Monday, May 28, 2012

We Remember

"Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy, 
forget in time that men have died to win them." 

Franklin D. Roosevelt 
Dec. 15, 1941


So thankful for both of my Grandfathers!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Much Needed Time Away

I am hoping that one of these days I'll actually do a post when the event really happened. But today is not one of them. We were so happy to take a little vacation last month. My cousin and his wife own a timeshare in Door County and were unable to use it this year. John had a few crazy busy months at work and decided that this sounded like the perfect opportunity for a brief get-a-way and indeed it was. The kids were so excited and of course were counting down days from the moment they found out there was an indoor swimming pool. I think John and I were also.

We arrived at the Rushes on a Friday evening and stayed through the next Wednesday. I had been there quite a few times before over the years being that my Aunt and Uncle owned a timeshare and I would go with them when I was in middle school. My Grandparents own one as well and I spent time with them when I was in high school. And when John and I were dating we both went along for a visit and so it was a bit nostalgic for me to be back especially as I walked through the door to the scent of "the Rushes". Do you associate certain smells with memories or places? Even the hand soap in the dispensers was the same scent and brought back memories.

The condos here are next to a nature preserve and are also on a lake. The surroundings were much like home but our condo was not. Upon entry the first thing Seppy said was "It's SO clean!" And I wholeheartedly agreed and was very thankful to be away from our clutter for a time. It also helped that we didn't bring toys along and had only the bare necessities for clothing.


Our days were spent visiting little towns, here where the kids dipped their own candles...



Here our one meal out -- a yummy breakfast at Village Cafe... and look I made it in the picture!


Looking for lighthouses...

and joining in the activities that the Rushes offered for that week including, geocaching, letterboxing...
Letterboxing rock pile

 ...orienteering (using a compass), and nature hikes.



John said he felt like we were in a retirement community which was fine with us. They all seemed to enjoy our children at the various gatherings such as playing bingo where everyone won a prize. Seppy ended up being the "ultimate loser" which brought him to the verge of tears until he found that it was an honor as he won the most candybars with that title! The older ladies were cheering him on as he now proudly went to collect his winnings. :)

The rest of our time was spent swimming, swimming, and swimming some more. The kids had a blast and John and I were so relaxed. It was wonderful enjoying each others company.



We had a very hard time saying "goodbye" and hope to have that type of vacation again!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mothers Day 2012


Happy Mothers Day Mom!


Me and Little Miss in our matching outfits. I found her shirt at a garage sale this week and she loved it and all the more when she found that I had a similar top.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Photo Challenge - Hey Girl

I haven't been taking pictures quite as often as I would like. Baby boy takes up quite a bit of time so lately it is more capturing every day life around here.

This is one of my favorite pictures of my friend Theresa's twin girls. I love to take pictures of them as they are so photogenic and interact so well together. I just follow them with my camera and get so many good shots. I am submitting this photo to the I Heart Faces "Hey Girl" photo challenge.


Photo Challenge Submission

Monday, May 7, 2012

15th Anniversary Celebration


John and I celebrated our 15th Wedding Anniversary this week. I can't believe how fast the years have flown. We watched the recording of our wedding and as I gazed at that young couple on the screen I relived some of those feelings and yes cried my way through yet again. You could see the excitement in our eyes and those goofy grins at one another as we embarked on a new journey together. Little did we know all that our future held but here we are 15 years and 7 children later. Of course our relationship is not perfect which is impossible with two flawed people and we've had our share of disagreements and selfishness abounding. But as I have been reflecting back I find that I am more in love with John today than I was on our wedding a day that just spills over with love.

And while we wished at one time to get-a-way together for this anniversary (I may have said this a few years back as well) it is not feasible when you have an 8-month old baby. But there is no rule as to when you take a nice vacation alone and so in time that will happen. And too, I don't have a longing desire to get away. So our anniversary was spent going out to eat at a nice Italian restaurant. Being that John was so busy at work on a special project earlier this year and went out to eat quite frequently his boss told him to take me out to eat on the company which worked perfect for this occasion. We had a nice time enjoying various foods and surprisingly one of my favorites was a salad with baby octopus and fresh veggies. (Forgot to take pictures of this). But my ultimate favorite is their Tiramisu which is something John typically brings home for me when he goes out. 


But our celebration was not over. You may recall two years ago when I began a new tradition for our anniversary of making a special meal and having our children serve us in our very own restaurant -- "Mason House of Fine Dining". Last year I was pregnant and had no energy for that but this year I was excited to try again.

The kids always seem to enjoy this as well. I gave suggestions but they prepared the dinning room behind a bedsheet so I couldn't see. I had hoped for a meal on the porch but the weather did not cooperate so we brought in our round picnic table and fresh lilacs and the boys strung white lights. I have found that it is best to leave any expectations behind and let the children do as they desire. We had a nice time and maybe one of the fastest meals I can remember as they rushed from one thing to the next they were so excited.


Warm Popovers with honey butter delivered to our table in a basket.


The special for the night was Pesto Chicken with a side topped with Orzo with Veggies. I wrote down options for Tank as I knew John would kid around and ask what else was on the menu. At the mention of spinach quiche John quickly asked for the special. :)


Yummy Ice Cream Cake Roll for dessert. I made it but they cut it, sliced the strawberries and plated it. I love their attempt at drizzling sauce over. They must know how much their Mama loves chocolate. (Actually Pete said "someone" was in hurry and wouldn't let the sauce warm enough)


This is the cutest waiter I have ever had! Seppy was SO proud of himself for carrying this tray without help. 


The wonderful "staff" at Mason House of Fine Dining. I wish I could have taken more pictures to show what part each child played but then I would have missed it all. George was at the reservation desk in the "waiting room". Missy showed us to our table. Tank took our order. Re-Pete delivered the rolls to our table while Pete took our drink order. They each took turns delivering our food.

Our evening ended by watching our wedding and a video we had made for it of us growing up and then the two of us together set to music. I hadn't seen it in a long time and Missy and Seppy had never seen it so it was fun for all of us. I am looking forward to spending many more years learning and growing together with this man that God has blessed me with!

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