Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bus Boo 2011!

My two older sons and I are going to brave the cold weather (down to 32 degrees at night) and head on out to BUS BOO! for our last camping trip of the year.  Bus Boo! is held at Camp Blodgett in Grand Haven.  You can learn more about Bus Boo! here and here.  This will be VAN VAN's last outing of the year before going into hibernation.  Now that VAN VAN's cot is fixed, we'll all fit nicely inside and won't need to put up a tent.  Beth and our youngest son will not be staying overnight this year because of the cold.  My Dad will be joining us too and he is going to brave the cold in a tent.  I did that last year, using a sleeping bag that was too small and wouldn't zip around my shoulders.  Needless to say, I didn't get much sleep.

At Bus Boo there is a costume contest, chili cook off and bus to bus trick or treating for the kids.  Last year was our first year and I didn't have a costume for me or VAN VAN. This year I'm going to be a Lumberjack.  I think the boys are going to be a skeleton and Iron Man.  VAN VAN still doesn't have a costume.  I'll work on that for next year.

I'm really looking forward to redeeming myself from last years chili disaster.  My chili was overcooked and a little too spicy for the judges.  I've tweaked the recipe for this year and will make certain that it will not overcook.  Once again I'll be heating it over the fire in a cast iron pot making certain that it doesn't get too hot.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Healing Field

The Healing Field at Cannonsburg Ski Area.  This memorial was erected to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on America.  I recommend taking a stroll through the field.  Read the placards on each flag that represent a person who died in the attacks.  It brought back a lot of memories from that day.  Lets all hope nothing like this happens again.

Never Forget...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A view from my bus on my morning commute.

Sent via DROID on Verizon Wireless

Long time coming...

I know it has been way to long and I haven't made time to update this blog, but I'm thinking of starting a new blog.  I don't want to give away any details, but it will be very simple and focused on pictures taken from a specific place.

As far as this blog goes, I'm planning on being better about adding content.  Life has taken us to the valley and back to the mountain top over the last year.  My focus has been on family and finances and little else.

So here is a quick bulleted list of life since my last post:

*  Our house had been on the market since the beginning of August.  In February, the master bathroom shower decided to take a leak and ruined the laundry room ceiling below it.  See video here.  We decided to let our listing expire and take the house off the market while we did the repairs.

*  In March, there was a knock at the door and when I answered, it was a Realtor asking if our house was still for sale.  I gave him the low down and he said that he had an interested party that would like to see it.  I agreed and directed him to our Realtor, Joe Siereveld, to schedule the showing.  Long story short, they offered, we accepted!

*  In April we moved into a two bedroom w/loft apartment and started our new home search.  It was an interesting place to live.  I'm still trying to forget it...

*  We made an offer on a house in downtown Byron Center, but were rejected.  We looked at several houses in the area and in Hudsonville, but couldn't decide on one.  We finally toured a home in Cook's crossing on Joe's suggestion.  After doing some reading and looking at another spec house that was in the process of being built, we pulled the trigger.

*  We had to wait until mid June for the house to be completed.  The time just dragged on and the neighbors in our apartment became more and more annoying.  Specifically the gent whose car alarm would go off randomly in the middle of the night.  That was Great!

*  We finally closed on the house on June 10th and started moving in the next day.  The unfortunate part is that we had no appliances, air conditioning or electricity.  And, we were leaving for a wedding / vacation in Colorado on the 16th!  Consumers Energy finally restored power on the 14th and we stayed our first night in the new house on the 15th.  Then we were off to Colorado for a week.

*  After our return, we finished unpacking the essentials and were living in the new house.  Our whole goal with this move was to rightsize our financial house to allow Beth to be a Stay at Home Mom!  On July 29, 2011 Beth worked her last day at Macatawa Bank as a Personal Trust officer.  My parents were gracious enough to watch the boys on Thursdays and Fridays for the summer until Beth was done working.  Their last day of daycare was July 27, 2011.

*  This had completed the cycle of our plan.  It had been a week shy of one year since we listed our house.

*  It has now been 1 month and Beth is really enjoying her new occupation.  Magnus starts school on the 6th of September in a new school, but in the same school district.  The school is 1/2 mile from our new home and there is a side walk / bike path all the way there.  He is excited to start the 3rd grade and to ride his bike to school.

*  For me, it is still taking some getting use to.  I still miss out on a lot, but I'm extremely happy for my family. I do enjoy getting up in the morning and not having to force the boys out of bed so we can shuttle them off for someone else to take care of.  Everyone is happy in their own room and the silence of the new neighborhood is deafening.  I haven't slept this well in decades.

That is all for now.  I hope the new school year finds everyone happy and healthy.  Here's to Fall!  Slainte!