I love Kingma's Market. It is right around the corner from my house and we probably stop in their twice a week, at least. We go there for their cheese, jerky, beer, free cookies for the kids... wow do we sound like a healthy family. Basically we go there for those items that weforget to pick up at the grocery store that week. I will also admit that I go there sometimes just to look around. It is the type of store that carries random items that you wouldn't find at large, chain grocery stores. If you live in the Grand Rapids area, I recommend that you stop by Kingmas sometime... I promise that you'll love it.
Well I figured if I'm going to start posting again, I'll start with the top 10 things we like to do as a family in the summer time. I'm going to stick to places in Grand Rapids because I don't think I could keep the list to only 10 things if I included the entire state of Michigan!
1. We love going to John Ball Zoo. I recently met up with some friends from church and let the kids wander around the zoo. The kids had a blast checking out the animals and I had a great time chatting with other adults! :) 2. We have spent a lot of time in our pools this summer. We are currently on our third pool of the summer. The first one was old and had a small hole it in. The second pool was ruined by the second day we had it. I won't mention any names, but the only other person in our house that drives opened his, I mean his/her, door and popped a huge whole in the side of it. We are now on our third pool and the kids could spend all day in it. I feel a little WT, but a quick way to fill up an inflatable pool with air is by using a leaf blower. I can get the entire pool pull on air in less than one minute (sorry about the tangent). They really love it when their dad joins them. :) 3. Andy and I took the kids to Grassfields Farm for a farm tour. The farm is family owned organic dairy and chicken farm in Coopersville. The girls loved seeing the cows, chickens and turkeys. There was a little calf, Annabelle, that Molly was obsessed with. Layne and Abby also liked petting Annabelle, as long as I was standing next to them. 4. We love going to new restaurants, especially in the summer when it is too hot to cook. Well, I love going to new restaurants... the girls would be happy if we went to BW3 everyday of the week (and Andy doesn't mind that either). We went to this great new restaurant this week, Twisted Rooster. It was fabulous. The girls had a wonderful time and people weren't staring at us because we were too loud! 5. The Grand Rapids Children's museum is fabulous! We ended up purchasing a family pass because my kids like it so much. The pass also has great summer options. Every summer month you can get into a different place for the month. August is unlimited visits to John Ball Zoo (which is why we went to the zoo last week). My girls could spend our entire time there in the kitchen, store, bank and cafe section of the museum. I have to force them to visit other spots of museum. 6. We love spending time at Andy's parents house. They live on an apple and peach orchard and the girls love going on Ranger rides through the orchard. They are currently building a store to sell their produce, so the girls like watching the barn go up. Last week we all got to our hand prints on the floor of the store. The girls were all very excited about this, except Molly who would not make a hand print, but instead made a fist print. :) 7. The girls and Andy love going to the airport viewing area. It is a pretty neat place to have a picnic dinner and watch planes take off. I would much rather sit at a park and do this, but Andy (and the girls) get so excited when they see planes land and take off. 8. Grand Rapids Township Park is the best park that I have found for my kids. It is fabulous because they have toys and equipment for all ages. I can be playing with Molly on the smaller toys and still watch Layne and Abby on the "big kid" section. The playground is also my bribery tool for the girls while I am grocery shopping. It is right across the street from Meijer, so if I want a guaranteed pleasant grocery shopping experience I will pull out the, "if you want to go to the township park, you need to be quiet and not touch ANYTHING!" Works like a charm. :) 9. Frederik Meijer Gardens is an awesome place to go in the summer time. We also have a family pass here because if pays for itself in like two visits. They have the coolest children's garden that my girls love to explore. They have a huge tree house, an old fashioned log cabin, a huge sand area, a large replica of the Great Lakes that you can steer boats and sea-doos down, and a splashing area for the kids to get wet. That is only a few of the great areas for the kids to play in. I learned quickly that I need to pack an extra change of clothes for the girls because they always end up soaking wet from the Great Lakes replica and the splashing area. 10. The last place that we spend family is probably where you will find us most of the time: in our backyard. Our backyard isn't huge, but it is the perfect setup for our family. We have a large driveway that the kids can ride bikes and shoot hoops on. We also like to play soccer and baseball on the grass. I love that my kids can be playing outside all day long and I don't have to worry about where they are. They love our backyard and spend hours there everyday!
Wow, I can't believe that it has been over 5 months since my last post. Oops! I guess life got pretty busy and this blog got put on the back burner. I'm hoping to start posting again, but I'm not going to try and catch up with pictures from the past five months (sorry kids). Here are a few things that we have been up to:
Layne's birthday Layne finished school Cottage Cottage Abby learns to ride a bike Cottage camping at Wabasis Lake Campground (how could I forget that, Cheri?) Cottage (you get the point) Molly learned to walk (she is very fast) Layne learned to ride a two wheeler Molly's birthday playing Zoo Frederick Meijer Garden Children's museum playing Library
As you can see, we've been busy playing outside and relaxing at cottages (thanks grandma and papa, and grandma and grandpa) this summer. Now that the crazy month of July is past us I will hopefully try and find some time to sit down and write some blog posts. We'll see how much time I can find while chasing around a 4 year old, 2 1/2 year old and a one year old. :)