Archive for July, 2008

a much needed vacation

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

After 2 long years of school for Mike he will finally get a real vacation. Sure he had time off now and then, but his school never really allowed for time off. The spring break we got last year was intended for our house-hunting. So now we are officially going on a vacation, and we’re leaving this Friday.

It has become a tradition to have a little family reunion in Durango, Colorado every 3 years or so. The first reunion was back in 2005, but Mike and I were not able to attend. Mike was in Iraq, and I didn’t think that I could handle traveling with a 5-month-old and 20-month-old all by myself. Finally, we’ll get the opportunity this time around. Supposedly, there will be 48 people in attendance. We have a lot of fun stuff planned. I’ll definitely post lots of pictures (as I’m sure Jenni and Sara will, too) once we return. We can’t wait! The girls are quite ecstatic about it as well.

Here’s the latest about Mimi’s eye. It is looking a little better each day even though the purple is so dark and pronounced. Mimi is definitely not letting it change her attitude. She’s still the feisty and feral little girl that we all so love.

day three of the eye

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

For those interested in the various stages of Mimi’s wounded eye here is today’s version.

the shiner: day 2

Monday, July 21st, 2008

It looks better today, right? I suppose we’re going to have a whole week or more of watching the interesting stages of Mimi’s nasty black eye. I just hope it will be mostly healed before our trip to CO. I’d hate for Mimi to associate the trip with her shiner.

a lesson learned…we hope

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

Moving to a new city can be overwhelming. Thankfully, being a member of our church usually brings the benefit of having a built-in social network. We have already been invited to several other members’ homes since relocating here. Tonight was an invitation for dessert at the Smiths’ home. The kids played wonderfully together while the adults were able to chat and get acquainted. After dessert it seemed like the right time to let the kids play outside on the elaborate swing set in their backyard. There were several close calls with the kids walking by the moving swings. Mike had the very important discussion with both girls about keeping the distance between themselves and the swings. Despite this long warning Mimi still got knocked clean to her back and was left with a huge, swollen eye. It looks much worse than it really is–just a lot of packs of frozen peas on the forehead all night. Hopefully, this will be a lesson to her to always watch herself around swings from now on. Somehow with Mimi I don’t think she lets these traumatic events stop her gruffness.

How about close up.

official camp-out

Saturday, July 19th, 2008

Friday arrived with much anticipation from the girls because they knew that we would be camping out that night. Mike got home early enough to get us all packed up and ready to go around 4:30 p.m. However, we were the first to arrive at camp other than the activities coordinator. The other families didn’t arrive until around 6:30 p.m. Out of the 4 total families to participate our family was the only one to actually cook our own food on the camp stove. The menu consisted of taco salad in a bag which the girls loved to help mix up. Not a single morsel was left over, and we were all well-fed. After cleaning up dinner everyone enjoyed s’mores.

One family was clever enough to bring along sparklers for the kids. Here is Mike trying to write his name.

Franklin’s brother is all tucked in and ready for bed courtesy of Mimi.

Around 5 a.m. it did start to rain. The showers were not heavy and there was no lightening, so we thought we’d be o.k. for the night. However, the next morning we discovered that the girls did get quite wet during their slumber. They didn’t wake up though or seem to be bothered by it.

When we were taking the rain fly off the tent we discovered these fellows hanging out on our tent.

Mike is so proud of his efforts.

4th of july and other miscellany

Friday, July 18th, 2008

Not much needs to be said about what we did on the 4th. We headed downtown and set up camp at Harbor Park. I only got one picture though. I know, pure laziness and what a terrible mom I am to not capture the memories. The show was actually pretty good. Mike was a wonderful husband and got us a funnel cake to munch on while we waited for the lights in the sky. Is it sad that that’s about all I remember from the night? Oh, the girls and I did spend a half an hour in the port-o-potty line. Pure excitement!

Without further ado, here’s the one picture I shot from the night. Daddy and the girls are standing on the rocks overlooking Lake Michigan.

Tonight we will be camping out with other people from our church. Mike could hardly contain his excitement for this upcoming event. So in preparation we did a practice camp-out last Friday night. It was very windy all night and a thunderstorm blew through around midnight. Mike insisted it would be fine to remain in the tent. However, around 3:00 a.m. the storm picked up again with numerous lightening bolts very close to us and winds demanding that our tent fly away. Mike made the call to have us move back into the house.

The next morning Mike discovered that we would have gotten quite wet had we stayed in our hobbit hut.

Annie’s new thing is that she wants to name every object/animal/person. So we told her she could call the tent Coleman. Clever, huh? The next day when we were at REI in Milwaukee gathering up more camping supplies Annie noticed many other things with the same name. “Look, Daddy, that thing is called Coleman, too,” she exclaimed. Poor child just doesn’t get it.

We still carried on with the camping out theme and used the camp stove to cook breakfast, scrambled eggs and oatmeal. I took my meal inside though. What a grouch I was! I actually was quite grouchy that morning with only 4 hours of sleep the night before.

No worries about us though if any rains try to deter us on this evening’s camp-out. Mike spent quite a bit of time re-waterproofing our tent. Wish us luck!

Wait! One last thing. Just had to share this. Something we saw on a recent grocery trip…a banana hammock. Gotta love it when I remember to keep the small cam in my purse.

diggin’ kenosha

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

We’ve been here a little over a month. It’s probably time to share some pictures that we’ve taken of the area. The first weekend we arrived and Mike was here briefly we spent a couple of days downtown.

It didn’t take long to discover the ice-cream parlor. The girls wanted a flavor that matched their outfits.

Of course, we had to ride the trolley car. And at only $.25 per person, we would have been silly not to.

There are a few museums, the Kenosha Public Museum, Civil War Museum, and Dinosaur Museum.

The downtown area has several cute shops.

And look at this darling park nestled between a corner of buildings.

Each Saturday from May through October the Harbor Market takes place at Harbor Park along Lake Michigan. Local artisans, food growers, and businesses set up booths to sell their goods and services. There is also a fabulous fountain in which the lake breeze helps the spray the water around the area. The kids loved it.

We’ve been keeping busy going to the RecPlex most days. The girls love to go to “Kids’ Court” while I sweat away in the fitness area. On occasion, we’ll go to the little water park they’ve got in there. Hopefully soon we’ll visit the private “beach” located on the grounds at the RecPlex. It’s actually a man-made lake (fairly large though) for members only. We’ve seen many people out on the lake windsurfing and such. Looks like fun, but I doubt I’d ever do it.

Still many projects to do around here. We started unpacking the basement last week, and it still haunts us with it’s never-ending piles. A rather large pile is growing, the future-rummage-sale pile. Man, we have a lot of junk.

the graduate

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

It didn’t seem possible that 2 more years of schooling for Mike would fly by so quickly, but they did. Mike was not as excited about the graduation as the girls and I were, but I considered it sort of a passage into a new lifestyle (or at least getting back to an old lifestyle) of having my husband home in the evenings and able to give us his undivided attention. If you think about it, us girls really haven’t had much of that these past 3 years. Remember when Mike went to Iraq for 7 months? He returned only a few months before we moved to D.C. for him to start endo school. So now this new chapter begins for us where we get to enjoy the American way of life.

The graduation ceremony was peppered with musical numbers, speeches, and passing out of awards. All the sailors looked quite handsome in their uniforms especially my own, little sailor. The girls and I tried to coordinate as closely as possible in our white outfits (well, I had a black and white skirt on). Of course, there was a bit of a feast after the service. And cake, too!

Mike receiving his graduation diploma (is it still called that at this level?).

Here are the graduates being applauded by the audience.

We’re so proud of Daddy!

Brady even showed up decked out in his sailor outfit in honor of his daddy’s graduation.

Of course, the boys had to be themselves and pester fellow classmate, George.

last days of d.c.

Saturday, July 5th, 2008

As I mentioned before I had mixed feelings about leaving D.C. My family was certainly in need of a break from the big city, but we also had to part from many good friends. It is my hope that we will get to see all those great people again soon.

The guys had a roast to attend on my birthday, so Janet and Trang took me out to Guapo’s to celebrate. I had a wonderful time and indulged in good eats. The girls were giddy to get the opportunity to put on the big hat one more time (the grownups, not so much). It was the last hurrah for just the ladies to get together:(

Christopher wanted his turn with the hat, too (or not so much).

Could this mean that Annie will be a good babysitter one day?

The guys then felt left out that they didn’t get to attend the above dinner date. What better way to make that up to them by going to Red Hot & Blue. We met up with the Cheslers and Parks for a feast of ribs. Everyone had a thoroughly good time.

Stay tuned. I’ve got some pictures from Mike’s graduation. Who can resist a man in uniform?