Friday, July 31, 2009

Leavin... on a jet plane....

Okay... maybe not a jet plane... but none-the-less... it's VACATION TIME!!! WAHOO!!! This is where we're heading....

Our very favorite place for a family vacation - Destin, FL. We didn't get to go last year due to some insurance issues that at up a decent chunk of savings change, but this year it totally worked out to go! YEAH!! Our van is packed and totally ready to go... the kids are BOUNCING off the walls while waiting for daddy... and I'm on the computer. Some things never change vacation or not :). We have no plans for while we're down south... we hate plans while on vacation. Just the beach and the pool... maybe a dolphin watch ride... we'll see.

When we get back - the kids start school. Like the day after we get back (GREAT planning on my part!). PRAISE THE LORD the kids start school.... they're bored and I'm going nuts TRYING to entertain them. It's the teachers turn!!

I'll post pics once we return!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Summer Vacation - Part 2 - 4th of July...

Yes, I realize that it's MUCH past the 4th of July holiday festivities... but none-the-less, here are the pics from our day. We drove up "north" Michigan to the small town of Ludington. This little town will always be special to me... I grew up camping over the 4th almost from birth. My grandparents also lived there for a majority of my life. I have many wonderful memories... :). That being said, we are NOT campers. The thought of camping makes both A and I cringe.... but for one day, we swallowed our distaste and decided to make a go of it....

My sister and her family along with my parents were camping. Here is a pic of all the cousins on MY side of the family...all 5 kids. :) Yeah - it's a HUGE group! My dad always puts up these huge "feathers"... not sure if they're obnoxious or pretty....

The state park had a craft for the kids... 4th of July paper lanters. Pretty cute... and easy to make (THANK GOD!!). Besides the mosquitos the kids thought it was fun...

For a small town, they put on a pretty great parade on the 4th. I (along with my sister and my dad) took the kids and their cousins downtown just in time... to grab hotdogs and wait. Seriously, you have to get there SO early to get a "good spot"... it's quite ridiculous. The kids did really well waiting... and waiting... and waiting...

Grandpa came to the rescue with food...

and the parade itself came with the snacks. Usually it's candy being tossed... but not this parade. The local ice cream shoppe (House of Flavors if you're wondering) gives out full pints of ice cream... this year they even remember the spoons! I got "stuck" with Coconut Sorbet (EWWWWW) but the kids got some caramel vanilla flavor. A church tossed out freezie pops...which "I" LOVES.... he pretty much chased them down the street trying to get more.

All in all it was a really fun time... a great way to celebrate with family. By the time we left... we were ready to go. We did our "camping" for the year... :)

Michigan Summer "vacation" -- Part One...

Every summer we head to Michigan for a week. My entire family (parents and one sister) live there so we kind of kill two birds with one stone - visit family AND get to the beach. :) PERFECT! We can stay at my parents condo for free... although this year we stained their deck as payment for their hospitality. UGH - remind me NEVER to make that offer again!! On our "off time" (NOT working on the deck) we hit the beach!!

I pretty much HATE pics of myself... but thought I'd include this one to start. See the happy look on my face... HA HA HA! SOmtimes getting to hthe beach with the WHOLE family is QUITE the effort. Usually worth it... usually!

Notice the 16 million towels the boy is under... it was CHILLY at the beach! Unless you were laying down (my favorite position), you had goosebumps. But, being that we're from OH and we have no real beach where we live... we toughed it out!

"A" has this crazy thing that he loves to do - sand sculptures. It keeps him busy - and the kids think that he's the coolest thing ever! :) I forgot to take actual pics of his sculptures this year... I think he did a dolphin, hammerhead shark, and a turtle.

Digging in the sand could keep "J" busy for HOURS! Makes me wish we had a huge sandpile in our back yard. He was digging a hole... albeit was never that deep, he was VERY proud!

"I" LOVES to just lay in the sand and flick it. GREAT when it's blowing like crazy. He didn't care... the rest of the people around us... yeah... they cared.

"R"'s favorite thing was to roll around in the sand then rinse off in the 50degree water. Fun... really fun.

We always miss the beach once we leave... I'm more than ready to head back. All the trouble (not enough juice boxes or snacks, walking on the HOT sand, enough sand in the van to create our own beach...) is TOTALLY worth it.

My next installment of our summer vacation to Michigan will be coming soon.... I"m sure you're all greatly anticipating the moment... :)

Monday, July 20, 2009


Jolanthe over at No Ordinary Moments is our lovely host of today's FMM! :) THANKS!! Being that it's summer VACATION... today's theme is just that... vacations. FUN! Who doesn't love a good vacation?!?!

We have a two part topic today - first being what is your best/worst vacation. Second being the top 5 places you would like to vacation someday...

I actually have 2 favorites... one with kids and one without. Without was our honeymoon. We went to a small island off the coast of Puerto Rice for a week. It was very simple... no tv or movie theaters. Just the beach and some small local restaurants. We swam in a glow in the dark bay (seriously... it was REALLY cool), had ice cream from a creaky old van, and I watched A snorkel for hours (I have a fish phobia... there is no way I was going to get near all those fish!). We actually got bored and left a day early to spend more time in San Juan. The name of the island is Vieques... it was perfect.

Not to copy my friend Kelli, but I loved our first Destin vacation in 2006 with the family. The kids were still pretty small... but it was great being so close to the beach and the pool. We always go off season - as to miss the spring breakers - so things aren't crazy busy. We actually leave to go down again this year soon - the first week in Aug. Can't wait - no kids in diapers, needing bottles, 2 of the 3 can swim... YEAH!!!! Here is a pic of the kids on the beach... they look so young!! :)

Now for my top 5 places I would love to get to one day....
1. Grand Canyon - have never been but would LOVE to see it (from somewhere other than an airplane). It looks simply majestic!!
2. Maine - I would LOVE to go whale watching
3. London - I went in H.S. and would love to get there again as an adult. There were so many things we didn't get to see that I would love to check out
4. Australia - we've been watching a show about the Australian life guards and I think it looks awesome! I've always wanted to go, but the fact that it's halfway around the world makes logistics a bit impossible for now... :)
5. a cruise of the Hawaiian islands... maybe for our 25th anniversary (gives us 16 more years to save!!)

That's my list... please share yours and join us on FMM!! :)

Friday, July 17, 2009

What's in my heart.....

My friend Kelli tagged me with the "game". A tough one this time that took some thought...

"With as much Creativity as you can muster, show your heart in:
a picture, a poem, a song, a quote, an item of clothing, a place, and a Disney princess"

So here goes....

Picture #1 - my family AND the beach (this includes my place thing too). My family is clearly in my heart. I have been SO blessed with a Godly husband who is a brillant father. Our kids are just as wonderful - creative, kind, curious... I can't imagine my life without them. The place - the beach. I grew up near Lake Michigan and water/beach was just a part of life. Now that I'm in central OH... sometimes I feel like a part of me is missing. When we do get to the beach it's almost therapeutic for me... soothes my soul.

Poem - "Friendship" by Khalil Gibron. I would type it out... but it's kind of long. So go here to read it... :). I think this is an AWESOME description of what friendship is and should be...

Song - "How Can I Ask for More" by Cindy Morgan. It's an older song... but I LOVE it to this day! I have no link... (sorry) but can share that this song is about how God gives us so many wonderful things - that we can't ask for more. It's the simple things... catching fireflies, building sandcastles, running barefoot in the sand... life is good.

Quote - "It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice". I have NO clue who originally said this - I had it on a button when I was in junior high (remember when button's were all the rage... I had a bazillion all on one jean jacket). I think it's a great thing to remember... one I hope to teach the kids as they get older.

Piece of clothing - this Ohio State sweatshirt. Notice the lovely hole? This sweatshirt has seen better days. Both A and I fight over who gets to wear it - it's SO comfortable. If we could have 10 more just like it - I would pay ANY price!

Disney Princess - Belle. I love her... not sure why... she's just my favorite. The part in the movie where she's dancing in the field... *sigh* LOVE IT! Maybe it's her desire to seek out something different than what's expected... I really don't know. I could watch the movie many times over and still love it! :)

So there is my list... it was fun to put together... made my head hurt a bit... but I was able to look at lots of old pics that I wouldn't usually take the time to look at :)! Thanks Kelli for tagging me!!!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Look who decided to move in....

Just when I thought it was safe to toss out my VERY DEAD hanging plants.... OH NO..... do you see who decided to move in? Yes... it's a bird.

By the time we got home from our recent vacation... there was a nest and a second bird... and maybe even a few eggs. NICE! So... now I have a two lovely VERY DEAD hanging baskets on our front porch. I can't bring myself to take them down... who am I to play landlord and evict poor Mr and Mrs Wren? At least they aren't mangy sparrows. We DESPISE them.... GRR!

Gotta love God's nature... and his sense of humor!! :)