Friday, July 25, 2008


We're having a blast at Interlochen -- and it's not even half over! I hope to get pictures and stuff up soon, but in the meantime picture me and Owen sitting and watching a world-class orchestra rehearse as I write this! In fact, he's often more engaged in watching the rehearsals than I am. He'll climb up on a bench and watch for fifteen minutes or more!

More to follow!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Throwing Rocks

Owen's new favorite hobby is throwing Mackinac, on the beach, in our backyard. Sometimes he holds on to his favorites and they end up taking a bath with him. Grandma Queen says that Jed used to come home from school with his pockets full of rocks. It's just the beginning for Owen.

We are leaving for Interlochen tomorrow, and we may be out of contact for a couple of weeks. Although perhaps we'll splurge for wi-fi in the never know. Stay cool!

Boat Ride

The boys enjoyed the ferry ride to and from the island, especially John. You can tell that he loves to be out on the water with the wind in his hair!

Abby and Mandy

With Pop Pop and Jed on the boat, Grandma Queen working race committee and Jeff out of state working, it was just us girls and our little boys hiking around the island with all of our baby gear. It was an adventure...and a great time!


One of the best parts of Mackinac for Owen was the "horsies," which he's getting really good at saying. He had a lot of practice on the island!

Owen has an endearing habit of saying "tomorrow" (but it sounds like "mah-oh") whenever he can't have something right away. It gives him enough comfort to think that it might happen for him "tomorrow." He makes the sweetest little wistful face when he says it...

This is how it is right now for him with "horsies." Maybe tomorrow we'll get to see more (sigh).

Cousins on Mackinac Island

This is a rare shot of Owen (2) and John (1) sitting together for longer than a second. Bonus! They're wearing their matching Bayview Mackinac shirts!This is really a better depiction of reality...they spent most of the time going in opposite directions. Fast!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Sybelle and Owen

It starts out like this...Owen splashes Sybelle from the sprinkler, she makes a big (pretend) fuss, and he laughs with this adorable belly laugh that would make anyone smile. Imagine this scenario for approximately 6 hours and you have our evening together tonight. You may be wondering if we had the sprinkler on for 6 hours? Well, I'll tell you. We didn't need it, since it was just as hilarious to pretend to splash Sybelle with an imaginary sprinkler! Ha!

Welcome Sybelle!

We are so excited to have Sybelle in Michigan for the next few weeks! She was the flower girl in our wedding and a cousin (of sorts). Technically it's a little tricky...Sybelle is Jed's cousin's (Katherine) daugher. Does that make her our second cousin? We're really not that concerned. For the sake of simplicity, she's our cousin. And Owen's cousin!

Sybelle flew in this morning from Boston, and we're driving her up north this weekend where she will be a camper at Interlochen in the Intermediate Choir program for 3 weeks. Wait, did I say Interlochen? Yes, I did! We'll be joining Sybelle up north in about a week, since I'm teaching with the All-State Choir program. Our family rents a cabin right on the campus, so we'll be able to have Sybelle over for dinner or go out for ice cream when she can spare a minute. She'll be so busy having an awesome time with her new friends, we'll have to bribe her with Owen kisses.

Speaking of's love at first sight with his new friend (I mean, cousin) "Belle."

Katherine and Thom, if you are reading this, please know that Sybelle is safe and sound in Michigan. We promise to take good care of her and have a really great time!

"Boom Boom Psssh" Park

Owen's word for drums is "boom boom pssh." This is one of our favorite parks because it appears to have a large collection of drums (although, I suppose some kids would decide to walk over them like a bridge). We prefer to entertain ourselves with a little "boom boom pssh" when we visit!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Corn on the Cob

We have a new favorite food at our house!

Library Day

When I check out of the library, like I did today, with an armful of great books for every member of the family, I always have to fight back the urge to reach for my wallet and ask, "What's the damage?" Instead, they just say, "you're all set," and out we walk. And as I exit I feel like I've perpetrated some scam -- they'll let me just walk out of here with these things? All I have to do is promise to bring them back on time?

(I should mention that I was never good about due dates as a youth, but our library makes it very easy for us with online renewals and reminder emails two days before the due date. How great.)

All this is to say that we got some great Mo Willems books for Owen today. We own, and we LOVE, "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus." It's simply great, both the writing and the illustrations. So we picked up today "Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late," and "The Pigeon Finds A Hot Dog." Plus a few others that looked fun.

Whatever age you are, stop by your library and find these Mo Willems books. You won't be disappointed. You'll also probably find six or eight things you've been meaning to buy. FOR FREE!


Doggy Sprinkler

We got this doggy sprinkler from Grandma Brooks, and it's so much fun to drink from on these hot days!

Also, we got a new camera today, and I think the picture quality is an improvement! Mostly we had to get a new camera because our old one decided to stop taking pictures. Such is life...

Cheryl and Bob

We're so lucky to have friends like Cheryl and Bob!

Owen was so excited to see them for dinner last night. He was looking out the window when they pulled in and shouted, "Bob!"

This is a picture of Bob showing Owen the new magnetic puzzle book they brought for him. This morning, Owen woke up and carried his new book around saying, "Bob! Bob!"
Showing off the new bead toy to Cheryl...

Owen likes to have Cheryl pull out a pen from her purse and draw "O's" on his hand. It's a long tradition that started this year, when Jed and Owen would stop by school for a visit and we'd all have lunch together.

Bead Toy

Owen got a new bead toy yesterday (only $6 on Craigslist!) and he can't get enough of it...he was watching a little Blues Clues after his nap yesterday, but needed the toy to be on his lap.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

At the Beach

One of my favorite places on earth...even better when you get to share it with family.

Playing trains with Pop Pop

Pop Pop has a beautiful set of Lionel trains with a raised track in the basement. I think the best description of Owen's reaction to the trains is "delighted terror" (coined by one of my favorite authors, Catherine Newman). Owen would cling to Mommy when the train went around the track, but he was always asking for more..."Pop Pop, choo choo!"

Here the boys watch the train go around and around...John and Owen are lucky cousins to get to play trains with their Pop Pop.

Aunt Abby's trick

I think the pictures say it all here...look closely at the second picture to see the ping pong ball in midair! This is hours of entertainment for toddlers everywhere. Highly recommended!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Cousins in the Morgan

Pop Pop took his Morgan out for a spin today in the Cross Village 4th of July parade, but the cousins thought they'd give it a test drive first. 

Peanut Butter

First you stick your finger in the peanut butter jar...
Then you eat it! 

Grandma Queen and Pop Pop

Out in the garden with Grandma Queen...
Pop Pop and Owen spent yesterday afternoon wading in the lake and throwing rocks! 

Friday, July 4, 2008

Pond Hill Farm

One of our favorite places up north...Pond Hill Farm is the place for organic produce, picking raspberries and feeding the sheep and baby pigs in the livestock barn. 

Thank you to Aunt Abby for the picture!

Up North

We made it up north on Wednesday with a feverish Owen, but he has recovered nicely. It was worth the drive to be up here in Northern Michigan paradise. The sunlight streams through the woods, there are miles and miles of empty beach with nothing but sand and grass and water and rocks, and mostly there is just the sound of the wind and chirping of birds (and maybe two or three dogs barking at the noise of the woods). The gardens at The Queen and Pop Pop's house are absolutely remarkable. Imagine a zen garden with flowers and rocks and winding paths. The peonies are practically bursting off the bushes, and there are benches outside in about a dozen peaceful places if you can find the time to sneak away and read. 

The new staircase down to the beach is a wonderful addition, not to mention the perfect way to wear out Quincy. Speaking of Quincy, he is in his own heaven to chase (yucky) tennis balls through the woods and swim to fetch sticks and rocks in the lake. He comes back to the house wet, sandy, exhausted and happy. 

Yesterday was Abby's birthday, and we spent the day visiting Pond Hill Farm to feed the animals, at the local art studio dying bags and sarongs with Indigo, and having a lovely dinner on the patio overlooking Douglas Lake at a local restaurant. 

We are enjoying this 4th of July holiday by slowing down and enjoying the day. Jed is making a cherry pie at the moment (Katie, in response to your comment, these are sour cherries. They are also called tart cherries. They are just coming in season here in Northern Michigan.) Owen is napping away upstairs, and I'm busy getting to know the Frank Baum Wizard of Oz books. I am starting to read them from the beginning of the series, since I haven't read them and Jed recommends them highly from his childhood days. In short, everyone is doing something they love to do...

I have been enjoying reading The Wizard of Oz aloud to Owen the last couple of days, and he has been delighted to listen! I'll read a couple of chapters while he's getting sleepy, and just when I think it's safe to sneak away, he'll ask sweetly, "Book?"

We have some beautiful pictures of the last couple of days, but they'll have to wait until we're back in Grosse Pointe to download on our computer. I hope that everyone out there is having a wonderful holiday weekend! 

One more note about canning (this is for you Katie and Tom)...Jed is submitting his cherry jam to the Michigan State Fair since it turned out so well. We ended up with 12 pints (16 jars) this year, and I'm sure there will be more canning to come this summer! 

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


We woke up last night at 12:30 AM to a crying Owen with a 102 degree fever...Mommy slept in Owen's room for the rest of the night, and this morning we are having a Blue's Clues marathon while Daddy makes blueberry pancakes.

We're keeping our fingers crossed that Owen's fever breaks soon so we can head up north and enjoy this beautiful weekend! Until then, he's in good spirits. Last night while I was stroking his hot little forehead, he was talking in his sleep..."choo choo" and "hot."

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Choo Choo

Thank you to Grandma Queen and Pop Pop for Owen's new quilt and train sheets! This is Owen saying "cheese!" for the camera, but mostly he sat on his bed saying "choo, choo" and looking at the pillowcase.

We are excited to head up north tomorrow morning to hang out with the family and let Quincy run in the woods! Owen has been missing his Aunt Abby, and every once in a while we call just to say "Ah-bee!"