Dow Gardens

“We’re driving 2 hours to go to a garden, A GARDEN?!”….so maybe the kiddos weren’t exactly on-board initially. But once we arrived at the nation’s longest canopy walk, 1,400 feet long, soaring up to 40 feet above the ground, complete with a large cargo net in a grove of spruce trees, a glass floor viewing platform, awesome tree-house, & epic views I legit had a tough time getting them back in the car to go home! Our adventure at Dow Gardens was nothing short of extraordinary!

DowGardens2

Location…..

Dow Gardens, 1809 Eastman Ave. Midland, MI 48640

Whiting Forest of Dow Gardens (literally across the street, &there is a ADA/stroller accessible walkway but if you have little legs & just want to hit up the canopy walk, café & playground this is the address you want to use) 2203 Eastman Ave. Midland, MI 48640

DowGardens8

Brief History about the Forest….

The first piece of Whiting Forest property was acquired in 1905 by Herbert H. Dow, the founder of the Dow Chemical Company, and his wife Grace. In 1949, the property passed to H.H. Dow’s granddaughter Helen Dow Whiting, and her husband Macauley. The Whitings took great care to create a beautiful home for their six children. Now owned by the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation, it opened to the public in 2004, with a grand re-opening in October 2018.

Award Winning Children’s Garden….

DowGardens5

DowGarden22

DowGardens16

DowGarden12

Canopy Walk…..

DOWGARDENS101

DowGardens23

 

DowGardens14

 

DowGarden32

 

DowGardens17

 

DowGardens7

DowGardens3

DowGardens27

DowGardens15

DowGardens13

Tree House….

 

DowGardens26

DOWGARDENS103

DOWGARDENS104

DowGardens31

DowGardens4

DOWGARDENS106

DOWGARDENS108

Whiting Forrest Café….

Stop off in the café for coffee/tea and a light snack! https://www.dowgardens.org/whitingforest#&gid=1640419433&pid=1

 

DowGardens30

 

DOWGARDENS109

Playground….

DowGardens6

DOWGARDENS102

DowGardens25

DowGardens28

 

Admission….

Annual Pass $20.00

Adult daily $10.00

Kids (6-17) $2.00

College Students $2.00 (with valid ID)

Kids (5 & under) FREE

 

Website….

https://www.dowgardens.org/

 

Hours…..

Dow Gardens and Whiting Forest of Dow Gardens are open all year with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. The grounds of the Gardens will also be closed for an annual maintenance day on the fourth Tuesday of September. Weather-related closures may occur.

Nov. 1 – April 14                 9:00am – 4:00pm

April 15 – Labor Day           9:00am – 8:30pm

Sept. 3 – Oct. 31                  9:00am – 6:30pm

UPCOMING EVENTS….

DOWGARDENS105

Totally worth the drive!

Looking to make a weekend of it? Then stop off at Frankenmuth, Bronner’s World’s Largest Christmas Store, Stay at the Splash Park next-door, & some outlet shopping!

DowGardens10

 

DowGarden1

And a HUGE  shout-out & thank you to Kathy Williams-Moran and her Dad (father of 10 & Grandfather to 35 who enjoys taking his grandchildren on amazing road trips!) for introducing us to Dow Garden & sharing some of their awesome pics!

75594656_2608940259129164_7964960951432642560_n

74335427_3050369835189141_8692644306772557824_n

Trick-or-Treating Safety Tips to Review with Your Kiddos

October 31 st is one of the most anticipated nights of the year for many children. The promise of candy, staying up late, school parties with friends, and the chance to dress up as their favorite character keep’s them excited and looking forward to Halloween night all year long. As adults we often get caught up in the fun of it all too; seeing all the kids dressed up, dressing up for a party with friends, and getting into the spirit with good natured tricks.

72848274_458014018148315_5615213034172579840_n

However, Halloween has a dark side lurking behind those silly scares and sugar highs. With over 175 million Americans hitting the streets to trick or treat last year crime rates also increase more then any other night of the year. Last year, there was a 17% increase in petty crime related automobile claims such as broken vehicle windows, keyed vehicles, egged vehicles, and minor dents and dings. Violent crimes saw an increase of up to 50% on Halloween night! A night full or tricks and masked strangers is enough to make anybody a little jumpy so how do you stay safe while still letting your kids enjoy the holiday?

73528688_371607303538794_2340282904556339200_n

Trick-or-Treat Safety
 Plan your route in a familiar neighborhood. Make sure that you map out your
route and take note of any sex offender homes in the neighborhood (avoid these
homes).
 Try to go out early so that you can avoid being out to long after dark.
 Trick-or-Treat as a group with adults to supervise. It is safe and more fun!
 Only approach houses with the porch light on and NEVER go into a house.
 Use the sidewalks and cross streets at the corners using traffic signals and
crosswalks. Children are FOUR times more likely to get hit by a car on
Halloween then any other night.
 Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Make sure you review with your
children to make eye contact with drivers before they cross the street and to
NEVER dart into the street or cross a street between parked cars.
 Use face paint instead of a mask if possible. If you must use a mask, make sure
your child has a clear path of vision.
 If your child’s costume involves a weapon, make sure it looks fake and fake guns
have an orange tip. Tell your child to not make threatening gestures at strangers
with the fake weapons and if a law enforcement officer asks them to put down
their toy weapon, they should immediately follow the instructions and put it down.
 Everybody in your group should either have a flashlight, be wearing glow jewelry,
wearing a blinking light, or use reflective tape on their costumes. Make sure you
are making yourself visible.
 Review with your children how to call 9-1-1 if there is an emergency and what
they should do if the group gets separated.

73404062_649802708881879_2747043700788953088_n

Teen Safety for Halloween
 Set a reasonable curfew with your teens for their Halloween activities.
 Know which neighborhood your teen is trick or treating in.
 If teens are going out as a group still have regular check in points (at the end of a
block, etc.) with an adult.
 If your teen’s costumes involve a fake weapon, make sure that are aware of the
responsibility that goes along with carrying that weapon. Their fake weapon
should be recognizable as a fake, they should not make threatening gestures at
anybody, and if law enforcement asks them to put the weapon down, they should
follow instructions immediately.
 If your teen is going to a Halloween party know the location and encourage them
to stay at one party instead of hopping from party to party.
 Know which adults will be present at the parties or trick or treating.
 Make sure teen drivers understand the additional dangers of driving on
Halloween.
Driving on Halloween
 Slow down and be on high alert when driving on Halloween; especially in
residential neighborhoods. Children are excited and unpredictable in their
movements.
 Take an extra moment to look for children at intersections, on curbs, and
between cars when turning or pulling in/out of a space.
 Enter and exit driveways slowly and carefully
 Eliminate distractions in your vehicle so that you concentrate on the road and
your surroundings (do not be on your phone or trying to open candy.)
 Turn your headlights on earlier in the day, give yourself ample time, and
anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic, especially in neighborhoods.

73317389_911762829202603_6970060570774994944_n

Home Safety
 If possible, at least 1 adult should stay home
 Your house should be well lit both inside and out
 If you have pets make sure they are secure in your home.
 Make sure all doors and windows are locked, especially if you will not be home.
 Park your vehicles in the garage instead of leaving them on the street or in the
driveway.
 You can install extra security measures like a smart camera or doorbell camera
that allows you to check on your home via smartphone for extra security when
away.

Situational Awareness
 Be aware of your surroundings always.
 Look around carefully before crossing across driveways and streets (look for
brake lights, people getting into cars, headlights).
 Keep electronic devices on you for quick communication but keep them put away
unless needed. Keep your head and eyes up while out.
 Be aware of people who jump out and try to scare you. Be alert and know the
difference between the simple tricks and real danger.
 If you have a neighborhood watch then get as many volunteers as possible to
patrol your streets. More eyes watching for trouble is never bad.
 Trust your gut and if a house feels wrong avoid it.
 Notify law enforcement immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.

72956275_736207233509677_5588531855516237824_n

Halloween is an exciting and fun holiday that many families enjoy each year. We all love experiencing these moments with our families but amidst all the fun as parents it is our responsibility to also teach them about safety. Halloween is a perfect opportunity to talk about staying safe and practicing good situational awareness. Stay in the moment and have a fun and safe Halloween.

Huge shout-out to our awesome Guest Blogger, Ashley! To learn more about our amazing Guest Blogger, Ashley & safety tips click on the link https://luxelifewith3.com/about-me/

OSU Band Concert Family 4-Pack Tickets Giveaway & Prize Pack

UPDATE: WINNER is… Pamela Peterson!

The Best Damn Band in the Land! And you & your family have the opportunity to see it in concert right here in Ohio as they make their way to the infamous border battle game! But you better get your tickets fast, like leap year, this opportunity only arises once every 4 years. The band only stops on their way to Michigan and the other year they are in Erie Co. thus, they won’t be making their way through this neck of the woods again until 2023!!

The Ohio State Alumni Club of Wood County host the event and the band makes the stop locally and holds the concert to raise funds to support scholarships for Wood County students and marching band members. And over the past 44 years this event has raised more than $287,000 providing 150 scholarships to Wood County students.

These are the local students (all from Wood & Lucas Co.) that are in the marching band and will be playing at the concert.

(Justin Barnes/Springfield High School, Ruth Bonnice/Clay High School, Sarah Wood/Anthony Wayne High School, Dawson Taylor/Anthony Wayne High School, Parker Stephens/Northview High School).

 

WHERE:

Perrysburg High School Gym

13385 Roachton Rd. Perrysburg, OH

DATE & TIME:

November 29th @ 7:30pm (Doors open at 6:30pm)

TICKET INFO:

ADULTS: $20 KIDS: $15

Click on link to purchase tickets, https://tinyurl.com/PerrysburgOSUMBConcert

(Proceeds benefit the OSU Alumni Club Endowed Scholarship Funds & the Ohio State Marching Band)

FACEBOOK EVENT:

Follow event for fun post updates & additional info, like, will Brutus be making an appearance? https://www.facebook.com/events/693775137752712/

CONTEST:

Enter to win a family 4-pack tickets for the concert & a prize pack including, a limited edition Brutus poster, Marsha’s buckeyes (made locally in Perrysburg!), & some other OSU goodies!

HOW TO ENTER:

1-Share this post on Facebook

2-Tag a friend

3- Comment on the BLOG with the name of the official rock song of The Ohio State University?

WINNER will be randomly selected on October 26th @ noon.

Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness: I am 1 in 4…he was born sleeping

October is a busy month for mommas all around. It’s the time of year when cooler temperatures are welcomed after hot summer days.  We’re planning for Halloween, making sure jackets and coats fit, gloves have a match and snagging the good candy while its on sale.  October is also Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month was first declared by President Ronald Reagan on October 15, 1988. On that day he said:

“When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, there isn’t a word to describe them. This month recognizes the loss so many parents experience across the United States and around the world. It is also meant to inform and provide resources for parents who have lost children due to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, stillbirths, birth defects, SIDS, and other causes.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the month of October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.”

Our Story

My story like so many other mommas started with a healthy pregnancy until the very end when I found out that I had become a part of the 1 out of 4 mommas who experience miscarriage, infant loss or in my case, stillbirth.  I will never forget the look in everyone’s eyes, the disbelief in my heart and the crushing reality that all the dreams I had for this child would not come to fruition.

Approximately five years ago I went to a regular OB appointment one day before my due date; I was excited because I knew the baby would be coming any day. I even joked that he would be born on Christmas because I found out that I was pregnant on Good Friday. However, when my midwife looked into my eyes with tears forming in her eyes and told me that my baby had passed away, my world shifted, my reality changed, and everything I knew to be Ebone was no longer true.

I then had to decide, Do I stick with my original plan to have an all natural VBAC or do I go in for the quick c-section and be done?  My husband and I talked it over and decided that although the cesarean would allow a quick fix to the mountain we were up against it wouldn’t make this loss any easier.  It wouldn’t change the fact that we would be going home with a box and a bear. And frankly I wanted the physical pain to match the emotional web of pain I had found myself entrapped in.

After 8 hours of unmedicated labor I gave birth to my Austin who was born sleeping. He was perfect in every way—with thick dark hair and perfectly brown skin. There are no words to describe the silence that took place in that bittersweet moment. I felt like a full-blown rock star for giving birth with no meds.  But the reality was that my husband and I sat in a still room, not filled with attempts to latch on and newborn cries; our room was filled with a deafening silence. In that silence I was not angry with God nor did I have a “Why?” But my heart was at peace knowing that my sweet child opened his eyes before Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

And what a birthday that is, two days before Christmas, to open your eyes and greet your Creator, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you” (Jeremiah 1:5a NKJV), the One who knew him before I even knew that I had a desire for him.

Although his life ended at 39 weeks gestation his legacy was just starting.  On Austin’s first birthday in 2015 we decided to honor him in a tangible way.  So, on December 23rd just 2 short days before Christmas my family and I along with our friends set out to do as many random acts of kindness as we could squeeze into 24 hours.  I was completely blown away by how many people near and far joined us in remembering his name and making his life impactful here on earth. That day helped me to understand why us mommas needed a month designated to remembering our babies.  It solidified why a united front of friends and family who take a moment every year to speak our babies names, to light a candle to spread awareness and to start the conversation with others is vital to healing.

How can you support other mommas?

Do: Be present and be patient. Grief is messy and us mommas are just trying to figure it all out.

Do: Bring meal, this was a huge help for me. Every day the doorbell rang, and someone was dropping off a meal for my family and I.  They didn’t stay longer than to say how to warm it up if necessary and to give a hug.  THIS WAS HUGE!

Do: Keep checking in, texting, calling and emailing to letting the momma know that you are thinking of them.

Do: Keep their baby’s memory alive.  Make donations in honor of their baby. Celebrate birthdays and Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.

Resources

www.hopemommies.org  Their mission is to help every family who experiences infant loss find community, grief resources and ultimately the Hope of Christ which is our unfailing anchor.

www.sufficientgraceministries.org SGM offers perinatal hospice, birth and bereavement services for parents facing the loss of a baby.

 

About me

I’m Ebone, I live in Toledo, OH but was born and raised in Northwest Indiana along with my husband Rashadd. My husband and I have been married 9 years and have 5 children together. The 4 here on earth keep us knee deep in play dates, rehearsals, sports and carpooling. I enjoy clearance shopping, cooking and vacationing with what I affectionately call my tribe. If your looking to get connected with myself or other mommas who have experienced pregnancy and infant loss, I can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ebonehumes.

 

Toledo’s Main Library Reno is a Parent’s Dream Come True!!

Dream BIG! Okay. I want a convenient parking spot, ease of entryway, enclosed kids space, lots of hands-on activities for the kids, Storytime, coffee, snacks/lunch option, a shop that doesn’t feel like an afterthought, and, did I mention coffee?! Can a public library actually provide all these amenities? It can and does! That’s right; the Main Library Reno has pulled out all the stops & checked off all the boxes to officially make a parents dream come true!

Toledo Lucas County Public Library

Address: 325 N Michigan St, Toledo, OH 43604

Phone: (419) 259-5200

Website: http://www.toledolibrary.org/

Hours: Monday-Thursday 9am-9pm, Friday & Saturday 9:30am-5:30pm, & Sunday 1-5pm

Parking: Parking Garage, cost is $ .50 per ½ hour.

 

The renovation maintained the integrity of the original building and key features like the Vitrolite remain intact.

Mainlibrary26

Heavy construction in more than half of the public footprint opened the space to provide a welcoming environment that provides many books and movies, collaboration, lifelong learning, circulation of materials & community engagement.

Mainlibrary25

Mainlibrary29

 

Mainlibrary27

 

Mainlibrary2

Mainlibrary4

Mainlibrary

Stop off at the Gift Shop to purchase something unique and fun from local artists, check out the exhibit in the Gallery, & then grab a snack & that much needed coffee at the Café, Sarines!

Mainlibrary30

Mainlibrary3

Mainlibrary5

Sarnies offers deli sandwiches & new chopped salads to the area using only the freshest ingredients. Fresh breads are baked daily, salads and sauces are made using local ingredients and cookies are baked from scratch. Sarnies is located on the first floor next to the Gallery.

Menu http://www.sarnies.org/

Cafe` Hours: Monday – Thursday, 9am – 7pm, Friday & Saturday: 9am – 4pm, Sunday: 1 – 5pm

Eat in the Café area or take your lunch to the Roof Garden!

Mainlibrary24

Mainlibrary28

The Children’s Library is located on the second floor & is the perfect place to bring little ones for fun, learning and play!

Mainlibrary13

 

Mainlibrary6

Mainlibrary16

They’ll enjoy features like the Rainbow Fish Tank and the Mystery Wall and explore signature areas including:

  • The Susan M. Savage Family Place: Creativity Lab
  • The Dorothy Louise Kyler Foundation Children’s Computer Center

The Joseph and Judith Conda Family School Readiness Room

Mainlibrary20

ProMedica Picture Book Room

Mainlibrary18

Mainlibrary7

Mainlibrary21

Mainlibrary11

Mainlibrary9

Mainlibrary8

Mainlibrary10

Jennifer Fisher Nancy Drew Collection

Mainlibrary12

 

Mainlibrary17

Mainlibrary19

 

The Main Library Reno is legit amazing! What are you waiting for? Share, tag friends, & make plans to meet up at the library today!