Rubyisms

Five and a half suits Ruby Dawn well. There is no end to her exuberance. She wins the “most excitable” award as well as the “most dramatic” award on a daily basis. She’s been learning to read at school and loves “reading” books she has memorized to Charlie and Clara. She put on my glasses and proclaimed, “Uhhhhhhhhh Mommy? I’m just blind in your glasses!”IMG_1985

Here are some more “Rubyisms” for your enjoyment.

  • As we dropped change into the girls piggy banks, “The coins in Clara’s piggy bank are just making friends with each other!”
  • While driving down the road I hear from the backseat a dreamy, “What’s that smell? It smells like buttercups in love!”
  • “Mom, can we go somewhere today? I want to go to a National Park today.” I do too hun. I do too.
  • When I asked her to repeat the instructions I had just given her, “uhhhhh, I guess I was just talking too much.”
  • She was so excited to “help” Uncle Chris hold his candle during the Christmas Eve service at our churchIMG_3397
  • As I dropped her off for school one morning before turning the corner down the steps, she looked back at me and yelled out, “Better get crackin’!” then lifted one knee and quickly made her way down the stairs like a cartoon character.
  • When I asked her to put her boots on, “You got it sweet cakes!”
  • She loves to sing… Frozen. If she’s not singing Frozen she is making up her own songs which use all the notes you’d find in Gregorian Chants. I don’t know why her natural inclination is to be a monk – but she’d be great at writing music for those guys.
  • Her joke-telling is getting a little better – “Where do ants go to eat? A restaur’ant’.”
  • The second half of any “why did the ____ cross the road” joke is “Because he didn’t have the guts to do it!” followed by uncontrollable laughter.IMG_0022
  • While reading one of her library books, “Did you know a lobster has great armor like a knight?” All library books she chooses are about spiders, deep-sea creatures, poisonous snakes and other things I’d rather not be thinking about at bedtime.
  • Ryan asked her how her day was and she replied, “I can’t read independently yet.”
  • “I’m gonna get fashioned up.” as she runs up to her room to change clothes for the 16th time each day.
  • During a spaghetti dinner, “Let’s pretend we are rats eating worms… Mama Rat?!?!”
  • “I’ll be Snow White and mom, you can be the queen and Clara can be the one dwarfs because we don’t have seven dwarfs.”IMG_3247
  • I signed the girls up for Gymnastics. Ruby thinks she’s been in Gymnastics already because she jumps on the couch in the basement. “I can do backflips but not independently.”
  • Since gymnastics began she’s been asking me to buy her a tard to wear. “I just need a tard mom! All the other kids wear tards at gymnastics!” (leotard)
  • Ruby has been making plans to get together with her friends after school. These plans include talking to her friends parents and asking them to call me to talk about “the plans”.IMG_3221

Ruby asks me everyday if it’s summer yet, but still loves playing outside in the snow. She takes her boots, snow pants, hat and gloves to school everyday so her teachers will let her play outside during recess. They get to go out as long as the windchill stays above zero… hashtag PureMichiganIMG_3694

Sleeping Bear Dunes

Michigan is GORGEOUS!! We were so happy to have a chance to spend a few days at Sleeping Bear Dunes a few weeks ago. In classic form, Ryan stopped at any and all fruit stands we passed along the way.
IMG_4315 We had a roadside picnic lunch at a rest stop in Mesick on our way north. The kids loved that they got to wash their hands with water from a pump before getting back on the road.IMG_4317 IMG_4321

We got to our motel in Empire with enough daylight left to explore some lookouts. The first one we stopped at had a view of Lake Michigan in one direction and Glen Lake in the opposite direction. Amazing!IMG_4329

The girls were good little dune climbers.
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The beach in Empire was the perfect place to watch the sunset. The kids frolicked around in the sand until way past their bedtime. Vacations are fun.IMG_4447 IMG_4498 IMG_4475 IMG_4503

The next day we did more exploring – starting with a trip to North Bar Beach. It’s off the beaten path enough that it’s typically not crowded. We got there early and had the entire beach to ourselves for 2 hours! It was picturesque and perfect in every way.IMG_4514 IMG_4523 IMG_4545

We had to hike quite far from where we parked to access this beach… walking around North Bar Lake and up and over a sand dune. Ryan dragged/carried our huge cooler all the way so we could eat lunch on the beach. In retrospect we would’ve left the cooler in the van and skipped lunch all together. The walk to get there was so worth it – the beach is unlike anything I’d ever seen. Ryan and I just kept saying, “Can you believe we are in Michigan right now?!?!”

IMG_4566 IMG_4580 IMG_4623 Ruby made a collection of lake rocks which she strategically placed in a heart-shape in the tall dune grass by the beach. Northern Michigan is seriously one of the most gorgeous places I’ve ever been. There were some places in Australia that are comparable… but that’s kinda far away.IMG_4609 IMG_4577

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We changed out of our swimming suits and into some hiking clothes so we could check out Pyramid Point. The girls collected wildflowers along the trail.IMG_4643 IMG_4626

It was only 2.7 miles, but pretty steep, so most of the hike was spent with no more than 4 of our 10 feet on the ground. I had Ruby on my back and Ryan carried Charlie in the backpack and held Clara at the same time. We were feeling adventurous and we knew the view from the top would be worth it!IMG_1088

IMG_4629I’m not usually a nervous nelly, but having toddlers running around at the top of this cliff turned me into one. I simply did not want to have to rescue whichever one threw herself over the edge… I will say it was super cool to look out and see North and South Manitou Islands in Lake Michigan.

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Some clouds rolled in while we made our way back down the dune and we were so hot and filthy we decided to take a dip in Big Glen Lake before dinner. We found a cool little park with a public access dock. The northern water temperatures didn’t stop my crew from jumping in.

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After grabbing a quick dinner in Glen Arbor we went back to the beach. This is vacation you know.

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Have I mentioned how amazing the sunsets are at the beach in Empire?

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Ruby, Clara and Charlie swam in their clothes, raced down the beach, splashed in the surf and rolled around in the sand until it was dark out.

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This last picture is a perfect end to our vacation. Ryan carried our soaking wet children back to the van while they giggled their heads off. Our little trip to Sleeping Bear Dunes was one of the best times we’ve ever had as a family. I’m so thankful for Ryan, for our little family and for the amazing time we had together.

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Cox Family Thanksgiving

Friday afternoon we drove up to Grand Rapids to celebrate Thanksgiving with the Cox Family. We arrived in time for a quick dinner then walked over to see Santa and his Reindeer in Gaslight Village. Ryan and Chris told Ruby to ask Santa for World Peace, but when she got up there she forgot what they said and asked him for “ummmm, and that other thing.” which Mrs. Claus thought was hilarious.

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Nana is the queen of the library. She always has a pile of books to read to the girls. They love it.IMG_6828

Kyle and Sarah came over on Saturday with Ellen and Abigail who were quite entertained by their cousins Ruby and Clara. Clara loves babies. She wanted to help Sarah feed them and hold them.IMG_6815 IMG_6824

This was the best pic we could get of all 5 cousins. They’re so funny. Ellen and Abigail are 10 months old now! Nana made those cute reindeer shirts for all of her grandkids. It’s the same pattern she used on Christmas shirts for Ryan, Kyle and Chris when they were little.IMG_6864

Uncle Chris has begun teaching Charlie everything he needs to know about this world.IMG_6866

It’s so fun to see my kids having fun with their Aunts and Uncles like I remember having with my Aunts and Uncles growing up.IMG_6833 IMG_6857

Charlie is so jolly. He’s pretty much the best little jolly Christmas elf in the history of the world.

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Hope you and yours had a Happy Thanksgiving too!

Beeson Family Vaca| Salmon Fishing

Remember a few months ago when we went on the Beeson Family Vacation? Well I’d like to pick up where I left off with a few fun pics my dad took of the men on their fishing trip.

They left early one morning before the sun came up and were out on the water with their chain-smoking captain in time to see it rise above the horizon.080113 FISHING  4FAMILY VACA 081213 _81

Ryan caught one!!
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This picture of Ryan is one of my all-time favorites. So manly. So handsome. So thrilled by his catch. Such a beautiful Coho Salmon. I love love love it.080113 Ryan w Coho 1

John Boy followed suit with this HUGE King Salmon. That thing was as long as John’s leg, and John is not a small man!080113 John w King 1080113 FISHING  14

It should come as no surprise that upon returning from their trip the guys were in the kitchen preparing the salmon for the grill. Within a few hours of catching those fish, the whole family was enjoying the freshest possible salmon dinner. It was amazing.080113 MEN GRILLING 2

Everyone ate their fill and we still had plenty for John and Ryan to bring home. The cooler full of salmon in our van was not my favorite part of the long drive back to Columbus… but the 2 more salmon grill outs that followed made it worth it.

Beeson Family Vaca | Digging the Beach… literally.

If I could wake up every morning and walk down to the beach, wow. That would be awesome! Our rental house was just a few (ahem… 207) steps down to a lovely private beach. As soon as all the kids finished eating breakfast we climbed down to spend a few hours playing in the sand. Please note: you can thank my dad for any and all good pics from this point forward. I will take credit for all the average or below average photos.  :o)

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Ruby and Clara were thrilled every morning to wake up and see their cousins Lydia and Norah were still there too. The girls played so well together – especially when the playing involved the buckets, shovels, and watering cans that their Grammy brought for them.072813 Lydia Ruby  1 IMG_2677

It was a wee bit windy and chilly that first day, but that didn’t stop Ryan from rocking the bro-tank on the beach. I couldn’t be more in love with that man.

IMG_2683Aaron and John dug a huge hole for the kids to play in. It grew so large that at one point I feared we would lose a child in the depths… Uncles are fun.IMG_2687 IMG_2686

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And of course, pretty much every evening included delicious grilled food, meticulously planned and prepared by John, Aaron and Ryan. Nothing like it.VACA Beach 2013 1 _52

Beeson Family Vaca | St. Joe Michigan

Lake Michigan was the destination for this year’s Beeson Family Vacation. It’s not a far drive from my parents house, or from where John and Angela live, so Aaron and Tracy flew up from Florida, Ryan and I drove over from Columbus and we spent a few hours at Mom and Dad’s before driving together to St. Joe, Michigan. As is typical for all Beeson Family get-togethers, the men spent quality time in the woods shooting guns. They sure started things off with a bang! (…see what I did there?)

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Once the cars were all packed with everything we would need for the week, the carpool to  the Lakeshore began! Tracy, Angela and I were so pumped that our time together had finally arrived!

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We got to our rental house in time to see the most gorgeous sunset you can imagine. 3-week-old Charlie enjoyed his first sunset with his beautiful Aunt Tracy.

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Words can’t describe how amazing it is that my parents, again, gave us the gift of time spent together as a family. They made the arrangements for us to be in a wonderful place for a whole week of quality time. I’m so thankful for their generosity, for their love for our families, and for their love for one another.

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Labor Day Weekend at Cox Cottage

IMG_3738Over Labor Day weekend we took Charlie to Cox Cottage for the first time. He probably loved it. I can’t be sure. He’s pretty chill and never told us he wasn’t enjoying himself, so I’ll assume he had a great time. IMG_3743

I spend most of my time these days protecting sweet Charlie from his ever-loving sisters. This pic pretty much sums up his life to date.IMG_3683

Ruby and Clara LOVE being at their Nana and Papa’s cottage, floating on the pontoon and swimming in the lake.IMG_3716 IMG_3634 IMG_3696 IMG_3797

Ruby was a super swimmer this summer. She was in the water every chance she got… even when it was REALLY COLD! I’m so proud of her.IMG_3632 IMG_3629

One of the extreme highlights of the weekend was when the Ice Cream Boat came by the dock. Pretty much the best idea ever! They told us they’ll be selling pulled pork sandwiches off the boat next summer. I love America.IMG_3641IMG_3642

Clara picked the biggest popsicle in the universe as her treat. So funny.

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Summer went TOOOO fast! So thankful for the time we could spend in Michigan at Cox Cottage.IMG_3799

Father’s Day at Cox Cottage

IMG_1946We spent last weekend at Ryan’s parents cottage in Michigan. Ryan’s whole family was there to celebrate Father’s Day – so I figured we should be there too, even though at 37 weeks pregnant I probably shouldn’t have been traveling too far from home… I did check with our insurance company ahead of time and found out that Foote Hospital in Jackson, MI accepts our insurance… you know, just incase this baby decided to make his debut.IMG_2022

Sarah and Kyle brought their 4 month old twins Abbie and Ellen. It was our first chance to meet the girls. Ruby and Clara could not have been more excited about their baby cousins. Sarah is doing amazing as a mom to twins. I can’t even imagine doing what she’s doing. Look at her feeding 2 at one time!IMG_2009

We took a lot of boat rides, swam off the pontoon and spent all day everyday outside.IMG_1989IMG_1936 IMG_1943 IMG_1978IMG_1934

The guys rode their bikes around the lake a few times – Ryan’s dad told me that time with all of his sons was his favorite Father’s Day gift of all.IMG_1997IMG_1954

It was such a fun weekend! The food was amazing because every dinner was fresh off the grill. Chris incorporated summer sausage stacked on cheese and crackers, which was a delightful appetizer.IMG_2008 IMG_1967 IMG_1959 IMG_2045 IMG_2068

Papa Beeson

My dad is quite simply the best. I got this picture of him this morning while he was pointing out some ants on a tree while walking back from the meadow with my girls. RMB Ruby Clara 051913 1

Ruby and Clara love their Papa. I’m thankful they have grandparents who love them enough to stop along the way for teachable moments.

Here are a few more things he talked to them about as we walked:

  • he showed them a path through the meadow where the deer have worn down the grass and dirt from walking the same route so often
  • he took them all the way to the back corner of the meadow to find a honeysuckle bush blooming with sweet-smelling flowers they could pick to take back home for Grammy
  • he encouraged them as the went “up, up, up” and “down, down, down” the grassy hill.
  • he pointed out little white butterflies to chase as they flew up from underfoot
  • he answered questions about which path was the one back to Grammy and Papa’s house and which paths went other places
  • he helped Ruby stay on the path so she wouldn’t get poison ivy
  • he explained why we wear bug spray on our socks when we’re in the woods

Theres a lot to learn, and I’m so happy that my dad imparts wisdom along the way.

Robinette’s Apple Orchard

Before we left Grand Rapids we went to Robinette’s Orchard with Chris and Ryan’s parents to enjoy some cider and donuts. Ryan loves apple cider, as I mentioned here back in 2008 when he polished off a 1/2 gallon. (Quick sidenote – I love that my blog is so old I am able to refer back to things we did in the early years of our life together. Blogging is my favorite hobby. Hopefully a few of you enjoy reading it at least half as much as I enjoy writing it.) Ok, back to Robinette’s! Take a look at these dapper fellows drinking their cider.

It was literally the most gorgeous weekend of the fall… sunny, warm enough for light jackets and shorts, cool breezes, fresh air, colorful leaves – just spectacular.

Ruby was enamored by the horses pulling the wagon around the orchard. She was also amazed that the exoskeleton of a locust will stick to your jacket. Ha! Good times with science!