Sunday, September 25, 2011

I found the Flip!!

So here's the video that Alex made on his trip down the Crystal Coaster...

video

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

the crystal coaster...

Saturday morning we woke up and it was rainy. We decided to go out for a drive. We thought we would head to a nearby town (about 30 minutes away) to check out the ski shop there and have the kids remeasured for ski season. But when we got there, the store was still closed for the season. So we picked a random local place to have lunch and then headed back to Crystal Mountain.

It had rained off and on and every time it rained they had to shut the Crystal Coaster (an alpine slide) down. Mid-afternoon it finally cleared up long enough for them to get the slide dry and the kids were lined up and ready to go! They had tried to go earlier in the day, but by the time they got to the top of the lift, it started to sprinkle and they had to run down the mountain!


Jeff and I grabbed our chairs we had brought for the drive-in movie the night before and made ourselves comfortable on the lawn to enjoy the break in the weather and watch the kids go down the coaster. (I'm very glad we had our chairs as I think we sat there for nearly three hours watching them!)

Beverage break....

Then it was back to the slide...

Wondering why they're holding their right hands that way? Well... they really wanted to record the ride down the slide with my Flip. I agreed, but they had to do a practice run first to see if they would be okay one-handed. They did great and they took the Flip with them on their next run! (Unfortunately, I'm not quite sure where the Flip is now... I'll look for it after I post this and hopefully have their video to post next.)

Alex really enjoys the coaster!
When it started to sprinkle again, they didn't want to risk having to run down again, so we left to find food. We ate outside by the golf pro shop and Alex ordered the special of the day... a hot dog topped with bacon and blue cheese!

Next we took a walk to the ice cream shop...
I think Clara's was called Rainbow or something original like that.

Alex and I both had cinnamon crumb cake...
It was really tasty!

After that, it was back to the townhome for another family game night! This time to play our new favorite family game... Phase 10!

Monday, September 19, 2011

cherry bowl drive-in...

Well... it was another crazy weekend, with ballet, flag football, playdates (not sure 11 year old boys actually call them that anymore), church, fall musical rehearsal (at church) and Nutcracker auditions (Clara got in again!)... but we survived!

Now on to the Cherry Bowl photos...

After we finished our ice cream, the gates were open!
We really just love this place! It is so much fun and we have such a good time together there.

We picked out our spot...
... in hindsight, it wasn't the best choice. We had lots of spots to choose from, why we picked this one, I'm not really sure. It wasn't bad, but we think we've scouted out a better locale for next summer.

After some initial set-up, the kids ran off to play on the playground at the base of the big screen...
This place has lots of cut-outs to pose with, and they posed with them all...

Alex as a knight, and Clara as "Cindy"...
... that's how Alex referred to her... I didn't realize he was so close with her! :-)

Then to ride the rocking animals that they were entirely too big for...

We went back to our site for awhile...

And then over to pose by the cut-outs by the concession stand...


The kids picked out their treats and Jeff and I got a big bucket of fresh popcorn with real butter.... mmmmmm.

We ran into the owner on our way back to the car and started talking. He's super nice and ended up giving the kids tokens to play miniature golf (and an extra two tokens so they could take us "as their guests"). It was getting close to showtime, so we did a quick nine holes before settling back in. Alex and Clara sat in the back with the hatch open (took us until about halfway through the movie to figure out how to shut the lights on the hatch off, and that was only with the help of google that we did finally get it). Jeff and I sat in chairs right in front of the kids. It was a beautiful night to see Cars 2...
Jeff and I couldn't hear very well so we missed a lot of the movie... next time we think we're going to try bringing a little portable radio so we can pick up the audio on the radio station. We tried using the car radio, but it kept shutting itself off every 15 minutes. And we didn't feel like googling that to try to figure it out :-)

For the first time, we decided to try the double feature.... it was the last Harry Potter. We had already taken Alex to see it, but we all (except Clara) decided that we wouldn't mind seeing it again. Clara had no desire to see it, so we made her a bed in the back seat and she went to sleep. I climbed in the "trunk" to sit with Alex and Jeff moved his chair to a speaker in an open parking spot. He tried joining us in the "trunk" but it was just a bit too cozy. It was so cool to see again... especially since a storm was blowing in that night. It sure helped with the mood of the movie to see lightening off in the distance around us! We all (except Clara) really enjoyed seeing it again. Even if it did mean getting back to our townhome at 1:00am!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Day 2

It's been another crazy week since I last posted! Friday I didn't have internet. I couldn't figure it out... I rebooted everything... my computer, the signal extender... everything but the actual modem :-) Jeff came home and pointed that out and within minutes I was back in business. Saturday, a photography friend was in from Montreal and we spent the day wandering around Chicago, talking and taking photos. I have a ton from that day! We had so much fun! This week I got called for jury duty on Tuesday. I got called in to a courtroom for jury selection for a case (attempted first degree murder of a child under 13... yikes!), but thankfully they found their 12 and two alternates before they ever got to me. I did spend pretty much a whole, stressful day there though. Yesterday I got a massage and was pretty much worthless the rest of the day :-)

Now back to the photos of our Crystal Mountain trip!

On day two we got up and out the door early. It was supposed to rain so we wanted to get to the river to play for a while before the rain came.

This is my one and only photo...
(I do have some video though)

The storm was rolling in so it was blowing sand like crazy! I just hated having my camera out, so I put it away. It eventually started to rain, so we packed up and headed back to our townhome.

After the rain, the kids wanted to go to the main pool for a while. As you can tell, we were some of the first pioneers to go there after the rain....
Clara has discovered an interest in basketball. She really wants to try it out.
She may take a class through the afterschool program to see what she really thinks of it.

Yes, Alex was there too. He was just being less than cooperative when it came to photos....
... he's that blue blob under the water on the left.

After a while we decided to head back to the townhome to get ready for our evening. The kids had been wanting to challenge Jeff to these mini games that were in our unit...

Then it was time to head out to the drive-in movie! However, we had no clue what time the gates open and we were entirely too early. We decided to wait it out at the ice cream place the kids had spotted earlier....
Clara was having trouble keeping the sprinkles on her cone...
All of the treats...
Clara - a vanilla cone with sprinkles, Jeff - butterscotch sundae, Alex - watermelon glacier (slushie with soft serve vanilla - blended) and Me - cherry glacier (I got mine as a float). YUM! They were so good! I took a ton of photos at the drive in, so those will be in the next post!

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Crystal Mountain Day 1

Last Thursday we left for one last trip of the summer. This time it was just the four of us. We went to our favorite getaway spot... Crystal Mountain in Michigan.

We didn't get a very early start and stopped to get groceries on the way, so by the time we got there it was about dinner time. We decided to go ahead and have dinner and then let the kids swim. We stayed on the mountain top this time and those condos/townhomes have their own pool.

They had it to themselves...


Once Jeff joined us at the pool, they started a new game. Jeff threw the basketball and the kids tried to catch it as they jumped in....







Needless to say, no one ever caught the ball! They had a blast though! I have some video but I haven't transferred any of our trip video to the computer yet.

The view from our unit was beautiful! Here are the kids on the balcony...
You can't really tell how nice the view was. After they showered and got into their pj's, we had our first game night of the trip. No photos, but some really crazy videos to come once I get them transferred!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

first day of school....

Today was the first day of school for the kids! They were both very excited! Alex was excited to be starting his new school and Clara was excited to see all of her friends again.

Alex was out the door first...
His school starts an hour before Clara's, so I have photos of just him since Clara wasn't out of her pj's yet.

It was chilly this morning and he was trying to stay warm as I took the photos...
One last shot as he headed out the door with Jeff...
And he's off....
Next it was Clara's turn to go to school...
That is the only photo I got of her! Her friend came around the corner as we were taking photos and she ran off to walk to school with her. Oh well :-)

Both kids had great first days!! Alex has a lot to get used to... being in school for the first time, a new school with a new concept, and changing rooms for all of his classes. He loved every minute of it though. Clara had a great time seeing her friends again and getting to know her new teacher. She's very excited about this new year!