Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Catching up a little with the "Wednesday Hodgepodge"

1. "Summer is like childhood. It's full of warm memories and gone too soon."~Kellie Elmore  Agree or disagree? Share something you loved about the summers of your childhood.
** I grew up in the city, Hoboken to be exact. There weren't too many, if any, public pools that I can recall. Actually, I do remember one or two empty pools that I always wondered about. Maybe the up-keep was a bit much. With that said, one of my greatest summertime memories are when my Aunt Judy would call us and tell us that she's taking us to the Bayonne pool. The excitement that we all felt was amazing. We would take a bus from Hoboken to Bayonne and walk a few blocks. Aunt Judy brought some snacks and would buy us lunch. We had the best times in that pool! 

2. Are you a fan of auto racing-NASCAR, Indy, Stock, Grand Prix, etc? Ever been to a race in person? Any desire to do this?  Do you know a lot about cars? Do you notice particular makes and models when you're out and about?
**Meh, I could take it or leave it. I suppose if I had the opportunity to go to a race, I would jump at the chance. It would be really cool to experience I think. 

3. What's something you think is too serious to be joked about? Or do you think anything and everything is fair game?
**Oh no, anything and everything is not fair game. Making fun of someone for how they look, whether overweight, new braces, too short, too skinny, etc., makes me crazy! I think people can be so insecure which makes them somehow feel better about themselves if they are putting someone down. 

4. July 29th is National Lasagna Day. Are you a fan? Do you have a great recipe, and if so where did it come from? If given a choice would you choose a plate of lasagna or a plate of spaghetti?
**Lasagna? Why yes, I'd love some! I'd choose the lasagna over spaghetti every time. I think it's all that cheese in there. I have a recipe I like to make that includes my parents' delicious sauce aka "gravy." Sometimes I put spinach in my lasagna, sometimes hamburger meat and sausage. It just depends on what I'm in the mood for. 

5. What's a simple pleasure you'd miss if it were not a regular part of your life?
**Probably having my own swimming pool. I know that once the kids are all grown up, the pool will not be used as much making us consider not opening it. That makes me sad just thinking about it. When I go in for my regular eye check-ups, I get into conversations with my doctor about our pools. He has mentioned more than once how he and his wife don't use it nearly as much since there kids are off on their own. 

6. If you could be the CEO of any company, which would you choose?
**Hmmm... I've never thought about this. Perhaps Cadbury!! I'd taste all that yummy chocolate on a regular basis. Just keepin' it light here. ;)

7. August is just around the farewell to July in exactly seven words.
**July, please don't go so soon...please!

8. Insert your own random thought here.
**My son, Austin, is heading off to college in a few short weeks. He'll be attending Michigan State University. I'm pretty excited, nervous, and sad all at the same time! We just bought season tickets for him to the football games. I can just see him now... He will be in his glory at those games! 

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

How do I love thee? Let me quilt the squares...

I started working on Austin's old t-shirts again. 
For years I've wanted to make a quilt for him for when he graduates high school. Doesn't it seem like some plans you have are so far off? That's how it has felt, but here I am. 
I'm at that place... his senior year. People keep telling me to enjoy it because it goes so fast. 
I suppose that lots of future posts will be about the happenings of a high school senior. 

I'm proud of the boy. He was recently nominated for Scholar Athlete among 3 other seniors in his class out of 175 kids. That's pretty cool. 

Speaking of scholarships... we are up to our eyeballs in scholarship applications, college visits, and other kinds of paperwork. Austin is responsible for most of it, but there have been times when he has forgotten to bring home paperwork that we need to see. We keep reminding him that scholarships mean dollar signs that will greatly affect his future. 

In the meantime, I will be cutting out t-shirt squares and trying to figure out how to make a quilt out of them.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Updates are needed when you've gone MIA!

I hope you feel like staying awhile...

Whew! That was a long break! I'm back to post an update, but I'm not sure I will post on any regular basis unfortunately because we are SO busy. It seems everyone is nowadays. How 'bout you?

We had a great summer and we are well into our school & fall sport schedule.
Some of the things we did over the summer were:


* Ran our 2nd half marathon - technically that happened in early May.
* We re-stained our deck. That on the whole is boring news, however it was a really big deal considering the time it took (3-4 weeks), not to mention the ghastly amount of gallons to do 2 coats (13 to be exact!!), and it looks fantastic! 
*We went to the Outer Banks, NC for our family vacation and that was our first time there. We loved it! On the way down, we stopped at Primanti Brothers in Pittsburgh to have one of those famous "samiches" that has homemade French fries and coleslaw on it. It was aired on Triple D, but since we lived there for a few years back in the mid 90's we had tried Primanti before. Double yum! Call us lame, but we stop by that famous dance place called the, "Abby Lee Dance Co.". She's raunchy, but it sucks you in. One time they showed Abby going into a bakery downtown so we tried that, too. Whilst we were visiting our old stomping grounds, we showed the kids our first apartment which housed mostly older folks. We were clearly the youngest tenants, and newly married nonetheless. We even had to buy an artificial Christmas tree as a courtesy to them there older folks because of the fire hazard. All in all it was a nice first place! 
*I painted my front door. Wow, what an exciting summer! I know, I can't even contain the excitement over this list I'm posting. 
*Shawn planted a huge, very fruitful garden this summer. We have potatoes coming out of our ears! His garden was fantastic and a great hobby for him.
*We went to graduation open houses for two of our nephews, Brad and Andrew, among others and a couple of weddings. At the open houses I took notes because a certain firstborn in this family will be graduating in June.

Yes, Austin is officially a senior! Shawn and I sat down the other day after talking with Austin over the past couple of months about college choices and possible majors and scheduled visits to a couple of schools. We'll be heading to Michigan State University in a couple of weeks and next stop will be to Purdue in October. He has wanted to be a Boilermaker like his dad since he was a little boy. Out of state tuition is N.G! (no good in Jersey speak). I guess I am quietly hoping he'll choose MSU so he's much closer to home. But as these sorts of things go, God has plans for that young man and may His will be done, not mine.

I'm not sure I have any idea of how many times this happened over the summer, but that young man had one golf club or another in his hands while on the greens of Binder Park Golf Course. He has loved the game of golf since we lived in England where he took lessons from a bloke named Steve at Lymm Golf Club just a few miles from our home there. Austin might even trade in his baseball bat next spring to play on Marshall's golf team. Gasp!! Somehow that makes me a little sad as I have been a baseball mom since he was about 4. Again, I have to give up my little control to let Austin grow, change, mature, and make choices of his very own. I really am not a control freak, but I like some measure of it anyway. He is entirely into his golf game these days that he put the golf clubs he received as a Christmas gift in England on E-bay to earn some cash to pay for new-to-him clubs that his friend, Jared, is selling him. He has also been able to purchase one here and there on E-bay to round out the set. 

Austin continues to work at Schuler's Restaurant in Marshall bus-ing tables and has kept consistently busy there since July. June was a different story. Week after week he was not being scheduled for work, and we all got a little worried about the lack of funds in his wallet. No funds = cash from our wallets for gas especially since he is a taxi driver part-time for the Busse crew. ;)

Lately I've seen Austin's boyish looks slowly changing into that of a young man. He melts my heart. 

Braaten Noelle, my 15 year old, and a sophomore this year, is beautiful inside and out. She was nominated last winter to be in the winter court at Marshall High for the Freshman class. She was honored. She was also nominated to Student Council at the end of last year and that has been keeping her busy. 

The sophomore class' fundraiser comes from the concession stand during varsity football games. Guess who is in charge of finding able bodies to work the stand? Braaten! Guess how many of her peers don't want to work during fun football games? Most, if not all, of them. Guess who got roped into helping run that operation? Shawn, Grant, Cooper, and I!! What's a family to do?? We are all-for-one and one-for-all. She needed the help. We gave it. Simple as that. It turns out that we all had fun doing it and we'll be back there this Friday night. 

My girl played volleyball as a freshman. She tried out again last month and it turned out that she was cut. It seems that Shawn and I were a lot more disappointed that she didn't make the team than she was. She had a sense of relief and honestly seems o.k. I cried when I got the news. Shawn and I were away for a couple of days and weren't around when Austin let us know through a text. I was at the beach in South Haven with tears forming behind my sunglasses. We were looking forward to watching her spike the ball at the net. She was a very good player, but not as strong as some. We loved watching her play. I suppose there is always next year, but with how competitive the sport is, I'm not sure she will try.

She does great in school academically and is friendly to all of her peers. If someone crosses the line, though, she is quick to correct them. Standing up for what is right is important to her. That's not easy to do and I'm proud of her for it.

Bray loves Instagram, Twitter, and getting inspiration from Pinterest. She has all kinds of boards on her page. She loves vintage clothes with a modern flare. Hmm... I'm not sure I captured her style, but I tried.

Braaten enjoys photography and will have her first opportunity as a second shooter during a wedding at the end of October. She is thrilled to be able to do that. She has done a couple of high school senior shoots and did a great job.

Melanie Grace is in 8th grade at MMS (Marshall Middle School). She loves spending time with her friends and misses the ones that moved away. Mel cherishes all of her friendships. I love that about her. She's devoted. 

She recently made the 8th grade volleyball team. Her first volleyball game is this Thursday in Coldwater, MI. She was the labero on her AAU tournament team from January to June. The twins would often ask her if she got any good "la bears" during her games. That's funny to me. :) I can't wait to see how she does on the court for the Redhawks.

At the end of 7th grade Melanie received various academic and citizenship awards. We're really proud of how hard she works. She also got 3rd place during her science fair back in the spring.

Mel went to kids camp through our church again just a few weeks ago. It was a very powerful and impacting experience for her. She loved all the girls in her cabin and her leaders which are two beautiful young ladies. They love and serve the Lord passionately. When camp was over she was actually a little depressed for about a day. She wanted so badly to be with all of those young ladies that love Jesus like her. 

My girl loves singing, dancing, swimming, and watching movies. She is signed up for 3 dance classes starting this week. Thankfully they are just about 3 in a row on Wednesday nights with a one hour break somewhere in there. She will be one tired puppy on Thursdays!


Grant Matthew is in the 6th grade at home with me and boy do I love that! This is my 10th year homeschooling. My, how time flies! I really love being at home teaching and experiencing life with the twins each and every day. It's an adventure. Of course it has its challenges, but blessings are way more abundant than any complaints I might have.

Grant is 11 and will be 12 on Christmas Eve. He loves making creations with his Legos and making little movies with a Lego app. It's so cool. I really should post one on here someday. 

Baseball is the sport he likes the most. He plays second or third base. The boys played for the same team they played on last summer- the Marshall Indians. It's always fun to watch them play. 

Grant is definitely my goofball! He loves to make people laugh with his antics. When he was little we dubbed them "Grantics" as in Grant's antics. He's just funny.

Cooper Nathaniel, also 11... obviously. He's Grant's twin. It's always tempting to lump the boys together, which I do often, but I know it's important to recognize them as individuals. They do everything together and enjoy all of the same things, not to mention play the same sports, have the same friends, serve in the same ministry at church, etc, etc. Ya see?! They lump together so beautifully.

Now back to Cooper... Coop loves to draw. He and Grant both make comic books that are amazing. I'll have to take pictures of the books and post them on here, too. You just have to see them! Whenever they receive the Lego magazine in the mail, they go right to creating their own personalized Lego magazine. Every month they want to send it to the Lego company in hopes it will be published.

Cooper loves baseball like his twin and usually pitches or plays first base. They have both played basketball for Upward which is an organized church basketball league. It's not very competitive so this year I'd like to see them play on a new league in case they'd like to play in school in the coming years. We'll see how that goes.

Grant and Cooper (I'm lumping again) also went to kids camp with church and it is ABSOLUTELY the highlight of their year. One of our pastors put a little bug in our ears to serve as a family. We are considering it for next August. We'll see. Boy will that be a stretch for me. I like being home, but I love being obedient more. If God has that plan for us, we'll do it!

And this is Hayley R. She is my friend, Bree's daughter. This year I get to homeschool her as well. Talk about being on an adventure. She is terrific! The "adventure" is not about home educating Hayley, but it's about me being outside of my comfortable little box and doing what we feel is the Lord's calling this year. Different people have jokingly, and maybe not so jokingly, said to me through the years that they wished I would homeschool one or all of their children, to which I would laugh at and think, five children are enough! Not this time! God knows the plans He has for me. Plans to prosper me and not to harm me... His plan for this 12 year old young lady is join the boys in school and learn here at the Busse Homestead. God's grace is sufficient for me and I choose to do His will. 

It's not always easy, but it gives me peace at the end of the day.

That, my friends, is a little glimpse into our family. How have you been?

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

transforming the transformed

Once upon a time I changed the bedding in my guestroom so that I could wash what was on it. There was absolutely nothing wrong with it, it was just time to freshen it up in the wash. The fact of the matter is that I had alternative bedding in my linen closet that I had wanted to try.
So that's what I did.

As I proceeded to put the new bedding on both the trundle and top part of the day bed, I started to ooh and ahh a little. Just a little, though, because it didn't match the walls exactly. ;)

As I began to imagine the possibilities of this room with its new comforter, I started to imagine adding and/or changing other parts of the room. The wall color is not the green hue that shows in these first two photos.

For example, I have always loved toile and I hadn't incorporated it in any way in this home. The dining room in our previous home had blue and cream toile drapes. They were so pretty. The previous owner made them herself and left all the window treatments for us when we purchased the home. It's an added bonus when the owner before you is an interior designer.

The toile curtains here were made by my very talented friend. I don't know where she learned how to sew, but I love what she does! That little suitcase and fan came from one of my favorite shops in Marshall. I also painted both dressers in this space white a couple of summers ago from a pickled wood color. My new plan, maybe, is to use a cream-colored chalk paint by Miss Mustard Seed that I recently purchased. 

My girls informed me that I am always painting. Sigh.

(The color of the walls you see here is more like it.)

All of a sudden... I have new bedding and new curtains. The next step was to clean the scrapbooking clutter, ebay sale items, school books, and other junk from around the room to create a new, inviting space. There's always the one room that gets the junk that piles up as long as you can close the door. Flylady calls it a hot spot. That place was smokin'!! 

:/ Eek, the room was beautiful to begin with. I had only transformed it a couple of years ago after all.

The next step in this transformation was painting the bed (Minus the one missing spindle. I still don't know how that broke or where it is. I'd love to find it and have Shawn do a little fixing.)

The bed went from a pale green to black. And notice those sweet pillows that were also custom made. :) Love!

You are never going to believe this! 

Do you remember the bedding that started this whole project? I don't have a photo of it at the moment, but it never did make the new transformation. 

It turned out that the toile curtains clashed with that bedding. I ended scouting the house for an alternative and found the cream bedspread. I used to keep it at the foot of our bed. Now it works perfectly right here.

I have decided to keep the green desk and chair as part of the color scheme which is (Robin's egg blue, red, cream, green, and yellow).

I found this cute little box in the store I mentioned above.

I cut out a couple of circles of scrapbook paper to put on the tops of these mason jars to hold craft items.

That long table has a story all its own. My old neighbor had it in her living room. One day when I was there I mentioned how much I loved it. She proceeded to tell me that she paid $5 for it at a garage sale (who sells beautiful pieces at that price?? certainly not second hand stores or Goodwill!) and that if she was ever going to get rid of it, which she had been thinking about doing, I could have it. Huh? Really??? Oh, thank you. I would love that.

P.S. A year or so went by when she called me and asked when Shawn could come over and pick it up. She also offered her husband to help get it across the street to my house. Score!! 

And the best part is that my friend, the seamstress and my running pal, suggested that I purchase a piece of finished wood for the bottom so I could put baskets on it and use it for storage.

That's absolutely genius!! Why didn't I think of that? 
Mind you, trying to stain it to match the original color of the table has been challenging and quite honestly has cost more than the table itself. Well, I guess almost anything costs more than that table like a Starbucks coffee, a pound of land o' lakes cheese, a bag of apples, or a half dozen donuts! I can't complain about a little stain for a wood project, can I? By the way, I found gel stain to be my new best friend. No fuss, no muss.

And the last part of this story is that my firstborn daughter would love to snatch this room right from her mama. Uh-uh! It is the guestroom slash scrapbook slash sewing room afterall. 

I think it's lovely and it's mine, all mine.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Countdown

I think it was about 3 weeks ago that I started THE countdown.
The countdown to spring break, that is. 
At the time it happened to be 7 weeks away and as I type it is just a little over 4.

You better believe it.

You see a couple of years ago give or take, our friends Mike and Liz, were feeling led to move to Florida. They have some family down there, but they both grew up in Michigan. They loved visiting Florida to visit family, for the sunshine, the ocean, the fun times, and well, just to get away from the Michigan cold. 

And it's cold right now. We've have at least 39 snow days, and it's time old man winter gets outta here! I'm exaggerating but not by much! Ok, 39 minus 34 or so.

Back to Mike and Liz...
So as time went on and they visited Florida about twice a year, they began to feel the Lord and His gentle stirring of a change ahead. Liz, as I recall, was having none of it. She used to say, "I'm not moving to Florida." or something close to that and Mike, well he was digging it down there. He loved being there. Liz loved visiting, but her heart was here. And as God kept opening certain doors and closing others, they began to really see His calling. 

It was time to make the move. Everyone was happy for them, but it has left a certain void not having their family here. Our church family misses them like crazy and I know their family misses them even more.

So in exactly 31 days I'll get to hug on my precious friend Lizzy and I can't wait!