Thursday, December 20, 2012

I began this blog about three years ago. I loved to collect dishes and was amazed to find a community of "tablescapers" who loved to set a beautiful table as much as I did. (Thank you, Sam, who showed me the world of blogging from her desktop)

I would visit these blogs and find my way to other blogs of moms and grandmothers and wives and widows and women - all with some same and some different interests.

I found blogs with wonderful photography, blogs with amazing writing skills, blogs that shared homemaking, blogs that shared quilting, blogs that shared recipes, blogs that shared struggles, blogs that shared triumphs. Blogs that promote a service (Hi Colorado Lady) that makes me smile.

As with most of us, life started to happen. It was harder to find time to write, hard to find time to decorate and take photographs, hard to join parties and visit each site.

I had decided I would try to take time to begin blogging again. And as I began my post, I discovered I have run out of space in the photo storage.
I am taking it as a sign. It's time to end.

I am keeping my page. Who knows? I might decide to start blogging again someday.

I also want to keep my blog roll - I love to visit each of you and check in from time to time and see what you are up to.

So I am not saying good-bye - I am saying, "See you later!"

Miss Merry

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Small Town - Just Like Me!

 I live in a small town. My parents lived in the same small town. Now my children live in the same small town and they are small town, just like me (apologies to John Mellencamp!) One thing I love about small towns is their traditions. The tradition of the Pet N Pup Parade in my small town has been around for more years than I can track down. I remember attending the parade when I was young and I think I remember my mother telling me she remembered the parade, too. The premise is simple - dress up your pup or pet (and yourself) and march in the parade down Main Street. 
Attendance was down a few years ago. The parade had always been held in the Spring and Spring in Ohio can mean very cold weather, wind and rain. Not much fun for children and pets. Someone had a bright idea - let's move the parade to Autumn and  - since it is closer to Halloween - maybe people will be more willing to find costumes for the pets and kids! It worked! Participation is at an all time high! The parade is the kick off for the day long activities - The New Autumn Leaves Festival! 
How cute are the bride, bridesmaid and tiny groom? 
It's Alice in Wonderland, a Cowgirl and a family of Bees all in one photo!  It was a lovely sunny fall day to show off the kids and the pets!

Last Year's King and Queen of the Parade. Each year, since time began, one boy and one girl are selected as the Pet N Pup King and Queen. they wear the large crowns and velvet cloaks and ride in convertibles in all area parades. It is quite an honor! AND both win a bicycle. I can remember drooling over the Schwinn, showcased in a store window when I was a kid.  Still First Prize - one girl's bike and one boy's bike!
 Do you see the Lego blocks on the far side of the street? That is a friend's daughter and her little Lego children. The red Lego won the boy's bicycle!
Dog and Daughter in Hula Skirts. Don't you love all the dads and moms in the parade? It is a real family affair!
You can't have an event without a controversy! The original winner of the boy's bicycle was the adorable Charlie Brown walking beside his sister pulling the adorable Woodstock in the wagon. But when "Charlie" got on stage - he was a she! And Princess Leia had already won the girl's bike! Next year entrants will have to be color coded pink and blue!
This entry (you can barely see past the newspaper's photographer) was my favorite. Hopefully you can spot the little police office leading his convict pony!  Yes, the ponies were the end of the parade (I think we all know why!). It is such a fun event and I am so glad that I was able to introduce all four of my grandchildren to the parade for the first time.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

County Fair 2012

Antique Clothing on the line at our Heritage Exhibit at the County Fair

Well, summer is almost over. The official end to summer at our house is the final day of clean up at the county fair. I was a 4-H advisor for almost 20 years and have also served as a junior fair superintendent in the Home Ec/FCS department for almost 15 years. It is a position of lots of responsibility and no pay :) - you know the kind!
This year's fair theme was Race to the Fair. Clubs decorate booths with the theme and we try to come up with a slogan for the style review. Our favorite was Ready, Set, Sew. Unfortunately in today's world, many of the 4-H members no longer sew. Consumer Projects have become very popular. These projects (which do entail a lot of time and work on the part of the  member) explore the development of shopping, consumer tips, clothing care and wardrobe management skills while the member puts together a total look outfit. Luckily my board president came up with an alternative - Race for the Ribbon.
Our sad 4-H Quilt display. We usually have 8-12 pillows, 4-6 wall hangings and at least 2 large quilts.
My board is our county FCS board, consisting of teen leaders who submit an application in December to belong. They are the unpaid advisers unpaid assistants. I had so much going on myself this year and the members really stepped up and took over. We offer a clinic for members in sewing and consumer clothing, foods and nutrition and quilting in April and the members organized over 3 hours of informational sessions, wrote and performed skits, provided examples of previous projects, had a modeling clinic and answered questions for members and parents. I had several parents who attended come up and express thanks and compliments for all they did for the younger members.
Luckily my FCS girls know FFA boys who helped us lift the stage sections.
I try to come up with some fun activities, too. This year we traveled to Kent State University to visit the Fashion Museum where we saw so many interesting displays including Civil War Fashions from the Home Front, Beachwear from the 1890's, an exhibit of tie dying from the 1600's until now, and several displays from different designers. There is a great restaurant nearby, Rockne's, where we always stop for lunch. This year I scheduled all our meetings at coffee shops throughout the county. This proved very popular, too.
Discussing our next move.
Then the fair. My members are there with me in shifts on the day before the fair. We receive in all the projects and place them for display. We create exhibits for our foods and nutrition program and the quilt program and also work on decorations for the awards ceremony on Monday night.
Our finished stage!
I don't arrive until noon on Monday. We start by creating a stage, hanging curtains as a backdrop and decorating for the evening ceremony. Our goal is to finish in time to change for the ceremony!
Bumblebee themed 4-H place setting
On Wednesday we judge all the FCS projects that were not judged prior to the fair. I am usually there from 8 a.m. until 2. There is an award ceremony for these projects at 2:00 p.m. 
This one has a hog theme.
Our food projects are judged in July so that the winners can compete at the State Fair, which ends the week before our county fair.
This place setting, with the fair's race theme, complemented a grilling project and was created by one of our 4-H guys!
The placesetting is a part of your food judging. A few years ago, we decided to feature the four most outstanding placesettings at our fair. A trophy is given to the top placesetting in memory of a former superintendent who left us too soon.
This one was a little more fancy at judging. Sometimes families don't want to bring special items to the fair.
This year I only took one shift as building superintendent - 5-10 p.m. on Saturday. Then on Sunday - we arrive at 8 a.m. and try to have it all torn down and picked up by noon. In my younger days, that signalled the mad dash to the store for school clothes and supplies!
You have to pace yourself with Fair Food. Monday is a steak sandwich from the Cattlemen, Tuesday is a pork chop sandwich from the FFA, etc. Saturday night sitting in the barn, I don't have to balance on my lap. Here is my smashed potato, corn on the cob and bbq pork - only $6!

Thursday, July 19, 2012


On Thursday, July 19 at 10:04 p.m. our son and his wife gave birth to a son! Drew Adam weighed in at 9 lbs 5 ounces and is 23 1/2 inches long. I searched for a quote for this occasion and found "You never knew how much we loved you until you had your son". Just writing it makes me cry!  Best Wishes and Love to my son Adam and his lovely wife Jackie as they welcome the new addition to their family.
And how darn cute is the bouquet we gave to the parents? Cake Pops and Cow Chocolates to welcome Drew to his Cow themed nursery. Holy Cow - Drew has finally arrived! 
He seems pretty excited about it.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Assisted Living Makeover

We finally made the decision to move my father into an assisted living facility. I am not sure how it is going; for his first health emergency he dialed me (one town away) on his cell phone instead of pressing the "on-call" button for the nurse down the hall. After a few days in the hospital, we reviewed the button and the nurse idea and will just have to see how the next episode plays out.
Meanwhile - the room contains a bed, dresser, desk, nightstand and coat rack which cannot leave the room. You can "cram" whatever else you want into the room as long as you stay at least 18" from the ceiling due to fire regulations. He shares an adjoining bath with another gentleman, but each has their own sink in their room. I made a second visit before moving in, measuring like mad.  I did forget to take a "before" photo - so this is the room next door, a mirror image. If I knew how to flip the picture, you all would have never known.

I was lucky to have an extreme makeover squad accompany us to check in. My husband, two of my sons, one daughter and my brother came along to move and carry furniture and get the room in order in less than three hours while my father was being processed. After he initially suggested and supported the idea, he was having second thoughts and we felt that having the room done as soon as possible would make the transition easier for him.
We started with the bedding from Kmart. We are lucky that all the items needed for a small room makeover are the same items everyone is purchasing for new dorm rooms. I keep telling him I feel like I am sending him back to college in a dorm room!
I had over-purchased on matching wall shelving which my "carpenters" began hanging over the desk. As soon as I took these photographs, the second set next to the bed came down. I was trying to hook up his c-pap machine for sleeping and bashed my head into the unit; results not pretty. Fortunately my help still had their battery powered screw drivers in hand to remove them! We also hung a variety of family and business photographs to make the space more familiar.
I couldn't believe that the armoire which held his TV in his living room actually fit in the dorm room and when we explored the inside - it had brackets to turn it into a clothes rod with the simple addition of a dowel rod.
The facility provides free cable to rooms and he was able to bring his new flat screen he purchased last year for his kitchen. We are paying an additional fee for wireless Internet in the room (from the cable company). We also found a great dorm sized refrigerator with a large freezer compartment with it's own door to hold at least two boxes of his favorite sugar free fruit bars. The residents are not allowed to have any heating devices in their rooms, but each hall has a large lounge with a flat screen TV, recliners, tables, chairs, and a kitchenette with a microwave, sink, coffee pots, and a huge community refrigerator with an ice maker. 

I had purchased two of the white plastic coated metal shelves for the bathroom for towels, but realized that in order to use them, they would have to be hung at head bashing level, too. Luckily one fit right in his small closet above the hanging rod, making a spot to keep his hats.
I purchased an over the door rack for jackets and robe. A few years ago I talked my middle son into accompanying me to a farm auction on a very bitter cold fall day. I was able to win my bid for $25 for the almost maroon recliner which is an electric remote lift chair. His former girl friend had shoved it into a corner downstairs at his condo. It did not take long for him to remember how much more fun it was to operate a recliner by the push of a button!

The facility is just wonderful. Meals are served "restaurant style" all day long. Residents (and guests with a purchased meal ticket) can visit anytime from 6 a.m. - 6 p.m. and order from the board of specials or the regular menu. Meals are served by the most personable waiters and waitresses and it also encourages interaction with the residents. There are plenty of day rooms and lounges, as well as outdoor areas with raised gardens and basketball hoops for taller folks or those in wheelchairs. There is even a small miniature golf course.

The resident's council and social director choose trips for each month and we have finally convinced my father to sign up for a behind the scenes tour of a professional baseball field and later this month, a trip to a nearby island for the day. There are plenty of other outings planned from dinner out to bingo's to small local music concerts.

Unfortunately, my father is having a hard time adjusting. I am not sure if he is depressed or if his illnesses are progressing farther and faster than we had thought. There is an adjoining nursing home that he can move into at some point. I am hoping that the situation improves and perhaps I can spend more time at home, or maybe go back to work, or at least find time to take down my Easter decorations.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Summer Days

If you have been following me lately, you know that I am unloading my troubles on everyone's shoulders, as well as this page. One Monday, one of my wonderful daughters took over the care giving for the afternoon. This gave my husband and me a much needed break. The weather was actually comfortable, instead of the 95 to 100 degree temperatures we are experiencing this year.

We took a drive to Lake Erie to a small community that provides a covered swing by the inlet to watch the boats enter and leave the bay. We enjoyed the peacefulness greatly. Although I did not take any pictures of the boats (not sure why), I thought I would share this interesting shot.

I am old enough that I remember when this was a working grain mill. The concrete silos were filled with grain that was ground into flours and carried away by railroad cars. It has been out of business for quite a while and the property was purchased by the city in hope of converting all of into some kind of resort or hotel. The economy and condition of the building prohibited that idea. About a year ago the decision was made to demolish the facility.
Before the explosion of the building part with 800-1000 pounds of explosives, a crew from the Discovery Channel's Haunted Collector program visited and filmed their season premiere. There were several deaths of workers in the grain mill's history and I don't know if I want to see that episode or not!

We did not "attend" the explosion or implosion or whatever. However, the new fad is now to visit the site where they are demolishing the remaining silos. One afternoon the silo on the right began to collapse on a piece of machinery. No one was hurt, but now people are gathering across the bay just to watch and wait! It is like waiting for the Leaning Tower of Pisa to topple. Once a week the wrecking ball swings and then they seem to spend the rest of the week crumbling the stones into smaller and smaller pieces to be hauled away to make new concrete. Who could have guessed that this would turn into a recycling project!

We eventually left to enjoy a nice lunch at a restaurant further up the lake and then my "date" returned me to my dad's house. Before curfew! Just like the good ole days!

Here is another shot from a visit to the site with  my dad. The weather was much sunnier when we arrived and you might think that it was a beautiful day with this blue sky. An unfortunate side effect from this summer heat is the pop up storms that are resulting.  After about 15 minutes, a small craft warning was issued and all the boats cruising from the lake into the bay, sometimes three abreast with the smaller boats and jet skis. We shepherded my dad back to the car before the storm hit and there was quite the storm on the way home.
I hope that none of you are suffering terribly with all the power outages. I feel so sorry for those that the storms are affecting.   UPDATE: I have heard a rumor that the silo on the right has now toppled!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Civil War Reenactment

It is raining cats and dogs right now and we are all so grateful. It has been so dry this summer and I can't remember the last time it rained. All of the grass is brown and even turning white. We have a lot of farmers in our area and I am sure they are praising God right now!

Earlier today we took my father over the the Civil War Reenactment at our local Veterans Home. He used to participate in these events and has a wool uniform in his closet. Thank goodness he did not remember that since it was 89 degrees when we started out.
Guess what this tent is "reenacting"?
My husband figured it out right away! Would you like a lemonade, sir?
And how about a nice, cool compress?  I think he has forgotten is wife is behind the camera!
We finally talked my dad into walking over, but unfortunately I don't think he understood what was going on here! He told them they should be wearing heavy dresses and hats.
I had to share this photo - it is Abraham Lincoln taking a digital picture of the museum on the grounds. Too funny.

Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Happy Father's Day

I am trying to empty the attic at my father's house during the warmest June I can remember. In the midst of about 100 empty gift boxes, several plastic Christmas trees and old utility bills dating back to the 1980's, (I go through EVERY piece of paper), I did find some gems.

Happy Father's Day to my maternal grandfather. My grandfather was a jeweler, semi retired when I remember him. He was very quiet, had an overstuffed comfy chair and foot stool straight out of Mary Engelbreit and read lots of magazines and newspapers. Here is a precious photo I found in with some non-related papers. Sadly he passed away in 1969 or 70, while I was in middle school.

Isn't he precious?
Next I want to wish a Happy Father's Day to my paternal grandfather.
He is the guy second from the left. I just found this picture a few days ago and it has an interesting story. The gentleman on the left was my dad's Uncle Charlie, who was his mother's brother. His mother, Mary, is the bride and to her right is Charlie's wife, Helen. Charlie passed away in the 1940's, my grandmother Mary passed away in the 1950's and in the 1960's, my grandfather "Pop" married his widowed sister in law, Helen. So this is actually a picture of my grandfather and his first and second wife.   I did not know him very well. They lived about an hour from us and that was a distance back in the day. And I think that the women folk planned the entertaining back then and my step grandmother was closer to her own family. I do remember that when we would visit she would always make homemade noodles. It took her about 2 minutes to make noodles for a crowd of people. I was amazed! He passed away while I was in high school.

I would like to wish a Happy Father's Day to my own father. Here he is in his service photo.
We have not always had the easiest relationship; we are very different people. But I still want to wish him the best on this Father's Day and on the next chapter of his life. He has had several set backs with his health in the last few years and after suffering a significant stroke in April, I have moved in with him and we are making arrangements for him to move to an assisted living residence.

I hope you all have wonderful plans for this Father's Day. I am so grateful for the wonderful father my husband has been to our own children (how did a dumb seventeen year old blonde get so lucky when choosing him?) and for my son who will become a father in July. He is already so prepared and excited and I know that baby will be so lucky to have him as a father, too.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Who gets Gramma's Yellow Pie Plate?

When I worked for the county extension office, our Family and Consumer Science Agent (that would be Home Ec for us golden oldies) offered a workshop titled: Who Gets Gramma's Yellow Pie Plate? It was not a financial workshop for retirees, but a practical workshop about relationships and how to divide up items that have meanings when a household breaks up.

When my mother passed away, my father wanted all of her personal items removed immediately. I had taken two days prior to the funeral and the day of the funeral off from work. The day following the funeral I received a phone call from him at my office stating he needed me to bring boxes home with me and pack up her things. I enlisted my youngest daughter and niece to fill their cars with everything from her impressive closet and layer in on their back seats, depositing it in my family room in relays. I dumped dresser drawers in boxes, along with all her "personal stuff" like letters, jewelry, magazines, books, memento's, etc. and several pick up loads of boxes from the attic.

I am guessing that you have all seen "Hoarders". I prefer to think of my mother as a collector. From a long line of collectors.

I started to go through the clothes, but it was impossible.  We ended up taking load after load to Goodwill.

I find, as I have been going through these boxes (and there must be 50) (or more) (maybe 100?) that everyone in my mother's family was a collector. I don't just have several rubbermaid tubs of fabric purchased by my mother; I have unfinished projects and extra fabric from my grandmother. Digging deeper through the stash I have found fabric and unfinished projects from my great-grandmother.

I can usually only sort 2-3 boxes at a time. And that usually takes me an  hour per box. I have to read each letter, examine each movie ticket stub, carefully study each snapshot. Usually out of three boxes, I end up saving 1-2 boxes to go through again at another time. My husband was thrilled when one of the boxes ended up being grocery inserts and coupons that had expired ten years ago. I still had to go through each page, but I did end up disposing of the whole box. One day I found a treasure. A letter written by my aunt (who passed away much to young) home to her parents when she was a sophomore at Kent State University in the 1940's. She was discussing travel arrangements for Thanksgiving (by train, of course), "the curse", and how to package and mail cookies to her boyfriend (who later became her husband).  I was able to forward the letter to her daughter who I have re-connected with on facebook.

I have two file boxes of aprons that my grandmother made and never wore. And one box of the everyday - very worn- aprons. I have become the keeper.

The more valuable items (to others) are the problem.

My grandfather did not have an easy life. His alchoholic father was injured on the job and later died and it was left to him, as the oldest son, to help out the family. He left school at age 14 (I believe) and apprenticed to a local jeweler who had space in the large department store on the corner of Main Street in my hometown. He worked there many years until an explosion removed several stories from the building in the 1920's. The jeweler decided to retire at that point and my grandfather opened his own store further down the block. In his showroom were three crystal chandeliers. When he passed away in 1970, the chandeliers came to the family. One hung in my grandmother's dining room. Somehow when the house was listed for sale, family members neglected to exempt the chandelier and it sold with the house. You would think this would have been a lesson learned, but the second chandelier ended up in another house sale. The remaining chandelier hung in my  parent's dining rooms; my long-suffering husband rehanging it every time they moved (and they liked to move!)

I can remember helping my grandmother clean the crystals in her dining room from the time I was about 6. Each of the over 100 crystals has to be individually and cautiously removed, soaked in water scented with ammonia, carefully dried, air dried and re-hung. She always promised me that the chandelier would be mine in return for all the hours I helped her. This same promise was made to my brother in following years and to each of my own children (by then by my mother) as they helped in the ritual of cleaning (or packing for a move). My youngest daughter remembers standing on a dining room table and handing each one down to my mother.

As I ready the condo for sale, the first thing I did was start the chandelier removal process. I am not letting the last one go out of the family on my account! I stocked up on tissue paper and bubble wrap and purchased ammonia. And talked my youngest daughter into helping me. It was almost three hours for us to remove and wash the crystals. And almost an hour and a half tonight for me to wrap and pack the crystals.

And now, where will it go? My house is not chandelier friendly (ceilings too low). My oldest daughter has sky high ceilings, but a modern, sophisticated style that would clash. My brother (who lives half a country away) mentions it often. I am thinking that my youngest daughter, the last helper, the latest helper, should have first dibs. She is living at home, but I am willing to provide storage as long as necessary. Unless someone else pitches a fit first . . . . .

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

April Showers bring . . . May Head Aches

I hope you don't mind, but I am having a pity party for myself. And yes, I would like some cheese with my whine. And, actually, I would not mind a glass of wine; or maybe a barrel!

Some unexpected family issues have arisen and, even though you can't pick your family, they are your family and issues have to be dealt with. I have given myself a self imposed exile to shuffle the cards and try to deal a better hand.

I know that many of you have gone through a period of putting your life on hold to help out a family member. It is often a thankless job. A few years ago, my youngest brother put his own life on hold for two years during the illness and passing of our mother due to ALS. He will always be a saint in my eyes. Now I am taking over a situation for a less sympathetic family member. I am hoping to get this situation situated by the end of summer.

I can't say I don't have support. I can put an alarm (or private message) on face book to my five children and their "others" and they jump to the rescue. My dear, long-suffering husband is doing his best to keep the home fires burning while playing handyman at my new headquarters. But dealing with the complications of a stroke which an eighty year old man doesn't think happened is exhausting. Almost as exhausting as the leukemia he refuses to acknowledge or share with medical professionals when he arrives in various emergency rooms . .  .  .

It is just that I am finding twenty four hours a day, seven days a week to be a very long time.

Due to a secondary complication, I really cannot leave the premises at all for a period of 30 days (the time required by law to give notice for someone else to leave the premises). A very uncomfortable situation. A very quiet (as in spoken word) situation. A very noisy situation if you want to count the doors and cupboards slamming. A situation that could become more expensive as I replace what is being packed because, even though I hope to empty the premises by the end of summer, you still have to replace the necessities that are going out the door (like forks. Tell me, if you were beginning to pack your belongings - would you start with forks? And what happened to the forks that were here when you moved in? - but I digress)

I am finding that I am a person really set in her ways. I like my own kitchen, my own placing of the towels, the milk in the refrigerator, the coffee cups in the cupboard by the sink and coffeemaker. I find that the news program that I normally watch in the morning is the "right" one and the one that we watch here is the "wrong" one. I like knowing that if I want to put items in the washing machine someone else hasn't beaten me there by 2 minutes. I like having my shampoo and conditioner on the shelf in my shower. I like sleeping in my own bed, not a fold up cot in a corner of a room of someone with a Cpap machine.  I like a moment to myself, not a moment by myself in a room with two silent people. I want to watch something besides sports on television. In case there are any other Queen of the Houses out there - do you know that these silly basketball games can last over 3 hours? And baseball games; forget it!

And the semi-potty-trained dog. All 2 1/2 pounds of ankle biting nervous energy.

And as much as I was considering retiring from or seeking a new job; this is not exactly how I pictured my life with my new found freedom.

I really don't need anyone to read or comment on what may become my online diary - maybe "How I spent my Summer Vacation"? 

Several years ago (gosh, maybe fifteen?) I came across this wonderful print by Mary Engelbreit on my desktop calendar. I was trying to make a "life-decision" and needed someone to tell me to stop second guessing myself. I want to share it with anyone else who is stuck between a rock and a hard place and needs to know that whatever choice they make, life will go on.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Snow in April

Our granddog has moved in with us for the time being. This morning when I took her outside before work, we were both shocked to discover that it was snowing. April snow is not a surprise in Ohio, but it is a shock after the 80 degree days we enjoyed in March.
It was a light snow - tiny little white dots all over my black sweater. I turned and saw that some spider webs in my front garden had caught the tiny flakes and turned them into (temporary) flowers.
I ran inside and grabbed my camera - hoping to catch a picture of what I knew to be a fleeting, fun tease of Mother Nature.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Bible CSI - Part 1

For nineteen years I taught the first grade Sunday School class at our church. Before you start thinking what a great gal I am, I will admit that the first thought that occurred to me when I was first asked was that if I had to be there to teach Sunday School, that means I will not be able to sleep in on Sunday morning. And that would assure that I would be bringing my own children every Sunday, too. The first day of year twenty, I was innocently sitting in the back pew (my usual spot) when the coordinator approached me and said, "We lost our middle school teacher, so I found someone for your spot and moved you up". So, before I could scream "NO", or even catch my breath, I became the middle school teacher. This lasted six years and last year I decided to retire. I am still available as a "substitute" and the new middle school Sunday School (or PSR as we now call it) is a nun! Much better suited to the position. Unfortunately she sometimes has better demands on her time and the students are forced to hang out with me. This is usually a last minute phone call and I am usually pretty unprepared.

When I was notified two weeks in advance that I was needed this Sunday - I decided to revive and refresh one of my favorite activities: BIBLE CSI.  I didn't come up with this on my own - I need to credit two websites where I found inspiration and activities. These are (this one is a sample from a book I need to purchase):  and

The kids have no idea that they are participating in this activity and I am sure their expectations based on past experiences with this particular sub are rather low. I hope they are intrigued.

I have created name tags that say "Bible Crime Investigation Squad" and have numbered my squads from 1-6. My hope is to hand out nametags randomly and split up the "cliques" a little bit. They will recieve a 3 x 5 card and pen and head outside to write there first impressions of the crime.
I went out to church earlier today (in a rather biting February wind) and staged the six scenes. I will recreate them before church so that we can head straight to the scenes of the crime.  After a few minutes we will return inside where I have envelopes in the squad room for each team. Each member will recieve an official crime scene investigation report form to complete, an envelope of clues (bible passages to look up) and a set of the crime scene photos. They will need to write up the report with the suspect(s), victim (s), and crime hypothosis that they will have to justifiy with bible verses and commandments.

As you can probably tell, I am very excited and hope they will be, too. Here are pictures of all six crime scenes. Can you tell who, what, where, when? I will try to post pictures of the investigation and answers soon!
Crime Scene #1- O Brother Where Art Thou?

Crime Scene #6- "Put Your Hands Up and Step Away from the Dream"

Crime Scene #2 - "Gone to the Dogs"

Crime Scene #3 - "Flirting with Disaster"

Crime Scene #4 - "Family Matters"

Crime Scene #5 - "American Idol"

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Groovy Groundhog's Day

For those who are unenlightened, one of my most favorite holidays of the year is February 2 - Groovy Ground Hog's Day!

At my former workplace, I talked my co-workers into quite the celebration. We would try to outdo ourselves with our creative recipes and more creative recipe titles. We would celebrate with See Your Shadow Pie and Sunshine Salad and even Chuck -olate Cheesecake. One of my co-workers and her husband had a hog farm, so our entree was always ground hog  (sausage). We would sign up with title only and try to surprise the others. The lone gentleman in the office would always choose shovels and pitchforks (silverware!).

My current workplace is mostly male. Although we have an occasional potluck; a celebration like this is more work than fun. I can't be let the holiday go by with nothing! Here is this year's entry - ready for public consumption on Thursday morning:
As you can tell, I baked late last night. What I am trying to show is a cupcake,
spread with chocolate frosting and liberally sprinkled with chocolate jimmies,
and a vanilla wafer groundhog with mini chocolate chip eyes popping out to see his shadow!

The one tray will be traveling to dinner at my son's tonight and the other will be a surprise for my co-workers. A surprise because I believe they are unaware of the impending holiday!

Miss Merry