Saturday, July 30, 2011

Summer Fun!!

We had a wonderful week with no camps, no sports, no activities! It was awesome! Here are some of our adventures:

Lazy breakfasts at 9:30am!
Making homemade granola with Noah

Still working!

Noah's homemade granola...all finished!
Putt-Putt golf!

Elephant ear at the fair!

Mommy and Sophie on the Scrambler!
Mommy and Abby on the Tilt-a-whirl

Dancing in the rain...check off the summer list!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Thank you Major Matt

Tonight we had the honor and privilege of having Tom's college buddy Matt over for dinner. He is in Holland for the wedding we attended last weekend. He is what our kids call a, 'Real, live hero'. Matt is a Major in the United States Air force. He has done several tours of the Middle East. He is currently stationed in Germany for the next few years. We try to teach our children to be respectful of our military 'heroes'. It was very special for them to share a meal with him. To laugh with him. To learn from him. The sign Abby made says it all, "Thank (or Theank) you Major Matt"

One More!

I forgot to post this one last night! The kids got a kick out of this sign posted outside of Cherry Republic in Glen Arbor. We told them we had to sneak in to get ice cream (seriously the best ice cream ever...cherry pie flavor!)

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Weekend Away

My favorite flowers picked by my amazing husband on the side of the road when we were almost home.

An AMAZING dune (Sleeping Bear) that we did not hike (not allowed in this spot due to erosion...whew!)

Sunset over Lake Michigan right down the street from our cabin in Glen Arbor.

A perfect spot for a pizza dinner in Glen Arbor.

Beautiful flowers at Tandem Ciders on Leelenau Pennsiula.

Our new favorite ciders!

The amazing site of our friend's wedding in Maple City. (Snow Moon Ranch-see Martha Stewart's pictures of a wedding there!)

My new yellow shoes on the drive to Glen Arbor Friday night.

Tom and I enjoyed an amazing weekend away in Glen Arbor this past weekend. We are thankful for our parents who played with the kids while we were gone. We celebrated a wedding of one of Tom's college friends on Saturday night and stayed in town until Monday to enjoy a little r and r. It was both beautiful and relaxing. Of course we were thrilled to get home to snuggle the kids! By the way, we forgot the new camera but I had fun with my i phone!

Friday, July 22, 2011

The girls!

Noah had his second slumber party on last Sunday so the girls enjoyed another 'special' day. They played in the sprinkler (I am still learning my new camera and deleted THE most amazing picture of Abby... :( ). That evening we decided daddy would take us out to a 'fancy' dinner at City Vu. I told the girls to get a dress on, and as you can see they selected their Easter dresses. :) As we sat the the restaurant looking out at the city we were in awe of their amazing manners and their sweetness. It was so special! They were thrilled to find out that Thursday night they would have their first sleepover at a friends house. They returned this morning a little tired (ok, a lot tired!), but having had an amazing time!

By the way, Noah had an awesome week too between the slumber party, his last baseball game (in which he hit a grand slam home run to end the season), and Pirate Science Camp at Hope!!

We love summer!

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Beach!

When I was a kid we had Snoopy sheets that said, "Happiness is....a warm puppy, a new raincoat, etc. I loved reading all of the sentiments as I drifted off to sleep. It's a similar concept to the "1000 Gifts" list that I started about 6 months ago. Today I say "happiness is....#604 sandy fingers and toes, #611 Mermaids in the sand and #607 watching the kids swim from under my beach umbrella."

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Volleyball Camp!

Abby in the grey shirt

Sophie in the bright blue shirt.

Today the girls finished up 3 days of volleyball camp! They had a blast and loved it! As we dropped them off Noah asked me if it hurt their thumbs to hit the ball like that....I told him it sure hurt mine but people who love it don't seem to think so :) (I'm sure my volleyball playing sisters are smiling right now! )


We spent a beautiful morning picking cherries yesterday. The picking was slim (mostly under the tree and way up high on the ladder), but the weather was amazing and we still had fun. We love cherry smoothies and cherry pies from our frozen cherries!! We love summer in Michigan! About 3:00 Noah decided he wanted cheese soup for dinner (not a typical July dinner, but it sounded good!). We were downtown and were surprised to find one farmer left at the market who could provide us with the celery, onions, and potatoes that we needed. We had carrots from the market earlier in the week. That evening all three kids washed, cut and prepped ALL of the ingredients for our amazing soup. Before we ate we bowed our heads and thanked God for those who had grown, harvested and prepared our food...we are thankful.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

My All star

Noah playing catcher.

In honor of the All star game tonight, Noah hit two home runs at his coach pitch baseball game. His third at bat went to the fence too (they must have played him deeper!) and he got a double. He did such a great job. It's so fun to watch his abilities grow and develop, and to see him having so much fun! He even got to play catcher (like his mommy!).

Anniversary and Birthday!

We celebrated our 12th anniversary on Sunday July 10th (so did my wonderful in laws...number 42!). My parents took our kids camping (thank you!) and we spent the weekend at their house in Livonia. Tom surprised me with tickets to the Mitch Album play, "Ernie". If you know me (and my dog) you know I love Ernie Harwell. I have many childhood memories of his voice, the voice of the Tigers. The play was incredible, simply amazing. If you are a Tigers fan, you MUST make the trip to Detroit to see it. We also had an amazing dinner at 'The RattleSnake Club' on the Detroit River. It was delicious and beautiful. When we arrived to our table, a wedding was just starting in front of the restaurant. It was a wonderful way to celebrate our anniversary, remembering our beautiful wedding 12 years before.

Monday was my birthday! I woke up to a crazy thunderstorm and the kids and I started the day by candle light. It was quiet, and actually quite wonderful. Our plans for cherry picking with our friends the Bolt's were cancelled due to another crazy storm that blew in when we arrived at their house. We weathered the storm (and the chaos of fallen trees and closed roads that followed) with joy and adventure with our friends. The kids played, made crafts with glitter and glue, ate an amazing blueberry, lemon, thyme cake and enjoyed lunch (with a candle in my risotto!). It wasn't the morning we planned, but just goes to show you that sometimes the most fun is unexpected! The kids and I spent the bulk of the afternoon playing at home (we had power) and were even able to have a late 'ice cream for lunch' once Captain Sundae regained power about 4:00! We ended the day with an amazing dinner prepared by Tom (with zucchini and basil from our garden) and watching Noah play a great baseball game.

It was a wonderful celebration weekend! We are thankful that the storm damage passed by our home and trees! We are thankful for 12 amazing years of marriage. We are thankful!

My birthday flowers (white from Tom, red from the kids!)

Ice Cream on my birthday!

A birthday lunch at the Bolt's!

The best gifts ever, promises of hugs, kisses and snuggles by candlelight!

A beautiful anniversary dinner (with a 'happy anniversary' painted plate of dessert!) See the wedding ending behind us!

Beautiful dinner!!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!!

Building our new picnic table!

We had a wonderful holiday weekend! Perhaps the best part was the 1am phone call announcing the birth of our new niece Annemieke (pronounced ahh-na-MEE-kah) Mae Lappenga on Saturday night. It is a beautiful dutch name (for a beautiful Dutch girl!!), I was so proud when they told me she was named with me in mind! We cannot wait to meet her in about 7 weeks! Isn't she amazing??!!

We also had a wonderful celebration at our house on Sunday afternoon that included my parents, Bill and Joan, Aunt Melanie and Uncle Brian and my grandpa. We enjoyed beautiful weather in the backyard, amazing food, a water balloon toss, and a fire! It was perfect.

Monday we hiked at Rosy Mound in Grand Haven with my parents, ate at a favorite summer spot, "Butch's Beach Burrito" and even stuck it out for the kids first fireworks display Downtown Holland. It was a super late night (the fireworks didn't start until 10:30!) but the show (with a live choir) was amazing. We made some wonderful memories this weekend!