Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July 31, 2013

 After we went with our grandma to the library we went home to make 5 buckets of ooblek. as you can see there is a huge mess! We made a lot of ooblek. We got our hands so dirty that we had to wash our  hands more than once! There was ooblek all over the table and bowls! I pretended that I was an alien and got my hand covered in ooblek and let it stretch along my fingers and make my ooblek hang from my fingers and look very long!  Then I pulled the ooblek off. We had so much fun. I can not wait to do it again!By Sophie  ;

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

July 30, 2013

We had a wonderful day soaking in summer beauty.  We enjoyed a hike at the Nature Center with our cousins.  We enjoyed the last few hours of cousin/sister time before Martha and kiddos headed back to LA.  We are treasuring all of the wonderful memories we made together in the past month. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

July 29, 2013

Savoring every moment.  Laura and her family left yesterday.  Martha and the kids head back to LA tomorrow.  August is approaching at a rapid pace.  Before I start to panic about how much I already miss Laura and how much I will miss Martha, before I start to feel the "summer is almost over" feeling I will take time to savor the moments.  Today we enjoyed time at Timbertown, frozen yogurt AND cups of whip cream at Bigby.  We wrapped up a wonderful (and chilly) day at the beach.  The kids ran and played and floated feathers in the wind.  We walked to the channel and watched a freighter come in.  We held hands and gave hugs and savored the moments. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

July 28, 2013

We love our camper.  This camper is the one I camped in throughout most of my older childhood.  The summer before we began using it a mouse got in and did a little damage to the canvas.  Other than that it is in wonderful, well loved shape.  I slept many a night on the bed Noah sleeps on now.  I treasure many memories in this camper.  At one point this past weekend my mom climbed in, just to smell it's familiar scent.  Even in the midst of  a very wet and chilly camping adventure, I loved waking up this morning with my kids all snuggled in their beds.  Smelling the familiar (and somewhat soggy) scent.  Loving the way the light shines through the canvas.  I love the creak of the door.  I treasure the new memories that my family now adds to this old and special camper.  We loved being back in Pentwater with both of my sisters and all of our kids.

July 27, 2013

One of the jokes of our camping weekend in Pentwater was the weather forecast.  Saturday morning as we drove north to Ludington for a picnic and a hike we watched the rain fall steadily.  We checked the hourly forecast and saw there was a 0% chance of rain at that hour.  Hmmm.  For the rest of the weekend as the rain continued to fall, we joked about the 0% chance of rain.  Happily the rain did stop in time for us to have a picnic on the shore of Hamlin Lake and a fabulous hike.  We hiked along the beautiful path, 7 adults and 8 children under the age of 9 1/2.  The kids laughed, looked, wandered off the path and filled Noah's clothes with sand.  The adults took pictures, chatted, and wrangled kiddos.  We saw Kingfishers, baby Swans, and wildflowers.  I wish I would have taken a picture of all the cousins together, but I'm sure someone else did.  We were thrilled to be free of the rain most of the rest of the day and were able to shop downtown, and have our annual family potluck at the campground.  The kids love this night best because they stay up way too late making s'mores and laughing with glow sticks.  I think it was nearly 11 before the kids were all in bed and the adults around the fire were thrilled for a brief glimpse of stars shining overhead (before the clouds and rain came again). 

July 26, 2013

One of the things you can count on when we camp each that it will rain.  Friday morning rain was looming...but we still managed to squeeze in a few outside activities first.  We visited the State Park in Pentwater where one of the girls' good friends was camping.  We climbed Old Baldy and played on the playground.  We savored the beautiful views.  Back at the campground we shared lunch and headed to the pool.  Air temps were in the mid 60's but the kids swam on (with blue lips!).  Just as the last kiddo climbed out of the pool, the rain began.  We spent the rest of the day hunkered down in various campers making the most of our time.  In lieu of cookouts we ate dinner downtown and made time for the traditional ice cream.  It was soggy, but still a wonderful day.  We made memories!

July 25, 2013

One of my childhood traditions was family trips to Pentwater.  My grandparents had a cottage there and we would visit each summer, savoring the beauty and fun of the city.  We loved visiting the city center, especially on Thursday nights for the weekly band concerts.  Once there my sisters and I would roll down the hill, laughing all the way.  This past Thursday night we were in Pentwater again.  My parents, my two sisters, and all of our kids.  We gathered downtown for the band concert and watched with joy as our kids rolled down the hill, laughing all the way. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

July 24, 2013

When the kids were really little I would take turns swinging with one of them on my lap.  I would quietly whisper to them, "I love you, I love you, I love you so much" as we glided through the air.  Although no longer really little, occasionally the kids will still climb up and swing with me.  Every time I still whisper, "I love you, I love you, I love you so much."
Today Laura, Gavin, and the kids arrived from Florida.  We spent the morning at the farmers market and playing at a park (see picture).  The afternoon was spent treasure hunting for some, napping for others, eating ice cream before dinner, and one more park.  It was so fun to see all 8 cousins running, laughing and playing together.  It was amazing to have both of my sisters close for running after kids, laughing, and playing together. 

July 23, 2013

After another amazing summer day Martha, Mom and I headed downtown to take a painting class.  We had a wonderful time learning acrylics, learning how to paint flowers, and laughing.  It was both relaxing and fun.  All of the kids loved seeing our final projects the next day! 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

July 22, 2013

Today we went to the fair, and guess what, our friend Ella came too! Our brother Noah's friend Drew was there also. Oh, and our cousins too. In case you are wondering what the girl in the middle [ Ella]  is doing , we were playing a game to see who screamed first. that was her way to keep quiet!These are the rides we went on : The Tilt-A-Whirl [the ride in the picture], The Scrambler, The Fun Slide,The Heart Flip and The Carousal. Noah and Drew went on the Gravatrone, The Spaceship, The Heart Flip and the Tilt-A-Whirl. Our cousins were named Adelee and Gordie and Chessa. We also went on the Tilt-A-Whirl with Adelee. Noah went on the Heart Flip with Gordie. We also eat an elephant ear and looked at the animals. We had so much fun and it something we look forward to every year.

Monday, July 22, 2013

July 21, 2013

Sunday was spent playing and laughing. The girls enjoyed an American Girl Party at Barnes and Noble while the adults and boys enjoyed (Chai and) book browsing.  We visited a park, shared a wonderful summer dinner, and an early bonfire (with smores!).  After all of the this the girls and I headed off to our second 'Mother Daughter Bookclub' hosted at a friends home downtown.  It was a wonderful evening of food and conversation.  It's so fun to see the girls share their thoughts about a book!  We are joyfully savoring every moment. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

July 20, 2013

Have I mentioned how wonderful it is to have my sister in town?  To be able to run together, watch our kids play together, watch sunsets together, be moms together, jump off a boat together, share meals together, shop at the market together, see 'my Detroit' together, identify wild turkeys together, share chai tea together, laugh together, and even spend a day in Grand Rapids together kid free (today!).  One thing I love about having my parents retired in Holland is to say, "See you tomorrow" and this month I can say it to Martha as well.  This is priceless time.  I wouldn't trade it for the world.   

July 19, 2013

Friday started with a family run.  We are working on checking off 'run a 5K' from a summer list and are doing the 'Couch Potato to 5K program together.  Adelee and Auntie Martha joined us for this run.  After the run some of us walked to the Park Township Farmers Market where we were thrilled to find Peaches for the first time of the season.  We enjoyed a wonderful lunch at Butch's Beach Burrito with Tom.  Before dropping him back off at work we made time for some ice cream.  We leisurely headed home with a stop to show our cousins how we treasure hunt and one of our favorite parks in Grand Haven.  Fun!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

July 18, 2013

Today we spent a wonderful day at Greenfield Village in Dearborn.  We got there bright at early in hopes of beating some of the heat.  We did not beat the heat, but we had a wonderful time anyway!  We rode in Model T Cars, Trains, Carriages.  We visited old houses (some with AC!), and learned lots.  We enjoyed an amazing 'Michigan' lunch.  The kids all got 'hobo lunches' and loved that they came in the bandanna on a stick!  After a giant rainstorm blew through while we ate the temp did drop a little and we savored every last moment of the afternoon.  What a wonderful two days!! 

July 17, 2013

We headed to the Detroit area with my parents, Martha and her kids for a couple of days of fun.  We got to visit the Better Made Potato Chip Factory downtown so while we were there we made a quick trip to my favorite bakery (Avalon).  It was so much fun for me to show 'my Detroit' to Martha and my kids.  I visit this place each time I am in Detroit but the kids had never been there!  After this we spent a wonderful afternoon at Henry Ford Museum.  For dinner we headed back downtown Detroit with my parents this time to another favorite spot (Mercury Burger Bar).  We ran on to the field at 'Old Tiger Stadium' (Love) and drove by Comerica and Ford Field for the kids.  Once we got to the hotel we were all ready for a swim before turning in for the night. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

July 16, 2013

The super hot temps drove us indoors today.  We enjoyed bowling with grandma and grandpa Mosher, Auntie Martha, Adelee, Gordie, and Chessa.  We also enjoyed a wonderful lunch in Grandville with Grandma Bonnema.  By the late afternoon the kids were ready to venture outside for a little slip and slide fun with cousins.  We closed off the night with some family snuggle time. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

July 15, 2013

Rascals.  I snuck in to the girls room after bed time tonight to get their laundry hamper.  This is the site that greeted me.  While it might have been my motherly duty to scold them for not being asleep, my true instinct was to giggle.  These girls love to read.  They love their books.  If I could have been doing anything besides laundry (and blogging) it would have been reading too.  I love it.  I gave them 5 more minutes, and hope they shut off the lights.  And I left the room smiling. 

July 14, 2013

The last day at the cottage for the summer is always tinged with sadness.  We soaked up every last moment with a trip to my favorite farm market (Watts in Howard City), a family fishing expedition, swimming, even coercing mom (me) to jump off the diving board in the lake.  We ate dinner in wet bathing suits and went one more time to the ice cream store.  We are so thankful for the ~10 nights we were able to spend at the cottage with Bill and Joan (and our many other visitors) this summer.  We are thankful for the moments:  the sunsets, the laughter, the splashing, the quiet, the fireflies, the friends, the food, the joy. 

July 13, 2013

Saturday was another joyful day at the cottage.  Temps were warm so there was a lot of splashing about in the lake.  Martha and the kids stopped by on their way home from up north.  The Bolt family joined us for most of the day.  There was a lot of laughing, paddle boarding (thanks Kate!), fishing, eating, and swimming.  It was another perfect summer day!

Friday, July 12, 2013

July 12, 2013: Game Changer by Kirk Cousins

My 9 year old son, Noah, is a huge football fan. He is an even bigger Kirk Cousins fan. He followed his career at MSU and now with the Redskins. He looks up to his football abilities and his character. Noah was thrilled when we received an advanced copy of Kirk Cousin’s book “Game Changer”. We read the book together and will now review it in interview form.

Anna Bonnema (aka mom): What did you like about the book?

Noah Bonnema: What I liked best about the book was first of all, it was written by Kirk Cousins and he is rad. I liked that each chapter talked about football, the Bible, and how to be a good person. One of my favorite chapters was the second one where Kirk talks about the power of a role model. He explained how to identify a good role model and why you need one. I have several cool role models in my life; two of them are my dad and Kirk Cousins.

AB: What did you learn from the book?

NB: I learned several things from the book, a few examples are: how to be a good person, why it’s important to have friends who have the same values as you, sometimes doing the right thing isn’t always the easy thing to do, when you are memorizing a play book it might be helpful to draw them out, you probably shouldn’t go off campus for lunch, even if you are almost graduating, there are a lot of things you can learn from reading the Bible.

AB: What would you tell your friends about the book?

NB: Well, it depends on which friends because some of them are Michigan fans. I would tell them that Kirk Cousins talks about how to be a good guy using stories about the Bible and football. I loved it because I learned a lot about being a strong person and a good friend.

AB: How can you change your life by something you learned?

NB: I could read the Bible more. I could also remember that doing the right thing isn’t always easy so when my sisters are bugging me I should walk away instead of bugging them back.

AB: What would you like to say to Kirk Cousins after reading his book?

NB: He should write more books for kids like me. Also, thanks for being a good role model for me because a lot of professional athletes are not. You set an awesome example of hard work and not quitting when things get tough. I hope I can be like you when I grow up.

AB: What do you think your mom liked best?

NB: First of all my mom doesn’t want me to get hurt playing football. She also worries that many professional athletes are not people I should look up to. However, my mom loved how this book gave such awesome examples of how I should live my life. She thinks every boy should have to read this book.

AB: Which Bible verse that Kirk Cousin’s mentioned is your favorite?

NB: The verse at the start of Chapter 8, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity.” -1 Timothy 4:12

Thursday, July 11, 2013

July 11, 2013

       Today was my mom's birthday. In the morning, she said that there was a garage sale near our house. We started riding and after like 5 minuets, we were nowhere near our house. When we finally got to the garage sale, we stopped, parked our bike and looked around at all  the cool stuff. Next, we got ready to go out to lunch at a place called " Sandy Point Beach House" I had chicken tenders, and so did Noah. Sophie got steak, my dad got a burger, my grandpa got a burger, my mom got a sandwich and my grandma got fish tacos.Then, since our mom said that we were going to play with our friend at the beach, we went to our house to go the the beach. Her house is close to the beach, so we could walk to the beach from there. We were not the only ones going to the beach with her. Another one of our friends was also coming. Her name is Ella. She did not get the message, so she did not get there till like 3 o'clock [ we were supposed to get there at 1 thirty]. We played in the water, the sand , and played Truth or Dare. when it was time for us to leave, we walked back to her house and drove home. That day ,while we were gone, Noah and mom had made lemon cake with lemon frosting stuff on top. Oh, and with blueberries because the were in season [ and because they were good on top of the cake]. That is what we did today on my mom's birthday.  Happy birthday mom! You are a great mom and I love you so much!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

July 10, 2013

Today we celebrate 14 years of marriage.  5,110 days.  122,640 hours.  3 amazing kids.  Hundreds of hours of laughter.  I love my wonderful husband more today than I did that beautiful July evening 14 years ago.  We had a wonderful date night to Salt of the Earth in Fennville last night and tonight we celebrated with Hungry Howie's pizza, the girls last softball game, and Captain Sundae.  14 years ago I'm not sure I could have imagined how sweet a night like this could be.  It's true that last night was precious, quiet alone time, amazing food, finishing more than one sentence.  But tonight was priceless in it's own way, the kids asking questions about our wedding, loud laughter, wiggly snuggles, and ice cream.  This is where we are right now and I wouldn't change it for the world.   
The kids and I put together 14 gifts for Tom over the past two days and each kiddo wrote Tom an anniversary note.  Sophie wrote this:

"Dad, here are some reasons why I like that you married mom.  In a poem:
I am glad
I am not sad
that you married mom. 
I am guessing that you are glad
You are not sad
That you married mom. 

#1 I love you and mom
#2  You are nice to each other
#3  You are my parents"

We are so blessed.  

July 9, 2013

Noah really wanted to go rollerskating.  I really wanted to do something outside.  To make his point Noah followed me around for a good 10 minutes begging me to take them skating.  He kept up this begging through closed doors.  Finally, I relented and said, "Ok, let me at least check to see if there is an open skate today."  Noah took this as a victory and with a HUGE smile said, "More begging, more doing, that's the power of the Noah-depot"  (a play on the Home Depot advertisement:  "More saving, more doing, that's the power of the Home Depot").  Needless to say, we went skating. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

July 8, 2013

In the morning today, we went to go pick Blueberries with our cousins and our mom's friend. After 5 minuets of picking, someone yelled : " It's raining!"  "Oh no!" I thought. I thought we would have to go so early, but no, we did not have to leave, as it turned out, it only rained for 10 minuets. Our cousins that were there were named Adelee, Gordie and Chessa. In the picture I am 7 /8ths full of Blueberries, In the first 5 minuets I had covered the bottom of the bucket. The people in the background I think is my grandma and my sister Sophie, but I am not sure.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

July 7, 2013

In between boat rides, swimming, sunscreen applications, and water breaks the girls spent some time with sidewalk chalk at the cottage.  We love walking this way to the lake many times every day.  Sometimes the kids walk this path with wet feet, sometimes in water shoes, sometimes they run, sometimes they walk slowly (time to come in for the night!), sometimes arms are full fishing poles and goggles, sometimes someone carries a fish to show off.  Sometimes adults walk slowly savoring the views of the lake, sometimes they rush to see a trick or a catch, sometimes they nearly trip on ores and noodles, sometimes arms are full of snacks or towels, sometimes they drip wet suits after a jump in the lake, sometimes they bring another container of worms, sometimes they carry an untangled fishing line.  Always, always they smile. 

July 6, 2013

The kids were THRILLED to share their love of the cottage (and fishing) with 3 of their LA cousins Adelee, Gordie, and Chessa.  The kids hadn't seen each other since last fall and needed no time at all to catch up!  They played non stop in the water, on the swingset, and on the boats.  There was constant laughter!  It was amazing to me to see the kids loving each other so much.  I enjoyed every moment of catching up with my sister too! 

July 5, 2013

Fishing was a huge part of our stay at the cottage!  The kids loved paddling out to the raft and also loved fishing from the boat.  On this expedition Abby caught ~5 fish in ~15 minutes! It was remarkable!  Sophie and Noah did great too.  Tom made many trips to the gas station nearby for worms!  All 3 of the kids can put the worms on the hooks and take off their fish to release it!  We love bird watching at the cottage as well and enjoyed seeing Bald Eagles, Kingfishers, Baltimore Orioles, and even an Eastern Bluebird! 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

July 4, 2013

Today we are thankful for our freedom.  Happy 4th of July.

July 3, 2013

Sophie and Tom enjoying a laugh before a boat ride at the cottage.  Our day was full of fishing, boating, laughing and having fun.  Ahhh....the cottage!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

July 2, 2013

One of the things I am working on this summer is finding joy in all situations.  Some days and times that is easier than others.  A day spent packing and cleaning required creative searching for joy!  Noah and I found some wonderful joy with a quick trip to Starbucks at Barnes and Noble while the girls finished their sewing projects with my mom.  We ended up getting packed and hitting the road for the cottage about 5.  Driving down the dirt road leading to the cottage erases all packing stress and by the time we'd had dinner on the deck and headed out on our first speed boat ride of the season (it was in the shop in June) joy was bursting from us all!  We are looking forward to a wonderful holiday week, full of joy, at the cottage. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

July 1, 2013

I got a 'new' bike for Mother's Day this year (a 1970's Raleigh that I LOVE).  One of the things we have enjoyed this summer are family bike rides.  We have biked around the neighborhood in the evening, or to area garage sales, we have biked to the Park Township Farmers Market.  This picture was taken after a wonderful summer dinner of salmon, roasted potatoes and asparagus on a ride to the garden.  Our garden plot is about a mile away and it was a beautiful evening for a ride.  We were thrilled at the garden to find broccoli that we could harvest and share as we weeded and watered the rest of the plot.  Because of the rainy June (and our remembering to water daily) our garden looks amazing this year!  Welcome July!

Monday, July 1, 2013

June 30, 2013

How can it be the last day of June?  It seems like summer if flying past at a rapid pace, yet when I look back at all we did during the month, it seems like a long time since it was May.  The past week really started to feel like summer.  Things clicked in to place and we are off!  Sunday morning Abby, Sophie and I enjoyed one of our favorite things....the Allegan Antique Market.  It is held once a month and we look forward to it all month!  The girls are wonderful treasure hunters and troopers who cover every inch of this giant market without pause (ok, we paused for frozen yogurt).  My parents joined us this month and it was a beautiful morning.  The girls each found at least one treasure:  a silver telephone charm (the dial really turns!) and a couple of owl pendants (if you know my girls you know which one selected which treasure).  After a busy morning, we savored a relaxing afternoon full of reading on the patio and relaxing.  We enjoyed being home for the first 'Sunday night movie night' of the summer and Tom and I ended the night back on the patio reading and listening to the birds as the sun set.  It was a perfect summer day, and a beautiful end to the month of June.