Saturday, October 31, 2009

Your'e Gonna Miss This Moment

Pam hosts "You're Gonna Miss This Moment" each week. The idea is to talk about moments you are going to miss, especially of your children growing up. This post is more about what our family will miss.

I just love Saturdays. Around here they are filled with fun, relaxation, cooking, baking, sewing, drawing, playing, and sometimes traveling. Before we moved here, Saturday mornings involved me getting up to go to work at the chiropractic office I worked at. I would see patients for a few hours and liked being able to take care of them. I guess the problem was that I did that every single Saturday, with the exception of a few, for 3 years straight. Then we moved to England. I don't have a work permit here, nor do I have a license to practice chiropractic. But God knew I needed the break.

Today, Shawn and I took Fletch for a long walk on a beautiful, sunny fall day here in Lymm. I loved spending that time with my husband. A couple needs to get away together if even only for a walk.

We had Braaten take a picture of us in front of our door. What I'm going to miss is living here, at 26 Huntsfield Close just outside of Manchester, England. Why am I bringing this up now? Because it looks like we will be moving back to Michigan around March. Though there is a lot of excitement about that prospect, there is much to be missed. More than I can say.

On our walk we took pictures of things we see each and every day. I wanted to capture it all the best I could so that we will not forget. I'll be sure to share those photos in a different post.

Friday, October 30, 2009

A Worthy Cause

It's that time of year again. The time when "Operation Christmas Child",
through Samaritan's Purse, collects shoe boxes filled with all kinds of goodies. Things like scarves, gloves, hats, crayons, small toys, toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap. note pads, and other things are requested. Those shoeboxes go to children all over the world. What a tremendous blessing.

Our family loves to participate in this. The children get really excited about what they are giving and help put it all together.

This Sunday, our church is collecting all of the boxes and will later ship them off.





and Austin

Our fabulous five sporting their boxes.

If you want to know more about "Operation Christmas Child", click on the link above. It's not too late to help out. You can always send a donation if you feel led to.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Zoo Time!

Yesterday I met my friend and her two sons at the Chester Zoo. It was a beautiful day and a perfect one for seeing all the great animals there.

Austin, Braaten, Carter, Spencer, Melanie, Cooper, and Grant

This is my favorite shot. He kept moving around which made it difficult to capture him.

I think he needs a chiropractor!

Carter and Grant shootin' the breeze.

They had these cool tunnels for the kids to crawl through, pop up, and visit with the prairie dogs. How fun!

A day at the zoo is always a fun time.

Note to self: Get someone to take your picture with your friend and the kids next time and then it would be perfect for "52 Weeks". Live and learn.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Random Dozen

Linda over at "2nd Cup of Coffee" hosts this weekly meme. She posts a dozen questions, some quick and easy, and others that just make you think. My friend, Joyce, over at "From This Side of the Pond" has participated in this for the past 9 weeks and it has always piqued my interest. Today I decided to finally hop on board. Thanks for the influence, Joyce. :0)

1. Tell me something about your favorite teacher.
Oh, Mr. Hildemann, he was a fabulous teacher. I had him in the 8th grade and he simply believed in me. He encouraged me and inspired me to go to college "some day" and make something of myself. Because of him, at my 8th grade graduation, I received the "citizenship award". It meant that I was easy to get along with and helpful among other things. I didn't expect it, but felt great when I was chosen and presented with it on that day.

2. Tell me about one pivotal moment in your life.
It has to be when I was saved. It was the summer of 1992. I had recently been heartbroken, shortly followed by depression. I went to see my relatives in Indiana for a hog roast, an event that I didn't really want to attend, but God saw fit that I be there. I left the party and went to my cousin, Sheryle's, house where I would be staying. She and I got into a conversation about why I was so sad. She boldly shared her faith and further told me, I, too, could have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I had never been presented with the Gospel before that unforgettable night. My heart was laid bare, open to the hope and promise I had just heard about. There was no hesitation, not even for a moment. I cried to her, actually to my Lord Jesus, and asked Him to rescue me. When I went to bed a new person, thunderstorms present, I could feel the presence of God with me. My skin had chills as I recounted what happened that night. I give all the glory to God and praise Him for choosing me and for changing my life forever.
3. About favorite colors--a lot of people will ask you what it is, but I want to know why it is. What feeling or memory does it evoke?
I love the color pink. It's pretty and it makes me happy.

4. What's a sure sign that you're getting older?
The wrinkles that I can see on my neck. I remember seeing them on my mom come to think of it. Oh, my hands look older, too.

5. Please don't sermonize, but Halloween--is it a yes or no for you?
Over the course of time, due to conviction, no, we do not celebrate it.

6. What's your favorite musical?
I thoroughly enjoyed "Phantom of the Opera" on Broadway in NYC.

7. Are you more of a city mouse or country mouse?
I was born in the city, love going back to visit, but have happily become a country mouse. My husband is one, too, and we love going home to Indiana to enjoy the slower-paced life.

8. Did you know that it is possible, for a small fee, to name a real star after someone? (It's true! Google it!) If someone were to name a star for you, would you appreciate it for its whimsy and romance, or would you say, "Are you kidding me? For $19.95 we could have gone to the movie and actually bought popcorn."
If my husband was the one to do it, I would think it very romantic and sweet.

This question comes from Paula at
His Ways Are Not Our Ways.
What's the craziest thing you've ever been doing and texted during it? I only thought of this b/c I was about to try to text during my walking video but I didn't.
I haven't done anything crazy while texting, unless you call walking the dog and texting at the same time crazy. That's about it. I might text at a light, but not while driving.

10. "It's not a party unless _______."
... you start dancing. I love to dance. If the music is right, I want to get out there and bust a move or put my freak on, as it were. (Go ahead, smile, you know that was funny).

11. When you're stuck in traffic or a waiting room, what do you do to pass the time? PS: There are no magazines available.
I would probably text or call someone. Before that, I would read the book I brought along with me.

12. If you weren't yourself, would you be friends with you?
Yes, I would.

This is definitely fun. Try it, you might like it.

Blessings to you!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tough Tuesday

Oh, it's not a tough day today. It's actually a really good day around here. Austin is golfing in a junior competition and the rest of us are taking the day off at school. It's "half term" in our area. That's where the local schools take a week or so off to give the kids a break. Every 6 or 7 weeks they do that in order to school until July. We generally don't follow the same schedule so that we can have flexibility in traveling at off-peak times.

I just wanted to show you what's happening here at our house.

My two "tough" guys have been working out together. Austin has taken an interest in getting stronger, and Shawn is showing him the ropes.

I love seeing them exercise. Kids grow up so quickly, don't they? I can remember "like it was yesterday" Austin toddling around at the age of about 2 and asking for what I was taking out of the jar that was making "clinking" sounds. I was trying to quietly take a handful of M & M's without his notice. Oh, he noticed alright! I did share with him and he forever knew my hiding spot.

Up and down, up and down...

These are a killer! Maybe I should join these fellows and tighten my backside up, too.

But then again, I think I'll sit back and quilt as I watch them strengthen their relationship AND their physique.

Yeah, that sounds like a plan.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Mish Mash and Meatballs

This is one of those posts that's a little bit about this and a little about that. You know the kind, right? It's where you talk about several different things, none that really relate too much, simply because you're a blogger and you can. And it can even end up with a big pot of meatballs at the end.

That's interesting.

The other day, Grant told me that he had a loose tooth. I knew that it was loose for awhile, but that was happy news to my ears. Simply because I love grabbing a napkin or paper towel, wiggling that little pearly white, and gently tugging it until I get that release. I don't know why I like it. It just makes me happy.

Seriously. Look at that big smile on my face.

If you squint, you'll see Grant's tiny, little tooth.

Ah, that's better. He looks as happy as me in this one.

Do you think I missed my calling to be a dentist? Nah... the other day I had to have a root canal done beneath one of my crowns. Yes, beneath a crown. One would think the crown was all the dental work that needed to be done 5 years ago. Apparently not. Sometimes you develop an abscess that needs to be dealt with. Happily, I had a wonderful dentist and his assistant was pretty amazing as well. She kept saying, "Are you OK down there? You're doing great." She was my very own little British cheerleader. And, no, being a dentist is not for me. I'll stick to adjusting backs!" Technically I don't do any adjusting except for working on my family. (Did I not tell you this was going to be one of those mish-mash posts?)

The kids and I took Fletch for a walk around the good old Lymm Dam a couple of days ago. I go there everyday. I can walk it in my sleep. I wanted to capture some of the pretty fall colors so I brought my camera with me.

The kids like to explore while we're there.

Apparently Fletcher does, too. He throws a little bit of hunting in the mix. When I called his name, he came prancing back to me ever so proudly with this...


It must have been dead for awhile, because rigor mortis had already set in.
Fletch did not want to leave that critter behind. Sorry little squirrel.

I love this picture. Something about it just makes me smile.

As we were walking around the dam, and just about all of us in a bad mood, I came up with an idea to find a "treasure". It had to be something, anything, that you want to pick up and then tell us why it's a treasure to you. The kids found some great things and it lightened the mood for a little while. I'm not sure what it was, but we needed some attitude changes at that point.

It got better as we drew closer to home.

This was in the middle of the treasure hunt.

More fall-ish scenery.

Mellie found a tiny little part of a plant. She likes to let me know all of the technical names of the various parts of a plant that she is learning about in school. She's so smart.

Braaten found a giant, crispy leaf. She and I both love stepping on them and hearing the crispness beneath our feet. It's fun.

And here's that big pot of meatballs I thought might appear at the end of this post.

My mom and dad cooked a lot of Italian food in our house growing up. We weren't even Italians! But that's exactly where I got my love of Italian food.

The other day I was wondering what to make for dinner, and into my head popped up the idea for meatball sandwiches. Growing up in Hoboken, you can order a "meatball parm" in just about any pizzeria. They put meatballs, sauce, and mozzarella on some nice Italian bread. Mmmm.... now thatsa nice-a meata-balla!

That little memory popped into my head and I just had to make it for my family. I have to say, they were some of the best meatballs I have had in a long time.

Ciao Bellas!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

13/52 Photos of Me ~ "52 Weeks"

Forever In Blue Jeans

I have accepted Carin's "52 Weeks" challenge. She challenges us moms to get into the pictures. Afterall, we are oftentimes the one snapping the shots. Why don't you give it a try? It's fun and you can start at Week 1.

Another highlight of our trip to Center Parcs last weekend is when we all played basketball.

Basketball, you ask? Yes. Though I have never played on a team in my life, I had a blast running around that court. I even made a swoosh at the 3 point line. Yes, it surprised me, too. We were on 3 different teams with other families. I was on the yellow team, Austin and Melanie were on the red team, and Braaten, Shawn, Grant, and Cooper were on the green team. The reds got 1st, the greens 2nd, and my little yellow team took 3rd.

We all had so much fun!

I was getting ready to play the first 5 minute game against the blue team.

Austin & Mel

Shawn, Braaten, Cooper and Grant

Austin~ he loves playing basketball. This was a great for him.

My man was having some fun playing b-ball. I couldn't keep up with him.

Sorry about the blurry shots here. We need to learn how to work our camera a little better.

Check out Braaten.

The Busse Seven had a blast on the court.

To see more "52 Weeks" posts, visit here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wordless Wednesday!

Tea for Two

My girls, Melanie and Braaten, love to have tea and talk with English accents.
I can't speak with that accent for anything! When I try, they say,
"Mo om!" with that drawn out way of saying my name.

For more "Wordless Wednesday" posts, visit 5 Minutes for Mom.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

DIY Day!


Kimba over at "A Soft Place to Land" is the host of this weekly meme. She says,

"If you're new here, every Tuesday we get together to share our newest DIY projects. I'm really flexible about what constitutes a DIY project. A furniture makeover, an outdoor project, an indoor project, some new artwork...heck, even a great recipe could qualify as DIY, right?"

Just this past weekend, our family went on a little getaway to a place called "Center Parcs". You can do loads of activities there including swimming in a huge indoor waterpark, bike riding, outdoor activities like rock climbing, walking on high ropes, etc. They have all kinds of things that you can sign up to do, all for a fee of course, and one thing I signed up for was pottery painting. The place was called "Flying Saucers". I took 3 of the children with me and we had a blast. It was one of the highlights of our trip.

Here is what we made...

Grant's colorful reindeer. Isn't it sweet?

Melanie's beautiful candy dish,

Braaten made this gorgeous pitcher with a winter scene.

And I even got to be creative and made this plate.

God is so very good, isn't He?

He blesses us in great ways and in small and everything in between. It's the little things that make my heart sing like painting a platter with my precious children.