Archive for October, 2011

God Given Dream

I am feeling a renewed energy towards my talents that God has blessed me with.

Negative energy was pouring over me tonight. The negative people in my life were affecting my thoughts, and I stopped. I brought God back into my sight. God cleansed me with positivity as I let Him take the reins. He will guide my destination as I put my trust into Him. Nothing nor any person can take from me what God has blessed me with.

God has reassured me a life of happiness if I follow His path. You can not run nor forget your God-given dream. Your talent was placed in you before you were born. God wants us to use our potentials. He has placed something great in each of us.

When an idea, a vision is pouring from your soul do not ignore it. No matter your circumstance, find a way to use your talents, for this was why you were created.

Have a blessed day!


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Yesterday was an evening of cleaning the house, basically picking up after the children. We have a 4-year-old, and 1-year-old. Noah my sweet angel 1-year-old son, is the biggest mess maker ever! He constantly carries items from room to room and drops them off as he finds something more interesting to play with, then changes rooms again.

My hubby Eric was doing a thorough cleaning with the vacuum cleaner, lifting couches and moving furniture to see what treasures lied beneath.  Of course we found Noah’s blueberry traveler waffle that ended up under the ottoman from the morning. We thought he ate this much to quickly, but one never knows. Shockingly this treasure was not found by the dog.

Cleaning led to the ottoman next which NOT to our surprise was full of food particles, cereal, cracker crumbs, ect…. A bowl here, toys there, toys with missing pieces. And how many fast food restaurant toys does one child need to play with (embarrassed that I guess we have eaten at these places often enough to collect so many toys).

Eric and I have a system while cleaning like a cleaning sign language. We like to throw away all the little broken toys and the Happy meal toys when the kids aren’t looking, and of course this has to be done in secret stealth mode. Don’t dare let the kids see you take the toy and throw it away. Eric and I give each other the secret glare with a nod showing the toy in our hand then either handing it off or making a dash, bounding and maneuvering around the toy obstacles all the way to the garbage. We secretly have to hide the stolen goods within the trash, as this would be devastating to your 4-year-old to see his broken and or cheap toys on top of the garbage pile. Lucky, I don’t think anything that we have ever trashed was remembered by our little ones, probably because they have WAY to many toys.

So throwing away broken and or cheap toys is one thing, but I was sitting with my Nicholas last night, and hubby brings to me the old beat up fringed decorative pillow from our family room. Hubby plops this pathetic ripped, drooled on pillow in front of me. The poor pillow was so distressed it was losing its fringe. Hubby says, “can we finally get rid of this pillow, it is ripped from end to end”. Nicholas looks to us with panic in his eyes, waiting for my response. I say “Yes just get rid of it, this pillow is old and beyond repair”. Here’s Nicholas, sobbing “NO! Don’t throw it away, I love that pillow, but why are you going to throw it away?” Me, “Nick honey, this is just a pillow, and it is badly ripped, It’s time to let it go.”

I never thought my son would ball over us throwing away a decorative pillow. God forbid one day his pillow pet bites the dust!

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I woke on the mossy carpet of the forest floor. My body ached; I had a stabbing pain in my head. I remembered swerving my car to avoid hitting a dark animal in the road. I lost control of the car and slid into the forest, but I wasn’t sure what happened after that; I must have passed out. My body was frozen staring up at the dark canopy that hovered over me. My face tickled with what felt like spider webs, I frantically wiped at my skin removing the substance. I sat up to view my surroundings while gripping the throbbing knot on the back of my head. I looked around for my car thinking I was thrown from it, but the car was not in sight. The forest was alive with rustling foliage, snapping branches, and dark shadows. I had to get myself up and moving despite my body’s argument. The sun was disappearing and the chilly fog was settling in around me.

I gripped some vines to pull my body from the icy ground and stumbled towards the tree in front of me. My skin felt alive with thousands of creepy crawlies. I rubbed my arms to dispose of the chill. I felt sick to my stomach, but I was sure my nerves were like tiny wires on fire under my skin. I headed west towards the light still bursting through the trees. The forest grew dark as I went further away from my bed of moss.

My hands were raw from scraping them across the bark on the trees. I stopped to catch my breath and lean against the massive trunk for support. My shaky fingers pushed my hair out of my eyes. My palms brushed against my face leaving an icy wet feeling slicked over my skin. I looked at my hands that were full of blood. The trees did more damage than I thought. I pulled my shirt over my hands and gripped my bloody palms to the material, clinching tightly.

I had paused long enough when I saw my breath before me. The fog circled me like a ghostly apparition. I was not alone, I knew something was behind me but I didn’t stop to look into the darkness that was closing in on me. I tripped over the fallen debris of the forest. Every time that I fell I could feel the forest floor becoming more alive. The trees were no longer my rest stop. If I didn’t know better I would say the trees formed hands that were grabbing at me, ripping at my skin. The trees roots became thicker and raised above the ground as a stumbled further into the forest finally running into a thousand tiny strings, and falling to my knees.

I kicked my legs pushing myself away from the massive spider web thus backing myself into another web. The forest was dark now illuminated by the moon shining through the icy fog. I wiped at my whole body trying to get the sticky webs off of myself. I felt claustrophobic. My panic envisioned the forest circling me, trapping me amongst the spider webs. I gripped the back of my skull that felt as if it were going to explode. Every inch of my body pulsated and ached. I fell to my knees, tasting blood in my mouth. I wanted to rip my own head off. Every inch of my existence said to run but my body was paralyzed. A large and dark mass creeped toward me. The high-pitched screeching noise clawed at my ear drums. I fell to a fetal position in pain. Glaring red eyes in the dark mass creeped closer. I reached behind my head to the ache. the large lump was now moving. My heart raced and my skin burst at my skull. thousands of tiny black spiders spewed around me, engulfing my body. I was bit over and over completely paralyzing my body. There above me was the beady eyed mammoth mother spider spitting her venom over me. Her little babies wrapped me as tight as a mummy. I could only move my eyes. I could not speak a word, nor move an inch. All that I had left were my thoughts as I was drug into the black nest under the canopy of the forest.

Happy Halloween!

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Apple of my eye

Do you have any fall traditions that you and your family or friends partake in? Honestly I can’t see how life would be any better without a tradition or two. What fond memories to share for a lifetime and pass on to your future generations.

Ah, the apple of my eye. This was our recent trip to Blake’s Apple Orchard in Armada Michigan. What a beautiful day we had as a family, a little windy but sunny and fun.
When this little guy was one years old in 2008 we started going to the apple orchard in which would become our yearly fall trip as a family to pick apples and pumpkins and of course eat all the warm donuts and cider one could scarf before belly aching. And what about those caramel and candy apples, yum!
Nicholas was too cute at one years old, his first experience at the orchard. We walked down the isles of apple trees. Nick always had two apples, one in each hand the whole time. He would take a bite from the left then the right hand. reminded me of myself when I was younger. This yearly trip was also a family tradition in my family and I remember sampling all the apples as we walked around filling up our bushel baskets. Those were such great memories and when I see my kids repeating the cycle it just brings me back to my childhood. This first year was not only Nicholas’s at the orchard, It was my husband Eric’s as well. I don’t think he was all that interested in going at first, not to mention dragging a one year old out to the unknown world of how will this child behave. But I think this proved to be a wonderful experience had by all. We now have gone every year since then to pick apples and pumpkins, and of course as mentioned eat all the delicious food!

My sweet little apple

My little baby looking like Elmer Fudd in his hat. This year was Noah’s second year at the orchard, but I think we will call it his first. He just turned one and he was able to experience all the glory had by the apple isles by walking around as his big brother did a couple of years ago, what a big boy he thought he was. Noah had so much fun, If I had let him he would have been filthy playing in the dirt where all the apples landed from their fall and the muddy pumpkin patch.  Noah wasn’t two-fisted like brother was that first year, but he certainly enjoyed picking an apple, taking a bite then moving on to another apple, oh and he loved the high grass in the isles, he kept swatting and pulling at the high strands that tickled his chubby hands, silly boy.

My boy's

Here are my boys in the great pumpkin patch with their great pumpkin, I think Charlie Brown would be pleased. I can’t wait till we can dig out those seeds and bake them in butter and salt in the oven, this certainly is a tasty treat and something to look forward to. Do you bake your seeds in a special recipe? We will have to decide what carving to do on this beautiful pumpkin. Nicks suggestion was the Mystery Machine, with Scooby and the gang, sorry my son, I’m not that talented. Last year I did Linus and his great pumpkin from Charlie Brown, and that turned out really cute. I think the year before I did a ghost. I will have to start putting some thought into this pumpkin.

This time of year is so much fun and I hope everyone enjoys their fall weather and has a happy Halloween!

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How to make real vanilla extract in time for the holidays.

Good post by Chef and Steward


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Lies Your English Teacher Told You.

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I returned to the outer banks and sat upon the rocks at the water’s edge where the lanterns were released during the celebration. I watched as the guests said their final goodbyes to my children.  The late summer evening was beautiful, and warming on my wrinkled skin.  The setting sun painted the sky in beautiful shades of orange and pink; it was nearly asleep behind the horizon.  I watched the lanterns float, pouring their light into the harbor.  The lights bounced off the glistening water; it looked like thousands of tiny fireflies.

I looked down at my hands holding the lantern that I made for my father.  I closed my eyes and spoke to him as if he were there for the celebration. I told him how much I loved and missed him and mother. I felt his spirit with me, comforting me, keeping me strong.  I had a strange urge to open my eyes as if he would be seated next to me.  I knew I wouldn’t see him, but I had felt his presence during the day honoring all those who have passed on with him.  I laid his lantern in the water and gave it a little push. I watched his lantern until it blended into the sea of lights and I felt my father’s spirit leave with his light.

My heart was flooded with memories of my late father.  He worked so hard those many years ago to bring our family looking for a new hope to this secure land.  I felt my tears pour from my soul and spill upon me.  I wished he were still with me today. The tears in my eyes clouded my sight. The memories played when I shut my eyes, and I could see my father smiling at the wee little me. He welcomed me to sit down beside him at his work bench.  His shop was a glow with lanterns.  I could hear the sea moving just outside the window.  I perched my chin in my palm and watched his weathered craftsman hands wrap the paper around the bamboo to form the cover to the lantern. “Chichi, what is a freedom lantern?” I asked so curiously.

My father smiled back at me looking over the top of his wire framed glasses, “Oh, my little one. These lanterns will light the path to guide our family to freedom.”  He continued working hard, securing the lantern to a little raft.

“Chichi, why are they coming to our village?” My feet kicked restlessly beneath me. I held myself to the chair and stared at my father.

He pushed the completed lantern to the side of his bench and leaned towards me.  His skin smelled rustic of cedar wood shavings and bitter lantern oil “My Hina, our village received word that our families had to move.  It was a force they had no control over my little one. They had no other choice but to set out on foot to find a place free from harm.  We sent word back to our families traveling from Kumgi that said with the changing tides watch for the lanterns to wash along the coast and follow the lights to freedom.”

I remembered sitting at this very edge of the water eagerly helping the people of our village tie and release the lanterns in bundles throughout the night.  The bundles were given a light push into the gentle waves.  The rolling ripples rocked the lanterns out to sea in the direction of the tide.

The whole village had gathered at the water camping out and waiting to celebrate the coming home of their families. Concerned, I asked my father, “Chichi what if the lights go out, how will they find our village?” I knew this was very important to all of the families in the village.

Father scooped me into his lap and covered my wet dress with a blanket, “The lights won’t last forever, but their little rafts will help them stay afloat and the paper will secure the flame from the water and the wind.   When our people see the lights upon the black sea they will follow them along the tide…that is why we send them in several bundles throughout the night.”

Father knew my impatience was bubbling, “My Hina, did I never tell you the story of how you came to be in our village?” He looked to me with a proud smile.

I sat up in his lap and reached for his face, “No Chichi! Did I come in a boat to you and Haha?”

Father chuckled knowing then I did not understand the complexity of having a baby.   “Well you did come by boat, but haha carried you in her tummy until you were ready to be born into the world.  We too traveled here just as our family will today. We too had to abandon all that we knew and set out on foot searching for freedom.  Haha was due at any time with you.  Our boat just made it to Hishimo at daylight when I walked her onto the land of freedom and you were born under the warm sun. We were so happy to make it here by daylight, so we named you Hina, meaning Sun. You were the bright light we were waiting for.”

I looked at my father amazed. The sun was just waking up above the horizon.  I said “Look Chichi, it’s me the sun!”  We both chuckled and he held me closer.

The last set of lanterns was released.  We rocked back and forth together and my father was humming to me when I saw something in the distance.  The crescent of sun highlighted a ship moving in the dark sea.  I gasped “Chichi look…There in the distance!” Wiggling from the warm blanket, I stood up pointing to the ship coming towards the harbor.

“Oh Hina, that must be them, see the freedom lanterns guided their way just as it did ours. “ My father clutched his mouth and held me close to his leg.

Everyone in the village stood and waited anxiously on the sand.  I looked to my father with a smile and he returned a smile as wide as the sea.  He protected my hand within his hand. I was secure, safe and happy. We stood there watching the ship push on to us through the waves.  I knew then that these lanterns held more than freedom, they held honor, love and remembrance of our family.

I whispered to myself, father’s spirit may have left with his light but his memory lives within me always.  I opened my eyes.  The sun slept below the sea now and the only light was the freedom lanterns guiding our departed home.

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