Monday, December 30, 2013

Beyond the Mask - Christmas Sneak Peek

A couple members of our family were involved as extras with Beyond the Mask
when it was in principal photography in fall of 2012.

If you haven't seen it yet, Burns Family Studios did a quick sneak peek reel for Christmas!

Check it out below:

We can't wait for the movie to come out!!!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Power's back! And some more ice pics!

After close to 6 days, our power is back! 

The power was out for a total of 132 hours - 65 gallons of gas later,
 we were happy to shut down our faithful generator!

Here are some more pics from the ice storm - thankfully, most of it has melted by now :)

Here is a quick vid with a few pans around our property:

Friday, December 27, 2013

6th day without power...

If you heard the top news story on CBS radio this morning,
you may have heard about the power outages
in MI due to an ice storm last weekend.
That's us!
We are starting our 6th day without power!
Consumers Energy said it was the worst holiday
outage in their 100+ year history.
We have been so thankful for our generator.
(It uses around a gallon every two hours)
But Mom thanks the Lord for the good
gas deals He has given on gas, around $2 a gallon.

Here are some pics of how bad it was (or how beautiful it was!):

"From the breath of God ice is made, and the expanse of the waters is frozen. 
~ Job 37:10

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Merry CHRISTmas from the Mieczkowskis to all of our blog readers!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Guess Who Challenge - ANSWERED - December 2013

It has been a long time since we did a Guess Who? post!

This an old picture of... well, give it your best shot!
Leave a comment with your guess of who is in the picture, and the answer
will be revealed a week after the original post.

Who is this person making a funny face?

This picture is of MARY!

Here is Mary trying to make the same face just a couple of days ago!

Thanks for all your guesses! 

Stay tuned for more "Guess Who?" posts in the future!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

What to do with 124 pounds of Yams...

After Thanksgiving, Mom found yams for 19¢ a pound at Kroger.
Normally, they are 99¢ a pound!
She called Melody, who said to get as many 
as would fit in the cart!

The loot

"I can't believe my eyes!"
In the oven and on the stovetop
"These will be so yammy!"
Melody and Rebecca froze 120 cups of yams!
We also ate some for a couple of dinners.

So that's what you can do with 124 pounds of yams!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

2013 Christmas Cantata

Our church's choir and orchestra will be presenting
 a Christmas Cantata on December 21 and 22.

All of us through Lydia will be in the orchestra.

There will be a dinner before the Cantata on Saturday night;
for more information call 248-689-4555.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Christmas Cheer!

I have seen several orchestral flash mob videos, but this one pretty much surpasses them all!
If you have 6 1/2 minutes to spare, it's well worth a watch!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The State of a Cracker

Seeing that it is going to be -25° F
at our friends' home in Northern Minnesota,
we have a post sure to warm the heart...

Rebecca chomped on a cracker the other day,
and said, "Look! It's Minnesota!"

Sure enough, Warroad, MN is close to her index finger!

Keep warm, folks!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Christmas Tree 2013

We cut down our Christmas tree on the day after Thanksgiving.
We've been going to Mutch's Hidden Pines for the last 3 years now.

There are 80 acres owned by Mutch's Hidden Pines
and approximately 50,000  Christmas trees of different
varieties are planted on the property.
Measuring is very important

"We each found our own tree!"

Rebecca helps cut

Lydia does her best

Always need a picture with the family

All ready to go in the van!

In our living room, the Christmas tree now stands all decorated!

Then I shall give you rains in their season,
so that the land will yield its produce
and the trees of the field will bear their fruit.
~Leviticus 26:4

Monday, December 2, 2013

When in Rome: The Saga of the Roman Shades

Ever since moving into our new house,
we knew we needed to deal with the issue of the 
large south-facing windows along the whole back 
wall of the house.

In the summer, the heat was simply sweltering, and seeing
that we don't have air-conditioning, the sun streaming in through
all of those huge windows certainly didn't help. In the winter,
it was a funny mix between too-cold and too-hot as the windows
both leaked cold air and let in the winter sunshine.

So, we came up with a temporary solution:

Nail in the moulding+some sheets=a little bit better!
Although the sheets did help a bit, they certainly weren't
valid as a long-term solution. We wanted to put up shades at some
point, and knowing how expensive it would be to purchase them,
Mom and Dad asked me (Grace) to make the shades for our dining
room. Here's how I did it.

Step 1: Find instructions! I used the instructions on Terrell Designs
to make our Roman Shades.

[Note: Terrell Designs is going out of business in a few weeks,
and then the website will no longer be available]

Step 2: Find fabric. We purchased our fabric from Joann
(strategically couponing, of course!). For the front fabric we used the
Clermont Jewel pattern by Richloom, and for the lining we used
Econosheen by Roc-Lon (both in the Home Decor fabric).

Initial mock-up of the shades to test sizing
 Step 3: Cut fabric. We decided to go with three separate shades for
each set of windows - one shade for the middle pane, and a shade
for each of the side windows that open on their own.

Mom and Dad helped tremendously with cutting the fabric.
Working with such large pieces can be pretty tricky!
Step 4: Hem both the lining and front fabric, and sew them together.

I was blessed to be able to use my wonderful grandmother's wonderful
sewing machine!

It's hard to tell here, but the front fabric and the lining have been
sewn together.
Step 5: Glue battens (plastic dowels) to the inside of the shades.
They help the shade to fold properly when it is pulled up
(you'll see how nicely the shade folds up at the end of the post).

Using all manner of books to weight down
the battens as the glue dries :)
Step 6: Make headrail. The headrail is just a 1x2 board, covered
with muslin, with velcro stapled to the front and pulleys screwed
into the bottom side.

Installing the pulleys.
 Step 7: Sew on the lift rings.

Using the pulleys to mark the location of the lift rings.
In order to be able to access both the front and back of the shades
when sewing on the lift rings, we hung the shades in the basement.

Quite a production! Roman shades hanging up for sewing, peppers
hanging up for drying, hickory nuts and more peppers drying
on the ping-pong table.

This step was definitely a group effort - here is Mary sewing away!

The young men even pitched in!

From the back....

From the front.... We had to be careful to use thread that matched
the front fabric at each specific lift ring location.

Sometimes you have to get creative :)
Step 8: Install the shades. After stringing the lift cord through
the lift rings, we brought the headrail upstairs to screw it into the
window frame.


After! One set of shades,

Two sets of shades,

All three sets of shades!

Ready to hang the second set
So, for those of you who are interested in how the hanging
process works, here are a few more pictures:

The top of the shade is "closed" using the soft side of the velcro.

The "rough" side of the velcro is stapled to the front of the headrail

After the shade is partially attached with the velcro, I thread the lift
cord through the pulleys and through a special piece of hardware
called a cord lock pulley, which keeps the shade raised when the
cord is pulled.

Braiding the extra length of cord

The cords are finished off with these stylish
cord drops

Here they are when raised!

And here is a quick demo of the shades in action!

Hope you enjoyed this little walk-through!