Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Birthday Blessings

My husband is gone for two weeks and I've survived the first. A big bummer is being separated for my birthday. My in-laws hosted us so I didn't have to be alone. The girls helped gramma make an angel food cake. She made the frosting from scratch and the girls decorated my cake! (They clearly sampled some frosting in the process!)

I am blessed!

Messy happy faces!

We got up early Monday morning to catch the 8am ferry. It was pretty full so I was glad to have a seat on the boat's lower level. Here's the view of Mackinac Island:

This is what the lower level of the winter ferry looks like on a Monday morning. Lots of carts and lots of workers standing. It's also much colder than upstairs!

Passing Windermere Point:

What a beautiful morning skyscape!

I had biked to the ferry Saturday- it was so warm I didn't even wear gloves then. It was only 10 degrees when we left this morning- what a change! There's even snow on the roads! I snapped a picture over my shoulder for fun:

I am so glad it snowed on my birthday! I was able to snowmobile to school the rest of the day!

I am feeling very blessed! 10 years ago, my husband and I officially started dating at Central Michigan University. I had no idea then that this was going to be a very permanent relationship! I love it! I am proud to be his wife! (He comes home at the end of this week- yay!)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Mostly Melted

After so many days with temperatures above freezing, the snow has mostly melted. There's trace evidence of winter here and there.

I biked to the ferry today, and didn't even have to use a sidewalk. (Just yesterday I had to!)

The 2:30pm ferry was pretty full because the visiting basketball teams were leaving. (Congrats to Zhane Nash on crossing her 1000 point career mark today!) The girls and I sat on the lower level. The benches aren't cushioned down there, but it's just fine (especially since today wasn't very cold!) However, it was wavy! The girls loved it. I actually felt a smidge nauseated, which is atypical for me. I think wavy days are fun! It was cool to see waves crash over the windows and spray through the lower door. Here's the view before we pulled out from the dock:

We made it safe to St. Ignace! The girls' 4 yr old friend photo bombed this pic, which I think is too cute! They really enjoyed sitting together!

We picked up some groceries, then arrived at "Gramma's" and the girls helped her make a cake! (My birthday is tomorrow!) My oldest got batter on her nose while licking and I caught the moment of laughter that followed! I win!

There's a 50% chance of snow tomorrow! Perhaps we can snowmobile again next week! Even better, my husband returns at the end of next week! (Two weeks is long!)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Winter Rain

We woke up to rain today. This is a little depressing in January. It is certainly bad news for snowmobiling!

Here are the roads we biked today!

A home is going up on this site which had a teeny building. Often changes on the island make me sad, but this a happier sort!

They kept the original chimney:

Here's my tires once we made it to the school (fyi- brakes make bad sounds when this slushy stuff sticks to the tire)

Trying to squeeze rain gear over a warm coat is challenging:

Happy girl!

Rain hasn't dampened their spirits!

Sidewalks are safer for biking than the road at the moment- but don't do this during the summer season because it's against the rules!

Here a couple pics from yesterday for fun!

Yesterday's sunrise:

Lots of mallard ducks line the roof of St. Anne's Catholic Church in the afternoon. I stopped biking and watched them squabble with the girls. Some ducks were shoving each other, which we found funny!

Today was also the Poetry Out Loud recitation competition at Mackinac Island Schools. I had the privilege of being one of the judges and a lot of high school schoolers participated. It was wonderful to see so many students share poetry! Thank you! Congratulations to those who placed! The winning poem was "Monet Refuses the Operation" by Lisel Mueller and recited by Onaca Bennett who will represent Mackinac Island at the next level of competition!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

For Mackinac Kids

Winter on Mackinac Island is beautiful!

In many ways, it's a stark contrast to summer season. There are very few visitors, so the island is empty and quiet (with the exception of construction projects and snowmobiles). The weather has been in the high 30s during the day- which is not in the best interest of snowmobiling... Yesterday morning the roads were so wet I chose to bike to school for the midday trip.

In the summer there are many things for kids to do. But what about winter when everything is closed? Don't worry! Our community makes sure there are opportunities for Mackinac Island kids!
One program is the library "Peas in a Pod". It is available year round on Wednesdays. After preschool yesterday, I brought my youngest daughter. There is always an activity and a story.
This time featured corn starch and water:

She loved it!

So grateful Mary organizes this!


She read a Berenstain Bears book and the girls all enjoyed it.

There is a great kids section in our library! My daughter loves the puppets (I do too!)

Here's what the island looks like currently:

A path is kept clear from the edge of Mission Point Resort to downtown where the sidewalks are kept clear. This is so helpful for winter walking and biking. When I bike to school I only have to deal with winter roads at the beginning and end of my trip.

Signs like this aren't up during the summer! Snowmobiles can't go too fast!

The past couple days I've snowmobiled in the morning while the roads are still cold, then biked when it's melting.

A US Coast Guard boat passes by Mackinac Island and the Round Island Lighthouse.

I'm not the only biker:

But there are snowmobiles in use too. This in between weather isn't ideal for snowmobiles or bikes. I guess that's part of the adventure?

Yesterday, my girls enjoyed after school programs. Dance meets Wednesdays and Thursdays. My preschooler participated here.

Lots of dancing feet!

My oldest joined the after school sports program. They ended their time with the giant parachute!

There are 4H programs for kids too. And there's also a program that couples stories and activities. And the Mackinac Bible Church does an after school club every year that will probably start up soon. A grant was received that brings yoga to the island on Tuesdays, one session coincides with elementary p.e. The high schoolers recently had a scavenger hunt and chili fries. There may not be many kids on Mackinac Island- but they're not forgotten!
The Mackinac Bridge:

Downtown Mackinac Island:

The sisters teamed up and finished the day with a run!