Posts tagged: michael

January 2013 Photos – Cold Winter Fun, Rock Tumbling, First Lost Tooth

By , May 24, 2013 at 5:44 pm

20130100

January 2013 Photos – Cold Winter Fun, Rock Tumbling, First Lost Tooth

Michael lost his first tooth.  Bowling is a nice winter escape.  We got a rock tumbler for Christmas and have been working on our amethyst from Ontario.  Negative six degree weather but not much snow.

Summer Baseball

By , June 30, 2012 at 8:05 am

I guess baseball in Rochester is pretty big.  There happen to be 52 teams of kindergartners playing tee-ball this summer.  Unbelievable!  Mikey has joined in on the excitement and is on a team named S&S Moving.  All 12 players on his team will be in first grade at his school next year- perfect for him to get to know a few more kids his age.  His games are twice a week and go until the end of summer.  He’s been thoroughly enjoying it, especially since his best friend Patrick is on the team too.

Social butterfly David has been making all kinds of friends while watching the games.  Douglas is just along for the ride.  And me?  I’ve been trying to figure out how to re-arrange life to get dinner on table before we have to head to practice at 5pm and how to get everyone to bed at a decent hour thereafter.  It’s just ruining the 7 o’clock bedtime routine.  :)

The Frog Prince

By , May 6, 2012 at 8:41 pm

The boys discovered a toad in the backyard today, out because of the recent string of heavy thunderstorms we’ve been having.  They had a blast playing with it for the better part of the afternoon.  I felt bad for the toad as it endured the onslaught of our three boys.  At some point during their fun David decided to kiss the toad smack on the lips, I had a chance to capture the moment which is here to share — our Frog Prince.

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

By , December 16, 2011 at 11:29 pm

What? Dec. 3 and we are just getting snow?  Unheard of around here.  The boys can’t get enough of it!!  I forgot to take pictures of their bigger snowman and the 2 snow forts we made the next day.  They are melted now.  Yes.  All the snow has melted (another unheard of) and the weather has been in the 40s lately.  But…

tonight right after dinner snow started to fall.  Beautiful, slow falling snow.  Perfect to add to our evening of seeing A Christmas Carol.  Mikey, right before bed said, “I can’t wait until I wake up, Mom.  I can play in the new-fallen snow.  My snow fort will be THIS high” (raising his hand above his head).  When I told him a few weeks ago that new snow would help his fort, that was before I realized the fort would have completely melted.  :)

Douglas loves the snow too- his reaction to seeing it the first time is memorable.  Dan posted a video of it here (also found on the sidebar or under our videos tab).  Not sure how many inches we’ll get tonight… we’ll see in the morning.

 

Halloween!

By , November 11, 2011 at 12:18 am

David had a wonderfully fun Halloween costume party at preschool and everyone was invited.  He made monster goo (glue, borax, water, & food coloring), had a witch’s brew of homemade root beer with dry ice, games and yummy treats.

Halloween night our pirate, knight and monkey went out with just light jackets on.   Unbelievable!  It’s been such a warm, beautiful fall.  The boys had such a fun time running door to door.  They weren’t great at saying “thank you” but wished each door a “Happy Halloween!” before leaving.  They’ve all been enjoying the candy.

 

 

David’s First Day of Preschool

By , October 20, 2011 at 10:01 pm

David had his first day of preschool September 13.  He loves it.  I think the second day of school I started a carpool with his cute classmate Kelly.  When he saw that I had come to take him home instead of Kelly’s mom he started crying.   He so wanted to ride with with Kelly in her blue van.  After finding out she was coming in the car with us he was all smiles again.  Cute kid.  He does a great job identifying and tracing letters and I’m told he’s pretty bright among his peers.  I love seeing him sporting his backpack around the house all day.  So stinking cute.  In the picture below where the group is in their party hats, his class had a VIP (Very Important Person) party where they learned how special they were and sang a song “I’m a VIP, I’m a VIP…”  I asked David what does VIP mean.  Response: “Umm…I don’t know,” <shrug> “like when you have to pee?”  That’s our three year old.  He has the funniest faces in pictures these days.  Here are a few.

And the best for last.  Here’s the picture he took in class on the first day of school for his attendance/name card.  Hilarious!  I love this kid.

Sheep Mountain Table, Badlands, South Dakota Panorama

By , August 24, 2011 at 11:22 pm

After a grueling off-road trip through treacherous terrain we arrived at Sheep Mountain Table, Badlands, South Dakota a vista off the beaten path of the southern Badlands where these pictures were taken.  We got the whole family plopped on the edge of one of the drop offs to get some of the scenic background from our trip onto our kitchen wall.  Enjoy the view.

 

Gymnastics Camp

By , August 24, 2011 at 6:05 am

Mikey did a week at summer camp and learned a few gymnastic tricks.  He is now more ambitious and daring; climbing the trees in our backyard and hanging upside-down.  He also wants to learn to do a cartwheel.  The theme of the camp was “The Circus” so he was all painted up to be a lion/cheetah in the final performance (guess he wanted to be a cheetah, but had made a lion mask during craft time, so he was both).  I wish they’d actually learned more gymnastics during the camp, but Mikey had a great time trying out all the equipment and playing in the giant foam pit.  David was so sad that he couldn’t participate- he’s not 3 yet.

Here Mikey had just walked out of the back room.  They were all so cute dressed up like a big circus.  Each group rotated between about 5 different sections around the room.  He’s getting ready to jump across the trampoline into the foam pit.

Balancing on the beam- he could walk all the way across it by himself without falling off.

There were all so focused and serious- it was fun with the circus music playing in the background.

I am so proud of our little gymnast.  Gotta love his little growling cheetah face.  This was the first time ever he let someone “paint” his face.  He kept it on all day and we happened to be going to the doctor for Douglas’ checkup- the nurses thought he had some sort of rash.  Was quite humorous.

Bluffer’s Park Toronto Panorama

By , June 26, 2011 at 7:50 pm

Loved this park as a kid and would come down here to feed the geese and pelt pebbles at the seagulls.  We pit-stopped here on the way out of Toronto, the bluffs seem to have shrunk, or rather, my perspective probably ascended four feet from the last time I was here.

RoadTrip: 19 Days, 2 Countries, 13 States, 3714 Miles, 1 Happy Family!

By , June 15, 2011 at 12:20 am

Celebrating the last unofficial vacation time of Dan’s life, we embarked immediately after graduation on a whirlwind road trip of 2 Countries (1. United States, 2. Canada), 13 States & Provinces (1. Minnesota, 2. Wisconsin, 3. Illinois, 4. Indiana, 5. Michigan, 6. Ontario, 7. Quebec, 8. Vermont, 9. New Hampshire, 10. Massachusetts, 11. New York, 12. Pennsylvania, 13. Ohio), 3714 miles per the trip odometer, and one happy vacation!  Here is a fun interactive map of our activities in a quick summary, and below are our daily adventures with full photo galleries (dare we say 3,676?) to compliment.  Click on any collage or daily title to be linked to the full day’s gallery or see the index at the very bottom of the post.  Enjoy our travels!


View Roadtrip 2011 in a larger map

Day 01 – Rochester to Ann Arbor
Day 1 consisted of a total 13 hour drive from Rochester through Chicago (pit stop in Chinatown for lunch), then onward through Ann Arbor for the night’s rest in Canton, Michigan.  A pretty unremarkable day other than some serious driving.  We put the longest day directly up front though and the boys survived with a little Wendy’s night cap.

Day 2 marked arrival in Toronto, Canada through Michigan.  We stopped by Fairview Mall and sampled some Fries Supreme from Taco Bell, then met up with mom who was with friends.  We Met up additionally with some old friends from decades ago over dinner at Dragon Pearl and turned in for the night in Pickering, Ontario.
Day 3 started out with a brief visit of Dan’s childhood home and elementary school, then the rest of the day was spent at two iconic tourist traps, the CN Tower which used to be the tallest free-standing structure in the world (now dwarfed by the Burg Kalifa) and Casa Loma which Dan had never visited in all his time spent in Toronto.  The kids enjoyed the ride on the Toronto subway trains which we took all around town.
Day 4 was a day at the Ontario Science Center spending it playing with exhibits, toys, and demonstrations that Dan grew up with.  Quite a lot has changed, but the place never ceases to impress.  A bite of Canada’s Harvey’s hamburgers finished off the day.
Day 5 was a visit to the Royal Ontario Museum, another old haunt of Dan’s childhood summer vacations as it was just a few blocks away from mom’s work downtown.  The boys like Daddy loved the Bat Cave.
Day 6 with the weather finally clear again was a day outdoors at the Toronto Zoo.  So large that we spent the whole day there and still only was able to walk through only 3/5th’s of the entire park.  A camel ride for the boys, and some ethnic Korean food for the adults topped off a busy day.
Day 7 heading out of Toronto to Ottawa we stopped by Bluffer’s Park, or “Scarborough Bluff’s” right on the shores of Lake Ontario.  The boys enjoyed the water while we struggled to capture some family shots that didn’t really work out.  The rest of the day was spent getting to the nation’s capitol and mix n’ matching between sushi, Pizza Pizza, and McDonald’s for dinner.
Day 8 Ottawa the nation’s capitol and home to Canada’s Parliament Buildings which we walked around and went up the tall clock tower.  We only a short drive to our next destination, Montreal, we decided to go across to Quebec’s Gatineu Park to check out the “beaches” on the lakes.  The woods and beach was sure beautiful, but what the pictures don’t show are the 1,000 flies that seemed to be hatching (and biting) everyone the moment we opened the doors and stepped out.  Needless to say we stayed very briefly and high tailed it out towards Montreal from the Davey-dubbed “Stinky Fly Beach,” which was  the subject of his nightmares in days to come.
Day 9 Arriving in Montreal last night in time to catch a brief sunset, and a late dinner at the overpriced St Hubert’s chicken, we decided to view the more scenic parts of Montreal today as we drove to Mont Royal Park and Cemetery and stumbled right into a raccoon that seemed to be rather acclimated to humans.  He came right on over asking for food and we obliged, but not before snapping some incredible shots of said creature asking for more granola bars.  Turkish food rounded off the night as we sampled a brief glimpse of Montreal’s culinary scene.
Day 10 we left Canada and drove through beautiful Vermont and New Hampshire.  Sometime during the drive we were passing through Franconia Notch State Park on I-93 when we decided to pit-stop and catch a cable car up Cannon Mountain for a scenic view all around.  It was a refreshing detour compared to the Massachusetts tornado storm system we would later go through before we finally arrived in Gloucester to meet up with the Tappen Family (Dan’s sister) and spent the next three nights with the cousins.
Day 11 A fun day in the fun on Gloucester’s beaches.  Uncle Dan being the awesome uncle that he was salvaged the day by digging for 5 hours with the boys and nephews a giant hole in the beach to shelter everyone from the wind swept sand or “sandstorms” as the kiddos would call it.  It made this windy day tolerable as the sandstorms otherwise would cut sand into your legs and make the little ones cry.  Enjoyed $6.99 / lb steamed lobster and fresh sushi for dinner.
Day 12 was a spur of the moment evening decision the night prior to sight see Gloucester and a quick Tripadvisor query turned up the main event for Gloucester: Whale Watching.  Having never been, we took the whole crew for a 4 hour tour with Cape Ann Whale Watching and sure enough within the hour we had spotted a fin whale and then followed a humpback whale around for a while (even got some video of that available soon in our video galleries).  Lunch was at the famous Woodman’s seafood restaurant, and then evening was a beautiful low-tide sunset at which time the ever cool Uncle Dan created a giant sand maze to the amazement of the kids (and a run through video of that available soon), but ultimately the day was topped off with gorgeous conditions for a unattended beach chair Chan Family portrait that has been rare to come by and as seen at the top of this post.  Perfect picture to capture one of the most perfect days.
Day 13 We left in the early afternoon for a day of driving back towards Niagara Falls with a night pitstop in the other Rochester (NY).  Not without our last goodbyes to the beach tough.  We found some washed up horseshoe crab shells (one of which impaled me later in the car), and said our goodbyes to the Tappens and also Nai Nai / Po Po (Grandma Chan) who had accompanied us since Toronto but would fly back later through Boston.
Day 14 Splurging for some nice digs, we stopped for two nights in the Fallsview Hilton on the Canada side of Niagara Falls but not until we first made our way through the Niagara Aquarium, the Discovery Center, the Maid of the Mist and Observation Tower and saw most of the American side of things.
Day 15 Moved up 3 times higher to the 46th floor for the night and had an even better view of the falls.  Enjoyed the day relaxing without travels and toured around the Canadian Horseshoe falls during the evening.
Day 16 Swung back to Cave of the Winds to stand right under American Falls on our morning exit from Niagara Falls towards great-grandparents Stevens house.  The rest of the day was a long commute to Dayton, Ohio.
Day 17 A day with the great grandparents and the Stevens side of the family and also a visit to the National Museum of the United States Air Force to see some impressive aircraft and also grandpa’s F-4 Phantom jet that he flew throughout Vietnam in 120 missions (pictured below).  We were surprised also to see the B-29 Bockscar bomber that dropped Fat Man on Nagasaki on display there.  Certainly a lot of history within the museum.
Day 18 Said our goodbyes to the great grandparents and drove from Dayton, Ohio to Chicago, Illinois early enough to catch the night showing of Medieval Times.  The boys loved it and got spoiled with wooden swords.  Our yellow knight was the one who won the tournament and defeated the mean knight so the boys were double thrilled.
Day 19 Finally the road home.  We were going to stop by Wisconsin Dells again for a night, but with school out for the summer they were booked pretty full and in full summer price gouging so we skipped through there and arrived a day earlier than previously anticipated (but don’t tell the boys that).  After 3,714 miles on this trip we were excited for Minnesota to welcome us back home and we are glad to be back after one long, fun, and memorable vacation!

Photo Galleries for Full Itinerary

Videos Coming Soon!

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