Wednesday, October 29, 2008

We celebrated my Grandma's 80th Birthday this past Sunday (a surprise brunch in Ann Arbor). There aren't enough words to describe what a wonderful woman she is...Darcy recently said "Man, you don't talk about anyone like you talk about your Grandma." She is the epitome of beauty and grace. She has a unique way of making each one of her 13 grandchildren feel special. She has been our prayer warrior, role model, godly example, and hero in so may ways. My Mom says it best...When asked, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" She says "Grandma" (her mom). Gram, thanks for your love, for your example and for being YOU...beautiful from the inside out! We are so blessed to have you, to love you and to share life with you. Happy Birthday!

Gram, Mom, me, Brooke: 4 generations,
mothers & daughters

Stop and think for a moment about the hands you have, how they have served you well throughout your years. These hands, though wrinkled, shriveled and weak, have been the tools I have used all my life to reach out and grab and embrace life.

They braced and caught my fall when as a toddler I crashed upon the floor.

They put food in my mouth and clothes on my back. As a child, my mother taught me to fold them in prayer. They tied my shoes and pulled on my boots. They held my husband and wiped my tears when he went off to war.

They have been dirty, scraped and raw, swollen and bent. They were uneasy and clumsy when I tried to hold my newborn daughter. Decorated with my wedding band they showed the world that I was married and loved someone special.

They wrote my letters to him and trembled and shook when I buried my parents and spouse.

They have held my children and grandchildren, consoled neighbors, and shook fists of anger when I didn't understand.

They have covered my face, combed my hair, and washed and cleansed the rest of my body. They have been sticky and wet, bent and broken, dried and raw. And to this day, when not much of anything else of me works real well, these hands hold me up, lay me down, and again continue to fold in prayer.

These hands are the mark of where I've been and the ruggedness of life.

But more importantly, it will be these hands that God will reach out and take when He leads me home. And with my hands, He will lift me to His side and there I will use these hands to touch the face of Christ.

-author anonymous

Gram's 80th Birthday Celebration

Monday, October 27, 2008


Brooke had a few cute things to share and comment on this past week...coming from the mind and mouth of a three year-old, here are a few "Brooke-isms"...

1.) Brooke wants to be held A-L-L the time...there are many times after the gym that I am just too beat, and often tell her my arms are just too tired. While waiting for Brayden's school bus the other day, I was holding her and she says: "Mommy, your hands are exercising!" (if she only knew...)

2.) One morning I gave her a muffin with the wrapper on it. She groans and says: "But, Mom, it has stripes!" (stripes=the lined wrapper...In other words, "take the wrapper off Mama!")

3.) Tiptoeing around the corner, she says "What was that noise? I hear Darcy." (AKA- Daddy)

4.) We have a great view of the sky in the morning as we drive out the back way of our sub. We always comment on the sky and one day it was such a magnificent shade of pinks and peaches. I said "Wow, the sky is glowing, it looks like it is on fire." Brooke says matter-of-factly:
"It's not fire Mom, it's peach." (ok smartypants)

5.) On our way out to Saline Sunday, we told the kids we were going to a restaurant first, Brooke says "But I don't want to go to a restaurant, I want to go to Halloween" (it is no longer a day of the year, rather a destination....she often asks "are we going to halloween today?")

6.) Browsing through a toy catalog that came in the mail... "Mom, can I buy this for Merry Christmas? Can I buy this for my Christmas list please? I want it so bad." ( i think she has heard me say "well, perhaps you should put it on your Christmas list" too many times while out and about...It's easier than saying "no"...oh, the hope!)

7.) While at my nephew, Mitchell's, football game yesterday, I glance down to see Brooke putting her finger in her mouth...I happened to notice that there was some rather gross, slimyish- greenish-yellow matter on the end of her finger... I say "BROOKE, what did you just put in your mouth?!" Deer in head lights. Silence. "BROOKE, what was that that you just put in your mouth?!" She cocks her head to the side, chin tucked into her neck, eyes wide and looking upward... and in a meek little sweet voice says "candy." (Well, does it come in any other flavor besides booger? Gross!)

8.) "Mom, it is too hard to be patient."

And one last thought...On the way home from school today, we are again looking and talking about the clouds and the sky. Brooke says her usual "God made the sun." And Brayden says "Yup...and the moon too...and the stars and the whole world...and then He rested. God didn't make the houses, but He made the workers. They aren't men, but they are workers who get a glass of lemonade and relax a little and then they build all the houses."

Oh, Out of the mouth of babes....

"A young child is, indeed, a true scientist, just one big question mark. What? Why? How? I never cease to marvel at the recurring miracle of growth, to be fascinated by the mystery and wonder of this brave enthusiasm."
-victoria wagner

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Harvest Festival

On Saturday, our church had a fall "Harvest Festival"on the church grounds. It was a beautiful day and a fabulous time for the family. We were so thankful for all the love, thought, time and effort that went into this event. It truly was an incredible production and we had so much fun together.

Throughout the church grounds there were several "stations" to visit to play games and enjoy goodies with your family and friends. Each station had a "theme" and a message/scripture verse that was tied into it (you'll see the pictures of the signs below) Here are photos from our day:

Having fun on "Straw Mountain"

Gourd Bowling!
"Knock" em down!

This was a fun one...

No hands Brooke!

Even Mommy and Daddy got in on the fun

Pumpkin Ring Toss

When all else fails, put the ring on yourself!

What a goopy sugary mess of fun this was!

OMG! Yes, he ate this!
Morgan and Brayden
Rae-Rae and Brookie (the mischief-makers)
Get it? Overalls?
Mike and Kelly
Darc and I
The corn maze
this was actually a lot of fun
we took a couple wrong turns
but finally found our way out
Daddies and their silly girls

Break time...cider and donuts

clydesdale horses were there to give us a ride
a little big and scary up close, but beautiful!

time for the pumpkin patch!

Brayden and Jayson- all hugs!
picking the perfect one...

Afterwards, we had our family picture taken and were given this
to take home to remember our special day

Once the outside activities were done, we "shopped" inside the church at the
"Harvest of Talents" craft show/auction
I bought these great handpainted Marushka dolls for Brooke (for Christmas)
(she already has one from her Auntie Em that she plays with all the time.
we keep it up high, so she has to ask to play with it...and does so often.) This one has male characters, which I loved, and represents a family....A timeless treasure of a toy
she can pass on to her own children some day.
We also picked up this great quilt for her, made with some vintage fabrics
it looks great on her bed, and she loves it too!
After such a fun-filled day, she welcomed taking a nap...
and our little guy couldn't resist either.