Canadian Pacific Holiday Train

Every December, my mom talks about the Christmas Holiday train. She saw it the first time by surprise. This was some years ago, before the new homes were built behind ours, so she had a view of the lake and the trains from her kitchen window. Her first Christmas in this house, she was sitting at the table looking out the kitchen window when the Holiday Train went by. For the past few years it has gone through Whiting in the wee hours of the morning. But this year I saw a FB post where people were tracking it, so I asked Ben if he wanted to get up and go see it, so we did.

As we waited the updates on the FB page were slowing down, so each freight train that went by, we are thinking this is it! We had the heat on in the car, and the Christmas carols playing, so it wasn’t too bad, though we waited through 6 freight trains, before the Holiday Train came through! I did have my phone on video, but it didn’t come out clear, I didn’t want to miss it trying to capture it on video, because video doesn’t do it justice! Ben and I watched as it went by in silent awe at the vibrant colors, the detailed animated scenes, and just the precision of the designs. Soooo worth the wait for that brief moment!

This is not my picture, I found this one on the internet. It’s a beautiful sight to see, and puts you in the Christmas spirit!


Happy Homemaker Monday 07.09.18

Good Evening! Wow, it certainly has been a long time, I think my last post was in May.  I was working my seasonal job at the photography studio and it seems it just started but is now coming to a close.  I always enjoy the work, but this year it was a bit more difficult with the work I have been doing at home, but now I have a couple of weeks before school starts with the boys, so that I can tackle some projects I have been wanting to get to, and I can breathe a little bit, lol.  Hope everyone had a great 4th of July.  More on that later.  Keep cool and stay hydrated!

 Linking-up with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.





So, update on our grass planting. It didn’t work.  I bought the Scott’s brand grass seed, and it was guaranteed to grow. Well it didn’t. My mom emailed the company and we got a full refund!  The grass looks better, but I will work on the spots and try to get it looking better.

Along with the 4th we also celebrate my youngest son’s birthday.  This year he turned 13!  We had a nice time with family, my brother and his family came to visit, they live about an hour and a half away, so we don’t see them too often.  Ben enjoyed the parade, I did not attend this year, woke up with a bad headache, and the heat was just too much for me.  He wears a hat that says “Today is my Birthday” so he gets a lot of attention. There is a float for our Pierogi Fest that has the Busia’s and Mr. Pierogi riding on it. So they stopped in front of Ben and the Busias sang him Happy Birthday in Polish.  He thought that was awesome!  The White Castle Truck actually has someone handing out White Castle hamburgers, so he got one of those, and when they guy read his hat, he went back to his truck and brought back Ben a whole bag of White Castles.  If you are wondering what White Castle’s are, they are tiny little square hamburgers, and the restaurants are built like (white) castles and found in the Midwest.  Our town has one of the oldest White Castle restaurants in Indiana, it opened in 1935.

We don’t have much planned for the remainder of the summer, my middle son is leaving tomorrow for a church youth camp and will be gone for about 4 days.  When he gets back, maybe we’ll go bowling, and I just saw that the Jet Ski races on the lake will be in August.


This is a video my 3 sons made.



This was the outfit that Ben wore to church before the 4th.  His sister bought him the fedora (it has lights that blink too).  My mom’s birthday gift to him was giving him money to go to a barber for his first “professional” hair cut.


Elijah & Ben


And of course the traditional Hamburger Cake.





Happy Homemaker Monday 05.14.18

Good Morning! Hope all the mom’s had a great Mother’s Day. Mine was very nice and relaxing. The boys were going to take me to see Avengers Infinity War, but they saw it opening weekend, and when my oldest son told me he cried, I was like, yeah no.  I don’t think I am emotionally prepared to see it, lol.  I’ll wait for it to come out on DVD and watch it alone. Hope everyone is doing well, have a great week!

 Linking-up with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.




With being back at work, I have not been cooking much.  The break is nice, but I do miss a good meal, and will look forward to trying new things again in July.

I know this isn’t a meal, but it sure looks like a yummy snack!




Last weekend the boys and I worked on our front yard.  Our grass was damaged from last year being fertilized and not watered enough.  So I am on a mission to get it back into shape.  Our neighbor’s grass right next to us is so beautiful, but he does have a built-in sprinkler system.  So, when we started our little project, we stood by the edge of our lawn and I told them, look at how bad our grass looks, now look at our neighbor’s; that is our goal.  While Ben and I were dethatching, working hard and sweating, he stops for a moment and looks at our neighbor’s grass again, and he’s like, that grass can’t be real.  It was a lot of work, but by the end of the day, Ben says to me, you know mom this was a lot of work, but it was fun hanging out with you all day. I have spread some grass seed all over and have been diligently watering it, so I am grateful for all the rain we have gotten over the weekend 🙂

The boys have two more weeks left of school, so we are working on getting projects done, and preparing for final exams.

In my last post I mentioned that I would share the ministry of my friend Traci.  Her and I have been friends for over 20 years. Traci is the Visionary Leader of Grace and Power Ministries. She, along with her husband and daughter, also travels to Uganda, where she has helped build a school.  My mom is involved with a group of ladies who crochets blankets, and Traci has taken some of those blankets with her to Africa, and the mothers there were so excited to receive them.  Traci has recently started a new project called The Butterfly Project.

The heart and mission of The Butterfly Project is to transform communities through partnering with local leaders to develop hubs where women across the globe can come together to experience healing and empowerment through a support system that gives access to teaching, training and incentive programs that promote the development of ideas for economic stability and growth.

You can find out more about it here:





The 2nd PLACE WINNER in the March 2018 Word Weaver Writing Contest: Anne Clare, “Dark Corners”

Congratulations Anne Clare! This was a good story! I know how much research needs to be done for historical fiction, good job!

Dan Alatorre

img_2351-11 YOUR HUMBLE HOST

It is my pleasure to present to you the second place winner from the March 2018 Word Weaver Writing Contest, Anne Clare’s “Dark Corners.”

Anne Clare’s story was a blast to read. She hooked me from the opening and held me straight through to the end. Obviously, it was a fave of the celebrity judges, too.

Have a good time reading this story. I’ll give you my reasons for why I liked it, as well as including comments by the celebrity judges, at the bottom of the post.




“Dark Corners”

Anne Clare

Bonny tiptoed to the library door and peered around the frame, holding her breath. Miss Worther sat in the far corner, back bent over the desk, pen scratching across a sheet of paper.

She must be writing to that sweetheart we’re not supposed to know about. She’ll not notice I’m gone…

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