North Shore

Our North Shore trip with the extended McCracken crew was a great adventure for the whole family.  Between the 12 or so of us, we shared three cabins right on the water.  I mean RIGHT on the water.  Steps from our front (or back) door was Lake Superior.

While the shore was more one large rock, than the millions of small Lake Superior rocks we are accustomed to, it did make for some fun adventures.

Sylvia taking dad to her "climbing spot"

The girls chillin' on the ledge

Another rocky beach with some nice waves...

Of course we needed to stop at Gooseburry Falls

Big cousin Jared hanging out on the rocks

For the most part the weather was great... it was a bit warm to start the trip, but we survived due to multiple fans in the cabin.  As a matter of fact, it was enjoyed so much, we are already booked for 2016!  See you in 11 months North Shore!

4th of July Celbration

Long overdue post, but wanted to share the fun we had over the 4th....

Crafting time with Grandpa & Grandma

 I love the sand beach!

Tubing time

The Jetski was moving this year...

Charlie in the sand

Oasis Island 2.0

More and more tents each year... we must be getting old!

 Dinner time

and cake time!

Happy Sisters!

Thanks again to Jim and Virginia for giving up the cabin to celbrate the 4th of July!  The weather was perfect and the company was ever better!

Duluth Zoo

We have another trip to Duluth scheduled in less than a week, so we should finish all the posts from our last trip!

Even though Jamie and I spent 5 years living in Duluth, we never once visited the zoo.  I guess when you have kids, things change!  So when we decided to check out the zoo, we didn't know what to expect.  While small, I think the entire family was pleased with out visit.

All smiles in front of the bobcat exhibit.

A couple of monkeys!

This bear is huge!!!

The nice part of the exhibits is how close you can get to the animals.  The bald eagle is about 6 feet away!

The cockroaches are even closer!

The lion was warming itself in the sun

and Mr. Green Python greeted us to the reptile exhibit!

It was a great way to spend the morning in Duluth and now Violet has a new favorite Raffi song - "Going to the zoo"

Happy 7th Birthday Sylvia

For Sylvia's birthday today we started it off with some COLOR!

We participated in our first ever Color Run 5k.  Basically it is tons of people that walk, run, whatever around the fairgrounds and go through "color stations" where the staff throw colored stuff onto you.

The jogging stroller was a great idea to get the girls from station to station.  Here we had just fished up the blue and Violet is saying "Yes!!!"

Getting ready to head to the last station - the Glitter!

 Family photo - post race...  I think Violet wanted to get more color on her!

It was a fun experience - but man was it hot out there...  We got home, hosed off, and relaxed during the afternoon.  Tonight we are headed out to dinner.  Sylvia's pick?  Sushi!

First steps into Lake Superior

During our trip to Duluth, we headed to Park Point to check out the other side of Lake Superior with the sand beaches

Cheese!!!  (I am sure the pants will stay dry, right?)

This water is freezing!!!

or is it...

First Family Trip to Duluth

After school wrapped up this year, we took the opportunity to spend a couple days up in Duluth before summer camp started.  Granted, a vacation with children is much different that just us two, we still had a great time sharing this special city with out kids.

First stop - Spirit Mountain

The Timber Twister - a few years old, but a really cool ride down the mountain (and then back up)

This is my scared face!

Another new favorite - The Duluth Grill

The "smashed penny"... another one of our collections

We did the "tourist" stuff and then headed up to our house about 10 minutes north of Duluth.  Since the weather was so nice, we opted for picnicking most of our meals.

Lunch on Lake Superior

yummy chips!

Since we were right on the lake, we investigated all of the cool rocks on the lakeshore...

some made their way into the trunk ;-)

Gotta stop at The Portland Maltshop


Two happy girls in front of the lift bridge

We were blessed with great weather and pretty good patience during this holiday.  We are looking forward to heading back up to Duluth in late July!

Happy Birthday to Violet one more time!

Violet was able to pick where she wanted to go for her birthday dinner... her pick?

Famous Daves!

We started with the pre-meal coloring

followed by the meat fest!  seriously this kid can put it down!

After dinner, we headed back home for the opening of a few presents. 

Sylvia helped decorate the wrapping paper, so she was excited to watch.

"singing in the rain!"

Baby Steps 3K

This year marked the third Baby Steps 3K that we took part in.  While it was just us four this year, the numbers walking and the amount raised for Children's was another record!

We made it the whole 3 kilometers!

Between shoulders, piggy back, or stroller... these were the popular methods to get Violet through the 3K

Sylvia showing off her missing teeth

Grabbing a quick bite to eat before we hit the jumpy castles

"milking the cow" as we left the State Fairgrounds

This has become a yearly event for us as we know personally how important Children's NICU is... we wanted to thank all of you that donated to this cause - we really appreciate it!!!

Happy 4th Birthday Violet!

Our little peanut is 4!

It sure has been a wild ride with this one and we continue to watch her blossom every day.  Our two girls are definitely growing into their own and both of them are just perfect!

This past weekend we participated in the Children's 3K to raise money for all the great things at Children's NICU and in the afternoon had some family over for Violet's early birthday party.

The girls loved their balloons

Grandma - one at a time please!

That is the smile we were looking for!!!

Sylvia showing off her lack of teeth!

Blowing out the candles... 

Our happy and lucky family!

Happy Birthday Violet!