Sunday, May 25, 2014

Overnight at the Lake - Week of May 19th

Memorial Day weekend has always felt like the kickoff to summer.  On Saturday morning, we headed to Lake Michigan to stay with Oma and Opa.  We couldn't have asked for better weather.
Oddly enough, the big lake was incredibly calm the entire weekend.
We spotted this paddleboarder (a rarity on Lake Michigan) with his dog- very impressive that the pup stayed so still.

We happily headed down to the beach for the afternoon and had some company with us- Molly, Gordy and his girls, Kendall and Kiley.  Although the water was a bit too chilly to swim in, playing in the sand was a blast. Cam couldn't get enough of digging holes, playing with the bucket, and putting his toes in the water.

After all of the sand construction work, the group headed up to have dinner on the deck.  It was a perfect evening, complete with a lake breeze.
Someone noticed that Gordy and Cam had similar plaid shorts on, so we had to capture them together.  Gordy loves to give Cam tickle attacks and make him laugh hysterically.
Not only did the shorts match, but it turns out, Opa and Cam were actually wearing the exact same shirt- Lake Michigan Unsalted!
Please note, these parallel wardrobe choices were completely unplanned.
Saturday was Cam's first overnight at Oma and Opa's since last year.  He almost made it through the night without waking up, but it is tough to be away from your own bed.

Even with interrupted sleep, though, Cam was ready for a beach day again on Sunday.  Aunt Joyce brought Cam some of her beach "treasures" to play with (this term "treasures" comes from finding a bucket or shovel or beach toy during the off-season while walking).  After a day of plastic boat races and sand castle design, we made our way back to Grand Rapids.

We are left with the comforting realization that the beach, the lake and more beautiful sunsets await us...

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Fans in the Stands - Week of May 12th

"Trying to sneak a pitch past Hank Aaron is like trying to sneak a sunrise past a rooster."

This was the one week when our family could attend Emma's soccer game in the a.m. and still make it to Cam's baseball in the afternoon!
Emma played defense in the match and her buddy, Cam, cheered her on excitedly from the sidelines shouting "Yay Emma!" and "Emma Yay!"

After a quick lunch and some added sweatshirts, we all headed out to the ballpark.  The league has had something unique for each game day- this Saturday, we were greeted by our minor league team, the Whitecaps! The players volunteered their time to help out with the game and happily posed for pictures, mascots included.

It was a bit chillier than we all would've liked, but the fans had a warm welcome for the players.  Cam had a big contingency of cheering spectators from relatives and best buddies.  Karen drove all the way from Chicago to be in attendance and proudly wore a purchased sweatshirt in support of the league.  Aunt Joyce, Uncle Joe, Aunt Gay and cousin Mike drove in from Montague to watch Cam play ball.  And our dear friends and forever neighbors- Patti, Anna, Megan and Emma kept us dry with multiple umbrellas!

With each baseball game, Cam seems to gain more confidence with his overall playing ability.  We have gained more fans whom we cannot thank enough for providing Cam with an extra large cheering section in the stands!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mom's Day 2014 - Week of May 5th

We never know the love of the parent until we become parents ourselves. ~Henry Ward Beecher

The lineup for Cam's Saturday baseball game was quite extensive.  The Astros were set to play the Yankees, the sun was shining, and important guests were headed to the game.
Kathy and Richard Verlander, Justin Verlander's parents, were at the WMML field to sign their book, "Rocks Across the Pond."  Being the parents of a Detroit Tigers pitcher and West Michigan Whitecaps right fielder, the Verlanders graciously signed a personalized copy for every player on the WMML league!
In Cam's fan club at the game were some more famous people, in Cam's life...Oma & Opa, Auntie Jo and Will, as well as Cam's teacher, Ms. Barbara and her daughter Carly!  Wow- it was quite a crowd.
And when you gather that many people together, chances are everyone might not be looking at the camera at the same time...

Another memorable surprise was a bouquet of flowers provided for every mom of a WMML player. Cam happily presented Jane with a sweet arrangement of blossoms.

At school, the kids made homemade hand cream, which truly smells wonderful, and Cam proudly gave it to Jane and Oma.

The Mother's Day treats just kept coming with a homemade card and very special mug that Cam picked out.  Pictured here, the words and picture on the mug only "become visible" only when hot liquid is added to the cup.  The sentiment reads "RAWR" means I love you in dinosaur."  "Rawr" is one of Cam's favorite books about a dino's insistence that roaring means I love you!

On Sunday, the Weatherford family traveled northward to see Oma, Opa and cousin Steffanie.  More Mother's Day gifts were exchanged- beautiful flowers for the gardens and pretty clothes.  Steff gave both Jane and her grandma bouquets inside of watering cans- so clever.
The big excitement for the day occurred when cousin Mike happened upon a blue racer snake.  Cam giggled as his dad and Steff tried to corner the slithering reptile. Such a fun day and being able to walk on the beach again with our feet in the sand was a gift in itself!
We were thankful to be surrounded by family and friends this weekend, to soak up the sun and to celebrate all moms everywhere!    And this guy sure makes a mom proud!!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Cam the Baker - Week of Apr. 28th

"Baking is love made visible...."

Cam ended up with a little extra time on his hands this week.  Due to the rainy weather, Cameron's baseball game was cancelled Saturday morning.

With a boy who asks to help with projects on a daily basis, this week 'Auntie' Ronda stepped in to do some delicious baking with Cam.  And Ronda's niece, Rachel, paid a visit to take a selfie with her buddy.

An inherited trait from both Chris and Jane is Cam's sweet tooth.  Chocolate of almost any kind is his favorite dessert choice.  The baker's agenda this week included homemade banana bread.  The bread tastes just fine on its own, but when the bakers add chocolate chips, it takes this treat to the next level.  The mini chips are mixed into the batter and also sprinkled on top before the loaf pans take a trip to the oven.

Of course, licking the batter before cleanup is required.
Next up on the list - a true favorite...brownies with chocolate chips.  Cam couldn't decide if the brownie batter or the actual brownie tasted better!
Our household enjoyed banana bread for breakfast and brownies for dessert after dinner.
Here's some sage advice for the week: "Strength is the ability to break a chocolate bar into 4 pieces with your bare hands and then eat just one of those pieces..."