Sunday, August 05, 2012

It’s Always Fun When Grandma Comes

We spent the first couple of days this week getting ready for Hallie’s mom Marilyn to come visit. Hallie and Priscilia worked on the inside of the house, and we finished our work on the front yard. Our next-door neighbors rent, and they miss having a yard of their own, so Doreen came over on Monday and burned off a little steam by tidying up the back yard. By the time she got done, it looked like the yard had received some much needed TLC. Thanks, Doreen! Come by to work your magic anytime.

Grandma came in on a late-night flight Tuesday, and Landon had planned to go with Hallie to pick her up, but he was acting a little odd, so when we had him go take a nap and when he didn’t wake up after a couple of hours, we decided to let him sleep. He didn’t wake up until after Marilyn and Hallie got back from the airport, and after saying hi, he went back to bed.

The following morning he had a hard time getting up to help Mike walk Leo, and after they got back he ended up getting sick, so instead of accompanying Grandma, Mom, and Eliza to Holland and western Michigan, he got to stay home with Dad and Leo. He slept almost the whole day Wednesday, but when he finally woke up, he had fully recovered. We celebrated by watching The Empire Strikes Back and reading a couple of chapters from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Mike made popcorn (bland without butter and salt for the boy), and even Leo got to try some. Leo was most impressed.  

While the boys stayed home, the girls enjoyed a couple of days out west. They left fairly early on Wednesday so they could make it to the Holland Farmers Market. Unfortunately, while they did make it there before the market closed, they did not make it before most of the vendors had left. Bummer. Still, they had plenty to do.

While in Holland the girls saw plenty of beautiful homes that they drooled over, ate some yummy food, and took in other amazing sights. Thursday Hallie thought it would be fun to take Grandma down the coast of Michigan through the cities of Saugatuck and St. Joseph. Blue skies and warm weather awaited us at every turn. Grandma found a special affinity for St. Joseph. Hallie found that it would be a great place to take the family on vacation with its two children's museum, carousel, outdoor fountain, beach, and playgrounds. It really was a family paradise that was very clean and fun. Eliza had so much fun running, playing, and touching everything. The girls had a wonderful time, and Hallie can't wait to go back west when she can take the rest of the family. 
Pledge of Allegiance statue in Holland, MI

Eliza picked and put on her own hat. If we can't get her to wear bows and headbands, why not a hat?

Grandma and Eliza at Sandcastle for Kids in Holland

Eliza thought she should stop and take in the scenery on the way to the lighthouse.

She belongs to the Pilot House. It was a cute house! No wonder why she wanted to go there.

Eliza was enamored with the boats. She squealed with excitement and pointed  at each one that went by.

Whirlpool Compass Fountain's big show every fifteen minutes. Eliza was not so fond of the water.

Eliza standing by thinking twice about what she should do. 

Eliza had so much fun playing at the Silver Beach Amusement Park Museum 

The boys tooled around in the back yard on Thursday morning and early afternoon until it got too hot and humid. Landon took it upon himself to start taking apart his bike when he couldn’t get it to pedal forward. His chain had come off a couple of times before, so we knew there was a problem. Getting out the tools and getting our hands all greasy, we found out that the rear tire needs to have an expert look at it. Oh, well. We took the party back indoors for more Willy Wonka and Star Wars. The girls arrived at home in time for dinner, so we ordered pizza and caught up on the Olympics.

On Friday, Hallie, Marilyn, and Landon ran several errands while Mike did some work and looked after Eliza. Later on, we had an early dinner at Rojo overlooking Lake St. Clair and frozen custard at Wally’s. More Olympics in the evening.

We had a busy Saturday morning starting with Hallie and Marilyn shopping at the mom-to-mom sale at the War Memorial. Mike and the kids met up with them, and they all headed up to join some 2000 people at the Fairy Tale Festival at the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House.  
Make a wish!

Rapunzel, the first princess to greet us 

I'll pass on that kiss, thanks. 

Which one is Grandma?

The boys played at sword fighting, something Landon really enjoyed. 

Have you ever seen such a nasty pirate?

Concentrate, and your wish will be granted. 

The ladies went shopping for produce at Eastern Market. They brought back giant flats of tomatoes and strawberries to make salsa and freezer jam. Marilyn cut up some of the berries while we caught the prime time Olympics coverage.  

After church on Sunday we finished cutting up the strawberries and made 36 jars of jam. In the evening we grilled some carne asada for fajitas and then had s’mores in the fire pit with the missionaries before watching yet more Olympic action. 

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