lunch

ledger's two favorite foods in the world are macaroni and cheese, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  i know is not unusual for a little kid, so we just go with it, mixing in some more unusual stuff from time to time.  when we give him new food we have the rule that he doesn't have to like it but he does have to try it!
sometimes he decides to help out with making lunch- so we gave him a butter knife and had him make his own sandwich.  sure, it got a little messy, but what else would we expect?
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seeing movies

i know i've said it before, but it bares repeating: i love the regent theatre in allegan!  all summer the regent shows kids movie matinees for free, so ledger and i took advantage every chance we could!  i'm always a sucker for seeing movies in the theater and it would seem that my son is taking after his dear old dad!
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christmas in august

sandy pines has a tradition of celebrating christmas in the summer.  mostly this is just to people have an excuse to put up their christmas lights at their trailers, not that i'm complaining!  mom and papa reminded us that it was coming and asked if ledge would like to come out and enjoy all the beautiful lights and fun.  well, of course he would!  so we headed out there so we could ride around and see all the displays.  needless to say, he absolutely loved it!  he was beside himself with excitement the entire time!
every once in a while its so great to step outside of myself and live vicariously through him and just enjoy his wonder and joy- its like a perspective reset.  it reminds me what is most important!
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exhausting

so my car wouldn't exactly be considered 'cherry', but it gets me where i need to go.  as someone who doesn't really care about cars, i dont really ask for much more than just something that gets me from point a to point b.  there's so much wrong with it that i've often felt like my car is like mr. burns on that one episode of the simpsons where he goes to the doctor and is told he should be dead- he actually has every disease there is but they are all fighting each other and miraculously he is still alive.  everything is wrong with my car yet somehow it is still alive!  and thriving- that thing gets 37 miles to the gallon!
sometimes something goes a little out of whack though.  this time it was the exhaust pipe.  i was driving home from work and started to hear scraping on the road- that's never a good thing...  i pulled off on a side street and took a look at it.  yup, the exhaust pipe broke off from the engine and was hanging down.  i was a bit worried, so i did what i always do when i have a car question- i called aaron!  he was kind enough to walk me through the issue and come up with a solution.  he asked if i had a duct tape to fix it temporarily so it didn't break off completely.  miraculously i did!  there was a little roll in the emergency kit in the trunk!  lucky me!  i taped it up and it held the rest of the trip.  i set up a time later in the week to have aaron take a look at it (cause he is an amazing friend).  i made it almost all the way to his house that day with the duct tape still holding- about a mile from his house the pipe gave out and started dragging again!  i got my fair share of looks from the pedestrians on the side of the road...
i made it there and aaron worked his magic- he actually had an extra tail pipe that he cut a section off of and made it work on what was left of mine.  i was truly amazed- he fixed the whole thing and somehow we didn't even have to go to the car parts place!
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bush!

i was hanging out late one night with jeffry lee and we found ourselves down a youtube rabbit hole and noticed that the 90's band 'bush' had a new single out.  we checked out the video for 'the only way out' and thought it was amazing- both the video and the song!  we got talking about how much we love that band and then realized that they were coming to down in a couple months!  we did the only logical thing- we bought tickets to see them at the orbit room!  we talked jon into going as well.
the day of the show i got out of work early, met up with the guys and we headed out.  after a stop for dinner, we made our way to the show!  i haven't been to a concert in a very long time, and especially someone as big as bush, so i was really thrilled.  we had so much fun, it was great to hear the hits from gavin himself!  it was fun to see which songs he seemed most excited to sing- the ones that got him going and got his energy up the most were 'swallowed', and 'the only way out'.
we totally had a blast!
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meeting mikey

one of the guys at work, mike, has a little boy about the same age as ledger.  we decided it might be fun if the two of them met each other- maybe they could be as good of friends as mike and i!  diana, ledge, and i met up in south haven with their whole family and went to see 'the secret life of pets' together.  everyone had a great time at the movie and afterwards we wandered down to the pier together.  it was great to meet his wife and kids- and ledger and little mikey had a blast together!  we are going to have to do this again real soon!

grand day out

in order to give diana a little break, ledger and i spend the day out and about! on these special days, as is so often the case, we just headed out with no real plan of what we were going to do to fill the hours.  we decided to head over and see if jeffry lee was up to anything.  he didn't have any plans, so he joined us on our grand day out.  we drove around for a bit, stopping at meijer and getting drenched in a flash rainstorm!  we ended up making our way to chuck e cheeses, which is always a hit with ledge!  jeff was feeling a bit weird about the whole thing, being a childless adult at that place, but eventually he got over it and felt comfortable playing around with ledge and i.  after going through all of our coins, we went out driving again.  this time our drive took us to aaron's house!  he happened to be out working on his car so we stopped in for a minute to pester him and check it all out.
what an unexpectedly fun day we got to have!
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sandy guests

from time to time i will take ledge in to grandville and the two of us will meet up with jeffry lee for an afternoon of errands and fun.  i gave jeff a call to see if he was up for doing the usual and he said that he actually had his nephews for the day.  well, we decided to make it a special day for all three boys- we took them to sandy pines!  i told them about the water park so they packed their swim suits and all five of us had a great time playing in the pool and enjoying the water slide.  afterwards we went and got some ice cream and played for a bit on the beach.  it was a pretty special day for all three of them; jeff and i had a lot of fun too!

putting up pictures

i've always felt like real families have pictures of themselves up on the walls.  we always had a few up in our home growing up, but for some reason, i've never really put pictures up in the different places i've lived.  sure, i've put stuff on the walls, but that was mostly posters or artwork.  now that i've actually got my own family, and our own place to live, we decided to finally put some pictures up!  now, making that decision and actually being able to do it had one major hurdle to overcome: we don't actually have any pictures!  actually we have thousands of pictures, but just the digital kind.  a little while ago i came across a website where you can order prints of your digital pictures for free!  its actually pretty great, you can pick up to 85 prints and all you have to pay is the 10 dollar shipping cost (i know, that just means that the pictures are 10 bucks, but even that is a really good price!)  so we have been compiling some photos for the past couple of months.  we stopped at the dollar store and bought some cheap picture frames and got to work putting them up.  as you can see by this picture, i had a small and cute lil helper!  we got them up and i'm so proud- now we feel like a real family!
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fun 4th

i got some of the weekend of july 4th off, so we made a special trip to sandy pines to enjoy the time off.  mema and papa were thrilled to spend some time with their littlest grandson!  we always love the chance to go on a golf cart ride and we even got to see a parade and watch fireworks.  its always a great time with the family!
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cards through time

you guys, look what i found!  i used to collect these things back when i was a kid, so i was really excited when i found these at the local shop downtown allegan!  ledge and i regularly wander around downtown, walking the boardwalk and checking out all the different shops and stuff.  one of them that i really love to check out is a consignment/antique place called 'little shop of hoarders'.  we happened upon one area that had these beauties featured and i couldn't resist!  it was such a trip down memory lane opening these packets and checking out all the cool cards inside.  the indiana jones chronicles pack even had a 3D card with glasses!
i sent this picture to a couple friends to see if they had the same nostalgic flashback and it turns out i wasn't the only one who collected these.  jon was just as thrilled as i was about these cards!  i made sure to go back and get him a few packs so he could enjoy them as much as i did!

k-ville reunion '16

most people have school reunions once every 10 years.  not us- we have them every summer!  and to make it even stranger, its not a high school reunion- its a middle school reunion!  this year we met up at janna's house and had a great time catching up on what's been happening over the past year and welcoming anyone who may have missed the get-togethers in years past.  adam always lines up a special guest, and this year it was sarah!  it was her first time attending since she lives out of state but happened to be in town when we were meeting.  my favorite part of the reunion was when sarah asked aaron and i 'so, do you two, like, hang out in real life?'
as you can see, we ended the night with a good ol' fashioned hymn sing!  and no, that photo is not staged at all...

tammy's wedding

my eldest cousin on my dad's side recently got married.  she and her husband have an amazing story of finally finding love together, so we were all thrilled to be able to share this special day with them!  diana and i had a wonderful time, and the whole thing couldn't have been more beautiful- congratulations to the two of them!
it was also a big day for us: it was the first time we ever got a babysitter for ledger!  with the whole family going to the wedding, we had no one to watch ledge.  my sister called up one of her babysitters and she watched ledge for us.  it was a little nerve-wracking, but it actually turned out pretty good!  you know, other than him being a holy terror for her, but we won't go in to that...
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letterbots

when we lived in kentwood we would regularly visit the public library.  they had some fun kids play areas and a bunch of fun toys there, ledger's favorite among them were the letters that transformed into robots.  even after we moved he would still bring them up regularly and ask if we could go to the library with the 'letterbots'.
i happened to see them online for a very reasonable price, so i though i would surprise him with his own set of letterbots!  needless to say, he was thrilled when he opened them up!  he lined them all up as he practiced his alphabet, then he would transform them and line them back up again.  his favorite was the 'l' bot because his name starts with an l.  its been fun spelling simple words with him with the robots, it makes it so that he really loves to spell!
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cool tools

ledger's favorite time: craft time!  we found this cool craft kit for making a 'tool box' at aldi the other day, so we got it and put it together.  ledge had so much fun making his designs and playing with the paint!  and of course, since it's ledger, he wanted to paint a smiley face on each side of it.  he even wrote his name on it!  he's getting to be a big boy, that's for sure!
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brother's back in town

i see him so rarely, so its always a treat when my brother comes in to town!  he took a bunch of time off so that he and his wife, miyuki, could spend some time traveling and enjoying themselves.  one of their first stops before heading into the great north was to spend a few days visiting all of us.  i really want ledger to know his uncle and aunt, so we made sure to take some time and visit with them while they were passing through.  we all had a great time catching up and hearing what has been going on with the two of them over the past few months.  ledge loved checking out chad's motorcycle and even got a little ride on it!
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doggy do

after having so much fun with the dogs last year, my aunt and uncle asked us to dogsit for them again this year- and we jumped at the opportunity!  we had a blast spending the week with their cute dogs and enjoying their beautiful home.  ledge loved the chance to have dogs in the house too- he wishes so bad that we would get a pet.  some day, buddy, some day...  it was also nice this time because i didn't have to run off to work every afternoon so i could actually enjoy the time with my family and those cute pups!  being so close to sandy pines, we also took advantage by stopping over at mema and papa's trailer to help out with rebuilding the deck and going for cart rides!
my aunt and uncle went on vacation and watching their dogs allowed us to go on a sort of vacation ourselves!
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aladdin

for some reason ledger has not been interested in movies lately.  he loves to watch tv show and other videos on tv, but he has recently been putting up a stink if we even mention watching a movie.  well, diana and i were growing quite tired of the shows he watches, so we told him that we were going to sit down and watch 'aladdin'.  he threw a fit and was yelling and crying and just being generally ridiculous.  we told him he was welcome to go to his room and pout it out, but we were watching the movie, with or without him.  after throwing an even bigger fit in his room, he decided to come back out.  he was still trying to talk us out of it when he started looking at the tv.  it took him watching for about 10 seconds- he then forgot what he was saying and sat down.  he stayed there for the rest of the movie!  so, maybe he doesn't hate movies after all...

civil war

as i've written about before, one of the things about allegan that i really love is the regent theatre!  i go as often as possible, and every once in a while i am able to bring friends along too!  well, they were showing 'captain america: civil war' and none of us had seen it yet, so i invited the guys and they took me up on the offer.  the movie was great, and so was spending the evening with these two guys!

allegan walk

with the weather being so beautiful out, the three of us decided to head downtown allegan and do some exploring down on the boardwalk (yes, we did sing that song the whole time...).  ever since we moved here i have a hard time explaining to friends and family why we love it in allegan so much.  its afternoons like this that are the reason why!
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