Saturday, December 22, 2007

Miles to go before I sleep

Well, we had a wonderful time up in Houghton, MI for Ben's graduation from Michigan Tech! We are so proud of him!!! And wow was it ever cold up there - minus three degrees at one point. So we enjoyed the pool and hot tub, as the snow and wind swept around the three glass sides of the pool area. I also picked up a lovely cold/laryngitis with cough while there! So now we can get started on Christmas. We put up our tree last night, (in the stand I mean)(it didn't pay to put it up before we left for Houghton, and have to have someone come in and water it), got the lights on tonight, and maybe, that is maybe, tomorrow the ornaments. We will also be driving to Lansing (a two hour trip one way) to pick up our son and may as well begin our shopping while we are on the way there. Our decorating is going very slowly - we had a new roof put on a few weeks ago, and when taking the five layers off, the last one on our 150 year old home must have been the next invention after thatch roofs, because it had one to two inch gaps between each of the roof boards. So our tiny crawl space we call our attic had everything covered with an inch of soot/grit/dirt - and everything is needing to be painstakingly cleaned. Hubby is doing a fantastic job doing that, but the soot got in everywhere, inside of boxes and inside of ornaments wrapped in tissue inside of boxes! Unbelievable! Our Christmas lights had also been wound around a board, and were also covered, so we spent two nights after work, looking for new LED Christmas lights - looked in six stores the first night, and three the second - no luck. So the old lights were dusted off, and put up one more time. Next year..... And gift lists just came in recently, so presents need to be bought - I do have one or two hidden, if only I can remember where!. And in order to try and recover from this cold, I am trying to take it easy, ha ha! BUT this year is WAY better than last year!

Last year in December, the 13th actually, I had a heart stent put in, came home, and then had a heart attack the next day, and spent 8 days in the hospital, and on the 22nd of December same son above had surgery to repair his ACL tear on his knee - so this year is just splendid, as far as I am concerned! I am going to enjoy every last minute of it! (I think hubby is enjoying it more too!)

So today was our last day of school, and what gets done gets done, otherwise, who cares! (dagnab those Christmas cards!) I just have to try and focus on what is important, not the long to do list! Deep breath in, and what is the yoga mantra? hmmmmmmmmmm - all is well! And I sure hope I get to do a little crafting somewhere in here, but it doesn't look good, but if I do, I will include pictures! Merry Christmas to you!

Hugs - Diane

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Graduation Day!!!

No pictures yet - but we are off for a few days to go to our number one son's graduation from Michigan Tech. in the Upper Peninsula! I am so excited - a few days away from all the things that need to be done (haven't started Christmas anything yet!) AND we get to stay in a hotel!!! (which we never do - but even we can't camp in December in the UP) And our family will all be together for a couple days, somehow I feel that this will be happening less and less. I am hoping number one son will be able to come home with us, (it is a ten to twelve hour trip) because he doesn't have a car up there. We live in "Southern" Michigan, which always sounds so strange, like it should be balmy and warm or something - ha ha! He is graduating with a degree in STC - Scientific and Technical Communications, I think it has to do with computers and websites, I think. And thank you Lord, he already has a job at Monte Consulting, in Houghton, where he worked this last summer, and also through the school year! We are SOOO proud of him. I am just hoping he will let me take more than one or two pictures, because he tends to not enjoy that too much, to say the least! I will see what I can do.

And our number one daughter is also home from college, yeah Christmas time! -doggone it--my computer is being VERY crochety (not the knitting kind!) it gives me the hourglass of death and then clickity clacks at me for let's see, this time it was 15 minutes! I always joke my computer is trying to teach me patience, but enough already! Anyway - number one daughter is home, she was able to finish exams early so she could come with us to the graduation. We all love our road trips.

Wanted to get one picture in here tho - it is of my Birthday Lady friends. One Friend is missing, so it isn't all of us, but nearly. We all have girls the same age (second year in college) and have been friends since they were a couple of years old - a long time. We get together for each other's birthdays and always love spending time together and catching up on each other's lives. It is a wonderful group of women!

And here is Flori's lovely home - this is her family room, and through that window there on the right, you can see Lake Michigan! Fantastic!

Well it is off to do laundry and packing! See ya later! Diane

Monday, December 03, 2007

Happy (belated) Thanksgiving!

I have been so negligent about posting - sorry! I just so enjoy reading the blogs I can't think of anything clever to write in my own. But I do love to show pictures, so will do a bit of that! And besides, if I talk too much on here, I would probably get in trouble with someone for saying something that I shouldn't! But my kids tell me I have to write more often so more people will comment, cuz so far it is mostly only my two kiddos that are commenting.

So first we had to go pick Bennie Boy up from Lansing, where he hitched a ride with his three friends/brothers, who all go to Michigan Tech - such goofs! - oh,.. I meant nice guys!!!! He got to be home for a whole week. (and I am trying really, really hard not to use the exclamation point after every sentence, although that way what I say seems so bland! And not filled with enthusiasm, like I usually am!) And we took Grandpa out for supper one night, then Emily got to come home Wednesday night in time for church, and then we had family over for Thanksgiving day. And that is my dear husband spending the morning in the kitchen, cooking away! I must say tho, that since the nephews and nieces are all grown and or married, I really miss the big family holidays together! It seems like once they are grown up, we don't see them nearly enough! We missed you Rad & Ilona, Holly & Pete, Erin & Paul and Brook!!! And John and Janet too!!!

It was great having everyone home again! Come to think of it tho, our kids were gone a lot of the time too. That is good too tho. And we got to spend time with some friends. And I got to make some caramel apples too! Here is our dear friend Robyn, whose camera I have been using lately, since mine no longer works-GRRRR! the lens won't come out. So I am finally able to take some pictures again - I HATE being without a camera! Could you tell I ran out of battery juice on Thanksgiving day? My family was SO happy for that, they get a little sick of my picture taking! But it nearly killed me not to be able to take any more pictures on Thanksgiving Day! So here is Robyn - she is like a sister to me - a dear heart! Usually after church on Sundays we go out for a bagel and coffee. We are babysitting her dog while she is in Grand Haven helping her sister who is sick. But the darn dog runs everytime a camera is pointed his way, so will have to work on getting a picture of Bruno.

And then we got to see our "old" friends Gail and Bill from Chicago. I have known Gail all my life, as my mom and I worked for her dad at the Corner Store in good 'ole Cedar Grove. Had a great time catching up with them too! And it was great getting to spend some time with Emily too, it was the first weekend she was home since August, so loved being able to tuck her in at night again too!

And then lastly, be sure to click on the tree picture, they all look so much better up closer, don't know why tho?! But the colors this fall were just fantastic! What a beautiful display God gives us every fall! And I want to be sure to say a few things I am ever thankful for - my family, my friends, our home (with a new roof-to boot!) and our health (which I promise to try and never take for granted again!) our church, and the loving care of my God!

And oh yea, we had enough snow on Thanksgiving day, which was just enough to make everything look pretty, and Ben and Fran went out and made a snowman! But since the batteries weren't working that day, it didn't include them in the picture, so just so you know, that snowman is about three of four feet high! Which is pretty darned good I thought!

So we had a great time, and hope you enjoyed the pictures - and please be sure to leave a comment or two!

Hugs, - Diane

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Beautiful dishes, pumpkins & ghosts

Oops - ended up falling asleep on the couch, and now it is time to go to bed! Will write something tomorrow - goodnight!
I am back, albiet two weeks later! It is SOOO easy to get lost in time by reading blogs! I sit down, and the next time I look at the clock it is several hours later! And I had meant to write in my blog, instead of just checking everyone else's out! Such fun! But it is easy to post pictures - I could easily just do that!

I wanted to show a couple things - I had to quickly rush to show my ghost cookies. We used to make them every year with the kids, both mine and all those that I babysat over the years. It is just Nutter Butter's dipped in white chocolate, and mini choc. chip eyes, which were always a bugger to put in - and still is!

And then I had to show you the beautiful, beautiful dishes that my sister recently gave me! They had been my mom's, and sis thinks they were an engagement gift from our dad to our mom - isn't that just the neatest thing? And they are just gorgeous - they have a beautiful pearlized finish on the insides of them! My sis said she had enjoyed them for years, and since she was down-sizing, she wanted me to enjoy them next - how wonderful! Thanks Grace!!! And then a friend came over to help me figure out how to display these beauties, and I think she did a great job! So they sit atop my old piano.

And then I had to throw in the table decoration I put together. I am trying to be creative! I will leave that picture at the top I guess......

So this brings me a little more up to date - catch ya later - Diane

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Okay - I am only going to write for a minute here, but I wanted to say how exciting it is to be listed under someone's "sweet friends and inspirations" - that is just the coolest thing! I think that will keep me smiling for a month or two! And it has been an age since I posted, but will just add a few quick photos I would love to share. The Moonflower picture I had just been thinking about writing a blogger who had shown their beautiful Moonflower to ask for help because I had started a package or two of them this spring, and they seemed to have disappeared. And wouldn't you know it - that night there was this huge white thing on my trellis - and sure enough, it was a Moonflower! Aren't they gorgeous?

And the other picture is of our High Bush Cranberry bush.

And one more little tale - There is a lot of stuff going on with us these days, but on Sunday I was getting ready to study for our Bible study - and my husband had left to go see his dad, so I had the house to myself, and I picked a classical (my fave) CD at random (ha ha) and cranked it up and hit play. I went and sat at the table, and all of a sudden the house is filled with Handel's Messiah - the Halleluia chorus! That was God's gift to me - thank you Lord!

And very soon I am hoping I too will be able to post about a craft I am wanting to do. You know it is fun (and easy) to gather the things to do the crafts, but another thing altogether to DO the craft! You have to make all kinds of decisions, and then actually cut into that pretty material (gasp!) but soon..... very soon!

Hope you all are well - hugs - Diane

Friday, September 21, 2007


Well it has been an interesting day to say the least. I have been wanting to post more cute stuff going on here, but other stuff just keeps happening...... a call from our fifth year college student son, who is 11 hours away in Houghton, MI that he was in a car accident. (Thank you Lord - no one was hurt, just big car damage) Learned this as I was walking out the door to meet with a bank lady to see about refinancing our home (again) so we can put a new roof over our head and pay some medical bills. (yech!) and have one friend who I visited last night, who is in the hospital, and another good friend who has a sister in the hospital in Muskegon, and now in Ann Arbor (we got to babysit her lovely dog for a couple weeks while she was with her sister), and I have a tooth ache (inconsequential-I know) and my brother just had surgery on his Achilles tendon this morning (Thank you Lord - all is well) and I am leading our Bible Study on Monday (Hebrews ch. 2) and need to go and start that! Who - whee - I hope things slow down soon. So am feeling a bit deflated myself. But I know tomorrow is Friday, and I have the weekend to recoup, not going anywhere, so hope to catch my breath. But here is a neat photo I took a few days ago, of the light streaming in (could be reflecting off our neighbor's car) through our kitchen window with the shade pulled. I just thought it was kinda neat.

And we did get to see an old friend last Saturday - Neil Culbertson - who was in GR (he is a pastor in Guam!), and was doing a seminar on a book/prayer journal he has written. It was so much fun catching up with him and learning about he and his family!

We also got to see our baby girl up at college - it was great seeing her too! It had been awhile!

So all is well, and life is never dull - give me a good nap and I will be fit as a fiddle again! Have a great day all!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

P.S. - a few thrifted finds!

Oops, I forgot to show the things I got recently at a church rummage sale! - It was fantastic! It is so much fun - the hunt - for the really neat things you can find in amongst the stuff you don't care for! Look at my great bargains! I love to find these hand embroidered things - think of the time spent making them! And I love finding things with a history, and a story long before I got them.
Like look at the beautiful vintage photo album, and the pink planter, and the crock! And since my son is living in the U.P., who could pass up a Zane Gray book about it! And I love the little praying angel planter, and the two watering cans - how neat! And all for a couple bucks! Such fun! Oh, and the lace tablecloth too - wish I could find a matching one, curtains would be made!

And more lovely linens, and the "This is the day" plaque, that is what Clay's dad used to say when he answered the telephone, so I brought over to him for his wall, ahhh, such treasures!

And then there are these two lovely purses. I paid $3.00 for each, and am using the one on the left (I love it!) and the one on the right I googled it, and it sold for $130.00, so such a deal I got!


Well - Emily and I made it through the first week of school - yahoo! I had a few pictures from the last couple of weeks that I thought it would be fun to share. You know me and pictures! So here we go. The first is a picture of the Benson's, who spent an evening with us - I am so glad they stopped in!

Then here are my hostas in bloom, and Emily standing there is the loveliest flower of all!

Then one fine day we had our Sunday dinner outside, so here we are at the picnic table, using a pop can for a tripod!

And then recently, on a lovely cool day (at last) while sitting outside, I was able to get a picture of the hummingbird at our feeder.

And I was going to quit there - but decided to add two more of bringing Emily up to Calvin. So here she is all packed and ready to go and then there she is with her roommate from last year, Lauren, from California.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Happy 95th Birthday Wes!

We were recently able to celebrate a wonderful event! Wes turned 95! We had kind of a smallish party for him at Woodland Terrace, and he was happy and alert and really seemed to enjoy himself. We started out singing hymns and visiting then we all had a chance to tell Wes what we loved and appreciated about him, or what encouragement he has given us. It was very touching, and it was great having something positive to celebrate. Of course I took tons of pictures, so will try not to share them all, but here are a few (a-hem) and if you want to see the rest you can go to and search for "wescarlson". I also really appreciated the comment from Barb when she said this was one of the best birthday parties she had been to. Thanks Barb! Now I am only hoping that Wes will remember he is 95, not 100 as he has been insisting when I take him to his various doctor appointments! (grin) Wes has been a great example to many people about what it means to be a Christian. You can't find too many people more generous and loving! It has been a privilege for me to call him "Dad"! I know he longs to be with his Lord and wife and daughter, but we on earth still need him as our prayer warrior! Please keep those prayers going Wes! We love you!

Remember you can click on the photos for a better view of the picture, and also would love it if you would leave a comment - you can always sign under anonymous, and then just sign your name at the end of the comment. And I only had one shot at taking the "whole family" picture so if any of you guys took that photo too, would you mind emailing me a copy of it please?

Here we are - missing number one son!

And here is a picture of as much as the family was able to make it for the event -
Happy Birthday Grandpa!