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.    

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Spring Lake, Michigan

Another great Michigan summer!  We can't get enough of the sun and fun.  Pictured here with my parents and their dinghy, we went to the beach for the day and did lot's of swimming in the warm water. 
 Our home port of Grand Haven, Michigan is Coast Guard City USA!!  Each year there's a HUGE event for two weeks with a ton of festivities and people, parades and events.  Pictured here is the hill opposite of the town that hosts a water fountain light show (under the temporary sign here) every night across from the municipal marina. 
 Very popular anchorage that day with a ton of our boating friends all around! 
 My kids love grandma and grandpas dinghy!  Behind them is the carnival and municipal marina to the left (free wall to tie up on the right). 
 My friend Carrie let us park in her driveway and walk to the Kids Day event close to her home. 
 It was a really scenic walk through the woods with lots of hills and trees. 
 Ryann was super impressed with a girl in the Coast Guard!
 Kids day had a ton of sponsors, fun activities, giveaways and all sorts of great things kids love. 
 Scoopee from Culvers is always a hit!
 Coastie is another favorite among the masses of children.
 We opted to do our Home Depot activity in the comfort of our boat.  The long lines, humidity with a threat of rain, and crowds made this the better choice. They are even using Jaxons Home Depot tools.
 The Coast Guard ships were very impressive. We toured 2 of the 4 and included the Mackinaw!
 A view from the helm...what an awesome experience to tour through it.
 Craig's sister, Dee Dee, turned 40 this week and my parents gave her 40 birthday balloons! 
 It's as if we planned for the two smiley face balloons to be in the photo!
 Grandpa Wes loves his "Little Debbie"....he nicknamed her after her Grandma Debbie due to all of the similarities. 
 My Aunt Cindy and sister Michelle threw a great bridal shower for my cousin Christa from Virginia.  My sister was unable to come at the last minute as Rob's grandma passed away suddenly.  We were sad not to have her and Beth not there.  Craig built an addition and remodel to their home last year with a custom kitchen.
 The girls were all dressed up and had a fun time.  I did not get a photo of the adults...
 Dee's husband, Mark, threw a huge surprise party at the Score for her.  When she lifted her hand up like this I thought she was going to smack him for what he did..haha! 
 About 80 people were there to help her celebrate and it was a great time. 
 For over three years we have stored our belongings at Craigs parents home in Ada. 
 Again...that's THREE years of being homeless...living on the RV from June 15, 2008, on to the boat, then a temporary rental for the winter months and back onto the boat. 

We're ready for our next adventure....living in a home, school, jobs, etc. 
It's probably time to settle down for awhile.