Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sunday, August 28, 2011: Where'd The Summer Go?!

Blink.  Summer's gone!  This summer has been absolutely crazy busy, hence the reason I've done a terrible job keeping up with the blog.  Since Kristi passed away, the kids have kept me running on all cylinders and into turbo mode.  But, it's all been good.

This summer Ashley went to Camp Geneva for a week, Colorado for 9 days, Cedar Point with the middle school youth group, Wisconsin for a week on a service project, and of course a sleep-over every chance she could get...hmmm, maybe it's me she's trying to avoid?!  :)

Oh yeah, she also turned 14 in July (8th grade)!!  On her birthday I let her get a taste of driving and let her drive our van around the church parking lot.  I captured a little video of the adventure:

Nathan also has had a busy summer.  He also went to Camp Geneva for a week and has had several play dates.  Nathan and I had a 'boys outing' and went to Cedar Point for 2 days then caught a Tiger game on our way home (Tigers won, 4-1).  As an extra bonus to a great game Comerica Park had family firework night and put on a great firework show after the game.  While we were at Cedar Point we camped in our new van (I'll get to that later) and in Detroit we stayed downtown thanks to some free nights built up on my American Express.  Nathan just had a birthday too...he turned 11 (5th grade)
And here are some videos of the roller coasters...

Even though Emily is only 7, she has had a very busy summer as well.  She has had some very special friends in her preschool and kindergarten classes that have kept her busy with a number of play dates.  She will be going into the first grade this year so she's got a big shock coming to her...getting up early every day!!  Here are some pictures of her I took last week for her 1st grade school pictures...
As far as me, see first four paragraphs!  Managing 3 kids' summer schedules has been nearly a full time job.  Speaking of full-time jobs, I went back to work full time 3 weeks after Kristi's funeral and it has been extremely busy at work.  We're hiring again so that's been very's been a long time (I work for JCI who is a supplier in the auto industry).  It's great to be busy again!  In addition to working and navigating the kids' schedules, I did manage to go on my annual 'man trip' with my buddies.  In fact, I'm sitting in the back of my van right now (Saturday) typing this...we're on our way home from a 4 day island adventure on Beaver and Garden Islands.  2 of my buddies own zodiacs so we took the ferry to Beaver Island then zodiac'd to Garden Island.  Here are some pictures...
And as I mentioned before, we got a new van.  I listed our 2000 Grand Caravan on Craig's List as sort of a joke but had callers within only a few hours.  Less than 24 hours after I posted the Grand Caravan was gone!  So, I entered the new car market.  Fortunately, my parents had a vehicle they weren't using so they "sold" it to me.  It's a brand spanking new 1994 Chevy full size conversion van complete with a TV/VCR and a plush lavender interior!  For a 1994 it's in immaculate condition.  The kids and I have been enjoying the van all summer:  Ashley and I went camping with it for one night at our favorite camping spot with good friends and Nathan and I camped in it for two nights while at Cedar Point.  We also drove the van on our annual man trip which made the ride to and from much more relaxing and enjoyable.  Thanks to modern technology we're able to stay "connected" while traveling.  This van will get lots of use!

So that's been our schedule this past summer.  How are we all doing emotionally since Kristi passed away?  Well, I’ll save that for my next post or I’ll never get this thing posted!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tuesday, August 2, 2011: Still Busy

Craziness.  That’s how I describe the past 2 months!  But a good crazy, I guess.  Ashley has been going nonstop since June – Camp Geneva for a week, Colorado for 9 days with her cousin’s youth group, Cedar Point, was a helper in VBS last week (getting bit, scratched, kicked by 5 year olds!) and now she’s gone again for a week with our church’s middle school doing a service project in Wisconsin!  She was actually signed up for a soccer camp last week as well but she decided maybe she needed to rest.  Ya think?! 

The other kids are doing well also although not nearly as busy as their older sister.  Last week Nathan was at Camp Geneva and this week Nathan and Emily are at my parent’s trailer near the Traverse City/Leelanau Peninsula area.  So, if you’ve been following…Ashley’s gone.  Nathan’s gone.  Emily’s gone.  YEEEHAAAAAAA!!!!!!!

Daddy gets his first break in months!!!  NO KIDS!!!!!!   Shoot, Ashley can read this.  Oh well.  Love ya honey.  YEEEHAAAAAAAA.  WOOHOOOOOOOO!!!!!!  

Well, I do have to work.  I’m back to work full time again.  Last week I made it in before 8 everyday and this week I’m one for one!  The transition back to work has gone better than expected.  I guess I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it’s been good.  My boss had been telling me it was best for me to get back to work sooner rather than later just to get a sense of ‘normalcy’ back.  I think he was right.  Of course I’d never admit that to him, but I believe he was. 

I’ll be posting pictures from this summer later this week since I’ll have some “free time”.  Pictures from Ashley’s trip to CO, Nathan at Camp Geneva and some general pictures of what the kids and I have been up to.  Oh, did I mention Ashley turned 14 on July 24!?!!?!?  AHHHHHHHHH.  I took her driving in the church parking lot…and of course…got some great video!

Kristi’s dad also put together a video of the burial service…it was quite amazing.  When I get that I’ll upload it to Youtube and post it.  It is just as beautifully powerful as it is emotionally lamenting.  That afternoon when we arrived at the cemetery the rain had stopped as if God had hit the pause button, the sky brightened (the sun even poked through for a few seconds), the musical chirping of the birds provided a peacefully still ambiance, and the graveside service was beautifully administered.  It was just beautiful.  Sad, but beautiful.

That’s all for tonight…