Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Cards

I love snail mail. I think there is something so pure about getting cards and letters in the mail...or cards and letters in general since you know the sender spent time thinking of you. It definitely makes up for all the bills that somehow find their way into our mailbox!

I'm writing cards for all of the students I work with on a consistent basis (40ish). I only have 10 more to go! For four of them I'm going to make and print their name and positive attributes they possess on wordle (my new found love) based on a group activity we recently did.

This week and next will be my last time seeing kids, and I want them to have a positive note/reminder to take with them during the summer months. I'm thinking about sending post cards in the summer as well...I hope I remain this ambitious in the beginning of August :)

Here's to SIX more days of waking up at 5am!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

We had a wonderful Memorial weekend with friends! This was made possible because of the freedom we have through our service men and women. (Including my Grandpa as a marine and my Dad and Uncle Roger who were in the army!) We are very thankful for their protection in order that we may have more opportunities to enjoy life.

The fabulous weekend was spent in Muncie with Stac and Adam. While in Indiana we were able to see other friends as well. Here are a few photos from the weekend...

Trip to Katie's after a lunch at Ivanhoe's


Bill Murray appeared with 3D glasses at Brandon's (Adam's brother) open house

 The love birds

Check out the creeper in the left window...

Bazbeaux's Pizza for dinner in Carmel!


I seriously cannot remember laughing so much. I truly love them :)

Looking forward to our cruise with Stac and Adam next year!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Trafficking

Human trafficking.

I started learning about human trafficking in my undergraduate degree at Taylor University. I was more interested in the political upheaval and deprivation that occurs in Burma (which has been occurring for years but seems to be "forgotten news"). Out of that study came a passion to increase my knowledge and resources regarding human trafficking...what it is, where does it occur, who does it impact, etc.

The answer: everywhere and everyone.

Human trafficking takes many forms. Sometimes people are not moved but they are still trafficked in their own communities to perform tasks without their consent. It is deep, prevalent throughout our own communities, and it is heart breaking.

However, people are making positive differences!

My small group from Ada Bible wanted to serve our community in some way, and with God's prompting/member's obedience (whom I'm incredibly grateful for), we decided to host the Traffick Stop 5k. The purpose is to spread awareness, and as a bonus, all proceeds go to Women At Risk, International. They are a local Grand Rapids organization fighting this modern-day slavery.

There are a few more agencies that have popped up as people are realizing this crime is real, it's here, and as fellow human beings we cannot just sit back and pretend it's not happening! The Manasseh Project from Wedgewood and the Hope Project are a few examples in the West Michigan. (Check out the Resources tab at our website for more info: www.traffickstop5k.com).

A member of my small group just shared this article with me. Michigan also has a task force to fight human trafficking. (I heard an FBI agent who is on the task force, as well as a few others, speak at GVSU last year as I finished up my MSW). Change is slowly being made, but the first step is by sharing with others that this really does happen...and that we have a unique opportunity to provide support and hope!

It is so easy for me to become wrapped up in my own work, to do list, and leisure time...but God is calling me to look beyond myself (and man, do I need lots of reminders). What if that was me being prostituted? These women, children and men did not choose that life, and I have the responsibility to do something about it.

And maybe the issue of human trafficking is not where you feel led to serve/make a difference. But I encourage each of you to find that passion of yours (i.e. cancer, MS, children with skin diseases, elderly, etc.) and run with it. I pray the Lord bless you in your efforts, and His name be praised through it all!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Minor Updates

Howdy! 10 more days of work till summer...and man I'm needing it. I know everyone has ups and downs in their job, and therefore, I am incredibly thankful to have a time of rest. Running and this blog are nice ways of releasing stress too!

Here are a few updates of the house...

Kitchen decor above pantry

Basement bathroom shower curtain (we need to move rod up)

Laundry room ("Loads and Loads of Fun"). I decided to do this instead of spray painting big letters...still debating if I should do that in the kitchen with "EAT". We'll see...




 Front porch (hanging baskets to come soon). Down the road I'd like a railing...and perhaps a bench/chairs for the left side

Red perennial geraniums soon to be in hanging basket by window :)

This front area will have peonies and prettier hostas next year (they are wilted in this picture). There will be red tulips too!

Hello kitty in the window

Meow



West side of house (Lilies and some peonies)

East side of house. I'm hoping these flowers and blueberry bushes (hard to tell which are supposed to be there and which are weeds) pop up soon to cover that ugly side of the house! We also need to do some weeding and put some grass seed down in this area like we did in the front...

Look, our weeds are gone! 

Below is the before of the front...yikes! It's hard to notice differences in this picture, but we took out those three dead trees in the front, as well as all that overgrown stuff by the front windows and pruned all the trees. I apologize that we do not have more "before" pictures.

Corey also purchased his own terracotta pot and some dahlia seeds today...he's really getting into this planting thing :) Although we may not be experts, we are learning a ton thanks to my family and pinterest! We figure that if we fail we'll just replant something new. I'm debating about planting a small garden to grow veggies...I'm thinking maybe next year, so we have more time to
 prepare.

Luna was bummed that I left her on the couch to take all these pictures

Here is the damaged iphone. Still works! Corey's is cracked over the entire screen. We both dropped ours within days of each other. We were meant to be.

Got the case as a VERY early birthday present :)

Well that's all folks!


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day

We had a marvelous Mother's Day spent with family. Saturday night we had Corey's family over for dinner, dessert and games. I made the following:

1. Spicy chicken tortilla roll ups (aka Pinwheels) found here
2. Crockpot bacon cheese potatoes found here
3. Spinach and artichoke dip found here
4. Crescent pepperoni roll ups found here

Jenny made some awesome desserts too! We are so thankful for Jill and Tim (Mom and Dad), and we always have a wonderful time together!


Today after church we spent time in Saugatuck with my mom and Dad. It was so much fun! We went in some shops (amazingly avoided the fudge shops), walked along the dock/channel, visited an antique store and ate the Saugatuck Brewing Company for dinner.




Insanely nice boat...




Chain-operated charter boat


Love this man



This was the organized antique store I've ever seen. It was fabulous! Too bad we didn't have much time to stay. Corey found this treasure...


Rolls Royce in downtown Saugatuck!


Parrot with blue and maize colors...perfect. (I'm a little scared of birds)



On a different note, I'm also going to be getting the rest of our outdoor plants this week! The landscaping is taking longer than I planned because other great things keep popping up...like the Riverbank Run with my brother Kevin!


We're hoping to get an aqua door (similar color to picture below?), so I'd like brown planters (to match the shutters) on the front porch, along with huge lanterns, and red geraniums (hanging and in brown planters)...there will also be red tulips, peonies and hostas in the front portion of our house.


On the east side of the house we recently planted blueberry bushes (Thank you Blackmores!), and our nephew Nathan planted a little tree from boy scouts. We're going to plant black-eyed susans. Awesomely, all the plants we're getting are FREE!

I'm also super pumped to have this on our front door in brown...


We're slowly but surely making updates...again we're so grateful to be in our home!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Garage Sale Success!

Thanks be to the Lord because the garage sale was a huge success! We raised $1,500! 

Thank you for everyone who donated to the cause and shopped at the event. If you are interested in seeing what the funds will go to (as well as what else we need to raise funds for) go to www.traffickstop5k.com and click on "2012 Needs List" under the Resources tab on the right. Or click here. We're also looking for more volunteers! Feel free to email me at holly.osbeck@gmail.com if you're interested. (Trust me, the "work" is not difficult :))

Here are some pictures from the garage sale...

Wonderful workers! (Thank you mom and Becky for all your help too!)

Luna checking out some clothes before customers arrived.

And of course I have to throw in a few more of Luna. I'm not sure if she was trying to push Corey away or heal him in this picture.

Now she looks like a hungover kitty...

 Here is a dresser I purchased at our garage sale! A fabulous friend dropped it off on Friday as a donation, and I decided to donate/snatch it up! There is a mirror that attaches to the top. I'm planning to paint it white, change the hardware, and put it in our "wine-colored" spare bedroom. 

Corey's mom also gave us his grandfather's rocking chair. So that will be painted soon too (we obtained permission first!) You can see the wine-colored walls in the background.

Here are a few other projects I purchased from the sale that are awaiting renovation... 
Bread pan: too small for bread that I'd want, so I'm going to spray paint it and put jewelry in it
Bulletin board: going to recover it with pretty fabric. Perhaps bring it to work or put it in a spare bedroom?
Piggy bank: paint it for a spare bedroom/future
Letters: Put magnets on the back & put them on magnetic boards so we can have an oncoming scrabble game

I made these a long time ago...I had them at work, and now I can't remember why I brought them home. I'm still looking for the right spot for them.

Thank you again for all the support for the garage sale and Traffick Stop 5k. God continues to bless this event through you. 

Well, it's time to clean the house. Have a marvelous day!

ps before/after landscaping pictures will come when we've planted more, and when it is not so rainy...


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Summer Job?

So a few days ago I applied at Pottery Barn and Fossil for summer jobs. Would I make any money if I even got hired? Probably not. Corey said he wouldn't mind if some (all?!) of my paycheck was spent in either of those places :) I'm not even sure if they are hiring though. I'm hoping I can work at either place for a couple days a week in the summer. We'll see if they even need my help. I think working in retail for 8 years should be useful in the event that they actually need another worker. I'll keep you (whoever you are) posted!

In other news, we've raised $1,000 for the 2nd annual Traffick Stop 5k garage sale fundraiser in just 14 hours! We have 2 days left and on Saturday (last day) we're going to have a "fill a bag for a $1" deal. Whether people want items or not, they must "take all the stuff!" (Insert meme :)). I also got a sunburn through the overcast today. Yikes! We've also been able to met all our close neighbors because of the sale which is fabulous! Again, we're filled with nothing but thankfulness.

Not too much else new to report. On Saturday we're also going to our friend's "Gender Reveal Party" for their upcoming baby. We are SO pumped! I just think it is the cutest idea ever, and they are going to be fabulous parents. The gals in our small group are also planning a baby shower for her, so I'm excited for that as well. You know how I love planning!

That's it for now...garage sale pictures and before/after landscaping pictures to come later this week!