Welcome to Anybody Home!

Here you will find scattered pictures from my point and shoot camera, random thoughts from my little world, treasured memories of days gone by, hopeful dreams of the days yet to come, and a bunch of ideas - because I've always got ideas!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Progress, She Makes Progress

All this week my main focus has been clearing out our bedroom and a guest room/toy room so that we can switch them around.  Please do not ask me how that's working out.
Even though you did not ask, I shall tell you.  Because I'm weird like that.
If I were a person who used lots and lots of bad words, I would be doing that right now.  They would all be directed at me, though.  I am the one responsible for this enormous mess.
This week I began to realize that I have been in some sort of weird dream from which I am just beginning to wake up.
After many days of realizing this, all I want to do is to go back to sleep!
It isn't helping that my leg hurts.
It also isn't helping that on Wednesday I wasn't watching where I was going and stepped into the flippy lid of the kitchen trash can (i had just changed the bag and had left the lid on the floor) and sort of skated with it on my foot until I hit the pantry door.
Then yesterday I stepped into the frame on which a globe spins which I had just removed from a closet.  That peeled some skin off the bottom of my toes.  And made my leg feel worse.
But, I am happy to report that progress has been made.  Today was the day I wanted to be done with it. I am nearer, but certainly not there.
I've managed to get rid of three tall kitchen trash bags filled with clothes and ready to donate.  And one bag of things that I had no idea what to do with ready to go too.  Included in this are a number of trash bags filled with actual trash which I was happy to see picked up by EverKept this Friday morning.
Last night I sent Daughter home with the pack-n-play that has been in a corner of our bedroom since we moved in.  It has been in use for 10 1/2 years.  Broeder is three now.  A very big boy no longer in need of a pack-n-play.  Today I washed the bedding from it for the last time. I can see it on the line in the backyard.  It's over.  No babies anymore.
I started in on more laundry.  Bedding from the full bed in the guest room, and bedding from a full size mattress we store under the bed for sleepovers.  And bedding that I have absolutely no idea how it ever got IN that room.   When I got the majority of the bedding downstairs (today i am concentrating on NOT falling) I added two of the best blankets, grabbed the Tide which only had about enough for two loads and added it to the spot where the Downy goes.
Ugh.  So, I'm a bit behind and wondering if it is truly necessary to wash all of this bedding!  But, I know it is.
If this seems loooong and dreadfully boring, I do have somewhat of a point in all of this.
I am only telling you about these two rooms.
These two rooms filled with stuff.  Stuff that I mostly love.
It sounds like I am making progress, and I will give myself credit for that,  but what I'm also noticing is how much stuff I just shoved into other places to deal with "latter".
I've got hoards and hoards of stuff that I see potential in.  I keep it so I'll have it on that one day that never seems to come when I will do just the perfect thing with it.  Sometimes this actually does happen, but mostly I've lost interest.  This week especially I have noticed that when that day DOES come, I just don't feel like doing it anymore.
I have no plans to shovel it all out of here in a hurry.  But I do have plans to stay working at a steady pace.  I cannot organize my way out of this mess.  I shall have to be ruthless.  I've done that before and I know I can do it again.  The real problem seems to be my need to obtain more things I already have and don't use.  I've never tamed that.
The time for doing that is now.
I hope I can stay awake.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Random Thoughts for a Sunday Afternoon

1.  THGGM and I had no plans at all for this weekend.  It has been lovely.  All we have done is the usual. Truly, we are blessed, and we know it when we stop to realize just how much we enjoy simple things.  Today THGGM is basking in the sun in our own backyard.  I am puttering around.  The things we truly like doing the most we can do right here.  And it is free.  Sigh.., we are getting so old. But then, we have been getting old since the day we were born.  It's kind of how living works.
2.  Of course "our usual" included stops at our two favorite thrift stores.  I believe I spent a total of 50 cents.  After every item I picked up I asked myself if I really wanted to find a place for it when I got home.  I didn't.  So I put it back.  Were there something amazing, I would have gotten it.  I have my eye on a red plaid tin picnic basket that I've seen twice now at an antique mall.  Truly, I believe my life would be complete if I just had it.  I would never ever long for anything else again.  Yes.  I see it too.  It's become a sickness.  Because it doesn't work that way.  I know this full well.  (but i still want it, really really badly.)  Sometimes things like this come along for great prices, but this picnic basket isn't one of those things.  It's over my budget.  (but i want it.)
3.  My puttering has included packing up things from the guest room/toy room so we can move our bedroom into that room.  So, I've packed up all my beach-y decor - things like vintage pails and shovels, conch shells, boats, that sort of thing and taken them out of the room.  (on an ironic note, i packed them all into a red and white picnic basket, but that one only has tin handles.  and it isn't plaid, it's just red and white.) I thought I had A LOT of beach-y stuff, but obviously, I couldn't have if it all fit in that one picnic basket.  Presently I am packing up the vintage-y baby stuff I've acquired over the past ten years.  No more babies in this family (which makes me sad and happy at the very same time.)  These things I believe I will be willing to sell.  I hate having garage sales, but I think we are going to need one.  I'll probably need to be medicated for it, or just leave home while it's going on, but if I sold some of that stuff I just might be able to justify getting that tin plaid picnic basket. (because i really would like to have one of those.)  After that will come the sorting and purging of toys.  Of course I will keep many of them, but the ones that fall under the category of 3 and under will have to go.   My own children never had as many toys as we have here for the grandchildren. That should tell me something.  (it should tell me that i could have bought that red tin plaid picnic basket a long time ago if i just stopped buying potato head parts every time i find them.  but, no, it does not tell me that.)
4.  Can I complain here?  (like i haven't been already.  on account of not having that red plaid tin picnic basket.)  My hip has been extremely sore for most of the week.  It didn't bother me at all while walking all over the zoo last week.  Or climbing up and down from chairs when I moved things from high shelves in the kitchen to the shelves on the breezeway.  But then suddenly it hits and it hurts to move, it hurts to not move, it just hurts all the time.  Ugh.  But, as far as pain goes, my niece, the mom of the cute seven year old my grand kids love playing with, truly has something to complain about. She had planned surgery on her knee last week Friday.  That all went well.  But then on Saturday she fell. Thankfully she did not damage what the surgery repaired, but she did break her leg in THREE places.  Other people DO have it much worse than me.
5.  I am deeply bothered by manipulation.  It seem to be the main method used now to draw people in to reading their stories on their web pages.  Please do not tell me that I MUST read something or other and that #7 is unbelievable.  Seriously.  I do not do manipulation.  Draw me in with something at least a bit more creative than that. This is one reason why my blog is boring.  Usually, I've got nothing.  There have been weeks where the most exciting thing I have done is rearrange a shelf.
7,  Ha ha.  Fooled you.  Nothing exciting is happening over here.  But if I had paid advertising, they might have just snatch your information.  But I don't, and it didn't.
8.  Ask me how I'm doing on sorting toys?  Not so well.  I have deep emotional attachments to the weirdest things.  But I did manage to throw away a broken airplane, so that is progress.  I made some ugly rag dolls a few years ago.  They keep hopping from pile to pile.  I MADE them, with a pattern and everything.  I embroidered their faces.  Their faces are hideous, but still.  I MADE THEM.  Ugh.  I wish I weren't such a weirdo.  (and i wish i had that red plaid tin picnic basket.)
9.  Just got back from wondering around Schuler's Book Store.  So much to see, but they didn't have the book I was after.  I am very interested in reading Ruth Tucker's new book "Black and White Bible, Black and Blue Wife".  The reviews I've read in many different places make it sound like a necessary read.  And, like the stickers we used to slap on books in the church library it should come with one:  "Everybody knows somebody who needs this book."  Sometimes the somebodies aren't able yet to purchase the book themselves.  I suggest, buy the book, read it, and pass it on.  Or leave it in a public bathroom somewhere.  (hmm.., and i think i've just made my case for buying the red plaid tin picnic basket.  things of value being pricey and all that.)

I couldn't find that book there, I'll be ordering it on line.  So since I had a gift card and wanted something to read tonight I bought Laura Ingalls Wilder "Pioneer Girl" The Annotated Autobiography.  I love reading about the relationship between Rose Wilder Lane and he mother, Laura.  Maybe you would to.  One really doesn't know the history of the writing of the books without learning more about how and why that came to happen.
10.Well, here I am again, just back from sorting  MORE toys.  Between everything else I have to do.  I foolishly thought that there weren't many toys left in that room since I have devoted two entire hall closets to toys/games/bits/pieces.  But was I ever wrong.  Books, pots, pans, a silver plated tea set (only the best thrifted items for MY grandchildren) real picnic ware dishes with place settings for TWELVE.  And nobody tells you this when you buy them, but stuffed animals REPRODUCE at an ALARMING rate. I've got those and they are fertile.  Not sure if I should get rid of them, or have them fixed.  I swear I've only seen about half of them before.  Then there is the dress-up drawer. Hats, wigs, fabric, scarves, gloves, and multiple sets of wings.  If I am not heard from for a week, you will know what I am doing.  Trying to make sense of how this happened!  If you are wondering if I am also getting rid of the grandchildren, no I am not.  But there is a bit of a lull this summer and I need to catch up on things.  And now all of the grandchildren can navigate our basement steps so I can utilize those areas as well.  I really want to have a designated "guest" room and now seems like the right time to do that.  Time will tell, as time always does, if this actually happens.  (i cannot think of any reason to interject something about the red plaid tin picnic basket that i want, but i am doing it anyway.  because i really want it.)

Well, those are my ten very random things.  It is now Sunday evening.  The weekend has come to an end.

I do not mean to be flippant about all of the horror and trauma happening all around us by not mentioning it.  But I'm not going to mention it.  There isn't anyone who isn't aware of it.  My requirement in all of this as I understand it is to "Seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly."  It's something we all can do.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Crafty Goodness

Have you ever tried this?
I think that you should!
It is sooo fun to do.
All you need are three clear plastic cups.
These are wine cups.
I used them for our yogurt at our July 4th breakfast.
I didn't really NEED them for that, but I did WANT them for this craft.
You know, for the grandchildren.

On the first cup I drew a simple stick figure.
Just one will do.
Next you place a cup over the stick figure and draw a face, hair, bows, earrings, hats - whatever you like.

Then turn the cup a third of the way around and draw another face, etc.  Do that one more time totaling three different looks for your one stick figure.

Now add a third cup.

On this cup you can draw three different outfits with accessories for your stick person.

I'm only showing you one option here, but it really is fun to switch them up!

Jonge enjoyed it too.

He made one for himself with three different looks that interested him.

He also made one for Feintsje with three different sports.

Kado is still working on his, which is all four Teen Aged Mutant Ninja Turtles.

He's holding out for more colors.

I used a regular black Sharpie, and a red paint Sharpie.  Both worked well for this.  I haven't tried it yet, but I'm thinking about putting a hole through the top of all three cups and adding a brad to make the turning smoother.

Famke hasn't made one yet.  She has been enjoying a very active social life this summer, and she is loving it!

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Last Game of the Season

Jonge's team did not win tonight in their second play-off game.

There was some disappointment for sure, but it was an exciting game, one in which every player on the team played fabulously.

Final score:  13 -14

And look who showed up for the game!

Monday, July 04, 2016

Annual Independence Day Breakfast

 I have a fairly good idea what other people do on their July 4th celebrations, but I'm not particularly fond of doing those things.

Crowds and noise are things I avoid like the plague.

But I DO like family and I DO like to eat, so the Annual Independence Day Breakfast is what I enjoy.

Then, for the rest of the day I like to sit around.

I always miss my mom on the 4th of July.

THGGM and my dad used to take the kids to the parade while mom and I made Christmas cards all after noon.  It's just not the same without her.

But she wouldn't want me whining about that, so I'll try not to.
We ended up needing to add an extra table to hold all the food!

Our menu rarely varies, but a few things do get added and subtracted each year.
This year our menu consisted of:
Fresh fruit
Yogurt with homemade granola
Blueberry muffins
Cream cheese almond Danish
Broccoli, ham, and cheese quiche
Green chili and co-jack cheese quiche with fresh salsa
Milk, coffee, and orange/pineapple juice

Tonight THGGM and I will watch fire-works.

But we will do that from the comfort of our own driveway.

This just maybe the last year for that.  Not sure how tall the new school is going to be!

(These picture were taken by Daughter, I just moved them from Facebook to here!)

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Birthday Party for Kado and Feintsje


Today was another nearly perfect summer day in West Michigan.
Warm and sunny, yet not humid at all.  
And there was plenty of great food and exciting presents too!
But once the presents were opened, it was hard to take pictures of the birthday boys who had new things to play with!
Thankfully, there were also TWO new cousins on Son-in-laws side of the family who aren't into the moving around stage yet.
This is Famke with her nine month old cousin.
Daughter has the perfect yard for entertaining children.
Fenced in, things to climb on, room to run around.  If I were the jealous type, I'd be jealous of her yard.  
Uncle Oldest Son kept the swings moving.
The view is better from up high!
I didn't get a picture of them, but Jonge found two trophies at the thrift store this morning, and wrapped them up for his brothers.
He said his brothers saw his All Star trophy and they each wanted one soooo badly, so he picked out a T-ball trophy for Feintsje and a baseball trophy for Kado.
They could not believe it when they opened them up!  So much excitement!
And I kept my mouth shut about how trophies should be EARNED and just let him give his little brothers something that they truly wanted.
I'm learning.
I don't have to weigh in on EVERYTHING.

Daughter also had amazing goody bags for the kid guests.
Even silly string!
Here Youngest Son is teaching his daughter the fine art of shooting silly string.
I did take a lot of pictures of that, but mostly everyone was just a blur.  
And this is Famke with her six month old cousin.  I'm not sure why they aren't smiling, as everyone was very happy!
In our family we have FIVE birthdays in June.  This is a dream come true for me, as I used to be the only one.  Then came Daughter-in-law1, followed by Kado, Feintsje, and Broeder.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

She Tries. She Really Truly Does Try.

So, remember how on Thursday I was supposed to be cleaning but instead I went on a delightful romp to the zoo?
That meant that today I had to make up for lost time.
It seemed like it was time for me to do something different with the breezeway.
I got up early and set to work removing all of the blue, green, and yellow planters that have called these shelves home for years.
I loaded them all into the dishwasher, even though they really weren't THAT dirty. After all, I washed them somewhere around Easter.   Although I now know where all the stink bugs go to die.  So, wash them I did.  AND, I scrubbed down the shelves THOROUGHLY.  Trust me on this one.  I did that.
It takes awhile to do jobs like this.  One of the reasons I wanted to change things up is that I'm running out of room for non-essentials in my kitchen.
At the thrift store on Saturday I found a really cute white enamel tray with a red edge.  It has an interesting shape to it.  That is what gave me the idea.  There was NO WHERE to put it in the kitchen.
So, one thing lead to another and I completely filled up those three shelves.
And then I sat down to look at it.
I forgot to add the tray that started the entire thing in the first place.  Oh, well.  What are you going to do?  Somethings I never forget, and somethings I just cannot seem to remember.  This was one of those.
 I admired my shelves, even though I can see everything that is wrong with them, and how desperately they need editing,
And I also watched the construction going on across the street from us.  It's been going on for weeks.  I've kind of grown immune to the noise from all the trucks going back and forth all day long and the constant beep beep beeping of every type of vehicle that backs up.
It really was a lovely day.  Cool and beautiful as I rocked away on my breezeway.
And then?  The breeze picked up.  More like a wind, really.  It felt rather good.
Until  an hour later when I went to adjust something on a shelf and noticed this.
Ugh.  It is EVERYWHERE.  And not just on the breezeway.
It is in our coffee mugs, our cereal bowls, the covers to all the canisters, the counter, the table, the FLOOR.  Oh my.  THE FLOOR.
I can taste it even.  Ugh.  Ugh.  Ugh.
Progress.  It tastes funny.  But truly we are happy to have this construction going on.  It is a HUGE building project at the school all three of my kids attended, and two of them graduated from (there wasn't a high school yet when Old Son needed one - so we home schooled) and that Hertsje will go to for preschool in the fall (although not at the high school).  And, like the neighbors are saying, it's a good thing to watch a small Christian school working in a poor neighborhood grow in this way.  They are hoping to double their enrollment.
So, it's exciting to watch.  But I certainly won't be throwing open the windows on cool windy days, or hanging laundry on the line to dry.
Good thing my mother taught me that life isn't all about me.