Michigan Summer

It was probably a wise decision to move at the beginning of the summer.  The Michigan summer is softening the blow of moving.  The decision to move was about what was best for Annelise and not necessarily about what I wanted.  The week of the Fourth of July was particularly rough for me.  I’d been here for a couple of weeks and was starting to miss my life in Virginia.  I missed going to our usual places.  I missed running into people we knew.  I missed having coworkers that were also friends.  I missed all the casual encounters.  Michigan was feeling very lonely.  I was working more than I did in Roanoke.  I had been looking forward to creating new traditions and due to my work schedule would be missing the fireworks in our town.  If the point of moving was so that I could have more and better time with Annelise I was beginning to feel like I’d failed.

I’m still missing Roanoke, but things have been looking up.  This past week was my last working four shifts, so hopefully fewer hours will mean more time with Annelise.  We’re starting to make connections here and finding new “usual” places.  On weekends we pretend to be tourist and go to the tourist spots.  I still have out of state plates and flash a Virginia license so we seem legit.  Last weekend our waitress told us to enjoy our visit.  I told her we’d try.

Annelise is doing wonderful.  I think she really loves the extra attention from my parents.  She’s taken swimming lessons, has developed a love of baseball and has mastered a two wheeled pedal bike.  Well maybe not mastered, still has some trouble with the starting and stopping.  I know she misses her Roanoke friends too, but having so many cousins around has been a good distraction.

Izzy and Kikapu are doing well.  We just celebrated Izzy’s 12th birthday.  She’s getting up there in age so at this point any birthday could be her last so we did a little extra this year.  Annelise went shopping and picked out some new toys.  And we baked cupcakes that we let the dogs eat.  They seemed a little hesitant when we placed them in front of them, but eventually realized that they wouldn’t get in trouble for eating them.

Here are some pictures from some of the fun things we are doing..

Taking trips to the Library.  She was very happy to discover they have Clifford and Curious George Books.

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Reading her books while waiting for me to select mine.

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We went to the Country Dairy Ice Cream Social.  Annelise enjoyed touring the farm, watching them milk the cows, and bottle the milk.  She was very fascinated with the milking process and watching how the cows give us milk.

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Posing with Grandma and Grandpa
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She followed the cow around for awhile and finally got brave enough to take a picture with her.
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Ready to tour the dairy.
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It took her a little while to build up the courage to touch one of the cows.

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We went to Ludington to watch the fireworks on the Fourth of July.  It wasn’t what I had originally planned but it turned out really nice.

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Sparklers on the beach while waiting for the fireworks

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Annelise is on a Strider Team sponsored by the Grand Rapids Bicycle Company.  Watching a bunch of three and four year olds ride around has got to be about the cutest thing.  Her skills are definitely improving.  Now that she can ride a pedal bike I’m hoping by the end of the summer we can do some trails together.

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The Dirt Dawgs

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Trail ridin
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Working on riding skills

Signing her up for swimming lessons was a little bit of a gamble.  Annelise doesn’t like water.  Even baths can be a struggle sometimes.  She’s never really had any experience with “swimming” or even playing in water.  She simply doesn’t like to get wet.  I want her to learn to swim and hope she can enjoy the water especially now that we are so close to the Lake.  I hoped that having her take them with Cousin Lincoln would motivate her to try.  It went much better than I expected.  She liked worried the first day and I wondered a couple of times if she would burst into tears.  When it was over she said she didn’t want to come back the next day.  She was disappointed that she couldn’t swim like a fish.  I told it would take a few more lessons.  After the first few days she looked forward to it and was disappointed when the lessons were done.

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A little nervous

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Getting ready to jump

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One of our favorite summer activities has been the Lewis Farm Market.  Annelise has enjoyed going with her cousins to see the animals.

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Hello Deer!

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Train Ride
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All the cousins on the train.
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Teeter Totter with Cousin Lincoln
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Duck Races
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Watching the singing and dancing chickens
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Getting up close and personal with one of the new birds.

Celebrating Izzy’s Birthday.

Happy Birthday Izzy!!!
Happy Birthday Izzy!!!
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Birthday Cupcakes
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Helping Izzy with her gifts
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