Saturday, October 25, 2014

Let's Talk Graduation - Yes, ALREADY!!!

My firstborn is approaching her high school graduation.  Before school even started she was discussing some of her plans and ideas and I was listening and nodding in agreement where I thought was appropriate, adding a hmmm? when I wasn't too sure, but mostly just listening.  Finally, she was fed up with me and demanded to know why I wasn't interested and didn't even care that she was about to graduate from high school.  I calmly explained to her that my dear daughter, it is not that I do not care, I am trying desperately to not think about the fact that pretty soon, my sweet little baby girl will be done with yet another phase of her life and the fact that time is going by so quickly that I am dizzy just thinking about it.

You see, as she was sitting there talking about all her plans, all I could see was this sweet little two year old singing her ABC's to me as I braided her hair.  A little six year old big sister so generously sharing her beloved Eegee's with her baby brother.  A scared little ten year old getting stitches after a crash on her bike.  A sad little thirteen year old saying goodbye to her Arizona friends as we left on our grand adventure and moved to Michigan.  A confident fifteen year old as she dedicated her life to Jehovah.  A confused sixteen year old facing the ever present challenge of growing up with and sometimes in different directions than friends.  And finally, as this seventeen year old nearly grown woman discussing her future plans that more and more included less and less of Mom.  So no, I do NOT want to think about this thing they call growing up.  It stinks!  It really, really does.

So even though it was hard and many times while we were shooting she kept asking, why are you looking at me like that, we have been working on her senior portraits.  I know I am speaking as a biased mom, but, gosh, she sure turned out beautiful!

So since we live so far from so many people that she grew up with and loves, we have to plan her graduation and subsequent festivities a little early.  At the moment her graduation is scheduled for May 31, 2015.  The only reason this date will change is if this winter is as bad as it was last winter and they have another, oh I don't know, KAJILLION snow days and it gets pushed back.  Her party is planned for June 6, 2015.  So all my lovely Arizona friends and family, I would love to know how many of you are planning on coming up to see us this summer.  You can e-mail us at  or give us a call.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Okay, Okay, I'll Start Again

It has been more than a year since I have posted anything on this here blog.  Life is a little busy, a little crazy, and to be honest, I wasn't sure if I was the only one reading the blog anyway.  Anyway....after numerous complaints.....I shall oblige you all and try to keep this thing more up to date.

The past year has been a great one!  We have had many visitors, which is very awesome!  We made another quick trip to Arizona for a wedding.  We attended an International Convention. Went camping a couple of times.  Harvested a garden, put in another garden and harvested it.  Made some jams and jellies, canned some veggies.  And now we are getting ready for the beauty that is fall and winter.  All caught up?  Hee hee.....just kidding, let me break it down for you.  Well, not all of it because that is tedious and most likely boring.  I will give you highlights.

We have had some visitors this year.  Which is super awesome!  We love you all.  Here are just a couple:

This lovely lady came to visit us last summer.  Here we are visiting the lighthouse in Ludington.

This beautiful gal and her family came to visit me on my anniversary.  One of the best gifts I have ever gotten.

Little Dominic (who is not so little anymore) loved playing in the snow with the boys.
My sister and her two boys came to visit us the summer.  Here is my nephew Blade playing some music for my Grandma.

The Crofters came this summer also.  It was so great to see them all again.  We took them back to Ludington.  Man was it windy that day!

We also had a couple other visitors but unfortunately I don't have pics.  But if you would like to be featured on the Freckled Noses Blog........Come visit!!!

Probably the best highlight from this year was the convention.  We were assigned to the International Convention in Detroit.  Ahhhhhhh Maaaaazzzzeeeee  Iiiiinnnngggg! Yep, that's what I got to say about that.  The talks were wonderful, the releases were awesome, we made tons of gifts for the delegates, received lots of gifts, oh....and this happened.....

2014 International Convention
Keep Seeking First the Kingdom
Yep, that is Jake.  Being at an International Convention with 30,000+ other people means I don't get to be up close and capture a better photo, but who cares when you get to be on the jumbotron!  We are so proud of Jake and all our children for dedicating themselves to Jehovah.  They are doing amazing!

That should catch you up for now.  More pics and updates later.  Right now I have to go get the boys back on track.  The joy of homeschool means that if Mom is distracted we can run around and goof off until she catches on.  Yep, I caught on, fun is over.....

Love you all!  Oh, and part of the reason this here blog has not been updated is because I finally gave in to my daughter and got an Instagram.  It is so much faster and easier to just post pictures on there.  If you have one and would like to follow me... country_nelipot is my username.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Month of Pinterest Recipes - Mushroom and Cheddar Stuffed Onions

I know, I know, I am so behind.  I did do my month of pinterest recipes.  It has been lots of fun trying out new recipes and seeing the reaction to them.  Some have been successful, some have been complete flops.  Here was our next attempt:  Mushroom and Cheddar Stuffed Onions.

These looked so yummy and since I have more than one person in this here house that is not too keen on meat I thought these would be perfect.

So here is the thing.  Ever see something that looks sooooo good, and then you try it.  Hmmm.  Well these were those things.  I, personally, thought they were pretty dern good.  Everyone else in the house?  Well it was probably 50/50.  We have a certain picky person who refuses to put a mushroom to her mouth. :)  So it was a no-go for her.  We have a couple of other people who are a little set in their ways and do not like to try new things.  So it was a no-go for either of them.  The rest said they liked them but I haven't heard anyone begging for more.  Needless to say these most likely will not be made again in this house.

The other problem with these is they take a LOT of work.  A LOT!!  The flavor was really good.  I am thinking if I did make this again I probably would skip the roll it up in an onion and just make it as a one-dish type of side with the onions chopped in.  It was a little fun though, felt like a little foodie preparing these.

General consensus is, if you are trying to impress someone and look all fancy, these will do the trick.  Here is the link to the recipe if you would like to give these a try.  Eating Well - Mushroom & Cheddar Stuffed Onions

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Month of Pinterest Recipes - Pickled Asparagus

Spring means fresh veggies are starting to appear.  Thanks goodness.  With a lack of variety in grocery stores you are limited to what you can get at Walmart and Meijer in terms of fresh fruits and vegetables.  Meijer far outweighs Walmart in terms of quality and selection.  So when local fresh yumminess becomes available, we grab it up while we can.

The first vegetable to pop through the winter madness is asparagus.  YUM!  We love it grilled, broiled, or pickled.  Cameron informed me last week that as he was driving past the asparagus farm they had a sign out that it was finally available.  So he used all the cash in his pocket and bought a bunch.  Thank goodness he only had about $14 in his pocket.  We got 7 pounds of asparagus.  Some was immediately grilled for dinner and the rest was used for this:

We all love pickled asparagus.  Especially the hot and spicy kind, but at $6 a jar, it is kinda pricey!  So I set out to find a good recipe and after reading lots of reviews on lots of recipes, we decided to try this one.  You can find the original recipe here.  We do not like the sweet so we left out all the sugar and added garlic to each jar.  We also added a Serrano pepper to most jar and left some with just the pepper flakes to see which way we liked best.

Hot Pickled Asparagus
These are so good.  We love the pickling juice and will be using it this summer to do our pickles also.  So good.

So far we have only tried the one with just a Serrano in it.  It was delicious and after it sets for a little while it is only going to get better.  Yummo!  Better go get some more asparagus because these jars are going to disappear quickly.

Next up on Month of Pinterest recipes:  Mushroom and Cheddar Stuffed Onions!

Summer of Festivals - Tulip Time - Holland, MI

This will be our third summer in Michigan.  Michigan is a place FULL of festivals.  They have festivals for flowers, vegetables, fungi (a.k.a. mushrooms), cars, antiques, historical events, and on and on.  Every year we say we are going to go and every year we are insanely busy, the menfolk don't want to go, we forget, or mostly we are just plain broke.  This year we decided we are going to these festivals no matter what.

The first festival on our list is one that my Mom chose.  The Tulip Time Festival in Holland.  She went when she was young with her parents.  This weekend A. was off with her buddies at a Taylor Swift concert and the boys were hanging out with Grandpa and Dad getting the garden ready for me to plant.  So Rachel, Mom, and I headed off to Holland for the Tulip Time Festival.

First festival lesson learned, it may not be such a great idea to go to a festival on the very first day.  It was crazy busy there.  People and cars everywhere and we really had no idea where we were going.  Just about every festival has a section like a county fair with rides and games and such and we didn't want to go to that part of the festival.  Not sure I could get my Mom on a ride even if we had wanted to go that portion.  But trying to get around all of those people was ridiculous.  Eventually we found a parking spot and found the free tulip garden.  I never knew there were so many varieties of tulips.  Just gorgeous colors and variations in the petal size and shape.

We all had our favorite.  Of course as we walked around that kept changing.

All the streets were lined with these gorgeous trees.  Not sure what they were but they were all in full bloom with the pretty pinkish purplish blossoms on them.  Just beautiful.

All in all for our first festival, and not knowing where we were going, or what exactly was happening there, we had a good time, saw a new city that we plan on visiting again, and got one thing checked off of our bucket list for the summer.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Month of Pinterest Recipes - Nutella Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting

So after pinning many delicious recipes and only trying a couple I have decided that May is going to be my month of Pinterest recipes.

First recipe of the month is the pile of deliciousness:

You can find the recipe for this awesomeness here

A. has a slight obsession with Nutella.  Not even a generic or off-brand will do for her.  So her and I headed to get some Nutella and chocolate for this recipe and came home to discover that we had forgotten the chocolate.  Big GRRRRRRR!!!  So I googled and found a simple Nutella brownie recipe that required only three ingredients.  And thankfully they were ingredients that we had on hand.  Nutella, flour, and eggs.

I can't wait to try these again following Nutmeg Nanny's recipe.  I think it will be even more delicious.  On a side note, be sure to make these when there will be LOTS of people around so you don't devour the whole pan by yourself.  No, seriously!  They are that good.

These are our yummies.  My frosting didn't come out as thick but I think I could have used a little more peanut butter and a little more powdered sugar.  I was in a bit of a time crunch and just wanted to get them done.  Even so, these were so good.

One Pinterest recipe down, endless possibilities to go.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Let The Gardening Begin

Be warned, this post is going to be full of randomness.  Complain enough and I will eventually post something.  I know I am so behind.  We went to the butterfly exhibit in Grand Rapids a few weeks ago and I promise to get those pics up soon.  In the meantime, enjoy my random, scatter-brained, musings.

Last Wednesday we woke up to snow on the trees.  One week later, I get a sunburn while out in service this afternoon.  Go figure!  And silly me, I have been in sweater mode for so long that I wore a sweater again today and Whamo! we made it up to 85° today.  Wow!  On the plus side, this means that the trees are in overdrive blooming out, and it is officially get the garden ready time.

So this is our plan, or the start of our plan anyhow.  This year we are going to try "wide row" gardening.  Sounds a little easier, a little better.  Anything that involves less weeding I am all for.  Nothing is planted yet, so if you have any requests, you know, cause you are going to come visit late this summer and you want some homegrown goodness, better get it in quick.

All the little birdies are back including this cute little Chickadee.  Spring is for sure finally here!  It seems like it took forever this year.  But we are very glad for all the extra rain.  After a fairly dry summer last year we need that extra rain for the garden.  All the rivers and lakes around here are so high.  We went to Grand Rapids earlier this week and all the buildings that are built right on the edge of the Grand River have water up over their first floor windows.

This is Gilbert (the dog) and June (the cat).  This is their normal perch where they scope out the squirrels who love to come and torment them.

That is all my randomness for today.  I promise I have stuff in the works to post and some pics of our little faces for you to see.  We miss you all so much!