bouncing birthday boys

jeffry lee's nephews were in town and had a special birthday party.  they do not live around here, so they didn't really know any other kids, but jeffry lee thought ledger might like to join them on the fun day they had planned.  so the three of us met up with them and had a great time together!  we went to skyzone, where they boys got to have a blast on their bouncy trampolines, then had cake and pizza at the hotel party room with the boys and jeffry lee's family.  there was cake, there were gifts- needless to say the boys had a blast together!
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back to the drawing board

when ledge first got this drawing easel from sarah and vince for his birthday, he wasn't all that interested in it, but ever since we moved to the new house he has been having a blast with it!  he has been drawing all week on it- always the same things:  different ghosties and aliens.  he loves to draw faces!  i think we may have another artist in the family...
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tractor rides

now that levi and miranda live further out in the country, levi is able to fulfill all his farmin' dreams!  he recently talked miranda into letting him get a tractor, so of course he needed to show it off while we were staying there for the weekend!  he started it up and gave all of us a chance to take a turn driving it around their back yard- even ledger got a turn riding on it with uncle levi!  i had never been on a tractor before, so now i can tick that off the ol' bucket list...
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sis' reception

what an amazing wedding reception!  barbara and james had their reception at james' sister's house.  they live out in the country a bit and have a beautiful barn and large yard where they set up tents for the big event.  the barn had an open bar in it as well as a dance floor and even a side room for the kids that had a tv playing kids movies and coloring books to keep them busy!  what a great idea.
we had a really fun time and the food was amazing!  diana and barbara's grandma was able to be there for a while and celebrate with them, but as she got tired, levi and i drove her home.  we headed back and when we got there it had gotten darker, so all the stringed lights and candles had been lit- and it was so beautiful, it looked like a magical storybook party!  eventually we called it a night, but barbara, james, and all their friends kept rocking it well into the night!
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sis' wedding

it's barbara's wedding day!  it was awesome to be a part of her special day and it was fantastic!  the whole ceremony was beautiful and i even got to go up and do some scripture reading for it.  diana was the maid of honor, so ledger and i sat with miranda and levi during the ceremony.
the whole thing was great, but what i loved the most was seeing how different barbara is from her sister...  it was really funny to see just how laid back and nonchalant she was about the whole thing.  she was totally like 'whatever'!  she was the last one to arrive at the church, we hadn't really gone over anything as far as how it was going to go.  they asked me to read scripture during the ceremony, but didn't actually let me know what passage or what order i would be going up to read until about 3 minutes before the wedding started!  yikes!  they invited a bunch of people to the wedding ceremony, but didn't seem to realize that there weren't anywhere near enough seats in the small church.  it kind of resulted in a 'standing room only' thing where there were about 30 people who had to stand in the back lobby peering into the sanctuary through the doorways!  and do you think this bothered the bride even one bit?  nope!  that's barbara for you- totally carefree, just enjoying the chaotic fun!  and it certainly was that: fun!  it was a great laid back celebration, which is exactly what it these two wanted!  congrats sis, and welcome to the family, james!
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let's rehearse

with barbara's wedding this week, we headed down to south bend a little early for the rehearsal dinner.  its always a great time to see diana's family, and alanna and tavish were there too- ledger was so thrilled to be able to play with his cousin!  it was really nice to meet james' family and friends and get to spend some time with all of them.  the rehearsal dinner was at a really delicious italian place in granger.  we were only able to wrangle ledge and tavish to sit with us for a few minutes, but as soon as their food was gone- off they went!  they wandered around a bit pestering as many people as they could.  eventually all the kids were sent outside; right across from the restaurant was a big field for them to run around in, which helped a ton with getting their energy out!
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pack and move

ever since we moved up to michigan for my job we had been living with my parents where space is at a premium- especially with all five of us living there!  diana's mom and david have been gracious enough to allow us to keep our stuff in the attic of their garage this whole time.  but, now that we have our own place, its time to pull it out of storage and start using it again!
as soon as we signed the lease for the new place we made plans to go down and get all our stuff.  we rented a u-haul, got barbara to help us out, and started picking though our stuff decided what we needed and what we didnt.  diana, of course, wanted to throw everything out and start fresh- or at least with the bare minimum, but i wanted to keep and take it all!  i am definitely a pack rat by nature and diana is the opposite, so we have a hard time seeing eye to eye with this kind of thing!  we settled somewhere in the middle and packed it all up for the move.  we drove up to allegan and started filling our house up and began to turn it into a home.

kids kingdom

we moved to allegan without much knowledge of the place, so we have recently been exploring the town and getting a good look around.  one of the places that we found that is really cool is a place called kid kingdom, its an awesome park that has a huge area just for kids!  the name fits because its not just a slide or wooden structure, its a whole fenced in kingdom filled with different fun things for kids to play on!  ledger was blown away by how amazing it is.  and to top it off, its actually within walking distance of the house!  i know where we're spending a lot of time this summer...
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time to move

the time has come.  we had been living with my parents for the past 8 months and though it has been great, its time for us to get our own place.  when we first moved up to michigan for my job, my parents offered to let us live with them until we could find a place of our own.  its been awesome to be able to tuck away a few extra dollars to prepare for the move, but now its time to strike out on our own again!  for reasons we aren't quite sure of, we decided to move out to allegan michigan and start the next chapter of our lives there.  jon hooked us up with someone who owned a few places he rents out.  we stopped and checked one of them out.  its is a beautiful old house that diana immediately fell in love with.  the place is huge!  we took a tour of it and thought it was great.  we signed a lease- and now we live in allegan!

pines visit

diana, ledger, and i have enjoyed having the house to ourselves these past couple months, but we still love to go out to sandy pines!  ledger especially loves the chance to see his his cousins- and take cart rides!  we don't get out there as often as we might like, but its good to go out when we can, the season isn't very long and we miss it all winter!

gatecon fun

ah, another successful gatecon in the bag!  we got to see a bunch of different speakers, including parker lewis!  we got to wander around rosemont and get some pizza that totally wrecked all of our stomachs, i got some great stargate merch, and we had a blast!  its unfortunate that this will most likely be our last time attending one of these.  they are having one more next year but i think this is going to be the end of the line for us.  i guess stargate will have to live on in our hearts... and earlobes...

gatecon loot

the guest speakers are a big part of the convention, but the other fun part is going and checking out the stargate merchandise!  each year it seems like there is less and less to choose from.  this might be because the show has been off the air for 9 years, but i'm not sure...  this year though, was an exception!  there was a new booth in the merch room and they had some really rad stuff!  usually when i come to the convention i don't have much money to waste on merch, but i actually planned ahead really well for this year and had almost a hundred dollars extra to squander on stargate stuff!  i got all kinds of awesome stuff- a few new books, a cool wall mirror, and a couple stargate lego sets (ok, they are lego knockoffs, but they are still pretty rad!).  jon got a few things too, so we were having a blast in the ol' merch room!
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gatecon cant loose!

there were a lot of fun guests this year, we went to the con on sunday, so the main people we saw were...  oh, who am i kidding?  corin nemic was there!  that's right, parker lewis was at the convention!!!  i guess i hadn't really looked very closely at the schedule, because i had no idea he was going to be there until we got there.  i totally loved the old show 'parker lewis can't lose' back when it was on, and i also really loved his character jonas from the season where daniel jackson was gone from the show.  i'm pretty sure i'm in the minority on that one, but i thought his character was awesome!  jon strongly disagrees, but what does he know?  he's only been to four gatecons, its not like he's an expert on stargate or anything!
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gate con begins!

its my favorite time of year- its time for the annual stargate convention!  this is my fifth year of going to the con and i'm usually able to round up a friend or two to join me.  this year jon joined me for the 4th time, and jeffry lee tagged along for the second time.
granted, the show has been off the air for a long time now, but that hasn't lessened our passion!  there were a bunch of guests who came to speak, i spent way too much money at the booths, and we had an awesome time!

good to fair

at work we have a 'member appreciation day', which means we have a special grill out meal and free entry into the holland state fair.  we took advantage of the free fun and headed out!
i tell you what, i haven't been to a fair in years- and ledger never has!  we went in the special picnic area and chowed down.  got our free passes and free ride bracelets and headed over the check it all out.
there were tons of fun rides, games, and even a petting zoo!  ledger had a blast, and so did we.
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snakes for the gift!

my birthday has never been much of a big deal to me, at least as an adult.  so when it came around i wasn't too worried about doing anything special or different.
we were visiting in south bend at the time, so diana's mom and david treated us to a lovely lunch.  that was just right to me, a little something special but that was enough.
what did make my birthday extra special though was the amazing birthday card from my boy! (i think he wrote it himself, but diana may have helped a little...)  and also the special gift he gave me: a play-doh snake!  probably the best birthday gift ever!

hottie

seriously.  i'm the luckiest guy in the world- just look at her!

anyway, back to your regularly scheduled blog posts...

light up the night

as summer sets in ledger has been staying up later.  the sun is out so long that we cant reasonably expect ledge to go to bed at 7pm and have it still be as light as noon!  he's been a-ok with us delaying his bedtime!  some times we have even had special events or plans that have kept him up extra late.  recently he was up late enough to see his new favorite animal in the whole world: lightning bugs!  he was so thrilled with seeing them for real- he had thought they were just imaginary like the other characters on tv!  he ran around in the backyard trying to chase after them.  whenever they would light up his eyes would light up even brighter!  we certainly have a nature lover on our hands with this guy!

new car!

ever since our black car died we have been a one car family.  its been a bit of a struggle, but staying with my parents for a little while has allowed diana to use their cars if needed so we have been able to manage.  during that time we have been saving and saving in order to get a new car, and now we have enough stored away that we are able to actually pay cash for a second vehicle!  we really want to be debt free, so we made the decision to wait until we could pay for it without more debt.  diana had been looking online for a new vehicle for a couple months now, and she finally came across this beauty- a chrysler pacifica.  we went to go check it out, were impressed, and drove home with it!  oh, don't worry, we brought it to a car place to give it the ol' once over before we signed the dotted line, but it passed and we were all set- we got ourselves a new car!

a cold treat

with the summer weather getting so hot, we thought we would let ledge try a summer treat: his first popsicle! he was very confused by it at first, trying to just take a bite out of it, but realizing how cold it was he knew right away that was a bad idea...  once he got the hand of the licking thing he was thrilled about the whole thing!  after he was done we just about needed to wash him down with a hose because he was so sticky, but it was totally worth it to see the thrill in his eyes!