Monday, December 17, 2007

In The Snow

Here's a quick snapshot I took of Clayton and Buddy playing in the snow today. This was taken before Clayton decided it was worth it to come in and get some snow pants on. He had a lot of fun. Brrrr! I wasn't out there long, but it really is cold out there. Buddy hops around in this snow like a kangaroo. It's cute to watch him. If you upsize the picture, you can see that his face is covered in it.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

A Christmas Treat!

My sister passed this recipe along to me this week. Amber made them tonight and they are very hard to leave alone. They're great! I don't even know what they're called...
Here are the ingredients needed:
1/2 bar white Bakers choc. bark
1/2 12oz. bag of white Nestle morsels
Add dash of mint extract
Heat these in microwave dish until melted.
Dip Ritz crackers in melted chocolate.
Then sprinkle with Peppermint Andes Crunch. I found them in the baking aisle near the chocolate chips.
I tried several grocery stores before I finally found the Andes Candy bits at the Super Wal-Mart.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Thank God for Kids!!

What is a home without children? Quiet. ~Henny Youngman
As the song says, "We'd all live in a quiet house without Big Bird or Mickey Mouse."
In other words.... Life would have some pretty dull moments!
Their voices bring chatter, amusement, questions, compliments and sometimes an embarrassing moment or two... You never know what they will think of next and I love it!!
Tonight, Clayton said, "Mom, you know what I want to be now?" Answer: "A Train DEductor!"

Christmas Drama 2006

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Our Trip To Florida :-)

Tonight we are visiting Hobe Sound Bible Church (Hobe Sound, FL) for their Living Christmas Tree presentation.......................................................
via the internet..... and don't we wish! (It did make for a great blog title though, didn't it!)
Actually, we really are enjoying a quiet winter Sunday evening here in southeastern Michigan. Church for tonight has been canceled due to freezing rain. We had the Black family here for dinner today. We've missed Amber. She's on her way back from God's Bible School and their Christmas program, which she attended last night. I had planned on making the 1 1/2 hour drive to meet Dan's sister to pick her up tonight, but decided against it due to the weather. Have a great Sunday evening!

Birthday Party for Jesus

Every year in December, our homeschool support group has a birthday party for Jesus. This year was no exception. It was held at our local library. The games and activities were geared toward the reason for the season, the birth of Christ. Our group leader teaches a cake decorating class at Michaels, so naturally she was designated to bring the cake. She even made a beautiful cookie bouquet. The kids had a great time.

A Neat Gift Idea

The theme for our Women of Worth meeting this month was "Candy Cane Christmas".
This was one of the door prizes. You can use most any candy for the top. This has fake snow and peppermints in the base of the Sunday dish, then a styrofoam ball which fits right on top. The peppermints on top were glued onto the styrofoam ball with hot glue. The curly ribbon (the curly ribbon on this one is white with the words Merry Christmas in red) and red pom pom is in the middle at the top with the two straws. Gift shops sell these for around $15.00. If you can find an inexpensive sundae dish, you can probably make one for approximately $5.00.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Christmas Piano Recital

Today Amber had her first piano recital with her new teacher, Mrs. Cynthia Webster.
She played a piano duet (2 pianos) with Alyssa Gronow. The song was "O Holy Night" (arr. Clydesdale). Mrs. Webster had so many creative ideas included in the program.
For this particular recital she chose to have several duets, some with other instruments played by musical family members.

Amber & Mrs. Webster

Alyssa & Amber

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Disappearing Act!

We've been having a time keeping track of our car keys! Tuesday, I started to leave for work, but couldn't find my keys. I quickly summoned the other members of the household, and we started the search. At first, I knew I could use Dan's, but his were missing too. Go figure! :-)
Finally, I believe it was Amber who saved the day and found one of our sets. I got to work and entered the break room in a flurry, kind of muttering all the details of my aformentioned dilemma to those around me. I was able to clock in to work with 1 precious minute to spare!
The evening went fairly well, and then we all clocked out about 11:00 p.m. (due to the new holiday hours).
As we were all preparing to leave, I realized, ONCE AGAIN, that I couldn't find my keys.
This time I had locked them in my car!
Lord knows, I'm the EXTREMELY reluctant type to have to ask someone for a favor, especially on account of my thoughtless behaviour! Not to mention the time involved,
11:00 p.m.
In the meantime, I had a dear co-worker who offered to take me home and then back to work. (Fortunately, someone had found Dan's set by then.) I only live 5 min. away. I was so very grateful for the extra mile she went to help me out. After a day like
this, I've been advised to get an extra made to have in my wallet. Chances are, I'd lose my wallet.:-) I guess it's usually not that bad!
Actually, Amber is using my keys probably more than I have been lately. We still need to have a set made for her too. It's awesome to have a Chauffeur!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Mom Has Part In This Year's Pardoned Turkey!

This Thanksgiving the most "lucky" turkey hailed from none other than Dubois County, Indiana (where my parents live). Following tradition, President Bush pardoned a turkey (actually two turkeys) just before Thanksgiving. The turkey this year will be spared from the 165 degree oven heat and flown first class to the more moderate temperatures at Disney World to live in the backyard of Mickey Mouse's Country House at the Magic Kingdom. The event has been updated in recent years to include a bird-naming contest, with votes cast on the White House Web site. Nominees this year included Wing and Prayer, Wish and Bone, and Tom and Jake. Vice President Cheney's suggestion was Lunch and Dinner. As it turned out, May and Flower were the winning names.

Where does my mom fit into this story? :-) Mom works for an upscale, downtown clothing store, Sieberts, in Jasper. She works full time doing alterations. She altered the man's (Mr. Seger) suit who took the turkey from Dubois County to President Bush. (I believe he is one of the two men standing behind President Bush, along with their mother on the left.) SO, there you have it! :-)

And a very Happy Thanksgiving everyone! We spent the day as a family. I has asked a widow from our church to join us for dinner, but her family decided to get together. We are blessed and very thankful for God's bountiful care!

Great job, Mom! I'm sure the suit fit very well!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

3 Doe, But No "Go" :-(

The guys arrived home Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately, they didn't get a deer. They saw three doe. Without a doe tag, they couldn't shoot. They were in good spirits though and had a lot of fun. I loved this video clip Dan took of Clayton
shooting this 22. I know I'm probably biased, but I think he's such a natural!

Jen Hartkopf spent the night with us on Saturday night. That day, she and Amber had gone shopping, practiced music for Sunday, etc. (Since her engagement she spends a lot of weekends in Illinois with Wesley, so we just love it when she's able to be "home".) Dan snapped this pic of them Sunday morning. Thought I'd share it too.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Decorating for Christmas

I know, it's early yet. And I certainly don't want to take anything away from the blessed Thanksgiving holiday.... but decorating is a process, December is extremely busy, and on and on it goes! Plus, I kind of like the feeling of having the Christmas tree up as we gather for Thanksgiving dinner.
We usually do have our tree up before Thanksgiving. Once November arrives, my family is after me to get it up.
Dan and Clayton left for up north and the cabin with a man from our church this morning. They are going to be ready for Michigan's opening day of gun season and deer hunting tomorrow. They're to be gone through Saturday. Dan's not an avid hunter, but has taken up the sport within the past couple of years, because Clayton has taken such an interest in it. It does give them some quality father-son time. I would be ecstatic for them if they could get a deer. It will have to be a buck, because the doe tags were sold out.
Knowing they had planned to be gone, I thought I would spend this time decorating my house for Christmas. Clayton didn't like that idea. He wanted to be home whenever I decorated, so I started this past Monday instead. Why is it that every year, I have to create a BIG disaster just to decorate for Christmas? Am I the only one to which this happens? It usually takes 2-3 days to recover from the disaster- if you know what I mean. So, now I'm in recovery mode! But the joy of the season is surrounding my heart, all the same!

A couple of years ago, I was wanting to do something a bit different to update my Christmas tree decor, but knew I didn't want to spend the money to completely buy all new stuff. While at work, a lady mentioned how that she had gone across the street to Bordine's Nursery and learned to make bows. I went to Bordines and found that it wasn't as hard as I would have thought. It just takes some patience. We sell some beautiful ribbon at Joanns, so I bought three different types and mixed them for the bows which I added to my tree. Ribbons and bows are fun! They can be used in floral arrangements, gift wrapping and so many other ways.

I live within one mile of the nations largest Salvation Army Thrift Store. Due to some of the high class lifestyles in the surrounding area, there are some great finds. A few years ago I found this nativity scene for somewhere around $3-$5. I had been wanting one for a long time. I was thoroughly satisfied with this one.

There are so many things which aren't important that vie for our attention at this time of year. I really do desire to keep Christ first! Even as the secular culture tries to push Him away, I welcome Him here!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Kitchen Tip

When fixing Sunday dinner, I like to do as much as I can on Saturday or at least Sunday morning before heading off to church. With my casseroles, usually they have to be reheated before I serve them. When I was at my parents a few weeks ago, my mom shared this tip with me. After baking her casserole, she covered it with tin foil. Then she wrapped the casserole in newspaper. Yes, newspaper! A friend from her church told her about this recently. Last of all, she placed it in her insulated casserole carrier. It was still very warm when we got home from church. As I recall, she didn't have to reheat it at all. And they live 25-30 min. from their church. Try it and see what you think!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Michigan Conference Christmas Dinner

This past Saturday Dan and I attended the annual Michigan Pilgrim Christmas Dinner at the Fire Mountain Restaurant in our state capital of Lansing. It takes up most of the day for us to attend, but we did have such a nice time! I enjoyed sitting by Miss Ellen Beal. She homeschools two young boys in her home. She's also a one stroke painter.
Here's a photo of Dan with Conference President, James Southerland. Dan has been our
District Zone Chairman for about 8 yrs., but felt it was time to resign this year, so I was glad to get a pic. Rev. Martin Laramie was voted to fill the position this year. We feel he will do an excellent job. We look forward to supporting his endeavors for zone meetings, etc.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Our "Buddy"

It's been almost two years since our dog, "Chow", left us. I'll never forget
watching Clayton, then six, as he knelt looking out his bedroom window, just sobbing. Amber also was hurting very badly. Talk about sad!! (We had rescued Chow 3 1/2 yrs. before from the slums of Pontiac. He was a puppy. His Mother was full-blooded Chow. We had some tough times with him during the training process. He would be so mean. But he became a great dog and we loved him.)
Anyways, lately my kids have been really wanting to get a dog again. I wasn't too serious about it, but I could tell Dan was acting more interested. I guess I thought I might as well join 'em. :-) My stipulations were that I wanted a small dog and one that didn't shed.
We were looking on Craigslist and came across an ad: shih tzu, 2 yrs. old, please no small children. I called about it. The lady told me how it snapped at her kids. She wouldn't even leave it alone in the room with her kids. She had only had it two months. It was kind of a strange conversation. But the price was great for a full-blooded shih tzu, so I asked if we could make arrangements to see it. She said we would need to plan to be there quite awhile before it would get used to us.
When we arrived in the area where the dog was located, I knew the situation seemed bleaker by the minute. The door and windows of the house were barred. We went to the door and a young African American couple greeted us. She had the dog on a leash and it was barking ferociously. The house smelled like a zoo! I heard a lot of barking coming from elsewhere in the house and it didn't sound like from small dogs. Amber's great with dogs! So she started talking to it. Over the next few minutes and the course of conversation with this couple, we found out that they had 3 children under three years old, 6 pit bulls downstairs, and another shih tzu. This dog was kept in it's little cage most of the time. The man said, "This dog does not like males. It doesn't like me!" The first time Amber tried to reach out and pet it, it snapped at her. She kept talking to it. Shortly after, it started coming around. Amber fell in love with it. Long story short: we walked out with the dog and haven't had a problem since.
He was so furry we couldn't tell by looking at him, but when I first petted him I noticed that his back bone and rib bones were extremely protruding. Yesterday, I even started worrying that maybe he had a bad physical problem. When I picked him up from being groomed today, the lady said he was emaciated. So we look forward to giving it a lot of TLC!
"Buddy" has acclimated to our lifestyle wonderfully! Dan said, "He thinks he's moved to a mansion." :-) Compared to what he was used to, I guess that could be true. He's completely potty-trained. Clayton sits at the kitchen table while doing his school work and Buddy sat under his feet quite a bit of the morning. He's starting to actually bark and wag his tail, which was very seldom the first 24 hours here.
Here are some new pics from after his "day at the spa".

Picture # 2: Before grooming.
Picture # 3: After grooming.

In other news: Recently, I enrolled Clayton into a homeschool art class. Mr. Don West has a wonderful ministry in our area of teaching Christian Art to kids. He has many classes in different suburbs of Detroit. I think there were probably 20-25 kids enrolled in the afternoon class Clayton was involved in today. Matter of fact, he has so many students interested in taking the class, that he has a morning and afternoon class at this particular location. It takes place once a month and is $10.00 for the two hour class. Clayton loved it! This picture was taken during their recess. Most of the kids were outside. I had to pick Clayton up early, because he left to go up north for an overnight stay at the cabin with Dave Walker. He called and he has been having a lot of fun: eating deer jerky, riding the four wheeler, etc. I'm so happy for him!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


Just wanted to post a pic of this shih tzu that we rescued today.
Well actually we bought it. (Quite a story!) We're very pleased so far.
He's two years old. Will post more about it later and will try to
post more pics after it has been groomed.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Candy Apple Salad

I found this recipe last fall and really enjoyed it. I've made a few changes to it this year, and it's even better! (Last year, I just used peanuts instead of Snicker bars.) It could be served as a dessert, but I have always served it as a fruit salad. Someone described it as tasting like "candy apples at the fair".

2 cups Red Delicious apples, 2 cups Granny Smith apples- peeled, cored and chopped into small pieces
1/2 cup white sugar
1 (8 0z.) crushed pineapple, with juice
1 Tbls. flour
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbls. white vinegar
1 (8 oz.) Cool Whip
2 Snicker Bars, cut into small pieces
Caramel Ice Cream Topping

In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together the egg, flour, sugar, vinegar and pineapple. Cook until thick, about 6 minutes. Set aside until completely cool.
In a large serving bowl, fold together the pineapple mixture and whipped topping. Carefully mix in the apples and 1 and a 1/2 of the Snicker bars. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 Snicker bar on the top. Drizzle with enough Caramel Ice Cream Topping just to make it pretty. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

It's Sunday! Come and Dine!

I'm on a roll! I decided to continue my blogging streak to make it three days in a row. Certainly don't know how much longer this will continue... Guess it's like a kid with a new toy. Aren't things always more fun when they're new? :-)

Today we enjoyed the company of Michael, Crystal, Kyle and Taylor Mason. They were here representing their upcoming mission work in Mexico. I took a picture, but some who read my blog will receive the church newsletter, so maybe I'd better hold off on that.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, last Sunday I enjoyed the day with my family in IN. Gathering with most all of my immediate family, including my grandparents, was such a blessing.
Earlier in the day, we went to their beautiful rural church for Sunday worship. My dad, who happens to be the Song Leader there, posed a question to the congregation which has continued to resurface in my mind… “What if you invited me to your home for dinner today? You had set out your very best, and spent much time preparing a delectable spread. Meat, mashed potatoes & gravy and hot dinner rolls (tradition, right!) were on the menu. As I arrived and was directed to the table, I just sat and looked on. You asked if I was feeling well… 'Yes, it all looks so good.' But there was no participation.”
My Dad likened that simply analogy to how our Heavenly Father must feel at times. Whenever we come to the house of God, there is so much of which we can partake. His goodness and mercies are very evident and available! Jesus has the table spread!! He invites His chosen people come and dine!!
I must admit, there have been times after a service when I have reminisced by saying, “It’s all been so great!” However, there was somewhat of an empty feeling within, due to my present personal circumstances or whatever was weighing heavy upon my heart at the time. Maybe I missed finding my heart's real desire by my introversion.
On the flip side, I am thankful I have experienced those times of feasting with the King. It can take place at anytime/anywhere. I have known wonderful times of closeness with God at home at my little patio table outside (my quiet place when the weather's right). But there’s still something about the collective gathering of God’s people which I long for after a few days of being involved in the work-a-day-world routine. It's a place where you bring your hearty appetite. I bring mine. All the while waiting for the feast of all feasts… the Marriage Supper of the Lamb!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Last Weekend Photo

We had a great time last weekend. We took in Youth Challenge and from there went to visit my family. We were all together on Sunday for dinner. That doesn't happen very often. It was great!! There's nothing like Mom's Sunday Dinners! This is Amber, Clayton (left) and my sister's 10 year old son, Carson. Since the only other grandchild (Bensen) of my parents isn't in this photo, I'll add a recent picture that I just LOVE! Bensen also belongs to my sister, Crystal. Isn't he adorable!?!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Apple Mania

Tonight, on a whim, I decided to create this blog. I didn't really expect it to take this long... but here I am! I've been inspired by the blogs of so many friends and family members. Reading about your everyday lives has brought a connection we never would have had before.

This past month has been Apple Mania around the Plemmons household. Michigan is one of the top three apple producing states in the nation. We've enjoyed two trips to cider mills, one with our church group and one with our homeschool group. There's nothing like their warm fresh donuts and apple cider! I've found two wonderful new apple recipes, which I will try to share soon. I've never been much for making apple pies, but this year I've made about 5 of them. (Maybe because I've found a crust recipe I really like.) My nephew asked that I make one for the GBS Homecoming Fundraiser.

Our Women of Worth meeting this month was based on the theme "Taste and See". It was held in my home. We had a full course meal: Chicken with Apple Cream Sauce and Rice, Sweet Potato Apple Bake, Sliced Apples with Dip, Apple Waldorf Salad, Candy Apple Salad, Bread from Great Harvest Bread Co. and Topsy Turvy Apple Pie. My outdated "apple" kitchen decor did serve a purpose in creating the setting for our meeting. Most of all, I was reminded once again of these simple truths: God is the source of all goodness. Any goodness we may have is granted to us by God. As God's children, we are reflections of God's goodness to others.