Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Anniversary Celebration

 Last Saturday while out running errands w/ dream boy, I get a text from a friend asking me my favorite color?
I reply - "Blue - why?"
She says, "Never mind."
It drives me a little crazy when people do that, so I'm sure that's why she did it!
Later that night at #2 son's college soccer during half time my friend appears on the field by me & hands me a brown paper gift bag and says, "Happy belated 50th birthday!  Molly & I wanted to get you something special."
When I opened it up I was so excited ------ it's a Gurgle Pot!!! 
 There is a store in Holland that sells these.  Last year I came across them, but then all of a sudden the store was gone.  My heart was so sad to see this little store gone as it was very unique.  But then a few weeks ago while wandering the downtown streets of Holland I see the Gurgle Fish in the window of a store & realize that the store wasn't closed, they had just moved to a better location!!!
The story of this pot is that this guy was at a wedding in France.  There were no available hotel rooms, so several of the guests were hosted by French families.  While sitting at the dinner table with his host family, he not able to speak French & they not able to speak English, he picked up this Fish & poured himself some water.  He realized the fish gurgled when he tipped it 1/2 way.  So you can imagine the amounts of water he drank while enduring 3-4 hour dinners.  When he returned to the states he began his quest to recreate this pot......and walaah!  You see the finished product above.
I love it!
Then yesterday at school the secretary from the front office calls me & tells me something was delivered for me.  Since it was my 30th wedding anniversary, I'm thinking dream boy sent something & was a little miffed as he sent me a huge bouquet on my birthday last week & it was to cover both!
Well, much to my surprise this is what I found......
Isn't it adorable?  It's a fruit bouquet - completely edible!  It was a "thank you" from a couple who's engagement session I did this past July.  Can you say Awww??
Sorry dream boy - I goofed when I thought it was from you.
When I got home from school I wanted to make a special treat for dream boy to celebrate our 30th anniversary.  He called & told me not to make dinner as we were going out, but he didn't tell to not make dessert!
I found this recipe last summer online & have been wanting to try it, but was waiting for (a) the weather to cool down so I could bake
(b) a very special occasion
This is a triple decker Boston Cream Pie Cake!  It's made totally from scratch - I felt a little like Julia Childs making this tasty treat!  Between the batter & the custard it has 14 eggs in it!  Oh.My.Goodness.  Delicioso I tell ya! 
We went to a quaint little Italian restaurant in downtown Kalamazoo for dinner.  The owner seated us at our table & asked what brought us out?  When we told him that it was our 30th anniversary he pulled out the wine list & told us that any bottle we chose was 1/2 price just for us! Our dinner was absolutely scrumptious.  
Before we left to go to dinner we went out into the backyard to take some pictures.  I had asked #1 son to come out & take them and after a few shots, I wasn't seeing in the camera what was in my head.  So I thanked him & then went & got my tri-pod.  
While I was playing around with some shots, this is what dream boy decided to do....
Now this was a Kodak Moment - he doesn't normally clown around in front of the camera like this!
Well, I got out the tripod & had dream boy all set up & then leveled my tripod & camera.  I was standing on the edge of the retaining wall & when I turned around to jump down & go join dream boy, two blocks from the retaining wall that I was standing on fell off.  Down I went and then right behind me down went my tri-pod & camera.  Dream boy came running over to make sure I was okay - yep, I am (feeling it a little in my foot this morning) but when I turned around I found my camera & tripod laying in the flower bed behind me.
When I checked it out I could see a scratch on the edge of the lens, but other than that, it seemed to be fine.  I took a couple shots & it worked okay.  So we moved the tripod & took a few more pics like this...
I love this shot.
When we went into the house I was putting my camera away & went to take a shot of that lucious triple decker cake & realized I couldn't move the zoom on my lens.  Uh oh - it's NOT okay.  I am so bummed!  It took pictures okay, but I have no way to zoom with this lens.  It was my smaller one so fortunately I can still take pics at #2 son's game this afternoon with my bigger zoom.  Dream boy is taking my lens into the shop today as it is right around the corner from where he works.  I sure hope they can fix it.  I have several photo sessions coming up with seniors & I need that lens!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Happy Anniversary Dream Boy!

Five addresses...
4 or so phone numbers......
5 dogs....
4 cats.....
2 kids.....
15 + vehicles........
30 years later.......

Thirty years ago today I married my dream boy........thirty years later the I still find the boy dreamy!
Love that man of mine!
More later......

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Hope Beats #1 Ranked Calvin!! Woot! Woot!

Before a record setting, standing room only crowd of 2, 733 fans, the Hope College Dutchmen took on their #1 nemesis, who were also ranked #1 in the NCAA Division 3  - Calvin Knights.
This is a huge game every year, regardless of either team's record.  We meet them twice a year, once at home & once at Calvin.  It doesn't matter the sport - these two schools are HUGE rivals!  It has been stated that this rivalry is the 3rd biggest in the nation - falling behind Duke & North Carolina and Kentucky & Louisville, I believe.
The crowd filled the stadium and then proceeded to encircle almost the entire stadium along the fence line.  The game was stopped at one point to move fans out from behind the goals!
I got this shot just before the 1st goal was scored against Calvin.  That's my son jumping way up, but the goal was actually scored by team mate, Jeff Ekdom, whom you can see just below Shaun.  The stadium roared!!!
Calvin came back early in the 2nd half to tie the score up, but at 73 minutes into the game, freshman Brayden West came blasting through to make the game winning goal for the Flying Dutchmen.  Talk about a roaring crowd!!!  It was deafening to hear the Hope fans come to life with that goal!
Our 2nd game of the conference season and we are 2-0!  Let's keep it up Hope!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Finished Product

Remember that print I won this past summer thanks to Monika? 
I took an old frame & spray painted it with an ivory color.  I put about a gazillion coats on it to make sure it was covering well.
Then I framed it - I've had it done for a while now, but life is a little busy being back at school full time & following #2 son around for college soccer & helping #1 son get things in order for his new house that he will be the proud of owner of this week Thursday!!
So I'm just now getting around to posting it. 
I LoVe it!  The ivory frame really makes this print pop!  Now I can't wait to get the bedroom painted so I can hang it up!
Now I'm off to present my new curriculum to the school board.  Since my principal was supposed to do it & conveniently ended up in the ER today & is now in the hospital, I have to do it!  I can joke about this because it isn't anything life threatening, just a little discomfort on his part!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Happy 50th Birthday To Me!!

Yes, I turned 50 yesterday.  F-I-F-T-Y!  I can't wrap my brain around that because I don't know how it happened!  It's feels like it was overnight.
So I took my camera with me to school for the last few days & took some shots, and then I mixed in a few others that have special meaning to me.
I've been thinking a lot of what makes me - me.  What makes me tick, what makes me happy, what brings a smile to my face.......so I went to Big Huge Labs  and created this mosaic with just some of those things.
I'm off to celebrate some more - hubby bought me a beautiful Pandora bracelet & I'm going to pick out some charms.  Then we're off to Ohio for another weekend of Hope College Soccer.
Enjoy your weekend!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Here's One.....

At a weekend tournament for my son's college soccer team, I handed over my camera to another parent in an effort to stick to my challenge of "getting in the picture".
This was taken last night.
I had several parents approach me after the game to take a quick snapshot of them & their son.  One family has 2 sons on the team - so I got a shot of all of them together.....
but there was this other parent who kept getting in all the shots.
Okay......this is really weird.....
Have a great week everyone.  I'm gonna go try & soak up some Vitamin D & hope it dries up this head cold I'm trying to get right out of me!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Get In The Picture Challenge

So in reading my blogs on my lunch today - I came across this photo challenge for the month of September.  All too often I find this true - I'm always on the backside of the camera!  Now that's not always a bad thing - but when I start looking at photos of summer or Christmas or family meals, I'm not found in too many, if any, shots!
Being the lover of family photos, old & new, I have felt disappointment when I realize that a certain family member isn't in the picture.  Or I regret after someone has passed on that I didn't take the time to get more picture of me & said person together, like w/ my mom and dad.  :(
So I vow this month to rise to the challenge and get myself in at least 15 photos throughout the remaining days of September.  I've even posted a link of the site that I found this challenge on over on the right side bar of my blog. 
Whether it's a shot where you set up your tripod or you hand your camera over to someone else OR you do a shot with an outstretched arm.........GET IN THE PICTURE!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Back To School

Yep - it was back to school today.
Let me just say that it wasn't the best start to a school year that I've ever had.  We have a new web based system for grades/attendance and student information that is not (imho & a few others) the "cadillac" of programs we were promised it to be.  They had all summer, actually part of last spring too, to tweek this & get it running smoothly before our school switched over.  It's not only our school, but almost every other school in our county, so I'm sure the frustration is being felt county wide.  This program is NOT what it should/could be - not even close.  It's even more frustrating because of the time frame they had to get this up & running & ready for the start of the new year.
Next, I presented a new curriculum last spring to be used in my classroom & it wasn't until last week that I got the approval to go ahead with it.  Classes started today and I haven't had training on it and won't until Thursday - so my students will have to entertain themselves in other forms until I can get them up & running, which will probably be next Monday. 
Also, first thing this morning the main server for our district went down & no one was able to access their personal hard drives on their computers - so any documents you may have needed for your first classes weren't accessible.  I felt so sorry for our District Computer Tech - what a headache!
So in my mind I'm hoping that this is the beginning to the end of Murphy's Law - what can go wrong, will. 
Tomorrow is a new day - a new start, right?  Tomorrow is Wednesday and that means I am half way through the week.
 It's very hard for me to not be prepared for my students when school starts and I feel that they are the one's who are losing out because things weren't exactly in place today. 
Thanks for letting me vent.  Here's to a great school year!!!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

It was a bit blustery for a beach day....

It's hard to believe that just a week ago Steve & I were walking this pier in our barefeet and swimsuits.  The sandy beaches were lined with hundreds of sunbathers enjoying the last weeks of summer.
Yesterday was a reminder that the cold, blustery days of winter will soon be here.  We headed back to South Haven to get pictures of the 20+mph wind gusts and to see the nature of the beast - Lake Michigan.
This is the north pier & no one dared to walk out to the lighthouse - with waves crashing against it & sweeping over from the channel on one side & the lake on the other it would have meant being swept off for sure.
The south beach pier on the other side of the channel was a little more protected since the winds were coming out of the northwest & not hitting that pier as hard.
You may kind of laugh at the thought of swimming in these waters - you may wonder why the signs are posted all along the pier.  It's not just for days like this, but even the calm days because of the currents & undertows that go along with the water swirling at the pier's edge. 
Looking at these pics would make you understand the reason for no swimming........but in reading this morning's paper, the coast guard had to be called out to a beach north of here to rescue to kayakers.  Insane - absolutely insane!!
Now I leave you with this picture of a dad & his son braving the elements with the sand whipping all around them, but still playing & digging holes.  The little boy is a genius - do you see his ski goggles on to protect his eyes?  How smart is that???

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Soccer Season Opener




The night started off with gray skies and a few sprinkles.  Temps were cool - low 60s, and the dog dayz of summer are becoming a memory.
The hot days of summer I believe are going to become a distant memory very soon.
I just pray that last night's weather is not a forecast of the upcoming season.  I'm hoping that the mom who told us last weekend she heard we're supposed to have temps in the low 70s until early November are true.
The first half got started and for 45 minutes we endured 40 mph gusts and this...
......off and on.  Try holding an umbrella between your chin & shoulder while trying to take pictures and the wind gusts grabbing the umbrella trying to take you with it.
Needless to say even if I had remembered my monopod, I would have had my hands way too full to use it.  Since I was the only parent taking pics, (there are usually 2-3 of us), last night - I didn't have a choice but to do my best.

Shaun was in his glory last night.  After playing a full year of defense his sophomore year, he has once again returned to playing outside forward.  He loves the outside.
In the last 4 minutes of the 1st half a teammate scored the team's 1st goal.  At about 11 minutes into the 2nd half Shaun came out and scored the 2nd goal!  Hope beat Goshen 2-0.
Tonite is the 2nd game of this weekend's home tournament and we play Milwaukee Engineering School.
Let's hope for better weather.  The cold I can take, but I really don't want to deal with the rain again.
Oh - & this time I can't forget my monopod!!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Fridaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyy!

All because 2 people fell in love.
Happy 56th Anniversary mom & dad.

So what have I been up to lately?  This & that - enjoying my last week before school is in session full time.  Monday & Tuesday I spent the days at school with a welcome back staff breakfast Monday morning and a staff meeting in the afternoon.  Tuesday morning was spent listening to a speaker in regards to better educating our students.  Tuesday afternoon was spent scrambling to set up a new program for my students - out with the old and in with a brand new awesome program.  NOW to get training before classes start next week......at this point I don't think it's gonna happen. 
I, along with our guidance counselor, presented this to our principal last spring.  He never gave us a definite answer on starting it this fall.....until last Thursday.  So next week is going to be a real learning experience for not only my students, but myself as well!  Welcome to a brand new school year!
Today my big sister is having foot surgery.....ouch.  Keep her in your thoughts & prayers that this will relieve a very painful issue she's been dealing with for way too long.  Love you Pam!
Yesterday was a rainy day so I spent most of it reading.  While I was quietly sitting in my living room I hear tap dancing down the hallway.  Mind you, it's only me, Libbi & Angel at home.  Since Angel stays downstairs most of the time - I knew it was Libbi.  I ran to grab my camera as this tap dancing routine has become a daily one & I knew what I would find.....
Yes - this is the bathtub...
And behind curtain #1 ------
is Miss Liberty Bell doing her best "Marley" impression.....
Pretty good, eh?  I don't know what has gotten into her lately, but every day at some point you will hear her tap dancing and she continues until someone comes in & turns the faucet on.  Mind you, her water bowl is always filled with fresh water and it is less than 10 feet away from the bathtub.  She certainly has a mind of her own!
I've also been playing in my creative corner, working on some mini albums for summer to send to Wisconsin.  Here's one of them almost completed..
Well - it's off to the grocery store, the cemetary to bring mom & dad their anniversary roses and then up to Holland for the Hope College Men's Soccer season opener.  We've been requested to all wear orange tonite to "orange" out the stadium.
Enjoy your holiday weekend everyone!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Happy Birthday to my number one son....

So if he's 23 today that makes me?????? in 2 weeks. 
Where has the time gone that he is 23 years old, buying his first house, working a steady job, graduated from college, buying-selling-trading cars on what seems to be a weekly basis?
I can still hear him running through the house laughing & screaming.  I can still hear him calling, "Shauny, come on!" to his baby brother.  I can still hear his favorite thing to say as he pointed his finger & in a little tiny voice with a little tiny lisp say, "see, see?"
The dimple is still there on the side of his left cheek, but the chubby bubby baby boy is long grown into a tall, lanky handsome man.
Happy birthday Chad - I love you and am so proud to be your mom!