Sunday, September 30, 2012

Top 10 Moments Today

1. Sleeping in late in my old bed in my new room
2. Drinking coffee and eating pancakes with mom
3. Seeing Katie, Nick and Linc again at church

4. Playing in Holland with Mom and getting lunch before I had to start driving back
5. Unfortunately my iPod died before I even started driving, but then I listened to old CDs like Savage Garden, Everman, Touched By An Angel and old Taylor Swift the whole way
6. Getting to meet up with Jamie and old CILT girls Whitney, Abby, Kathryn, Katie, Karisa, Amber and Grace for dinner tonight, most of them I hadn't seen since camp

7. Jamie and I then walked down the street to meet up with camp counselors Kelsey, Kellie, Sarah, Shawn and KJ for Orange Leaf
8. Talking to Ellie on the way back to camp tonight

9. Seeing the camp house again, even if it is pretty sparse at this point
10. Knowing that I get to sleep in till 8 tomorrow and then not even go to school because all my students are coming to Tecumseh on a field trip for the week

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Slayer or El Presidente?

After Lincoln's birthday bash, Katie, Nick, Linc and I drove to Holland to watch the Pull. The Pull is a tug-of-war competition between the freshmen and sophomores. The Pull is one of the longest college traditions in the US. The Pull family is kind of like a cult. The Pull is three hours of insanity. The Pull is hard to understand unless you actually see it.

Today Linc got to see the Pull for the very first time. Since Nick was the Pull God, during his career of being a puller and then coaching, and Katie was also even year than Linc got to wear a red Even Year Pull shirt today too. He'll be the class of 34.

The guy up on the platform gives call sets by yelling things and doing certain arm motions. The moralers, the girls on the side of each pit, yell into their pullers ear what to do next. The pullers are in the pit, lying on top of the rope, working harder then they ever have before. All of this yelling and pulling is totally synchronized. The call sets have been memorized and practiced dozens of times. Whichever team can pull and heave and hold the rope in perfect unison will pull the most rope.

The rope crosses over the river to the Odd Year team on the other side. I am Odd Year and cheered on my friends that did the Pull for all four years of college. Ellen, our friend that works at Hope, is always a line judge for the Pull. Linc got to go inside the pits with her for a little bit.

I was beyond thrilled to see some of my very favorite Hope people today. Tracy on the left was my freshmen roommate and one of my best friends. She pulled and then coached for Odd Year. Sara Nielsen on the right was a SIB a year younger than me but one of my closest friends. I loved getting to see them today.

Odd year quickly took the lead today. The rope is spray painted at a certain spot at the very beginning of the competition. You can tell whether your team has lost or gained rope by watching the orange painted line on the rope.

I also ran into Erin Drews, a Tecumseh counselor this past summer, saw Meg, another old SIB, and waved at Virginia, my GG Sib baby across the river.

Katie and I went on a secret adventure to get a piece of the Pull banner for Lincoln. Nick got to hang out with his friend Mike who is also a new dad.

Odd year won and pulled enough rope to end the battle just after 5:00, usually it lasts for three hours. If your team wins you get to reel in all of the rope and then go swim in the River. Even though it's disgusting, getting in that water is so exciting. I think Lincoln loved his first Pull day.

Next we went to mom and dad's new Holland house! I hadn't seen it since they were just looking into buying it last Thanksgiving. Now they're totally moved in and it feels like their new home.
I got to see the kitchen...

my new room with all of my old stuff...

Mom's new quilting room...

the new fabric cabinet and the living room. I love this new house and am so excited for my parents to be here. For the rest of the night we get to just hang out with the whole family which sounds perfect to me.

Lincoln's 1st Birthday Party!

Just a year ago I sat in a hospital waiting room with my parents for the word that Katie and Nick's first baby had been born. We didn't even know if it would be a girl or a boy. I remember walking through the double doors into the room after delivery. There we met Lincoln Wright Dekoster for the very first time.

In the past year it has been the coolest thing to get to watch him growing up so far. Heck, a year ago he couldn't even hold his own head up. I love that we got to spend all summer together and for the rest of the year he's only a state away. 

Today we got to celebrate the Lincster with one phenomenal Cowboys and Indians birthday party.

Linc has Camp Tecumseh in his blood so he's very good at dressing up. He had war paint, two different headdresses and a vest specially made by Grandma Beth.

Linc already has eight cousins and it was so fun to watch all of them interact and play together. This is Payton the cowboy giving Linc a push.

Katie and Nick planned a special Cowboy and Indian menu. The Cowboy dogs got covered in traditional ketchup and mustard before being topped with the special family recipe baked beans. The Indian dogs had Chalula hot sauce and then a blue cheese coleslaw.

From the bandanna napkins to the pie tin plates to the farm wheel tables, this party was carried out so pinterestly perfect.

Katie's vision for all this fun made it such a phenomenal hit. We had log benches like closing campfire used to have, brought Ol' Dusty (the rocking horse) into the yard and constructed the most fun tepee ever.

I not only loved being able to break out all my Indian worthy clothes from camp but mostly enjoyed being able to crawl around with Linc all day.

The adults sat in chairs or on the logs to eat but Madison, Lance and Graham all opted for the shade of the tepee.

Once Zara and Linc started digging into their cupcakes and cake there was no hope in keeping them clean. Zara used the icing to paint her fleece while Linc covered his face in a chocolate beard and wouldn't release the tepee cone.

Linc got to dive into his Cowboy and Indian cake while the rest of us ate cupcakes topped with feathers.

I love weekends like this because I get to hang out with Katie so much. From waking up to Linc crawling on me at 7:30 because she wants me to go on a Meijer run with her to perfecting the paint chip on the garland on the tepee I always have fun with her.

I loved getting to hang out with Mom today and watching Dad with Lincster.

I don't think Lincoln could get any cuter than this or that the day could have been more perfect or the tepee could have looked happier.

It is a blessing to have the whole Dekoster side of the family live nearby so they can all come celebrate.

It's so fun to have everyone all together like this.

Lincoln might not remember this first birthday party, but the rest of us won't forget. And I've got plenty of pictures to remind him.

I think they could win the cutest family ever award.

And whether he's smushing up his cake before eating it or stoically being baby Simba up there, this kid is the greatest.

This year and this birthday were both so great, I can't even imagine what year number two will bring.

We love you tons baby Linc.