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.