Sunday, September 27, 2009

They Said It Would Rain...

But I still wanted to go on our last camping trip of the year. What is better than fall camping?Nathan said there is nothing worse than camping ANY time when it just rains. I still wanted to go.

I won.

We had exactly one hour to get everything packed up and out the door. Eek. That's not much time, but I was determined to get it done.

As we were putting the final things in the camper Nathan says, "Oh- I got called into work tonight." This after already working 75 hours THIS WEEK. "I will get you guys set up and then I will go in. I will be back before you wake up in the morning."

Still going...

Then one of the kids (who shall remain nameless) said they would prefer to stay home and play video games.

Now we were going for SURE!
The campground we decided on is owned by a co-worker of Nathan's. It is small so it's never too crowded and the property is stunning! Hiking trails, pond with a row boat, and a beautiful boardwalk that takes you out to a river supplied with a kayak and canoe. Words just don't do it justice. Actually- I'm not even sure pictures do!

I think that the thing I love the most about camping is connecting.
We all took turns in the kayak- something the kids have been wanting to try for a long time.

The skies continued to look ominous, but we kept on like it was the perfect day. And it really was. The kids remembered that it was way more fun to learn to whistle a piece of grass, and to search for bad guys in the woods than it is to master a new Wii game...
Miss J collected leaves

and found uses for them along the way. I realized that a one hour packing job doesn't actually DO the job, so we were all excited to go out to eat at a fun little restaurant.

Yeah, the rain came but amazingly it only came when we got in the car to go somewhere. By the time we got there- it was done.

I HAD to stop along the road to get a few early fall beach pictures

This last weekend was just what we needed to keep us going. We all agreed that it was perfect.
Now, does anyone have any kayaks for sale???

Monday, September 21, 2009

Stupid Cape Just Chokes Me Anyway

Every so often I get a superwoman complex. I feel like I need to be doing more of some things, less of other things, and everything else in between. Every other women can do it, right??

I went for the cape the other night.

uh.... yeah.

I decided I would can tomatoes, do the laundry, wash the dishes and pick up the house... all at the same time. Start time? 10:30p on a school night.

By the time the night was over I had broken 3 quart jars, dropped a nasty rusty dirty ring into the stewing tomatoes, and 5 quarts didn't seal.

In the midst of the canning, I notice that the washing machine is exceptionally loud. I opened it and noticed that the agitator was not moving. I did my best to research the problem in between blanching tomatoes, and by the end of the night, I had the washing machine torn apart.

Now the kitchen is a horrendous disaster with tomato splashes, canning supplies, tools, washing machine parts, and laundry everywhere.

Funny because things like this affect me differently than they do my husband. I just get really tired. Well- that and it is now like 2am and the kids will be up soon.

While I was quickly cleaning up what I could, I started sneezing like crazy!

Finally sleep.

Woke up the next morning, ordered the part to fix the washing machine- $2.95. Awesome!

Decided to make spaghetti sauce with the tomatoes that didn't seal for the neighbors to be nice . Great idea!

Realized that my nose was running terribly, I had a headache and my throat was on fire. Not so good.

Washing machine part will be delivered in 5-7 days. Um, yeah. That is a bag of scrubs with "stuff" on them from Nathan's work last night. Gross. 5-7 days is a long time...

Delivered a container of freshly made spaghetti sauce to the neighbors who graciously accepted, but found out later, they still had leftovers from the spaghetti they made for dinner last night.

As usual, I sit and wonder how "everyone else" does it all. I only tried to be superwoman for one night, and it all backfired.

Then I remembered something we found while cleaning out my Grandma's house.

I clearly need to be in on the secret. Anyone know where to get this stuff?? :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

You Better Believe It!

Saroya is definitely NOT one to give up. She asked and asked when she would be able to try again on water skis. So many times have been canceled due to our vacations, phone being down, and lastly Ethan being sick. Today, we finally made it out!!

It was a PERFECT day. 80 degrees, bright blue sky, silky smooth water, and no one but a turtle on a log around.
She was ready, excited and determined to give it her best.With a couple of rough starts-

and a couple more falls, she was always right back to try again.

Then she finally DID IT, and continued to get up every time she tried after that!

She took two rides all around the lake, which is a big deal when your arms feel like rubber for working at getting up for a good half hour! Nothing feels better than working hard... and succeeding!!! YEA SAROYA!!

Before this summer, Avery family- 1 water skier. After this summer, Avery family- 4 water skiers (and one that REALLY wanted too! Maybe next summer??).

Perfect end to a perfect summer.

Tomorrow's weather forecast- Sunny, clear and 71 degrees...

Welcome Fall.

We are ready!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I Probably Should Be Blogging...


I mean- Ethan has gotten his Webelos rank in Cub Scouts, Arrow of Light and crossed over into Boy Scouts. Not only that, but Nathan was able to advance his WHOLE den to those ranks all while going to school, getting all A's, and working to support our family. I think that is blog-worthy anyway.

You would think I would want to blog about our last minute trip to the sand dunes with our friends on Labor Day Weekend. That was so fun!
The kids were so conflicted seeing a "school bus" that day, but amazed by the snowmobile skimming on the water and monster semi truck dune buggy!I would seem ungrateful for the good time we had if I didn't document that!

I especially should be blogging about the fact that I now have 3 different kids, leaving for 3 different schools, at 3 different times during the day.

Wait... I just said 3 kids in school. Three kids in SCHOOL. Not to mention a husband in yet another school!

That means I have a little bit of "me" time for the first time in.... a long time. A lot of that time is spent getting kids off and back home, but I have time. That is probably the BIGGEST reason I should be blogging.

It seems however, that in those 11 years of having kids underfoot constantly I have neglected to do a lot of "necessary" things. So instead of blogging I have found myself getting into the guts of my house. Surprisingly, I love it. I might only have 2 hours a day to myself this year, but I HAVE TWO HOURS TO MYSELF!!!

I will want to remember that on that very first day of Kindergarten, Jaleigh raised her hand and when called on said, "Um, I haven't actually ever been to this school before, and I haven't been in Kindergarten, and I haven't even been on a bus before, and I think I should be quiet now."

Pure genius.

I HAVE to remember that after that very first day of school, someone actually slept on the TOP BUNK for the very first time. And NO ONE'S head got chopped off by the fan either! (Not that we have EVER had that ceiling fan on- and even if it was on, it would be no where near anyone's head...) Ok, so it might have been the school induced coma that my kids fell into way before bedtime, and she might have just barely been on the top bunk, but for me, that is blogging news!

I really want to blog about the sweet things my husband does for me. Like the time last week when he said he had plans with a friend after working 5 days in a row. He secretly canceled them, ran a bunch of errands for me, and surprised me with the sweetest 2 page letter, flowers and my first ever i-pod. He said that "now that you are a runner" (HA!!!) it might be easier to have something smaller (than my 5lb mp3 player that is the size of my hand!!) and he made sure he didn't spend any more money than he would have had he gone out with his friend. Little things like that mean SOO much to me! Not just nice and sweet, but thoughtful. Love him...

Yeah, so I really should be making more time to blog... Don't ya think??

Not tonight though, I feel like watching a movie instead...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Time Out

After a short very busy week, we needed more wide open spaces.

We headed up to Sleeping Bear National Park on suggestions from several friends. We had been to Sleeping Bear several years ago with Nathan's parents, but weren't really all that impressed. Apparently we didn't get the visitors map, because there was SOO much to do!

The first day we were there, we just set up camp and crashed. Nathan had just come off a 13 hour shift and I got a lovely 2 hours of sleep after getting everything ready to go. Our WONDERFUL kids just read, played games and slept until we woke up 2 hours later. It's amazing how great 2 hours of really hard sleep can feel.
We noticed that the campground was very quiet with lots of older campers, and not too many kids. It was kind of strange. One of our camping neighbors was especially nice and brought over kindling when we were having trouble starting a fire with damp wood. One night, he played his harmonica for his wife, and had Nathan & I smiling and the kids dancing around. So cool!
Then the neighbor on the other side of us... He seemed nice enough, but there was just one thing ...
He wouldn't wear pants!! He had a little black speedo (I hope that's what it was) that he wore all the time, but that's it for the lower region. I'm sorry. Can I just say? If it is cold enough to wear a sweatshirt- it is probably cold enough to wear pants. And furthermore, pants are not optional attire. Hat, yes. Pants, No. uggg.....
As we explored the area, we went on a cool scenic drive that led to a Lake Michigan Overlook. As Nathan and the kids walked down the dune to get a good look, it looked as if they had come to the end of the world! I was freaking out, so I followed them to the most unbelievable view.
Stunning blue for as far as you could see.
I decided that I love this color blue for a backdrop!
This is Ethan saying, "Can't we go all the way down??"
Can you see how steep this thing is?!?
This is Nathan telling Ethan, "Tomorrow". The kids thought it was so fun to play with my anxiety... We watched a Old Fashion Blacksmith's demonstration
and the kids helped with a re-enactment of a U.S. Lifesaving Service boat rescue.
Nathan and the kids even indulged me in a visit to Traverse City for a while, to visit an old favorite place we took Ethan as a baby. 11 years has certainly changed things there! It wasn't as magical, actually kind of gross, but it was still a great day, and the kids had fun.
While Nathan & I were NOT successfully taking a self portrait, (could you just die for that smile?! LOVE IT!!)

The kids were playing on this playground.
Miss J happened to loose one of her "favorite" earrings (every pair of earrings are her favorites!). EEK!! After about 5 or 10 minutes of searching through the sand, I earned my SuperMom cape thankyouverymuch!

Our neighbors joined us for the end of the week, and eventually the "overLOOK" became an "overCLIMB". Nathan took ALL the kids (except for Miss J) ALL the way down!! It was quite a workout, but they all made it back up!
The sun wasn't as bright the second day, so the colors weren't as vibrant, but still sooo beautiful!
I was lucky enough to get out and do some quaint "little town" shopping with the girls one day. Man- I need to do that more often!! We found some of the coolest things! One of which is something I hadn't seen since I lived in England a LONG time ago, and before that as a kid. I fell in love with these! When is the last time you saw milk being sold in glass bottles??
And who wouldn't want to eat here?? YUM!!

I am soo not ready to be done with the summer...
P.S. I am looking for some different music for my running playlist. What is your favorite exercising music?