Monday, August 30, 2010

Frederik Meijer Gardens

Katie is a bird in a bird nest sitting on her eggs.
Fountains to play in!

This reminds me of a huge tower of rock candy.

It's amazing how huge the green house is! That's where we saw the butterflies! You remember that post?

I love that they have all this colorful blown glass out in the garden like it's exotic flowers!

We finally made it to the Frederik Meijer Gardens. They are really close and actually we did go to see the butterflies in the Spring, but just not out into the scuplture garden because it was snowing that day. Anyhow, I went ahead and got a family membership. It's such a cool place to go!

The Children's garden is so fun. They have a place to excavate for dinosaur bones and a huge water table shaped like the great lakes and so much to see and do. In addition to that they have some great exhibits. You can see the pix of the Chihully blown glass exhibit throughout the garden as well as inside. They also have a video talking about the artist and how the glass is made.

In the winter they have a Christmas tree exhibit and in the spring the butterflies and I'm sure more stuff throughout the year. As you can tell I'm really excited about it!! We're thinking when our family comes out in October that we should bring everybody here!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

My daddy dressed me...

Finally the Return of the Cheesy Cousin Campout

Playing at the beach!
Somebody convinced Robert to dig a really deep hole at the top of the dune and then we put the kids in, one by one. None of them went to China though.

More cute pix of cute girls.

Hailey and two "lost boys" at the top of the dune.

All the daddy's breakin' it down to "Party in the USA"!

Hugging cousins are better than Kissing one's, right?

Sophie's best "Thriller" impression.

The Three amigos. They sure had fun digging in the dirt and throwing stuff in the fire.
Annie and Katie played barbies in the van while we loaded up the tents.

Sophie is going to help Uncle Steve set up his tent.
I wish I had more of this right now. Yum Yum! Laura's Pot pie in the dutch oven. Prepared and cooked to perfection!

Last weekend we finally arranged to go camping with Robert and Laura and Hailey and Steve. We went to Warren Dunes State Park, the same park we visited on Memorial Day. It's nice because it's half way between us and Chicago. Only 1 hr and 1/2 for each of us!

Unfortunately, the day we went camping it was brutally hot and humid and then it began raining that night and rained all the way until noon the next day. Thankfully, we had great company and sound tents that kept us all dry. The clean up was fairly brutal however.

We met up around 5pm on Friday evening and each brought our own dinners (Laura made the BEST chicken pot pie in the dutch oven. I skipped out on my lame foil dinner and had some of her fabulous pie!). Steve made the most amazing cobbler and we brought ice cream to accompany it. I have been wishing for more of that cobbler ever since!! I've gotta get a dutch oven!
We took showers in an attempt to cool off before bed. I don't know how much it helped though, I ended up with dozens (sadly, not an exaggeration)of mosquito bites, especially on my heels. Miserable. Anyhow, then we went to bed after being shushed by the ranger (at 10:30pm). You know how rowdy a bunch of mormons with small children can get after the kids are down!

The rain was loud on the tent all night long and I'm pretty sure none of us slept much. The next morning it rained off and on torrentually but I set up the beach umbrella over the table and made lots of bacon and doughnuts and Robert made some great pancakes and eggs and hot cocoa! It really was fun! Taylor did burn himself (of course, that kid won't listen and has burnt himself more times than I've cut myself, and that's saying something). But he didn't cry forever about it so things are looking up.
After breakfast we spent some quality time in our new tent playing Uno and charades. Craig did a great impression of somebody getting their finger melted off in hot lava.... we don't really know where that came from, but it was fun!
Thankfully about 11:30am it quit raining so we could pack up our tents. Then we headed over to the dune and climbed to the top and played in the cool sand. It was nice that it was still overcast because the humidity was thick! After climbing the dune, we came back down and had a picnic lunch at the cars. Robert and Laura headed back to Chicago and Hailey, Steve, Craig and I and the kids stayed and played at the beach for a couple hours. It did clear up and was a gorgeous day at the beach by the time we left!
It was so fun to get together with everybody. I would love to do it again sometime soon! It's so wonderful to have family close enough to see on a regular basis!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

ho hum

Sophie was given this cute little outfit from our friend in SC. She is Taiwanese and used to watch Sophie for us during 3rd hour when I had to teach Beehives. She finally fits them!
We celebrated all of Katie's hard work on her tutoring program yesterday. She has been working on a special program 90 min a day 5 days a week all summer and just finished yesterday! She got dinner at Culver's and a set of pink legos!! We're so proud of all her hard work!

We shot some hoops last Saturday after riding into the village to get ice cream cones.

I was just starting to feel like my white shorts were invincible. Unfortunately, they are not and somehow some chocoate ice cream got on them. Boo. I searched Miejers for a bleach pen today with no luck. I'll have to try Target. I even wore them all day on the Fourth of July and they were fine. I guess it had to happen at some point.

All the kids wanted to help Craig pull the van back in the garage after we pulled our bikes out to ride into the village for our ice cream.

We went to hear Emma Hunsburger play her flute in the marching band last Friday night and Sophie really enjoyed the free popcorn afterwards.

Here's Sophie and Emma after the performance!

Sophie got all dressed up last week. She walks pretty well in my heels!

The kids wanted to scare their Dad last week when he came home from work! Looks scary to me!!

So I haven't blogged lately because I've been too busy running around doing who knows what. Why is it I can feel so completely worthless and yet be so completely necessary for anything to happen around here? I guess that's just one of the joys of motherhood (like the constant heartburn I've been fighting since Katie's conception). Anyhow, here are some pix of what we have and haven't been doing!