Sunday, September 25, 2011

Leah's Locks of Love

I'm gushing with pride. Leah has been bagging me for months to cut her hair short. At the beginning of the summer I convinced her if she waited until school started up her hair would be long enough to donate. At one point the daily struggle of brushing and dealing with conditioning to prevent clorine damage got to me and I asked if she was ready to give up and just get it cut. She stuck to it and yesterday she donated 10 inches to Locks of Love. She beamed ear to ear as soon as the braid was cut off. I thought for sure her cheeks would start hurting. After she got her hair washed I waited for her in the front to the saloon. I could just catch a little glimps of her around the corner. Moments before she came out a couple ladies noticed her beaming and looked at me to see my reaction....I nearly lost it and started weeping abit. Oh my! My sweet baby girl is growing up so quick....and she's becoming the sweetest, most caring and generous young lady. Oh how I love her so.

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Back to School and Back to Old Habits

The kids started school 2 weeks ago. The 1st day we were excited to learn Leah's friends William and Esmeralda were in her classroom. That night Leah told me she was sitting at the same group of desks as them. I warned her she needed to be sure she listened to her teacher and didn't talk too much or she might get moved. The next evening Leah came home and told me "I know you might be kinda mad but... Mrs. Loss moved my desk for talking too much". I should have been angry, I suppose but I just chuckled. gave her a squeeze and said "at least you're consistent".

This is the 1st year Leah has returned to the same school and while she was excited to see familiar faces and know what was in store there was a bit of disappointment when we started to realize the students that hadn't returned. Parents that were entrenched in the PTA and very active in volunteering have left the district. Since 18 months old I grew up in the same house, had the same friend and went all the way through school in the same district. I felt bad that I haven't been able to provide that for my kids. Part of the reason we're still in our house was my attempt at giving the kids some sense of stability. I'm seeing now it's not going to the time the kids get to 4th grade the chances of having the same friend by their side is slim to none.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Leah's Visit to Cincinnati

We sent Leah down to Cincinnati to spend the week with her grand parents. They were nice enough to e-mail pictures of what she did all week. Sure looks like she had fun.

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Friday, August 26, 2011

My Sweet Girl is 7

Leah turned 7 not too long ago. She's become quite a young lady, enjoying all things girly but refusing to be outdone by the boys next door. We had planned to take a camping trip on Kelley's Island to celebrate her birthday but unfortunately I had to cancel because she caught a cold that knocked her out all week. She took it all in stride and when she perked up a bit she requested to do a little retail therapy....her new favorite girly mommy and me activity. Maybe her joy of shopping will rub off on me because while I enjoy spending one on one time with her I hate shopping.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Blue Tops Live On

Last week we took a family vacation in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. As a child my family would go up there every summer to visit my great grandparents, Nana Gwen and Gramps Harold. We haven't vacationed there since 1988...(I distinctly remember Tracy Chapman's "Fast Cars" on the radio) and the last time I was up there at all was in 1995 for Gramps Harold's funeral. Winters up there are something else.
My brother and I had been talking about going back and last fall he sent me a link to an article about a Michigan Tech Student that had built a cord log cabin with her father and she lived in it during the school year. Ends up that Student is the daughter of the family we used to rent "Blue Top Cabins" from. I contacted her father about possibly returning to the U.P. for a visit and the next thing I knew my dad had booked 3 cabins just down the street from our original vacation spot. My brothers family wasn't able to join us but my sister and her family made the 16 plus hour trek from Knoxville. I was excited to relive childhood memories with my kids but I was nervous if anyone else would enjoy themselves....there may be lots of water but it's definitely not the beach vacation we've become accustom to. Leaving 100 degree heat we set off on a 13 hour drive for cooler climates and what a pleasure it was. Jeans and sweatshirts become part of our evening attire. Ice cold showers and even colder swims, sunsets after 9:30, twilight that lasted nearly till dawn and more stars then I've seen in a planetarium highlighted the week. To my amazement my teenage nephew asked my sister if they could start vacationing there every year because it was way more fun than the beaches of North Carolina. The history up there is so rich and it was good to visit the place my family migrated to generations ago.

Sea Shells by the Lake Shore

Mackinaw Lighthouse

Mackinac Bridge - as a kid I thought this was the most amazing bridge. 5 miles long it marks a little more than 1/2 way between Cleveland and Houghton

One foot in Lake Michigan - One foot in Lake Huron

Mackinac Bridge

These towers can be seen for miles before you reach it on I75

My Hippie on Oskar Bay - our home for the week

Fishing without hooks ;-)

Sitting on the Dock of the Bay

Worn Out

Portage Canal Light House - loved climbing on those boulders as a kid - as an adult they nearly gave me a heart attack watching my kids risk life and limb jumping boulder to boulder

Lake Superior Sand Dunes - black sand like no other place I've been

Lake Superior at Sunset

6 of the 8 Grandkids in Nana's old stomping grounds

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Blue Tops Live On

I remember the Isle Royal Ferry passing our cabin daily...didn't see any Cleveland Cliffs ore boats this time

My mom believes her great grand mother was born in this light house but while Pierce is a family name I don't see her last name listed

Eagle Harbor Lighthouse tower

Eagle Harbor Lighthouse

Eagle Harbor Lighthouse

View from Eagle Harbor Lighthouse

Fort Wilkins

Fort Wilkins - I remember standing on the base of that flag pole as a kid

Cousins - Cooper Harbor Sunset Cruise

Copper Harbor Sunset

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