Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Michigan Fireman's Memorial Festival

We spent this last weekend camping at Higgins Lake and enjoying the Michigan Fireman's Memorial Festival. We went up on Friday and had a steak dinner at the campgrounds with the guys from Rich's fire department and the neighboring town's fire department. Rich went out the the guys afterwards to the barn on the festival grounds for a few drinks while I slept! :-)

Rich's past chief's name on the wall.

Saturday morning we got up bright and early to go to the memorial service. As we arrived, the rain started, came down hard during the whole service then, in a very timely manner, stopped when the service was over and the sun came out! Rich's fire department had his past fire chief's name put on the wall and they laid a wreath in his honor. The family also gave a donation in memory of him.
The kids trying to stay dry during the service.
Rich's fellow firefighter speaking about their past fire chief.
Rich, some of the firefighters and their past chief's mom by the name on the wall.

We skipped the parade and went back to the campgrounds to dry off a while before going to watch Rich in his Search & Rescue competition. He and his team (4 of them all together) had 15 minutes to get suited up and go into a dark, smoke-filled, three story structure and try to retrieve two rescue victims. The team did an awesome job coming in 3rd place and was the only team to find both rescue victims. (They were unable to get the 2nd victim completely out before they ran out of time, so they didn't receive points for it.)
The Search & Rescue team waiting anxiously.
Their time has started and they're getting their gear on.
Heading into the structure.
Rich waiting outside for his turn to run in.
The cheering section....my in-laws, their dog and the kiddos.
Morgan cheering "Go Daddy Go!"
The team!
Aww :-)

After the guys got their plaque and other prizes we went out for dinner at the local bowling alley and then back to the campgrounds. Sunday we packed up and did some more looking around at the festival grounds before heading home.
Posing with their plaque.

It's awesome to be able to go to such an event each year. Not only do I learn more about what goes into being a firefighter, but it's just a wonderful way to remember and honor those who gave their lives keeping their communities safe.

CSN Stores $60 GIVEAWAY *Closed*

Congratulations to the winner comment #1-Domestic Diva!! :-)

I'm a bit behind on getting this post up, so I'm going to keep it short and make it simple! After my original teaser post a couple weeks ago, CSN Stores offered one of my readers a $60 gift code to any of their 200+ stores! Isn't that great!? Thank you CSN Stores! So here are the rules:

To enter to win the $60 gift code to CSN Stores, please visit CSN Stores and tell me, in a comment, what you might like to get if you were to win!! (Don't get lost over there...I know I could spend hours looking around!) Make sure to leave your e-mail address in your comment so that I can contact you if you are the winner.

Giveaway will end in one week on Sept 28th at 10:00 pm EST. I will choose a winner using Random.org and contact the winner shortly afterwards. The winner will have 48 hours to respond and if I don't hear back from them, they will forfeit their prize and I will choose a new winner. Open to U.S. and Canadian residents only.

*Disclosure: I was offered to either do a review or host a giveaway in return for doing a teaser post and the review or giveaway post. All opinions expressed in the post are my own.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Birthday Boy!

Blake turned 3 last Saturday. If I think about it too much, I'd probably tear-up. I love his sweetness and cuteness at this age and I really don't want him to grow up, but unfortunately he will and is. (Although he promised me he would try to stay little.) :-)

Blake is a Lego lover (along with many other things-the little guy really knows how to play!), so when I saw a block cake on Betty Crocker's website, I had to make it for him! It fell apart on me while I was taking it out of the pan and crumbled like crazy when I tried to frost it despite it being frozen, but I still think it turned out cute :-)
At lunch, we had Blake's traditional McDonalds. We usually do McDonalds for breakfast, but we forgot. It's been a tradition since the day he was born. I went into labor super early in the morning and had been up so long that by breakfast I was really hungry. Morgan's labor had lasted SO long that I figured I might as well eat because it would be a while and Rich grabbed us some McDonalds....we've been doing it ever since :-)
Party time started at dinner where we had hot dogs, meatballs and a BUNCH of veggies! I even tried some new recipes to use the veggies up and everything went over really well! I know what to make next year! ;-)
Next, he opened presents and got all sorts, but only needed one! He was so anxious to play with his first toy, that it was like trying to pull teeth to keep him working on opening the rest! It was super cute though!
Blake with his cake, anxiously waiting for some fire to blow out! ;-)
This was taken as he was being sung to. He played shy and looked away from all the attention :-)

We also did little party favors for the kids for the first time this year...maybe jumped the gun a bit with him only being 3, but the kids loved them!

Blake had a really fun birthday and has been talking about it all week! I just wish it didn't mean my little guy is getting older :-/

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Summer 2010 Update #2

This summer has been BUSY! I'm going to try to catch you up with everything we've been up to, but I'm sure I'll miss something. (And you'll probably be glad I missed it, because it's already going to be a LONG post! LOL!)

Forth of July weekend was packed, especially that Saturday! We had a parade to ride in the fire truck. Morgan decided she wanted to watch the parade and get candy, so she watched with my mom and Blake rode in the truck. Every year in the 4th of July parade, they set up the engine to shoot out water and it's a HUGE hit with the kids....they were running behind waiting for us to stop and shoot out water again...even the adults were asking for it as we drove by! SO much fun! :-)

We also had a birthday party on the 4th of July Saturday for a young cousin who was up from Virginia and later we had a 4th of July party with fireworks and a bunch of fun! It was an AWESOME day! :-)


The following weekend the kids and I went to the tip of the thumb (of Michigan) and camped with my family. We left on Friday, but Thursday night, as Rich, the kids and I were dragging home our calves that had gotten out from a half mile down the road, my dad called and asked if the kids and I would want to head to Minnesota to visit my mom's uncle after camping. It was going to take the whole next week of driving and camping. As last minute as it was I decided we'd go. Here are some pics of the trip:

The kids playing in Saginaw Bay.

Just crossed the Mackinaw Bridge.

Lots of camping on the trip!!

Blake in awe at the Mall of America in Minnesota.

First time eating at the Rainforest Cafe.

This was in front of our table.

Us minus Morgan who didn't want to be in the picture.

The Volcano dessert....YUM!

Morgan was excited to try it ;-)

The Lego store in the mall.
The kids watching all the rides from the American Girl doll store.

So we went on a ride on the Ferris Wheel! This is when they first got on.
And THIS is when it started moving!
View from the top of the mall (top of the Ferris Wheel)...it's HOT up there!
After the mall, we went back to my mom's aunt and uncle's and stayed the night. This pic is of Blake the next day as we headed back home.
We stopped at the Leinie Lodge in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin where the Leinenkugel beer is made. (It's the beer in the movie 'Escanaba in da Moonlight')

This is the storm that was coming while we were at the Leinie Lodge...and the reason we only stayed for a short time...we left to try to stay ahead of it, but it didn't work! That had to be the scariest storm I've ever been in...tears in my eyes, hugging my kids-no fun!

This is at the hotel we stayed at since it was storming. No fun camping while it's storming!

Had to take advantage of the pool while we were there!

Blake still not sure about going in the water...never been in a pool before!

But he changed his mind...
...and had a blast!

That was the extent of the trip. We stayed a night in Mackinaw City on the way home and mom and I got to do some shopping while dad watched the kiddos at the campsite. I also had a tick stuck to me the next morning....Heebie Jeebies!!!!


The next week we got 5 new windows! I took the kiddos to my MIL's and went out to eat with an old friend while Rich stayed with the window guys. Well, while at my in-laws, we saw a kitten she had and it was just too cute to leave to possibly be eaten by all their doggies, so we brought it home :-)

This is Leinie...yes, after the beer! See Bear in the back...very anxious to do some cat chasing! ;-) (Don't worry, he doesn't eat them.)

The Friday we got the windows was also the start of the Yale Bologna Festival! I met up with some college friends that night to watch the fireworks. The next night, the kids, Rich and I went to the Bologana parade and then Sunday we headed back and had some Bologna sandwiches under the Bologna tent! ;-) LOVE that festival! It's very family friendly and always fun!

The next week we had Rich's birthday. The kiddos got cuddly in a chair during it and it was too cute to pass up pics! ;-)

LOVE this face! I think they were having lemonade.

The weekend after Rich's birthday, we also had my grandfather's memorial service and the next day was the annual family reunion. It's always at my aunt and uncle's place on the St. Clair river, so it's fun watching the freighters float by-they're HUGE!
My sister with one of the 4 Scotties running around.

Blake had a blast in the bounce house.
Morgan had a blast in the pool!


Of course our garden has been producing. I've gotten 62 pints of green beans canned, 16 pints of corn froze, more squash and zucchini than we could handle, but it's been fairly easy to give away and we grew eggplant for the first time. It's a very new thing for us, since neither Rich nor I had ever even eaten eggplant before, but it's been interesting. This is the Eggplant Parmesan that I tried making. :-)

Besides all that we also made it to the county fair, but I forgot to take the camera :-/

Like I said, a BUSY summer...and this post only covered July! (Except for some of the garden update). I'd like to have another update with the August happenings too...not quite as hectic thankfully ;-)
I hope everyone has had a wonderful summer too! :-)
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