Monday, September 29, 2008

Bryan and Michelle

It has been WAAAAY too long since Ryan and I got to spend time with our friends and neighbors from Chicago, Bryan and Michelle. They came to town on Saturday afternoon and we went to the Apple Orchard. It's become a bit of a tradition with them - picking apples (specifically Honey Crisp) and partaking in the harvest festivities. I called around town looking for an orchard that we could go to - did you know that most places won't let you pick your own apples anymore? I guess insurace won't cover it...which makes me fuming mad at the bad people who sued apple orchards when they got stung by a bee and now the rest of us can't pick our own apples.

I found a place called "Klackles" which Ryan kept confusing with "Kankles" which are entirely different. Klackles is one of the last places in the area where we could pick our own of course, that's where we went.

When we got there we quickly realized that this was more like the county fair than an apple orchard. We had to determine if we wanted to pay the $8 per person to enter. It was a tough decision. There were elephant and camel rides, face painting, putt-putt, corn maze, enchanted pumpkin rides, inflatable games and the apple shoot - which was pretty fun using a giant sling shot to send rotten apples smashing into targets out in the field.

We topped off our day by chugging 1/2 gallon of apple cider (Ryan LOVES cider) and eating 8 or 9 apple crisp donuts until we could hardly walk to the car. Once we got home we continued our eating with some grilled salmon and asparagus for dinner. I'm still full.

Ang, John and The Pull

We had a really fun weekend. Angela and John came to town for The Pull on Saturday, so we got to have dinner with them on Friday night. Have I told you about the Pull? It's a tradition at Hope College that has been going on for 111 years! Odd year classes tog-o-war against even year classes across the Black River. It began as a friendly rivalry, but has become more and more intense over the decades. Can you see Ang and John in the background of this picture?
They are now to the point where each puller digs a pit and lays on the rope - there are team signals and calls so every puller is in sync with the team. Moralers (that's what I did) kneel by each puller calling out the heaves since the puller can't see the leader since he's down in a pit. It's intense. Some people actually heave.
Ryan and I love to hear their hilarious stories. John and I are both odd-year pull team alumni... he has faithfully attended the odd-year events and the actual Pull each year. I have not, but I am proud to announce that Odd Year won again this year.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

two turn tables and a microphone

Ryan and I decided it was about time to have Chris and some of his new friends from Hope over for dinner. Monday night we fired up the grill and pattied some of the biggest burgers we've ever pattied. We also stocked the fridge with various 2-liters of pop...only to discover that these particular college boys like tea or water better. Hilarious.

From left to right: Chris, Josh, Caleb and Jacob (who bears a striking resemblance to Beck)

We had a great time meeting the guys, hearing their stories and watching them listen and laugh as Ryan told some stories of his time and friends at Hope. We have our 5 year college reunion in a week - we are old.

Good kids. We had a great time.
Chris, your friends are welcome at our house anytime!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Class of 2003 - Hope College Reunion

Hey Hope College. I just checked out the 2003 Reunion Attendee List online and noticed that a few of you who said you were coming to the party at New Holland Brewery have not signed up yet!

2003 Class Party Register Online!
Saturday, October 4th @ 6:30 pm
New Holland Brewery (Fairbanks Room)

Time is running out - you need to register for our event by this Sunday! You can sign up online at or or call 616-395-7250 to let us know you are coming!

Ryan and I will also be checking out the Alumni Men's Soccer Game at 11am on Saturday the 4th. For more info about all the happenings throughout the weekend, click HERE and scroll down to check out the schedule.

Can't wait to see you there!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad!

I love you so much daddy! You have brought me joy every day of my life. I'm so proud of you for being the leader you are, pointing people toward Christ and helping people take steps toward Jesus. You are faithful and courageous, wise and hilarious, full of character and charisma, a risk-taker, a loving encourager and to top it off you got a record Michigan turkey last year! You're incredible. I love you. Happy Birthday!

Fun with Ryan's Family

We had quite the weekend! Ryan's mom and dad were in town and Christopher came over from Holland for the day. We had a glorious brunch at Marie Catribs laughing as Chris told us his stories from the first month of college.After Breakfast we checked out the street fair in East Town where Chris found this sa-weet fur-lined NASA jacket in a box full of thrift clothes. He bought it for a mere $5. What a steal!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Hiking - Beeson Family Vacation

Here are some pictures from the day we went hiking on the Platte Plaines Trail. Hiking is a hilarious time with my family because my mom is a speed-walker. She doesn't even realize she's doing it, but the rest of us find ourselves jogging along to keep up with her.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Stop Talking - Start Doing

Dad showed this video at the end of the opening session of Granger's INNOVATE conference this morning. It will make you smile.

Tim, Rob, Mark, and Raj are blogging from the event if you want to check it out.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


The periodic table of awesoments shows the basic building blocks of all things awesome.

Modern day awesominers know there are actually 118 fundamental “awesoments” that compose all good things. The Periodic table of Awesoments can be a very useful
tool. It’s designed to show the relationships between awesoments, and often one
can even predict how awesoments interact simply by their positions on the table.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

here fishy fishy fishy

We did a lot of this:
But didn't catch many of these:

The Platte River

Today is a rainy day, which reminds me of the day the family went kayaking down the Platte River while we were on vacation. Riverside Canoe thought we were a little crazy for going out in the bad weather, but rented us some kayaks anyway.

We bundled up with all our fleeces, rain gear and fishing gear and headed into the river. It was really cold and POURED rain the entire 4 hours that we were out there - but that didn't stop us!

About 1/3 of the way to Lake Michigan we stopped in Loon Lake to try to catch some fish. Even though the salmon were running under our boats, we didn't have much luck with the fishing...

...EXCEPT FOR RYAN! Look at this awesome bass he caught! It was incredible. First he caught this tiny minnow, so he decided to use it as bait, casted it back in and within a minute he had this bass on the line! I'm so proud. The water was pretty shallow at some parts...this is me, beached on the sand bar, and Ryan coming to the rescue.

1/2 way down the river we had to portage at the fish weir. I don't really understand how it works, all I know is they close the gates and all these salmon are swimming up steam to get back to the place they were born, so they use the fish weir to count all the salmon or something. It was so cool to see these huge king salmon whiz by in the clear, shallow water. We probably saw 80-100 pass under us while we were out there. It was amazing!
As soon as we got to the end, we all ran to the car to try to get warm. Everyone was so soaking wet and drenched to the bone that we all shivered the whole way back to the cabin where the men promptly built a GIGANTIC fire in the fireplace.


Last night Ryan took me to the Symphony.

Today I'm rocking out at the SpringHill Music Festival.
My life is full of music.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sunny Days on Glen Lake

One really fun thing we did while we were vacationing at Glen Lake was rent a boat that we could tool around in and jump off of. When my dad booked the boat for the week, we were all under the impression that we would just park it at our dock. When we got there, we realized that the water by the dock...and about 30 feet away from the dock was only ankle deep - too shallow to swim, let alone park a giant beast of a boat.

Luckily there was a swim platform out a little ways that we could tie the boat to. The only problem with this method was that we had to swim to the boat whenever we wanted to go for a ride. This also meant that when we came home from a sunset cruise we had to swim back to shore in the cold night air and run inside to dry off by the fire.
So Aaron decided to turn a rickety old canoe that we found under the porch into a water-taxi. We didn't have any paddles, so he used a big stick and guided us thru the water to the boat and back. We started getting brave, loading all the gear as well as three or 4 of us into the canoe at one time.

Family vacations are all about building memories, right?