Monday, December 31, 2012

Some "Mooves" to Glean in Two Thousand Thirteen...

In no particular order...

  • Trash Compactor
  • It's A Snap
  • The Speeder
  • Falcon In Flight
  • Double Blaster
  • Not A Scratch
  • Chewie Hug

I've pretty much already mastered the Solo Pose...

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Working For a Bank Can Be Fun! (Or how I spent my Christmas "Vacation"...)

My job description has definitely changed over the years, but that last little bullet point never seems to go away.

* Other responsibilities as needed.

Given that, here's what I've been working on in my "spare time" this past month.

And yes, I gave it the ususal 110% percent. Literally...

Deposits Simplified

: )

And just in case anyone was wondering if I really had anything to do with this...

There I am in the back on the right... working the boombox.

And then being bossy...

But unfortunately, the "editor" decided to leave everything of me on the cutting room floor... *sigh*

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas to My (growing) Family...

This is strange.

Living out here in the middle of nowhere and all, I mean. Not that Grand Rapids could ever be considered to be out in the middle of nowhere exactly or anything... but without any family here for the past 10 years or so, it sometimes certainly feels like it!

Anyway, I know this greeting is kind of lame because I am capable of so much more when the weeks leading up to Christmas haven't been quite so crazy, but for this year it'll have to do. At least we all survived the latest apocalypse, right?... and so I guess that's a good thing! And for that I am grateful! I am grateful for each and every one of you!

Please know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers daily!

I love you all so much!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Welcome To Our World...

Lochlan Bradley McKee

MEANING: (Gaelic) "Warrior From The Land of the Lakes" - The Vikings plundered Ireland in the 9th and 10th centuries and the native home of the Norwegian invaders was known as Lochlan "land of the lochs." Lochlan became a popular name and was generally given to boys that had fair or red hair – a tribute to their Viking ancestors.

Hopefully he'll never plunder Ireland!.. but red hair would be interesting.

Personally, I think he looks exactly like Jade!

And I think being born on the 25th was perfect because:

  • His birthday will coordinate really well with my every other year travel plans.
  • It will be a really easy and special date to be able to remember.
  • He is destined to be 'bonny and blithe and good and gay'... (Sunday's Child written in the 1800's :)

Cannot wait to meet this little guy!

And not to be sacreligous or anything... but I just thought, in a way, that this song might somehow fit in here.

"Welcome To Our World" ~ Sarasota, FL ~ from LAST NIGHT.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A View From The Tour Bus...

Not that I was there or anything...

Clay's Christmas Tour launched last night in West Palm Beach, Florida. Here's the view from his quarters this a.m. in Sarasota. At least he's up!

So be sure to check out your local venues!.. even if you DO happen to live in a cold place. You would think it would make more sense to start north and then go south. I mean travel-wise, right?

At any rate I'll be missing the whole dang thing this year. But at least I have a lovely new screensaver. : )

Photo courtesy of Twitter @clayaiken.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

One Little Thing At a Time...

In regards to getting rid of things that is...

It's overwhelming sometimes... thinking about moving. There are just too many things that need to be done with this house and yard first. But if I start now and do just a little tiny bit every year I think I'll eventually feel comfortable that I'm handing a decent and un-junky piece of property over to somebody else.

It's been a LONG road.

But today took a big huge piece of the weight of my back. I mean deck.

I've been dreaming about this moment for years!

Bye Bye Hot Tub...

And thank you Dwight!

And so does all this make me feel a little bit sad???

You betcha! But anyway...

Next on the agenda?...

Bought a new cover at Godwins today.

Now I just need to figure out how to get those rusted screws off of this old one and get the new one attached. I had planned to ask Dwight if he could do it, but after that (more complicated than expected) Hot Tub disassembling fiasco it just didn't feel quite right to ask my friend from work for any more "Honey Do's."


Sunday, October 28, 2012


And Alive!!!!!

Happy Birthday Miss Jade!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Happy Birthday Rachel Mae!


Going on...


You'll have to click on the pictures to get the full effect...

Saturday, October 20, 2012

All I Want For Christmas... to not spend money on presents for my children or grandchildren that they do not want.

And it's really hard when you live 2,000 miles away and really have no idea what they need or what their interests are. And the last thing I want is to get my grandchildren presents that their parents don't want them to have!

And though I always love the idea of surprising them all (the grandchildren and their parents alike) I think I'm gonna need some guidance this year.

So... given that, here are a couple of things I've found. Some input please?

Smart Snacks has several fun learning toys that I thought were pretty cute.

Sorting Shapes Cupcakes

Counting Cookies

Alpha Pops

Rainbow Color Cones

And Learning Resources has the cutest set of vegetable cans for learning how to count...

But a choking hazard possibly?

I love this little Laugh and Learn Tea Set by Fisher Price and this little Picnic Basket by Leap Frog for learning how to share and identify shapes, and plus the tea pot makes sounds when it pours as well as the basket lid when you lift it.

And how cute are all these little wooden food toys by Melissa and Doug?

Fruit Slicing

Sandwich Making

Pizza Building

And whatd'ya know? Sushi!

(I can't imagine any of the kids would want that but maybe their parents wood? :)

And now for the tricky ones... But what little boy (or girl) wouldn't want one of these sturdy toys by Melissa and Doug?

Pounding Bench

Pound and Roll Tower

With the "tricky" part being how to teach them not to "pound" on each other or their younger sibling with the mallet... or find that their favorite time to play with it is when baby is sleeping. But still, it could provide for some great teaching/self-disciplining opportunities.

And then there's the toy that even their parents might enjoy... for those times when they feel they just need to "get away" from things for a few moments.

6' Dinosaur Tunnel by Pacific Play

And for those with discriminating culinary tastes...

It might not improve the pickiness, but it might keep them at the dinner table a little longer...

...before they run off to get back to this.

Perplexus by PlaSmart

Check this out!
I want one!

So anyway, there you have it. My ideas.

To My Kids... Please feel free to browse Amazon and check out all the details and reviews. And while you're in there, if you see something else you feel your child(ren) can't live without, please let me know asap.

And if you find something that you'd like for yourself, letting me know that too would be very helpful as well.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Happy 58th To Me!...

The great thing is that my birthday's on a Saturday this year!  And it's cold and windy and rainy... so I don't even have to rake!  And plus, I've heard from mostly all of my loved ones!

And I also got this card from my sister Alison, which easily made it into the top 10 things that made me smile today.

*Christmas Wish List*.. (besides being with my family)

A nice sweater...


Friday, October 5, 2012

The 3rd Annual Auction to Benefit Project SEARCH

I just realized it's "been awhile" since I've updated this thing. I've just been really, really busy. Because you see, I'm part of an extraordinary team of champions who sponsor this silent auction each year (actually this will only be our 3rd, but given the amount of work these things take it feels like we've already done 50!) But totally worth it!

And so just what IS Project SEARCH you ask?

Well, in a nutshell, Project SEARCH is a High School TRANSITION TO WORK program for young adults with cognitive and physical disabilities. The program provides training and education to promote competitive employment in the community. These young adults learn marketable and transferrable work skills through educational experiences as well as on-the-job intern experiences in real jobs at Fifth Third Bank. The goal of the program is for these young adults to gain skills that will lead to gainful employment...either within the bank or elsewhere.

You can find out a little more about the Grand Rapids program here.

Now on to the fun stuff!

Last March our group sat down in the hopes of coming up with some type of new and different branding idea for the auction. Someone suggested "Different Works." which we all immediately fell in love with but had bit of a hard time deciding/agreeing on a graphic to represent the theme in order to pull it all together.

A couple of days later, I was walking through the grocery store, and just happened upon this BEAUTIFUL double bin filled with bright green apples on one side and vibrantly orange... oranges on the other. And those colors were just SO fabulous side by side! And even though so different... they totally worked together!

So on a whim I purchased a single orange and then went home and searched out a green apple image on iClips. (And yes, I know, I really probably SHOULD have just purchased one of the green apples as well.) But anyway...

After that all it really took was small traced outline of Michigan, some tiny cuticle scissors, a camera...

... and a little help from PhotoShop.

And Voila!

But enough about me.

(although this IS my blog afterall...) lol

ANYWAY, this year is going to be absolutely fantastic! This event always proves to be such a fabulous, fun-filled evening for all!... along with being a great fundraiser for such a phenomenal cause! Our team has been working round the clock to provide an extraordinary evening for our guests!

* We will hear from some of the students themselves along with a few of their wonderful mentors and community advocates, which is always such a highlight of the evening. These students are amazing!

* A strolling dinner will be provided by The Gilmore Collection.. and if you're from Grand Rapids you will know exactly what that means! Yum!!!

* PLUS it's being held at Frederik Meijer Gardens this year, which is basically just a plus and a half in itself!

* And as for Celebrities? We will be privledged once again to have Mike Avery and Sarah Brodhead, our amazing FOX17 news morning anchors, as our evening's emcees! Our auctioneer is slated to be Scott Miedema from Miedema Auctioneering! AND the word on the street is that a recent reality star may even show up for a cameo appearance. Granted, he's not a really HUGE celebrity... but he used to be! *hint hint*

And if that's not enough to entice you, take a look at all the amazing items that will be available to purchase during the evening.

2012 Auction Catalog

Now I realize that most of my friends and family reading this live really, really far away and will have no chance at all to attend. But if there is anything AT ALL that you're just dying to have, please just let me know. Email me with your absolute top dog price and I will be MORE than happy to bid on it for you! I plan to be there all night! Because, as part of the steering committee, cleanup duty is also included.

Thursday, October 25th at 6:00 p.m. ~ Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

If you'd like to be a part of this great evening of networking, fun, food, and fabulous shopping... Tickets (@$75) can be purchased here.

And if you are only able to join in the support, we'd be very honored if you'd take a brief moment to "Like" us on Facebook.


Monday, August 20, 2012

Trip To Idaho... And Pictures for Gramma

So much fun! Such cute kids! My darlings!

And since the only people who ever really read my blog are the ones who took the pictures, I won't elaborate too much on the descriptions. Just wanted to share the pics with mom.

*Click on Image to enlarge it and then Right click and Save As* Got it?

A Boise Afternoon

Love this little girl!

Ray In The Morning.

Cute Kids In Tetonia



Mommy's Kitchen Helpers

Calder - What A Smile!

Everest - Wheee!

StoryTime and Poltergeist Chairs...

Jade helping mom with her Halloween costume. Jump start!

Whit and Me Being Crafty...

A Walk Through The Neighborhood.

A Ladybug!

Ms. Jade

A Visit To the Teton Ranch (With Aaron's sculpture in the background...)

Beautiful Landscaping!

Plus a Sandy Beach!

Meanwhile, Back in Rexburg...

Daryn and Jon had a great time visiting with his family!

And Then We Joined Them The Next Day at the Splash Park.

It Was Really, Really Hard To Leave!


...Boo, Hoo, Hoo... :(

Anyway, hope you enjoyed the pictures mom!

And if you're not able to save them succesfully somehow... just contact either Jade or Rachel and I'm pretty sure one or the other of them will be able to help you out... heh.