Tuesday, August 26, 2008

pit stop :-)

We just got back from Michigan this afternoon and we're home just long enough to unpack, do laundry and repack before we leave for Missouri in the morning.

I know things are going to be crazy when we get back... with (home)school starting and everything so I thought I would post some Michigan photos real quick. I know I'll have a ton from Missouri as well.

We got to Jeff's parents house Saturday night. Within 15 minutes of our arrival, the kids were in the lake.

See how calm the water was...
it didn't last long...
The next day was spent outside. Jeff's brother and his family came over, plus his aunt, uncle and cousin. A friend of Jeff's from high school came over with his family.

Here two of his boys and Alex pretend to ride the wave runner...
Due to the abundance of boys, Clara spent most of her day playing with the little girl who lives a couple houses down.

Until it was her turn on the wave runner...
Bean bag is always present at these gatherings, so a girls v. boys tournament was raging on most of the time we were there.

Here Jeff and the kids watch a bean bag that could spell yet another loss for the boys (Jeff and his brother)....
what do you think happened??? LOL!
Yes, it went in and the boys lost again.

The kids then got out the bubbles. The wind was raging by then so we sent them out to the seawall to do the bubbles since we were getting quite soapy. Apparently, you can never be too safe when blowing bubbles by the water...

The next morning, the light was so pretty I wanted to try photos with Clara, but she wouldn't stop moving... sigh.

But doesn't the water look cool?
At sunset they wouldn't stop moving either....
We capped our last night there with a fire and s'mores! YUM!
Okay... off to change the laundry!

See you Sunday night!


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Holy Cow!!!

GRANDPARENTS - don't read the post below.... skip to here
(or if you choose to, please act surprised when we get there)

I totally forgot..... we got the email last night....

Alex got the part of MOSES!!!!!

Yes... Alex will be playing Moses in our church's fall musical... YIKES!

quick note and then....

... I've got to go pack. Yes... we're going out of town again.... but with our fall schedule (and Nutcracker rehearsals) this is our last trip before being tethered to the house until Christmas (with the except for a trip to MO for Thanksgiving).

Here's a layout I did for the {stay}cation prompt at {we are} storytellers...

details here

That book was supposed to be my summer "easy" read... but with owning an aging lab, it hit a little too close to home and I just can't bring myself to finish it.

The end of our week was filled with playdates. Thursday my friend and her girls came over for our weekly get together. My two fought... again... sigh.

Friday, Clara's friend from dance and her little brother came over to play. The girls played Polly Pockets, Littlest Pet Shop and did crafts while the boys played Legos (and nothing but Legos... lol). It was a good time.

Well, I should start packing since we're leaving some time this morning! We stop back by home on Tuesday before leaving again so I'll try to post then!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 21, 2008


One of our favorite things to do when we go to Crystal Mountain is the Dune Climb at Sleeping Bear Dunes. Someday we'll have to explore more of the park... but with limited time this trip the climb was on our "must do" list.

So... we got up, had breakfast, checked out and headed out to the dunes.

going up....
and up....
and then running down....
and down....
The kids could do that all day.... climbing up and running down. They also spent a lot of time digging in the sand.

Last year the sand was really dry, so getting traction was harder, leading to some spectacular falls on their trips down. This year the sand was wet so it was easier to keep your balance. But somehow, Clara still managed to do a face plant on one of her trips down....
We never were able to get all of the sand off until we got home and got her in the shower. Poor girl had to ride home like that! :-)

Okay... I'm off!

Happy Thursday! (how in the heck did it get to be thursday already???)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Yesterday a friend treated us to a trip to Molly's Cupcakes. It is a fabulously fun place. They make their own ice cream, have entirely too many cupcake choices and have swings for barstools at the bar!

My friend ordered up a scoop of each flavor of ice cream for us to share and then everyone picked out their own cupcake. Clara got carrot cake, Alex got a chocolate one with an Oreo on top and I got red velvet with cream cheese frosting.... YUM!

The kids LOVED it!!! But, seriously, what kid wouldn't? :-)

I took a few photos and decided to scrap them last night. So, here's the layout....

(sorry, I had to take the layout down... Creating Keepsakes just requested it)

details here

Thankfully the kids were beginning to come down off of their sugar high before art class started.

Well... today is cleaning day... got to get at it!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


(if you're looking for the results of the drawing for the book... click here)

*** warning obnoxious amount of photos ahead ***

I probably took entirely too many photos... but, hey, it's what I do! :-)

This past weekend we went back to our favorite resort in Michigan... Crystal Mountain. We went for the first time last year with Jeff's family.

To show you how much fun we had.... here's our Saturday...

We got up and had breakfast. The first thing open that day was the pool so the kids decided to swim for an hour...

After an hour of swimming... we headed back to the cottage to change...
because the ski lift was open....
to take them up to the start of the Crystal Coaster!!

The kids absolutely LOVED it!!! Clara had to ride with either Jeff or me, so we took turns taking her up. Alex was tall enough to ride alone. He was lined up to go up again as soon as he made it to the bottom.

Clara and Jeff played some tag while we waited for Alex to come down again...
Next was lunch.

Then it was time to suit up...

to do some rock wall climbing...

They still haven't made it to the top but they made it higher this year. Jeff attempted it too, but I'll spare you the photos! :-)

After the climbing, we rented a GPS unit and went geocaching in the woods...
here they are checking out the geocache we found...
Returning the GPS unit put us back by the Crystal Coaster alpine slide so everyone went up again. Jeff and Clara had a bit of a spill so Clara was done with the slide for a while. She decided to do some tumbling while waiting for Alex...
Next it was tie-dye time. They made Crystal Mountain t-shirts last year. This year they decided to tie-dye Crystal Coaster shirts...
While we waited for our shirts to soak in the hot water... we ordered a pizza to be delivered and returned to the cottage...
to hang out on the back deck...
and goof off on the screened-in porch...
The kids decided to come back inside...
and play a game of Chutes and Ladders on the window seat....
Jeff came back with their t-shirts...
we went on a frog hunt around the creek...
After pizza... we ventured out for ice cream...
that's when we noticed that the pool was open for another hour... so the kids ran home and put on their swimsuits.....
How's that for an action packed day???? And honestly... we didn't get to do everything we wanted to do.... that place is so amazing. I guess we'll just have to go back again next year!! I have some photos from Sunday to post too... I'll try to get to those soon!

We're off to art class!

Monday, August 18, 2008

drumroll please.....










Courtney Zadik!!!

I had this really cool idea to record the kids drawing a name for me using my video feature on Alex's point and shoot camera. However, the first time I tried to upload it to photobucket it shut down Safari and now it's working.... but so.... very.... slowly. Painfully slow to be exact.

So.... if I ever get it to load, I may still post it because I've never posted video before and it might be fun! But, if not... imagine little slips of paper, cut up by me, folded and put in a bowl by Alex and Clara, hand mixed by Alex, drawn by Clara and the name majorly mispronounced by Alex (sorry, Courtney). LOL!

Oooohhh... I think I got it....

If you're wondering what the pink thing is that Clara has on her shoulder... well it's her "smiley"... an ice pack thing (Little Miss Helpful). Apparently she slipped getting out of the shower and hit her head and shoulder... poor girl.

Anyway.... thanks so much for playing everyone! It was so much fun! I can't wait to host another give-away! And Courtney.... just drop me a note (there's an "email me" link on the right) with your address and I'll send the book your way!

I was going to post weekend photos... but after trying to figure out the video thing and our day of running around signing up for fall classes... I'm beat! Hopefully I'll post more tomorrow!


Sunday, August 17, 2008

we're back!

First of all.... WOW!!! what an amazing response to the blog fest! I can't wait to do the drawing for the book tomorrow.... there's still 2 1/2 more hours to enter if you haven't posted a comment yet.

Second... we're home! We had a great weekend and I have a ton of photos to go through. But I feel like all posts should include a photo so here is a photo of my happy kiddos and their EXTREMELY filthy feet....
I was trying to get a decent photo of them on the porch of our cottage... but apparently they had other things in mind!

The book winner and hopefully more weekend photos will be posted tomorrow!


Friday, August 15, 2008

{wst} blogfest

I guess I didn't have to figure out how to delay posting after all (like I talked about in my post earlier tonight) since I'm still up after midnight! :-)


Welcome to the {we are} storytellers Staycation Blog Festival! Our Blog Festival is our way of thanking you for checking out our Staycation Prompts and Challenges this summer of 2008! Our theme is "There is No Place Like Home" and so now we invite you to our "homes" - our blogs!!! Check out the following blogs for freebies, coupons, and/or a chance to win something very special!

Since there is "No Place Like Home", I'm having a random drawing for the Show It Off! book from the editors of Memory Makers Books. This book is just full of all kinds of projects to get your pages and pictures out of your computer and out on display in your home for everyone to see! We're leaving for a little weekend away, returning on Sunday... so let's say that everyone who leaves a comment in this post from now until midnight Sunday (central time) will be entered into a random drawing for this book. Winner will be posted on Monday! Good luck!

Be sure to hop to these blogs for more from the {we are} storytellers team!

Emily M.
Emily P.
Julie Ann

And remember, every Tuesday we have specials for our Page Turner Tuesday. Every Thursday is our Writer's Notebook with Audrey Neal, plus Book Fair which lasts through Sunday. Our Staycation Prompts & Challenges go until September 5th - we look forward to seeing your summer memories!

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Yay!! My camera got to come out and play today!

After VBS, we met our friends at the zoo. It was an absolutely beautiful day to be outside.

The kids wanted to ride the carousel...

and while walking around we got see sights like this...
and this...
since today was a practice day for the Chicago Air and Water Show. Always a cool thing to see... but it is a little unnerving to hear fighter jets flying over your house most of the day. The neighborhood kids were out with their binoculars when I left to pick up the kids from church.

Next we got a little sidetracked on our way to the Farm in the Zoo...
and even stopped for some ice cream...
The kids had a great day but were soooo exhausted by the time we got home (not a bad thing in my book). I've just been working on laundry as we leave for a quick little weekend get-away after the kids get out of VBS tomorrow.

Oh... and check back in the morning for a special post! I'm going to try to figure out how to set it up so it auto-posts at midnight... but I'm not all together confident that I'll get it right.

Off to watch the Olympics!