Thursday, June 28, 2007

Back from Indiana...

I'm back from Indiana (and a side trip to Chicago). The drive is only 4 hours but when you're not used to driving that far it seems to take forever. We had a nice visit, caught up on all the news and I also got to help celebrate Elizabeth's 13th Birthday while I was there. The new puppy is cute, lots of work! They are still getting up with him in the middle of the night and you would hear him cry each night to let them know that nature was calling (just like a baby wanting to be changed)! On Tuesday Claire, Elizabeth and I took the train from Valparaiso into Chicago and got off right at Shedd's Aquarium. It was nice to be able to take a train into the city instead of driving, fighting traffic and then worrying about a place to park. We went right to the Aquarium and surprisingly didn't have to wait in a single line. We had planned to go to Millennium Park for lunch but a huge thunderstorm put the kibosh on those plans. Instead we watched the lightening show going on behind the dolphin show! That storm got as many "oooos" and "ahhhhhhhhs" as the dolphins! We stayed at the Aquarium for over 5 hours!! Then it was time to head back to the train. The rest of the visit was spent doing a little shopping and a lot of visiting. It was good to see Caitlin and Jon as I hadn't seen them in quite a long time (probably 2 years). If you're ever in Chicago you should definitely plan a trip to the Aquarium! It's worth the $24.95 and time!

Mom (Claire) and Dad (Ken) with the Birthday Girl (Elizabeth - Happy 13)!!

Jon, all grown up!

Cool bright green starfish!

Sharks in the dark!

We thought these little things were so cool!

The Beluga's during training.

Hot, hazy, humid Chicago!!

Elizabeth, outside Shedd's Aquarium

Caitlin with the new puppy, Boomer

The old puppy, Jake. Still sweet and handsome, after all these years!! xoxoxoxo Jake

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Another Beautiful Weekend

It was another beautiful weekend here in Michigan. Perfect weather to be outside, leave the windows open, etc. Not much happening this weekend. We attended a Graduation Open House for a friend's daughter (Bill and Judy's daughter, Jill) where we caught up on all the news since we saw everyone last weekend at another Open House. This is the season. I don't know if other states do this, it wasn't done in Florida when I graduated, but here, it's high season for parties. Very few kids don't have an Open House. One friend I saw yesterday said she attended 4 in one day! That's too much cake and mostaccioli for me!! Both Amber and Tyler had an Open House but Scott didn't care for one. It was good and bad. I missed having one for him but it did save us all alot of stress and work, which if course, we would have gladly put ourselves through should he have wanted an Open House. He opted for a senior trip to NYC, bringing a friend along. Not too many of our friends still have kids in school, just a few and those kids have a few more years to go before they graduate.

Tomorrow morning I am leaving for Indiana. I'm going to visit a friend, Claire, who used to live here in Michigan and moved back close to where she grew up (in Chicago) about 6 years ago. We've stayed in touch and visit back and forth but it seems to get harder every year, people get busy, etc. I will stay a few days and we will catch up and have some fun. We are hoping to take the train into Chicago so that should be fun. I never get tired of going to Shedd's Aquarium or the Navy Pier. I'll be sure to take lots of pictures!! Another oportunity to use my wonderful new camera!! Have a great week everyone!

Iris on the pond

Pretty petunia

Little squirrel sitting in the feeder (swing)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Garage Sale Day, Over and Done!!

Well, I have survived another garage sale. I always forget how much work these things are. Putting your junk on display out in the garage sounds so easy. Yesterday I "remembered" I really only have one table to put all the junk on. A quick trip to a friend's house gained me another table. My goal was to open the garage door by 9:00 and I wasn't too far off. Around 9:10 I had most of the stuff out there, price tags on it and then moved the old patio set out into the yard. At 10:30, with $1.50 in my pocket and only two customers, I was ready to close the garage door and go inside and call it a day. I decided I would give it another hour or so, just till noon and then give up. Around 11:00 people started pouring in and I had sold the patio set and the big bin I used to put the cushions in. That was two out of three things sold that I really wanted to sell. The only other thing I really wanted to sell was our old freezer. Around 2:30 things started slowing down so I started packing up when, lo and behold, a man pulled up and said he would "take" the freezer!! He even paid me for it!! Woohoo!! All in all I made about $90 for all my great stuff that is now someone else's great stuff. I still have some stuff left but not enough for another sale any time soon. Guess I'll have to wait until next summer when I've had a chance to collect some more stuff I need to get rid of! I feel good since one of my summer projects is now over. I can now stop searching the house for things that I can live without and just be happy with the things I have.

This is a robin's nest way up under the eaves!

Blue Jay taking a bath.

My New Beta Fish

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to all those father's out there. Sadly, Howard won't be able to wish his father a happy one this year. The picture here is really the last time we saw Howard Sr. and Catherine, when they attended Scott's High School graduation. They drove all the way from Florida to help him celebrate. The picture of me with my Father is the last time I saw him. It was in February, 2006, when Howard and I were in San Diego and drove up to LA to have dinner with my Dad and Ingrid. I can't say I've ever really spent Father's Day with my father. If I ever did, I must have been quite young, as I have no memory of it. The picture of the Mitchells at Christmas is the last time Howard spent with all three of his children under one roof. Amber went back to NY and shortly after that Tyler was off to Hawaii. Scott was home this morning to wish his Father a happy day, but then off to spend a week up north with friends. Amber sent a gift (a lovely engagement picture of her and Andrew)and called him. I'm sure Tyler will call him later, when he gets up!! I'll spend the day pampering him, breakfast, lunch and dinner prepared to his liking and having nothing on the "honey do list". My children are lucky to have such a loving Father who has taken such great care of his family all these years and provided for them in every way. As someone who has never really had a close relationship with their father, I am thankful my children have that. Someone who loves them unconditionally and is always so proud of them and thankful for their love.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Beautiful Day

Today is a beautiful day! Yesterday was beautiful! The past weekend was beautiful! The question is, how long can all this beauty hang around? At least through the weekend, that's what the weatherman is saying anyway!! It's always nice when you can just open up the windows and not have either the heat or air conditioner on. Nice before the real heat starts and you don't enjoy going outside as much, unless it's in short bursts and then back inside to cool off in the air again. Last weekend I spent a good deal of time getting to know my new digital camera. I repeat, it is soooo nice!! I've been playing around with all the settings, colors, "bursts", etc. It has so many features my old camera didn't and the zoom is incredible. Thank you again Amber, it was a perfect gift!!

create your own slideshow

I know I'm prejudice, but isn't Zoe just sooooo photogenic?? Sometimes she just seems so bored with all this posing! At least she sits still when I'm ready to snap a picture. My human subjects all seem to leave the room when they see the camera come out!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Happy Birthday To Me!!!

Today is my birthday. It has been a good day. It was also the first day of NO SCHOOL!! I thought I would sleep in a bit and get up without the alarm clock so when I woke up I did notice that it seemed a little dark for sleeping in. I sat up anyway and then noticed it was only 6:00 a.m.!! Too late, Zoe was up and ready to go so no sleeping in for me. However, the good news was that the battery for my new birthday present from Amber was fully charged so I could experiment and take some pictures. Amber very generously sent me a new digital camera for my birthday. My old one was starting to act up and wasn't taking the quality pictures that I wanted and of course, I wanted to be able to take great pictures at the wedding later this year. It was such a nice surprise to receive this gift and I have been busy all day experimenting with it. It has settings for so many different things. One of the things is "flowers" so I thought I would give it a try and take some pics around the house of the flowers in bloom.

I also went into school for a little while today to clean things out and say goodbye. As of now, I won't be returning to the school where I have worked for 12 years. I hear they are trying to find me more hours but in the meantime, I will be looking for more hours elsewhere. I will miss my friends and all the children there that I have come to love. It will probably hit me hard come September when I don't return there but go back for a visit. It never seems to be the same after you leave.

Tonight Howard and Scott took me out for a nice dinner. It was a rare pleasure to be in Scott's presence while eating out. Howard and I go out all the time but usually Scott is working on those nights. I've heard from everyone today except Tyler but I'm sure he will be calling me any minute. Hint, hint!!

I'm sure I will be keeping busy taking lots of pictures so I can be ready in September to take lots of pictures at the wedding. There is alot to learn on this little camera. I can highly recommend this camera if anyone is in the market for a new one. It's a Kodak Easyshare Z612 and with a memory card (which Scott got me for my birthday), you can take over 500 pictures!! You can also change easily from color to black and white to sepia and back to color. On my old camera I never seemed to be able to do that.

So enjoy the pictures and get ready for more to come!!

create your own slideshow

Friday, June 1, 2007

Hot, Hot, Hot!!

The first day of June!! Summer (officially) is just a couple weeks away. But the weather here in Michigan has been HOT, HOT, HOT!!! It's been 89 degrees the last couple of days. Yesterday the K+1 classes had their class picnic, outside on the playground. It was really HOT!! But kids never let the heat get them down. They still have plenty of energy to spare. One of the happiest times though was when we turned the hose on and let them run through it!

Only 3 days of school to go for me. This is the earliest ending of school I can remember in all the years we have lived here. Of course, the kids "checked out" a week or so ago already. Once the weather heats up and they don't have to wear coats out to recess, they are thinking about summer. The last few days are all about celebrations, yearbook signings, lasts, etc. One of the last things we do on the last day is "clap out" the 5th graders. It's an emotional time for them and for some of us who have known them since they were kindergartners, as we line the hallways and clap for them as they leave our school. They are moving on to the big "middle school" where instead of being the big 5th graders, they will be the new 6th graders. It's both a sad and happy time.

As for the family, all is well. Howard working too hard, emergencies at work, tension, problem solving and maybe a game of golf every week if he is lucky, watching the Tigers, Pistons and weekend golf. He's also assembling his list of household projects for the summer.

Amber still moving forward with the wedding plans. Cake decided on (cupcakes and a small topper cake); flowers being decided, mostly white with some green, what's in season in the fall; the string quartet chosen; still looking for a DJ; plans being made for the "girl's weekend" in Chicago; the Bridal Luncheon here in her home town being finalized, lots of things going on but so far all running smoothly.

Tyler is busy with his summer class and lab. He's starting to miss his friends which have all traveled back to their home towns. He figures he will have to make some new friends for the summer. He's surfing every day and trying to find a way to buy his own board. He'll probably have to wait until he finds a job for that purchase. He's also trying to get a job at the dive shop where he took the scuba lessons. The owner is so busy he hasn't had much time to discuss things for Tyler to do. I'm still working on having him send me pics.

Scott is enjoying his summer now that he's gotten his car repaired. He's learned an important lesson about checking your oil, i.e., CHECK IT. This has been a very expensive lesson for him so I don't think he'll soon forget it. Grandma now has her car back though she isn't really driving it. The poor car was probably in shock, being driven so much these past two months when it hasn't really been driven for 2 years! Scott starts working SCAMP (the summer camp for the physically and mentally challenged) in a couple weeks and he's still working at Mr. B's a couple nights a week. Plus Mom and Dad have had plenty of chores for him around the house. Next week is the mulch delivery which should keep him out of trouble for a few days anyway!

As for me, I'm planning all the things I need to accomplish this summer. A garage sale is at the top of the list, after I gather together all the wonderful things I want someone else to own, instead of me. Maybe some painting around the house, lots of organizing and cleaning, gardening, reading, and somewhere in there I should probably find a summer job. Whew, I'm tired already and summer hasn't even started!