Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Review of 2011


February Blizzard

March: US FIRST Robotics


May: Girls On The Run

June: Abbi's 1st Birthday and Grandma's passing 

July: Dan & Sarah's Wedding

August: EAA AirVenture

September: MSU game

October: Chris & Elizabeth's Wedding

November: Derek's 30th Birthday


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas 2011: Party Time

The pictures can do most of the talking. This is a long post because I'd rather just cram all Christmas parties into one post this year.
Christmas at the Wrights:
 Nice one, Abigail...
 fun with Uncle Dan
 trying to push Aunt Elizabeth on her new sled
Christmas at the VanderZwaags:

 Christmas at Derek's Grandparents' House: 

 Christmas at home:

Go Calvin!

Cars 2

looking in her stocking

Friday, December 23, 2011

Derek's Auto Shop

Part of our Christmas gifts this year were "service" gifts. We washed, waxed, and detailed cars for Derek's parents and grandparents. We even shampooed the carpets in one of the cars.

 I'll be honest: it was fun and not fun. Turning up the radio in a heated garage with someone snoring away in the baby monitor can be a fun type of date and... man, did those carpets look better! But, I would rather have watched a movie and drank hot cocoa with Baileys. Ha! 

Friday, December 16, 2011

She Loves Her Cozy Coupe

"Beep, beep" she says. She has more fun just getting in and out of it rather than driving it around. That's fine with me because it's rather large and supposed to be an outdoor toy... but she's my baby and it's still pretty "new" and clean so it's inside until spring.

The word on the street is that she might be getting this for Christmas.

If it isn't one thing, it's something else

*Owning an older used car has it's up and downs. There are no payments on it so you can just run it til it dies, but you've got to deal with the repairs as they come more often. This story was just funny, and so full of irony, that I just had to get it written down for laughs later on.

Derek was heading home from work one day and saw a woman stranded next to the highway. She had run out of gas. He found a place to turn around and headed back to see if he could help.

I got a call from him while he was driving her to the next exit to get a gas can and fill it up; he was just letting me know he'd be a little late for supper. I hung up feeling thankful for a sweet husband and hoping more people are out there like that so if I ran into trouble I'd have help too (although I hope I'd watch my gas gauge better than that!).

As he filled her tank up cars and semi whizzed inches by him doing 75 mph. He said he was glad to be back in his car after that!

A few minutes later I received another call from him. He had driven away, passed that exit that he'd just been to get gas, and his car overheated. That was the last exit before home, but he had 13 miles to go and didn't want to risk damaging the engine. He was going to wait for a tow truck.

Derek got right to work on fixing the problem. It was either the thermostat or the water pump. It ended up being a broken water pump so he drained the antifreeze, replaced the parts, and filled it up with water to run it for the recommended 2-6 hours.

We decided to go for a family drive to get some miles/time on the new pump before putting the antifreeze in it. We were gone for about 20 minutes and stopped home to quick grab something. As I ran into the house Derek and Abigail waited in the driveway. Our driveway is sloped so he pulled the emergency brake... and something snapped. The e-brake was stuck on.

The night temperatures were getting below freezing that week and with his engine full of water he didn't want to risk having it sit outside at the auto repair place, but he didn't want to flush it yet and replace it with antifreeze because we had hardly driven it, let alone reached the recommended 2-6 hours.

He mulled over it for a few days (thanks for the loaner cars from both our parents!). He finally decided to park it sideways in our lawn (so it wouldn't roll anywhere!) and let it run for awhile. Then he changed the antifreeze and brought it to the auto repair shop.

The car is finally home and working again. Let's just say there was a big sigh of relief when all the car issues were over (for now anyway). he he he

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Remember 2/3 tree comment?

Yeah. So when you add ornaments to that same side of the tree it makes it's tippy. Like, fall over 2 days later shattering ornaments and making a huge mess tippy. ha ha. I'm just here to make the mistakes for you to learn from folks. your welcome. 
 This was my solution: a few tupperware lids under the base, hidden by the tree skirt and (because I do have a curious toddler in the house that may touch/pull on the tree) bungee cords holding it to the window frames!!
 There. Now it's back up and I just have to decorate it. again.
I told you in was a big tree! Doesn't that star look funny on top? :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cutting down the Christmas Tree

 Abigail went in the backpack again since it would have been hard to walk that far through all the tall grass (or snow if there had been some!)
 We've had a pretty "green" winter so far, even though we had snow back in early November.
 There it is!... I know, you can't see it, but I can... it's in the middle.
 Derek and I wore coats that we dont care if they get some sap on so I dressed Abbi in her camo to match Daddy.
It was a pretty big tree, well 2/3 of it. The other part was shoved in the corner of our living room so it didn't matter. 
 There I am! I was in a photo! he he he
The tree was obviously much taller than our 8-foot ceilings (tangent: why do they call them 8-foot and not 8 feet?? ugh). By the time we hacked some off the bottom and that top skinny header on top it just fit! 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Tracks in the backyard... again?!

It's a strange thing to wake up and find this in your backyard:

...and then slowly it comes back to you... this crazy dream you had of waking up to your cell phone but it wouldn't turn off when you picked it up and it was a weird new ringtone. 
I guess that's what happens when you burn the midnight oil for an entire week: you sleep so hard you don't even realize that your doorbell is going off and someone's driven through your bushes and backyard. 

Different bushes, mind you, than 5 months ago... because those bushes just got fixed:

Click on the photo to see the details of how drivers go off the road and into the play area of my daughter.