Simpson Garden Park

Talk about a hidden gem! This is where nature, education, and bit of adventure collide all hidden amongst an urban landscape.  We ventured down the path of exploration leaving the noise of the world behind.   And somewhere along the way a gentle tranquility and overall sense of calm came over us…maybe it was in the Peace Garden? But I’m getting ahead of myself.

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Save during Home School Days at Sauder Village!!

Sauder Village invites home school families from throughout the region to Home School Days – September 2-5 and September 9-12. Connect your children to local history, receive discounted home school rates, explore the new 1920s Main Street, and watch unique demonstrations each day!

“Our costumed guides and working craftsmen help bring history to life for students of all ages,” shared Kim Krieger, Media Relations Manager. “Home School Days are a great time for home school families to have fun in the past while learning something new at Sauder Village!”

As a special for Home School Days, home school families will receive discounted admission, only $8.00 per person for ages 6 and up. Throughout Home School Days a variety of STEM activities (science, technology, education and math) have been planned for children to enjoy in addition to engaging opportunities to explore Ohio’s rich history from 1803 through 1928!

With the completion of a spectacular new addition to the Historic Village, guests can now experience the Roaring Twenties at a new 1920s Main Street.  This one-of-a-kind project replicates a portion of a 1920s Main Street typical to Northwest Ohio. As families stroll down an authentic 1920s Main Street they will be able to stop by the theater to take a peek at what’s playing on the big screen, explore a hardware and grocery store, check out a Model T at the service station, and sip a cherry phosphate at the soda fountain. Visitors can see the latest fashions at the dry goods store, meet horses at the livery, buy candies at the candy shop, and have fun exploring a bank, barbershop, fire station, depot, and even a speakeasy (open for special events/experiences only).  The “Roaring Twenties” will come to life through personal stories, authentic reproduction buildings, and historic artifacts.

“Our 1920s Main Street is a fully immersive learning experience that teaches invaluable lessons about hard work, perseverance, and innovation – inspiring students of all ages to leave their mark on the world today,” Krieger added. “We offer families a place to laugh, learn, and connect while making history of their very own!”

Recognized as Ohio’s largest living-history village, this award-winning destination offers plenty for guests to see and do while experiencing life in Ohio from 1803 thru the 1920s. There is plenty for Sauder Village guests to see and do while visiting historic homes, farms, gardens and community shops. Families can take a walk through time while exploring wigwams and a trading post at Natives & Newcomers and then continue to the Pioneer Settlement Area to experience life in Ohio from the 1830-1870 at the log school, church, barn, homes, gardens and more!  At the Grime Homestead guests can experience life in the 1920s while exploring a farmhouse complete with a telephone, radio and player piano. While at Sauder Village, guests can also enjoy a free train ride, meet farm animals, and marvel at craftsmen blending skill and creativity in glass, metals, fabric, wood and clay.

A trip to Sauder Village would not be complete without delicious, home-style food from the Barn Restaurant and Doughbox Bakery. For those looking to extend their stay, the 98-room Heritage Inn has a spacious country inn atmosphere with many places for guests to relax and spend time together. The 87-site Sauder Village Campground is a great spot to enjoy fishing, sharing stories around the campfire, riding bikes around Little Lake Erie, or playing in the Splash Pad.

Sauder Village is located at 22611 State Route 2 in Archbold – just minutes from Exit 25 of the Ohio Turnpike. The Historic Village is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.  The Village is closed on Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays this season. Regular admission is $20.00 for adults, $14.00 for students (6-16), and free for members and children 5 and under.

Other upcoming Sauder Village fall events include Apple Week and Fiber Arts Fest in September. October events include Transportation Exploration and Fall on the Farm. Event details are available online at www.saudervillage.org

Make history of your very own with a trip to Sauder Village to enjoy Home School Days and experience the new 1920s Main Street! Hours of operation, safety practices, and answers to frequently asked questions are available on the Sauder Village website. For details about planning a memorable Sauder Village getaway call 800.590.9755, visit the Sauder Village website at www.saudervillage.org, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

 

3 Truths You Need to Know in order for your Marriage to Thrive, Especially with Kids

Dishes done, dinner in the crock-pot,  toddler’s toys put away, preschooler’s Picasso inspired crayon drawing on the wall magically erased, the cemented Goldfish and water paste removed from couch, baby nursed a million and five times, and the house finally looks the way it did when my husband left this morning!!  Yup, I was one of “those” stay-at-home moms, I aspired to be a Supermom and if I fell short I wouldn’t settle for anything less than June Cleaver. So you could imagine how crushed I was after killing myself day in and day out juggling a newborn, 3 year old, & four year old, while maintaining a household only to see a look of disappointment on my husband face when he got home. Naturally after a few weeks of this it weighed heavy on me and I did what any “June” would do and kindly approached my husband, inquiring why he was disappointed, and we had a remarkable adult conversation, NOT! My exhausted foggy mom brain was spinning and somewhere between my mind and mouth kindness, compassion, and even comprehension was lost…what spewed out was ugly, loud, hurtfulness.

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Sauder Village 1920s Main Street is the Bee’s Knees

No iPhone or Androids, no Social Media alerts or Zoom meetings! We left the “noise” of the 21st century behind and took an epic stroll back in time, a time of huge economic, social, and culture growth unlike any other in history, the Roaring Twenties!  After months of “virtual tours” and “virtual field trips” the kiddos welcomed an actual in-person experience, a real adventure, freedom to explore and learn in real time, this field trip was like none other!!

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Sauder Village

Address: 22611 OH-2, Archbold, OH 43502

Phone: (419) 446-2541

Website: https://saudervillage.org/

Hours: Wednesday-Saturday 10A-5P

Admission: Adults: $20, Students (6-16): $14, Children: (5 & under) FREE

2-Day Pass: Adults: $29, Students (6-16): $19, Children: (5 & under) FREE

As we approached 1920 Main Street the kiddos’ faces lit up. They expressed that they felt like we had just experience time travel, like we were literally back in the 1920s, that the only thing that was out of place was us.

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SV27Our first stop, Stotzer Hardware StoreEvolved from the general mercantile store and harness shop, the 1920s hardware store offered tools and materials for almost any home or farmstead need. If it was not available, a customer could browse numerous catalogs and order right away.

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We were really intrigued by the washing machines; kiddos even recognized one of the brands, Maytag.

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Farmers & Merchants Bank – What is a bank bond? How did paper and coin money exchanges evolve over time? This beautiful replica of an original downtown Archbold bank offers insights into the flourishing economic history of our country before the devastating financial Crash of 1929.

It was in the Farmers & Merchant Bank that the kiddos heard about a pretty remarkable robbery and made the connection between 1920s Main Street and the movie, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’. Well, after that they were SUPER excited to visit the Soda Fountain/Pharmacy!

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The Soda Fountain/Pharmacy was legit the cat’s pajamas!!

 

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The Soda Fountain/Pharmacy – Liquid carbonic soda fountains became common throughout the United States in the early 1900s due to pharmacist Jacob Baur’s new method of manufacturing carbon dioxide in tanks.

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The kiddos decided on a treat and we sat for a spell discussing how awesome the Soda Fountain was and how they wished we had something like this now-a-days where kids could meetup with friends, have a float, and hangout for a bit. Where else would kids from the 1920s frequent?

 

Candy Store – Indulge your sweet tooth in delectable 1920s era candy brands including, Baby Ruth, Boston Baked Beans, Charleston Chews, Chuckles, Dubble Bubble, Dum Dums, Fruit Slices, Goobers, Sixlets and more!

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Also, for the adults, see the shelving to the left? That’s a door that slides open and is the entrance for Speakeasies!!! How cool is that?! Shhhh! 😉

Speakeasy – With Prohibition in full swing, secret illegal pop up bars known as Speakeasies provided an opportunity to enjoy drink and jazz. Located behind the Candy Store, Speakeasy will offer special after-hours events and programming.

After the Candy Store we stopped in the Theater for a quick silent show, though it should be know that the talkies were in the works.

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Theater – Engaging local people of all ages, silent films were the epitome of modern entertainment in the 1920s. Stop by to take a peek at what’s playing on the big screen! Beyond silent films, this space may be utilized by the public for special events and conferences.

Restrooms- there are restrooms located in 1920s Main Street, very clean, and there is a changing station available.

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Last stop before lunch, the Rich Auto Dealership & Gas Station! Kiddos enjoyed learning about the various cars that were available for purchase in the 1920s. They were surprised to learn that only full-service was available, no self-serving pumps, and their eyes really got big when they realized convenience stores and rest stops like the ones on the turnpike didn’t exist, one had to pull over, unpack their basket, make a fire, and cook.

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After lunch at The Barn Restaurant ($4.99 kids’ meals) located on the Sauder Village complex we made our way back to 1920 Main Street!

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We hit up the remainder of 1920 Main Street….

Wiederkehr Dry Goods Clothing Store – Moving away from an all-in-one shopping experience, in the 1920s, the Dry Goods store focused on ready-made items and sewing necessities for making clothing at home. Browse off-the-rack clothing, fancy linens, 1927 Butterick patterns and fashion magazines, buttons, stockings, shoes, and more.

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Grocery Store – Depicting a “green grocer”, this shop will offer a look at what household staples were commonly sought after to meet every day needs beyond meat and fish. These goods included vegetables, cheeses, and prepackaged foods.

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Barbershop – In the 1900s, the barbershop was one of the social centers of the community and provided a place to spruce up from your travels, get a shave or a haircut. Modern public restrooms are included in this building.

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Dr. McGuffin’s Office – Dr. McGuffin built this office in nearby Pettisville in 1911. It features many of the medical instruments used by country doctors.

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Elmira Train Depot – Trains first appeared in Northwest Ohio in the 1850s. This depot showcases the important role of the rail system.  The depot serves as a physical stop for the Erie ExpressTrain ride.

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After the tour we enjoyed a train ride tour of Sauder. We went past the campground and the Inn, which, I would highly recommend getting a two day pass, camping or staying at the Inn, going swimming enjoying the Splash Pad, and then being able to see the remainder of the Village the next day. There is just SO MUCH to see, do, learn, shop, & eat; you can’t do it all in a day! Though we did try….

Rural 1920s…

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We shopped at the Lauber’s General Store & Herb Shop…ladies, this is where ALL the fall flavors live!

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There was so much to see and learn at 1920 Main Street that we really didn’t make it beyond, or should I say further back in time. However, on the way home the kiddos were already planning out our next visit, like legit, they had the map in the backseat, pen, and were placing arrows in the direction we would be going for our next visit, lol!

 

 

 

Holden Arboretum Forests & Gardens

Butterflies delicately dancing along a sea of vibrant blossoms, water whispering, anticipation escalating with each bend along the path, & the forest gifting a preverbal warm hug!  Holden Arboretum is a retreat from the worry, uncertainty of our times, the urgency of screen life, and the concern over an unknown future. Holden Arboretum is a safe haven, a reminder that there is endless and abundant beauty in this world, it’s a place where your soul can relax and your inner child can play. And for us it was the perfect place to spend a milestone birthday, the big 10! It was the Imaginative Outdoor Fairy Land and Doors exhibit that initially piqued the interest of our birthday girl but the Canopy Walk was the frosting, and Emergent Tower the sprinkles on the cake!

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10 Tips for a Smooth Back-to-School Transition

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This school year will be like none other on record. The only thing consistent are the inconsistencies. There’s the hybrid of both virtual and in-person, permanent online schooling for the year, strictly in-person, and the parents who have made the wise decision and who’s lifestyles have allotted them the opportunity for homeschooling.

And just when you think you’ve finally got the school year schedule down they throw a curve ball. Our district was going to start with the hybrid of 2 days in-person and remainder online, then we received a message that due to the “color” of our county (our county is currently red which means it has a high rate of individuals testing positive with the Covid) our children will be starting virtually and at a later date. What’s a mom to do? Take the reins for the sake of your kiddos!!

Since the schools are having a difficult time trying to figure out structure and consistency us parents need to take charge!! Even though my kiddos will be starting school virtually they will have a schedule, routine, and I will try my hardest to make this back to school tradition as smooth as possible for them! How?……..

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Stylish Back to School and College Essentials

If you have a fashion-inspired daughter, she knows that every place she goes, calls for her to rock the right pieces. School is no exception when it comes to being stylish! Our kids are going back to school, whether, in person or virtual, and she needs to have the right essentials to help focus and get on track with her studies. This article provides you with the topmost essentials she will need so that she’ll totally rock whether she’s going to college or school, virtual or in person!  Read more

Mamas’ Back-to-School Survival Boxes, know a mom? She NEEDS this!

OMG! This was precisely what my mama soul needed; it was like a warm hug, a BFF saying,  “I got you” & a much needed break from trying to be that sole person holding the BLEEP all together! If you’re a mama, if you know a mama, if you have a mama in your life with a kiddo going back-to-school, you NEED to get her this!

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In general the back-to-school season is a very stressful season for moms between back-to-school supplies, clothes, trying to coordinate carpools, etc. add a global pandemic to the mix and you instantly multiply that stress by TEN!

We mamas have really been put through the ringer. To be told we were only going to have children home from school for an “extended Spring Break” and then to still be living this six months later is beyond exhausting! Read more

Why South Haven, MI is a perfect Family Summer Vacation Spot

The crashing of the waves, wind gently blowing your hair, sand tickling your toes, ah, a day at the beach! We used to pile the kiddos and all our crap into the SUV and travel 13 hours crammed together, stopping every hour on the hour for “potty breaks” (because when you have a newly potty trained kiddo who says they have to “go” you go!) all to enjoy a few days on a beach ridden with jellyfish and shark infested water.  That is until my parents started our annual Family Retreat. The destination, Lake Michigan, and boy were we pleasantly surprised by this beautiful body of water that’s salt, jellyfish & shark free and it just so happens to be a fraction of the drive. That was the year we finally said, peace out to the Atlantic Ocean, and found our new favorite body of water, Lake Michigan, which has rightfully earned its title Great Lake!

 

The Lake Michigan Coastline has no shortage of beaches. In the past we’ve enjoyed staying at different rental properties in Grand Haven and Douglas, Michigan. This year, for our 7th Annual Family Retreat we stayed in South Haven, MI. And the rental house we stayed at was perfect! It accommodated all of us…my parents, brother and sister-in-law, my sister, brother-in-law, nephew, and my brood. And the location, omg, it was superb! It was literally a couple blocks down from the beach, and the church, shops, and restaurants were all within walking distance…including the ice cream parlor 😉 But I’m getting ahead of myself, here’s the reasons why South Haven, Michigan is a perfect Family Summer Vacation Spot.

 

Why South Haven, Michigan is a perfect Family Summer Vacation Spot

1.Awesome Beach Rentals

There’s literally a house, cabin, condo, etc. that can accommodate whatever your needs are…a romantic getaway for two, couples weekend, family vacation, multi-family vacay, family retreat, you name it and there’s a dwelling near a beach that probably also has some sweet amenities. Check out, South Haven on Lake Michigan for a list of beach rentals.

Here’s a quick tour of our Beach Rental….a couple of the bedrooms are included out of respect for those staying in them at the time.

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National Sisters Day

Who has one? 🙋🏼‍♀️ My mom never had one, my mom’s mom never had one, so I know it’s truly a special gift to have a sister! It’s such a unique, beautiful & complicated relationship to describe…but I’ll try, she’s like the one person you can say all the things to, act like a complete idiot, pray with one second, then argue the next & still stick together! She’s cheaper than therapy, my sounding board, the Ethel to my Lucy, Laverne to my Shirley, an amazing Aunt to my kiddos, & the fact that she has a backup closet doesn’t hurt, lol! 😂 Happy National Sisters Day! ❤️ And while I have a slew of gorgeous pics of the two of us together I felt this one illustrates our sisterhood best…us on hour 847 of helping my parents clean out their attic & basement, I can’t imagine why it took so long to go through everything?! Lol! Share, tag your sister, & let her know you’re thinking of her today!