Monthly Archives: August 2012

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Nutsy is the name of the game and also how I feel about the month of August. It’s been crazy around here and this month has flown right by.

Our August
• Went to the GR Symphony Orchestra Picnic Pops Kansas concert at Cannonsburg (thanks to Jake winning free tickets at work). I actually enjoyed the pre-concert symphony music more than the Kansas concert itself, but it was a fun night picnicking on a blanket on the big ski hill, listening to music under the stars. Nice.

• Girls Days. Mom and I went on our annual girls trip with Aunt Pat and Tonya to Lodi to the outlet mall and Berlin, Ohio to the Amish country. Spent lots of time browsing the cute little shops and had a delicious buffet meal at the Farmstead restaurant there. So good. We continued our annual tradition of playing the card game Nutsy (above photo) until all hours of the night in our hotel room. Had the Olympics on in the background while we played.

• Sarah & Daniel’s wedding. I already wrote about this in my last two posts. A wonderful time in Kentucky and Ohio.

• Running. Lots of Couch to 5K program going on during this time as we approached our very first 5K. Yikes!

• Kelle! My dear friend Kelle was in town for her high school reunion and we got to spend a little time with her, which is always wonderful. She was also here when her sister, Rachel, gave birth to her sweet little niece, Charlotte. Cannot wait to meet that little darling. Hopefully very soon.

• Dad N’s birthday. Spent an afternoon at Jake’s parents to celebrate Dad Noorman’s birthday. Always a fun time hanging out with family.
—On a side note, for those who don’t already know, my mother-in-law Shirley is in the midst of chemotherapy for breast cancer. Please say prayers for her as it has been really hard on her body and she is not feeling very well at all. She is very discouraged and your prayers are much appreciated.—

• Dinner with friends. Got together with Heidi and Lynn for a fun dinner at the Walldorff. We always have so much fun together and we laughed a lot, as usual. I just love those girls and I don’t see them nearly enough. We worked together years ago at Bob’s Gun and Tackle and they are the HUGE BLESSINGS that came out of my time there.

• School shopping. Went with Mom to get all the kids school supplies. I always dread it every year since I wait until the last minute and a lot of the supplies are gone. Not too bad this year. The shelves were all stocked up, so that was awesome.

• Grandma O. We traveled to Richmond, Michigan for the funeral home visitation of Dad O’s mom, who passed away last week Wednesday. We visited with family and later took a walk across the road to the cemetery to visit other family members graves. The kids kept themselves occupied playing with Scarlett. :)

• Summerfest 5K. Got up early and ready. Mom took us to register and get our numbers. The kids hung out with her while we ran, which was nice. Will share more about this later.

• Summerfest! Spent a few hours walking around at Summerfest with friends Ron and Jen Kowalski and their daughters, Samantha and August. We watched the parade, ate carnival food and walked around at the craft booths. It was too hot, though, so we came back to our place and went swimming instead, then had pizza while we watched the Hunger Games. Fun day!

• Our Anniversary. We celebrated 17 years of marriage this year. Jake scored big points by waking me up with roses, a card, a mocha and a muffin from Biggby coffee. My mom made a delicious lunch for us at the farm and we had a fun afternoon with my family. Ladder ball. Bocce ball. Tossed the football around.

• Girls Day part II. A little bonus! A second trip with Aunt Pat and Tonya this year. Aunt Pat asked if we wanted to go to Shipshewana, Indiana and we were able to work it out so I could go (thanks to MiMaw and Poppy for keeping the kids overnight!!!!). We had fun at the shops there, ate a nice dinner at the Blue Gate restaurant, played lots of Nutsy in our hotel again, walked around the flea market and some shops. Mom and I could only stay until about 1:30, though, because we had to get home to take the kids to their open houses at school.

• School Open House. Chloe met her teacher and also discovered that her BFF Olivia is in her class again this year and she picked a desk by her. She was very excited. Zach found his locker and opened it on the first try. We got it all loaded up with his folders and supplies. He ran into his good friend Coty, whose locker is right by his. Walked through his schedule, found all his classes and were out of there in no time at all. He was all business. Let’s get in, find the classes and get out. It was all no big deal, he said, since he already knows the school because he was there last year.

OK, I’m tired just from listing all of that. Will probably do some posts with pictures to go along with some of the things listed above. Haven’t loaded pictures from everything yet, but just wanted to get it on here.

Next week at this time, the kids will be in school. Each summer seems to go by more quickly than the one before. We did have a really good summer. Just the right amount of travel and relaxing and swimming and doing not much of anything. Lots of great memories made. Now, to get this house in order. It’s sort of become a disaster this summer, but it was worth it to set aside projects/housework to just hang out and be together.

sarah + daniel | the wedding

It was a lovely day for a wedding. The weather was beautiful. The location was so pretty. Family and friends were there to celebrate their union. I’ll let most of the pictures speak for themselves. :)

First look. Sarah + Daniel decided to see each other before the ceremony so we could take pictures ahead of time. :)

See those little easels (above) … Sarah graduated college with an art major and she painted enough little canvases (below) for everyone to choose one and place it on the easel at their table to take home after. I think I mentioned in my last post just how talented she is.

So happy for my sweet cousin and her new husband. and I don’t think I mentioned before that Sarah and our cousin Jenna were the flower girls in my wedding 17 years ago. :)

sarah + daniel | wedding party

This past weekend, we traveled to Kentucky to my aunt and uncle’s home for my sweet cousin Sarah’s wedding weekend. She and Daniel decided on a more non-traditional route for their wedding, having a big party on Friday for family and friends and just a small ceremony with immediate family and close friends on Sunday. I was happy to be able to spend the whole weekend there and take all the pictures for them. <3

The kids came down with us on Friday, as did my Mom and my brother Rick. The party was just lovely. So many beautiful little details all thought up by Sarah, who is so creative and talented. I love outdoor weddings!

The best man and maid of honor gave such nice speeches.

Sarah was so cute. When Michelle was finished with her speech, Sarah jumped right up and ran to give her a hug. I can tell they have such a sweet friendship.

After dinner, the fires were lit and everyone enjoyed smores.

Grandpa had never made smores before, so Sarah showed him how (below left). hehe!

When it got dark, my cousins commenced in the lighting of the fireworks, which almost killed us all. haha! They started off OK, but a few of them did not make their way into the air like they were supposed to. Everyone survived, though, and I was able to get a few shots. ;)

After the fireworks, everyone lit floating lanterns, which was really cool.

Poor Jake. His lantern had a hole in it and he just kept standing there waiting for it to lift off and it never did. He gave it to the happy couple instead.

It was such a fun night. They had croquet and horseshoe set up in the lawn for people to play. There were several kids there and they all had fun on the tree swings. Chloe made new friends, of course. Zach played with Eli, my cousin Paul’s little boy. Jake and I visited with our cousins and aunts and uncles. And it was a beautiful evening for everything.

On Saturday, we headed back over to Uncle Dan & Aunt Rosie’s place. Jake, Rick and Chloe went with Uncle Dan to the airport for a ride in his kit airplane he built. Mom and I stayed and visited with the rest of the family. They had such a fun time flying. It was actually Rick’s first time EVER in an airplane and I think he pretty much loved it. Jake and Chloe took pictures and video since I didn’t go along with my camera gear. Here are a few Jake put on his facebook:

The kids headed back to MI after that with Mom and Rick. They spent the weekend at Grandpa and Grandma’s house while Jake and I stayed in Kentucky for the wedding. It was so nice to have some time together, just the two of us. We are about to hit our 17th wedding anniversary, so we considered it an early anniversary trip. We were able to go out to Olive Garden for dinner on Saturday night, walk around Barnes & Noble, have coffee together. It’s been quite a while since we went on a date together, so it was much needed.

Sunday was the day of the wedding, which was held at Cincinnati Nature Center. I will post about that a little bit later when I get through some of the wedding photos. Stay tuned. ;)

camping | up north

A couple weeks ago, Jen and I went on our annual camping trip. We headed back to the U.P. again this year, because we love it so very much. This year, we decided on a very out-of-the-way campground – Muskallonge Lake State Park, about half an hour north of Newberry. We really liked it. The park was very clean compared to others we have been to, there was pretty landscaping, the staff were all very helpful, including the campground hosts, who gave us a lesson on how to find agate rocks. Muskallonge Lake was pretty and just across the road were stairs that led to Lake Superior. We made a great choice. We were also lucky in that we had some nice neighbors who we chatted with. One was an older couple from the Frankenmuth area. The other ended up being a couple and their kids, who approached us one night saying that I looked familiar. Turns out our kids go to the same school and we had seen each other there, we had just never met. So funny to travel hundreds of miles and end up camping next to people from your hometown.

The downside of our campsite. Chipmunks that like people. Seriously, they come right up to you. Jen and I were sitting at the table eating one day and I suddenly felt something on my foot and it was one of the chipmunks, climbing on me. There were two that hung around our campsite and we took to calling them Chip and Dale. They were pesky little creatures.

We arrived on Thursday night and set up Jen’s new Coleman tent and got settled. Had a nice dinner, our tradition of chicken and veggie packs cooked over the fire, then we explored a little. Checked out the little lake beach in the campground.

Then we went across the road to the Lake Superior beach. Lots of rocks, as is typical on Lake Superior. Went searching for agates, even though at this point in our weekend, we had not yet gotten our agate lesson from the camp hosts. We sat on the beach for about an hour waiting for the sun to set. I took a bunch of pictures of the waves. I love how they are almost see-through just as they curl over. Tried to catch that with my camera.

Friday was my birthday and Jen made it so special with a little cupcake and candles as well as a very sweet birthday card. Such a special friend she is. I also took a picture of a little visitor (left) that came camping with me that Chloe tucked inside my pillow. hehe. She’s so sweet.

We traveled west along a horrible dirt road for miles and miles until we got closer to Grand Marais, then it wasn’t so bad anymore. I was never so thankful to see paved road before. Stopped at the beach in Grand Marais and saw lots and lots of kayakers there as well. Seemed like there may have been some kind of event going on that day. Cute little town. From there, we continued on west to Sable Falls and Sable Beach. Very pretty.

Tons of rocks everywhere. I love this picture. The colors of the rocks are so pretty. We hung out there for a while looking at the rocks, then journeyed back up the million steps to the top of the falls, where the parking lot is. ugh! It was worth it, though.

Headed to the Log Slide next. Another beautiful spot along the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Look at that water. The color of Lake Superiors waters is so gorgeous.

Decided to head over to Miners Castle next. We went there years ago when we stayed in the U.P. and went on a Pictured Rocks sunset cruise, which was really pretty. It was fun to see it again. And wow! Again, with that water!

Then we stopped over at Miners Beach, which we didn’t hit last time. I fell in love with it immediately. Soft sand beach, not the typical rocks you find along Lake Superior beaches. It was beautiful. I am totally going back and taking my family there. They would love swimming there. Plus, the view of Pictured Rocks to the left and right of the beach makes it even more awesome. Favorite.

Headed on to Munising after that and had dinner there at the Navigator, then back to the campground for the night.

Saturday morning, we were awakened by thunder. I never sleep past 6am while camping. No idea why. So I was up and thought to cover our campfire wood with some garbage bags before the downpour. That worked out pretty well. The storm blew through pretty quickly. Before it was even fully past, there was a funny little rainbow above camp. The sun wasn’t even really shining yet. It was weird, but cool to see.

We headed to Marquette for the day, had a nice picnic lunch at Presque Isle Park, while watching an ore boat come in.

Then we explored the park. It’s so pretty there. Jen went to school at Northern and my friend Beth and I visited her there in Sept. of ’94 and she took us all around. It was fun to see the park again and drive around Marquette a little.

We also stopped to visit friends of hers from her college days. That was really nice. They are sweet people who head up Campus Crusade for Christ at NMU. Headed back to camp after that and had more yummy chicken and veggies over the fire.

Sunday morning, we took our time, hung out, had coffee (tea for Jen), she read some verses from her Bible, we packed everything up and thanked God for a dry morning because the last couple years we’ve had to pack the tent up soaking wet from rain. It was a wonderful weekend. I am very thankful for Jen and our friendship and that she let me drag her all over the U.P. :D I am already looking forward to next year, when we will find a beach somewhere and sit on it the whole time.

AJAXed with AWP