Sunday, July 31, 2005

Slave labor

We took a walk today in my Mother's neighborhood. It was very pleasant, mainly because Brooke did all the physical labor. She's a good girl. Posted by Picasa

Grandparents come to town

My wonderful grandparents came up today from Tulsa. If you look out the window behind them, you can see part of his massive king cab diesel Silverado. They travel in style. What's that on his ear you ask? That's his handsfree phone. Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 29, 2005

My new blog

Don't panic, 'Veenie Babies' isn't going anywhere.

I'll continue to keep you posted as to what our little family has been up to, but I've been really jealous of my sisters because they get to use their blogs to talk about whatever's on their minds. I don't really want to do that on 'Veenie Babies', so, 'ta-daaaa', check out my new on-line persona, where I get to vent, and rant, and be opinionated, and well, annoying.

Should be fun.

Um, give me a chance to actually come up with some content, okay? So far, It's just sort of framed out, knowuttimean?

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Sunday, July 24, 2005

Say hello to my Dad

Me and my Dad, believe it or not. I haven't seen him in over 17 years.

Isn't it amazing that both he and Uncle Brian came up during my one and only week's vacation? Thanks God. Apparently 'He' wanted me to build on some of my important male relationships. Posted by Picasa

Veen Day

My Grandma Veen is very ill in the nursing home, but as sad as this is, it brought my Dad from California to Michigan for the first time in over fifteen years. The last time he was here was for my sister's high school graduation, which I missed, because I was away in the Army. It was good to see him, spend time with him, and get to know him again. Dad, I'll email you (feel free to comment here on the blog, we'd really like that). Anyway, the whole Veen family got together today for a barbecue, and even though it was in the upper 90's and incredibly humid, we all had a nice time, despite the fact that we don't know the Veen side of our family well. We'd like to change that.

Please pray for Lily, she's in a lot of pain and mostly incoherent. They don't expect her to live another week. Posted by Picasa

The entire cast and crew (minus the narrator)

L-R: Chantze, Hailie, Brooke, Paige, Violet (Grandma, screenwriter, producer, director, wardrobe, sets, props, sound, and special effects), Grace, Emily, William. Posted by Picasa

"The Sword and the Soul"

The pictures above were taken during the theatrical production of "The Sword and the Soul" (I hope I'm getting the title right). This is an enchanting tale of the Kingdom of Castledraem in the years of peace after the dragon wars. It was well acted, well choreographed, visually stunning, and just an all-out entertaining evening of theatre. Thanks Mom, and kids, for your weeks of hard work and oceans of creativity that went into putting this show on for us. If anybody's interested, I videotaped it. Get me a blank tape and I'll copy it for you.

L-R: the Queen of Souls and the Princess of Fire dance before the court, the Princess of Fire and the Princess of Souls are threatened by a fearsome dragon, full assembly of the Royalty of the two Kingdoms, the King of Fire and the King of Souls do battle over the mystery of the missing princesses Posted by Picasa

Denizens of Castledraem

L-R: Paige Veen as "the Princess of Souls", Brooke Veen as "the Fire Bird", Grace Wilson as "the Princess of Fire", Emily Wilson as "the Queen of Souls", Hailie Veen as "the Queen of Fire", Chantze Veen as "The King of Fire", William Squire as "The King of Souls", Court Ladies, Battle Kings Posted by Picasa

Golf Gladiators

On Saturday, Jamie picked up the bigguns for some mini-golf and dinner. They had an awesome afternoon spending some rare quality time with their loving aunt (without the attention-stealing twins). Thanks, Jamie, this meant a lot to them. Remember how exciting and fun it was to go out with Aunt Valerie when we were kids? This will be one of those types of memories for them.Posted by Picasa

Mini-Golf with Aunt Jamie collage

L-R: Aunt Jamie decides she's had enough of her annoying little nephew (taken by Hailie), Chantze and Hailie stuck their heads under the waterfall to win a cash prize of one dollar, Hailie plays better when she threatens her competition, Aunt Jamie scores. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Yet another fun-filled trip to Michigan's Adventure

Today we got a baby sitter and took just the 'bigguns' to Michigan's Adventure. Brooke suspected something was up and became very clingy just as we were about to leave (which made Cindy feel guilty as all get out). At the park, we met our good friends, the Foss'es, you can actually see some of them in this rare photo, yeah, we're waiting in line for the log ride. Anyway, Gloria is in the red shirt, Hope, I think, sat on the ground just before I snapped the picture, and to the left of Cindy (her left), is a handsome young gentleman we like to call 'Casanova', his real name is Justin. Anyway, the three of them rode every ride with gusto, plum tuckerin' the grown-ups completely out. Basically, for most of the time I just kind of followed them with the camera, chronicling their 'Michigan's Adventure'. Posted by Picasa

High Seas Viking Adventure

1. The brave trio strides down the gangplank, not knowing the dangers they'd face.
2. All is well and spirits are high as the 'Sea Dragon' sets sail
3. Then, from out of the blue, danger erupts, but our heroes continue in their quest, despite the impossible odds they face.
4. Then, without warning, some of our brave adventures become overwhelmed by fear's icy grip. The mighty ship is tossed from side to side, Captain Justin tries his best to calm the crew, but to no avail.

What will happen? Tune in next week for the exciting conclusion. Posted by Picasa

An afternoon with the Foss'es

L-R: Chantze wanted to sit in front (poor little guy), once they got going he was okay, preparing to mount the THUNDERBOLT!, preparing to mount the SEA DRAGON! (poor little Hailie). Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Be it ever so humble...

The before (the reality) Posted by Picasa

Veen Manor - artist's conceptual diagram

This is a before and a 'future after' picture, I did it with lots of tricky cutting and pasting, cuz I have free time (I'm on vacation) Posted by Picasa

Newsflash: amusement park patrons held up by train robbers (get it?)

L-R: Brooke, Cindy, Uncle Brian, Chantze, anonymous, anonymous, Hailie, Paige's right hand, anonymous. Posted by Picasa

Uncle Brian's 'Michigan's Adventure'

L-R: Bri of the tiger, brave 'Big Dipper' crew, Uncle Brian instructs his chauffer, then gets stuck holding the game winnings. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Oh good, another Michigan's Adventure collage

L-R: Mom escorts the dragon-princess, game loot, HI DAD (everybody on the ride yelled this), carousel trio Posted by Picasa

Pink Poses

The sweetest things Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 18, 2005

We're all geniuses

Hailie and I had to get our eyes checked today, turns out, she's good and and I'm getting older. They played eye doctor amongst the frames the whole time we waited, annoying the other customers, so I made them put all the glasses away and sit down. Then, I made them put more on so I could take a picture... it was really an exercise in obedience.

Stay tuned, tomorrow we're going BACK to Michigan's Adventure, so if you're lucky, you might get to see some pictures of our kids on rides.

That was a joke, I know everybody's sick of our Michigan's Adventure pictures, that won't stop me from posting more, though.

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Another feature of the grounds at Veen Manor

Cindy felt strongly that we should post a picture of our very own outhouse, don't get too excited, though, it's no longer functional. Posted by Picasa

Use your imagination - it'll be nice.

L-R Clockwise: the house and the barn, the house that's getting bulldozed, our barn (needs work), our future view from our living room window.

I had to meet the guy today that's doing most of the work, including the demolition. My personal feeling is that that's going to be the best part, you can bet I'll post some pictures of this eyesore getting plowed over (If I'm not working when they do it). It'll probably be a some sort of 'step-by-step' collage, you know how I like collages. Anyway, meeting the contractor, at the property, was very exciting and encouraging - it makes it seem like things are FINALLY starting to happen.

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Sunday, July 17, 2005

Uncle Brian comes to town

Me and my awesome Uncle Brian.

He just happened to be coming in to town the day we started our weeks vacation, so that's really cool. As long as you don't mind puns. (omigosh, him and Fritz and Brian Archer together are the WORST, I wouldn't wish that on anybody). Seriously though, we've really been looking forward to his visit, and we're hoping to spend a lot of time with him this week, he's just one of those people that it's good to be around. He's gentle, kind, generous, a cerebral giant, yet humble, he's laid-back and pleasant, quick to laugh, but never at somebody elses expense, he's very diplomatic, and always knows the most polite and appropriate thing to say in every situation - sad, shocking, tense, it doesn't matter, he has the words. Speaking of words, there's a word for people who have this gift but I can't think of it right now.

Anyway, I probably wouldn't be a Christian today if it weren't for his years of praying and being a flawless, Godly role-model for me. Many people don't want to be a Christian because the Christians they know are comprimised somehow, either hippocritical or legalistic or just plain losing 'the battle'. Not him, though, he's not God, he's not perfect, but the whole time I was growing up, I only had to look at him to see proof that the way of the cross was the way of victory, that Jesus is a very real and trustworthy friend, and that religion isn't just for the ignorant, unwashed masses.

Uncle Brian, I know you don't have much real family (he moved to Arkansas to spend six days a week with his parents in their nursing home), but you're a part of us, and always will be.

You're a 'Veenie Baby'.

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'Bigguns on the Pier' collage

L-R: Hailie, Chantze, Hailie, Chantze, I have some beautiful kids, especially that pretty little Chantze.

It was weird not having the twins, but then again, it was nice not having the twins. Parents, you know what I mean. It was fun being with the 'bigguns' and not having to worry about whether the 'littluns' were too close to the edge. (they were staying with their 'Papa Docter', by the way). Anyway, today, Chantze was really nervous about stuff for some reason. Like when I pretended to throw his Mom off the pier, and when I pretended I was falling off the pier, and really fell off the pier onto some rocks, man I hope I'm not causing him to have anxiety and irrational fear in his future life, I always thought it would be his Mom who would do that to him.

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66% of the Veenie Babies

It's fun being around Chantze and Hailie, so many times they get neglected or, at the very least, less attention than their little sisters, and it makes me feel like a rotten dad. They're very understanding, though, (some more than others, and sometimes more than other times) and know that littler kids need more help and attention than older kids.

I just want you two to know that we appreciate you and how mature you're getting, and we love you every bit as much as your sisters. You guys rock! I love hanging out with you without the twins whenever we can, cuz I don't have to watch you as close, and I don't have to get as much stuff for you, you can do more grownup things, and I don't have to wipe your butts.

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