Thursday, April 25, 2013

Nathan and the Elements

There are times when I wish I was more like my husband.  
What trait of his would I choose if I could? Maybe his hacky sack playing, generous nature, humility, his ability to communicate  concepts and ideas or his quick math skills? I should pick the latter two since I am the one who is teaching our children, but no, what I really envy about him is the fact he can be comfortable in all kinds of weather.  

It could be 100 degrees or below zero and he remains completely unaffected. The man wears only a fleece and t-shirt 9 months out of the year. 
 In Hong Kong when everyone scurried to the shade or
the aircon, (what they call it there) 
 he would climb Pat Sin Leng
How hot does it get in HK?
I checked the weather, today in Michigan it got up to a warm sunny 55, it was a mild 84 in HK 

Hiking with Craig Harvey
shortly before our return to the States.
This was Shane and Shanda's visit, which was actually November. Not the middle of summer, but it is still not a mild 65 degrees.
 In Hong Kong the humidity can reach 90%.
 If it was his only chance to go, he would hike it that hot.
The smile on Nathan's face once he realized that he and Elliot just happened to be standing the same way.
I include it because, I really like the picture and it has something to do with hiking.

Here comes the big difference between the two of us.  
Hot days and sweltering heat, I won't necessarily climb a mountain, but I like it warm and I try not to complain much. Cold cold weather, I still try not to complain but my teeth chatter while my mouth is closed.
Not many mountains to hike here in Michigan, so Nathan decides to climb a frozen waterfall.
This is his friend who went with him, but you get the idea of what it looks like
Michigan Ice Fest 
Getting ready to go up.

He also likes biking. How do you bike in the snow? With fat tires. 

He admitted it did get cold that night
and there was ice inside his tent.
He actually got cold, I guess he is human after all.

Please note it took him sleeping in a tent in February to say the words:

I was cold.

Once again the difference...

Cold March day 2008, walking outside around the zoo.
Wearing only a longsleeve shirt. 
Look at those little kids. 
Jane is almost as tall as me now, how did that happen?

This is me, inside a car, which had heat, wrapped head to toe. I was probably wearing four layers.
I am unsure of the month, knowing Michigan it was probably May.

I may never get use to the cold and for many years to come I  might continue to admire my husband's all weather excursions, from afar in a climate controlled place.
 In the meantime I will try to not take for granted the days when it is perfect and we can be out to together.
 Colorado Springs, 2009

lakeshore / ramona falls / munising from outypants on Vimeo.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Cabin Fever

Elliot turned 8 years old on March 25th. He is our comic relief and  he melts my heart with that smile. 
A rare photo, he usually turns down the chance to play the board game LIFE. 

Aunt Carissa and Jane at Tarry Hall. 

The kids love accessories. Elliot sporting his thrift store "bike" sunglasses. Jane loves her pearls, a gift from Nathan's co-workers in Suzhou.  She has her own style.

Toy expo that took place at the Homeschool building. These people were getting ready to be judged for the costume contest.
We won a door prize to spend $10 at the show.
Jane picked a lego mini figure
Elliot a bag of Teenage Mutant ninja turtles
I bought a Charlie Brown glass.

We all wondered if the Burlingame Dairy Dip's sign, advertising it opened on April 1st was indeed an April fools joke.
The kids begged for us to take them. It was windy and 30 degrees, where was I when Nathan took this picture? In the van with the heat on.  He tried to get them to have the ice cream in cups so they could take them to go. They insisted on cones and had to stand outside to finish them. Lips turning blue and shivering the entire time.  Jane wearing her capri pants, she has been camera shy lately.  Her in capri's is better than shorts, she has been trying to wear her summer wardrobe. The other day I had to tell her she couldn't wear  flip flops, it was snowing outside! 
Jane makes lunch for Elliot. 

A friend from American Heritage Girls had an American Girl party ( how many times can I say American Girl?) In spite of the winter storm that made roads snowy and slow, several of these American girls showed up.
The girls were given invitations of a character from Kit Kittredge's time period the 1930's. Jane was Sterling a 10 year old boy.
I thought a newspaper boy was a good look, although I am unsure it fit the time period. The suspenders I found earlier in the day at the Mission thrift. The tie was Elliot's Christmas H&M clip-on.
Winter Jam, a Christian concert tour came to the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids. Jane was hoping to see Toby Mac and Jamie Grace.  We knew it was a long-shot but we got in line an hour before show time. People had been camping out since the night before. The Winter Jam tour sells tickets at the door and not in advance.

It was here that they told us that the arena which seats 10,000  sold out.  I was told by several people that years past it was easy to get a seat. A friend of mine's daughter made a comment "maybe more people had become Christians since then" I thought that was a lovely way to look at it.

Some of the artist felt bad for those who waited in the cold and didn't get in, so they came out and sang some songs before they went on the big stage.
Matthew West sang an impromptu song, called the Winter Jam rejects.
Daddy-daughter event for AHG-bowling night.
Elliot and some of his birthday gifts, Jane's gift was something she found at the kids consignment sale, a large assortment of "army men" some are cowboys, indians and I think there is even a football player.   He has been asking for something for his Playmobile and other little toys to play on. We found this castle at the thrift store. He has been having wars ever since. A good reminder you don't have to spend a lot of money on your kids for them to have purposeful and fun toys.
We have been keeping ourselves amused in these wet and dreary days of spring, some of us more than others. Elliot told dad he liked how he cut his hair, Jane who did have a J on the other side, told him it was ridiculous. In honor of Elliot's approval, dad wore the E in his hair for a day. I insisted on a hat when I was with him.

cars pancakes from outypants on Vimeo.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Tennessee in March

We didn't make it to a tropical beach for spring break this year, but warmer temperatures and a little more sun was to be found in Tennessee.

Grandma and Elliot playing the Wii, view the video below to appreciate the full affect of this bonding time.
 We visited Reelfoot nature center
They brought some snakes out for the kids to hold.
Jane with a milk snake
Aaron was letting us know how he felt about his daily routine being interrupted with this trip.

Baldcypress trees fill the lake, which is reported to have formed as a result of earthquakes in the 1800's.

They have rescued owls and bald eagles. 

The parents were given a one day notice of our arrival, and wanted to celebrate Elliot's 8th birthday.
Grandma whipped up  this hot fudge cake infused with sweetened condensed milk.
Jane helped decorate.
I picked up these mustaches while us girls were out shopping. 

The kids were sent out to find some hidden surprises.
 a two-dollar bill.
Thankful for a family that allows us to drop in whenever we want. 

mid March from outypants on Vimeo.