Monday, August 25, 2014

Beaches, lighthouses and lakes, oh my!

The Traverse City area has so much to offer. Our week was full of adventures, big and small! Highlights were the dunes and exploring the area. The low point was probably our tubing trip. They've enjoyed canoeing but tubing didn't seem to be as fun for the kids. It'd been two years since we'd been up in Traverse City and the area never disappoints! There's always so much to do and I'm so thankful for our friends who are willing to let us use their place for a week!

Atop the lighthouse at Old Mission Point

Swimming in Sutton's Bay

The water was still pretty cold after our long winter.
Friends tell us there was still ice in the lake in May!

They had no idea what this was! ha!

Watching the boats go in and out of the marina

A swing set with a view!

Picking Cherries!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Our trip to the "ocean", part 1

We were lucky to get in two trips this summer. No, we didn't travel anywhere exotic and we never left Michigan, but Adam was having a really hard time remembering that we were on lakes and bays and not on the ocean while on vacation. He often asked if the water was salty and if we saw any! Silly boy!

Our first vacation was up to beautiful Traverse City and Suttons Bay in northern Michigan. We rented my friend's home again and had a great week. It was a non-stop vacation that included a trip to the beautiful Sleeping Bear Dunes, tubing down the Platte River, miniature golf, bumper boats, lighthouse visits, beaches, parks and splash pads along with the children's museum and bowling. We packed a lot into 7 days! My parents joined us for several days and went to the Dunes with us, which I didn't realize until then that my Dad had never seen them before! So beautiful and I'm glad we got to share that with him! We also took them to the fun and yummy Cherry Republic for samples and goodies! They were awesome and offered to watch the kids for us one afternoon/evening so we could have a date night in wine country. Paul and I made the most of our day out, hitting lots of wineries and having a nice dinner.

I've got lots more pics but these ones are from our visit to Sleeping Bear Dunes with my parents. It was cool but sunny the day we went and we had a great day! It was voted one of the most beautiful places in America a few years ago by Good Morning America and it truly is breathtaking!

Look at the amazing blue water!

Dad's first times on the dunes!

Adam made it up the dune climb all by himself!! 
He was SO proud!

On top of the world!!

We are at the top of the dune we just climbed...the little specks in the 
background are people farther down. You can't even see the parking lot and park from here!

Mom and I

Grandpa and his lil ones at Cherry Republic

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Little League 2014

It was a busy summer at the ball fields for our family. All three kids played and all three were on separate teams. Jacob moved up to baseball, Sarah played softball for the first time and Adam played t-ball again. I was really happy with all of their coaches and they all made some good improvements over the season! 3 teams made for lots of evenings at the ball park and running between 2, sometimes 3 games at once, but we managed to make them all and have fun!

Adam was excited that his daycare sponsored a t-ball team this year so he got to be on a team with his own friends and teachers! He enjoyed that. Just like last year, he started off the season excited and ready to play, but fizzled out mid-season. Thankfully after the All-star and vacation break, he came back ready to finish off the season. He liked playing first base and pitcher the best.

Sarah made a tough transition from t-ball last year to machine-pitch softball this year. That's a BIG jump with lots of new rules, too. She was happy to be on a team with several friends and she knew her coach from school but their team was young and inexperienced compared to the other teams. They unfortunately didn't win a single game, but the girls all made improvements over the season. Sarah got much better hitting at the plate and even made a few defensive plays for outs in the last few games.

Jacob's league was probably the most exciting to watch. His team was competitive and had the most teams. He played against friends almost every game and made big improvements over the season. He didn't know anyone on the team at the start of the season but definitely made some new friends before it was over. He had a very encouraging, positive coach that we really liked. They probably won at least half their games and made a good run in the tournament - making it into Sunday but losing their first game that day. Jacob got much better at the plate - getting a couple doubles later in the season and rarely striking out towards the end. He often played outfield or catcher and has paid a lot of attention to the roles of each position. He's definitely learned a lot about the game and defense! The day after the season was over, he said he already missed baseball and still often wants to practice here at home. He can't wait for next year!

With summer sports over, we look to gymnastics for Sarah again and basketball for Jacob. Its tempting to let him give travel ball tryouts a chance but I want him to try other things at this age and not get rutted into one sport so young. He thankfully hasn't asked to tryout so we'll wait on that a few more years hopefully. We'll continue to practice with him to help him improve and let him grow in other areas as well. Adam hasn't expressed interest in any other sports at this time which makes our busy lives a little easier! We'll see what the next year brings for him!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Welcome summer

Summer got off to a great start - Cub Scout camp, a wedding, and the creation of our annual Summer Fun List!! We're steadily marking things off that big list and having lots of fun. The day I'm writing this is a rare day at home with no plans (other than grocery shopping, library pick up, packing and yard work...). We're having a blast and looking forward to LOTS more fun and memories!!!

At the wedding with lots of great co-workers and friends

Adam raiding the candy table!

Congrats Jennifer and Nikie! 

Busy busy Fun Fun!

Annual Fireman's parade on the last night of school

A very fast ferris wheel on their field trip!

Potato sack races at Cub Scout camp

Howdy there partner!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Last Day of school!

First day of school 2013:

Last day of school 2014:

You can take your pick why little miss was so grumpy - she had a list of things that morning but thankfully she was all smiles later in the day when friends captured a pic with her fabulous Teacher-of-the-Year Mrs. Mink!

Jacob and Mrs. Lane! He's going to be taller than his teachers by the time he's in 4th grade at this rate!

Friday, July 11, 2014

End of the year

The end of this school year brought many mixed emotions! My baby was finishing up preschool and leaving daycare. Jacob and Sarah were moving onto second grade! It was my last year in the classroom, packing up, moving out and starting a new chapter of my professional career. All of these things were exciting and emotional at the same time.

Its crazy to think that our daycare and home for the last 7 years will no longer be a part of our daily lives. Its crazy to think that all 3 kids will be in school now. Its crazy to realize this was the last time I had to pack up an entire classroom in June but not have to unpack it and set up in August. (No more lesson plans!) Big big changes ahead for us all!!

Adam's friends yelling out the window on his last day as we pulled out of the parking lot.

A very sweet note from one of my student's parents.

Adios students!

All packed up - the last time!

Adam and his friends after PreK graduation

He's ready for Kindergarten! 

Adam with his wonderful DK teachers!

Moving into my new office

This. I'm taking over for a colleague who retired in December. 
Someone else packed up her old office and moved her old things to the new offices. 
I found this magnet in a box of desk stuff. 
I got chills
A sign this is meant to be? 

Kindergarten registration...
Class of 2027? 
Slow down!!!