Saturday, May 26, 2007

Have TB's, Will Travel

Let me introduce you...

This is Miss Monkey. She is a adventurous little monkey that desires to travel the world and visit zoos. While she has been staying with us she went to Potter Park and is currently on her way to the National Zoo in DC.

This is I'm A Bill or Bill for short. Bill desires to visit as many State capitals as possible including the capital in DC. He visited the capital here in Michigan and is on his way to DC with Miss Monkey.

This American Hero:Firefighter. We have nicknamed him Hero Bear for short. His goal is too see America in all it's glory. While here in the Lansing area my friend's daughter took him to their local fire station. And we did the same. The firefighters welcomed him in and let the kids take pictures on one of the rigs. Hero Bear will be traveling East, destination to be determined.

These are a few of our travel bugs that we have picked up the last 2 weeks while geocaching. It has been fun having them around but now it is time to send them on their way. Each with a goal. A destination. The kids and I will be heading East to visit my Aunt, while hubby holds down the fort. While we are there we will help some of these guys meet some of their goals or try to move them one step closer to it. Who knows what kind of travel bugs we may meet on our trip and how we can help them on their journey's.

Living life vicariously through inanimate objects. Have travel bugs, will travel!

Friday, May 25, 2007

The Son-In-Laws

My parents have three daughter (and a son.) All three of us girls married. Enter the three son-in-laws. They have an unwritten code. Only one can attend any given family event. Well, it was never really established this way or thought out but it has now become the family joke. If my husband is there, the other two are inevitably not. If my sister's husband is there, the other two are not. No one ever plans it this way but between work schedules and traveling it never quite works out for them to be at the same family event. One would think they plan it out and take a rotation of who's turn it is to show up.

Last night we had a great cook out at my parents house. It was my husband's turn to show up.

Maybe this year at family camp they will all be in the same place at the same time. If it happens I will be sure to get a picture.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Cool Video

This time lapse video is of corn seeds growing over a 10 day period.

I have subscribed to a cool blog that lists fun and educational videos for easy access to homeschoolers. Check them out at

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

What Does It Look Like Again?

With the entrance of nice weather comes being outdoors. For my family it means hiking and most recently geocaching. Which has taken us into the woods for a few caches, ok many caches. Pretty much every summer it is inevitable, contact with poison ivy. I am one of those people who get it. Now you would think by now I would know what it looks like and avoid it. You would think. Not the case. Let's have a reminder now of what it DOES look like.
Visiting the poison ivy site, I am reminded. LEAVES OF THREE, LET THEM BE!

Needless to say the kids and I have all gotten it. Thankfully this year's recovery has been MUCH better than year's past. Thanks to Aveeno! Their colloidal oatmeal bath along with their anti-itch cream has done wonders. And it is kid friendly. The kids rash did not even spread. Mine did because I initially thought I had bug bites which I itched and spread the poison ivy to other parts of my body. DOH! It is almost gone now and Aveeno has really worked well.
Scroll down to anti-itch to learn more about the products.

Science lesson over.

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Weekend

Friday night I got a call from my good friend's mother. My friends husband had been hit by a SUV going 60mph while her husband was going around 20mph on his bicycle. Praise God he is alive and well. Banged up and bruised but in good spirits. He had surgery on his shoulder on Saturday. He is currently home and resting. Thank You Lord for your protective hand!

While up to the hospital visiting above friend, I got to meet my new nephew, Luke. See cute picture of him on previous post. He's adorable. Mom and baby are well. They have quite a birth story but I will let Mindy tell it on her blog in due time.

On Saturday we went to Fitness Fair at church and had a good time. I rappelled off the roof. The first few moments going over the edge were awkward but I made it safely back to the ground. No crazy jumping away from the wall for me. Nice gentle descent. I got a great massage ate some good food. The kids had fun on the inflatables. I raced both my boy and my friend in the bungee bean bag. Good times. Hubby spent the afternoon giving rides on his motorcycle. He got a kick out of the kids, one girl in particular who kept wanting to go faster. How fast can you really go in a church parking lot? If you did not attend this year, I highly recommend you go next year.

After the fitness fair we hit some caches. One that was a travel bug motel. Someone got there before us and took the TB I really wanted, but I still managed to get two that I will send out to meet their goals. We also found some small caches that are called micros. They were in matchstick containers. They were a bit tricky and took some time to find them but we found them. We are currently at 38 finds in the world of geocaching.

Sunday we went to church, where the message was on unity in the family. This has been a recent prayer focus for me. Unity in the church, unity in marriage and unity in families. Good stuff.

In the evening I headed over for a tri training time with fellow triathletes. I had predetermined I wanted to do a half tri consistently moving from one discipline to the next so I could work on transitions. What I did not take into consideration was the weather. It was 55, cloudy and windy. I did it anyway. With lifeguard approval I got in and swam within the perimeters of the swim area. IT WAS COLD! The coldness threw off my breathing making it easier to swim with my head out of the water. Not the norm for me but I finished the distance none the less. And moved right away to the bike. In setting up my transition zone I forgot to lay out my helmet. And I forgot to attach my front break when I put the tire back on. Oops. I quickly retrieved the helmet from the trunk and attached the brake after trying to brake the first time and realizing my mistake. The tire still seemed off so instead of doing the road course I adjusted the wheel and opted to ride 5 miles around the lake instead. Being wet and knowing the guys were going to pass me, I wanted to be where I could stop if needed. After riding 5 miles. I transitioned to my run. Running 1.5 miles, one time around the lake. It felt good and I pushed myself to finish. I ended it after 58 minutes of continuous movement. I was a bit cold but not traumatized. It made me that much more confident of the actual triathlon. It also made me desire weather conditions of 70 degrees and no wind for race day. Less than 2 weeks of training left.

Have a great day!

Friday, May 18, 2007


My newest nephew is here. Proud daddy sent on his picture. I hope to see him today.

He looks so beautifully handsome.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Trinity Fitness Fair

What: Trinity Fitness Fair
Where: Trinity Church at 3355 Dunckel Rd Lansing
Who: Something for everyone
When: Saturday, May 19, 2007 (9am-2pm)
Activities include: 5K fun run, 3-0n-3 basketball tournament, inflatables, face painting, motorcycle rides (my hubby) soccer, football and golf clinics, sand volleyball, archery, Dr discussions on various health topics, yoga, pilates, karate, dance classes, dodgeball, rappelling off the roof, frisbee golf, blood drive, massages and much more.

To get more time specific schedule information, go to this page and click on fitness fair schedule.

I will be rappelling off the roof and have already signed up for a massage. Hope to see you there!

Here He Comes

Mindy's in labor. Woohoo!
Praying for a safe delivery. I can't wait to meet him.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Girl's Date And Other Stuff

The boy had a sleep over at his cousin's so after the housework was (mostly) done, little girl and I went on a date. We loaded up the bike and tag-along. Packed a lunch and headed out for one of our favorite parks. Before I left I got the coordinates for a couple caches within the park. The park has some nice bike trails making caching by bike a nice option for us. Little girl likes treasure hunting, she does not always enjoy hiking. We biked and found the two treasures. The one was the glitter cache and everything inside was glittery. Perfect for little girl and our girl's only date.
The weather was gorgeous (83 degrees) and the splash pad was open so we found our swimsuits in the gym bag. We had so much fun. I took a few pictures of the girl and she took some of me.

After we splashed around we decided to go down to the lake as the guard was on duty and people were in the water. I put on my swim cap and goggles and swam out to the buoy and back. This was a bit of an eye opener for me as I am SOOO used to the pool were you touch feet against the side of the pool every 25yds. I swam out and started heading back a bit disoriented from the break in my rhythm. I ended up touching down as soon as I could touch before continuing on. It made me realize this pool mentality I have. I think ifit would have been a straight live it would not have bothered me but turning around without touching down and breaking up my breathing threw me.

Today I went to the gym wanting to figure out how to fix it. I set the time for 15 minutes and swam it continuously WITHOUT TOUCHING THE WALL to turn around. I did it! I swam 600yds and only once (accidentally) touched the wall. I realized even in the midst of turning I need to keep my breathing pattern. HUGE difference. No longer concerned about the swim, still want another warm day to try it out.

I went with my parents to the grave sides and got pictures and GPS coordinates for them. I am in the midst of putting all the information together and plan to send it on to family members. Still need to do a few more that we did not make it to the other day.

My homeschool support group had an open house last night. I am amazed at how many families are a part of this group; over 200. And all the resources we have available to us. I signed up for Enrichment Day in the fall. They had openings for 8-9 more families and we were number 9 to sign up so I am hoping we DO get in. If they fill up for AM we do have PM as an option but most of my peer group is in the AM class. Hope to know soon.

The falcons did not hatch. It was an unsuccessful clutch. They may breed again and still have a late clutch this year. No hatchlings to watch. (Sad)

Plugging away at school. Vacation is coming up SOON. I am getting excited about the trip. I plan to convert my aunt and uncle into geocaching. Sounds like they are up for the challenge and excited about it too. We plan to take a few travel bugs along with us to move them along towards their goal. Miss Monkey will be seeing the National Zoo and The Bill will go to see the capital. Lots of fun to be had.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Kids Portrait

Our church had a couple photographers taking pictures the week before mother's day. They then printed off some of the pictures and gave them to the mother's as a gift. They are available online if anyone is interested I can send the web address and you can print your own copy.

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Salamander Room

A couple years ago when a homeschool resource center was going out of business, I picked up this book. After finding the salamander in the woods over the weekend I remembered we had it. Cuddled up on the couch, the boy and I read it. GREAT READ! A boy finds a salamander and wants to bring it home. His mother asks questions of how he will care for it. The boy is imaginative as he think how he will create a habitat suitable for the salamander. I had to read it a few times with promises to read it again today. Great for boys who like to explore the woods. Perfect for us as we had just found one. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Hike Bike Run Swim

How I chose to spend Mother's Day.

First the hike as we went out as a family and found 4 geocaches. Grandma came along for the last two.

In the evening I met up with some of the other athletes from the tri class at Hawk Island. This was the first time for many of them to even be at the park so it was a great way to view the course. We rode the bike route, they rode the full course. I cut 2 miles off and met back with the leaders just seconds before them. We rode the run route on our bikes before putting them up, the jog into the woods is very short, I had wondered about this. After securing our bikes we did one full lap around the lake (1.5miles) I ran it in 15.32, Which I was pleased with. I want to keep the run on race day under 35 so this pace was under that. One of the guys did his furthest run distances yet and we were all very proud of him. Actually I am proud of everyone. We were all curious about the water temp and since I had on my trisuit to try it out I said I would go in. J said he would if I did. He thought I meant put our toes in but no I meant in IN. We both did it. Initially it felt like ice water. Then it didn't seem that bad. I dove in and took a few strokes. Wishing I had my goggles J retrieved his from his bag and we both gave a go of swimming in the lake. First time breathing with your face in the cold it catches you. But not terrible. The water is MUCH clearer than I anticipated. I am so thankful I got in and did it. I now know I have nothing to fear about the water temp on race day. We were in for 8-10 minutes which will be the length on time it will take to swim the distance. Not even a slight sign of hypothermia or concern so I say it's a go. No wetsuit. The lifeguard said they had not yet taken a reading on the water temp so he was not certain of the actual temp. I may take a thermometer back today and see what it is now. It is only going to warmer, expected low 70's for race day.

That is how I chose to spend my day. Family and friends. Geocaching and training. Call me crazy but it was an awesome day.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

6 Years of Motherhood

Motherhood for me began six years ago with the birth of our son. My heart grew even more with the birth of our daughter. What a blessing it is to be mom to these beautiful children. Blessed blessed blessed I tell ya.

Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Oh The Places We've Been

While out hunting for geocaches this last week.

We have been to some interesting places.

So far we have found 15 caches.

Here are some interesting clues to multi-caches. Ones where you have to find a clue before finding the treasure.

We have also seen some awesome wildlife.
A red salamander.

Turtles amongst many others.

There has been a wide variety of habitat. Anyone know what this plant is?

We have found that caches can be in many shapes and sizes.

And some hiders are very creative.

We have picked up a hitch hiker. Meet Miss Monkey, she desires to travel the world. She is a travel bug that goes from cache to cache. You could find her if you figure out where we put her.

While out hunting for treasure we have taken time to enjoy the places we find.
Apparently my kids really like to swing.

Sometimes... it can get a little messy. But oh so fun. Messiness is optional as you do have a choice to proceed.

Where will you go to find treasure?

Register at to begin a hunt of your own. My family is willing to take anyone on their first hunt. Just give us a call we would love to get you started.

Friday, May 11, 2007


Here are a few things that have been happening in our neck of the woods. (Thanks Al Roker)

Hands on learning is always fun. Here are the kids shopping for their toys. We put price tags on each and they have a bag of money. Even little girl was able to count out the change needed to buy everything with her pennies. I did not have anything over 10 cents for her and the boys items were priced up to 20 cents, giving him practice with nickels and dimes.

The blue trucker is gone. DS inflated the tires so that the tow truck could tow it away. Bye bye Blue. Thanks tow truck guy, I really wanted my drive way back.

The more we play outside the better these kids sleep. Here is little girl crashed out late in the afternoon.

Free sale tomorrow. Lots to sort through today.

I am singing again. I joined the choir at church which sings quarterly. Our first practice was last night and it was so nice. A great group of people. Thankful to be a part of a group of singers again. It has been YEARS!!!

The peregrine falcons at Rhodes Tower in Ohio have had a no hatch. Four eggs were laid and none have hatched. Sad. Donna, the biologist, will remove the eggs today. To watch or read, visit the falcon site.

My father-in-law shared with hubby a BRILLIANT idea. He is planning on taking a GPS to the cemetery and plotting the coordinates of family members grave sites. He does quite a bit of work for the family tree and family history. I think it is a great idea because I know how frustrating it can be to get to the cemetery and have no clue on where the grave site is. How nice would it be to put in the mark and go right to it. Or within a few feet anyway. I have encouraged my parents to do the same. (Mom/Dad this if your friendly reminder.) I know that our parents will not always be around, I may not always remember where to look. I really want to add this kind of info to all of our family trees. Perhaps you could do the same for future generations.

Geocaching is my new favorite pass time, more posts to follow on this one.

We are counting down the days until Summer break. It will be 4 weeks from today.
The weather has been so gorgeous this week. I can not wait until we will have endless hours to explore the great outdoors. When I went to the store yesterday I planned for picnics. Lots and lots of picnics. Geocaching has taken us to some beautiful places and parks and we must eat while we play.

Here's to buckling down and finishing strong.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

You Shall Call Me Dr. Mom

Little girl came to me with an emergency. Baby Grace her most beloved had a broken leg. I scrubbed up, prepared the operating room and went to work.

I am happy to report she came out of surgery just fine and has made a full recovery.

Inspiring Video

Watch and remember
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.(Phil 4:13)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Prayer Request

My friends, Bartt and Laine have a 3 year old daughter. She has Guillaume-Barre Syndrome, where her immune system attacks the nervous system. She is almost paralyzed, and only has the ability to talk at this point. The next concern is that she will have full respiratory failure. She is in Sparrow Pediatric ICU. This syndrome is not always permanent, she may come out of it, but it takes time. The risk of her having very severe complications is the problem now.

Please pray!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Thoughts in my Head

I feel like a curtain has been lifted. That in the recesses of my mind there was a place that existed that for years I had nicely tucked away and forgotten about. Memories. Life experiences. Relationships. As I have reconnected with Jen it is like that part of me has awaken. At first it was foggy. When she mentioned going to her grandparents I thought to myself, 'hmm, did I go there?' Then it just took one memory of riding bikes to bring back a whole flood. I can remember minute details of that trip. The attack of the fish. Turtles. Cards.
As I have been driving around the last couple of days, the memories keep coming. I find myself laughing out loud over something we did. Memories, rich memories are alive in my brain.

As I think over this I am amazed at the minds power to remember and forget. The complexity of it boggles my mind. It makes me also think about how blogging is preserving memories for the future. I can remember with detail things that I have blogged about. I think this is because I relived the experience as I processed it to write the post. Then I periodically reread something. Remembered in detail. Whether I posted all the details or not. My mind revisited it so it said hey remember this it's important. There are things from my upbringing that I experienced and never gave it a second thought. I did not review it and say hey this was an awesome day or talk about with anyone so my mind has discarded it. Others may remember the day in full and I could question if I was even there. Even though the pictures show I was there. I wonder what else is in my head that I have forgotten about.

I know one thing I am very glad that I have this blog to look back over and remember. Not only for myself but also for my kids. Long after I am gone my words can still be found. Their mothers voice spoken over post after post of my life.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Tire Swing

On Saturday morning the boy and his dad went to a local car shop and picked out the perfect used tire for a tire swing (for free). We already had the rope hanging on a tree in the back corner of our property (thanks uncle ben) so installing it was no problem. The kids love it.

Sunday, May 06, 2007


Oh my goodness! We are now so addicted to geo caching.
I have been thinking about starting geo caching or letter boxing with the kids. Treasure hunting/ hiking, sounded like fun.
Today at the Spring Fling they had a booth for geo caching and some veterans who took us out on our first find. It was a blast. The boy loved tracking the treasure on the GPS and kept us on track. We all loved looking through the treasures when we found the cache. As soon as we re-hid the first we had already determined we were ready for our next. Only a quarter mile away, we went looking for it. At first we passed it and then found it. Jackpot. Addiction grew.
We made up our code family name, signed the log books and headed back in to tell the grandparents about our adventure. It was then that the boy and I decided to try one more. Since it was at a State Park there were quite a few in the area. One of the guys at the booth had set one out that day and we decided to give it a try. We spent an hour looking but never did find it. It was in a ravine and we lost signal a few times. Oh well.
Adventure does not stop there. As soon as we got home the kids were bubbling over as they explained to dad about our finds. Dad was interested in learning more so we found one within a mile of our house and headed out to introduce dad to our new hobby. We were a bit off at first and then some VERY EXPERIENCED cachers (they were on find number 48 for the day) came along and invited us to join them. We found the treasure, asked lots of questions and learned some interesting things. There are hundreds of thousands of caches hidden ALL OVER THE WORLD. There may even be one just down the road and you never knew it. Needless to say my family is completely and totally HOOKED.

What you need:
A sense of adventure
A couple trinkets to trade (if you so desire) McDonald's toys will do

To find out more about geocaching, check out this site here. To get actual coordinates to caches you must register. Good news is IT'S FREE!

Brighton Spring Fling

Looking to get outdoors today?
The Brighton State Recreational Area is having an awesome outdoor event to get people out and about. Over 30 organizations will be present and some will be having hands-on activities.
Something for everyone. The event is free but vehicle permit required. Annual sticker($24) or daily permit($6)

Time Class/Activity Group

Noon Guided Trail Hike by: Hiking Michigan Organization

1:00 Proper Use of Lifejackets by: US Coast Guard

1:30 Guided Mushroom Hunt by: Michigan Morel Hunters Club

2:30 Outdoor Cooking by: Girl Scouts of America

3:00 The Aliens Among Us by: DNR Stewardship

3:30 Du it or Tri it! Triathlon by: Elite Endeavors

4:00 Geocaching Demo's by: Michigan Geocaching Organization

Saturday, May 05, 2007

He Is My Husband's Son

DS: I do not like band-aids.
ME: Why?
DS: Because they are too sticky.
ME: They need to be sticky so that they stay on.
DS: I would just use duct tape

Friday, May 04, 2007

Water Challenge

Remember 52 and 53 from this post?
I don't think I have learned my lesson.
When I workout I usually have a 32oz water bottle that I finish off before the end of my work out. Then the rest of the day I may consume 8oz, maybe. The reality I am still living life dehydrated. The sad thing is my body is so used to it, it thinks this is the way it is suppose to be. One reality for me is the fact that I rarely sweat. I am not saying this for the girl factor that "we don't sweat, we glisten." No I don't sweat. This is not good. As I have been training I am working out HARD. My body is heating up and not having a sufficient way to cool itself. I occasionally get a little sweaty, I have concluded that my body can only produce minimal amounts so it does so late in the workout to try and cool the brain and the heart. Enough about sweat.
The fact is I need to up my water intake. Previous attempts at this have failed. I fill up a glass and let it sit there, all day. My girlfriend shared with me what she has done in the past and it is totally working for me. The water challenge. To drink four 32oz containers of water a day. That is a gallon of water. Mind you I was previously drinking less than 40. How I do it. I set the timer on my watch to 2 hours and fill up one 32oz bottle. I have that two hour period to finish of the bottle. At the end of the two hours I fill it up again. And again. And again.
I am on day 4 of the water challenge. The previous three have been a complete success. What usually happens is I sip on it here and there and then about 15 minutes before the time is up I realize I have the whole thing to drink so I start chugging. The kids think it is hilarious and have taken to asking me how much time I have left and then tell me to "chug a lug." Yesterday it was even affective in getting the boy to complete a school assignment.
Now I am finding myself hydrated. I am also finding myself in the bathroom. I actually answered the phone yesterday and they asked "How are you doing?" general life question. My reply, "About to pee my pants." I better get used to it.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Praying for Heather

Today is the day and the hour is near. Heather is under going surgery. Brain surgery.

Click on the button to read her last post. Absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!!
And please, pray! Kellie has organized a prayer vigil if you should choose to participate.