Working on the Tree House

Recently the boys and I started working on a tree house. We're almost finished and were able to use some wood leftover from our deck. The kids are very excited about it! I'll post some more pictures when it's finished, but here's some photos of our first day working on it.

Here's also a bonus video of the boys working hard!

Hiking on the Leelanau Trail

On Saturday we drove over to the DeYoung Natural Area and hopped on the Leelanau Trail. It was a beautiful day, I'm not sure how far we walked, but the we had a great time! Here's a couple of pictures with my camera phone...

Taking a Break

Luke climbing on a fallen tree

Claire and Mark on the bridge

Claire's Photo of the Day: Hike Through the Woods

Claire snapped a few photos on our nature hike at Teichner Preserve. We had a nice time on this short hike with a nice view of Lime Lake at the end of the trail!

Deer Tracks

Part of the Trail


Sunset over Lime Lake

Claire's Photo of the Day: Driving Around Looking for Deer

Here's a picture taken by Claire of three deer we saw on one of our evening drives along M-22 south of Leland a couple of nights ago. We saw around forty deer total including seven of them playing right alongside one of the back roads on the way home.

Claire's Photo of the Day: Isaiah Shot a Deer

Claire's cousin Isaiah shot his first deer this morning during the youth hunt.

Here's a bonus photo!

Famous Stecks: Ueli Steck

I have some Google Alerts setup for certain keywords and one of them is "Steck". Steck isn't a very common last name (at least in northern Michigan) so it's fun to to learn about others out there. Every so often someone interesting (and famous) turns up and this time it was mountain climber Ueli Steck. Check out the video below and then the link to see some of the amazing and daring climbs he has made.

YouTube Preview Image

See more at Project Himalaya.

Feast of St. Philip Neri

This is a guest post by my nephew Jake. Guest posts and post comments on Good Saints represent the ideas and opinions of individual posters and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs of Good Saints.

We went on a hike in Empire on May 26th in honor of the Feast of St. Philip Neri. The hike consisted of parishioners from Holy Rosary, one from Philip Neri and Father Libby. The hiker's ages ranged from 9 to 77, with a total of about 26. We began the hike with the Divine Mercy Chaplet about a quarter to 3:00.

When we finished the chaplet we took a break to practice the songs that we would later sing at the beach. At that time Father explained the first stage of the hike to us. He compared it to the beginning of the spiritual life. When everything is alive and the trees block you from the sun, you are shaded from worldly things.

The second part of the hike was like the spiritual life, when you walk through the woods and the sunlight shines in different spots. For example, when you pray you are shadowed by trees but when you get distracted you let the sun shine in.

The third part of the hike was all sunshine. It was like when the spiritual life gets hard. We were hot and wanted to stop but kept going despite our troubles.

The fourth part of the hike was the hardest part. It was all up hill and sandy. We had to push ourselves to keep going. Then the path stopped and we had to remember our way or we could get lost. We kept going and even though the path was gone we came to a beautiful view of Lake Michigan reminding
us of heaven.

After the two hour hike we had mass at St. Philip Neri Church. Before mass, the rosary was led by some young men. In Fr. Libby’s homily, he told a story about how St. Philip helped people in every way he could. He also talked about St. Philip having the altar servers tell him jokes, to keep him from going into ecstasy during the mass.

We finished the day with a bon fire at Empire Beach. After roasting hotdogs and marshmallows by the fire, the boys played a basketball game, while the girls stayed close to the fire.

Then we sang songs about the Great Lakes, the sea, and sailing, while wearing paper sailor hats that we made from newspaper. And Fr. Libby sang an Irish song about not wanting to get up in the morning, reminding us to get up and go to mass in the morning.

Spring Planting

Here's a few photos of our spring planting. The kids had fun and were very good helpers. Hopefully I'll be able to post some photos later of our flowers and vegetables growing! The girls helped Mary plant some containers on the deck and the boys helped me plant beans and a corn fort in the backyard.

Claire had alot of fun helping

Taking a Break

Teresa loved getting her hands dirty

Everyone is Working Hard

The Whole Crew

Mark helping shovel and Teresa filling the cement blocks with dirt for the onions

Every time I download pictures from the camera, there is a picture of Claire she took herself!

Erica's students receive award from Sierra Club

I was sent this article about Erica Peplinski's class earning an award from the Sierra Club for their work on a wetlands project. Congrats to Erica and her students. Check out the article below.

Read Nature's Way - Sierra Club honors Saline students in The Saline Reporter

WOW to release another Bald Eagle

One of our clients, Wings of Wonder, has been in the news over the past year with many successful releases of injured and rehabilitated birds of prey. The latest is another Bald Eagle and you can read about the story below.

Read Bald eagle ready to take flight again in the Record Eagle

Rebecca Lessard really does some amazing work on these birds, to learn more about her and her mission, visit