On the Road

It's 5:30 am, and I can't sleep. I have already taken a shower and am just waiting for everyone else to wake up.

We left Ames Yesterday (Saturday) Morning and drove to Kalamazoo MI. We only had 4 stops in the 8 hour trip, and that's pretty good for us. 2 bathroom breaks, 1 lunch break and 1 gas break. Gas by the way was $3.99 per gallon, we did we stations with the price listed at $4.21 per gallon. We also stopped at our family favorite beach, Warren Dune state park. It's about 12 miles over the Michigan state line, I highly recommend it. Our favorite part is the huge sand dune that take about 10 minute to walk up. Imagine walking a steep, sand covered hill. I went up with the boys and my calves were burning. We did not get to stay at the beach very long before a storm could be seen over the water. The beach was cleared due to threat of lightening.

We ate dinner in St. Joseph's along the lake.
We decided to stay in a hotel instead of at a campground. We were too tired to set up camp.
Back on the road today, for another 8 hours or so.


Here's the new trike! She pedals about 3 times and then gives up. I should have bought the bike with the adult push handle, but it wasn't pink and purple! Hopefully she will be self sufficient by end of the summer.

I hate getting ready for a trip. There are always these miscellaneous things to do. Andrew and Ben went to fill the van with gas, etc.... When they return, we will pack the van so it's ready to go early tomorrow morning.

New Bike and Lost Book

Nadia loves to "ride" her tricycle in the driveway, but she can not reach the pedals. She was getting very frustrated. I convinced Andrew to buy her a new one that she could reach. We found a really cute purple and pink trike. This is what she said to Andrew in Target, "I love it, my pink bike, tank-you Daddy." Oh my goodness! It was so adorable, and you should have seen Andrew's face. How insightfully a 2 year old can be. It was a rainy day today, so we let her ride in the house. She yelled at her brothers every time they even looked at her bike! I will add a photo later.

Ethan is reading the Magic School House series. I am really impressed with how his reading skills have improved. He was reading small books around Christmas and is now reading Chapter books.
He has read the first 7 in the series, and now is stuck.... He has misplaced #8 and refuses to read them out of order. We spent an hour looking for it today, which ended with me having a minor blow-up! How could he lose a book! We agreed that he would listen to #8 on cd while we travel to Ontario. Thank Goodness!!! The book will reappear when we are not looking for it.

We are busy packing for our trip. Our plan is drive to Michigan on Saturday and Head to Ontario on Sunday. More details of our vacation to come.

It's Berry Pickin Time!

Yum, Yum Strawberries. We love to pick strawberries, well actually we love to eat strawberries. The Berry Patch Farm in Nevada is our favorite place to pick strawberries and apples. They are very kid friendly and encourage the kids to participate. They don't care how many the kids eat or step on!

We managed to pick about 12 pounds in about an hour and half. I picked a full bucket, Ethan about 3/4, (Ethan claims that he only ate a 4 or 5. He is probably right, since his bucket was quite full.) Ben 1/2 ( Ben thinks that he ate more than he put in his bucket. He was really full and did not eat much lunch) and Nadia had about 10 in the bottom of her bucket. I realized after we had been picking for awhile that she was eating the strawberries stem and all!
Can't wait to see what her diapers look like.

We had a fun morning.


This girl thing has been quite a learning experience for all of us. She has an opinion about her clothes,her shoes and her hair. This is the first time that she let me comb her hair long enough to get pigtails in. I really need more practice.... They were terribly uneven, but adorable none the less.

Several Friends and I went for a Pedicure on Saturday, a really nice Girl's afternoon out. The first thing she says to me is, "Ooh Mommy paint toes, so pretty." and without stopping, " paint Nadia toes too?" So we painted her toes to match mine. She was showing them off for several days!

She talks non-stop. I thought that I would share with you a few of our favorites.

1. Mine Na Na ( My name is Nadia)
2. Ethan bad attitude? (I had sent Ethan upstairs to fix his attitude and she this is what she asked me)
3. Na Na no baby anymore! (She shouted this at Ben one evening at supper after He said she was the cutest baby)
4. We have been getting lots of spontaneous "I love you" A big change from her usually response of "love me" whenever she meant Love you.
5. So silly / So funny ( she utters this about her brothers often.)
6. Scary me ( That scares me. She uses this for loud noises, dogs, flies and other scary things)
7. Look ( She is just so cute when she says it)
8. Are you brothers? or brothers are? ( She asked this anytime she is looking for Ben and Ethan)
9. kepidge (ketchup - She needs ketchup on everything, including her green beans)

A little glimpse into Nadia language.

Swim America

We have been taking Swim America this week with our friends, the Stauffer Family. The boys have made great progress, it really is worth the extra money. They limit the class size to 2 students per instructor. They have way more flexibility in advancing a student or working on their weaknesses.

Ben have mastered the front crawl stroke and the back stroke. He now moves into the next level where they work on endurance. He could really use that!

Ethan just completed his front and back glides with kicking and is now moving to adding arm strokes.

By the way..... This photo was taken with Oma and Opa new camera. I am trying to figure out how to use it, so I can teach them.

Rachel's Blog

We have been begging my sister Rachel to start a Blog, and here it is! Rachel's blog
I will keep the link in the box on bottom right of my blog so it is easy for all of us to see.
If you don't know my sister Rachel, I will give you a brief summary:

She is the second born in our family. Always my arch rival when we were growing up. But,we have both grown up and now share many of the same views on life and the world. I love her lots!
She lives in Panama City with her husband and beautiful baby girl! Please read her blog to find out more about her family and life in Panama.
It doesn't seem to stop raining and more rain is in the forecast for this week. We have received over 7 inches since the first of June and the last week of may was wet as well. The river has returned to its banks, but it will likely spill back over in the next few days. Brook side park is still completely unusable.

The boys were supposed to go on a church father / son camp out Friday night and Saturday canceled due to flooding at Ledges State Park. The rain held off long enough to have a neighborhood garage sale on Saturday morning. We had about 4 tables. I gave Ben and Ethan each 30 dollars from the proceeds to start off their summer allowance. They are really excited to spend it, I'm afraid that this will be a hard lesson to learn. I am trying to suggest they save it for our trip. I hope they can be convinced. Allowance will be earned the rest of the summer at the rate of $1 / week. They will be given an "X" for behaviors that I find disrespectful (complaining, talking back, not listening, etc...) If they get five "X"s in a week, no allowance! We found some nice banks that have 3 sections - church - savings - spending. Andrew suggested 50 cents a week to savings. We will see how it goes.

Our Sunday activities were canceled as well. We were supposed to have a church potluck and this was the first evening of Roosevelt Summer Sundays. Our neighborhood concerts in the park. We really enjoy them and were looking forward to it. The adults sit and relax, listen to music and the kids play soccer or on the play structure.

Rain, Rain go away..... come back some other day!

Summer Time!

Today was the last day of school for Ben and Ethan. I am really looking forward to a fun summer. Nadia will be so excited to have her brothers home to play. We have signed up for Swim America and Summer hockey. We will probably sign up for a bible school or maybe 2! I don't want the summer to be over scheduled, but I am sure that it will zip by and it will be fall in no time!
We have 1 vacation planned, we are going to Ontario for a week. I hope we can schedule a few more camping weekends. Enjoy your summer, we will!