Sunday, July 31, 2011

Fossil Hunting

At Warren Dunes State Park, they have a park naturalist (that's him in the hat) that shared with the beach goers about the dunes, the reason for the fog the day before, and about fossils.

That's right.  There are coral fossils in Lake Michigan, and if you know what you are looking for, you can find them.  This day was particularly good for fossil hunting because there was hardly a ripple on the water.  The air was barely moving, no waves to speak of, and it was HOT.  There wasn't much else to do but sit in the water.
We actually have quite a few fossils in our collection, and we were able to add a few more this time as well.  I love this kind of stuff.  I think it's SO COOL that you can find something thousands of years old in a place where it really shouldn't be. 
How does that happen? 
Well, in my opinion, a world-wide flood followed by an ice age, and TA-DA! salt water coral fossils in a freshwater lake.  And I found a great one!
 We had a lot of fun in the water just trying to stay cool. 
It was around 95*F plus humidity and no breeze.
When you stepped out of the water it was only a minute before you started sweating again!
The sand was also a scorching 120*F according to the park naturalist.
I was so glad to be near a beach that week, and thankfully we took our fans for the tents.

LittleJ has never been a fan of the water when we go to the beach.  We figured out this trip that it's because of the waves.  This day, because there were no waves, he spent the entire time playing in the water (not just at the edge) and having a great time.  It was great!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Do Fog and Sunburn Go Together?

Why yes, yes they do! 
And we found out all too well on our second day
at Lake Michigan.

When we arrived at the beach, just a few minutes drive from the state park campground, it had a strange look to it.  We couldn't even see the large sand dune, Tower Hill, which should have been right in front of us.
Why?  Fog.  Lots of fog. 

We literally spent the afternoon playing, swimming, and "sunning" in a cloud. 
There should be beautiful, blue water and skies in the background of these photos, but not this day.  We could even feel mist from our "cloud" every once in a while. 
Now, we still had fun of course, and the fog kept the temperature at a nice 82*F.
So, what happens when you think you don't need any suncreen and you hang out at the beach having fun?
Note the smile on his face... he's only pretending to be sleeping, silly boy.

This shows the fog looking towards the dunes.  You can barely see the restrooms/snack building, and you can usually see the huge sand dune.
 Someone ends up looking like this.....
Others had some sunburn too, but nothing like LittleE!  The rest of us used some sunscreen, but LittleE didn't.  She was not a happy camper when it was time to go to bed. 
Can you say, "Where's the aloe?!"

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Arriving At Lake Michigan!

 After a long, hot 6+ hour drive, unloading 2 cars, and setting up 2 tents, we arrived at this beautiful sight.
The nice cool waters and beautiful shores of Lake Michigan.

This has become one of our all-time favorite vacation spots, and it was doubly appreciated because of the extremely high heat and humidity that was upon us.

We stayed almost until sunset that first night and I was able to get a great picture of the kids.
I thought this was perfect!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

It's Showtime!!

The community theater that LittleE participates in has been alive this summer
with a variety of wonderful programs. 
Last weekend, LittleE and another theater friend were asked by the director to organize a youth cabaret night.  They did a great job working with kids as young as nine and going through high school.  There were even a few college kids thrown in for good measure!

They put together a wonderful variety/musical theater show.
LittleE sang "Summer Nights" from the musical Grease.

The whole group also sang a finale of "Don't Stop Believin'".  LittleE choreographed it for them and they did a wonderful job.  It was a fun evening featuring lots of young talent.

LittleA also was in the show.  She sang "Mr. Wonderful" and did an excellant job.
I don't have a still photo of that because I was busy taking the video.  Next time I'll have to hand off a second camera to someone else so we can have still shots as well.  Thankfully, the above 2 photos were taken by another family.

LittleE is currently working at the theater helping with the young peoples summer
workshop of "Schoolhouse Rock Live".
Then, throughout the month of August, she'll be participating in the teen summer workshop.  They had such fun with "You're A Good Man Charlie Brown" last summer, so this summer they will be performing the musical "Snoopy".  It should be a great way to end the summer!

A Little Hip Hop... A Little Ballet

LittleE continues to take dance classes in both hip hop and ballet.

 And if you didn't know... she loves it!
This year's recital was wonderful.

Well actually, every year has been wonderful, because 
Shirley's School of Dance always does a great job showcasing their dancers.

Sometimes I can't believe this is my LittleE!!  I'm so proud of all the things she's accomplished and I know there will be more wonderful things to come as she enters her senior year of high school.  YIKES!