Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Vacation--Day two and three in pictures

Okay, I don't have a ton of pictures from day two--Thursday. That was because we sort of had a mellow day....we hung out at the house for most of the morning, then went and did a little shopping and had lunch with Deanna. Deanna had to pick up Mckinley from school right about the same time that the boys needed to nap, so we went home and I took care of nap time, while Shane went golfing with Alan. After they got home we had dinner and just hung out together! I think this is the only shot I got from that day--Alan and Ethan cuddling together! (I get the pretty strong feeling that Deanna and Alan LOVED having the boys around....)

Friday was an exciting day for all of us--an adventure to Silver Dollar City! (For REAL, this time.) It was the greatest place--I loved it and can't wait to go back! Shane was worried, because he has talked it up to me so much over the years, that it wouldn't be as great as he remembered from childhood and I would be disappointed. This was the place his Gram and Papa always took him and his brothers when they were little, so he has really fond memories of the place. He shouldn't have worried, though--it was great! They had great rides for the kids (and kids at heart--seriously, it was like Shane was 10 again) and lots of cool little shops, attractions like shows and singing groups, and tons of great places to eat! We did rides for a little while, then ate, then hit the rides again. Then we went over the water section of the park--boy did everyone love that!

Cameron, Colin and Ethan--getting ready to enter the park

Shane and Cameron riding the frogs

Colin and Mckinley on the frogs

Gram and Ethan--enjoying watching everyone!

Colin riding the caterpillars

Shane and Cameron on the caterpillars

Colin, Mckinley, and Cameron enjoying the water area!

Giant water area with lots of spray features and soaker guns!

The boys and Mckinley were SOAKED....

But Mommy and Ethan stayed nice and dry!!

Then we went to a giant ball area....they had these soft, foam-like balls that you could suck thru vacuums, shoot out of cannons, aim at targets--or at each other :-)--and inside there were climbing things and was really neat and the boys could have stayed in there forever!

Cameron and Alan with the vacuum, Colin with the cannons
Colin, Mckinley, and Alan--all holding hands, heading to the next destination!

Ethan--still happy!!

Colin, exploring--he found a bridge with water underneath

Cameron was pooped--more so than we thought, because all of sudden, we looked down and he was hunched over in the stroller, fast asleep! He woke up easily, however, when we stopped for ice cream! :-)

It was almost closing time by then, and so we headed toward the exit....stopping at the candy store along the way for homemade fudge and peanut brittle (and a few other treasures as well). I found a couple of gift shops 6 p.m., we finally had made our way back to the car and headed home. The boys certainly had NO trouble sleeping that night!

They were SOOOO cute sleeping in the same bed!

What an absolutely great day it was!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Our Vacation in Pictures--Day One

Here are some pics from our first day--we are SO SAD to be back home! We had a wonderful time!!

Colin and Mckinley at the fountain--she fit RIGHT IN with our red-headed family, you would have thought she belonged with us! Isn't the resemblance unbelievable??

Colin and Daddy playing in the fountain--this was fun entertainment while mommy did some shopping!

Baby Ethan, smiling--as usual!

Shane and his Gram!

The outside of the mall area

At the Hard Luck Cafe: Mckinley and Gram
Above is the guy from American Idol that I mentioned in my earlier post, singing to Mckinley! Below: Colin with a mouthful!

Cameron being a ham, as usual
Daddy and Ethan

More pics coming soon from the rest of the trip!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Vacation update--Day 1

We are having a GREAT time! It is so beautiful in Missouri. We have had great weather so far, and have been able to do lots of fun things!

Wednesday morning we got up early and headed down to Branson to go to Silver Dollar City for the day. We headed out around 10 and drove about 45 minutes down there--only to find that for some reason, the park was closed for the day! Imagine our disappointment.....we had been getting the kids all geared up for a day of rides and water was NOT fun explaining to Colin what was going on. However, he took it like a champ (much better than I thought he would, actually). We then made it our mission to finding something else fun for the children to do. Mckinley had come with us, since it was her last day of summer before school started up again, and we knew that we needed a fun place to go--so we found a small amusement park place on the strip and stopped there for a couple of hours! Colin and Mckinley really had a good time. Cameron was too little for most of the rides, but Shane did a great job keeping him entertained! Gram and I stayed with Ethan, mostly, and kept him happy--not a hard job, really! :-) IT WAS SOOOO HOT however--in no time, the kids (not too mention the adults) were all sweating, and we only lasted about 1 1/2 hours before we decided it was time to cool off and go eat!

We all went to a fun little diner called the "Hard Luck Cafe"--all the waiters and waitresses sing while you eat! And they are very good, too. Many of them have CD's you can buy--one was even on a season of American Idol which I thought was cool. I got a picture of him singing to Mckinley. I'll post it (and lots of other pics) once we get home! Everyone ate really well, and then it was off to do a little shopping in the outdoor mall area that was right outside the restaurant. Those who live near me....everything in the Branson shops reminds me of things you would find at the covered bridge festival. It is all so cool, and things that you just can't get all the time, you know? I did find a couple of treasures, but the children were starting to get a little weary (it was almost 4:30 by this time!) so we decided we better head home.

We relaxed for the rest of the evening with the family, which was great. It is so nice being with family that you don't see very often!

Monday, August 20, 2007

On a whim......

We have decided to pack up and head to Missouri tomorrow to visit Shane's family down there!

We never do things like this, even though we talk about doing it all the time. We have only been trying to get back to Missouri for 4 years now! But, we are really, really excited about going. Gram lives in a place where there are tons of things to do.....Silver Dollar City (for the boys) and Outlet Malls (for Shane of course....well, okay--me) plus lots of restaurants and other things. Not to mention Branson isn't far away either!

We are all really geared up for the trip, and Colin can't wait to get to "Desserty" as he calls it. My friend Laura is letting us borrow her "in the car DVD player" which, according to her, makes trips like this unbelievably easier. Even though I am against those things in principle, (I don't want to hear "can we watch something?? 95 times on a 10 minute car ride) I am caving for this trip....what little boy wants to sit and do nothing for 6 hours? I figure this will be really fun for them to have, and will help Shane and I keep our sanity.....

So, I will be away from the blogging world for a few days, but there will be lots of pics (and I am sure, knowing my wonderful children, lots of stories) when we return!!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Shopping adventures

While Shane roofed a house yesterday for a friend of ours, my mom and I took the boys over to Champaign to do some shopping. I had to go to Sam's (ugh) for some necessities, and we decided to take the boys to the mall, too. We had a really good time together, as always. Mom is so good with the boys--really patient (where I lack sometimes, especially if they aren't acting the greatest) and super helpful. You would never know that she only raised one daughter by the way she handles my three like it is nothing! We decided on a Mexican place for lunch, since Colin was requesting a taco. :-) The boys ate great and Ethan was really good which made the restaurant experience much more enjoyable. Then we headed to the mall and did some more shopping. I had intended on looking for some shirts for myself, but who am I kidding? I haven't REALLY shopped for myself in like, oh, 4 years of so? I just can't help it. Even if I do go looking for myself, I always end up in The Children's Place or Baby Gap, or the children's department of some other store! Why is that? Well....I know why, I guess.....because I can't really help myself, always on the lookout for deals for them and everything! But, the main reason is that everytime I do find something for myself, and actually make it to the dressing room to try it on, I am always depressed at my reflection and then turned off to shopping for myself the rest of the day. (If I could just lose that last 5 pounds from Ethan.....and the last 5 from Cameron....) By the time we were done--a good 5 hours or so after we started--the boys were wasn't 5 minutes into the car ride home and this is what we saw in the back seat! Thanks mom (and my sweet boys) for another great day!

Friday, August 17, 2007

And the funnies continue....

Remember that teaching I am working on with Colin about being thankful and grateful for things?

The other day, my mom was asking Colin about having another sibling (please no one get any ideas on this--SHE, may I make it clear, is the one hoping for a new baby--I'm all good for now, thanks.) This was the conversation...

Mom: "Colin, wouldn't you like to have a new baby in the house?"
Colin: "Sure!"
"Would you like a new baby brother?"
"How about a new baby sister?"
Long pause........"No, I don't think so......."
"No baby sister?"
"Well, why not?"
"Well................(long pause, thinking, trying to come up with exactly the right words to describe just how he was feeling)................I'm just not grateful for a baby sister."

At least he was honest.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Play time and Rest time

Cameron thought it would be fun today to dump every single toy OUT of the toy box and make the actual box the toy. He and Colin had a grand old time playing "house" in there--they played for over an hour with this thing! Isn't it funny how you can spend hundreds buying children toys (not that we have done that--most of our toys were gifts and garage sale finds--but I am making a point here) and the things they actually like playing with are like, cardboard boxes and tupperware containers? What is with that?

Ethan is killing me lately....he is just getting so big so quickly, it is nearing a depression stage for me! LOL He seriously does not have that 'baby' look to me anymore, but truly is looking like a little boy. He is just such a wonderful baby....all three of them are in their own way, you know? But there is just something about my Ethan. I am guessing that it is because he isn't backtalking me or disobeying me yet :-) but he is just so sweet.

The three of them really do play well together. Colin is so great with Ethan. Cameron still is learning the "being gentle with the baby" concept, so supervision is still needed when the three of them are down on the floor together, but for the most part, everyone is included and they do great. Yesterday I came into the room to find Ethan--whom I had left sitting up in the middle of the floor--laying down on his back, with Colin next to him. Ethan's shirt was pulled up, and Colin was blowing raspberries on Ethan's belly! It was so adorable, and Ethan was laughing so hard.

This is a shot of the boys from a couple of nights ago--Colin and Cameron were watching a veggie tale video before bedtime and Colin wanted to make sure that Ethan was included. He asked me if I would sit Ethan next to him, which I did. Colin promptly looked at Ethan, put his arm around him and said, "Want to watch with us buddy?"

And they did.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

The truth about shopping

I saw this on the girl talk blog for the Friday Funnies (if you don't read that one, you really should!) and just had to copy it and post it on mine. SOOOO funny--this is why WOMEN love to shop so much more than MEN!!