Posts Tagged 'family'

today’s tunes: gomez – airstream driver

this song goes out to my brother Q and his wife A.

signs of spring

we spent Easter weekend up at my parent’s house this year, and the weather was absolutely beautiful the whole weekend.  flowers were starting to poke up from the cold ground and even some were starting to bloom.

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everywhere you looked, there was signs of new life.  there was a fresh batch of baby kittens (strangely enough the mother cat had chosen to have your young kittens in the chicken coop!)

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speaking of chickens, my cousin dropped off a few new baby chickens for my parents (they were down to only 3 laying hens).

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all around their property, the boys found places to explore – the waterfall ponds, the big pond, the swamps, and the woods – looking for any little creature they could find… and more importantly, catch!

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frogs, tadpoles, snakes, turtles… all were at risk of being snatched up with dirty fingers or a dipping net – and spending the rest of the weekend in one of several critter buckets.

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I took several of the boys out for [multiple] rides on the pond in the canoe – they were able to catch several painted turtles that had been basking in the warm sun.

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walking in the grass near the pond edge, I even found a baby snapping turtle – I assume making his way down to the pond, only recently hatched from an egg.

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the boys weren’t the only ones that wanted to ride in the canoe – Arwen did a great job with me, especially for her first time out on the water!

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I did spend a large portion of Saturday working in my dad’s workshop – I had brought along all the cedar boards for building my cupola that will go on top of the barn.  I made significant progress – it is partially assembled, with the final assembly to take place up on the barn roof (I need it to be light enough to hand carry up the roof!).

IMG_3371as usual, there was a plethora of delicious food over the course of the weekend. I helped my dad dig up a huge bucket of parsnips – left in the ground over the winter. look at that monster!

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and for one meal, my dad made pastrami (from a Jewish deli cookbook I bought him) – it was delicious!

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all told, an excellent weekend of family, food, fellowship & fun!

destiny?

if you know, then you know.

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merry Christmas 2013

hope you have a blessed Christmas celebration with family and friends!

we spent the day at home – just me and my wife and our 3 boys, opening presents in the morning, and then the boys spent most of the day building Lego sets.  Arwen loved sticking her nose into the presents and joining in the fun.

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I spent a little time out at the barn, finally figured out how to get the electricity working.  our garage door now opens and closes without having to start the generator! here’s a view looking south towards the barn from where our future house will sit.

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barn project: before & after

so the lack of sailing and blogging about sailing these last few months is largely due to my barn building project.  I’ve been doing most of the work myself, with occasional help from family – father, father-in-law, brothers-in-law, etc.  progress has been slow at times since I’m usually only able to work on it over the weekend, but I think from this picture you can tell we are getting somewhere!

2013-12-08 photo 3 before afterthe mess of debris is from the house that had burned down on the property prior to us purchasing the land.  we paid a demo contractor to remove that last summer, and then this summer began the barn project.  still a ways to go, but it’s looking good!

a guy’s weekend

every fall, I join my father, brothers, and brothers-in-law (or those who can make it that year) for a men’s retreat at Camp Arcadia (I think this is my 18th year in a row!).  it is a Lutheran camp, and each year a new lecturer does a series of presentations, similar to an extended Bible study series.  mixed in amongst those lectures is a bit of golfing, a bit of silliness, sometimes some swimming and other water-sports on Lake Michigan, and always a lot of great fellowship with the guys of my family. [for the record, the women in the family do a similar women's retreat, but it isn't always at Camp Arcadia, and usually is centered more around shopping.]

as per our usual, we start the weekend out on Thursday, and we pick a golf course to play en route to the camp.  this year, we ate lunch first at Jamesport Brewing Company in Ludington, and then traveled a short way up the road to play 18 holes at Lincoln Hills Golf Course.  most of us are not really serious golfers – this was the 1st round of golf this year for most of the guys (including me!).

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photo by @dharns

after golfing, we got back on the road and headed up the coast towards Camp Arcadia, but made our traditional stop at Arcadia Bluffs (we played golf here once, but it is a bit $$ for our, um, caliber of play).  but it is usually a great place to watch the sunset and get a nice dinner (although this time it wasn’t great….)

photo by @dharns

Friday morning is traditionally a golf outing organized by the camp planning committee, but for various reasons, we decided to start our own golf outing this year: the 1st Annual Juniper Challenge.  there were several benefits to starting our own outing: we could sleep in later, the golf course was a closer drive, we had the course almost to ourselves, and we could create our own rules.  plus, we got lucky, and the course had delicious pulled pork sandwiches at the turn!

the 1st Annual Juniper Challenge couldn’t have ended any better: the 1st foursome was my brother and a few of his friends for the Chicago area (Team St Peter) and the 2nd foursome was me, my brother-in-law Dave, my Dad, and another friend from my Dad’s church (Team St Matthew).  with Team St Peter watching, our group got a bogie on #17 meaning both groups were tied going into the final hole.  both teams shot decent drives to start #18, but Team St Matthew’s 2nd shot was on the green, and closer than Team St Peter’s 2nd shot out onto the fringe.  but St Peter put on the pressure by sinking an amazing putt from the fringe.  my Dad lived up to the challenge – sinking our 12-ft putt to again send us into a tie.  for a tie-breaker, we just walked back 80-ft or so, took a drop and chipped towards the #18 green again.  Dave started off Team St Matthew with an amazing iron shot – stopping 3-ft from the cup.  again, though, Team St Peter was our equal, with a decent chip shot, but then able to sink a long putt.  at that point we called it a tie – a fitting conclusion to the 1st Annual Juniper Challenge.

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after golfing, the 1st lecture is Friday afternoon, followed by some free time – and we played some of our invented game: Tennyball.  Tennyball is a simple (and yet complicated?) game combining tennis and volleyball, with a mixture of insanity. with only 2 vs 2 in this video, it’s hard to tell it is much different than doubles tennis… but trust me, it is most certainly is.

during Tennyball, it was pretty sweet to see one of the other campers out on Lake Michigan trying to kite surf.

Friday evening is the 2nd Bible study and vespers (or a short sunset prayer service) at the recently completed Chapel on the Beach at Camp Arcadia.  my brother-in-law Dave got yet another great photo - it might help to click on this one to enlarge the picture for full effect.

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photo by @dharns

Saturday morning is the final Bible study, and the afternoon usually has some free time.  this year we decided to drive up to the Betsie River near Beulah and watch the salmon swimming upstream, and trying to jump the dam across the river. it was amazing!

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in addition to all of that mentioned above is great food served by the Camp, plus the incredible atmosphere with the setting right on the shores of Lake Michigan. the shipwreck Minnehaha was incredible as well:

once again, an incredible weekend of fun and fellowship.


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