Category Archives: Michigan Adventures

Chaos, My Specialty

Here are a few random bits for your “enjoyment.”

We made a 95 mile trek, each way, to visit an octagon barn on Saturday.

The website is kind of sad, but the trip is worth it…

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This picture is especially precious to me.  I grew up in a farming community. There was a wonderful retired farmer living a bike ride from my house who had a marvelous hobby.  He built a farming museum on his property.  It was 6-8 buildings full of stuff.  He had everything from a horse drawn hearse to an old push button switchboard with a mannequin in period clothes working.  He also had tons, and tons of farming implements.  He knew so much about his collection and what he didn’t know, he made up.  He could spin a yarn like nobody’s business.  When he passed away his wonderful collection was auctioned off.  It was feared that many of his pieces went for scrap.  So I was a giddy girl to find two of his items in the octagon barn museum.  I am guessing there were more but I did not read all the placards.

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They had animals, a blacksmith shop, three one room school houses, the original home to the property, built in 1922 and fully restored, a flea market and craft show.  I would go back.

Sunday was a “normal” day for us.  We had church, Patrice was in a new class, she is now in three year olds.  And so was mommy.  I volunteer in the youngest childs’ class a couple times a month, but I have never made it past 2 year olds because I was always getting ready to have a new baby.  Not this year, so I am now in three year olds.  It is cute and fun!  Normal took a divergence when Patrice got her head stuck in the back of a chair during our adult Sunday school class potluck.  Yup, stuck.  She is used to being able to climb out of the sides and sometimes back of chairs.  She’s little.  Our church has restaraunt style chairs that have the cushion bottom and back with a small opening between back and bottom.  Her body fit, no problem.  Her head and shoulders got wedged.  Tight.  All I could think was, I’m glad that didn’t happen when I was giving birth to her!  But back to the issue at hand, a stuck baby…I will be forever thankful to the guy in our class who had a screwdriver in his car, and a hubby who is quick on the draw with said screwdriver.  He had that back off and her free in moments!  Whew.

And then, before we knew it, it was time to get back to school Monday.

Wednesday was rough.  Sue sat for an hour just flat refusing to do anything.  She just stared at her worksheet.  She finally started to do it after I called a friend and got advice to move forward with lunch and fun right in front of her.  That snapped her out of it.  She finished the work and joined us for lunch and science.

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We traced our bodies on Monday and each day are adding new muscles and items in our science lessons.  Yesterday was quadriceps and biceps. Today is the tibia, fibula, radius and ulna.

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I’ve been working closely with Sue and found some major deficits in her writing, letter and word recognition.  So today, we stepped back.  I mixed salt and cornmeal together to create a writing activity.  I gave Sue and Patrice a pile of letter flashcards.  They wrote the letter in mixture with the pointy end of a paintbrush and wiped it away with the brush.  She can’t wait to show it to daddy, so here’s hoping it helps. I mixed it in little sandwich boxes that we can put the lids on and save for later.

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What have you done to help your kids with letters, number and writing?  I will take all suggestions, especially those that do not require worksheets, those do not seem to be popular round these parts.


Now to get moving…and work on more science, history and Bible!

That time of year again

We have a tradition around these parts. Every year we go to Dexter Blueberry Farm to pick…you guessed it…blueberries.

We even went the year Patrice was due any day.

This last Saturday the picking was rated excellent so off we headed.

And our first creation with the blueberries…

When the Mitten is Unseasonably Warm

I don’t normally post twice in one day…but hey, since the post I did earlier is probably a repeat and it is my blog…

This winter has been so mild here in the mitten and just odd.  Tuesday it was 21 degrees, Friday it was 55 degrees!

Today was 40+, so what do Michiganders do when it is warm…get outside!!!

we took the tree to the park for recycling

Then Caitlyn got in some fun (don’t tell Sue who slept through it all)

Christmas Adventure

As I mentioned, we had planned to go cut down a tree and have real adventure getting a real tree rather than using one of our artificial trees. 

We had an adventure alright but it consisted of cleaning up a baby in the parking lot of a store after she got sick all over herself.  Sigh…

But we did find a beautiful tree at a flower market. 

Patrice took a nap while we decorated but she enjoyed cleaning beforehand

Lessons in Helping Others

I was given the opportunity yesterday to volunteer at a local food help organization, Gleaners.  It was an amazing experience.  And it was heartbreaking.  I was looking at this food and realizing how much it would bless the people we were packing the boxes for, and mourning how picky our family and kids are about their food. 
1.  I felt guilty being at a food bank and being overweight, thinking how I would be going to the store to spend extra on food to help me loose weight.  I do need to lose weight, as pictures from the event proved, but it seems selfish to have gotten myself to this point.
2.  I was amazed at the generosity of people, organizations, and food corporations in America.  A heartfelt thank you to everyone.
3.  I was also amazed at some of the things people donated.  Half used boxes of stuffing mix, peanut butter and macaroni and cheese are not helpful.  Neither are water chestnuts.
4.  All items used in food boxes must have a nutrition label on them.
5.  Dried goods, spaghetti, oatmeal, noodles, are all great things to donate.  So are items that are good sources of protein, peanut butter, tuna fish, kidney beans, beef ravioli.  Breakfast foods are needed.  If you donate cake mix, please donate frosting as well, same with peanut butter and jelly.  They try very hard to have complimenting items in the box. 
6.  I can take my older girls to volunteer.  The coordinator has worked with kids as young as 20 months old.  You can drop in to volunteer any Saturday 9 to 2:30 starting in January.  You better believe we will be there!
7.  Getting involved and helping was a great learning experience and a lot of fun!
8.  I will find a way to make this a family tradition.
What have you learned lately?  Link up with Life Ever Since.

It is Fall!!!! And we welcomed it at Yates Cider Mill

Hubby and I have been going to Yates Cider Mill since we were dating.   It is not really big, it is just the right size and it has a wonderful river you can sit by and walk along.

We enjoy taking the girls there each year (seems like there are more of them every time we go!).

Just had to share this one again!

*Please go over and see how you can pray for Ali and her family.

Saturday Snapshots–Camping Edition

We spent the holiday weekend camping, Up North, way Up North, in Mackinaw City, at the top of the Lower Peninsula.

Hubby and I haven’t been there since he proposed a little over 7 years ago…This trip was definitely different.

We were pulling a camper, went later in the summer and, oh yeah, had three little girls with us!  Our three little girls!

This is a live statue.  The girls want to know how he gets the paint off his body…

The beach, Lake Huron, was CHILLY

Nummy, nummy, nummy

hanging out in the park where daddy proposed to mommy 7 years ago

Both trips to Mackinaw, today and 7 years ago, were magical!

Waiting for mama to finish her race

Please continue to pray for my friend Ali

.And check out her pictures!

Actual Bridge Run Results

Ahhh, the day after has arrived. I survived my race yesterday across the Mackinaw Bridge. 
I ran from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. 
I was reminded again what a beautiful state we live in!!!

 The first 1/2 is uphill.  It is a gradual hill, but it is definitely up!
 Watching the sunrise over the lake was AMAZING
That blur is the finish line…and there were people in front of me, but they don’t really show here…
I finished in 57 minutes and 13 seconds.  My pace was 13:04 per mile and I finished 242 out of 247.  I knew I passed at 3 people, but there were actually 5 behind me!!!  That is amazing. 
1,077.48 miles were run by the whole group.
41 minutes 23 seconds was the average finishing time.
142,639 calories were burned in that one event.
I must admit, I have never been so sore as I was afterward, but I did it.  I ran every step.  That was my longest race and I did it!!!!  In the allowed time!  And my three girls and marvelous hubby got to see me come across.
All of this is from a woman who 10 years ago was in and out of a wheelchair, was told at one point the doctors didn’t know when she would walk again.
Glory to God for His mercy on my life.
*pictures were taken with my cell phone as I ran, sorry they are blurry and just think how fast I could have run without those pictures, but wasn’t it worth those extra seconds to be able to see them??

Running Away

So today is the big day!  The race I talked about here, is TODAY!

5:30 am begins the adventure.  I have to board a bus to go across the bridge to the upper peninsula of Michigan.  Then to run 4 1/2 miles to the other side…

Here’s hoping I can do it in the allowed time!

I’ll pop in later with pictures!

Blueberry Picking Again

Blueberry picking this year

 Looks a little different than last year…

I was 38 weeks, 6 days pregnant with Patrice when we went last year.  This year we are are just hours from celebrating her first birthday.

I love having my three girls.  There are no words that will ever express it fully.  I also cannot find the words to express how bittersweet her birthday is.  So I think I will ignore that for a moment and share a few more of our blueberry picking adventure.

We got rained on…not horrible, but we were wet.

The heavens opened up as we were driving away.  We happily drove home with our 10+ pounds of blueberries…just a few minutes into our drive we also had two sleeping little girls…I think Patrice as too excited to sleep!  This time around had to be more fun for her than last year…though she was hanging out in a “swimming pool” last time…hmmm, wonder what she was thinking today…

Saturday Snapshots is understandably on hiatus.  Please head over to Ali’s and see how you can pray for her family.