Sunday, July 22, 2012

Photo Project 2012 - Days 181 to 187

We spent a week with friends in Michigan, as we have in several previous years. The week kicked off with an early July 4th party (on June 30).

Day 181

Zelda was princess of the Independence Day party.

Day 182

Sudden storms that were raging back at home looked like they might come our way across the lake. So, we gathered the kids in the center of the house away from the walls of windows.

Day 183

Monday was a day for the dads to go fishing. The moms and kids were blessed with the most picturesque and calm day on the lake.

Day 184

On Tuesday, the moms had their turn away for the day. We went shopping and had a delicious lunch at Brewster's in New Buffalo, Mich. As we pulled up to a shop in Three Oaks, I spotted this tin goat. I thought it was the cutest thing ever. I took a couple pictures. Later in the week, I told Ron about it; he was intrigued enough to leave a space in the van when we packed up at the end of the week. On our way out of Michigan, we detoured to Three Oaks and bought Billy.

Day 185 - Happy July 4th!

I don't think vacation would be complete without a large box of bakery goods to start a morning. (Not that I ate any of those glutenated, dairy-filled concoctions, but they sure looked pretty!)

Each vacation, we create a 'day at the beach' theme. This year, since we would be vacationing on July 4, we planned for Red, White and Blue Day.  Breakfast began with colored umbrella fruit picks.

Dinner plates featured red, white and blue gummy bears.

In between our meals, we made tie-dye T-shirts that were ready to wear by the end of the day.

Day 186

We took a break from the beach on Thursday and headed to Captain Mike's for some competitive go-cart racing. Zelda and I came in second behind Alan and Matthew; Ron and Annalee were third with Gretchen in the rear.

And, what vacation would be complete without a s'more (or two or three)? Despite the sweltering 95-degree heat, we made a small fire just to roast marshmallows.

Day 187

On our drive home, the thermometer on the car hit 109 degrees. I just had to memorialize it.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Photo Project 2012 - Days 165 to 180

I've got a lot of catching up to do!

Day 165

Thursday night is Cruisin' Night in Westmont. Even better, it was Chevy night. One day, I'm gonna get me a 1953 Chevy pick-up...

Day 166

The girls and I finally got back to our public water-park community pool on Friday afternoon.

Day 167

Mary, Mary, quite contrary, my how your garden has grown in the 10 days we were out of town. And, this is just a view of the lettuce section!

Ron and the girls couldn't pass up a perfect day for a car wash. It's something they all get into, especially Annalee when she's in charge of the hose (and squirting everyone).

Day 168

We took a drive to see Dad and Pat. A mother robin made a nest in the wreath on the back door, so my folks cordoned off access to the door and let the robin lay her eggs. We had a wonderful view of the babies from inside the nine-pane window of the back door. This is just one of the four babies.

Day 169

Late in the afternoon, I remembered I needed a photo for the day. These are two wooden 'heads' that are in the back bed. I was also enjoying the view of the bed since it had been weeded and mulched. So much prettier than it had been...

Day 170

On Monday night, I was holding Zelda while we were talking with Ron in the office. Suddenly, we heard this very loud thump. My first, crazy thought was that someone was trying to get into the house. Then again, we were having a windy rain storm outside. And, the noisemaker was a large branch that fell off our neighbor's cottonwood tree that hangs over our house. Thankfully, only a tiny corner of our roof was damaged.

Day 171

After a couple hours at the pool, Zelda was tired. So tired, she didn't last the few minutes it took to drive out of the pool parking lot before falling asleep.

Day 172

We finally had a morning when the girls could relax. They decided to do it in my bed where they could watch TV.

Day 173

On June 22, we went to Swedish Days in Geneva with our friends. Maia and Annalee always hold hands or arms together when we are at this event (at least, I notice it most when we go to this). It was hard to capture, but I just love the way they are arm-in-arm. It almost seems like it's in their Chinese blood.

Day 174

As I was getting ready for bed on this Saturday night, I turned on the TV and found the classic Pretty Woman movie. At the same time, I realized I hadn't taken my photo for the day. So, I grabbed the camera and took some pictures of the TV. Didn't you all know exactly what this picture was without my even saying the name? I love that about this movie!

Day 175

Ron has gotten really good at roasting peppers on the grill (to go with our steaks). This was the bowl peppers before they hit the grill.

Day 176

I asked the girls to water some of the plants this afternoon. It was this day that I realized that asking them to water the plants absolutely meant that they would be watering themselves, too. In the heat we've been experiencing, I'm all for it.

Day 177

On our way home from an evening at the YMCA, I captured the setting sun peaking between houses and trees as we drove down the road to our home.

Day 178

I wish I could have really captured how worn down the girls looked after a full day at camp through our park district. They looked so hot, disheveled and exhausted. I wasn't sure we'd make it the six-minute drive home without falling asleep.

Day 179

We baked a chocolate ginger cake for a friend. Zelda loves to bake with me, but she loves licking the bowl better.

Day 180

It was the Friday night before we left on vacation. We decided to order in and really wanted some Middle Eastern food. The first local place I drove to had a sign that said it had changed from Kabob & Falafel to some BBQ chicken and ribs place - even though it was all closed up. The second place I went was closed due to some health issue (with the workers, not with the restaurant itself). So, I ended up at Taco Express, which is reliably good. I took this while I waited for my order.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Congratulations, America!

I've been going through our pictures trying to locate those that I took during the last year that are worthy of entering in the county fair photography contest this month. I came across a picture of a card that I made last fall for for my neighbor when she became an American citizen.

I thought I was so clever creating a flag of sorts with decorative papers. And, I'm feeling clever again posting it here to say Happy Independence Day!