Sunday, April 25, 2010

2010 Women's Retreat

Well, another year has come and gone. Where does the time go? All the hours of meetings and planning, registering and organizing, planning and making decorations, getting speakers, making gift bags, etc. So much work but so much fun and so rewarding to serve the women when the time comes. Just received word today of several ladies back in church and giving their hearts to the Lord as the result of the retreat. That's what it's all about.
This year had a sad note to it. Our Director, Kim Purvis, is leaving us to move to Alaska. Quentin will be the new Vice-President of the Alaskan Conference. Going to have to hook them up with our Michelle and Bryce. Kim will be dearly missed by all the women. Her southern ways have endeared her to all our hearts. Sweet smile, beautiful voice, dedication, willingness to try new things, have made our committee and Women's Ministries a success in Michigan. Alaska, you are lucky to be getting the Purvis team.
Well, Camp Au Sable couldn't let her go without a gift. This is what they hauled in. Took three of them to do it. So funny. Kim was truly surprised.

They also gave her a carton of Moose Tracks ice cream. We are preparing her for those big animals she can expect in her back yard. Hee Hee. A little different than a squirrel or a deer.

Our decorations were outstanding this year if I do say so myself. The banner is where we started. My talented daughter-in-law Natalie designed and made it at work. Thank you Natalie. It was perfect. Then Jane and I worked around that. God is funny how he can make it beautiful using two ladies from the other side of the state and only communicating several times during the year. When we get together, he has sent the perfect things we need to make it all come together.

The wonderful camp staff made everything possible. We brought the 3 chandeliers, and they constructed a frame, crawled into the ceiling to hang it without any holes, cleaned up the insulation mess, got it working so we could actually turn them on, hung our curtains and banner. Another big thanks. Couldn't have done it without you guys.

I put the Cricut to work making the centerpieces again this year. Each chandelier took 4 pieces cut out. Then all folded down the center after which I had to glue all the sides together. Little gems were then put on. Maria glued the skewer painted silver on at the camp. I spray painted all the styrofoam blocks with silver glitter, wrapped the ribbon around, and put a beaded string on top with straight pins. The candles were printed on wraps I found at Michaels.
Just put it this way, every step took twice as long as I had planned. Finished them in the nick of time. Whew ! We will use the white and black ones for our tea party/piano recital in a couple of weeks. Should be cute with a bit of pink thrown in for the girls at school.
I thought the sliver and black would be the nicest, but the pink and white showed up the best. After three weeks of moving and replacing all weekend, they started getting a lean to them. Drove me nuts every time I walked through the dining room I had to go and try to straighten as many as possible. Never ending job.

We also made the little pink cards on the table above as a favor. They were pink recipe cards we printed, cut out, punched, put on a ring, and tied a ribbon around. 600 of them. Sarah came over one day for about 2 hours and thought we could get them done. We succeeded in putting 400 together and had ribbons on 200 for the first weekend. Had to finish when I got to camp and did 200 more before the third weekend.
Our speaker couldn't have been better. Ruth Ann Thompson if anyone is interested in using her. So sweet and down to earth. Originally from MI so she had fond memories and many friends from the "olden" days of Camp Au Sable and Cedar Lake Academy that she got to see.

Our retreats are always the first 3 weekends of April. Can't wait for next year. I go for sure the 1st and 3rd weekends and some times all three. Would love to have all my friends from church and around the state join me. Keep in on your schedule. Prices are not going up again and there are many comfortable places to stay if you get your reservation in early enough. Just call me if you have any questions. Start planning early. You will be blessed and come closer to God in this day and age when we need him more.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Candyland Baby Shower

In case you hadn't heard, our Natalie and Adam are expecting their first child May 6th. It's a BOY! Can't wait. The ladies at Oakwood Church threw a shower for Natalie on March 28th. It turned out so nice. There was a great group of ladies and we were excited to have Natalie's mom and 4 sisters with us. Also 6 nieces and 1 nephew. Guests came from Berrien, Chicago, and
New York.
Since Natalie really loves candy, Melissa Williamson suggested the theme of "Candyland", the childrens game. We had a great time decorating for this. I posted some random pictures so in case you couldn't make it, you could still enjoy some of the fun we had. Of course they are in no particular order cause I still am not a pro at this blogging.
I asked my hairdresser Liberty if she knew of any cute ideas done at a shower. She loves Natalie and was excited to share. She told me about putting a smaller basket of baby essentials together. Then you buy lots of cute baby clothes in all sizes and put them on a clothesline with clothes pins. Next you lay those in a basket and place the first basket on top so she can't see the clothes. So that is what Sarah and I did for our gift. It turned out pretty cute. We found so many beach theme, off roading theme, surf themed, Lions/Tigers, Quicksilver, and Harley themed clothes. The best was the Harley leather jacket, gloves, and hat we ordered off line. Nat loved those. Here we are holding the clothesline.
Natalie's Berrien nieces helping with the gift opening.
Leah took this "wonderful" picture of me. Gotta love the angle.
Lily hiding under the table eating a lollipop. We see you girl!
What a wonderful bunch of daughters with their mom. So glad they all could make it.
Gram, Nilza, and Lily enjoying the party.
Lily following the "Candyland" path. Check out that backside. She kept messing up the pathway.
This is Madelyn, the New York niece. She loved Lily.
Sarah made these adorable "It's A Boy" suckers for the candy table.
Here's the entrance. Our walkway path was made of felt squares. Sarah even put them in the same order as the ones on the game. You can see one of the lolipops I made out of styrofoam and celophane wrapped with ribbon and put on a skewer. They turned out pretty cute. We clustered them around the room. Also made candies out of chinese lanterns but didn't get a pic or those. Natalie probably did. I was too busy to take pictures.
Here's our candy table. Every kind you could want. The take homes were chinese take out boxes. Each had a ribbon tied on them and a toothbrush stuck in the side so you could clean those teeth after you indulged. I think the ladies liked the candy cause a whole bunch was gone by the end of the party.
I made two of these candy topiaries using a foam form and mini lolipops. Just cut them off and stuck them in the foam. Then put in a pot and tied ribbon around them. So cute. We used them as the centerpieces on the serving tables.
Sarah had the bright idea to make rainbow cupcakes. You divide your cupcake batter into 6 different bowls and then color them like the rainbow. A layer of each color is then put in the cupcake paper. Very tedious work. Kept us busy until about 2:00 am. In the picture the paper has been removed and you are seeing the batter. I bought the surfboards at a cake decorating store since his room is surfing themed.
This is where Natalie opened her gifts. She received so many nice things. Can't wait to put them to use. You can see all the candy's we made around the bench.
Balloons are always a nice finishing touch to a great day. Thanks again everyone for supporting Natalie and all your gifts and hard work. Now we will sit and wait for his arrival.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


I received one of the nicest presents this year for Christmas from my kids. It was a class offered by Zingermans Deli/Bakery in Ann Arbor that taught you how to make three cakes from scratch. I have made Texas Sheet Cake from scratch, but not Angel Food, Flourless Chocolate Torte, or Pineapple Upside Down Cake.
It was a 4 hour class and all cakes were made and finished in that time. We also received a discount at their bakery the night of the class and any drinks there that we wanted for free. Only thing not nice was that Natalie didn't come with Sarah and I. She would have liked it but something came up and she couldn't make it.
Here is their class list, my name tag, and recipe book. They offer pie, cookie, pizza, bread classes and more. So much fun but not cheap. Also, hard to get into because they fill up pretty fast.
Sarah getting ready to learn to Bake.

Check out this great technique. Think I am cracking and separating eggs.
Sarah showing off her first creation.
First cake we made was the Flourless Chocolate Torte. So rich and delicious dark chocolate. Really quite easy. Here is a sweet girl we hooked up with. Sarah took pictures of her to send her via email since she forgot her camera. She was even more inexperienced making cakes from scratch than we were. Her hubby came to pick her up and enjoyed the tasting time with us. Sweet couple.
We had never made an Angel Food Cake before, not even from a mix. I am not sure Sarah had ever separated an egg. Well, we needed 12 so we each got to separate 6. It wasn't too bad. I only messed up one. Sarah did all six perfectly. Then we had to whip them. There was a certain consistency needed and they told us if we did it correctly, we should be able to hold up the bowl over our head upside down and nothing would come out. Looks like we did it RIGHT!

Dividing up the Angel Food batter. We each made two of those adorable little cakes. Actually used real vanilla beans in this cake. First time I ever did that.
The big ovens they used to bake the 30 some cakes we made that night. Kept the girl busy running back and forth checking all the cakes and getting them cool enough to take home.
Everything was so organized with two ladies helping the instructor. All the ingredients were set up for each person. One lady just did dishes the whole night. There were 10 ladies in the class. Our instructor was a great teacher. He showed us how to do everything and then we did it all by ourselves.
Delicious Angel Food Cake. Everything was wrapped so cute to take home in Zingerman boxes and bags. We sampled the instructors cakes and were able to take ours home uncut. Used them for lunch on Sabbath that week.
Sarah's flourless chocolate cake was just about perfect. Mine was pretty good also.

The best ever Pineapple Upsidedown Cake. Made with fresh pineapples and frozen MI cherries. Ummmmmmmmmm! We liked it the best and didn't think we would like it at all. Made with the most expensive Brown Sugar around and tasted like it.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Life Goes On!

Second try. I was saying, I always start saying it seems like a "Million Years" since I last blogged. Not quite that long, but a long time.
God has been good. Everyone healthy and still working in Michigan. That in itself is a blessing.
Our new Pastor has been at Oakwood a year. We all like him a bunch.
Sarah is still home with the girls. She teaches 17 piano students on Tuesday at school and I baby sit for her. LOVE IT....

We are excited about the upcoming arrival or our first grandson, thanks to Natalie and Adam. Can't wait. He is due to arrive the first part of May. Looks like he may be a big one.
Soaking up the sun in Florida finally. Cold at Christmas, cold in February for boat show, but now we have one nice day. 77 and sunny. Hope it continues cause Leah is on her way here on Monday and is ready to go swimming.
Gram Lois has been in Myrtle Beach enjoying herself with Joe and Stella for the last 6 weeks. She is headed here on Monday also. That will be a great reunion between great grandma and the kids. Wish Joe and Stella were coming also, but spring breaks don't align.
I wanted to share our pictures from a few happenings this year. Most important was the dedication of our sweet Lily to Jesus. On January 16th we had a special service at Oakwood church doing just that. We were delighted that our good friends and family came from far away to share our special day. True friends, we love you all.
Here is the little family waiting to be called up front.

Pastor Kim offering the prayer of dedication.

Lily checking out the Pastor's face.

All the family up front during the prayer of dedication.

Sarah and I sang the song "Hold On To Jesus". A beautiful song
especially for a baby girls dedication.

Of course, Aunt Stella had to tell the children's story.

Leah loved the service!

We enjoyed a "Pink" potluck with our church family. It was the Sabbath for my team to be in charge of Fellowship Dinner so we just turned it into a celebration for Lily's dedication. This is part of our sweets table. We made everything on it. All mostly pink.
These are cookie suckers we made and tied little tags about Lily on them.

Our friend made chocolate bear cookies for dessert.

This is our table from a distance. The mini cupcakes are in "Papers" that we made with real chocolate in a mold. My friends boy was so upset that he threw his "paper" away. Had to find an empty one so he could try it.

These are our Peanut Balls dipped in chocolate we made, thanks "Bakerella".

Our "Gumdrop Brownies" on a stick and "Dipped Oreo" suckers.

Another shot of the cupcakes.

Table from a different angle I think.

Leah with her one of her favorite people.

Here's her other favorite.

Our friends enjoying potluck.

Lily on the big day with Uncle Joe.

Sarah, Kim, Samantha, Lily, best of friends.

David's family joined in the celebration.

Our new tent and tunnel.

I am back, sorry. Had to take a walk with Dan and go to the channel and see the world's largest cruise ship, "Oasis of the Seas", leave. Wow, it is huge. Holds 5000 passengers and 3000 crew members. A real floating city.
We are starting our Women's Ministries with a bang this year at church. Our new leader Grace brought us the idea of making sundresses for the orphans in Africa. They are supposedly no sew and made out of pillowcases and trim. We found they were easier to make if we sewed them. So 4 ladies brought sewing machines and the rest of us ironed, cut, thread elastic, folded, etc. The devil worked hard on the machines and jammed up 2. We fought him all the way as you can see Sarah helping Heather thread our machine. Finally got it working. Natalie and Dawn are going to town behind them. Will have to say, Natalie was the lead sewer. Here is our assortment of trims. Too bad I didn't take a picture of the dresses. I am the worlds worst blogger/scrapbooker when it comes to photos.

Julie R. was the girl who would finish up the leftovers. She sewed so many and we are so thankful for her help. She is behind Jenny in the red.

Had to have some supper of course. Even the pastor joined us for that.

Thanks to all the ladies who came and helped, donated supplies, cooked, and supported our Women's Ministries. That's Julie R in the pink.

Couple shots for Gram Lois while she was away and I was babysitting all by my loneself. Sarah got a really nice new kitchen table from IKEA. Love that store. Chairs also behind Leah.

Here's sister in one of the chairs. Love the runny nose. It is finally gone after some antibiotics.

Here's another adorable picture. How could you not fall in love with this.

Our girls love church. Leah even recognizes the way there. She has lots of good friends in Sabbath School. Benson, Megan, Gelani, Colin, and most favorite, MIA (Jeremiah). This Sabbath it was nice to have Adam and Natalie stay home for a change and David put Adam to work as a Deacon collecting offering. He looks pretty sharp.
Natalie was babysitting Lily. You can also see my future grandson in the picture.
Here's Leah as a tiger in SS during the story of Noah and the Ark.

Snow outside the window on the way to church. Had another picture of Lily eating her bible but I accidentally deleted it. If I re-upload it, it will end up on the top out of order and I don't know how to move it down. Used to but can't get it to work so will forget about it.
At Christmas we went and had a more current 4 generations picture taken. It was fun. But Leah would not smile. She always smiles for pictures. Lily was great but Leah kept making a smushed up face. This picture turned out pretty good and we got some nice ones of the girls. David came but Leah would not cooperate. We were there for three hours. I was beginning to lose my Christian experience when the girl accidentally deleted the order and had to start over. I took the girls home in Sarah's car and let her figure it out without us. Of course she did a great job. I love this shot of us all. I guess she finally smiled after all.
Here's the first picture of baby boy Woolf. Check out Natalie's blog for the most
recent shots of him.