Saturday, July 30, 2011

Lake Huron

My sis and I took the kids out to see my dad and step-mom, who live about 1 1/2 hours from where my sis lives.  In the past, they had one of those quick-set pools that the kids played in for hours.  Well, they decided to take that down this year so we went to the house first, had some lunch, then packed up for the 4 minute ride to Lexington where we got to enjoy one of Michigan's five Great Lakes---Lake Huron!  Wow, was it pretty but boy was the water FREEZING!  Luckily, kids are kids and don't care how cold the water is so they dove right in and had a blast.  We had evening plans so we couldn't stay overly long, and we decided that next summer we would leave the day open so we could enjoy the beach and lake without time restraints.  Plus, the little town of Lexington was just charming and we would love to explore the shops next time!

Gotta love dvd players in the car!

Grandma Janice got in with the kids--brave woman!

My dad and sis

Dad with all the kiddos

Janice with the kiddos

Cool rocks that made the moms nervous

As far as Erin and I would go--we parked our chairs on the shore and put our feet in!

Looking for shells---a favorite for Kendra, and she looked so pretty I had to take a pic!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Rockin' out

My sister's family has a full out band set-up in her finished basement, and there is no shortage of talent to provide entertainment.  One evening while in Michigan we gathered and had a jam session.  My nephews, Jack and Luke, are amazing drummers.  The girls, Gracie, Tessa, and Kendra, all enjoy singing.  My sis and her hubs sing, and my BIL Jack's nephew (Adam) is a rock-star-hopeful (he's actually going on tour with a band in the near future).  Usually this is a common activity when we head north, but we only jammed out once this year! 

Pool shenanigans

My sister's family has a social and pool membership at their local Elks club.  We spent two lovely Fridays hanging out by the pool while on our Michigan trip.  The kids wanted me to take pictures of them and their dives, so of course I obliged.  These are the best of them...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ears pierced!

I don't remember if I blogged about the first attempt at ear piercing.  Back in the winter sometime, Kendra's good friend R was getting her ears pierced and invited us to come along for the big occasion.  Kendra asked if she could get hers done, too, and after much discussion it was a go for her, too.  R went first and was a trooper--no tears!  It was Kendra's turn and all of the sudden she was in full-out panic mode.  I was calm, tried to reason with her, and told her she didn't have to go through with anything she was uncomfortable doing.  R kept telling her it really didn't hurt.  The big problem was that Kendra kept waffling.  She would gather up her courage, sit in the chair, then freak out.  Then she'd get out of the chair, calm down, repeat.  Soon I lost patience and let's just say I did  NOT win Mom of the Year.  As we left, I told her we were not going to do that ever again.  If and when she decided to get her ears pierced, she would have to go through with it even if I had to sit on her to get it done!!!  She decided that she would get it done as a birthday gift from my mom when we were in Michigan in the summer. 

Fast forward to July, and she could hardly wait---so much so that we ended up going to get them done the first week we were in Michigan though her birthday isn't until July 24th.  A big part of the deal was that Kendra wanted to have her cousins there for moral support.  In fact, it was their hands she wanted to hold throughout the process--not mine!  Can't say I blame her since I did threaten the whole "sitting on you" thing!  We went to Claire's, of course, and the kicker was that when we got there, only one associate was on staff and so she couldn't do the double piercing for several hours (the kind when two people pierce both ears at the same time so you only get the pain once).  I thought for sure Kendra would back out knowing that she'd have to get one done, then the other.  What if it hurt so bad that she didn't want to do the other one?  She said she didn't want to have to keep her cousins waiting so she'd just do it!  She picked a really pretty little sparkly flower earring and was a champ!  The only issue was the, was she a Chatty Cathy!  She didn't seem to pick up on the fact that Kendra was nervous, and she kept talking and talking and talking, which made her pause a LOT in her prepping the supplies to pierce.  My mom and I both wanted to tell her to be quiet and get on with it!!! 
Waiting for the lady to stop talking and get on with it already

The moral support team!

Ouch number one.

Ouch number two--she didn't cry, this is just the "ouchie" face


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Baseball, Softball, Baseball, Softball...

My sister's four kids were all in a ball league this year, which meant MANY, many, MANY ball games to see while in Michigan this summer.  But I am the good aunt (and Kendra the good cousin) and we attended almost all of them. 

Most of the time we had delightful summer weather--hanging out in the 80's with low humidity.  Even needed jackets some evenings.  Some of the days were hot and humid, though, which necessitated the umbrella to shield from the beating sun. 

Luke:  He played coach-pitch ball this year with his dad as coach.  He's watched his three older sibs play for years, and he is SERIOUS about the game!

Watching little kids is so fun, but Erin and I got the opportunity to do more than that one game.  Jack made us coach the bases!  Luckily, with little kid ball it is a no-brainer.  Funniest moment:  a little kid was on third (where I was base-coaching) and he started jammering to me---"Hey, what do you think would happen if I kicked that water tower over there?"  "Hey, can you wrinkle your nose like this?"  Haaaa!!!
First base--Coach Erin

I got the raw end of the deal with the sun in my eyes on third.
Tessa:  hasn't wanted to do sports for a few years but decided to go for it this year.  Had fun in softball.  Love her socks!  :-)

Gracie:  One of the hardest working girls on her team because she either played pitch or catch.  Team was chock full of beginners so my competitive niece had rough times with the many losses.  Anybody know why they have girls who slide wear shorts????  Crazy.

Jack:  the oldest, most experienced ball player, and unfortunately he suffered the same fate as Gracie, being on a team full of beginners.  Dad (Jack) coached his team too.
Loved this shot of the father and son in the huddle. 

You know baseball is a thinking man's sport!

 Loved being there for my nieces and nephews!  So fun to cheer them on!!!

Arrival to Michigan and camping!

We left the heat of Texas at the end of June to travel north to see family and friends in Michigan.  As is tradition, my sister's family was camping at a local county park for the week of the fourth of July.  We arrived on June 28th, headed to watch my niece's softball game, then went to the campground for some campfire fun.  We hung out with my sister's family the whole week, going back and forth from my mom's house at times and spent the night in the camper with them twice.  Much fun was had---beach time, campfire time, and just plain fun time. 
 On July 2nd (Saturday) the park got super crowded because they put on a huge fireworks show each year and people come for the entire day.  Oh, the humanity!  We were smart this year and decided to avoid those crowds during the day and had water fun at the campsite instead. 
In the early evening the park sets up a couple of bounce houses and has a band with live music.  We always head down for that.  Tessa, Kendra and Luke hugged on each other while waiting for the bounce house.
We headed down to the beach for fireworks.  This small county park puts on an amazing show every year!
I snapped some pics while waiting...keep in mind we were CAMPING so perhaps not the most stellar appearances by all...(especially me---no makeup!) and that day decided to be in the 90's and muggy!!
LOVE camping with my sister and her family...we always have so much fun and it is a great kick-off to our Michigan trip each year!