Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Annapolis Part 1

A couple of weeks ago we had opportunity to make our annual trip to Annapolis to stay with our friends. Luckily we missed the earthquake and hurricane. We are so thankful to say our friends were fine after both of those natural disasters (a little water and no power however)! Our trip was full of laughter, fun, and memories in the making! Much of the time was spent outside, enjoying the dock, the bay, and the boat. The kids loved crabbing for blue crabs and Noah had a blast tubing behind the boat! More pictures to come!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Guest Blogger: Sophie

At the garden we got these tomatos!!! (Anna here: this is one of my favorite pictures of the summer, look at her sweet shadow)

We rode our bikes to the capt and we got ice cream!!!

I took this picture on the big tree at capt.
Mom took this picture before we went back 2 miles home!!!

This is a picture of Noah and his lego food truck!!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

In God's heart I am....

I came across an amazing video/new book the other day (see above). When I started to watch the video, the kids gathered around. At the end of the video, I asked them, "What word do you think of when I say, In God's heart I am...."

Immediately Abby said, "In God's heart I'm pretty" Sophie said, "In God's heart I am joyful" It took Noah a few minutes, and he returned to building his legos but a few minutes later he said, "In God's heart I'm gentle" I flashed in my mind to his crazy wrestling with a friend who is younger than him last week. In the midst of crazy boy play, Noah would put his had behind his friend's head to catch his fall. He would catch himself with his arms so as to avoid smashing him. Yes, for this one reason and so many more my energetic boy is most definitely gentle in God's heart.

It took me a little longer to come up with the word, "able". I am tying that word in to my 'year of yes' in the context that sometimes I have a lot on my plate (as my hours at Hope continue to grow this fall, as the kids start 2nd grade....) but I am able to say yes to the plan God has for my life. I am able.

It took Tom the longest, but around midnight last night he added his word of "Willing".

The kids and I spent some time creating a canvas to showcase our words, it is a treasure. Abby wrote the wording at the top, Sophie drew the heart, and each person wrote their own word. Perhaps the most unexpected blessing came as we rode our bikes to Captain Sundae (post later by Sophie). I was watching them as they rode and was able to focus on the word they had selected and look at each of them through God's heart. Amazing.

What is your word?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Guest Blogger: Abby Jane

Photos and post by Abby today!

today we went to the grand rapids art museum. to see the audubon exhibit. we made collages in the studio.

these are my feathers for my is red velvet.

next we went to the aquatic center.

this is ernie.
what a fun day!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

We did it!

Today was our third annual 'park hopping' day. It is always a highlight of the summer and something we look forward to all year. You will not believe our total! Let me just say we left he house at 10 am and returned home at 7pm. It was amazing. Even though we were rushed at some parks, and exhausted at others I was amazed that the kids would fly out of the van at each stop like they had never seen a park before in their lives! I think there is a great lesson to be found in that, but right now I'm a little too tired to dig it out! (Cut me some slack, even the kids were exhausted tonight!!) Enjoy the pictures!
















Yep, 15 parks in one day. We did it!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Surprise trip to the beach

Last night as the girls and I drove home from a bridal shower we noticed the beautiful sky as the sun began to set at the beach. We quickly stopped by at home to grab Noah and headed to the beach a little before 9! The kids couldn't believe it! By the time we got to the beach the sun had set (fall is sneaking in), but we still had fun spinning in the sand and savoring a few true summer moments.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Rocking Whale

When the kids were 'little' I used to love returning to a familiar park summer after summer. It was always amazing to see how much bigger the kids were than the year before. They could reach the monkey bars, they could go down the slide, they could reach the swings.... Yesterday we visited a park we have been going to for years. The kids fondly named it 'rocking whale' after the blue whale they used to enjoy rocking in endlessly. They would also serve me food from a pretend restaurant in the 'little' play structure. This week the whale was only rocked on once and the kids recalled the restaurant they used to 'run'. They had moved on to bigger things, namely spinning ENDLESSLY on the saucer type merry-go-round. Laughing all the while, that part does not change as they grow and for that I am thankful.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


We had a wonderful weekend camping in Pentwater. I wondered as we drove in to town Thursday evening how many times I've made that drive? (A. I have been going to Pentwater since I was 1) I wondered as we set up our pop up camper (that was my parents, and I have camped in since 1987) how many times have I done this? Tom and I spent time this weekend talking about traditions, the ones we had as children and the ones we are starting with our children. Tom talked about his cottage, I talked about our trips to Pentwater. We are so excited to be carrying on some of the summer traditions of our childhood while starting new ones for our family as well.

Pulling the camper to Pentwater, August 2011

Rolling down the hill in the park in Pentwater (insert Anna, Martha, Laura years ago)

Good and Plenty in the Park in Pentwater (another Anna tradition)

Silly girls

Abby Jane

My boys

Sophie Grace

Cannon Ball (learned from 'Uncle Ben! Cannonball!!')

1-2-3 JUMP!!!!

Abby at the beach

When the kids were really little we would swing like this and whisper, "I love you, I love you, I love you so much". They turned 7 1/2 the day this was taken.

Did I mention....silly girls!!

Flying Sophie


Ernie loves waking up in the camper

Those of you who have followed our camping 'saga' since the kids were really little will smile to know that we camped for 3 nights in Pentwater with my parents and aunts and uncles. Yes, of course it rained, but we 'weathered the storm' and had a wonderful time making memories and carrying on traditions with our family.