Every Sunday, weather permitting, my family and I go out on a hike/walk. Usually we try out different parks. It was on our way back from a particular park that we found something. Well, I can’t say we “found” it. We’ve known it existed. It’s more like we decided to look into something in hopes to go explore it.

You see, I live in a city along Lake Michigan. Any time we want to go to the beach, we have one direct path to do so. You can see the opposite side of the channel, the houses, another pier, all that. Never did we know how to exactly get there, though.

Enter in this one Sunday we were out walking. We knew the entrance to this “other side” was just ahead. We thought it wouldn’t hurt to check out just how far we could go. Come to find out, there’s a guard shack there. It’s private property and the public is only allowed to enter on Tuesdays and Thursdays. That was good to know! We marked on our calendar the next Tuesday to come and check it out!

Let me tell you, it’s not what I expected. I honestly thought it was going to be this little strip of land with just the few houses that can be seen from our normal route to the beach. I thought this strip of land would lead to the pier we’ve always wanted to check out and that would be it. Boy was I wrong!

I seriously felt like I was in a whole other world! There was like a whole town inside my town, all reminding me of The Truman Show or something. It just looked staged.

We did get up close and personal with the lighthouse, and did walk the length of the pier. Walking back to our car, we kept thinking what a wonderful, hidden gem this was. To show you some highlights from that night, here are some pics:

Just looking at the pics, it seems surreal. I never knew there was all of this beyond the guard shack. To think one could live in a community protected by a guard shack, what a life!

What hidden gems have you found where you live? I encourage you to go and find/explore them!

Fireworks. Some people love them. Others hate them (and for valid reasons). A few have a love/hate relationship with them. Regardless of where you stand on the issue of fireworks, there really isn’t a whole lot we can do about them. They’ll be let off no matter what.

So let’s talk about fireworks! LOL! I happen to be one of the people that love to go and watch fireworks. Not just any fireworks, though. I like the ones that are set off by the professionals. You know, the type of fireworks displayed during 4th of July or other festivals. The ones that go higher in the air, get bigger, and sound louder than anything we could buy at the store (if your state allows for that).

As for the ones you get from the store, they’re okay. But they provide a little bit of anxiety for me. I like to see them, but get a little nervous when just your ordinary joe fires them. Why? Because many accidents happen, and my mind immediately fears the worst. (Something I know I need to work on).

The thing is, though, since Michigan made fireworks legal a couple/few years ago, some people do some pretty scary stuff. Not scary when you’re expecting it. But scary when it comes out of nowhere! Just this past 4th of July, my family and I were walking down the sidewalk to the park to find a place to sit and wait for the fireworks to start. As we were walking, minding our own business, BOOM! From nowhere, this bright flash of light and bomb-blasting sound about made us fall backward. I kid you not. In the city, where houses are really close, this took place. Scared us silly!

In Michigan this can happen. We are allowed to buy and light fireworks the day before, day of, and day after the holidays. We can do them until 1:00 a.m. in the morning. Many people don’t abide by this rule, but it is what it is. I think the 1:00 a.m. rule is a bit late. I mean, the kids need to sleep (as do I). Thankfully since we’ve moved, the new location doesn’t keep them going all night long, but we’ve been in places where they have. And it’s just ridiculous.

Though I’ve complained a lot now (sorry), I really do like fireworks. I especially like the ones that Grand Haven throws during 4th of July and the Coast Guard festival, which took place just one month ago. They really put on a good show!

My favorite fireworks are the ones that are big and colorful and/or sparkly. I do not like the loud ones. I see no purpose in the loud flashes of light that only serve to deafen you. I want color and beauty. Some of the best that we have seen are the smiley faces, tulips, and rings around a gorgeous center. I also love the big golden ones that fall over like a weeping willow because they remind me of show business. And a cool thing is that sometimes there is a slight pause between the show and the grand finale. It reminds me of concerts where the musicians pretend to be done, but then come back for one more hit song. They really know how to leave us wanting more!

Anyway, bottom line is that I think in the right hands at the right time and the right place, fireworks are beautiful. You never know what you’re going to see next, which I find thrilling. Any chance I get to see a show, I do.

How do you feel about them? Do you like the loud ones? Bright ones? Colorful ones? Do they even light fireworks where you live? Can you buy them all year around like you can in Michigan? What was your favorite show? Or firework? Maybe in the comments you can show a picture of your favorite!


*Firework picture curtesy of pixabay.com

Image courtesy of Engedi Church


Every year, our church, Engedi Church, partners with the Holland, MI, community to run in the Tulip Time race. The only difference is that our church is not running for the sake of running. We are actually running for a purpose. This event is called Tread, and I’d like to share a little bit on what it’s about. All of this information was taken directly from the Engedi Church charitable fundraiser page because no one could have said it better!


What It’s All About

In Turkey, Guatemala, and Nepal, thousands of children lack access to basic needs, including things as simple as food, shoes, and education. As a result, there is an entire generation of children filled with the potential to do great things, yet they do not have the opportunity to develop a brighter future.


The Need 

  • Turkey is home to nearly 3 million people who have fled violence in Syria since 2011. Over half of these refugees are children whose families are in search of a better life, but they are currently experiencing great difficulty in providing even the most basic needs for their family.
  • Guatemala is still feeling the effects of a 36-year-long civil war. Nearly half of all children under the age of five are malnourished, 54% of the population lives below the poverty line, and access to basic resources is limited.
  • Nepal, home to the Himalaya Mountains, is one of the least developed countries in the world. Over half of the children in this area will die before the age of 8 due to severe medical, social, educational, and environmental challenges.


The Opportunity

On May 6, 2017, Engedi and the Holland community will partner together through Tread. Tread is an annual initiative that involves hundreds of individuals and families from Engedi who run and volunteer in the Tulip Time Run to help kids gain traction. This year, our goal is to raise $70,000 to provide: Continue reading “Tread 2017”