Saturday, December 12, 2009

I'm trying....

I've been trying to post the video, but it's not working for some reason. Probably user error. I'll keep trying.

Friday, December 11, 2009


I'm planning on posting a video from the party last night. If any of the four of you (and you know who you are) object you must let me know soon. Truthfully, the only objection I will consider is Mrs. K's so the rest of you will just have to suffer! :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009


That's all I have to say!!!



Saturday, November 21, 2009

My Man - The Great Provider

This is his second deer of the season. The first is safely packed away in my freezer. I'm very happy for my husband, but I don't "get" the whole hunting thing. I mean, I'm not opposed to it, but I just don't "get" it. Oh well, I'm sure there is plenty about me that he doesn't "get."

Now I get to enjoy venison all winter long. I still prefer beef, but this is free. (Free, if you don't count the bow, the arrows, the gun, the bullets, the license, the time, the "outfit"........)

Thursday, November 12, 2009


OK, so this is another reason my son may not make it to adulthood. He asked me today if I was "around" when the new ironclad ships were invented. You know, the ones that were used in the Civil War. I just stared at him when he said, "Oops, guess that WAS in the 1800's." His father thought it was pretty funny, too. He might not last long either. :)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Just a peek...

On the drive to church tonight we got just a peek of a rainbow. It wasn't raining, but a rainbow was there anyway. We thought it was so "neat" that my husband even pulled the car to the side of the road so I could get a quick picture. The picture (or my skill at taking the picture) doesn't do it justice. It really did have the colors of the rainbow just peeking through the clouds.

This one isn't a rainbow, obviously, but I like it just the same.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Way Back on Labor Day.....

...we went to Genesee Country Museum. Another family in our church invited us to go with them on Labor Day. I had been wanting to take the kids there for a couple of years, but I guess I was just to lazy to take them myself. I needed a nudge.

I never get my pictures on here in the right order so you will have to enjoy them in reverse.

This chicken was pretty popular with the group. If you ask David what was his favorite part of the day, he will tell you it was holding the chicken. (Did I mention the boy was a little..."odd"?)

Robert got in trouble in the schoolhouse for fidgeting. He later told me told me it was because he had to use the bathroom. Yeah, like he needs a reason to fidget.

Bet ya didn't know we were related to Davy Crockett?

Our first craft project involved making paper hats. The kids had fun but I am sad to say that the hats didn't last 10 minutes after making them. :(

Katelyn was not very happy, at first, with the idea of going someplace historical. I could just foresee a whole day of her moping around. So, I challenged her. I told her that I thought she was going to be grumpy all day, and that she should try to prove me wrong. I'm pleased to announce that I the way home, Katelyn got to tell me, "I proved you wrong, Mom." (One of the few times I was happy to be wrong.)

My goofy Bree.

So... finally a new post with pictures. Are you happy now, Stacy?

P.S. Remember a long time ago I mentioned that Shannon had a business meeting with Top's Friendly Markets. Well, I'm pleased to announce that you can find our brand of sauerkraut (TOBEE'S) on the shelves of Top's. I saw it there with my own two eyeballs. So exciting, don't you agree? Well.........don't you? (This is where you pretend excitement so I won't think you are stuck-up.)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A Recipe

This one is for Jen and Sue-

Buffalo Chicken Dip

2 cans chicken (or cook your own)
3/4 c. hot sauce
2 packages cream cheese
1 cup ranch dressing
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a sauce pan, heat chicken and hot sauce until heated through.

Add cream cheese and ranch dressing. Blend until melted.

Add 1/2 of the cheddar cheese and stir until melted.

Transfer to crockpot and top with remaining cheese. Heat, on low, until cheese is melted and bubbly.

I usually serve it with tortilla chips, but the recipe says to serve with celery sticks. Haven't tried the celery sticks, yet.

For church fellowships I usually double the recipe. It's a bit spicy, so add less hot sauce if you are concerned. You can always add more later. My crockpot has a warm setting. I usually use that instead of low.

Boy, wouldn't it be nice if I would have posted a picture. Didn't think of it at the time.

Also, I wrote this from memory. I'll let you know if I got something wrong. :)

Friday, September 11, 2009

My Night, Last Night

It was about the time the kids were on the bus on the way home from school. Bro. C called and told me that David had been sick at the end of school. Great, now everyone would get that nasty bug. Are we still calling it Amy's bug? Anyway, He comes home and then heads straight for bed. Wow, he must really be sick. At about 4:45 he tells me that he thinks that he needs to see a doctor. Okay, now I am a little worried, but still thinking it might be a stomach bug.

I decided to take him to the extended care clinic. He threw up in the car on the way there...thankfully I was prepared. What a blessing, the place was empty and we had to wait zero minutes. After his exam, they want to send him to the ER for possible appendicitis. All of his symptoms point to the appendix.

The worst part was the drive to the ER. It wasn't far, but my son was in a terrible amount of pain and I was thinking about his appendix. I only went through one yellow/red (okay, mostly red) light. We arrive and he complains that his arms were going numb. The nurse explains that he is hyperventilating so "calm down". She asks if he is prone to anxiety or panic attacks. Uh, no. I don't think my boy worries about much more than what is he going to eat next.

Dr. #1 examines him, and feels that it could be his appendix. Dr. #2 examines him and agrees, but upon further evaluation he finds more pain. Now there could be one of three things wrong with him.

1. Appendix
2. Problem #2
3. Problem #3

The appendix and problem #2 require surgery. Thankfully, it ends up that the problem is problem #3. This can be cleared up with antibiotics. We stayed for a couple more tests because they didn't want to assume his appendix was fine if it wasn't. He could have 2 problems. It was highly unlikely, but not impossible. Only one problem. Phew!

David was a bit apprehensive about the IV, but when the meds kicked in.....the IV became a friend. "Mom, I kind of like this IV thing in my arm." Since the doctors didn't rule out surgery for a long time, David couldn't eat or drink the whole night. Poor boy needed to be hydrated. The IV helped with this, too.

David and I spent the night watching Stuart Little and the Food Network. Watching the Food Network is not something you should watch when you have skipped dinner and have no plans to eat in the near future...just FYI.

We got home at 1:30 am, more tired than hungry so we went to bed instead of eating.

He is doing much better today.

So that was my night, last night. Hope you weren't bored. Then again, no one made you sit a read the whole thing, did they? You only have yourself to blame.

Friday, August 28, 2009

I Have a Teenager?

It's hard to believe that I have a teenager. It seems impossible considering I am only 28. :)

Last week, my eldest child celebrated his 13th birthday. I'm still not use to his deeper voice and the fact that it won't be long before he is taller than me.

We were actually planning on having his birthday party on his actual birthday. This is not the norm. We, usually, have a party on the weekend before or after the actual day. But, alas, it was not meant to be. The stomach bug or, as we affectionately refer to it, Amy's bug was still making its rounds. Since we were unsure who , if anyone, actually had or was going to have the bug, we postponed the party. I don't think anyone actually had the bug, but the day before the "big day" 2 of the kiddos were complaining about stomach pain so we weren't taking any chances.

The actual day didn't go unobserved. David requested cheesecake.... which I bought. I did make the blueberry topping from the blueberries we picked with our own little hands a day or so before.

The Main Party

No, I didn't make the cake. I usually do, but due to unforeseen circumstances, I needed to buy a cake. We chose an ice cream cake from the Cold Stone Creamery. I wasn't impressed. An Abbott's ice cream cake tastes SO much better...just FYI.

This is my newest nephew, Caleb. He's about 6 months old and......FAT. I love chunky babies and this boy is CHUNKY!!!!!

MICAH UPDATE: He's home!!!!! He had his surgery on Sat. and was home on Sunday. He still has a long way to go before he's completely recovered, but he's happy to be home. Thanks, again, for your prayers.

Julia- I didn't "photoshop" the fences because that would be deceitful. The fences were there and to take them out would be a lie. Besides, I have NO CLUE how to do that or they would be long gone!

The Zoo

I slept in, skipped my treadmill, and had a brownie for breakfast. I have a cold, and I'm very whiny when I am sick, but I bought this membership to the zoo way back in June. We've only used it once this summer and time is running out. After lunch, I surprised the kids with the announcement, "Any one want to go to the zoo?!"

Our zoo is...well...not very big. It's disappointing at times, a blessing at others. Today it was a blessing. It's quick and easy to walk through, yet still thrills the kiddos.

The orangutans are my favorite. Sometimes they do nothing, but today they were very entertaining.

I know, it's hard to tell they are entertaining from the pictures, but they had us laughing for quite a while.

The wild bunch I get to live with.

Robert's favorite reptile

I was trying to get a picture of the wild zoo animal, but I caught a reflection of David. Well...I like it anyway.

Katelyn's favorite. He was nice enough to walk around for a while. Usually, he's off in a corner sleeping.

It was a good day even though I am suffering with a horrible cold. See.....told ya....whiny.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Another Update

Micah is out of the ICU----- Yay!!!!

He's having hip surgery tomorrow and they are talking about sending him home sometime next week. He was able to eat some "real" food yesterday and he really enjoyed that. Thanks, again for the prayers.

Jackie has told me that the family doesn't have health insurance so this is a tremendous burden for them. Micah's family didn't specifically ask for prayer for this, but I thought I would throw in another prayer request anyway.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Good News

Jackie put another update about Micah on facebook and here it is.....

Jackie Jewell
Update on my nephew Micah. Praise the Lord. They took the tubes out today and his lung stayed up and he is doing better and he even talked to me today. Had funny things to say. Meds were still in effect. He is very sore and still has a long way t...o recovery. He was going to get to eat some jello tonight or tomorrow. He is so happy. Thanks everyone for praying.

Thank you from me for praying for Micah. I know the family really appreciates your prayers. Jackie is one of the few friends from college that I actually keep in contact with on a regular basis. I'm thankful that I have Christian friends that will pray for a boy that they will never meet simply because I posted the request on my blog. Thanks, again.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

More updates on Micah.

From last night (Jackie's Facebook...I just copied and pasted):

Micah did well today. He is still sedated and has the breathing tube down his throat They are to take it out in the morning. Please pray that all goes well and his lung will stay inflated . LIz just text me and said things are well with him. They are very nervous about his lungs.

From this morning:

Doctors still have not come in to take the tubes out of Micah and they want to start to wake him. They are all really nervous. They are scared that his lung will deflate again. Doug and Liz were both able to get 3 hrs of sleep. Continue to be praying for them. Liz has had trouble with her gallbladder and for the last week it is causing her a lot of trouble. She said she does not want to end up in the hospital.

From this afternoon:

UPDATE ON MICAH. His lung fell again and they are asking everyone to continue to pray . Micah is really upset with this and so are his parents

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Update on Micah

Micah ended up having surgery late last night. Here is Jackie's, my friend, update from facebook this morning ...

Jackie(Ryland) Jewell
MIcah came thru surgery. They have put a drain in him and have him sedated for a few days. So that that is drains can do well and with tube in this will help keep his lung open and encourage it to stay open. He is not out of the woods yet. Please ...continue to be praying for him and when I hear from Doug or Liz I will let you all know. Thanks again from me and the family for your prayers.

Thanks again for those of you that have been praying. I will give updates as I get them.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Prayer request for a friend

I have a friend who lives in PA and just found out her nephew's son (Micah-he's about 13) was injured. Micah was on the outside of the truck his dad was driving (they do farm work) standing on the ledge (I forget what it is called). The truck ran over a bump, Micah fell off and the truck ran over him. He was helicoptered to the hospital. He's is alive and breathing on his own, but his left lung keeps collapsing. If you could just take a few moments to pray for this boy and his family I know they would appreciate it.

I apologize for this poorly worded paragraph, but writing does not come naturally to me.. If I want something to sound "good" it takes me a couple of drafts and I just wanted to get the prayer request out there. Thanks for understanding.

Friday, August 14, 2009

A little worried...

A couple of weeks ago, we had family over to the house. When my 2 year old nephew, Aiden, picked up Brianna's headband and proceeded to put it on like it was the most natural thing in the world.... I was a little worried about his boyhood.

I needn't have worried.

He's all boy....just a little strange. :)

Monday, August 10, 2009

More "Lash and Steel"

Our Pastor volunteered 2 of our deacons for this demonstration. They were very brave (or they pretended to be brave). :)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

What I'm really doing in the nursery...

This is from the night when Lash and Steel did their presentation at the church. Usually the children pretty much ignore the monitor, but we noticed these two were enthralled on this particular night. Don't worry... no children were harmed in the making of this video.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Just a little bit of the fireworks display for those of you who missed the game.

The more interesting fireworks were off to the side and our view was obstructed. Sorry. The quality is poor, but it's a cheap video camera. Deal with it. :)

The game was fun, and by that I mean the food was good. The Red Wings won 3 to zip, and I felt bad for the other team. Is that weird?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Some Wedding Pictures

Shannon and I looked so nice before Joy's wedding that I had my mom take some quick pictures.
(Well, Shannon looked nice; I looked absolutely gorgeous.) LOL

What? Were you expecting pictures of the bride and groom?

Saturday, July 25, 2009


For some reason are garden isn't faring to well this year, but one thing has come in the best it has ever been.....the broccoli! Doesn't it look wonderful? OK, it may not seem that impressive, but if you had seen the pathetic looking broccoli we got last year this is 100x's better.

My husband (yes, this is his project) has been planting a garden for many years now. It still amazes me how you can take a little seed, put it in some dirt and it grows into something you can eat. Makes you kind of think that God knew what He was doing when He was putting this world together, doesn't it?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Plans for our next vacation.....

Doesn't it look like fun?

She was nervous, but Katelyn did great.
(Don't braces look almost cute now? They are not the big metal monstrosities that they use to be.)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Don't know why....

I don't know why , but this is one of my favorite pictures from our trip to Michigan. It is simply my father-in-law staying at his post by the grill on the Fourth of July. It just makes me smile....don't know why.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

For Julia

Everyone can blame Julia for this. She asked.... (and, no, I am not crying silently to myself because no else asked!)

She asked about Shannon's threatened arrest, and to tell the story it needs a little background. I'll try to be brief. I said, "TRY."

Many moons ago, when my grandfather was in charge, another sauerkraut factory contracted with "us" to bag sauerkraut for them. We had no direct orders from customers. All of the orders came through this company. This worked for many years, even after my grandfather's death and my Dad owned the company.

Now, the owner of this other company died a few years back and his daughter took control. Unfortunately, she was not as good at running the business. In my husband's opinion, she started treating the customers poorly. I'm not exactly sure about the time, but when the contract came up, my Dad wanted the option to sell his own label and to sell to anyone he wanted to. So, we did not contract with this company again. Instead, we were more of a free agent. We would still sell to this company, but we would not be limited to this company alone.

Well, this woman ended up selling her company(and the customers with it) to our and, formerly, her competition. The traitor. A company that recently was fined about $50,000 for code violations. I'm just saying.......

Now our competitor wanted to keep us around for 5 years. Meaning, we would sell through them and in 5 years we would.....disappear. Not so fast, you mean, old company. We didn't want to go down without a fight. A couple of the customers wanted to stay with us, and fought to do so. Hebrew National (yes, our kraut is blessed by a rabbi yearly) was the main one we needed to keep in order to have a good chance of staying in business. They wanted to stay with us. Yahhhh!

Some customers we did lose, so there was an obvious transition period. The customers pays for there packaging so it belongs to them. We had most of it because we were still packaging for them. The other factory wanted to begin packaging so it was agreed that they would come and get SOME of the materials. Well, when the truck driver got there, they said that were told to pick up ALL of the stuff. Ummmm, nooooo, we still need it. We were being nice to give them some of the stuff because there was no official order or paper work to show that they were legally entitled to it. My husband told them, "No." See, my parents were on vacation and Shannon was left to deal with this. Lucky, him.

Shannon talked to someone in charge at the other company and this person threatened to call the police and have him arrested. Shannon told him to go ahead and call. This man, also, told Shannon that he would tell the truck drivers to just break in and take the stuff. You're kidding, right? Go ahead and try. He carries...if you know what I mean. (No, he wouldn't have pulled out a weapon, but he would have been tempted to.)

Well, there were many phone calls between this other man in charge (I have a few names I could call him, but I shall refrain), Shannon and my dad in Florida. In the end, the police were never called, no one was arrested, and the other company only got the stuff that was agreed upon before hand.

Wow, at the time this was happening this story seemed interesting. Now that I've taken the time to write it's something less than thrilling. It would have been a better story if he was arrested. Next time I tell it, I'll make myself the heroic wife of a wrongly convicted prisoner. That would be more entertaining. For now, I'll stick with the truth.

Julia, to answer your other question...Yes, my Dad has plans to send Shannon to other stores(i.e. Wegman's) to present the product. He doesn't mind. He said it was fun and he enjoyed doing it more than he thought he would. I would hate it, but since I don't have to do it, I don't have to worry about it.

And because Stacy said that no post was complete without a man with his first turkey.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Jen, just because you asked, here is a picture of the best sauerkraut in America, nay the best sauerkraut in the world!

It went well..Thank you so much for your prayers!

My husband did confess to being a bit nervous. He has spoken in front of groups before, but it was always about God, not sauerkraut. I think he prefers to talk about God.
I texted him (the word "texted" sounds wrong to me, but I guess it's the correct term) when I thought the presentation was over. He called me right away. He started off telling me how horrible it was, but did eventually tell me the truth. The brat! He said it was fun. FUN? Fun, getting up in front of a bunch of strange business men and trying to convince them why they should sell you product? I wouldn't find this fun. My stomach had been in knots all morning and I contributed nothing, but prayer, to this project.

They may be interested in selling our one pound bags. Normally, bags are sold in 2 pound bags, but since they already sell that, they may be interested in the smaller bags. We should know something in about a month or so.

For all 2 of you who want the "story" behind the name (BTW, thanks to the rest of you for caring so much. :P) it's really not all that interesting. You'll be disappointed. Anyway, last January my Dad was no longer under a contract that prohibited him from selling his own product. There's a story behind that to, and an interesting part that included my husband being threatened with an arrest, but I digress. We all came up with a list of names. Most of which had something to do with Family. It's been a family owned business for over 100 years and we wanted to emphasize the point. We couldn't just do Tobin's because it was already being used for hot dogs. So it was Family this, Family that but most of the names we came up with someone, somewhere was already using it. Finally, we settled on Family Heritage. Everyone liked it and it had meaning. Well, the lawyer didn't do a very good job at checking because when everything was just getting settled we found out that there was a family bakery in Texas that was already using that name. The horror. I guess we still could have used it, but who knows if it would lead to any trouble later.

So TOBEE'S Sauerkraut it is. My nickname at college was Toby so I think of this as my brand. Actually, it's more due to the fact that a decision had to be made. Tobee is close to Tobin. Instead of being meaningful we went with quirky.

Well, I hope I didn't bore you too much with the story.
Julia...about the skunk smell. If he had not said something, I would have just chalked it up to the normal, "I'm home from the sauerkraut factory" smell. Once he did mention it, there was a trace of the skunk, barely there, but distinctly skunk. Hopefully, it washed right off.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Family Business and Prayer Request

Victor Preserving Company has been around for over 100 years. It was started by my great-grandfather and other business men (who are all of lesser importance, of course) all of those years ago. I'm not exactly sure how things were divided over the years. I do know that the company was involve in packaging various foods. I also know that at one time, after the death of my great-grandfather, my great-grandmother ran the company. This was a time when women did not run businesses, as a rule.
My grandfather ended up with the building in the town that I live. My Dad owns it now. When my Dad was growing up they used to do cherries and sauerkraut. Today, sadly, sauerkraut is the only thing left. I often would bemoan the fact that the family business was sauerkraut and not chocolate. Imagine how many friends I would have had if I could give away chocolate. (Imagine how much I would weigh now if I could eat free chocolate! It scares me just thinking about it).
Anyhow, sauerkraut paid the bills and since my Dad offered my wonderful husband a job 10 years ago (has it really been that long?) it still pays the bills. When my husband told me about the job offer my first thought was, "NOOOOOOOO!" You see, there is a certain odor associated with the sauerkraut biz and, believe it or not, it's not a pleasant odor. Not chocolaty at all. I thought I had gotten away from that smell when I married my man, but don't be fooled, God has a sense of humor. Sauerkraut: my past, present, and, until further notice, my future.
Just this year, the company began to package sauerkraut under our own label. This may not seem like a big deal, but it is. We have packaged and still package under other names for other companies, but because of contractual obligations we were unable to package our own brand. Now , we can. This means that we have to convince stores to sell our product.
I said all of that to say this.....pray for my husband. Tomorrow (Tues.), Shannon has a presentation at Top's Friendly Markets headquarters. He has to try to convince them why they should sell our sauerkraut as opposed to the competition. They won't accept, "It's better sauerkraut, duh?" so a presentation was put together with the help of Steve Brown. Thanks, Steve.
Tomorrow it's...."show time". I think I'm more nervous than he is, but if you have a spare moment (like right now) say a few words of prayer for him. It's kind of a "long shot" ( I like quotes...and parentheses, I use them often), but you should always try to grow and improve in life..... even if it is just sauerkraut.

I can't leave without a little advertisement....When you think sauerkraut, think TOBEE'S. There's a story behind the name, but I've already typed too long and I really don't enjoy writing so I'll have to leave that for another time. Oh, who am I kidding, I'll never write a story about the name. You'll just have to live without that knowledge.

My sister just "yelled" at me on Facebook that I failed to mention that HER husband designed the bag. So.... my brother-in-law designed the bag for TOBEE'S Sauerkraut. There, my conscience is clear. :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

My In-Laws

My in-laws came to visit for Brianna's kindergarten graduation. They came on a Wednesday and left on Saturday morning. Shannon's dad does not like being a way from home. It seems no one can take care of his chickens quite as lovingly as he can care for them. Therefore, the visit was short, but sweet.

Of course they brought my 16 (soon to be 17) year old sister-in-law, Shawna. I met her when she was just 2 months old. I can't believe that next year she will be finishing high school. She has always been wonderful with my children. When we visit Michigan, I rarely see my children because she is always willing to take them outside and play. Because her three brothers are all much older, she was really raised as an only child. She has been spoiled, but not "spoiled" by all of the spoiling. (Yes, I realize that the last sentence sounds funny, but you get my meaning.)

Well, they've got to earn their keep somehow.

Monday, June 8, 2009

HBCS Graduation

Just a few pictures of the graduation. It is difficult to take a good picture in the auditorium, add my lack of skill and the results are far from good. I should simply blame my camera, but I think it has more to do with unwillingness to sit and figure the thing out. (Yes, I know I really need to read the manual!)