Monday, August 21, 2017

Continuing a birthday gift tradition

We have a long tradition of buying the girls ridiculous birthday presents. One year they received a dog. Another year they received a playset. This year they received iPhones.

I know. I know. It's a crazy, expensive birthday present. The stars aligned so that their old devices didn't work any more at the same time as our contract was up for renewal. When they started negotiating for an iPhone, we set some hard terms. One term was that this was their birthday present. Sure, their existing devices were broken and unusable. Of course we were going to need new devices. iPhones, though? Before those came into the house we set out some tough terms.

One item negotiated was that the girls would sit through the entire process. They had to stay with Daddy while he finalized the contract. They had to sit while the representative transferred data from the old devices to the new iPhones. They wanted the iPhones so badly that they would have done anything. We should have negotiated harder.

They came home deliriously happy. They couldn't believe that we really bought them iPhones. When I looked at the invoice, I couldn't either.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Eighth Grade

The girls started school today. Specifically, they started eighth grade. Eighth grade? How did that happen. It seems like they just started preschool. Now they are finishing elementary school.

They were excited to find out who was in their classes when they left this house this morning. The brunette twin dropped out of honors math for eighth grade. This meant the girls wouldn't have many classes together as they were in two different tracks. Today they were picking up their schedules and getting their locker assignments. It was a short day, yet an exciting day.

They came home bubbling with news. They spent hours on their devices texting friends to see who was in which classes. They discovered that all their classes were in the new wing. It was the designated eighth grade wing. They were thrilled that they would spend their last year in the brand new wing. They said it was their reward for surviving two years of non-stop construction.

The big news was that the blond twin's honors math class was a high school freshman math class. She was going to get credit for it on her high school transcripts. The blond twin was officially a high school student.

They talked and talked and talked about the first day for so long that you would have thought it was a week's worth of class news instead of just 90 minutes. We were glad to see how excited they were for their last elementary school year. They had big plans, and even bigger dreams. It was a great way to start their last year in the elementary school district.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Saugatuck Douglas area delights

We decided to take a few days before the girls head back to school and just relax. We went looking for a house to rent, which was harder than it should have been since we have a strange requirement. We need carpeting.

Why you ask? Well, when we take Holly with us, we need at least area rugs so the dog can go from place to place. Holly has a hard time walking across hardwood and tile floors. She slips and slides like she's on ice.

Our initial search provided many options. A couple of weeks later when we were ready to reserve a house, we were down to a few options. We found a lovely house in Douglas MI, which we reserved immediately.

When we arrived, the house was just as charming as the photos. One thing we didn't realize when booking was how close it was to downtown Douglas. To put it into perspective, downtown Douglas is about a mile long. It's an adorable commercial strip that has a grocery store on one end and a beach on the other.

We spent four days in the area, spending some time near or in the water every day. We visited the world-famous Oval Beach twice, hiked the Saugatuck Sand Dune to Lake Michigan twice and the girls paddle boarded twice. In between we visited restaurants and shopped downtown Saugatuck merchants. We drove to the Wild West Ranch to horseback ride and watch beautiful sunsets over a cloudy Lake Michigan.

It was delightful, relaxing and charming. We left with a wish list of things we didn't have time to do this trip. The good news is it's now a "to do" list for our next visit.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

I want to start travelling

The brunette twin looked at me and said, "I want to start travelling. When are we going to go places?

I stared at her blankly. We are on the road three or four weeks a year. We have hiked Arches National Park, rode horses at the Kentucky Horse Park and smelled the cherry blossoms in Washington D.C. The girls often confuse different trip details. I look at them and say, "You know your problem? You get around. You have been too many places to keep the trips straight."

I said, "What do you mean?"

She replied, "When are we going to go to Europe?"

Ah, that's what she thinks of as travelling. It seems that unless she needs a passport, she doesn't consider it travelling. We're close to heading across the big pond, but she'll have to wait a bit longer. We have a few more domestic locations to explore first.