July 2011 (part 1)

Posted in family fun, Travel on July 30th, 2011 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The July 2011 page on my calendar has been filled since spring, so I knew we had a busy month ahead.  Organizing everything I had jammed into those little squares on the calender was going to be challenging enough, but then we were even able to add a few family mini-vacations to the mix!  It’s been a great summer so far despite the challenges of sometimes trying to be in 2 places at once, and I wanted to chronicle everything to enhance the wonderful memories we made as a family this summer – but be prepared; this will be quite the manifest when I’m finished!

June 30 and July 1 – We began the month with a last-minute trip to an indoor water park that’s an hour away.  After a sudden burst of cabin fever, my husband found a super internet deal that afforded us some much-loved family time.  The kids loved the indoor water park, and Christopher was old enough this time to go on some water slides which he found to be a blast!

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Best of all, the constant lower back pain that had been making me short of patience, irritable and tired all the time seemed to be remedied by my getting to sit in water for 2 days.  I should note for future reference also how interesting it was to pack different people for 3 different trips at the same time.  Simultaneously, I was packing 6 people for an overnight stay (with a separate bag for changing into street clothes from bathing suits, I might add), 1 little girl for a 4 day stay at camp, and also for a 3 day trip for 6 people.  It felt hectic at the time, but not unmanageable – due to the fact that my wonderful family did much of the work for and with me.  And you know what?  I don’t think we forgot anything!!

July 2, 3 – After the water park, we got a day of rest (and unpacking, re-packing, laundry) before we set out Sunday for the 4-hour drive to Nashville Indiana – with one small glitch:  Hubby had food poisoning.  He had to miss church to rejuvenate, and then we were off – well, after packing up the car and some other in-town odds n ends.

July 3-6 – We spent the 4th of July in Nashville – a yearly trip Hubby and I take with our 4 kids, my parents, my uncle, and my sister, her husband and their 2 kids – there were 13 of us staying in a large house in the middle of the Brown County woods.  It was a beautiful place, and we’re torn on where to choose to have next year’s gathering.  Last year, we had a beautiful house where each family had their own bedroom and bathroom.  The few downsides to this house (called The Oaks) was the large steep hill that led down to the pond and fire pit – it proved to be dangerous last year when someone took a nasty spill (but was uninjured), so we didn’t want to gamble with it this year when we have an adult who is practically incapacitated (me being 5.5 mos. pregnant).  Also, the kids have to be watched constantly down by that pond, so it was a nice break for the adults this year to not have to worry about who was going to take them down there.  Also, there wasn’t really any yard for the kids to play in at The Oaks.  There was a swingset, but really only the two 3-year-old boys were of the age to enjoy a swing set this year, and that leaves 4 other kids with no yard to run around in.  Both houses had pool tables inside and hot tubs outside (which became little swimming pools for the kids since we didn’t want to turn on the heat in 90° weather), and The Oaks had tons of dvds,  board games, and a foosball table, but then again, this year we brought our own dvds and games and the kids had TONS to do and were never bored.  Another plus to this year’s cabin vs. The Oaks: the large dining room table that fit almost everyone at the same time so we could enjoy meals together.  The Oaks had only a small breakfast nook that seated 4 people or about 6 kids, so the adults had to eat elsewhere.  Given these pros and cons of each cabin, it’s going to be a tough decision next year on where to stay!!
The kids’ favorite thing to do this year was to go down to the creek that ran around the property (this cabin was called “Ginley’s Gulch” for future reference).  There they would walk the creek, hunting for crawdads, geodes, and minnows, and they found quite a few of all of the above.  As I said, this property had a larger yard, and also 85 acres of forest, and in the future I would like to explore the gorgeous property more since I wasn’t quite feeling up to that this year.  I did enjoy walking down the cleared path into the forest though – there were many beautifiul butterflies, cool looking insects, and birds to see and hear.  And oh yeah!  I forgot to mention another huge plus of Ginley’s Gulch – the screened-in porch!  It had a ceiling fan, so it was a wonderful, mosquito-free place to spend our Brown County evenings together.  A great trip!!

July 6 – We arose at the crack of dawn to pack up the car and get the kids roused for the 4+ hour drive to Michigan to drop daughter #2 at camp.  We were all exhausted, and the kids slept much of the way.  We did stop in Fort Wayne for something to eat, and we finally tried a little cafe where we had always wanted to try their eggs benedict since reading an ad for them years ago.  The eggs benedict was a bust – sauce from a packet, don’t you know, but they did have one of my seasonal favorites that’s very hard to find in the northern part of the country where I live: fried green tomatoes.  And they were yummy!  We dropped Sammie off at camp just a little late, and we were excited for her after seeing what a great place Camp Selah is (Camp Selah is a Christian camp in Reading Michigan, and both of our kids who went had a SUPER time!)

July 7-9 – These next few days were a bit quiet without the whole brood together, and we fit in another family min-vacation: since Sammie had to be picked up in the morning in Michigan, we took the other 3 kids to the drive-in in Coldwater Michigan and spent the night there – lots of fun!  Saturday the 9th we picked up Sammie, and she said she had a good week during her first ever time at camp.

July 11 was the 3rd birthday of a very special little guy, and we took him out to dinner at the local Mexican restaurant where they sang to him, put a sombrero on him, and dabbed his nose with dessert.  I of course forgot my camera 🙁  but he liked it all the same.  It reminded me of last year when the staff at Bob Evans sang to him, and he dove into my shirt to hide – the year of experience helped him to enjoy the attention more this year.  And in the morning of little dude’s birthday, I had to drive Taylor to camp in one of the nastiest storms of the year.  We made it there without a problem, but the ride home was dicey with driving rain and wind.  I was glad I didn’t have any kids with me which would have made me nervous, and as you can tell I made it just fine – even if I did arrive sopping wet and very late to Bible study.  In the newspaper the next day, I saw a picture of a power line that fell into the road which turned out to be the same road I had been driving down during that storm.  Just goes to show you what kinds of things to look out for when driving during inclement weather in the middle of desolate farm country, and I feel blessed to have made it safely.

July 11-14 – So with our eldest away at camp, the week flew by…  even though we missed her (I especially missed having someone old enough to have a normal conversation with me during the day).  We had 3 days of doctor appointments (me and our youngest-for-now had his 3-year-checkup) and meetings, and then… freedom!

July 15 – Hubby and I met my mom in South Bend, and she took “the littles” (our family name for the younger kids in our family; in this case it meant our 3-year-old, 4-year-old, and 7-year-olds) to Grandma’s for a vacation – which left Hubby and I kidless for a whole day!  So Hubby took me to the Potawatomi Zoo in South Bend, and the amount of walking and the weather was perfect for me even while pregnant since it was just the two of us.  What a great idea as I was just starting to get zoo withdrawl!  After the zoo, we decided to take the scenic route home from South Bend and fell upon a perfect date purely by accident:  in Middlebury Indiana, there is an excellent Amish-style restaurant called Das Dutchman Essenhaus.  We were driving by on a day when they had a buffet, so we could sample many varieties of their very delicious food.  Even better, there were some Amish men offering carriage rides in the parking lot, so we took one!  It was so romantic, the grounds of the mini-resort were beautiful, the weather was perfect, and hearing the history of the grounds as told my our Amish guide was wonderful – best date day ever!!

(below is a picture of a horse and buggy like the one we drove in (ours was more of a carriage than a buggy).  I had to take the picture on the way home since I had forgotten my camera and couldn’t take any pictures while on the buggy ride!)

July 16 – This was the day we picked up our oldest from camp, and we got to hear every detail about her awesome week while driving from Michigan to Fort Wayne to see…  the new Harry Potter movie ON IMAX IN 3D!!  Yes, it was as cool as it sounds, and it was fun to take Taylor out for a fun day with only parents and no younger siblings – dinner was at Golden Corral, one of her favorite places since she loves steak.  I’m thankful that the awful nausea I felt earlier in the day did not persist through the movie, and the cause of it that day still perplexes me…  such is a mystery of pregnancy, I guess.

July 17-18 – The 3 of us tackled the huge project of cleaning out our spare room – what a mess!  I wish we had taken some “before” pictures, but the most important thing is that it got done, even if I felt like I was going to fall over in exhaustion by the end of it.  I’m so proud of Hubby for all the hard work he did for this project, and especially that it was his idea to tackle it earlier than we had scheduled – we began Saturday night after Fort Wayne rather than Sunday after church as we had planned.  But it looks GREAT, and as I’m writing this at the end of July, our family has gotten so much use out of it already.  We made it into a craft / hobby / school room, and it has a computer, Taylor’s new sewing machine (a present from Grandma), all kinds of paper, crayons, glue, etc, and all the many, many arts and crafts kits and supplies we had been saving (and losing) for the past 5 years.

(July manifest to be continued – need to give your eyes a break!  But first, here is a pic of a creative, cute fire hydrant in downtown South Bend Indiana I snapped while sitting at a stoplight – look for it near the silver van’s rear bumper)


Poults

Posted in Kids on August 27th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I actually ran out of room in my previous post to talk about my little ones, my non-schoolers, so it’s time for an update!

The baby, soon to be toddler, Christopher (we call him Beeber since that’s what his big sister used to call him) is getting so big and is now probably closer to toddler than baby 🙁
He walks while holding onto things, and climbs onto anything within reach!  He has recently learned where his tongue is, and if you ask to see it, he will stick it out – awww!  He still loves most kinds of fruits; his favorites are strawberries, peaches, pears, and oranges, but he really doesn’t like cantaloupe nor tomatoes.

Disney is just about the sweetest thing imaginable.  Of course, she is still 2, so occasionally she gets loud, whiny, and insistent.  But she is a very thoughtful little girl, and a very unselfish 2-year-old.  Case in point:  the other day, the girls made macaroni necklaces at our church carnival, and a piece broke off of Sammie’s after we got home.  Sammie was launching into a tantrum, when all of a sudden, Disney jumps off my lap and starts to take her own necklace off, saying, “Here Sammie, you can have my necklace.”  I can’t imagine any other 2-year-old capable of such sweetness!  Add that to her little pageboy Buster Brown – as Carol calls it 🙂 – back-to-school haircut, and she is a living doll!  Oh, and I forgot to mention, Disney is much admired by her older sisters for her ability to whistle!

Having the two of them together during the day is so fun!  A lot of busyness and some mild frustration, but only because of the many messes Beeber makes and the fact that they’re both still in diapers.  I really need to work on Disney’s potty-training.  She has her little potty and likes to go in it, but it’s not always a priority for her…  One of the secrets to harmony in a family with more than a couple of small children is divide and conquer.  My children are so much better behaved when they are broken into groups of two or sometimes even three.  It’s really neat to give each sister the chance the be the BIG sister, and Sammie the Kindergartner gets her chance with Disney in the morning before her afternoon Kindergarten, and Disney gets to be Beeber’s big sister while the two older girls at school.  Back to school time is so fun, and my oldest daughter is really excited about attending her first football game Friday night!  I was a little hesitant to let her go; especially after Wednesday evening when I hung out with a pack of 10 seventh grade girls (a new endeavor of ours – we will be leading youth groups on Wednesday nights!  More on that later; I’m still grasping the um, entirety of the situation).  Seeing that my daughter is only 3 years away from the ages of these boy-crazy, cellphone-obsessed, “like”-spewing, makeup-toting ‘tweens tempted me to buy the totally awesome house on the way to Fort Wayne and lock my 9-year-old daughter in the top of the turret!

But I love where I live and wouldn’t dream of leaving, no matter how cool that house is (or how far it would leave us in debt).  The bottom line is, my daughter is a great kid, and I have to learn to trust her to hold her own – she’s not going to be that type of kid!  She acts mature and logical most of the time; helping her little sisters and brother and she deserves to get away from all the little kid stuff in our household to step out with her friends.  Perhaps volunteering with this (insanely girly) group of girls (have you ever noticed that if you close your eyes, you can mistake a group of pre-pubescent girls for a gang of wild turkeys??) will prepare me for what’s ahead with my 4 home-grown tweens and teens.  At least that’s what I’m hoping…

(In case you’re wondering about the title of this blog post…  Poults = baby turkeys.  I have 3 daughters and one son.  Within a decade, my house will no doubt sound something like a turkey farm!)

A Living Breathing Hoax

Posted in animals on January 25th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A while ago, I decided to write a series within my blog about animals, my favorite things.  I just can’t find enough time to learn about animals, and I love sharing knowledge about their incredible attributes.  Here is chapter two in my Interesting Animals series.  To read chapter one about a scaly mammal called the pangolin, click here.

For chapter two, I chose to focus on the duck-billed platypus; an animal who is so strange looking that people thought it to be a hoax when it was first discovered in 1798.

The platypus is one of 3-5 species (depending on the source – animal knowledge is very differential) of  monotremes or egg-laying mammals.  I know, at one point we were all taught that one of the characteristics of mammals is that they give birth to live young, but that is not the case.  Monotremes lay eggs, and the platypus join echidnas (spiny anteaters) in this animal order.  The platypus is found in Australia – seems like they have all the cool animals, doesn’t it?  I just wish they weren’t so stingy with their animals.  I know they stopped loaning out the Tasmanian Devil years ago, and now that the last one died (it resided in Fort Wayne Indiana until its death – I could kick myself for not making the less than hour trip over there to see it while it was alive), the only place to see them is in Australia.  The same goes for the platypus.  I’ve visited many zoos, and I’ve never seen a live platypus.  A quick check on the internet reveals that they are only found in Australian zoos.

But anyway, aside from being an aquatic (with water-repellent fur), egg-laying mammal, another cool thing about the platypus is that the males are actually poisonous.  Both genders have a spur on their left foot, but the males’ spur produces enough venom to really hurt a human being.  Here is a picture of the duck-billed platypus – note the soft, leathery duck-bill which is actually used by the animal to sense the electric fields caused by its moving prey (feeds on shrimp, fish eggs, small fish, and aquatic invertebrates found in streams and lakes).

platypus

Easy to see how this duck-billed, beaver-tailed, otter-footed, egg-laying mammal was once thought to be an elaborate man-made fraud, huh?

Walmart Saves The Day

Posted in Everyday Life on November 30th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What?!? Believe it or not, the title of my post does not have the slightest hint of sarcasm!  Walmart really DID save the day for us yesterday!  It almost makes me sorry for my many rants against Walmart and their shady practices designed to put small companies out of business…  almost sorry, but not quite there.

It all started when we decided to take the kids over to Fort Wayne, Indiana, which is about an hour away.  We pulled into a stall at the Sonic drive-thru for a light lunch and some slushies (Sonic has awesome slushies and drinks), when we realized we had forgotten my husband’s wallet, which left us without money or credit cards.  Luckily, we had picked up the mail before we left the house and brought it in the car with us.  And luckily², we had gotten a commission check in the mail.  So we braved the ‘big city’ Walmart customer service line on the Saturday after Thanksgiving to see if they would take pity on us and cash the check even without my husband’s ID.  We were gifted with even more luck when they accepted my driver’s license to cash my husband’s check, and we were able to eat lunch.  Except now it had gotten really late and we were all really hungry, so we decided to skip Sonic and go to the Golden Corral that was in the Walmart outlot instead.  If you braved my posts about our vacation diary, then you know how much we like Golden Corral.  And I’d say that the one in Fort Wayne is of the best quality out of any of the others we’ve been to.  After lunch, we took the kids to a McDonald’s Playland, but it had only one little tunnel and one small slide; prompting our 4-year-old to proclaim, “Dad, this is boring!”  But our 2-year-old loved it, and soon there were more kids to play with and everybody had lots of fun – including mom and dad since there was also a foosball table.  When we left the McDonald’s, we noticed there was a Burger King across the street (when isn’t there?), and that Burger King had a 3-story play area!  Oh, well, we had fun where we went and we can remember the BK for next time.  We quenched our thirst with drinks from Sonic, and there was a cool looking car wash next door, so we treated the kids to a car wash also -they love watching the soap, brushes, and water cascading off the car.  The second we pulled out of the wash –ding ding – our low fuel bell rang – uhoh.  My husband and I just looked at each other because it wasn’t like we had unlimited money with us.  In fact, we had spent the last of the check money at the car wash.  Thank goodness gas prices are decent these days because with the change we were able to scrape together from my wallet and the car, we had enough to get us gas to get home…  whew!  Perhaps it can even be considered a blessing in disguise.  When you compare the variety of shopping Fort Wayne offers to our hometown choice of Super Walmart and…  well, just the Super Walmart, unleashing us in a larger city with all those shopping varieties could have been disasterous to our bank account!

And by the way, the Walmart customer service line wasn’t too bad, all things considered.  Most of the line consisted of a family who had 6 kids and one on the way -wow.  And I thought I had a lot of kids!

The Lucky Rainbow (And God) Saved Us

Posted in Kids, Travel on August 10th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ok, of course all the credit goes to God, but I was going for the catchy title.  Yesterday I had one of the biggest scares of my life – a near-death experience.  I’m going to start at the beginning of an otherwise wonderful day…

We were looking for a fun place to take the kids, and we decided upon the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo.  The kids had their usual fun playing in the water hole, and the capuchin monkeys were quite active, enjoying a game of tag.  It was really cool to see; one would chase the other and then when he caught him, they’d switch and the chaser became the chasee – is that a word?  Doesn’t matter, I think you get the point.  Capuchin monkeys are smart.
There was a kangaroo separated from the rest of the roos, and we thought it was a baby, until we looked a little closer and noticed she actually had a little baby sticking out of her pouch – SOO cute!  It must have been a different type of kangaroo or wallaby than the eastern grey kangaroos though because it was much smaller, and obviously an adult since she had a baby.  But anyway, they were definitely the highlight of our trip.
Earlier in the day, when we were deciding where to go, we had brought up the possibility of go-carts, and our 4-year-old had not forgotten.  Since the kids were being (somewhat) good and it was still early (we were hoping for a triple kid pass-out on the hour-long drive home), we decided to stop for some quick laps around the go-cart track.  I stayed in the car because we had 2 kids who fell asleep, and from there, I was able to watch the storm roll in.  It was really neat; there was a lightning bolt that struck near the go-carting place, and everyone waiting in line said “whoa!”.  It was followed by a VERY LOUD crack of thunder, and that was the end of the go-carting.  My husband had already ridden once with our 4-year-old, and they were waiting in line so our 8-year-old could go.  But the poor kid has her father’s bad luck because they shut the place down for the storm before she got to go.  But she was a good sport about it; I actually think she was just so happy to be out of the storm and in the “safety” of the car…  but you will soon see why I put the “safety” in quotes while referring to the car.

As we headed away from the go-cart place, it rained heavily.  So heavily that the road flooded immediately and visibility was down to almost 0.  I told my husband he should pull over, but you couldn’t even see enough to do that.  But then it cleared a little, and there was a huge rainbow.  It was beautiful; I don’t think I’ve ever seen one in a full arc like that.  I tried to take a picture but we had now gotten on the interstate and were travelling fast, so we’ll have to see how it comes out.  I was distracted by the rainbow, and this is where everything happened so fast it’s kind of a blur.  But I’ll recap best I can…  The cars in front of us were braking, so my husband made a hard stop – not all that hard, so I didn’t really feel like we were in danger.  I see a car on the shoulder all smashed up and facing us.  The driver is getting out and looking at his car, and that’s when I realize that it had just happened – no emergency vehicles were on the scene yet, and it’s still happening because I hear horns honking.  Then my husband says very calmly, “We’re going to get hit.”  I looked in my sideview mirror and saw a semi coming at us, and he’s not stopping.  Instead he’s coming right at my mirror and the next thing I know, the semi is next to us on the shoulder.  Thank God there was a shoulder.  Thank God my husband didn’t pull onto the shoulder trying to save us, or he would have steered into the path of the semi.  Thank God for a lot of things, but most of all, for the safety of my family.  Turns out the horn that was honking was the semi warning us of our impending doom.  All these news stories were flashing through my head on the rest of the way home about people whose vehicles got pancaked by semis.  It was a split second away from happening to us, and there was nothing that could have stopped it, except Divine Intervention.  I called 911 to report the accident, and that’s when I learned that my cell phone makes a little noise when you do that – to make sure you really want to call, I guess.  But the good news is, it didn’t seem as if anyone was hurt because like I said, the driver of the car that caused it all was out and looking at his car.  He was either brave or not very smart, because if that semi hadn’t of stopped next to our car where it did, he would have been plowed over.  Someone should tell that Subway guy from my last post  that this is what 911 is really for!  And this whole incident makes a case for my husband to try to get me to fly to Florida next time rather than drive.  All I know is, in the car, we had a very close call.  Rarely are there close calls on a plane – you either crash or you don’t!

A reminder to all to be thankful every day for everything you have!

Crazy Busy

Posted in Kids, Travel on July 2nd, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

In the past few days, I’ve been able to catch up a little, but I haven’t written much before today and yesterday because we have been too busy having fun!

It started last Friday when we took the kids out to the Fun Spot in Angola Indiana.  We had a great time, but I think I learned a lesson about taking 3 kids out for a full day of fun in the sun while I’m trying to nurse a full-term pregnancy.  It was over 80º, and we ran out of water and I got sick.  I think what pushed me over the edge was trying to watch my 20-month-old as she sat at the edge of a pool while my other children and husband went on the water slide.  It’s hard to explain to someone who doesn’t know, but being this hugely pregnant is basically like being incapacitated – if my toddler had fallen into the water, it would have taken me way too long to get over to her.  There was a lifeguard present, but still I was a nervous wreck and the stress of the situation was too much, so I picked her up and took her away from the pool.  This of course made her cry, and so the exhaustion came from trying to redirect her and do something else in the heat…  it was all just too much for me when all I wanted was a seat in the air conditioned arcade.  And for his part, my husband only got to go down the waterslide once which also made me feel badly because he had so much fun, but I just couldn’t handle our toddler any longer in the heat alone.

After the water slide fiasco,  we made our way to the animal area – they have a macaw parrot and a few baby deer and some big cats.  They are rescue cats; lions and tigers and a cougar, and I’m not sure where they were rescued from.  I was a little disenchanted with how small the animals’ enclosures were, but since they are large cats and spend roughly 20 hours a day sleeping, I think it’s a good thing that they’ve been rescued at all and get food and shelter every day.

Then it was time for more rides, and this place is built for kids my daughters’ ages!  They have about 10 kiddie rides which all 3 of them could ride, and my 8-year-old still really enjoys these since she’s not ready for big rides yet.  Her little sister, on the other hand, cannot wait until she is a little taller and gets to ride the 4 roller coasters the Fun Spot also has.  Then they have several middle-of-the-road rides for everyone, like flying boats, a scrambler, a tilt-a-whirl, and even more I’m not mentioning.  Compared to the carnival that just left our town, admission into the Fun Spot is a steal – it was $4 for me, a non-rider who just wanted to visit the zoo.  Our little toddler cost only $4, and she was able to ride about 10 rides.  Our 4-year-old was $8, and my husband and our oldest were $16 each.  So for a grand total of $48, it was a full day of family fun and much cheaper than the traveling carnival or even the county fair, based on what you get for your money.  And I have to add that in June – too bad it’s over now – but in June they had a special promotion where if you bring in a report card with A’s and B’s on it, the kid that earned them gets in free!  So subtract $16 from our $48, and our day of fun was only $32 – we were really pleased.  The only problem with the place is that they are at the mercy of the weather always, and with all the rain and storms we’ve been getting, our day of fun was no exception and was cut short when a sudden storm moved in.  But it was only an hour and a half away from closing anyway.  Also, we had been about to leave as it was, and the staff handed out half-price admission coupons, so we will definitely be back when I can enjoy some of the rides myself after the baby is born.  And I will be able to give hubby another few rounds on the water slide!  We were so pleased with the place that we tried to go back Sunday since we wanted to take advantage of the report card promotion one more time before June was over, but alas, the weather foiled our plans and we ended up at Crazy Pinz in Fort Wayne, Indiana instead.  Still a fun day, but no where near the value of Fun Spot.  Crazy Pinz is an indoor entertainment place, and they have an arcade, mini-golf, bowling, and a 3-story play area for the kids.  We’ve been there before and really liked it, but this time, everything had changed and was MUCH more expensive.  But, we had 4 little kids (brought a friend along) who really thought we were doing something really fun that day, so what could we do but spend the day at Crazy Pinz regardless.  I have to mention that somehow, on the way to Fun Spot on Sunday, my husband and I got to talking I guess and somehow missed the exit and overshot the place by about 20 miles.  (Sorry for not using you, Mr. GPS, I thought I knew where we were going!)  Then Fun Spot was closed for rain, so we had to head down to Fort Wayne, and overall we ended up spending an extra $20-30 on gas…  Kind of a big oopsie with gas prices being so high in this day and age.  It was a bad luck kind of day, but we did end up salvaging it, and overall, it was an AWESOME weekend.

Saturday we went with friends to see the movie Wall-E and then visited a friend who is recovering from heart surgery.  He is doing well thankfully, and we all enjoyed our visit together – even the kids, who played with cats and bugs and other creatures found around their house in the country.  We ran up to their church which was having an ice cream social and enjoyed delicious food and homeade ice cream – a dream for a pregnant lady – YUM!  Wall-E was pretty good and as it turns out, the Pixar people had a brainstorming meeting years ago, and this is the last film to be made from ideas presented at that meeting.  Others are A Bug’s Life, Monster’s Inc., and Finding Nemo, so needless to say, that brainstorming lunch should go down in history!  I have to say I was a little taken aback by the lack of human dialogue in Wall-E.  Even after seeing the previews, I wasn’t prepared for it.  I think this is what may have finished off my 4-year-old since she had to leave the movie theater with dad before the movie was even half over.  She’s been able to make it through the last 5-10 movies we’ve been to in a theater, so that’s why I think it was the lack of dialogue in this one that did her in.  It was a cute movie though, but not on par with Pixar’s latest features like Monsters Inc. or especially Finding Nemo, at least in my opinion.  Then again, it was SO different, mostly because it was so futuristic that I suppose it’s hard to compare to the others.

So yeah, fun extended weekend, even though piles of laundry await my folding.  If you’re anywhere nearby, head out to Angola, Indiana and visit the Fun Spot, it’s well worth it especially if you have really little ones – it totally trumps a place like Six Flags with their high admission prices and long lines.