Thursday, July 30

Detroit Zoo: Dinosaur Exhibit

We've been members of the Detroit Zoo as long as I can remember. Probably since our first summer here in Michigan. It's not the most amazing zoo in the world, but it's a good zoo for sure where you can spend a day with the family for not much money.

The best parts of the zoo are the butterfly house, the prairie dog exhibit and the arctic circle exhibit. The food isn't too bad, although it's expensive. The penguin house is nice, but it stinks. The playground is great too...more than you'd expect for a zoo really. And wear quick drying clothes (or bring a change) if you plan to play at the "spitting frogs" outside Amphibiville.

Right now, the special exhibit is the Dinosaur Exhibit. I wasn't planning on taking the kids on our last trip to the zoo, but Payton begged and I caved. The cost was an additional $3 or $4 a person. I was a bit miffed that I had to pay for my 2 year old, who was scared 90% of the time, but whatever. Rules are rules, right?

The walk was less than a mile and all the dinosaurs are sound and motion robotic machines. Some were more believable than others, but Payton really liked them all. They give you a brochure as you go through so you can identify the dinosaurs. That was his favorite part. At the end was a sand pit where they could dig for "fossils" and then, of course, the exit is through the gift shop. Good thing I'd already buckled them in the wagon!

This is the first time I've paid to see any of the "extras" at the zoo, although it seems they have them once a year or more. I just might do it more often now.

Wednesday, July 29

one year with Missy-dog

It was exactly one year ago today, that I made the questionable decision to pick up Missy, our now almost 2 year old smooth fox terrier. I'm still not sure if that was the right thing or not. I'm happy I rescued her from her home, but I'm not sure we were the ones meant for her. Don't get me wrong, I love her. I mean, I question everything from time to time; my marriage, becoming a mother, my career, my life in general. Why should the dog not be part of that equation??

However, she's become part of family. She's beautiful and for the most part well behaved. She loves to run, chase the ball and go for walks. She walks better on the leash and listens to me better than anyone else too, so I guess that I have an upper hand. She also digs holes in the backyard and kills birds; neither of which I've found a way to control. But, she has a LOT of patience for the kids.

She still doesn't fully trust men. And she's grown more leery of other dogs since being attacked at the dog park in the spring. We plan to put her in obedience school in the fall and eventually hope to do obstacle courses with her in a few years. She has the frame, speed and's just that listening part we have to work on.

Ah, well. Happy Anniversary of coming to our home, Missy. You're one lucky dog!

season ended

Payton has finished his second year of t-ball. And honestly, I don't think he really cares. Most of you know P is my intellectual child. He couldn't care less about riding a bike (still hasn't learned), playing any sports (we've tried a few now) or playing outside (it's like punishing him). Heck, Maxwell was more excited about going to t-ball than Payton ever was. Max would stand at the fence and watch every play.

Sports are a social time for P. He wants to help the coaches and cheer on his teammates, but does not want to practice or improve his game. He really has a good time, but it's not because of the game. I think we're going to stop putting him in team sports for awhile. This fall he has the choice of a few activities, all of them more individual activities. I'm hoping he can find a niche. But if not, we'll put him on the chess team or something.

Here are the "best of" from this season.

Tuesday, July 28

a wild one: pictures

On Sunday, since we were in the Toledo area and needed something to do, I followed a friend's advice and took our family to the African Safari Wildlife Park. My mother in law and my brother in law joined us as well.

We made the drive, just over 1 hour from Toledo, to Catawba Island near Port Clinton, Ohio, to the park. We had printed the carload coupon off their website, so it was only $30 for 4 adults and 2 kids to get it. For that price, we were able to drive through the park as many times as we wanted that day, the kids could ride the pony once each, there were other animals to see inside and, Maxwell's favorite thing, watch the pig races.

We really had a great time and spent four hours at the park. We really could have stayed longer, but we were pushed for time to get back to Michigan. We went drove through the safari twice and spent a lot of time inside.

My biggest complaint would have to be the cost of food and drinks, but isn't this the issue at every public venue now a days? The food for 2 adults and 2 kids was $25. The water bottles were $3 a bottle!!! crazy talk! I would recommend bringing a cooler filled with water and beverages and packing a picnic lunch.

On the drive through safari, I was surprised and how many of the animals came to the car. We had purchased carrots from the grocery store before we left home (carrots there are$4 for 1lb and $6 for 2 lb) and the animals took them right from your hands. There were HUGE bison/buffalo, oxen and a few others. There were tons of deer and a few giraffes and zebras as well. They'll give you food pellets for the animals in a plastic cup, but the stronger animals just take the cups and run. I wouldn't buy any extra of those.

Overall, it was an amazing and very cool experience. We will definitely go back before the carload coupon expires. The kids loved it all and are still talking about it today. I give it 4 out of 5 thumbs up.

Monday, July 27

busy, busy, busy

I can't believe how long it's been since I blogged last. It seems like our summer is coming to a very quick end. I start work in three weeks and that date seems to be looming, with us trying to squeeze in all the fun we can.

This past Saturday was the family reunion for Matt's grandmother's side of the family. We spent the day at the family cottage on Lake Erie with about 70 members of the family. We do these reunions every year and this year was our side of the family's year to host. It's always great to see how everyone's kids are growing and how our family is expanding more every year. I just wish I had gotten more good pictures.

Wednesday, July 22


My new blogger friend, Audrey, at "Stage 3! Who Me?", has blessed me with a blog award. Only my second since I started blogging what seems like forever ago.

Audrey writes a great blog, takes amazing pictures, has great courage and strength and tells an amazing story. She's a survivor and has the faith and determination to make life work for her. She's is an inspiration to me...and becoming a friend. Be sure to check out her stories and even become a member so you can see her updates.

This is the award that has been bestowed on my blog by Audrey.

Because of this award, I have to name my 7 favorite things.

1. my husband, I've been blessed
2. my children, I've been challenged
3. my family (birth & in-laws, close & extended), I've been supported
4. my church family, I've been encouraged
5. my friends, I've been heard
6. photography, I've been inspired
7. life, I've been given an amazing one

And my seven fellow bloggers I choose to share the Kreativ Blogger Award with are...

Danielle, "Finally Finding Me...I Think" (an inspiration for my life)
Heather, "Beauty That Moves" (she's so very creative)
Marissa, "One Tantrum Away From A Breakdown" (my very first blog I followed)
Jessica, "Jessica Wood Designs" (she has a great eye for photography)
Michelle, "The D'Alessandro Family" (her stories of life crack me up sometimes)
Emma, "The Wehrman's" (a new blogger, an inspiration, and a great photographer)
Lisa, "The Human Race 600" (who reminds me that there is hope...kind of...for my future parenting years)

Thank you, again, Audrey. ♥ I'm honored you thought of me.

Monday, July 20


While I had the boys at Wolcott Farm on Saturday, we picked up some honey. But not just any honey. Michigan honey. And not just any Michigan honey. It's Blueberry Michigan Honey. We found it at the Better Bee stand.

We came home and put it on waffles, and it's been so amazing!! I LOVE IT! I could eat it everyday and I'm not a blueberry fan. They also had lemon honey (tried it and it's very yummy too), lavender honey, "normal" and ...another flavor that escapes me right now.

I love to help support a small family business, especially a local small family business. Be sure to check out their website. Even if you don't intend to buy anything, they have a LOT of great recipes on the site.

UPDATE: Jay, from Better Bee, emailed me to let me know that he has updated the website with all of the items that are available. Support this local, independent family!!!

Sunday, July 19

the button

I've been meaning to write about this for awhile, and I finally captured pictures of my child's...ummm..."unique" way of soothing himself.

Just after Maxwell turned one, he developed this weird fetish with his belly button. When he's tired he rubs it. Now that, in and of itself, is kind of weird. But he doesn't just rub it, he squeezes it and twists it.

It's an obsession that most people find very funny and cute.'s just one more weird thing my kids do.