Monthly Archives: April 2013

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stormy morn


Our view this morning. Lots of lightning and thunder. The kind of morning you wish you could ignore your alarm clock, roll over and stay under the covers.

monday’s list


DAYS OF SCHOOL LEFT: 29!
• Spent the weekend at Heather and Jeff’s belatedly celebrating Jake and his brother Nick’s birthdays. So wonderful that we could all be together!
• Gorgeous weather in the 60’s. Sat outside on their deck and soaked up all the sun I could.
• Chloe and Scarlett had a blast running around outside together. Chloe loves her little cousins.
• Nick got to meet baby Violet for the first time.

• There were chocolate brownie sundaes and funny birthday cards.
• There was some movie watching, of course – The Impossible (This is the one about the tsunami. Oh my goodness! So horrible and miraculous at the same time! Still can’t stop thinking about this one!), Jurassic Park in 3D and Battleship.
• Today, the sun is shining and the temperatures are rising. What a great start to the week!

dad’s tree


So, there is this really big tree in Ohio, where my parents grew up. It sits in the middle of a field and my Dad loves it. He asked me almost a decade ago to take pictures of that tree for him in all the different seasons. And I’ve been working on it ever since.

This year, I finally got the last shot. After many visits at Christmas with no snow at all, there was a little bit of white on the ground, and I finished the project. Well, I would have preferred more snow on that field and a few more fall leaves on the tree, but we’ll be back and I figure I can always replace the photo if I take a better one someday.

The first photo I took was in the Summer of 2005. Then Spring 2007. Then Fall 2011. We only visit a few times a year and almost never in the Fall, so that one took some time to get. And finally this past Winter.

Mom had these printed as 10×13’s and put them in black frames. Can’t wait to see them up on the wall in their new family room!

Happy Birthday, Dad! We love you!

our chloe bee


Last night, Chloe’s school put on the Jungle Book musical. It was so well done. They all worked so hard on it at school for the past few months and had extra practices after school for the cast. Chloe was cast as a bee and those girls looked so cute buzzing around the stage. It was so much fun to watch.

Here the bees are surrounding Shere Khan and stinging him! :D

This was their bow at the end of the show!

Oh my goodness. I love this stuff. It’s so awesome to see all the talents of these kids starting to shine through.

Looking forward to our weekend with family belatedly celebrating Jake and his brother Nick’s birthdays!
Have a great one!

on our walk


What a fun sight on our (very chilly because it’s still snowing) walk this morning. This was in front of our local library. I love it!

We stopped to take a few pictures of the Thornapple River, which has actually gone down some since it crested this past weekend.

But still, the photo on the left was taken last fall. There is usually that little chunk of land out there in the middle and the water flows around it on either side. That’s now underwater (right).

It was a cold walk for sure. I am chilled to the bone right now, but it felt good to get out and moving. Am feeling optimistic about the warmer weather in the weekend forecast.

Have a great Wednesday!

house progress

It’s been a little while since I talked about the house. Obviously, all the outdoor projects came to a halt over the “winter that would never end”. I’m excited for the nice weather to get here and stick around so we can really get to work outside again. Mom and I will be back to painting the house soon. I’ll be very happy when it’s no longer two-tone. :)

The long winter really zapped me of all motivation. I had all these plans to work on things inside in the colder months, but what I ended up doing was coming up with a whole lot of ideas and not putting any of them into motion. Yet.

Our enclosed front porch is a big ol’ disaster area. We’ve had many tubs and boxes and toys stacked out there for longer than I want to admit. It’s such a nice space to enjoy in the warmer months with the windows open letting in the nice Spring and Summer breezes. It’s been a long time since we were able to enjoy it. Over the years, it’s just become the catch all/storage space since our house has very little of that.

I used to have all the kids toys out there when they were little and I’d stick them out there with the gate up so I could get stuff done without having to keep an eye on them every second.

This was May 2004. Zach was 3½. Chloe was 1. Oh my gosh, they were so little and cute.

I don’t know if it was the sunshine and 60 degree weather (finally!) or the fact that I had been up since 5:30am and was fueled by lots of coffee, but I finally made some progress on that porch yesterday. Not a lot. But I filled up one trash bag and cleared out a small section of floor. It’s a miracle.

My plan is to get that whole space cleared out, sorted and purged. The things we are keeping, but will most likely not need any time soon, will be packed up for the move (whenever that may be). The rest will be tossed, donated or sold. I may end up listing a few things on here as I go through the process before I try listing on eBay. We shall see.

It’s a step in the right direction anyway! :)

monday’s list


DAYS UNTIL SUMMER BREAK: 34!
• a quiet weekend here at home. It was a weekend of catch up – been very behind on laundry and dishes the past week – so I tackled that. So much excitement, I know, but we needed a weekend with no other plans so I could focus on my mission.
• It was cold and snowy here on Friday and Saturday. At first, it was just light snow that pretty much melted away as soon as it hit. But later on Friday evening, Jake told me it was really snowing and I looked out to see white everywhere. I shuffled back into the living room and plopped sadly down on the couch. When will Spring arrive?
• With all the craziness going on in the news this week, we got our minds off of things with some old movie watching – WarGames, Deep Impact, and The Village. Jake and I also watched Looper (but not with the kids!). That one was hard to wrap my mind around with the time travel aspect. I think one of my favorite things about that movie was Emily Blunt’s performance. It was a different character than I have ever seen her play before and she was pretty awesome.
• Today’s forecast calls for 63 degrees! I am so excited about that! I even see 70 degrees in the forecast for next weekend.
• Didn’t take many pictures this weekend due to all the fun that is dishes and laundry, but I thought I’d share these that Zach and I took the other day (left). I used the Incredibooth app on my iPhone. That app is so much fun. :)

It’s a new week and it’s going to be a good one!

what a week


It may be snowing outside right now, but I cut up a big bowl of fruit this morning because I’m in a summer fruit salad kind of mood.

Around here, it’s been a busy week of running around for musical practices, dentist appointments, gymnastics. I am very glad it’s Friday! Very proud of Chloe last night at gymnastics. She did her front handspring, front tuck and her cartwheel on the balance beam! She has loved her class this year and will be trying out for the competitive team soon. Our checkbook balance is going to be tiny if she makes it. ;)

So many crazy and horrible things went on this week. It’s horrifying to watch these things unfold on the news. I just feel so heartbroken for all those people who were injured at the race and the loved ones of those killed. What was supposed to be such a wonderful accomplishment after all those months of training was tarnished by that evil act.

Jake turned 40 this week and, while he had a very nice birthday, he asked why all these horrible things always seem to happen around his birthday. This isn’t the first time an act of terror happened the same week as his special day. :(

I say HE is the best thing that ever happened on April 16th. EVER!

Happy weekend!

fort sumter | spring break 2013


Something we really enjoy on family trips is visiting historical places. This time it was Fort Sumter, where the Civil War began. I mentioned this in a previous post, but I highly recommend buying your tickets online ahead of time. Our plan was to get up early, drive the 2.5 hours south to Charleston, get our tickets and take the 10:45 ferry to the island fort. When we arrived, the parking attendant told us the 10:45 was already sold out and the 1:30 boat was close to selling out as well. He encouraged us to get our tickets as soon as possible, which we did.

I was very bummed out and pouted for a little while. Having our ferry ride in the middle of the afternoon prevented us from going to one of the plantations in Charleston. We would not have had enough time to go before the boat and by the time our tour was over, we would only have a couple hours including the time it would take to get to the plantation. So, that plan was abandoned.

I’m working on being more “go with the flow” when it comes to things like this. When I get something in my mind and it doesn’t work out how I want, I get really disappointed. It’s not the end of the world if plans don’t work out. But I really want them to, darn it! :D

We’ll definitely visit South Carolina again, so next time, I guess.

The ferry ride to the fort was very windy and chilly. Back at the dock, the sun was shining and it was pretty warm, but once we were out on that water … BRRRRRR!!!! We sat on the top deck and froze our butts off. But we did get to see two dolphins swimming out there, so that was pretty awesome. The fort is pretty cool to see, too. It looks nothing like it did originally. There is a very large black structure taking up the entire center, which was installed when they updated weapons and such, and now they use it for the museum and gift shop. (Oh, and the restrooms.) But it’s still cool to stand there inside the fort and imagine what it must have been like in the 1860’s.










After Fort Sumter, we headed back to Myrtle Beach, stopping at Broadway at the Beach again to have dinner at Planet Hollywood. We’re all movie lovers, so we thought the kids would like it. However, when we got inside, we were told it was at least an hour and a half wait. No thanks! Again, my plans were foiled. So we went across the street to Hard Rock Cafe instead. The wait there was 50-60 minutes. That sounded much better. And it ended up being the kids favorite restaurant we ate at during the entire trip. Hard Rock always seems like such a cliche place to eat, but I think you just have to do it for the fun of it. I’ve been to Hard Rock Cafe’s in Orlando, Myrtle Beach (obviously), Cancun, and even Paris, France and Heidelberg, Germany.

On the drive home, after a very long day, we had one of the best laughs I’ve had in a long time and I think we all needed it. Chloe keeps saying it was one of her favorite things from the trip, all of us cracking up laughing over a funny conversation between her and Grandma. It’s one of those “you had to be there” situations that probably wouldn’t translate as very funny here on the blog, but in the moment, it was hilarious and all five of us were laughing so hard, the kind of laughter that brings tears to your eyes.

It’s those moments that make the best memories and made the whole day worthwhile.

happy 40th


To the man
who has loved me since I was 20 years old
who vowed to share this life with me
who is the most wonderful father to our two children
who has a great sense of humor and loves to joke around
who holds me when I need to cry
who has traveled to far off places with me
who stands by me through the good and bad
who loves to talk and tell all his stories (over and over again)
who takes such good care of us
who inspires us with his creativity and talent
who enjoys cooking and trying new foods
who runs and runs and runs toward a healthier self
who always tells me he loves me
who is the best husband ever!

Happy Birthday, Jake! I love you so! <3

AJAXed with AWP