Almost busted.

Here is a video from Christmas morning. Angie almost got busted by Ella. We are going to have to be more careful and get serious about this santa thing.


Snow girls

We have had so much snow I need the girls to come outside and help shovel the driveway. Ella loves it and Layla gets bored. She ended up pulling the wagon from the depths of the garage. Sure enough Ella stopped helping shovel and wanted to pull Layla around. Then they sat in the wagon together and waited until I was done shoveling to give them both a ride. Let me tell you, pulling a wagon full of kids up an icy driveway is no fun.




Party & Parade

Last Saturday was a busy day. We had Ella's fourth birthday party in the afternoon and participated in Coleman's 25th annual Holiday Parade of Lights. I think she was tuckered out by the end of the night, come to think of it Angie and I were too.



Snowman Wars

It's on! I left a snowman the other day on a coworkers (J.P.T) car. He one-upped me the other day. His snowman was twice as big, had arms and he was hanging onto an ice spear or something. Above, Mr. Snowman and I wait for a red light on Main St. He lasted about a mile up the road, I hit about 55 mph and his head flew off.



Oh Christmas Tree






Dance Class





Familiar backyard

Ella and Layla dressed as Uniqua and Pablo from the Backyardigans this year for Halloween. They both loved it, Ella had the time of her life and could believe that everyone in the neighborhood wanted to give her candy. I think she would have gone all night if we would have let her. The last image is a photo of the Harvey's, my parents neighbors. My bedroom growing up was about 10 feet from their house. It is very strange to take the girls to the same porches that I use to run up to and yell "Trick or Treat!" I was telling Angie how we use to hit every street in the subdivision and come home with a pillow case half full of candy. Many of the same faces on Thunderbird Drive are the same ones that at one time helped fill my bag.


Hay Fight!

Adam, Stacey, Henry and Abe hosted a recent Halloween party complete with pony rides, pumpkin carving and of course hay rides. They should have warned us about the the hay throwing monster that they stashed on the wagon.


Ella & Henry

It took some coaxing but I finally talked these two into a portrait together. It is the least they could do for me after taking them to the park in Coleman and giving them about 5,000 underdogs.


Trampoline play


Good hygientist needed

Over twenty years ago when I was in grade school my mom went back to school to become a dental hygientist. Since then she has been the only one that has cleaned my teeth. She put up with my braces (twice) and my lack of taste for the polishing paste. I don't know how many time she said "It is pretty bad when a hygentist family won't even floss." All of the good oral hygiene she passed along to me, like brushing in small circles and making sure you count to 10 before you move to the next tooth, I never did pick up the floss.

A couple weeks ago, she made an appointment for Ella and I to get our teeth cleaned. It was Ella's first time at the dentist and it was my mom's last day of work. She was leaving for a cruise and decided to retire. Ella did great after we explained that she didn't need to use the the mouth suction. My mom described it to her as a small vacuume and Ella hates vacuumes. It was nice to share in her last day and have her share in Ella's first day at the dentist. It sure won't be the same with some other person's hands in my mouth. I guess I am going to have to grow up and stop whining so much at the dentist office. She always put up with that too.


Hail Mary

I have to agree with Brett's latest blog post. Some of the best pictures are the ones that you are not looking through the viewfinder. I shouldn't admit this because it is nearly child endangerment but I shot this picture while driving down US-10. I put the camera on auto, pre focused and reached back behind the passenger seat. How do you resist this cute little face?

My mom gave Ella and Layla three beanie babies from her office at work. On her last day before retiring she asked Ella if she could find them a new home. It didn't take long for Layla to get ahold of one as she fell asleep on the way home.

Sorry Tully the girls won't give them up.


I got your bird!

This is to you, Brett, Kevin and Nathan! I figured I wasn't cool unless I made a picture of a bird. Granted, he isn't flying into the hand of God and the light's not beautiful and this picture isn't even close to as nice as the ten that Brett shot during his time in Midland, but I thought I would post anyway. This redtail hawk was hanging out on a powerline on my way home from work last week. He was scoping the ditches for dinner and hung out for a while as I pulled up next to him.


Up North

The summer is over so here are a few pictures taking a look back at our time up at the cabins on Higgins Lake.



Everybody's got to have one. I'm pretty lucky to have a bunch of them so I can't pick favorites. Here is my brother-in-law Lance holding down his mobile petting zoo that he and my sister brought to a family carnival held at my Grandmother's assisted living residence. After the carnival we pulled up to my other Grandma's in Bay City to find that the Stothards had beaten us there. The rest of the family was inside visiting while Lance waited outside with the goats. I guess Grandma Bishop didn't want them inside to munch on the green shag carpeting.


What happens at fish camp ...

... stays in Canada. Here are a few pictures I brought back though. I also brought back a 30 inch pike and a 29 1/2 inch pike. Both fish being among the biggest I have caught in Canada. The third picture is of Jim and Rob cleaning fish after a long day on the lake. We had some great weather and great sunsets during the week.

One final post from our summer coming soon.


It ain't fair

So much for my blog post every day this week. We have had three power outages the past three days. Anyway, excuses aside I will resume. Power is back on and so is the posting.

The girls and I went to the fair this year. I thought Ella would pass on riding the rides, some of them are pretty fast and she would have to go by herself on many of them. Well so much for that, she had the most fun I have ever seen her have. She met two friends on rides and even asked one of them to go again with her. They hopped back in line together and rode again. Angie was pretty emotional letting her go by herself. When Ella was on the school bus ride with "her friend" Angie said, "Arn't you kind of emotional, it's like leaving her on the first day of school." I guess it didn't effect me like it did her.


Lake & Laughes

In August Brett came back to Michigan to visit friends and spend some time at the lake. What he didn't bank on was singing 100 verses of "If your happy and you know it ... Jump in the sky!" Ella was the life of the party and I have to thank everyone for being such good sports and great friends. The rest of the (prior) MDN photo staff visited too. It was kinda one last who-rah. Brett headed back to Kentucky, Kevin's last day was only a few weeks later and Taylor ended her internship and started grad school. The weather that weekend was the worst of the summer but I think everyone enjoyed the lake anyway. Maybe someday we will be able to get together again for a laugh or two. (I think Kevin, Brett and I took some of these pictures, we shared the camera and I don't even know who's is who's).


Yellowjacket Soccer Pups

Ella played soccer up in Coleman this summer. Well I'm not sure if 'played' is the right term or not. Let just say there was more standing then running, playing with the grass then playing with the ball and more listening to the kids play then listening to her coach. Either way, she didn't cry, she always entered the game when it was time and she always looked forward to playing on the slide after the game. We will see if she wants to play next year but it was a good experience for her to get out and be a part of a team.


Reunion season

Another July weekend we visited Aunt Lou and Uncle Tim's in Birch Run for the Ranck Reunion. The older and younger cousins all played games and enjoyed the pond, food and fun. Well, almost all of it was fun except Ella got stung by a bee. The whole reunion came to a halt with the sound of her shreek. Watch for tomorrow's post from our crazy summer!