July 29, 2009

Everybody wants to be a cat!!

Emma has been enrolled in a musical theater camp all week. It's been a fantastic experience and an amazing confidence building activity. Chris and I are so proud of her.

Each night, she's had lines and songs to memorize in preparation for the next day's practice. She's been diligent with her homework and I think our entire house had the soundtrack to Aristocats memorized by the end of the week.

On Friday, the students performed their shortened version of Aristocats. No costumes. No props. Just hard work and lots of singing. Chris and I were just beaming and Josie kept yelling out "Look! There's MY EMMA!"

Afterwards, we celebrated with ice cream in honor of our special daughter. Well done, Emma. Well done.

July 28, 2009

The rest of my stash...

Between my mother, my sister and myself, I think we made at least three trips back and forth to our van during the time we spent at the Allegan Antique Fair on Sunday. The fan dishes and paper lanterns were two of my favorite treasures, but here's the rest of my stash:

My dish obsession also includes doll/children's dishes. I have these fragile objects displayed on my sunroom shelf along with other older children's toys that I've collected over the years.

The dealer was willing to give me these miniature buildings for a song. I thought they would be fun additions to add to our train at Christmas.

I also picked up vintage Thanksgiving candles, a cute ceramic owl, and an orange creamer that I thought we be fun to display on my Halloween shelf.

For the girls, I picked up several record albums for a steal (yes, I still own a record player...call me old fashioned). Emma is currently attending musical theater camp this week (she is one brave girl!!!) and they are preforming Aristocats. Josie keeps asking when the movie is going to start whenever I start the record player. She hasn't quite figured out the listening thing yet.

I always look forward to the Allegan Antique fair. Shopping with my mom and sister....a perfect "ME" kind of day!!

July 27, 2009

Halloween in July (or a good excuse to purchase remote controlled tarantulas)

Most of my followers know that my family is obsessed with Halloween. Even though it's still July (I really don't want to hurry summer along..I love having the girls home and Mr. Mom in full force), Chris and I have already begun plotting a few new games and decorations for this year's party. With the success of last year's kid-friendly party (we had over 120 guests) we need to get the creative juices flowing early.

Please note that this year's party will be held on October 30th ...more details to follow later this fall! The face-painter, popcorn machine and all the other fun carnival games will be back. We are hoping to make this year's party a fundraiser for Pearl River Outreach. Families can donate whatever they chose (if they chose) and the money raised will be used to provide specialized medical training and foster care to Chinese orphans. We've been involved with this organization for almost a year (thanks Kay Bratt for the tip) and are excited about this venture.

Now, onto my tarantula story...

Target has a bunch of their National Geographic toys on clearance. While we were looking over the toys, we noticed several remote controlled tarantulas. Chris and I both came up with the idea of having tarantula races and picked up several boxes of them. Penny (our cat) spent the night attacking them in the kitchen and sunroom. They are going to be a fun new Halloween game addition. We're thinking we might even jazz them up with a bit of glow-in-the-dark paint...hee hee!

Here's a sneak peek of Josie playing with her tarantula (she's even wearing last year's Halloween pajamas in celebration).

Happy "early" Halloween...moo ha ha (insert evil laugh here)...

July 26, 2009

Once I got started, I just couldn't stop...

My name is Kim and I’m a dishaholic and glassaholic. I’m blaming my addictions on my Grandma, Mother and Aunts. I was brought up with women who purchased new dishes and glasses on a regular basis. Creating elaborate table displays for holiday entertaining was a MUST and I’ve inherited those tendencies. I spent nearly five hours at the Allegan Antique fair on Sunday and came home with all kinds of dishware. Actually, I came with a bunch of amazing stuff (which I'll blog about later this week) but I'm most excited about my latest dish acquisitions.

A few years ago, my adoptive friend Steffie received an amazing set of hand-painted Chinese glasses and drink pitcher for her birthday. I had to have my own set (the artist is a sweet heart) and I've been looking for plates to go with my special glasses ever since.

When I saw these fan-shaped dishes for a mere $1 dollar piece, I knew I had to have them. Don't they compliment my Chinese glasses wonderfully? I can't wait to serve appetizers on them.

While I was on a roll with my Chinese fan-shaped dishes, I spotted a vendor who was selling paper lanterns for $1 a piece and made a mad-dash to his booth. Using existing hooks that we have hanging over our kitchen island for our Halloween displays (more to come on this topic later), I asked Chris to suspend a dowel rod with fishing line to hang my new paper lanterns.

I think we're ready for a Chinese-themed party! Care to join?

Tigers Baseball Part II

Although we started out with questionable weather on Saturday, it ended up being a beautiful day for baseball.

We came armed with a knapsack full of stickers, toys, and snacks for Miss Josie's entertainment.

Our row was very tolerate of the many many potty trips we made to the public restroom (mental note to self...get seats on the end of an aisle) but why is it that I got the joy of sitting next to Mr. Shirtless Man? I avoided looking to my left most of the game...hee hee.

The Tigers ended up having a 4-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox in the 10th inning. It was a great way to introduce Josie to her first Tigers baseball game.

Today, I'm off to the Allegan Antique fair with my mom and sister. You never know what treasures might be found!!!

July 23, 2009

Let's Go Tigers!

We're celebrating Chris's September birthday a bit early with a Detroit Tigers baseball game on Saturday. Thanks for the birthday tickets, Nana and Papa!!

Josie is just very BUSY, BUSY, BUSY, so I'm not sure how this is going to translate when having to sit still at the ballpark (especially if there is any rain involved). I think I had better come prepared with stickers, coloring books and other fun items. It'll be just like the plane trip except this time, I can have some popcorn and beer (hee hee).

July 22, 2009

While the Cat is away...the Mice will play...

After a week off for a conference, I'm back to my regular work schedule. Chris's father (Emma's papa) and our nephew Marc are staying with us this week. While I've been at work, they have had a several days full of adventures (a rope course at John Ball Zoo and visiting the Holland Pier). I'm extremely jealous.

Aunt Shelly - Marc can stay with us anytime. Josie and Emma have had a blast with their cousin. I think I need to have a K-12 summer work schedule...sigh...

July 21, 2009

Retracting my weather comment...

You know what? I'm retracting my earlier blog post on the weather. I love this kind of summer weather...warm, not hot, not yet yucky humid either. The weather this week has been perfect for enjoying our candle filled deck in the evening.

Speaking of summer, I've redone my little corner of happiness in our bedroom. It brings me right back to Lake Michigan and our wonderful week at the cottage.

The shell wreath was one of my latest craft projects. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. Actually anything that requires a glue gun makes me happy.

As I was finishing up this post (in between putting Josie to bed) the rain has started. I'm hopeful it doesn't continue into the weekend. We have plans for a Tiger's baseball game on Saturday and I'm hoping to sneak away to the Allegan Antique Fair on Sunday.

What's the saying..."If you don't like the weather in Michigan now, just wait a few minutes."

July 20, 2009

What happened to our summer weather?

I had been warned that the temperatures in Michigan were cold while we were in DC and they were right. Dang. Where did our summer weather go? It feels more like fall!! Speaking of fall, check out Josie's new lunch box. Thanks for the lunchbox tip, Katie.

We picked up this panda bear lunchbox while visiting the National Zoo in DC. As much as I loath packing lunches, seeing Josie's excitement over a new lunchbox is pretty cute. Here's to enjoying the rest of our summer!!

July 18, 2009

Home Sweet Home...

It could have been worse. On our return flight, we came armed with stickers, candy, and new coloring books. Even better, we were upgraded to Express Economy which included in-flight tvs on the back of each seat. Josie couldn't keep her ear-buds in her ear, but she enjoyed seeing a television in between coloring and putting stickers all over my shirt. Josie's still not an easy traveler, but it was better on the return flight.

Overall, it was a enjoyable business trip and it was a bonus to be able to bring my family along. I still can't get over all the museums and monuments we didn't get to visit while in DC. I definitely want to go back someday. It's an amazing city. The cost of food or taxis wasn't cheap, but I loved the free admission to most events. Meeting up with a part of Josie's past, was an added bonus. Thanks again, Schaefer family!!

Josie is sound asleep in her bed with her favorite pillow and blanket, while Emma is curled up with Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I'm going to ignore the mound of dirty laundry for at least another 12 hours. Yuck.

Have I said it's good to be home? Home sweet home...sigh...

July 17, 2009

Day 6 in DC...Reuniting with Josie's Orphanage Roommate

Our final day in DC was spent at the International Spy Museum (no cameras allowed..and they even had a James Bond Aston Martin car!!!) and visiting the Capital Building.

The highlight of our trip was meeting up with Schaefer family to reunite one of Josie's former orphanage roommates (Nora).

Our families rode paddle boats around the Tidal Basin near the Jefferson Memorial and dodged a few raindrops. The Schaefer family explained that the view of the cherry blossoms from this area in the spring is absolutely breath-taking.

They were so kind and even treated us to dinner at The Old Ebbitt Grill. We aren't sure that the girls recognized each other, but they sure enjoyed each other's company.

Our families will be seeing each other again in October when we travel to Disney with three other families from Josie's orphanage. It was so nice to finally meet in person after all these months of email correspondence. Thank you for being such kind hosts, Schaefer family!!

Tomorrow we fly out early afternoon. We've had a fabulous time in DC and could easily spend more time here again. Here's to hoping for an easy return flight home and a happy quiet Josie on the plane!!