Saturday, September 26, 2009

When Mom's Away . . .

. . . the boys will play!
Landon and Mike went to the Fall Festival celebrating the last day of our town's farmers market for the year. While the weather men predicted showers, we managed to avoid getting left out in the rain. Here's Landon all dressed in his Croc-and-sandal combo, Detroit jersey, and zoo cap, all ready to go!

Landon met some chicken and ducks before taking a ride on a pony. He jumped right on (the horse, that is) and seemed to enjoy its steady swaying gait.
Next, Landon tried getting the attention of the animals at a small petting zoo. Each time he sees small animals at a farm or other event, he heads right over. This time he met a lamb, a sheep, a miniature pony, and some goats.
We keep ending up at the same attractions where Farmer John and his Barnyard Express perform. We ran into Levi, Jackson, and Caden, and we all laughed as Smudge the dog and the other animals embarrassed -- er, "entertained" -- the kids and grownups.
Later on, we found Arika and Julie at the Grosse Pointe Mom's Club bake sale booth. Landon chose some dark chocolate brownies for the road.
We also stopped by the produce booths. Both Landon and Mike love grape tomatoes, and they eat the things like candy. Landon kept demanding that Papi open up the bag of tomatoes so Landon could sample some more.
One more sweet treat for the road. Julie's gourmet candy apples were amazing (and a bargain, too! $8 for an apple the size of Landon's head loaded with cookies, chocolate, and more!). Alas, we did not bring enough cash and had to stick to our pesky--yet important--budget, so we settled for a $2 caramel apple which Landon helped top with nuts and candy corn. Yummy flavors of fall!
As we wended our way back home, we stopped by the two fire engines on display, and a fire fighter explained to Landon and some other kids all about the different components of the trucks.
The department has a vintage truck that Landon got to climb aboard. He's enjoying a rice krispie treat on a stick. If you are keeping track, you will see that Mike did an excellent job of showing Landon a good time while making sure he ate well--antioxidant-rich dark chocolate, tomatoes (lycopene and more), apples with nuts, and breakfast cereal. He still can't figure out why the kid bounced off the walls after we got home . . . .
All in all, we had a grand boys' day out! We couldn't wait to share our adventures with Hallie and now with you too.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Nature's Show

Hallie's new favorite ad is posted above. The ad is what inspired the three of us to escape to the western side of the state this past weekend. Didn't tell many, like Hallie has about going to California (we think she is a tad bit excited about that trip). It was so nice the families from the branch that called to see how we were.

We needed a break and got a deal on a hotel room and so we decided to go to Holland, MI and its surrounding lakeside towns.

Western Michigan is only a short three hour trip from our humble abode, and Landon did rather well traveling in the car.

By the time we got to Holland we were in time for an AMAZING Farmer's Market where a vendor told us 90% of the product that is sold by each vendor has to be grown by the vendor. Love It! Landon ate the grape tomatoes like they were candy. Better than all of the sweet popcorn he ate.

After going to the Farmer's Market, we stopped by the tourist bureau and met Lucy the pug. Afterwards we let Landon play at an outdoor water fountain.

We stopped by Veldheer, a Dutch-themed store which had a factory that makes wooden shoes and delft porcelain and sells tulip bulbs. Landon was so tuckered out he fell asleep in the car.

We didn't make it to Neli's Dutch Village, so we can't give a report on that. Seemed cute. Maybe when Landon gets older.

We love Gandolfo's New York Deli and the only one in the state is in Holland. So we had to go for late lunch/early dinner, and it sure was yummy.

We rented a room at the Country Inn and Suites, and after resting for a bit, we headed back out to Tunnel Park, where Landon jumped and splashed to his heart's content in the waters of Lake Michigan. Such a peaceful setting, and the weather was perfect! We saw some Hope College students having an activity where they ran up the side of the huge sand dune that separates the park from the beach. the dune is so big that there is a tunnel through one part of it that you can walk through.

The next morning we headed south before heading back east. Good thing, too, because we foundSaugatuck and St. Joseph. Hallie has found her new second home.
Here are some fun painted statues by local artists. There were 29 in all we found just a few.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

To Catch a Thief, Part 2

So, progress has been made on catching the guy who stole the bushes and bricks from our meetinghouse. Turns out he came back last weekend for more retaining wall bricks, so the folks at Detroit Facilities Management wanted to make sure this behavior stopped once and for all. Now the police have photos and a video of one of the crimes in action, thanks to Damon's detective work on the church DVR and my finally getting things moved from the church DVR to my laptop. The police are investigating, and we may actually make some headway here. Yippee! In the mean time, enjoy the movie and pics:

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Always our little miracle.

"Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are Gods of miracles. Miracles happen every day, we just have to let them." - Sister Rawson Michigan Detroit Mission

We attended Stake Conference today. It can be a long day for us as it is almost an hour each way to get there and then so we don't end up in the way far back we got there nearly 45 min early. Landon was expired by the time it was done. He lay asleep on the bench. The theme of the Conference was Joseph Smith and there were some very nice talks given. The talk however that touched me was the talk given by Sister Rawson. Sister Rawson is the wife of the mission president. When she started her talk she stated that the Spirit told her that she needed to speak of something different today and so she spoke of miracles. I think the biggest thing I got out of it was looking at all the miracles around me and what could happen if we let them.

I have been occasionally following a pianist from Utah named Paul Cardall and his struggle with needing a heart transplant. It was wonderful to run across his blog and find that he had received one.

I think about my brother and what seems to a pretty fortunate situation he is in while in Iraq. I believe that Heavenly Father has heard some of our prayers.

As we walked around Greenfield Village yesterday (yes, we went there, again) I marveled at the beauty of the day. 75 degrees without a cloud in the sky, green grass, and a hint of fall in the air. What a miracle the day was and to share it with friends topped it off.

We received our 1000 pass along cards this week. Yesterday I got the guts up to start passing them out. Boy, was it a bit nerve racking to hand them to the bank ladies and the pharmacist. They were all willing and loved the cards, which helped. Today, at Stake Conference I took the time to make sure those in the stake whom we know received card. They were all willing as well why was I scared? Probably for the unknown. I know that however and whenever we find our child it will be a miraculous moment and I want to be open and prepared for that.

Some this week did not receive their miracles and I am so sorry to hear of your struggles and loss. I think of the Bodily Family and as the waiting continues for the Redfern Family. Our prayers will be with each of you as you continue in your struggles but remember Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ they are what get us through.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Apple Picking Time

Believe it or not fall is here. Yesterday we drove out about an hour to a fun apple orchard. We took a friend from the branch with us. We had a lovely time and the mosquitoes loved Landon even more. We ate yummy ice cream, bought yummy pastries, picked our own yummy apples, and even grabbed some peaches to take home. School has started in earnest for the fall. Mike is teaching at two different campuses this fall it will be interesting to see how it goes. We wish him all the best.

Waiting for our big wagon to pick us up. Landon eating his apple. He loves them.
He was more than willing to help us try to gather the apples. Even if they were yucky.
Our fun wagon ride to the orchard.
Our friend Cindy who went with us. She sat next to Landon and was so good to him. Thanks!
Landon loved riding in the big wagon. He is always up for an adventure.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

AMAZING! Rise and Shout!


P.S. Thanks ESPN for having it on the Internet.
Thanks Kalciches for having us over for as long as Landon lasted.

Looks like we're off to a good start!
Quote of the game: "I think Max Hall said, 'Oh, my gosh,' or whatever they say in Provo." What do they say in Happy Valley? Well, "We won," for starters.

Plus, the Utes beat the Aggies, and both our Michigan teams won, and so did USC. A near-perfect Saturday for football (Wayne State lost. Maybe next time. Go Warriors!).

Christmas In September?

Here are the pictures from the last two days of fun. Yesterday we only took one pictures. We had a nice time but the best part was the shirts I bought the boys. Landon gets his now, Mike gets his for Christmas. I will give a synopsis of the pictures as you scroll down. Have a fun peek at one we got to do. P.S. the weekend is not even over yet. Tonight it is BYU fun! P.S. the pictures are in backwards order.

Landon is sporting his first Tattoo, I am sure the first of many. HEEE HEE! We went to Greenfield Village today to see the promotion of the new The Christmas Carol. It was a fake tattoo and it was a snowflake in honor of Mike. Everything was around a Christmas theme and I think this is the earliest we have ever celebrate Christmas. Thank goodness we got to our destination early as we heard the lines were long yesterday.
Here is a model of Marley the partner of Scrooge and what he looked like when visited Scrooge the first time. We saw lots of great artifacts. Some from the Charles Dickens museum in London.
Here are the busts that they sculpted of some of the characters.
This is inside of the train car where we saw lots of flat panel tv's depicting the art work from the movie. It is amazing what technology can do.

Here is Jim Carrey/Scrooge as a little boy. You can see him get older in the next set of photos.

We even were entertained by Christmas Carolers. They sang a fun Christmas song about cookies. Landon was sitting on Mike's shoulders and was very captivated.
Here is the line that lay before us to get on our train experience. The line actually moved at a good rate.
Mike and Landon waiting in line. For not having the stroller he was pretty dang good.
This was a blow up theatre. Inside it sat 97 people where we watched clips from the new movie in 3-D. I can't believe that we sat inside a glorified tent to look like a theatre. How imaginative those Disney/Branding folks are.
Here is one of the train cars. This train started out in LA back on May 22 and will end up in New York at the premiere in November.

Mike and Landon are standing in front of our "shuttle" which was actually a really nice tour bus. The Henry Ford/Disney always do things very nice. Everything was done in a neat and orderly manner.
Trying to keep Landon entertained.
LOVED the buses. I guess it doesn't hurt that we live on a street where they go often. It was one of his first words and signs.

Yes, he has no pants on but the shirt is great. It hearkens back to a stick shift on a car and the shirt is brought to use by the company Made In Detroit. This company is owned by Kid Rock. Hallie is not a fan of most of his things but the festival we went to yesterday (Arts, Beats, & Eats) had a boost up in the sponsorship department by this company Made In Detroit. So we thought it would be fitting to help out the cause and by the boys some shirts. Landon looks great in all things DETROIT.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

The Fun Has Begun

The State Fair

The great thing about living in South East Michigan is that everything is in about a 30 min drive. So is the State Fair. Below our the pictures of our little jaunt on a beautiful September 2nd afternoon.

They had tons of goats! Here is one that wanted to get to know Landon.
This is about as close to riding a tractor as Landon will get to go on for a while.
This little lamb was born recently and it was a bit dehydrated that is why there is a mark (it's spray paint, not blood) on its head.
We saw LOTS of cows.
Even some made out of butter.
This sign tells all about the State Fair. They said today on the news that this will be the last one. Kind of sad.
A horse in a cage. Not so fond of that but when will Landon ever get to see one again this big? Not for a long time.