Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Nature center

We went to the Nature Center yesterday. It was a beautifully cool day, high of 72 degrees! So we took advantage of the gorgeous weather for some outdoor fun.

We fed the fish and saw a gigantic snapping turtle.

Seriously, the thing was HUGE!!

After exploring the center for a bit we went on a hike. The kids had fun, and everyone was super happy and loud. I spent most of the time pointing out acorns, different flowers, and shooing everyone away from the ever abundant poison ivy.  

We spent the rest of the day relaxing night and catching up on chores. We started doing summer school work this week, so we have a pretty good routine of piano practice, reading, writing, math, and history. In all it only takes an hour to get done, if that. And the kids seem to be enjoying it. Hopefully we won't experience any summer slide...

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Saturday shenanigans

We went to the Livingston Airshow today. It was hot and bright and we drank out waterbottles dry in about 15 minutes.

The kids were so excited to tour this C47 (I think that's what it was, David told me and he probably remembers, he's good at remembering little details).

After the airshow we went to the Balloon Festival. We parked in the ward building parking lot that is across the street. The elders were there handing out free Popsicles. One of the elders actually served in our ward last year! Always so fun to see where they are after they leave our ward.

We wandered around the arts fair portion for a while and stopped in to make a craft and kill some time before the balloon launch.

We got to get into a basket and take a picture. Those baskets are small and I would be afraid of falling out!!

After that we found a place to set out a blanket and I saved our spot while the kids played on a playground behind me. We were all pretty excited when the launch finally got under way. They got up quickly once they got started.

It was a lot of fun. We got home tired and thirsty (we refilled those bottles four times while we were there) and hungry. But we all had fun and everyone went to bed without complaint. That is always a good indicator of how much fun was had in a day. :)

Thursday, June 23, 2016


Tuesday morning I got a text from a friend. She was headed to the zoo and wondered if we wanted to join her. I'd already been planning on the zoo that day so that just gave me the motivation to get up and out there earlier. 

The new penguin exhibit is pretty stellar. I've been before with the littles, but this was the first time David had seen it. The ramp down to the observation tunnels has an IMAX-like video playing of the deck of a ship. One scene is a calm day, another is a starry night, and the third is a rough storm at sea. I can handle the calm day and night, but the storm messes with my head and I fell last time I walked down the ramp. I don't do well with IMAX videos, the screen alone makes me feel sick. So I insisted the kids wait for the storm video to end before walking down the ramp. David was so upset with me! But the second that calm day segment started I sprinted down! I made it. And I allowed David to go back so he could experience the storm. And I didn't trip or toss my cookies.

Our friend had to take off at lunch, so we made a go of the rest of the zoo on our own. We got to the back of the zoo and I determined the mild stomach ache I'd woken up with was just getting worse. I was tired and beat, so we took the train back to the front. It made up for the fact that we wouldn't be seeing all of the animals the kids wanted to see. David was very understanding and helpful. He said I looked like I was dying. Great.

We got home, David turned on a movie for the kids, and I took a terrific nap. A couple days later I'm feeling better. It was a weird bug. I'm really grateful for my understanding and helpful David.

Monday, June 20, 2016

How we do

I got J Saturday night. It was good to get him home. The kids were super happy to see him the next morning.

Happy Father's Day!! Jonathan got a singing tie, a key chain, a coaster, and a book.

I tried to go on a jog today. I don't thibk Pete was feeling it. He did NOT want to ride and was a terrible mess about six minutes in. I gave up. His fits were to monstrous. I think he was just uncomfortably hot. It was really warm here (for Michigan) and he was sweating so badly his hair was soaked and he was really flushed. I got us back to the garden where I'd left my bike and let the kids cool off in the river. 

Then we decided why not head to the beach?

Andrea had dance class this evening. It was just the two of us this week, J kept the boys at home. A asked if we could get ice cream together. I stopped and got her some. 

She didn't realize she'd gotten ice cream on her nose until I showed her this picture. She said "Do NOT put that on Facebook, Mom."

Haha! Okay, dear. I won't. :)

We had to stop at Walmart to get pull-ups and ran into our friends, Amy and Conner, while there. It was nice to have a moment to catch up.

Now home. And I am pooped. Even if I didn't get all of my run in I still got a two mile ride and a mile jog/walk/haul-the-three-year-old-up-some-hills in.

Saturday, June 18, 2016


We cleaned house this morning. We were late getting started because I'd forgotten to restock our cleaning supplies so we had to make a quick run to Kroger and the pet shop. Then we got to work. 

We took a break after lunch and went to the local movie theater and saw Finding Dory. It was cute. Predictable, but fun.

We got home, cleaned the rat cage and mopped the kitchen (the last two chores on the list) then headed to the beach.

I brought along our strawberries and some grapes as snacks, but the majority of the time the kids spent in the water.

They are all much more confident swimmers at the lake than they are in a pool and I'm really not sure why that is...

 They played at the play structure for a bit, but when I have the 10 minute warning they raced back to the water.  It was nice. The day was warm, and water was cool but not cold. It was perfect. 

After we got home quick showers were in order. Dinner, then a trip to the ice cream shop as a thank you for a job well-done today.

They were very well behaved waiting in the long line and laughed at an old man's teasing and jokes.

Now they are getting settled in bed. They do not know it, but I'm leaving in an hour and a half to pick up Jonathan. They think he is coming home some time tomorrow and that we will get him after church. I've just been telling them "We will see him Sunday" and they have been filling in gaps as they pleased. I can't wait to see their faces in the morning when they see him!

Friday, June 17, 2016


Strawberry fields forever... I kept singing that line in my head all morning as we were in a seemingly endless field of strawberries. We've been berry picking before, but it's never been as fun as this. The morning was warm, but a cool breeze kept us comfortable. And the kids actually added more to the basket than they ate.

At first all you see is green leaves everywhere. The strawberries are hidden in the shade of the plants. You carefully move the leaves out of the way and there are little clusters of ruby-colored fruits. The sun has warmed them ever so slightly, and the entire field smells like strawberry jam. Every time the breeze picks up you smell strawberries and cream, strawberry shortcake, strawberry jam... After a few minutes our hands were dripping with strawberry juice, not from eating them but just from picking them! If heaven had a scent it might be a strawberry field!

We spent a little over an hour picking and got 15.75 lbs of berries! Once we were back at the cider mill we grabbed some of their famous donuts and cider and played for a while.

I sat under a cherry tree and watched them play. We will be going back in a few weeks to pick some of these:

There was a sign that said they weren't ready to be picked yet, but a few were too tempting and BOY were they good. I am excited about going back...

We stopped to grab pectin on the way home. I whipped together a pie and several jars of jam.

After a few interruptions (dinner, phone call from Jonathan [!!!!]) this is what I had:

I'd say it was a productive day. The kids were helpful and got the living and dining rooms vacuumed and straightened up their room and the entry hall. Good kids. They were pretty tired so I'm grateful they worked so well and willingly.

So all is peaceful and quiet on the homefront. I have some dishes to do and a table to wipe down. I'll make up another chore tracker, too. Saturday will be great!

Thursday, June 16, 2016


First day of summer break was a wet one. We spent the morning running errands and didn't get out to play because it was raining all afternoon. The weather looks sunshine and lovely tomorrow, though. Yay!

Before the storms set in we went to the garden. You guys are going to get tired of reading that, so let's just accept the fact that the garden is going to happen every day.

I taught David how to spot potato bugs and eggs and he had a blast finding and squashing several of the bugs. I apparently got to all of the eggs yesterday so there were no eggs to squish. David also found a garter snake but he did NOT want to pick it up.

We planted carrots and pulled up radishes. We got a lot! I'll replant radishes and we'll get a few crops before the season is up.

I cleared weeds out of the onion patch and cucumber patch. I added more little onions to the onion patch. I really hope those little guys take off!

Tomorrow I'll clear the weeds from the squash patches and I'll work on the pumpkin patch on Saturday.

The kids sure love spending time in the garden. David was happy to see how well his sunflowers are doing. Andrea is sad about her strawberries, they just never took off. Peter likes playing in the water buckets and finding critters. They don't argue with each other while we are gardening. That's nice.

We did our grocery shopping and that's when it started raining. It was coming down so hard it looked white outside. Fortunately it wasn't raining that hard when we went to the car, but we still got pretty wet.

We came home, had lunch, cleaned around the house, planted some seeds in a starter box, practiced piano, put together freezer meals. I wasn't feeling so great at some point so I had the kids turn on a movie ("FINALLY!!" they said) and I took a short nap. Dinner was stir-fry and rice. We cleaned up and now I'm working on a quilt.

Won't that make an adorable, sassy baby girl blanket?? It was all lined up so perfectly, and when the bundle totaled up to $6 I couldn't pass it up. I needed a project anyway. There are some gals in the ward that get together and make baby quilts once a month for a charity, maybe I'll throw this one in their pile. :)