Saturday, October 31, 2015

A Little Halloween Prank

We love to laugh in our house, and we love jokes and pranks. So, when a friend of mine posted this prank on his facebook page, I couldn't wait to try it out! It had a link to the picture, so all of the hard work was already done.

We have a laminator at work, so it was super easy to print out the picture and laminate it so it wouldn't run once it hit the water. I didn't have any big glass jars, so it was a good excuse to buy the gallon Mason jar that I've been wishing for, for a while now.

Start with the picture...this one was free for the grabbing online, and the best part--all the work was done!

Get a gallon sized jar

 Add a little food coloring for the pickled look

Slide the picture down the inside of the jar, and set it in the fridge to wait for an unsuspecting victim

It didn't scare anyone! That's what I get for living with pranksters!

On Friday, my youngest and I had to go on a trip to find him some jeans. It's hard to find 36 length pants to fit his 6'5 frame, Sometimes we have to take a long trip to find them, if our local stores don't have any in stock. We ended up in Flint, and I'm happy to say, we were successful!! We also made a couple of side trips to check out a couple places for some treasure hunting!!

Oh, my!!! I absolutely LOVE these cabinets!!! I would trade out my buffet in my dining room in a heartbeat for these!!!

I was surprised to see how much Collette's has changed since I've been there last. A lot of my favorite dealers are gone, and there seems to be a lot more flea market type dealers and crafty dealers.

Genevieve's is always a good place to stop. Even though it is small, it usually has plenty to see.

We also stopped at a little place in Linden. It was suggested by a friend who recently hired the owner to do an estate sale. It was called Memories and More. It was very tiny, and even with the two story barn behind the shop, it didn't end up being my kind of shop. I'm glad to have checked it out though, and the guy working was really friendly. If it was a little bigger and had more of my type of stuff, I'd definitely go back when I'm in the area.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Making a Difference!

Last weekend we had the awesome privilege of being able to help with a Feed My Starving Children Mobile Manna Pack-and it was AMAZING!! If you don't know what FMSC is, take a minute to visit their website and see for yourself what it is all about!

The event last weekend was hosted at my church (which is also where I work). It was presented to countless businesses, organizations and churches in our county, to raise awareness, welcome volunteers, and raise funds to make it possible.

I worked behind the scenes helping with a small part of the fundraising with t-shirt sales, as well as packing meals for a few shifts. We got a great deal from our local t-shirt design shop so that we could sell t-shirts for $10 a shirt, with $5 from every shirt going toward our fundraising goal.

Our initial goal was to pack 200,000 manna meals, and we flew past that goal early in the fundraising process, so we increased our goal to 270,000 meals. Soon we we planning for 325,000 because of the overwhelmingly generous response-not only from our church congregation, but from our community and county!

When you first hear the statistics that---6200 children die EVERY DAY from starvation or from complications caused by malnutrition and starvation, it seems so very sad-especially in 2015-right? It also seems pretty overwhelming, or as one of our pastor's said it's kind of "paralyzing" to think that we need to do something but what can we do? How can we make a difference?

That's where the organization Feed My Starving Children comes in. They have worked with major food manufacturers to come up with meal packs that are not only very inexpensive to produce, they are specifically created to give children just what they need to feed their little bodies and brains.

When you go to a mobile-pack,event, they talk with your group about why you are there packing meals...and they show you pictures of kids who's lives have been turned from hopeless, and imminent death, to healthy and thriving. They also show you a quick video on how you're going to help, and what you're going to be doing.

Before we left the orientation room, we all had to put on our hairnets, and once we reached the packing room, we all sanitized our hands. The people who were directly handling the food products also wore gloves. The process was very simple-anyone could do it. We had kids that were 4 and 5 years old working alongside their parents, and grandparents, as well as every age in between! This is such a tangible, easy way to actually make a difference. I highly recommend getting on their mailing list so you know when a mobile pack is coming to your area, so you can help!

The first line in the work station was the food packers. 2-4 people who scooped out measured scoops of vitamin powder, dried veggies, soy and rice. They scooped and poured it in order into a funnel. The baggers were taking turns holding a small plastic bag under the funnel to catch the ingredients as they came through.

After it was bagged, it would go to the scales. Each bag needed to be between 380 and 400 grams. The rice was always the last ingredient, so if it was too heavy, you could remove a little rice. In the same way, if it was too light, you could add a little rice.

When the bag passed the weight inspection, it went to the sealing station-a two person job. One to hold the bag taut-keeping food product (and fingers out of the way), and the second person to press down on the hot sealer to seal the bag. At each table station, there were 2 sets of food packers, weighers and sealers, and when the bags were sealed they went to the boxer. One person to stacked up bags of food in piles of two over 18 numbers on the table-totally 36 bags when all the numbers were covered. It takes 36 bags to fill one box.

It was such a fun atmosphere! Filled with lots of hard work, but also lots of camaraderie and good times by people who were so happy to be able to make a difference!! The FMSC workers play music while you're working and depending on how production is going, they know to play fast music (to speed you up), or slower music (to slow you down). Every time you fill a box, your whole team lets out a huge cheer-to let the runners know to pick it up, but to also spur a little friendly competition to the other teams.

On Sunday when we went to church, we heard that they were 50 people short for the final two packing sessions that were scheduled for that day. So, after service, we raced home, changed our clothes and went back to dig in and help some more! I sent a text to one of my friends and she ended up bringing her husband and two kids to work at the last shift of the day, so I stayed and helped at that one too.

After each packing session, they tell you how many boxes and meals you packed-and how many kids you have provided food for for 1 year. They also show you before and after pictures of kids who have been saved by these meals, and the transformation is incredible!

So, for 5-2 hour food packing many volunteers do you think we ended up with? How many bags of food do you think we packed? How many boxes (remember, there are 36 bags in each box) do you think we packed? How many kids do you think we were able to feed for a year??

We had:
Volunteers: 1492
Meals: 354,672
Kids/ 1 year: 972

Plus, the donations were still coming in! We now have a jump-start on our fundraising for next year!!!

Here are some pictures of  how we spent our weekend...

Heading down to the packing room from orientation...lovely hairnets!

 Getting ready to scoop some food!

Getting the bag ready to catch the food!

Vitamin powder, dried veggies, then soy and rice

Sealing up the bags!

Loading up the table until we had 36 to fill a box!

The other side of our production line...

Not a great shot, but it shows the lay out of the tables...

My youngest getting ready to run refills to the stations as they ran out

Mr on Sunday morning...

My youngest and my friend and her son at the second and last shift on Sunday

Maybe if enough people get involved, that number of 6200 kids who die every day from starvation or other things caused by starvation and malnutrition can be reduced to a big fat zero-hopefully in my lifetime-wouldn't that be awesome!?!?

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Saturday, October 17, 2015

I'm still here! The past couple of weeks have been catch-up/busy schedule/get ready for fall and colder temperatures! Cleaning up the yard, putting away summer clothes, bringing out winter clothes-that kind of stuff.

I also spent several hours in the past two weeks at a local tire a flat...found out tires were desperately low on tread, but the good news is they had a tread wear warranty, so I got a huge discount and got 4 new tires and a new rim, because the tire that was flat, had a cracked rim. Luckily I found out about the soon to be flat when I pulled into my garage after work, and heard a hissing sound.

I quickly backed out and jacked the car up, and got the flat off, but the spare hoist was rusted so bad from being under the car and being almost 10 years old that I couldn't get it off. My guys had to cut the cable to get it off-good thing my friend Christy didn't mind picking me up and dropping me off after our volleyball game that night!! It must have been a good luck thing, because our team won all 5 games that night!!

This Wednesday, as my other teammate Becky and I were coming home from our game, we heard a loud POP and then a hissing sound while we were driving on 96-just past the Novi Rd exit. We got safely to the shoulder, but trying to explain to AAA where we were was a nightmare! The dispatcher couldn't find Novi Rd. She kept asking if we were in Waxum (it's pronounced Wixom), or a million other places, but not where we were. It took about 15-20 minutes for her to get an idea of where we might be-and she was predicting another hour before a tow truck could make it to us.

I hate waiting when I can do something about it. So, I jumped out and got the jack set up and the spare out, when a big truck with tons of lights pulled up behind us. Becky got out and started walking toward the driver's door. I was right behind her with the jack handle, ready to defend her and I if need be. Luckily, it was MDOT. He told me to put away my little jack-he had a real one-LOL. Approaching a strange vehicle at 9:00 at night on the side of the expressway wasn't the smartest thing we could have done-that's for sure!

He was really nice and professional to us old ladies in our shorts, flip flops and volleyball shirts...I guess it's time to start dragging along a jacket and sweatpants!! Just an FYI-if you life in Michigan and you get a flat or run out of gas, all you need to do is call 911, tell them it isn't an emergency, but you need MDOT Courtesy Patrol, and they'll send someone out to you. We didn't know that. He saw us from the other side of the freeway, and came back around to help us. He told us the Courtesy Patrol dispatcher is in the same room as the 911 dispatcher (in that area), and that we should tell everyone to use them-that's what they are there for!

So, after another trip to the tire place for a repair, a trip to U of M Ann Arbor for a diagnostic Mammogram, (which was scary because they found two spots that required more films that were more painful, and then an ultrasound-but everything is a-ok...just a couple tiny cysts-whew!) this week was finally over!

Yesterday, my youngest and I went to Grosse Pointe Shores and toured the Edsel and Eleanor Ford house. It was really interesting. I was sooo bummed that I couldn't take pictures indoors!!! They said it slowed the tour down too much to allow for photos. :( I did get lots of outside shots, and I'm hoping to go back soon for the behind the scenes tour so I can see the servants quarters, and some hidden rooms. My guy sure earned some big brownie points for going with me!! I paid him back with lunch at Culver's and wandering around the new Menard's in Wixom.

Here are some pics of the past couple of weeks...

We had a staff  potluck/gender reveal party at work for a co-worker couple who are expecting their first

This little beauty found it's way to my house

 Found the Vintage Charm Pyrex display at our local Corningware store

This set came home with me.

A local barn sale at a dealer's home-everything was too pricey for me, but it was fun to look

 The welcome center/gift shop area

They have 3000 feet of lake frontage

Look at the tree trunk!

Pool house

you can float in the pool while looking out at the lake

Christmas lights hanging from the trees

The is a real house with a functioning kitchen and bathroom. One bedroom and a living room-all scaled to a 7 year old girl. It was a gift to Josephine from her grandmother. It was fun to watch my 6'5 son bend down and squeeze through the doorways as we toured this little gem.

The front gate/entrance

Entrance to the playhouse look how little the door is
 Another playhouse pic