Jul 01

When these boys get together…

Goofy Brothers 1 Goofy Brothers 2

Strange things often happen…

Goofy Brothers 3Goofy Brothers 4

Goofy Brothers 5Goofy Brothers 6

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Jun 29

Declan and Owen went to their first Cub Scout Fun Day last month.  This is a day when Camp Munhacke is open to the Cubs and their families.  There are lots of things for them to do.  The usual shooting sports stations are open as well as crafts, sports, and Minute To Win It games!

Walking Down the Back Road

The boys walking down the back road. Still early and a little chilly.

Obstacle Course Hurdle

Owen’s already over and Declan is about to clear the hurdle on the obstacle course

Obstacle Course Hoops

They had to put their whole body through the hoops.

Obstacle Course Wall

Climb the wall, and try to not fall down the other side!

On Their Way To Another Adventure

They’re on their way to the next adventure. Can Dad keep up?


Their first try at archery using real bows and arrows. Neither of them were that impressed this time.

Owen At BB Guns

Owen enjoyed the BB Guns. He hit the pie plate target a couple of times!

Declan At BB Guns

Declan also hit the target a couple of times. A very successful first attempt!

Stick the Landing Game

Kieran and the other Boy Scouts from Troop 240 were running the Minute To Win It game station during fun day. We finally got there by mid-day. Stick the Landing involves tossing a half full plastic water bottle and trying to get it to land upright on the table.

Apple Stacking

This Minute To Win It game involved stacking five apples on top of each other. All in one minute. Without them falling.

Declan's Wrist Rocket

Declan’s favorite station of the day was the wrist rockets. He shot a whole lot of dog food!

Owen's Wrist Rocket

Owen is really pulling that slingshot back.

It was a very fun day.  My compliments to the volunteers who made Cub Scout Fun Day happen.  My boys and I really appreciate how much effort you put into making our day memorable.

Mar 26

Today was Declan and Owen’s first Pinewood Derby.  It’s their first year as Cub Scouts and the Derby is one of the highlights of the year.  They picked out their car designs from a book mom brought home from the library.  It wasn’t much of a plan, just a shape.  So we improvised the rest.

The cars from all the dens were raced in various heats.  When it was all said and done only the scouts from a particular den competed against each other.  There are eight other boys in the Tiger Den with Declan and Owen.  In the end Owen took first place and Declan took second place!  They were both incredibly excited.

Here are the boys and their cars and their winners trophies. They had to take a serious picture first.


After the serious picture it was time to get goofy!

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Mar 12

Life goes by so very fast and leaves no time to blog.  However, I wanted to share these pictures that the boys created for the Original Works program that their school is offering again this year.

Owen made a family portrait for his original work. Even the cats are included.

Declan's outer space scene. He's very proud of the alien turtle on the red planet.

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Aug 09

Linda returned home on July 15th and noticed this turtle walking on our driveway.  So the whole family had to check it out.  After we all had a look we put him in a box and walked him over to the pond across the street.  When we released him there he scurried into the water pretty quickly.

Baby Turtle in our Driveway 1

When most of us saw him he was partway under the car in the driveway.

Baby Turtle in our Driveway 2

He looks a little disgusted doesn't he?

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May 27

Sometimes there are books that the twins really want Kieran to read to them.  Thankfully, he doesn’t mind.

Kieran Reads To His Brothers

Kieran reads Power Rangers to Declan and Owen

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May 26

On Easter while Linda had the boys in a photo taking mood and me with the camera she wanted pictures with each of them.

Mom and Kieran

She almost couldn't convince Kieran to pose

Mom and Owen

Owen knows how to strike a pose

Mom and Declan

Declan's always ready for a picture

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May 25

Easter was not a huge to do this year.  Just a very nice meal enjoyed by a happy family.  That’s enough isn’t it?

Easter Dinner

Owen appears to be very happy about the dinner Mom made for Easter

Here’s the centerpiece Linda created for the dining room.

Easter Centerpiece

Candles, flowers, and eggs - the colored and the peanut butter kind

It’s not often that all of us guys put on something that isn’t a t-shirt.  So when it happens there must be a picture.

All Dressed Up For Easter

Family photo from Easter 2011

Thanks to this picture I finally replaced the old banner image for this site.  This one is much better.  Hope you had a nice Easter.

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Oct 02

We took a little vacation to Ludington over the Labor Day weekend. Linda and I used to visit Ludington quite a bit. Even after Kieran was born we went a number of times. We even camped in the state park back then. However, we haven’t been back to Ludington for a stay since we became a family of five. It was nice to be back!

We surrounded our one night in Ludington with nights in Reed City. So we headed up to Reed City on Friday night. We had dinner at home and then hit the road. We thought maybe Declan and Owen would sleep in the car if we got a later start. That didn’t work all that well, but it was worth a try. Saturday we got ourselves over to Wrights Bake Shop for breakfast. We got enough to take with us for the next day too. It’s always great to visit Wrights!

We made the hour drive to Ludington and got there around lunch time.  What to do for lunch?!  Linda got a brilliant idea.  She suggested we got to Bortell’s.  If you ever go to Ludington during the Summer you must eat at Bortells.  We were introduced to it by the proprietors of Bed and Breakfast at Ludington where we used to stay.  It’s a little way out of town, but quite popular.  They do seafood.  You pick what you want from their display case, then they take it out and fry it up right in front of you.  Oh it is good!

Bortells Fisheries

Bortells is on South Lakeshore Drive along Lake Michigan outside Ludington. There isn't much parking in the lot.

Bortells Street Parking

Because Bortells is so popular, there are usually cars parked along the road.

Bortells Outdoor Seating

There is no inside seating at Bortells. If you want to sit down and eat, there are picnic tables outside.

Bortells Food

We got two orders of whitefish, an order of shrimp, an order of fried mushrooms, and an order of fries. Yum!

Bortells Fish Sign

Something's fishy

Since there are five of us these days, our favorite B&B isn’t as good an option any more.  So we opted to rent a cottage for the night.  The Lakeview Cottages owners were nice enough to rent to us for a single night at the last minute.  It was the end of the season so they helped us out.  Our cottage (#3) was nice.  It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but inside it’s good.  The kids weren’t sure about the lack of TV, but that’s just fine for Linda and I.  It does have Wifi which works for the two of us.

Lakeview Cottages Sign

Our cottage was actually the back portion of this corner building.

Kids at Lakeview Cottage #3

Here are the boys outside our cottage door.

After we got our stuff unloaded we walked a couple of blocks down to Stearns Park.  That’s the city’s lakefront park.  The wind was pretty strong, and it had been for a while.  It had blown lots of sand off the beach across the parking lot into the grassy part of the park.  It was also causing big waves that were crashing up over the north breakwater.  We thought it was crazy that there were actually people out on the breakwater while those waves were present.  Our common sense was right.  On Monday, after we’d returned home, a tourist was out on the breakwater and a big wave swept him right off into the lake and he drowned.  You should never underestimate the power of the lake!

Waves Over the Ludington North Breakwater

The waves are crashing over the breakwater and common sense is apparently absent.

Stearns Park Sky

I thought the sky was amazing.

Stearns Park Sand

Just a small sample of the sand blown off the beach. The city spent the next week putting it back.

After we walked the length of the park we were at Ludington Avenue.  So we headed up the street and checked out some of the shops.  It didn’t take long for the kids to get bored with that.  We had dinner at the Jamesport Brewing Company.  A walk in the dark back to our cottage was fun.  When the kids weren’t being raucous we could hear Lake Michigan a couple of blocks away.

Sunday was Big Sable Point day.  We had the Wrights goodies that we brought with us for breakfast, picked up some lunch at Subway, and then drove out to Ludington State Park.  We parked at the Lake Michigan beach and started our walk to the Big Sable Point Lighthouse.  To get to the light you either have to walk along the beach or a state park road.  You cannot drive out to it.  The walk along the beach is much more fun so we do that.  On the way out there was much “I cannot walk one more step” heard from the children.  It got better once we walked far enough for the top of the lighthouse to come into view.

Walk to Big Sable Point 1

Kieran and Mom had lots to talk about on the way to the lighthouse. You can just see the top of it over the grass.

Walk to Big Sable Point 2

A little further down the beach, now it looks like a lighthouse.

Walk to Big Sable Point 3

Now the color bands are more visible. The kids were getting more excited at this point.

Walk to Big Sable Point 4

The fog signal is visible on the left now.

Walk to Big Sable Point 5

Keepers quarters starting to rise out of the grass.

Looking Up Big Sable Point Lighthouse

This view gives quite a different perspective. I didn't realize somebody was looking down at me until after I took the picture.

Bottom of the Big Sable Stairs

We paid the keepers and climbed those stairs to the top of the tower.

Big Sable Point Lighthouse - At the Top

Hold on to your hats! It's windy up at the top of the lighthouse.

Lake View From Big Sable Lighthouse

Looking toward the lake from the top of the lighthouse. The replica fog signal structure doesn't actually have a fog signal in it.

Behind the Big Sable Lighthouse

This is the view behind the lighthouse from up top.

Big Sable Keepers Quarters From Above

Looking down at the Keepers Quarters from the top of the lighthouse.

Looking Back Where We Came From Atop Lighthouse

This is the view back in the direction we came from.

Ludington State Park Beach Near Lighthouse

Looking down the beach we walk to get to the lighthouse.

Big Sable Point Lighthouse Lunch

We sat down for lunch in the shadow of the tower, but the shadow moved.

Big Sable Lighthouse in the Sun's Glow

From the shadow of the tower the sun cast a bright glow from behind the top of the tower.

Big Sable Point Outhouse

There's no bathroom in the Keeper's Quarters, but there is a very fancy outhouse.

Big Sable Big Tree Stump

This huge tree stump is between the lighthouse and the outhouse

Freighter and Sail Boats

As we started to walk back from Big Sable Lighthouse I spotted this out on the lake.

Playing in the Sand

On the way back from the lighthouse everybody eventually removed their shoes and walked close along the water.

Lake Michigan Sand Play

Just can't resist the sand.

Our Beach Walking Kite

One of us was holding this kite for our walk out and back to the lighthouse. There's no better place to fly a kite.

It was a beautiful day to walk along the water.  The sun was shining and it wasn’t too hot or cold.

We made it back to Reed City for dinner with Grandma and Grandpa who came up that day.  After a nice evening with them the kids slept well.  The fresh air and walking helps with that.  Monday it was time to head home.  It was a short vacation, but a great end to the Summer.

Sep 25
Kieran First Day Of Middle School

Kieran about to walk out the door to catch the bus.

The Summer has come to an end.  How can that be?!  I’ve got pictures from our Labor Day vacation in Ludington to post, but I thought I’d get the boys first day of school pictures up first.  It’s only two weeks since they started.  That’s not so bad for me.

I can hardly believe that Kieran is now a Middle Schooler! He has been really happy with the change of schools.  He’s meeting new people that came from the other elementary schools, he’s got a good groups of teachers, and he’s got many more options in the cafeteria for lunch!  He’s already been placed into the advanced Language Arts and Math classes.

It has been a little weird around the house in the morning.  Up until this year nobody else has been awake when I’m leaving for work.  Because the Middle School bus is much earlier than the ones for elementary school, Kieran and Linda are now up with me.  It’s nice to have the company, even if it’s only for a few minutes before I go out the door.

Declan and Owen First Day of Kindergarten Outfits

Declan and Owen got all buttoned down for their first day of Kindergarten





At the same time that Kieran is starting a new school, Declan and Owen are starting school for the first time!  They are now in Kindergarten.  Even after a couple of weeks, I still can’t believe that.

The first day of Kindergarten was only an hour long.  Linda and I took them to school to meet their teacher and get to know their classroom.  They went from station to station on a scavenger hunt.  It was fun, and I enjoyed getting to see things too.

The second day was the first time that they rode the bus.  Their bus comes about an hour and a half after Kieran’s.  I went in to work late so I could go with them to the bus for the first time.  They were very excited!  It was a nice day outside too.  After we got them on the bus and it pulled away, Linda and I were both amazed that this day had come.  They aren’t old enough for this already are they?!

Declan and Owen First Day of Kindergarten Backpacks

The boys and their new backpacks are ready to go

It was a little hard for the two of them to adjust to their new schedule.  They are full day kindergarteners.  So they are getting up earlier than they used to, and spending quite a lot of time away from home five days a week.  There have been a few emotional moments as they get used to things, but I think they’re doing fine.  During the first week both of them said they wished school wasn’t full day, but I haven’t heard that much lately.

Declan and Owen With Their Lockers

Those last two stars say Declan and Owen

So new schools all around this year.  So far so good.  Happy learning guys!

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