Friday, February 5, 2016

Piglet love

Sunday night, Uncle Ben's pig "Peterson" had piglets. Seven of them. Josie could hardly stand the wait until we saw them last night. I have to admit, they are adorable.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Her name is "Bug" for a reason

She keeps doing this to me. 
Scares the living daylights out of me. 
What little girl sleeps with a giant spider? 
Ours…of course.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

A year ago…

Last year at this time, we were here. 
Disney with Grandpa and Grandma Payne

Wish we could go back in time!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Monday miles

I started a new half-marathon training program two weeks ago. Four days in, I had to take a few days off to get thorough a cold that I caught. If I had to chose, much better to get that out of the way!

Miles two weeks ago
 Miles last week
Miles in 2016

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Friday, January 29, 2016

Frugal-Lisa Friday

Last spring I bought a raffle ticket to the WGVU Travel Raffle. The $40 ticket paid off. Not only was it a donation to public radio, but I won two-nights stay and a $125 gift card for the Amway Grand Plaza downtown Grand Rapids. (Our favorite "fancy" hotel!)

Enjoying the view from our 18th story window
Beautiful view of the Grand River
We planned for an afternoon of ice skating at Rosa Parks Circle ($2/person to skate, rental included), but found that there were no children's sized skates left, and their wait list was so long that they stopped adding to the list. The girls were a little disappointed, but the warm pool at the hotel was calling their name.

Handmade ice cream from a vendor at the Downtown Market

Saturday night, Kyle treated us to dinner at The Chop House across the street from the hotel. Josie and Ellie agreed they could eat that dinner every night of their lives. (Salmon, steak, creamed corn and asparagus. We all could!)

Requisite photo in front of the fountain and chandelier

First time we've had a tablet as an interactive menu

Instead of dessert at the restaurant, we used some of the gift card and rode the elevator to the top of the hotel and enjoyed beautiful night views, dessert and after-dinner cocktails at Cygnus27.

Our footwear for dessert at Cygnus – Kyle and I only brought boots
the girls insisted on wearing the flip-flops the brought for the pool

After indulging in a room-service breakfast (the rest of the gift card and a first for Ellie and Josie), we walked back to Rosa Parks Circle and were able to try our hand feet at ice skating. Both of the girls agreed that it is a lot harder than it looks!

We had a fantastic weekend as a family, and aside from the dinner Saturday night, quite a bargin for a $40 raffle ticket and $8 in ice skating!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


If there's anything that I passed on to our girls, the love of reading is what makes me the happiest. I've gotten lost in books my entire life, and knowing that the two of them enjoy it as much as I do is such a gift.

Last week Monday was a snow day. Eleanor's favorite homework assignment? "Read for one hour while sipping hot cocoa." Easy peasy.

Josephine has been doing a bi-nightly ritual where she finishes a chapter book long after being tucked in. She'll come downstairs, or into our room and flop the book down. "Another book…wasted!" she declares. Of course, we play along and tell her how much trouble she's in. Oh, the problems we have! ;)

Keep it up, our little bookworms!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A visit from Grandpa Kirker

Kyle's dad came up for a visit a couple of weeks ago. We were all so happy to have him stay with us for a few days. (The girls were so excited to see Grandpa Kirker – it had been too long!)

On Saturday afternoon we all went for a walk. The highlight…the zipline!


Monday, January 18, 2016

Monday miles

View from the sled – Ellie drove Josie and me around for a
few post-run laps around the house
Miles last week
Miles in 2016

Read a little more...

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