Thursday, August 12, 2010

Fishing on Morrison Lake

One of our other summer adventures was when we took Grandpa Fleck's bass boat out for fishing on Morrison Lake. No fish were caught, but we had a good time together as a family.

Olivia ready to head out on her first boat adventure!

Luckily there was a fishing pole just Olivia's size and Papa had a worm for her hook.
I think Mama did more "fishing" with the little pole than Olivia did, but it was more about being together than actually catching something.

Olivia "driving" Grandpa's boat.
We were just drifting, but Olivia thought it was fun.

Papa helping Olivia fish with his fishing pole.

Mama and Olivia hanging out.
What a cheese ball!
Hopefully we will get to take Grandpa's boat out again.
Maybe Olivia will actually do some fishing next time!

Grand Rapids Children's Museum

One of our favorite outings is to the Grand Rapids Children's Museum. Here are some photos from our outing with Lilly (one of my day care kids).

Lilly and Olivia try their hand at driving!

Both of the girls loved the sand table.

Ahh...the dress up box!

Olivia just looked so adorable in this dress and she had a great time dancing around.

Oops...sorry about the sideways picture!
Olivia's absolute favorite part of the museum is where the bubbles are.
Here she was actually able to create a giant bubble.
Usually when she tries to do this, she pulls to quick and the bubble break.
We actually sat down at the craft table this time, and Olivia wanted to try using scissors.
This was her first experience using scissors and I think she did pretty good.

I thought these "drums" they set up were really cool.
Various sized PVC pipes with caps for the kids to drum on.
Olivia really liked these too.
I think this picture sums up Olivia's feelings for the museum!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Visit to Frederik Meijer Gardens

Early this summer I took Olivia to Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park with the intention of walking around as much as we could and enjoy all of the pretty flowers. When we arrived, we learned they had a special exhibit: Chihuly, A New Eden. They were various blown glass sculptures that were throughout the gardens. I thought that would be a wonderful, colorful exhibit to see too. So here are some of my favorite pictures from our adventure...

Olivia sitting on the wall to the enterance of the gardens.

Here Olivia is sitting by one of the fountains in the first outside garden we visited.

This is one of the Chihuly sculptures in a flower bed.
It reminded me of a flock of swans.

I thought this sculpture was just amazing.
I wish I could remember how many individual pieces of blown glass were used to create it.

This one was hanging in the greenhouse and looked like it would light up!
Our next stop was the Children's Garden.
Once we entered, we NEVER left! Olivia loved it there!
Here she discovered a splash pad of sorts....
Figuring out that it is ok to stick her feet in the water.

After quite some time, we moved on to the "pools".
There is this amazing model of the Great Lakes where kids can play with boats throughout all of the lakes. Definitely a popular spot!

We took a few moments and explored the 5 senses garden.

I finally convinced Olivia to see what else was in the Children's Garden.
We discovered a beautiful tree house where the kids had tons to explore.
However, were on the quick tour since Olivia was anxious to get back to playing in the water!
Olivia loved playing in the water!
By the time we left, she was soaked from head to toe!

Definitely a fantastic day even though we never saw the rest of the Gardens and Sculpture Park.

So sorry....

Ok, I am hoping that all of our friends and family haven't given up on us and our blog! I haven't forgotten about updating this, but my the evening when I can do this I am too tired! Let me try to give you an update as to what has been going on with the Fleck family since May (wow that is a long time...)

Well, to begin, Chris is back at work with Dematic. He was offered a contract job in June. It is a 6 month contract doing AutoCad programming. It is a job and it is helping to pay the bills, but there is no guarantee that this will turn into permanent employment. But it is a job, and in Michigan, that is all that matters. His photography business, Fallen Leaf Studios, is doing pretty good right now. Chris photographed a wedding in March, did 1 Senior pictures session about a month ago, has another one on Thursday, has done so "head shots" for a friend's daughter who does acting, and just booked a wedding for October. I am very proud of him! I really hope photography will take off for him.

On July 17, I became officially licensed for hoome day care! Busy Bees Day Care is officially open. I have an 18 month old who comes 4 days a week, a 6 month old who comes twice a week (starting at 6:15 AM!), and another 2 1/2 year old who is coming only once a week now. I just received a message from someone asking about care for their 2 month old, so we will have to see where that goes. I have created a lot of the forms that I need (contract, various permission forms, etc.) and I am currently writing my parent handbook. Sometime within the next 60 days, the state will come out and inspect our home to make sure I am in compliance like I said I was with all of their rules. Just a few odd and end things to wrap up before that (blind cords, hang fire extinguishers, wood chips under the swingset, removing brush outside, securing a toy "shelf" to the wall...). I am feeling really good about this and feel like it was the right thing to do.

Olivia is growing by leaps and bounds! Her biggest news is that she is now potty trained! We started concentrating on it beginning Mother's Day and by mid to end July she had it down! She talks up a storm (gee, where did she get that?) and loves asking questions. She wants to know what different words mean all of the time! We also signed her up for gymnastics. She started with a 3 week summer class (really the last 3 weeks of one that was already running) just to see if she likes it. She doesn't like it...she LOVES it! When I watch her "coach" (which is just a high school student right now) I really have to set aside the teacher in me, but that is another story all by itself. :)

So in a nutshell, that is what the Fleck family has been up too. We haven't gone on any big vacations because we are saving up and hoping to go see our North Carolina family this fall/winter. We have been busy with little excursions here and there, so those are the pictures that I will be sharing with you....better late than never? Anyway, thanks for understanding and not giving up on us. We love you all!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Planting Flowers

Last week, one of the moms that I babysit for, donated some flower seeds and little pots so the girls could plant flowers and watch them grow. We finally had a nice day where we could head outside and get those seeds planted. The girls really seemed to have fun with it and I hope they don't lose interest since it will take awhile for the plants to actually appear. Regardless, what a great thing for the girls to experience!

Olivia looking on as Rachel pours dirt in her pot.

Digging out more dirt...

Now Olivia is concentrating on scooping out her dirt.

I showed Rachel and Olivia how small the flower seeds are that they are planting.

Olivia takes a turn watering her flowers after filling the pot with more dirt.

Oops...a little too much water!

And now we wait...