Thursday, May 30, 2013

Nine years Ago Today

 Nine years ago today, we were on St. George Island celebrating Courtney and Paul's wedding.
I had ordered and/or bought no less than four dresses before I settled on this one and as I look at this picture, I have to ask myself, WHY?
It is definitely an unflattering one, but oh well, it was a great wedding, none the less.
I liked how all the ladies wore daisies in our hair.  I love daisies and I am so happy that I passed that love on to Courtney.
 It was a beautiful, sunny day on the beach as it always is on St. George Island.
We had rented a gorgeous beach home, Cloud Nine and the wedding took place right on the beach off the porch.
 Here is the wedding party.

 Our family and that ugly dress yet again.
 Courtney with her boys.
Johnny, TJ, and Nate the Great made the long trip all the way to Florida to be a part of Courtney's big day.
These boys have been in her life since kindergarten and I think they would do anything for Courtney.
 Here is the transportation from the beach ceremony to the reception at a bayside restaurant where we enjoyed the most delicious food and music by a band created just for this occasion.
 Dad and Daughter share that special dance.
 And Alissa shares a cigar with the "boys."
Alissa had not yet met her future husband, Nathan.
I can only imagine how much he would have enjoyed this wedding.
Uncle Kev and Alissa share a moment over a cigar!
We are going back to St. George this summer with Courtney and family, Alissa, my mom, and Mallory.
It is going to be a great vacation on an Island full of memories.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Our Bike Ride to Kick off the Summer

 Waking up to temps in the low forties made me more than a little nervous about how to dress for our bike ride into Point Beach State Park.
I layered on three shirts with a jacket over those for good measure.
I even had a winter hat and gloves with me, but luckily, I did not need to bring those out.
The temp was 54 when we got to Two Rivers.
The sun was shining and there wasn't too much of a wind, so we felt like it was going to be a find day for a bike ride.
 Before our ride, we ate some snacks in Nashotah Park.
Then we hit the trail.
 No matter how often we ride this trail, the scenery never gets old. 
I love how the trail winds around in the forest, going up and down just enough to keep the ride fun and easy.
The smell of the pines is so nice.
 Here's John taking a little rest during our ride.
 This is our little cabin that we stop at each time we ride the trail.
It is actually a historical building, not sure if anyone ever stays there or not.
 As you can see, I have shed the jacket and pushed up the sleeves of shirt number one.
 This is our view when we look up.
 And after seven miles we made it to the Lake.
We always stop at the concession stand and buy a soda.
 This was our view for our soda break.
By this time I had shed shirts two and three and was down to just my sleeveless biking shirt.  The sun was so nice and warm.
 Here's John on our break bench.
Lake Michigan is so beautiful at this place, almost as pretty as the gulf at St. George.
After our stop at the concession area, we ride down to the old lighthouse.

After we returned to Nashotah Park, we had a little snack and then decided to ride toward Manitowac.
It was easy going as it always is, but the ride back was against the wind and uphill.
By the time we made it back to Two Rivers, we decided we needed a blueberry smoothie as McDonalds as a reward.

After 25 miles we headed back to Oshkosh for a night at the Van Auken B and B.
Courtney and family were away camping so we had the place to ourselves.
We ordered Rocky Rococco's for dinner.
I cleaned and organized Tiz and Soli's bedroom and the playroom
We both slept great on Saturday night.
On Sunday we rode around Oshkosh for about 12 miles.
We love Oshkosh because it is so flat and riding is so easy.
It was a great way to kick off summer 2013.
As long as we are able, we plan to ride this trail on Memorial Day weekend.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Point Beach State Park Bike Trail through the years

And tomorrow we add another photo to the history.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

May Happenings

 Hard to believe that another school year is coming to a close.
We had our annual spring concert last night.
My kids (all 37 of them) did the Toody Ta Dance and we also did a dance with scarves to "The World is a Rainbow."
They did a great job if I must say so yself.
It was a fun night as it always is.  I love to show off my kids.
During the concert, right in front of a whole gym full of people, the principal called me, my aid, and our day care director up to the front.
At that point, Cooper gave each of us a beautiful bouquet of flowers to say "Thank you" for his four years with us.
He is the only Preschooler that I have had for four years and I am going to miss him and his whole family as he goes off to another school for kindergarten next year.
 This is Cooper when he first started preschool with me just after he turned two.  That is his sister in the background.
He came to me as a toddler hardly able to talk and he is leaving as a five year old ready to read and take on the world.
I will always remember him and I will always have a soft spot in my heart for him.
There were days he drove me crazy with his know it all attitude, but when I say good bye to him tomorrow on our last day, I will only have happy memories.
Good bye Cooper, I will be watching for the great things you will do one day and I will know it is because you spent four years with me. 
 This is another one of my students.
I only had him for a year, but I will miss him all the same.
The flowers were the ones from Cooper and I wanted to document what I wore this year.
 This is the whole group of us sitting and waiting to perform.  I still amaze myself when I see all these kids sitting still and being good.
 Today, May 23, I remember my dad who would have been 85 today.  It is hard to believe that he was only two years older than me when he died.
We miss him, but never wish him back.  He is where we all want to be one day.  I know he is having the birthday of his life up there with all his buddies.
 And, finally, John and I will leave on Saturday for our annual bike ride in Two Rivers and Point Beach State Park.
It is supposed to be chilly, but that is okay, it has been chilly before.
 As you can see, it has also been very nice and warm.
 And here is a year where I was really bundled up.
I am excited for the ride, it is always so much fun to see the beautiful park and Lake Michigan.
I leave you with a recent picture of Cooper.
Happy Memorial Day and Happy end of May to all of you.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Mother's Day in Bloomington

 We celebrated Mother's Day in Bloomington this past weekend.
It may have been a day late (actually a week late) but definitely not a dollar short.
Alissa and Nathan met us at the Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington.
We all enjoyed a picnic lunch in the 85 degree sunny weather and then tried our hand or should I say hips at hula hooping.
It was a fun way to start our day.
 I found this sweet little Soli sized hula hoop and she loved it.
 Here is my family posing for a nice Mother's Day picture.
 After lunch and hooping we went into the zoo.
It is a very nice small zoo with some very interesting animals.
We started with Cheddah taking Tiz and Soli on the merry go round.
 We came upon this zoo keeper with a snake.  I high tailed it out of there due to my dislike of snakes, but Soli enjoyed touching the thing!
Notice her little purse, she had purchased it at a rummage sale that morning and she would not put it down, best 50 cents ever spent.
 Posing by a tiger statue.
 Uncle Cheddah took Tiz in the hurricane wind machine.
 There is a splash pad park there, too, so Tiz enjoyed some time in the water.
It was such a hot day that it felt good to get all wet.
 Soli and her papa checking out the playground.
 Courtney' s sweet family.
 After the zoo we all went out for Chicago style pizza at the same place where Lis and Nathan had their rehearsal dinner.
Here are the ladies.
After dinner, Courtney, Paul, Lis, and Nathan went out while John and I babysat.
We took the girls to the Toys R Us which was across the street from our Quality Inn.
We spent two hours walking around and looking at all the cool stuff.
In the end, Tiz ended up with a cute little doll and Soli got a Dora flashlight, camera and binoculars.
We had such a fun night with them.
By the time we got back to the motel, we watch a little TV and then all four of us went to bed.
 On Sunday morning, we found a near by park and played for awhile.
 Soli and I relaxed in the butterfly garden.
 The sisters had fun on the playground equipment and
 Tiz learned to do a flip over the bar.
It was a successful fun morning all the way around.
We had lunch at Meatheads and then took a tour of the IWU campus.

Tiz also got to spend some time with Cheddah, Lissa and the dogs. 
We got home around five on Sunday, tired but so happy from another great weekend.
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