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, August 21, 2017

Exciting Day!

Not only one, but TWO kids learned to ride the bike WITHOUT training wheels today!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Summer Afternoon, Summer Afternoon...

Saturday was THE perfect summer afternoon.
Hertsje worked on her "flips" with only minimal help from her daddy.

Broeder took swimming lessons this summer, so all the grand children know the basics of staying afloat.
There was even time for relaxing "girl talk" between Famke and Hertsje.

These two have always gotten along "swimmingly".

Age doesn't seem to play as much of a role in the pool as it sometimes does on dry land. Although these girls have a lot of common interests.

Feintje likes to add style to his jumps.

On Thursday the kids pulled the mini trampoline up to the pool, got a good running start and jumped right in over the side!  I did not get in pictures of that, but there is still time.

One more week of summer vacation!

Then, Jonge will be a sixth grader, and in MIDDLE SCHOOL!
Famke will be in fifth grade
Kado in third.
Feintsje goes off to first grade.
Hertsje begins full-time kindergarten.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Random Thoughts from Judy

Today I had so many things planned to accomplish. Well, that's not happening. I seem to not be feeling well. I'm sitting on my couch sipping a Diet Coke, while not enjoying it very much. So, let's see if I'm thinking of anything worth clicking my keys about...

1.  I'm reading a bunch of books, and finding it amazing how such varied ideas and stories rolling around in my head and in print seem to come together to make sense of so many things. I'm reading one book that I've purchased both in print and in hard copy just so I can immerse myself in it wherever I happen to be. I'm also perusing a "reader" book on someone who's thoughts I find interesting, but are way beyond the limits of my education and ability to understand. Yet I'm ever so slowly making wee bits of progress with it. Then there is Katherine Anne Porter's book "Ship of Fools" which is teaching me many things, as it seems we are all on our very own ship of fools these days. What amazes me is that I bought this book a year or two ago at a thrift store because it was a golden yellow color and I wanted it to adorn my fall themed mantel. You know, a golden yellow book to hold up a few pumpkins and such. It helped that the author was Katherine Anne Porter, someone I had at least heard of before. Anyway, this book is long and in places rather dull. But the theme of it is incredibly timely. And if you don't have time to read it, the 1965 black and white movie "Ship of Fools" is pretty good too. I rented it at Amazon.
2.   We have finished one complete week of THGGM not working. It's been interesting. This is what he has accomplished so far:
a. ripped up carpet in the front entryway and hallway
b. painted the plywood floors (three coats of copper penny), just to see if that will work while we decide about more permanent flooring - or if it will even be necessary
c. unrolled, inspected, and cleaned a large section of carpet we moved with us 10 years ago, to find that yes, it is still in very good condition and will very soon go into our living room after he rips out that carpeting
d. brought home a section of white vinyl picket fencing to put as a visual barrier between the road and our side door
e. purchased a three piece set of white wicker furniture to put in the side yard up against the new fencing so people can sit and talk to him while he is on his porch swing.
f. restained most of our old pine furniture, dough bowls, wooden boxes, etc...
g. painted the outside roof over our bay window
h. trimmed bushes and shrubs
i. cleaned the garage
j. made plans to sell a lot of our acquisitions in a garage sale he hopes to have soon
k. just returned from grocery shopping, also put groceries away as I don't feel well
l. watched YouTube videos on how to paint floors, fix toilets, repair a clock, and replace the switch on our washing machine (which now only agitates if we place his bowling ball on the lid)
3.  There is still a  long list of things he PLANS to do, I know this because he showed it to me. I'll spare you. But it did look rather daunting to me
4. I feel like I've really accomplished something if I manage to load and unload the dishwasher each day and keep up on laundry. But, I HAVE also done a few things:
a. organized my jewelry, putting much of it in the "new" jewelry box I purchased about a year ago, sorted out all the bracelets I've been making, hung all my necklaces on an old tie wrack in the back of my closet
b. cleaned out my make-up drawer, which was oddly FULL, odd because I only ever use three of the things in that full drawer
c. cleaned half of one draw in my dresser, found many interesting things that distracted me from the task at hand
d.  cleaned out the puzzle dresser, which is now my night stand. have about six puzzles to add to THGGM's garage sale, couldn't yet part with the dozens of other puzzles, although no child has touched one in the past six months
e. realized (AGAIN!) that I have a HUGE problem with getting rid of things that have even a shadow of sentimental value to me, and decided that I'll think about it  tomorrow...  (maybe)
5. Besides this, we've had the four oldest grand kids three days a week and have taken them twice to Meijer Gardens to roam around which has turned out to be fun for all of us.
6. Oh, and that pool I didn't ever want? It gets A LOT of use. I might have to change my mind about it after all.
7.  Not much crafting has gone on here this summer. On the plus side, swimming in a pool, riding bikes, playing outside, makes considerably much less mess than crafting does.  I keep thinking there will be a rainy day, or a day too hot to be outside, but so far this summer has been incredible weather-wise.
8.  The OTHER list of accomplishments we are working on this month is getting all of our dental/medical appointments in so everything we need done can be done while we still have coverage, or, at least the coverage we are used to. Friday I went to the dentist, and on Monday I saw a specialist I've been waiting months to finally see. Nothing new on that front, just more appointments! It's good to cross things off lists though, isn't it?
9.  Recently I have had to replace nearly all of my clothes.  I'm making a point to get rid of what no longer fits (i do NOT have trouble getting rid of clothes) as I cannot allow myself to gain back any weight. No. Not going to do that. What I've learned through all of this is that there is no such thing as standards when it comes to sizes. Why IS that?  I've been shopping sales, clearance, Ebay, and thrift stores and have found that the most accurate sizes come from Ebay, where the seller measures the actual item.  There also needs to be truth in advertising. I would happily buy from a shop that sold clothes for only women who no matter how much weight they lose retain a fat matronly stomach. Give me time, and I'll think of the perfect name for such a store. Somehow "Fat-Matronly-Stomachs-R-Us doesn't have the right ring to it.
10.  A week ago I determined that we could benefit from new curtains for our bedroom. The ones we had were very heavy, green, and went with nothing in that room. Just after that I found what I was looking for at a price of $20 per panel (i need four panels) but there was also a coupon! I DO like coupons. While I was still thinking about it, we happened into our favorite thrift store (imagine that!) and while I was looking at everything else in the store, THGGM looked at curtains. Well surprise, surprise! He found four panels of room-darkening curtains in the EXACT color I was looking for, and at the low low price of $12.00 for ALL FOUR OF THEM, plus, he had a full 20% off card to use on them.  I really DO get existed about deals like that. And now the bedroom looks very nice again. Someday I might take a picture of them. It's what I do.  Just not today, unless I can take the picture from my perch on the couch.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Play and Work

So this happened again.

We went back to Meijer Gardens!

Where Kado was almost stepped on by the American Horse.

This boy LOVES posing.
I took a picture of the five of them on the hill overlooking the Japanese Garden.

I am VERY far away. Wasn't sure I was going to get everyone's faces but it looks like I did!

Based on how well everyone is enjoying the gardens, I think we may have to purchase a membership every year.
It has already paid for itself.
THGGM and I were absolutely exhausted after walking around so much.

Not so much these guys.

Jonge used a ladder to retrieve an errant baseball from the gutters and pointed out how much gunk was in them.

Well, the rest is history!

These two brothers worked very diligently to empty the gutters of all that gunk, even finding a varied array of interesting bugs.
This brother worked on clean-up duty.

THGGM compensated them for their work.
Famke did not feel compelled to join in.

She told us she has birthday money so she doesn't need to work.

And alone time in the pool is much more alluring for her anyway.

That was Monday.

It would appear that a good time was had by all.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Thursday at Meijer Gardens (part two)

I think the kids also love the freedom of just being able to walk around.

And EVERYWHERE you walk there is something to see.
Does every family have a Kado?

The child who enjoys posing in his own unique way for pictures?

I hope so!

The fish at the waterfall seemed to have won out as the favorite thing to see here.

Blogger is acting weird and not letting me post words next to the other pictures, but, oh well.

As you can see, we ALL had fun!

I also posted a picture of myself with Jonge, but it seems to have disappeared with many of the words I had written.

But just so you know, he is TALLER than I am!

Thursday at Meijer Gardens (part one)

Truly, one of our best purchases, the Grandparents/Grandchildren membership to Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park.
I was so happy to see that even as a ten year old, Famke will hold Pake's hand.

Somebody has to do it, or he will wonder off.

Oh wait. That would be me.

It's why I have SO MANY pictures of them from behind.

This is one of my favorite sculptures in the park.

 Hmm.., I wonder why?

Were he on a porch swing, it could be THGGM.
We rode this, and learned things!

Porch sitters!

I believe that until we found the waterfall with all the Koi, THIS was Feintje's favorite thing.
He would make a great farm hand.
So much growing in the farm gardens.

I don't think we could have asked for a lovelier day!
Although in the past I have taken pictures of the meadows, I guess I really had no idea what was so amazing about them.

Now I know.

I loved this, and could have spent the day wandering its path and taking pictures of grand children, and bees!  There were A LOT of bees!
And they had no reason at all to pay attention to us.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Famke is Ten

I can hardly believe it.

Famke is ten years old today!
 Both of my sisters were here for lunch today too, so it was like a party for her!

Actually, a party all day long.

Her church group had an "Everyone's Birthday Party" tonight, which was extra special for her with it being her actual birthday!
She really enjoyed her gifts, although she isn't really one to give much away by her expressions.
I do believe that a good time was had by all.

Since it was her birthday, she had requested Mac and Cheese for lunch.

And there was swimming too.

Sounds like a perfect birthday to me!

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Our Welcome HOME Committee of One

Zeke was happy to see us again!
At least we think so.
Zeke only has this one expression.
It can mean anything from "I am overjoyed to see you again!" to "I am aggrieved and am contemplating the idea of biting you!"
One just never knows with him.
But we did get a bit of a happy looking dance, so I think it's all good.
It was great to spend a week at the cottage, but it is also great to be HOME.

All Good Things Must Come To An End

Or so I've been told.
I'm not sure why they MUST come to an end.
But, they do.
Pake and Kado got in some good early morning time watching the waves and chattering on about the week.
All week we wondered how we would get it all cleaned up and emptied out on Saturday morning.
But we did!
And with time to spare!
There was damage after 24 hours of high winds and waves.
The last flight of steps down to the beach are only precariously attached on the far left side, the side that they are now leaning towards.
Where you see that top step?
Um. It just drops off to the beach below.
I suppose if you own property along the Lake Michigan shore line you just learn to expect things like this to happen.
But I found it horrifying.
There also wasn't much left at all of the "beach above the beach" which used to hold all of us on beach chairs with kids playing all around.
Lake Michigan is a powerful force of nature.
I have new found respect for it after this week.
Here are some of us, relaxing a minute after our busy clean up!
Holland, MI 2017

Famke had already staked out her seat for the ride home, so wasn't about to lose her spot just for a picture!
But Jonge made himself available, and humored me one last time.

And a good time was had by all!