How cool, this is my 50th post! Here's my Thursday 13!
13 things we have done this week while Daddy had vacation time, and 13 pictures!
1. Thursday we went to White Water with Lane, Karlie, Dixie, Tessa, and Baron. We had a great time swimming with friends!
2. Friday we picked up Ellie from Marketplace (VBS at my mom's church). She had a wonderful week learning about the miracle's of Jesus, and she got to sing on stage for us with her class on friday. Annie also enjoyed her week (3 days) at marketplace. The girls both spent 4 nights in a row at Grammie's last week, WOW! They had a wonderful time, and I really enjoyed my break!
3. Friday night we drove to St. Louis for our "mini vacation". A normally 4 1/2 hour drive took closer to 6 hours because of many extra stops due to the need to potty, the need for something mommy couldn't reach, too much fighting and the need for discipline! We finally made it though, and the girls were very excited to "camp out" in the hotel. You shoulda seen that room, 1 king size bed, 1 queen size air matress, and a pack-n-play! not to mention the loads of other stuff crammed into every corner we could find. I wonder what the hotel staff thought as we wheeled our cart, loaded to the top, with one girl hanging off each end, and a baby hanging from my arm at 10pm! The theme song from "The Suite Life of Zach and Cody" played in my head as the girls ran in circles through the hotel lobby!
4. Saturday morning we had breakfast at Mimi's Cafe (thanks Jen!). It was wonderful and we almost went back but we ran out of time! ( i can't imagine why we were short on time, i mean, it only took an hour to get in the car and an hour to get out of the car every time we stopped.) Then we went to Purina Farms with our friends Matt and Gina. This was a wonderful place that you must go to! The girls got to play in the barn, help milk a cow, see goats, horses, donkey's and other farm animals, pet piglets, chickens, and bunnies, see geese and ducks, watch a dog show, pet the dogs and cats (i don't think the nice lady who ran the dog and cat house had ever met anyone quite as insistent as Ellie - i doubt she'll ever forget us!), see some fish, and walk the beautiful grounds. This was all completely FREE! Not even a charge for parking! We'll definitely be doing this place again!
5. Saturday for lunch we went to Fitz's Rootbeer and Bottling Co. It was yummy, and a fun atmosphere, but quite a drive into the heart of the city, and then an hour wait. It's in a, well, alternative part of town, if you get my drift. We definately saw some interesting people. I was just waiting for one of the girls to say something like, "Mommy, why does that man have a chain hanging from his ear to his nose to inside his pants. . .?" Thankfully they were too busy trying to out do each other by jumping higher and farther, and they didn't notice Mr. Body Pierce America. If you go, try it on a weekday, i think it would be less crowded and maybe less, um, diverse. Saturday evening we went to the Zoo, which is always wonderful. Then we ate at a chinese place i wouldn't recommend. We were told it was sooo good, very authentic chinese food. Come to find out, very authentic chinese food kinda looks, well, gross. I'm sure it's wonderful. . . if you're chinese. So we ate sweet and sour chicken and shrimp fried rice (we're such risk takers!) and headed back to the hotel for swimming and bed for 5 very tired people!
6. Sunday we went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast, where in true vacation spirit, I let the girls get GIANT lollipops for dessert! Yes, we had dessert after breakfast!
7. Then we went furniture shopping. I seriously wouldn't recommend doing that with 3 VERY tired kids that are now hyped up on sugar! I did get new end tables though! It was totally worth the hour and a half of chasing the girls down isles of couches (which they climbed over), and recliners (which they flipped every single foot rest up as they ran away from me hysterically laughing.) and a blow out diaper (that was Annie) to get two fairly well priced end tables. At one point the sales lady said "Every time I see you, you have another kid with you!"
8. After that we went to our friends' house for lunch. There's nothing quite like taking your 3 kids to your kidless friends' house. They were very gracious, but after another dirty diaper, a spilled drink, and several jumps off their furniture, they didn't argue when we said we had to go. And when we questioned them about their possible plans for children in the future. . .they changed the subject! We then headed to the Magic House. I agree with Janelle and Michelle that it is a Must see! Even though they were so tired (the girls fell asleep on the way there!) they had a blast! We plan to go again next summer and leave more time to thoroughly explore it. I didn't go for the boob shot like Janelle, but Jason had fun posing in the "impression wall". Ellie's faves were the pneumatic air chute and the ATM (that made me a bit nervous), Annie's fave was the slides, Austin's fave was the baby area and the balls, and My fave was the thingamajig that made my hair stand up!
9. We headed towards Rolla about 5:30, and towards our new puppy! Ok, the farm where the puppy lived was incredible! I'm talkin' like "Charlotte's Web" incredible! The lady, Brenda, and her 15 year old daughter Kelly were SO nice! They had a beautiful farm where they raise horses, pigs, sheep, dogs, cows, and even a duck! They showed us around and let the girls pet the horses, Annie even sat on one! We were so excited to get our puppy which Ellie named Chester! (so sorry we didn't go with all ya'll's wonderful suggestions, i was personally rooting for Harley.) He was very excited to meet us too! In case you're wondering where the name Chester came from, well, he's named after a cat! Ellie has a book with a cat in it named chester, and we had just stayed in Chesterfield, so it just seemed to fit! After almost 2 hours of farm fun, we loaded back up and headed home, finally! Jason and I were a bit nervous about the van ride home with 3 tired kids and a puppy, but miraculously they all fell asleep within 15 minutes and stayed asleep the whole way home! (love the blanket over Ellie's head!)
10. Monday the fun continued. We slept in and then went to the lake with some out-of-town friends. We took Chester along, but let him nap in his kennel while we went out on the boat. The girls LOVED the boat ride! It was the first boat ride for Annie and Austin, and the first one that Ellie remembers. I got into the fun and went "tubing" for the first time in a looooong time! After 6 summers of either having a baby in me or on me or a broken bone, I was determined to go wild! I even tubed on my knees! I am a wild child! I had a blast, but I'm still sore 3 days later!
11. Tuesday we spent some much needed time at home, the girls had swimming lessons, and I flew to target and back to get a much needed starbucks fix. Then we headed to Ozark for dinner with my Grandpa and Dorothy, and my parents. I mean, why not take our kids who've been sleep deprived for days on end out to dinner? What's the worst that could happen? Actually, they did pretty good. I think the "do we need to take the puppy back?" threat worked well. We went to Grandpa's after dinner for awhile where the girls helped drive the BIG tractor. We played outside in their beautiful yard with Chester and had a lot of fun! Then we spent the night at mom's house.
12. Wednesday we went to the Springfield Zoo. We'd never been there before (at least not in my adult life) and I guess we were in a "zoo mood" so off we went! We enjoyed it for awhile, but then it got really hot, and when I'm hot, giraffe's and hippo's don't appeal to me much. So, we went to the Nixa pool, which is a lot like the RecPlex, and cooled off. We swam with the 10,000 other people who thought going to the pool was a good idea too, and Annie fell asleep on grammie. We ate dinner at a place called Bumsteads (i continued my wildness and ordered hot wings!), which was really good, and then we bought some fireworks (wild!) and went back to mom's. Jason had fun playing with fire, as I think most men do, or at least the one's around here. Ellie wavered between being a little scared to being a lot scared, Annie loved it all, and Austin liked the lights, but the noise scared him so he got to go to bed.
13. We drove home late last night to the lights from the man made fireworks and God's fireworks (lightning), and we fell into our beds. This was one of those moments that I really don't think I could have moved even if the house was falling down! Vacation time is over. We had a ton of fun, but i think we're all ready for a little "down time". And I've missed my friends! So, we'll rest today and maybe tomorrow, but be expecting a phone call, 'cause we're gonna be needing some "friend time" soon!