Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Monday, September 29, 2008

Facing My Fear on Navy Pier

After we walked by the John Hancock building Saturday night, we decided to go out to Navy Pier. We thought it would be memorable to go on the Ferris Wheel at night even though I think ferris wheels in general look boring and who wants to be trapped in a little box for 7 minutes anyway while it goes around just one time? I pretty much walk around all the time like I'm not afraid of anything while ignoring the fact that I may be a bit padded from the harsher realities which many people face.

We were greeted at Navy Pier like royalty by the beginning of the fireworks display and music and dancing. Of course now we really had to go look at the city from high above.

chicago 033

We waited for just a short time to get on the ride.

chicago 068

It wasn't long until I realized my real issue with ferris wheels is this fear of heights thing I have which I had for the most part forgotten. I took this photo which is a pretty accurate rendering of what it looked like to me.

chicago 047

John, however, was walking all over the cart leaning out taking pictures, spinning, dancing, laughing, smiling...

chicago night

Thankfully, I was able to sit still for 7 minutes finding my peace and we made a good memory.

chicago 059 john & julia

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Volvo Road Trip

We were looking forward to taking the new old Volvo on a road trip one of these days, but I didn't realize it would come so soon. As I was leaving work on Thursday, Sharon asked me what I was doing this weekend. We didn't have big plans and suddenly, she realized they had an extra room in Chicago. We were certainly up for that since we always enjoy the opportunity to get away!

chicago 085 2
The new old Volvo goes to Chicago

connor sharon me
Me posing with my fairy godmother Sharon and her handsome son Connor beneath the shadow of the John Hancock building

lake mich
The sun rising this morning over Lake Michigan from our hotel room

Tomorrow I'll tell about one of adventures we had while there. Don't hold your breath :) I experienced camera difficulties while there which is typical of me when I get really excited.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Love Thursday

aug 095

I can't believe it's already Thursday! As I was going on my daily walk and thinking about what I was going to write about today, I thought of this picture I took of a firework that had a little pink heart in the middle of it. (I didn't notice it until I saw it on the computer screen.) As I was walking, I realized it was Thursday and so I thought this would be the perfect post. "Love Thursday" is a weekly feature at Shutter Sisters and today's post there, amazingly, is about how sometimes a heart just appears in your photo.

"We cannot do great things on this Earth, only small things with great love.” -Mother Teresa

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Volvo Love

Taken last evening in our driveway after we went "volvoing" to Meijer

If you happen to like Volvos, then you know what I'm talking about. It's not like we LOVE inanimate objects, but you know. John went on a great adventure this past weekend down to Athens, Georgia. He got a one way plane ticket to Atlanta with the goal in mind of finding an old Volvo station wagon without the corrosive effects you find in the harsh winters of the northern climate we live in and since his old Volvo was history. He found the perfect car, spent some good time with his brother who teaches at UGA, and drove it back to Michigan on Monday. Now we can continue to go "volvo-ing."

Later, as I was reflecting on why John likes old Volvos I was thinking it makes sense because he likes me and I'm a kind of a dependable old classic. The analogy holds up when you think of how my dad likes big black Mercedes' and my Uncle Ray loves bright red sports cars -isn't that right, Mom & Aunt Michaela? LOL!

Monday, September 22, 2008

The End of an Era

Bridget, September 2008
The arthropods have been categorized and pinned down by our dear Bridget. (The yellow square will have a dragonfly in it when she gets to school.) And I'm glad to say we are done with bug collections in our house.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Fix You

Maria and her friends Abby and Marie put together this sad music video last February but they just added it to You Tube. These 3 have been creating performances together for many years - starting with Odyssey of the Mind in 2nd grade!

Friday, September 19, 2008

This Week at the Family Institute!

This past week at work, we had a busy one! We hosted Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, author of the book Love and Respect. If you know anyone getting married, this would make a great gift. This is from the inside flap:

Discover the Single Greatest Secret to a Successful Marriage

Psychological studies affirm it, and the Bible has been saying it for ages. Cracking the communication code between husband and wife involves understanding one thing: that unconditional respect is as powerful for him as unconditional love is for her. It's the secret to marriage that every couple seeks, and yet few couples ever find.

Today, you and your mate can start fresh with the ground-breaking guidance that Dr. Emerson Eggerichs provides in this book. His revolutionary message, featured on Focus on the Family, is for anyone: in marital crisis...wanting to stay happily married...who's feeling lonely. It's for engaged couples...victims of affairs...pastors and counselors seeking material that can save a marriage.

Later in the week, we co-sponsored a screening of the pro-marriage movie, Fireproof starring Kirk Cameron who donated his time to the movie. Click below to see the trailer.


Flash Back Friday 87

edward maria bridget 1997 sep
Edward, Maria & Bridget, 1997

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Slippery Slope

The new washing machine at our house...

So last week, I finally gave up on our 19 year old Frigidaire washing machine. The spin cycle was worthless, but now, I'm glad to say we're spinning at about 1000 RPM's! John & I went out this past weekend and picked out this new one which is wonderful, but the one who gave me the biggest pots of laundry is gone!

I was so excited that I told Edward on the phone to bring his laundry to church on Sunday. He said that he had just done it in the dorms, but he was sure he could give me more! At church, Pastor Amy warned me about this slippery slope, and then John said he didn't want to turn into a laundry delivery service. I did do one load for him and John brought it to Calvin, but it sounds like I better just settle for a life of less laundry. Oh well, not a bad thing.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

That's Just the Way We Roll

Maria and her friends Abby and Marie made this hilarious music video for all you Jonas Brothers fans out there! It's very cute. Really. Watch it, ok?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Netherlands Nuesday 44

September, 2007

It was a whole year ago now that we went to meet the relatives! :)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Eyes of Faith

girls tent

One of Bridget's first assignments of her 8th grade year was to write about her most significant faith experience of the summer either at a camp or at a church. She came home from school that day and told me she had decided to write about what happened on our church campout. What follows is this experience in her own words as written for her school paper.

A couple weeks ago our church had a campout. Our family came Saturday morning and we had a fun day packed with things to do. Saturday night we were having a worship time full of singing and prayer. Our good friend Cathy had been having problems with her back and had recently found out that she had a bulging disc. Someone suggested that we all gather around her and pray. We all circled around her and prayed for a fast recovery and for her back to heal. We hoped that God would answer our prayers quickly and give her a fast recovery.

The next day we all packed up and headed out to eat at a restaurant. Our family arrived at the restaurant but we soon noticed that Cathy and her kids were not coming. My mom called her up and found out that Cathy had pulled over because she had lost feeling in her legs and could not drive. She ended up getting driven to the restaurant by a member of our church. After we ate, Cathy called her doctor, who told her to go to the emergency room. We drove down to Spectrum Health and my mom waited with Cathy to go see a doctor. They waited a long time and then finally got in to see a doctor, who then told her that she would need surgery. She had surgery that same night and got out of the hospital a few days later. We were all amazed at how quickly and how well God answered our prayers. This proves that God is truly an amazing God!

summer 241

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Sixth and Final Arthropod Collection of Our Household

mcc menu 003
Bridget holding a crayfish, 2008

So yay, we are almost done collecting bugs.

Each one of our dear children has had to do a bug collection in 4th grade and then again in 8th grade (now expanded to include the whole order of arthropods). Their science teacher told them that since crayfish get too stinky in the classroom (what and praying mantises do not?), they need to have a picture of one included in their collection. I took this as a challenge to get a most interesting picture of Bridget holding her crayfish so hence the above photo.
What is most shocking to realize is our "baby" is in 8th grade! meh.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Monday, September 08, 2008

Some Things I Love About Our Church

So we had a Potluck yesterday, but it had a twist to it. We all had to bring a sack lunch, put it on the table and pick another sack lunch. The thought of it wasn't that appealing - we all know how I feel about packing lunches. But I packed 4 good lunches and participated in the event with our family. (Edward even showed up!)

The lunch I chose had a toaster in it! The lunch was imaginitively prepared by Gracie and included a placemat, napkins and everything to make a BLT! It was wonderful. Thanks Gracie!

wilma betty laugh 2
Betty & Wilma, the church ladies

After lunch, I was walking around with my camera trying to take photos of some props for the church website. I talked to Cathy who is recovering nicely from her back surgery. It went like this:

Me: I didn't know you really had a leopard dress.
Cathy: This is my Wilma Flintstone dress.
Me: Oh yeah, I need some pictures of it, ok? (she forgot about this bloggy thing)

Since we couldn't find a big beaded necklace, Cathy, I mean Wilma, found some Blow Pops to stick in her dress. See? You probably thought that that was a necklace. Our friend Julie was looking so much like Betty Rubble that she decided also to pose, and her son Josiah was the perfect Bam Bam.

wilma betty bambam 3
Wilma and Betty look on while Bam Bam thinks about bamming on the Jimbay.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

The One Where We Bump Into Edward

Last evening, we took Bridget & her friend Chelsea downtown for pizza and to check out the bands that were playing. The girls were a hoot!! We hadn't gotten enough of vibrations in our sternum the night before so we thought we should sit about 5 feet away from the speakers for awhile. Bridget & Chelsea were cooperative models, but we weren't intense about it.

bridget chelsea

amway tree

We were on Monroe close to church and what do you know, there was Edward coming to clean the church on his new bike. Yay, he can still be on the blog sometimes!

ed bike

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Pop, Pop, Pop


Last evening, we took our nieces Yara & Annelise, Bridget & her friend Jessie, down to the Celebration on the Grand where we saw the Best Fireworks Ever, even John said so. They were better than the Millenium celebration, the Olympics, Disney, and even the Willard Centennial. It helped that John marched us down to sit next to the sign that said, "Fireworks Danger Zone." The pop-pop-pop reverberated past our sternum right to our hearts and we were definitely feeling alive.

aug 029

I enjoyed a few Van Gogh-ish moments waiting for the fireworks to begin there next to the Grand River. I call this next one, "Moony, Moony Night."


The girls had a great time - here they are just before the fireworks began:

aug 049
It was impossible to do the grand finale justice with still photos, but here are some of them:


Thursday, September 04, 2008

Eddie Goes to College

Yesterday, the day arrived to bring Edward to Calvin. We stopped by John's office for a piece of birthday cake (happy 46th!) and then headed to his Ed's dorm, Boer Hall, where we moved him in. Students in "We-Haul" t-shirts carried everything straight to his room where his roommate was already moved in ...meet his roommate Paul:

paul & ed
Paul & Edward, moving in the dorm, 2008

ed dorm
Edward at his desk, 2008

After getting him somewhat settled, we had lunch at the dining hall. Then, we went out in search of a plant and an electric kettle for his green tea - 2 essential things for a health conscious runner.

aug 018
The Nellies, 2008

The girls and I came back in time for the family picnic and met John. First we stopped by Ed's room where the girls "Nellied it up". After talking to Ed at the picnic, John & I went out to Lake Michigan for a dinner party with Calvin Advancement staff, so it was a very big day indeed.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Happy Labor Day!

So John, on-your-mark-get-set-go, has already replaced the petunias on the deck with these mums for fall.