Thursday, July 31, 2008

Blueberries and Beaches

Today was filled with many highs and lows! Let me explain. Joined by Savannah and Eric today, we started out early and headed to Michigan. Our goal was to go blueberry picking and stop at the beach in New Buffalo. Before we left the driveway, we prayed and asked for God's protection on our trip. Family and friends are aware of some of our "Griswald" type vacations, so we now beg for God's protection over each trip. Our first stop was at the Michigan Visitor center. While there the kids played on the swings, grabbed a candy bar, and viewed the huge lighthouse. But when we left, we noticed a strange noise in the car. Knowing we were 15 minuets from our destination, we pressed on. Once we arrived in Sawyer we pulled into a gas station, having realized by this time that the noise had something to do with the power steering. We purchased Power Steering fluid and filled that reservoir. I'm glad Eric was with us, he wasn't afraid to get his hands a little dirty. That action reduced the noise we were experiencing so we drove down the road to the Blueberry Farm.
We picked blueberries for about an hour before even I could not stand to feel sweat drip down my back any more. I wondered how much we would actually have collected in that amount of time but with the four in my family we ended up with eight pounds of berries, Eric and Savannah both picked about two pounds each. Little Savannah worked so hard. Her mother had sent her with money and she kept saying "I have to pick a lot, my mom really likes blueberries!"
We then left Sawyer and headed west stopping in New Buffalo. This little town is very cute with many quaint shops to explore. But we did not come for the shopping! We headed for the beach. First on the agenda was lunch! I think Yumi is getting used to PB&J's, which is usually our "field trip" stand by. I think I surprised her by using strawberry jam instead of grape. My tip of the day, using a tablecloth. There was not a clean table on the beach. Each one had pop or ice cream sticking to it (some public parks have offensive graffiti on their tables). But with the clean cloth over top, it then turned into a delightful place to enjoy our humble picnic. They don't take up much room in a bag or pack, so pick a pretty one, and bring it along next time your headed out with a sack lunch!
The beach was beautiful! I'm so thankful to have visited this little corner of my home state, Michigan. The kids had a great time swimming and playing in the sand. I could not resist snapping a ton of pictures, so I've made another montage of them so you can enjoy the beach a little yourself!
When we finally returned home, and Fred checked out the car we realized that the problems we were experiencing was a serious problem with the rack and pinion steering. I then realized that God was protecting us in that old van. He knew the problem would arise, but he gave safety over these precious children and taught us to work together. Although now is the time to pray for patience. Please pray for Fred as he will be helping our mechanic this weekend to lift the van and change these parts through the undercarriage.

We ended our night with a dinner of blueberry pancakes and steak and eggs! Yum, yum. I know Yumi really like the pancakes when she took a second helping. After dinner, Sarah and Yumi started talking in Japanese, cracking jokes and laughing. The rest of us just watched in amazement, but were very glad that communication was happening, and having a great time of it!

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