Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Family Vacation Trip to Indianopolis

We decided to go on a family vacation to Indianapolis this year.  It's been years since we had been there and we had never taken Andrew to the children's museum there (which had pirates, Lego's and hot wheels!!) so it seemed like just the right time to go.

Day 1--drove to Columbus and took Andrew to Chucky Cheese (this was on my summer bucket list) Tim and I both have fond memories of going here as a kid so it was something we wanted Andrew to at least experience . . . not quite as nice as we remembered but we all still had a good time.
spent the rest of the afternoon at Chris and Lia's house playing and waiting for Chris to get off work.  Then we all decided to head to Troy, OH to meet up with our college friends Nick and Lindsay for dinner.  We had NO idea this was going to work out so it was a wonderful surprise to spend some time with them and catch up over dinner.  Made me miss the college days when we spent entire weekends in the same house together . . . Chris dad graciously offered to let us stay in his beautiful home this night so we didn't have to get a hotel.  We were so grateful and Andrew was in kid heaven with all the toys they have there for Emma.  Even K had some toys her size to play with!!  THANKS SO MUCH Mr. R for letting us stay there!

Day 2--spent some time in the morning at a brand new gaming place near Mr. R house (and near my sister Shannons' house) in a bounce area.  Emma and Andrew had a good time bouncing and exploring. 

Met up with my sister and brother in law and the kids for lunch and playtime for the kids at Chick-fil-a which was another unexpected meeting that just worked out time wise . . . so happy to visit with them even if it was just for an hour!  Traveled the rest of the way to Indianapolis and spent the rest of the evening relaxing as a family at the hotel just swimming and playing together.

Day 3--Indianapolis Children's Museum-the main reason for our trip and we were so excited!!  Chris and Lia met us there and we all went in together.  Pretty sure Tim's favorite part was Bumblebee who greeted us right at the entrance.  Later, we got to see a smaller model of him transform.  We rode on a train, dug for fossils, saw dinosaurs, learned how to send a boat down a river . . . lots of fun.

The two dig sites were really quite interesting.  The fossils or artifacts were covered in these little bead things that the kids could actually chisel off of the object.  They said when the objects get too uncovered they send them off to be "reburied" and then they start over.  It was neat to see the kids actually uncovering stuff little by little .  . . very realistic I thought.
 Andrew and Emma building their own cars and then racing them down the ramp. 

 Andrew was told to build some form of transportation.  He built an airplane from Lego's.  Then he was able to put it in front of a green screen and they added a background for him and took a picture of it and e-mailed it to us.  It is super cool.  It looks like his airplane is right in the sky and put created by Andrew with his picture beside it.  He just kept saying WOW when we got home and saw the e-mail.  It does look cool I must admit!
Hot Wheels!!
The Hot Wheels exhibit was another traveling one that we were anxious to see.  Tim just kept saying, "my brother would LOVE all this!!!"  I didn't grow up around Hot Wheels much with all girls in my family but it was cool to see the "hot wheels through the years" display and see how far technology has come.  It was also interesting to see some "real live" hot wheels cars . . . the tiny models all blown up for grown ups!! 

Now THIS hot wheels car . . . ANY woman would love!!  :-)  Made completely out of diamonds!!

How I became a Pirate!

My favorite part of the day .  .  . without question . . . was the play we went to.  #1 highlighting a children's book--some of my favorite things!!, #2 about pirates one of Andrew's favorites right now, #3 live theater-and a musical no less (my OTHER favorite), #4 sitting in AC, comfy chairs and sleeping baby!!!

We had a really nice day and were blessed to spend it with our college friends Chris, Lia, Becky and Emma, Draven and Calli!  What a day of friendship and seeing new things.  Quite different than the last time a group of us Cedarville grads went to this museum . . . pre kids!  We also had a first for our family . . . this museum was so big that we didn't even finish it.  There were at least two areas we did not even look in let alone have time to visit!!  The pictures do not do it justice because I didn't even show you the dinosaurs, the carousel, the playhouse area, the dollhouses or many other things we saw.  Truly a HUGE place.  The fact that so much of this particular museum is traveling exhibits, it really would be different every time you go there!  We were impressed and enjoyed it very much!  Can't wait to see everyone elses pictures of the day!

Day 4-our drive home was less than ideal with 3 of the four of us having very bad attitudes or sickness on the way home . . . we did, however, manage to have a quick pit stop just outside Columbus to get out some energy and just stretch our legs a bit.  We found a free splash park to enjoy.  This was a nice break and about the only positive thing I can report from the last day of our trip.  :-)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Butterfly House

One of our local Greenhouses has a butterfly exhibit every year that I never knew about!  Evidently this time every year they put aside a part of the greenhouse just for the butterflies.  It's completely free to go in and see them some have already hatched and some are still coming out of their cocoons.  You can even hold them.  Andrew and Grandma C went (K and I went to take photos . . . Andrew said it was just a trip for he and grandma) and I was very impressed.  Andrew LOVED it and was so calm and quiet so as not to scare the butterflies!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Cleveland Weekend

This past weekend we spent the weekend in Cleveland with Tim's family.  I didn't do a very good job of capturing people on the camera since K was super fussy the entire weekend (teething I believe) but I did catch a few moments.  One day we visited Tim's great grandma and took a couple hours to check out the beach just down from her house . . . all these years to Cleveland and visiting her and I never even knew it was there!  :-) 
Here we are on the beach of Lake Erie.  If you look in the background of the one of Andrew you can see a cute little playground right on the beach.  Playground, sand, water . . . Andrew was in little boy heaven!   Uncle John even helped him search for cool rocks on the beach.

K slept through her entire first beach experience .  .  . but I don't think grandma minded sitting by the concession area with her stroller and avoiding the hot hot sand. :-) 

Andrew set up a "sleepover" for he and Grandma S.  He even got them both drinks and put them on the nightstand for the party.   

Sunday we took Andrew to an Akron Aeros game.  We had great seats and in spite of a brief cloudburst of rain we stayed dry and enjoyed ourselves!  The pitcher pitched the first no hitter ever in this stadium as well so we were a part of history!!!  :-)  K was a real trooper during her first ever baseball game especially since it was right in the middle of naptime!!

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Derecho--Friday, June 29

Derecho-Derechoes are large clusters of thunderstorms that produce widespread wind damage, usually as a result of one or more curved lines of thunderstorms known as bow echoes. The word in the Spanish language means "straight" and these windstorms leave wide, long swaths of straight-line wind damage. These winds can be as strong as 50 to 100 mph (or higher)!
(I learned that here)

T-1 hour before storm--having dinner at my parents house when we get a call from my sister in Dayton, OH that a huge storm has just torn up her brand new canopy and blown down a bunch of trees in her area.  We turn on the weather channel to see if we are going to be hit by the storm.

T-45 minutes before storm--we had been promising Andrew he could swim in the pool all day so Andrew, Tim and grandma get in the pool.

T-30 minutes before storm--Baby K gets in the pool because it's too hot to have her sitting on the deck.  Dad and I begin to put away everything that is not nailed down into the shed or into the house.  Dad puts huge concrete bricks on the legs of the trampoline

T-20 minutes before storm--Baby K is taken inside and put in her dry clothes and into a baby seat.  I realize the windows to the car are open and I shut them while Dad heads to his office to try and unplug electronics and take down outdoor signs before the storm hits.

T-10 minutes before storm--Andrew is taken inside and put in dry clothes while mom and Tim put the cover on the pool.  It is still beautiful outside and except for some dark clouds in the distance (and the news on the weather channel) there is NO SIGN of anything coming.

T-5 minutes before storm--mom and Tim are inside and we are all talking about dessert . . . I happen to remember the hanging flower pots on the front porch and suggest that Tim take them down so they don't get blown away or blown through a window . . . Tim opens the front door and the gust of wind that comes into the house is so strong that he is pushed back and the tiles in the family room (three rooms away) are lifted from the ceiling.  The electricity immediately goes out.  This should have been our first clue that this was not just a regular thunderstorm.

DERECHO--so strange.  It's just wind.  You don't really hear thunder or see much lightning at first. . . just these dry winds that are blowing everything over.  You can't even really see a pattern in the wind.  Just things falling over and leaves everywhere . . . it's really quite scary because it's so loud . . . just a blowing sound all around you.  Then it almost seemed to stop completely for a minute and then turns into a severe thunderstorm. . . . nothing different than a normal severe thunder storm. . . lasts for 20-30 minutes and then it's clear again. 

T+1 hour after storm--we decide to leave to head home.  Not realizing this was anything too much more than a huge thunderstorm we assume our house (with underground utilities) will have power so we head home.  I think on our way home was the first time we really realized the magnitude of this storm.  It was just getting dark and not one light on the entire way home (except for LOWES running on a generator), trees down everywhere, branches in the road all over the place.  Just eerie! 

We get home to no power.

Obviously, knowing now what we know about this storm we are SOOO lucky that we are all safe with us cutting things so close (we had no idea this was more than a severe thunder storm) our home has only minor roof damage, no tree damage and except for some trash in the yard no damage to our property.  SO MANY people are STILL (almost a week later) out of power and we got ours on after only 3 days.  There are trees down everywhere and many still sit on top of houses.  God was good through the entire thing and we are so thankful that he showed us his protection. The only things we lost (all our food in the freezers and refrigerators) can be replaced.  The good news is that my deep freeze and refrigerator have never been cleaner or had fresher food!!  :-)  You don't have to wonder if my salad dressing is expired.  :-)

So thankful that God allowed our church to be spared the electric outage most of our area sustained so that we could stay there two of the days in the AC--especially necessary for baby K who was really suffering in the heat with major heat rash.  So thankful for fellow church members who all came together and had a "cookout" of some foods going bad in their freezers and provided us a great meal.  Thankful for our gas grill that provided scrambled eggs and bacon for breakfast.  Thankful for friends who gave us water and neighbors who gave us ice cream to help Andrew feel like this entire thing was a treat rather than an inconvenience.  Thankful for Internet access at the church and cell phone service that allowed us to get information from friends and family to know they were okay and to help us find the resources we needed.  Thankful for a finished basement (just finished in Jan.) that stayed below 80 degrees and allowed us to have a comfortable place to sleep.  Thankful for those who prayed for us through this entire thing.  Looking back now I am just thankful . . . for everything that people did to help the four of us and the things we saw being done for others, the small part God allowed us to play . . . we learned a lot and will be MUCH better prepared next time .  .  . but learned that God can and WILL provide your needs . . . sometimes we just have to realize the difference between needs and wants.  :-)

Love this picture of Andrew and some other kiddos at the church gathered around a tiny little DVD player.  Can you tell they have been a couple days without any access to media!?!!?  :-)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

VBS 2012

Our VBS was last week.  I can not tell you how thankful I am that God had it be last week AND . . . for the first time EVER . . . it was a Sunday-Thursday VBS.  After what happened Friday night (you can read about that in my post tomorrow)  it is obvious that God was looking out for us months ago when he lead someone in our church to change to a Sunday-Thursday week.  Praise God for his faithfulness!

We had a rain forest theme this year and once again I was in charge of the preschool class.  Here is our room.

We had 9 kids each night .  .  . 5 boys and 4 girls (although the kids were a little different each night) We had a CRAZY week but it is always a privilege to teach many of these kids who have literally never been to a church before.  It's a challenge to show them how to act and what words we do NOT say but . . . what an honor to be their first introduction to God!   My picture is a little fuzzy but the looks on their faces show you their personalities perfectly . . . handful 1, 2 and 3.  (handful 4 and 5 are getting their faces painted)  :-)

The highlight of our week was our "rain forest safari" on Wednesday night.  They had worked all week making their backpacks, binoculars, and hats for the trip.  They followed a treasure map to some rain forest animals and some treasures to put in their backpacks to take with them.

My AMAZING helper (and the brains behind all our decorations and crafts) . . . she really does most of the work . .. I just teach and get the credit!  :-)  We also had a really great teen helper this year.  We needed ALL THREE of us to keep this group of kids in line. . .  

Lastly, Andrew in the water soaker the final night of VBS . . . LOL