We had another school carnival today. I had thought the prices of St. John Vianney carnival were expensive. It turns out that I was wrong. We spent more at the Gladiola Elementary carnival for the same amount of time. It was fun but it was so busy that kids didn't get a chance to do as much stuff as they might have otherwise. I felt bad for Henry he'd been told he could get as much cotton candy as he wanted. It turns out the line was about twenty minutes long. He sat there and waited and waited and waited. He got what he waited and waited and waited. He finally got his cotton candy and he seemed happy. I just felt bad he had to wait so long for it when he'd been told he could have as much as he wanted.
The evening, however, was a treat for mom and dad. Melissa and I went out to dinner with her parents at Olive Garden and saw Shrek 3 afterwards. The food was good of course. I did learn that mussels have no real flavor of their own. Shrek 3 wasn't bad. It had some good one liners. However, I have to say that I have never really been a fan of the series. We'll see if it really is the last in the series. I have to think a spinoff, at least, is going to happen.
We went up to the cottage this weekend and of course that means good cheese. Now that alone is worth mentioning. However, this particular weekend was Cheddar Fest at Farm Country Cheese House
. It wasn't a huge affair, but they had a good turnout. We didn't stay for the band or the free food but we got some baked goods and stocked up on cheese.
I took Henry and Sammy to the metro cruise
. They had a lot of fun and played in Klingman's park. Sammy was pretty tired while looking at the cars. Henry had a lot of fun with them though. It was Henry's turn to be tired while we were playing at Klingman's
Klingman's park is nice because it is completely gated. That way you do not have to worry about nearby 28th st. The equipment is in good shape and there's plenty for them to do. They apparently bought it from Wyoming public schools who is closing elementary schools.
We went to the zoo again this weekend. I'm not sure if we'll get another chance since we're going to be gone next weekend. Hopefully, we'll squeeze something in but I kinda doubt it. It was fun when Sammy asked to go back to see the Leopards. She was interested the first time but when she saw them on the monitor she had to see them again in person.
I gotta say I really like having a membership to the Grand Rapids Children's Museum
. We go there more during the winter but during the summer you get a month of free admission to Meijer Gardens
, Grand Rapids Art Museum
, Gerald R Ford Museum
, and John Ball Zoo
. We definitely get our money's worth out of the membership.
I got to go to a Whitecaps
game. I'm not sure about other teams but the Whitecaps are fun to go see. I'd like to go more often but life usually intervenes. Minor League Baseball
is a lot cheaper and closer than going to a Major League Baseball
I went with my father-in-law and it was a decent enough game. The Whitecaps were in control for most of the game. It would have been nice if it was closer. South Bend didn't give up though and it had its moments. Final score was 9-2 Whitecaps. The biggest downside was that traffic and parking was miserable and it took longer than we thought it was going to. It had the usual minor league side entertainment that was amusing enough. Although, I was also a bit disappointed that the guy juggling chain saws between innings didn't cut his hands off.
Today was the Train Festival
. We really did not know what to expect but it was a great deal of fun for all of us. They had a bunch of different trains there of various types to go though. They also had a huge number of different layouts of various types and sizes. This includes a few put up by the host Steam Railroading Institute
One of the coolest things was the Leviathan 63
. It is a newly built train based on 1860s designs. It is the kind of train you think of when you picture a steam locomotive. They had it going around the turntable. The kids certainly got a kick out of it.
They had a few other things as well. The vendor tent was mostly for model railroaders but there were a few fun displays. The one that stuck out the most was the Lego train
layout. I had no idea they had train pieces.
Another fun thing was they had a ride-on train layout that we were able to go on. It wasn't huge, obviously, but I've seen them around and it was something to do. You do have to be careful, they are tippy. Now if it was owned by someone we knew. Than we could have had some real fun with it.
We did not go on any of the train rides because of both the cost and the likelihood that the kids would just be bored. Although I would like to thank the total stranger who gave us two tickets to get into the thing. It saved us a bundle of money and those tickets didn't go to waste.
I took the kids up to the cottage. I have to confess we do not get up there much. However, we do try and get up there one or twice a year at least. The kids were happy to see Grandma, and they go to play in the sand in the horseshoe pits.
The highlight for them was probably when they went fishing in the channel. They'd never been fishing before so it was a pretty new experience for them. Sammy caught two and Henry caught one, although they got plenty more bites than that. Their reflexes were a bit slow and they couldn't seem to get their tug on the line to match the fishs'. Despite that, it was a pretty good first effort. I'll have to figure out how to get some pictures off my phone. I did not have a real camera, unfortunately.
Melissa and I had the day off so we decided to do some fun stuff as a family. We all went to see Ice Age III. It was okay, Sammy started to get bored but it was a good first movie experience for her. The best part, again, was the squirrel. It is so fun doing stuff with the kids because everything is still so new to them. They get excited over everything. It makes things more fun just having them around for it.
Melissa and I had the evening to ourselves. The kids stayed over at Melissa's parents. While we went to Outback and than to a party at one of her friends'. Outback was fine but I have to be honest we hadn't been there in a while and I do not feel like I was missing anything. There's so many other places that I've never been to. I'd rather try something new than a run of the mill place I've been to plenty of times.
It was actually pretty good. I suppose I'm willing to overlook the time travel plot. Good casting. More action/adventure than regular Trek. The comedy seemed to work well and they were not ashamed of the random way they introduced characters. Too bad they blew up Vulcan. Hopefully, the sequels will be halfway decently written.
St. John Vianney had their parish carnival today so we took the kids. I was surprised how many rides they packed into such a small space. We forgot the camera so we didn't take any pictures today, we'll go back and get a few tomorrow with the rest of the ride tickets. In addition to the amusement rides they had the usual assortment of carnival games. The church also had a bunch of games aimed at younger kids like Henry and Samus. The highlight for me though was the elephant ears. Do you really need another reason to go?
The rides were provided by Skerbeck Brothers
and they had a large Ferris wheel and a few other good sized ones. The Ferris wheel was a lot of fun for everyone but mommy. She was convinced the kids were going to jump out. Poor mommy, next time we'll leave her home.
I had to get out of bed, paint, drive to pick up sammy, drive to get some stuff from the store, not happy. Is it really that much to ask to not have to get out of bed on your birthday?
We spent the weekend celebrating Mother's Day. We spent yesterday with Melissa's parents. Today was at my mom's. I was rather amused that my mom and I both made Tomato Mince pie. It worked out okay though because it meant more for me.
Plus, Melissa's dad likes it so he's good for a piece or two when I make it.
We get free admission to Meijer Gardens
this month through the children's museum. We walked all over the place. The kids especially liked playing with the water displays and getting soaked. We missed the butterflies exhibit
but there were still still a ton of butterflies. Apparently, even though it ends on April 30th, there are usually some butterflies through the first week or two of May.
It is wierd... Certainly better than the alternative but still wierd.
Henry and Sammy like to play with mommy and daddy's keys. Unfortunately, this morning they decided to start the car for daddy. They succeeded. I gotta remember how smart and helpful Henry is. Luckily, nothing happened but it makes me worry what can happen with Henry when he tries to be all independent.