Monday, August 25, 2008

SPC - 'Get Your Shine On' #4

The August theme, 'Get Your Shine On' continues over at Self Portrait Challenge.

I couldn't let this theme pass by without completely misinterpreting it (sorry, Andrea!)

My misinterpretation:

'Get Your Shining On'

all work and no play...

On a lighter note,
I can't ever think of The Shining anymore without hearing Peter Gabriel's "Solsbury Hill" in my head.



That's Why.

Ah, the power of editing!


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Vacation 2008 -- #3

Earlier Posts:
Post 2

Ever since we went camping in Michigan last year with Christy's family (don't think I ever blogged about that -- I've been such a slacker), Hannah has been wanting to go again.

So we set out to go camping again.

The place we went last year had electric and water hook-ups, a swimming pool and a playground. Last year, once we got to the campsite, we never left the area until we were ready to pack up everything and leave for good (which worked well since we had a 7-month-old at the time).

This year, we decided to try something different.

Christy's brother, Paul put a lot of effort into finding a place that would work well for us with activities nearby. The place we decided on was the Platte River Campground which is part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

Though there are sites in the campground that have electric and water hook-ups, none were available and, collectively, we came prepared for not having these features.

Getting a site, even one without water and electric hook-ups, was not guaranteed, though.

Thursday, we got an early start from Cadillac to get to the campground as the majority of the sites there are claimed on a first come, first served basis. We were lucky to get the three campsites that we would need for 14 people and 2 dogs when everyone arrived. The campsites were not directly adjacent to one another, but they were close enough that walking between them, as needed, was not an inconvenience.

All three campsites were occupied by the campers from the night before as they had until noon to vacate the sites.

Hannah was anxious to get to a lake -- any lake -- so, since we had a few hours to kill, we headed for Crystal Lake and the town of Beulah, which we had passed on our drive up from Cadillac.

Soon, it was time for lunch, so we went to a nearby A&W. Harrison got his own baby sized mug of Root Beer!

Later, Christy and Paul went to do the grocery shopping for the week while everybody else went back to make camp.

Andrew arrived with Katherine the Daughter and Shawna the Dog.

Our campsites were less than a mile from Lake Michigan, so after dinner, several of us went to Platte Point, where the Platte River flows into Lake Michigan.

Monday, August 18, 2008

1st Day of 1st Grade

School started today in Anderson and Hannah started 1st grade. She went full days, every other day last year for Kindergarten, so full days Monday through Friday will take some getting used to for all of us, I think.

Christy has been setting Hannah's hair in foam curlers after her baths recently. Hannah seems to enjoy having curls for a couple of days and she does look rather cute that way -- not that I'm biased or anything.

Here are a few pictures from this morning:

1st Day of 1st Grade (01)
1st Day of 1st Grade (02)
1st Day of 1st Grade (03)1st Day of 1st Grade (04)
1st Day of 1st Grade (05)
1st Day of 1st Grade (07)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Vacation 2008 -- #2


The plan for Wednesday was to attend the high water mark for our church's 'Wonderful Wednesday' programming for the summer, Kokomo Beach. Kokomo Beach is a small family-friendly water park in Kokomo, Indiana. We has been last year and had a good time. We would stay there until the early afternoon and then go directly to Michigan from there.

With the late-night discovery of a screw in possibly an irreparable location on one of our tires, I, at that point, ever the optimist, considered a trip to Kokomo Beach dispensable. The tire seemed to be holding air at that moment, but who knows what it would look like in the morning. Who knows whether or not I'd be able to get it repaired or replaced.

Early Wednesday morning, the tire did not appear to be any worse than the night before, so I called my mechanic in Alexandria. He said to bring it up for him to have a look at it, so I did. He believed it could be repaired, so he set to work removing the screw and plugging the hole. We'd be able to go to Kokomo Beach, as planned, after all! All was going well until he added the appropriate amount of air back into the repaired tire. It was only at that point that he noticed a bulge appearing in the sidewall of the tire. The screw came out OK and the hole it left was repairable, but it had damaged the sidewall of the tire. It had to be replaced -- only he didn't have the right size tire on hand. He thought he could get one in my Noon. I said nothing, but he read the disappointment in my face. "Let me see what I can do," he said. He made a phone call and then told me there was a tire place in Anderson that had the right sized tire for what I needed. They were expecting me as soon as I could get there.

I can't tell you how valuable a good relationship with an honest auto mechanic is. This isn't the first time I've needed emergency service on a vehicle immediately before leaving town with it on a long trip -- and it isn't the first time I've received it either. The man's name is Dick Humphries, and he owns and operates Humphries Automotive in Alexandria, Indiana.

I got to the tire place in Anderson without incident and was in and out of there in about 30 minutes.

We finished loading the van and we were on our way!

We made it to Kokomo Beach just a few minutes after it opened and had a great day there. The weather was perfect and it was good to visit with several friends from Church. Believe it or not, I had my camera bag with me at the water park, but never pulled it out. I guess we were all having too much fun!

We fueled up on our way out of Kokomo and made decent time to Christy's parent's house in Cadillac, Michigan.

Monday, August 11, 2008

SPC - 'Get Your Shine On' #2

A Blessing
The LORD bless you and keep you;
the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.
--Numbers 6:24-26

More 'Shine' gettin' on at Self Portrait Challenge

Friday, August 08, 2008

Photo Friday - 'Rough'

The Robot Blues

Two reasons for putting this up for the theme:

I loved the jagged textures and the colors on the brick here and I hope that qualifies this photo as a relevant entry for the theme, 'Rough,' but I really noticed the colors and textures in the photo after I'd taken it. It was the other object that drew my attention to this particular location.

I have no idea what this thing is, but I anthropomorphized it the instant I saw it. I titled it 'Robot Blues' because he kind of looks like he's had a Rough day. No?

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Vacation 2008 -- #1


I was intending to put up a single post about our recent vacation to Michigan, but I'm looking at my basic outline and realize that a single post would likely be so extremely long as to border on sleep-inducing, and, also, would likely be so long in completing, that by the time I posted it, it would be more out of date than it already is.

Thus, I have decided to split up the post into several which will come as I am able to complete them.

We decided that since we were planning to be out of town much of the week of our local County Fair that we would go Tuesday night even though we were leaving Wednesday for Michigan. I mean, it's a tradition for us. We've been every year since Hannah was Harrison's age. We even still have the goldfish that Hannah got at the County Fair three years ago!!

We had great weather for the Madison County Fair. We ate junk food, strolled the Midway and the commerce building.

Hannah even got to ride a couple of rides.

Harrison is beginning to master his animal sounds. He uses his version of "Moo" which is really just "mmmmmmm" for both cows and horses and pretty much anything else that remotely resembles a cow. But anyway, we thought he might be excited about seeing a real cow, but mostly he was just terrified.

A few sights from the County Fairgrounds:

Fun SlideColorful Shade

So once we got home and got the kids in bed, we began to pack the van, cross off items on lists, etc. One of the items on my list was to investigate a tire on the van that was setting off a sensor for low air pressure. The van is fairly new to us and I figured that this was probably one of those oversensitive sensors and that I'd use my cigarette-lighter-powered air compressor to add a bit of air to the tire and make the sensor light go out. Easy enough, right? Yeah, I thought so too until I got down low enough to see the drywall screw in the shoulder of the tire.

To be continued...

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

SPC - Get Your Shine On - #1

Having a bit of trouble imagining what this theme is supposed to look like.

It was inspired by the following thought from Emily Dickinson:

I know nothing in the world that has as much power as a word. sometimes I write one, and I look at it, until it begins to shine.

Here's my first take:
...on my shoulders

See other interpretations here.