Monday, September 15, 2008

Last Days of Summer

I cannot believe how quickly summer went by. It is so hard to say good-bye to the carefree days of summer. We had such a great summer! Our best memories are of the surf and sand at Lake Michigan. We are so blessed to live so close to the beautiful sandy shore. It is amazing how sand and water can provide hours of entertainment for all ages.

Here we are with my parents, my brother and sister-in-law and my niece and nephew. We just finished a great hike through the woods to the Lake.

What a great picture of my parents. They are celebrating their 40th anniversary this month!!

Lily enjoys our "backyard carnival". We have a small collection of large inflatables that the kids enjoy all summer long. Thanks largely to Chad who so graciously drains them, fills them, and moves them around the yard so the grass doesn't die underneath!!

Gabbie and Tessa show off their cakes after our first cake decorating class! Great work, girls!

Summer wouldn't be complete without a Trolley ride in Grand Haven. Will is enjoying the view from the back of the Trolley.

Gabbie hangs out at the back of the Trolley to take in the summer sites in Grand Haven.

Blueberry picking, yum!!!

There is a great story that goes along with this family photo. Our adoption agency asked us for a family photo for the magazine that they publish. We thought this would be an easy thing to do, and it may be fun to see if we end up in the magazine. So, we tried to clean everyone up a bit (that's not all too common in the summer), and put on some clothes that may look okay together. Chad set up the tri-pod, we gathered the kids on the front porch and told everyone to smile. It was all down hill from there!! Let's just say that getting a 5 year old to look at the camera, a 2 year old to smile, and two older kids to keep "decent looks on their faces", is so much easier said than done. So, about 45 minutes and a whole bunch of tears later, here is the result. Is it a good picture? Yeah, I think so. Was it worth it? It depends on how many years our kids will spend in counseling dealing with the scars!!

Here, Max and I wait it out while Chad heads inside to try to convince Will to come back out and give it another try.

Lily helped to wash (and eat) all of the blueberries.

Gabbie and Will head up front with Josh and Sara at Unity (Christian music concert) to hear Third day. I must be getting old, because it sure was LOUD!!!

Gabbie and Erin take time from enjoying the music to smile for a picture.

Gabbie and Lily dance the night away at the concert.

I included this picture not only because it is a great shot of me with my two darling girls, but because I think it is such a beautiful picture of the water, sand, and dunes. If you are friends that don't live in Michigan, you should come and see us in the summer and enjoy the beach with it. It just doesn't get any better than this!

Beach Bums!!!

Our kids and some friends are getting ready to tube down a little stream that leads into Lake Michigan. What a perfect lazy summer day!!

I know the marshmellow is toasted to perfection, but more importantly, look at that sky and waves. It is so hard to say good-bye to summer.

It was also hard to say good-bye to this wonderful vacation. We stayed at a cottage on Lake Michigan two other families. It was an amazing week of water, waves, sand, and great memories! We feel so blessed to have such wonderful friends.

Will and I enjoyed this great sunset after we all took a late night dip in the water.