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And the family keeps growing and growing and growing...

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!

My team dressed up as bowling pins and convinced our boss to dress up as a bowling ball.

Deb, Karen, Me & A.T.

We also decorated and set up a bowling alley, complete with popcorn, peanuts and beer (root beer that is).

Here Deb and I are practicing our skills.

I bought Tula a spider costume online.
Here we tried it on.

As you can tell, she loved it.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Halloween Costume Party

Saturday Phil went kayaking with his friend from work and a group of guys. So I decided to take that opportunity to work on homework... and then go see my friend Shell in Lansing. I got to hang out with Shell and her son Talan for a few hours before we got dressed up and went to her sister-in-law's Halloween party.

Shell dressed up as a maid, she borrowed the costume from her cousin and it was way too big on her... so we improvised. I was trusty Mr. Potato Head (pictures to come). The party was a lot of fun, we saw a lot of big breasted women wearing very small costumes and huge heels. We saw Mr. Clean, a guy riding a blow up horse, a girl riding a blow up ostrich and Barney with giant male parts.

Here is Talan showing me his best picture smile and of course his baseball bat.

Tula and Talan relaxing.

Shell in her costume, with her swiffer duster and bottle of Arbor Mist.

This might have been the best costume we saw... the tooth fairy.

Shell's brother-in-law showed up at the party as a turd with corn in it (he actually sewed corn all over his outfit... that is dedication) and his wife was a roll of Charmin toilet paper.
Shell tried on the costume.

Here is Barney... this is not kid friendly.

Shell tried on the Barney head... it was stinky like alcohol and sweaty boys.

Pumpkin Carving

Friday night after work Phil and I went to his mom's house to have our annual pumpkin carving Halloween party. We ate scary mashed potatoes and roast and then carved some pumpkins.

The food was delicious, the company was extra scary and the pumpkins were awesome! Well, aside from the rotting pumpkin that we made Phil carve :)

This was our I believe third annual Halloween pumpkin carving party. I think that makes it an official tradition!

Phil and his mom carving pumpkins.
Me and Phil's mom making our scary faces.
Our pumpkins... Pat's, Phil's and mine... sorry the picture is blurry, it's the best one I could get.
We also got Halloween presents from Phil's mom. Here is Phil with his MSU floor mat.
Here we are with the floor mat and my present, the MSU bucket... which will be put to good use.
We also got to check out the flooring that Phil's mom put in her bedroom, along with the new paint and the new bedspread. It is all coordinated so well!

Monday, October 22, 2007

He did it!!!!

Saturday our Murder Mystery Dinner Train in combination with traffic at a dead stop on the highway, kept us out very late. We went to bed around 1 AM which would not be so bad, except that we had to get up at 4:50AM in order to get downtown Detroit for the marathon.

The marathon was a family event here is the rundown of who participated in what:

Full Marathon – Phil, Annie and Gual
Half Marathon – Jennifer, Cindy (Jenni’s Friend) and Cousin Steve
Marathon Relay – Me, Jess, Traci, Cousin Staci, Cousin Ross, Mom, Dad, Aunt Laurie, Uncle Jeff and Nate

The marathon course was really cool, we ran over the bridge into Canada, through Canada for a few miles then back into the U.S. through the tunnel, around Belle Isle and then back downtown to finish.

This was Phil’s first marathon and he did awesome!! He made it the whole way and finished in about 4 ½ hrs (no official times yet). And our marathon team made it in under the cut off time which was a big accomplishment!

As you can probably assume I am SO SUPER PROUD of my husband... he is amazing!!!

Mysteriously at the race we ran into my cousin Steve who decided the day before to run the half marathon!! He's crazy!

After the race, Phil and I went back to Robbie's house for some lunch and then came home to relax finally!

Here are some pictures from the race day:

Jess & Traci getting ready.

Phil almost at the finish line.

Phil and his medal (that thing is freakin heavy).

The marathoners recovering after the race.

Traci, Jess and me after the race.

The group waiting for the final relay legs.

Ross, the final leg of one relay team on his way to the finish line... what a goof ball!

Nate, the last leg of the other relay team, giving Annie a high five with a little encouragement from Gual...

One of the relay teams.
Traci, Uncle Jeff, Staci, Aunt Laurie & Nate - look at those medals!

The other relay team.
Me, Jess, Ross, Mom & Dad

Jess & Phil - shouldn't this be the other way around???

Murder Mystery Dinner Train

This weekend was such a big event filled weekend that it deserves two separate posts!

Friday night after work, we drove to Detroit and stayed the night with Phil’s brother Robbie and sister-in-law Rachel and of course the infamous Baby Robbie. Saturday morning we went out to breakfast and then I left Phil and Tula at Robbie’s and made my way to my friend Jess’ house up in Pontiac.

Saturday my friend Traci also came over to Pontiac from Kzoo and we spent the day picking up our race packets from downtown Detroit, checking out a potential house Jess wants to buy and then to Chandra’s to pick her up for the big event (and of course see baby Jayda… who you all remember from the infamous birth post a few months ago).

Once we had Chandra, we drove down to Blissfield to do a surprise Murder Mystery Dinner Train for Jess’ birthday. She had no idea what we were doing for her, but somehow once we got about a mile down the road she totally guessed what we were doing!!! We all were dead silent… we didn’t know how the heck she figured it out… lucky guess.

Anyways the dinner train was awesome, it was so funny. The basic idea was that it was an improve group doing a skit about crop circles and their characters were all from another planet, then they killed on of the passengers and we had to figure out who did it, all while we were eating a fabulous dinner and getting Jess to drink lots of wine.

There was an open seat right next to us so the characters kept sitting by us and talking to us and making jokes. One of the characters even talked to Chandra’s baby sitter on the phone… it was very funny!

Here are some good pictures from the night:

Baby Jayda & Jess... isn't she getting so big and look at all that hair.

Chandra, Jess & Jeanne (mom) outside the train station.

Me and Traci on the train.

The whole group before dinner.

Chandra & my favorite of the characters... she sang it's raining men & rubbed herself on all the guys.

One of the characters talking to Chandra's baby sitter on the phone.

Here is another character and Chandra looking lovely.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Breast Cancer Walk

Saturday was the 10th annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in Kalamazoo. This year it was held downtown at the Arcadia Creek Festival site, which worked out awesome. Over 2,500 people showed up to walk and there was pink everywhere! There was even a pink jeep for the pace car. We walked three miles around downtown. Grandma, Aunt Sharon, Annie, Gual, Phil, Myself and even Tula were there for the walk. A lot of people from my work showed up as well.

Here are some fun pictures from our early morning activities:

Aunt Sharon, Holly, Traci, Tina, Stacey and Me

Annie, Grandma & Aunt Sharon

The start of the walk

The Stryker girls (Traci, Tina & Stacey)

And it wouldn't be complete without Olivia in her cute pink bunny outfit.

Soccer Banner

Phil's soccer team had a game on Saturday night and on Sunday night. Well, the girls on his team are very excited for him to run the Detroit Marathon next weekend, so they decided to make him a banner to let him know about it.

They originally planned to put it in our front yard... then they visited our house on the sly and realized that no one would actually be able to see it from our front yard but us and Tula... not exactly what they planned. So instead they decided to suprise him with it before their game on Sunday. Sunday of course it rained really hard for most of their game, but they hung it up on a spare goal post behind where the team sits for the game and then had snacks and juice after the game (by the way they won!).

Here are some pictures of the banner & Phil and the girls.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

This Saturday is the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in downtown Kalamazoo. I have volunteered to be a team leader for Stryker, which basically means that I have to try to convince people to walk with me and to donate money.

So to try to raise money, my friend Traci and I decided to host a Pampered Chef party and donate our proceeds to the fund.

If anyone is interested in buying you can order directly from our website set up specifically for this at:


Or for those of you who are electronically challenged, you can email me your order as well and we can do it the old fashioned way.

Also, we are selling these really neat Pampered Chef kits. They are $20 and $10 of that goes directly to our fundraising. They have a pink lettuce knife, a pink measuring cup (the nice one that Pampered Chef has that one side pushes through so that you can use it for peanut butter and other sticky stuff) and a really cute pink spatula. ( I have a picture I can email around if anyone is interested... but I can't figure out how to put it on here... so you'll just have to imagine it for now).

Anyways... I thought I'd inform in case anyone was interested in contributing or walking.


Monday, October 8, 2007

Art Hoppin'

Friday night Phil and I went downtown to the Art Hop to meet up with his Mom and her friend Kerry. They are regular Art Hoppers and wanted to introduce us to the fun that is Art Hopping in downtown Kalamazoo. For those of you who have never been, it's a lot of walking around, looking at art, eating free snacks and drinking free wine/beer. We had a great time and saw some really cool stuff.

After we had enough hopping, we had dinner at Coney Island (which was wonderful and fast... both very important when it comes to food and hungry women).

Saturday we of course went tailgating for the Michigan State vs. North Western football game... we will not discuss the outcome. We gorged on fajitas and brownies and of course peach salsa dip. The game was intense and very fun to watch although disappointing none the less.

Saturday night, my friend Traci and I convinced our friend Jess to drive over here from Detroit to run with us (as we are all training for the Detroit Marathon Relay). Jess and Traci are running their leg together which is 5.5 miles. So we needed to invoke a little motivation in Jess (who has been ruthlessly training by herself). We ran three miles in pitch black along the farm roads of Fulton. We even ran into a few marijuana growers by accident... which made us run much faster. Afterwards Jess did not speak to us for a while... but I think we are back on good terms now that she has recovered.

Sunday we had lunch in Vicksburg at my parents house, then Phil had a soccer game to coach at 4. The game was very interesting, it was extremely hot and on top of that, the parents from our team got into a bit of an argument with the refs and almost got kicked out of the game... it was pretty exciting! After the game, we went to Phil's dad's house in Galesburg for dinner (yes we got two free meals that day). Then finally home to study for my exams this week.

Whew... it was an exciting weekend!

Someone did a mosaic on the floor at one of the shops downtown. Very cool!

Coney Island Dinner.

Pat, Phil and Kerry

Mare (Traci's Mom) and Jess looking beautiful in Fulton.

Tailgating on Saturday.

Monday, October 1, 2007

North Carolina Wedding

This past weekend we drove down to the Outer Banks of North Carolina to attend Jenna-Marie's wedding. Jenna is my sister's good friend that we've known since we were little, she is also the lucky woman who caught the bouquet at my wedding!

We left after work on Thursday and drove the 14.5 hours straight through the night. It was very long and we were tired but the good news is, there is no traffic at 3 in the morning! Friday we spent most of the day at the beach body surfing the big waves and recovering from our drive. Saturday we spent the day helping with wedding preparations and watching Michigan State football on TV.

The wedding was on the beach behind a hotel on Saturday night, it was really nice, but also very windy! We danced the night away and then sent off the happy couple with a ceremonial lighting of sparklers.

Sunday morning we got up early and drove back home. Whew am I tired, but it was so worth it!

Friday afternoon we went to lunch at a place called "Dirty Dicks"... I'll let you read their slogan below:

Phil and I waiting for the wedding to start.

The wedding.

The lovely bridesmaids (Rhiannon, Cindy and Jennifer - my sister)

The happy couple (Jenna-Marie and Steve)

My father and Rhiannon collaborating on the toast... this is trouble!

The center pieces that I had the pleasure of helping with... mixing purple sand and water is not a lot of fun... take my word for it!

My four dads... these boys were trying to skirt their "dancing duties" by baby sitting... notice little Sophie in the back right... hmmm they don't look like they are doing such a good job.