Thursday, August 13, 2015

Sleeping Bear Dunes

 Over the 4th of July Weekend we went on a camping trip to northern Michigan to a place called Sleeping Bear Dunes.  It was so much fun, we had a blast!
 It sits right on the shores of Lake Michigan and several other lakes and as the name suggests, there are LOTS of sand dunes to climb and explore.  We stayed at a campground called Turtle Lake.  It was fun to camp right by a lake, and we camped with our friends from church which was fun too! 
We went into Traverse City to watch an air show and to visit their Cherry Festival.  This is Oliver in a giant pit of well....Cherry pits!  (At the store Cherry Republic, where you can get all things cherry.)
 Our campground had a fun playground and beach for the kids.  Plus they put on a great firework show over the lake on the 4th!
 We all got a lot of exercise climbing all those dunes!
                                          August is trying to "take" a picture here of us.
 As we were coming back from a big dune climb the sun was starting to set behind the large dune.  That's August up there.  He wanted to climb and run down and climb and run down over and over.  Oh to have the energy of a toddler!
 Isn't Michigan beautiful?!  Doesn't get much more beautiful than scenes like this!

                                                Ruby sneaking in a hug.
We didn't get many pictures of the actual camping, but the dunes and water were amazing!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

A trip to the Japanese Gardens

 I realize it has been almost a year since I posted anything on this blog, but I'm going to try and do better with that.  Anyway, I thought I would start out small with a trip we took to our local botanical gardens.  They just opened a Japanese garden area this summer.  So this was our maiden voyage there.  I love that picture of Auggie in the kimono!
 They have a kids area inside where you can dress up in kimonos and rake some carpet like a Zen garden and sit in a tea house.
 Of course things got a little wild when the boys were involved!  Hamming it up.
 But the gardens were beautiful and are such a fun addition to the gardens!
 This is an overlook of some of the gardens.
And one of the 3 waterfalls they have within the Japanese gardens.  We had a lot of fun there and can't wait to go back!  We have already taken Bubbie (Zack's Mom) and Gage (cousin) while they were here visiting in July.  We'd be happy to take any visitors who wish to go!!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Summer Camping Part 1

 So I won't try and recap the whole summer but I will add our pictures from the 2 camping trips we did this summer.  Why?  Because it's monumental for us!  We went camping with 3 little kids and lived to tell about it! 
 And although it had some seriously ugly points (cue nighttime and mega-load of  mosquitoes) we had a lot of fun and the kids can't wait to go next year!  On this trip we just did one night because, well, we weren't sure how bad it could get and we didn't want to be roped into more torture than we had to.  (Always have an escape plan, that's what I say!)
 So we went to a place about 35 min from our house called P J Hoffmaster State Park.  We had never been there before, but had heard it was fun and pretty since the campground was in walking distance of the beach.  So after setting up camp and eating dinner, we walked the 10 min (would have been 5 without slow coach kids....) and then we arrived at this:
 I mean what??  It was amazing!  So beautiful.  You walk from the campground through some forest that turns into sand walkway and then it just opens up to this amazing beach and sand dunes.
 Auggie looks like he is hiding from the paparazzi here.  We watched an amazing sunset and roasted s'mores.  Could life be better?
 Sadly, nighttime was ugly.  People we camped by were up really late, and well we all had a hard time sleeping except Ruby who zonked out and we didn't hear from until morning.  And there were some serious amounts of mosquitoes.  I mean A LOT.   But in the morning we got to head out to the beach again and it was a blast. 
 There were all sorts of sand dunes to climb and explore and run down!  It was fun.  And the beach was a private beach only for the campers.  So we just played there all morning.
 Ruby wrote her name in the sand for a little practice for kindergarten!
And of course August was a goofball.
Anyway, even though we didn't get a lot of sleep and we all had more mosquito bites than we cared to count, it was AMAZING!!  Have I mentioned Michigan is Awesome?!  Oh and I had to add this video of Oliver running down a dune.  He totally eats it and it's rad.  Don't worry, the picture above is right after, so you know he's okay!  :)

video

Friday, April 18, 2014

We Went OUTSIDE!!! ON Purpose!!

Our little kittens.  Meow.
 Spring has finally sprung here in Michigan!!  Okay, well it's not really to the spring level that I like yet, but we have had a few days so far that we didn't want to run from car to door.  So there is hope!
 This winter may finally be at its end!  Can I get a HALLELUJAH??!!!  So as you can see, in honor, August broke out the sunglasses and it was High 5's all around.  "Way to go team, we made it!"
 So in honor of spring, we headed out last weekend to Meijer Gardens (a botanical garden near us.) 
 Each year in April they have thousands of butterflies in their indoor tropical gardens that you can go in and wander around and see.  It was pretty fun.  We even got several "I wuv butterflies" from August. 
 Then we let the kids play for awhile in the Children's Garden.  So of course the sand pit was a big hit.  And for a brief minute the kids were even playing together!  On purpose!  Without fighting!  (Warms a Mother's heart.)


 And then the kids ran around on the giant treehouse. 
 And lastly we hit up the giant horse sculpture before heading home.  Because well, our kids don't care much about sculpture, but they do love the gigantic grass hills you can roll down!!



We got many tsks from passing parents.  And lots of mad kids that their parents wouldn't let them roll down because they would get muddy.  Geesh people, let your kids live a little.  Our kids rolled all over that hill and they didn't get too muddy.  And most importantly they had a lot of fun being outside again!  YAY!!  Hooray for spring!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Love Letter------ DENIED!!!


For awhile now Oliver has told us that these 2 little girls in his 2nd grade class kept telling them they were in love with him and chasing him around the playground during recess. ( Much to his complete HORROR I might add.)  And our Primary president at church happens to work at his school as an aid during recess among other things and she told us that these girls are relentless.  I guess it's tough to resist his adorableness!  ha, ha.

Anyway a few weeks ago he came home all disgusted because he had found the following note in his locker at school.

In case you can't read it, "Oliver, I kind of like you.  Isabel/Oliver.  Happy Valentines"





And then I caught him writing his response that he said he was going to post up in his locker just in case anyone was inclined to leave such a declaration ever again:


"Please don't leave I am-in-love-with you notes in my locker Isabel or Mandy.  Warning."




Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha...........Oh man, I can not wait to remind him of this someday when he actually decides to like a girl!  Luckily we intercepted his posting of this and told him he should probably just ignore it instead of being rude.  What a kid.  He cracks me up!  Sorry girls, Love letter-- DENIED!!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Never Ending Snow-ow Fall....




So it has snowed A LOT this winter.  Actually that's kind of an understatement.  I heard on the radio this morning that since Dec. 1st to today has been 82 days and of those 82 days, it has snowed 60 here in Michigan!!  What?  That is some serious snow weather!  I think someone at church told me we have had 90 inches of snow this winter so far!  Yowza!
 

Not to mention that it's been in the teens for what seems like ever!  Everyone here is a buzz with the fact that next week it's suppose to get up to 32 degrees.  I mean seriously?  Are we really getting  excited about 32 degrees?  But we are!  Amazing what you can get use to, and what you can become excited about! ha, ha
 

Zack said our mailboxes look like a hobbit hole.  (Poor Mailman need some off roading gear.)  The snow is up over the top of them.  And when he uses the snow blower it just blows snow into a giant snow wall.  It can't even launch it over the top anymore.  Talk about a winter wonderland!
 


Sadly the kids haven't even gotten to go out and play in all that snow too much because it's just been too darn cold. But once in a while they just can't resist the call of the snow and they brave  the chill.
So we have been spending a lot of time indoors, which at times has been really fun, and at times a little trying.  But we are making the most of it!  And we still LOVE Michigan despite the cold weather.  It has been really beautiful with all the whiteness. 




This is kind of a sad picture considering how terrible the Broncos did in the Super Bowl, but Oliver and I made a cake.  It was pretty tasty!


Everyone enjoyed it!!
Well, can't wait until next week when it's going to be so warm we can bust out our swimsuits!  Okay, maybe just one less layer!  Stay warm!