to make his point I think!!
At this point we are in a standoff. I have walked around that over heated store three times collecting this stuff and no way am I leaving it there without it. Not yet!
Cashier: How about a credit card?
Me: Okay...whatever!
I hand him the card.....and this next part is completely true....he wasn't kidding either......
Cashier: I need your drivers license.


At this point I ask you - what choice did I have? I unloaded 4 bags of stuff from my cart onto the cashier stand and walked out of that store!

Christina's New Car

This is daughter Christina and her new car. She loves her new car. With a car like that it will be hard to be inconspicuous! So if you see her on the road.....and you will see her if you live in this area......make sure to give her a wave and a toot!!
This car will have a special parking place at our house. Behind the trees!!LOL

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Tree

This tree lives in my front yard. It is small and misshapen and looks completely ordinary all year. No - it is less than ordinary. It is scrawny and it's branches hang over the walkway. And every spring Tom tries to convince me that it needs to go. And every spring I inform him that the tree stays. Here is the reason why - because for a few short days every fall this tree turns brilliantly red. It practically glows. Come on! Isn't that reason enough to keep it??

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Happy Days Are Here Again??!!

This is me in line waiting to vote yesterday. I found this picture at Livingston Daily online. Weird huh?

Oh thank goodness! We have elected Barry Obama! Things are sure to get better now! I expect to see plenty of high paying jobs return to Michigan. Unemployment rates will fall ....we in Michigan will no longer have the distinction of having the highest unemployment rate in the nation. Home values will soar. Car sales will soar! Consumer confidence will be restored! Credit will be available to all. No more foreclosures! Families can return to their homes. With plenty of jobs there will be no more worries about a recession/depression!
Troops will return from Iraq. The war will not end. But never mind that! Because marijuana is now legal and experimentation can begin with human embryos. We won't have time to worry about the war! And this is only the beginning!!
In your dreams!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Last night Nick & Chelsea carved a pumpkin with Maggie & Olivia. Nick's goal was to make the hole on the top of the pumpkin large enough
to put Maggie inside the pumpkin. Who thinks of this stuff???? Besides Nick??!!
Here is Olivia helping Chelsea scoop out the guts.

I think Olivia is holding the eye here!
Notice that Nick is not there for any of the work?
Like I said, his goal was to stuff the baby into the pumpkin!
I have a weird family.