Posts Tagged 'family'

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!).

lincoln hills

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.

juniper

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.

vespers

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!

salmon

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.

barn progress

I’ve been distracted lately by a building project: we are putting up a barn on the plot of land we bought last summer.

we paid an excavating company to do the site prep, foundations, concrete slab, and driveway.

and now Thursday and Saturday, I had several members of my family down to help build and raise the walls.

next step is trusses and the roof – but we are waiting on truss delivery.

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photo quiz

with a large family like mine, it it often difficult to align everyone’s schedule and get us all together at once.  so this year we celebrated Christmas with my side of the family a few days late, opening presents on Friday night, and then having our big holiday dinner Saturday night.  here is my dinner plate:

dinner

here is a photo of dessert:

dessert

here is the photo quiz:

  1. what is the main type of meat from dinner?
  2. what are the 2 sauces for the meat (both at the top of the plate)?
  3. what are the 6 side dishes? (or just list as many ingredients as you can)
  4. what was the dessert (with ingredients)?
  5. how many of the my2fish clan were in attendance?
  6. what is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

if you are a family member who was at the dinner, don’t give away any answers, but feel free to comment with thoughts (and any corrections if I incorrectly identify anything!).

good luck!


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