Monday, December 13, 2010

Michigan Vacation

Pictures! Finally. I will be swamped with my research paper this week (I stupidly made plans on Thursday and Friday night with friends so I really want to finish my paper by Wednesday night) so I figured I should get this post in now before I have zero time. I am printing off my articles while posting this though... so still being productive. I picked my topic last night- along the lines of racial discrimination in the school system. I plan to incorporate racial discrimination at the elementary, middle, high school, and college/ post graduate levels into the paper. Seemed like an easy and related topic for the class: Multicultural Issues.

So here is a little postview of our vaca home to Michigan! Not all my pictures of that would take forever. And I didn't get any pictures with my Grandma Koutz, Matt's grandparents, or Jon and Andrea. I need to get better about taking pictures. I used to take far too many... now I don't take enough. I'll put the explanation for the pictures above.

Uncle Matt is so strong! He can lift Livy with one arm!
Brookie at the mall. She is adorable. By the end of the trip she was wondering over to me and letting me pick her up! She is finicky with anyone other than my sister... so that is an accomplishment!
Brookie. She was being silly and running back and forth to us in the play area.
My mom, oldest sister Lisa, Livy, and I. Livy said immediately after this picture, "I ruined it!"
Brothers on Matthew's 25th birthday. We could go out, but Matt preferred to stay in and play videogames! Typical.
Birthday massage! My dad's new toy. It may be ugly, but it is amazing! Massages your back, arms, legs, feet, and bottom! Amazing.
Us on his birthday. It is right before bed so please pardon the oily face. Embarrassing. I like the picture otherwise.
Male bonding. Matt and Ethan.
We took Calvin to Dad's night at Awana. Calvin and Matt helped lead the yellow team to victory!
Went to the artist's market with Abby and look who we ran into! Erin is so amazing! I bought one her picture frames, a small purse for Abby's birthday, and Abby bought a messenger bag!
Also ran into this lovely lady at Target! She was working, I was shopping. .We had to get Panera!
If you knew Benjy and I in first grade, you never would've thought we'd remain friends! Especially when so many of our other childhood/ high school friends are mere memories. But here we are... almost 20 years later... and he's a daddy! Baby Henry.
I was not about to pass up the opportunity to meet this little guy! He's only one week old here!
Abby stopped by the Bonnell family Christmas since we didn't get to spend much time together! She is such a wonderful friend. It's because of little things like this that she is the best I have. She stopped by my extended family Christmas, when she didn't know most of the people, and even participated in the family game! She is wonderful. I miss her. Disclaimer: she left for work right afterwards, that is why she is wearing her super comfy scrubs.
Christine and Ethan are in Tai Kwon Do. They have breaking boards. Matt broke the black board (the thickest one). Some of the kids tried with the smaller boards as well. I was chicken.
My mom got the boys these toy guitars... that really play music! There is recorded music and they actually work as real guitars also. I'm sure they're parents will just love these toys at home! The rockstars: Calvin, Brandon, Noah, Ethan.
Calvin has been watching rockstars somewhere. He also started banging it on the ground until we told him it would break.
One of my most favorite people in the world, my Grpa. He is so adorable. He taught me how to read... and to love reading. Every time he would come to visit when I was young I would grab a book and run to sit on his lap... literally the moment I heard his voice in the house! He is my hero. I love him dearly.
And that was some of the highlights of our vacation. Brookie is a doll and I cannot wait until she is legally my niece. It was wonderful getting to see all my other nephews and niece as well. They are getting so big. The extended family is always fun to see. I am finally old enough to not be the "kid cousin". One afternoon my mom, sister Christine, Dad, and I went to Alma to see my Grandma Koutz. We played cards (of course) and ate a delicious lunch at an adorable littel restaurant. I got to see Abby's adorable little apartment. It reminded me of You've Got Mail for some reason. I loved it. We also spent an evening at Jon and Andrea's. We attempted to watch The Expendables. Manly man movie... that was so plotless we stopped watching it. Jason Statham is a fox... I also liked that Randy Couture was in it... but other than that... what was going on? We ended up watching Knight and Day. I still don't understand the point of that one. It seems like one of them was just dreaming and making it all up... or they were high the entire time! But not horrible. Probably won't ever watch it again. But not horrible. It was nice seeing them. It's hard being so far away from family and the best of friends.

Home was delightful. No matter where we journey, where we settle, or where we raise our children... Michigan will always be home. I bought a pillow in the shape of Michigan with a leave pattern making up the LP and UP. It has a button sewn on Grand Rapids. It is beautiful and we will carry it with us since our heart will always be in Michigan.

It was nice coming home to the kittens though. I missed them while we were gone. Nothing beats coming home after a vacation and having two kittens come to meet you and want lots and lots of pets! We have the best animals. Even if you don't like cats, you'd like ours! They are adorable, snuggly, and scrappy!

Time to stop procrastinating. My articles aren't even finished printing! Fifteen articles... most 20-ish pages. Two so far are over 40 pages. Fifteen page paper to write. Want to have it done by Wednesday so I can have fun with friends on Thursday and Friday. Work until 9 pm tomorrow night. Yeah... don't know when this will get done. I also have to take a test for this class at some point. Maybe I'll take that on Thursday before going to Christie's house. Sigh. I can cancel the plans, but I really don't want to. I miss my friends and need some girl time.

And... Matt is going to WV on Thursday and Friday for MEPS. Pray all goes well, there's nothing wrong with him, he scores highly on the AS-VAB, and we can proceed on to the next step in the Marines Corps Officer Candidacy!


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