Saturday, March 17, 2018

Spring Break!

Somebody was in need of a haircut. Graydon has really been wanting to grow his hair out these days, but when he starts to look like a neglected child, Dad needs to intervene.


The week before Spring Break was Read-Across-America week. Andy came in one afternoon to read to all of the first graders. He did a great job at keeping them engaged.

Friday evening into Saturday afternoon, Andy and Bella were at a confirmation retreat. Bella was pretty exhausted when she came home. This was how we found her that evening - fast asleep on her been bag chair.


We checked on her again before going to bed and she had somehow moved to the floor.

We covered her with another blanket, put a pillow under her head, and let her be. Some time in the night, she moved up to her bed.

Movie night! We've been visiting the library after school every Friday and choosing a few movies to watch each week. I think we watched "Mars Needs Mom" this particular evening.

On Wednesday of Spring Break, we surprised the kids with a little trip to Great Wolf Lodge. Our church got us a gift certificate to go there and we decided that Spring Break would be a great time to use it.




This was taken just before the waves got started.




I only got a few photos from the actual water park because I wanted to have fun without possibly ruining my phone. We went down all the slides and probably spent 5-6 hours at the park on that first night. But for me, there's nothing like that feeling of getting dried off and into warm clothes.

Howling like a wolf!

Besides the water park, there are lots of other events and activities each day. At 9pm, there was a little program at the clock tower. These figures came to life and sang. The story went along the lines of a little boy being lost in the forest and all of the trees and animals singing that "there's nothing to be scared of here". That song, and our own variations of it, remained in our heads for the next few days.

We finally settled in to bed around 10pm when we started to hear some knocking. At first, we thought it was from a room next to us or across the hall. We decided to give whoever it was the benefit of the doubt because quiet hours didn't technically begin until 11pm. But after 11pm, it was still going on. We couldn't locate the source of the knocking, so Andy called the front desk, who said that they'd take care of it right away. We gave it some time, but the knocking continued. Finally, around 12:15am, Andy walked down to the front desk. Our room was on the ground floor and it turns out there was some maintenance going on just below us. Unfortunately, the front desk workers weren't very helpful and there didn't seem to be anyone with higher authority available at the time that he could appeal to. Their solution was to offer us a different room. It was now 12:30am and our kids are all asleep. There are signs all over the "hibernation hours" are from 11pm-7am. They weren't following their own rules and their solution for us wasn't practical at that point. So, Andy just came back to the room with intentions of talking to a supervisor in the morning.  He was completely respectful the whole time, but we were both a little frustrated. I don't think I fell asleep that night until about 2pm that night.

The next morning, Andy went back to the front desk. There were different workers there by this point. He recounted the previous night's events and, as the workers were getting a supervisor, a guy named Bob who headed up maintenance came by. When Andy explained to Bob what had happened, Bob apologized and said that things were mishandled the night before. Their policy is to refrain from loud work if it disrupts any of the guests. Long story short. . . we've been given a free night to come back to Great Wolf Lodge some time in the next twelve months! Other than the knocking, we had a great time and we really appreciate their willingness to compensate for our experience that night.

When we got back the next evening, Andy and I were pretty tired. As we laid in bed after unpacking, the kids went to the basement to play. They found a little building project and began pounding away. Believe me, the irony was not lost on us that, once again while trying to rest, we heard pounding from below!

In other news. . .

"Look! I made Paris!"

I've picked up my crocheting again. It's such a relaxing hobby for me. I had all of these scraps of yarn that weren't substantial enough for one project, so I'm turning them into washcloths.

St. Patrick's Day snack. Turns out, Curtis doesn't like pudding. I'm not sure when that started but I guess it means that I have to retire this treat if I want to make one thing that they all enjoy. After he ate his whip cream, I ate the rest of his.


Saturday, March 10, 2018

Days go by. . .

. . . and I can feel them flying! It's already almost mid-March! I have lots to share since I've neglected this blog for over a month!

Graydon and I did some snow day baking. Banana muffins are my favorite way to use overly ripe bananas.

Curtis earned his yellow belt!


Our youth group had a chili supper fundraiser after church one Sunday and the kids helped serve.


Dinner with our neighbors and a belated birthday gift for Graydon!

Science experiments with baking soda, vinegar, and a balloon.

All three of them love to drink smoothies.

She doesn't quite understand personal space.


The kids like to watch baking shows and Graydon was really inspired to make French Macaroons. This is not an easy dessert to make. The first step is whipping eggs to make a meringue - which I had never done before.



For first timers, they didn't turn out too bad. We got the "feet" that you are supposed to get. I just left the in the oven a little too long, so they were a little crispier than they should have been.

Doctor check-ups for the older two. When I scheduled their appointment for 8am in early February, I neglected to consider that we'd be in the height of cold and flu season (and this season has been particularly rough in our area). The waiting area was packed when we showed up for our scheduled appointment because first thing in the morning was also walk-in clinic hours. Even the well section of the waiting room was filled with sick kids. I was so concerned that we were going to pick up something while waiting there. Fortunately, they called us back right away so we didn't have to wait out there as long. This is how the kids feel about their paper gowns.

But neither had to get shots! And, it's been a month and none of us have been sick!

More of Mabel trying to get just as close as she possibly can.



My friend Jessica's husband passed away a year ago on February 10th. We had a little girls' night to take Jessica out, remember Jesse, and support her as best as we could. There were tears, of course, but lots of laughter too.


Time to assemble valentines!

Curtis was probably the least happy about having to write out all of the names. I overheard him say to himself, "Thank you, Ava, for having such a short name."




I made valentines for all of my first graders too.

And we made little gifts for the teachers. I crocheted some washcloths to go with the scrubs.

Graydon did a research project on John Adams.

This was his final product! I should have taken a photo of it right after he finished. This was after it hanging at school for a week. Some of the labels are starting to peel away. But I think he did a nice job on it.

On February 12, Andy left for a ten-day adventure to the Holy Land!

I kept tabs on him through the Find Friends app on my phone. Who knew it would still work from so far away!


He was gone for Valentine's Day, but I did receive this flower from him. :)

I made our traditional heart-shaped pizza. Not a pretty picture, but it tasted good!

I also make chocolate-covered strawberries every year.

My mom came in that evening and she stayed until the morning that Andy got back. It was so nice to have her here and made Andy's time away easier and more fun.

By this point, Andy had moved on to Jerusalem.

I believe this is the Garden of Gethsemane. Andy has lots of photos to share. Maybe one of these days, I can get him on here to share about his trip.

After church one Sunday, we took the boys' youth group to Urban Air. They had a blast!


More of sweet Mabel.

Bella's class did a STEM project where they build cars using mouse traps and recycled materials. She and her partner were chosen to present their cars at a school board meeting.

On February 22nd, Andy came home from Israel! We were glad to have him back!

The following Saturday, we went to a donkey basketball game at the high school. During half-time, the kids got to ride donkeys.


Curtis also rode a donkey, but his photo ended up super blurry.

Bella's basketball team was honored at the sports banquet.

Friday night selfies. (Graydon was away at a sleepover).


She really likes to be on my lap when I'm doing my school work. Maybe both of us will end up with a Master's degree at the end of all of this.


Mustache Monday!

Getting ready to spring forward tonight! I'm not looking forward to losing sleep or to it being so dark in the morning, but I do love having it stay light longer. Spring is coming!