Tag Archives: Michiganders

From Our Families to Yours

25 Dec

Don’t Fence Me In

1 Nov

It’s rough being the youngest.

Or so my sister tells me.

And I’m afraid our youngests are in for a long, rough ride.

That is if they can ever break out of the corral.

It might be tough, their brothers seem to be fairly adept at fence building.

Say Cheese! Then put it back in the fridge.

15 Oct

Today was Church Photo Directory Picture Day.   For those of you who’ve never been part of such an event, you can think of it as School Picture Day plus grown-ups and minus the free combs.

It’s been a few *cough, almost nine, cough* years since our last Photo Directory.  Our family has changed a bit since then.  For instance here’s our picture from the winter of 2003:

It’s a missing children photograph.  And get this – it’s not like we left them with a sitter or accidentally forgot them.  There were simply no children.  None.  Well . . .  see that gleam in Jerry’s eye?

Never mind.

Other notable things are missing from this picture.  For instance, I don’t see a single gray hair on either of our heads.  And look what I have instead – salon applied highlights.  Highlights!!!  Strategically placed by an actual professional!!!  I probably also had a Starbucks that morning.  Life was pretty luxurious back then.

And here’s what we looked like today:

Okay, you’re right.  There’s something missing here, too.  Besides our bodies, that is.  Thomas.  I didn’t realize his shirt had already vanished from the layout until I upload the picture.  It’s waaaaaay to late to rectify that omission, so instead, please imagine a blue oxford standing at Jerry’s right elbow.  I assure you it was there when I laid out the clothes last night and he was wearing it today.  In the pictures.  We remembered him.  Surely.

While you’re busy fantasy photoshopping my picture, could you please erase the recycling bin overflowing with milk cartons, the old fishing hat (which gladly was not worn today), the odd sock, and the corner of my breakfast bowl?  Thank you.  I appreciate your cleanliness.

Now that you’ve done such a good job virtually tidying up, wanna come over to the house?  While you’re here I’d be happy to serve you some coffee while my Nice ‘N’ Easy takes effect.

This one is caught by a fan from Grand Rapids.

13 Oct

Things I (We) Love:  Tiger’s Baseball (Pink just didn’t seem right this time.)

The ‘we’ here belongs to my husband and children, as does the love.  You see, what I really love is my husband and children, and they love the Tigers, therefore I love the Tigers.  It’s a classic case of if A=B and B=C then A=C.

They have a combined 65 years worth of lifetime Tiger love.  My husband has seen them through three World Serieses (is there such thing as a double plural?), happily sat behind poles at Tiger Stadium, and stood by the team through the 2003 season.  You remember that one – the losingest record in ALC history?  Yeah, that’s true love.

That was also the summer that endeared me to Detroit.  I refuse to say whether I was rooting for them to win or lose.  Gimme a break – if you’re near a record shouldn’t you strive for it?  Even if it’s a losing one?  None the less, because of my husband’s steadfast fanhood they also became “my team.”

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve had teams before.  Even (gasp!) the Texas Rangers.  After all, I did live in Texas for seven years.  The Ballpark in Arlington only proceeded me by four months, I attended countless games, and even directed a choir that sang the National Anthem.  On a sidenote:  if you are ever offered the opportunity to direct a group singing the Star Spangled Banner at a Major League game say something falsely modest like, “Who, me?  Direct the group?  No, no, you should direct them.  Really!  I’ll just stand on the end and sing.”  Why, you ask?  Because when you’re the director all the world sees your backside.  On a Jumbotron.  According to my friends in the stands it adds an extra 800 pounds.

I actually like all the teams in the Final Four this year.  And yes, even with my limited sports knowledge I understand that term belongs to something else.  The only thing that would make it better is the addition of the Minnesota Twins.  And yes, again, I know enough to I understand that it is impossible to have the Tigers, Rangers and Twins in the running for the World Series.  But while we’re at it, we could also throw in the Royals.  They’re nice.  I guess I’m kind of an American League girl.

But I also think the Cardinals and the Brewers are root-worthy teams.  Shoot, the Cardinals are practically the Official Team of the Lutheran Church Missouri-Synod, and the Brewers?  Well, they have giant Sausages that run around their bases.  How could you not root for that?  Also, I once took a portion of a Master’s class in Hymnody with the girl who was Stosh the Polish Sausage, although rumors have it that she was once seen dressed as Cinco the Chorizo.  I am not making this up.  She had to drop the class because she was losing too many races.  Okay, I might have made up that last part.

But right now, the Tigers are still in this thing.  They can do it.  And even if they don’t, we’ll still be cheering.  Because although I can’t remember which comes first, the top or bottom of an inning, I’m faithful to my team.  And my husband.

An Open Letter To Rick DeVos

11 Oct

Dear Mr. DeVos,

Recently I heard that you wanted to see Crazy Crap all over the city.  While I realize ArtPrize is now officially over, and that our home lies slightly outside of the downtown boundaries I would like you to consider making it another satellite site in 2012.  The work showing in our gallery seems to fit your criterion to a T.

Our artists-in-residence have been busy filling their portfolios and our home with a variety of pieces.  Here’s a little sample of their pieces and work statements.

Work Statement:  Knowing the trendy relevance of found objects and urban space this work combined chalk the artists finally found in the messy garge with the utilitarian walking stones.  The chalk covered shoe speaks to the way art moves through our world.

Work Statement:  The title of this line drawing is Octopuses Is Sword Fighting.  The grammatical error is intended to remind you of the primitive nature of the drawing.  His influences are weaponry, Imaginext Sea-Serpents, and ancient South American tribal artists.

Work Statement:  Inspired by this work at the Grand Rapids Public Museum the artist set out to prove that he did not need the aid of power tools to doodle.  It had nothing to do with the fact that the Mother Artist disallows the use of drills when the Father Artist is not home.

[Picture of a honeycrisp apple minus large chunks and speared through with a butterknife]
Work Statement:  This fresh, yet somewhat violent entry missed it’s photographic opportunity due to the Starving Artist Effect.  Also, it is important to remember that if I were to take a picture of every ArtPrize entry I would only be able to spend 9 seconds with each child a day.

Work Statement:  It’s an airplane crash.  That’s all, folks.  Nothing more to see here.

Work Statement:  The use of peel and stick bingo stickers casting shadows communicates the dangers of wasting your life away gambling in the darkness of a bingo hall.  Either that or the 4-yr-old artist was just excited to be allowed the opportunity to put stickers on something other than scrap paper.  And the shadows were cool.

My husband also put a cup of water on the table and called it ArtPrize.  Oh wait, someone already entered that in the competition.

So, Mr. DeVos, is that Crazy and Crappy enough for you?

Yours artfully,

Why couldn’t I have gotten Skinny Genes instead?

22 Aug

We grew up with a chronic list maker.  For those of you who know our parents it’s quite evident that I am talking about our mom and not our dad.  I don’t think Dad has ever made or followed a list in his life.  Not intentionally, at least.

But Mom has lists for everything.  Everything.  And I can’t say that I blame her.  They are handy dandy little tools.  I don’t know how much they really help me accomplish, but they are fun, fun, fun to make.

And even though making lists is a very common, nearly trendy blog thing to do I want to be super clear that any list made on this blog is borne out of genetics – as if anyone would ever classify my actions as trendy.

1.  The boys have been begging to start school.  Simeon even picked a date – August 20.  Homeschooling is cool and flexible and all that, but I flatly refuse to start school on a Saturday.  No way.  No how.  And my plan all along has been to start on Aug. 30 when Jerry goes back to school.  But in order to take advantage of some of that pro-school momentum I caved and said we could start today.  I figured it would be kind of a soft start with the Grand Opening as scheduled next Tuesday.  Plus, it would give us a good chance to see how my proposed daily plan for the year was going to work.

2.  I quit school today.

3.  For the last five days Peter has been feverish, and/or rashy, and/or puking, and/or crying, and/or diarrheaing, and/or crabby.  Strike that last possible or.  It’s just an and.  He was diagnosed with a double ear infection and a probable mystery virus this afternoon.

4.  We’re trying to come up with some sort of system for the blog so you will know not only to expect a post on certain days, but also it’s general category.   Other than lots more of my sister, is there anything you would like to read more about?

5.  My OfficeMax gift card has not yet come.  I’m getting nervous.  Surely they didn’t just promise me the refund and then hang up the phone and say, “Ha!  We fooled you!”  No, they wouldn’t do that.  Right?  I am a total Nervous Nelly.

6.  I so, so, so want to enter in the MyGR6 competition, but can’t come up with anything clever and true and wonderful.  I do love this city, though.  Wait!  No.

7.  I’ve always wanted to do Baby Signs with my kids, but have never had the stick-to-it-iveness to carry through.  Cecilia has made one up on her own, though.  She claps when she wants to eat and when a meal is over.  My daughter.

8.  The boys are training for a marathon.  Okay, fine, it’s a kid’s marathon and they have two months to complete 25 miles, and then finish the final 1.2 miles of the actual Grand Rapids Marathon route on race day.   So far I think each of their miles has gotten subsequently slower.  My sons.

9.  The same genes that inspire list writing also create an internal need for the lists to have an odd numbers of items.  Well, that might be all my own special mutation.  My poor children.

The Aunt Farm

6 Aug

She wasn’t kidding.  This farm really is popular.  In the last 48 hours my boys have

  • read the post no less than 14 times
  • attempted to start their own MPFITW franchise
  • collected all the baby tigers we own
  • begun quoting lines from a movie they’ve never seen
  • learned the words “architect,” “misnomer,” and “destroyment”
  • discussed the similarities of Super Gigantic Bats and Night Fury dragons
  • fallen on the floor laughing at their cousins
  • asked at least 82 times when we get to go to Nebraska again

But most importantly for me, they

  • had my sister’s voice come out of their mouths.

My life would be easier if . . .

28 Jul

. . . Peter knew his head extended above his eyes.

. . . Simeon didn’t drink my coffee.  Or Jerry’s.

. . . Abers looked less cute when he admitted to washing my cell phone, locking Jerry out of the house, stabbing his baby brother in the eye with an action figures’ sword, spraying room freshener in our bedroom, and tying knots in my necklaces.   All in the past 24 hours.

. . . Mo Willems wrote a new book every day.

. . . marbles had never been invented.

. . . the Bible were in alphabetical order.

. . . my sister lived next door.

. . . Thomas had never heard either the Grand Rapids Lip Dub or Weird Al.

. . . all seven of the people in this house wore exactly the same socks.

Welcome to our extremely humble abode.

. . . our boys had never learned to use scissors and tape.

. . . our boys had never shown an interest in Interior Decorating.

. . . if I could blog in the shower.  Don’t worry, that technology seems a ways off.  Although, maybe that’s what Abe was working on with my phone.

A Day in the Life of a Three-Year-Old

10 Apr

This morning Pastor Sherrill said in the sermon that Abraham was dead.  And despite the fact that that our son sat up and said, “No, I’m not.  I’m right here!” his day really took nose dive.

This afternoon he stamped his nose red while cleaning up the Christmas stamps.  I don’t think Rudolph bargained for the face scrub this momma reindeer demanded.

This evening eating in the sunroom was too shiny,  his cheese was too big and then too small, and his peas were making him nervous.

But don’t worry, before he went to bed he said, “Next time we eat, I won’t ‘plain.  ‘kay?”

‘Kay, Abe.  But you’re still not allowed to read this book anymore.

They Go to the Same Barber

9 Apr

But apparently that joke got old really fast.