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Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Spaghetti Twins

Can you tell they're sisters?  I frequently will download a photo of Dani and notice how similar it looks to a photo of Michaela at the same age.  Here's my Spaghetti Twins.  Blonde little Michaela at 19 months and red-headed Dani at 16 months.




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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Ice Cream with Pop

Father's Day celebrations wouldn't have been complete without some time spent with Chris dad, aka "Pop" to the girls. 


We went up for a visit and it was quickly decided to head into Sand Lake for some ice cream (it was a HOT day!).  We all enjoyed out frozen treats and did a good job of eating them before they melted on our hands and laps.
 
Afterward, we let the girls run off their sugar buzzes on the playground.  Dani also made friends with a large family having a Father's Day grill out.  She just kept running over to say "Hi!"

Chris pushing Dani on the swings.  She had fun going as high as he'd let her, while Michaela freaked out and started crying from just being put in the swing.  Dani is definitely our fearless little dare devil!

The playground structure in Sand Lake has 7 different slides on it, and Michaela made sure they all worked!

Posts are for hugging.  When you hug a post you should also make sure to smile pretty for mom.  :)

It was a challenge for Dani to get herself over this little wall around the playground, but she didn't give up and eventually managed without falling! (you can see the family she befriended in the background)

Gymnastics classes have made Michaela much more confident in her climbing abilities.

Dani and Chris blowing each other kisses.  Daddy loves his little girls!



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Monday, June 27, 2011

Weeeeeee!!!!! Weeeeeee!!!

Okay, I just had to share this video of the girls riding the carousel while we were at Dutch Village the other week.  (You can read my post all about that trip here.)

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This was Dani's second ride on the carousel that day and I was laughing so hard when she started to squeal with delight, "Weeeeeee!!!!! Weeeeeee!!! Weeeeeee!!!!"


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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Child of a 1000 Faces

I got my camera out the other day to snap a quick shot of Dani doing something new and silly.  Of course, Michaela is drawn to the camera like a moth to a flame.  She decided she needed to try out some of her faces and then proceeded to demand to see them on the camera.  How would she ever have survived during the days of 35mm film? ;)





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Friday, June 24, 2011

Extra Cheese

When Michaela was about the same age that Dani is now I noticed that she's arrange her like styled toys into orderly lines.  When I caught Dani doing the same thing the other day I couldn't resist taking a picture...

"Mom, what are you doing?"

Then she immediately turned on the CHEESE and started grinning for the camera.  I was lucky enough to not only capture the first time she deliberately smiled at the camera, but also the first time she made this incredibly cheesy smile.



Three separate smiles all right in a row, all extra cheesy.  I can't help giggling again each time I look at these photos... hehehehehe :)


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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Grilling with Papa

This past Saturday we packed up the kids and made a trek out to Coopersville to get together with my Dad (aka Papa) to celebrate Father's Day.  He wanted to use his new smoker grill, so my sisters and I all brought a dish to pass and showed up for dinner.

With temperatures in the 80's I knew the girls would end up getting wet with the hose/sprinkler so I packed swim diapers (for Dani), a swimsuit (for Michaela), an extra change of clothes for each girl and their PJs.

Papa manning the grill.  3 different flavored pork loins, country style ribs and grilled veggies. YUM!

To keep the kids cool my sister Jodi turned on the hose for them.  Surprisingly Dani was the biggest fan of the freezing cold water.  She ended up with 2 outfits soaked and blue lips before we made her change into PJs to go home in.

Each time she'd take a pass through the water she'd run over to share some with Royce's toes.  I'm not sure what he thought about that, but Dani sure had fun!

Michaela and Dylan both had great faces to share with Aunt Jamie when took a turn with the camera.

"Oh! Dylan, what's this?  You want to share your salad with me?"

Dani likes ranch dressing and... anything vegetable covered in ranch dressing.

See how blue her lips are?!? Good thing Daddy noticed and wrapped her up in a nice fluffy beach towel. :)


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Monday, June 20, 2011

Strawberries 2011

It's strawberry season again in Michigan and I am so excited!!! Seriously, I was hoping and praying that strawberries would start before Father's Day weekend since I'd volunteered to bring strawberry shortcake to the family grill-out with my Dad on Saturday. (Whew!)

Thankfully Morse Brothers Farm started U-Pick on Wednesday and we were able to make it out there to pick on Friday morning.  We dropped Dani off to play with my cousins and Michaela came along while we met some friends at the field.

I'm pretty sure Michaela ate every berry she picked.  You can see her face and hands in this photo and I think it helps back up my theory... ;)

All in all, we ended up with 15 lbs. of strawberries from this trip.  Half of them are already gone from all our strawberry shortcake meals and snacks this weekend (Chris LOVES strawberry shortcake so we had it for Father's Day breakfast even).

I'm going to try to make jam with the rest, but I know we'll have to make at least one more trip to the field for berries.  They're just SOOOO good!!!


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Memory

My computer and I had been having an argument for the past few months.  I wanted it to work, and it wanted to have more working memory.  I know this because every time I did anything on my computer it warned me I was almost out, or just plain out, of working memory.

Not helpful when I needed to download images to create blog posts.  Also not helpful when I needed to save documents or download new software.

With this being said, can I just tell you how excited I was to finally get an external hard-drive for my computer and have access to some more memory?!? 1.5 TB of new memory has allowed me to back up all my files, download photos again, and my computer just plain runs faster now!  WOO! HOO!

I'm also proud to say I did all the updates and set up by myself (it was super duper easy, but still).

So, be warned.  I may be really regular with my blog posts for a while now.  I've got so many images and stories to share and can finally get my computer to cooperate!


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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Tulip Time... Dutch Village style

I took the girls out to Nelis' Dutch Village during the Tulip Time Festival in Holland.  I think it turned out to be an easier trip than trying to take them to a Tulip Time parade on my own, and we all had a fun day together. 

*Please excuse all photos, as I took them with my phone camera since this was a completely LAST minute trip decided on while we were already out of the house.*

I'm not sure if Dani was EVER happy that day when I strapped her into the stroller.

 
Michaela spent the day walking up and kissing the tulips "So they don't die, Mom."  She also decided that these little ducklings thought she was their momma since they followed her about three feet when she walked past their enclosed swimming pond.  She's since reminded me we have to go back to see her baby ducks.

We went into the workshop where they make the wooden shoes and Michaela was absolutely fascinated with them. When I pointed out the "Giant shoes" that were on the floor I mentioned that they were so big she could fit right in one!  I turned around for one second to check on Dani and then Michaela piped up behind me, "Mom!  Look at me!"  I turned around to this...  There was a busload of grandparent aged tourists in the shop with us and they all started giggling at her antics.

Michaela, Dani & I all learned how to do a Dutch Dance and proudly wore our sticker home to brag. :)

And what trip to Dutch Village would be complete without a couple rides on the carousel.  I was very surprised how much Dani LOVED riding on the carousel.  I guess I should have known better, she is our little daredevil after all.

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Monday, June 13, 2011

Memorial Day at the Cottage

Because of Chris' foot pain and impending surgery we didn't make it up to my grandparents' cottage on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend with the rest of the family.  We did however, make the drive on Monday when it was set to be in the 90's.  My grandparents were there when we arrived and my Aunt Lisa & Uncle Andy came up with their kids as well, a pretty quiet day at the cottage compared to what it would have been like the day before.

Picnic tables leaning against the wall?  Oh no, these are Dani sized jungle gyms!

Michaela proudly showing off her new swim assist vest from Opa Cove (review coming soon on SIMPLE!)

My cousins Kristyn and Nicole took Michaela turtling.  Kristyn took Michaela with her in a kayak and they actually came back with a few turtles without dumping in the muck.  Then the girls took her out to the raft on the paddle board as well.  Basically, they made Michaela's day with all these 'firsts' since she has gotten big enough to enjoy these things.

Uncle Andy because he specifically called back to me at the dock to take his picture in the kayak...

Great Grandma got out the old play kitchen toys for the girls.  Dani had a lot of fun playing tea party.  The only person she'd serve tea to though was Uncle Andy!

Checking out the dock with Daddy. :)

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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Gardening is hard work

A couple weeks back we went up to Chris' Dad's place to help plant the garden.  Here's some fun from our day of planting (well, Chris and Michaela's day of planting, Dani and I showed up a couple hours after them).


Chris planting heirloom tomato plants.

Michaela snitching red-vines from Pop's truck and supervising.

That is the face of "I don't like sitting in this dirt." We're working on toughening her up. ;)


 Michaela planting potatoes with Pop. She was so very excited to be helping!

"Dad, I'm ready to go nap now."

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Friday, June 10, 2011

I Love You! ... You though, you I will tease.

Dani has been really growing in her vocabulary skills and we are frequently amazed at the new words she has learned and sentences she is stringing together (of the 3 word variety).  It's also amusing to watch her sense of humor developing at the same time.  She understands when something is funny will often laugh at the antics of big sis Michaela or tease the grown ups.

Here's proof of both.

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"I love you, Daddy." "I love you, Michaela." and "Thwppppp!" The continuing translation for "I love you, Momma."

I've now just taken to replying to her blowing raspberries at me like that with an "I love you too Dani." :)

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

It's never a good thing...

When you make a trip to the hospital ER and the person working the information desk greets you with comment to the effect of "Hi again! You're back?" Never a good sign.

Yeah.  Fun times here.

Let me preface this story by letting you know that Chris had surgery on his leg last Tuesday to fix an ongoing foot issue that he'd had with plantar fasciitis.  This had been a problem for almost a year and a half and we are thankful that the gastrocnemius recession surgery to fix the plantar fasciitis seems to have worked REALLY well as the foot pain disappeared right with the surgery.  Chris is is still recuperating from the actual surgery on his calf muscle & after his two weeks wearing a walking cast (or "das boot" as we call it), he will continue to finish recovery throughout the summer.

Okay. Now you know the back story, back to the ER. We took two trips to the ER this week to make sure Chris didn't have any blood clots as a result of his surgery.

To make a really long story short here's the condensed version: I made Chris go to the hospital on Thursday & again on Saturday to get checked out when he was showing signs of pain associated with blood clots.  Both times the doctors did their tests on him and he was given a clean bill of health (one day via CT scan and the other by ultrasound).

On Thursday he worked part of the day & on Saturday I had left him alone with the girls while I went and worked at the garage sale we were having with some friends (who had all been SUPER accommodating about the fact that I wasn't able to help out at all until Saturday while taking care of post-op Chris). We think it both days were cases of "too much, too soon."

Needless to say we haven't been having any uneventful days around here and I'm very excited for things to get back to normal, including having time to actually catch up on all my "computer things."


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