Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Usually this blog is blah blah about Benjamin and his adventures and ours along with his. I'm not sure what Ben's experience was like being left alone with Jared for a few days. I know at least one day he was picked up a tad late from daycare but... hey, the kid is alive at least!! But, especially for those of you not from Iowa... I would Love to share with you what is known as RAGBRAI which I did part of this year. RAGBRAI is the "Registrar's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa" and it is no small event. I mean it. It is no little local group ride. No... some 12,000 people grab their bicycles, helmets, 30-packs of beer and whatever else... start on the West side of Iowa and follow the route to the Mississippi on the east side. It is the biggest, longest thing of its kind - ANYWHERE. Your mind cannot comprehend the quantity of people. Photos can only show single moments in time. Single....snap shots.

You have to imagine that those photos are from... SIX IN THE MORNING. And the roads aren't busy like that from just 6-7am. No No. From ......6 until ....until people quit flowing out of the overnight town around noon! And they aren't even done then, that is just when they were Supposed to leave by! It is like the worst winter runny nose Ever. The mucous of bikes just keeps flowing and flowing and who knows where it came from or where it all fits but... it doesn't seem to end.

And within this crowd:

banana bikes

tall bikes

cornfield pee-ers (I was guilty of this at one point as well...)

bikes bikes bikes bikes:

And one of the coolest parts...
People, espeically in Clear Lake are RIDICULOUSLY nice! I mean... I couldn't even count the number of residents out along the route shooting hoses at us like this one!

People stand by the roadside as if you're a famous person and cheer you on... for no reason.

It is pretty neat.

This isn't even to mention things like slip and slides and the food food food food food that is consumed at such an event. When my fellow comrades who had the cameras put pictures up, I will be sure to share them here with you because there are some things that words simply cannot describe.

We are OHIO bound this evening. See you all soon!!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Chicken and Reading.

First off... I'd like to brag about my innovation. I made a fancy/healthier version of some chicken strips the other night (mustard concoction marinated and pretzel coated) and to get them crispy all the way around, I needed a baking rack sheet thing. Well we don't have one. BUT!! If I can make shoe covers for my cycling shoes out of sandwich bags and duct tape, CERTAINLY I can make a tray that holds the chicken up away from the bottom of the pan.



It was good.



We read to Ben at least a few times a day. And we've been noticing something... PARTIES. These little cartoon characters end up in an awful lot of parties. Now I know that not every party has to be wild and crazy and filled with alcohol... but any party I've been to where multiple people end up in a bathtub together PROBABLY featured some alcohol...

I think Elmo might be the only one of these characters actually old enough to attend one of these parties and he is clearly the center of the party.

Hard to say where Bert is though... just Ernie hmmm suspicious I'd say.

But quite possibly the most honest of all the childerns books containing party images comes from "Go, Dog Go!" — one of Ben's favorites.

Following failed [random] attempts by the female dog to impress the male dog throughout the book... with different hat selections this is what unfolds:

I'm not even going to comment on that. I mean, really!? Did the author wake up one morning, try to write an autobiography that didn't work out and decide to disguise it as a book for Kids?? Maybe. At least parties are fun and relatively harmless. But when Ben has round up his daycare gang and they're out at the playground with Gin in sippy cups....... I'll know who/what to blame. Because it certainly wouldn't be my fault as a parent, ever.

Read to your kids. It is important.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Michigan and Fairy Tales

We lied to benjamin tonight. Yep... we did. He found a penny and we told him that he could/should put it away in his little piggy bank. Well we then got out OUR change jar and had him put it in there.......... Then explained all the coins were treasures we captured whilst on our pirating adventures. Someday if he collects enough of his own - he will have his own treasure... especially if he collects it in our jar.

It is like... telling him there is a Santa, or an Easter Bunny.
Besides.... for the messes this kid makes:

I think we deserve to have some fun with him right!!?!?

So in spirit of taking Ben along on fun adventures whether he is aware of how much fun it is or not... He came along on a last-minute trip up to Michigan with myself and my parents up to the Leno Cottage (my mom's aunt&uncle's house) in Arcadia. While there we embarked upon the National Cherry Festival. This is serious business to these people. Every MILE down the highways is another booth selling some sort assortment of berries, juice, vegetation, junk and pie. So when all of These berry picking/selling/eating come together for a week along with unusually warm weather and a fantastic amount of sunshine this festival was PACKED!

It is just too bad their website is ugly...

Traverse City has delightful signage though...

I think the Cherry Festival should Probably become a family holida... somewhat like Christmas only we're eating the berries of Dingle (as opposed to santa?) Thus... we can make Dingle Berry pie. It has a nice ring.


Also... the latest, greatest invention I've seen since the Wii:

I would eat cereal ALL day, everyday with that bowl... ice cream too probably.