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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Project 365, Day 175 (6/23/09) A sure sign of summer



Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it. ~Russel Baker

Project 365, Day 174 (6/22/09) Asiatic

One of my favorite flowers... Asiatic lily. So beautiful... I wish they'd last a little longer!





A flower cannot blossom without sunshine, and man cannot live without love.~ Max Muller

Project 365, Day 173 (6/21/09) Hair-raising

We made an impromtu trip to Pentwater today and played for a bit at AJ's before a lunch at The Brown Bear and a trip to Cosmic Candy. I snapped this shot of Liz coming down the slide with a bit of a static issue...



Life is an endless struggle full of frustrations and challenges, but eventually you find a hair stylist you like. ~Author Unknown

Happy Father's Day!!!!

Happy Father's Day to all the Dads and Dad-to-bes out there. Especially the best daddy in the world...



We love you!!!!

Project 365, Day 171 (6/20/09) Sunset and Family

Marc's Mom and Dad visited us on Saturday and we headed down to the beach at sunset for a few photos.

Though the kids were NOT cooperative whatsoever,




I can't say as though I blame them. It was the first time their toes hit the sand this summer.






I got a few of Ron & Carol, alone, too. Aren't they adorable? I love them dearly. Best. Inlaws. Ever. Hands down.







This one is my favorite. That sunset was SO yummy!





“I think togetherness is a very important ingredient to family life.” ~ Barbara Bush

Project 365, Day 170 (6/19/09) Beautiful.










“There are always flowers for those who want to see them.” ~ Henri Matisse

Project 365, Day 169 (6/18/09) Virtually ME.

Marc bought the new EA Sports game for our Wii (it's pretty cool, and the "personal trainer" isn't nearly as condescending as the Wii Fit guy).

I was quite amused at how much my EA Sports person actually looks like me. What do you think?




“The greatest danger in modern technology isn't that machines will begin to think like people, but that people will begin to think like machines” ~ unknown

Project 365, Day 168 (6/17/09) Oh, Google... you have an answer for everything.

Little Miss Can'tkeepherhandstoherself was caught playing with the computer this afternoon. As I pulled her off the stool, I was amused to find that she'd attempted her first "Google". And... got an answer! HA!



Let's take a closer look, shall we?



And of course, being the condesending know-it-all it is, Google asks, "DID YOU MEAN "Rtd Fsid"? Hmm... nope; pretty sure she meant rtd fzsid, Google. Sorry!

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” ~ Arthur C. Clarke

Project 365, Day 167 (6/16/09) Nothing in life is free.

Especially the Lego sets the boys have been eyeing up lately. So Marc & I decided that if they wanted things, they were going to have to start working for them. They each have a set of chores to finish weekly. We'll see how this goes.



(I know... quite the ar-teest, aren't I?)

“My second favorite household chore is ironing. My first being hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint.” ~ Erma Bombeck

Project 365, Day 166 (6/15/09) Doesn't she look sweet when she's...

sleeping?



Uh-oh...


Ahhh!! Retreat! Retreat!!


"People who say they sleep like a baby usually don't have one." ~Leo J. Burke

Monday, June 15, 2009

Project 365, Day 165 (6/14/09) Spaghetti

There's nothing better than a huge, steaming plate of homemade spaghetti!



Here's the sauce recipe from my friend Tiffany...

Meatballs:

1 lb ground beef
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 clove garlic, minced (or 1/4 tsp powdered)
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1/2 C bread crumbs
1/4 "Shaker" parmesean cheese

Sauce:

1 29 oz. can tomato sauce
1 29 oz. can tomato puree
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp basil
1/16 tsp red pepper flakes (seeds removed)
1/8 tsp fennel seed, cracked or chopped
1/2 med. onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 lb sweet italian sausage
meatballs from above recipe

Add tomato bases, spices, and veggies to saucepot and cook on med-low, covered.

Slice & brown sausage in pan. Drain oil and transfer to saucepot. Add 1/2 C water to the skillet you cooked the sausage in and scrape the bottom with a spatula. Add to the saucepot as stock.

Brown meatballs in the same skillet until cooked through. Add to the sauce and cook on low-med for 30 minutes.

Black Horses

When my friend Tonia asked if I'd be willing to volunteer to take a few photos of her father, a Vietnam Vet, and his friends, also Veterans of the Vietnam war, I told her I'd be honored.

The gentlemen, who served together so many years before, still take time once a year to get together and keep in touch. This year, eleven members of The 11th Armored Calvary's Veterans of Vietnam and Cambodia arranged for the meetup in Ludington.

Tonia's mom had mentioned that when they'd visited a town out-of-state for the reunion, the local Chamber of Commerce had presented the Veterans with lovely gift baskets filled with items unique to the area. Remembering how honored they felt to be so warmly welcomed to the town, she contacted our Chamber of Commerce to see if they would do the same. Unfortunately, due to budget constraints, the Chamber was unable to provide this service to the 11th ACVVC who were visiting the area.

As Tonia revealed this to me and another friend, we all agreed that it was a shame that nothing could be done for these men who so selflessly served our country. So we decided to take things into our own hands.

In exactly a week, the three of us and Tonia's mom were able to conjour up some WONDERFUL gifts for the Veterans' baskets. Wouldn't you know, that when it came down to distributing the baskets, between doing to and preparing for photos... I forgot to photograph one of the baskets! (Ack!).

I would like to extend a heartfelt THANK YOU to the following businesses and residents who made this project possible:

Todd "Scoop" Hansen & the staff of the S.S. Badger, for the wonderful Badger puzzles and playing cards.

Julie & the staff at Jamesport Brewing Company, for the ever-popular Jamesport glasses.

Matt & the staff at WKLA Z95, for the awesome WKLA tee shirts.

The talented Phil Jackson, for the fantastic lighthouse sketches.

Miss Becky S., for the Traverse City Wine and wine glasses.

The Scottville Clown Band, for the Clown Band cassettes and postcards.

House of Flavors, for the (from what we've heard) ENORMOUS ice cream cones AND the extra hospitality that was shown to our Vets when they received them.

Kilwin's, for the fudge and also the kindness and care that was delivered with it.

Bates Maple Syrup, for the yummy maple goodness.

Alexus & Weston for the super cool, personalized cards that went into the baskets.

Christie, for your last-minute help putting the baskets together.

(Also in the basket was a jar of pickled asparagus and a gift certificate for prints from Monson Photography)


Again, thank you to all involved in making this project a HUGE success. For some of these guys, this may have been the first time that they were recognized or thanked for their service, which is really a shame. We all need to remember, every single day, WHO we need to thank for having the freedom we do.

Thank you to Tonia and "Nee Nee" for letting me be involved in this project. It was truly an honor and a privilige to be a part of this. Veterans have ALWAYS and will ALWAYS hold a special place in my heart, and I am proud to have been a part in honoring some of them.

Thank you again to the Veterans themselves.... I don't think I can put my thoughts and feelings here and give justice to how I feel about you all. Just... Thank You. For everything.

Thank you to all the wives and families of our Veterans and Troops as well. I think this is a group that often gets overlooked; why, I don't know. I remember at the age of ten, having my own mother overseas as a medic in Operation Desert Storm. I remember all too well, the fear of her not coming home to us. It's not something I would wish on anyone. Thank you for being strong and standing by our Troops.

Project 365, Day 164 (6/13/09) Happy Almost Birthday, Tonia!

Today Tonia's hubby and stealth friends gathered together to celebrate her upcoming (number omitted to protect the innocent) birthday.

She sure was surpised,and I couldn't think of anyone more deserving to celebrate. Happy Birthday, Tonia!




Oh, and remember THIS?

Wasn't Miss Tonia pleasantly surprised to learn that she was the proud new owner of such a SWEET fashion statement!








"The best birthdays of all are those that haven't arrived yet." - Robert Orben

Project 365, Day 163 (6/12/09) I picked you a "Fla-ler", Mom.

Roots, soil, and all!




Seriously, what else are you supposed to do but pick up your camera when this happens?



(This is from a planter in the front yard, by the way.)


"Were we closer to the ground as children, or is the grass emptier now?" ~ Alan Bennett

Friday, June 12, 2009

Project 365, Day 162 (6/11/09) Sanctuary

Marc and Liz went all the way to Muskegon today to get this little ditty. Doesn't it look COOL?




This week has been incredibly busy, but I can't wait til we can enjoy our new little sanctuary!

"Your power is proportional to your ability to relax." ~ David Allen

Project 365, Day 161 (6/10/09) Camping in

Despite our efforts, Elizabeth insists on escaping from her room each night at bedtime, with various excuses. We thought maybe this tent




would keep her in there tonight, and it did... sort of.

She looked uncomfortable when I went to bed, so I put her in her little toddler bed. At 5 o' clock this morning, she woke me up and wanted to go back in her tent.



"There never was a child so lovely, but his mother was glad to get him asleep." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Noooooooooooooooooooo!

Oh man! I should've known I would mess this 365 thing up! I just discovered that I did not post a photo for February 28th, which means my count is a day off from then on.

*DOH!*

I assure you, I DID take a photo every single day since 1/1, so I'll post that 2/28 photo when I find it.

In the meantime...

I'm not going to change all my post titles from then on, so don't be alarmed when I skip a number!

Geez...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Matt, Kelly, and Delaney ~ A beautiful, blessed family.

I had the pleasure of meeting this beautiful family tonight,



and am SO excited that they chose to partake in the Miracles and Milestones plan, because I get to see Miss Delaney as she grows! :)






I have been SO blessed to have the NICEST clients ever. Truly. Matt and Kelly are no exception. They are such a sweet, loving couple and I am really looking forward to working with them again.

Matt and Kelly, thank you for trusting me with your precious daughter. And Miss Delaney, thank you for being SO incredibly easy going during your session! You were incredible, sweetie!

"Other things may change us, but we start and end with the family." ~Anthony Brandt

Project 365, Day 160 (6/9/09) Meet Miss Delaney!

Miss Delaney is my newest client! Isn't she adorable???



Stay tuned for more from her session!

"A sweet new blossom of humanity."
-- Author Unknown

Project 365, Day 159 (6/8/09) Project "Black Horse" is under way!

We received a very generous donation from Julie at Jamesport Brewing Company today for a very special project. More info to come... :)




"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted." - Aesop

Project 365, Day 158 (6/7/09) Child labor




That's twice in one week!

"When it comes to getting things done, we need fewer architects and more bricklayers." ~ Colleen C. Barrett

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Project 365, Day 157 (6/6/09) A walk on the Wild Side

We visited the John Ball Zoo today & had a blast! Here are a few photos from our little adventure...






One huge hit with everyone was the petting pool. We were able to touch dozens of sting rays and even a few sharks! Jacks was especially fearless; I was proud of the little guy!



This was also pretty neat - I can't remember for the life of me what this animal was called, but when Liz put her hand up on the glass, so did he! I'd never seen a zoo animal interact like that before, so that was pretty cool to witness. (Though I felt a little sad for him... maybe he's lonely?) Poor little critter.





We watched three chimps chatting it up



and saw this beautiful cat.



The kids also loved the camel ride!





“If you're hanging around with nothing to do and the zoo is closed, come over to the Senate. You'll get the same kind of feeling and you won't have to pay.” ~ Bob Dole