Thursday, April 26, 2012

Random stuff (now with pics)

Lin on the left unleashing a furious kick!
Lin is now an orange belt in Tae Kwon Do! Her test was Friday night and she was most nervous about the board-breaking part of the evening. Now that she's moving up in the ranks the board-breaking gets trickier. She kept saying "What if I can't do it?" and I kept answering "You can't say that. You have to say 'I WILL do it!'" And then she would say "I know, but what if I CAN'T?!" Poor girl! Needless to say she did it, but it did take her 3 tries to get her kick to break the board.

The girls playing one of many pianos which randomly appeared around town to promote the Gilmore Keyboard Festival!
Another Lin story, she was locked out of the house yesterday! Oh, I felt so AWFUL!! She's supposed to carry a key in her backpack, just in the off-chance I'm not home when she gets off the bus. Well, guess who left her key sitting on the dresser in her bedroom on the very day I decided to join Ruby's preschool class on a field trip?!? So Lin was stuck sitting in the garage for about an hour, in the cold and rain, with no idea where I was or when I would be home. She was very close to tears when I pulled in the driveway, and the look on her face told me she was really PO'd, but fortunately she didn't stay mad for long. I apologized to her repeatedly but she finally said "It's not your fault -- I should have my key!" which is technically right, but I still felt just awful.

It did make me think a bit about how far we've come in the last 22 months, though. I really think the Lin of 2010 would have wholeheartedly blamed me for being locked out of the house. Today's Lin, nearly two years in a family, had the maturity to know it was just a mistake, no harm done.

Ruby watching her pizza garden grow!
Wanna hear a ridiculously cute Ruby story? I know you do! Well, Ruby went to a birthday party on Saturday and, while I wasn't paying close attention while her friend was opening presents, Ruby says her friend received an MP3 player and headphones. So on the way home Ruby told me that she also wanted an MP3 player, and could we go get one right now? I told her that that's an awfully nice gift, more suitable for Christmas or birthday and not just any old day. So Ruby told me she wanted to write a letter to Santa. No problem.

So we got home and she got out her paper and asked me how to spell MP3, iP*d, and headphones (she also wants an iP*d because Lin has one). Being the always attentive mom I am, I told her how to spell everything while also puttering around the house doing other things. So I really wasn't paying close attention to Ruby's letter to Santa project.

Well, Dave comes home from work on Monday carrying the mail. He says "Look what I found in the mailbox." And there was Ruby's letter to Santa! She had taken a second piece of paper and wrapped it around the "letter," taped it shut, and wrote Ruby on the outside. And then, at some point between Saturday evening and Monday morning, she went outside and put her letter in the mailbox. How sweet is that?!? I could literally almost cry when I think of how absolutely adorable and sweet that is. Of course, said letter is now safe in my collection of homemade mother's day cards, birthday cards and other cute notes from my girls. (And I think Santa is going to write a letter back and maybe, just maybe, he'll have to send her a little gift, too!)

Heading out to clean some cabins at Camp Newaygo!
Relaxing by the lake at Camp Newaygo after a day of cleaning.
Ruby in pink on the left has also started Chinese dance class.
 Stay tuned... plenty more coming as the school year winds down and another frantic Summer approaches!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Spring Break Getaway!

No, we did not go someplace tropical for Spring Break, but we did take an in-state getaway for a couple days. It was so nice! The weather was absolutely perfect and we all had a great time, despite 75% of the family having a cold (that Lin... she has an amazing immune system!).

Both Dave and I grew up in Michigan, as did our parents and grandparents before us. My parents have always thought that there's no better place on Earth to vacation than right here in Michigan, and I must say, now that I've reached adulthood and become a parent myself, I totally get it!

Early on in Dave's and my relationship, we were headed off to the little town of Frankenmuth to meet up with my family for the day (Dave and I live in west Michigan, but my family lives on the east side of the "mitten"). Dave had never been there, and I was a little nervous about what he would think about this rather cheesy, touristy little town. Well lo and behold, he loved it. And that's when I knew that he and I were meant to be together!

And so, when we were planning what to do for a quick and budget-friendly family getaway for Spring Break, our thoughts immediately turned to Frankenmuth, Michigan's Little Bavaria!

Enjoy the pictures...

Vacation begins!

The girls needed their picture taken at EVERY ONE of these cutouts we came across!

Shopping Diva

Outside the Cheese Haus

Breakfast at Tony's, or should I say, Bacon at Tony's (one side-order of bacon fed all four of us!)

Mmmmm, fudge

In addition to the face cutouts, Ruby also felt the need to ride each of these little penny-arcade rides. She declared them all "boring," but still kept riding them.

More goofy cutouts. What you can't see is me, uncomfortably crouched behind Ruby holding her up.

The ride home. And so, our vacation ends.