Monday, May 23, 2011

May 23, 2011

Hope everyone had a great wknd!  I want to start out this post by saying how sad I am for the town of Joplin, MO and everyone affected by the tornado that went through there last night.  I just can't quite wrap my head around all of the devastation that has happened over the past couple of weeks from these tornado' heart breaks every time I see an article or picture.  This particular picture that was posted on a Yahoo article this morning, really touched me, so I wanted to share.  I can't imagine what these people who have lost everything, many of them family or friends, are going through.  I wish I could be one of those volunteers that are there to help....all I can do is send my prayers...and I have been doing lots and lots of that.  

     I used to be fascinated by storms when I was younger...then I moved to a house surrounded by fields on 4 sides with no basement....and my fascination ended very,very quickly. I am now terrified of them! I don't sleep until they are over and keep a very close eye out...I am very grateful for the phone call we get from the weather service and my in-laws basement next door, even if we do get soaked trying to get to it!  I especially hate that all of the worst storms happen in the middle of the night...but I'm a VERY light sleeper when I know there is a chance of thunderstorms ( plus it helps that my walls are as thin as cardboard...I hear EVERYTHING!). I hope that we are all lucky enough to be spared any of these awful, awful tornado's and the destruction they are causing.'s Monday! :) I'm kidding...I have no reason to be excited about this day ( or any other actually).  I'm tired and I'm hoping this week Draaaaaaaggggggggsssssss by very, verrrrrrryyyyy slowly.  My Princess, my 1st girl, turns SIX on Saturday!!!  This ( like all of my kids birthdays) bothers me deeply. Six is officially a "kid"....5 is still a baby to me.  It doesn't help that she's so much more mature than Gavin was at almost's like she's a preteen already....sob ;(  Also, this is the last week of of now, officially 4 more days of relative sanity. I'm pretty sure I may not survive the summer without a Valium prescription.....I'm serious.  Can I send them all to summer camp?? Our  calendar is much to empty for husband really should allow us to spend these 8 wks on vacation.  A summer house sounds like something we need...he can visit on the wknds!!! :)  if anyone is aware of local things happening this summer, please let me know so I can curb this "boredom" that is sure to envelope our home within 2 days of summer break. Spending long days at the pool sounds great, but with only 1 of me and 3 of just can't happen.  As much as I hate Vern's plans of putting this pond in, I sure wish it was finished so we could swim in it this summer! Sigh.......

    Anyway, I have done as I far and have done my weekly blogging...not caught up yet, but at this rate I might not get behind again! :) Have a great week everyone!

Emma 5-5-11

April 17,2011

 The night of Emma's Birthday party, Jami's 3 kids spent the night.  This was the first time Ava has stayed over without Jami here. Lakin had went home with mom, so it was only 5 kids...not to bad ;)  Actually, it was fine. The kids are all usually pretty well behaved when they are together and with Lakin gone the drama was at a minimum and with Jami not here, Ava was perfect!  By the time everyone had left from the party, (emma was nap!) the babies were only up for about another hour, which was past their bedtime anyway....they pretty much crashed. I wish I would have pulled out my camera for their sleepover..but I was pretty pooped, too.

     We spent most of the day on Sunday outside and I tried to get some pictures of the girls together, but when one sits still, the other one moves....pretty much impossible anymore. :)  I was able to get one really good shot of Miss Ava (it only took ALL morning and 100 tries), and it wasn't easy...that baby never stops moving!!! She's definitely not interested in having her picture taken....neither is Emma, but she doesn't move quite as fast as

Grand Haven, Michigan > Oct. 2010

     I realized the other day when I was cleaning pictures off of the laptop, that I never blogged our Michigan wknd from last year.....GASP! I know every one's lives were completely thrown out of whack by sincere apologies! :)

     Vern and I decided we should take a wknd road trip somewhere and Michigan seemed like a good idea to me ( I'd never been).  I thought it would be super easy to plan and not to long of a drive.  I'll start off by saying I HATE planning vacations ( which is why ours for this year has not even began)....hate, hate, HATE it.  Vacation planners are definitely worth it, but probably a little overkill for a 2 day trip. sounded like the perfect website to go to...I figured I'd have our trip planned in less than an hour...I was pumped..I had this trip planning under control! The biggest problem with Michigan is, unlike good ol' Indiana, EVERY SINGLE TOWN  is listed as  a "great vacation spot!". Ugh...already I was thinking I'd rather stay home. My hour turned into weeks.....yes, weeks. It's SO stressful this choosing where to go stuff...I don't like it...I want to always be able to say I want a beach, shopping, good dining,far/near,hot,scenic,etc....and have someone else find the perfect place for me.

     After lots and LOTS of time spent web cruising Michigan towns, I decided on Grand Haven....on the water, historic downtown with shopping and lots of dining, a "boardwalk" with entertainment and a night time light show. Sounded pretty good for a short wknd to me.  On Friday about 3pm, we loaded up the Porshe and headed down 231 for our quiet, relaxing,kid-free wknd.  The trip was good...even better that I didn't have to drive at all ( although,despite what my husband says, his seats are not that comfortable ).  I had chosen a Holiday Inn, because it looked nice and the price was was also right on the water. Wellllllll.....we find the hotel and pull in to the parking lot only to find that it's under construction...hmmm. Not a big deal, we just had to park really far away, we need the exercise anyway, right? After winding our way through a not-very-safe temporary walkway ( cardboard tunnel...with scaffolding everywhere) we get to the front desk and check in with no problems.  We even got one of the 3 newly remodeled rooms.  The room was nice...if you didn't look out the sliding door to our "patio" where a Bobcat was sitting. We were pretty tired so we went and found some dinner and drove around to get the lay of the area then came back to the room to relax and crash ( I always sleep REALLY well on vacation...and I forgot to pack bathing suits, so the pool was out of the question). Fast forward to 6:30am  .............BEEP,BEEP,BEEP.....POUND,POUND,POUND....CRASH,BANG,BOOM...laughter,yelling..
ahhhh....wonderful...the reconstruction right outside our door was back in progress....not cool Holiday Inn. If I was the complaining type, I would have definitely been making a trip to the front desk. No where on their site was any reconstruction much for sleeping in.

     So, we get up, order room service (fair) take our time getting ready...and head out to the boardwalk for the stands and FUN!! The day was very pretty and high 60's..perfect weather for walking and browsing...except when we get to the's empty..all of the shops closed. I guess I should have researched better, because nothing is open past sometime in early September..bummer :( That was what I had planned on spending my morning doing!

     We headed down to the beach instead....what pretty water...and HUGE waves...but man it was FREEZING! I needed a hat and exaggeration. My fingers and nose were frozen!  I toughed it out for some pictures of course. :)

 ( My husband isn't this creative with a wasn't exactly what I was instructing, but it still worked for a neat picture. I couldn't decide which edit I like better so I posted both)

 Then we walked ( I may have ran...I said it was down to the pier.  I love lighthouses and pier's!!  The waves were splashing, but we were able to walk to the end ( there are pictures somewhere in here...can't figure out how to move them easily).  There were signs posted about the # of deaths that have occured on that pier though, and it was high! I hung out in the middle on the way While we were there  in the morning it was pretty calm, but when we came back it got crazy!!! I can't imagine it during a storm.

 (Vern trekking up those very large stairs)

     After walking the pier and the trip back down the freezing beach ( I took the sidewalk by the road this time so I didn't loose any body parts from frostbite!), we headed downtown to shop and have some lunch. your step! A cute little downtown area, but I was a little disappointed in the stores. I was hoping for more antique-y ( there was none) type shops, but they were all things we can find here at home ;( We chose a diner ( ach! I can't remember the name!) and ordered lunch. We started with a chicken nacho appetizer that was HUGE and very, very good.  Then we both ordered sandwiches, which were also great, but I was so full from the nachos, I only was able to have 2 bites!  After lunch, we walked for a while longer and drove around and just...looked. We headed back to the pier again, not many other options (hehe), and thought we'd walk off lunch.....not much walking happened....

 ( one of the many kite surfers we saw that day...I want to try it! they were flying right up out of the water!!)
 Those pictures don't really do the waves justice, but I can totally understand the deaths now! The only people still walking down were in the middle of the rails and were wearing full rain gear...the waves were going all the way over the pier...I can imagine those bricks were very slippery!  The boats leaving the dock looked like they were going to flip over...they were almost standing straight up the waves were so big....two of them actually turned around and came back.  I'm dying to see this during a storm..we were there on a sunny day with a slight breeze...I bet stormy weather would make this very, very, cool.....and scary!  What I don't have a picture of (even though I know I took some) were of the guy surfing off the side of the pier...he would jump off and then try to catch the wave. He's crazy! I don't know how he didn't get slammed into the rocks!

     We drove a little more and then went back to the hotel to take a nap...yes..a nap!!!! :) After we woke up, we drove over to some sand dunes and thought we'd give them a climb.  It was HARD!! and it was also pretty cold...The kids would have had fun on them, though, but I couldn't make it up more than least I didn't try ;)  We headed back to the hotel  ( because the light show I was so excited for was also a summer event)to have dinner there and went to bed ( we're pretty wild, I know)...unfortunately, not much sleeping happened until about 2am because they had a live band playing in their bar and it was very, very loud in our room...our walls were vibrating..another negative mark Holiday Inn.  woke in the morning, checked out, stopped and got breakfast and headed home! Overall, not a bad trip...however, if any of you know of any good wknd vacation spots PLEASE let me know!!! We need places to go this year and I don't want to plan them all by