Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Moments Noticed: Ordinary Life

Extraordinary moments often masquerade as ordinary life. 
- Dr. Laura Markham

FYI Dr. Laura Markham is my go to parenting expert. Her website, weekly newsletter and Facebook page are invaluable.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Moments Noticed: Priorities

A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was,
the sort of house I lived in,
or the kind of car I drove…
but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child. 
- Forest E. Witcraft

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Moments Noticed: A Walk

I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, 
for going out, I found, was really going in.
- John Muir

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Moments Noticed: The Little Things

Today I'm returning to my Moments Noticed series which I launched back in April and then promptly abandoned. In this series I'll be pairing some of my best photographs with my favorite quotes. This honey bee on a lavendar flower was taken in one of our Canberra gardens. I love that you can even see the pollen baskets on the bee's hind legs.

“To those who have not yet learned
the secret of true happiness, 
begin now to study the little things 
in your own backyard.”
- George Washington Carver
American botanist (1864-1943)

Friday, August 26, 2016

Little Rock Lodge

This year's annual McMillin getaway took us to Little Rock Lodge in central Ohio. We had a week of relaxing and eating delicious meals on a rural property in Amish country.

This year we opted for matching shirts that said REST, RELAX, REPEAT in an outline of Ohio. These were much less labor intensive than last year's tie-dye extravaganza! Here's our family photo.

Kid shenanigans captured during set up.

Our stay included visits from a variety of furred and feathered critters including this white peacock.

A friendly cat that Sophia really wanted to love on but needed a little guidance!

Dave, Leah, Lynne, Barbara and Jan in our giant kitchen. As usual, each family planned one evening meal so we could eat communally.

Cousins on the play set.

How many cousins can you fit on a single swing?

Sophia the intrepid explorer.

There was a robin's nest in the rafters of the porch so were able to watch the mama bring frequent meals to the nestlings.

Hungry mouths!

Riker and Edward


By the end of the week, the fledglings had taken their first flight. Snapped a quick photo while this one figured out what to do next.

Another great holiday with a great bunch of people!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Aussie Zoo Adventure

Last month we spent a really fun evening at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. My sister-in-law is a nurse at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital so she was able to get all of us passes for a special evening event catering to kids with ongoing health issues. The zoo pulled out all the stops and offered free carousel rides, gave out free ice cream and cotton candy and brought out all of the interactive animal exhibits. So awesome!

Ari loved the carousel and rode several times.

Up close and personal with a barred owl.

We adore the Australian Adventure and so it was one of our first stops.

Inside the homestead we enjoyed wandering through the rooms stocked with Australian staples but also find it a bit funny that things as ordinary as Arnott's Biscuits, Keen mustard and other common staples are part of a tourist exhibit!

A kookaburra comes out to visit. While we were admiring the kingfisher, a sulphur crested cockatoo was screeching in the background and I was instantly transported to a Canberra woodland at dusk and had to think for a moment to remember where I really was!

The boys got to feed nectar to rainbow lorikeets.

Moving on from the land Down Under, the kids had the unique opportunity to feed lettuce leaves to the giraffes.

Good times!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Ari's First Day of Kindergarten

I just sent my baby off to Kindergarten!

So many new things coming your way today my darling! I hope you have a wonderful day!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Family Time

After saying farewell to our dear Joan in NY, we were pleased to have Ross visit us in Cleveland so that we could take him under our collective wings and prop him up with some much needed love and support.

It's always very special to hear the older generation share family stories while the youger ones get into mischief and create the stories that they will go on to share with the next generation.

Some photos from our time with Ross and extended family.

Penny, Lynne, Leah, Dave, Jan, Keith, Carl and Ross

Edward and Riker give Papa Ross squeezes.

Edward shares a silly secret.

Sophia getting cuter every day.

Riker and Ari at a family cookout.

Teagan paints Riker's face as Gecko from PJ Masks.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Eagle's Nest and an Aussie Guest

Back in May we received a visit from one of our oldest and dearest Aussie friends, Chris. This was his second time visiting us in the US and since we were the first stop on his itinerary, we let him sleep in and had a very relaxed few days together.

We had heard that there was a bald eagle nesting in the Metropark just a couple miles from our house, so we decided to head off for a walk one day to see if we could catch a glimpse.

Ari on the towpath trail.

A Canada goose with chicks in the canal.

The boys love when Chris visits! Extra attention!

Spring wildflowers in bloom.

Gorgeous boy.

We did spot the bald eagle and the three chicks but even with our super zoom lens it was hard to get a good shot.

Tired boy gets a lift.

Chris and Riker

Stopping to splash in the river.

Ari takes a break and flashes one of his reserved smiles.

Thanks for swinging past Cleveland Chris! Always great to see you!

Speaking of guests, we're on track for annual visits from Australian friends. Who's next?