Happy Wednesday!

Today was “See You at the Pole” Day. A day where people meet around a flag pole and pray for the nation. Our school had a few students show up.


It was also Western Day at school~ Spirit Week – Hannah and Amanda, some of my students.


And to top off a fabulous Wednesday we received a package from a great lady who attends Highland and lives back in GR, she has been a pen pal to us while we lived in DR and has continued the tradition. We appreciate her faithfulness in writing letters and her constant prayer for Me, Marvin and Fran. Today she sent this fabulous package…those of you know have meet “nonny” know that I am in need of a larger edition. This did the trick!



This is my old “nonny” I got her when I was born from my great Aunt LaRu. I love “nonny” and have slept with her every night. But I have outgrown her and she is not useful as a lap blanket.


So here is the new blanket, I’ve named it “nonny on steroids” It was hand made by Jean Porter! What a blessing!



CAB- Taxi’s

While Concord Academy Boyne has been great so far… their mascot is not! They have been through numerous nicknames this season and one that is seeming to sick is the Taxi C.A.B.s! I think this name came about because of their uniforms?


Some have been asking to see my classroom. Here is a before and after photo:

Before Lindsay works her magic:

After the magic!


Birthday for Lindsay

I like it when Lindsay has a birthday because then she is only 1 year younger than me. I get so excited about it that I buy her presents and write her cards and stuff. This year her birthday started early. It is pretty slim pickins up here as far as cake makers go but I happened to know that Lindsay enjoys the cake that Glenn’s makes. It wasn’t my birthday, so I didn’t argue. I went to Glenn’s and ordered a white on white sheet cake. So at 6:30 AM I presented Lindsay with her cake.

Birthday Wish #1 - birthday cake in bed. 


For the first time in her life though Lindsay scurried out of bed before hitting snooze 4 times so she didn’t get her cake in bed but she did get it before she went to school.

Everyone at school was really sweet to her for her birthday and they had 2, TWO!, more cakes for her (not pictured). Carrot cake, and chocolate cake.

I picked her up at school and she came back home for a little post-work snoozin. After she had rested her eyes a bit we walked up to the library for:

Birthday Wish #2 - rent and watch a movie

It was her birthday so I let her choose two Non-Marvin approved movies.

Not exactly Casablanca and Inception but again, it wasn’t my birthday.

Following our trip to the library, we headed off to dinner at a place we were saving for her birthday.

Birthday Wish #3

We are both big Mexican food fans and our favorite celebratory restaurant in Grand Rapids is Beltline Bar but since there is no Beltline Bar here we hit up the next best thing. Red Mesa. Red Mesa Grill is part of a family of restaurants called Magnum Hospitality. We already visited one of them in town called Cafe Santé and we enjoyed it greatly. I would put our experience at Red Mesa up there with finding out we won the lottery (I can only imagine), running a sub-four minute mile, sailing solo around the world, and potty training my cat. The food was somewhere in-between extremely excellent, and somewhat exquisite. Hands down it was the best Mexican food we have ever had that wasn’t actually made by Mexicans. The best way to describe it was that it was the absolute value of getting punched in the face (the value of getting punched in the face is –25 on the fun scale so Red Mesa is a 25). I don’t even remember what we got except that we both brought most of it home because as usual, we loaded up on free chips and salsa and Dr. Pepper.

We headed home after RM and ate some cake for dessert. I brought out some gifts that had been sent to the house for Lindsay and she tore into them like a rabid wolf. I thought she would damage the actual gift but she is very skilled in the art of tearing things open, neither gift was damaged. IMG_0576

First she received a bag thing from my sister Betsy. I assume it is meant for holding guns and transplanted hearts because it was waterproofy on the inside.


Next, she tore into a gift from my sister-in-law Andrea.


IMG_0586 IMG_0587

This one was like the other one except bigger. Lindsay was very excited so maybe it was meant for packing Barbie Dolls or dismantled sub-machine guns. She loved her gifts and wanted to make sure they would be seen by all her blog readers as most of them are gun lovers.

After presents and cake we watched SnowBound. It featured Doogie Howser and his wife and child getting stuck in the snow but then rescued. It was OK with an absolute value of maybe 2. After that we watched RatRace. It was horrendous.

I enjoyed spending time with Lindsay on her birthday though, she is my love and  best friend. I look forward to her next birthday because then she will only be one year younger than me.



Family Photos

This summer we had family photos on the beach of Lake Michigan!

Our good friend Jamie Geysbeek took the photos. He is amazing. Head over to his site to check out more of his work. Click here.

These are photos of Marvin’s side of the family. His Mom and Dad. Sister: Betsy.  

Brother: Nate and wife Andrea- their 4 kids… Grace, Rita, Sam, and Ellen. 


The many WORKS of the 311

Yard WORK:

A few weeks ago our Landlord came into town and we all worked out in the yard doing a little clean up.

Before photo:

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After photo:


As a thank you for the yard work we helped with, they purchased us deck chairs and a little table.  A perfect combination to watch the sunset.


Here is a photo from our living room to the great outdoors. I got the photo idea from Andrea.


Andrea also asked for a close up on the plaque on the outside of the door:



Cooking WORK:

This week I made a dinner list and went shopping and we’ve done ok (Monday& Tuesday went well) Then along came Wednesday. Tonight was Marvin’s night to cook. He truly  did an excellent job he just had a rotten recipe and some new equipment to work with. I got a pressure cooker for my birthday from my in-laws and tonight was its debut.

Marvin got to chose the recipe: Broccoli Veggie Cheese soup

We don’t know what went wrong! But the soup tasted like it had been cooked over a campfire- it had a burning flavor to it. When we went to clean the pressure cooker, there was at least an inch of sludge soup blacked to the bottom. It had defiantly been fired! Needless to say, dinner was ruined and we turned to a failsafe- McDonald’s.

I’m not giving up on this pressure cooker though- I hear it works magic. I just have to figure it out still.


When we got back from McD’s we had to begin the clean up. We pored all of the soup down the disposal. I ran the disposal ‘til it sounded clear- ran with cold water too! Something made me look under the sink, I’m not sure why but I’m glad I did. The 6+ cups of char cooked broccoli cheese soup was smattered from wall to ceiling in the cupboard below. Our garbage disposal blew up under the sink. There was liquid and cheese and broccoli all OVER! And it reeked to high heaven.

Fran WORK:


An update on how Fran's potty training is going. Yesterday she missed the toilet and IT landed on the floor. Marvin took another of the rings out  and this really freaked Fran out. She hadn’t gone to the bathroom since yesterday (approx 24 hours).  She is a little afraid of the toilet water and with the 2nd ring out of the trainer you can see straight to the water. So today she didn’t even try the toilet and finally after being completely bloated she gracefully relieved herself right next to the toilet…. Marvin get’s to do that clean up!