Monday, December 31, 2007


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Bridgie got her hair cut today to celebrate the new year in style. One of the girls in the shop saved some of her hair so she could make her daughter's the same color. That was kind of cute.

Edward left on a Michigan winter run - complete with the Yaktrax on his shoes that we gave him for his birthday.

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(because I could not get enough of X-country picture taking)

The day is rather gloomy around here, so it appears 07 is going out with a whimper. We're going to some friend's house tonight though so that should be a bang.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Christmas Light


I was looking back through my Christmas pictures when I saw how many times I had that maddening habit of forgetting to turn my flash on when I would try to capture a quick second in time. It's never quite the same when you have to say, Wait a minute, let me turn my flash on! The second is ruined! I'm often met with the tease, "Ok , Judy" (my grandma-who-fussed-with-her-camera's nickname), and hence that second and the beautiful memory is lost forever. You can see how important it is to carry the Light with us through all of our seconds or life will be a blur.

Today, in church we were challenged to think about how God has blessed us this year and how we can use these gifts to bless others. I thought of this Chris Rice song(click on the play button):

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Maria's Christmas Gift

For Christmas, Maria received some art supplies and a watercolor book from her grandma (aka, the Queen Mother) since she loves anything creative like her grandma. She did her first watercolor (above) last night using the book and tips from Grandma. I think today, we'll go get some masking fluid so she can "paint" white.

P.S. Happy Birthday Aunt Michaela!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Thank You!

The cousins enjoy their annual intense thank you note writing session at Grandma's.

I wanted to illustrate here how intensely thankful I am for all my blog readers as this year draws to a close! Sometimes I think I'm just about blogged out, but then like the Energizer Bunny, I keep on going. I am so thankful for the friends I've made through this blogging adventure and the friends and family I can keep up with because of it. If I were to run into you on the street, and you were to ask me what's new, I would likely reply, "Nothing." But when you blog a little bit each day, it all adds up to an amazingly colorful little portrait of how life is in your part of the world. It is so wonderful to have a place to show somebody my actual photographs. Thank you for reading about our part of the world, for looking at the pictures, and for every comment you make.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Birthday Party

Yesterday, we celebrated Edward's 18th birthday in style at the Queen Mother's house. To see the guests who were invited, put your cursor over the picture below. Unfortunately, you can't see Tom & Paula very well, but maybe you can see why my mom is the Queen Mother!

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Edward stopped laughing long enough to blow out all 18 candles in one quick breath.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happy Birthday, Jesus (and Edward)!

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God bless you all at Christmas and in the New Year! Edward is 18 years old today - another Christmas miracle!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Waiting for Santa?

The Blogger having Chrismas coffee with the Queen Mother

I get about a D minus for packing for this trip to Celeryville, but that's what I get for being woken up and rushed out the door yesterday to beat the storm. For the first time in about 27 years of coming to Celeryville for Christmas, I forgot my underwear! I think my Aunt Michaela would be more than amused to learn that I was able to get a 3-pack from Drug Mart for $2.99! This morning, I discovered I had also forgotten my deodorant, hairbrush and blow dryer. I must have thought I was going for a hike on the Appalachian trail or a 5-star resort where everything is provided. I was able to find everything I needed here, so I'm not exactly roughing it.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Eve of Christmas Eve

John woke us up early this morning so we could beat the impending blizzard headed over Lake Michigan. Maria drove us safely into Buckeye territory - driving to Toledo when she got hungry. We didn't think she was ready to eat while driving, so John took over. We came in time for the evening church with very traditional Christmas carols which I actually haven't heard much of yet this year.

Time goes by fast...


Saturday, December 22, 2007

Simple Saturday

Christmas in Celeryville, 1999, Edward, Maria & Bridget with cousins Hunter & Paige and Aunt Paula on the guitar

Today we are preparing for our visit to Celeryville for Christmas. Tonight, we will be with John's side of the family here in GR, and tomorrow after church, Maria will drive us south - unless the roads get too snowy. Then John will take over.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Flash Back Friday 48

Edward, 1992, almost 3 years old

One day this past week, Edward found out it was the last day he could register to vote in the upcoming Michigan primary and since he'll be 18 on Christmas, he went with a friend over to the township clerk's office to register. I was amused when I saw how enthusiatic they were about it, but even more so when I realized I was now the biological mother of a registered voter! He loved the story about how I turned 18 the day before I voted for Ronald Reagan - that really makes me sound old.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Bump, Set, Bond

Bridgie had her last volleyball game yesterday and seemed happy to see her mom toting a camera.

It has been fun watching the girls on the 7th grade team learn the basics of the sport, but the main benefit for many of them was the social aspect.
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At the end of the season, they were all quite happy to collapse into a big pile of volleyball player stew.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Netherlands Nuesday 10

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Two of my half-dutch sisters pretending to be Dutch ladies on the street corner in Bedum, 2007

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Heavens are Telling

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Last night, we went to see Edward & Maria perform in the Christmas concert with the South Christian High School Orchestra. They opened the performance with "The Heavens are Telling" by Franz Joseph Haydn from his masterpiece, "The Creation." It was beautiful, and I was sorry I didn't have the video camera. They also played Christmas Concerto by Corelli , Carmen Suite No. 2 by Bizet, Bring a Torch, and an old folk tune, Poor Wayfaring Stranger.

The above picture is of part of the violin section. Maria is in the middle - Grandpa Gaiser told her she was First Chair for Hair.

Above are the 3 cellists. This is the 4th year in a row that Edward has sat in that very seat on stage and I love to watch him. Marie, the very talented cellist in the front, played a cello solo in Poor Wayfaring Stranger which was hauntingly beautiful. Edward joined in later in the piece, so I told him he could play this for me sometime at home. He replied that they had to turn their music in. Oh well, I tried.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Joy to the World

Bridget taped part of this song this morning at church - I wish she would have gotten the whole part of Michael playing it because it is pure Joy!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Neighborhood

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Yesterday, Bridget brought home the "Where's Waldo" project from school in which they had to show Waldo somewhere in the World they are studying. She threw herself in to this project being as enamoured and amazed by the size of the world as her bloggermom. She wanted to come up with a creative way to show the little person named Waldo somewhere in the world, and since the styrofoam globes at the craft store were a bit pricey($13 bucks%$&*^), she decided to use old Legos. A couple of weeks ago, I helped her study for the quiz, and together, we will always picture the little man in the center of the earth ironing his nickels when someone needs to know what the center of the world is made of and can then come up with a way to take a shortcut through to Malaysia, or India, or the Philippines to visit our friends in that part of the neighborhood.

P.S. It was PJ day at school.

Bridget, the most famous 7th grader in the world (to me)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

She's Making a List and Checking It Twice

Bridget, December 2007

Bridget was actually very sweetly making lists for all of her cousins for me. She finished her own shopping for Christmas about a month ago and is now trying to help the rest of us along! What a girl!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas Cookies, Part 2

Maria decorating Christmas cookies

Ok, so now I remember why I don't make Christmas cookies every year. It's a big production! Maria & I worked on rolling, cutting, baking, and frosting them for 3 hours yesterday, and much to my dismay, I hardly had the energy to photograph them. We made Edward take some to our neighbors. One of them called and was impressed. I said something about feeling like a grinch at the moment, and we laughed over the story of it all. Wasn't life hard enough in the olden days when they used to make these? Since my Christmas cookie cutters were pretty worthless, we made the rest in heart-shaped-Christmas-love cookies.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas Cookies

The Queen Mother making cookies

I have felt an urge, or more likely a pang of guilt has been urging me, to make Christmas cookies, the kind you roll & cut out and put frosting on. I remember how my Oma used to make these and I also remember the best ones at the bakery when I was young! If I do manage to do it, I think it will be bloggable.

Sunday, December 09, 2007


Bridget singing in the 7th grade choir this past week.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Leo says

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the problem with laptops...

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is they leave no room for kitties.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Oh Happy Day!

Maria smiling out in front of the orthodontist office. She gets the bottom braces off next month.

I have come to know and love the orthodontist staff over the years. They have a coffee machine in their waiting room and I feel at times that it is especially for me. (It's not, I know.) I like to dispense my advice on flavors and I have noticed they have kept the the southern pecan flavor on hand, thank you. This is the time that I wait and actually get to read Newsweek or Gourmet or People magazines, so maybe someday, I will miss it. When I had to make some future appointments for Maria & Bridget, they jokingly said, "You don't mind coming in every week, do you?" I thought about it and said, "No I don't mind at all".

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Walking Miracles

Well, the good news is I survived the routine mammogram I had yesterday that I had been putting off for 5 or 6 years. The rather large lady who administered the test seemed to thoroughly enjoy her job of compressing what little flesh I had and walking, a bit slowly I might add, over to her machine to press the button. She then said, "Oh are you one of those who like it quick and painful?" I couldn't comprehend at the time why I would be one of those who prefer it slow and painful. Anyway, she was jolly and I told her she did a good job because of that.

Today, I went to my new doctor for an annual physical. He took out his calculator and calculated my risk of breast cancer in the next 5 years based on my history & statistics as something like .018%. He was nice, I liked him. I noticed that he had a PhD in addition to an MD and he told me he taught in medical school before becoming a doctor. Since I was a new patient, we went over my ever so fascinating medical history and he looked at me the whole time like I was a walking miracle. Aren't we all?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Netherlands Nuesday 8

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The Queen Mother & John pretending to speak Dutch to each other over their Dutch breakfast in Bedum at the Hotel Gemeentehuis, September 2007

Monday, December 03, 2007

Deck Them Halls and All That Stuff

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The title comes from Charlie Brown Christmas if you don't recognize it. I LOVE that show when it's on in the background. I LOVED it the other night when Lucy said, "You have to buy me a Christmas present Linus, it says so in the Bible," and I LOVED it when Linus recites Luke 2 on the stage, and I LOVED it when they sang Loo-loo-loo to the tune of Hark! the Herald Angels Sing.

We put up our tree this past weekend with all the assorted old ornaments that each have their own stories. The Messiah, as always, is playing in the background during this annual ritual. I said to the girls, "Someday, when you go college, you will come home and I'll have a designer tree like Grandma," and Maria replied in her sweet heart-child voice, "But I like Grandma's tree." Then I told her for sure then, she could come home and help me design it.

Our house is one of the few in the neighborhood lit up, so I wondered if something was going on that I didn't know about - John wrote a post about it.

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Sunday, December 02, 2007

Maria in Wonderland

Last night, we went to see Alice in Wonderland performed at South Christian where our very own Maria played the part of the Six of Hearts as one of the Heart Children. She didn't have any speaking parts but the expressions on her face said it all! Her good friend Abby was perfect in the role of Alice.


It was hilarious to see her playing croquet with fly swatters and balloons in one scene. The expressions on her face reminded me of when she was little and used to play games with Edward that they made up.

John presented our thespian with a bouquet at the end. I think she rolled her eyes a little but she was very excited.
Maria, back home after the cast party in front of the Christmas tree

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Thank You for Our Freedom

Here is a great way to say thanks to the soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Xerox is giving this opportunity to send them a card and the designs are very cute. Remember them in your prayers, especially this Christmas!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Suburban Sunrise

Even here on our way to work and school, we have glimpses of unreal beauty.

1 "Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. 2 See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Isaiah 60:1,2

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Spittin' Images

On the MyHeritage site you can submit a picture of a kid along with pictures of the parents to see who he/she looks more like. I did this during Thanksgiving vacation. First picture, Bridget tilts the scale toward her mother, me. I agree, she has pretty much always looked like me though I sometimes see a bit of John in her.

The next picture, Maria tilts the scale toward John. I'll go there as Maria is pretty much the splitting image of John's sister.

Now things get dicier. Edward, who has always been a male version of his mother, me, actually tilted the scale to John. It's ok, they're both male. Must be John's goatee that attracts the needle.

I tried new pictures of Edward & me and this must be more accurate.

I tried another one of BeeBop, and it went to John! What?

Now this next one is more like it. Maria looks equally like us both. I think that pictures capture different facets of the face at different moments in time and so can look like different facets of the parents face at any given time. That is my theory.