1: Jeff always gave me a hard time about driving a short bus for my students...made stupid comments about them wearing helmets and licking the glass. My only regret is not taking the bus to pick him up from work before he passed away. I would have walked in with a helmet and had someone announce that his ride was here :) | What up Bus 1 ?!?
2: Peggy, Stephanie & me out for a late brunch. I held up the show a little bit trying to unpack before we left Peggy's house. Next thing I knew I heard Stephy calling up the stairs, "Sar! Pancakes!"
3: Gotta love the cable cars!
4: Steph and I rented bikes, so we could ride across the Golden Gate Bridge. At first we tried renting a tandem bike b/c we thought all twins should try one. We barely made it out of the gate - wobbling all over the place! (In my opinion there was something wrong with the bike ;) Once we had our own bikes we did much better and started to enjoy the gorgeous weather. That was until I realized that the way back was going to be steeper than the way there...and that we might miss the last ferry.
6: looking back at the city from the bridge | Stephy took some gorgeous photos...but I was on new mission called "make the ferry!" | Once focused on my goal I refused to stop even for pictures! Believe it or not, I had no interest in making memories. Steph, unaware of my new mission, kept clicking away. Finally I snapped, "If you take one more picture of that g. d. bridge, I will kill you."
7: Poor Steph tried to take a picture here, but since I wouldn't let her stop, she lost her balance. Looking back, I feel bad
8: We made it!
9: We were so happy & relieved that Stephanie treated us to relaxing, beautiful dinner. We had drinks, a wonderful meal and dessert with coffees. We just talked, relaxed and enjoyed the gorgeous view!
10: I was so excited to finally see the redwoods! This was definitely a highlight of the trip. Stephy loves this picture of me looking up at the tree tops. I look so proud of them :) --> Look how wide the trunks are?!
11: Stephy and me on the trail. It was getting a little dark towards the end of our hike
12: Stephy laughed because when I looked up at the trees I looked so proud of them :)
14: family circles | Hug a tree, Sar! (no problem)
16: Hug a tree Sar! No problem :)
18: After visiting the redwoods, the tour took us across the bridge and we got some time to look across the bay.
19: It was breezy and beautiful
20: One of Stephy's favorite moments was watching the sunset as we crossed the bridge again at the end of the day and they played "sittin' on the dock of the bay," on the bus. | Stephy and I went to see the sea lions while we ate lunch. We were looking over the water when a sea gull came and stole my pb&j sandwich! He swooped right over my shoulder and snatched it.. I held on tighter to my second half when he tried again. I kept the sandwich, but he got my finger. look at that!
21: Steph & I went to Bubba Gump's for dinner. We had coconut shrimp and thought of Jeff - when he took us to Chicago for our high school graduation present. I had coconut shrimp for that dinner too.
22: Stephy and I went to the aquarium for the night. They stay open late and serve drinks. We had a glass of sangria and walked around. We had a great time. Look at the beautiful animals. We couldn't believe the size of the megatooth shark! Look at the size compared to the great white!
23: As a thank you for letting us stay with her, we took Peggy with us to the spa. | We each got massages and then had some time to relax in the hot-tub, plunge pool and sauna. Look how beautiful!
24: Kali & Logan Cute as ever! | Uncle Rob took Kali to the Daddy Daughter Dance
25: Rhiannon and Nikki's cousin, Craig went with them. Don't Kali and Rhiannon look beautiful?
26: Balloons with messages of love for Jeff
27: March 10, 2011 In memory of Jeff, Nikki organized a balloon release at the boat launch. Everyone wrote a message to Jeff and send sent them up for him on the balloons. Stephanie couldn't come home for the launch, so she released her own balloon by the East River in New York. I also released one for her at the launch. Of course, that day was hard on everyone - hard to believe that a year has gone by since we lost him. It was good to see everyone though. I think Jeff would have been touched. We joked that he sent the snow to tease us..."look at all those fools standing in the cold :)"
28: Jeff has a lot of friends | Nikki said some very touching words before the release. | Nikki with Kali & Logan
29: Friends and Neighbors Tina, Renee, Stefanie, Sabrina, Nikki, Kristi, Tullio and Jodie | Neighborhood kids | Sweet moment with Nikki and Logan
30: I got a new job at the Howell Nature Center Liz, Nate, Dave, Me, Mark, Logan, Lisa, Jocelyn, ? Tiffany, Sam, Lucinda, Becca Jeff, Travis, Andy, Chad, Ellen, Amanda, Brian, Becky J | We got to practice shelter building
31: Becky J & Liz | Logan & Becky J | Chad and me trying to talk things out | Tiffany & me trying to figure out how to explain what this looks like.........
32: The Hollow Tree This tree is still alive, but the bottom has hollowed out. The bottom picture is inside looking up | DG leading a nature ID walk, so we can brush up nature center history, and plant identification
33: My New Ride | The Nature Bus | The Passenger Bus This one holds 32 passengers and I was the only one besides DG that had a CDL | Staff Training Andy, Amanda, Dave, Ellen, Brian (in the hat) and Becky J | Check out the new courtyard and Nature Zone!
34: Dave & camper | Steve Campeau helping a camper in the high ropes course. Steve was a fantastic teacher. I always loved working with him | Sending off outgoing campers - Ryan, Andy, Arianna, Aaron, Logan, Lucinda, Becky J & Amanda Look at how calm Pleasant Lake is - it's a perfect day to canoe, though I always tried to avoid teaching it. I hated towing kids back in the row boat and not having a lifeguard on the water.
36: I introduced Kali and Logan to some of my favorite folks at the Nature Center and then we went zip lining with me, Nikki, and mom!
37: First the harnesses and helmets. My friend Mark was working that day :) | Kali was a pro!
38: The kids were SO excited that Grandma went zip-lining too! Way to go mom! (Nik and I went too, but I didn't get pictures)
39: Me and our Great Horned Owl, Xena | Xena has a great personality. She's a really impressive bird and a little intimidating to handle at first, but she's also extremely tolerant. | Me and Rocky, our Peregrine Falcon Isn't he beautiful? I love the colors on this feathers | Xena is one of my favorite birds at the Nature Center. She's pretty bad ass, GHOs are top predators. As a bird of prey she can catch and kill things with her feet. Sometimes I lose circulation in my hand when she gets nervous and tightens her grip. | You have to move very quietly with him because he | gets nervous easily
40: It took me a little longer to win over our Turkey Vulture, Igor. He used to chase me around his cage and bite my legs and arms. Eventually I showed him who's boss though and then we got along great. | Here's one of our little Eastern Screech Owls. They're so cute. We have some red and some grey.
41: This is our male Barred Owl. He's a very gentle and mellow bird. Sometimes I think he's going to fall asleep on my arm. He doesn't have a name, but I call him Wicket because he reminds me of an Ewok :) | Wapi, is one of my favorite animals at HNC. He's so sweet and mellow. He loves to be pet and will try to groom you back. | His name means lucky. Poor Wop was shot twice in the head and mauled by a dog. The bullets are still in his brain and have affected his vision.
43: Odie came to the Nature Center after a woman had tried to take care of him herself for 6 weeks by keeping him in her bathroom. He was so tame that we couldn't release him, so we sectioned off a portion of the deer pen until he was big enough to be with the adults. UL - Our vet Max and Dana unloading him from the truck.UR-Odie in the infirmary. ML - Chad snuggling with Odie. LR - look how tiny he is next to one of the big boys.LL - We used weave fresh grape leaves greens through the fence, so he would get used to browsing. | UL - KILI, our resident Bald Eagle. They had to amputate part of his wing after he fell from his nest as a baby, so they immediately started imprinting him on people to be a program bird. UR/MR - DORSI, is adorable. She loves her treats and would vocalize quite a bit when she saw us. Sometimes we'd even take her for a walk. | ML -Vixen - our female red tailed fox. She & her brother were rescued from a furrier. They love to wrestle and play. LR - TAZ, our 16yr old bobcat. Someone kept him as a pet & had him declawed, He's well-loved at HNC, but can't get much exercise, hence the tummy
44: I love working with Jeff Carl He's quite a card ;) Jeff is a retired teacher. He's very patient and affirming...wonderful to work with! We mostly worked on Global Village together. | Tom and DG | Spring is gorgeous at HNC
45: Logan leading a group of campers to canoing | Aaron, Andy, Arianna, Logan, Ryan, Lucinda, Becky J, Amanda | Trillium | LaDawn and me at HNC
46: Kali turns 8! | Showing all her presents | Grandma, Aunt Sessie & Mama were sneeky & picked up the outfits Kali had her eye on at the American Girl store in NYC | Nikki did a great job on the peace sign cake Kali wanted :)
47: Chilling on the couch with Grandpa & Mimi | What a cute sun dress! | Kali read all her birthday cards (Grandma Winnie on right) | Logan signing his card for Kali | Part of her present was the trip to NYV to visit Aunt Sessie
48: Smiles Are Contagious!
49: "Good times are even better when they are shared" | Aunt Sessie playing with Kali & Logan on the swings in the backyard... Logan got hold of the camera & started taking his own pictures
50: Girls trip to New York for Mom's birthday! | Steph, Nikki, Mom and Kali | Driving across the bridge | They went to visit the World Trade Center | The five of us in front of the New Year's Eve Ball that drops at Time Square
51: Stephy took us to see Mary Poppins! It was a wonderful show. Our favorite part was when she rose up over the audience at the end. It looked like she winked right at Kali | We had dinner at Bubba Gump Shrimp.That's where Jeff took Stephy and I on our high school graduation trip. He also took Nikki there for dinner before he proposed on the ferris wheel at Navy Peer. We all had coconut shrimp :)
52: Stephanie took Nikki, Mom and Kali to FAO Schwartz. They played the big piano like Tom Hanks in "Big." They also took Kali to the American Girl store. They did her doll's hair :) Later that week we rode the ferris wheel inside another huge toy store.
53: Nikki & Kali at the American Doll Store | Mom and me on the ferris wheel
54: Stephanie, Mom, Kali and Nikki went to St. Patrick's Cathedral to light a candle for Jeff. | Steph Nik, Mom and Kali at Alice's Tea Cup
55: Look at the cute butterflies on the ceiling. Kali got fairy wings and a mug of hot chocolate --> | Kali & Nikki | Mom & Stephy
57: Let the resurrection joy lift us from loneliness and weakness and despair to strength and beauty and happiness. ~Floyd W. Tomkins
59: Easter 2011 Stephanie was able to come home this year, which was wonderful. We had lots of good food and dyed eggs. Kali & Logan had a great time on the Easter egg hunt at Grandma & Papa's house. Each egg had a treat. Of course they also had their Easter Baskets
61: Let the resurrection joy lift us from loneliness and weakness and despair to strength and beauty and happiness. ~Floyd W. Tomkins | Jeff's plaque at the church where he and Nikki got married. He was right under Grandma Ebersole
62: Surprise! Nikki planned a party for Paul & Amanda to wish them well on their move to Colorado. We sure will miss them!
63: Nikki, Lisa, Renee, Stefanie, Rich, Sabrina, Nate
64: Big Brother #2 | Together for Jeff's Birthday
65: Daddy in the taxi on the way to Stephy's apartment. Stephanie and I surprised Dad with a trip to NYC as an early Father's Day present.
66: Dad always wanted to see Yankee Stadium, There were cool signs and banners about Yankee history and of course, Babe Ruth. | Stephanie got us tickets to the game on Friday night. We had great seats.
67: Dad said growing up, the only time the kids really got to spend time with Grandpa (his dad) was when he would take them to Johnstown, PA in the summers to visit family and see the baseball games. | Dad and Stephanie sitting in the stadium
68: Dad was hoping to see at least one home run while at Yankee Stadium and we saw THREE. We also saw the pitcher knock the batter down and the players rushed the field
69: Me and Dad at the game | Stephanie, Dad and me
72: Cinnamon Raisin French Toast
73: Stephanie took us to this great "mom & pop" diner that served cinnamon raisin French toast. It was the perfect breakfast for Dad. Look at all of the Coke bottles in the window! They have them from all over the world.
74: Ahh the Guggenheim. Stephanie and I were both astonished that it's just tucked in between other buildings right across from Central Park. We hear so much about this museum, you expect it to be in a more remarkable setting.
77: As part of his gift, Steph and I took Dad on a Sopranos Tour. They took us all around NJ looking at sites from the show (mostly diners, dumpsters and alleys b/c it was about people in the mafia). It was interesting though and Dad liked that they shot most of the scenes in "real" locations around NJ, rather than on sets. This photo was taken at the diner where they shot the final episode. They served us onion rings, just like the characters ate in the last scene. | Dad got a photo with the actor who played "Vito" on the show | One of our favorite lines: "Act like a good Catholic for fifteen f**king minutes. Is that so much to ask?"
78: Stephanie took us to The Boat House for brunch and then we went to Central Park for a walk.
79: Me, Dad and Stephanie on a bridge in Central Park.
81: After I left to get back to work, Stephy took Dad to see the Empire State Building. Look at this gorgeous view.
83: Fathers' Day Everyone came over to the house for a bbq. Kali & Logan gave Dad a framed photo of them sitting on the bench they built together Logan, Kali and Jim
84: Happy 5th Birthday Logan! | Stephy flew home for the party. We had a great time hanging out with the family.
85: Stephy cracking mom up | Nik beatin up on Rich | Waiting for the pinata | Logan and Payton So excited!
88: August 2nd-5th Camping trip to Sleeping Bear Dunes | Brennan and I cooked for 55 people
89: I was surprised, however, by how difficult they were to climb. Some of the other counselors were in excellent shape and bounded up the dunes like mountain goats. I, on the other hand had to stop a few times just to catch my breath on the way up to the trees at the top! | I'd always wanted to go to Sleeping Bear Dunes. It was a "bucket list" trip for me.
90: Getting Back To Nature | “I see my path, but I don't know where it leads. Not knowing where I'm going is what inspires me to travel it.” ~Rosalia de Castro
91: Always a New Adventure | Once we got to the top of the first dune, Brennan wanted to show me a favorite spot of his.. He promised shade...he lied. The sand is so hot you have to bury your feet to keep from burning them, but the views are stunning.
92: I jumped in Lake Michigan! | Brennan, Lauren and me on the shore | Brennan went first... | Giddy and soaked!
93: August 4, 2011 After getting ice cream cones at Kilwin's, the three of us decided to walk out to the light house and noticed people jumping off the pier into the lake. (This seemed like a terrible idea because of the huge rocks piled at the bottom). We watched people flip and dive into the water and realized that the rocks were deeper down than they initially appeared. Suddenly, the idea sounded strangely appealing. Brennan said, "I'm doing it," peeled off his shirt and jumped in the water. (he was wearing a bathing suit) Lauren and I were not in bathing suits, but decided we wanted to jump anyway. We needed SOMETHING dry for the bus ride back. It took us a minute to psych ourselves up, but then we peeled off our shirts and jumped in together in just bras and shorts! The water was so cold it took my breath away, but if felt amazing! I wasn't strong enough to pull myself up to the ladder at the side of the pier, so I had to ask one of the guys in the water to give me a boost and then Brennan pulled me the rest of the way. It was such a rush! I was really proudl of myself because I NEVER do things like that. We had to go meet the campers right after, so Lauren and I switched shirts, thinking that her sports bra would look less scandalous under my light yellow shirt that became sheer when wet. We were giddy from that all afternoon!
94: Cedar Point Trip I had to get a picture in front of Stephy's and my old favorite, the Gemini - still a great roller coaster. My friend Heather won a minion from Despicable Me. He was so cute, I asked to get a photo I also tried a new one, the Maverick. It was awesome!
95: Elephant Ears - my favorite! | My friend Becky and I both loved them, so we shared one...and then we had another one! | <-- This is photo is from the Mackinaw Island trip right before I went horseback riding. I got to ride along the island myself and lost my sunglasses on a canter. It was a lot of fun :)
96: Hidden Bay Lodge | View from the sun porch | We loved the old bread box in the kitchen | Our lodge is on the right. Marti and Bill, the lodge owners, live on the left. | View from the front door | We hung our wet clothes over teh stove to driy
97: Nate, Greg, Nicky, Lauren and Adam We were playing board games | Marti taking us over to the lodge on the pontoon boat | There were little vases of wildflowers all over the cabin | Our last day on the dock
100: Happy Birthday to us! | Kali & Logan came out dressed as Grandma and Papa!
102: Steph & I shared one of our favorite books with Kali & Logan. We used mom's record player, so they could listen to "The Gift of the Mogwai." | "When you hear the chimes, turn the page." | Logan tickling that Aunt Sarah
103: Open House Kali and Logan are now at the same school! | I got Logan in trouble by asking him to stand in his locker., but look how cute! | Logan reading with Aunt Sessie
104: First day of school! Kali is 8yrs old and in 3rd grade Logan is 5 yrs old & started kindergarten
105: Nikki went in with Logan for the first part of the day. He did great | Logan & Olivia
106: Carving pumpkins at Grandma and Papa's house | Papa & Kali | Kali & Grandma
107: look at that beautiful face! | Kali asked Aunt Sarah to carve a face on the other side of her jack-o-lantern. What a fun idea! | Kali & Aunt Sarah
108: Logan holding their favorite witch, Zelda | Something sure got Grandma and Logan giggling...
109: Look at that concentration
110: Mom, Dad, Kali and Logan at the Zoo Boo Logan, Kali and Nikki Kali - age 8 Logan - age 5 | Kali is a pirate and Logan is Batman
111: Halloween 2011
112: There was a beautiful carousel at the Zoo Boo this year. Of course we had to try it out | Logan, Kali and Grandpa Jim
113: Trick or Treat
114: Trick or Treat. Be so sweet. Give me something good to eat.Trick or treat | Happy Haunting | On our way to a Halloween party at Marit's house. Courtney, me, Becky, Becca, ?
115: (Date Here)
116: Trick or Treat! | Beautiful Halloween lights lined the path with lots of creative scenes sculpted from pumpkins. Mom really liked the giraffes - of course, I liked the Harry Potter
117: Check out the spider web lights strung across the fountain And look how cute those little twin strawberries are - reminded me of Steph and me
118: Mom, Christina, Dakotah, Logan, Daddy, Nikki, Kali | Dad at work in the kitchen | Daddy and me | Happy Thanksgiving
119: After dinner we started decorating the tree
120: Christmas at my house on Pleasant Lake I hung lights at my house and then Nikki helped me put up lights at Mom and Dad's house. Kali & Logan got to come out to the roof!
121: Winter and Christmas tree sales at the Nature Center That's me and Becky J carrying trees | Hi Chad! | Marit & Ryan
122: Dorsi, the porcupine enjoying the snow | Copper and Vixen A brother and sister pair, the only animals HNC ever purchased. They would have been pets or coats otherwise :( They wrestle and play. He steals her rats and hides them. They seem to have a ball!
123: The Gala Fundraiser Chad, Ryan, Andy, Becky, Karen and Brenda | Marit & Becky J | Zeus, the bobcat looks right at home in the winter
124: Hayrides with Santa Jocelyn, Chad, Ryan, Marit Me, Lisa, Santa/DG, Jeff | Jeff Carl and Me | Sally (DG's wife), Kathy, Nancy, Brenda, ? Dana, ?, Jan, DG | Travis, Jeff Carl, Lucinda, Andy
125: Liz, Mark, Natalie Lisa, Maria, Ron | Emily, Marit, ? Ryan, Becky J | DG, Becky J & Dana | Becky J and me at her "goodbye dinner."
126: Baking cookies and making gingerbread houses at Grandma and Papa's Kali got Logan to try the sugar cookie dough - he didn't love it the way she does. He did have fun helping me roll out the dough!
128: "Although it's been said, many times, many ways, Merry Christmas to you!" | Kali gave me a big hug for baking cookies with them
131: It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
132: Papa, Kali & Grandma | Best Buddies
133: Aunt Sarah & Kali | Payton & Kalie | Logan, Papa & Grandma | Logan & Aunt Sarah
134: Waiting patiently... | Look at Logan - so sweet with baby Caleb | Rob, Craig, Aunt Debbie, Nancy, Jim and Mimi
135: Holiday Memories Warm Even The Coldest Of Days | Canham Christmas - Kids open presents first, before dinner. Then the adults open gifts after dinner | Payton, Kali, Cayden & Logan | Papa & Logan | Payton & Papa
136: Once the kids had opened all their presents, it was time for dinner. I snuck out to pick up Stephanie from the airport, so we could be back in time for the big surprise... | Katie, Adam, Sarah, Payton, Logan, Cayden. Rob and Kali are in the back | Mom, Dad, G.G, Nancy & Grandma Winnie | Kali, Rhiannon and the twins, Hayden and Noah.
137: Rob with his baby, Caleb. All the excitement was just a little too much for him :)
138: One more special surprise Jeff & Nikki had always planned to take the kids to Disney World when they got to be this age. Nikki put a Mickey Mouse helium balloon in the box, so it would float out when they lifted the lid. We were really grateful that Nikki waited until Stephanie and I go back from the airport to reveal the surprise. Kali was really excited. Logan got a little overwhelmed and just wanted to play in the box. | Stephanie and Nikki getting things ready
141: Presents for Aunt Sessie Kali picked them out herself
142: Look at that face!
143: Grandma and Logan | Nikki, Logan and me
144: Kali opened Jeff's Star Wars ornament this year - Yoda. Logan opened his cologne. | We did breakfast at Nikki's house this year so they could get on the road to Disney World! | Kali got the MSU sweatshirt she wanted and Logan got Miami, Hurricanes- one of Jeff's favorites | Papa & Logan
145: Logan just loved his Santa hat this year. He wore for at least a week at school. I always kiss Kali and Logan's freckles for Aunt Sessie and Logan wanted me to do it again even though she was there to kiss them herself. So Cute!
146: Christmas Morning at Mom and Dad's house before we left for breakfast and presents with Nikki and the kids | Stephy bought me a new computer!
148: Mom me and Dad on our way to see Stephy in NYC right after Christmas. It was mom's first time on a plane in years. She did great! Look at Steph's beautiful Christmas tree!
149: Rockefeller Center
150: Yummy creme brulee & coffee | Stephy took us to Rockefeller Center, and Bryant Park to see the lights. Afterwards we went to Grand Central for a fantastic, relaxing dinner.
151: We also saw this amazing light show projected on the side of a factory building near the center. It was timed to music and played every fifteen minutes or so. | Here are a few of the display windows at Macy's
152: Serendipity There was a 4hr wait to get in, so Steph and Mom put our name down when they went shopping that afternoon. We went to eat there before going to Radio City Music Hall
153: Dad loved his pineapple sundae | Andrew & Stephy
154: We went to see the Rockettes and all enjoyed the show. Look at the gorgeous lights!
158: Macy's had a beautiful display inside near one of the toy sections. We loved all of the red.
159: As part of the Christmas light tour we stopped at Grand Central. The tour guide shared lots of interesting facts - the station was preserved when Jackie Kennedy stepped up to save it. The light fixtures boast bare light bulbs because when the station was built only 1/4 of the US population had electric light, so they were trying to showcase the electricity. When they restored the station, everything was covered in black soot from the trains and cigar smoke. They left one tile untouched because they knew no one would believe how dirty it was. In fact they thought the light fixtures were iron until they cleaned them and discovered they were gold-plated. During the cold war they assembled a model rocket inside the station, but the measurements were off. You can still see the depression from where the top poked into the ceiling!
161: Mom really wanted to see the store window decorations, so we took a tour through the main shopping district.She always loved the Christmas window displays when she worked at Hudsons.