Sunday, May 12, 2019

Little Lending Library

I love books. I got extra credit in high school for reading books. I'm glad that my kids have their own bookshelves in their rooms but I know they have different tastes so there are books that will not be read again here.











We like sharing books and having Little Free Library out front really helps us to do that. We have been planning to have one for a very long time and brought a box of books with us from Iowa to Michigan. 

You can find one near you with this link Little Free Library.  Our Charter is 77029.  

The frame is from scrap wood.  Ryan cut every side trim piece, like 400 of them.  We roofed with with extra shingles from our roof and topped with with some copper.  The door is made from 1960's teak Ryan's dad gave him.  I painted it in the house trim colors.  It has a little window in the back to see if the light is on (we are still working on the light part.)





We try and keep everything from kids to adult books in there.  

What books would you want to read?




Saturday, May 11, 2019

Grape Juice Day - Easy Grape Juice


Someone on Freecycle posted that they had grape vines that needed to be picked.


The kids came along and Lillian helped me pick some.  I did not want to take them all.

In sterilized jar place 1-2 cups grapes.
Add 1/2 cup sugar.
Fill to top with boiling water.


Seal jars at once with 2 piece lids. Process in water-bath canner for 10 minutes. Remove from canner and keep out of drafts(cover with a towel). Next day remove metal lid-bands, and label with date and contents.


Let juice stand 3 to 4 weeks before using.

Strain juice from grapes and use juice.


Tuesday, March 12, 2019

We are home

I went through some of our post for 2008.

The title We are Home came up from when we landed back in the United States after living in India a year.

Since there we have called home to my parents house, a house in Erie Pennsylvania, a house in Waterloo Iowa where I've had two more children and now we are in linden Michigan. We're home. What does that mean?

1) home is where you have the most pairs of underwear
2) home is where your entire family is, meaning kids and husband
3) home is where you feel settled

I'm grateful to God that I can keep making new homes, new friends, and continue to raise the family He's giving me. It's not always been easy.

Between moving here from Waterloo IA end up having to have a root canal because I grind my teeth so hard.  Part of my family was missing, Ryan had to be up here in Michigan and work for a month before we would be allowed to get a mortgage.

I'm glad my family is back together now.

Family is important, it makes you feel safe, could you stability, and a purpose at times.

I don't know how.


Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Winter in Michigan

Blue Jeep and Black Hummer
Jon has been saving for a Gator (Power Wheel).   He wanted one really BAD!  This Christmas I found one of my neighbors had two extra power wheels that they never tried to make work. 

I'm grateful for having a handy husband because he found that the Hummer had a bad acceleration switch which I bought a replacement off eBay for ten bucks and the Jeep still had the proprietary battery connection which I just put spade bits on the end of the wires.

Ryan putting in the 35 amp hr battery
Ryan used a Oscillating Craftsman Multi Tool to get rid of some ridges
The one drawback with power wheels is they have a proprietary connector and a fuse in the battery. That's it cost sixty bucks versus $20 for the battery and another $3 for the fuse including a connector which my husband has a stash of in the basement.  That is why people get rid of them, the battery cost.

Things we have learned:

-when you put a 35 amp hour battery in a power wheel it runs all the way around our subdivision.
-also is heavy on the steering wheel so it's more difficult to turn.
-it can still haul a fourteen-year-old taller then me.
-when you put a 7.5 amp hour battery in a power wheel it does not make it around our subdivision. Then you push it halfway around the subdivision and regret that you didn't bring a second battery which can also fit in the compartment.
7.5 amp hr batter and car charger
-a determined 8 year old can install a small battery when she wants to chase her brother in the other car on days they forget how to share.


The blue Jeep was the first one that we got running and has just 7.5 amp hour batteries. Those we take out and charge with a car battery charger, we the leave the battery in the 35 amp hr hummer.  I don't know if the 35 amp hour gives more power to the black Hummer. It sure seems to go fast and scare the 14 year old who's driving on it.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Halloween 2018

I seem to be a sucker and make the kids costumes.

Anna wanted to be a life sized squirrel.  My friend Leslie gave me some nylons and I filled a leg with Styrofoam peanuts.  Sew some ears and a tail with fake fur and viola, a squirrel.



Anna said it looked like a wolf so I went thru my stash of fabric and made a little red ridding hood cape for Maple the dog, me and Kelsey the 18 inch doll.




Lillian wanted to be a mermaid.  She had a tail but it was too big.  I made her a skirt out of left over fabrics I got when Hancock Fabrics in Waterloo Iowa went out of business.  I made a tube top and skirt.

Jon was a Tootsie Roll.  We chose some fleece and I was done sewing anything so these letters we put on with contact cement.

So I had a lovely cape which Anna borrowed after went around the neighborhood as a squirrel she went around as Little Red Ridding Hood.  How much candy does a kid really need?

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Summer vacation

 Interesting... it was upright before the upload









 Yet this one is upside down on the camera...




We can sleep anywhere

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Day 3 of School

All 3 kids are in school full time now.  I had such great plans.  I would paint some bedrooms, organize the kids rooms and fill up Goodwill.

I caught up on Facebook.  I have walked Maple 3 mornings in a row.


Today it was sprinkling but not bad so I made Maple walk all the way around the neighborhood. Then I wanted to plant a couple plants.



Well...3 hours later I had planted 11 new plants, removed half the daisies, moved the white strawberries, some red flower, weeded the asters.  Then I decided that bed by the house along the sidewalk  needed to be lowered 6 inches.  8 wagons later of dirt it was down to a good height and I put the soaker hose in.

Maple thinks she is allowed to dig as much as I did.  And then there were the baby turtles.  First there was one.  I put him close the pond so Maple or Little grey would not end up with it attached to their nose.  Then there was another little guy who looked like he was coming out of the siding.  He brought a friend.  Back to the track I went.

Then there was the thing that made me scream.  A toad or a frog.  He got to move himself.

Rain and dirt was all over me and the dog.  When we went into the house I finally caught her and gave her a bath.  The water was muddy ans I used so much soap.  She has a knack to run around the house like a crazy banshee.  I just hosed myself off.  Doggy life.







Monday, February 12, 2018

Snow, Ice and Colds

This is a very weird winter.  3 weeks ago it was 40 degrees on a Sunday.  The kids and I went to the park with Maple and played for hours.  Then the snow came back.  And keeps coming.  This Monday, last Friday and last Monday were snow days.  We also had an early out due to snow.


Also we keep getting sick.  I still have the sinus infection since Christmas.  Last week was so odd.  Last Monday Lillian had a 103 degree fever for 6 hours and was fine.  She had to stay home that day.  Anna came home Tuesday and threw up.  Thus she stayed home Wednesday but was completely fine.  Jonathan woke up Thursday morning at 5:30 am screaming his tummy hurt.  I got him to throw up and he was fine the rest of the day.  They each  had a 2 day school week and none of them were at school the same day each day.  

I am glad they are pretty much healthy.  I am also glad to have our snowblower back.


We got Jonathan from Sunday School and he wanted a nap. This is the kid who gave up naps for his 2nd birthday.  His ear hurt so much he screamed.  3 hours later at Urgent care and we now know he had an ear infection and bronchitis.  Poor guy.  A little Tylenol and he just sounds stuffy.  He has his energy back.

We are enjoying Maple and she is enjoying all these snow days.  She is starting to get a little calmer.  She hangs around on the couch with the kids and just gnaws a bone.  This week she is getting fixed so I really hope we can keep her calm.


We just are hanging out eating ice sickle's now.  In two days it will be 40?



A day off means grocery shopping with mom at Meijers.


 Even Maple has a coat.


 This was 3 weeks ago...

Coats were not needed.  They are now as we hover around 20 degrees.


Wednesday, January 31, 2018

New Puppy Advice

I have not had a dog since I was in 4th grade.  Sammy was an outside dog and I didn't do much with him, he was the parents.

Now we have Maple a cocker spaniel mix, a cute mutt.

We did a bunch of research on dogs from watching the Dog Whisperer, reading books, talking to friends and prayer.  Maple is the pup of some of our good friends.  This gives us some information like how big she may get and her mentality - I hope.

Learn from out mistakes and observations:

  1. She is not a cat.  She will lay in the sun, swipe at you like a cat but also requires more work and attention.
  2. She will eat anything from Legos, to poop to crayons to paper and so much more.
  3. She behaves best if she gets plenty of exercise - just like what Caesar Milan says
  4. She requires lots of food to be taught.  She likes bread, eggs, chicken etc
  5. A 2 point harness on her is saving my arms, wrists and shoulders
  6. She keeps growing so she is on her 4th harness.
  7. She still likes to bite at 5 months.
  8. Since her toys when little were stuffed animals she goes after ALL stuffed animals.
  9. Having a den and fenced area gives her and us rest.  
  10. Socks are smelly, thus the best to play with around the house.  This makes laundry get folded faster and no one wears matched socks.
  11. No toy is her favorite, it changes.  Her husky, her pink pull toys and bully sticks are important to her and almost enough to get her back when running away.
  12. She is faster than any of us.  Use food to get her back.
  13. She likes to run, run, run and run.  She takes a micro rest and then runs again.
  14. She has her own slide, she likes jumping and can get on our elevated bed.
  15. Her worst enemy is the cat who taught her her how to swipe and makes her run fast.
I already have 2 kids saying they love her more than the cat.  One of which seems to get bit more than anyone else due to his running and jumping.  The other child was the most scared of the dog and is the one Maple seems to obey the most, even without food.

Lillian describes Jonathan's relationship with Maple "Maple is a ferocious lion and Jonathan is an itty bitty chipmunk."