Saturday, November 15, 2014

Our Modeling Experience with Winter Gear

The girls have had quite an adventure the past few weeks in the wonderful world of modeling....well with winter gear anyways.

Our neighbor is a photographer for a sports gear company and was in need of live children models for their children line.  Their faces are not visible in the photos, just the jackets, pants, etc. that they were modeling.  They actually enjoyed the experience and learned a lot. 

In the beginning of the modeling adventure, we received a full tour of the warehouse:

Skiis and Snowboards Everywhere!

Mr. Ron showing the girls the merchandise in the warehouse and how they are distributed.
A snowboarder and a skier's dream!

After the tour, it was time to start gearing up for the photos.  The girls had a blast and thought it was fun balancing on the pedestal.

All ready to roll!

The famous camera. ;)

Kelly ready to model!

Photos are being snapped!
Lyssa's turn!
And Bethany, getting ready to pose.

What it will appear like on the online catalog.
Love this look!
Pedestal can see our neighbor's dog wanted in on the action...
Yes, that sweet Husky is our neighbor's.  They get to bring her to work, isn't that nice?  After a while she wanted the girls attention so much she kept getting into the shots and had to be locked up. Haha!

The pedestal was constantly rotating upon each snap shot.  Pretty cool how all of this works and the details that are required to pull it all off.

You can see some of their shots live here....

In return for the girls experience, they get to pick winter gear in return for free (coats, hats, etc.) we get to do our shopping tomorrow.  Can't wait!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Our Visit to Hartwick Pines State Park 2014

Growing up, I always loved coming north of our state (Michigan) for vacations.  There is so much to do and see.  A lot of nature and historical avenues to visit.  One of my favorite places is Hartwick Pines State Park.

We have been there several times and once with Kelly when she was younger.  Now it was time to take all three girls.  It was considered a "homeschool field trip." 

When we stay at our family cabin, we always here this repeated thumping sound in the woods.  We could never figure out what it was.  It almost drove me nuts.  What could it be? LOL!

In the nature center portion of Hartwick Pines there is hands-on and audio section where you get to hear the types of birds that reside in Michigan.  One of the birds had that exact thumping sound we always hear.  Mystery solved!  Yet, silly me, I forgot to document the name of the bird and take a pic to put here on the blog. And do you think I remember the name? Homeschool mom FAIL!  Oh dear!

Anyways, here are just a few pics of our adventures through Hartwick Pines. Enjoy!

Logging Wheel

Type of Housing for Loggers in the Winter
Food and Lodging area for the loggers.

What it would be like to saw a tree!

Oldest known tree in Hartwick Pines

The beautiful trees
The historical chapel
Beautiful Chapel Window

Now just a few fun pics on our way back to the cabin! =)

And a stick bug daddy noticed when we got back to the cabin to get ready for a fire!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Kelly's First Job as A Photographer's Assistant

A few weeks ago, Kelly was given her first paid job opportunity.  Our neighbor is a product photographer for his company and he needed assistance with some new Disney's Frozen charm bracelets that came in for their catalog and website.  He asked if she would be interested and of course we were all on board!

Her job was to arrange the bracelets to make sure the charms weren't upside down and she even got to snap a few photos with the professional camera.  It was a neat experience and opportunity for her.  The perk was of course being paid, but she also got to keep a few of the bracelets which she shared with her sisters. So sweet!

She did such a great job that she was invited back for future jobs.  As a matter of fact her and her sisters will be doing a fun job involving a clothing line.  I will post on that after the fun experience.

Monday, September 1, 2014

The Calm after the Storm: Our Beautiful Miracle

Photo by Emily Hapaala Photography
8 years ago on September 1st, the Lord blessed us with a beautiful miracle.  Alessandra Michelle Clair was born on September 1, 2006.

This birth was the calm after a major storm in our lives.  Our sweet Brandon Michael was born full term and then went home to heaven shortly after.  I never thought I could be happy again. 4 months after an almost 10 pound baby boy, I was pregnant again.  I knew this was God's way of helping my husband and I heal even though it was still going to be very difficult emotionally.  Our Kelly was only 3 when we found out I was pregnant again so thankfully she was oblivious to most of the pain except she saw that mommy was sad and crying all the time.  It was heartbreaking.

When Kelly became a big sister to Lyssa!
When I found out I was pregnant again, it was bittersweet.  I knew I wanted another baby to heal, but at the same time I felt like I was replacing my baby boy.  It was only 4 months prior that we lost him.  What if this sweet miracle was going to be another boy?  I was stressed and high anxiety began to hit as soon as my first ultrasound came and when I began to show.  All of the ultrasounds came back normal.  When we found out our baby was going to be a girl, I was relieved.  I didn't think I could handle a boy at that time.

The whole pregnancy was normal and healthy except I was so emotionally stressed and worried that something would happen to this baby. This induced high blood pressure and sugar.  So I had to go on a diet to keep it under control for the health of my baby girl and for myself.

As the big day approached, it was determined that I would have a C-Section.  I had a C-Section with Brandon because of his circumstance and his size.  Because this pregnancy was so close to the other, my wonderful and amazing OB (she delivered all 4 of our babies) saw it fit that I just have another C-Section.  I was fine with that, I just wanted a healthy baby.

On the morning of September 1st, 2006, Ron and I heard the most beautiful sound....Our sweet little girl, whom we named Alessandra Michelle, entered the world.  The cries were so beautiful.  We didn't get to hear that with Brandon.  (Even though he was born alive, his heart was expiring and was quickly becoming lifeless.  This was due to Trisomy 13.  A chromosomal defect.)

When Lyssa became a big sister to Bethany!
Alessandra (Lyssa) is a such a joy and has made everyone laugh since.  I was told that she was attached to my hip and I was so in love and protective of my sweet baby girl. I unfortunately, don't remember much of Lyssa's babyhood, only her birthday.  I am praying it will all come back to me.  I was still out of it and was fighting depression.  Even looking at pictures I don't remember those times.  This tore me up for years.  I am finally in a place where it's okay if I don't remember.  I have the pictures for a reason and for that I am grateful and blessed.

We surprised her with a brand new bike for turning 8!!!  She's going to pick out her helmet this week. =)

I can't believe it has been 8 years.  Alessandra Michelle is a pure joy!  She makes us laugh on a daily basis.  I think my favorite is how much joy she brings to my dad.  Her humor just tickles him.  But of course she brings joy to all of the grandparents and the rest of the family which makes my heart so full.

"Alessandra, mommy and daddy are so proud of the young lady you are becoming.  You are a beautiful and aspiring ballerina with the singing voice of an angel.  Your passion for cooking only at 8 years old more than amazes us.  May Jesus bless you as you grow and develop a relationship with him.  We are so proud of you and are so thankful for the gift that you truly are in our lives.  We love you princess!"

Happy 8th Birthday!


Mommy, Daddy, Kelly, and Bethany!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Experiencing McGulpin Point Lighthouse in Mackinac City

Mackinac City and Mackinac Island is probably two of my favorite places to visit in Michigan.  My husband and I honeymooned on the island at the Grand Hotel and Mission Pointe Resort and some hotels in the city.  I remember growing up and coming to both places often and now I'm enjoying sharing the experiences with our girls.

There is so much history which is perfect for homeschoolers like us, haha!  A few years ago, I remember driving around in Mackinac City towards the more rural parts of town and we found a cool old lighthouse set back from the water, which was odd.  Unfortunately, it was all fenced in and not open to the public so we couldn't really see much which was a bummer.  We love searching for lighthouses.

This past week we took the girls for a little drive back behind Mackinac City and to our surprise it said that the McGulpin Point Lighthouse was open to the public and for free!  We were so excited.  We got to tour inside the lighthouse and also go up in the tower.  So exciting!  Climbing up those spiral steps into the tower was a little scary at first but so worth the climb as you can see in the pics below. 

They are having a few fun fall events this October that we are definitely heading back for during our fall homeschool trip.  Can't wait!

Me taking a pic outside of the tower looking in!

Daddy showing Bethany how to use the Binoculars inside the Lighthouse tower!

The McGulpin Point Lighthouse from the tower casting a perfect shadow!

Just mommy and daddy being silly, hehe!

A shot of the trail from the lighthouse tower.  Never got a shot of the bridge on this angle!
Heading back down from the lighthouse tower!

After touring the lighthouse we took a walk back on their little trail down to the water.  (Lake Michigan side.) So beautiful seeing everything from that angle.  It was also a beautiful day.  Can't beat that!

Now taking a walk on that trail down to the water.  Just a little blurry, oops!
Lake Michigan.  I just love how crisp and clear!

Ugh, mom! It's too sunny! Oh well, it was a fun day anyways!
We can't wait to return in the fall and also visit Discovery Park down the road which teaches about the solar system along a trail in the great outdoors.  We are hoping to add this to our homeschool trip in October.  The plus side of all of this is a lot of it is free.  As homeschoolers, that's music to our ears!

If you want to learn more about the history of McGulpin Point Lighthouse, click here!

Friday, July 25, 2014

From Fireworks to Waterparks

Wow, it's been a while since I last posted.  It's been a very productive summer.  We enjoyed a neighborhood fireworks show the end of June.  We then attended a 4th of July parade up north on our vacation followed by pine tree planting and fun at Mackinac City's indoor waterparks.  We stayed a fun 3 nights there and went hiking on Mackinac Island.  Here are fun pictures below!

Livonia Spree!  We go with my dad every year! Always a blast.  Love our traditions!

Tailgating for the Lewiston 4th of July Parade!

Getting ready to plant 4 pine trees on property up north!

Waterpark time! Emerald Cove-Mackinac City

Hubby/Daddy getting dumped on at Pirate's Adventure-Mackinac City

At the top of 40 Mile Point Lighthouse!

My Three Blessings

My Three Blessings
Photo by Emily Haapala Photography

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