September 2o14 Highlights

Not sure what I was thinking about being able to do 12 months in 12 days but I’m not giving up yet.  Here is what was happening in September:)

Mmmm, we had beautiful roma tomatoes this year!


First day of school, and yes, Ezra is wearing glasses, but only at school

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Tobin making his Lego “8” at Ezra’s soccer game140906_EzraSoccer_018 140906_EzraSoccer_044

Mari tried out for a production of The Sound of Music, and needed a headshot – she got a part in the ensemble and LOVED it


There was a lot of soccer, Ezra was blessed to land on a rec team that is fantastic and we just love the coach, he’s serious about soccer but even more concerned about developing character & good sportsmanship in these boys. This shot is Ezra in net making a stop140906_EzraSoccer_022

Ez is in black/red and about to score



Their team won a tournament at the end of September.


Grandma & Grandpa got to see some of the tournament too140927_EzraSoccer_018140927_EzraSoccer_142

Took this pic with my phone of Tobin “shooting” Ezra


Tobin played also


#7 about to score


That’s him with his hands in the air after;)


Mari on a shoot with me — love the young lady she is, such an amazing 12 year old, beautiful inside & out!


At a park

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Tobin had a Lego birthday party

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We had a team Lego building contest, each team had a stack of Legos and had 3 minutes to create — pretty fun, of course, my team won, only because my BIL (an architect & all around creative guy) was on my team!

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Our giant melons turned out to be 3 beautiful pumpkins!  It’s still a mystery — either, the plants were labeled incorrectly or squirrels planted seeds in our sandbox??



A fun & full month!

August 2o14 Highlights

Welcome to another month of highlights!

We had a family reunion, I have a big family.  This is my Dad’s side of the family, really maybe not quite half of them:).  And, only my Dad & his sibs and their kids & grandkids — no great aunts & uncles and extended stuff, they are all direct descendants of my Grandpa (or married into).  My Mom’s side of the family is even bigger;)



My lovely niece Ashley was there — and she sometimes reads my blog:)


My cousin Karen gave up her fight with cancer last spring (today is actually her birthday). We did a balloon launch as a remembrance for her.140802_FamilyReunion_061 140802_FamilyReunion_015

The “after party” back at the family farm


We then had 6 days without kids!  WHAT!  Marian was at Camp and the boys were with my sister. Kelly still had to work, so I had some alone time.  I spent some time with God and His amazingly beautiful creation.



Do you ever realize His love for us in the way He gave us such beauty!

I played a round of golf with Debbie:)


Kelly took a day off and we went kayaking and exploring140807_WeekNoKidsAC_035

We happened upon a park with a butterfly garden and this is why I HATE not having my real camera with me, blurry, grainy pictures!


Then we headed towards the kids and did a little golfing on the way there


And . . . came back with 5 kids! Alyssa & Kashton got to hang out with us for the week.  We had VBS, we had a Bible marketplace – it was so much fun!



We went to our favorite village, and because I thought 5 wasn’t enough, we invited Emma & JC to come too.  My MIL Sandy was kind enough to come too

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We spent some time at the pool


A rare capturing of Kashton on camera!


And, the zoo

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Of course, I put them to work harvesting some green beans (oh, there were sooo many!)140812_KashAlyssaVisit_011

We bought an in-ground basketball backboard/hoop, the boys helped to dig the hole140816_BlakeDaniFamily_385

It was really hot!  They decided to set up some shade and then Tobin said they needed cold water and I came out to this;)


Tobin did take his turn.  And, yes, they are digging with plastic cups — they couldn’t find anything else to get into the narrow post hole 140816_HoleDigging_001

Trying to use the post hole digger didn’t work for them


Brady gave a concert, he was great!

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We watched American Ninja Warrior, and they all had daily ninja training (Mari took these pics)140819_untitled_067 140819_untitled_071

Mari had junior high orientation!  Mary, if you are reading this — still didn’t cry. She is so excited to go!


We spent more time at the pool

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And, the boys played Gaelic football every Sunday afternoon140824_GaelicFootball_079 140824_GaelicFootball_045 140824_GaelicFootball_031

And, we headed to America’s Roller Coast for the day


Ez & Mari are up there


Mari & I finally worked up the courage to do Top Thrill Dragster – it was AWESOME!140828_CedarPoint_003140828_CedarPoint_012

In order to combat the wretched headache I got last year, I prepped by over hydrating the day before, getting a drink band so I could rehydrate all day long (mostly water but some lemonade & gatorade too).  And, took 2 rounds of preventive ibuprofen.  I know, a normal person just might give it up, but this girl loves her roller coasters!.  The day was fab, Tobin & Kelly both actually rode roller coasters, the Gatekeeper was Tobin’s favorite and really no lines.  Apparently, I’m now too old to go as hard as I used to, but that’s probably better for my family anyway.  They were laughing at me all day when I shared one of my old rules of Cedar Point with them (#1 Must get there before park opens and stay until they kick you out, #2 No kiddie rides, they take time away from coaster riding).

It was a great way to wrap up summer!

July 2o14 Highlights

July brought more fun & adventures, another trip to our favorite historic village with Marci & kids

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The final baseball game, one of the families got a new puppy – Mari was on cloud 9140708_EzraBaseball_004 140708_EzraBaseball_011 140708_EzraBaseball_014

Coach & son:)


Swim season was in full swing. This year, Ezra moved up to the 9/10 year olds and did well, still in the “point” heats even though he was only 9.

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It all clicked for Tobin, Ethan got him breathing at the side and he actually won 2 races at one of the meets!  Looking forward to him still being able to swim “8 & under” next year:)

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Mari this year figured out how to use those long limbs and has an effortless looking stroke. She just LOVES to swim!140710_SwimMeet_024 140710_SwimMeet_062140710_SwimMeet_066 140710_SwimMeet_067

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We celebrated Christmas in July with my family140719_ChristmasinJuly_013 140719_ChristmasinJuly_016 140719_ChristmasinJuly_032 140719_ChristmasinJuly_048 140719_ChristmasinJuly_057 140719_ChristmasinJuly_071 140719_ChristmasinJuly_089 140719_ChristmasinJuly_108

Kush really excited about a chicken!

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New rip stick for Tobin


Ashley & Andrew — now engaged:)


The girl granddaughters (only one from each family) – we have a lot of boys!

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One of Mom’s lovely garden beds


On the scavenger hunt


Cousins playing 4 square


And, our garden flourished!  We had more dill than you could believe, I guess this butterfly liked it.

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Check out the beans!  Our neighbor girl would come over and harvest with me:)

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At this picture, we still weren’t sure what this was.  I had planted melon but the fruit growing seemed too big – more on that in later posts


And, once again, the tomatoes and carrots were great, even with the later start.140730_GardenHarvest_026

And, that wraps up another month:)

Camp 2o14

Oh, this is making me want some warm weather!  It will be another long post with loads of pictures:)


Thanks Josh for bringing some height to our family!


Kelly took this shot of Tobin, love it


Marian & I on the kayak (on the way back from getting ice cream on the other side of the lake).140704_Camp_939

Camp is full of boys, boys who like the same things as Ez & Tobin, one of those things is American Ninja Warrior.  Here, they are doing some “training”


Tobin is a pretty amazing climber

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We think this boy could actually be an American Ninja Warrior contestant, he painted himself like this and then did the “make yourself horizontal on the flag pole” thing -bummed I didn’t see it or get a picture of it.


Snack break



Camps version of carnival rides, Marian had this great smile on her face the entire week:)


Love this one of Grandma & Marian (look for it in the Camp brochure)


Nail painting time with cousins


So many fun things to do at Camp, sometimes it’s hard to decide what to choose!


Marian on the high ropes course, she does it like it’s no big deal!


Have to get a couple of games of whiffle ball in — thanks to Jim for always bringing the stuff, Ezra & I LOVE to play!


Love this shot of Tobin & Evan


And, then everyone wanted on


Meet Kevin Jr, a giant snapping turtle that found it’s way into our swim area-not really safe with small children.  The staff decided they must capture and move him to a different location.


The capture was hysterical to watch — it took a long time, there was a lot of screaming, I guess it’s not that easy to catch a giant snappy turtle


The turtle capture happened right after the Portager (relay team canoeing, running, climbing, sprinting, swimming, making fire & popping Jiffy Pop.  We struggled again to make the fire, there’s always next year.

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A new activity this year called “crate stacking”.  Just exactly what it looks like, you stack milk crates working your way up to the ceiling.  Google it and you can see a video.  Mari & Ezra both went right up as high as possible.  And, yes, the staff has to toss the crate up to you!

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Tobin didn’t get quite as high-I think to 11


Making tye-dye shirts


Making s’mores in the new fire pits at the new balcony area-a great addition to Camp


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So, this picture just makes me laugh!  Tobin reminds me of Kelly so much here, coffee cup in hand, he wanted hot chocolate every day, pretty sure just so he could carry the cool cup around like Daddy, he would go ask for a cup from the Coffee Shop (free) and then drink the free hot chocolate from the cafeteria.  We had to have a discussion about how those cups cost money and they are for the people who pay for the coffee drinks, we decided it was the right thing to donate to the coffee shop to cover the cup cost.140630_Camp_245

We have a launcher again on the water trampoline.  Oh, the kids had fun with this. This is Tobin


The staff does such a great job planning activities, this was Braveheart or Capture the Flag??


Kelly playing in the Staff v Camper soccer game (we won-I think?)

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More climbing, both boys made it to the top this year, hmm, can’t remember if it was their first time??

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Lots of swimming

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On Monday, they do a swim test.  Tobin was nervous and didn’t want to try, I was pretty certain he could do it (been swimming laps for swim team for 2 weeks).  He found Jake and asked him what he had to do.  Swim 100 meters (I think) and then tread water for 2 minutes. . . . “oh, I can do that!” and off he went to do it;)140629_Camp_044

Fourth of July fun

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Love this place where families grow closer, memories are made & most importantly, God is honored!


June 2o15 highlights

This one will be long! Many end of school year activities and a weekend vacation with just Ezra.

Was able to go on another field trip to the same place with Ezra this time


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Mari had a field day at school

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The boys’ school had a color run to celebrate the end of Mileage Club, it was a mile loop and I think Ezra did it at least 4 times (then had a 2 hour baseball game that night-the boy NEVER tires!)

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End of soccer season for Tobin, we had a party at the park after the last game

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Why ice cream, of course, for my birthday


On the last day of school (half day), a mom (I had never met) invited Ezra to the art institute downtown. We decided that we would all go, and we’re friends now–I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t have let her son go with me either;)  I had wanted to take the kids for some time but just never made it a priority, we all really enjoyed it!

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The very next day, we took Tobin to Pathfinder weekend at Camp, last year, Kelly & I stayed at Aunt Faye & Uncle Al’s condo with just Marian since the boys were both at Camp.  This time, we arranged for Marian to stay with my sister for the weekend to play with cousin Alyssa so we could just hang with Ezra.  I think we’ll try to make something work for Tobin this coming summer.

We stopped at one of our favorite state parks and they just happened to be giving archery lessons-SWEET!

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I must apologize, there are ALOT of pictures of Ezra to follow, there were just too many good “shooting” locations, and while I LOVE all these, I was just a little bummed that I don’t have similar ones to display of the missing children;)

Mmmm, cherry pie


Watching the sunset


This awesome yellow brick wall was outside the brewery we ate dinner at, there it was staring at me during dinner, the golden light beautiful outside, I just couldn’t take it anymore and had to drag Ez out there!

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And, who can resist beach images!

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LOVE his freckles

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We even biked about 10 miles


It was really a sweet time with just the 3 of us:)

Saturday night we made a fire and had s’mores with Kathie, Jack & Adeline


And, this blown out image is what happens when you forget to change the settings from shooting in near darkness the night before:(  Tobin & Kash had a super fun time140615_PathfinderWeekend_310

And, more baseball (I confess even I was tiring of by the end of June)


Check out this sequence of Ezra . . . fielding the ball


touching 3rd only for him & the runner to realize it wasn’t a force


Ezra trying to run him down


Almost got him


Got him


It’s a good thing Ezra was faster than him because “pickle” is not something the coaches worked on, everyone was just watching and nobody was on 2nd or 3rd base to catch him.

And, lastly, a Junior Explorer hike.  The leader had a presentation that had something for nearly each letter of the alphabet — our kids came up with the letters she was missing;)

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This is the boys practicing their American Ninja Warrior Skills.


A good month!  Next up . . . Camp!

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