Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Catching Up

Oh my, how did months pass by without a post? Time to get back into the groove and get updated. So where do I start? I think I left off about Easter since then we have had Brooke's graduation from Oakland University, many a bike ride, a bird building a nest in our grill (several times), visited many garage sales, attended many Smile FM events and unfortunately attended one memorial service in honor of my Grandma, sans the family portrait above that was graciously taken by my cousin Kenny Dodd.
In addition mom recently had a heart cath and stint proceedure done and my long time friend, Terri Post came to visit.
Mike is on layoff from GM until July 13th but we were relieved to hear that his plant, Truck & Bus was not one of the plants that Government Motors will be closing.
We contemplated taking a trip out west with Mike's parents but after praying and investigating we opted not to take the chance of blowing up the truck trying to pull the trailer through the mountains. The truck is getting up there in miles/years and our trailer has it maxxed out as it is. Since we aren't in a position to be buying a new vehicle anytime soon we thought it probably wouldn't be a wise decision. We have always wanted to take a camping trip out west but it will have to wait. We may meander our way down south a bit to pick up Jo after her visit to Nana & Papa in Alabama since we have never seen their place. We haven't decided if we are going to try to camp it or just get hotels.
Mike has also been keeping busy, helping our friend, Chris Dickerson with his masonery business. I'm hoping he will learn the trade enough to do some projects for me this winter, hee-hee!
Naomi finally had a growth spurt and is wearing 18 & 24 month sizes. She's getting quite a vocabulary. She knows all the Sesame Street characters, Elmo is her fav. She knows most of her body parts, says Thank you to about everything - especially when she wants something, she will say tank-q, tank-q until she gets it and if she doesn't get it the meltdown begins. I believe she is warming up to the "terrible twos". She loves to go outside or "side" as she says. We have to sneak if you want to just run out to the mailbox because she will stand inside the door pleading, "sigh -d, sigh-d, sigh-d". I could pretty much limit my grocery shopping to cheese, apple juice, hotdogs & pineapple and she would be a happy girl. Cheese is a word we don't say out loud when she's around or we end up in a battle over it.
We just shucked out $470 for Chloe maintainence. It was $265 for her normal rabies/heartworm appointment and then the vet discovered an abcess tooth that required antibotics and a cleaning that they have to put her under for so $205 later...good thing I like her!
Jo is anxious for school to get over next week, on the 10th. We have decided to try homeschooling her next year. She has pleaded for this for 3 years and after giving it prayerful consideration Mike and I are at peace with this and will move forward to provide her with the best education we can. She is so thrilled that her cousin Natalie (Hogle), in GA., has a cell phone now and spends a ton of time texting to her. The Hogle family will be in Michigan the end of next week and Jo will be able to spend some time with them. They are spending a week with Nana & Papa at a condo in Gaylord. We will be up there too for the Big Ticket Festival. After that Jo will be leaving with Nana & Papa to wherever it is that they are headed.
So now I think I have this somewhat updated and will do my best to stay on top of it now. I'm sure I forgot a ton of snipets but I can always throw them on here randomly and confuse the heck out of everyone, right?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Glorious Day - He has risen!

No Easter drama this year. It has been a strange winter and spring without the chaos of being the costume nazi. Some days I missed it and others I rejoiced. I'm sure God knew what he was doing when it put it on the hearts of leadership to take a different direction this year. But to tell you the truth we weren't so sure what to do with ourselves on Sunday. After church we fumbled through with our friends the Scotts who are usually in the middle of the whirlwind on Easter and celebrated with a cookout of the biggest chicken breasts I've ever seen. Scary to think of the amount of steroids that must have been pumped in to these feathered friends. Anyway, back to Easter... We had a little egg hunt with the Scotts and the Taylors then feasted. It was pretty uneventful but refreshing. Much different I would guess from the day when Jesus rose from the grave. I look around my neighborhood and wonder if my neighbors are truly aware of the sacrifice God made for us or is it all about bunnies and eggs for them. What a sad trade off that is.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Naomi's Easter Bonnet

Why is it that my little asian hillbilly will only wear ridiculous hats? I've got a half dozen super cute hats that she won't have anything to do with. Naomi has become quite the Elmo fan and would watch Elmo in Grouchland all day if she could figure out how to run the dvd player. I wonder if they have Elmo in China. She has also turned into a pretty good mimic so we have to watch what we say these days. The other day Jo said "Holy Crap!" and we heard a little unexpressive echo across the room.

Jo is on spring break this week. We don't have any big plans but she is attending a birthday/bowling/sleepover with her friend Madasen Taylor and has plans for a couple of other sleepovers before the week is over. It's strange not to be elbow deep in the Easter drama this year (we didn't have it this year) but actually refreshing. I've been getting some things done that needed to be done. De-junking and donating it to the church garage sale. Aahhhh! Jo even dug into her closet and sorted out the clothes that don't fit anymore.

Brooke is in the midst of her final days of college with plenty of papers to write, exams to study for and portfolios to submit. Her graduation ceremony is the first week of May and we are looking forward to seeing this day. She just moved again, yes again, this time to a house with only two other roomies. She celebrated her 24th birthday last week and I was asked if Naomi was my's that for feeling old!

My grandma (she's 71), Mamaw McCormick, fell and broke her hip on Friday. She had to have surgery on Saturday. I went to see her Sunday morning and she was still doped up on pain meds and thought she was participating in a game show. She thought the nurse call button was the buzzer and she would push it and then the nurses would ask a question. An intern came in and asked her more questions, ex: do you know what day it is..., which she answered wrong most of time. She was actually pretty amusing. She kept telling me that Hurley lost, I'm guessing that had something to do with the game show theme bouncing around in her head.

Sunday night we took Grandma Judy to the Pistons game against the Bobcats. We got tickets for an awesome price through the Upward Basketball program. Jo got to shoot a basket after the game.

We are looking forward to the Worship Blast at the church on Friday with some of my favorite bands including Benjamin Scott, Michael Maher and My Syndicate. The following Friday we'll be at the Rock and Worship Roadshow in Lansing with MercyMe, Jeremy Camp, Hawk Nelson and Tenth Avenue North. With all this busy-ness I am really glad I got some of that spring cleaning done. Now if we could just get the spring weather back again I would be real happy.

Mike is on 2nd shift until the end of this week and then he is off next week because he is required to use some of his vacation time in the first quarter. I'm sure he'll spend most of it working on the man cave. But I plan on getting my honey-do list whittled down a bit too.

We have our first of two required follow-up sessions with the social worker for our adoption on Monday. It seems so silly. She is really starting to warm up to other people and has actually stayed in the nursery at church during the entire service for the last 3 weeks. Hallelujah! Now if I could just get those naps under control...

I pray that all of you will have a blessed Easter holiday.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Bigger Big Ticket Festival

Such excitement! Two of our favorite bands will be gracing the Big Ticket Festival stage this June in Gaylord. I for one am so excited that the God given talent of our friends will be shared with other festival goers. Benjamin Scott and Michael Maher were selected at the Big Ticket Tour event in Highland last Saturday to join the festival. Now they are all hustling to get their accommodations (slim pickin's already) and tickets (before the prices go up on the 31st). The Big Ticket Festival is always an awesome time but this year is going to be phenomenal with these church families there. It's Happy Dance Time!!!! I can't wait

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

We survived WinterJam 09

Almost 70,000 decisions to accept Christ! That about sums it up and makes all my stories small in comparison. But I'll share them anyways. This year WinterJam was at 2 locations in Michigan. Grand Rapids on Thursday and then Ypsilanti on Saturday. What is WinterJam? For those who don't know, it's a concert with many very popular Christian artist performing and a speaker or two. There is no pre-sale of tickets, just $10 at the door gets you into this awesome event. This year it featured Toby Mac, Hawk Nelson, the Afters, Franchesca Battacelli, Stephanie Smith, New Song and Pure NRG with speaker Tony Nolan. Both locations came very close to selling out.
Eddie from New Song is one of my favorite buddies and we had a good time jawing backstage when they were in Ypsilanti. He took a trip with a few from the tour to see Motown's Hitsville during the day. JoJo got to meet Toby Mac's son, Truitt aka Tru-dog, who raps on a couple of his cd's. He looks about 11 or 12. She was star struck and didn't say a word. It was pretty funny. I used Brittney Maher as my assistant all day and she was put to good work during the show, playing a game called Banana Grams with some of the tour. It really was a great time. The tour manager is a great guy that we have worked with a few times so it went really well.
Naomi spent the earlier part of the day with her "Aunt Danna" and then later with her big sister 2 (B-2). Brooke. She is really making progress with getting comfortable with people. She goes to a few of our close friends that she sees on a regular basis and doesn't freak out when I leave anymore. We are overdue for our post adoption interview so that will be happening real soon I'm sure. I'll keep you posted on that.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

This n that

Where did the days go? Mike has been busy getting ready for the softball season. He has taken on the role as co-leader for the Sports Ministry at the church. The softball drama is more than I can bare.
Jo's Upward basketball season is coming to an end this Saturday with her last game. Her team has made leaps and bounds in their skills and really played excellent last Saturday.
Brooke is still battling away with two biology classes in her last semester of college and talking about moving AGAIN.
Naomi has decided it is a blast to shut herself in the closet, sit in the dog food bowl and play in the water bowl. I had her pictures taken at the church last week from a company called Antiquities. They put the kids in costumes and have really cute settings then the pics are printed in the antique sepia style. I figured she'd look kind of silly in a lacy dress so I opted for the denim overalls without a shirt under and her hair in piggytails. She was adorable of course but decided she didn't want anything to do with smiling for the photographer, regardless of the fact that he had bubbles. For the fundraiser we got a 10 x 13 and then I got a package of two other poses for helping out with it. I'm actually pretty grateful that the pics weren't something I couldn't live without because they weren't cheap.
Mike and I went to a class at the church called Liberated that gives you hints about cutting your grocery bill. While we were listening to the great tips we were cutting coupons. I loved what Mike said: "if you had told me 10 years ago that I would be spending a monday night in a church cutting coupons....I would have told you -you were on crack". So we ventured out to test out our new knowledge at the Kroger in Grand Blanc last Friday night. A Big Date Night, eh? Mike was doing a happy dance when we left. We saved $75, about a 47% savings!
I'm having a busy week. We have 2 WinterJam events. One in Grand Rapids on Thursday and then one on Saturday in Ypsilanti. Jo's favorite, Toby Mac, will be there, along with Hawk Nelson, Franchesca Battacelli (spelling?), and one of my favorites, The Afters. I don't know how these artists do these shows night after night. It's crazy. Hopefully I'll have some good stories to blog next week!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

It's Pot Hole Season!

So today I went on a mission to find some pot holes. Yes, I know that sounds strange but I just pitched the idea of doing a "Pot hole Patrol" page on our website dj buzz page and thought a few photos of the axle breakers might be useful for this.
I knew just where to go. Having flashbacks of driving of my dad's sweet white buick lesabre with a baby blue landau top and catching a glimpse of a shiny object flying off the road into the weeds after hitting one of the numerous pot holes found on the infamous "truck road" behind the high school. I decided to take a trip down memory lane aka "truck road". I remember walking up and down the area with my friends in a tizzy trying to find that rim like it was yesterday. I finally gave up and headed home only to have my dad make me go back and keep looking. It wasn't as tramatizing as when he made me go dumpster diving after school when I accidently threw my retainer away in my lunch bag but none the less it was definitely one of those moments that has actually remained in my swiss cheese of a brain. Truck road didn't disappoint me. It was just as pot hole ridden as it was in the 70's. A pot hole plethora! Just when my excitement started to subside, I discovered some freshly filled ones as I emerged onto Hartland Rd.. You'd have thought I had hit the jackpot. Wow, wouldn't it be cool to actually get photos of workers filling them???? So you guessed it. I followed the patches like Gretel's bread crumbs to these guys, who graciously obliged my strange request to take their pictures. I'm sure it gave them something to talk about over dinner anyways.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ikea therapy

I feel like such a slacker with my posting. I have been very busy with radio work lately and keeping up with Naomi's messes. I am so very excited that two of our talented friends were selected to play in the Big Ticket Tour and possibly be selected to play on the Indie stage at the Big Ticket Festival in June. Joey Brady and his band My Syndicate will be performing with the tour in Grand Rapids this Saturday at Resurrection Life Church in Lansing and Michael Maher will be with the tour in Highland on 3/21 at Cornerstone Church. I have one other friend who should be on the tour but he didn't submit his work. I won't mention names cuz he knows who it is and I'm sure his wife will read this and rib him about it!
Mike still has a job despite the recent announcements - Praise God! Brooke is on break this week from Oakland University but was scheduled to work most of the week. Hopefully we will get to see her this weekend. Jo-Jo regained her freedom after a week of being grounded for denying her responsibilities and seems to be back on track. She got to get her Grandma Judy fix and spent the night with her on Saturday. We have an extra long "stomp" practice here at the house this friday because half the team was absent last week and the talent show try-outs are coming up fast. Naomi's schedule is still whacked and some days I can't get her to take a nap for nothin'. She has figured out how to get her shoes and socks off and so you will most likely find her barefoot these days, which just confirms my earlier observation regarding her being part hillbilly. I have been battling with the little voices coming from the Girl Scout cookies in the cupboard calling me to eat them. I am extremely thrilled to have a dozen matching drinking glasses and a new light for the front doorway from Ikea. Now I just have to find the time to hang it. OOOOhhh I can't wait to see it up!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wearing a bathing suit in the snow???

I would post pics of our weekend in Elk Rapids with the Taylors at the home of Danna's wonderful parents, Carol & Dan Sinclair but I was having so much fun I forgot to take them! Hopefully Danna will share some of hers with me so I can post them. We went to Avalanche Bay Waterpark for a day. It was nice of them to jack up the prices for President's weekend. It was odd to look out the window of the 84 degree waterpark and see people coming down the slopes of Boyne Mountain. The "toilet bowl" ride was a favorite. Naomi is a water lover like her sister JoJo. We are hoping to camp up there this summer. There is a campground right across the lake from the Sinclair's home.
I'm heading into a busy time of the year with a slew of events coming up with the radio station. I get to see one of my favorites this weekend. Jeremy Horn is back in Michigan for 2 concerts in Ashley (near Saginaw) and then 1 in Flint.
Brooke is on break from school next week but I'm not sure how much we'll get to see her since she has a "huge" paper to write. We didn't get to visit with her this week either. JoJo has been pretty busy with homework too.
Mike is still employed and seems to feel that he's in a pretty good place right now. We just keep the faith that God will keep us covered.
It seems that the enemy has been attacking in huge ways these days but it always ends with God coming out on top. Keep praying for the safe return of our friend Diana Anderson's sister, Randa Jawhari that went missing 2/10 and for another testimony to God's greatness.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Baked Donuts

Have you tried these yet? Oh my! The recipe was on the side of the biscuit package. Can you say yum? All you do is cut holes in the middle of the biscuits, dip them in melted butter, roll them in sugar and bake. They warm up good the next day too. I'm wearing one or two on each bun.

Naomi update

Naomi has decided that she would much rather ride in her doll stroller than push her babies in it. She is beginning to use "her words" these days. Thank You is her most commonly used word which sounds more like Tahank yewh. She is very fond of Cheez-its and her preference to go barefoot proves there must be Chinese hillbillies too.

Let them eat cake

The Fellabaums were honored to celebrate Magen Taylor's 22nd birthday with her. Pizza and birthday cake were part of the festivities. We got her a bike helmet to wear when she rides her new bike that was ordered for her. I even personalized it with her name.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Snob Hill Gang

Nancy Draves Mandy LaFreniere
Laura Nelson Laura Faricy
Holly Draves Bill Nelson
Beth Draves Ben Brandt
Arthur Brandt
Naomi has decided to take the terrible twos for a trial run. Not that she could ever be Terrible but she just hasn't been her normal cheery self this past week. Her schedule has been completely out of whack, she's thinking naps are optional, the grunting and whining has been perpetual and just when I could really use a break from her for a bit, she has decided to freak out if I walk out of the room. So pray for patience for us. She is obviously going through "something" in her mind so we must just reassure her that we will be here for her.
Mike and Jo have been busy with Upward basketball, I've been busy making Valentine cards for the Women's Ministry Love Sale this Sunday and Brooke has been busy with school, exams and work but still making time to visit us (rather Naomi) once in awhile. I had fun discovering a bunch of my old neighbors from "Snob Hill" on facebook and touching base with them. It amazes me how the internet has changed things. If not for facebook I would probably go to my grave never knowing where and what all my homies were up to. I guess I could easily do that but it makes me smile to know that I didn't have to. Besides all the folks I found pics for here, There was also Barry LaFreniere and Kirsten Nelson without pics.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Naomi update

She can empty a cupboard at lightning speed, suck down your cola before you notice it's missing and stop elderly women in their tracks at the mall with her cuteness.
That's Naomi.
Still leery of strangers, starting to warm up to familiar faces and very vocal at home.
Her vocabulary consists of dada, momma, ni-night, more, bye-bye, hi, lovey (her blanket),jo-jo & down.

There's snow business like....

The Fellabaums spent a little time in the snow with our extend family the Taylors. I've concluded that Naomi is a southern girl at heart as she just seemed to tolerate our enthusiasm for sledding. She was much more interested in the sloppy joes and hot chocolate that followed at home.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

My Test is now my Testimony

Praise God! My CT Scan came back showing absolutely nothing in the "area of concern"! Not that I am surprised by that because I already had peace that God was going to heal me. I just think it's awesome to actually have physical proof in a cd full of MRI images that showed something in the "area of concern" and now I have a CT report that says "I got your back (literally)" from God. Many thanks to my prayer warriors out there. God has heard you Loud & Clear! But I do know that my testimony is not for me. I already know the healing powers we can obtain through Jesus Christ. This is for those out there who need "proof", for the non-believing believers. Those who worship God but are not convinced of the healing powers of prayer. This is for them. God has used me as a vessel to show off which is All Good with me.
Just to humor me, God added some fun in the trip to get the scan. The night before I went to a baby shower and won a prize from playing "baby bingo". It was a set of lotion, wash and linen spray from Bath and Body Works in a fragrance of Magnolia Blossom. I remember commenting on how I wasn't sure what Magnolia smelled like. On the way home from the shower God spoke to me and told me that this prize wasn't for me. That I was to let this blessing pass through me and give it to Lorraine who had taken me under her wing at the clinic and made sure I got my authorizations for my tests (not an easy task, I might add). So in obedience, the next day I presented Lorraine with the goodies. She was so delighted and thanked me several times, then she looked at the fragrance and got a puzzled look on her face and said, "how did you know that Magnolia's are my favorite flower?". I responded with,"I didn't, God did". She was a bit baffled but thanked me at least a half dozen more times. Then said, "You didn't have to do that!" and I said, "Oh, yes I did!"
I truly believe that my obedience was rewarded when I got a phone call that afternoon, rather than the following week, telling me my scan results. I already knew what they would be but didn't have to wait over the weekend to get them.
I shared my testimony at church today and I hope that who ever needed to hear it was there. God does hear our prayers, And God does answer them!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The On-vel-oh-p Please!

And the wait continues... We thought today would hold some answers but our visit with Dr. Philip left us shrugging our shoulders. Evidently MRI tests were performed last week, not CT scans as Dr. Philip had requested because HealthPlus (here we go again) denied his request and only allowed for MRI's.
MRI's, CT's, PPO's, HMO's....what the heck?
From what was explained to me, is that MRI's are good for tissue issues, such as the brain and CT's are better for bone type issues.
Hmmmm so let's see is the spine a tissue or a bone?
So the MRI's did give us a better look as to what was there but not enough to tell if this is something (the big "C") to be concerned about. The MRI basically told us to get a better look at the area they label as T8-T9. This is doctor talk for the 8th & 9th vertebrae in the Thoracic Spine (Middle of back). So I will be headed back on the 16th for a CT scan of this area. Yippee! Dr. Philip didn't see to be alarmed by the MRI findings and said that they confirmed what the bone scan had found and we needed to make sure it isn't cancer by getting the CT scan. If the CT scan doesn't determine what it is, the next step is a biopsy. I should get the results of the CT scan the following Tuesday or Wednesday after I have it so as they say...the saga continues.
I have complete peace with this and that God has it all under control.
So if I could carry a tune I would sing this but since I can't I'll just type it:
And I'll praise you in this storm
and I will lift my hands
for You are who You are
no matter where I am
and every tear I've cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
and though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm.

Thank you Casting Crowns for these words.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A pep talk to me

New sheets + a good word = a well rested night.

Matthew 6:34
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Health Update

Although I don't really have much to tell I thought I'd let you know how things are going. I went for my CT scan(s) last week. I don't remember them being as grueling the last time I had one. It seems the appointment was not made correctly...long to short, I needed 3 scans not 1. This equates to 2-1/2 hours of laying completely still in a tube with a sound similar to a jack hammer pounding next to my head and one huge migraine by the time I got out of there. For all my trouble I got a token CD with images of my insides. I was scheduled for a consultation with the doc this Tuesday but got a call today that it was re-scheduled to Wednesday. I continue to pray for peace and strength as well as perfect health. No matter what the tests say, I know that God is good all the time.
2009 came in with a bang...literally, our friend Tony brought a little cannon and packed it full of gun powder. I'm sure it shook every window in the neighborhood. Unfortunately I couldn't get any photos of that but here are a few of our gathering. We also lit a paper lantern thing that Jo had and it floated over the houses into the next neighborhood before it extinguished itself. Mike made some explosive chili and everyone else brought goodies to share. We played Wii, ping pong, and Apples to Apples. Michael Maher even played us a little music. It was an awesome way to bring in the New Year.

New Year's Eve 2009