Friday, July 23, 2010

Happy Birthday Ian

It's Ian's birthday today but for me it was more about Jordan. She was so cute. Ian's parents are in Colorado so Jordan wanted to make Ian's birthday special since his parents couldn't be here for his birthday. For 2 days she's been planning, shopping and preparing for today. She asked Ian what he wanted for a special birthday dinner. He told her he really liked those homemade chicken n dumplins he had at our house about a years ago. I never made them again not because we didn't like them but because they were a long and drawn out thing to make. So that's just what Jordan did. She stated cooking at noon and lovingly made those homemade chicken n dumplins, with other fixin too. When I got home, the table was set, and she was all dressed up in a cute little dress, her hair and make-up all done perfect. Even a brownie cake made because Ian doesn't really like regular cake. She bought candles for the brownies too. The kitchen was cleaned up. Wow! I wish it was Ian's birthday everyday.

Those two are just so darn cute together.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Dog Days of Summer

Not sure who to give credit to for this photo of Zoe. I just found it on my camera one day. I think Craig took it. And let me assure you... Zoe was not posed for this photo. We find her sleeping like this all the time. That dog lives the GOOD LIFE.

Well, we can definately say one thing about this summer so far..... HOT! Last summer was so unusually cool and people complained big time around here. But not me! That was my kind of summer. At least we had a lot of rain in June but July has been extremely dry so far. My poor lawn needs water desperately. We try to water a little bit but with city water that gets expensive.

Oh well... I'm finding things to keep me busy indoors where it's cool and comfortable. And Craig is accommodating my many requests for Jeep rides in the evenings when the sun goes down. Last night we rode to Niles and had dinner with friends.

And working in an air conditioned office has it's benefits this time of year. I don't even venture outdoors for lunch very often. The car is 500 degrees from being closed up in the beating sun and it just isn't worth it. One day after work this week I decided I wanted an ice cream cone to eat on the drive home. How convenient that there is a Dairy Queen right next door to where I work! They have a drive up window so I pulled up there and asked for a small vanilla cone. What was I thinking? It was literally 94 degrees outside and the inside of my car must have been 150 degrees. No sooner had they handed me my cone and it started to melt. I looked like a mad woman trying to frantically lick my cone as fast as I could to keep it from dripping all they way down my arm. It was worth it... that cone was good and COLD.

I'm desperately missing my camping. We haven't been since June 25th... almost a month. We are going to Silver Lake the weekend of July 29th for 3 days with Jordan and Ian and hopefully Caleb and Bailey can join us for part of the weekend too. Then the second week in August Craig and I are going to Sleeping Bear Dunes for 5 days! That I am so looking forward to. And we are contemplating permanently parking our trailer at a campground up at Silver Lake for the whole month of September. Things to look forward to.......

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Trying to be artistic

Well, here's my attempt at trying to be artistic at the Chicago Botanic Gardens, minus the house sparrow. I had to throw her in here. As much as I dislike house sparrows (they are deadly to bluebirds) I did enjoy them at the gardens. They have this wonderful outdoor eating area and the birds are everywhere begging for any little scrap of food they can get. Of course I threw her a potato chip and then she was my best friend.
These first two photos are when we were on the tram taking a tour of the gardens. They have the most beautiful prairie gardens.

These last 3 photos are my attempt at trying to do some macrophotography. Someday I would LOVE to buy a macro lens.

I have one more posting to do about the gardens. I took a lot of photos of the railroad garden. What fun that was... It was Craig's favorite. I'll post that sometime this weekend.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Best day ever.......

Yesterday Craig and I both had the day off work. Not wanting to waste a vacation day sitting at home I "suggested" we drive over to Chicago and spend the day at Chicago Botanic Gardens. Craig loves my "suggestions". But being the wonderful husband that he is he lets me drag him to my "suggestions" a few times a year. What usually happens is he hopes he can tolerate it and then ends up really enjoying it. Luckily yesterday was no exception. And what made it even better..... at the last minute Jordan decided to join us! It was a great day!

The best part for me was getting outdoors with my camera. I can't tell you how good it feels to get out there and be creative. I'm like a kid in a candy shop. I can't get enough. By the time we left I had taken nearly 900 photos. It was late when we got home but I did manage to download the photos before I went to bed. I could hardly wait to get out of work today so I could come home and sort/edit my photos. I weeded my nearly 900 photos down to 100. The gardens were AMAZING there. If you've never been there it's 380 acres of meticulously landscaped gardens, every kind you can imagine. I'll post more photos this week of our trip there but first I'm posting my favorite photos from the day...... And wouldn't you know, it's not flowers but of a Momma Duck and her two babies that we came across in one of the ponds. Oh, it was so much fun.
At first I spotted Momma but didn't even notice the babies. I thought she was beautiful and the light was just perfect on her and the background was natural so I was excited to try and get some good shots of her. After a moment Craig pointed out the babies hiding in the plants. Then I really got excited! She was quite tolerant of me and we had this amazing photo shoot. And Craig and Jordan were patient with me and didn't even rush me.

Best day ever......

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Summer Evenings

Our evening summertime fires are by far one of our favorite family activities. Even the dogs get in on the action and love em.
I didn't know that dogs would like hammocks but Seadra and Zoe both love to lay in the hammock.

"What do you mean I can't chew on Dad's sandal?"
"I'll just chew on it for a little while until they take it away from me"
"Maybe they won't notice"
"Well, it was fun while it lasted"

Hope you are enjoying your weekend. Craig and I took Monday off work so we have an extra day tomorrow. Our original plan was to go camping this weekend but with all the running around we've been doing we decided to stay home this weekend. We may take a little day trip tomorrow.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

It's that time of year

It's that time of year... Oh, how I love this time of year. When I can take the quick 4 mile drive over to Mom and Dad's and raid the garden. Every year their garden gets bigger and better. I can't believe how much delicious stuff they have.
And it's just beginning. A lot of things will become ripe in the weeks to come.
Today I got onions, potatoes, cukes, and squash.
I have dreams of having a little veggie garden someday but mine will never be on the grandiose scale of my parents gardens. I don't know how they do it all. They spend many hours everyday and they truly love it.
Fiona is helping Pa-Pa dig potatoes.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Welcome to my new blog

Hello... and welcome to the new "Five Pines". I'm sure you're asking why the new blog? Well, a number of reason. First of all we are losing our Verizon account because Verizon was sold to a new company named Frontier. Because of this I am losing me email address that I've had for 8 years. It's my login for most all of my accounts including my blog. I couldn't figure out how to change my Blogger account to my new Gmail address. I know there must be a way but I couldn't figure it out. So I decided to take this little issue and do something I've been thinking about for awhile... a new blog. It's still going to be the same as far as content... family, friends, dogs, birds, nature, photography..... What you might notice is the new larger size of photos. Other blogs that I occasionally visit have this wonderful larger photo format and I've wanted to be able to do it for sometime. I'm pretty proud of myself with the fact that I investigated and figured out how to do it. It involves uploading my photos to Photobucket and them posting links of them on my blog. I LOVE the larger photos. Hope you enjoy it too.
If you are a regular visitor to my blog please make note to bookmark my new address. I won't be deleting my old blog anytime soon and I will leave the link on there to my new blog for awhile. But this will be my new home. I hope you'll visit often...
We spent a wonderful few days out at the cottage for the 4th of July.
Special friends always join us at the cottage for the holiday and this year was no exception. Jordan, Ty, and Amanda are enjoying a boat ride, one of many over the weekend.
Bailey and Lauren are sporting their 4th of July spirit.
My two favorite guys.
Of all my photos I took this weekend this one was my favorite. To me this just epitomizes what the cottage means.... best friends, memories, good times. Nothing says it more than the looks on Naomi and Lauren's face.
Caleb has a new girlfriend. Her name is Bailey (another Bailey in the family) and we adore her. Nothing makes a mother happier than to see their kids happy. Caleb's been floating around for weeks.
More good times and memories!
Jordan's good friend Amanda has joined the Army and leaves next week for basic training in Oklahoma. They've been spending a lot of time together before Amanda leaves.
Heading out for an evening boat ride to watch the fireworks.
The fireworks were great this year and what better way to watch them than from the middle of the lake on a boat.
Craig and I finished off the weekend with an early morning boat ride where we watched the Blue Heron's fishing and flying around.

We love the 4th and we love the cottage!