Birthday Dinner Fit For a Mouse

Because our Family never celebrates birthdays on the correct day, we celebrated Mousey’s on Sunday night.


Mousey chose lettuce cups for her birthday dinner. They were yummy.


We had them once at P.F. Changs, and now Honey duplicates it for us at home.

Instead of birthday cake, she opted for strawberry sundaes, with whipped cream. Oooh la la!


Honey gave her a little extra.


He even gave Kate a little schnibble.

It has been freezing up here in The Mitten this weekend! I sure don’t understand the weather we have had this summer. Honey is thinking about closing the pool, it’s that re-donk-u-lous!


Potent Quotable

Knowledge and eloquence are often overrated in the process of communicating the good news of Jesus Christ. Never underestimate the power of what God has done for you, and don’t be afraid to tell your story to others. —David McCasland

All American Past Time

Honey has been occupied  lately. He has been watching some world champion, grand poobah, series of Little League games. And, evidently, it is never ending.

Just when I think it’s over, another game comes on. Games between countries I have barely heard of, and games between states that I have.  I am then called to come look at this kid or that kid. This one is 12 years old and is 6’2 and weighs 220, that one needs to shave.

When he came home from work  early yesterday morning, he got himself all situated to watch a game he had taped the night before. He was loving it, until it stopped recording on the last play of the game. With two outs and the bases loaded. Oh my goodness, he was beside himself! He then booted me off the computer so he could find out what happened.

Something big is going on today. He had a moment of worry in the car yesterday afternoon, when he thought he forgot to record something. He carefully thought it through, and decided it was happening this afternoon. Whew, that could have been a major league disaster!

I have no idea how much longer this will go on. He is obsessed.

Immeasurably More

 Not only did The Ab-Cat and The Boy get their drivers licenses this week, they both started college! WOO HOO!!

Ab has been taking on-line classes at a community college for the last 2 years. She started this route because she had a major super duper spine surgery the summer after she graduated from high school in 2007. We weren’t sure about her recovery time, and we knew she was going to have another surgery in the fall of that same year. We knew she wouldn’t be able to make it to classes physically, so on line seemed a good option. It WAS! She is a very organized, self-motivated student, and she did very well. The next year, since she still did not want to get her drivers license, she did the same thing.

This year, she is driving to college! Which started Wednesday. And that girl I told you about? The one who could not navigate her way out of a paper bag? She drove herself to COLLEGE! And then, later that day? She drove to Target, the library and the vet to pick up Katie’s medicine. ALL BY HERSELF!!! And then I asked her to take Mousey to swim practice. In that day alone, I saved 6 trips! What ever am I going to do with all of my free time???

The Boy also did admirably. He wanted to drive by himself once before he had to start his big college day. He decided to drive up to LMNOP’s work and surprise her. They are both ALL ABOUT  the licenses, driving and college lately. Despite my detailed instructions, he got lost and never did get there. They did meet up later though, somehow.

His college day on Wednesday was very complicated. Like we dropped him off a tanker in the middle of the ocean, in a rubber raft, and said GO, kind of complicated.

He had to drive himself to work, which was easy, but then drive to the college about 20 minutes away, that he had only been to twice; to register and buy his books. THEN, he had to drive across towns to his second class that was at an off site campus, maybe another 20 or so minutes away. The thing that most worried me about this process, was that there was construction on the road that was best for him to take, and I was worried that it could cause him to run late to the second college, he would get all frazzled and not be able to find his class room, and then his head would explode. He would then fall out of his rubber raft, all alone on the ocean, and be eaten by a shark.

He texted after every arrival. He did great!

There were arrow prayers flying all day for these kids. God knew we were ALL anxious. He knew all about Ab not knowing where she was. He was well aware that The Boy was travelling in cities that he had never knowingly been in. He knew that we were letting our children fly out of their comfy nest for the first time. Un-flown by us.

This is one of my favorite verses. I saw it the other day on a blob, that had nothing to do with anything that I have described here. But, that’s just one of the things I love about God. He applies. To all of His followers in their own special set of circumstances.

Ephesians 3:20

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…

I like that word immeasurably.  I looked it up. It said “not capable of being measured”. That sounds like a lot. If God is doing more than can be measured, more than I can ask for or imagine?  I would like some of that, please.

I like immeasurably more. I need immeasurably more. I ask for immeasurably more for our children.  And that’s exactly what He did.

I asked for them to have safety from all harm and evil. He did that. I asked that they would not be overwhelmed by circumstances, and not get lost. He did that.

AND THEN, He gave them a sense of accomplishment, they DID it! They learned a new kind of dependence on Him, something they need to experience for themselves. And finally, they have a new confidence. See? Immeasurably more than we asked for.

I am immeasurably  thankful.


They Have Arrived! Or Rather, There They Go!

This has been a monumental week here at The NutHatch. Mon-U-mental.

Ab-Cat and The Boy both got their drivers license on Monday. Yes, you read that correctly.

I realize that this is a natural progression in a teenager’s life, and many of you have  already lived through this. I  was beginning to wonder if we were ever going to live through this. I mean, they ARE 20 and 18 years old!

I was seriously beginning to consider that Mousey may beat them to it. She already pesters us to drive.

Those older two just did not have the desire to drive. We made them.

Ab-Cat has owned her own van for 3 years, and she still didn’t want to drive. Over the course of the last 3 years,  she became a very good driver, but her directional skills did not develop along with her driving skills. She continues to amaze me by not knowing where she is. Ever. Except the library, she can get there,  from our house, on her own.

The Boy finally decided he would take drivers ed when he was 16, then spent the next 2 years declining to drive whenever I handed him the keys. He always had an excuse. He was tired, he didn’t want to drive on a busy road, it was raining. Whatever. He was content to bum a ride from his many friends who had been driving for years.

Monday was the day. Honey called and scheduled their road tests back to back. The rest of the day was such a typical NutHatch day, that I have to tell you all about it, in excruciating detail. Because this is SO how our life is, and I just need to share it with someone. Lucky Ya’ll.

Honey and I arranged to meet at the church where the kids were taking their tests at 7 a.m. so we could leave a car there. The instructor uses your own car, and I didn’t feel like sitting there in the church parking lot  for an hour with my second child while he tested the first child. So I dropped Ab-Cat off in her accessible van and drove myself home. Wait a second, back it on up. As she turned out of our street, her gas light came on. First snag of the day.

I casually mentioned this to the instructor when we arrived. But surely, he wouldn’t be driving her around for 20 miles, would he? Of course, he might. So she got out and they had a little get to know you chat while I raced to get some gas.

THEN, off they went. I went home and puttered around, got The Boy up, and we returned to the church parking lot. There, the instructor told me that her permit was expired. WE HAD NO IDEA. She has been driving with an expired permit for almost a year. He then told us that we needed to head right on over to the Secretary of State and have it renewed or else he couldn’t giver her her passing certificate. It seems the State of Michigan is nit picky about things like that.

Guess what? The Secretary of State has been closed lately on Fridays, something about a 4 day work week, and EVERYBODY and their brother, and grandma, neighbor and cousin were there too. We waited in that beast of a  line until an employee, assigned to separate customers to help facilitate a speedier wait in the beast of a line, told us to go to the handicapped window. So now we know the 2 best things  about being paralyzed; getting special privileges at theme parks and  the Secretary of State.

Because her permit had been expired longer than 6 months, she had to take a test. It was four pages long!!!! That took a bit of time, so she was not finished before I had to go back to the church and pick up The Boy. I had planned on showing the instructor the permit, gathering her certificate, and paying him for both tests.

I still didn’t have the permit and when I opened the checkbook, there were no checks. This man was going to think I was the villiage idiot.

When I told him I had no permit, and no checks, he suggested we come back in an hour and a half when he had his next test. He let me know that he was giving me a lot of breaks.

So The Boy and I went back to the Secretary of State, where he got at the end of the beast of a line. It had not shrunk. I think it had grown. And because he does not have the misfortune to be paralyzed, he had to wait in it the entire time.

I went to check on the Ab-Cat. She had passed her test, had her permit  and 53 other documents in hand. She opted to go wait in the van, and I went to wait with The Boy. Where he entertained me, and I told him that he and his sister needed to take me out for lunch, because they had hijacked my whole, entire day.           And then, he got his license! WOO HOO!!!!!

We then ran home, got some cash to pay the instructor, because I still could not find the checks, that have always been in the same place since we moved into this house 10 years ago, and went back to the church to pay the patient instructor man. He  accepted our cash, looked at Ab’s brand spanking new permit and gave her her certificate. Goodbye instructor man, we will see you when Mousey has need of your services!

Back in the car, we commenced discussing lunch. We discuss eating a lot. It is a family hobby. We decided to go home and get The Mouse to discuss and eat with us. Discuss can be a funny word if you use it many  times.

The power had gone off at some point in the morning, and startled Honey awake because the clock was blinking 3:30. This was alarming to him for some reason, I am not sure why, as he had no where to be. But it caused him to get up a little rattled, none the less. So his misfortune, became our fortune, and he was able to join us, with Mouse, at our favorite Chinese restaurant for lunch. On the 2 oldest kid’s dime. Always a treat.

We parted company at this point. They all went home and Ab-Cat and I went for her 2:45 appointment with an oral surgeon. Because she has a hole in her mouth. Well, actually, her gum. Our dentist and the oral surgeon both said they had never seen anything like it in over 40 years of practice. She is special-special.

After her appointment, we went back to our new hangout, the Secretary of State, and the beast of a line. Still no shorter, maybe even  a tad bit longer. I saw our buddy at the handicapped window and took a chance. I asked her if we could just come on over, or did we need to wait for the crowd facilitator lady to send us? She said COME ON OVER!!!!

She was my very favorite person that day.

And then The Ab-Cat got her license. WOO HOO!!!!

The End.

Way Back When-sday-Happy Birthday, Mouse-a-Lina!

15 years old tomorrow. That is SO hard to believe.It doesn’t seem like a long time, but on the other hand, we can hardly remember life without her.

I will now tell you 15 things that I love about this Mousey-Girl.

1. She is a close sitter. Just last night, we were  watching tv and sitting on the couch like a couple of gerbils. First she laid her head on the pillow in my lap. Then she put my arm around her. Then we scratched each others backs. Maybe we’re not gerbils, maybe we are monkeys.

2. She gives great hugs. And you don’t even need to ask her for one, she’ll just give it.

3. She is so good with little kids. All of our kids are.  Considering she has almost always been the youngest where ever she was, I am impressed by this. She loves working in 4 year olds every Sunday morning.

4. She is a reasonable, patient girl. She was born into a family that has had to juggle years and years of dr’s visits,  physical therapy, and different circumstances. She seemed to take it all in stride, finding something to do where ever she went. Of course, she never knew any different, it all seemed normal to her!

5. She can find ways to occupy herself. For hours. This one never complains she is bored.

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6. She has an inquisitive mind. She likes to figure things out. She likes to try new things.

7. She likes to smell good. Hand soap, shampoo, perfume. I love that.

8. She’s a shopper! A useful skill!

9. She doesn’t understand when her friends sometimes talk terrible about their parents. She told me that the parents are really nice, and they are not even being unreasonable. She says she likes us.

10.She is thinking about her future. She tells me all the time about things she would like to do. Go away to college, careers, family, home.

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11. She wants to be a Mama. And have 2 kids. Liam and Emery.

12. Sometimes when I see her with Goomba, I can see the Mama in her. I like those glimpses.

13. She knows what she wants. At least for a window of time. Until she changes her mind! But, she is confident  that is what she wants right then. I admire her confidence, I’m pretty sure I wasn’t confident at that age.

14. She is adorable.

15. She is ours.

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With Honey’s sister, Rachel. They are lovin’.

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Happy Birthday, Mousey. Our Darlin’  Baby Girl, God’s really good Gift to us.



This is Halle Berry’s new favorite place to nap. She is a delicious bowl ‘o kitty!

Goomba-ba Ganoush

Little Goomba was here. He was trying on The Boy’s shoes, and modeling them for The Grandma.


When The Boy arose at the crack of noon, he read a book with him. This is Goomba’s book of preference this week. It’s a wild animal book. He was fascinated with the page that had a buffalo and a bison on it. I must have said that 25 times. Buffalo, Bison, Buffalo, Bison.

The Boy was telling him the animal names that they used in “The Jungle Book”. Bagira for panther, Ba-loo for bear,  and Sher Khan for tiger. All need to know information for a growing boy.


Then, lunch time! He brought leftover baba ganoush from home. He likey the ganoush!


He dips the bread in, and licks the ganoush off. He never did eat the bread.


Ganoush, galore.


All gone.

Potent Quotable

Things great have small beginnings. Every downpour is just a raindrop; every fire is just a spark; every harvest is just a seed; every journey is just a step because without that step there will be no journey; without that raindrop there can be no shower; without that seed there can be no harvest.

William Wilberforce

Bargains of the Month-August

I can hardly believe that another month has flown by. Where is this summer going?

My very favorite bargain was found in Virginia. It will be my consolation prize for when summer is over, and I have to put the jeans back on. Always a sad day. It is actually a sadder day when I have to put on the socks.


These Lucky jeans were found on the clearance rack at TJ Maxx. For $20.00. They are oh, so comfortable too! I had a thought to show them actually ON my hindquarters. But, alas, no one is up at our house except me. And the cats. Who have just  now discovered a plastic bag that has been sitting in the foyer since yesterday afternoon. And they are making a great deal of racket with that plastic bag. Think big time wrestling, in a plastic bag. And PLEASE, don’t get all worried that they could actually accidentally get themselves in the plastic bag and suffocate themselves. They have both auditioned for the feline version of “Biggest Loser”. They could no more get into the plastic bag than I could. They will just rustle it around annoyingly, then lay down and sleep on it.

 The kids and I went to Value World ( where the plastic bag came from), once last month, and again yesterday, because we had a 30% off cou-pin. Mousey and The Boy love the Value World. I have to admit it is my favorite thrift shop as well. Mousey purchased many, many things to accentuate her new style. When I asked her where she spent the most time, she said in the old lady/ grandma sweater department. She has found some other really cute things as well.

The Boy insisted  I help him look for shirts. I’m sure I don’t know why, he seemed to know instinctively if a flannel shirt was going to work or not, by just looking at it. If it was too big, he just said “No, it’s too George Costanza”. Which, I guess, meant it was too big in the belly. All I know is that George Costanza was the reason I never wanted to watch “Seinfeld”.  He made me uncomfortable. He still makes me uncomfortable.

The Boy was also looking for a shirt to please LMNOP. That’s how much he is in like with her. He wants to dress to please her. Never mind that I have been trying to get him to stop looking like a dark  HOBO for years now. She evidently likes a type of light blue and white striped shirt. He dutifully tried on every single one they had, and even though some genuinely looked nice on him, he couldn’t do it. They were too light. He said he felt like a cloud. What ever that means.

He did manage to add to his extensive collection of flannel. Four, all for $2. Cause we had the cou-pin.

Ab-Cats twinkie was a Red Wings hoodie, that I snatched up the second it left the stock girls hands. It was an authentic NHL brand, because that is uber-important. Not really. For under $3, with the cou-pin.

Honey received nothing, which is how he prefers it. He’s a saver.

The whole kit and caboodle.


Pile ‘O flannel on left (including, as he called it, the Ray Romano dad shirt), that aqua thing looks like something I wore in the seventies. Bat wing sleeves, unflattering stripe across the chest, color and all.


I thought this was particularly darling with all the moving bling. Mia was loving the moving bling as well. Who needs cat toys?


My purchases. The black is Icelandic, which I have never heard of, and the white is Talbots, which I have. All cotton.


These were my finds the last trip, on July 29th. So close to August, that I snuck it in. I LOVE that Columbia long sleeved shirt on the left for $1.90 !! I have great plans for it! The black top can be dressed up, or dressed down. Which suits me, as I am pretty casual. Also all cotton. I was complaing to Mrs. Schmenkman that I don’t like all of these material blends that the kids are wearing these days. Some I have never heard of. So, my motto is, if I don’t know it, I don’t wear it. Because chances are, those fabrics cause my deodorant to not work. Since I have the nose of a blood hound, I don’t ever want to go there. So I have become a fan of, the look, the feel, the fabric of our lives, cotton. The anti-stink material.

The green Old Navy hoodie was for Ab-Cat, who is the most casual person I know. Zebra, for Goomba to play with, was a quarter at a garage sale. It is SO cute! Our kids would have loved that little Serengeti surprise!

All for a little more than the price of a movie for our whole family. Except it lasts longer!

After we pick up some jeans for Mouse-stine and Mr. Jiggy-Fly, we will be finished with all of the shopping. The Ford  Fiasco Family  Budget and all.

It’s kind of fun to be creative though!

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