Monday, June 29, 2009

Last Monday in Michigan

Ok, so here's another weekly update. Oh, first of all this is my 1,301st post! Crazy!

Tuesday: I had a great time seeing my friend, Kim and catching up. Our children all got along great. I had another great time seeing my cousin, Sherry & her crew. Once again my kiddos played so well with my cousin Darci's kids. It was nice to sit outside and visit. Sherry sells Scentsy products so I bought a wonderful smelling warmer I can't wait to get home and try out!

Wednesday: I think we stayed home that day. Oh, that evening Zach's mom stopped by to visit. I thought he'd said she'd come Friday but she showed up then. She and I took the kids down to Second Sands. I thought the water would be freezing but it wasn't too bad. The kids were in the water and here I wasn't even prepared for that! Their clothes were soaked and once they got out they were freezing, but they sure had a good time!

Thursday: I headed to Houghton once again and visited with Kathy & Shannon. Kathy was my baby-sitter growing up (in the summers). Shannon is her daughter and was my best friend during those years. I also got to see Shannon's two girls. It was so cool to see them and catch up with them! Then I headed to my friend Jen's, a friend I met in college. She's got 4 kiddos all about the same ages as mine and they all had a great time playing and I had a wonderful time of fellowship with Jen. She offered for us to stay for dinner but I hadn't yet made it to my Aunt Gloria's so I thought I better go and see her. We also had a real nice visit over there. Chatterbox loved her house and wanted to sleep there! lol

Friday: My mom and Kim were both off of work. We hung out outside a lot and its a good thing we did because since then the weather hasn't been as great. That evening Alan stopped by (Kim, my stepdad's brother). The kids had fun getting to talk to Uncle Alan! CB talked his ear off and he was quite enamored with Booty Shaker! He said he really enjoyed my kids:)

Saturday: My mom, the kids and I headed to Marquette, the town I went to college. I was hoping we'd get to go hiking but it began raining. We ate at Vango's, a restaurant my friends (Zach too) and I always went to back in the day. Then we drove around Presque Isle, a beautiful park by the lake. I really wished it weren't raining so we could've walked around too. We did see a few deer in the park. We also drove through the campus. It sure has changed! We tried to drive by other parts of the lake but it was blocked off due to a bicycle race. We went to Walmart and I saw an old friend from grade/high school (who is also a facebook friend). That was neat! We checked into our hotel and pretty much just hung out then. My mom has a cold and wasn't feeling well and the kids were fine with hanging out in the hotel (they love hotels). We then went to dinner at the restaurant next door. Afterwards we went in the pool, hot tub and sauna. It was Sweet Pea's first time in a pool and she loved it! She looked so cute in her little swimsuit! I hadn't been in a sauna in probably 10-15 years and it felt wonderful! My children finally got to experience a bit of a sauna too! After that it was time to clean up for bed!

Sunday: Went to the church of our campus minister from college. John and Dorothy have really influenced who I am today and it was so cool to see them and join them for worship! It was so much like a His House meeting and so much what we want/desire a church service to be. I wished Zach could've been there to experience it. After that we met a bunch of old His Houser's at the park. It was windy and chilly but it didn't stop all of our children from playing and us from chatting it up! Boy, was it fun to see them all- almost like old times!

Today: My stepdad, Kim, wanted to take us on a field trip so we went to Hanka Homestead, a Finnish Homestead. Turns out the weather was awful (rainy, cold) and it was closed and the mosquitoes were AWFUL! We got a few pictures, looked around as best we could and then killed a million mosquitoes that got in the car! I have to admit I spent most of the time in the car with SP. Junior Squirrel spotted a little snake. Then we went by my Aunt Diane's. We ate lunch at Taco Bell (my kids were craving it), got my oil changed and went to Walmart again! Once we came home we watched one of my mom's movies. She's got a bunch of Feature Films for Families. We ended up making dinner really late because we got into the movie (well the boys were upstairs making tents). Then Zach's mom came and visited again and here I am.

It is a good visit. I told my mom tonight that it sure would be nice to have an evening home where nobody is here to visit because I think every evening that I've been here somebody else shows up in the evening. I love visiting people but sometimes I just need some quiet, know what I mean? I'm also still ready to get back to Iowa. I'm just ready for my routine and I miss my friends there (and the warmer weather). I'm so glad to feel that way as I never felt quite so fondly of Mississippi! I just need some normalcy back in my life maybe:)

On a side note I recently finished The Road Home by Tommy Tenney. What a great book. It's a modern day retelling of the story of Ruth. I love the book of Ruth. This book was great! You MUST pick it up! On the other hand right now I'm reading The Accidental Mother by Rowan Coleman and I'm not sure I want to continue reading! I've found spelling mistakes and that just irritates me. Then I realized the author is from England and I know sometimes that English is a bit different than ours. So I'll give it a shot and see if I can finish it!

I also have lots and lots of pictures to share sometime. I wonder what the best way for me to share them will be...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Another Weekly Update

Wow I can't believe another week has pretty much flown by with no posts! I just seriously haven't had much time to blog. I guess that means I'm having too much fun:)

Tuesday: SIL Rachel took us to the park. It was all locked up and we didn't know why but she'd said it's never been that way before so we snuck in. We were there for all of not even 5 minutes and heard these loud shots from the other side of the field. We saw a bit of smoke too. It sounded like gunshots. We had no idea what it was! Before we knew it a cop car drove by and the woman cop gets out and starts YELLING at us! "What do you think you're doing? Get OUT OF THERE. Who do you think you are?" etc, etc. We readily complied, not sure why it was locked, meanwhile she's asking how we got in and all. She drives off real slowly, ensuring we're going to get out, then Rachel yells and asks her why its locked up. The response: they trapped a bear into the other side of the park! OOPS! Thankfully we were safe and got out of there:) It was so funny! I'll never let Rachel live that down!!!

Wednesday: We drove to Kingsford to visit friends we were stationed with in North Carolina. We haven't seen them in 5 years! It was SO cool to see them! Beth was the first person we met at our church in N.C. We've added two kiddos to our brood and they added 1 so it was neat to see the new babies as well as see how much the other kids grew. We got pizzas and went to a park. At the park they have deer you can feed so we also got to do that. The kids loved that. It was such a great time of fellowship with some old friends!

Thursday: It was our niece, G's, birthday so that morning I shopped for her gifts and we got ready for her little party. Rachel just invited one other family (with 4 children) over. Boy, she does a great job at decorating for parties- even makes her own pinatas! I have a picture of it. That girl's got some patience- she sat there all day working on it! I could never...just send me to the store to pick one up! The kids had a blast though! They played Bible Bingo, hit the pinata and some musical game where they had to dance while James played the guitar (their rendition of musical chairs). It was neat getting to know Rachel's friend, Rachel. We really hit it off! The kids played and watched movies and us adults played Balderdash and Catch Phrase. Boy, did we have some good laughs! We were up late, until 1 am!

Friday: I got up early so I could get ready and pack up to go to my Mom's. Zach wasn't leaving until later that day for Wisconsin (he stayed the weekend there and went back to Iowa yesterday, works all week and heads for Mississippi on Saturday). I hate saying good-bye to him, it feels so unnatural to leave him! We got to my mom's and then we got ready to hit the Bridgefest parade. When I told my kids we were going to a parade they grunted. Apparently they thought it was 'boring' with 'only people marching'. Boy, were they wrong! They had so much fun!!! They got all sorts of candy. Before the parade we stopped at the campground where my cousin was. We didn't' stay long because my boys were attracted to the dirt and I didn't want them getting dirty! My mom's church did an outreach with handing out bottles of water at the parade and so I helped with that. It was fun.

Saturday: We stayed home pretty much all day and it was wonderful! Before dinner my mom and I took the kids to Pt. Abbaye. It's a beautiful point right on Lake Superior. Once again when I said where we were going they complained of how boring it'd be. We got there and not even 5 minutes later they were saying how much fun it was! See kids, I told you!!! I got some great photos! It was so nice to be back on the shores of the lake!

Sunday: We had church and afterwards I went to my dad's house. It was probably the first time in over 15 years that I spent time with him on Father's Day. We had a good visit. I picked up my parent's from a BBQ they were at with some people from their church. We came home and the kids had fun playing outside. Last night I stuck Sweet Pea in a laundry basket and she had fun playing in it. Before I knew it she pulled herself up into a standing position in it! I was FLOORED! Waaa my baby is growing up!

Monday: We stayed home today and it was nice. This afternoon my Aunt Cindy and Grandma came out to visit. I made brownies and cooked dinner and it was nice to have dinner ready for my parent's when they came home from work. This morning I saw SP take about 3 'crawls' to me! Our fence is FINALLY up! Zach said it is like 100* there! We got a nice chunk of change back from our old mortgage company and I think we're going to get a deck built!

Tomorrow I'm heading out to the park to see an old friend from youth group/high school. In the evening I'm going to go and visit my cousin and her family on my dad's side. I can't wait to see them! I feel so ready to go home back to Iowa already. I'm homesick! I am really enjoying myself though and feel so blessed for all of the people I'm seeing this trip that I normally don't get to see! It's awesome!

Ok, time to try to catch up on some blog reading...hope I didn't bore anyone to death!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Wow, here I thought I'd updated on Saturday but I can see I have a lot of catching up to do!

  • Friday night the three older kids stayed the night at my mom's house. Zach took me (and Sweet Pea) out on a date! We went to The Library, a nice restaurant in Houghton. We walked along the canal a bit, got ice cream and went to visit his friend's the T's (again). It was so quiet and nice. Thanks Mom for baby-sitting!
  • Saturday Zach and his dad took the kids fishing so I hung out at my mom's. I must have been real tired because I pretty much slept the whole time. It was nice and relaxing though. I can't recall what we did once I went back to Larry's. A campfire maybe?
  • Sunday Sweet Pea got dedicated at my mom's church. Even my Grandma came for the occasion! She never goes to "that" church! She can't hear at all, so that really stinks that she couldn't hear the Word of God being preached.
  • Sunday for lunch I met with two friends from my past. Susanna moved away when we were in 9th grade. So I haven't seen her in 18 years!!! We'd grown up together and were good friends. We lost touch after she'd moved though, but thanks to facebook we reconnected. Jill is another friend I grew up with and I would have graduated with her had I not moved my junior year. We're also in touch via facebook. Turns out they were in the U.P. for a few days so we planned to meet. It was SO cool to see them both and to catch up! Susanna is married but has no children yet, Jill is single and I am trying to play matchmaker!
  • After that we rushed back to Larry's because Jeremiah & Amie came up. We thought they were staying until Tuesday but they were only up for the day. The kids hit it off great, playing Wii and playing outside. The guys left for a "half an hour" that turned into 3 hours to go shoot their guns. Wouldn't have been so bad if Amie and I'd known what to do about dinner (we thought he was grilling the meat that was out). It was great visiting with Amie again though and seeing the kids together.
  • Monday morning we drove to Zach's sister's in Iron River, which is where I'm at now. We'll be here until Friday and then I won't see my husband until the end of July or beginning of August. Rachel has 4 girls and all of our children get along great. It was cute seeing them all sleeping in a line on the floor last night! Last night Rachel and I cooked dinner together and that was fun. It's always such a blessing getting together with Zach's siblings.
  • Sweet Pea sure gets around. She tries to crawl, but can only low crawl or scoot on her butt, but boy she can move across a room! She says 'Mama' and 'Hi' and waves. This morning she was trying to clap and sounded like she was trying to say 'Yeeeaaa'. She does say 'Dada' a bit too. She loves men for some reason. She took right to Aunty Rachel! She loves to eat whatever I'm eating and cries for food! This morning it sounded like she was saying 'Nanana' and I'm not sure if she wanted food or sleep. She also can pretty much 'sit' on her knees and has been almost trying to pull herself up! She wasn't doing nearly this much stuff when we left for vacation!
  • I spent most of my day so far playing with Zach's iPod and loading songs on it for him. Since he got me one he's been wanting one so I told him to go ahead and buy one for Father's Day. They sure are nice to have.
  • Oh yeah, I can't remember if I mentioned before about my cousin Emily coming back to Iowa with me when I leave but it looks like she's for sure coming! I'm really excited about it!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

nobody can say this vacation is boring...

It is far from that and yesterday I was pretty much cursing it and just wanting to not be here! Let's see a recap since the last post...Tuesday we went up to Houghton/Hancock. We met with the Pastor from my mom's church as Sweet Pea is going to be dedicated there on Sunday. He is such a cool guy and it is great to see how God has used him to bring this church from some rough times to where they are now. We were supposed to meet with my dad but we got there late and they weren't there as they had to run and help out my stepmom's uncle. I was rather upset, to say the least. I haven't seen them in a year and a half, they haven't met SP and we drove all the way up and they didn't wait! I guess I should've called them to say we'd be a bit late but when I'd talked to them prior to that day they'd had no other plans. I probably won't get to see them now until Zach goes back to Iowa. I'm still kind of disturbed about it all and need to get over it. I was crying pretty hard... Then we were going to visit my friend Jen but I couldn't remember exactly where she lived and didn't have her number with me. By the time I got in touch with her we were already beyond her house. We did get to see some of my uncles, my cousin, my aunt and my Grandma and Grandpa though. It was nice visiting with them. I even invited my Grandma to church and she might come on Sunday!!!! Please pray she does! She can't hear at all though so I'm not sure how much she'd benefit from the sermon:)

Tuesday night I went with Sweet Pea and slept at my mom's house. I just hadn't been sleeping well here at all. Zach and his dad were staying up late to watch movies and the TV was incredibly loud and I'm a light sleeper. Plus I thought a little break would be nice, just away from the kids with my mommy;) Even though SP was a bit fussy there it was wonderful and quiet and peaceful. And boy did I sleep good! That morning as I was pulling out of her driveway I got a message from Zach saying that the dog ran away. At first I thought he was just kidding until I called him...nope. Well, I wasn't coming right back to his dad's at that point. I went to visit my stepdad's parents for about a half an hour so they could see the baby and then my mom and I went to lunch at The Drive In. It's an old A&W stand. I LOVE it! I had me a huge glass of Draft Root Beer! Then it was time to face reality and see what was going on with Daisy.

The rest of the day was quite stressful. I was crying about it and my boys were laughing at me!!! Right now I'm being mean and taking after them...I'm laughing at SP who is sitting on the floor looking at me and crying! She is SO attached! Anyway, Chatterbox and I went for a walk down the highway calling Daisy's name. Zach's dad lives right on a highway but there are also fields and woods. No telling where she'd went. Before I'd gotten 'home' Zach and the kids had been out in the car driving around looking for her. After CB's and my walk we drove around. Then Zach took CB out and drove around. At this point it was pouring rain. It looked so hopeless as neighbors kept telling us there are wolves around and eagles that hunt rabbits, etc. Eventually we had a search party going...the neighbors were all alerted, Zach's cousins and dogs were out looking, his dad got home from work, some other guy, etc. She was spotted in a field running toward the house but when I ran out to get her she wasn't out there. Then she was spotted by a neighbor, and Jenny (Zach's cousin) saw her again but she kept running off. Eventually Zach found in her the field. Oh, PRAISE GOD!!!!! She was so wet and dirty! We didn't' care, we were just so relieved to have her safe and sound! Chatterbox started crying as soon as she saw her, she was so elated!

Today we're just hanging around here at Larry's. My mom got us some pasties so I went and picked those up from her work. Yummy! I ran into a gas station and a guy comes in and asks the female cashier, "Do you have worms?" I wanted to make some sort of a comment of how inappropriate that is to ask somebody (joking around). I knew he meant for fishing...but it just sounded so funny to me. You don't hear that kind of stuff at the gas stations where we live! We're going to meet Linda (Zach's mom) for dinner tonight and then the girls and I are going to stay the night at my mom's house.

I think tomorrow we're going to meet a guy Zach knows for dinner. The guy works for the ROTC at Tech up here. So, we'll take the baby but then have Nanny watch the other kids. She's really looking forward to that! So am I!

Today is the first day my back doesn't hurt! Thank the Lord! I was in so much pain the past few days! It's nice that its not stressful or anything today too.

Monday, June 08, 2009


Well we made it here on Saturday. We stopped in Ironwood at my cousin's house on the way up. My mom and a couple of my aunts were there as my cousin's daughter had a dance recital that evening so we visited with all of them for awhile. It was great to see them all, although I was really tired! I hadn't really slept well the night before, with being in a smaller bed with the baby AND having drank a Mocha from McD's late at night! The last two hours to Baraga seemed to drag by. It doesn't help that you're driving on a two lane highway and have to drive interstates up here! But I was also just exhausted! I think all of the kids slept pretty much most of those two hours. It was nice to arrive at our final destination- Zach's dad's house.

We've never stayed here overnight before. We normally stay with my mom. It's really weird for me not to stay at 'home'. I feel like I don't get to see my mom as often, which would really bother me if I wasn't staying here another 2 weeks after Zach leaves. It's not bad though, just different. It feels weird to go and visit my mom!

Yesterday morning the girls and I went with my parents to church. We weren't really sure what to do with our day so at the last minute I'd decided we'd just go. We went out to lunch afterward and came back here. Then in the evening Zach, the kids and I went to visit his friend from high school. They also have 4 kids and it was nice seeing them again. Zach usually sees them when he comes up but I haven't been over there in awhile.

It is so cold up here. I packed away all of our shorts and summer clothes into a bag in the back of the suburban. I figure we won't need them for awhile so why take up more space! Today was just rainy and yucky.

Today we just hung out here at Zach's dad's since he had the day off and the weather was awful. I did some laundry, we played some Sequence and just lounged around. Tonight I took the kids to my parents (my stepdad hadn't gotten to see the boys yet) and we had dinner and ice cream. My mom bought Mackinac Island Fudge ice cream! YUM! It has been a LONG time since I had that! Thanks, mom! We had a good visit there for a few hours and came back. The drive on the way back had the kids (mostly Chatterbox) asking all sorts of questions. I think it began with why my mom was married twice...questions about marriage, divorce, Jesus, heaven, hell. It's a half an hour drive and it was just so cool to try to answer the questions and have such great conversation with my kids! Oh we also saw two of Zach's uncles today who stopped by (the girls and I missed another uncle yesterday). Tomorrow's agenda is to meet with the pastor of my mom's church (we're having Sweet Pea dedicated in church on Sunday), to visit with my dad and possibly see my grandparents and some other family. I miss my dad so much and can't wait to see him (it's been since Christmas of 2007)!

I have to say though that the one thing I hate about coming 'home' for vacations is that we just don't have as much 'family' time as if we vacationed somewhere else. Sure we're visiting family and friends, but seriously I feel like I haven't had a conversation with Zach in forever (especially since we drove two vehicles up). And with him having been gone for 6 weeks and leaving again soon I just crave that right now (it also makes it hard to know what/how to plan for seeing people when he's here). I'm not at all complaining (or meaning to sound like I am), rather i am just stating how stinky that aspect of it is. Ok, I'm off for now. Who knows when I'll get around to blogging again!

Friday, June 05, 2009

Lakes, Trees and Hills, OH MY

We're ALMOST home! We're in Duluth for the night. It is really hard to believe. I got pretty stressed out last night trying to pack the last minute stuff but eventually finished what I wanted done. It's so hard packing for 6 people! Then taking the dog and making sure I have all of her stuff. So far I realized I don't have the thermometer. Poor Sweet Pea has a slight fever. Good thing I did remember her Tylenol! She didn't sleep well last night and sounded a bit stuffed up but sometimes lately the kids sound like that at night and I've just assumed its the weather/allergies. And this morning she nursed like all morning! So the first leg of the trip she slept great. The second leg she didn't do as well but we made it here! Oh, it was nice, the boys rode with Zach & the girls with me. Only thing was Daisy was with me too and she annoyed me. She wouldn't potty but once when we stopped and as soon as we'd put her back in her kennel she'd start to whine! Ugh!

Yesterday morning we had a park day. Wow, the previous times I'd invited like 2-3 homeschool groups PLUS some other people and hardly anybody showed up. This time it was for our 'new' group we're forming but I'd told a few other people about it who were interested in park days and some others invited friends and there was a HUGE turnout! It was awesome! It was also a bit overwhelming since there were so many, to try to chat with each one! I don't know what Booty Shaker's deal is...last time he's pulled down his pants and shook his booty at someone (living up to his name I guess but NOT funny). Apparently this time he pulled down his pants and showed his 'pee pee'. UGH! I am sure he was just trying to get attention but STILL. I think there were some little girls right there (though they weren't there with our group but their grandma or something). Maybe I need to change his name so he doesn't feel he has to live up to it!

Yesterday Sweet Pea had her well-baby appointment. She weighs 18.5 pounds!!! Chubby girl! She tried to pee on me and the doctor, the stinker! Luckily she JUST missed us! Funny girl!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

and we're off...

Well almost. We leave tomorrow afternoon. Packing up and packing up and packing up. It is neverending. See ya all in Michigan!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Why am I here?

On the computer that is. I have so much to do! I meant to get a lot of packing done today but it is so hard to do with kids and when you still need to use a lot of things! So I didn't get a whole lot done quite yet. I also had to take Daisy to the vet because Chatterbox was 'dressing' her up and put a little ribbon on her ear. NOT the fur but the actual ear! It was on there, you couldn't even see the band part and the dog was just whimpering after hours of it being on. So, $83 down the tubes for them to sedate her and somehow remove it. Her ear is bruised and a bit puffy, according to the vet (I honestly can't tell much). Poor pup is so sleepy now and just laying around.

It is so quiet. Zach took the 3 older kids fishing. Sweet Pea slept for a good portion of the time and it was wonderful. I didn't do a thing! I have so much to do but I thought, "No way, I am enjoying the peace." SP and I then ate dinner and played a bit, now she's laughing at the dog, silly girl. She's getting up onto her hands and knees and rocking (I can't remember if I mentioned that or not) so I imagine she'll be crawling soon enough. I'm not ready for that at all!

Ok, miss SP is done nursing and trying to type up her own post so I need to close this.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The Forgotten Ones

What will you give? What will you sacrifice to help the hungry, forgotten, dying people of Uganda? We are so blessed that we never go hungry. Please, seek the Lord and see what He wants you to give to those in need.

Monday, June 01, 2009


Today Chatterbox asked me if there was TVs when I was a kid. It was while they were watching Tom & Jerry (and they know I watched that as a kid). She asked what they looked like so I showed her some pictures of 'old time' TVs online. Silly kid, how old does she think I am!?!? Although I admit lately I seem to think 'back in the day' on so many things. Or I catch myself saying to my kids, 'when I was a kid'. So I MUST be aging! Even though I don't really feel like it!

Today I went to a store to try to sell my kid's clothes. She just buys outright. Geesh, I had a Rubbermaid full of stuff and she only took a tiny bit and offered $6 in cash or $9 in 'turtle dollars'. I found a pair of jeans for CB and a pair of sandals for Sweet Pea so just used the in store credit. Here I was thinking I'm make like $20. Bummer.

I also dropped items off at the thrift store and my basement is clear of that junk! Although they wouldn't take toys so I had to go through and figure out what I want to try to sell or give to people I know and what I wanted to throw away. I even ended up keeping a few things because I just couldn't part with them (mainly a barn we've had since CB was a wee one). It's crazy how you can't even get toys or sell them these days! Although at least you can find them at garage sales and such.

I don't think I have mentioned lately how much I'm thankful for our neighborhood. There have been many evenings, especially when Zach was away, where the kids and I would just sit outside and the other kids (not many kids though) would come out with the parents and we'd all just talk! I LOVE that and missed having that in Mississippi! It's such a great way to get to know your neighbors! Most people on our street don't have kids though, or if they do they're real little. The people across the street are not at all friendly. Everybody else says 'Hi' but they never even say that! It's really annoying, because seriously you want great neighbors ya know?

Sweet Pea has been getting up on her hands and her knees a bit last night and today. It makes me nervous! I'm not ready for a crawler! Although she sure can move around w/out crawling. Babies grow way too quickly. And to end this post the same way I began it, having a baby in your 30s is definitely different than in your 20s. You just don't have as much energy (or maybe its that plus having 3 other children)!