Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Family Trip to Binder Park Zoo

I mentioned before that my 3 youngest nieces came down from Wisconsin to visit for a few weeks. They did this last summer and we took a trip to the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo. This year, I wanted to take them to Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek, Michigan. Unfortunately, due to scheduling conflicts, we weren't able to make our trip until their last day in town. But the good news was that their dad was in town too and we made it a big family trip!

Our group consisted of me, my husband, my mother-in-law, my brother-in-law, our oldest nephew (age 25) and all our nieces (ages 20, 13, 11, and 8.) Even though we had a large group, we were able to stay together easily despite the crowds. (We had to go on a Saturday and it was super busy.) And we managed to see everything during our trip.

The zoo has a new black bear exhibit which I thought was great. My youngest nieces were less impressed as they see them all the time in Wisconsin. But the young bears were super cute. (No pictures because you have to view them through glass & I knew it wouldn't turn out well.)

My favorite part of visiting Binder Park Zoo is feeding the giraffes. Because the zoo was so busy, the giraffe feeding area was super crowded. I highly recommend going during the week if you want to feed the giraffes. It's less busy and you won't feel rushed to get through the experience.

The zoo had 2 baby giraffes born in June and this was the first week they were on display. They were adorable!

My 11-year-old niece loves cheetahs, so she was excited when we came upon the cheetah exhibit. Luckily for her, today the cheetah was prowling about the enclosure and even make cute meow noises. It was so funny to hear a noise that sounded more like a house cat coming from this wild creature.

We all had a great time at Binder Park Zoo and I can't wait for our next visit. If the budget allowed, I'd love to go up again this weekend for their Reptile Weekend. I know my reptile-loving husband would enjoy that!

  photo blogsig.png

Monday, July 28, 2014

Weeks in Review

I can't believe that six weeks have flown by and now camp is over for the summer. We had a fun-filled 3 weeks since I last updated.

We continued to work hard on our talent show routine and ended up winning the talent show. I'm really proud of our kids for pulling that off. They did a great job!

We took a couple trips to the local spray park and visited the beach again. We had a water day with water games and had a big water balloon fight. We did more fun crafts and games and just generally had a lot of fun.

I'm really going to miss spending time with my campers. As I was saying goodbye on the last day, I found myself having to hold back some tears. It was a great summer and I'm looking forward to next year.

Last weekend was our nieces' last weekend in town, so we took a big family trip up to Binder Park Zoo. I'll share some pictures and more details about that in a separate post.

The fair was last week and we went on Sunday with our oldest nephew and niece. I'll post about that as well.

Our usual Sunday Mass was special this week because our parochial vicar was installed as pastor. This Bishop came and did a special rite during the mass. It was the first time I've been to a Mass celebrated by our current Bishop. (He's been our Bishop for 4 years.) I was even lucky enough to receive communion from him.

Our new pastor's brother is also a priest, so he came to celebrate Mass with him in addition to our new parochial vicar. During the Liturgy of the Eucharist, we had 3 priests and a Bishop at the altar. I'm sure there's a joke in there somewhere.

Now that I'm off work for a little while, I've got plans to do some cleaning and work on a few hobby projects I've started.

How was your week?

 photo blogsig.png

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Answer Me This


What’s your favorite thing on YouTube?

I tend to like a bunch of really random things on YouTube. Mostly, things related to Sherlock or Doctor Who. I'll share my current favorite Benedict Cumberbatch video.

Who taught you to drive?

I never learned anything about driving until I took Driver's Ed when I was 15. I took it through my school in the summer and my instructor was horrible. He didn't actually teach much, just made me get behind the wheel and expected me to know what to do. And he wasn't shy about telling me how bad I was. So, my confidence was shot and I didn't even want to practice. So, I didn't get my license when I was 16 because I wanted nothing to do with driving.

When I was 19, I knew I couldn't put it off any longer, so I took Driver's Ed again through a local driving school. They had just opened and my brother learned to drive from them. It was so much better that time! The instructors were nice and encouraging and I felt confident in my driving. And I got my license!

What’s your favorite thing to cook? 

I don't really like cooking. Cooking leads to having to clean things up. I hate making a mess and having to turn around and clean it up. I'd much rather just have the food made for me. :) However, my favorite thing to make is homemade pizza. It's really easy and so delicious.

Are you a hugger or a non-hugger? Why?

It depends on how I know the other person. I don't like hugging strangers because that's awkward. I have no problem hugging people I know. I often hug people if I haven't seen them in a while as a greeting. I also don't mind when kids see me at school and hug me. It's nice to feel appreciated.

Where do you pray best?

At church. I usually pray every night when I first get into bed, but I admit that sometimes I'm so tired, that I get distracted or fall asleep while praying. So, I probably do my best praying in church when I can concentrate on the task. After receiving communion works really well for me.

When is the last time you saw/spoke to your grandparents?

I only have one grandmother still alive, so it's been awhile for most of them. I saw and spoke to my grandmother in May when we went flower shopping. Her birthday is coming up, so I'll see her again soon.

Me, my mom, and my grandma at my wedding 4 years ago.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Answer Me This


What’s something you've won and how did you win it?

I won an overnight trip to Cincinnati last year by entering a sweepstakes. Sadly, we didn't take the trip due to finances and laziness.

I've also won Vera Bradly laptop sleeves 2 different times. Both times I won through Twitter contests.

Do you save old greeting cards and letters, or throw them all away? Why?

I do save them, although I never seem to know what exactly to do with them. I feel guilty about throwing them away. With Christmas cards, I have reached the point where I only save photo cards. I did scrapbook all of the cards we received for our wedding and I stick the cards we get for our anniversaries in there as well.

When you’re at home, do you wear shoes, socks, slippers, or go barefoot?

I try to go barefoot as much as possible because I just don't enjoy wearing socks. However, since my husband is the heat miser, I have to wear socks in the winter. In that case, I prefer to wear those fuzzy slipper socks. 

Who’s the most famous person you have ever met?

I've never "met" anyone famous. I did touch Clay Aiken's hand once after a concert (yeah, I was one of those girls once upon a time.) And a few years ago at the National Book Fair, I saw Julianne Moore. I have a blurry cell phone photo of that somewhere...

Totally Julianne Moore, I swear.

What has been your best work of art?

I am not artistic at all although I did make a pretty cute craft stick flag with my campers a few weeks ago.

What’s your strongest sense?

Definitely not sight. Probably my sense of smell is the strongest because lately I've been smelling things clear across the room (and NO I'm not pregnant.)


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Answer Me This


How did you get your name?

My name is Jennifer and I was born in the 1980s. I think it's pretty obvious how I got my name. :)

My mom actually admitted that she named me Jennifer because it was popular at the time. Yeah, I don't understand her logic either.

Do you have a set time for prayer in your day?

Before bed every night.

Did your mom work or stay home (or both)?

 My mom stayed home until I was around 12 (I think, I can't remember when exactly.) She mostly worked part time jobs until I went to college and my brothers were in high school.

Do you vote?

Yes, although I don't always vote in the primaries. It depends on the races and the issues. In Indiana, you have to declare a party to vote in the primary and you can only vote for that party, so if there are a lot of incumbents on that ticket, it's really just a formality. I voted in our May primary this year because there were some school issues on the ballot.

What's your favorite drink?

It really depends on what I'm craving. I like Coke, lemonade (especially Chick-fil-A's), frozen margaritas, and the occasional rum and Coke. And I never turn down a chocolate milkshake.

How are your photography skills?

They're fine, I guess. I only have a point and shoot and I think it's not working as well as it used to. I really want a DSLR and I want to learn how to shoot in manual. But unless I get lucky and win one, I don't think that will be happening for long time.


Monday, July 7, 2014

Weeks in Review

 I've been seriously slacking on my weekly reviews, so I'd thought I'd catch you up on what I've been up to lately.

Camp is half over already and I'm a bit sad about that. The weeks have flown by and it feels like the next 3 weeks will as well. My group of little kids is great and I'm going to miss them. My coworkers this year are great too.

We've had a very busy 3 weeks. We've been to the local pool twice, we went roller skating and bowling, and we've visited the local municipal airport. The airport was a lot of fun. We saw lots of airplanes and even got to go up in the control tower.

On Thursday, we went to the local beach for our annual sand building contest. It was a cool day, but the kids still had a lot of fun.

We've also been doing lots of crafts and playing lots of games. Additionally, we've been practicing our talent show routine. It's going really well and I think we've got a good chance of winning this year. And of course, the kids are having a blast which is the most important part.

My younger nieces are down from Wisconsin and we had dinner with them on Thursday. We watched Monsters University and Frozen.

Since I had Friday off from work, my mom and I went antiquing. Sadly, I didn't find anything interesting to buy. We did hit up Five Guys for lunch. We haven't been there in over a year and it was absolutely delicious.

We spent the weekend quietly at home mostly, although we did hang out with M's family after Mass on Saturday night since his nephew was there. I did some preparing for camp this week. It's sure to be a busy, but fun week.


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Answer Me This


Have you ever walked out of a movie?

I have never walked out of a movie in a theater. We so rarely go to the movies, that we only see movies that we really want to see. I have however, turned off movies that I've rented.

What do you most often use for blogs and blogging: desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone?

I usually use my laptop, but I sometimes use the desktop especially if the pictures I want are on that computer.

Have you ever had anything stolen from you?

I have not. (Knock on wood.)

Do you identify as a member of a particular ethnic group?

Does Canadian count? Thanks to my dad, I'm Canadian as well as American. My siblings and cousins (who are also dual citizens) are very proud of our Canadian heritage. We've also got some Russian, Polish, and German in our bloodlines.

Do you abstain from meat on Fridays?

Only during Lent. Since I've only been Catholic for a few years, it's still a struggle. I did do a good job of remembering this year, but I need to be more creative in coming up with meatless dishes. We ate a lot of grilled cheese and fish.

Seen anything weird lately?

 I went antiquing with my mom on Friday, and I did see some interesting things. Of course, now I can't remember anything.