Friday, August 30, 2013

August 30, 2013

Today we hit back to school shopping hard!  We left at 9am and returned at almost 5pm.  We brought our lists from school and wish lists from each kiddo.  We found gym shoes (hello!  Noah wears a men's size 8!!), more owl shirts than anyone can imagine, a denim vest, a white layering tank, and an entire new wardrobe for Noah in 5 minutes.  Shopping with boys is SO different.  We found a rack of funny t-shirts and he said, "Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes.  Done"  Added a pair of jeans, a pair of shorts with belt and he is good to go.  Like I said, SO different.  We enjoyed lunch together at 'On the border' and then headed to Grandpa B.'s warehouse.  The kids love the tradition of 'shopping' around Grandpa's supplies.  They each fill a box and today they enjoyed racing his rolling chairs all over the empty room.  We cooled off afterwards at the ice cream shop in Byron Center with grandma and grandpa.  We wrapped up the adventure with a couple more stops and got home to survey our treasures.  The kids all cleaned out their backpacks (from the last day of school...better late than never I guess) and re loaded them with new supplies.  They are excited.  As for me, I plan to savor every last moment of this weekend. 

August 29, 2013

We had 3 of my most wonderful students coming over for dinner so we made peach cupcakes with a brown sugar cream cheese frosting from scratch.  The girls made them and all 3 kids had a blast frosting them!  They were delicious!  We had a wonderful dinner and loved hearing all about the summer adventures of my students in India. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

August 28, 2013

This afternoon the kids helped me prepare for my kick off event at Hope.  I needed 50 water balloons filled...and they were happy to help!  You can imagine the state of the house with 3 kids working at various faucets....and one mom who could tie the balloons.  I kept hearing, "SPLASH...oops!  SPLASH....oops!"  On the up side, my floor and both bathrooms are really clean!  As a reward, the kids got to head outside and try out some of the balloons!  The joy of being a kiddo in the summer! 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

August 27, 2013

The kids school open house was tonight.  As much as we don't want summer to end, they were thrilled to find their desks, meet their teacher, and see their friends! We are going to savor every last moment of the next week! 

Monday, August 26, 2013

August 26, 2013

Noah and I enjoyed some special time late this afternoon and tonight.  After he spent the day with a good friend we curled up and finished our movie from last night.  We decided it was so hot he might  need ice cream after his first practice in pads tonight.  Tom had to hurry home afterwards so Noah and I went to the beach and enjoyed a beautiful sunset.  He is such a great boy, I am treasuring a little one on one time with him. 

August 25, 2013

Admittedly it was a crazy week, so Sunday arrived peacefully.  I was overjoyed to not have to go in to work and have an entire day to spend with the kids.  Sophie, Abby and I headed to Allegan for the antique market on our way (ha!) to meet my parents in Pentwater.  The sun was shining and we found many wonderful treasures.  The drive north was peaceful and quiet.  I enjoyed a little time wandering downtown with my parents and the girls before they headed north to camp in Ludington.  After they left I got an ice tea and read for a half hour on the channel.  It doesn't get much more restorative than that.  Once back in Holland I enjoyed a quiet movie night with plenty of snuggles for Noah.  (note:  Noah stayed in Holland because he didn't want to miss football practice on Monday night)
ps:  yes, we missed a photo for yesterday.  We had a great day at the farmers market, I taught my first class of the fall to my 20 freshmen and their parents, and we all enjoyed a family picnic in the Pine Grove.  Sadly, no pictures were taken. 

August 23, 2013

Today the kids had a blast spending an hour with 'Ms. Kate' and her amazing kiddos.  When I arrived to pick them up, I could tell they were in the backyard by the squeals of joy that carried all the way to the street.  The fun carried in to the evening with a 'Spanish Immersion' picnic held at a favorite park.  The kids loved seeing some of their friends and playing like crazy! 
Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!!

August 22, 2013

The kids had a wonderful day, even if I had to be at work.  Their wonderful sitter took them to the zoo!  They also had a blast playing with legos in the basement.  In the evening they could join me downtown and we showed off downtown Holland to the family of a new Hope student. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

August 21, 2013

Abby and Sophie were being helpful by getting Noah's dirty football shirts out of his laundry basket so I could wash them before practice.  Apparently they were stinky.  These girls are always good for a laugh!

August 20, 2013

Savoring a snuggle moment on the last day before I headed back to work at Hope.  I am so blessed to be home most of the days with the kids in the summer.  These last two weeks are tough.  I don't like being away while they are still on vacation.  We spent today snuggling every chance we got!  Love.

Monday, August 19, 2013

August 19, 2013

And just like that, fall sports have begun!  Noah and Tom started football practice tonight.  Noah has slept with a football for years.  Noah loves Kirk Cousins and Calvin Johnson.  Noah loves MSU football and the Lions.  Noah lives for this time of year.  As much as I hate to see summer wind down, seeing Noah's excitement helps make it all better!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

August 18, 2013

This picture really defies words.  Maybe 3 words  "This is summer".  Or  "This is joy".  Or  "This is childhood". 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

August 17, 2013

Homemade ice cream! When we got back from church at  6 o'clock Dad made homemade ice cream. The recipe came from Dads Grandfathers recipe. His grandfather had to crank a handle to make it ,but it is probably just as good! In this picture Abby is enjoying the ice cream (a lot). I liked just as much as she did. Even though it was just vanilla it was probably the best vanilla ice cream I have ever had! By Sophie ;-) 

Friday, August 16, 2013

August 16 2013

Today we went Horse-Back Riding at rainbow ranch. It was on our summer list so at some point we had to do it. So we choose today to do it. Sophie and I have been wanting to do it all summer. We were happy when Mom told us we were going to go. When we got there we signed in and waited for a brisk 15 minuets. Then we got on our horses and took off. My horse was named Chief , Mom's was Poca [ I like to call her Poca Dot], and Noah's was Scotty. I forget what Sophie's horse was named , though. We went on the 1 hour ride, Imagine siting on the back of a horse in the blazing sun for one whole Hour. Now can you see why my bottom was sore at the end of the ride? we were not the only ones being led on the ride , there was 3 other people. We went through the wood and out in a field [ on a path of course]. We saw wild flowers and mushrooms along the way. I a little creek I saw two frogs! It was so much fun! By Abby

Thursday, August 15, 2013

August 15, 2013

After a day playing with grandma and grandpa Mosher, we enjoyed a wonderful dinner with grandpa and grandma Bonnema at 84 East.  For only the second time all summer we also enjoyed a bit of the downtown Holland 'Street Performers'.  The weather was perfect for walking downtown and we savored the summer sunshine. 

August 14, 2013

Today was the first day that selecting one photo was nearly impossible.  Today was the annual park hopping day.  The kids set the plan of 16 parks and over the course of 8 hours we accomplished that goal.  We found a park we had never been to.  We shared lunch with Tom.  The kids spun on every piece of equipment that was able to spin.  We met up with grandma and grandpa Mosher for a few parks.  We drank a lot of water (perhaps Noah drank a little too much as we had to search out a couple of bathroom stops!).  We all went down slides.  We all went on the swings.  We had the sunroof open.  We listened to music.  And best of all, we all  laughed really really hard. 

August 13, 2013

One of of the items on our summer list is to create the best chocolate chip cookie recipe.  We think we pulled it off today.  We had been tossing around ideas throughout the summer and on the way to the grocery store we came up with a plan.  When we got home with our ingredients we searched through several different recipes to see what the 'backbone' should be.  I read the kids options for flour, sugar (brown or white or both), eggs, vanilla or not, etc and they made their selections.  The best part being the triple love combination of milk chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, and chopped up peanut butter cups.  We had no idea how they would turn out!  The result was an amazing cookie!  They were moist, rich, and delicious.  Check it off the list!! 
ps we'd be happy to share our recipe with you if you would like! 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

August 12, 2013

Adventurous eaters!  Noah signed up to do a 'Bizzare Foods Challenge' at the library Monday night.  He loves to eat, and try new things.  The competition only had two souls brave enough to tackle the challenge.  They were tasked with smelling and trying to name the food in round one and then if they were brave enough, take a taste.  While he didn't know many of them by name, he was thrilled and adventurous enough to try every single one.  The girls even jumped in 'unofficially' at the end to try a few.  I love having kids who are good eaters and who are not afraid to try new things.  The favorite of the night was a taco at the last station.  Each kiddo labeled it as 'beef or steak', and what they found out at the end was that they were partially correct, it came from a cow but it was tongue.  They loved it and even went back for more after they knew what it was.  While the vegetarian in me is a bit sickened by this, again, I love their spirit of adventure!

Monday, August 12, 2013

August 11, 2013

Happy to be home.  Happy to share a meal and stories/pictures from our trip with grandparents.  Happy to finish laundry and grocery shop.  Happy to play with our legos.  Happy to snuggle the dog.  Happy to curl up with a book.  Happy to return to the 'Sunday night movie night' tradition.  Happy to savor the memories we made on vacation.  Happy to look forward to a new week. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

August 10, 2013

Today was the last day of our vacation.  We had such a wonderful time, and as happy as we were to get back to our house (and the dog) we didn't want it to end.  We are so thankful for the memories we made on this trip.  The kids are such amazing travellers with a zest for new experiences.  They love seeing new things and soaking up new experiences.  Both Tom and I agree that childhood memories of trips are the very best ones we have.  We hope that is the same for our kids.  Our last stop was a drive through Notre Dame's campus.  The kids loved seeing the football team heading in to their practice field.  I loved watching the kids run across this green to look at "Touchdown Jesus".  A light breeze was blowing.  The kids were laughing.  And Jesus was at the top with His arms open.  It was beautiful.  A perfect way to end an amazing week of travels.  We are blessed. 

August 9, 2013

Today we went to Mammoth Caves Kentucky where we went in a cave as you can see here . We are not really holding up this column at the bottom of the cave which is, if you got a football field and put it vertical, that is how deep the cave is. We went down a ton of steps, I mean a ton ! At one point near the bottom there was stalactites in a row and they were very skinny. It was called Frozen Niagara because it looked like a waterfall, and the Niagara Falls is a water fall. It was such a fun day! By Abby  

August 8, 2013

I was sad to leave Gatliburg but was happy go downtown Nashville. We wanted to eat at  a restaurant called "B B King". So we did.I had chicken and so did Noah and Abby.  After that  boys went to  a football game to see Kirk Cousins play for the Redskins against the Titans, The girls (Mom Abby and I) went to a Bruce Munro "light" exhibit at Cheekwood. In the pic above Abby and I are in front of one of the exhibits. There is only two of the Bruce Munro exhibits in North America. We were at one.When we got back to the hotel we went to bed. Soon after Noah and Dad came back. The Redskins won! We had an awesome day!
By Sophie ;-)

August 7, 2013

Today was very exiting! Since it was rainy we went in a arts and crafts loop, and at one of the stores I  got a book called Birds of the Smokies. It had 3 owls in it. Next we decided to go to a place called Hill Billy Golf. We go up a tram that goes up the mountain. Mom was scared to look down on our way up the mountain. When you get to the top you make you way down the mountain putt-putt golfing. Some of the holes were easy to do but some were hard [ but not that hard]. It was really fun!

August 6, 2013

The best thing we did today was go whitewater rafting. We went through 4 class 4 rapids.  It was AWESOME!  We also hit a few class 3 rapids. We got to go "surfing."  Here's how you do it.  You basically paddle against the waves and go into the rapids nose first.  The wave is pushing you one way and the currrent is pushing you the other way so basically you stay in one place.  While we were surfing, I was under the water and my mom almost fell out of the boat.  She grabbed a hold of me and almost pulled me out of the boat too.  She said she was trying to save her "little baby" but I say she tried to pull me off the boat and  chuck me in the water.  I pushed my dad in the water when we had a chance to go swimming.  The current was fast so we were cruising along like nobody's business.  After rafting, we ate really a really good dinner.  My club sandwich was amazing!  

Thursday, August 8, 2013

August 5, 2013

Today was our half birthday and we went looking for crayfish as you can see in this picture. Noah is the one who would grab the crayfish when it swam into the net. How is worked was that Sophie and I would hold the net at a 40 degree angle  in the water put one of our feet on the corners of the net , Noah would shuffle his feet to get the crayfish out from under the rock. When one swam in, Sophie and I would carefully lift up the net, not letting it escape so Noah could grasp it. Also we went back to our house that we rented and had lunch , we had pizza . I did not really like it , it had too much cheese. I mean, I like cheese pizza, but it had too much cheese when we ate. We had a really good view of the mountains.
                                             By Abby  ;-)

August 4, 2013

Today was the second day driving and we stopped at the Kentucky Horse Park (in Kentucky). We watched the horses do jumps.(Mom was scared that the horses would hurt themselves.) They didn't.I did not want to leave but I did want to get to Tennessee soon so we went to the bathroom and filled up our water bottles. Then we hit the road! late that day we stopped at Cumberland falls.We hiked  to the water fall.  On the hike we saw a baby snake! Mom thought it was a worm, but knew they didn't move like that so it must be a snake. We saw a waterfall. It was really cool.Then we hiked back. Then we drove more. Then finally we got to Tennessee! We drove up the mountain to the house we are staying in. We unpacked and went on the road for hoar and a half(we did not know it was going take that long). We went on a hike  at night and saw glowworms!We got back at about midnight and went straight to bed! We had an awesome day!
By Sophie ;-)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

August 3, 2013

We left this morning for our vacation to the Smoky Mountains.  Have you ever had a Kentucky Hot Brown.  Well if you have, you do not need to read this so step away from the computer.  But if you have not, listen closely because the Kentucky Hot Brown is mouth watering!  I had my first Kentucky  Hot Brown at Fava's restaurant in Georgetown Kentucky.  This was our first stop on our drive.  Sit back and relax while I describe the delicious sandwich.  It's not actually a sandwich because it is open faced.  The base is Texas toast.  And then comes a whole bunch of meats like bacon, ham, and turkey.  And then it is topped off with cheese gravy...a lot of cheese gravy.  I had to eat this meal with a fork and knife.  The Kentucky Hot Brown was first created at the Brown Hotel in Louisville Kentucky in 1926.  After this wonderful dinner we went back to the hotel to swim and sleep before preparing for day 2 of our drive.    

Friday, August 2, 2013

August 2, 2013

Tennessee here we come!In the pic above there is the packing list, clothes, and the suit case that Abby and I are using.Last year we went to South Dakota this year it is Gatlingburg Tennessee!I can not wait! we are leaving tomorrow. YAY! We are staying in a rental house, with 3 floors and a basement with a pool table and a hot tub out side. In the neighborhood there is a pool. When mom took this photo it was when we just started packing. That is why there is barely anything in the suitcase.I can not wait until we go to Tennessee!

August 1, 2013

Hello I am Ernie. I am the family dog . Abby Sophie and Noah watch a show called " Dog With A Blog" so I decided to try typing my own blog. I am very exited that one of the things that the kids put on the summer list is training for a 5k, and guess what, I train with them! I like doing it but I don't like the fact that I have to carry my potty bag around my neck.Also on the summer list there is going to the smoky mts. But I can not go! In this picture I tried to take this photo but I do not have thumbs, so it was hard, really hard . Mom had to it for me. I wish I could of taken it, but I am a dog. I had to pretend to go to the bathroom so we could stop so I could take this photo [or at least try]. I hope you like my blog!