Monday, July 25, 2011

Refuge in the river

"Eventually, all things merge into one and a river runs through it."
-Norman Maclean

We spent an overnight last week at the cabin. If I claim Lake Michigan as my "strength" - this would be Trent's - the Pere Marquette river. Though the water only gets to fifty something degrees (in the summer) he has walked in this river from the months of March through October.

And his children are following in his footsteps.

It was over cast and over ninety degrees outside and the water was so cold that there was a layer of mist above the river. As the sun started to come out and burn off the mist, Spencer noticed it was disappearing. When we asked him why we thought that was he answered "Because we are getting too close to it?". We all had a good laugh.

Evan is always on the hunt for "treasures". Even treasures covered with algae.

Little sister is getting brave in the water.

In the evening Trent casted off the dock a few times and Evan was thrilled to run into the cabin and let us know that for the first time ever (debatable...) a fish was caught off the dock.

Since no one was around, little sister thought running around in her unders would keep her cooler.
We brought up a little TV that the boys could use for their plug n' play games. This kept them very entertained in the late evening and early morning.

For additional morning entertainment, Spencer performed some cereal balancing tricks on his sleeping brother.

It was so hot up north that we couldn't stand the thought of another night without our air conditioning. Neither could Dickens and Hailey.

We also took an awesome rafting trip on the river. It was the first time we had ever done that with the kids and it was a great time. I bought a disposable camera at the rental place for $16.50 (gasp!) and took some shots on the river. If I ever figure out how to get them developed (does anyone even do that anymore???) I will post them.

Pickles are good and so are days spent at the cabin!

Friday, July 22, 2011


We picked some beans from our garden today. Ten beans. Ten beans is all we have to show for all of our work so far. I had to put up more netting today because now I think the rabbits are getting in and nibbling on the budding vegetables. I think we have managed to keep the deer away with our net system, but the whole thing looks like some complex fish trap and it is extremely hard to get near the plants and weed and do whatever else we have to do on a daily basis. Inspect for remains of what critters ate the night before is what it seems like we do mostly.

I keep reminding myself that this is the first year we have tried this and eventually we will figure out what we are doing. I hope we get more than our ten beans out of this garden or I am not so sure.

The beans were really good. The kids and I each devoured our two and a half beans a piece. I guess that makes it seem pretty worth it.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Bike time!

Look who learned how to ride a two wheeler! He was so close last year, I really thought that he would get it before Spencer did. He just lacked confidence in himself. He still mastered it two full years younger than Spencer was.

My kids are not that crazy about bike riding. Except for Hailey - she is loco about riding her bike. In fact, I think I may try her on the two wheeler this summer. I bet she will almost be able to do it.

We gently "pushed" him into practicing two wheels by telling him that if everyone could ride bikes, one of these nights we could pedal to the ice cream place.

Isn't the teaching of bike riding traditionally a "dad" job? So far I have taught both boys how to ride. I have been the one running in the street with my hand on a kids' shirt. A mother's work is never done.

Once he mustered up his confidence and got his balance, he was riding around like a champ. It also didn't hurt that I told him if he could ride it I would run down the slip and slide fully clothed.
He still has some practicing to do with getting his balance when he first gets on the bike, but once he gets going he cruises. We are so proud of him and he is pretty proud of himself too.

I had to include this picture of bikini clad sister riding her bike. Who dresses these kids anyway? Did you catch what Evan had on? A Hawaiian party shirt, mesh shorts and orange Crocs. Cutting edge.

So I had to go on the slip and slide fully clothed. The boys were so excited. They asked if they could tape it and put it on YouTube. Hailey was just afraid I would break the "slippy slide". Can you feel the love?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Cue the game hecklers and get out your money...

We have been busy. I am using that as an excuse to why I have been so bad at keeping up with the blog. It is true though. Now that we are finished with swimming lessons and t-ball and baseball, I think things will finally start to mellow out a bit.

We did manage to squeeze into our busy schedule a trip downtown to the festival midway. The kids were so excited for this. We told them we would go on Friday since it was dollar day and that is really the only way we would ever go in the first place with three kids wanting to ride every ride they see. Friday also happened to be the last day of swimming for Evan and Hailey. As we sat at the pool and watched them show off their strokes and play around in the pool, I wanted nothing more than to jump in with my clothes on. It was so hot! I felt like I was going to pass out sitting next to the pool, I had no desire to go kicking around a carnival in that kind of heat. I tried my best to lure the kids to the beach instead but they were having none of it.

Off to the carnival we went. It is always funny to me how I can gauge my kids growth each year by how tall they measure on the "safe to ride" signs posted on each ride. This year Spencer was tall enough for every ride, Evan was the next level down - just barely - next year he will be able to ride whatever he wants with his big brother. Hailey was hot on their heels - little sister has some long legs.

The boys went on the swing for the first time. Evan is in the red seat (touching the rail in this picture). Spencer is just on the outside of him.

I love the pictures I can get of them on this little roller coaster. Hailey was tall enough to ride this with them and she was going to but then chickened out at the last minute.

I can't get enough of the gap in Evan's mouth. He lost one of his top front teeth last week. His smile is so cute I can hardly stand it.

Hailey was content to ride the smaller rides all on her own. She loved puttering by on the little train.

This is a ride that we haven't seen before. They strap in like they are hang gliding and then fly around in a circle. The boys went on this twice. They loved it!

That is them at the top of the photo. I really have to work on not being an overprotective mom at things like this. My first instinct is to tell them that they can't ride it because it is probably put together crappily and they might fly off into the sky and crash. Cue the Scarlett O'Hara mantra....

Spencer and Dad on the ferris wheel. We all went on this ride together - maybe for the last year. The kids are getting so big that next year we may have to split up.

Hailey was starting to get really tired and hot at this point. I really can't blame her - I was in dire need of a sno cone myself.

One of the favorite rides is the Himalaya. This is another one that I love to take pictures off. The expressions on their faces are priceless!

While the boys threw away their money on junk - I mean tried their luck at the games, Hailey and I used up the last of the tickets on the carousel. She had the whole thing to herself.

The kids had a ball, we didn't melt and we were out of there in about two hours. All in all a pretty good day at the festival!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Out of hiding

Hailey's doll - Mirabel Baby - has been missing for quite a while. Every time I would ask her where she was she would get a weird look on her face and tell me that she didn't know. I wasn't too concerned about it. I figured she was somewhere in the wreckage of the tornado that goes through our basement on a weekly basis.

Today as I was trying to put a dent into cleaning the office, I found her shoved into a corner under the work table. I pulled her out and immediately realized the reason for the weird look on Hailey's face.

Apparently she thought Mirabel Baby needed to wear some make up since she was growing up. Luckily the "make up" came off without too much effort and she has promised to not color or write on her dolls anymore.

I tell you, that girl...I know she is not too into dolls, but I always thought that it would be her brothers destroying her stuff.