Sunday, August 28, 2011

Busy, busy

It's been a very busy weekend around here.  Even Colin has worked extra hard.  I sort of did a Spring.....end of Summer cleaning.  Do you ever reach a point with your house that you just can't stand things anymore???  It's beyond just cleaning.  It is deeeeeeep cleaning  Well, that was me yesterday.

I started with a deep clean in the house. With 3 animals you have hair 24/7.  I vacuum all the time, multiple times a week but it still comes.  I mopped the floors and scrubbed, wiped every piece of dirt I could see.

Next thing I knew Dad was outside with his hedge trimmers and he was trimming my bushes.  (I have the best Dad)  Colin was already outside mowing our yard and the neighbors.  Once the inside was clean I went outside to help Dad.  Next......power washing the house.  It really, really needed it.  Dad left so Colin and I took over.  I scrubbed the house while Colin sprayed.  We got most of it done, need to finish today.  It felt so good to get out of bed this morning to a sparkly home.  I love a sparkly home.

Seems as though I am not the only busy bee around here.  While drinking my coffee and looking out my window I see many squirrels busy as a bee.  A SURE sign Winter is coming.  There are probably 6 of these little dudes running up and down the trees.  Luckily, many of them are carrying walnuts in their mouths that hopefully came from my backyard.  Take em' all guys, less for me to rake.  But you better be careful so you don't look like this.  :)

 

As I was cleaning my home (and getting irritated about all the animal fur) I think God placed something on my heart so I would end my pitty party.  I started thinking about the families in the path of Irene that were getting hit with the storm that very minute that I was cleaning.  I'm sure many of them lost their home to Irene's strong winds or furious flooding.  I still had my sweet home, no wind or water.....just a bunch of animal fuzz.  So I pulled up my big girl panties and kept vacuuming and prayed for everyone being affected by Irene and asked our Lord to please spare their homes. 

I hope all of you are having a good weekend....with no wind or water.  I'll throw in the animal fur for good measure.  :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Happy Monday!




Wish I was still snuggled in bed like the little miss.  Off to work and school.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Day #2 and #3 in Michigan

Back to my Michigan story.  On Saturday we woke up knowing rain was coming.  I wanted to pick blueberries while I was there because I like to freeze them for the winter.  So we headed out to Paw Paw to a patch but the rain clouds were coming too.

Everyone grabbed a bucket and headed to the patch.  Unfortunately the big blueberries had already been picked so it took longer to fill your bucket.  In the distance the thunder was getting closer and closer and the darn mosquitoes were eating us alive.  Between 5 of us we picked 3 pounds and called it quits.  Luckily they had fresh picked boxes of blueberries you could buy so I bought the other 10 pounds.  They are SO cheap in MI, nothing like the tiny little boxes at our grocery stores.


We headed out and the rain shower quickly approached, but it didn't slow us down.  We hit a very neat Antique shop and I found lots of goodies for my new red kitchen.


After some more shopping we headed home to rest.  All of us were ready to stay home and be lazy......like the cat (Simon).


Sunday morning it was time to head home.  We always hate leaving, but if we must leave we take our time and make some stops along the way.  We stopped first at a fruit stand to get Mom and Dad some more fruit. The peaches were fabulous too (tell me again why I live in IL??  on yes.....we have corn and soybeans).  After that we headed to St. Joe Michigan.  This little town is just darling, I want to live there too.

We saw this small park on our way to down town that looked out over the lake so Colin quickly told me to stop. We got out with Romeo to admire the beautiful views.


I really think Colin loves the water as much as I do.  Romeo could tell we were excited so he just went along with the show.



We all jumped back in the car and headed to downtown.  From the bluff at that mini park we could see the pier and lighthouse so we wanted to head that way.  Windows down Romeo really loved the drive.


The water was really rough today so the pier was closed.  If you look at this picture we took you can see why.  I think St. Joe's lighthouse is my favorite of all I've seen in MI so far.  I know there are more I have not seen and hopefully I'll get to see more of them.  But even if I can't, I will keep going back to the towns I love.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Day #1 in Michigan

Get ready for lots of MI pictures.  Besides visiting my Sissy and family this trip, we decided to visit a new beach so I have even MORE pictures than I normally do.  I know, hard to imagine, but bear with me.  We arrived at my Sister's Thursday evening with just enough time to plan our Friday and eat popcorn.  We decided to drive to Grand Haven to experience something new.  Everyone fell in love with this sweet community.  I think I have yet another place I want to move to.


We walked around down-town first to do some shopping, ate lunch and just browsed the stores.


This Italian store was a favorite.  They had really neat kitchen items, cookbooks, baking, gelato ice cream, sweet Italian chocolates....yum, yum and more yum.  But we only looked, we did not sample.



All of the stores had really neat vintage like beach signs.  I loved them all.  If I ever get to live in a beach community my family room will be decorated in a beach theme.  With a picture like this!


Colin on the other hand wants to decorate his room with one of these.  He wanted a surf board so bad and I was going to buy him one until he told me about the $95.00 price tag.  Sorry dude.


Romeo was the only one that got a present from Grand Haven.  There were 2 Doggy stores with lots of toys, treats and even some pampering bath supplies.  Can't you see Romeo dressed up like this?  :)


After shopping we had to head to the beach.  The kids wanted to walk down the pier to the light house.  There were actually 2 light houses, or maybe one with a fog house.  Not really sure how it all works.




The water was very, very rough this day but people were still swimming. 


Or soaring through the air on their jet skis.




Family photo.


We got splashed a few times with the waves.


After our walk around the beach it was time for ice cream.  Colin loves his blue moon.




I love the lake at dusk when the sun is making the water shine like diamonds.  Love the sparkle.  What am I saying, I just love the water.


One last funny.  I bought Romeo a treat bag called a Yappy Meal.  It had a cheeseburger (rawhide treat) with french fries (dog snack) and a toy (stuffed green apple).  He loved it, french fries and all.


More MI pictures to come tomorrow!

MI Weekend


More photos to come of our weekend in MI.  For now, since I must go to work (blah) and get my kiddo up for day #2 of school, I will leave you with this one picture.  Oh how I wish I was there.  Waaaaaaaa!!!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

School Starts Today

Oh dear, summer is gone.  Colin goes back to school today.  Last night we organized all of his new school supplies, got his clothes ready and packed his back-pack.  Where did it go?  He isn't really excited about going, but he isn't complaining either so I guess that's a good thing.

I will be sure to take our traditional pictures this morning.  I must capture him on these first days of school as long as he lets me.  Its a bitter sweet moment for me.  7th Grade.........time has flown just as fast the last 7 years as it did this summer.  But I loved every second of it.

Happy 1st day of 7th Grade!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Item #6 on the Summer To-do List

Summer break is about over and we still have things to accomplish from our To-Do list.  However, we accomplished item #6 last night.  It was get...............


Our public pool sells Snow Cones in their concession stand.  I grew up eating out of this concession stand, but I don't remember eating snow cones so much.  I believe they had them (right Sissy?), I remember eating Popcorn all of the time.  I was already water logged from swimming so a snow cone never really appealed to me.  I digressed, back to the story.


They had many, many flavors.  I went with the Strawberry Margarita, Colin had the Wild Thing.  Both were very yummy. 



After our sugar buzz we walked around the pool.  It looked so calm and peaceful.  The smell of chlorine filled the air.  Actually made me want to go swimming, but it passed quickly.


Romeo was on a different high with all of the dog smells.  He didn't know which way to run.  We tried to stop for a couple pictures but Romeo really didn't want to do that so Colin had to force a look at the camera.


This is what you get when you force a dog to look at the camera.  A little freaky wouldn't you say?  Colin thinks he looks like the Joker from Batman.  Click on the picture to get a good gander of that look.


Neat tree.


Running on the tennis courts.  You know, tennis courts is where every dog needs to be.


And the cutest picture of them all, my 12 year old buddy.  He is so grown up.  Makes me wish I had a magic wand I could wave to stop time.  Since I can't, I'll just try and capture him as much as I can.



I don't want Summer to come to an end.  I am never ready for Fall because I don't want the poo-poo Winter that comes after that.  But it seems as though no matter how hard I wish for Winter to not come, he still comes.  So I shall do what everyone needs to do in order to avoid Winter, I'm heading to the beach in MI this weekend.  THAT will solve the world.  I just know it.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Courage

Remember my sweet friends from China?  Colin and I adopted them through our local University two years ago after they moved here to obtain their masters.  God's hands were involved with this friendship, no doubt about it.  How else could our paths cross....Beijing China.....small, super small little town in Illinois?


After obtaining their first master degree they decided to stay another year and obtain a 2nd master.  Wow. 


This past May they graduated and now they are looking for full-time employment.  They have been searching larger cities like Chicago for a couple months but nothing has turned up.  So they decided to move to New York.  New York City!!  This is just too much for my brain to comprehend.  Two young adults, come to the US to obtain an education, speak broken English, get a double master and move to NY.  Is that not the definition of courage? 


I don't know what the future holds for these two special people.  I do know if they cannot find employment they will need to return to China.  I don't know that we would ever be able to see them again and that makes me sad.  I do not have the courage that they do.  I would be scared to death to visit another country where I cannot speak their language.  Beijing is a very large city so just that piece is intimidating.  Both of them have already asked us to visit them someday.


Who knows what God has planned for our friendship.  For now, we will enjoy our long distance from IL to NY.  Before they flew off to NY we spent a Sunday afternoon together having a picnic.  I wanted them to enjoy some quiet time before rushing off to the big city.  It was a perfect day with my long distance friends.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

My New Kitchen

Thanks to my Sissy, I have a new kitchen.  I have been wanting to change my colors for awhile now but kept waiting until I found the right pieces to pull it all together.  Well, I finally found them.  Don't mind the furry rug in this picture.


One of the most important items were new curtains but I had something specific in my mind.  I wanted to use vintage hand towels in some fashion.  While shopping at a local Antique Mall I found a cute runner.  Since my window is pretty short I knew the runner could be cut in half and should work.  It had red stitching on the sides that I loved.  I'm more of a simple kind of gal, so I didn't want things too busy.  My Sissy suggested adding some extra color on the top so I went to the fabric store and found some cute red print with hints of blue and white.  It was perfect for new curtains!


Since I am NOT a sewer, I enlisted my Sissy to make them for me.  Last weekend she came home and brought her sewing machine all the way from MI.  She whipped those dudes up in 30 minutes (or less) flat.  And they look wonderful.  Thank you Sissy!!!  (She made the cute pendant banner too)


Since I had the curtains I had to add more touches of red to my kitchen.  I found this cute enamel pot at the same Antique Mall.  I store my salt and pepper in it next to the stove.


My table with my Menu board above it.



My next super cute item is this little wheel barrel.  I found it the last time I was in MI with my Sister at a barn sale we attended.  Isn't it stinkin cute?!?!   :)


Another lovely item from my Sissy is this table runner.  She made it for me for Mother's Day.  She knew I wanted to change my kitchen colors.


Another cute Antique find.....Fisher Price Barn.


I'm not the only one that loves my new kitchen.  Calleigh loves my new stripped rugs.  I find her laying on them all the time!


Red tomatoes ripening in the sunlight from my garden.



Yup, she loves the new rugs.


He just likes watching the cats roll around on the rugs.


Tiger giving Calleigh some love while laying on the rugs.  Do you see a theme here with Calleigh?

So, that's my new kitchen.  Thank you Sissy for my perfect curtains!  I love them!!