Towards the end of fall break our family went in two directions. Michael and Rachel headed to Pittsburgh where Michael had meetings and Rachel had plans for her first two college visits (!!!).
The rest of us headed up north to Michigan to see our dear friends who moved away two years ago.
It was so good to visit in person and to see the wonderful home in the country the Lord provided for these friends. Chickens were one of the main attractions of our visit! Check them out!!!
Here is Zeus, king of the roost.
And here are the lady chickens. I love how they sit on their perch -- all night long!!!
Isn't this the best expression!!!!
A few of the hens checking me out:
The kids had such a great time running around outside, fighting with their swords, and otherwise occupying themselves. Laura hung out with the big kids the whole time.
Tracy and I had to enjoy tea in her new teacups from Italy!
And I did have to take more pictures of the chickens whenever I could. Zeus is pretty handsome!
The leaves were gorgeous in Michigan! The tree in the center of the picture is a Sassafras. It turns such a lovely, glowing color.
Our friends live on a beautiful dirt road. We enjoyed being able to walk around the area they live in.
My friend's chickens are actually quite tame! On purpose! Zeus will let you pick him up!!!
We walked in the woods and admired the rows of pine.
As well as some white berries we found.
We were very excited to find some stick bugs!
One afternoon we toured their town -- Lowell, MI.
Rachel was glad to have a big sister while Rachel was away.
We went into the coolest "Variety Store" which reminded me of stores in Vermont when I was a kid. Check out the Contact Paper for sale! That certainly takes me back!
The store seemed to have a little bit of everything!
No need to drive to Walmart! You can get what you want in downtown Lowell!
Fortunately the chase eventually led somewhere -- this beautiful home and farm!
We headed out to the barn to see what they had:
Next stop was an apple orchard for some ice-cream! And I walked away with 3 bushels of apples too -- they were selling "deer apples" for $8/bushel. The apples were gorgeous and I couldn't resist.
When we got home we found presents waiting for us!
One evening the kids made a fire to roast hotdogs.
My pictures won't move today.....so onto the Grand Rapids public library which we went to visit on our second day. (Libraries and books are important to us.....) The Grand Rapids library is a very beautiful building. Check out the floor:
This is the permanent book sale area so of course we spent a good deal of time here:
Looking at some of the architecture of the building:
Isn't the red beautiful? And there was a very distinct marble used:
We drove around downtown Grand Rapids a bit, just to get the feel for the city:
Here's the outside of the library building -- very ornate! You won't believe it but we returned to the library the next day for their annual Friends of the Library Book Sale! Yes, we are a little "cuckoo" for books. :)
Now back to the fire....It was very restful to just sit by the fire for hours and visit!
Laura enjoyed her hotdogs. This girl can put away food!
Not many can resist playing with fire! It was fun to be in the country and do country things!
One day we stopped at "Heidi's" to have a look around.
And fresh, homemade donuts -- which the kids had to sample.
Each day we took a walk!
Michigan reminded me so much of Vermont -- just no mountains. I can see how it would be easy to live in such a beautiful place (we'll just forget about all the snow in the winter).
Here is my favorite picture from the trip:
L played her saxophones for us. It was great to see the kids enjoying each other so much.
Here we are by a sassafras tree -- all bundled up because it is colder in Michigan.
We headed home Saturday afternoon and the next day we celebrated our congregation's 10th anniversary! Exciting times for a church plant!
Several ladies organized adorable table decorations:
And everyone brought lots of food!!!! (Which these boys were happy to eat)
It was a great time of fellowship!!!
And then fall break was over! I was very thankful to feel able to return to homeschooling afterward. The holidays are ahead and I need to keep my equilibrium!!!
A few more pictures of Michigan to leave you with.......
The country roads were just beautiful, and so peaceful.
It did seem a little like Anne of Green Gables country:
And now here, at the very beginning of November, we are amazed and delighted to be enjoying weather in the 60's and 70's and flowers still coming in from the garden! The trees are at their peak right now (a bit late and a bit more muted than usual) and this is when we all say "fall is the best time of the year"!