Monday, April 14, 2014

Spring Break 2014 - Family and Car & Truck Museum Hopping in Indiana

Spring Break 2014 was probably the best spring break we have had in some time. Took the girls in my new little 2009 Cube car...

Went to the fabulous destination of Indiana for the week. Now I know many people wouldn't say "Wow! Can't wait to go to Indiana for spring break!" LOL Neither did we. But we had a great time and the weather was GREAT all week.

I have family there in Indiana that we hadn't seen in a couple years and so we decided it was time to test the gas mileage in our new vehicle and see what she could do. The cube lived up to the test left home on a full tank put $20 in when we stopped in Toledo then didn't put any more in till our last day in Indiana and added another $20 then stopped in Port Huron, MI and added another $20 I still have 3/4 of a tank and we went back to Port Huron yesterday. My trip mileage was on a bit over 800 miles! I see many more trips in that car coming soon!

Our fabulous time was mostly going to the park, putting together puzzles, cooking together and we went thrift store shopping! We ate at a Chinese Buffet restaurant for the first time and then walked along the river in Bluffton, IN.

Finally we made plans to get up early on Friday and go to the zoo on the way home to Michigan. Ha getting up early was not in the cards for my teenage girls on that morning. Then we had some issues with the bike rack that slowed us down so we made a last minute decision to stop in Auburn, Indiana to check out the museums. We visited the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum, the National Automotive and Truck Museum of the United States and the Hoosier Air Museum. I have a ton of pics on my Google + and my facebook page from the museums https://www.facebook.com/arvillahowe 

I never would have guessed how much fun we had at the museums it helped that we were about the only ones in there so we could cut up and be silly plus the information was interesting and just being together made it great! Alannah did start to get a little bored and tired by the last museum but I promised her dinner with ice cream for desert and she was back on track LOL. Below are a few of the many pics. 

 
 

So what exotic location did you visit for spring break 2014? Leave me a comment and let me know.





Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Super Quick Crazy Life Update

Things are absolutely crazy busy! I got a great job in January working for a great company Raytrans Trucking out of a little hub in Port Sanilac. My boss was awesome and I worked with the greatest bunch of people anyone could ever ask for but after only 6 months she is pushing me out of the nest!

LOL okay I volunteered to leap! Anyone who knows me, knows I did LOL! I am now becoming an Independent Trucker Advocate for fastport.com a really great site built by a truly brilliant man whom I have also been working with for the last six months.

What do I do? That is easy I help people! I am placing truck drivers with companies. I use fastport.com to do it. Someday it will be bigger than craigslist, in the trucking industry anyway! Big things are coming I am excited and school starts for our household (college and lower) again in a couple of weeks! I am taking Instruction Writing and yes I'm EXCITED!

Oh yeah and we moved again! A beautiful little house right near the lake in a fabulous little town that no doubt is going to give me plenty to write about... as soon as I have a second or two to write. There are still boxes to put away, things to organize and tons of things to do!

So, check out my twitter or my facebook and let me know if you know any great truckers or any great trucking companies that might need a bit of help growing.

Have a blessed day and do like I do... just put one foot in front of the other and trust that God is leading your way and clearing your path to the life that he wants you to have. Every adventure on the way is full of blessed and wonderful moments!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Milestone Birthdays

Wow this weekend was crazy! November is a crazy month for us here we have three of our four kids with birthdays in November. They line up very nicely for my horrible memory the oldest first and so on. Since the boys are first and only 7 days apart we celebrated both their birthdays this weekend.

I've always wanted to be the kind of parent that could give a car for a kid's 16th birthday or a new computer for their 18th you know the type of person who has a money tree in the back yard. Well, if you haven't figured it out yet, that's not me LOL.

I invited the boys to come home from college for a birthday celebration but made it clear to them since neither has found a job yet in this economy and we are paying all their bills that their birthday presents would be gas & grocery money to survive another week.

My baby boy turned 21 last week so the first conversation we had after hugs for everyone and time to settle the dogs down was about how he celebrated. He was so cute, I knew he didn't have money to go to the bar or anything because I give them the money they need and there is only enough to survive, I figure if they want to have fun they need jobs ;-)

He said his friends all pitched in so he could join them at a bowling fundraiser for their school and it was on the evening of his birthday. Being a guy he didn't say anything like us women do about it being his birthday, thankfully a young lady he knows told him Happy Birthday at the bowling alley and then a friend bought him his first beer. I've always said beer is nasty, I don't like it at all never have, sorry if that offends any beer lovers out there. My son said it wasn't near as bad as I make it sound LOL.

What makes me feel good though was that we had a great conversation about him turning 21 and how so many people thought he should have been obsessed with the idea of getting drunk. He wasn't, isn't and I'd like to think that our open honest conversations about drinking and the effects of having drunk to much alcohol are part of the reason why. I'm not a prude, but I have always wanted to share my thoughts honestly with him and shared that if he wanted to drink more than a drink he should do it somewhere that he could stay the night such as a friends house or at his own home, he agrees with that concept.

My younger son turned 19 not such a landmark event as 21 but equally as celebratory in my mind so we had a great dinner with cake and ice cream for desert. The entire family laughed and chatted at the dinner table The boys stayed until late in the evening (when their laundry was finally done lol) and went back to their home in Saginaw.

All this is making me a little nostalgic, remembering his first birthday but I guess that is what happens when you have a child turn 21 that "one" just brings those things to mind. My boys are growing up and I feel privileged that I am not just mom but also a friend and confidant to them. They are great MEN, I'll try hard not to call them boys any more. Whoa, I never thought I'd have three MEN that I love so completely in my life.


My 19 year old comfy in his trailer he shares with his brother in Saginaw. :-) They are still waiting for an oven but at least they got a fridge. It is a nice trailer and as Jake the 21 yr old says much better than living in the dorms with strangers that don't clean up after themselves. Since the younger sibling doesn't cook he cleans up from the meal and they share household chores.


   The oldest 21 with his baby sister and her friend at camp this summer - couldn't find anything more recent, he seems to disappear when the camera is out lately.

Have you recently celebrated a "milestone" birthday with your children? Are you feeling as nostalgic as I am or am I just a sentimental momma? Please comment & let me know. I enjoy reading them.                                                            

Monday, October 15, 2012

Strange Sitters to New Friends

Over the years I've held several different full or part-time jobs. It was difficult to keep a job when the boys were young because Jim's working construction meant he worked long hours till the job was done and then had time off in between jobs. Sitters want the kids there on a regular schedule which made it nearly impossible to keep a regular sitter for long. I had heard of a lady who babysat through a friend and she was great for a while but then I realized from talking to the boys that she was trying to get the boys to call her and her husband mom and dad.  So, I  put an add in the paper and met with a couple of people.

The lady that I decided to hire was great and we became good friends chatting before I left for work and after I got home. We even had her and her boyfriend over a few times for dinner and a game of cards. I felt much better knowing that she was at my home with my boys when I left for work. I learned that she was married but the marriage wasn't working out she had left him and her two teenage children before I met her.

It wasn't long before Jim's job was done and he was home for a few weeks. During this time she decided to go back to her family which left me without a sitter once again. She was still my good friend and since I was a stay-at-home mom again she invited me to come visit her and her family which lived a couple of hours away.

My fabulous husband has a knack for knowing when I need some time off from being mom. He suggested I go for the weekend and enjoy myself. I went for the weekend and had a great time it was the start of a great friendship and I went back several more weekends. We would rent sappy movies and drink wine coolers, relax together and talk. I needed those times when I wasn't mom for a day when I could just relax.

Eventually her teenage daughter came back with me and stayed for the week during the summer. We had lots of fun together. Our closeness brought joy to both families. We remained that way for some time, till they moved away.

Why do I share this story? God has blessed me with so many people in my life sometimes they were there to provide what I needed like in this story when I needed a friend and a break. Without family to provide these things I've had to rely on friends. Other times I have had people come into my life so that I can help them. This was a time that was a little of both.

Please leave a comment have you had a strange sitter? Have you met a stranger and instantly connected knowing that you were going to be great friends? Has your life been blessed by someone or have you been used to bless another? Please share or leave me a link to your story.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Lost and Found at the Fair

The summer when Jake was five and Justin was three, I was selling goods at our local fair and setting up shows for a home show company. A friend's daughter from church had agreed to take the boys around the fair while I was there so they could have some fun.

The day was going pretty well, I had sold some things off the table and given away a lot of catalogs which might lead to future sales. As the afternoon wore on I was getting a bit bored and then looked up to find Jake walking alone toward me. My first reaction was anger, that he was alone. After that flash of emotion passed, came relief that he was smart enough to know how to get back to me.

I asked him where the babysitter and Justin were and he said the bathrooms. I asked him if he walked away and he said he couldn't find them. So I ask a neighboring vendor to watch my things and allowed him to lead me in the direction where they had been. I was sure that the babysitter was going to meet me half way frantic with panic over not being able to locate him.

He lead me out away from the rides toward the barns and I noticed there was an ambulance sitting in the middle of the road between the barn and the bathrooms but the lights weren't on and there were a lot of people gathered around so I kept scanning the crowds everywhere for the babysitter and Justin.

Finally, as we get about 50 yards from the ambulance I hear my name being called on the loudspeaker, and they are asking me to report to the ambulance in front of the cow barn. My heart starts to beat a little faster and we started walking a little faster. As we approach the ambulance the I see the babysitter first and she is crying, she was very upset. I immediately thought something was wrong with her, she had gotten hurt somehow. I gave her a quick hug and ask the ambulance attendant what was going on. Then I hear Justin crying and sobbing. He was in a state sobbing the way a child does when they have been crying for a little while and they are running out of steam but are still not wanting to stop crying.

The ambulance attendant explained to me that he had been kicked by a cow. He explained that the cow would have killed him had it actually kicked him, but instead had lifted him up with the thrust of its leg and he hit his head on the cement. Since he was only 3 and the ambulance guys were strangers he wasn't having anything to do with them until I got there.

I wrapped my arms around him and held him for them to examine. They couldn't find anything wrong but were afraid that he might have a concussion and wanted me to keep an eye on him and not let him go to sleep. I agreed and our motley little crew walked away from the ambulance back toward my booth.

My poor babysitter was so upset it was all I could do to calm her down. Having babysat a lot myself as a teen I really felt her pain and could easily imagine how horrible and scary the whole ordeal was for her. I let her talk and reassured her that everything would be fine and that it was okay. At the same time I was trying to reassure myself.

I sent her and Jake off to get something to drink for all of us and settled in to calm my still shuddering and sobbing little Justin. I rocked him and kissed him and tried to keep him from going to sleep. They came back and while her and I were talking he drifted off to sleep. I nudged him to wake him up and he woke up for a second and then his eyes rolled back in his head in a weird way that I had never seen before and he went limp in my arms. I asked the babysitter as calmly as I could to go get the ambulance worker and have him come over to us.

The two or three minutes that it took for him to get to me seemed like forever. I told him what happened and he checked his pulse and said that we were going over to the hospital with him. So I climbed in to the ambulance with him and off we went. He woke up at the hospital and fought with the nurses who were trying to put an IV in his arm. I think it took three nurses to hold him down. Meanwhile I was trying to call my husband and leave a message so that he would know what was happening.

They decided to send us to the big city children's hospital for x-rays and observation, so we were packed into the ambulance again for an hour long ride. The worker who was riding in back with me said it was okay this time if we let him go to sleep because they had all the monitors hooked up. Finally, he went to sleep and a moment later I took a deep cleansing breath and started to cry.

The ambulance worker immediately started telling me that it was going to be okay. I told her I knew that he was going to be okay and that everyone was great and I appreciated her concern. I then told her that I had to cry I had been holding it all in for nearly four hours being strong for everyone else and now in this quiet moment while he was sleeping, before we got to the hospital and they woke him up for tests, I needed to get it out and cry it out so I could be strong for him again. She understood and held my hand and let me cry.

Justin was released and good as gold three days later. We had a bit of a rough time in the hospital. He had a fractured skull and there was some swelling of the brain but he got better quick and as soon as he could hold down food we were out of there.

Later everyone told me they were amazed at how calmly I reacted to everything and how reassuring I had been to everyone else. What they didn't know was that I was a wreck on the inside the entire time from the moment I heard my name over the speaker. I was running on auto pilot, it felt like someone else was being me and I was along for the ride all calm on the outside while my mind was racing a hundred miles an hour on the inside. If it wouldn't have been for the quiet time to cry in the ambulance, where I released my anxieties and prayed for his health and my calm, I wouldn't have been such a good mom.

I think back now and that song "Jesus Take the Wheel" comes to mind, I don't think I could have been that calm collected person on my own without His strength.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pink Robes & House Fires

Just kidding, this isn't our house it wasn't this bad. 


Our old farm house had the kind of heaters that were not forced air but ran along the floors attached to the walls the length of the room. In some rooms they were on all the walls in others only some. I think they had water running through them. Hopefully you get the idea anyway.

I kept my beautiful fluffy pink robe hanging in the bathroom about a foot or so above the vent, it never got hot from hanging there but one day while going to the bathroom I noticed that the bottom of my robe was turning grey. That puzzled me. I got the boys ready for school and off on the bus then went to confront my husband about the robe because I was sure he had something to do with it.

He looked at my robe, got down on his hands and knees and then looked at the vent, then he put his nose right up to the vent and sniffed. He got up and calmly said, "There is smoke coming up out of the vent."

I couldn't see or smell any smoke, I thought he was crazy. He went outside the bathroom and pulled up the carpet on the floor. Under the carpet was the removable door to the basement, just a Michigan basement but for some unknown reason the heater was down there. Then he lifted the door and flames shot up to the ceiling from down below. I shrieked and he threw the door back down, grabbed my hand and we ran outside. Stay here he said and ran off around the other side of the house. He is such a smart man, to smart sometimes. He ran to the back of the house and turned off the gas at the tank. Then he came back to me and told me what he did and that he was going to check to see if that did the trick or if we needed to call the fire department.

He went in and came back to get me. The fire died when he turned off the gas. He then called a friend's dad who worked on heaters and he said that it wasn't properly ventilated down there and we were lucky to be alive. The heater was trashed so we installed a new one up above the basement and made sure that it was properly ventilated.

I said he is to smart because I often think, that old house could have burned down if we would have just went outside and called the fire department and I would have been fine with it. Oh, but we would have missed so many adventures that I've yet to share.

I do think that we have had an angel looking out for our safety though and he was working overtime in that old house.

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think. Have you ever had a house fire? Even a small one?

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Skinny dreams

I had a very strange and memorable dream last night. Maybe it could be blamed on my recent guilt over gaining back some of the weight that I worked so hard to lose. It was my own fault though because of some very poor and self indulgent choices. Maybe I should just blame the dream on watching to much sci-fi type shows lately with all the crazy things that happen on those shows.

Anyway, my dream was that my sister sent me an outfit. So, I was not happy that my pants were a little tight and opened the box that came in the mail from my sister. I knew she was sending me some clothes that she said would be just perfect but I had no idea what they were.

Inside the box was a tube top, a spaghetti strap tank that had lace sides and a small pair of shorts. The kind of shorts that were popular in the 80's. Now, if I were 16 again this may have been an outfit I would wear. Of course when I was 16 I wore a size 5 so an outfit like that would have looked good too. It should suffice to say that with 20 some years of marriage I'm not sixteen any more. After four kids and years of loving to cook and eat what I cook my size is definitely in the double digits.



Regardless of reality, in my dream I put on the outfit mostly out of curiosity and look in the mirror to see the younger version of my body that was skinny and I looked very good in that outfit. Thanks sis. LOL

 For some unknown reason, I was working in a restaurant. Although I didn't own the restaurant it felt as though someone close to me, like a family member, did own it and I was in a high position. I wore my new outfit to the restaurant and made lots of great tips that night. But, I woke up before the work evening was over. I was sad to be me again, but it was fun feeling proud of my body and flaunting it a bit like I did back in the day.

There is no moral to the story but I did have a smaller helping at dinner tonight and added a salad. So, although I'm not willing to starve myself, I am going to work on staying healthy. I'll never see a size 5 again but maybe someday I will feel like flaunting it a little again. It could happen. LOL