Wednesday, December 24, 2008


I will continue to blog! You have given me renewed purpose! I write for you, my loyal fans.

AND a very Merry Christmas to you all! I hope it is a happy one.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Is It Time?

I have been thinking about deleting my blog lately. I think it's because I always feel so obligated to update it which gives me a guilt complex since I rarely get around to it. Plus, it was supposed to be a great way to keep my family in the loop, but I think they have all lost the link to it. Either that or I have just started waxing way too political for them! I guess I wouldn't ever completely delete it (it does have hours upon hours of things that the kids might enjoy some day), so maybe I will just have to work on not feeling guilty if I don't get to it.

I don't know. What do you fellow bloggers think?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

An Interesting Thought

Here's an excerpt from John Steinbeck's East of Eden that struck me as true of our times today. Interpret it as you will:

"It is argued that because they believed thoroughly in a just, moral God they could put their faith there and let the smaller securities take care of themselves. But I think that because they trusted themselves and respected themselves as individuals, because they knew beyond doubt that they were valuable and potentially moral units--because of this they could give God their own courage and dignity and then receive it back. Such things have disappeared perhaps because men do not trust themselves any more, and when that happens there is nothing left except perhaps to find some strong sure man, even though he may be wrong, and to dangle from his coattails."

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Are We Still in America???

Here's a little video clip that should make you pretty angry, assuming you are a decent person. This was filmed at a rally where people who are pro-gay marriage are protesting the passing of Proposal 8, which thankfully overrode a recent California Supreme Court decision to recognize same-sex marriage as a fundamental right:

All other issues aside, does anyone else remember that in America, we have the right to free speech? It is disturbing to see a little old lady (who isn't even given the chance to voice her opinion) being utterly disrespected by being yelled at, signs being shoved in front of her face, and then practically being physically assaulted by men who should know better? Why are they so threatened by the presence of one elderly woman who had the courage to stand up for what she felt was right? Could it be that the view she had might have had an ounce of truth to it? It seems that evil only vehemently rears its ugly head when it feels the most threatened, and it is only in the face of what is truly right that it shows itself in its vilest forms. If these men were so secure in their view that same-sex marriage was absolutely and undeniably the "right" stance, then why would they even care that this tiny woman had come to the rally? They showed no respect for their elders, no respect for an individual's right to free speech and behaved like animals. Do they treat their own grandmothers like this?
I am sickened and ashamed. I thought this was America.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Gas for $1.93???

Holy frick, I must be dreaming! I got gas today for $1.93/gallon! Somebody pinch me! We must have gone back in time!

Monday, November 10, 2008

My Sweet Girl

This morning I was rushing around trying to get the kids ready for school. Ashlee had worn a t-shirt to bed that was so small for her that a lot of her belly was showing. As I was getting her dressed, I told her that her belly button was so cute that I wanted to pinch it. She giggled and finished getting dressed, turned around and said, "OK, Mom, I'm ready. You can pinch me now!" I said, "Why do you want me to pinch you? I was just joking around!" She said, "Because I want you to be happy!"
My kids are like night and day. I sometimes wonder how they even come from the same gene pool. Whenever I ask Nick if I can have one of his chocolate Halloween candies, he is quick to reply, "No! It's my candy!" I'll say, "Pretty please? Just one little candy?" I continue to get the same answer. (He has only shared something with me twice in his entire nine years, and even then it was with such reluctance that it doesn't count as sharing.) So I move on to Ashlee and say, "Ash, can Mommy have one of your Halloween chocolates?" Happily she says, "Sure Mom." I say, "Which one can I have?" She says, "You can pick whichever one you really like." Adorable.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Family Vacation to Utah in July

I'm so speedy at posting! Again, this is all catch up work, which it will be until I can make it all the way up to November, so skip this if you feel so inclined!

A professional photographer came out to the house we stayed at to take family pics of everyone. This is not one of his shots--my brother took it so we could practice before the actual thing. And no, Nick never smiled.

Ashlee soaking up "cousin time." She loves her cuzzies so much!

Here is Ashlee back in her element. This horse is so adorable I wanted to put it in my purse and take it home. I wonder which weighs more . . . the horse or the guy in the overalls?

This one was too big to fit in my purse.

Four-wheelin'! We had a blast! Isn't Tyler so dang cute? He makes you want to pinch his cheeks!

We four-wheeled up and down to the reservoir until Sarah and I convinced ourselves that there was a serial killer living in the tent we kept passing. We creeped ourselves out! (It was getting dark by this point.)

Jere locked himself in the outhouse . . . again. He did it so many times that we started to think he was enjoying his time in there!

Nick playing tricks on Grandpa in Strawberry Reservoir.

Staying cool. It was close to 100 degrees.

Ashlee back in her happy place again. I'm surprised we were able to get her back on the plane to Michigan!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Still Backtracking . . .

So here it is October and I'm just now getting around to my fourth of July post! I'm sorry if I'm boring you a bit, but I'm getting caught up more for the sake journaling than for blogging, so feel free to skip over this if you're entertained more by current events.
One of Jere's coworkers owns Kehoe Farm and we spent the afternoon there eating lots of yummy food, playing games and enjoying the sunshine.

The kids loved trying to outdo each other in tug o' war. Ashlee is on her way down!

Nick was determined to get the bean bag in the hole 50 times.

Ashlee thought it was hilarious every time she "pulled" me off my base.

The day just wouldn't have been complete without a ride on one of the adorable ponies. Can you guess where Ashlee spent most of the afternoon?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Like Mother, Like Daughter

The other night, Ashlee came running out of her room saying, "Mom! There's a great big spider in my room!" My first thought was to say, "Oh, I bet he's friendly," and quietly sneak away, but being that Jere (my official spider killer) was not home at the time, I had to act like a brave mommy and go assess the situation at hand.

So I went to her room and asked her where she saw this alleged spider. She pointed down at her baseboard along the floor and said that it was hiding underneath. Great. A great big spider that is hiding where I can't see it. Introducing my number one fear in life: great big spiders that are hiding where I can't see them. Dang those stupid spiders! Nevertheless, I still had my brave face on. I waited a little while and when the spider didn't resurface, I told Ashlee that it probably ran away and won't be coming back. She replied, "But it will come out again, Mom! It's hiding from us! We've got to get some bug spray!"

Just then, I saw movement, and sure enough, the spider had resurfaced. Now this is not one of my proud moments as a mother, I assure you. I screamed at the top of my lungs. So Ashlee screamed at the top of her lungs and bolted from the room. All the screaming made the spider go back under the baseboard again. But now I was all creeped out because I had seen it's horrible and most terrifying legs and I was afraid to even move. Plus, I had bare feet and didn't want to risk squishing the awful beast should I have to take flight. So I kept my eyes fixated on the spot that it disappeared and called out to Ashlee that I needed her to come here and watch for the spider while I got something to spray it with. Instead of answering me, I saw her arm throw 2 squares of toilet paper into the room. Yeah. Two squares. OK, I wouldn't even squish a spider with an entire roll of toilet paper, let alone two squares. Great. I thought that if I could just spray it with some cleaner, it would probably shrivel up and die eventually but I didn't dare take my eyes off it's hiding spot because that would give it a chance to run somewhere else where I would stumble across it unknowingly . . . like inside the sleeve of my bath robe or something. So while all this is going through my head, the dumb thing comes out again. I grab Ashlee's little wooden chair and try to drop it right on the spider . . . and completely miss. This causes the spider to dart in fast, scary movements which causes me to scream again, which causes Ashlee (who was hiding in the bathroom) to scream again, which makes me scream again, which then causes Nick (who was watching TV) to start screaming. Complete mayhem for a minute. Now the spider is scared out of its wits and has gone back into hiding. I ran to the kitchen, grabbed my trusty spray cleaner, and sprayed the area in hopes of fumigating it to its death. I watched and waited for a few minutes and when nothing emerged, I decided put it all behind me and go back to watching TV.

Two days later, Jere emerged victorious with the great big spider . . . which was squished with two whole squares of toilet paper.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Running a Marathon Can Bite!

This is my brother Ben who ran the St. George Marathon last Saturday. I guess no one told him about the bodily hazards that come along with long distance running! Ouch!

No, just kidding! He did run the marathon but this was actually his Halloween costume last year. Once you get over the initial shock of it, it's pretty hilarious! Thought you could all use a good laugh!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Another Conversation Between Nick & Ashlee

Nick: "Hey Ash! Can you get my cat's cradle book from my room for me? Tazzie is sitting on my lap and I don't want to stand up and make her go away."

Ashlee: "No. I don't want to."

Nick: "Pleeeeease? I'll give you everything you own!"

Thursday, September 25, 2008

When Grandma Comes to Town, Do as the Natives Do

Again, I am still catching up on summertime. Grandma came to visit back in June and we had a great time with her. We took her all the places that would keep the kids happy! Poor Grandma! But she was a good sport as she always is and we love her for it.

The kids had to show her the Ann Arbor Hands On Museum. Here's Nick showing off his rock-climbing skills.

No, we did not execute Ashlee and Grandma. They were just having fun in the green room. They were in front of a camera and the green blankets made you invisible on screen.

There's no better way to refuel after a day of fun at Arby's with Dad. Jere is trying to suck down his vanilla shake before Ashlee asks for more! See how sneaky she looks?

The next event was to celebrate Grandma's birthday at the Olive Garden. Yum!

Afterwards, we took her to visit her old friends, the dinosaurs, at the University of Michigan Natural History Museum. Just kidding Grandma! :) We love to tease her!

The displays there are cool!

We really had a good time there and the kids learned a lot!

Then we dragged Grandma to the Toledo Zoo for some more kid fun!

Unfortunately, we got rained out, but the ride home was exciting with threats of tornadoes all around. It made the sky have a bit of a green tinge to it. Thanks for coming Grandma! We miss you!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Happy Birthday to Sarah!

Today my little sister turns 32!

Just wanted to say Happy Birthday to the girl who makes me laugh my head off!

Hope you're eating lots of cake & ice-cream and dancing to your Michael Flatley: Lord of the Dance DVD!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Conversation Between Nick & Ashlee

Nick: "Hey Ash! Do you want to play a game?"

Ashlee: "OK. What kind of game?"

Nick: "It's called, 'Ashlee, You Are Evil.' "

Ashlee: "Ashlee, You Are Evil?"

Nick: "Yeah." [proceeds to explain the game to her.]

Ashlee: "No, I don't think I want to play that game."

Sunday, August 17, 2008

My Book Worm

I don't know if you can tell from these pics or not, but Nick loves to read. We've read to him since he was in the womb and pretty much every night since. When he was a year old, he would make us read Dr. Seuss's ABC's to him over and over again, so much that I memorized the book! It definitely paid off because he was reading on his own before he was three.

I thought I would capture the moment with my new camera, which I am loving to no end! This is no small feat for a mom with a son who hates having his picture taken, but I got what I wanted without too many protests!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

For A Good Cause

In March, at the age of thirty, my friend, Abbigail Israelsen became suddenly ill and on a ventilator fighting for her life for 18 days. She was in the hospital for 21 days, but thankfully she survived. It has been a long and emotional recovery that continues everyday.

She has joined the ARDS Foundation team to attend a fund raising walk on Sept. 21, 2008. For every donation that is made over $40, Abbi will give the donor an original drawing created specifically for them. The drawings will be done on 100% cotton rag paper with pen, pencil, and ink. You will receive your drawing in the mail by mid October, 2008.

After donating towards the Hike for Lung Health, email Abbi ( with three words that she will use to inspire a drawing as a thank you gift.

The drawings will be shown at the Anton Art Center for a special fund raising exhibition Sept. 12-Oct. 3, 2008. All proceeds made from the exhibition will be donated for ARDS research.

If you would like to read more about Abbi's journey through ARDS visit her website.
The website with her story is:
Hike fundraising page:
Abbi's artwork website:

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Month of June

June was quite a busy month with the school year ending and all the activities that come along with it.

Nick received his red belt in karate (this was technically at the very end of May) and we were so proud of him!

Ashlee graduated from Kindergarten. It's weird to think that she's not a baby anymore. Here she is with one of her best buddies, Lilly.

The kindergarten class had a little potluck get together with all the parents. This is Ashlee's teacher, Mrs. Duman.

The end of the school year also brought the end of Ashlee's soccer season. Here she is getting her team photo and medal from her coach, Don Packard.

She was so excited about this medal, especially since it had her name engraved on it.

These are most of the girls from Ashlee's team.

Ashlee also performed in a "Goldilocks & the Three Bears" play for Kindergarten. She got to play Mama Bear and said her lines perfectly. Good job Ash!

Jere took Nick to his first professional baseball game at Comerica Park in Detroit. It was the LA Dodgers (Jere's favorite team) vs. the Tigers.

Unfortunately, the grey skies brought a torrential downpour . . .

. . . and Nick was not excited about being soaked to the bone! Even their socks were full of water! Free air conditioning, right?

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Month of May 2008

In May, we took a fun road trip to Cleveland, Ohio to see my sister Natalie and her hubby and son. They were there for a business trip and invited us to stay with them at their hotel. There was a really cool playground close by that the kids really enjoyed . . .

. . . Ashlee and Braden gave this dinosaur a good workout!

We didn't miss our chance to eat at PF Chang's, which is one of our favorite restaurants.

We also hit the Cleveland Zoo. Ashlee and Nick wasted no time mapping out our day!

We even made a quick trip to Australia! OK, so that's not entirely true. This was part of the "Australian Adventure." I thought this sign was cool because Ballarat is where I once lived.

Aaron and Braden took a ride on the camel. Don't ask me what this has to do with Australia. I don't remember seeing any when I lived there. Maybe they should move this attraction to the "Saudi Arabia Adventure." That makes way more sense, I think.

Ash and Jere admiring the lions from a distance (thankfully!)

The last day of our trip we went to the Cleveland Science Center. It was also Mother's Day. I would have liked to have been at home being pampered, but I guess whatever makes the kids happy, makes me happy, too.

I did get to go hang gliding through the Grand Canyon so I can't complain.

Jere gave himself a PET scan.

And after making fun of Aaron because he couldn't balance this skateboard for long, I was put to shame by not staying on it much longer, and to top it off, both Nick and Ash stayed on for at least 10 times longer than I did. Oh the shame!!

Ashlee used some sort of secret Egyptian balancing stance . . .

Nick also turned 9! Yeah, I can't believe it either. Here he is at our favorite b-day joint, Red Robin after opening some goodies from Grandma.

And more presents at home, including a tennis raquet and a Rubik's cube. Happy Birthday buddy!