2016 High Hopes

My hand has been wanting to write “2016” on things for the last two months which leads me to believe that it will be a very good year.  I don’t have much else to base that on, but the last week has been utterly depressing and nearly crashed my belief in the goodwill of man – the next year can’t be much other than better!  (That was a completely ingracious complaint about troublesome customers and an overarching lack of Christmas Spirit through the area.  I’m blaming the high temperatures, no snow, and full moon. People were just such Scrooges this year, not even content when they were getting what they wanted.)

We have had a fair amount happen in 2015.

One of the branches I work at was robbed very early in the year.  It was my first time ever being in a robbery and, honestly, if I ever have to be robbed again, I’d like it to be the exact same way.  No fuss, no muss, over and done.  I was able to take on some different responsibilities at work throughout the year, helping in areas that I’ve not been a part of before.  I also took over a new function which pretty much exactly suits me.  There’s a lot of organizing, detail, and filing. I am loving it!

We did a fair amount of exploring this year, though not as much as I like. 🙂  We stopped through Greenville, OH, checking out Bears Mill, which is an actual functioning water-powered grain mill from 1849. We also walked around one of the parks in the snow and sat through a star gazing (indoor, thankfully!) We got to see the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra after a few years for me. I think even Matt enjoyed parts of it. We traveled to Virginia Beach for our summer vacation and stayed at a Frank Lloyd Wright house which was partially turned into a B&B.  Probably would have stayed somewhere else for the bulk of the week, but it was super fun to learn about the house and the couple who owns it now – just what you would expect from two old Jewish folks from New York.  We visited Colonial Williamsburg, USS Wisconsin, Chrysler Art Museum, Fantomworks, and our friends, the Mehrings. To continue local exploring, we visited Englewood MetroPark and stopped at all three waterfalls on the land.  I also went to the Lebanon Apple Fest with friends Jan and Shelby – aside from the horrendous traffic to get out, it was a lovely time. Matt went with the men in his family (and the “adopted” Ken) to see a cool car expo at the Indianapolis Art Museum.  They totally gear-headed out and came back with some great memories.

Matt dabbled a bit on his wood lathe, making some lovely little bowls.  We’ve had other projects, though, using his workshop.  He made some shelves for me in the project room (which is still being organized) and also helped me with a couple little projects I have – more to come on that in the future.  We had insulation put into the house and are anxious to see what difference it makes during the cold, snowy winter (if it ever comes).

I had my first dentist visit in 7 years with no cavities!  I also started using and distributing Young Living Essential Oils and I’ve been amazed at the difference it is making in our lives.  From the health support, emotional benefits, and cleaning products – I am learning so much and I feel like our house is already on the path to being a healthier place.  We took the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University and have made tremendous headway with our debt.  I can’t wait for us to have everything but the house paid off, it will be such a relief, and that time is approaching faster and faster!

The flowers in the garden keep coming up and getting prettier and prettier. I can’t wait to see them in the Spring, although the crocuses are a bit confused and are trying to push through even now! Our irises from Michigan bloomed and were gorgeous. I hope they spread and shoot out even more flowers this next year.

We are always seeking to honor God in our lives and marriage and want to continue growing in our faith and dependence on Him. Going to church, reading the Bible, praying together – we are lacking in quality time with other believers outside of a church setting.  We both tend to be introverted home bodies, but building into others in the church and building those relationships is a key part of growing in Christ. I am praying that we will have more opportunities and be more willing to take them, even if it’s “inconvenient” or out of our comfort zone.

I hope you have a great start to your 2016!

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Midterm Election Voting Tool

This year, WordPress along with The Pew Charitable Trusts has unleashed a great tool to help you find out what you need to know for midterm elections. Just type in your address below and you will be shown your voting location along with voting resources and who will be on your ballot. That’s amazing! For my voting district, it gives me a link to the county Board of Elections website where I can look up any issues that will be on the ballot as well.

Now, that’s all well and good if you’re just looking for the names of candidates, but if you’re doing any research to decide who you will vote for, I would recommend checking out a site I’ve mentioned before:  Project Vote Smart. just type in the name of a candidate and then select the Bio, Votes, Positions, Ratings, Funding, and Speeches tabs at the top for more information. They try to be as comprehensive as possible and biased. The site provides mostly the raw data leaving you to decide what to do with it.

VoteSmart.org

As always, voting is a right under our US Constitution. It’s no good to just complain about things. If you don’t vote, even if you just vote in the Presidential elections, you are not putting your thoughts into action. Educate yourself and then go VOTE!

Fresh Friday – Last 10 on Pinterest

Some recent Pins that have made me happy, inspired me, or just piqued my interest:

via daisiesforviolet.com – How to Finish an Embroidery Hoop. This has been the bane of my existence, finding an easy way to finish a stitching framed in a hoop. I think this is probably one of the easiest I’ve found. Felt at Michaels for $.29/sheet!!

via gardeningknowhow.com – Pruning Pepper Plants

via goodhousekeeping.com – 11 Exercises You Should Never Do

via gardeningknowhow.com – Overwintering Pepper Plants – mine are all tucked into the garage for the winter. Hoping this will help me kick start a harvest when the weather turns for Spring!

via megduerksen and raisinguprubies on Instagram – LOVE anything related to the states and crafting 😀

via kitchenstewardship.com – 20 Ways to Use a Random Half Cup of Pumpkin – I hate wasting that last bit of pumpkin puree after a recipe!

via swingncocoa.blogspot.com – Covered Greenhouse Garden – My goal in life is to have a greenhouse!

via guff.com – 20 Lesser-Known Travel Destinations – yep!

Orphaned baby elephant Themba was unable to feed himself and faced certain death until Albert the sheep provided some much needed company and assurance. The six-month-old elephant was orphaned after his mother died in a fall down a cliff. The pair now spend every hour together at their home in the Shamwari Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, in the Eastern Cape, South Africa.

My favorite! Sleeping Beauty! (although the Once Upon a Time version of her was kind of weak…)

You are welcome to find me on Pinterest. There is a quick button to the right of this post, just under the Instagram feed.

See you there!

 

Fresh Friday – Quizzie Edition

So, the big thing going around the interwebs are these quizzes to find out just exactly who you are – in tv, movies, books, philosophy. Yep, you can now know exactly who you are based on just 12 easy questions.  Here are some just for kicks:

You got: Jasmine

Daring and adventurous, you are considered the daredevil or you group. You enjoy having fun, taking risks and living life to its fullest.

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What Kind of Best Friend Are You?

Their partner in crime

You and your best friend have stories for days and you’ll probably still be telling them when you’re in a nursing home together decades from now.

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Silly questions….yes! lol Um, comments are pretty silly too! Read: “I just want a list of all the books! What is the one with the question mark?” Answer: “There isn’t one…they are just using that as a filler for the pic.”  haha

You got: “The Dog” by Joseph O’Neill

Joseph O’Neill, author of the best-selling and award-winning “Netherland” returns with a comic novel set in Dubai. “The Dog” details the post-breakup life of a man who leaves New York for a fresh start in Dubai, but struggles with constant feelings of guilt. Though humorous, “The Dog” is also a profound commentary on ethics and the human condition that will make you reflect as the leaves begin to change color. Publication date: September 9, 2014

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You know Gilmore Girls is on Netflix now?!?!  I’m so excited..totally going to have a binge fest while the Huz is on second shift.

You got: Lorelai Gilmore

(But I’m probably waaaaay more Rorey than Lorelai….yep)

You march to the beat of your own drum — life is more fun that way. Your quick wit and charm draws everyone in your life towards you. You’re not too worried about being on time for events or parties; after all, the party starts when you arrive. You’re self-sufficient, passionate, and a true go-getter.

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The Ultimate Disney Quiz

AMAZING! You are a Disney scholar. (29 out of 29)

You know your Disney animated films inside and out. Now wear your Disney scholar badge with pride.

(I retook it, just because I wanted this picture for the result:)

Pretty good challenge! 😀

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This has been a question plaguing me for the last…two weeks.

Are You More Hipster Or More Basic?

You got: More Basic

You have somewhat traditional tastes, and don’t really care much about being “cool.” You enjoy being part of a close-knit group, and would rather be comfortable and relaxed than go out looking for the hip new thing.

(Oh good. Throw in a PSL and we’ve really got something!)

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Which British Prime Minister Are You?

You got: Neville Chamberlain

Sure, sometimes you’re misunderstood. But you’re a person of substance. You’re consistent, considerate, and on time. No-nonsense, all-business, and always impeccably dressed: That’s you.

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You are Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. You’re a little bit of a conundrum. You probably love to travel and see new things, but you shirk the spotlight and aren’t very comfortable around people. You’re your own harshest critic, but you’re great at solving problems, whether you know it or not. Mysterious and more than a little bit shy, you see music and art as an emotional outlet and important form of expression for the occasionally overwhelming moments in everyday life.

(Yes! Love Tchaik! He’s the closest to Prokofiev I think they could have on this quiz.)

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When you take these things, how close to you think they get? Some are totally silly, but some seem to do a good job of summing up people. If you take the ones above, what results did you get??

Freebie Printable: October Bible Verse Calendar

ESV Oct 04

The FINAL entry of the Bible Verse calendar, here are downloads for the month of October in three versions, ESV, KJV, and NIV.  I stuck with a very Fall-sy theme. October’s big holiday is Halloween, but to keep this month’s calendar user-friendly, I did not include anything explicitly related to the holiday. But pumpkins still are best in the Fall whether there are costumes and candy or not!

I hope you enjoy!

ESV Oct 27

Instructions:

  1. Download the .pdf file below.
  2. Print onto white 8.5 x 11 card-stock (other colors might be ok, but you’ll have to test that out yourself).
  3. Cut along the dotted lines then sort into numeric order.
  4. Prop up on a little stand, or keep in a drawer and swap out on the fridge. Or buy a recipe box with a ridge in the top for easy reading.
  5. Keep in a prominent place where the members of the household will easily see it. The kitchen table is good, if you have breakfast there.
  6. Discuss verse(s) with family and encourage reading the surrounding verses for context and meditation throughout the day.

Download:

October ESV (pdf)
October KJV (pdf)
October NIV (pdf)

Bible In a Year Plan October (pdf)

Enjoy! Oh, and subscribe to this blog to the right if you’d like notifications of new posts and the next of these printables. I promise not to overwhelm your inbox. 🙂

Fresh Friday – Last 10 on Pinterest

Some recent Pins that have made me happy, inspired me, or just piqued my interest

from OneGoodThingByJillee.com – Always looking for practical ways to reduce my keratosis pilaris. It does seem to be getting better as I get older, but the bumps are still noticeable sometimes

from ShugarySweets.com – mmmm, pumpkin, spice, biscotti, coffee…all so yumm

from MyBakingAddiction.com – chocolate and pumpkin in brownie form?! Yummm…I’m sensing a theme here

from HomemadeGinger.com – always looking for new crafty ideas. This sounds like a great cheat!

love embroidery. I have been wanting to try embroidery with ribbon too. Oh, maybe I can use it on this quilt I’m working on!

from SomethingSwanky.com – are you saying I have a problem here? Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip is totally normal in the fall 🙂

from LandscapeDesignAdvice.com – I have some fresh dirt patches that will need to be filled next Spring. Great ideas!

from TwoPeasandTheirPod.com – pumpkin again, yes. But they’re PUMPKIN DONUT HOLES!!! 🙂

I just love elephants. They are gorgeous and lovely and special.

by MeadowTea on Etsy.com – Pun intended!

You are welcome to find me on Pinterest. There is a quick button to the right of this post, just under the Instagram feed.

See you there!

Fresh Friday – Wander Edition (Traverse City Iris Farm)

I promised that I was going to post the highlights of the trip to Michigan back in June, buuuuuuut I’ve been a bit of a slacker. I mean, I’ve had stuff on my plate this summer, but not enough to really excuse it. This week, we got a package which reminded me of that promise, so here is a post about one of my favorite finds near Traverse City, MI.

It was not on my list of things to see, but we drove passed it a couple times and I KNEW I had to make a stop at some point during our visit. The irises were in full bloom and absolutely gorgeous!

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It was very cloudy the morning we decided to stop. I was sad, because the colors were so vibrant in the sunlight. We were not the only ones with the idea to stop, though. A group of ladies were setting up chairs and easels to paint the beautiful colors of the flowers. The sun was trying its best to make an appearance, and did in spots.

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There are so many kinds of irises with so many creative names. We put in an order for rhizomes to be mailed out to us once they were ready. We ordered 5 different types: Seakist, Immortality, Forty Pinochle, Wabash, and Neutron Dance. They finally came in the mail after I had almost forgotten about them!

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If you are ever in the area, you should definitely stop by! Peak season would be late May-early June. You can pick out which rhizomes you like and they will be delivered to you the end of October/early September. They come bare root (as you can see), so there’s no worry about invasive species making their way into your community. It even includes a Certificate of Quarantine Compliance! If you’re a “native” junky like me, you will love that they take this extra precaution. Irises are beautiful but not worth the spread of Japanese beetle or plant disease. I am very excited to see what they look like next Spring. The goal is to plant them in the garden bed on the side of the house, using old tire halves to make raised beds for other annuals. I’m so pumped!

Iris Farm in Traverse City

 

5385 E Traverse Hwy
Traverse City, Michigan 49684
(231) 947-9040

on Pure Michigan Website