Friday, November 15, 2013

September fun - the random pics

Thomas started 4-year-old preschool. It's the same place as last year; same teachers and same friends, just 3 mornings a week instead of 2. This was the least goofy photo I got of him on his first day of school.

Jojo kept saying, "I go school too?" Next year, buddy.

Date night on our 8th anniversary

 We tried a tapas restaurant in town...check out our dessert!

One Friday night in the beer garden at Eccentric--5 little boys watching a tow truck through the cracks in the fence!

Lots of help on a clean-the-house Saturday!

This I could get used to!

Stretching before the game starts!

The boys love Ed's harmonica. They can't understand why it goes missing so often. I can. Also, they took these photos of each other. Thank goodness for digital! Even though Thomas has a kid's camera, they both love to get their hands on my camera or phone and take ridiculous numbers of photos. If I didn't delete them frequently, I'd probably have 75 photos of our kitchen counter on my camera and/or phone.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thomas on skis!

Thomas has gone hot and cold about skiing all summer. He loved the tube ski, but even with that, he had certain requirements--he would only do it behind the pontoon boat, he kept emphasizing he wanted to go slow...
But when he would get excited about it and skiing, we'd nudge him toward the real skis. With a large chunk of sandy beach at Pearl, it was the perfect time for another shore run. (This is how Jenn and I learned too, way back when.) He did a fantastic job! (And so did Dad as the horsepower!)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Week at Pearl Lake

When I started working for myself last September, one of the big motivators behind it was being able to set my own schedule rather than being stuck at a desk 9-5. And along those lines, I really wanted to be able to spend a week at Pearl Lake. Since I was a kid, it was always a weekend thing, or maybe a long weekend. But an entire week? That would be fantastic.

That's exactly what happened the week leading up to Labor Day.
The boys and I took the Lake Express ferry across Lake Michigan on Sunday, the day after our self-appointed family fun day.

This picture is from before Jojo puked. Yep, turns out I'm not the only one in our family who gets seasick on large boats! The afternoon was super windy and super wavy. So glad I took dramamine or two of us would have been losing our cookies! Ferry boats helpfully have little bags in the seat pockets, much like on planes. Thomas was very interested in what Jojo deposited in the bag and asked a lot of questions. I think we were all thankful it wasn't a long trip!

Dad took me and the boys sailing. Three of us ended up in the lake.

Thomas and Buppa were very busy. They fixed a lot of things and worked on the train in the garage, painting the roads and adding rocks to the tunnel.

Thomas backing the truck into the "garage" he and Buppa built. The numbers for the address, written by Thomas, is our address at home.

The cousins with Buppa's new car

TJ helped Buppa with maintenance on the car. He loved the matching trailer that you see in the background!

I tried out the Rhyans' paddle board.

James joined us from Wednesday night on. He and Jojo played nicely and competed a bit for toys. James was almost walking this week. I don't know if what was it or what, but Jojo was much more interested in him, which was fun. Usually, Thomas plays with James and Jojo sort of does his own thing.

He did not want James driving.

I had some sewing projects to finish up. James was very interested.

Swimming with Aunt Jenn Jenn

Jenn kayaking with James. Mom and I did a loop with TJ and Jojo as well.

 The boys tubed on Big Mable with Buppa. TJ wasn't feeling it though.

Jojo liked it so much that he went again with me and Mom. Look, no hands!

TJ and Abby got the idea to sell lemonade at the lake's association meeting.

We watched the NU-Cal game. Niki was teaching Jojo the wildcat "roar!"
 Ready for the game!

Ed and Pat both did some sailing as well. The boat doesn't sail real well this way though...

Jojo caught a fish but wasn't real sure about it. Frankly, this is about as close to a fish as I want to get too!

Following his big brother's lead, Jojo tried (and loved!) the tube ski. He did great!

And napped on the pontoon boat.

Ed arrived Saturday morning and the boys loved swimming with him.

Ed and Pat enjoying the booze cruise!

Dancing with James. Check out that spiky hair!

Beyond the whole wonderful-ness of being at Pearl Lake for seven days, this was the highlight of the weekend. Video to follow in next post!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Family Fun Day

As we started running out of summer weekends, a few things on our to-do list converged into one full day. We could not have asked for a more gorgeous day, and it was certainly filled with fun!

Ed bought tickets through Groupon for a train ride northwest of Grand Rapids on the Coopersville & Marne Railway. It's a 14-mile roundtrip ride on a restored train. We thought the boys would love it. And they did...just not the very loud horn...

We brought their train conductor hats along

Thomas got to sit in the engineer's seat before we left. 

About 30 minutes into the 90-minute round trip, the boys were kind of done. I blame the horn.

Looking out the window the engine switch ends along a siding
The train tickets included a free donut at a local bakery. The day just kept getting better and better.

It was an exhausting trip!

We had dinner and played bags at a brewery pub in Grand Rapids.

All summer I'd wanted to go to a West Michigan Whitecaps (minor league baseball) game in Grand Rapids. This Saturday night was our last opportunity, and since we were already in Grand Rapids because of the train...

And did I mention that it was superhero night at the ballpark? Guess who wore their capes?!?!

Learning to love lemon ice

The game included plenty of side entertainment, including racing eyeballs, and my personal favorite, monkeys riding dogs while herding goats. Yep. We had a great time, but after such a busy day, left in the 7th inning. Plus, did I mention the boys and I were taking the ferry across Lake Michigan to Milwaukee the next day? We had to pack!