Monday, August 23, 2010

School, it's a love hate thing

That's more for me though than them. I hate being tied down to the schedule. What if I want to, say run off to another country for 2 months? Or just go visit my sister for a week. I can't. And it's back to driving the kids to a million and one activities. But wait, I can go to the store without ALL the kids in tow. I can keep the house clean for a little longer at a time. So I don't know where I stand with it all. But the kids were very excited!! So for that, I guess I'll have to say I love school. :) Happy first day kids!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Home Run!

Next morning we woke up and dropped some goodies off for my brother. He's on a church mission there, but sadly we couldn't meet up with him... so we dropped off some of his favorite treats, hoping the neighbors wouldn't steal them off his door knob, and headed on home. This drive was 6 hours I think. But that was it. We were home!!! It was so good, but weird to walk in the house. Funny the things that for a short time you forget all about, but the walk in and it all starts coming back. 5 days isn't too bad. Right? I could have thrown a few more things in there, but for some reason Matt thought he had to worked. Dang jobs anyway! And lets just say, since then, it's been mayhem. We had a week to get ready for school. Yikes! And know what... this is a post without a picture. WOW. Don't know how I feel about that! If I had the motivation I'd scrounge up some random picture, but I don't. So you'll have to just close you eyes and come up with your own. :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Day four and counting

First thing in the morning, we woke up and went to the museums. Of course we hit the Air and Space. The kids enjoyed it, but I think we took a little too long in there. We tried to see it all, and shouldn't have just hit the best parts (assuming we knew what that was). We completely exhausted them, and it had been a long night before that traipsing around. Way too much walking for them! So really, there aren't any good pictures. It was just get through it mode (for us at least. Bug was eating it all up. I think he could have spent days there. Such a guy!) for the girls. After that we headed to the Natural History (you know.. from Night at the Museum). Just knowing we were going to where the movie was, the kids perked right up. And yes, the girls did much better. Animals and bones are much more exciting then planes and war stuff! Here, I think we discovered what Nutmeg is going to be when she grows up besides and Olympic swimmer. She's going to be a forensic scientist. She is fascinated with death, bones, and how and why. The museum was closing and I couldn't drag her through that area fast enough. We missed half the museum because she was finally in HER element. Who's child is this!?!? lol

So sadly, here are our two pathetic pictures, one from each stop. Have to remember to much better next time. :(

And then we were off. Again. This time heading to Chapel Hill NC. This also was (everyone in unison now) 4 hours away. We got in late at night and crashed.

Here is the view outside on our drive

And the view from the inside. And no, I won't make you pick which is better looking! But notice the smiles on them? They are good travelers, but I think these smiles were there mostly because we were ALMOST HOME!! (relatively speaking)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Day three on the road

So why Penn Sate? Matt was born there. It's where his dad was going to school when he was born, and he's always been a huge Penn Sate fan because of this. It's literally in his blood. But the poor guy has never been there. Never. So of course, I decided we needed to head over. It wasn't too hard to convince him, so we made it fit in the plans. We got up in the morning and were able to walk around the campus, trying to convert the kids to Penn Sate fans. They liked it enough to want pictures and souvenirs. Guess we'll see come football season how well it worked! And of course we had to go to the ever famous Creamery. The ice creams were HUGE! If we had any idea they were that big we would have gotten one for all of us to share. The kiddos totally lucked out in our lack of knowledge. Won't be the last time I'm sure!


But don't think we stopped there. No way! On to DC. It's only another (yup, you guessed it) 4 hours. Bug has always wanted to go here since he was little. He wanted to see the Lincoln Memorial more than anything else. So we HAD to do it on the way too! We got it about 7 that night (we didn't plan for traffic too well from Penn) and dragged the kids out walking that night until about 10. It was nice and cool, so I wanted to get as much of the walking stuff done as possible. And all things considered, they did amazing.

The wall. I do wish they had this better lit at night. It was so hard for the kids to actually grasp anything. But, they kind of got it.

We were sitting atop the Lincoln Memorial (well okay, just on the stairs) and we couldn't figure out what was going on with all these search helicopters that kept scoping out the area. Next thing we know.. one of them is dropping the President off at the White House. Very cool indeed!

Matt snagged these at the new World War II monument. It was absolutely beautifully done and a great addition to the area.

And of course, the white house. We actually stayed in a hotel that night 2 blocks from the here. It was perfect for walking around that night. :)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The start of a LONG journey home

i think I have to much of my Grandma in me. She will just see a sign for something and want to venture off and find out about it. I've heard stories about road trips with her, but haven't witnessed this first hand yet. :) I suppose I also have my dad and Grandpa too. They enjoy driving. Both drove truck for years. But could just, well, drive. And my dad's mantra was always, "look out your window and enjoy the scenery". As a kid, you wanted to kick him. But now I do just that! So somehow, our 10 hour drive home turned into, well... lets just say a LOT more than 10 hours. Normally the route would take you from Canada, through Detroit, and then just straight down. But here's how WE did it.

Day 1... We didn't go through Detroit at all. We went the other way, through Niagara and Buffalo NY. First stop, Palmyra, NY. The kids hadn't been, and who knew when we'd be up here again. So off we went. It was great to see all the church historical sites with them, and it was only about a 4 hour drive to get there. Totally do-able.

After Palmyra we headed over to Cleveland Ohio. Couldn't resist seeing our first home away from home. We still love it there and were extremely home sick driving around there. If I didn't want to tarnish our perfect memory of it, we might ever consider moving back. But it was too good the first time to mess it up the second! We spent the night and spent Sunday getting to see some old friends whom we haven't seen in YEARS. It's so crazy how our friends never seem to change, but the kids. Wow. Way too big! We left that afternoon and headed back over toward Penn Sate. Yes, I know. Completely back tracking. But hey, just another 4 hour drive. We knew we could do that!

Friday, August 6, 2010

This is where it all went down

Want to know what we lived in for the summer? No, want to see where we lived for the summer? After the hotel stint, we got the great little two bedroom apartment. We actually had a kitchen, our own washer and dryer, and there were two more beds. We lived the downtown city life, with than just the parking lot for a view out the window. Sadly, bug had the floor the entire time, but that was his choice. We offered the couch and he declined. Yes, he's nuts... and we're horrible parents. Who puts their kids on the floor for an entire summer!! lol So here it is. Who would have thought we could survive in something so small. :) And want to know how I pack a suitcase for the kids, in which I will have to keep their clothes for the summer? Here you go. Each had their own row. Everything stacked on it's side so I could always see what there was and what I wanted. It actually worked really well and was easy to keep up. This is what I always do when we travel with them. Beats shoveling clothes around looking for what you need... or 3 different suit cases. Pathetic? Yes. A little too organized as my husband would say. Probably!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

at it again!

Really, this became our daily ritual. The kids loved getting to go to the pool every day. And one of the best parts was that we usually had it all to ourselves. AWESOME! They could be as rambunctious and loud as they wanted to, and it didn't matter. And I could sit on the side doing something completely unrelated without looking like a bad parent! This time for pictures, I actually was in the pool with the camera usually as close to the water as I dared. It made me really want an under water camera. How cool would that be?!?!

Monday, August 2, 2010

In the Park

Just some fun pictures of the kids, playing in the park on Bugs birthday. :)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A birthday in the sky

All Bug wanted to do for his birthday was to go to the CN tower. The largest tower in the world. And not just see it of course, but go up it. He'd been staring at this thing out of the apartment window for so long, we figured we had to do it! So off we went. First we get to take the subway, which I don't care how often we do it... they never tire of the excitement. Something about going underground, and the screeching brakes. The frequent stops with everyone getting on and off. It's just too much fun!

Someone had given us the great advise to eat at the restaurant at the top. It's not that much more, you get a meal, and you skip all the lines. You didn't have to tell us twice! And it really did end up being the best option. We got a table right by the window. And this wasn't just any restaurant. It was a revolving one. So the floor was spinning around, so you basically got a 360 view of the city, 110 floors down. It was pretty cool. Well, other than the fact that I was a little motion sick most of the time in there. I actually had to make Matt switch me seats because I couldn't handle facing the way I was. But the kids just LOVED it! We actually were in there for about 2 hours. We were in no rush because the kids were just enthralled. Besides, we payed for it, right?

This was Dylan most of the time at dinner. In a complete trance. Their favorite was watching the airport. They got to see the planes land on the water and all the helicopters. It was cool!
And of course we got to sing Happy Birthday to him! And can I tell you, that was the BEST vanilla ice cream we've ever had. Ever!

After dinner we went to the glass floor. Nutmeg wouldn't even get on it at all (there were a lot who wouldn't!), and Dylan was a little tenative but checked it out. Ase, on the other hand, was in her element. While we were trying to convince the other kids to get on and look, I look up to see Ase jumping on the glass. "Look mom, I can see everything! And I can even jump on it!" Yup. That would be her. She saw some people laying down looking out, so decided to try it. I literally had the drag her off the floor. She did not want to leave. It was funny how many comments we got. Obviously it's not something you see a lot in kids up there! I have to admit though, it was a completely trippy feeling. :)

The minute we hit the Subway home, Ase was out. She was SO tired and exhausted!

And here's the birthday kid! He was so good to wait until the end of the day to open presents. We just knew he wouldn't want to leave them if we opened them before going to the tower. So he waited. Can you tell he's a little excited?

The gift. No, wait. Ahem. The gift. This is what this kid wanted more than anything else. And he's been asking for a long time for one. We don't normally go for this, but it was a big birthday this year... but man. What did we get ourselves into? Happy Birthday Bug!!!!