Wednesday, August 27, 2008

FundRaising Opps

Hey guys, so I've been meaning to put these up for a while. Totally worthwhile, Totally Awesome people doing Awesome things. Ready or Not, here it comes...

1. Alyson

So you may be thinking...what the heck does this picture have to do with good deeds? Well, really, it's the one of the only pictures I had of Alyson (left). And it shows what great, fun, and devoted people her and her husband, John, are. Last summer was their 10th Wedding Anniversary. And John made every man alive peeved by showing them up with a great Suprise Party complete with a special concert by Brian VanderArk - made extra special as their first date some years ago was attending a Verve Pipe concert.
Alyson and I are also running the Detroit Half-Marathon "together" (ie - she will probably be running while I'm huffing and puffing somewhere behind her). How? Because she is also currently in training for a MARATHON in January in Arizona. Now, I'm not too sure how smart this she has to train here in GR in the frigid coldness...BUT, this is why...
I got this email from Alyson not too long ago (btw...isn't she hilarious?):
Subj: I am Running a Marathon
A year ago, I committed to living a healthier lifestyle- I started with changes in my diet and moved slowly into a program of daily excercise, starting with walking. I decided to try running and found it difficult to make it to the next mailbox 50 feet away. Envision John Belushi in the Saturday Night Live commercial for "Little Chocolate Donuts- the donuts of champions."
I was a complete disaster.
I got a little better. A little.
Then I realized that I wanted to make this process more than just about me, I wanted to help others through my growth. That's when I learned about Team in Training.
Now, I'm training to participate in a marathon. You heard it, 26.2 miles, as a member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Team In Training. All of us on Team In Training are raising funds to help stop leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma and myeloma from taking more lives. I am completing this event in honor of all individuals who are battling blood cancers. These people are the real heroes on our team, and we need your support to cross the ultimate finish line - a cure!
Please use the link in this email to donate online quickly and securely plus learn more about my progress. You will receive a confirmation of your donation by email and I will be notified as soon as you make your donation.
Please make a donation to support my participation in Team In Training and help advance LLS's mission. And somehow in the process, maybe make me a better, healthier person as well.
I hope you will visit my web site often. Be sure to check back frequently to see my progress. Thanks for your support!
Each donation helps accelerate finding a cure for leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. More than 823,000 Americans are battling these blood cancers. I am hoping that my participation in Team In Training will help bring them hope and support.
On behalf of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, thank you very much for your support. I greatly appreciate your generosity.
P.S. I would appreciate it if you would forward this email to as many people as you can to encourage them to donate as well. Thanks again.
Seriously, she is SuPeR dedicated. The amount that they raise in fundraising is outstanding. Alyson has dedicated herself to raising over $3,500.00. Wow! So, I'm going to donate in honor of my Grandma who passed away a year ago April and had Multiple Myeloma for many years. And I'm going to leave the hard part to Alyson. How 'bout you?'s an update as of Aug 22...
Subj: Marathon Training Begins!
I met my coach, teammates and mentor for marathon training in the past 2 weeks and am enthusiastic about training for the January marathon! The first week of training wasn?t bad, 2 miles here and there with a 3 mile long run. Unfortunately, those long runs increase by a mile each Saturday that passes, by the end of December I?ll be running 20 miles?in a row!
I am still working on my fundraising and I want to thank all of my friends and family that have been so generous and already contributed to this great cause-- I have learned a lot about The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and their mission to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin?s disease and myeloma, and to improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Just knowing that the money I am able to raise will fight leukemia-the number one disease-killer of children- makes me want to work even harder for my goal.
In 2 weeks I am going to participate in my second triathlon, I am out to beat my time on my first tri- and finish, of course! After the Reeds Lake Triathlon, I am pretty much dedicating myself solely to training for the marathon, with a couple of local running races here and there.
If you are interesting in contributing by mail, I am able to accept donations by check! (leave a comment for me if you want Alyson's snail mail info...)
Thank you again for your generosity and come visit my site to see my progress!
P.S. I would appreciate it if you would forward this email to as many people as you can to encourage them to donate as well. Thanks again.
So please, spread the word. This girl RoCkS!
2. PBJ Outreach
So, Alyson, being the persuasive, bright, witty, and determined person she is, *motivated* me to sign up for the Detroit Half-Marathon, as I think I've mentioned earlier. And it's cool - I ran the Country Music Half in Nashville a couple years ago, I think I can pull it off (as long as I start hoofin' it soon). But, why Detroit? You may be thinking that I might as well go run in China. But, here's a couple of reasons...
1. It's an InterNational race...we get to run through the Tunnel to Canada. Not sure about more specifics than that, but it sounds like fun.
2. It's SO Detroit - MoTown Music, lots of people, and a Detroit Bling Finisher's Medal. (and yes, I'm Super Excited about the Detroit Bling)
3. Today, on, was an article regarding the state of MI. Here's an excerpt:
Four Michigan cities -- Kalamazoo, Flint, Pontiac and Detroit -- were among the 20 poorest in the nation. "We have seen over the last decade a whittling away of our safety net. The programs that were in place to help people in economic downturns have been whittling away."
Seriously. And we know it, but really, Detroit has had it hard for a while...and this economy is NOT making things better. As Ryan (my philosophic brother) said after he went down to Louisiana and worked in the area that the levy broke, "It's bad down there, but at least people are helping make it better. But it's not worse than Detroit, and no one is helping there." (at least, that's the jist of it. correct me if it was different, bro)
SO, since I'm running this beast, I found the PBJ Outreach and any money people feel like donating will go to this cause. Their Mission, said best on their website:
PBJ (Peanut Butter and Jelly) Outreach Inc. is an ecumenical group of people volunteering their time and services to provide food, clothing, and basic social services to homeless people as well as those who are below the poverty level, living in the depressed and impoverished areas of the Metropolitan Detroit area, including the Cass Corridor section of inner city Detroit. The services are provided to all, regardless of race, religion (or lack thereof), gender or national origin.
That's cool. Check out their website. And I know everyone's a little strapped for cash right now and have a lot going on, but please, at the very least pray for these people and causes that they are dedicating themselves to. And I'll keep up with the progress and post and generally be a nuisance so you can't help but think of it. :) Thanks!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Quaker's Acres

And Wednesday brought Adalynn and I a trip to Aunt Glady's farm in Reed City. Growing up, I so looked forward to these drives up north - not only to visit Aunt Gladys, Uncle Terry, and my cousins, but also because they have HORSES. And WOW, I LOVEd horses. And I haven't outgrown this love. But you know, Life happens. ANYWAY, it was good to see Aunt Anita and her daughter Angie with her daughters Emily (also a huge horse lover) and Katherine. And it was good to see RC natives Aunt Gladys, Uncle Terry, Cousin Tracy and Brian, and their kiddos Kelsey and Karsten. And my other cousin's kiddos Trent and Rachel. And Hmmm....anyone else we can throw in there? Oh, my sister and her kids. And my mom. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!
Fun-Ness All Around. :)
Hmmm. A Kitty,

2. Horseys,

and a Barn...Oh My!

Fun with Mom,

Fun with Grandma,

and my Cousins...what a Life!

Weekend: The Hollander

That's right, that's where we were last weekend for a short vacay with my mom and sibs. Here's some highlights:

Aren't the kiddos cute? The sun was SO bright!

Mmmm....Ice Cream at Captain Sundae's. Nummy!

Waiting for breakfast at the Dutch Bakery

(posted outside of the Dutch Bakery)

Really, Are they able to say this?

...And playing at the Schenkel's Cottage

And more...

**Lake MI waves were SO big on Thursday...probably 6ish feet. Adalynn thought it was quite hilarious when the waves crested, curled, and crashed into us. No pictures of this though, there was a raging SandStorm too, and EveRyThinG was coated with inches of sand by the time we left!

**Sidewalk sales and Carnie-like street shows on Thursday night in downtown Holland. *SmiLeS* for new running and camping shoes...and a new dress! Boy, I'm spoiled!

Not bad for a weekend. :)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Look Below

Hey, so I started a couple of posts. And then I couldn't upload pictures. Then I could. But now, those posts are buried underneath this one and the one labeled "Poop". So keep scrolling down to read the tales of our Huchungus Tomato Worms and the Regatta.

Monday, August 4, 2008


I wanted to showcase some pictures for y'all, but unfortunately this lovely BLOGGER is being ugly tonight. So, just know that new pictures and stories are on the horizon. and wait in anticipation.
OH! and Travis just returned from Fire tonight. He notified me that they have bestowed upon him a helmet, gloves, and the *super special* PAGER. He is even more officially on the fire department now. Still bottom of the totem pole - it is a 1940s rendition - but hey, now he too can get up at 2am because some idiot lit their bathroom on fire. WOO HOO!

These SuckAS....

So I have houseguests. Not pretty, nice, ones either. They don't even say "THANK YOU" or even ASK before eating. No, they take, take, and take. and I don't like it one bit. Here's what I'm talking about:

Or a 'lil more like this:


And this is what they've done to my beautiful tomatoes. GRRRR. They are Big, Fat, and Ugly. And what do you do about that? Take them OUT. Out. Bring them Down to Chinatown. That's right baby.

But I was too much of a wuss to my dear, dear, strong and courageous husband had to do it for me. Thank You, dear husband. For saving our tomatoes. I love you.

Regatta 2008

Another weekend, Another trip. It seems to be a neverending story this summer! Not that we're complaining, mind you. There is Always ONE weekend out of the summer coined as "The Sunfish Regatta" (said in a low, deep anticipatory voice). Upon the start of this weekend, we trickle up to Manistee to John and Rennae's cabin on Lake Michigan. On Saturday, the Association joins together to produce 3-5 sailors for the Singlehanded Race and 6-10 for the Doublehanded. Truth be told, it is mostly a Masselink, Jacobitz, Jacobsen and Jacobson race, but it works for us. (and why wouldn't it? we always bring home some flags and maybe a trophy... and we like it like that) And really, if we are really baring our soul (and it seems we are) it is a



Cause it's more fun like that.

Waves ruled on Saturday causing John to think that maybe we should push the races back to see if the wind would fade. It didn't. BUT, it gave time for a special guest to arrive:

Oops, not them they are cute, Aren't they?

Oh, and not them either. Again though, pause to reflect on the adorableness of this baby.

Ah, here it is. Carl, on the left (not the man on the right, he's taken and is latched to me forever), flew in from Maryland JUST for this race. (Shhhh...even though it looks like he was here, he really wasn't.) So, while the race was supposed to start at 1pm, the blessed wind kept it from starting until 4pm...and Carl strolled in (and suprised the crap out of everyone except Travis and Jeff) about 1:30. So it all worked out.

Can you tell these guys missed eachother?

Awww....So Sweet.
Here come the troops:

...and here they go.

The Winner Is:

TRAVIS!!!! His New Sunfish Sailed to Success on her maiden voyage. (and probably only voyage with him, it's now up for sale!)
There were some casualties - the race had to be postponed as the Race Committee Boat sucked up the Anchor Line (oops), Kurt tipped over at the start in his Laser, Jeff went a 'lil off course for a bit, and Carl went over on the 3rd leg and needed emergency SeaDoo Assistance to right the Butterfly.

On Sunday we ran the DoubleHanded race...I'm not sure of the results, but Travis and I finished a fantastic Fourth. And had a Grand Ole Time. :) Jeff and Jerilynn sailed a great race together (I *think* they won), and Nick and John had fun and did well too - after John untangled himself from the sail rope.

What were the kids doing during the Regatta? What they do best...

Chilled in the Shade...

Ran in the Sand...

Posed for Pictures...

And Played Together.

Ahhh....Summertime Rocks.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Playlists anyone? Help a sista out...

Here's a quickie, but I need help. I need your top 5 Workout songs. My playlist is getting drab, and I need some energizing-get-you-up-and-out-the-door, work-your-tush, and grind-that-behind kinda music-a to turn it on. Ideas anyone?