Thursday, July 30, 2009

Where's Mom?! 22/52 Photos of ME!

Are YOU a mom? Are YOU missing from the pictures? Most moms I know are, but here is a fun meme that brings us moms out from behind the camera and puts us into the spotlight! Carin over at Forever In Blue Jeans is the hostess for this year long picture project! It is lots of fun, and just think after 52 weeks there will be at least 52 pictures of YOU in them! It can be scary, but com'on, give it a try! It's easy, all you have to do is hand over the camera and smile (or not, it's completely up to you!). And the best part is, you can jump in whenever; for me this will be my 22nd week!

So this lovely series of photos was taken of me one night, courtesy of Actress from the gang at He & Me + 3. I still haven't posted about all that we did on our vacation in Michigan, but am slowly getting to it! While looking for a picture of Me for today's where's Mom meme, I came across these and laughed aloud! I first have to tell you that I have 2 boys, as you know, so when Model and Actress asked if I wanted a make-over I was quick to say...uuummmm...YES! I was so excited because my boys' idea of a massage is to wrestle me to the floor and kick me in the back!!!
So I sat down in the chair and the make-over began! I had more make up applied than EVER, and that is a lot considering I used to dance and the make up I wore for performances!

Here I am getting sprinkled with glitter dust!!! I had it my hair...on my face, arms, feet, hands,...they even were sprinkling it over my clothes; let's just say that I was waking up with glitter on my pillow for days afterward!

Brendan and Stunt Man sure did give a GREAT foot message...aaahhhh.....

I got the full treatment that night, make-up, hair, glitter dust, foot & hand massages, arm tattoos....yes I felt like a million bucks; well OK maybe not a million bucks, but is sure was fun to get pampered, even by 4, 8, & 9 year olds!

Now it's your turn to join the fun! It's easy, hand the camera over, smile and say cheese!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Day At The Lake

The only weekend that we spent in Michigan was spent at my in-laws house on the lake. They bought this house a few summers ago, but this is the first time that we have stayed here and let me tell you that they boys loved it! They would've stayed here the whole week if I would've let them! It was so beautiful and so relaxing....aaaahhhhh! We went up Saturday afternoon and stayed until Monday morning. It was so perfect! I loved watching the sunset the 2 nights that we were there. Nothing better than a sunset over water!
Here are the boys looking out when we first arrived. Their house is up on a cliff, so you look out and down and to actually get to the water you have to walk down lots and lots of stairs!

After we got there, Papa took them fishing on the dock. Mind you, my hubby and I are not outdoorsy type people, except when it involves sports, so this is the first exposure that the boys have had with fishing. To say that they loved it, is an understatement!!! Brendan has already asked for a fishing pole from Santa!!

And guess what...Brendan actually caught a FISH!!! He was beyond excited! Papa thinks it was a Pike, but we threw him back in, so no fish dinner for us that weekend!
This is my FAVORITE picture!

Gramma and the boys on the boat the next morning (Sunday).
We had lots of fun tooling around the lake on the boat.

Throughout the day, we took 3 boat rides and on one of them, Papa let the grandkids (pretend) to drive! They thought it was so cool to drive a boat.
After our morning boat ride, we went back to the house to wait for all of the cousins to arrive. Ryan's mom made arrangements to have everyone over for lunch so we could see everyone in a one stop visit! In total, 3 of Ryan's 5 siblings came with their families. It was fun to see everyone since we had not seen them since Christmas of 2007. There are a total of 11 grandkids.

Swimming in the lake
All the cousins...hard to get 11 wiggly kids to look and smile at the same time with the sun in their eyes, posing for a picture! We bribed them with ice cream and that really didn't even work! It was worth a try though! Ages of the cousins range from 2 to 11 years old.

Here we are posing with Gramma & Papa

After ice cream and a little whiffle ball, some of the cousins had to leave. We were sad to say good bye.
Ryan's oldest brother, Brett, and his family decided to stay and play for awhile longer! We ordered pizza and while waiting, the kids decided to take another dip in the lake! I had so much fun trying to play photographer with the sun set.

When everyone finally left and the sun went down, we headed inside to chill out. The boys had fun just laying around with Papa talking and laughing...telling jokes and stories!

The boys with Gramma & Papa just before calling it a night!

Thanks Gramma & Papa for getting us all together to have a super fun day at your lake house! We had so much fun swimming & taking boat rides & fishing & playing whiffle ball & eating ice cream at the lake house.
We can't wait to go back!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Lions & Tigers & Bears...OH MY!

It is now the time to get you caught up on our Michigan Vacation before it slips my mind!!! One of the days that we were visiting with the gang at He & Me + 3, we headed here...The Toledo Zoo. The boys and I have been not been here in forever and were excited to go see the animals! You see, visiting the zoo in the Arizona summer is just not doable...just too hot! So we took advantage of the nice weather and headed to the zoo with our friends!Waiting to ride the merry go round
This summer, the zoo opened up their newest attraction, Nature's Neighborhood, which included a stream where kids could learn about and make dams and how they work. Other things that were in this part of the zoo included a step into the forest where we learned about ants, bees, spiders, birds, and forest animals. They also had a spot to build forts and sand castles. They kids probably could have spent the entire day here!
Brendan posing with the dam all the kids worked to make....and it was great!

Time to see the monkeys
This particular monkey kept coming over to the glass and Colin couldn't get enough of him!

Me & My Monkeys!!! favorite!

I know we saw animals, but for some reason it feels as though we were there for awhile but didn't see enough of them! Oh well,the kids had a good time, minus a few melt downs (mostly from mine!) that included playing, eating and all around fun!

Thanks MiMi for taking us to the zoo!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Kidfest '09: Kaleidoscope

Last week our church held it's VBS (vacation bible school) for the summer. This is the first time in a few years that our church has actually held a VBS. The last time they held one, over 5,000 kids came and it was insane! Since then they have had an overnight church camp about 2 hours away for kids going into 3rd grade and up. Brendan went last year (and had an ABSOLUTE blast) and both boys were looking forward to attending this year, but with the economy the way that it is, our church decided it have an on-sight VBS this year instead. I was very relieved with their decision, as it is not cheap for the overnight camp and I have it x2! Both boys were sad that they were unable to go away, I honestly think they forgot all about it on the first night of VBS! Here are the boys standing outside our church

When you walked in the bright colors welcomed all with kites and balloons everywhere!

This summer, our VBS was Kaleidoscope. They studied the teachings of Paul and their memory verse was Matthew 5:14 The stage and screen

The kids had class Monday thru Thursday 6:30-8:00pm with family fun from 8-9pm each night. The family fun included ginormous twister games, face painting, snow cones, cotton candy, cookie decorating, & ice cream sundae making, each on designated nights!

Friday was a Family Fun Service from 6:45-8:00pm in our worship center and then family fun in the courtyard afterwards where they had bounce houses, soft pretzels, cotton candy, snow cones, face painting, and lots of carnivals games.

The boys singing and dancing along, but that didn't last long! Before I knew it, they were outta their seats and up sitting right in front of the stage listening and participating! They were loving every minute of it!

(it was smokey because of the fog machine!)
So after the service, we headed outside for the family fun! Something else that they did all week was collect change for BGMC, which is Boys & Girls Ministry for Christ. This ministry hands out Bibles to kids who otherwise would not get one. So throughout the week, they collected almost 90 pounds of change...that's quite a load! And it was promised that if they collected over 50 lbs, then all of the groups leaders would get slimed! Well you know my boys were all over that!


And of course, Brendan & Colin were in the front row and were slimed as well...YUCK!

But I made them strip in the parking lot before getting into my car...they were NOT getting into my car with slime all over them! (which they were NOT happy about!)

I just love it that my boys love to learn about just warms my heart to see them screaming ...yes screaming... out their memory verse and singing and dancing along to worship songs with their whole heart!

They said they can't wait until next year, but for now, I will leave you with the verse that they have learned this past week...

You are here to be a light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We're going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. Matthew 5:14 (message)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

...And Kennedy Makes 3!

I actually have 2 moments in 1 this week! As many of you know, I have an 11 year old niece, Kennedy. When she was younger she used to spend a lot of time with us, but now that she is getting older, a TWEEN, her visits are becoming fewer and fewer. We love it when she comes though! This past week, she came for 3 days to spend with us before school starts! We did a lot of swimming, playing, and hanging out! I am gonna miss the day when she decides she is too cool to come stay and play with the McCrakens! So for now, I will cherish the times and turn them into great memories!
One of the fun things we did this past week was night swimming! We turned on the pool lights, light the tikki torches, plugged in our camping lights and jumped right in! We were out in the pool until 10 pm.
We also turned the aerator on, which circulates the cooler water from the bottom of the pool and sprinkles it over the top of the water! The kids love it because it is 2 in 1 fun...a pool & sprinkler!
They loved jumping right through it!

Hanging out...

So not only will I miss it when Kennedy chooses friends over us, (I know it is coming...she will be a teenager soon!) but I will also miss it when the boys think it is too cool for a night swim with mom!!

Thanks Pam for hosting this fun weekly meme and for more You're Gonna Miss This moments, be sure to blog on over!