Monday, July 28, 2008

We LOVE our neighbors!!

I love my goose sign but I think we should changed it to "Welcome to the neighborhood"

I have blogged before on how great the neighbors are and the fun we have on Ida Street, well this weekend was no different. It was a beautiful summer day so of course the kids were in and out of Terry and Marcia's pool, one thing lead to another and it was a pool party both Friday and Saturday nights!

What is a party without entertainment!

Thanks to the "Tan Band" as they are called. As you can see this is very serious business.

Of course there was some swimming, and picture taking.

As always play knows no age limits among friends!

Sorry Tammi this didn't help, Steven turned, and he and Cam got her into the pool...opps Cam went in too.
What is a pool party without margaritas and daiquiris,

non-alcoholic of course for the kids...

...opps a little full,

is it as good as Hawaii Staci? Looks like it.

No pictures of Terry( he was cooking for us), Marcia(behind the camera),

myself(taking it all in lol OK maybe sampling and watching the real margaritas)

Come on by sometime everyone is welcome to Ida Street!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Cinnamon vs. Money

This maybe should be called don't trust your sister... Staci went to a family reunion last weekend with some of her collage age cousins, yes they taught her some things... Today she offered Ding and Bat $25 if they could eat a spoonful of cinnamon. Here we go, this is not for the week stomach or grandmas...Now you know I have said before these two will try anything, so Staci loaded up the spoons,
and the boys were full of smiles, although if you look closely you can tell they may have actually been trying to decide if this was the smartest thing they have done.

Well they went ahead with the challenge and put the entire spoonful of cinnamon in their mouths. Anyone who has ever licked your finger while cooking to clean off a little bit of cinnamon can guess what happened next, first their entire mouth went dry as there is no way to swallow, then they tried to spit out the cinnamon but because the mouths were so dry there was no way!!

No it does not help much to try and gargle. Don't worry Staci quickly gave them both a glass of sugar water which she had ready before hand and they were both fine, maybe even a little wiser?

"DON'T do whatever someone challenges you to do"
Until the next stunt rolls along they are good for now!!
I wonder if all boys are this daring(gull able) or just the older two on Ida Street.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

What has Steven been doing??

While Staci and I were in Hawaii Steven did not just sit around the house.
Steven spent his time hanging with his other family the Bradshaws, his favorite brother Cameron, his very good friend Tommy and his dad. While he was with Tommy he had a great time fishing. While he was with Cameron they had a great time spending each weekday morning from 10-12:30 in class. What class you say .......
hmmm that picture does not help much look at the next one...yep it is true we have another driver in the house! He is doing very well and has driven everywhere, between Grand Haven, Holland, and Martin. So don't worry if you see us on the road you are safe, so are we.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

There were also some soccer games

Lets not forget to post the reason we went to Hawaii, the soccer tournament. We drove into the soccer complex at Waipio, Wow what a place they had 27 fields including the stadium, the drive was lined with flags announcing the states that had teams participating. For opening ceremonies the night before the tournament all of the teams marched into the stadium and were announced as they entered, it was very impressive, and yes you all know it brought a tear to my eye. One of the most impressive things to me was when the VIP team came into the stadium ALL of the other teams stood and gave them a standing ovation that brought a lump to the throat as well as a tear to the eye. AYSO has the VIP program for special needs athletes and it was great they were included in this ceremony.
Before each game the team had to have their equipment checked and sign in together. Be sure to notice the beautiful landscape we were enjoying during the games.

There was no doubt that everyone was plenty warm already but you still need to stretch before you play.

The girls did not win the tournament but they certainly had nothing to hang their head fro they played very well and got put out by two Hawaii teams who were very good, and not distracted by playing in Hawaii of course. The girls brought all they could to the games and I was so proud of them. What they came away from this tournament with I don't think can be measured with a trophy. For one thing they were one point out of being the top team(out of 181) for sportsmanship that alone shows the character of the girls, not to say they don't play shoulder to shoulder if they need to. The other thing the girls got is an experience that will never be repeated to go to Hawaii with 17 of your teammates, it made the entire year of fundraising worth it. Some of the girls have said they will go back and they may, on a trip after collage, or maybe for collage, or a honeymoon, but they will never forget the trip they took when they were 15 or 16 with their team to play in the National tournament. All the remember whens that will come...remember when we learned to surf, remember when Staci and Tracy took a picture with the surfer guys, remember when the Lawton boys came to watch our game, remember when the Hawaii and California girls could not believe we play soccer in the snow, it will go on and on for a very long time and I am so glad we were able to make this happen.

When it was all over the girls still were able to put a smile on their faces and say hang loose, not to say there were not a couple of tears after that last game, it would have been great to win and go on of course, but as Staci said " hey guys we played the best we could and we lost in Hawaii!" I hope all the girls will always be able to say I gave it my best, look at the whole picture, and enjoy the experience of what they are doing in life, then they will continue to be winners without looking at the score!!! I would like to say "Ma halo Hawaii" I t was a great time!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A drive around Diamond Head

Our trip to Hawaii was full of beauty everywhere,we took a ride around Diamond Head to see the out of the city landscape what we found was gorgeous.

This picture is the view from our balcony at the hotel.We found many, many scenic turnouts to take pictures and just look at what had been created on this beautiful island

Staci posed for so many great pictures it was hard to choose the ones to post. These show the look back over the city, the clouds that hang over the mountains, how blue the water is, and of course how pretty the girl in the pictures is.
Of course we saw lots of palm trees which Staci thought she could knock a coconut out of with a rock :)

We took lots of pictures of where the ocean meets the shore. One morning we went to a bay to do some snorkeling and we saw so many fish it was great, you definitely are in awe seeing all that God has created and you are reminded not to take for granted what He can do.

Oh yeah we found something else on our were were walking back to the car from one of the ocean look outs these two were getting ready to go and surf, so.........

someone said these girls are from Michigan and said they were coming to Hawaii to meet hot surfer guys can we get a picture with you. After the first shock in their step the girls turned around and took the picture, and when we got back to the hotel they were jumping at the chance to show the other girls. By the way the "hot surfer guys' told the girls to keep there moms because they are cool!!

As I have said we have so many pictures from this drive I think this final one shows how close we felt to heaven.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

We're here lets go to the beach!!

The girls were chomping at the bit to get to the beach when we got to Hawaii. We did go down quite soon after we get there, but we did take 5 minutes to sit down in the room after taking about an hour to drive the 1o miles from the airport to our hotel. WOW when you hear about Honolulu traffic believe it!!Staci loved these flowers which are beautiful, and everywhere,The next two are a couple of my favorite sunset pictures. It is almost impossible not to relax here.

It was everytihng we hoped...

...and more! Look at this beautiful picture we could see this every night if we were at the beach. I will be posting pictures of the girls soccer, the beach, the mountains, snorkeling, and of friends. The entire trip was awesome from the minute we got on the plane all the way to the HUGE hug we got from Steven when we got home. I thanked God every day for the blessings He has bestowed on each of us, the beauty of family friends and the world around us was shown to me a thousand times during this journey, by that I mean the beginning to the end from the first planning meeting to getting out of the car at home again. The gifts I have of friends and family I never take for granted I hope you all know that, and the beauty of the world around us WOW I know some reading this have already heard me say after snorkeling, I have no idea how anyone could do that and not believe in God, man cannot create the beauty of that bay or the underwater world. Well that is how I feel about family, friends, and the world we have been blessed to live in, all are gifts from God himself and I will thank Him every day for everyone who has crossed my path.