Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Getting Spoiled at the Local Fire Department

When Beepaw and Damma were visiting from Missouri, they took the kids with them to run a few errands. As they passed the fire department which Beepaw used to belong to, they saw that they had all their trucks out on display. It didn't take long for the fire chief to offer the kids a ride on the brand new fire truck. Can you tell from their faces that they were in awe!

Of course Layla had to hop on the front of the truck and strike a pose, just like her great-grandma Carolyn! These kids are not shy of the camera, that's for sure. They had a blast, getting to ride the truck, blow the horn and sirens and run the lights. Thanks Beepaw and Damma for giving them such an adventure!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Last Day of Summer

Today we enjoyed our last summer day as a family. Nate reports back to work tomorrow. Today was a scorcher, so we decided to be away from the house as much as possible. We went and ate at Little Caesars and then cruised around town checking out twin mattresses. Julius is still in a toddler bed, but we feel he is no longer getting the quality sleep he needs because the bed is too small for him. Holy cow, mattresses are ridiculous! We looked at several stores and just priced things out. We'll save the spending lots of money for another day, lol!

Then this evening we packed up dinner and headed to the beach. We actually had to pay to get into the park because when we traded in our old van, we forgot to peel off the state park pass. Bummer. The lake was nice and cool. We enjoyed real turkey sandwiches, just like after Thanksgiving dinner, along with cucumbers, strawberries and lemonade. Thanks Mom for dropping off the fixings! It made the perfect beach dinner!

The lake helped us cool off enough that we could come home and face our hot house. I am looking forward to some cool, crisp air in the weeks ahead. And I really miss soup. I am ready for some good soups and chili. Hope you all are drinking up these last days of summer, too!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Over a Year

I just realized that I made it past the year mark for this blog. Wow, quite an accomplishment for me. I like to start things, but finishing is not always my strength. I have enjoyed documenting our humble, little circle of living and have truly appreciated those of you who have cared enough to follow along. You faithful readers keep me motivated to get back on the computer every so often and post a few more happenings of our life. I hope you continue to find something here that you enjoy. Keep coming back, for there are bound to be at least a few crazy and ridiculous things happening around here from time to time.

While I have your attention, are there any things you would like to see new on my blog? Any particular topics? Any questions you may want to ask? Make your requests known and I will see what I can do.

Last Summer Days

Our computer has not been working the best lately, so I haven't been able to blog. We are enjoying our last days of summer around here, as Nate returns to work next Tuesday. We definitely could use some routine around here, but I am always sad to see him go back to work. I think he is bummed, too!

But, the cool nights bring promises of fall. I love fall. Already some trees are starting to change a bit and the golden rod is bloomed, making country drives most enjoyable. I am ready for some cider and doughnuts! How about you?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My Own Bed

We said goodbye to Nate's parents this morning. They were visiting from Missouri since last Thursday. We also had the privilege of spending a bit of time with Nate's brother and sister-in-law from Chicago. It was a busy, but fun long weekend. We only have three bedrooms, so when visitors are in town, we have to get a bit creative with sleeping arrangements. Nate and I slept in the baby's room on an air mattress, so that our house guests could have actual beds. It's not horrible sleeping on an air mattress, but Nate and I kept forgetting to put more air in the bed night after night, so the bed kept getting worse and worse. Oh well, its our own fault, lol!

Now there are fresh sheets on our bed and I am looking forward to getting to sleep in my own bed. Nothing feels as comfortable as your own bed. It's probably because of the grooves in our mattresses that fit us just right. Can you tell I am excited!

But, I will sleep on an air mattress any day to have family and friends come visit!

Do you love returning to your own bed after sleeping somewhere else?

Monday, August 23, 2010

New Van

Well, it's here. We were able to wrap things up this afternoon. I am so amazed at how God always provides for us and exceeds our expectations. When we first started looking we were discouraged at prices. When we looked at the possible trade in values of our other vehicles we were a bit discouraged then, too. But Jarred found a 2004 with 49,000 miles. He told us the van would be around $8,000. He then gave us very good prices for our other vehicles and we were able to walk out the door with tax and title for $5,385. Praise the Lord! Nate and I were really hoping to get the van for $6,000 or below. I had asked the Lord if we could get it for $5,500. The Lord gave us more than what we asked for.

Thanks Jarred for working so hard and quickly to get us some reliable transportation. You have been so good to us with the past two vehicles.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Testing, Testing

We drove a van yesterday which we liked. Our friend Jarred gave us a price quote on the van that we really liked. Then he gave us trade in values on both our van and our car that we liked even better. If all goes well we could be purchasing the van on Monday. Jarred was sending it to the shop for some maintenance and if everything looks good we will have some transportation by then. Keep ya posted!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Sick of Being Stranded

So we have been stranded at home for since Monday. We found out our van needed over $1300 worth of repairs, some being pretty major and we began to contemplate if it was worth putting that much money into our van when it has 133,000 miles on it. We only buy vehicles in the $5,000 to $6,000 range anyway, so we wondered if it was better to put that $1300 towards a new van.

Our friend, Jarred, said he had a van coming in today that would be in our price range once we traded in. We are going to see and drive it today and have the auto shop check it out to see if it is a good fit for us. Keep us in your prayers that the Lord will show us favor and that our vehicle needs will be met. The natives are a bit stir crazy after being stuck at the house for the past week! I will keep you posted.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Oh Boys

Yesterday, Julius came in from outside and said, "Here mom." I saw something white in his hand. Figuring it was a flower, I stuck out my hand. Into my palm dropped a dead white moth. Thanks buddy. I know that this is only the beginning of lots of gross things being brought into my home and probably dropped into my hand or lap. I was thankful this time that it was only a moth. And it was dead. I'm a little scared to see what will come in next time.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Break...Ahhh!

We have finally received a break from the heat. It is such a welcomed relief. We are still enjoying some warmer temperatures throughout the day, but the humidity is gone and the nights are very cool. The nights have even been cool enough to shut off some of the window fans.

I am always amazed at the end of a season how ready and excited I am for the next season. Now I am not ready to write off the remainder of the the summer. I still want to get in a few more days at the beach and some extra Vitamin D, but fall is such an amazing season and I look forward to it each year.

What are your favorite seasons and why?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Last of the Chicago Pics

We busted on the scene at Jeremy and Tonya's and invaded their small apartment with our rambunctious family. Many might be worried about how we fared in a tiny place with so many people (and animals), but really it wasn't bad at all. Jeremy and Tonya might feel differently! I bet their place felt like a mansion once we got our family and our stuff out of there.

I love being in a smaller place because it always reminds me of how little we can actually get by with. I read some articles recently on simple and small living that you might enjoy too.

But Will It Make You Happy?

Tiny House

Monday, August 16, 2010

Don't Leave!

When Houghton Lake was over and we arrived safely home, the kids were bummed to hear that Uncle Gilbo was going home. No, he's not really their uncle, but we all affectionately call him that. Julius asked if he could spend the night. Sorry, bud. Gilbo has to go home and go to work.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Houghton Lake 2010

For the past four years, our family and a whole handful of other friend's families have been heading up to Houghton Lake for a long weekend of fun. Jen's father kindly lets us overrun his beautiful lake-front home for a few days, and he and his wife even prepare all our meals for our rowdy gang. Through the years, our numbers have multiplied due to some fertility issues, and now the children are close to outnumbering the adults. By next year I am pretty sure they will take over.

This year's weather left us all wanting, but we still managed to have a great time and even sneak in a bit of swimming and boating. The stars every year are corn hole and various board and card games. The kids had a blast, too, but all the parents were always pleased when the kids were tucked snug in their beds. We aren't the rowdy group we used to be. Craig, Jen's dad, said we drank about a 1/4th of what we have in years past. And he would know. He bags up all the cans! What can I say, we are all getting older with more responsibility! And maybe a bit more sense!

Thanks Craig and Marie for pampering us so well for the weekend. Thanks Dave, Jen, Kate and Dave for planning and preparing such a special weekend for us. Thanks to the rest of the gang who was up there. We had a blast! See ya next year!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Priceless Pic

I can't seem to keep this kid out of my dirty laundry.
He finds it more entertaining than his toys.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Annual Church Garage Sale

My pastor's wife graciously reminded me of the annual garage sale at one of the local churches. She and I loaded up early on a Thursday morning, lists in hand, hoping to get some wonderful goodies. She was able to get a few items off of her lists, as well as some other good finds that she came across. I felt like I hit the jack pot. Not only did I get a nice amount of fall clothes for Layla and Julius, I managed to get a ton of clothes for Nate and myself, along with boots and shoes for the whole family. And at prices ranging from $ .25 to $1.5o an item, I saved us a ton of money. Shirts and pants for kids are $1.99 a piece at our local Goodwill, so these prices were about half of that! I was able to snag a bunch of snow boots, too for only $.75 each! Snow boots never go on sale, so that saves about $15.00 each pair. And instead of dragging home more toys to clutter up our house, I bought the kids a bunch of aprons and a ton of scarves and bandannas. Let me tell you, they have been a huge hit! I love to see all the different ways they use them throughout the day. It cracks me up. So if you ever finds a bunch of old lady scarves for cheap, buy them up! They are gold! Your kids will love you. Oh, and I have already warned the kids that I may need to borrow a scarf from time to time to spruce up an outfit or tie back my hair.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sister's Lakes

We had the privilege last weekend to head out to the Brady's home for some time of food, fellowship and teaching. The Brady's are the co-founders of Team and we always appreciate when we get to spend some time at their place. It is also such a great time to catch up with other people in our business as we eat a bunch of yummy food and play volleyball. We had beautiful weather with just enough breeze off the lake to keep the mosquitoes away. It was so good to get to sit and talk with some of my favorite ladies. As you can see I managed to steal Josh and Nicole's brand new baby! Too bad I had to hand Mya back to her parents when it was all over!