Sunday, September 25, 2011

Life on land

Our life on land has been an entirely new journey than that on the water. The people we meet, conversations each day and relationships moving forward take a whole new perspective than our cruising life.  We love our life and still hold the memories close....I hope we always do.

I love waking up at 5:30 with Craig and watching the sunrise.  This is the view from our living room window. 
Craig has taken a position as Site Superintendent at a well known high end large home builder in town.  It'll be a welcomed change to the higher stress and laborous work his days are filled with now. It truly reflects our goals moving forward and we're celebrating the new path. The girls are sporting some of the new clothing he received. 

Jaxons kindergarten teacher, Mrs. VanEizenga, is a sweetheart!  School is going very well for all of the kids and it seems our homeschooling and life experiences have only enhanced their education.  A sigh of relief on our part and it's amazing how well adjusted they are.  Making friends, getting involved and bringing home great grades is not a problem...YEAH! 
Jaxon and his best friend, WatchOut, playing in the puppy's 'bedroom.'
The "Healing Field" at Cannonsburg ski lodge in Rockford (Grand Rapids area) had one flag for every person is passed in the 9/11 tragedy.  It was purely touching to see and thousands gathered for days to view and mourn the loss.
WatchOut on the beach was hysterical!
He never stopped!
Jaxon getting a little air time.
A walk on the pier at Grand Haven and picnic on the boardwalk with my parents.  The dog was carried half the time because he was so tired.  After this photo was taken he literally sucked down an entire fish from a nearby fisherman...YUCK!
We will miss the sunny warm days of summer.
He actually loves taking a bath!
Salmon festival in Grand Haven had many crafts and activities for kids.
Michigan rat snake climbed up Ryanns shirt so quickly.
Grandma really fooled Morgan with fake poop.  We convinced her to help clean it up and she was such a good sport.
Thank you grandma and grandpa for my doggie stuffed animal and treats.  It actually has a water bottle inside so it makes a crackling noise he loves.  
Our dear friends, John and Carrie, just got a cute little dog named Petri.  They gave WatchOut an adorable poop purse and this squeaky toy from his little girlie dog friend! 
My nephew, Alexander, turned 12 and we gathered for fun family times! 
 Ryann's friend, Helen, came for a visit and taught us Origami.  The girls had fun and she lives only a quarter mile away.  Looking forward to many more play dates with her. 
 Morgan continues her training with the dog and she was able to capture his latest moves of high fives!

The sunset at the pier head.

Friday, September 9, 2011

"Watch Out" its the Parrent Six

After saying "NO" for THREE years to getting a dog, I ran out of excuses.  It is the perfect time in our life to add a new member to the family.  Our GoldenDoodle's name is "Watch Out."  He is 8 pounds, 9 weeks old and ALL puppy!  He is actually 75% poodle and 25% golden retriever, so he's a non-shedding, hypoallergenic easy going little guy that loves attention, car rides and a good nap!
 The first day at his new home with us we had a terrible storm and these two were watching it!
 He has figured out that the only way to get down the big step from the tile floor to the hardwood flooring is to do a running jump. 
 Backing up a few weeks, my Aunt Cindy, sister Michelle, niece Elizabeth and nephew Derek came for a visit to see the house and walk the trail to Lake Michigan.  It was fun to spend time with them again.
 The girls wanted to swim so bad, but the rip current was very strong that windy day. 
 Craigs mom, Debbie came with Alexander and Emily for a walk back to the lake too. 
 The kids built sand castles and did gymnastics for hours. 

We haven't had a mailbox in so long that Ryann runs at the opportunity to get it each day!
We have gone blueberry picking a lot this summer.  The kids seem to fill their bellies every time we pick and once home we always end up making blueberry pies too.
The pole barn/Craigs shop has a three story firemans pole.  It goes from the loft bedroom to the guest house and down into the shop. 
My parents bought a Thunderbird to add to their car collection!   It's very clean, metallic color and now their new favorite ride!
Another walk back into the woods is a good reason for a photo!
The walk back in the woods as you turn a corner and can see the lake.  It's so pretty that we stop to stare every time. 
My Dad brought this huge kite that we use to have as children.  He gave one to us and other will go to my sister.  Brought back great memories and the kids had a ton of fun with it.
It was a windy day!
Optimus Prime Transformer payed a visit to our home this week.  He is a friendly Transformer (Autobot) that sleeps upstairs now!
The cleaning crew got to work in the guest apartment area.  It looked and smelled great. They even washed the windows!

The kids have a constant playmate everyday now.
He seems to have made himself at home.
We take walks on the boardwalk downtown and to north shore beach.  The kids actually tire him out.

We met another Goldendoodle named Morgan.  I guess Morgan won't even leave the house without her sunglasses on.  She was a cool dog and so big!
The kids were drawn to where ever grandma was!
The doggie door is working out well and WatchOut loves his kennel that Craig made.  He's loaded up with fun toys and treats everyday.
We spent a day building a special area for the dog to relieve himself.  Craig put up a fence and we brought in stones (since we can't grow grass).  We live on a sand dune and it use to make for a very messy dog.  Now the doggie door (bottom right corner) allows him to explore whenever he wants.  My mom was a huge help that day too and proceeded to rake the entire yard of sticks, leaves, etc. We're quite sure it had never been done.  Thanks Mom!
(See pic above): The kids took turns getting sick this week with fevers, colds and other fun stuff.  There were days of school missed, but were hoping to shake it out soon...

First day of school went really well.  Kids were very excited, love their school and teachers and it's going to be a great year. 
Our fellow Looper family friends have been in the Grand Haven port this week.  We saw the Samway family (from Miami, Florida on a 48' Kady Krogen) last weekend and plan to see the Fallon's (from Virginia on a 36' Carver) this weekend.  They both have two children.

Life is changing so quickly...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Our new adventure

We have finally settled into our home in Grand Haven and it feels like our next adventure.  It's a beach house that's built into a sand dune that feels like we're in the trees. 
 It has essentially a four car garage as this heated workshop will be great for Craigs woodworking talents.  Above the garage is a guest apartment with beds, kitchen, full bathroom, and a sauna! 
 We have frontage on Black Lake too!
It didn't take long for Jaxon and Ryann to find a good running path throughout the home. It's fun to be able to have the room to move around. 
 Our first grocery run was a big one!  We went from a 7 cubic refrigerator to a 27.  It's amazing how much space we have. 
 The sunrise every morning is incredible. 
We have a dumbwaiter for groceries to easily be transferred from the car to the pantry.  Ryann was a perfect fit, but there was no way I'd let her take the ride. 
 The backyard has a great trail out to Lake Michigan through Hoffmaster state park.  
 My mom, the kids and I took the 20 minute scenic walk one day.
 The kids can't get enough of Grandma!
 The beach was beautiful and water was warm.
 My mom, Yvonne, and Morgan have been diligently working to eliminate the weeds and bring the dune grass back to life!
I usually let my photos tell the stories, but lately I keep forgetting my camera.  Dee, Alexander and Emily came for a visit, my friend Jamie, Alex, Tori and Cole came for a beach day of fun and Craig's mom, Debbie took the kids out for a day of birthday shopping, Craig's Cruisers and ice cream.  We've been working on settling into the home and cleaning the boat.  We're still going to the pool to swim and driving to the beach for sunsets.  My sister, Michelle, Beth and Derek are here in Grand Haven now, but Derek is running a fever and we aren't able to see them....such a bummer.    

Jaxon baked his own strawberry birthday cake.  Everyone added something to the cake (Ryann just ate the frosting).  My baby is 5...ugh...and will be attending Kindergarten in two weeks.  Where does the time go? 
 My parents showered him with gifts and came with 5 balloons to celebrate with us.  Jaxon picked homemade pizza for dinner.
 Transformers is still the gift of choice three years running.
 We went for a boat ride out to Lake Michigan and anchored out at the beach near our home.
 Next to the nice flat path that leads to our home is this huge sand dune.
 We made the climb to the top and had a great view of the boat (and dinghy).
 Behind the dune we could see Black Lake (on right), but not our home amongst the millions of trees.
 We took the path through the woods as the sand was so hot.
 The run down the dune was ten times faster than the walk up.

 Jaxon lost his second tooth and Ryann lost two teeth...ALL in one day!
 Craig's shop is a bit overwhelming to organize.  It's like me organizing my kitchen, but so much more. 
 My grandfather, Wes, gave us a paddle boat from his cottage up north in the Muskegon River.  My parents were so kind to go up there, paddle it all the way to the landing, and deliver to us dockside!  The kids are super excited to paddle instead of rowing the kayaks.
I was asked by a fellow boater friend to talk at her company outing (Michigan State Health Care Professionals) about our travels.  I was flattered and enjoyed telling our story.  I felt guilty that they paid me, but couldn't turn down the offer.
School starts two weeks from today and the kids are getting so excited.  It's the next chapter, the journey of life, we all lead everyday.