Welcome to Anybody Home!

Here you will find scattered pictures from my point and shoot camera, random thoughts from my little world, treasured memories of days gone by, hopeful dreams of the days yet to come, and a bunch of ideas - because I've always got ideas!

Monday, July 09, 2018

Summer Birthday Party for Kado and Feintsje

It was a warm, sunny afternoon, perfect to celebrate the birthdays of Kado and Feintsje.
Kado is now NINE years old, and Feintsje is now SEVEN.
The two "cousins" from our side of the family, Hertsje and Broeder, are still on a family vacation with their "other" cousins, but there were no shortage of cousins from Son-in-laws side of the family.  He is the oldest of six.  I think these kids are going to have many cousins to go through life with, which I think is wonderful, as my cousins meant so much to me growing up!
This is Famke with the youngest of her girl cousins.  There are three other girl cousins, one who lives in Georgia.  They got to see her a few weeks ago.
Son-in-law and Daugther host excellent parties.
This guy knows his way around a grill.
There was a TON of great food.
Oh, and he also built a table just the day before the party.
A table that comfortably seats fourteen.
This man has so many fantastic skills, one of them being a terrific father to his four children.

My two sisters came too!
One lives about an hour north of me, and the other about an hour south, so it is always great when we get to see them and their families.
Daughter with her adorable youngest nephew.
I cannot begin to tell you how excited her three sons were to finally have a BOY cousin on that side of the family. 
 Oh, Charley.
I love this dog so much.
He is a sweetheart.
He is also getting very old.
But he certainly did perk up for the party!
Even he knows a good party when he sees one.

They did get a bunch of presents!
Grandparents of NINE, Eight who were at the party!
 The cake was amazing!
I had two bites.
Cousins AND Best Friends!

Daughter-in-law, sporting her new sassy haircut!
The cake was so good!
In the back ground you can see my brother-in-law and his grandson, Great Nephew.  He was excited to see Kado, now that they are BOTH nine.
It used to bother Kado that Great Nephew ALWAYS got to be a year older before he did.
One year, Kado even decided that it would be more fair if HE got to have his birthday first
By now though, Kado has figured out how that all works.

Son-in-law's Brother with his son.

My grandchildren are over having me take pictures of them.
It was fun to zoom in on these cuties without having them stick their hands in front of their faces!
My niece and her husband also came to celebrate.
They come from about an hour east of us.
See what I mean about Son-in-law and Daughter hosting great parties?
People truly come from all over just to go to their parties!
One of my other nieces is on the left.
She is Great Nephews mom.
She also came from about an hour north of us.
We shall be having two more summer birthday parties for grandchildren.
Broeder, who is now FIVE, and Famke who will be ELEVEN in one month!

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Independence Day Breakfast, 2018

July 4th Breakfast has been a tradition for decades now.
It started with our family and my parents.
We would have breakfast together, and then  THGGM, my dad and our kids would go to the parade in Grandville, which in the beginning of our doing this was just a few blocks away from us.
The first time we did this, my mom and Oldest Son were terrified by the airplanes and LOUDNESS that she walked back to our house with him.
A few years after, my mom and I stopped going.  The guys and the kids went, while my mom and I stayed back and handmade our Christmas cards!
Jump ahead at least a decade, and now it's Daughter and her family that leave after breakfast to go to the parade.
Soon after, everyone scatters for their own plans for the holiday.
This still remains one of my favorite family traditions!

And like all other family traditions, our menu varies very little from year to year.
Why mess with it when it works?
This year, Youngest Son didn't eat.
He is doing a juice fast.
His kids, Hertsje and Broeder, are camping along Lake Michigan this week with the other side of their family.
We missed them, but they were SOOO EXCITED to spend the week with three of their "other cousins" who live in Georgia and Nebraska.
In our family, we value our relationships with cousins!
Daughter's family spent the rest of their day with "other cousins" too!
In our family, we didn't have that.  THGGM had one brother who never married and had no children.

One thing we never lack over here on this holiday is FOOD!
Everything we have (except for grilling the sausages) is put together the day before.
This makes for a much calmer morning!
Although THGGM had to get up at 5:00 AM to start the crockpot  he did not seem to mind, as his normal get up time is 3:30.
We are getting much use out of the patio we had put in last year.
I'm so glad we did that!
On our menu, besides the grilled sausages, we had:
Fresh Fruit
Blueberry Muffins
Cheesy Hashbrowns
Green Chili Quiche
Ham and Broccoli Quiche
Homemade Granola
Orange Juice

Zeke is the happiest when we are all eating OUTSIDE!
The only things blooming in my backyard this summer are the Desert Candles
This is us!

Friday, June 15, 2018

Road Trip!

THGGM took today off.
At 8:15 we hopped into the car.
Two hours and fifteen minutes later, we were in Traverse City.
We started out antique shopping at Wilson's, then walked around downtown.
It was warm and 84 when we arrived.
 Of course we stopped at our favorite coffee shop, Espresso Bay to have the sugar-free Milky Way.
We had the frozen ones!
Very good, and the perfect treat after a warm morning of shopping! 

Next on our list of things to do was to drive to Leland for Whitefish and Chips at The Cove.
THGGM checked out the deck, but it was chilly so we stayed inside.
For dessert we had the Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake.
Notice that we shared!
Seriously, I intended to have a mere two bites.
Good thing they gave us two spoons instead of two forks, or someone might have been stabbed.
Fishtown is always a great spot to walk around, so after lunch we did just that!
Can you believe it?
Outside of The Cove there was a BLOOMING lilac bush. 
As we walked over the bridge, it started to rain.
And rain, and rain, and rain some more.
Oh, look!
It is FIFTY NINE degrees!
Our next stop was to be Sleeping Bear Dunes.
This was the part of our trip I was MOST looking forward to.
But, with the incessant rain and the much cooler temperature, we drove right on through.
Stopping only briefly at the visitor center. 
Not that it isn't a great visitor center.
It is..
But I was disappointed, to say the least.

Still cold and rainy at Arcadia Bluffs.
Did we get out and enjoy the foggy, rainy view?
We did not.
I did see a couple with an umbrella walk out on the observation deck, although I can't imagine they could have possibly seen anything but fog and rain. 
I watched raindrops slide down the windows while THGGM took a much needed nap.
And then we drove home.
In the rain.
We stopped for coffee in Manistee, where it was sixty and rainy.
So, since we didn't get to walk or drive through Sleeping Bear Dunes, we had time to make it to Kado's baseball game.
He had a great game (that is him in the blue batting helmut)!
We even got to hear his team sing Happy Birthday to him as he passed out cupcakes and Gatorade to them.

Oh, and did you notice the temperature at Kado's game?
86 degrees.
And it was SUNNY!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Beautiful Afternoon Along Lake Michigan

 When Pake got out of work we took a quick afternoon trip to PJ Hoffmaster State Park.

Tomorrow will be Kado's 9th birthday, so he got to choose where we would go!

A nice guy at the Visitor Center offered to take our picture.
Every family has one, right?
The kid who wants to jump into every picture?
Today, ours was Kado.
To say he was excited about his impending birthday would be an understatement.
Feintsje finds this exhibit fascinating.
Even watching the short video about it, he said it gave him a weird memory of being afraid when he was younger that they were REALLY as big as this model.
Then his next question was, "COULD they get that big?"
I certainly hope not!
Oh, and Kado is posing.
You know, what with his birthday being tomorrow and all that.

After looking at everything possible INSIDE, we headed into the woods to hike to the beach and the dunes.
Again, notice Kado.
He was certain to get the very most out of his last day of being eight.

It was in the low 70's, overcast, and extremely still along the lake.
That does not often happen.
There are times when you cannot even hear what someone is saying just a few feet away.

The grandkids have a sort of "renewable" energy that Pake and I no longer possess. 
While they raced through the woods, up and down dunes, and back through the woods again, we meandered on behind them.
Kado came back for me.
I'm glad he did!
I was missing so many things along the trail that he was happy to point out to me.
I have NEVER seen anything like this, and I've been taking pictures along this trail for decades.
Some sort of weird fungus growing on a fallen tree, it would seem.
Kado thought it looked like leather.
I thought it looked like an enormous slice of dried beef. 
He found this too.
I would have happily hurried right past her.
He was sure she was the mother of the pin-dot sized baby spiders crawling all over a nearby web.

And then it was home, through back roads to avoid rush hour traffic.
Onward and forward to tonight's baseball game!