Surprise trip to LegoLand Discovery Center!

We didn’t even know this place existed until a few weeks ago, so I found discount tickets and off we went! It wasn’t quite as exciting as I’d hoped it would be (and one of the rides was shut down) but the kids had a really good time so that’s all that matters!


Katie’s first manicure & Owen’s Brian Lewerke haircut!

Grayling has a beauty school where my mom gets her hair permed and cut so I went earlier this week for a blow out (it’s a treat for me since I suck at it—plus it was the first wash post-color and I thought why not let someone else deal with it?). Then I decided since everything was so cheap, I’d take Katie for her first basic manicure to see how she did (before I drop $$$ on a real manicure or pedicure). She was all about it. :)


Owen needed a haircut, too. He had decided to get the same cut as Brian Lewerke, an MSU Spartan player.



The kids doing pysanky with Gramma Jean for the first time!

They’re a bit behind—I started at age 3! They were both excited to sit down and do it. Gramma gave them a quick lesson on how to hold the egg and kistka, but unfortunately both of them forgot and ended up grabbing the hot metal end…which is why you see tears on some of Katie’s close up pics. They both had fun and enjoyed doing two eggs—I was only going to watch but then couldn’t help myself and had to jump in and “do a quick egg” which of course turned into more time than I planned and I ended up sitting there finishing mine while the kids were done and outside playing. :) (Note: The eggs are done but are still at Gramma’s house being varnished so the finished product photo will come later.)

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Makeup Galore

I had some old eyeshadows I was going to toss but decided to let Katie have them instead. And boy did she have fun. Owen even got into the game…

As you can see there is no such thing as moderation. Six layers later: “Mom, I’m part Anna and part cat!”

And then Sophia came down and got involved.

And daddy even for roped in.


Owen’s first MSU game!

They’ve had tickets for months and have been getting more and more excited… Unfortunately it was coooold and required many layers but that didn’t hamper the excitement. :)


It was an exciting game, but unfortunately the outcome was an MSU loss in triple overtime… They ended their outing at Culver’s for dinner.


Pumpkin Day

I volunteered to help with Pumpkin Day in Katie’s classroom. I had no idea what would be involved but then I got the email saying we’d be carving pumpkins so bring a knife and bowl if we could. Hoo boy—I hadn’t carved a pumpkin in years…

The classroom was a bit insane (I don’t know how she does it without an assistant—we were spoiled with Owen’s class having one) but overall it went well. There were four moms total so we each had a group of six. We had to measure the pumpkin with blocks and chain lengths, write what the pumpkin felt and smelled like, weigh the pumpkin, see if it sank or floated…and then design and carve the pumpkin. In an hour.

As you can imagine it was pretty much like herding cats. It started with the teacher switching Katie’s seat with someone so we could be at the same table…and the kid completely lost his shit and was a crying hot mess because “he wanted his seat.” Really, kid? You lose it over moving seats for an hour? And then some kids couldn’t pay attention for more than three seconds. One had no idea how to draw an H (“we haven’t done that letter yet”). A few wrote their numbers backwards (71 for 17) but fixed it after I told them—except one kid who literally kept writing it 71 no matter how many times I told him it was 1-7 not 7-1. One kid wrote all his letters on top of one another. You get the idea. I’m not bragging when I say that Katie seemed among the most advanced in her group (able to pay attention, answer questions, write her letters and numbers correctly, and follow instructions).

This is a snapshot of mass chaos before we even started.


I didn’t take many pictures because I was very involved in every step of the way—plus I didn’t have pockets, remember. 


Katie was the badge collector.


And then it was time to go home so Katie got to ride home with me. She had a good time and was happy I came. 

Jelly Belly Factory Tour

We surprised the kids with a mini road trip to the Jelly Belly factory which is right up the road…And also surprised them with who was also there!

Getting ready for a train ride around the factory floor. It’s really just a warehouse.

Since it is a working factory we had to wear hats—they are very cheap plus I have a big head so it didn’t last long…but I had to keep it on. :lol:


We were able to try whatever flavors we wanted. I tried margarita and pancakes and maple syrup. They were both tasty. 

We spent about $50 on stupid jelly beans but we had fun. And I can honestly say I don’t need to buy Jelly Belly fudge again (it’s in the freezer so others can try it). :)

Our first successful Roar Run!

The Roar Run is a PTA-Sponsored fundraising event in its sixth year. We are hoping it’s on a weekend next year—it’s a bit difficult getting there to enjoy the other events when the kids don’t get home until 4.

Katie is becoming a master hula hooper!

Stretching before the race!

We were watching the relay races and Katie wanted to try the wheelbarrow.


Nine minutes until race time!

The group of neighbor kids running together! (Tom was taking the pic down at the fun run starting line.)

Katie came in a minute or so behind Sophia—but we had seen her on daddy’s shoulders for a bit!!

And the same pic close up as she crossed the finish line!

More neighbors!

Love a family photo!

Stacey and Lorenzo, Sophia and Enzo

And I had to try a selfie. It’s a bit more difficult with six people!

We had the results as they were happening and these were the finals (Katie missed a medal by one place—Sophia came in #3):

Six Flags here we come!

We bought 2018 season passes and they came with passes for the remainder of this year so we decided to take a few hours to check it out and see if the kids might like it. Of course it happened to be unseasonably hot—low 90s and humid—but we powered through.

Looking fresh-faced as we were leaving… (The decision was kind of spur of the moment. We had planned on going Sunday.)

Just minutes from home!

They loved the blood pond. Or whatever it was called. The park is set up for Fright Night after 6pm.

We rode the carousel first. As usual, Owen wanted nothing to do with sitting on a horse so we sat together on a bench.

We ran into kiddie rides first. Owen was able to ride these (height-wise) but he didn’t want to. He’s not a huge fan of rides. Not even these little ones… On the other hand, Katie didn’t want to leave.

Then we passed the Viper:

And the sign said it was a 5-minute wait so I had to go. Of course no one else was going to go so they went to wait for me. I left my phone with Tom, but this was me after, totally excited about my first roller coaster ride in 20 years because I can now fit in the seats!!

We had forgotten a family selfie up until now so…

Katie looks like she does because 1) she had wanted to go on more of her rides and we had said no and 2) she had wanted ice cream for lunch and we said no. It was also a million degrees.

So then we stopped for lunch—and the food was actually pretty good. (We also bought the lunch package so we get free lunch every time we go.) And we put the kids in jail.

Then we found more kiddie rides…and again Owen didn’t want any part of it. Katie didn’t know this one went in the air but wasn’t scared and loved it!



Do you see Tom and Owen down there?

And then Tom said he’d go on the Fiddler’s Fling. I was surprised because he doesn’t like rides.

But Katie wanted to go. And Owen wasn’t sure but eventually said yes. I double-checked that Tom really wanted to and he said yes, so…here we are!

Katie liked it once I assured her she wasn’t going to fall out. Owen didn’t love it but he was okay. But poor Tom… He was nauseous and could barely walk off. He said the ride was way worse than it looked. (Later he said maybe some of the issue was due to an ear thing he had. We’re not sure.)

We were almost done with the park anyway so headed toward the front.

And then we saw the small “family” coaster and both kids wanted to try it and the wait was only 15 minutes so us three went while Tom tried to recuperate.

Tom made it to the exit by the time we got up there so he could take pics!

As we were coming back to the platform… Katie really liked it, Owen said he liked it, but Katie was the only one who said she’d do it again… But I think we’ll be able to convince Owen.

So the kids had a great time and want to come back for sure. So hopefully we’ll get our money out of them. :)