Monday, September 26, 2011

Open Mic Night & Biggy Boo!

Monday is seemingly my busiest day and yet I am finding the time to post before I run, run, run! 

A couple of weeks ago, our church's youth group called Impact, had an Open Mic night where students could sing, dance, show a video they made, display their photography, or do just about anything. Our girls started painting these cute cartoon characters on canvases after their friend Renae introduced it to them. In this photo Melanie was talking about the ones she created.

Braaten Noelle was showing all of us the pretty ones she made. What a great experience for her to get up there and share them with us. Great job, girls!

Melanie also decided to play a piano piece that she has been working on for her upcoming recital. She played, Blessed Be Your Name, absolutely beautifully. 

I stood there in awe of her talent and her bravery to just get up there and do it. Wow! 

And on a very separate note, here is one of our kitty cats named Biggie Boo. OK, so it's a funny name, but he has several versions because when all of the kittens were born this spring & summer, my kiddos gave them names. He has been called Big Boy mainly, but I wanted to call him Bob or Bobby. Melanie started saying Biggie Boo and it is beginning to stick.

He is way cuter than he looks in this photo and he is really active. He was most likely trying to get down out of my grip.

Mellie loves all of the kittens & cats we have. There's Lilly and Ying, the 2 adult cats that each had a litter of kittens. And the ones we have kept are Daisy Loo, Ying's offspring, and Biggie Boo, Lillie's offspring. We also have Beans who hasn't been given away yet. She might be a keeper as well. 

Happy Monday! 

Monday, September 12, 2011

coming and going

Mondays around here are going to start to look like this...

*Head out by 9 for Braaten and Melanie to take horse-riding lessons from 10 - 11:30 a.m. They took lessons in England for the 2 years that we were there which makes them 2 very happy girls.

*Leave Augusta and head back to our house unless I have errands to run in between. Both girls have a 1/2 hour piano lesson in Marshall starting at 1:30.

*Pick up the high school children (Austin, my 15 year old, and 2 friends, Sarah and Ben) at 2:30.

*Get home by 3 and see any scheduled patients, then make dinner.

*Leave at 5:30 for Melanie's dance class from 6 - 7 pm

*Head to AWANA (starting on October 3rd) to drop the twins off after dropping Mel off at dance. 

*Melanie has to be picked up at 7 and the twins at 8.

Yikes! Mondays will be a challenge unless I have a plan.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Nine Eleven

10 years ago today I was in the thick of taking care of our 3 small children and pregnant with the twins. My friend Robyn called and frantically told me to turn on the t.v. The first tower had been hit and I watched in stunned silence. I couldn't take my eyes away from it. I can't imagine the pain of the loved ones left behind. I get a lump in my throat when I reflect on everything. We lived about 50 miles away from NYC at the time. That skyline was always breathtaking to see as we would drive on Route 3 heading to see my family in Hoboken. And after a couple of weeks had passed and we took that familiar drive again, I couldn't believe what my eyes were seeing. A big, empty space where life and work took place, where businesses succeeded and people thrived. Today I remember all of those left behind and the thousands of firemen, police officers, service men and women, doctors, nurses, and volunteers of every kind that came together to make some sense of this and to move our country forward. And most of all I honor God who knows and sees our pain and is with us in ALL of it.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

floating down the colorado river

Pam over at "You're Gonna Miss This" is officially my hero of the day!! She helped me to figure out how to put my photos onto Picasa. I'm still working on that, but in the meantime I was able to see Phil's photos that he sent us on a zip drive.  That makes Phil my 2nd hero of the day. These are his photos!! My 3rd hero, since it bears mentioning is Picasa! I can finally blog about our amazing and blessed vacation.

On this particularly hot day (about 103 degrees down in Bryce canyon), we set out to float down the Colorado River. The entire venture would span 4 hours and my day started out really rocky. No pun intended. 

In the middle of the night I realized something didn't feel right concerning my bladder and I didn't think I'd be able to enjoy this day together with everyone.

I had to visit an Urgent Care facility and they would be the hero of that particular day for me. What's with all of these heroes I speak of anyway? My true hero, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, is the hero of them all everyday, all day, but He supplies me with earthly heroes and I guess that is a sub theme of this post, the primary theme being our joyous travels with Phil, Jane, Amy, and Megan.

We were told to drink plenty of water as we floated, and the heat of the day begged for water poured over the heads of those that requested it. 

Brace yourselves, girls!

How absolutely gorgeous!!

You are, too, Aus. You are growing up into a very handsome, sweet, and dreamy gentleman.

When I shared with Jane that I didn't think I could join them on the float, she reminded me of the regret I would feel if I didn't. She secretly planned on sacrificing her own trip if I insisted that I could not do it. Jane, I know you'll read this. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for being a true friend that will stand by my side no matter what. I have a handful, or maybe two because I'm blessed, of that kind of friend, and I can't say thank you enough. I love you!

Do you see the scale of those rocks? The color, the beauty, the majesty? Thank you, Lord, for all you have created.

Phil, what amazing photos you've taken. Look at the skies against the red rock.

Our guide stopped so that we can swim in the ice cold water. It was so refreshing! Cooper and Braaten were having fun.

If you asked Shawn what one of his favorite parts of this vacation was, and there were many, he would say it was swimming in the Colorado River. It was the ultimate experience for him.

I happened to mention to Jane that if Sarah were standing near me, she'd have me in the water in a heartbeat, or at least she would try. By golly, if I hadn't turned my back, I might have seen her coming! The temptation was too great and Phil was having a field day behind his lens.

She did not get me fully immersed, but she came pretty close. Me and my big mouth.

Seeing this photo of the pure joy on Shawn's face reminds me of how he loved it.
I love you, Babe. You are always my hero.

Jane after her victory! 
See what I would have missed if I didn't go on this trip.

Mr. Photographer took a dip, too. Shawn was in charge of his camera at that point.

One final dip before getting back on the float.

I want to go back there. Looking outside right now- it's chilly, rainy, the pool is still open, and it feels like Autumn. Missing the heat and beauty of Utah.

Austin and Cooper were enjoying the cold lemonade that our guide provided. He had them in a canvas bag on a rope in the water for us.

Jane, Carol, Grant,  and Shawn.

Phil and Jane

Melanie and Megan became friends with Jordan (sitting in the middle).

Austin, Cooper, Amy and Braaten.

Jane and Phil told us that their trip to America was the trip of a lifetime. Our trip out west was exactly the same for us. It was wonderful!

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Let's Catch Up!

If you are reading this, I'm so glad you stopped by. 

I haven't blogged in awhile because I've been waiting to upload all the photos we took from our adventures out West. My friend, Kat, from Chili Pepper mentioned how she hasn't "seen" me around which prompted this writing. It's been bugging me that I haven't taken or found the time to write a post for over a month. The problem is that my new camera was set on "raw" which is the way all of our photos were taken. I didn't realize it and our Mac wasn't able to read any of the photos. Still I wait to be able to access the pictures so I can journal about all of the wonderful places we were able to see during our vacation. Our friends, Matt & Pam, came over to work on the computer and helped to figure out what the issue was. Thanks so much MattPam.  

Moving on... :-)
Didn't summer just fly by? It is my absolute favorite season and I hate to see it go. We had so many fun times at our pool with friends and family. Every week I have a day I like to call "Pool Dayz" where our friends come over for several hours to hang out and swim. We did that every Tuesday and the weather was always just about perfect. I love how that happens. We had our last one just about a week ago.

It seems as though ever since I moved back to Michigan from England that I am not a very good blogger. It's frustrating. It makes me think that I must not have had many friends or that I had a whole lot of time on my hands to be able to blog almost daily. These days I just don't ha ve the time. I'm hoping that once we establish our new routines and schedule that I can take the time to do it again. Homeschooling 4 children and running my practice may not make that easy, but I am sure going to try.

Here's an update on the kids...

Austin is going into the 10th grade at Marshall High School. He has really enjoyed his summer vacation and is not exactly excited about heading back. The kid has the life! He does work hard once he is back in school, but he has relished in taking it easy. He just started mowing the lawn for our friends and has done ours all summer. He has his fair share of chores around here, too, like changing the water for the chickens and helping to take care of our home. He started driver training this summer and is doing really well so far. He plans on trying out for basketball in November to play for the Redhawks once again. Go Austin!

Braaten is going into the 8th grade here at home. She is growing into such a lovely young lady. She is taller than me by at least a half inch and is only 13! I am going to be the shortest one in this place before too long. My hubby is 6'2'' and they all take after him. Ha! Bray started back at volleyball in early August and she had her first game last week. She played for the first time last year, got a lot of experience, and is now starting for the Battle Creek Homeschool Hawks. She took the summer off taking piano lessons and will start back up this week. She has been hard at work with various babysitting jobs and is saving her money to be able to pay for a plane ticket to visit her friends in England. I admire her dedication and commitment to seeing her plan come to fruition in the next year or two.  

Melanie is going into the 6th grade. She is excited about the new curriculum we are starting. It meant getting her very own laptop which has generated much excitement. Our first day of school is this Tuesday and we'll see how we like "Switched on Schoolhouse". We've done Abeka for years and needed to change it up a bit. In addition to that, the kids will be working on creative writing, spellling, and cursive writing. One of my favoite things to do is to grab a great book, snuggle on the couch with all the kids, and read together. Last year we didn't to that nearly enough. Back to Mel... she is also playing volleyball for the Hawks and has improved greatly. Last year it was difficult when serving to get the ball over the net. This year, not a problem! Go Mel!! Piano lessons will be starting back up for her and then a recital is right around the corner. 

Grant is my silly, funny 9 year old and a twin to Cooper. He helps in taking care of the chickens and kittens. The twins take turns week to week on who does what. Our hens must be getting old; they're not producing as many eggs. We did hatch chicks this summer and so production should begin in a couple of months. More eggs are good. Oh, we have 3 Polish chickens. They are the funniest looking chickens you've ever seen. I'll take pictures and post them soon for sure! I digress once again. 
Grant will be taking golf lessons soon which he is extremely happy to be doing.

Cooper, the hard working other silly twin, will be taking golf lessons right alongside his brother. He loves sports of any kind and Austin has increased his excitement about golf because it is a sport that he loves. Austin took golf lessons when we lived in Lymm, England, and is quite good at it. I think he should play for his high school team, but he assures me that he not good enough. I have to disagree but I am a little partial. Cooper is such a sweetheart. He takes the time every morning to say, "Good morning, Mom"  with a huge smile on his face and gives me a kiss on the lips. He melts my heart. It's not that the other children don't say "Good morning", it's just that he goes out of his way to make that connection with me. The others melt my heart in other ways.

If you read up to this point, yay you! I'm tired and have to go to bed now.