Monday, June 16, 2014

A Capitol Visit

Most public school kids visit the State Capitol in the 4th grade. I never had an actual tour of the building, but our band played on the steps outside. I found the building beautiful and the history surrounding it very interesting. 

This trip was organized thanks to my friend, Krista the blond on the left of me.
A visit to the governors office. He was not in that day. 
A majority of these kids are homeschoolers. Elliot's friend Royce  in the yellow, is Krista's son. Jane was very glad her friends, twins Emma and Sophia (the older girls to her left) were there that day. They are friends from AHG. 
The State Seal.  Tuebor means to defend. We were told at the time of the seal being made, this probably meant defend against England.  I love our State Motto which is found underneath. "If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you."
 The Capitol was going to be torn down but a narrow vote saved it and was restored and is now a historical landmark.  

The house in session. Krista's sister had our group recognized
(this is common for those visiting the Capitol)
Her sister Lisa is a representative. We learned that there is a Rep. known as the cookie lady since she always keeps a cookie jar on her desk.  The voting is electronic these days and you can see on a screen how a Representative has voted. Green yes, red no and yellow for no decision.
Future Governor of Michigan? 

One of these kids is doing his own thing. I didn't catch him in time and this is the best photo I have.
Getting the best view of the dome.
The stars at the top of the dome contain real silver and gold This Capitol is actually the third one in Michigan's history.
It was first in Detroit but as the State grew in population they needed a more central place. Marshall, Michigan was a contender for the relocation. The officials in that town were so sure that the Capitol was going to be moved there, they actually built a Governor's Mansion. To their dismay, Lansing was eventually decided upon. 
This floor is original 1878.  When you are walking around on the floor below, you can see the feet above.
The Senate. The curator told us that the over the years the desks have had to been raised and the seats have had to be made wider. An indication of us getting healthier?
When they were attempting to restore the building they didn't have pictures of the original carpet in color. A women was found to have had a piece. She was using it in her chicken coop. They call it the chicken carpet. 
They held a contest in the 90's for a high-schooler to design one of the glass tiles. It was a kid from Traverse City who made a picture of the Mackinaw Bridge. He was paid $2,000.
The original architect of the capitol  Elijah Meyers, who was  a friend of Lincoln, was paid $2,000 to design the entire building. 
Our photo with Dick Posthumus. He was a senator many years before becoming Lieutenant Governor.  He now serves as an advisor to the current Michigan Governor, Rick Snyder. He is also Lisa's dad. 

The silly picture: The twins trying to eat Jane's head. Elliot making a nice face during the silly picture time. 
There are other museums to visit in Lansing and I hope we get a chance to visit them another day and to visit the Capitol again. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Soccer Season

Elliot was in a new division this year. They keep score and have tournaments. I really like the AYSO program, the motto everyone plays creates a good environment for kids. We usually start the season out with some snow and rainy cold Saturdays. The boys won a lot of games in the fall. Their spring season had a lot of ties and some losses. The weather for the last games was very dry and hot. 

Brother is almost half the size of some of the kids in his division but he gets right in there.
Nathan has observed it sometimes takes two kids to fight off Elliot. 

Last game for the championship White Tigers. They were down two of their best and they had no substitutes. They were able to get some goals and ended up being runner-ups.
We also found out that the mom of one of Elliot's teammate was a childhood friend of Carissa, when they lived in Kentucky.

Celebratory ice cream at the Dairy Dip.  The grandparents and Aunt Shanda were able to watch his playoff games. 

Jodie and the girls visit

Jodie and the girls were able to stop over our place for a couple of nights. 
We visited the GR public museum -featuring Legos

Jane, Jez, Zoee

I liked the replica of the GR public museum. 

We appreciated our first real Chinese food in two years.
Mapo Dofu prepared by Jodie, it was delicious! 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Funny Faces

Getting Jane to smile for the camera has been a little harder lately. We have found if she is left alone with an ipod or dad's phone, we will find dozens of silly selfies.  
I would say this is outfit was to impersonate dad, but Nathan never wears ties.

The latest silly face craze at our house, zombie eyes.  

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Spring Baseball Fever

We traveled to Iowa with Nathan for work and stopped at a baseball game along the way.
The Quad Cities River Bandits.

The boys both got Minecraft T-shirts for their birthdays.

This day gave us our first relief from a long cold winter.
The sunshine was welcomed and a little unexpected, I hadn't begun to pack sunscreen yet and so we all got a little sunburn. 

This was our second game of the season. We joined the Romans in Midland to watch The Great Lake Loons play.
Elliot thought it would be funny to wear all of his minor league baseball gear.  He is wearing his Whitecap shirts our team here in Grand Rapids, a River Bandit claw something he purchased at the Iowa game, and a Loons hat. 

The Loons mascots were very interactive and a lot of fun to be around. Jane got a card signed by both of them.

The girls tried very hard to get Louie the Loon to help them start a wave. The crowd was sparse and it wasn't easy, but he rallied everyone and got them to do it. 
The girls got their face on the big screen twice. 

A fun night and a win for the Loons. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Wordy Wednesday

We watched a season of Junior Master Chef with the kids. It inspired them to do a little cooking.  I was nervous letting Elliot use a sharp knife, not that mine are really sharp. I am hoping to get a new set soon. Back to the point, after watching a nine year old make three course meals with various potentially dangerous cooking equipment. I decided my kids probably can use a knife. 

He is helping me make chicken noodle soup. 

When I look at this picture I really think he is smiling not so much because he is cooking but because he is getting to use a knife. Elliot loves knives. Once he figured out a machete was a knife and not a gun he knew he had to have one. He believes it is a reality since dad told him the story of having one as a kid. We will see how long we can hold him off.
 All the time he is coming to me and asking how to sharpen his pocket knife.
He told me this morning if he had a shirt with a pocket in the front he could disguise his pocket knife as a pen, then if a robber came into the house and said " hey nice pen" he could whip it out and cut the robbers gun in half.  I am glad he is armed and ready to defend if need be.

Boys should be encouraged to be brave and protect. Our culture is quick to denounce the nature of men, starting from a young age.  Whenever we have the chance we need to validate their masculinity and their desires to be strong and fight.  Not to perpetuate foolishness, or violence, but to direct them to be men who seek God, honor women, value life and pursue integrity.