Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas 2009

It's been soo long since I've updated that I don't even know where to start......
Here is Selah at the Nutcracker-her sister Linnea was a Drosselmeier mouse this year and so when she had her makeup done, Selah also got a mouse face.
And this is Maggie making *snow* with a piece of styrofoam. She made lots and lots of *snow* but when the foam was all gone......
She wasn't very happy!!!
She kinda wasn't loving Santa this year either! Isn't that an awesome looking Santa? But imagine being a little kid and being expected to sit in this strange stranger's lap!?!

And here we have the whole family on Christmas Eve opening gifts!

Caleb and Alec (im)patiently waiting for their turn to open a gift. Luke was Santa this year and I had all the gift tags coded to make it more fun. I used initials or birth dates instead of names on most of the gifts. I'm such a clever, tricky grandma,,,heh heh!

This picture actually looks like it should come before the last two...oh well!

Here is Selah opening something.....

Here are Caleb, Selah and Olivia playing with some of their new toys.....Playdoh and a paint set (which is why Selah has her dress off!)

This is my mom & dad - they wanted to have a picture in front of the tree to use on their Christmas card for next year! Notice all the red tinsel on the tree??? Some one thought it would be fun to use that instead of tissue in her gifts and so the three little girls had it spread pretty much all over the house and I do mean ALL OVER! I'm not exactly sure whose idea it was to have them put it on the tree after they'd picked it all up?!? It came off the tree real easy with the shop vac just in case you wondered!

And that pretty much sums up the last few weeks at our house! I am always happy once Christmas is over and we can get back to a more normal routine here......well, normal for us!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Swedish Breakfast

Okay so if you've known me for more than five minutes, you most likely know that my family is Swedish. Came through Ellis Island. Right off the boat. My parents are first generation Americans. They were fairly fluent in the language.....enough that they and the grandparents could communicate without any of us kids having a clue!

All the grandparents are gone now and also the rest of their generation and so, unfortunately, have a lot (alright, most) of the cultural / family traditions. There is, however, one tradition that remains and that is the Swedish Lucia breakfast.
My mom & I attended it again last weekend. I really don't know what the history is for the event other than food and a girl - supposedly the oldest daughter - wearing a wreath of lit (yikes!) candles on her head and the littlest kids in costume dancing and singing and stuff. So at this particular breakfast there is all of that and a modest assortment of foods and other Swedish things for sale.
This is a photo of a Lucia celebration - not the one we went to though.

Attending any event with your 80 year old mother can be an *exciting* thing and this was no exception! She talks a little too loud. She comments on everything and everyone.....whether appropriate or not. She tells everyone at the table (all strangers) that the food is not as good as her grandmother's recipe but can't tell you what it was that made grandma's food so much better. She tells everyone, including the servers "god dog" which she thinks is Swedish for good day. I don't know...maybe it is but if someone kept saying "god dog" to you.........hey, I'm just saying......
So I got my annual cultural experience and spent a pleasant morning doing so!
"God dog", to all! Heh heh!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

Okay - finally a minute to post a real update.Yay!!
So a few weeks ago I went with my friend to a craft class. We made these cute craft things that you see in the photo below. They look pretty simple to make don't they? But no.....they were so not simple! In fact I learned that night what it must feel like to be mentally challenged. The instructor was speaking English and although I understood the words she was saying there was just no way that was translating into the actions needed to create the craft. My mind was a big "huh?" all night. I'll never be invited to another craft class with that friend I guess.
Back to Thanksgiving.....Here are Murphy and Cadi waiting patiently for Tom to drop some Thanksgiving treats to them. It isn't like there is a shortage of food *falling* on the floor. After all there were 7 kids under 11 here! I doubt the dogs missed much!
Here we have table number one with Great grandma & pa, Julie, Linnea, Alec & Luke.

Here in the other room is table number two with Selah, Caleb, Nathan, Steve, Eddie, Christina & Olivia

Christina and Olivia made these cute turkey cupcakes.

Alec made this centerpiece of "the First Thanksgiving" out of Legos. (I love that all the people are clone troopers! It just adds that little something special, don't you think?)

After dinner the little boys played Wii. For hours. I think they're getting their own Wii for Christmas - shhhh don't tell!

And the little girls played Barbies. What else?? Have you ever eavesdropped on the conversations of a 2 year old and a 3 year old?? Hilarious!!!

Maggie wasn't quite old enough for Barbie......maybe next year. But she loves her new princess throne.....I mean chair!

And it wouldn't be an event - any event - if Luke didn't take off with my camera taking picture after picture of noses, butts, the wall, the lights, the carpet and just plain weird stuff!! You just never know what you'll find when you get your camera back from Luke. Like this shot of Maggie's eye?!

Thank goodness it's all digital. If I paid to have a roll of film developed and found those shots I might just be a tad cranky!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I should be downstairs tidying up, preparing food for this afternoon's feast, setting tables and stuff. Instead I am updating this blog. Isn't that just like me!? Well the turkey went into the oven an hour ago and won't be ready for about 4 more hours, so what's the rush??
Later I will post pictures and a real update.

Or maybe I'll just take a tryptophan-induced nap!

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Addiction

Okay it has been quite a while since I've updated. Sorry. There really hasn't been a lot of excitement around here, which is good considering what we've been through the last couple months.....bridal shower, wedding, numerous birthday parties, and a christening. Whew! But you already knew all that. So now I will attempt to explain the reason for my long absence from this blog.
My name is Sheryl and I am an addict. Every day begins with my craving for a "fix" and I can't, in fact, even get out of bed until I satiate my habit. Once at work I have to sneek around for a quick hit and I'm driven by my habit to be home at the exact times that I need more than just a quickie and I can get my fix without rushing and hiding. My habit has become so bad that I've actually gotten up in the middle of the night and without even turning on any lights, I ever so quietly sneek to check my computer and see that my Facebook farm is running smoothly, cows and other livestock are fed and harvesting crops as necessary. Yep, this farm is serious business! I've sucked the whole family into the Farmville web now and we actually have conversations that to an outsider might actually sound as if we were really farmers who knew what we were doing! Of course they'd be wrong but we have to do something now that all the other excitement has come to an end, right?
Well gotta go - I have some tomatoes that will be ready in a minute!

This is me in a field on my farm......sorry about the blurry image, but you get the idea!

Friday, October 30, 2009


This is what Tom's toothbrush looks like. So, the other day when I was cleaning the bathroom, I used it to clean the crud around the sink, faucet, knobs, counter, etc. And then - this is the important part - I threw it in the garbage.
So this morning when I spotted it back in the toothbrush cup I was kinda grossed out. But I was hoping that maybe it wasn't the one I threw away. I called Tom on my way to work to check - how do you ask someone if they took a toohbrush out of the garbage and resumed using it??? But ask I did and he said that he thought it had just fallen in there so he retrieved it and put it back in the cup and kept using it. hopped out of the cup and walked across the counter and then lept into the garbage. BLECCCHHH!!!

Tonight it is going into the dumpster. Where he won't find it!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Smiling Kitty

This cat is not smiling - it is hissing. Hissing is what cats do when they are angry.

Here is what Selah (2 years old) said to me the other day after she'd found the cat in his hiding place and woke him up from his nap......
Are you ready??
Okay here it is......
"Gamma look! Kitty is smiling at me!"
Not exactly Selah!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Well it has been a quiet week here in Hartland. And quiet is good. That said, here are some of the past week's highlights.....well not exactly highlights.....but the most interesting stuff from the week. With pictures from the weekend thrown in for a splash of color!

Tom & I went to Ludington for a long weekend this past weekend. It was really cold up there and the leaves were really not changing much.....oh well. We didn't do much of anything other than close the place down for the winter. (Boo hoo!) Tom'll probably go back up and stay there for hunting in a few weeks. Alone - since I'm not that into being without running water, you know?

Driving to and from work these past few days I've noticed a couple signs that make me laugh. Both are hand lettered, posterboard size signs. The first one I noticed on my way home from work one afternoon and I didn't really think it said what I thought it said but another day I slowed down and sure enough it did say what I thought. It says simply "Obama - a horrible mistake". I'm not really trying to make a political statement here, I'm just saying......

Okay, the second sign was on the corner of a busy intersection and I actually drive around twice to read it. This one says "Wanted - common sense stimulus". (Must've been reading Glenn Beck's book, huh?) Unfortunately it wasn't there today. Bummer. I wonder if both signs were the work of the same person?

Last night Tom & I went to Costco with two of our grandkids...... Selah (2) and Luke (7). It wasn't really my idea to take Selah to the store but when I tried to take her home she said "Cos-ick-co" and Tom has never heard her speak before and it was adorable and so we took her and Luke. They were good....Selah ate from every sample table in the store and wore a lot of it on her clothes. She also never stopped talking. Never. Selah seems to think that she is too big to ride in the cart. kids rode in the cart until I couldn't hoist them up there and stuff their legs through the holes anymore. So she would wander away the second I blinked. But it's all good......I got most of the stuff I was looking for and all they wanted was the 15 pack of gum. That works out to 180 pieces of gum. I'm sure mommy was thrilled about that.....she's almost got all of it out of Selah's hair from last time!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Monday Monday.....

It's been a while since my last post. After months and months of wedding planning and shower planning and all things wedding related, a first birthday celebration and a Christening, we have resumed a more normal (at least our kind of normal!) pace. And normal (as we know it) is good. So there hasn't been much to write about. Except for a couple things......

One is WE GOT A MEIJER RIGHT HERE IN HARTLAND!! Can someone say yeeha??!! Until you've lived at the edge of civilization you can't really appreciate the significance of having a Meijer so close to home. Yeah we got a Walmart a couple months ago but for too many reasons to list here, it's not the same as Meijer!
The second big event was that I GOT MY CAR BACK!!! It was in the shop exactly 3 weeks. I don't think it takes 3 weeks for heart surgery and recovery for crying out loud! For more on the car story check my earlier post. Anyways I was pretty happy to turn in the clown car rental that I'd been driving, which although it was good on mileage, was not so good in many other ways. Not complaining, just saying......

We also went to Ludington where the town was more or less closed down for the season. We hope to go back up there this weekend and winterize. Boo hoo!
So here are a couple pictures...... a tree.....I don't know why we took this picture. It must've seemed like a good idea at the time.
...... Hamlin Lake with a storm blowing in......

..... Lake Michigan with the snow fences already in place. UGH.

And this is Tom and Maggie the other night. I literally handed her to him when she wouldn't stop crying and she instantly fell asleep. Unfortunately, after about 5 minutes someone came to the door, the dogs started barking and she woke up. I don't think she ever went back to sleep that night! All night. We must've been a little younger when we did that with our kids huh?

Yep, I sound like my mom. Who knew???

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Flu Shot

I went to see the Dr. last week. It was just a check up. The nurse came in the room to weigh me and check my BP and pulse and stuff. During the weigh in I noticed that the little balance bar needle thing wasn't balancing in the middle it was just resting on the bottom. (Does that even make sense?) Anyways she took my BP and it was surprisingly lower than my usual. Then she was unable to find a pulse. Strange. A little later the regular nurse came in to re-check my BP and came up with my usual reading. Hmmmm.... Then she asked if I was really taking 3 of a prescription drug every day. What??? The first nurse never even asked what drugs I was taking! Yeah, doesn't really inspire confidence does it?? So after my visit with the Dr. the first nurse came back to give me the flu shot.
Here was the conversation-
The whole time I was holding my arm so she couldn't give the shot until I was ready.
Me: So you're a student.
Nurse: Yep. Doing my externship here. For 4 weeks. No pay.
Me: So maybe you'll get hired?
(Please say no, please say no...)
Nurse: Nope they hired someone else.
(First reaction was thank goodness - then uh-oh.....)
Me: Does the vaccine come ready to use?
Nurse: Nope. I drew it up myself.
(BIG uh-oh...could be full of tiny air bubbles or might not even be the flu shot! Could be fertility drugs or worse! Get a grip woman!)
She sticks me once....
Me: So do you get much practice at giving shots?
She sticks me again, this time for real.....
Nurse: Oh yeah, I've been doing this for a loong time, probably 2 weeks now.
Oh yeah, 2 weeks that's a really long time!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Maggie's 1st Birthday

Today was a busy day. was a busy weekend! Anyways this morning Maggie was baptized and we went straight home from church to celebrate her 1st birthday which was also today. Whew! Big day for a little girl!
Here she is just before digging (literally) into her little cake.

And here she is licking cake off her hands. The other little kids were fascinated by the mess and the fact that the grownups were actually cheering her on to make an even bigger mess!

Needless to say,she really made a mess of herself. I can't tell you how happy I was that the weather cooperated and we were able to be outside!! (BIG understatement for soo many reasons!) And....we were able to power wash the high chair before bringing it back inside! (Big smile!)

Here are the papparazzi - I mean family - taking photos of the event. I don't think I could eat with that many people watching me and taking pictures. Maybe I could....but I'm just saying.....
And here she is last year on the day she was born. Do I hear some "awww"s??

And this concludes the year of Nick, Chelsea & Maggie!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Automobile Malpractice

This is my car. Well not exactly, but it's like my car. Except that my car doesn't run anymore. It ran fine 12 days ago when I took it in for service because the AC wasn't working. I asked them to check out the clunking sound while they had it in too. Yesterday I went to check on it and get some of my things that were in the car. The following is the conversation I had with the guy at the dealership.....
Me: My Equinox ready yet?
Car Guy (hopefully): Um....we have a rental for you.
Me: Any idea when my car will be done?
Car Guy (sensing my extreme irritation): We're picking up the tab on the rental for you.
Me (knowing full well that what I'm about to suggest is impossible): Why don't you just give me back my car and call me when the part comes in?
Car Guy (shifting uncomfortably from foot to foot, searching for an answer that will satisfy me and probably knowing that is impossible): We can't do that.
Me (relentlessly pursuing the admission that they broke my car): I just want my car back.
Car Guy (looking to Tom for some help - Tom knows better): Well your car doesn't exactly run right now.
Me: It ran fine when I brought it here 12 days ago.
Car Guy (has completely given up at this point): Yes ma'am but it isn't running now.
Me: So basically you've rendered my car useless.
Car Guy: Yes.
BINGO! We have a winner!
So......I have a little red rental car, at the dealership's expense. They have no idea when the new part will even be available. And I'm just thinking that it's too bad I can't sue them for automobile malpractice...........

Thursday, September 17, 2009

It's Always Something...

You know that kid's book "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie"? Just in case you've never heard of it, here is a summary. The mouse wants a cookie which leads to him needing milk and then a shave and so on and so on. This mouse is completely ADD. It's ridiculous how sidetracked he gets.
I might laugh if it wasn't so much like me. Here is the perfect example. Yesterday I went to Costco to pick up a cake (The All American Chocolate Cake....YUM!) for a co workers birthday. Yeah, I know......Costco was the first mistake. While there I found one of those curved shower curtain rods which I'd wanted to get for our place up north. Decided I wanted one for the kids bathroom at home also. So I got 2 of them. A couple hundred bucks later we were finished at Costco. (Got a bunch of stuff I didn't even know I needed). Went upstairs to look at the kids bathroom. Decided to take out the shower doors. Tom had to help remove the tracks and the glue or whatever that yukky stuff was. The tub was gross. Decided to clean it. The rest of the bathroom looked like a gas station bathroom. A bad gas station bathroom. Decided to clean the whole bathroom. Might as well wash the towels too. And why not wash everything in the hamper while I'm at it? Unfortunately the washer and dryer were both full of semi washed/dried clothes. Had to fold. Back in the bathroom - noticed holes in the walls from shower doors. Spackle you say? Good idea! Have any? Nope. Off to the hardware store. While there I remember that we need some.....well, it really doesn't matter.....are you seeing the whole ADD - If You Give A Mouse... theme here?? Umm yeah. And this isn't even my bathroom (other than for the fact it is in my house).
But really it's all Melissa's fault. It was her birthday!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Wedding

Alright, I promised more about the wedding and so here goes.....
Nick & Chelsea had a wedding last Saturday September 12. If you are one of my regular readers or a friend you will remember that they were married last year on September 12 at the court house. Two weeks later their sweet baby Maggie was born. So this year was the church wedding/vow renewal/anniversary/whatever. These photos are slightly out of sequence - the first photo should actually come after the one of Chelsea and her dad coming down the aisle. Anyways this is Maggie during the ceremony. Apparently not too interested in what mom & dad were doing.

Here is Maggie, who was the flower girl, being pulled down the aisle in her wagon by the ring bearer, Aiden. Soooo cute!! I was a little worried about this since she screamed through this part at the rehearsal. Obviously my concern was unfounded. Speaking of rehearsals, every part of the ceremony and stuff was carefully planned and practiced. So after all the guests and grandparents were seated I was waiting for my son Nathan to seat Tom & I just as practiced and planned. However when the time came, I turned to take his arm and it was Nick.....totally took me by surprise!!! A tear or two later we were on our way down the aisle. Sweet moment.

Guests were still chuckling and aww-ing over the cuteness when Chelsea and her dad came in.

Here is the happy couple. Mr. & Mrs. Nick Allen. Again.

The wedding party. Who knew how pretty the orange theme would be??
The reception hall was beautiful!

Me with my fun sized friends Judy & Cindy at the reception.

Okay this is obviously the groom and groom's mother dance. But there is a story here...... A few weeks ago the kids asked me to choose a song for this dance. All the songs on their list were these sappy tear jerker songs and it was brutal choosing one that I thought wouldn't make me a blubbering fool. But I did finally choose one and it, along with all the other musical selections, were given to the deejay. And I can tell you for sure that it was not "Baby Got Back"!!! ("I like big butts and I cannot lie".....are only part of the lyrics....) Anyways there was no stinking way I wasn't going to dance with my kid no matter what song so I *danced* to that song and after a minute or so the deejay put the real song on. Needless to say there were no tears.....we were still laughing
This is my favorite son in law Steve - dancing here with the red haired lady. I don't think she missed a dance. For like 4 hours!! Amazing!

Yep, I see there is another picture out of sequence but this is a great picture to end this post here they are one more time.

Tom & I are enjoying the week....home alone.....pretending to be empty nesters......Nick & Chels are in Virgina honeymooning!! It's going to be short week!