Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Date To Portage. MI

We have been long overdue for a date just the two of us. So, we planned a date for last Thursday and were very much looking forward to it. We read that at Celery Flats in Portage they rent surrey bicycles, so we thought we would give them a try and take along our camera for some good, fun photo opportunities.
We biked and at a good resting point, because believe me these bikes are extremely hard to pedal, we took pictures. We were both sweating by the time our 30 minutes was up, and that was with stopping for some photos.
A bicycle built for two or more....

This bench said "well done" and we thought it was the perfect saying to stop and rest.

We then walked over to the Celery Flats Historical part of the park and enjoyed a walk and more photos around the old buildings. It truly turned out to be a great place for some wonderful photos.
I really loved this lamp post and the setting around it!

I'm getting into sun ray pictures too, but trying to figure out how to make the people in the person clearer without losing the rays.

With using the delay button on the camera, if you don't want to be looking at the camera it can be a little difficult making sure you hold position long enough. Obviously in this picture we didn't hold position long enough and when I turned to be done with the dip saw the light still flashing on the camera. Oops! The next one we got a better pose. : )

That's better!

Jonathon loved the old mill in this picture and I loved the circle out of bricks. So, we thought this would make for a neat dancing picture. Hard to get a good action dancing picture when you aren't sure when the camera is going off, but we got this one good.

Was hoping to get some close up focus with us in the background blurred and this spot turned out to be the perfect place for that. Loved how these turned out!

And loved the character of this old building!

And again!
After pictures we were starving, so we headed to a restaurant and had a delicious meal. What a great evening we had together. I'm so thankful that our lives don't revolve just around our children and that 13 years later, and much work to have a happy marriage, we are still loving life and each other the same, if not more, than when we were first married. Good times for sure!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

An Evening on the Lake

Today has been a busy day and while I am getting caught up on blogging, Diella is stirring some herbal ointment that will soon be ready to pour into jars and the other three are playing checkers or in Benaiahs case, trying to ruin a game of checkers.
We had a lovely evening on the lake with my parents. Jonathon wasn't able to join us right away but did after he finished up work. There is just something about a lake that is so calming.
Dad had a good little in captain in Benaiah. He sure loved the boat experience, and I think Dad enjoyed him loving the boat experience.

Full speed ahead! Good thing the real captain was taller than the stearing wheel.

My mom and the three children. We are having fun!

They took us to Olivere Lake which runs to some other lakes via small canals that were very secluded. Felt like we were in a jungle.

We got clear back as far as we could go in the chain of lakes and decided to eat some supper and catch some fish. We also spotted a huge snapper turtle swimming in the water. We all decided would be best to keep toes inside the boat after that.

The phone rang and the Papa was almost to the lake, so we set sail back to the dock to pick him up. The sun was shining brightly and the wind flew through our hair. Hang on, Diella's driving!

Waiting for us to pick him up!

Had to get a picture of myself. Actually, we got a new camera, and I spent the evening trying out all the settings and learning how it works. Worked quite nicely after I got the hang of it.

My mom and Benaiah. Not sure what he was enjoying, but he sure was enjoying something....

Oh, the happy times on the boat!

Showing Papa the jungle canal.

And finally heading in to pack up and go home. That Benaiah sure thinks a lot of his Granpa Dan.

And he loves to roam on the boat. See him in this corner of the picture.
He just hung on and road with the waves. What a perfect sunset for the evening!

Our camera has a filter on it that softens a picture when you take it. I was experimenting with it and the sunset setting that it also has.

And another experimentation with the camera. Here is Diella enjoying the ride back in with the sun glowing around her.
We did have a wonderful evening to end our day full of hard work. What a blessing!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Camping Trip West Virginia 2010- Day 5

Day 5. We woke and began packing up camp. One thing that we were so thankful for was the perfect weather that we had. It's awful when you have to pack up camp when everything is all wet. We couldn't have asked for a better weekend, as far as the weather goes.
Jonathon was walking through some weeds right by our camp and found this little lizard as our farewell friend.
He had some amazing neon orange spots on his back and some of us just enjoyed him for a bit before letting him go.

One more potty stop then we were off, heading for home. With a van running good, happy traveling children, a beautiful day, and home awaiting our arrival, we blessed the Lord for all that He had done over the weekend. Too many things to mention, but it definitely wasn't a weekend within our control. From the good to the sad, He was in control of it all and I bless Him for using us as His tool of blessing. I pray that our lives are always willing to bless when we are needed no matter the situation.

And even though we had a rough start with the van, we hit 200,000 miles on our way home. Whew, no wonder she wanted a little break in Bridgeville. : )

Camping Trip West Virginia 2010- Day 4

Day 4. Plans changed for this day as I decided to stay at camp with my friend who wasn't feeling well. So, I stayed there with their little one and Benaiah and had an extremely layed back day. The others went hiking more and saw some great things.
This is a rattlesnake skin they found along a trail. I'd much rather they found this than the real snake!
Since I didn't join them on this hike, I'm really not sure what all the pictures are. All I know is that this area was either in the Rock City area in Coopers Rock State Forrest or near by the Rock City area.

In Rock City they were able to climb on rocks and watch real climbers climb up much bigger rocks than this one.

After Rock City they came back to camp, got a bite to eat, then headed back out to a trail that had native hemlock trees. This is where Jonathon forgot the camera but he said that it looked like a jungle and was wonderful!

After they got back to camp, we headed out on a trail at the campground. We were excited to find on that there was a letterbox right in the campground we were staying at. I tried to find it with the little ones, but it wasn't conducive to stroller pushing, and there was water around, and I wasn't real thrilled about having the toddler so close to water on my own. So, I decided when the rest of the gang got back, we would take a shot at the letterbox.
Once again, with excitement, they found the letterbox and got all the books stamped up. Back at camp, venison stew was awaiting us.

The stew was so hot, so we scooped it out and let it cool off. Benaiah was hoping to get at it, I think from the way he drooled over it.

Last night of camping so we brought the rest of the smore stuff out to finish off our trip.

Some enjoyed it in separate pieces.....

And others enjoyed them in all their gooeyness.
All in all, God's creation was defnitely enjoyed by us all. That was our main purpose in going- to just sit in awe of what He created for us to enjoy.

Camping Trip West Virginia 2010- Day 3

Day 3. After having a long night from some loud, roudy, neighbor tenters, we enjoyed a lazy morning and a delicious breakfast of eggs, homemade bread, and turkey suasage. Was a peaceful morning of just hanging out around the fire, eating, reading Scriptures together, a little music playing, and eating lunch to be ready to head off to some trails.

Here is photographer number 2. Would love to see her pictures as she got some in places where our camera wasn't taken.

A sleepy Benaiah was cuddled right to sleep after lunch.

Everybody preparing to head out. Making sure the survivol guy has all of the equipment. : )

This one in Coopers Rock State Forrest. We started out by hiking the short hike to Coopers Rock. What a view!
These steps led us to a small bridge that took us over to Cooper Rock. Cross the bridge and prepare for a beautiful view.

Jonathon just coming off of the bridge onto Coopers Rock.

The view towards the east.

And the view towards the west. This rock was amazing and a little leary to walk around on since we were so high up.

Around Coopers Rock the children found a lizard of some sort, but couldn't catch it. Made me a little nervous!
Some of the hikers. Diella missed out on this hike as she was tired and had a sore foot from a burn she got before we left for our trip. She rested and was ready for the next hike though....

Can you tell? This hike was taking the trail to Raven's Rock which was where we were in hunt for a letterbox. Our friends had never done letterboxing so we wanted to share the fun with them.
At the top of Raven's Rock. We discussed some more Scriptures just a litte, keeping our thoughts on the Creator of this marvelous place. Another beautiful view, only this time, NO rails to keep you from falling. This was even more nerve racking with little ones, but everyone stayed on top, just anxious to find the letterbox.
The clue started at the top of the rock, so once we hiked there, we had to turn around and head back following the clue to find the box.
We let our friends find it since this was their first time, hoping that it wasn't missing. Sometimes that does happen. But this time, with much excitement, it was found! Everybody did their stamping and we were on our way back to the vehicles. Was a good workout for sure!

We are having fun!

We ended day 3 with fireworks by the lake at the campground. Was a short show, but really quite good, and we all didn't need much more than that. Some of us walked and some of us drove back to the tents and settled in for the night in warm sleeping bags.