April 27, 2009

Traverse City, MI

Traverse City, MI

Friday, April 24, 2009 - About 7:30 pm -We had just got back from a family walk at the Winnebago County Forest Preserve when Jim said, "pack up we're going to Traverse City, MI."

Our friends, Jeannie and Dell, live there and he also picked up a gallon of primer hardener at NAPA.

We had a seafood lunch at Apache Trout Grill and then they gave us the grand tour of Traverse City. Every bite was oh, so good.

Dell drove us along the 18 mile long peninsula which protrudes in a northerly direction splitting Grand Traverse bay into east and west arms. It sits on the 45th parallel [half way between the North Pole & the Equator] and sheltered from major winds by the east and west points of the bay, the area had long been home to bands of Ottawa. We got out and took pictures of the Old Mission Lighthouse, Hesler Log House, and the beach.

The Hesler house is a rare surviving log house dating from the early settlement of the Old Mission Peninsula. From 1854 to 1856, Joseph and Mary Hesler built the house of hand-hewn pine and hemlock logs fourteen miles south of here on the eastern shore of the peninsula. The Heslers sold the house in 1866. During the next 125 years it served as a private residence, housing for migrant workers, a school, and quarters for a bull. When the house was threatened with demolition in 1992, citizens rallied. The building was moved to this site and restored. The lighthouse is located on the same property.

The wind was brisk and the temperature cold. It was hard to believe that we left Durand on Friday at 80o F and arrived the next day at Traverse City's 40o F Even though the sky was overcast and rainy...we thought the views were spectacular.

We drove back downtown and went to a few shops.

We purchased pie at the Grand Traverse Pie Company. YUMMY!

We experimented with oils and vinegars at Fustini’s Oils & Vinegars.

There were 21 different Oils and 14 Balsamic Vinegars! You can taste oils and vinegars and decide for yourself what you like and which Balsamics go well with your favorite Oils. When you are done creating your own combinations, they pour and bottle your own "signature" selection. What you tasted is what you take home! We tested many different combinations but in the end I bought the 18-year Traditional Balsamic.

The Cherry Republic was situated across the street from Fustini’s Oils & Vinegars. Cherry products galore. Samples everywhere! Cherry Wine Jelly was my favorite...well, almost everything I tried was great!!! LOL ;)


Missed Paying a Toll?

Illinois Virtual Tollway Map This map shows where the tollway is, mile markers, cost of tollway and oasis locations. The Illinois Tollway grants a 7-day grace period to pay your missed toll.

Jim and I aren't sure if we missed a toll or not last Friday!!! The interstate split and we saw the tollway to our right...but wasn't sure if we missed one to the left. We could have gone through an I-Pass! It was dark out and with the split-confusing...it was near I80/I90. I contacted the IL tollway phone-line and on-line and they can't tell me if we missed one. LOL. They said if we think we missed - we should just go ahead and pay. And if we pay that it needs to be the right amount! WOW. They sure don't make it easy. So what did we do??? We sent them $1.00!

It was great seeing Jeannie and Dell again!
Thanks for showing us such a great time.

April 15, 2009

Enter the FREE CraftBox Giveaway from The Original Scrapbox!


The Original Scrapbox


The competition will be based on "Before" pictures of a messy craftroom. These will be judged and voted on by visitors to our site.

The person with the most votes wins!

HURRY before the contest ends! Good Luck!!!

To see all the products The Original Scrapbox offers just click HERE.

til next time,


April 13, 2009


Hope everyone had a memorable EASTER!!!

Jim and I celebrated Easter on Saturday in Elizabeth, IL with his dad, Miles. Jim's sister, Janice and her husband, Ted were there too. It was really nice. Ted made our Easter dinner - Ham - just the way Mom Kahl use to make it!

On Sunday I relaxed and made scalloped potatoes with the "left over" ham. I decided to dedicate part of my day to studying scripture...I opened my Bible to 2 Peter 2. It was just what I needed to read. I also promised myself - NO INTERNET for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. There was a lot of email to read today.

Today's blog topic word is: INSPIRATION!

I recently read this inspirational project idea...an article by Dawn Stegall:

What is faithbooking? While there are different definitions of what faithbooking means, it is simply incorporating your faith throughout your scrapbooks. A few common meanings may include:

A means to express our faith.
A journey of faith.
The ability to capture life's lessons that God teaches us.
An eternal legacy for our children.
A witnessing tool.
An incredible, permanent reminder of our God Moment and His hand in our lives.

Scripture, thoughts, prayers, blessings, memories, letters, and stories combines with our photographs to always remember our personal and spiritual journey with the Lord.

Why should you start faithbooking? Because we are commanded to. Throughout the Bible, we are commanded to remember. Remember the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord. Psalm 78:4 We are also told to teach. Teach them to your children...Dt. 4:9 Teach them the right way to live...1 Kings 8:36 There are many more scripture verses that tell us to remember and teach. What better way to remember and to teach then with faithbooking! Remember and teach through your journaling and scripture verses then enhance with photos and embellishments.

If you currently scrapbook, don't wait to finish your current scrapbook album to start faithbooking. For me, they are one in the same. I like to incorporate my faith throughout my scrapbooks as one. They are not two separate projects. Always start your faithbook in prayer. Then you can start simply by adding scripture and verses to capture the theme of the layout and then progress into journaling more thought provoking faith questions.

If scrapbooking is not your thing, then consider keeping a journal. Express your feelings on paper and then share the portions you want with others as you feel led. Remember there is not a right or wrong way to faithbook-just get started today!

For more about faithbooking and to claim a free quick-start guide to faithbooking, please visit http://www.FaithfullyYours.net

Two other Faithbooking sites I found inspirational were Faith Sisters Gallery and Keep It Simple Scrapbooking.

While searching some "cool" sites I stumbled across this lyric by
Steven Curtis Chapman

I Believe in You

Aren't you the little one
That hid in my arms afraid of the thunder
Are these the little hands
That held so tight to mine

Didn't we both agree you'd never grow up
And now here we are, and here you go
Of all the things I want to say
The thing you really need to know is...

I believe in you
I believe in you
Everything you are
Everything you are becoming

And I believe in you
I believe in you
So spread your wings and fly
On the winds of knowing
I always believe in you

So many prayers we've prayed
So many dreams to get to this moment
Now this is where we stay
While you go change the world

But I'll be where I have always been
Up in the stands cheering you on and singing this song
A song the very God who made you
Has been singing all along

I believe in you
Yeah, I believe in you
So spread your wings and fly
On the winds of knowing
I will always believe in you

And when you rise and when you fall
I'll still believe in you
Just close your eyes and hear me calling
I believe in You

All I can say is WOW...


A woman's heart should be so hidden in Christ that a man should have to seek Him first to find her.'

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not shouting ''I'm clean livin'' I'm whispering 'I was lost, Now I'm found and forgiven.'

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I don't speak of this with pride. I'm confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not trying to be strong. I'm professing that I'm weak and need His strength to carry on.

When I say.. 'I am a Christian' I'm not bragging of success. I'm admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess.

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not claiming to be perfect, My flaws are far too visible but, God believes I am worth it.

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I still feel the sting of pain... I have my share of heartaches, so I call upon His name.

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not holier than thou, I was just a sinner who received God's good grace by faith!

Pretty is as Pretty does... but Beautiful is just plain Beautiful!

by Carol Wimmer Copyright 1988

Now that you've been "inspired" by two awesome poems...here is a gallery I just discovered - Cococats Cardmaking Gallery! I saw this penguin card. I wonder how many other "fun" ideas I'll find there.

Well I hope I have "inspired" you to keep on doing what feeds your soul! The only way to True Happiness is through our Lord, Jesus Christ!

til next time,


April 3, 2009

CARDS FOR HEROES.ORG has a mission to support our nation’s armed forces by sending blank greeting cards to write home on, as well as cards of gratitude to encourage them. In this weeks "Splitcoastampers Weekly Inkling" Join guest tutorial authors Laura Canale and Mary Jo Albright as they show you how to make two different baskets just in time for your Easter and Spring crafts. See some great examples of this technique HERE.

I added a new blog that I follow to my site: Stampalicious! Check out Tara's Rolodex Birthdays! I love the owl. TIP: When your in a "blog" check out who's blog they like to visit. It can be fun to see so many inspiring individuals.

til next time,


April 1, 2009

Autism Sites, USA

My nephew has autism.
He is a wonderful kid! This post is in honor of him...ISAIAH.

Love Always,

Aunt Connie

Autism Graphics: http://parentsandcarersofautism.com/

My Name Is Autism is a stark and compelling poem offering some sad facts about autism. While the author is unknown, this poem is believed to be written by an autistic person. Yet, it seems to be written from a parent's perspective.

My Name Is Autism

Hello. Allow me to introduce myself to you. My name is autism. Perhaps you know me or know of me. I am a condition, "disorder" that affects many people. I strike at will, when and where I want. Unlike Downs Syndrome or other birth "defects," I leave no marks on those I strike. In fact, I pride myself on the ability to infiltrate a child's life, while leaving him or her strikingly handsome. Many people may not even know I am there. They blame the child for what I cause him or her to do. I am autism and I do as I please.

I am autism. I strike boys and girls. infants and toddlers. I find my best victims to be boys around the age of 2, but any child will do. I like children and they are always the true victims, though I take hostage the others in the child's family as well. It is a bit like getting two for the price of one. I affect one child and "infect" the entire family.

I am autism. I strike rich and poor alike. The rich combat me with education and therapy. The poor shut their children away and cannot afford to fight me. I am able to win in the lives of poor children more than I am those of the wealthy, but I will try to take root anywhere.

I am autism. I am an equal opportunity disorder. I strike whites, blacks, Mexicans, Ukrainians, Russians, Poles, Slavs, Japanese, Koreans and Fins. In fact, I strike everywhere on Earth. I know no geographical bounds.

I am autism. I do not discriminate based upon religion either. I strike Jews and Christians, Muslims and Buddhists, Atheists and Agnostics. I do not care what religion a person is or what beliefs he may hold. When I strike, there will be little time for any of that anyway. When they find me, they will question everything they believe in, so why would I strike only one group? I have affected followers of every religion on the planet.

I am autism and I am strong and getting stronger every year, every month, every day, every minute and every second. I am concerned that money might be allotted to combat me and my takeover of children, but so far, I have little to fear. Some countries like Kuwait, are spending quite a bit of money to assist those who I have targeted and some, like the United States, would rather spend money on such ludicrous things as discovering the number of American Indians who practice Voodoo, as opposed to combating me. In an atmosphere such as that, I can flourish and wreck havoc at will. In places such as that, I rub my hands with glee at the problems I can cause to children, their families and to the society at large.

I am autism. When I come, I come to stay. I take the dreams and hopes of families and trample them with delight. I see the fear and confusion in the eyes of my victims and see the formation of wrinkles, the worries and pain on the face of their parents. I see the embarrassment their child causes because of me and the parents unsuccessful attempt to hide their child, and me. I see tears the parents cry and feel the tears of their child. I am autism. I leave sorrow in my wake.

I am autism. I taketh away and give nothing but bewilderment and loathing in return. I take speech and learning. I take socialization and understanding. I take away "common sense" and, if I am allowed to flourish, I take away all but their physical life. What I leave behind, is almost worse than death.

I am autism. I fear nothing except courage, which I thankfully see little of. I fear those who take a stand against me and attempt to fight me and bring others into the fight as well. I fear those who try to make it safe and easier for my victims in the community, and their families. I fear those who push ahead, despite the fact that I am in tow. I fear the day I will be eradicated from the planet. Yet, I do not fear too much right now. There is no need.

I am autism and I bet you know me or know of me. If you don't, you probably will soon. I am marching forward faster than I ever have before. I am looking for new children all the time. I am looking for new children to consume and new lives to destroy. I dread the day I will be looked upon with pity or worse yet, understanding, for that day, is the day I will begin to die.

But in the mean time I am safe, free to prowl onward. Free to cause the pain and suffering that I do so well. I am on a mission and have much work to do and thankfully no one is stopping me yet.

Hello. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is autism. Perhaps you know me or know of me, if not don't worry, you will meet me soon.

~Author Unknown

The following Autism sites were found...


United States

Autism Awareness Association Inc.
Street: 4031 E. Harry Street
Wichita, KS 67218
Mailing: P.O. Box 780898
Wichita, KS 67278
Website: www.autismawareassoc.org

Autism Society of America
7910 Woodmont Avenue, Suite 300
Bethesda, MD 20814-3067
Website: http://www.autism-society.org/

Autism Speaks
2 Park Avenue, 11th Floor
New York, NY 10016
Website: http://www.autismspeaks.org

National Autism Association
1330 W. Schatz Lane
Nixa, MO 65714
Website: www.nationalautism.org

U.S. Autism and Asperger Association
P.O. Box 532
Draper, UT 84020-0532
Website: www.usautism.org

United States of America Stamford Education 4 Autism, Inc.
1127 High Ridge Road PMB #315
Stamford, CT 06905
Email: stamforde4autism@aol.com

Greenwich Education and Prep
62 Main Street
New Canaan, CT 06840
Website: www.greewichedprep.com

8700 East 29th Street North
Wichita, KS 67218
Website: www.heartspring.org

Good Friend, Inc.
808 Cavalier Drive
Waukesha, WI 53186
Website: www.goodfriendinc.com

Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI)
470 Glenmont Ave
Columbus OH 43214
Website: http://www.ocali.org

The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation
P.O. Box 1149
Ridgewood, New Jersey 07451-1149
Website: http://www.djfiddlefoundation.org

Easter Seals Headquarters
233 S. Wacker Dr., Suite 2400
Chicago, IL 60606
Website: www.easterseals.com

Hamilton County Autism Support Group
19215 Morrison Way
Noblesville, Indiana 46060
Website: www.hcasg.org

The SMART Foundation
PO Box 2181
Vail, Colorado 81658
Website: www.thesmartfoundation.org

Autism Delaware
924 Harmony Road, Suite 201
Newark, DE 19713
Website: www.delautism.org

Faces of Hope Children's Therapy Center
301 Hancock Street
Gallatin, Tennessee 37066
Website: www.facesofhopetn.com

The Friendship Network for Children
100 Otis St. #4B
Northborough, MA 01532
Website: www.networkforchildren.org

Sensory Research Center
510 N. Prospect S-308
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
Website: www.sensoryresearchcenter.org

Also don't forget the...

Official VH1 Classic Rock Autism Campaign


Stampin' Out Alzheimer's

Hi everyone! The picture you see here is Jen Tapler and her family.

Jen will be hosting her Stampin' Out Alzheimer's Virtual Crop and Challenge in May to honor her father and as a teaser to that event, she introduced this exciting challenge and is offering up some pretty awesome Blog Candy to one lucky winner!!

I either know someone [or have known] with Alzheimer's. My husband's mother had it and she passed away a couple of years ago with Dementia/Alzheimer. So lets get the word out about this card challenge. I encourage you to support her cause.

On March 31 Jen Tapler extended her Deadline to enter her Blogoversary Challenge to benefit the Alzheimer's Association. The NEW deadline for her blog candy giveaway is 11:59 PM Central Time, FRIDAY, APRIL 3.

What is Jen's awesome Blog Candy...What can you win?

* $30 Gift Certificate to Verve Stamps
* Fun With Flowers pack from Verve Stamps ($67 value)
* Bunny Bundle Pack from Verve Stamps ($43 value)
* $15 Gift Certificate to Taylored Expressions
* $15 Gift Certificate + a mini set from There She Goes
* $10 Gift Certificate to Sweet Shoppe Designs
* $10 Gift Certificate to The Digichick
* 5 Stampin' Up hostess and Sale-a-bration stamp sets: Congrats, Yummy, Botanical Blooms, Polka Dot Punches, and Darling Dots

For MORE INFORMATION on how you can be eligible to win this fantastic Prize Package worth over $250...just visit Jen's blog at:

Or you can click on her site under "My Blog List."

REMEMBER...you may continue sending cards through the end of the month to Jen to use in the auction.

God Bless You All!

til next time,




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Autism is a complex neurobiological disorder that typically lasts throughout a person's lifetime. It is part of a group of disorders known as autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Today, 1 in 150 individuals is diagnosed with autism, making it more common than pediatric cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined. It occurs in all racial, ethnic, and social groups and is four times more likely to strike boys than girls. Autism impairs a person's ability to communicate and relate to others. FOR MORE INFO please click on the autism awareness ribbon. My nephew is autistic. He is a fantastic kid! Pray for a cure and Please help educate others about autism. Thanks, Con.

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