Sunday, August 1, 2010

Trying to Stay Cool

I don’t know about anyone else but it has been one hot summer here in MI. Matt and I hate to run our air conditioning and will hold out until the last possible moment. Usually, only if it stays in the nineties for more than one day do the windows close at our house in the summer but this summer I feel like they have been shut more than they have been open. Zachary has spent plenty of time in Grandma Kipf’s pool and has become quite the dare devil when it comes to swimming. He jumps off the rafts without you there to catch him. He doesn’t want you to hold him; he wants to doggie paddle himself forward. He never wanted to get out even after his lips turned blue. I just hope that he does not lose all of his progress this winter. Since Grandma’s not exactly around the corner we had to find a way to keep cool outside at our house as well. Zachary’s had some great times in the sprinkler that we would set up in our front yard. He is always hesitant to run through it probably because it was really cold (we cannot get hot water from the outside hose) and he doesn’t like water to get on his face. We also are lucky enough to live next to great neighbors and they let us play in their kiddy pool during the week after work. Zach had a blast playing with Megan and Brendan in the pool and watering everyone’s feet. We did a lot of sidewalk water painting and even tried out some water balloons. Zachary would jump at any chance to help water anything. He loved having control of the hose and if unsupervised could be found watering his feet so he could grow big like his daddy.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


We had a great but busy Fourth of July this year. This was Zach’s year that he would be going to the big fireworks displays. We kept him way last year because we didn’t think he would enjoy the loud noises that they make. We are members of the Henry Ford in Dearborn and finally decided to use the membership to its fullest this year. We decided to go with Matt’s family to the Fire Work and Detroit Symphony concert that they put on every year the day before we head to the west coast of Michigan for our annual Peplinski Cousin’s Camp at my Uncle Scott’s where we would partake in more fireworks during the weekend. We got Zach some ear muffs to dampen the sound because they also shoot off cannons while the symphony plays the 18th Overture and then the fireworks begin. We got there a little early so we could do a little picnic and get a spot in the shade. The symphony was amazing and the sounds system was incredible because you could close your eyes and you would have thought you were inside a big concert hall listening to them. We were not close to the stage at all. Zach loved the,” big booms,” as he called them. He kept asking for more and more until he fell asleep in my arms in the middle of the fireworks display. One minute he was talking and clapping and the next he was dead to the world. He didn’t wake up until the next morning. I had never seen anything like it before. We all had a great time and will definitely do it again next year.

The next day we woke up, packed and headed off to CCII (Cousin’s Camp 2 2010). It was our second year and though the group was a little smaller we were still out to have a good time. We did themed nights again with lots of decorations and activities. The following are the theme nights and activities that were planned:

Twilight Series – we had a scavenger hunt, knowledge quiz that covered the movies and books, movie screenings, and a trip to see Eclipse which had just come out.
The Wild West – We had a chili cook-off and water pistol skills testing.
Backwards Day – All the day’s chores were written backwards and we ate dessert for breakfast and breakfast for dinner.

Of course we enjoyed the Lake Michigan and the beach almost every day as well as quad rides, the trampoline, blueberry picking and a campfire each night. Zachary definitely had the most fun out of everyone and continually asks when we are heading back to Uncle Cot’s (Scott) house. He didn’t care for the water at the beach and in fact only went out into it once with my dad. Once the first big wave hit him he wanted nothing more to do with the water. However, he loved the trampoline (which we were surprised about considering he would not go into the bounce house that daycare got for the kids one day). He also loved going for quad rides with the adults (much to my fear) and playing on the swings and in the sandbox with Uncle Scott, Woody (their dog) and all of the kid’s old sand equipment and trucks. For the fireworks display in Grand Haven he stayed up the entire time and even took off his earmuffs and still enjoyed the show. He didn’t even fall asleep in his stroller on the two mile walk back to the car. We took so many good pictures this year that I wish I knew how to share them all but here are a few of my favorites.
In my mind this year was another success and I cannot wait for CCIII to see what we come up with next.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Busy Summer Full of Graduation Fun

This summer was a busy time for our families. We had three graduates this year. Both of Matt’s brothers graduated from college. Adam got his degree from Eastern and John graduated from the University of Michigan. We did get the chance to attend Adam’s graduation but Matt and I did go to John’s and had the fortunate opportunity to hear the President of the United States, Barack Obama give the commencement address. We expected to wait a long time to get into the stadium and I was very nervous because I don’t always do great in huge crowds of people because get claustrophobic sometimes. But it was not bad at all and the line moved pretty fast through security. I thought the President did a very good job and he is a very moving speaker in person. I was a little nervous that Matt’s family would hate the speech because they are definitely republican supporters but even they thought it was a good speech.

My brother also graduated from high school this year and my parents could not be happier because for the first time one of their children has picked their alma mater, Michigan State (MSU). I think they are still in shock since all of the girls decided to go to another school. In fact I am not even sure that any of us applied there. My family bleeds green and is very excited for our brother. My parents were so funny in their old age because they felt that my brother’s high school colors (blue and yellow) were not right for the graduation party because he was going to MSU. It was so hard to convince them that we had used those colors for all of their other kid’s parties.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Greenfield Village

We had such a good time at Greenfield Village with Thomas that we decided to go with my Mom and Dad. I went with my parents when I was younger and my mom used to go all of the time when she was younger. They had not been in over 15 years so I thought it would be a nice treat for them and help us to pay off our membership fee.
It was a really nice day outside and we decided to start off at the farm. Matt and Zach looked so natural sitting on the rockers and enjoying the view from the front of the farm house. Zach was really interested in seeing and petting the animals until a chicken hiding in a dark corner of the barn scared him by clucking really loud. I don’t think Zach knew it was there before it yelled at him so he was really freaked out.
Zachary also got to ride on his first merry-go-around. Matt didn’t think he was going to like it so he grabbed a seat on the ride while I stood with Zach. That way if he started to cry we would have a place to put him. However, Matt ended up sitting all by himself. Sadly, I don’t have any pictures of this because we left the camera with mom and dad and they were unable to get a good picture.
We ended up eating at the Eagle Tavern inside Greenfield for lunch. We were all surprised at how affordable the food was and how delicious it all was. They started the meal with fresh baked hot muffins and breads. Then you got pickled eggs and vegetables and then your main course. We order beer and a pitcher of lemonade and we were all so stuffed we couldn’t eat desert. All this for under $10.00 per adult. We were even able to find something that Zachary would eat.
After lunch we all decided to try the train again with Zachary. He was excited to get on it with us this time and sit by himself. Before the first stop I looked over to see how he was doing and he was out. We weren’t even a fourth of the way around the park. He slept through the all the train whistles and for an hour after we got home. We really tired him out this time.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Blue Thomas

So ever since Christmas Zachary has really been into trains. And for a kid his age that means Thomas. However, Zachary does not watch the videos and neither do we so to Zachary all of Thomas’s train friends are just different colored Thomas. So he was really excited to go see Blue Thomas at Greenfield Village. The day started off really cold so we had like fifteen layers on because we knew it was supposed to warm up just not when.
I was surprised at how much stuff they had for the kids to do. I thought it would basically be ride the train and take pictures but they had a ton of free activities for the kids. They had rocking trains that the kids could ride, tattoo and coloring/stamping stations, story and video times, bubbles, toss games, old fashion toys for them to ride/play with. Plus they had converted a huge building into the biggest Thomas store I had ever seen. They had everything and then some.
We had signed up for one of the earlier rides so we got to the Village as soon as it opened. That ended up being a good thing because Zach got to do a lot of stuff without having to fight for space or toys. Which he is not good at because he is so shy.
Zachary was really excited to see the Blue Thomas and loved when it blew his whistle. In fact, as we were lining up to get on the train and take out ride around the village he kept yelling,” Blue Thomas and All Aboard!!” with huge wide eyes and excitement. The people in front of us laughed he was so excited and happy. However, as the station master took our tickets and Zach realized that he was actually getting on the train he freaked out and started to cry. He did not want to ride on Thomas, just look at him. He cried and buried his head as he rode in my lap almost the whole train ride. However, near the end he did pick his head up and start to enjoy the ride but he would not turn around and face the front. I think next year will go smoother.
Zachary loved looking at all of the big trains and Matt was happy that to see the Calumet train was out and he got to watch it get put away. Zachary also loved to watch the glass blowing. But we weren’t really sure if that was because of all of the colors and fires or because it was really warm in the building and we had been out in the cold for a while.
All in all it was a good day and we look forward to doing it again next year.