Saturday, July 28, 2012

Clifford and Emily Elizabeth

We have a new addition to our family:

Charlie and Phyllis remind me of Clifford and Emily Elizabeth because of their size difference. And when I study Charlie for a bit, he reminds me so much of that big, red dog. He's funny.

He's just big.

Especially compared to this little dolly baby. 
I love her to pieces. She knows how to keep him in his place already.
But when he means business, watch out Phyllie (that's what the twins call her).

For them to be this close to each other in proximity means progress. 
But look at my dog's face. 
He doesn't look terribly pleased.

Stayed tuned for more adventures of Clifford.

out with the old and in with the new

That's not a nice pile of glass. 
It represents something broken.
It's expensive.

I forgot to take the photo when it was still on its post,
 but this will have to do.

My boys were shooting targets with their BB gun and hit the basketball goal. I'm not sure how one gets so close to their prized basketball goal and hits it, but I do know that accidents happen.

I also know that with accidents, consequences come as well. 
That's not fun for a 16 year old.
He never argued about paying for a new one, because he knows what the right thing to do is. I'm proud of him for that.
Sometimes the best lessons we learn come the hard way.

Well, Austin, I look forward to seeing you shoot hoops again and also taking part in a game of knock-out with you.

Now if you can only find a job...:) 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

England- here she comes!

About two years ago or so, Braaten hoped that she would be able to save enough money to pay for a ticket to England. She had a strong desire to be able to go back to the place where we invested almost two years of our lives through a work opportunity for my husband. When she said it, I was really proud of her for wanting to step out of her comfort zone.

You see, prior to that, Braaten couldn't wait to move back home and get back to life as we once knew it. She realized that some of the friendships she made there were irreplaceable and priceless; that building friendship requires commitment and spending time together.

So today is her big day. This is the day that she will board a plane alone, but with an airline chaperone, to fly 7-8 hours across the pond to reconnect with some of our beloved friends.

My husband and I are stepping out in faith, trusting that Jesus has this all taken care of. We trust that she is in His loving care. And with that, we know that this will be one of the greatest adventures she'll ever take part in.

Have fun, Bray! We'll be counting down the next 19 days. I love you with all my heart.


Saturday, July 14, 2012

splish splash

Family + Pool =
Tons of Fun!!

Grant, Austin, Lance, Adam, Cooper, Melanie, Braaten, and Lexi

Silly kiddos!


Unsanitary, I know...

"Mom, take a picture of this." 
By the time I realized what I was taking a picture of, water was
squirting everywhere. 

Bray and Lex

Grant and Cooper

Grant, Braaten, and Cooper with Melanie creeping in the background.

Cooper and Braaten

Braaten, Mel, Coop, and Grant

Mel gets the most use of the pool. She's my water baby.

Sista, sista, Boom!

Dance moves in the pool.

Nice one, Mel.

Toe touch... kind of.


Lance and Austin.

"Hey, Aunt Carol, take a picture of me."

They really are best friends.

My handsome, brand new driver.

Lance and Austin jumping in together. 

Well, we had a blast with Todd, April, Lance, Adam, and Lexi. 
I can't believe I didn't get one picture of my mother and father-in-law. 
We'll see them today for a wedding in Indiana, and I plan on snapping away!!
Happy Saturday!! 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Rocking' around the porch

I have been painting all kinds of stuff lately. I did this rocking chair in a few hours. It went from a very weathered black to a fun salmon. I'm looking forward to testing it out.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

list checking

Well it seems life is always busy around here. 
My expectation of summertime or maybe what I dream about is not really close to my reality.
My reality is a giant mix of summer projects, baseball games, friends visiting, a short vacation, more projects, patients to see, and swimming to be done.

My hubby and I have made a fairly long checklist of things to do around the homestead, and today the list was being checked off like crazy! Today alone we have:
*finished painting the porch (thank you Pam for helping with that ginormous task!)
*rearranged the basement
*deep cleaned Austin's room with major help from him
*sorted through things from the girls' closets because Shawn put new closet systems in last weekend
The girls spent several hours getting their room back in order today
*spray painted the wicker furniture on the front porch
*spray painted a chair for the boys' desk
*primed a rocking chair to be painted a fun color
*cleaned the swimming pool
*did the laundry
*cleaned the cuttings from the bushes Shawn has been trimming (the kids did that job :0)
*that's enough!!

Why is our list so long you ask?
Because in exactly 11 days 30 plus family members will be coming to stay with us for a reunion.
We have family coming from New Jersey, Indiana, and even Texas.
We'll have some sleeping in tents, in sleeping bags, and anywhere else they can find that is slightly comfortable. The time we spend together is a blast and we're looking forward to it. 
If you want to get things done around your home, plan a big party or reunion. You'll git 'er done. 
Woo-hoo!! I love it when things get spruced up around here.

And in other news...

(Cooper - 10 y.o.)
The twins played for the Marshall Indians and just recently finished up their season. 
They came in first place and enjoyed just about every minute of it. It's been so hot around here that some of the games were a little uncomfortable.

(Grant - 10 y.o.)
You guys were awesome! Dad and I enjoyed seeing what skillful ball players you have gotten to be.

Cooper was one of the pitchers.

Grant is quite the hitter. He hit a homerun or two during his season.

Braaten played volleyball for USA Michigan 14U and learned so much!
Volleyball is just fun to watch and we couldn't get enough.
I take that back! When there are 3 weekend tournaments in a row, you have enough. 
It was a blast watching her and her best friend, Renae, play.

We opened up the pool season with a party during Memorial Day weekend.
What a great way to start the summer!

Thanks again, Pam, for painting with me. I'll help you with your next paint project.
Just say the word!

I love the American flag that Shawn put up at the pool this year. 
We had a wonderful Independence Day (a few days early) at our friends home, the Root family. Every year they plan one of the biggest gatherings and firework displays for all of us to enjoy.

On July 4th, Shawn's parents, and my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, and their 3 children came to visit us. We had a wonderful, wonderful time.

Maddie and Melanie had the pleasure of dancing at C.O. Brown Stadium in early June. 
They had their official dance recital on June 16th and both danced beautifully. Maddie and her family just relocated to Florida and we miss their family so much. Every year they would also have the most amazing Independence Day celebrations. We thought of them so much through the holiday weekend.

Terri and Lizzy enjoying some pool time. 
Liz, I love you. 
And boy do I miss you.

My niece, Lexi, is beautiful in this photo. She was just here visiting
on the 4th of July.

Cooper and I cuddling during a field trip to Saugatuck. We were learning about the sand dunes and Lake Michigan.

This is Phyllis.
 Is she not one of the cutest kittens you've ever seen? She is so skiddish. Every time I go near her with my little kitty cat voice, she runs for the hills. I'd like to have her as an indoor cat, but the fear of cat pee anywhere scares me a little. My husband just wants to know where I plan on putting the cat litter. I have no idea. I don't know what the most sensible place is. Until I can answer that question, she'll stay outside. She is one of 10 kittens we have had to find a home for. We still have 2 waiting.

A couple of weeks ago we went up north to Petoskey to visit Smax and Barb. 
We had a grand time seeing them and also visiting Mackinaw and Traverse City.

Well, that's it folks, I've got some painting to do.

Thanks for taking the time to visit here. I write about once a month these days, but always desire to write a whole lot more. Keep coming back. :)