Monday, October 5, 2015

Annual Apple Picking trip

We look forward to apple picking every year! This year, it seems that the apple season started earlier than normal, and I think that was due to our colder wet summer we had this year. So the first free weekend, which happened to be a little cooler than the odd warm weather jump, we headed out. There are 2 local orchards that we love to go to. This time we went to Kercher's in Goshen. A small local place with a great little shop, we picked Cortland and Jonathon apples this year, and ended up with around 80lbs.  After picking we always grab a box of Rise n'roll cinnamon donut holes to snack on at the picnic tables. It was a wonderful day and I hope it made some great memories!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Beach Day

We hadn't gotten to the beach yet this season, and decided one weekend in August to head out. We opted for an evening get-away, packed dinner, and tried a new to us beach off of Lake Michigan. Adam had the thought to try Warren Dunes in Michigan, so off we went. With an arrival of 5:30, the beach was still pretty packed, but we luckily found a parking spot in the first row. The majority of people started to pack up and leave, which allowed us to find a great little spot to spread out. The kids had instantly spotted the giant dunes that people were climbing and rolling down, so Adam took them to try it out. They were in sandy heaven and came back with sand in their ears. I enjoyed sitting in a chair reading my book while they explored the beach. Unfortunately the temps dropped and I was freezing, so I didn't even get into the water and sat wrapped up in a towel.

But Adam and the kids could not stay out of the water and sand!

The sunset was amazing and you could just barely see Chicago way off in the distance.

And of course we had to get a beach selfie!

We eventually packed up and headed out. As we were leaving we noticed a great little ice cream and fudge shop directly across from the entrance, so we headed on over. Since I was the only one that was not soaking wet and had shoes on, I headed in and picked up cones for all. The places was small and quaint, but had everything you would want in a shop like that. On top of that the ice cream was fantastic and a great price.

It was now 3 hours past bedtime, and these kids couldn't help but pass out in the car on the way back home. It was the best time, and we can't wait to go back next year!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Blueberry Festival 2015

It was Labor Day weekend and that meant it was time for the Blueberry Festival again!!! This year we did things a little differently because we had a family wedding in the Indy area during the weekend as well. So we condensed our Blueberry visit to just Monday and that worked fantastically. We had made the promise to the kids that they could get the ride wristbands this year. I found that if I bought them in advance I could save $5/each. So my best friend and I bought them earlier in the week. First thing Monday morning, we headed down for the parade. This has become tradition since L was just a few months old, the kids and I have yet to miss one.

I just had to add this now/then. The pic on the left is from 2009 and the pic on the right is from this year.
Our old friend.

This guy was really cool.

After the parade we headed back to Adam's parent's house for lunch. It was suppose to be a super hot and humid day, so we thought we would wait a bit after lunch before going back. Well it sort of backfired. The temps were so crazy that it never really got any cooler. So back to the park we went for the kids to ride all the rides. They normally only get to ride on 3-4 rides each year, but now with the wristbands and being taller, they could go on almost anything they wanted. First up, the bigger kid roller coaster. They loved this so much they went on it about 4 times!

And of course a ride down the giant slide a few times!

They were very excited to go on this "big kid" ride.

And this was one of the last rides they went on. They were a bit nervous, but because this never went upside down, they braved it. D screamed the entire time, but they both loved it!

They both said this was the best year ever!

Past Blueberry Festival Fun

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Comic Con Chicago 2015

Like last year, we had decided to go to Chicago Wizard World (Comic Con). The kids had decided to go with their Pokemon costumes still.

Adam and I came up with our costumes fairly early. We were going as Mary Poppins and Burt! Adam pretty much had everything already in his closet. The few things still needed were either picked up at Goodwill for cheap, or made with found items around the house. My costume was a bit more of a challenge. Luckily I found the skirt, shoes, and tights already in my closet. For the blouse and bag, I hit up Goodwill. The bag was a lucky find! It was a large stained piece of luggage, and then I found an carpet like valance and was able to glue the fabric to the bag. The red ribbon belt and bow was made with ribbon already in my crafting bins. Now the hat.... I found a few tutorials online and made it myself. The first go was way too big, but with a few modifications the second time around was perfect. The flowers and berries were found at Dollar Tree and hot glued to the hat. Adam made the parrot head on the end of an umbrella we already had. He molded it with clay, then covered in paper and lastly painted it.

I think we look pretty cute!

D was very excited to take her picture with anyone she was a fan of.

The lines for food were crazy long, and then they ran out. So we stayed just a bit longer and the kids begged for Al's beef again.

And as we were leaving Adam suggested we hit up Chinatown for dessert and a nice walk around. The kids each picked out a pastry from a bakery and weren't terribly thrilled with it. But were good sports about it.

It was a very long day, and after walking in heels for most of it, I had blister on my feet, but boy was it worth it! We already can't wait for next year!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Indy Children's Museum

We have wanted to make it here for a few years now, and it just wasn't in the budget. This year we made sure we could squeeze it in. I had asked Adam if he had been interested in going, and he of course wanted to go seeing as that neither of us had been since we were kids. The only time we had to fit this in was the last Saturday before school started, which was perfect. Indy was about a 2 1/2 hour drive made easier by the fact that a new addition to the highway takes us there in a straight shot. No, really, we stayed on one road the whole way down!

When we arrived just after opening, there was still plenty of room in their parking garage just across the street. They even had a skyway walk to head from the garage to the museum. Fantastic!!!!

This cool guy was standing proudly in the ramp area in the parking garage heading to the skyway.

Once inside, the kids were very excited to see that the dinos were indeed on the inside as well.

I had paid for our tickets online and printed them out at home, so getting in was a breeze! I highly recommend doing this! As we walked in, Adam noticed a sign saying that Optimus Prime would be arriving in just 10 min. So we headed up to the second floor and spotted a great place to see it all happen. While there, the kids were able to each get a free kids id card thanks to the Peyton Manning Children's Hospital.

We headed right upstairs to the science and water section on my new sister-in-law's suggestion. The kids really liked this underwater screening section. Look how cute those shoes sticking out are!

There were tons of fun photo ops!

A little past 1 we all realized we were starving, so we broke for lunch. Afterwards, L really wanted to see the dinosphere and since we were already on that level, we headed for it. This was such a neat exhibit. There were sounds galore here, both dinos and weather.

And of course there was a dino dig! And this wasn't just a brush the dust off sort of thing. The kids had to use tools to really chip the dirt and rocks away.

An underwater mystery
And the terracotta army was represented there! D had fun putting this one back together.

This bathroom line is taking forever!!
I loved this spot. It was right underneath the Chihuly exhibit, and allowed you to look up at all the glass and light. There was a bench for you to lean back on and while it slowly rotated, it allowed you to see different views.

We stayed until they closed at 5, making this a 6 1/2 hour visit, and the cool thing was that we didn't even get to see everything! Well worth the money and the time.  We will definitely be back.

Monday, September 14, 2015

First day of school 2015

This year was a brand new school year for us in a few ways. L is starting his 4th grade year, and D is starting her 3rd grade year, but both kids are starting in a new school. After the last few years, we had decided to make a change. We had applied for the transfer the previous year, but it was denied due to too many kids in D's grade. But this year, we made the cut. We have been planning and trying to buy a small chunk of farmland south of where we currently live for a few years now, and really wanted to get the kids into this school before we moved. Plus, there are only about 130 kids in the entire school as opposed to 550 in our last.

Our new school had a back to school picnic the Monday before school started, which was great! We were able to head in, meet the teachers, meet most of the other staff, receive a folder with all important paperwork, and have a nice meal with new and old friends. It really helped already having friends at this school too! Our best friends have gone there from day 1, and we knew many families thanks to Cub Scouts!

So far this school year is everything we wanted/needed it to be! In fact L came home the first day of school and proudly announced, "Mom, they included me like one of their own!!!" and right there it was all worth it.

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