Monthly Archives: August 2011

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a day in august | at the zoo


Chloe and Ashley | John Ball Zoo 8.15.11 – Zach decided to sneak into the picture and do his little “cheeky face”. Such a silly kid.

Last Monday was zoo day for us. We headed out with my mom and Chloe’s friend, Ashley, for a fun afternoon together. We had a little lunch first and then explored the zoo. Ashley was our brave girl and went on the zip line. Chloe was dying to go, but she was so disappointed because she was about 7 lbs. too light. She’s such a skinny minny.

The girls had to cover their faces from the smell of the flamingos. And here’s Zach’s “cheeky face” again in this pic of the kids enjoying their icee drinks.

Chloe loved all the animals (and fish). She and Ashley spent quite a bit of time in the petting zoo. They also got to pet a wallaby.

Another wonderful summer day!

baling hay


Last Friday, we took Zach out to the farm to help Grandpa and Grandma out with baling hay. I convinced Jake that we should all go help. The bales ended up being a little too heavy for the kids, except for a few that came out too small, so Jake ended up doing most of the lifting. I did a few, but I mostly just drove the truck along as he threw the bales in.

The kids helped push the bales off into the barn.



My hard workin’ crew!

a healthy start to the day


I ate horribly the past couple days at a family reunion and at the zoo yesterday, so I thought a nice green smoothie would be good for me today. Hoping a few more of these will help detox my body from all the processed nastiness I’ve eaten lately. ick!

camping 2011 | day two and three


love this picture of Jen looking for rocks on the beach in Manistique

On Saturday, we headed over to the Manistique area to visit Kitch-iti-kipi (aka Big Spring). It is a huge fresh water spring that stays at a constant 45〫all year round. The blue/green color was amazing. The water is totally clear and the algae and minerals make the beautiful colors. We boarded the little self-propelled raft and slowly moved out over the spring. The raft has an open area in the middle for people to see the bottom. It was awesome to see the water bubbling up from the ground. Kind of mesmerizing. The bottom of the spring is constantly changing from the sand shifting. It looked like moon craters down there in some places. Totally worth driving two hours from St. Ignace. I think it would be really cool to go there in the winter with the snow all around and see what it’s like.

After the raft returned to the dock, we went and had a little picnic lunch and then checked out the gift shop there before heading back.

We stopped at the lighthouse in Manistique and while Jen went exploring on the beach (she found some cool driftwood), I walked down the boardwalk and took some pictures. It was a beautiful day for a walk.

When we reached the Cut River Bridge, we stopped to check it out. I loved the cool arches and walkway under the bridge. Great place for pictures.

About 15-20 minutes outside of St Ignace, we stopped along the road by this long stretch of beach that was just perfect for swimming. We hung out there for a little bit and then headed back to camp. That night we had pizza hobo pies over the fire, then hung out and roasted marshmallows and sat by the fire talking until it burned down.

It rained in the morning, so I didn’t take any pictures because most of our time was spent drying things off and packing up. We did sit by one last morning campfire and talk and sip coffee (tea in Jen’s case) and Jen read some verses out of Proverbs. Our own little Sunday camp church. :D

This was our 7th trip together. We figured out that our first trip to St. Ignace was back in 2005. We kept trying to find things that tied in with the number 7. Like, our trip ended on August 7th and we looked up the verse that reads “A friend loves at all times”, which is Proverbs 17:17. haha! Yes, we were grasping, but it did have 7’s in it.

It was a very happy 7th trip! Can’t wait for the 8th!

camping 2011 | day one


My camping trip with Jen last weekend was just what I needed. We had a great time together, as usual, and took some time to just relax, too, which was perfect.

We camped in the U.P. (Upper Peninsula of Michigan for those who don’t know) at Straits State Park, which is just to the east after you cross the bridge. And THIS was our view of the Mackinac Bridge. Not too shabby. Way to go, Jen, for getting us such a cool campsite.

Once we got campfire wood and our tent and site all set up …

… we sat and relaxed under this big beautiful tree.

It’s sort of become our tradition to cook teriyaki marinated chicken and little tin foil packs of veggies over the fire on our first night of camp. Here’s my veggies before and after. Nothing beats food cooked over an open fire.

We relaxed all evening by our fire. I ate like half a bag of marshmallows – nice and toasted. yum! I took some crazy video of our campfire antics. I may share a video or two here, but I’m not promising anything. ;)

The bridge looked so cool as the sun went down. I took a bazillion pictures of it, but I really liked this one taken at night. Not too bad for not having a tripod with me.

For some reason, whenever we’re camping, I wake up around 6 a.m. Don’t know why. I just usually can’t sleep in. On this particular morning, The sound of birds squawking at each other was my alarm clock. Totally annoying. But I was able to enjoy the nice morning light and take a few pictures.

Good morning, St Ignace!

Good morning, Mackinac Bridge!

On Day Two, we headed to Manistique. Those pictures are up next. This would actually be the better day to share video of because we got to see one of the coolest little natural wonders in Michigan.

Happy Friday everyone!

calgon, take me away


this picture has nothing really to do with the below post. I just found it while working on my 2010 year in review book. Taken last fall out at the farm.

If you are a friend of mine on Facebook, you no doubt saw my status recently about our leaky roof, clogged kitchen sink, broken dryer, flooded basement, leaky water heater, etc. I also was in need of new tires on my car. I’ve replaced tires along the way as they’ve gone bad (or flat) just due to the needs of the moment and lack of funds to replace them all. Four different brands of tires at varying levels of wear. A couple weeks ago, when Jake and I had a couple days to ourselves (thanks to our wonderful mothers), we drove all the way over to Canton (2 hrs.) and back. Lately, whenever I hit 70mph on the highway, my steering wheel just shakes like crazy. We discussed it possibly being something with the steering or alignment or something. Well, we discovered the problem the next day after driving all that distance. Went to lunch at Olive Garden and the way that I turned into the parking space left my front driver side tire turned in a bit. When I went to get in the car after lunch, I just happened to glance at the tire and I was horrified. Jake said it was a ply separation. We could see threads and it just looked like my tire was coming apart at the seams. I thanked God at that moment that we went such a distance (my mom and I also went to Auburn Hills for the 4th of July, too) without the tire blowing out while driving on the highway.

So a couple of our problems have been fixed.

– New tires were purchased yesterday. A few hundred dollars later and I now have four matching tires and a big sigh of relief. Especially since I am driving five hours north tomorrow with my wonderful friend Jen for our annual girls camping trip!

– The clogged kitchen sink was fixed by my wonderful husband. I thought I would be helpful while Jake was at work, so I boiled a pot of water hoping it would push whatever was stuck down the drain. Well, it didn’t work and the sink just filled up on both sides with the boiling water. What it did do was cause the pipe under the left side of the sink to detach from the sink causing all the water to cover everything under the sink and flood my kitchen floor. That was fun. So much for trying to be helpful. But Jake got in there and figured it out and fixed the pipe and all is well again.

I am in dire need of this camping trip with Jen. So many little things have been getting to me and I feel like even though I’ve gotten some little breaks this summer, I haven’t really had much quiet time to just let my brain rest. I need that. And I need some time to think about what I need right now.

I’ve felt a little lost this year. Happy that I chose to focus more on the kids and my family, but a little sad to let my business go. Not regretful, though, because I knew for a long time that I was done with that part of my life. Every now and then I see a beautiful wedding online and it reminds me of all the days I shared with so many couples, but then I remember how miserable my body felt for days following a wedding and how much of my family life I gave up to edit all those pictures. Then I smile knowing that I made the right choice.

Jake tells me I need to be working on my novel. The last time I took part in NaNoWriMo, I wrote a story about a girl’s journey to faith. Jake read it earlier this year on the plane home from New York and when he got in the car he punched me in the arm and said “Thanks a lot” for making him cry on the plane in front of strangers. :D He thinks it’s a really good story, but it needs a whole lot of work. I hope he will help me through the process. Just have to resolve to sit down and finish it.

Still trying to figure out what God wants me to be doing. Going to spend some quiet time this weekend talking to Him about it. Hoping to come home with a little clarity.

Camping with Jen is always a good time. This year I’m bringing Jake’s Flipcam along. Who knows, maybe I will share a video or two of our adventure. :)

Have a wonderful weekend!

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11
(a favorite verse of mine)

AJAXed with AWP