Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Fall Break Trip, Day 1

Last Friday night was technically  the beginning of our Fall Break!  

 After my Book Club meeting fell through, and the boys all went off to Haircuts, we came home and had Pizza and did a little prep by watching SpaceCamp, the classically awesome 80s movie.

Saturday morning, we hit the road!  
After gymnastics of course. 
We packed up the minivan, and got the boys to their classes.  Although that was close.  Sam's class starts at 10, and only he was ready, so I ran him up in Eric's car, got back just in time for everyone else to be ready, and we headed up just in time for Jacob's 11 oclock class.  
At high noon, we hit the road. 

We crossed into Ohio for a few minutes! 

Then we hit a bigger state, Kentucky! 
We stopped at Rest Stops, and Starbucks for drinkies and to add to my Mug Collection. 
It was surprisingly chilly in the hills/mountains of Kentucky. 

Jacob conked out in Kentucky, so he didn't get to learn about the horses, or see much of the horse farms. Even big boy Kindergartners need naps on occasion. 

My special project.  Sam asked for a Green Harry Potter Scarf, not exactly because he loves Slytherin, but because he loves Green. I started it in January.  I'm just over halfway done. My goal is Christmas.  This trip I want to finish this pair of gray stripes on our drive down, work on during the next green patch during our journey.  

The hills of Kentucky.  
They are getting some Beautiful color! 

Eric is doing a great job of driving through the mountains of Tennessee.  They roll on in the background behind his window.  

The view from our Comfort Inn Suite in Knoxville.  The boys love being in the hills/mountains. 

We walked around the corner to Puleo's Grille, a place that said they specialized in "southern and Italian" food.  Um OK.  I got this Shrimp and Grits at the recommendation of the waiter, and it was so good.  I've never had Grits this good!  They were like cheesy mashed potatoes with a hint of corn.  
And the sausage and shrimp sauce was so good even Eric liked it.  
I've set the goal of some sort of seafood or southern food every day on our trip. #Goals

My nails for the Trip.  They are Jamberries, of course.  I'm so hard on anything else.  I brought a backup polish, but on my toes is a Hostess Exclusive from June 2015, that I had a pedicure left from last time I wore it.  I wore it on my toes when we visited the beach in 2017 too. On my hands is a new one from the IT Girl series called Blair, a pale pink to purple ombre which looks great, even blurry.  

Then we did, as we do, we watched The Disney Channel in our hotel room. 
Big Hero 6 was on.  
We've seen it a million times, but it was wonderful to watch, just us, on vacation, on the Disney Channel. My kids are out of the groove of watching shows with commercials, which was kind of funny.  And it was a Good Way to end the first day. 

Monday, September 24, 2018

Indian food date

So I had to go to Costco.  Eric went to work for a few meetings, and I worked out with Marta, something I've started this month, and went to Costco.  Though actually, after driving over there and shopping, I pulled in and knew I was hungry.  I texted Eric to see if he had brought a lunch.  He forgets sometimes.
He did have a little time to meet me but not much.  So I finished my Costco run, and offered to meet him at McAlister's in the strip mall next door.  Only as we walked up to the McAlister's, my eyes caught the place next door, called Hyderabad House.   I glanced in and didn't see many people, actually just an Indian couple.  And a buffet. Hmmm... I'm always a fan of visiting the places that those of that ethnicity adore.  So I said, hey, we don't have any kids to say No, want to try this?

So we did, we tried Hyderabad House. And it was Good.

Traditionally, I've avoided Indiana food, because in the past, curries didn't agree with me. For years I avoided anything that was that certain shade of yellow.  But lately, I've tried a few things, including the Butter Chicken E made here at home, or the Chapati Pakistani place over off Lafayette Rd.  And I didn't get ill.  In my experimentations, I've discovered that either my consitution is getting stronger (doubtful) or that I just need to watch which kind of curries I try.  So I decided to test it. 

Eric loves Indian, but it had been a while since I'd braved it.  I was feeling brave, and that buffet of glop looked good from the window.  I tried a little bit of lots of things, they were labeled, but it didn't help me much.  Some I liked, some not so much.

Eric's second helpings. 
He went up and got seconds of all the things I likes.  
Butter Chicken, some sort of bread, lemon rice with pine nuts, and something that was like buffalo wings and fried okra or other veggies. Nice and spicy.  I liked it, just enough for me.   But I didn't get any seconds.  I should have.  But I didn't want to get ill, I was very wary.  And good news.  I didn't.  

Hyderabad House was Great!  If you like to try new things, give it a go.  
I can't tell you everything I ate, but there was certainly enough to fill me up. 

Monday, August 27, 2018

The Embassy Suites

One of our 20 Dates for 20 Years. 
Eric and I decided that for 20% of our Dates, we'd take the kids with us.  Frankly, it's very difficult to find anyone interested in taking all three boys overnight.  
That amounts to 4 Dates that they can tag along on.  
One of them was the Embassy Suites.  
We decided to go to this hotel because when we were dating we'd go here of an evening, and ride the beautiful elevator.  Glass elevators were something we loved to do, just ride, talk, enjoy the view.  
Now we've introduced the kids to the same thing. 

It used to be a pink hotel, now it's a bit more peach/tan, but still beautiful inside. 

The lobby has been updated since we were here last.  
The kids loved it though.  And they didn't even act like nuts. 

Here we are, riding in the elevator, just like old times. 

Introducing the boys to riding in glass elevators.  
Sure it's a little blurry, but we're all moving. 
They are cute and happy. 

On our way back from dinner. 
The plan was to go to Yen Ching, a nice Chinese Restaurant, not buffet, but with tablecloths and the most amazing pu pu platter.  Their beef on a stick was the stuff that pregnant women dream of. 
But they were closed.  After 40 years. I was so sad.  Heartbroken. They were an institution, so it makes sense they'd retire.  Still, it went against our plan.  The restaurant wasn't the Date, it was the Hotel. But we had to find a backup plan. We went to Tian Fu, a pan asian mix of culteres, in that we got thai things, sushi, and chinese things.  All of it was pretty good, but no amazing way over the other.  And the kids weren't as impressed.  They were happy with chicken fingers.  That doesn't do it for me for the cost.  Still, everyone ate. In public.  So I'll take the victories where I can get them. 


And they went back to the hotel for a lovely evening swim. 

You'd think that a hot date, I'd end up with a handsome fella in my bed. 
You're right.  
This was my bunkmate. 
He's awful sweet. 

He has to touch me all the time he sleeps. 
And that belly. 
I can't even take him seriously.

The next day... rain clouds coming in. 
Not exactly a scenic view... of the Costco parking lot. 
Still, the cloud formations were cool. 

Jacob got a hold of my phone. 

Then the next round of crazy. 
These two took the morning and went for a swim with Daddy. 

Sam and I went to Gymnastics and swung by Target for a Disney thing.  I was on the hunt for matching shirts.  I couldn't find them, but I did find this cool Star Wars shirt in Sam's size. He was thrilled. Then we grabbed everyone else, in time for Jacob's gymnastics class. It was pretty handy staying the night 10 minutes away instead of our usual half hour commute.  From there we met friends for lunch, and visited the Indy Disney Meet in Noblesville.  So really, it was handy that we stayed over night 'in town'.  The kids loved the place.  And I'm sorry to tell my husband, we all really like the Hilton Chain of hotels like the Embassy Suites.  It wasn't super sexy, but it was fun. And I love having adventures with my family. And I guess I'm developing expensive taste in my old age. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

End of Summer Break

Missions Accomplished!  

Tonight, we did the last on our List of Goals for Summer. 

The last item on the list was Family Bike Ride. 

Jacob asked for this item to be put on our list since he learned how to ride in May.  So I figured at some point, we'd fix Eric's bike and get us all riding around the block together.  Nope, Eric's bike was toast.  But mine was ok.  So I rode with them once.  Tonight we took turns. 
I had Daddy take my bike off the wall, and I took these cuties around the block after our supper. 
Jake started off sprinting like a maniac.  I had to push to keep up, but by the corner he was slowing down. We kept a steadier pace, and at the end of the street pictured above, he needed to turn towards home. So we came home, Jake and I stopped, and Daddy took the boys around the loop a few more times.  

I love this, with the sun shining behind them.  Perfect. 

Actually, we had a great last day of Summer Vacation. 
We went and Kidnapped Daddy for lunch.  
We took him Mug-n-Bun. 

The kids didn't remember eating at Mug-n-Bun before. 
They wanted to eat outside at the picnic tables, instead of in the car, killing dolphins leaving the car on wasn't going to be an option, and outside in the breeze seemed better. 
So everyone got the sunglasses and looked awesome. 

And then there was the Root Beer. 
Eric's first job was doing dishes at Mug-n-Bun, the frosty mugs, or refilling them for folks.  
Nowadays, only the medium serving comes in a frosty mug, and the large comes in a take home plastic cup.  Our cups died long ago, so we opted to pick up a few new ones. ;)

Jacob with his Kiddie size root beer. 

Sam downed his root beer before his food arrived. 

Chris was open minded enough to try the root beer, but opted for water, a wise choice, since while we were there, the sun finally came out, and it got toasty. 

Mmm... fried with a side of fried. 
My foot long hotdog with sauce and cheese, a tenderloin, and onion bites tinier than the full onion rings, but still awesome.  The great thing we've always appreciated about their onion rings has always been that when we bite in, the onion doesn't come sliding out, they stay together. Mmm. 

This amazing lunch filled me to the brim, and we still took half home.  
Dinner was salad bar at Noble Roman's with E's Mom and Dad. 
What a great way to end our Summer Vacation! 

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Jellystone Knightstown Campout, Day 3

Ah yes, another rainy morning. 

The kids started the day off gangbusters, with another epic battle of Crazy Eights.  
Even Jacob was figuring it out and finding his groove. 

The kids ate breakfast and played cards, while we began packing up the food. 
No extensive cooked meals this morning. 
Have a banana. 

Then we kicked them out while we commenced tear down.

They found a snake hole, and all kinds of critters in the mud.  
I honestly didn't mind their scientific investigations.  
I just wanted to clean out the camper with minimal interruption. 

Chris helped out immensely. 
As a reward, he got to be the person to retract the porch. 

Go ahead little brothers, jump in a mud puddle. 
I know it sounds like I'm swearing.  
But really, mud was Everywhere, there was no avoiding it.

Even our Step was sinking into the mud.  
So we opted to leave Eric and Chris outside, running things into cars, while Mom and I stayed in and packed up, gathered clothing and bedding, and passed things out the door to our mudballs. 

Making holes in the mud. 
I tell you, these yahoos were cracking me up. 
When we did laundry, the next day I found the jaw of some animal hidden in the bedding.  
I know it wasn't my boys.  Lisa has reported finding things before.  But she didn't believe me. 

Meanwhile, my eldest channeled his inner Scout Badass.  
Yes, that's Chris getting the supports out from under the back of the camper, and helping to wind them up and put them away.  
He was immensely helpful. 
My Mom didn't believe me that he's now stronger than me.  Until she saw it.  
This kid is going to make an Awesome Camper as he ages.  My Uncle Ron would've been so Proud.

My husband is rather a Badass too. 
This was the moment I was proudest of him. 
He figured out how to dump the sewage so we could drive home. 
I had no idea how, nor was inclined to learn.  He got it all figured out, and done.  
And we camped. With a potty. 
In three days of rain. 
My family is Awesome.

And the sun shines!  
There was a break in the clouds as we drove home, just long enough to get it into the backyard, and get our stuff out before the rain started again. 
We did it!
I call our first camping trip with the Camper a Success! 

Jellystone Knightstown Campout, Day 2

My snuggle buddy upon waking.  

We got stuck in the rain again. Apparently, they were calling it the 'guacamole showers', where the map shows a dark center over Kentucky and lighter green storms radiating outwards, it looks like an avocado.  And it's rain.  We got rained in Friday night, with internet on the fritz.  It worked out ok, we taught the kids some card games.  And Nana had an ipad.  But then our neighbors started partying late, and kept it up until midnight.  Too bad for them.  Our kids were up at 7.  We tried to keep them quiet.  But it's hard to keep this kind of Cuteness quiet. 

Nana broke out her ipad.  
Charlie got the pukies.  
The running theory was too much sugar before bedtime.  But I wanted to keep her away from any kids other than ours until we knew for sure.  She's hard to keep down.  There was no way my kids were keeping away from her.  They wanted to play.  

Chairs in the mud. 
The aftermath of the rain from the day prior, and my chair is sinking into the mud.  

And another round of storms rolls through.  

I forgot to take a picture of Chris's mouth after getting his braces adjusted.  At the beginning of July, he had surgery to open the gum to see where that tooth was, immediatly it started to descend.  Thursday he went in for an appointment and they loved the look, and put a bracket on it.  His smile is looking so good, I don't know how much longer he'll need braces.  Such an adult smile!

Check out our Bathroom! 
So Grateful our camper has it's own potty.  It prevents us from having to go up the hill in the rain.  We decided not to do #2 in there, just #1 unless emergency.  We have Thieves wipes.  And Thieves Foaming Hand Soap.   And Thieves Bar Soap.  Camping is a dirty activity. I wouldn't do it without Thieves. 

As the next round of rain set in, the kids returned to resume similar activities.  Crazy Eights and  Ipad games with Nana.  Good Times. 

Eric was undeterred by the rain. 
He decided we were cooking out for lunch.  He'd moved the wood into our car the night before, so we still had dry wood. Thank goodness.  Wet would never have lit.
We'd brought a ton of meat, hot dogs and hamburgers.  They needed cooking. 
Sure, we have a small stovetop and microwave in the camper, but it's not going to cook for 7 people.  
He stood in the rain, over the "smolder" trying to get it to catch.  
It felt like he was at it for hours.  I'm sure it wasn't.  
But the man was persistant!

It worked! 
He got enough fire going between raindrops that we were able to start a fire. 
It was just enough to cook some hot dogs.  
The kids took over for Eric.  

Kids grilling out! 

Mmm!  Don't those Dogs look good!  
I love this picture of them cooking their lunch. 

And of course, no camp cookout is complete without cooking out some S'mores!
The rain was light during lunch, but we were expecting another big round in time for dinner.
So if we were going to do S'mores, it was going to need to be during our lunch 'break' in the rain. 

Mmm.  Reese's Peanut Butter Cup S'mores. 
That's My Favorite! 
The kids did a great job burning up a marshmallow for me. 

In the late afternoon, before the last round of rain hit, we hit the playground at the top of the hill.  
There was a tie-dye activity going on.  There was a nasty line.  The kids opted to go play on the empty swings while I waited. 

They were pretty sweet out there on the playground. 
I didn't fight too hard at stopping them to do tie-dye. 

 It was the only playing Charlie got to do, and it was because there weren't any other little kids nearby.  Only, they never came back to tie dye. 

The kids played on the swings, while I did they tie-dye myself.  
Then they got soaked and filthy.  And it started to rain again. 
Good times. 
Eric took them to a brief swim in the pool in the rain.  I tried miserably to nap, it didn't work well.  
But at least they got out of the camper for a few minutes.

Snack Time. 
They got outside for a bit, and got soaked. 
After drying out, there were no clothes left but their jammies.  

Charlie brought some toys and the littles got to playing with them. 
Charlie was not happy we made her stay in, and not play with other kids, except ours. 
24 hour rule yo. 

Homework time.  
Even Camping is when Kumon gets done! 

Dinner was leftovers, casseroles that Lisa sent, and leftover dogs from lunch heated up in the microwave.  So Handy!  If you're going to get rained out on a campout, doing it in a sweet camper like this is the way to go. 

Dueling ipad time. 
After two days of rain, I caved and let all the boys bring their ipads in the camper after the last round of rain set in, they couldn't take any more, and neither could I.  I let them play.  
Jake and I went to bed, while the big boys played a little longer.  
It was sweet. I'm glad I held out a little while.