Summer Game

Well, the summer's finishing up (at least it seems so judging by the 60 degree cloudy weather we've been having) and it seems like our time in the US should be finishing up, too.  We said goodbye to our teammates, the Cropseys, yesterday.  By tomorrow our whole team is reuniting at Kibuye and we are....still here.  It's been a great time in the States so far with many more great times to come, just a funny sort of feeling this week.

Maggie and Ben displaying paper masks they created at the library
So, with all that, I thought I'd start a little blog series with fun things we've been enjoying and hopefully will continue to enjoy for the next few months.  I think, if you put aside the obvious highlights of being with family and friends, our very favorite part about the US is the LIBRARY!  Last time we lived here, we had an Ypsilanti address and no kids.  This time, we are in Ann Arbor which has seriously got to have one of the best library systems in the country.  It. Is. Awesome.  There are 5 branches around town, all featuring a great kids' section, and the downtown library even has stuff like artwork and power tools and paper craft supplies to check out.  Sweet!  We go at least 1-2 times a week and frequently have over 50 items checked out at any point in time.

One of the most fun features of the library has been the Summer Game.  Most libraries I know have a summer reading program, but the AADL's summer program is like a reading program on steroids.  Not only can you read your number of books and get a free book (which the kids have all done), but there is also a whole separate component here in AA.  The library has set up a game which takes you to all 5 branches and throughout the town, searching for codes and attending events.  You can enter your codes for points that can be spent in the game shop for library merchandise (mugs, t-shirts, hot pads, chocolate, LEGO mini figures, etc).
The kids "resting" while on a West Side adventure

The kids and I have had a blast with this.  About once a week or so we are out around town going to places like the botanical gardens, Cobblestone Farm, the West Side, etc, and finding codes while discovering cool parts of the town, too!  You can also earn points by searching the library catalog online, but the kids haven't gotten in to that as much. :)

And then, the "theme" of the Summer Game is Legos, basically, which is adding another fun thing the kids love.  Many of the codes in the downtown area are attached to little Lego scenes, which are placed in shop windows.  And last month there was a big Lego contest, which kids (and adults) from all over AA entered.  There were some AMAZING creations.  Maggie and Ben both entered, and while neither won a prize, it was fun to be a part of it (and of course get more "code points" for the Summer Game).

Ben's creation
Maggie's creation
The game wraps up this weekend and we hope to attend the end of the summer party.  I'm sure we will keep going to the library all fall, and we'll keep a few things around to remember our summer of 2015 with the AADL.

The kids (with cousin Liam) displaying prizes of chocolate and LEGOS

Mommy's summer prize.  Why not? :) (those are coffee beans, by the way)