Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year

May your 2017 be wonderful; full of happiness and love.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from Mackinac! 

My son drew that picture of me on the card he gave me for Christmas. It puts a smile on my face every time I look at it. I hope something is making you smile today, too. Another thing making me smile lately - the Huron decked out in her holiday finest.

Wishing you and yours a day that is merry, bright and full of smiles.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Ho Ho Ho!

Did you know that when Santa visits Mackinac Island (other than on Christmas Eve) he travels by fire truck? You see, Mackinac Island is the perfect place for those hard-working reindeer to take a little break. They hang out and get pampered at the barn for a while while Santa visits with the Island kids.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Stocking Up

Most people who live on Mackinac try to stock up, at least a little bit, for winter. The ferry company doesn't charge for freight such as boxes and tubs, but the plane charges $2.50 per tub.

So this time of year you'll often see luggage carts on the dock that look like this; filled to the brim with all kinds of necessities to get through the winter.

In case you're curious, lots of us use those Rubbermaid tubs for hauling groceries. They nest for taking the empty ones off the island, then stack easily in the car, and are a good size for the dray drivers to load and unload...

Friday, December 16, 2016


Every afternoon, as the kids and I walk home from school we pass by this lovely little statue of Mary. One day, back when the kids were much younger, one of them asked, "Who is that lady?" 

"It's Mary," I answered, intending to explain why Mary was important enough to merit a statue of her in one's yard, but before I could, the kids started serenading her with "Mary had a little lamb."

I still smile every time I walk by that house. Needless to say, since then, that misconception has been cleared up.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

One Guess

I'll give you one guess about what the weather on
Mackinac Island was like today...


Monday, December 5, 2016

Proud Mackinac Moment

On Saturday seven of Mackinac's finest, also known as the Lake-n-ators, participated in the UP's only First Lego League Qualifying Tournament. This year's theme was Animal Allies.

Everything the kids did revolved round interactions between human and animals.

Mrs.B, the kid's coach (and also our high school math teacher,) has been coaching the island's 5th & 6th grade team for many years now. She's amazing by the way!

The group's first task was to work together as a team to build something to improve an interaction between humans and animals. They had a total of four minutes to organize, plan and build. It was really challenging.

Task two was to put on a skit for the judges. But not just any skit- it had to relate the groups research. Oh yes, did I mention that each team had to choose a problem that is occurring because of a human - animal interaction? Teams also had to come up with a solution to that problem and convey all their information in a five minute play; a play they wrote

(The Lake-n-ators choose to research Michigan's little brown bat. Thousands of them use to flit around Mackinac at night devouring virtually all of our mosquitoes, but due to white nose syndrome the bat population on the Island has plummeted.)

After the kids finished preforming, each team member had to answer questions about the team's research. The island kids really shined here; they knew more about Michigan's little brown bat than most adults - including how to pronounce pseudogymnoascus destructans, the scientific name for white nose syndrome

After their presentation, the Lake-n-ators had three practice runs with their Lego robot before the competition missions began. 

They had a great time - especially beating the college team from Lake State, who did manage to bring their score up from negative infinity to negative Pi. The IEEE (Institute of Electrical and  Electronics Engineers) team got together the night before to work on their missions and skit to provide a little "friendly competition." The kids really got a hoot about watching the score keepers get creative with the IEEE's scores. In addition to the IEEE team, the island kids competed against teams from Petoskey, Charlevoix, Sault Ste. Marie, Cedarville, Menominee, and West Branch, Michigan. (Petoskey and Charlevoix each brought two teams.)

While their mission scores weren't high enough to go on to the next level of competition, the team did win a trophy because they did such an outstanding job on their presentation. All those practices and hours of research paid off! 

As the mom of two team members and the teacher of the entire team, I can't put into words just how incredibly proud I am of all of them. The seven of them came together as a team, put in long hours after school, and worked tirelessly on their missions and research. I hope that every time each one of them walks by the the trophy case at school, he or she stands up a little straighter and feels a sense of pride seeing that Lego trophy sitting on the shelf.