My BIG reveal

>> Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The day began driving north on US23

Driving way too fast while butterflies fluttered in our tummies. We finally found our way here

and made our appointment at noon right on time! We then sat down, smiled slightly and with nervous hands began to sign papers upon papers.

About 30 minutes later checks were dispersed, hands were shook and hugs were given. Big Thank You's for everyone, especially Carla

The time we have been waiting for was upon us and we were finally able to

We opened the door and stepped inside to what is now our FOREVER HOME. The place where we will raise our boys in truth and righteousness. The place where love and laughter will be boundless. The place where nature surrounds me. The place where I will grow old (floating in my pool) watching my boys turn into men. Its bitter sweet as the excitement is also a little scary.

I apologize for those of you that were kept in the dark about our secret. After some major upsets, tons of stress and an emotional roller coaster daily, I personally felt the need to keep any and all news on the "down low". Our new home is in HOWELL (how in the world did you guess that Kirstynn? Its off Coon Lake Rd) and we will be fully moved by Nov. 1st.

Here are a few pics of my new pad.
View from kitchen

View from Dining room (yes- thats an inground pool back there and barn-horray!!)

"A True Home - A roof to keep out the rain. Four walls to keep out the wind. Floors to keep out the cold. Yes, but home is more than that. It is the laugh of a baby, the song of a mother, the strength of a father. Warmth of loving hearts, light from happy eyes, kindness, loyalty, comradeship. Home is first school...for the young ones where they learn what is right, what is good, and what is kind. Where they go for comfort when they are hurt or sick. Where joy is shared and sorrow eased. Where fathers and mothers are respected and loved. Where children are wanted. Where the simplest food is good enough for kings because it is earned. Where money is not so important as loving-kindness. Where even the teakettle sings from happiness. That is home."
Ernestine Schumann-Heink



A sneak peek
Can you guess what my post will be about later?


A bouncing birthday weekend

>> Sunday, September 28, 2008

"Nothing you do for children is ever wasted. They seem not to notice us, hovering, averting our eyes, playing, and they seldom offer thanks, but what we do for them is never wasted."
~Garrison Keillor


I believe....

>> Friday, September 26, 2008

I know you wonder
If you'll ever have a day
when the kids stay calm, the laundry's done
and the dishes are put away
And sometimes you feel like
your days are spent and gone
and the question running through your mind is
what have I gotten done?
and when you finally have a moment to slow down
at the end of your day, I know He would say....
Believe in what you're doing
Believe in who you are
And hold tight to the truth
that you're a daughter of God
Believe in who you're becoming
Believe in who you are
It may seem simple
all the little things you do
but the lives you touch, matter so much
and theres no one else like you
And He needs you to stand tall and faithful
To be all you can be
Oh if you could see what He sees
You'd Beleive....
In what you're doing
You'd beleive in who you are
So hold tight to the truth
that you're a daughter of God
Beleive in who you're becoming
Beleive in who you are
When its hard to believe in yourself
And you feel like you're beginning to doubt
Remember....He believes
(Words & Music by Hilary Weeks)


What Works for me Wednesday!

>> Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It is officially Fall, and we have spent some time outside getting the yard ready for the upcoming winter months (or move-which ever comes first). In doing so, we brought in some of the trucks that were in the sand and water table. They were filthy.....who would have guessed? So, in Sirken fashion we dumped them in the tub and gave them a bath. This kept the boys captivated for an hour or more. No kidding! I put about an inch or more of water in the tub, dumped in some bubbles, put a towel on the floor and let the boys go to town. They were surprisingly neat about the process. While I enjoyed having some time to clean up the house, I also enjoyed hearing the laughter coming from upstairs. Try it out~



>> Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"Like the trees, we are visitors, guests of earth. The light shines down, and a bud breaks, branches give way before us, a book's leaves open, and our eyes look, look again. We are a grove, companions spared to be on earth at the same time. The trees - though not our kind - are kin, elder relatives standing to greet us.

"Kim Stafford, from "Tree of All Trees" in Entering the Grove


An Apple a day....

>> Monday, September 22, 2008

Today marks the first day of fall. In my great state of Michigan, we celebrate fall with a trip to the many wonderful orchards that are abundant here. So off we traveled to our local orchard. The boys love heading to the orchard. We go there for blueberries, peaches, apples and pumpkins (though this year we can go to our garden for our pumpkins). We found some songs to sing about apples that have been sung all day, every day since our trip. Teach the songs to your little ones and mark your calendars for an Orchard trip.

(Tune: Twinkle, Twinkle, little star)
Apple, Apple way up high
I can reach you if I try
Climb a ladder
Hold on tight
Pick you quickly
take a bite
Apple, Apple way up high
I can reach you if I try

(Tune: Have you ever seen a...)
Have you ever seen an Apple, and Apple, an Apple
Have you ever seen an Apple, that grows on a tree
A red one, a yellow one, a sweet one, a sour one
Have you ever seen an Apple that grows on a tree

(Tune: This Old Man)
Way up high, in a tree (raise hands over head)
Two red apples smiled at me (make a smiley face with fingers)
So I shook the tree as hard as I could (pretend to shake a tree)
Down came the apples, mmmmmm.....they were good (rub tummy)


Sneak Peek

>> Friday, September 19, 2008

Not that you are dying to know.....but here is a sneak peek at one of the projects thats been keeping me soooooooo busy! Can you guess what it is??


What Works for me Wednesday!

>> Wednesday, September 17, 2008

"You've lost ALL your marbles"

Ok- I may have said that to my 4 year old in the middle of Walmart while he was choosing to not listen to me, but I was really talking about marbles. Marble from his marble jar. Although I received a few stares from crotchety old ladies, I didn't care because I've implemented the marble jar in our home for a couple months now and it has worked wonderfully. We still use the choice method, but this seems to help as well. I've seen such a difference. There are still fights and disagreements (but brothers will be brothers). When the boys do something "good" they get a few marbles in their jar. If they do something "not good" since we don't like the word -bad-, they remove a marble (or two or three depending on the deed). I'm finding little helpers all the time. Washing windows, vacuuming floors, setting the table, and even helping each other. The marble jar really helps the boys learn that doing good deeds is important and the feelings they receive for doing service is a happy emotion (though their reward is a dollar store trip or a race car which makes them happy). Try the marble jar. You will see your little one grow up a little bit and I guarantee it will make you smile.


Check this out~

>> Tuesday, September 16, 2008

If you haven't guessed....Halloween is my FAVORITE holiday. Yes, even more than Christmas or birthdays. I'm not really sure why. I'm blaming my Mother who always went all out on the occasion. She once dressed up as a witch (fake skin warts, crooked nose, ratty clothes, the works) when I was in elementary school and came to the school (even my classroom) and passed out treats. She planned elaborate parties and piano recitals in our home for Halloween. Mazes and spooky decorations. I loved it all. the cheer of less than 50 days left till the big day, check out this blog. It is killer. I need to plan a trip to Kanas City to browse the store, better yet, I just need to copy their ideas and make my house look like this (though I may raise the next generation of "Munsters"if my house looked like this year round-hahaha- but I would sure love it!) Enjoy the blog~


The Call of the Wild

The Crew at the top

Z and E having too much fun!

Really its...the call of Castaway to bring out the wild in the kiddies. We traveled up to Castaway Cafe with our dear friends this weekend. It was so rainy (thanks Ike) and the kids were going crazy. What a fantastic way to let them exert some energy by taking them to this crazy place. I know everyone in MI has been here, or at least heard of this wonderland, but if not here is the website: You gotta check this out (make sure you click on the pics)

I hope you all have a place like this near you. It really is the coolest place for little ones. I wish they had something like this when I was a child (good thing adults can go in it too~I just use J and Z as my excuse...shhh....just don't tell)!!
Jonas near the top
E and Z sliding


10 things

>> Sunday, September 14, 2008

10 things I'm loving right now....

FRESH Peaches & Plums

Firefly toothbrushes for the boys (the boys brush until the light goes off)

My apple cider and candy corn candles

Climbing Trees

The signs of Fall

The halloween isles

My sweaters


Cloud watching

Cold Stone Creamery (soooo yummy!!!!)


The day I remember

>> Thursday, September 11, 2008

As I sit in bed with a terrible head cold tonight, I link to my favorite blogs to see what they are up too. This is pretty much a daily ritual, however, I was expecting a little more today. I didn't see what I was looking for. I suppose the date of today has just become "another day" in the lives of busy people. Just another day marking another step toward fall and the end of 2008. Work, play, kids, dinner to make, groceries to get, laundry to do, etc. etc. But today marks a sad anniversary in the history of all Americans and I remember..........

I remember being at good ole' Cape Fear Valley Health Systems working at my desk. I remember Sam coming to me and telling me that a plane hit the towers in NYC. I remember rushing to the physicians lounge to watch CNN on the big screen. I remember standing motionless in awestruck terror as I watched the towers come crashing down.

I remember going back to my office and every single person listening to their radios. Fingers had stopped typing, chatter had ceased and the office was silent as we all listened and heard our lives change forever. Some wept, others were shocked, while some were frantically making phone calls. I remember going home that evening to an empty house. Neighbors on the street, scared and worried, while talking of nothing but the events of the day. My husband locked down at Fort Bragg and unable to call or come home for days. Millitary men and woman poised to leave and fight at the sound of a whisper. The not knowing, the deep loss, the sacrifice. America was stabbed to its inner core.
I remember and thus will never forget!


What Works for me Wednesday!

>> Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I've been feeling week. Not sure if its stress, the lack of sleep or something else that every woman in America experiences on a monthly basis, but it sucks. In my quest for comfort, I turned to food to make me happy. I've made some of my all time favorite foods this week and I'm going to go ahead and "be nice" and share my cinnamon roll recipe because they are just soooo darn good. This definitely tops the comfort list. Nothing like having the house filled with smells of bread dough rising, cinnamon, the weather crisp and cool outside and pulling out my favorite sweaters and jeans. Fall is in the air and all this brought a smile to my lips!

Cinnamon Rolls Pictures, Images and Photos


1 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 1/2 cups (or more) unbleached all purpose flour (divided)
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 1/4 teaspoons rapid-rise yeast (from 2 envelopes yeast)
1 teaspoon salt
Nonstick vegetable oil spray

3/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For dough:
Combine milk and butter in glass measuring cup. Microwave on high until butter melts and mixture is warm (30 to 45 seconds). ***Pour into bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add 1 cup flour, sugar, egg, yeast, and salt. Beat on low speed 3 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl. Add 21/2 cups flour. Beat on low until flour is absorbed and dough is sticky, scraping down sides of bowl. If dough is very sticky, add more flour by tablespoonfuls until dough begins to form ball and pulls away from sides of bowl. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if sticky, about 8 minutes. Form into ball. Lightly oil large bowl with nonstick spray. Transfer dough to bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 2 hours. (***OR do like me and just use your bread maker- make sure that the milk mixture is finger tip warm, but not hot when you add the yeast. Set the bread maker to the dough setting and there you go....the bread maker does all the hard work!)

For filling:
Mix brown sugar and cinnamon in medium bowl. Punch down dough. Transfer to floured work surface. Roll out to 15x11-inch rectangle. Spread butter over dough, leaving 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar evenly over butter. Starting at 1 long side, roll dough into log, pinching gently to keep it rolled up. With seam side down, cut dough crosswise with thin sharp knife into 18 equal slices (each about 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide). Spray two 9-inch square glass baking dishes with nonstick spray. Divide rolls between baking dishes, arranging cut side up (there will be almost no space between rolls). Cover baking dishes with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until almost doubled in volume (I put in the cold oven for them to rise), 40 to 45 minutes. Once the dough has risen, position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Bake rolls until tops are golden, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and invert immediately onto rack. Cool 10 minutes. Turn rolls right side up.

For glaze:
Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat until smooth. Spread glaze on rolls. Serve warm or at room temperature


New Post (Secret)

>> Monday, September 8, 2008

I received an invitation to go to a lecture on Postsecret and I'm super geeked! Have you ever heard of it? I just wanted to share incase you haven't because in my mind and a whole lot of others, its the coolest thing since Everything Bagels. Basically, Postsecret is where someone makes a postcard with their secret on it and anonymously mails it to an address in Maryland (see above address). The address belongs to Frank Warren who runs a blog and every Sunday he posts close to 20 postcards for the world to see. He has also published several books with the postcards. Its AMAZING! Someone once said that true art can sometimes be disturbing. This holds true as some of the cards are sad and a little scary, while some of funny and others make you want to cry they are so simple and beautiful. Thank you Sarah for another addiction (like I don't have enough)!
Some postsecrets to share:

This is why I love Target soooo much!


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