Saturday, August 29, 2009

Random beach pix...nothing to really tell about

Can we come here again next year?

About every 15 minutes, one of the kids would say "Can we come back here again next year?" I think they enjoyed the undivided Mommy/Daddy time the most.

Vroom, vroom, cruisin' the dunes...morning or evenin' or afternoon....

The kids were obsessed with catching these tumbleweeds as they rolled across the sand.
Yes, those are indeed our footprints and the teensy little parking lot below

Yup, I was this far behind

Look at Luke leading the pack in the gray t waaaaay up there

There they go

Try as I might, I could not talk Aron and the kids out of going to a section of the Sleeping Bear Park called "The Dune Climb." Yea, it's pretty self climb a big dune.

I'm not gonna lie.

It hurt like a mother.

It hurt like the mother of all mothers.

It hurt like your friend's really mean mother who was so mean you never went over to her house...your friend always came to yours instead. THAT kind of mother.

I don't think the pictures do it justice. It was pretty much walking straight up on a big pile of sand. I wanted to let myself fall down and just roll down the hill at multiple points. The kids were such little troopers working so hard to get to the top that I just couldn't let myself let them down by doing that (darn you, kids! picture me shaking my fist in the air). The view from the top was totally worth it, though.

Friday, August 28, 2009


The kids loved the resort. Especially what they referred to as the "hot pool." AKA the hot tub. I didn't get a pic of them in either of them but here are some pix of the regular ones.


After 7.5 hours in the car (who thought a road trip would be fun? I don't think it was me!), we made it to the beaches of Lake Michigan!

First off, let me just say that I was a teensy bit skeptical about going to Michigan for vacation. Ok, so I was A LOT skeptical about going to Michigan. I felt like I had been there and done that many times before on other trips (does that sound like a spoiled brat or what?!). HOWEVER, it was so very different where we went. It was gorgeous! Everything felt very back to nature. We were one of the few families (at least it felt like we were one of the few) that didn't have some sort of bike or kayak strapped to our car. We were able to do quite a bit of hiking, beaching, hanging out the pool, and just being together. This was definitely a great week to go. The only people vacationing were couples with young children like us and older people.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Am I just being an over-indulgent parent or is this ok to do?

(So I put a new poll off to the side--check it out and vote.)

E's 6th birthday is coming up in November. She's sooooo into fancy cakes that she sees on TV (you know, like the ones that Courtney Clark makes at Cake Nouveau--see also previous post). There's a bakery in Cleveland that makes awesome cakes like that and I'm thinking about going to Cleveland to the White Flower Cake Shoppe to buy a mini-cake for her. This bakery is owned by another one of the Food Network competitors. Aron thinks I'm nuts (surprise) and my Mom says "heck yea! Buy her that cake!"

Do I get her the fancy cake that she'll just die for or do I make a cake like I always do and she'll be none the wiser that she could've had a fancy cake?

I'm torn!

Seems like a responsible adult should've stopped this...

...too bad there were none around (Aron was out in the car!).
Here's our room. Our resort was awesome. Wait a minute, awesome is an understatement. It was unbelievable! It had 2 pools, 2 hot tubs, valet to the various sections of the resort, spa, fitness facility, yoga classes, massage services, etc. The place was called The Homestead Resort. As always, click on the link to find out more about it.

2nd stop: The first hotel

We spent the night somewhere between Ann Arbor and Glen Arbor. Look at these two seasoned travelers...

First Stop: Ann Arbor

Chocolate covered blueberry cupcake

Hey! Quit trying to eat my subject, kid! (We worked for quite a few minutes to get that pic just right!)
From upper left and around: Pineapple Pomegranate, Chocolate Covered Blueberry, Chocolate Truffle, and Vanilla Beany

Yes, yes, I know. How in the world could Aron and I willingly take a trip to Ann Arbor? (To my OSU friends, I say sorry.)

Wellllllll, you see we've got this kid. A kid named Ella. Ella is what I would call a "Food Network Groupie" especially for the show Food Network Challange: Last Cake Standing. She really likes one of the cake artists named Courtney Clark. Turns out that Courtney Clark has a bakery in Ann Arbor, thus, the side trip to her bakery. We had some lunch and then hopped on over to the bakery where we picked up one of each of the fresh cupcake selections. Ella even got to see Courtney in action because she was working on what appeared to be a wedding cake in the back.
I'm kicking myself that I didn't ask her to pop out to get a picture with Ella. She smiled at Ella when she waved and I think Ella almost melted. We left the shop and Ella (no kidding) skipped down the street. I asked her if she saw Courtney and remembered who she was and she said "YEAH I DO!" and kept skip skip skippin along.
So cute!

We've back from vacation!

Who knew a vacation could be so tiring? Yikes! We went to the Sleeping Bear Dunes State Park in Glen Arbor, MI. It was a 6 day extravaganza of outdoor fun.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

So I may have bought a slip-n-slide ...

Dueling slip-n-sliders
Why go inside for a drink when you've got one right here?

Even Chase got in on the action!


Go Speed Racers!
Don't let it spray ya in the eyes, Myles!

Myles starts his kindergarten pre-view days with an orientation day tomorrow and his first official day on Thursday. We threw a last hurrah party at our house tonight for him. We *heart* you, MyMy! Good luck!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Noah's Lost Ark

Chute me! Chute me! I'm hungry! (Tori's going to be so mad at me for that one)
Luke really liked these little guys.

"Have you seen the size of my horns? Gimme your bucket, lady, before I have ya run through..."

Just a little at a some for everybody else.

Is this llama's neck freaky or what? Look at how skinny it is!

Don't spit at me and I won't spit at you.

This was one of the chutes where you poured the food.

I don't know what this thing was but it was kind of cute

The kids and I went to a big cat rescue called Noah's Lost Ark around Tori's house on Wednesday. It's a facility that houses lions, tigers, and an assortment of other non-domesticated animals that have a history of being abused/neglected in their previous homes. They also had a really great petting zoo. You could buy a cup of food then either feed the animals with your bare hands (if they were tame) or pour it down a chute that poured into their trough. Luke wanted to feed all the animals by hand even if they only had a chute. Ella was a little more hesitant but dove right in after a couple minutes.

I would've posted some pix of the big cats but they were mostly snoozing or I couldn't get a good shot of them. There were probably 15 tigers and lions that were former "pets" of people who negligent in their care to say the least (who thinks a tiger should be a house pet anyway?? Idiots.). It was a great place to visit so go if you get a chance. It was only $6.50 for adults and $5 for kids and is located in Berlin Center, OH (between Akron and Youngstown)

Overheard in my house this week

Luke: I had a bad dream last night.

Me: Oh yeah? What happened?

L: I dreamed that a Cheese Monster was chasing after me.

M: A "Cheese Monster?"

L: Yeah.

M: What did you do?

L: Um...................................(pause).....................................he smelled like smoked cheddar.

M: So...your "bad dream cheese monster" smelled like smoked cheddar??

L: Yeah, he smelled really tasty.

M: Well, did you tell him to back off or you'd eat him?

L: ..............heyyyyyyyy..................that's a good idea!

I think this conversation proves that he's Aron's child.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hold my hand (I want you to hold my hand)

(I could've also titled this "Close your eyes, give me your hand" but I think only T would get that reference. Bangles...that band with Darius Rucker--for the life of me I can't remember the name of the band--...they all make a pretty good title)

I'll post pix of the the Big Cat Rescue facility later. As always, click on the link to find out more about the place we visited...

Road Rules Challenge

(BTW, the guy in the blue shirt with the kids is not is Tori's "Gentleman Suitor")
Look at that!
My butterfly is so cool!

A future in research like his Poppy?

One even landed on my arm.

Fly on my q-tip

Look, Ma! I got one!

Hey, transfer over that butterfly, Mister.

I was super patient and got one to come on over

The butterfly garden was great but it's a big challenge for a 5 and 3 yr old to stand still long enough to get a butterfly to land on her/him or the little Q-tip soaked in sugar water that s/he's holding out for it to slurp on. Heck, I was barely patient enough for it to happen.