July 28th . 2014

Wagener Park Camping – Days 2 & 3

I’m never up for a sunrise, but that doesn’t mean the beauty of the sunrise side of Michigan is lost on me. No. Because Jim is up and he takes pictures.

He also tries to set things right in the world. Whenever I ask him to.

So does this badass swan, apparently, who defends Lake Huron one goose at a time.

Gotta admire the dad who takes his kids camping solo.

Even if he does sleep on park benches from time to time. Or two times in one day.

This is a beautiful trail where some kids actually rode bikes.

This is Birch bark. Which is much more versatile than you might think.

This is head-to-head campground cheater cooking. It was darn good.

And this is where the kids spent most of their time carving ruts to create makeshift bike trainers. It actually never lost its appeal over the course of three days and was hilarious every second. Also, this is how Bastien ate his hot dog.

And yes, this is a gorgeous sunrise photo. But I didn’t need to tell you that.

And this is a “machine” where you put bikes into two ruts, make their tires touch and thus one can actually power both. We are not sure what else it is good for at this time.

July 27th . 2014

Wagener Park Camping – Day 1

Well, we successfully did it. We took a camping trip in which the children outnumbered the adults. It was actually pretty ok. Once we set up our base camp, battened down the hatches, and the menfolk fired up their electric cooking devices, that is.

Meanwhile, the woman and children foraged.

But mostly just got down to the business of having fun.

And also contemplated the beauty of the place. (For the record, I highly recommend this campground and was both surprised and delighted that they seem to have open spots throughout the summer weekends, unlike any state park on a Great Lake).

And look! Our foraging paid off in stones…

As you can plainly see, nothing in the world is better than camping with your cousins.

July 24th . 2014


Patting my own back today over this trash-picked score. I am amazed at how quickly the kids picked up the rules of play and how they are strategizing with each other. Because they are wild animals, it seems like my own summer survival strategy has turned into just continuously having something new on hand to engage their brains and teamwork skills. Frankly, it is completely exhausting.


July 23rd . 2014

Survivor Jr.

The kids were getting a little restless so I challenged them to a scavenger hunt outside. They loved this and found barely a pause in bringing me things of various colors, textures and even in the shape of a B or an H. So I started throwing survival items into the mix. This is what Hadley came up with for a sun visor…


You laugh, but honestly could you have done better?

For the record, their survival skills end at “something to carry water in.” Sorry rookies, you are not likely to find sand pails laying out in the wilderness.

July 22nd . 2014

Happy Campers

The kids are in their final weeks of some pretty amazing summer camps. Somehow I never got a pic at SpringHill Camp (a definite fave) but I did catch a few of the others…




On the roster were:
Green Acres Farm Camp
Sports and Games Camp at Milford Cooperative Preschool
SpringHill Camp at Oakpointe Church Milford
VBS at Christ Lutheran Church Milford (their honest-to-goodness favorite)
Lego Camp (MCP)
And Cooking Camp (MCP)
And as far as I’m concerned, they now have a complete education.

July 21st . 2014

Mountain Bike Mania


I am the proud new leader of an all-girl beginners mountain biking group. This is about the best thing that could ever happen. If all goes well, we will have five riders Tuesday morning, with a likely five more joining by August. Big exclamation point. I’m proud to be representing Hometown Bicycles in Brighton and hope to do them proud in my leadership abilities. If I’m being honest, I also hope to not be late in picking up my kids from camp due to on-trail equipment malfunction.

This leads me to the very related topic of this awesome used bike I am crazed over. I am being for real when I tell you it popped up on my screen the exact moment I popped open a fortune cookie with three, yes THREE related fortunes inside. Since they were all clearly interrelated I took it as a sign from God and promptly sent it off to Jim so he could conveniently finish up his “sorry I am on three weeks of business trips” shopping.
When I was texting him about it later that night I also got an off-topic text from Jo at about the same time which said: “Haha I’m so glad you like it! I’m overly obsessed.” I mistakenly thought this was from Jim and got a little too excited for a second there. When I realized my foolish error and told Jo about it, she went on to write: “Hey babe I saw that bike, looks like a great deal. Great job shopping. Buy it ASAP so we don’t miss out on that awesome deal.”
And this is why everyone should just be married to Jo.

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