Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Thankful Thursday 11/29/2007

1. When people return a dish they borrowed with something yummy in it to eat.

2. Willow Tree Figurines

3. Bishop Medley's Sense of Humor

4. Entertainment Weekly Magazine

5. Free Car Washes

You could drape yourself in velvet...

I guess I have reached a new all-time fashion low for my life. I have given up on trying to have beautiful and fashionable feet. I have set a new goal for myself to wear Crocs footwear exclusively starting in 2008. I know that might seem like a rather drastic step to take but I think I can do it. Why? Basically, I hate all shoes. I wear them only because I have to. The first thing I do when I get inside is take off my shoes. I dread winter because you have to have shoes on outside. It's horrible. I don't have a closet full of shoes like most women. I don't have pumps and flats and stilettos in fourteen shades of red. I don't care for loafers or tennis shoes or mules or espadrilles. I like Crocs. They are wide and light and comfortable. Perfect for my feet, described lovingly by my husband as "Fred Flintstone Feet." You can imagine their shape from that description. I see women in pointy toed high heels and MY feet hurt just looking at them. For me, it's Crocs all the way. Here's my plan:

Cayman Crocs in Yellow

From late March through early November, I can get away with my regular Crocs. I do need them in yellow, however. My only trouble during these seasons is church. I can't wear my regular Crocs to church. I've done some research and found some ballet flats and mary janes by Crocs. I tried on the Prima, which are an adorable shoe, but my feet are too fat and they looked horrendous. I am currently searching for the Alice because I think they might be ok for my feet and perfect for church. So I've got over half the year covered.

The Prima flats did nothing for my feet, but the Alice mary janes might be just perfect!

For fall and winter, I could wear the Mammoth. I think the pink and white are adorable but the Michigan slush would soon turn the white to ugly. I'd probably go with black on black. I think the Troika would look good with pants and jeans.

Aren't the Mammoth so soft and inviting?

The versatile Troika

So I'm set for my Crocs-only footware diet. I think it can work. The only flaw in the plan might be weddings and funerals. Maybe Crocs will invent a shoe for those occasions as well. I know that if I were getting married today, I'd wear white Crocs under my dress. And I hope everyone will wear Crocs to my funeral. No pointy, uncomfortable, strappy, ballet flat, half-calf whatevers for me anymore! This is the year that I claim independence from uncomfortable footwear!

Some dressier options?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Weekly Top Five 11/26/2007

Favorite Movies--These are movies that I have and would watch over and over. If they are on TV, I will pause to watch. The best movies ever.

1. Gone with the Wind--my all-time favorite since 1986.

2. Sense and Sensibility

3. The Godfather, Parts 1 and 2

4. Ferris Bueller's Day Off

5. Star Wars, Episodes 4, 5 and 6

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Fourth Biennial Second Thanksgiving Celebrated!

Today we celebrated our official Fourth Biennial Second Thanksgiving. This is held the day after Thanksgiving, hence the "second" Thanksgiving. The tradition started in 2003 when Jeff and Jamie bought a new home and wanted to hold Thanksgiving there. This was fine with us, however we arrived home that Thanksgiving night to a home that didn't smell like turkey and a refrigerator that didn't have leftovers arranged inside like an avalanche waiting to fall. This was no good. Friday, I went out and purchased the fixings for a second Thanksgiving dinner and cooked them and we ate them and rearranged the fridge like a Tetris puzzle. All was right with the world. Since then we have held Second Thanksgiving every year except the years that Anna and Tony are here for First Thanksgiving. It is a very complicated schedule that involves trigonometry and a slide rule.

Second Thanksgiving, thankfully, is very un-complicated. There are no rules. There is no timetable. That is why I spent the day in my pajamas and ate dinner with a large mustard splat on my shirt. That is why we ate snacks at 6:00 and dinner at 8:30. That is why at the end of the meal we celebrated with a rousing competition of armfarts and facefarts. Like I said, no rules. No timetable. No traditional Thanksgiving decorum.

The meal was scrumptious. Am I allowed to brag when I did all the cooking? You don't have to take my word for it. Spencer told me I was the best cooker ever. Pretty convincing! For snacks we had bacon wrapped water chestnuts, pigs in a blanket, nacho dip, corned beef hobos, pickled bologna, cheese, braunschweiger and crackers. For dinner we had turkey, my famous Sausage, Apple and Cranberry stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, rolls, cranberry relish, frog eye salad, razzleberry pie and banana cream pie drizzled with chocolate sauce. I loved every single thing I put in my mouth today. It was wonderful...wonderful...wonderful. The very best ever Second Thanksgiving.

My Razzleberry pie turned out so great. I was really proud.

Calvin after his shower.

Cameron hiding in the bedroom eating a bag of chips.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

We celebrated Thanksgiving today at Jeff and Jamie's house. In attendance were: the seven of us, Jeff, Jamie, Tyler, Morgan, Julie and Dan Mykols, Dan and Rose Kentala, Emmitt (Jamie's Grandpa), Pa, and Chris' Mom and Dad. The food was delicious and the kids had such a great time playing with their cousins. All the children participated in the annual "Vos Children Being Measured by Uncle Jeff." Cameron was the winner, having grown the most in the past year, with Spencer in a close second. We came home full and tired. Happy, happy day!!

Cameron loved the food!

Tyler and Spencer

Jeff Vos, Turkey Master

Fun was had by all playing Wii

Morgan was so happy when she finally got her cupcake!

Give it up for the instrumental stylings of Miss Emily Vos and Mr. WT Stephenson!

The peanut gallery

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Monday, November 19, 2007

Weekly Top Five 11/19/2007

Top Five Thangsgivings Of All Time:

1. Thanksgiving 1994. It was Anna, Dad and I and friends, Dave and Janna Voss. My Dad was in the hospital recovering from an MS exacerbation. Dave and Janna drove with me from East Lansing to Toledo the night before. We picked up Anna from whomever she was staying with and we stayed all together in our Heatherdowns House and all slept together in Anna's bedroom. But not all in the same bed. I should clarify that Dave and Janna were married friends. Married to each other. :) We stayed up late talking and laughing. Dad was in the hospital and so Janna, Anna and I made the whole meal and we took it there to the hospital and all shared it together. I can't remember what we ate, but I remember how tender Dad was that day. We each shared things we were thankful for and I remember how Dad cried as he talked about being thankful. I admired his ability to still find things to be thankful for when he faced such a debilitating disease day after day. He was truly amazing. It was wonderful being together with my family that I loved so much. Dave topped off the day by entertaining the floor with his professional piano playing ability. My favorite Thanksgiving ever.

2. Thanksgiving 2006. It was our family and Anna and Tony eating at our house. The food was EXCELLENT! Anna made some really great appetizers and we marinated the turkey in a brine overnight. It was so moist. The kids had so much fun and it really was a wonderful day. Not even a very emotional game of Apples to Apples could ruin it!

3. Thanksgiving 1997. This Thanksgiving Day was the day after Chris' grandma, Ma, died. We ate at Aunt Barbara's house. It was comforting being together as a family and share the grief that we all felt losing Ma. It felt good to laugh and talk and share together. Plus, Aunt Barbara is the best cook that I know. The food was superb.

4. Any Thanksgiving 1975-1992 that was held at Grandma Platte's. These Thanksgivings at my grandma's were picture perfect. Plentiful food, wonderful conversation, loving family...all the right ingredients for the sublime Thanksgiving.

5. Thanksgiving 1993. I was away from home at BYU and went to my roommate, Tiffany Cameron's house in Sandy, UT. Her family was so nice to have me and make me feel welcome. I missed my dad and Anna so much and they really included me and made me feel really special. We went to Alta Ski Resort, watched "Home Alone" and the food was really good. Best of all, I didn't have to cook any of it.

Friday, November 16, 2007

That parthenon backdrop is optional.

Last night was the Plymouth Canton Steelers B.O.S.S. Football Banquet. The "Banquet of Super Stars" was held at the Hellenic Cultural Center located adjacent to the Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Westland. The building was decked out in 250 gold and black balloons and Steelers banners. (I transported the balloons from the dollar store to the banquet hall that day. I had to make two trips, but finally got them there with only two casualties. At one point, I could only see balloons when I looked back and two little feet sticking out. Cameron's.) We had a nice dinner, not Greek food like I hoped, but really good. The program consisted of trophies being handed out to the players and cheerleaders by their coaches. The coach said something about each player. Christopher's coach said he was a great player and everyone knows the name CV! Also Coach talked about Christopher's dedication and how he would practice on Monday and Saturday even though there were not scheduled practices those days. Christopher got his trophy that even had his name inscribed on it. He got a football pin too. I was so proud of him and his hard work this season. In the room were baskets donated by local businesses that the Steelers were raffling off. Everyone got one free ticket and you could purchase more for more chances to win. I won the "Ladies Workout Basket." Lucky me. Also, there was a silent auction for all kinds of sports memorabilia and tickets and picture collages. Chris' parents bid on and won a Spartan football signed by the players and coaches this season and a Spartan helmet worn during the 1989 Rose Bowl Game. The football was for Chris and the helmet was for Christopher. They were thrilled! It was an excellent ending to a great season for Christopher. Let's hope that next season has a few less Sunday games and everything will be just perfect.

Maybe someday...

Christopher and Grandpa

Christopher took his helmet right over to show Coach Lanava.

Christopher got the helmet signed by Vince Tata, #61, who played for MSU from 85-89. He was on the 89 RoseBowl team. The Rose Bowl ring he wore was awesome! He is a coach for the Steelers.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thankful Thursday 11/15/2007

1. My superior computer skills--yes, I am bragging. Sorry.

2. Caller ID

3. Mancy's

4. Decorative Food Storage Can Covers

5. Spongebob TV Marathons

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

In Christ shall all be made alive

Today I went to the funeral for Daniel Sorensen. He was brutally murdered in nearby Canton by two teenagers who thought it would be a fun thing to do and did it for the thrill. I didn't know Daniel but I went to the funeral to support my friend, Jodi, who knew him very well. At first, I thought it would be strange to go to a funeral for someone I didn't know. However, I am so glad that I went.

The news surrounding this case has been focusing on the horrible circumstances in which he died and on some of the mistakes that Daniel made in his life. One mistake has been misrepresented as being something much more sinister that it really was. I feel bad for Daniel's family left on this earth to pick up the pieces of their lives without their son, who's reputation is being besmirched by the media.

What I took away from the funeral was that no matter who we are and what we do, we will always be children of our Heavenly Father. And because of our elder brother and savior, Jesus Christ, we will all be resurrected. I am thankful for the suffering that He did in the Garden so that I can repent of the mistakes that I make in this life as I try to follow Him. I was touched by President Dunnigan's talk as he reminded me of this important principle. I know that Daniel, no matter what horrendous acts were committed against him in this life, now knows the peace only found through the Lord Jesus Christ.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Weekly Top Five 11/13/2007

Top Five Best Days of My Childhood

1. The day I arrived at my house after leaving BYU to come back to Ohio. It was December 19, 1993. I ran into the house and didn't want to ever stop hugging my dad and Anna. Why did I ever leave in the first place?

2. My first day of high school, August 24, 1989. Even though I had a few unpleasantries that day, (didn't wear enough deodorant and went to the wrong class once) I floated through the day and flew home. My mom came home from the hospital after being there for 3 months. It was wonderful to come in the front door and see her smiling face home again.

3. June 2, 1983, Anna came home from the hospital. It started out not so great. We had to drive her home from Ann Arbor to Toledo in our Chevette, that didn't have air conditioning, with the windows up. I don't know if we thought the wind would catch her breath or what. I remember being so hot and uncomfortable. But, when we arrived home and Mom took her inside and laid her on her bed, I remember feeling wonderful. I had a sister!

4. December 5, 1992, My dad came home from the hospital after being there for several months. I was so glad to have him home. That night was the annual Christmas Dance at my school and I got to go with Ephraim Washburn. I had a huge crush on him and was so excited that we were going to get to dance together. I'm not sure if I slept that night or not. I might have been too excited to close my eyes.

5. The day my pee-wee league baseball team won the championship. I was probably in 2nd or 3rd grade. I was not the best player on the team, but that day I hit a home run during the game and we won. It was exhilarating! I can remember my mom and dad on the sidelines jumping up and down and cheering for me. It was a great day.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Mmm....Mmm Good!

Today at Spencer's preschool, the children made soup. Each child had to bring in a vegetable of their choice. We had several carrots, broccoli, potatoes, zucchini, corn, green beans, green and red pepper, celery and cauliflower. The children cut their vegetables and put them in Mrs. Lloyd's pot of broth. The soup cooked and simmered while they played. Their discussions around the cutting table were very interesting. I was privy to a very intimate conversation regarding the reality of the class puppet, Henrietta. Spencer was certain that she is a real live person and was confused when the other children said she is a puppet and Mrs. Lloyd talks for her. I still don't think he believes them. The children ate the soup together for snack with crackers and juice. Mrs. Lloyd and the moms present also ate the soup, which was very good. Spencer loved it and drank up the broth left in his bowl. Mrs. Lloyd let me take the leftover soup home which I did, however I did not put the lid on very tightly. I turned a corner and most of the broth poured into the footwell of the van. Ugh!! I left a little soup in the driveway of the Dalebout's house when I picked up Cameron. (Sorry Stacie!) I left a little soup in the parking lot of the bank when I dropped off Gavin. (Sorry Chase Bank!) I left a lot of soup in our driveway when I cleaned out the car. It was yuck. The boys ate what was left of the soup for a midnight snack tonight. They really liked it!

The knives look dangerous, but they were using those dull, pumpkin saws to cut the vegetables. Most of them wouldn't cut and I ended up cutting a large portion of the vegetables.

The finished product.

Friday, November 9, 2007


Yesterday after the boys got home from school, I asked them to help me clean their room. I wasn't aware of the amazing phenomena that occurs in young boys when they are asked to help with such a task. All three of them had the strangest ailments. For starters, Spencer was certain that his leg was broken. He went and got a big sock to put on it and starting using one of my spatulas as a crutch. He cried in the hallway for a few minutes and then disappeared. He figured out that Mom was too distracted by the task to chase him back. Smart kid.

Calvin's bladder instantaneously shrank from normal size to pea size and he had to use the bathroom every 2 minutes. In addition, he also developed an unnatural need for a drink.

Christopher's health issues seemed the most dire. For starters, his body was unable to regulate temperature. He went from freezing to dying from heat prostration in a matter of seconds. In addition, his lungs stopped functioning as he was unable to continue breathing. He started wheezing in a very strange manner. Lastly, his muscles seemed to lose all their strength seeing that he couldn't lift more than one pencil at a time and carry it vvvveeeerrrryyyy slllllooooowwwwwwllllyyyy to it's desired destination.

We finally got the room clean, but it was a challenge. All you mom's should be on the look out for these symptoms in your kids. They come on in an instant.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Show and Tell

Lately, I've been thinking about some of the more interesting things I took for show and tell in my life. Spencer has to take something for show and tell every Monday and it is supposed to be not a toy. It is supposed to be something interesting for the other kids to see. Personally, I think 4 year olds find other kids toys very interesting to look at, but that might just be me. As we hunt around our house and yard to find things for him to take in, I am reminded of some of the things I took in as a child.

The first show and tell that I remember was in 1st grade. I had started collecting Smurf figurines. Every week, if I practiced my piano like I was supposed to, my mom would take me to J.I. Cooper and buy me a Smurf. (If I didn't practice like I was supposed to, it might surprise you to know that she would spank me with a wooden spoon. Actually, that was just once. And I am certain that I and my smart mouth deserved every spank.) I could stand before the Smurf display for hours trying to decide which one to purchase. The first one I chose was Postman Smurf. I loved him and played with him. I kept collecting Smurfs until I had about 9, which I thought was about 100. So the first show and tell, I bring my Postman Smurf in to show my class. I tell about it and how much I like it and how I have 8 other Smurfs at home. I was really proud of myself and sat really tall in my seat. A little later, some kid gets up with his giant bag of smurfs. He probably had over 50 smurfs. Everyone was in awe of his Smurf collection. Somehow my one little Postman Smurf seemed small and insignificant. I was totally dejected. Who gets their kids that many smurfs?

Also in first grade, I took in a "Merlin." You have to be at least 30 to know what a Merlin is. I loved my Merlin. Played with it constantly. I wish I had it now to show my kids. They would probably die laughing at it.

Second grade was the year of the strange show and tells. It was in this year that I took in a giant puffball mushroom, a cow's tooth and the most wonderful baby pictures in the world.

The giant puffball mushroom grew in my Grandad's yard in Haslett. With my dad's help, I carefully extracted it from it's home in the yard, placed in a shoe box and rode with it cradled on my lap for the 2.5 hour drive back to Toledo. I cared for my mushroom in my room until it was show and tell day and then took it in to my class. My teacher, Mrs. Alexander, was actually really impressed. I got to keep the mushroom in the classroom on display for several days until the mushroom started to stink. Then I took it home and kept it in my room where it continued to eminate the most horrible smell. Slowly, it opened and rotted and released fungi spores all over my room. It was really probably quite unhealthy but my mom was in the hospital and my room was a mess anyway. No one really noticed. Finally, the stench was even too much for me and I threw the mushroom away. It was a sad day. While looking on the web about the mushroom, here's an article about the harms of inhaling the mushroom spores. Guess I'm lucky to be alive.

Also in 2nd grade, I took in a cow's tooth. My grandpa had a great woods behind a far field he owned. Once, I was exploring the woods and came upon a bone head of a cow; aka: skull. I was mystified. Right before my eyes was the entire skull. It was amazing! I brought my dad to see it and he also thought it was pretty neat. But not neat enough to take home. I begged and pleaded. Finally, we came to a compromise. I could take a tooth. Which I did and carried home in my pocket back to Toledo. I took it for show and tell that week. I could tell the other kids were very impressed.

Finally, in second grade, I took in the most amazing pictures of my new baby sister. She was born 12 weeks early and weighed just 2lbs 15ozs. She was 14 inches long. I showed these precious snapshots of her bursting with big sibling pride. I remember my teacher tearing up viewing the sweet photos. They really were wonderful to behold. Images of a tiny, red baby being sustained with all kinds of tubes and miracles of modern medicine. She was the miracle baby. She still is.

So that's my show and tell experience. Back to the hunt for something interesting for Spencer to take next week!

Thankful Thursday 11/08/2007

1. Hot Chocolate

2. Cold Chocolate

3. Neighborhood parks in Plymouth

4. The Miracle Blanket

5. Forgiving and Forgetting

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The Emily Rising

Emily is starting a book discussion group at her middle school. They are meeting during lunch in the library to discuss, "The Tiger Rising," by Kate DiCamillo. She thinks that six people are going to attend today, but hopes to recruit more for next month. What a great idea she had to do this! I am anxious to hear how the discussion went when she gets home from school today.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Is mayonnaise an instrument?

Emily had her first band concert on Tuesday evening. She plays the french horn for 5th hour band at West. She is doing really well and we are very proud of her progress. The director singled her out as an outstanding student playing a very difficult instrument. It was fun to see her and I am proud of the way she is developing her talents. Nice Job, Em!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Cobblestone Farm

On Friday, Spencer's class had a field trip to the Cobblestone Farm in Ann Arbor. It was a very fun and educational outing for the children and they really enjoyed it. We churned butter outside a log cabin. Spencer said it was a house made of trees. Inside the house, they learned about candle preserving, mouse holes, old time stoves and ticking mattresses. They got to try on old day clothing, make their own ticking mattress, make a wooden toy, de-corn a cob of corn and eat the butter they made on some cornbread. Spencer spent a lot of time rearranging logs and climbing on things. It was a great time!

The three musketeers building something under the bleachers

Learning about churning butter

Cute little pioneer boy

Cranking the corn thing

These three are destined for construction work.

Gavin and Spencer feeding the animals

Climbing on an old dead tree.

Don't the goats look stoned?

Giant Puffball Mushroom I found in the woods
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