Monday, June 29, 2009

Last Post of a Busy Month

So it was finally time for our window installation. (Which went great, and we'd highly recommend the guys - call us if you need the name.) Due to Xavi's allergies, we felt like we should vacate while the house was open, so we headed to Lansing. With a surprise guest - the kids' good friend Mason!

First stop, even before the hotel, was the State Capitol. We got there an hour before closing, and got an excellent private tour with Barb, who had just finished a history study of the Capitol's architect, Elijah Myers. She also filled us in on restoration details, secrets in the paintings of the governors, and a story about an unnamed representative putting a sticker on a 130 year old antique desk.

Captiol exterior, senate chamber
looking up into the dome, on the steps

We stayed at the Kellogg Center on the MSU campus. The room was quite nice, great view of campus, and perfect for 5 with a large sitting area. There was much Magic (including Xavi!), and superhero playacting, action figures, reading and drawing.

On Saturday we hit the Michigan Historical Museum. We were disappointed that the prehistoric and frontier sections were closed, but the 20th century floor was super cool. The kids were given an assignment to learn three things, and they all found different interesting bits and did a great job writing about them. We're definitely going back when the whole museum is open. There was a cool connection with the capitol: the main rotunda has a display of battle-flag replicas from the civil war, and then the real thing was on display at the museum. (Barb tip!)

The Museum/Library complex, breaking with some Voyageurs,
replicas and the real thing

Other than that we spent our time touring MSU (with obligatory bad Dad stories), eating and hitting comic book shops. Clem's Collectibles in Lansing on Washington just south of the capitol was quite a hit, even though it's no Lange's (our local shop).

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Care and Feeding of Dragons

The latest from Golden Film Studios, A Ferryport Landing Special Report.

No dragons were harmed in the filming of this video. If only we could say the same of the children.

In related news, the Feminineos came in for a whirlwind visit. We had a recap of the Grimm Party mystery, and then the kids made a mystery for the grown-ups. The Scarlet Hand had stolen the Bell of Au (one of the trippiest Grimm artifacts, involving church attendance and forest apes. Really.) and we had to solve three riddles to find it.

The next day saw an amazing encounter with our favorite children's author, Laurie Keller. She seems as nice as is humanly possible. Back home for the movie making and ... slinky? After a quick 24 hour visit they were off again, wending their way towards Florida.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Carmen Comes to Call

Through the generous auspices of Jo and John Webster, Carmen came from Mackinac to Grand Haven for a quick, packed visit before heading back to Monroe.

Unintentionally matching. I admit I put this in just so there's a picture of my great, new Cookie Monster shirt. The rumors of his becoming a lettuce leafer have been greatly exaggerated.

Tuesday we did a whirlwind tour of downtown Grand Haven, starting with Morning Star, and ending with tea at Bodacious Babes. There were hats. Maybe Bela will post the full range she modeled on her blog?

This has to be the best picture of karen and I in ages. She feels the Packo's shirt is what really sets it off.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Ain't No Party like a Jedi Party

Anna Minnebo's Star Wars party was a blast. Preparations involved costumes and Karen's excellent cookies from far, far away.

The party had crafts (snippets? like Annakin gave Padme) and several extended lightsaber battles. And a viewing of Return of the Jedi at the Mastertag Bigscreen. (There were still ewoks, though.)

The conclusion saw Anna opening many SW related things (including Bela's handmade foldables set) and a delicious ice planet cake. As was often said, May the Force Be With Her in the coming year.