Sunday, May 31, 2015

Epic Vacation, Day 2 - Holiday World!

All the trouble of getting to Jasper was worth it.   Staying with friends at the Hampton was worth it.  Holiday World opened at 10, which was 11 to us, and the boys were so excited they woke up at 6:30.  Oy.  Maybe we won't need that alarm clock in Disney World after all...

So, here we go - a Top 20 of our Fabulous trip to Holiday World.
It really was Fabulous.  It was chilly, and our sweatshirts were Safe and Sound in the top of the car, where we couldn't get at them, at least, not without extreme measures.  So it was 60 degrees as we entered the park, with the slight breeze made it chilly when we were riding.  However, it made the entire day feel great.

 1.   This was our Party at the Santa statue in Holiday World!

2. Holiday World is subdivided into different lands for different holidays.  The nearest town is Santa Clause, Indiana.  I don't think that's a coincidence. So this was the boys pretending to be ghostly as we entered Halloween-land.

3.  A couple of us wanted to ride Raven - a roller coaster for those above 48 inches in Halloween.  But not my boys.  Before even giving it a try, Chris and Sam both declared they were afraid of roller coasters, so we went to play in the little kid section in Christmas town.  So Jacob rode his first ride without me.  A fish ride. 

And he didn't do very well either.  

But that didn't make us stop.  We insisted on making him ride more rides.  

4.  Jacob called this one the "Pew Pew".   he couldn't wait to grab a gun and pretend to shoot.  What is it about boys that makes them want to constantly want to shoot things?  I don't know.  But this ride, he liked a lot better.  Note, the big difference is that he isn't crying.  

But he did actually smirk a bit, and say Pew Pew as he was going around.  

 5.  Driving - From there we moved the the 4th of July area, and the kids took a drive on the Lewis and Clark Trail ride.  The kids were ecstatic to drive.  Sam drove my car, but it was really me accelerating with my left foot.  That foot is just not as strong.  Chris and Emily drove these other cars.

6.  Three cars of Awesomeness!   Since the kids were driving, it was hard for me to capture pics of them all doing their cars at the same time.  This was as close as I got.  

7.  Jacob's turn.  The car ride was such a big hit, that Jacob lost his ever loving mind when we got out of the cars.  So, we turned around, and got in the line again, and rode it again.   This time Jake wanted to drive.  

8.  After the cars, we went to Holidog's Land, where we could ride Kitty's Tea Party.  An early version of the Teacups!   So the big kids and I rode it.  I love the teacups.  Emily and Chris decided they wanted to control their own speeds, so they rode in their own cups.  

9.  All the kids with Holidog!  Kathleen pointed out to me later, that Christopher and Jake were imitating Holidog's position.  Ha Ha! 

 10.  Row row row your boats!  Chris had a meltdown when Kristin and I rode Eagles' Flight.  A doozer.  But then I talked him down, and he decided to ride this boat ride.   I have a pic around here somewhere riding with Emily, smaller than Jacob.  I was pukingly pregnant with Sam the last time I came to this park.  Now all three of my yahoos were riding the same boat ride.  Aww...

11. This.  This is the Red, White, and Blue funnel cake.  A Red 40 heart attack.  Just for me.  Well, for Jake and I, and whoever else wanted a bite. We needed a snack break in the early afternoon.  So we took a Funnel Cake Break.   A Red Velvet funnel cake with blueberry compote and cream cheese icing and sugar drizzle.  Oh my word.   My teeth hurt just remembering.  

12.  Kathleen and Sam don't eat the Red 40.   Along with my Red 40 heart attack funnel cake, Kathleen chose a regular with chocolate sauce.  Sam enjoyed this one immensely.  They did a great job taking care of this problem! 

13.  Sam the Scarecrow.  As we were crossing into Thanksgiving, there was a scarecrow, and Sam has to pose at everything. 

14.  The Turkey Whirl - It was your traditional spinning ride, that after all that funnel cake, I could not do.  And Eric was not up for the task.  But the kids had a Wonderful time!  

15.  Buzz Lightyear Turkey style.  While we were waiting for the big kids to ride the Turkey tubs, we noticed a ride behind us, honestly it looked like Winnie the Pooh.  But Kathleen looked it up, and it was basically turkey shoot in the style of Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin called Gobbler Getaway.   So we decided to Do It!  The line even had a little grandma reading stories, and Thanksgiving dinner cooking.  It was pretty nifty, and I bet if it had been hot, being in this shaded line for an air conditioned ride would Rock!  As it was, it was a nifty refreshing change! 

16.  Turkey Whirl, Take Two.  Chris wanted to do the Turkey Whirl again.  And none of us were up for it.  But he's amazing, tough stuff.  And he rode it on his own.  Yeah, he's Awesome like that.

17.  Another Scarecrow.  On the way out of Thanksgiving, it was Chris's turn to pose. 

18.  Toast.  Someone got plumb worn out as we left Thanksgiving, and were headed to the front.  The kids asked to do the Driving ride one last time.  I sat with this sleepy head while they drove.  He's pretty dang adorable, especially when he's sleeping. 

19.  Bros.  I'm not sure why Sam wants to climb everything lately.  But he was climbing Christopher.  Of course, I had to take the picture before I told them to stop. ;) 

20. A New Bridge.  We bought a Christmas ornament in Christmastown and hit the road.  We had played until a couple kids were asking to stop, it was 5:30 local, 6:30 our time.  With no naps. Impressive!   Of course, the kids were all starving, so we had major snacks, and kept driving south.  It wasn't long until we hit the Ohio River.  Welcome to Kentucky!  

We gave them screens and just kept going until we couldn't take any more.  We called it a night in Murfreesborough, TN.  In Kentucky, it had started to rain.  By Tennessee, it was raining, dark, gross, and stressing me out.  I was grateful to stop when we did at the Baymont Inn.  It wasn't anything to write home about, but clean and quiet was enough for us.  We crashed hard.  

Epic Vacation, Day 1

Off we go, into the Wild Blue Yonder! 
Our Epic Trip to Florida and Back Begins! 

We tried to get going soon on Saturday, but it was silly to even try to do so, we couldn't check in to our hotel until 3.  Everything took us a lot longer than I thought it was going to... mostly because we were exhausted.  Eric spent Friday evening rigging the car with DVD playing screens, each boy with his own, so that they could watch tv while we drove.   Having school end the day before we left was probably a bit much too.  When was the last time I slept?  By the time we got the car ready, I was ready for a nap!  I thought I was doing well to get all the laundry done and put away, so that when we came home, we'd have clothes, and so that there wouldn't be a mess.  So, we got that done, but we didn't get on the road until after noon.  And by then, the kids were starving.  We had to take Eric's car in.. well, we didn't Have To, but his car had been yelling at us for a couple months, something odd with the starter we thought, and we thought, sending it to Malless to get checked out, while we didn't need it.  Rather brilliant in theory, but it meant having to load up the minivan, then following each other to the car place to leave E's car, going east to go south.  Once that was done, we drove through for some burgers at Burger King to eat in the car, the first of many on the road meals.  It was 1 by the time we turned south.  


We hit Martinsville, and Mommy was a little tired, that need for a nap was winning, so we stopped at Starbucks.  Who knew?  We may not get a ton.  So I took a picture of my Frappuccino with Olaf. I had lofty goals of taking our Hula Olaf that we picked up on Jake's birthday with us everywhere, and taking his picture all throughout our journeys, but that wasn't going to work the whole time.  
Still, turns out Olaf likes warm hugs and cold Starbucks beverages. ;) 

We got a little turned around, and had to make a stop or two on the way south.  The first major problem was the DVD player.  I didn't realize until I asked Eric to pop in a movie, that while he'd put the screens up, and I'd grabbed movies, we actually left the player in the drawer at home.  Yipes!  So we stopped at the Walmart in Martinsville, and bought a new one.  Only after a few miles, we realized it wasn't working with video output thingy for the screens.  Luckily, it had its own, so while Jake watched Octonauts and Gabbas on the blue ipad, and Sam found the new Yoda Chronicles game  on my pink ipad, Chris watched Harry Potter on the DVD player in his lap.  That was more than enough dueling noises for me.  I had a headache, that got me a little turned around as we drove.  Eventually, though, we made it to the Hampton Inn in Jasper.  Our first stop!  We got there at 5. It was very nice.   We got there just in time for dinner!   
Right next door to our hotel was The Schnitzelbank, a Great German restaurant in Jasper, IN.  I loved this place!  It felt like Europe, dark, ambience, older, lots of nifty tchotchkes everywhere.  I could've stayed there and shopped for a long time.  Unfortunately, having 3 boys, going in all different directions, doesn't leave me much time to shop.

Ah, the Schnitzelbank!  So yummy, so filling, so awesome.  But we came out and it was pouring rain.
We went back to the hotel, for a brief after dinner swim, with 40 of our closest tween baseball players who got rained out from our game.  We ended up having a very brief swim followed by a Disney movie session in the Julius's room with the kids watching movies, Kronk's New Groove.  Why didn't I bring my camera?  The kids were so adorable, and the grownups got to chat a bit, what a great start to our Summer Vacation!  

Monday, May 25, 2015

Happy Memorial Day!

 What a Fabulous day for some Quality Family Time.  I got to take Sam to go see the new Disney movie Tomorrowland, a good Date, just the two of us.  We thought it good Preparations to see it before we take our trip.  Then Eric got to take Christopher, and we all got to come home and talk about our favorite parts.  So the boys got to see it, but we didn't have to fight Jacob to sit through a movie that isn't a cartoon, he'd not have tolerated it.  It worked out quite well.  It's nice having some family time at home.  And the boys mildly tolerated my required photo session.

We picked up the most adorable Mickey Flag shirts at the Disney Store last month, when we went for Jacob's birthday.  Well, technically, I got them online a few days later, but I'd seen them at the Disney Store, but the store didn't quite have enough to fit us all.   I bought big so we can use them for all our Patriotic holidays for a while.  

I love all of us dressing Patriotically. 
This shirt works double, because it can cover Patriotic holidays, AND our trip to Disney World.  

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Camping Awesomesauce

Last weekend, Christopher's Cub Scout troop had a campout in the park, Arbuckle Park.  But he got sick, and couldn't make it.  I had even been excited about camping at the park, and had volunteered to bring some supplies.  But I ended up having to take the supplies over, and not staying, and not being able to play.  I like the Scout Moms, and I had been looking forward to it.  Santa had brought us a new family tent, and we'd really been excited about using it. But not with sick sweetboys.  Sam had thrown up Wednesday, and I didn't think much of it, because he gets pukey when he doesn't eat.  But perhaps the not eating was caused by the feeling bad, because by Friday night, Chris and Jake got sick.  It made last weekend rough.

It was good to have a three day weekend be a lot more relaxing!
This - this was a relaxing moment.  I had Eric take my picture so I could remember. 

But this weekend, Friday afternoon, Daddy went out to mow the lawn, and after which surprised us with putting up the new tent while we watched a bedtime show. The boys slept outside Friday night.   Then Saturday night we put up a fire, and sat outside for a late evening, some smore's and grilled out dinner.  

We circled chairs around the fire, bombed the yard with oily bug spray, and just chilled out.  

The boys got a huge kick out of me putting up my hammock too. 
Our backyard looks pretty groovy with the new tent put up.  I love our shady trees.  

Can you tell there are three sweetboys sausaged in there?


Here's another hoot.  
Princess likes to guard the fire.  And sometimes she'll chase or bite at the blowing sparks.  
She looks so serious.  But I know this dog, and it's very hard to take her seriously. 

A happy place - roasting marshmallows.  

So since it's the 21st Century, Eric and I were potching on Facebook while we were all outside by the fire, and I put out an APB that folks would be welcome to come over for Smores or campout in the backyard.  We had one family of takers.  My friend E and her boys came over, both her boys are in the same grades as Chris and Sam, though they don't go to the same school.  So they played in the backyard for a while, trying to put the soccor goals together, and play soccer.  But by the time they got the goals up, my boys were Over It.  They aren't really soccer playing kinds of kids.  Still, there was running, and playing.  And it was relaxing, and felt almost like an introduction to summer. By the time it got dark, and their friends headed out, they were Toast.
 They went to bed easily and slept outside all night!  
Oh yeah, we'll be doing this again! 

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Dark Irises

My Irises are blooming.  

This big dark beauties were the descendant of 1. 
I went shopping at Cox's with my old boss Lisa from Cargill.  Her Dad's favorite flowers were Irises. 
And I just loved this dark rich purple.  So I bought 1.  
I planted it at the old house.  
And it spread and bred.  

When we moved here, we packed up what we could and brought them with us.  
Every year I wonder which ones are going to be the dark ones, and which ones the light ones.  
Someday I plan on separating them out, and putting them on different sides of the yard.  When we planted them here, we didn't know which was going to be what, they'd kind of blended together at the old house.  So every year is a Surprise. 

But Zowie, what a Beauty! 

Yesterday afternoon/evening, Eric was doing some yardwork, and he picked me a bouquet of them. 
They were so Beautiful, and heavy they were falling over and blocking up the sidewalk.   I barely had a vase to hold them!  

Whatever, what a sweetie, he brought me flowers.  

As the sunlight streams though the window, it makes them glow. 
I don't know if it translates through photo, but they are amazing, gorgeous.   

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Springy Summer playdays

Sorry it's taken me a while on getting caught up on blogs this afternoon and evening instead of doing other important things, like sleep.  But there's been so much fabulousness going on, I can't stand it.

The Friday before we headed to Michigan, we had some fantastic weather, and I was able to let the kids break out some of their presents, specifically Jacob, who had received some gifts in forms of sprinklers, and I was able to let them play outside.

Jacob got to play with his water snake.  

He was not too sure about it at first. 

Christopher showed him how it was done.  

It occurred to the big boys that they were getting soaking wet by 'demonstrating' for Jacob. 
So they opted to go topless. ;) 

All my goofballs!  

The first hot spring day, I dare not call it summer, but how fun for them to pretend like it was almost. 
And I was just happy to see them have some fun.  My heart was in a low place, but seeing them laugh and smile brings me Joy.  

The Newest Church Member

My niece, our God-daughter Alexis got Confirmed last Sunday.  I can't believe she's so old, so mature, she's going to be a Freshman in high school next fall.  We joined the Fam in the Church Service to see her Confirmed.  It's amazing to me that the Lutherans do Confirmation Class for 3 years!  That's a lot of learning about our Faith.  I grew up Presbyterian, and our class was one semester, every Saturday in high school, and that was enough for me.  3 years is some kind of Devoted learning!

Pastor annointing her with Oil during the Service.  I know I shouldn't take a bazillion pictures, but I was so excited for her.  They are a little blurry because I toned it down, I kept the flash off. ;) 

Their Confirmation Affirmations

Welcome to the newest members of the Church!  

Alexis and her Confirmation class, she is on the far right. 

Silly Sweetgirls!  Yeah, in some ways, she's still a child.  But she's ours.  We love her so.  

Daddy and his Girls.  
It's all our fault that Amy and Jeremiah didn't make it to the Confirmation, they got a stomach bug that Jacob had that I didn't know he had until he started puking the day after we saw them.  I was so sorry.  But Sam had been home sick the day before we saw them, and I didn't think he was really sick, since he often pukes in the morning when he just doesn't eat dinner.  In this case, it was more than just not eating dinner.  Call me Typhoid Cathy. 

The Confirmand and her Grandparents, both sets. 

All the Confirmands and their cake.  

We all wore red too, for Pentecost Sunday.  
I asked for a photo shoot with Alexis, to show how she has grown, both literally, and in Faith.

I made a Scrap page to commemorate, showing what our little lady looked like on the day she was Baptized, and now at her Confirmation.  My how she has grown!  I can't wait to see what her Faith and the Future bring.