Monthly Archives: September 2008

Kent Harvest Trails

I have a new appreciation for working mothers.  Even though I am not even working 40 hours a week, my whole schedule has changed.  I’m trying to make the best use of the time I have with my kids.  As a result my house is a disaster most of the time, our clothes are wrinkly because they stay in the dryer too long, and I actually tried (very, very unsuccessfully) to adapt a pizza casserole recipe for the crock pot. I called a good friend of mine who is a working mom and asked her how she kept it all together.  After she stopped laughing, she said “in 5 years I haven’t figured it out.  When you do, let me know”. 

Our family time is precious.  We spent Saturday morning at the Mayor’s Grand River Clean Up, and enjoyed it as much as we did last year.  After about an hour or so of picking up candy wrappers and fishing line, my husband found a shopping cart.  In the river.  He hoisted it out, then let an energetic scout troop push it a mile or so back to the dumpster.  BIG shout out to Peppino’s Pizza.  I smelled their little Pizza Truck pull up before I saw it, and somehow they had shoved 60 pizzas into this tiny little truck.  I later found out that they donated them all to the River Clean Up volunteers, which I think is awesome.

Although it’s rainy today, it’s a good reminder that it is fall, after all.  Last year we went apple picking in 80 degree weatherand it just wasn’t right.  Honeycrisps are ready, so we are planning some apple picking trips! There is such a huge variety of picking experiences here, from low-key to almost amusement park like.  Check out Kent Harvest Trails to find an orchard that works for you.

The world is a little crazy right now.  Biblical symbolism aside; the act of picking an apple and eating it right off the tree seems so innocent in the midst of what we are hearing about in the news.  I am looking forward to enjoying it with my family; this year more than ever.


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Free Museum Passes!

I just read in Passionate Homemaking that Free Museum Day from Smithsonian is back.  Museums across the country offer passes for free admission for two people. This is great news for those of us in Michigan; this program has been around for quite a while but some years, there aren’t many options for us in this area. 

I’m most excited about the Air Zoo in Portage.  Tickets for adults are $19.50, so two free tickets really helps out! Free Museum Day is Saturday, September 27.  Head over to the website to see what is available near you, and to print out a pass.


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Make A Joyful Noise

There are some cool classes ’round town that I totally meant to do a Feature Friday about yesterday.  I forgot that there was a Back To School Luau (pronounced “lu-WOW WOW” if you ask A.P.) at school.  It was really fun. I have to say; I feel really fortunate with our school experience so far. All two weeks of it.  There were games and ‘inflatables’ and leis.  Good stuff.

Today we went to the Tiny Tots Olympics at Kentwood Rec.  I was absolutely thrilled with it! There were different stations set up for the kids to do ‘events’.  We started with hockey and didn’t stop until we got to the marshmallow toss.  Every event had a little prize, and at the end the kids got a gold medal.  They loved it. 

We’ve had a very good week on the exercise front.  A.P. started soccer and mark my words – that kid is going to be a goalie.  Actually mark his words; because within 30 seconds of the class he asked for the position.  Maybelle started ballet.  It was the cutest thing I have ever seen in my whole life; no exaggeration. So many of my heart-warming motherhood ‘firsts’ were with A.P.; but this was all hers.  She was all about the ‘twirls’.

So what the heck was I talking about? Oh yeah.  Music. Also a very important thing to make sure you kids get some exposure to, and do some exploration with.  I met Michelle Venegas at a Bright Beginnings playgroup and she told me about her Music Together classes.  It’s a fun time for you to spend with your kid, and introduce them to the amazing world of music. There is a new session starting next week, so it’s a perfect time to check it out. Michelle also teaches Suzuki classes for kids to learn the violin and fiddle.  She has an amazing combination of early childhood and musical experience.

There are other Music Together classes around town, but I haven’t met the instructors.  In fact, they are in many different parts of the country so check out the website for a class nearby.

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Things I Love Thursday – Country Bob’s

About a month ago, I was contacted by Country Bob’s to see if I’d like to try their All Purpose Sauce, then review it on my blog.  I will not review something I would not be interested in purchasing, and I had never seen Country Bob’s in the store but being that one of my husband’s nick-names is “Sauce King”, this was something I definitely wanted to try.  Incidentally, one of his other nick-names is “Jabber-Jaws”. He has a few more, but we’ll just leave those alone for now.

So anyway, Jabber Jaws/Sauce King and I tried out the Country Bob’s Sauce.  We grilled some chicken breasts and brushed it on afterward before putting the whole thing on a roll to make a sandwich. He loved it.  He said, “there’s a lot going on here!”.  That was a good way to say it.  It is sort of the same consistency as A-1, but it is sweet and tangy and spicy all at once. 

My kids have recently adopted the word ‘spicy’ and use it any time they get any type of taste sensation in their mouth.  It doesn’t mean they like or dislike it; in fact, they think their Spider-man toothpaste is ‘spicy’. They ate it but I couldn’t really tell if they liked it or not. Personally, I thought it would be perfect on pork but haven’t tried that yet.

I went to the Country Bob’s website, and saw that they are offering a sample.  If you’d like to try this, head over and sign up. I don’t think you’ll be sorry! For more Things I Love Thursday, check out the Diaper Diaries.


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Movies – What Do You Think?

The Dove Family Film Festival lineup is out! This is a local film festival that is free for kids, and costs $2.50 for anyone who is over 12.  The Dove Family Foundation chooses movie that get the “Dove Family Approved Seal”.  Last time, it included Bratz. This time, the movies are:

  • Nim’s Island (PG) 9/19-9/25
  • Spiderwick Chronicles (PG) 9/25-10/2
  • Space Chimps (G) 10/3-10/9
  • Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (PG 13) 10/10-10/16
  • Kit Kittredge, An American Girl (G) 10/17-10/23
  • Kung Fu Panda (PG) 10/24-10/30
  • Horton Hears a Who! (G) 10/31-11/6

I really like the Dove Family Film Festival, but I think that the movies have gotten increasingly ‘older’ as time has gone by.  Maybe movies in general have grown up in just the short time that my children have been movie-goers. I love archaeology, Indiana Jones, and Harrison Ford… but I don’t want my kids to see that movie yet. What have you taken your kids to see? Would you agree that these are all Family Friendly?


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Hobby Hump Day

Happy Wednesday! My friend Olivia at 3inunder3 started a blog carnival called “Hobby Hump Day”.  It’s to showcase your efforts (or pathetic attempts, in my case) at either a hobby or a creative endeavor. 

This is an area of severe deficit for me, so I may not be able to participate every week.  Be sure to check out her blog on Wednesdays though for great ideas – she is incredibly talented. 

My contribution is a backpack.  It’s just a cheap one from the Sierra Club they sent me once I finally broke down and gave them some money.  It is a continuation of A.P.’s preschool backpack which I sewed two or three patches on.  Then I started consciously trying to buy a patch everywhere we went, and it’s starting to really fill in.  I figure about the time it’s full he will think it’s so dorky he will refuse to carry it anymore.

The patches are sewn all across the top and down the sides. I have no idea if he likes it or not, but it makes me feel good to see him with it 🙂


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Lollipop Concerts are Back!

I got a notice today that the Grand Rapids Symphony Lollipops concerts are back! This is inexplicably not on their website, but you can call the Symphony at 454-9451 ext. 4 or get them through Ticketmaster.

These are fantastic concerts for young kids.  The conductor does a really nice job in getting and keeping their attention, and there is always some kind of show with it.  As I’ve said before, we love these performances. We’ve seen dancers, actors, and costumed animals. They are short attention span friendly; and last about 45 minutes. Tickets are $5 each and there is no reserved seating. 

First is Little Red Riding Hood on Saturday, January 24 at 10:15 and 11:30 at Sunshine Community Church.  The second is Green Eggs and Ham on Saturday, March 21 at 10:15 and 11:30 also at Sunshine Community Church.  I know this is quite early, but mark your calendars now because these are really fun!


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