Sunday, July 31, 2016

Skiing time!

We try to spend as much time as we can in the summer on the boat! 

Introducing Ben to the lake:

Getting ready to ski:

We used the boom to get both kids on up skis. It's a great way for them to learn and be close to the boat, and also not have to try so hard to get up.

All smiles. And maybe just a little terror.

TJ had done this before but was a bit reluctant this year.

All smiles--piece of cake!

Summer fun is so tiring! 

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Mom visits + bathroom redo

Mom came for a few days to help redo the boys' bathroom. Not that the photos do it justice, but it's amazing what a fresh coat of paint, new towels and rug, and updated light globes, towel rods and knobs can do! And with two people, it's wonderful how quickly a small bathroom can change color--thanks Mom! 

The bathroom shortly after we moved in:

Brighter yellow walls, lime green rug and towels--much cheerier!

Using the laser level to hang new towel rods.

Grammy also hung with the boys a bit too. :)

Friday, July 29, 2016

First boating night of the year

Still wet suit weather in May...but we like to get out early in the year, especially since I only skied once in 2014. We introduced Ben to his life jacket. He tolerates it, and tolerates the boat. 

Look at this cutie in the boat!

Three boating buddies

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Benjamin: 9 months

Another month passed for our sweet, smiley boy! 
Ben is spending a lot of time exploring the house, especially the kitchen. He tries to get in the cabinets as well as pull down the dish towels and stand up along the chairs/stools or under the kitchen table.
He's also started climbing the stairs. He often goes up one or a few and then turn around to see if we’re watching, which usually leads to falling. Right now he only does stairs with a dedicated spotter.
He starts to stand without holding on to anything. It quickly becomes his      favorite thing to do, and by mid-May he can stand for 5-10 seconds before falling.

He loves to swing!

We try giving Ben some people food—pancakes, a little chicken, peas, raspberries. The peas were well received; the other things not so much. Raspberries are sour...

Really sour...

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Random May pictures

Mother's Day with my three boys. Notice the ties. Their choice, every week for church. :)

Field trip to Wedel's Garden Center with Jojo's preschool class. They each got to plant a flower.

First family bike trip. Ben rides in the chariot behind me; Jojo rides on Corey's tagalong bike behind Ed, and TJ rides his own bike.

Taking photos while biking...the three big guys in front of me.

Jojo's end of the year preschool picnic. It was unseasonably cold for mid May--we were all freezing!

Thank you for a fun year, Mrs. Modderman!

Thank you, Mrs. Gavan, for a great year!

Canoeing in the pond behind Nancy's house (in her canoe).

Ben trying to golf with Miss Nancy.

TJ's kindergarten field trip to the zoo--another unseasonably cold May day, but at least it was sunny! We had a great time.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Kalamazoo Half Marathon

Kathy and I signed up for the Kalamazoo Half Marathon. We both started training less than 12 weeks beforehand, so our goal was not to die. :) 

Us before the race

Ed and the bigger boys came to cheer us on. 

While Ed and the boys were standing near the finish line, the lady next to them suggested that Ed send TJ over the fence to finish the race with me. The Kalamazoo Gazette got this great shot at the finish. A great picture and a great memory!

Our post-race photo. I finished in 2 hours 17 minutes. I was pretty happy with that and still felt good at the end of the race. 

My cheering squad. They carried the Packer flag around to make it easy for me to find them.

The Friday before the race, there was a kids' fun run (1 mile). TJ had a Little League game, so I took Jojo and Ben. These next two photos would make you think that Jojo loved the race; that couldn't be further from the truth. He sobbed through most of it and begged me to carry him. I have no idea how I ended up with a picture where he's smiling!

All smiles now because it's over! He was thrilled to get a medal.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Little League for TJ

This year, Thomas moved up from t-ball to machine-pitch Little League, and Ed coached his team. He did really well and was very into every aspect of the game, as you'll see in the pictures. We struggled a bit with his frustration when he didn't get on base but otherwise played hard. His team was the Green Goblins.

Playing second base

Directing the pitcher where to throw the ball

Celebrating an out. I love this picture! Apparently he gets his competitive nature from his parents.

In the hole

 On the ground after fielding a ball and throwing it to first

At bat

Catching. All of the kids are supposed to try catching, and most don't care for it because they don't like getting hit by pitches. TJ did pretty well and seemed to like it unless he got hit by a pitch. The kids all have trouble keeping their throwing hand behind their back, so they frequently get hit in the hand.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Random April pics

I like to draw mustaches on the boys for April Fool's Day. This year, Jojo thought it was hilarious. (isn't his cute?!)

Thomas was NOT amused at all when he woke up and saw it.

Look how helpful Jojo is! (And how much Ben is enjoying the yogurt!)

This is a great activity to keep these two occupied while I make dinner.

We have a lot of pancake Saturdays at our house!

...with bacon

Even Ben gets some. Don't you love his hair?

Waiting for TJ at the bus stop...

It finally got warmer and Ben's little toes were introduced to grass.

This hat was Jojo's. I absolutely love it.

I think he likes the sunshine.


TJ had an art fair at school. He knew exactly what he wanted to paint for it. We bought canvases and I pulled out my box of craft paint. Thomas wanted to do his painting using the pointillism method. I was glad I had bought smallish canvases! He did move on to other techniques part way through, thank goodness, or we wouldn't have finished before the deadline!

Art studio in session:

Here's TJ's finished painting. He did a great job and the ideas were all his. The title is: "The Day and Night Skys Mixed" and subtitled: sun vs. moon (shown in drawings rather than words), blue vs. black, pointillism vs. spread, Seurat vs. not Seurat

Jojo wanted to do a painting too. He drew his inspiration from TJ.