Friday, January 30, 2009

McKinley's Birthday Party

I thought it would be fun to compare last years birthday picture to this years.


2008


2009
For her birthday McKinley got some new little pets, a princess phone and princess Yahtzee and lots of new clothes. She is especially excited about a certain $20 bill that she can spend!

The Farm


When I was growing up my great grandparents had a farm in Allegan and they always had horses. I have so many fond memories of my great grandparents and that farm. I love that my Aunt Shawn and Uncle Ron now live on that same property and also have horses. My girls have had the same experiences I had when I was a girl growing up and I'm sure they will have as fond of memories as I do.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Memory Lane


Today I thought I would take you for a trip down memory lane. This is a picture of me and my brother Glen when we were little. Probably late 1982 or early 1983. Boy what I would give to have that straight hair again....

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Kinner!


Today is my youngest daughter McKinley's 4th Birthday. She got to open a few presents from mom and dad and have cupcakes. Her real party is Saturday. Happy Birthday Princess!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Oh What A Camping Trip

As I previously stated I am not a huge fan of cold. I was secretly dreading the Winter Camping trip with my precious brownie troop. As usual we had a great weekend except that Saturday evening I started to not feel so great. A trip to the doc yesterday ends in prescriptions for the whole family -strep thoat. Ugh. Today I had the great joy of calling all those precious brownies homes and telling all their precious families they were exposed to strep. Ugh.


We had fun sledding and drinking hot chocolate. We learned some new songs...that I can't get out of my head. We made soap and the big hit of the weekend...learning to finger weave these adorable bracelets. They went to bed making bracelets and woke up making bracelets. They would have been happy locked in a building with piles of yarn for days on end - go figure!



Friday, January 23, 2009

A Camping We Will Go

Well I am headed to good old Camp Merrie Woode with lots of little girl scouts for a fun camping trip...in winter. Who thought of this? I don't like the cold. Why would I suggest taking girl camping in the winter?

I will just have to picture myself walking down this boardwalk to beautiful Lake Michigan on a sunny afternoon... yeah that will do it.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Tea Time


I have my photography class tonight and our assignment was to photograph things that are yellow or made with butter...yes I said butter. I decided to for-go the butter idea and stick with yellow. Here are three images I am going to turn in tonight of a lovely yellow teapot. Hmm I think I will go make some tea now.




Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Operator Error

I'm new at this blog thing so forgive me. I had not marked the appropriate box allowing anyone including anonymous leave comment. Please, please try again. I think I fixed it!

The Lost Sheep


12"What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off" - Matthew 18:12
This verse holds significant meaning for me. In the fall I wanted to go take some pictures of the fall color. I had heard about the Al Sabo Land Preserve in Mattawan and set out after work. I didn't know what to expect and it turned out to be a system of trails through some beautiful land. I figured I had until 7:30 (about the time of sunset). I had not considered the dense woods would affect that. It wasn't long until I knew I was in trouble. I had a map but it didn't tell distances so I didn't know how long the trail was to start with and I didn't know if I was closer to turn around and head back or keep going. I decided to keep going. Mind you that I had neglected to bring a compass, a flashlight or my CELL PHONE! For those of you that know me well are not surprised by this...I ran as best as I could with a camera bag and tripod. After about a half an hour I was in real trouble. If I was in a clearing I could still see a little, but in the dense forest I couldn't see the hand in front of my face, let alone my map or the trail. I was panicking. I stopped running took a deep breath and prayed for God to get me out of there. I have always been a person of faith so prayer wasn't a new thing for me. I took a couple deep breaths and started again. At two points I came to intersections in the trail and didn't know which way to go, both times I prayed and God lead me down the correct path. I was starting to recognize the area as a stretch where I had ventured down near the beginning of my journey. There were massive white and red pines. The ground was covered in pine needles hiding the trail. Once again I went to God, a feeling of peace washed over me and an idea came to mind. Use the flash from your camera to light the way. So every few feet I would engage my flash to light the path. In just a few minutes I saw headlights. I was almost back to the main road and the parking lot. When I got back to my car, I dropped my equipment and hit my knees - God left all his other sheep to bring home his one lost sheep.PTL!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What is an athiest?


With today's inauguration of President Obama and the upcoming SuperBowl I found a quote by Dwight D. Eisenhower I found comical...
An athiest is a man who watches a Notre Dame - Southern Methodist University game and doesn't care who wins.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sparkly




As I drove my girls to school this morning I noticed how everything was so sparkly. Somehow God placed individual snowflakes and frost particles on every square inch of every tree within sight. They seemed to have grown fur. Well of course I ran home and got my camera and did a little shooting on the way to work. So enjoy the beauty and wonder of God's handiwork on a chilly, sunny Michigan morning.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Basketball



Madison had her first basketball game yesterday. They played really well together as a team. Madison had a couple really great rebounds and had 8 points. I thought they did so well for their first game. This is a 3rd and 4th grade team, so many of them it's their first year too. They won the game against the Plainwell Pink Team 30-24. Great job girls (and Coach Chuck)!






Bowling



This is Madison's first year bowling on the Saturday Morning Youth League at Plainwell Lanes. Her average is 63. They only bowl 2 games at this age level. Today she had 71 & 78.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Snow Day


"Yeah" my kids cheered a snow day! I don't usually work on Fridays so I'm home anyway - not much disruption to my schedule. So I am with them "yeah" a snow day! It's nice after a hectic week to have a "stay at home" day. I can catch up on things that I have put off all week. Friday night is also "card night". We play cards at my house every Friday complete with a big meal and everything. Neighborhood kids even know Fridays are card night and show up just for the food! We started this card night tradition for my Grandma Knight. We wanted to spend time with her on a consistent basis and cards helped keep her mind sharp...or at least kept her awake for a few hours! We still play in honor of Grandma Knight even though she passed away this past November. Her best friend Lois still plays with us too. So I'm off to figure out what to cook and I may grab my camera and take a drive - it's beautiful this morning with snow covering everything. Enjoy the beauty around you!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Letter Art

Today I am introducing you to a hobby of mine called Letter Art. I find letters in nature or anywhere and take pictures of them. I use those photos to create signs and notecards with inspirational sayings on them. I started this for our ladies group at church to sell during the Harvest Bazaar. It has been a fun project. I am always looking for new "letters" and even my kids are on the look out for me too.




I have words like FAITH, HOPE, LOVE, FAMILY, BELIEVE, WELCOME, HOME, PRAY, FRIENDS, WISH and JOY and I have even done them for brides to give to her bridesmaids with words that are important to them.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Ouch!

We went to Chicago a couple weeks ago and attended Winter Fun Fest at Navy Pier. There were these huge blow up, bouncy things for the kids to do. One was a huge mountain that you climbed stairs to reach the top, then hung for a second before letting go and sliding down on your belly. Seemingly safe, innocent looking and fun...

Until Kennedy took a turn. After doing this, she complained her knee hurt. It looked a little red, like a rug burn maybe (apparently her pant leg rode up and she was bare legged on the slide down). Well it's been two weeks and this knee is still a trauma. It is constantly breaking back open and causing pain. She can't walk right, had trouble in gymnastics the other night and yesterday she fell in gym class on her knee and blood started gushing. I finally have her convinced that band-aids are not evil and after she is asleep I try to add some triple antibiotic ointment. Anyone have any other tips to make this heal faster?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Man of the House


Well if you have been following my blog, you have met my three daughters - Madison, Kennedy and McKinley (and yes I know they are all named after President's). Now you get to meet my wonderful husband Chuck.
Last night the Otsego Public Schools bestowed upon him a great honor - he was named Outstanding Citizen for all his volunteer work he does for the schools and the community. Chuck is on the right in the pix above. He is a realtor for Prudential Preferred Realtors and also is the manager of the Plainwell Office. He loves to work with kids - coaching sports especially. He also goes to the school twice a week and reads with 3rd graders at Dix Street. He is involved in the Capital Campaign Finance Committee for Christian Neighbors. They raised a boat load of money for a much needed new building and Chuck really enjoyed working with the planning of the layout and details of the new building. He also has the very special trait of not being able to say no to his wife - who volunteers him for many odd jobs (Santa, Easter Bunny, Clown, Cupid - if you are in need of any of these characters - he works for cheap!). He is a great husband and father and I couldn't be any more proud of him!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Stand Out In A Crowd

I have never been one to want to draw attention to myself or be singled out in any way. I get all red in the face and talk faster. It has gotten somewhat better through the years, but I still dread public speaking. I'd rather do just about anything than get up and talk in front of people. What is one thing you dread or dislike?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Christ's Specialty

When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, "Put out into deep water and let down your nets for a catch." -Luke 5:4
Jesus told Peter how to fish. Now, had Peter not already known Christ, he might have thought: "Me fisherman, You carpenter. I won't tell You how to build, and You don't tell me how to fish."
But one of the most critical reasons believers experience defeat is because we categorize only a few areas of our lives as Christ's arena. So, as if to save Him the extra trouble of dealing with things that don't concern Him, we leave Christ at church to deal with areas related to His expertise. (from Beth Moore's Jesus Day by Day)
What are you not including God in today? Do you know more about ____________ than Him? Do you leave Him at church on Sundays and carry on the rest of the week without Him.
Give Him the rest of your week too!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

My momma said...

My momma said "what goes around comes around." Referring to what I put her through as a child. I was highly emotional and anxious. I was quiet, moody, sentimental, nervous and fearful. I constantly had stomach aches. I was a good student and a people pleaser. I was heartbroken if I got a B. Seriously. A few of these traits I still carry with me today, but college life broke me of most of them.




Well meet me, 24 years ago...my oldest daughter Madison. She frustrates me in ways I never knew a person could. I want her to not be like I was. Some of those qualities are great in small doses, but to see what my mother must have gone through...well thanks mom for dealing me through those years.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Dimples and tongues

Is there anything much cuter than dimples and tongues? This picture is from spring 2008, but I always love to look at it. This is my youngest daughter, McKinley, who was a young 3 at the time. She loves to be silly! She always has a smile for you and still loves hugs and kisses. I cherish everyone she gives me, even when it's the fifth time she has gotten out of bed at night because she just wants one more hug and kiss....ah. She is sunshine on a cloudy day and a warm blanket on a cold night.



...it is not a slight thing when they, who are so fresh from God, love us.
-Charles Dickins

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Bright Shining Eyes


This is one of my favorite pictures of my middle daughter Kennedy. The brightness and happiness in her eyes could not even be masked.
Today her eyes are droopy, sad, tired...sick. I got called from school to come pick her up. She was running a fever. In Bible study today, Leigh said the best way to wound a parent is through their child(referencing God and Jesus). But how it pains us as parents to see our children sick, hurting and sad.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Fog and Brain Fog


I love to capture moments like this. Why, oh why, do the really good shots only happen in the morning. I am not a morning person, at all! I have trouble dragging myself out of bed and if I do get up, it takes a good hour for the brain fog to go away.
I am starting a new class tomorrow night at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, which means I will have to try to find a way to get out of bed and get more shots like this! Sunrise and sunset are the best lighting conditions for taking pictures.
I could also complain about the cold...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

There Will Be A Day




There is a song on Christian Radio that I absolutely love right now by Jeremy Camp. It is called "There will be a day". The first time I heard it was the day of my Grandma Knight's funeral and I think of her everytime I hear it.

We will enter in this rest...with wonders a new...but I hold onto this hope...and the promise that he brings...there will be a place with no more suffering.

There will be a day with no more tears...no more pain...no more fears. There will be a day when the burdens of this place will be no more and we'll see Jesus face to face.

I know this journey feels so long...you feel your walking on your own...there has never been a step...where you've walked out all alone.


Amen!






Monday, January 5, 2009

Solitude


What would you give to be like these seagulls? On a rock, out of life's storm. Somedays we just crave solitude and "me" time. To just get away from it all. How do you like to spend your "me"time? Was "me" time one of your New Year's Resolutions?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Ah, Home at Last




Doesn't it always feel great to come home? I say this like we've been gone for weeks on end. But we really had a great trip and I would even consider taking the girls to Chicago again. I'm sure we only experienced a small portion of what Chicago has to offer. I would think the girls would love Shedd's so that may be our next goal. Part of the attraction of Chicago is that one of my very best friends, Angela, lives in Chicago and I rarely get to see her. She has a little boy named Jackson (who would be adopted by me in a heartbeat and not just because he is named after a President!). She probably won't part with him though. :( Anyway I digress, it's great to spend time with her and her precious family. Thanks Ang for being our Chicago tour guide and for the wonderful breakfast this morning! We toured Millenium Park today and the girls had fun with the "Chicago Bean" (see pictures). Well I am off to unpack - why doesn't that even sound like fun? Maybe the Garrett's carmel corn we brought home will ease the pain! Yum...

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Chicago Day 2




I am exhausted. It is mentally exhausting watching three children in throngs of people. I probably freaked out 10 times today because one of my children was not connected to my hip as they had been instructed, no threatened, many times already. Navy Pier was a madhouse today. I hope the girls can look back on today and say they had fun because I felt like I was the wicked witch, constantly nagging and telling them what could possibly happen if they walked away from me. We started at the children's museum which was great - thanks to all you who recommended it! We had lunch along with 500 of our closest fellow tourists in the food court. Then we ventured into the Winter Fun Fest. Very cool, but very busy. I guess going the last weekend wasn't as great an idea as it sounded. Well I am headed to the gym to work off some steam so maybe I won't unleash it on the girls! I will leave you with a couple of pix from today!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Daddy's Nightmare



*Stopping three times between Plainwell and Chicago for potty breaks
*Driving in Chicago traffic
*Parking on the top floor of the parking structure next to our hotel (at $30 a night)
* Dropping a serious amount of cash at the American Girl Place
* Being overcharged at said store, being refunded and then our credit card being declined on the re-ring (thanks Visa for always looking out for our best interst)
* Not realizing the tip was already included in our dinner bill, thus double tipping the waitress


Equals a DADDY NIGHTMARE
Three Happy Daughters - PRICELESS!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Last night we went to my cousin Mindy's house and the adults had a euchre tournament while the kids played Scaventure (kind of like a scavenger hunt). This picture was taken just after the ball dropped at midnight. It is a tradition that we take a family picture so I thought I would share it with you. It's rare for me to be infront of the camera! Hope you all had a fun New Year's Eve and best wishes for the New Year!



We are headed to Chicago tomorrow - so share with us one thing you have experienced in Chicago that we would not want to miss. (At the bottom of the post there is a small COMMENT word - click on it and you can leave a comment. You can leave it anonymous or create a blogger identity which is free and easy to do so go ahead and join the blogger-nation!)


If you click on the InTents Life button on the side it will take you to the InTents Life Ministry blog. I'm counting down the days til Thursday Morning Bible Study resumes - 7! Join us Thursday mornings at 9:30 at the Plainwell Assembly church behind the Ransom Library! Leigh Larson is our speaker and she is truly gifted and we follow her message with a short time of praise and worship. We'd love to have you join us!

Gotta get packing!
Tera