Thursday, September 21, 2017

Total Eclipse 2017

When we heard the eclipse this year was going to be in totality just 1.5 hours from my hometown, we knew we had to get down there to see it.  Tony was going already, so we all invited ourselves along on his adventure. :)  Mom found us a spot at the Western Kentucky Fairgrounds in Hopkinsville (or Eclipseville as they renamed it for the day) and we set off on a grand adventure.

Mom set off with the kids and my stepbrothers and their mom super early to beat the traffic.

Ike taking a rest with about four hours to go.

Tony, Ben, Josh, and I all trailed along a couple hours later.  The traffic wasn't bad for the most part so we got there pretty early still.

Under our tent.  That thing sure came in handy!  It was sweltering.

The boys all ready with their glasses.

Ike and Tim.  We had a lot of down time leading up to the main event!

Gamma and the boys.

Selfie with Dave about an hour before totality.

It got pretty dark!  That's the sun at totality.  You can see a tiny pinprick in this picture...looked much different in person!

You can kinda tell what the sky looked like in this.  It was a 360 sunset...gorgeous!

Dark enough that Joshs' flash came on!

And then there was the traffic...

Took us about 5 hours to make a drive that should've taken 1.5 hours.  Pretty much a parking lot until we got 45 minutes from Hopkinsville.  Worth it, but I am going to plan better for the eclipse in 2024!!

Dave's First Day of 2nd Grade

Not sure how my baby became old enough to be in 2nd grade, but here we are.  He was so excited to start the school year (the boy loves school!) so that made the transition go very easily this time around!

He really loves posing for me.

This is his excited face.  I asked him to show me how he felt about going to school.

One last close up!

A little about Dave right now.  He loves to read, especially chapter books currently.  Video games are probably his favorite past time.  The boys still love getting together with the neighborhood kids to play elaborate nerf gun wars/zombie apocalypse games.  His favorite show is anything on the food network.  He's gotten into playing football a lot and loves to run routes with Josh.  I was asking him his favorite stuff just now and I told him what I'd typed up so far and he said, "Well that's about it I guess".  Ha.  This kid.  I am both excited and terrified to experience what he'll be like as a teenager!

Once Dave was off to school, Ike was in his happy place.  He totally loves being by himself at home.

Can you tell he's excited Dave's gone off to school?

Doing a little rock climbing.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Traverse City

Thanks to some incredible kindness of our friends and their friends we were able to spend a couple of days near Traverse City at the end of July.  Our friends (the Mealys) used to live in the area and are still good friends with Carl and Louise so they hooked us up with them to stay at their awesome lake house!

Seriously, gorgeous area and their house was right on Spider Lake so we got to experience some warm water too!  That Lake Michigan water was a touch chilly for us Hoosiers :)  So this is totally a photo dump from the trip, hope you can follow along!

We arrived in the afternoon, met Carl and Louise (obviously they are awesome because they welcome people they don't know into their home!), and then took off for Traverse City.  We didn't realize that the film festival was going on until we saw the crazy number of people hanging around downtown.  Oops!  So we found a really nice park by the lake and hung out for a little while.

Dave and I went for a walk along the beach. Loved the color of these kayaks.

Selfie...first time Dave had seen Lake Michigan.

After we got back from our exploring, we ate some dinner and then Carl and Louise took us out on their pontoon.

Dave steering the boat.

Captain Ike.  He only almost ran us aground twice.  I feel like that's pretty good for being 4.  :)

You'll notice through these pictures that Ike is not at all into posing for me currently.

Ike and Josh on the boat.

After our ride, we came back to make s'mores.

Ike mastered cleaning off the roasting forks for us to use.


The next morning we got up bright and early to head over to Sleeping Bear Dunes.  Along the way we stopped in a super cute little town called Empire.  We got the kids' national parks passports stamped at the visitor center there and then went to an awesome park right on the lake.

They had a really cool climbing wall.

Look at that million dollar smile.  Why won't he smile normally???

This is the beach right by the park.  So beautiful.

I could not get over how clear the water is.

We drove into the lakeshore area and drove the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive.  Beautiful views, but it was so crowded!!

From one of the viewing areas.  So pretty.

From there we went on to tackle the dune climb.  This is not for the faint of heart!  Whew!  And we didn't even do the whole thing.

Ready to go.

Starting to struggle a little.

We made it!  Here's a video of the kids and I running back down the dunes.  Ike was not as successful as Dave and I!

Had to get this photo op.

When we got back to the lake house, the kids decided they wanted to take a crack at skiing.  Carl's got a great set-up to teach them so we went for it.  Josh only got pictures of Dave trying, but Ike did too!

Giving him some pointers.  I am no expert but he did great!  Video of Dave skiing.

Both kids were able to get up for a short run on the skis.  I was pretty impressed!

On a speedboat ride.  Carl had all the boats.

From their shore.  That trampoline in the background was awesome!

We had another bonfire and s'mores that night (the kids insisted) and they also taught us how to make campfire pies, which were delicious.

On our last morning, we went to check out their sailboat.  The boys thought it was so cool.

Trying out the bed.

We went for a long drive up the peninsula past some pretty wineries and views of the lake.  We ended at the Mission Lighthouse, which wasn't much of a lighthouse in my opinion but was a neat piece of history.  The boys and I took a walk along the beach to take some pictures.  It was getting pretty cloudy at this point!

One last beach selfie.

Great picture of me and the kids. This is real life folks.

One last stop at the Jolly Pumpkin for a snack before we got on the road.  I am proud/embarrassed to admit we took down a strawberry shortcake dessert in less than a minute.  Man that was delicious.

The boys thought their napkins should be hats.

And they both look so cute as nuns.

Well that wraps up our Michigan trip!  I really really loved it and can't wait to go back.  It was so peaceful and reminded us of our trips to Colorado...just minus the mountains and the 18 hour drive!  We are so thankful to Carl and Louise for opening up their home to us!  They are such kind people and made our trip so fantastic.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Evansville for the Beth Moore Conference

My friend Stacey and I went on a quick trip to Evansville to see Beth Moore at the end of July.  We brought all the kids as an added bonus! :)

Of course we happened to be there in the middle of a blazing heat wave, so we spent any time we had at my dad's pool trying to keep cool.

Look at these cute boys!

Breakfast date with Gamma!  She braved taking all the kids to McDonald's!

After their breakfast, Stacey and I took the kids over to my grandpa's to play with all his cool toys.

Tough motorcycle guys.

Elli really enjoyed his tractor.

Giving all the rides.

The temperature was climbing, so we headed on over to my dad's to get back in the water.

Elli working on her jumps.

There was a lot of jumping.  Here's a video.

Ike was so exhausted from the day's activities.

Stacey and I rocking our visors!

Piled on Dad and Kyra's floor after a long day.

After dinner we took the kids back to my mom's so she could watch them while we went to the conference. (It was Friday night and Saturday morning.)  It was amazing!!  Seriously if you get the chance to see Beth you should!  A big thank you to Kyra for getting us hooked up with it!

My mom entertained the kids by watching a movie.

So cute.

Once the conference was over, we piled the kids back in the van and headed back home.  A lot of driving in a short period of time, but the kids did great and it was totally worth it!