Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

A Cookie-Palooza, Gone Boarding, Gingerbread House Making ... Kind of Weekend

It was a hectic start to the weekend, finishing up the semester with a meeting, then rushing to pick up Matt and Lilly for Cookie-Palooza.  And the fun kept on coming for the rest of the busy weekend, with an early morning at Cannonsburg for boarding, then Gingerbread house making, and even picture frame making and cookie eating with Kelliana.  Whew, exhausting, but fun.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Bring On The Winter Fun

It has snowed, and it is about time, according to Lilly's calendar.  Me, I would take another several weeks of mild temperatures.  But as the say, when the snow falls, have fun with it.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Robotics Fun

Lilly achieved her Robotics Badge on Saturday during a fun program put on by the staff at the USS Silversides.  She got to learn about robot programming on land and then practice her skills in the water tank with her own ROV.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Thanksgiving Zoo

Did you ever imagine that going to the Zoo on Thanksgiving weekend would be so sunny, warm, and delightful?  I sure didn't, that is just atypical for Grand Rapids.  But alas, it was a pleasant surprise.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

At The Theater To See Beauty

We the activity of Molly arriving, it was nice for Emma and Lilly to have a special date set aside to see Beauty and the Beast.  FHN does amazing performances and this one didn't disappoint the girls at all.  We are still hearing them sing show tunes a week later.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Meet Molly Kate

Babies are the reason why we are always prepared with a click-ready camera. They bless you with special moments that you will treasure forever.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Lilllian Grace: 6.5 Years Old

Six and a half Years

"One little girl in a pale pink coat heard
Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo
She yodeled back to the lonely goatherd
Lay ee odl lay ee odl-oo"

~The Lonely Goatherd, Rodgers and Hammerstein

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Halloween 2017

It was a fun Harvest Party with crafts, cider and donuts and even a short parade, in between some snow and sleet.  But the kiddos still had fun and the night cleared up for trick-or-treating.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Our Very First Daisy Meeting

I knew this was going to happen, and I blame it all on my roots.  Growing up there were so many activities made available to me, because my mom or Nana Marge stepped up and took the lead to make them possible.  And because of them, of course I said Yes, when Lilly wanted to join Girl Scouts and they needed a leader.  Matt agreed to be the troop helper and another great classroom mom said she would go halvsies with me and lead as well.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


We are flying through September.  I feel the start of school has gotten much more intense ever since Lilly has gotten into elementary school.  Gah.  I am sure it will only get faster as time goes on.  We have been doing so many random things lately, I don't even know how to classify them.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

First Day Of 1st Grade

Today was Lillian's First day of 1st Grade.  She has Mrs. Washburn as her teacher and she is looking forward to using the RAH (read at home) room to pick out fun new books.  She has a few friends from her Kinder class in her room, but she also has lots of new friends to meet.  The first day of school was a little rainy and a little cold, but that never bothers her anyway.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The 2017 Solar Eclipse

It was a fun day to watch the solar eclipse, I remember watching one in middle school with the  welding shop masks, I didn't remember how the long the process takes.  Luckily this time, we had lots of things to do to keep our interest.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Kent County Youth Fair

Who didn't grow up going to the fair every Summer, either to show animals or eat the yummy treats.  Erin and I are so happy that even though we live in a less than country setting, we still have a good 4-H fair to take the girls to.  They are even learning the finer points to the fair, like you wear boots not flip flops, and you always eat some sort of batter fried treat.  Hopefully, next year Lilly can participate with at least a project in the exposition.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017


We had a fun getaway Up North, to savor the beautiful weather and low crowds.  It is amazing how wonderful Michigan is, 2 hours North and you are transported completely out of the city into a laid back beach life.  Can't get any better than that.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Just Keep Swimming ...

Just keep swimming, Just keep swimming....
It was an all around fun time at the "Finding Dory Party" held my GiGi and Papa's neighbors at the pool

Thursday, July 27, 2017

A Few of Our Favorite Summer Things ...

Lilly and I saw the Sound of Music on the Big Screen back at the end of June and it was an amazing amount of fun.  A Friday matinee, packed full of parents and kids, with lots of little voices singing the songs and dancing in their seats.  Lilly was happy to join in, especially in the song My Favorite Things ... so here are some of our favorite things that we have been doing the last several days..  (PS that is not our cat, just the neighborhood Orange Cat that is amazingly fond of Lilly)

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

4th of July: 2017

We spent another wonderful 4th of July holiday in Minnesota.  This year we not only visited the cities, but also a lake cabin "up north".

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Public Museum .. Is Where It's At On A Hot June Day

We have never been to the public museum as a family, crazy, I know.  And truthfully, I hadn't been since college and Matt only had the chance last year for a work outing.  So, it was a pleasant opportunity to meet friends there for a great afternoon.  They had so many great activities for the littles to experiments with, along with the normal active exhibits.  It is like a hands-on-museum for the taller kiddos.  We are excited to go back for a special exhibit of secret codes ... out of the three of us, we will see who can solve them first.  Winner gets Dole Whip.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Last Day of Kindergarten

I will admit I put a lot of time into making memories for myself and my family and the last day of Kindergarten was no different.  I had planed to pick Lilly up from school, take her to lunch, to the pool, to ice cream for dinner.  Sounded pretty memorable to me, maybe a little over the top.  Luckily, to keep me grounded, there were even crazier moms at school, who made my plans look like novice ideas.  There was the limo picking up the 4th grade siblings and blocking the entire car lane, the dual sunroof van with balloons hanging out of every sunroof opening (in school colors of course), and lots and lots of flowers handed out.  It was a sight to see and listen, too.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

End of the Year Excitment

The end of the year has come fast and furious.  I am so thankful that I was able to take part in it.  I don't remember the end of the year seeming so busy, I am sure it was.  These Kinders went out with a bang.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Disney Vacation 2017

"You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality." ~ Walt Disney

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Lillian Grace: Six Years Old

Seventy-Two Months
"Caroline Abbot is doing what she loves most - sailing on Lake Ontario with Papa- when her world turns upside down."
~American Girl Caroline Series, Kathleen Ernst

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

An American Girl Birthday

When you just finish reading Happy Birthday Kirsten, it would only be natural to have a 1854 inspired birthday party.  It was such an inventive and great idea that Lilly came up with, little did I know how difficult it would be to pull off the look of 1854.  The good part was we had a fantastic book to reference and lots of fun getting matching outfits for the girls.  In all I think Lilly was pretty happy with her AG Birthday.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Friday, April 28, 2017

Lillian's April 28th 6th Birthday Celebrations

It has been a whirlwind time of birthday celebrations.  It always starts on April 27th for my birthday.  Followed by lots of celebration on April 28th for Lillian's Birthday.  This year Matt and I had fun visiting her class and reading My Garden and passing out snack and origami Lilly Pads with little frogs or butterflies.  Followed by a quick dinner after school and an impromptu family party at GiGi and Papa's house.  And this was just the beginning.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Riding Lessons

Riding Lessons.  We have been exploring hobbies and activities.  It is such an opportunity to live in an area that offers so much.  Lilly has tried gymnastics, ballet, tap, swimming, skating and now ridding lessons.  A short 6-week introduction to riding, it about perfect for her.  She was engrossed with it the first lesson, we will see how the remainder of the weeks go.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Easter 2017

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die." ~John 11:25-26 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Spring Break In Grand Rapids

The rest of Spring Break was fun, considering we stayed at home and spent time around town.  Lilly was excited to have a few days with me practicing science and few days with GiGi decorating and a few days as a family of 3.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Spring Break Weekend in Chicago

The first time I fell in love with American Girls, was in Borders Books in the Mall.  I would sit on the floor and look at the Kristen, Samantha, and Molly collection.  The pages were exceptionally smooth and it just felt so good to read them.  I remember receiving them one at a time for special occasions.  I was a little too old when the dolls came out to have one to play with, but I loved to look at the magazine and the vignettes that they would create.  It was such a treat to take Lilly to the store in Chicago and see her love for the books and dolls.  We have read all of my original Kirsten books and at Christmas "Santa" has specially saved her an original doll.  She has created what I had hoped, which was a love of the stories as much as a love for the doll.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Cosmic Bowling

We had a very fun Saturday.  Cosmic bowling followed by lunch and play at Chick-Fil-A.  Time at GiGi and Papas house playing with Emma and wrapping it up with church.  Whew, after a long Winters rest, it was a busy day.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Reading Month Continues

As reading month continues on, Collins Elementary, continues to foster the love of reading, by providing so many fun events for the kids.  This week they had Donuts and Books, but mostly donuts with dads.  Which was perfect for Matt and Lilly, because they both LOVE donuts.  Lilly had fun sitting with her friend Kristen and her 3rd grade buddy Kirstin's older sister Kate ... and the dads.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Halfway Through Reading Month

 This girl has found her love of reading.  Just in the last month she has really found confidence to read more and more.  Some of her favorite series include Brownie & Pearl, Eloise, Pete the Cat, Disney Princesses, Pinkalicious, LadyBug Girl, and Fancy Nancy.  I can only hope she keeps growing her love of reading even more over time.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

We Are In A Play!!

The Civic Theater did an amazing job of preforming Elephant & Piggie's "We Are In A Play!"   Lilly is quite a fan of Piggie, even more so that Pigeon.  So, she was excited when Elephant and Piggie got to prepare for a party with the "Squirr'els."  As a side note, I dropped Matt and Lilly off at the theater to partake in all the fun activities they had for the kids, like books readings, photo booth and thought bubble making, while I went to find free street parking, because you should never pay to park on a night or weekend, and paralleled parked the XC90 in the tightest spot imaginable ... on the first try, without back-up cameras, beeping or anything fancy; Mr. Pederson would be so proud.  I wish I would have taken a picture of my triumph, it is the little things you know.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Relaxing Weekend

It is so nice to have a weekend, where there is nothing planned and we can just play.  Emma came over for an hour or so, to pick up her Bootsie Toy that has been in the toy hospital since the day after Christmas.  It appears that Bootsie and a million of her closest friends were all defective.  So, alas we hope we have a working Bootsie, whom I prefer to call Kitty Purry.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Kindergarten Valentine Day

It was such a beautiful Valentine Day.  I don't remember ever having the day full of sunshine and 50 degree weather.  It made for a wonderful day.  Lilly was excited to get her own bungee chair, which are all the rage at school these day.  And she was full of wonderful stories of their party with their 3rd grade buddies.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Beating the Winter Blues ... with a Beach Party

While GiGi and Papa were having fun in the sun in Florida, Lilly had fun in the fluorescent lights at church at a Beach Party.  There were lots of friends and lots of activities to fit in.  MY favorite the make your own sand pudding treat ... Lilly claimed it was all her favorite.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Oak Hollow Forest

One of the unique things about our house is that we have a forest ... in the city.  And it makes me so happy.  Of course, the previous owners did nothing to keep it healthy or clean it out, but my hope is that over time, one small batch of twigs at a time, we will be able to restore it to beauty.  For the time being Lilly and neighbor Ava have great fun, finding things and fixing up their hobo fort.  It reminds me of the Indian Fort Katie and I had up at the cabin.  I do have to say this is a little more elaborate than the Indian Fort we had.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

A Fantastic Fourth Birthday At The Cheese Establishment

There is nothing more exciting to two ecstatically energetic little girls, than to celebrate a birthday at the famously, clean and calm Cheese Establishment.  These two did have a ton of fun.  Kelliana and Lilly got enough tickets to win an adorably cute rubber friendship necklace that has two hearts that connect together. Awww.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Birthday Bowling

Lilly had a great time rockin' bowling with her friends to celebrate Emma's birthday.  It was her first time bowling and she loved it, especially since there was music to dance to, cupcakes to eat and bumpers and ramp.  She is so exited to go again.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A Roller Coaster of a Week

The week has been a doozy, two snow days, a sick day and many days of a cough and rest.  We are happy it ended on a happy and healthy note celebrating Papa's Birthday.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Sparkle and Skate

Matt has been waiting for such a long time to get Lilly on the ice.  But for one reason or another it just never worked out.  Finally, they were able to go skate together and introduce her to another one of Matt's favorite Winter activities.  They went to Patterson Rink where Matt most often played hockey, ran the Zamboni and made taste treats between games.  Lilly feel pretty in love with the whole event.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Gone Boarding... Beginnings At The Burg

Lillian was really excited to be part of a school program, where they teach K-2 students snowboarding skills in a mentorship program with high school students and Burton.  The organization Gone Boarding is focused on inspiring young people to pursue their passions and to create opportunities for them to realize their full potential through experiences and serving others.