Monday, February 24, 2014

will you be my valentine?

This little man will always be my special Valentine!  The main man in my life- Ha!  Oh how I love him!
My precious valentines
This was the first year that Andrew had to make a Valentine box for school.  I have to admit, I'm thinking- sure, more work for the parents!  Ha!  As a teacher I always bought a big pack of 50 white lunch sacks and had the kids decorate them the day of our party.  My how times are changing!  Ha!
But if I'm going to be really honest, I also have to admit that this was really fun!  I enjoyed scouring Pinterest (seriously, what did we ever do without Pinterest??) and giving Andrew several choices (after conveniently not pinning the ones I knew I wasn't crafty enough for!  Ha!  He quickly picked the minion right away, but he wanted only ONE eye (those are his favorites!)  We put our own little spin on it by adding a heart and kisses from Ga Ga, mommy and Kerigan (Andrew loved this idea!)
And seriously?  If Kerigan had her way, Andrew would also be HER valentine.  She absolutely adores her big brother.  And he thinks she's pretty great too.  I'm so glad they have each other.
On Superbowl Sunday we were invited to some new friends of ours in town for Valentine cookie decorating and then to watch the game later!  This was so fun and the kids loved it.

And I have to just say what a small world it is and how God is in charge.  They really aren't "new" friends.  When we moved here, I met a couple of new girls in our neighborhood through our realtor (who has also become a new friend!) and these girls went to ISU the same time as me and were in sororities.  Then they led me to TWO of MY sorority sisters who they are friends with who just happen to live in town!  And they are both doctors in town too (very convenient!  Ha!)  I still can't get over that these two girls I "hung out with" in college who I had lost touch with are now living in the same town and all of us have kids the same ages.  It couldn't get much more perfect than that!  I wish I had taken a picture!  Next time...

Kerigan devouring the cookies!
She ate them as quickly as she decorated them!
The dads and some of the kids went outside to go sledding before the big game!  We just had so much fun and I'm so grateful for these new friendships.
So back to these two... (best picture I could get right after Kerigan took a bite of some blue Valentine candy!  That's kids for ya!  Ha!)
My favorite part of the day was getting to sub at Andrew's school on Valentine's Day!  It wasn't in his class, but it was still awesome to be able to go with him and peek in at him throughout the day.  I love love love subbing at his school!
And this little dolly just gets sweeter and sweeter every day, if that's even possible.
Here she was saying "Happy Valentine's Day!"  With her little princess pose.  Love her.
After school we went to dinner with our friends and then went to daddy's basketball game.  Because nothing says Valentine's Day like a crazy, loud basketball game!  Ha!  But we wanted to be where daddy was.  So we surprised him and showed up at his game- true romance!
I had to take this picture of the card I got Craig this year.  This is just so our life right now!  I don't remember the last time we've had a night in our bed just the two of us.  Ha!  
Andrew making her laugh as usual!
Bubba is sooooo funny!
And I thought this verse was appropriate- one Andrew has worked on for Awana this week and has memorized...
"We love because He first loved us."
John 1:4

Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

great wolf birthday trip {part 2}

Day 2 at the water park!  The kids just had a blast.  It was 84 degrees inside the waterpark but the day before the water had been a little cold so this day I had the kids wear their wet suits.  For those heart moms who haven't thought about this like I hadn't until I read another heart mom's blog, wet suits are so great for heart kiddos!  Andrew's lips were purple the day before- their circulation just isn't the best so this keeps them warmer and more comfortable so they can stay in the water longer.  I went ahead and got one for Kerigan too just so she'd stay warm.  We have used them a lot of different places, including swimming lessons in the summer when it's still chilly in the mornings.  Works really well.
Anyway, Kerigan just picked up right where she left off before and got her sea legs back!
She couldn't get enough of the water or the waterslides.
She started with the toddler pool and baby slides... but quickly learned she wanted to be where the big kids were!
Yes, I was panicking at this point, but she crawled to the top of the big kid slides and insisted on going down.  They wouldn't let her ride with an adult so Craig stayed at the top and I went to the bottom to catch her.  I couldn't believe they let a 2 year old do this by themselves!  She was so brave!  She came down backwards, but seemed to enjoy it because she wanted to do it again!  Ha!  Such a big girl!

The kids loved the lazy river too
Andrew and Jayden spent a lot of time walking around it instead of in the tube!
They loved going under the waterfall!
Tried to catch Andrew coming down the slides but he was too fast so it was blurry!  He and Evi and Jayden went down these again and again.  They loved them!
Kerigan just had a blast with everything!  She loved these fountains that squirted water up!
Coming down the big tube slides with Aunt Rachel and Jayden!  They had so much fun!
Kerigan and daddy coming down the tube slide!  We decided that the GWL must have really good (or expensive!) insurance because they are one of the only water parks we have been to where they allow kids as young as Kerigan to go down with an adult on the big slides.  Even Andrew got turned down in Omaha at a waterpark resort because he was too short, even to go with an adult.  Just another reason we love GWL!  There's something for everyone and we could all enjoy the adult slides because the kids were big enough to come down with us so we could all go together!  Andrew and Evi were even tall enough to go on  a couple of them by themselves!
Kerigan helping daddy return their tube!
After a shower, some MagiQuest and a long nap for Kerigan, we headed to our favorite KC hotspot!
Kerigan was not thrilled, as you can tell!  This has never been her favorite place, but she's getting more used to it I think!  She just doesn't want to go exploring to look at all the dinosaurs with us!
These two were the only ones who would go near the huge T-Rex!
Fun at our table!
Kerigan refuses to smile when I want her to!
But when she decides to pose, you gotta be quick and catch it on camera!  Ha!
Andrew and Evi got another song and birthday cupcake! 
All the kids were giving loves to Aunt Rachel!
The boys with the Mammoths!
It's always so fun to explore while we are waiting for our food to come!
Giant triceratops!
At the sight of this, Kerigan ran away fast again! 
But again decided if Daddy went with her, she wanted to go see the dinosaur.  However, this time she wouldn't let daddy put her down!  But we did get a "cheese!" out of her!  Daddy is thrilled as you can see.  Ha!
Family picture with the dinosaurs in the background!  The atmosphere of this place is so much fun!
Back at GWL they were having hula hooping fun when we walked in after dinner!
The kids joined right in and had a blast!

We were just in time to head upstairs and get in our jammies again for story time!

It was so funny, Kerigan didn't want to sit here at all.  I think because she knew characters were coming out soon.  I kept walking away because I knew if I was out of her sight she would be fine.
So all the adults went towards the back of the room...
And I wish I had taken a picture of Kerigan when these guys walked out.  Oh my gosh it was the funniest thing ever!  Most people who read here know I am mean when it comes to characters- my sister in law was teasing me because she noticed that I get just as excited as the kids to see characters.  This is true.  Ha!  I have little sympathy for kids who are scared of them.  Like my daughter.  She stood up (while everyone else was sitting), turned around and was screaming, clutching her Violet and scanning the room looking everywhere for us.  Several people said "Awwwwww..." when they saw her because, seriously.  Every eye was on her.  And she was stinkin adorable.  Even though she was crying her little heart out.
I didn't have time to snap a picture (I really wanted to but was afraid that was crossing the line and everyone in the room would think I was the worst mom ever!  Ha!)  She made her way to Daddy's arms and he said she was shaking!  I know, I know.  Poor little thing.
Daddy is so nice.  He helps her get acquainted with them rather than just plopping her down, which seems to work better.  She even gave Wiley a hug...
And actually stood for a picture.  Thank you daddy.
I about fell over when she actually hugged them!
They had a dance party after story time and the kids had a blast!  Many of the characters came out and danced with the kids and you can see Kerigan wasn't shy!  Nothing like kicking up your heels and dancing to a little One Direction!  Ha!

We danced for a while and then had to head back to the room for a special surprise we had planned for the kids...
You could have a sleepy time snack of milk and cookies delivered to your room by a character.  We requested Brinley the Bear- we thought he was a nice "gender neutral" character and all the kids were really excited!
It was so funny when he knocked on the door I told the kids they better hurry and go see who was at the door.  Andrew ran over before they opened it and said "Is it Ga Ga!??"  Ha ha!  My mom loved that one!  
We couldn't believe he actually came in the room and hung out with us for a while!  I figured it would be a drop the cookies off at the door and leave type of thing.  But he actually hung out!  The kids were so thrilled, as you can tell from this picture!  Best money I've ever spent!  Their reactions were priceless.
After that excitement the kids were ready for some popcorn and movies on the iPads... isn't it funny how iPads are replacing good ol' movies on the VCR???
We had the best time.  It was so good to getaway, especially after this extremely bitter cold winter we've been having.  It wasn't exactly warm there either, but just getting away felt like a reprieve.  Plus, being inside the GWL just makes you feel warm and cozy!
Until next time...

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