Tuesday, July 19, 2016

advanced Jazz band camp at MacPhail - my that sounds fancy

Last week was jazz band camp for jimmy

He loves playing but is not a huge fan of MacPhail (too much theory) BUT...the concert was awesome and they took their improv skills to the next level. Plus, its a gorgeous facility

We'll let the music speak for itself

His solo (mostly improvised) is just past the 3:30 mark











Sunday, July 17, 2016

Happy 13th Birthday Kay! THE Party of the year, otherwise known as Kaypaloosa

13th, WOW where does the time go!

Kay has been planning her birthday party since her 12th was over, literally the past  12 months she has spent fine tuning number 13.

This years there was Carnival,/State Fair revisited ... yep complete with funnel cakes, a climbing rope, yard dice, ping pong ball toss, french fries, cotton candy popcorn, sno-cones, slushies, popsicles, ice cream , carmel apples, hamburgers, hot dogs, corn dogs,  photo booth ... I could go on but you get the picture.. basically the State Fair in our back yard! The girls could buy raffle tickets or win them through the games and there was a big raffle at the end.  (fake $ again, of course)

The highlight of the night was the water balloon fight, which turned into a reverse dunk tank (coolers of water over their heads) followed by a chocolate fountain.  Then ... movies, more popcorn and a sleep over.  I'm tired even thinking about it.

A HUGE thanks to Mike G (Kay's godfather) and Bjorn(super awesome neighbor kid friend).  They helped set up and work the fair and there is NO way we could have done it without them!!

It really was a fun time.

A bit worried for what next year has in store .....
The hamburger/Hot Dog stand

waterballons climbing rope

the drink slushy smoothy stand

JUNKFOOD! Bjorn is a rock star - cotton candy popcorn carmel apples  etc

funnel cakes corn dogs french fries

games!!



gifts

Kays to do

Her map of the backyard

Kay

Lucy

Josie

Ella


Camryn

Carmen

FUN!!

The photo booth

The chocolate fountain and fruit

heaven




going in



now we are having fun



now with straws ...



more presents

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Vacations all I've ever wanted, vacation .. have to get away

We had our 1st official full week vacation of the summer and it was AWESOME!!  We headed up to upper lower Michigan (right at the base of Sleeping Bear Dunes outside of Traverse City) to see Tracy's family.

They have been going to the same cabins since she was 2 with her cousins and it really hasnt changed in 45 years, which is wonderful!  Its surreal to take your kids to a place where you have such long/deep memories. In fact, I think, given how much Tracy's family moved, this is probably the one consistent place of memories from her childhood.

Tammy (sister) and her kids were there, along with Jami (cousin) and her kids and of course Grandma and Grandpa and Aunt Lynn and Gary (Dadoo) since they both bought cabins a while back (they bought the same cabins we stayed in growing up).  There were 8 kids, 11 adults and lets just say - exponential competitive streaks.

The kids were busy all day, every day with swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, tubing, soccer, basketball, dice games, soccer golf (golfing with a soccer ball), driving range, etc.  The grown ups even got into basketball - the kids created a variation of the game lightening (call thunder) and we had Grandma and Grandpa, Tracy, Tammy and Jami in on the action. Its a super fun, fast paced and competitive game that NEVER ends:)

We also swam in Lake Michigan, went on a hike in Alligator Hill, ate ice cream at the Dairy Bar (otherwise known growing up as the Retch and Puke and/or Dead Body), went to the worlds BEST 4th of July day parade and watched about 5 different fireworks shows over the lake.  And..we watched the olympic trials and old home videos of Tracy's family, some were even up at this lake!

The 4th of July parade is killer. its an hour long and has ..
~ every big 10 school represented
~ a kazoo band
~ floats (ie: pontoon boats) that hand out candy and cherries and hot dogs
~ the statue of liberty
~ clowns
~ water guns
~ park rangers
the list goes on and on

The sad news ... unfortunately a man drown in the neighboring/connected lake on the 4th and they had to spend a few days looking for him. while it was cool to see the deep water boats and rescue/recovery equipment, it was sad. They did find him which I hope brings the family closure. Prayers for the family.

Here are some photos to give you a feel for it all - We truly hope EVERYONE has a vacation this summer that is as fun and relaxing as our (1st) vacation of the summer:)sunset

grandma and aunt sue

jeff

tracy

THUNDER!!

He's Da Man

Sue

Waiting for the parade

the start of the parade

old cars and army trucks

miss something

happy people

the statue of liberty



close up - she never moved!

grandma and grandpa marching with their Sleeping Bear Dune Ambassador friends


Elvis

Dune Bears and buggies

Nat'l champs!

The Kazoo Band

Go Blue



Go Spartans

View from the hike on top of Alligator hill



resting at the top

resting at the top

 The COUSINS!

Billy's gotcha day celebration (aka brownies)

Brownies at the lake, heaven





foot golf aka soccer golf

grandma drove and kept score

planing our shots


driving range for the prodigy

kays 1st time out

billy's 1st time out