Friday, January 27, 2012

The End

Saturday is it - after the 5:00 pm boat Arnold line is shutting down ferry service to Mackinac Island for the season. That means from now till spring, we'll have to fly to the mainland or cross the ice. With all the oddly warm weather we've been having, I doubt we'll have a good ice bridge this year. But that's OK. Not having an ice bridge some years makes you really appreciate having it when we do get one.

Luckily we've laid in supplies and my husband or I will still be able to fly to the mainland once a month or so to stock up. Plus, my parents rented an apartment on the island for the winter, so I know my mom will gladly bring groceries over with her when she pops in for a visit.

2 hrs. after initial post edited to add:

I happened to bump into our Police Chief tonight and he told me the boat will likely be done this evening. Apparently, the last boat spent two hours stuck in the ice  and finally had to call the U.S. Coast Guard to break the boat free. My parents are quite glad they decided to fly to the island today...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


2011 Teacher Gifts

This year the kids passed out these delicious goodies to their teachers and babysitters. It's all you need for hot cocoa  - on a stick. I got the idea (again) from Marie. (She's just full of good ideas!) They were super easy and very child friendly to make, but the best part was making the homemade marshmallows! I'd never made them before. They were so good! Especially right after we cut them; so much smoother than the store bought ones...

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Mackinac Moments

I took this as I was leaving school after a staff meeting last week. Thanks to a weeks worth of 40 degree days (about 4 degrees C), our snow was gone and another teacher and I were gearing up for the walk home. Luckily, she was willing to wait a moment or two so I could snap some photos of the setting sun.

If I had taken this photo yesterday, the ground would be much whiter. We were lucky enough to get four or five inches of snow Thursday night, and are back on our snowmobiles...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Silhouette Valentines

I love Valentine's Day. I know Valentines are just silly little pieces of paper, but I've just always just loved them. I think it's because I have such fond memories of Valentine's Day from my childhood. I wasn't exactly popular in elementary school, but on Valentine's Day everyone was nice I got cards from all the other kids. Sure, they didn't have a choice, but as a kid I don't remember being really aware of that fact.  (I may have also been in denial...) When I was little we always bought our cards, but these days I've been trying to make homemade ones. (Check out our Valentines past here and here.)

 I instantly fell in love with the idea of a silhouette card when I found them at this lovely little shop, but $15.00 for cards for each of us just wasn't in the family budget (as a teacher I need Valentines, too.) I've been feeling a bit braver with photoshop lately, so I thought I'd try to make them myself.

I started by taking a profile picture of each child in front of a plain background. (Think plain white wall with good light and few shadows.) Then, using photoshop, I edited out that background, changed the colors around, and added the text. The thought bubbles, heart and circles were right there in photoshop so all I had to worry about was the placement. I really loved the boarder in the cards on Etsy, and thought the scalloped boarder I found here would do the trick. (You should pop in over there - she's got lots of great free downloads, and even more stuff for paying members.) The boarder is a separate layer in photoshop, so it was a good way for me to tackle learning how to use them. (So easy!) I uploaded the finished images to my favorite photo printing site and, at only ten cents per print,  was able to get a class set for less than $3.00 per child. I'm really happy with how they turned out - cute, personal and best of all - homemade.

Are you planning anything interesting for Valentine's Day?

Sunday, January 1, 2012


Lots of heavy wet snow fell on
Mackinac Island

yesterday and today,

so lots of us got outside and enjoyed it!

Sadly, the temperatures have been hovering right around
freezing, so it's melting quickly. We're
keeping our fingers crossed that
we'll get more tomorrow...