Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Taylor Time

Our “little” cousin, Taylor, made a summer trip to Michigan to celebrate Erin’s graduation and to get out of the South Georgia heat. She has spent most of her time in Concord, but she was able to come and stay in Grand Rapids for about 5 days. At 13 she is full of energy and always wants to be on the go, so we tried to keep up with her and planned lots of outings. We went to the John Ball Park Zoo, where we saw the animals and enjoyed the summer sunshine. We spent a day at Lake Michigan, where Taylor was excited to swim since it has no sharks or salt, two things she is used to. Matt and Taylor spent some time at Build-A-Bear making a blue peace sign bear and finding the perfect outfit for it. Erin, Taylor and I squeezed in some time to pick out bridesmaids dresses and try on wedding dresses for Erin’s wedding. And we ate lots of frozen yogurt and took Mrs. Whiskers for lots of walks. Personally I am exhausted from all the activities that go with entertaining a 13 year-old, but I am looking forward to the next time she visits.

It's All Good With The Hood

After some hard work, patience, internships, case studies and exams Erin has received her Master’s Degree in Social Work. We celebrated with her at her “hooding” ceremony at Western Michigan University this past week. I am very proud of Erin for all her hard work that went towards obtaining this degree, I know firsthand how difficult it can be to juggle school and life, and she has done a fantastic job at it. Now that she is done with school work she can have a fun summer looking for new work opportunities and planning her wedding! Yea!

Hello Tonight!

I was never a fan of dc Talk, but I grew interested in TobyMac when he broke out on his own and wrote “Made To Love,” a few years back. Since then I have wanted to see him in concert and I finally got a chance this past week. The timing worked out perfectly, I was “officially” done with the semester and Matt only had to turn in a project in his class, so we both had a “free” evening. The concert featured Chris Tomlin, whom I also like, but I wouldn’t really say that he does the best in the performance arena. His voice is fantastic, but his stage presence is lacking a little. TobyMac was similar to what I expected, however I could have lived without the dc Talk songs that they played. Overall the night was very enjoyable we had dinner downtown, walked to the arena and just enjoyed having a big city in our backyard.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Teen Entrepreneur Summer Academy

This week has started off as a busy one…I am finishing up my classes, which means exams, projects and presentations to grade AND I also taught 3 days at a Entrepreneurship Camp for high school students. This is my 3rd year working with the program and it was an amazing experience, like it always has been. This year we were featured on Fox 17 news. Here are the clips from last night’s broadcast.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What A Wonderful “Almost” Summer Weekend!

We didn’t work on one project all weekend. I can’t believe that I just typed that. We still have quite a few projects to complete, but we made it to the breaking point so that we can go to MN in a few weeks and not have the house in shambles. We plan to pick up where we left off with the installation of our hardwood floors and the counter top in the bathroom.

So instead of construction work we spent Friday night running some errands and enjoying dinner and the Twins game at a local restaurant. We had also planned on taking a nice bike ride or walk, but the weather got a little dicey so we spent the time in Target and watching some NetFlix.  Saturday we met up with friends at one of my favorite breakfast places; The Red Geranium, they have this amazing “sugar bread” that they toast it and put glaze on. It is better than a cinnamon roll at most places. After we over indulged at breakfast we headed to Rivertown Crossings to check off our list of eight gifts that we need to give in the next few weeks. While I looked around at a few stores Matt spent time at Regis and Kelly’s, as he calls it, getting a hair cut… someday he is going to recognize the need to get his hair cut at the same Aveda salon that I do … it is only a matter of time. As we were about to leave feeling somewhat accomplished and ready to head home we got a text that our friends, Davy and Jamie got engaged. Matt and I are so happy, they are such a wonderful couple and we know that they will have an amazing life together. We are secretly hoping that they plan a destination wedding to somewhere warm in the middle of Michigan’s winter.

In the afternoon we attended our first graduation party of the season. Our friends the Ratliff-Miller’s were celebrating the graduation of their daughter Felicia. I was so happy that we were able to go and celebrate with them Felicia has overcome some huge obstacles to graduate and she did it with a lot of determination and a smile. Of course the party had tons of great food and some AMAZING cake ... I love a good cake. Although I could have eaten about 3 more slices of cake we headed out to spend the evening with our friends the Oosting Family; Jason, Shari and Asher. We haven’t gotten a chance to see them since March, even though we have tried several times. To do it up big we played some duplo blocks, dressed the cat up and entertained the idea of guitar hero … Asher is growing so fast and it is a delight to be around him. He is starting to talk in sentences and it is fun to hold a mini-conversation with him. In the picture you can see that he is holding a toilet paper holder, which was found in my purse … I am secretly trying to convert him to the love of home improvements. We ate a yummy dinner together and then Asher went home to bed, while Jason and Shari met us for some interesting mini-golf. Matt and I have golfed at the Village Green before and it is never a disappointment. Not really the Pebble Beach of mini-golf, but always an adventure. The 1950s style music takes on a whole new feeling when piped through old static laden speakers (think horror movie feeling.) And the rustic setting makes you long for some traffic to assure that there are some witnesses. We did survive the experience and like always we had a great time with the Oostings.

This new week should be a great continuation of our very “social” summer activities. I will be done teaching my spring classes and my official summer break begins, Erin graduates from Grad school, Taylor is coming for a visit and we are going to see Toby Mac in concert…

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

No One Is Exempt!

If you live in our house you have to help with the many renovation projects. I am pretty sure this is why Erin chose to get her own apartment, after we sold the Elwood house. Here you can see that even Mrs. Whiskers is participating in a drywall project. This past weekend we spent time in the kitchen and dining room smoothing the drywall ceiling and getting it painted. I am really anxious to get the walls in both rooms finished and the ceiling and walls in the bathroom finished. Believe it or not, even with the lack of photo documentation, I have painted almost all the surfaces in our house. My goal is to wrap it up by the end of June/Spring semester. It will be nice not to constantly be covered with specks of paint.