Saturday, July 30, 2011


We joined Uncle Willis and Leah for a delicious dinner at their place last weekend. Uncle Willis was entertaining Colin and Gillian with his wrestling ring. I think it was a hit!

Special guest appearance by Thomas.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

An Amusing Day!

Last Friday, which was I swear the hottest day on the earth, ever, we took the kiddos to Idlewild for the first time! It was also Daddy's birthday. We had our trip planned for about a month and Daddy had taken the day off of work, as had GraGra and Papa Greg. So, when the day loomed and it was to be about 95 degrees with 100% humidity, I still felt badly about rescheduling the day, so off we went. To sweat. A lot.

When we arrived at 10:30, the only part of the park that was open was Storybook Forest. Umm, we won't bother with that again. It's a "walk through" attraction from the 1950's (I think), and it looked it. There were all sort of little houses and nursery rhyme objects to walk through and look at, and that was about it. Their little figurines were creeping me out too. The kids seemed indifferent. They liked the little wooden train and the lollipops that Little Red Riding Hood gave them.

Woot woot! (as Colin would say)

Queen of the disgruntled look. She kept wanting to run 20 feet ahead of us and wasn't pleased to have to stay with the adults!


So, by the time we were done with the Storybook Forest, we were soaked in sweat and needing water. It was ridiculous. Onward and upward!

We moved on to the "Jumping Jungle" section of the park. Much more fun! The kids spotting a HUGE ball pit and they were off! Daddy was convinced that Colin would hate it and immediately want OUT. But, no! He loved it! They both did! Gillian kept diving into the balls like they were water and telling us she was swimming!

They also liked to race on this giant slide!

After the Jungle, we pulled out the coolers, found some shade and had our picnic lunch. Grammy was nice enough to make Daddy's favorite funfetti birthday cake too! Although, we didn't sing to him. Bean did enjoy the cake though!

After lunch we headed towards the "kids" section, although the whole park is mostly geared towards younger kids. C&G could ride each and every ride in the "kids" section. And they took good advantage of that! We were so happy that Colin outgrew his dislike of rides! He had so much fun! And Gillian has always loved rides!

First up was the "Grand Prix" style drive!

And some airplanes (they never figured out that the stick makes the plane go up and down, bummer.)

We tried to convince Gillian that this turtle ride was a rollercoaster. We weren't sure she'd be tall enough to ride the BIG coaster. She almost bought what we were selling. But, in the end, it didn't cut it as a "turtle coaster." Smart girl. She did enjoy the turtles though!

While in kiddie land we also (all) road the train around the park and gulped some lemonade, and rode one or two more kid rides. By then the adults were melting and desperate for the "water" portion of Idlewild. Bring on the WET.

With a bit of jostling and waiting, we all changed into swimsuits. All the ladies agreed that it is IMPOSSIBLE to don a bathing suit when your entire body is covered in sweat. It just doesn't work. Although, it was amusing!

Obviously we didn't get the camera out in the water park, but I will assure you: Nothing has ever felt as good as that water did when we FINALLY got in the pool! All the adults just stood under the running water in the kiddie pool with big grins of relief! C&G really enjoyed the water too. They did lap after lap of the 2 foot deep kiddie pool and even ventured a bit under the "waterfall" there. However, the BIG hit in the water park was the wave pool. The park supplies (and requires) life vests for non-swimmers and kids under 48" so the kiddos felt pretty secure, I think. The waves were "turned off" when we got in the pool, but it didn't take long for them to come on. The kids shrieked and giggled and splashed and had the best time! It was great to see them have so much fun!

After a good cool down and some fun in the water, the kids were looking tired and it was after 4:00, so time to head home! As we headed back through the park, we rode the carousel and Papa Frank and Daddy rode the big rollercoaster. Don't tell Gillian. She is STILL insisting that she wants to ride the coaster! Honestly, she was tall enough to ride it, but I wasn't waiting in that line with her! This Mama was hot, tired, and DONE. Next time, Bean. Promise.

Some last pictures of my ragamuffin children. They were both mismatched at this point. As Daddy and I changed them out of their swimsuits and into fresh, clean clothes.....they both peed. Ooops. We forgot to account for the amount of pool water they must have had to drink! So, mismatched clothes for the ride home! Oh well!

The kiddos look pretty tired in the those pictures! We all were! We spent the rest of the weekend recuperating. And the kids came down with fevers and colds! But, it was a fun, fun day. Next summer, we'll pick a cooler day though!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hello Nittany Lion!

Ugg, I'm currently a week behind on blogging. Blah. I love to blog, but I hate it when I get behind!

Anyway, the kids and I spent all last week up north, splitting our week between Grammy and Papa Frank's house and GraGra and Papa Greg's house. It was, thankfully, a beautiful week (no one up there has central air conditioning for this princess to be spoiled in!). It was sunny and warm, but no humidity. The perfect week to spend outside visiting and playing! Most of the week we just played in various backyards and blow-up pools. We went for a big swim at Dickiedoo's house one night too; Gillian had a blast wearing a life jacket and swimming "all by myself!"

The big event of the week though was a visit to State College on Thursday to check out the Arts Fest and meet the Nittany Lion! Shockingly enough, we hadn't had the kids to State College to check out Penn State yet, and it was time to remedy that! Grammy and I loaded up the kids right after breakfast and zipped right over. The kids were very persistent with their questioning of, "Is it Penn State yet?" And very good at pointing out electric towers and bridges the whole way there.

Our first stop was the "People's Choice Arts Fest" in Boalsburg. I have several friends from college who now live in State College (I'm very, very jealous) and I had made plans to meet up with two of them, Natalie and Gwen. I hadn't seen Natalie since my wedding...TEN YEARS AGO! And you know what, she hadn't changed a bit. Well, except for the four kiddos!
It was hard to chat very much with seven kids between three adults, but we did get to catch up a bit!
(Natalie's oldest, Nicholas, had his friend along for the day, hence the extra kiddo!)

Gwen sent us a text that she and her girls weren't going to make it though. They had just gotten back from Montana the day before, so they were just all out of sorts! We missed them, but it was TOTALLY understandable! Next time!

So, at the Boalsburg Arts Fest they had a petting zoo, bounce house, train ride, and science tents for the kids. The petting zoo and bird seed bin were total hits with Colin and Gillian. Well, the petting zoo was more Colin's favorite, but I think Gillian enjoyed it too!

Colin and Grammy enjoyed feeding the (slightly pushy) goats.

But Colin's favorite were these pigs that Gillian is smiling at!

Bean liked the tortoise. It wasn't in her face, like the goats!

See? Pushy goat.

Both kids loved, loved, loved this bin of bird seed in the science center tent. They had all sort of machines that you could pour the seed through and watch them spin. They must have spent 30 minutes in the seed.

Gillian also had her face painted by some lovely high school thespians. Really, she was much more pleased with it than this picture would lead you to believe!
When Colin saw what they were doing to Gillian, he got all panicked and started saying, "I no have to do that. I no want to get paint!" over and over. Poor kid. I did NOT make him paint his face!

Of course, it was mandatory that we ride the train. No escaping that. It was actually quite a bumpy ride!
It was nice though, Natalie and I agreed, since it drove us past most of the art booths. That was the only way I was going to get to look at the art!

We had a quick lunch with Natalie's family and packed up. We were headed into downtown State College for the "official" Arts Fest. Although, I have to say, if you have little kids, Boalsburg is the place to visit. Much more kid friendly.

By this point it was 1:00 and our usual nap time. The kids did really well though. Grammy and I pushed them around the streets for a while, looking in booths and chatting. I think the kids enjoyed the breather. We checked out the annual sand sculpture (kids were not impressed).
We grabbed a lemonade, a potty break, and walked through the misters on the street. Then it was on to campus!

The kids were STILL asking where the Nittany Lion was! I think they were also a little confused by the multi-building, campus-style "school." Didn't quite fit their definition of "school." And Gillian asked if she could go into a frat house. NO. NEVER. EVER. It was also quite an eye opener to push a double stroller on campus. First of all, it's so STEEP! Second of all, all of my usual "shortcuts" are not so quick with a stroller!

Finally, we found Mr. Lion!
And again, the kids were less than impressed, I think. Grammy and I tried to get them to sit on his back for a nice (traditional) photo, but, no go. They told us the lion was "too slippery." So, we let them play around the lion and I got a few shots of them.
Not sure what that face is about!

They did like his tail!

Almost the picture I wanted!

Soon there were other people wanting a turn with the lion, so we were off. Off to find Creamery Ice Cream. Yum.

And find it, we did! Thankfully we had the sense to only get two (huge) cones and shared them. The kids always ask for strawberry and Grammy ordered Death by Chocolate.

After ice cream it was time to head home. We were all tired, hot, and sticky. The kiddos did NOT fall asleep in the car on the way home. They hardly ever sleep in the car! So, they were in bed at 6:50 pm. And were out like lights!

Oh, and as we were leaving campus, Colin said to us, "I want to go to PENN STATE!" Oh, music to my ears!

We really did have a very fun week visiting with all of our family. I think it will be on our agenda for next summer too!

Funny Girl


Gillian has been quite the funny girl the past week or so. The things she says are just WILD! Here's a smattering of her current bon mots.

After bonking her head, "OH! Now I have a three head!" I'm guessing that's in contrast to a forehead?

"I want to be a grown up." Um, no.

"I want to be a Mommy." Even more no.

Well, really, yes to those last two, but only in due time!

"I want to ride a ROOOOOOLLLLLLERCOASTER!" That is what she says when we talk about going to Idlewild (little, local amusement park) on Friday. She even says it when she sees amusement park commercials on tv. I'm not sure even knows exactly WHAT a rollercoaster is. I think she's going to be disappointed when she's not tall enough to ride!

I can't bring myself to share what she and Daddy were talking about in the bathroom the other night. Someday she'd be just too embarrassed.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Baby Apples!

Colin just loved the unripe, green apples from Papa Frank's orchard. He carried them all over and showed them to one and all!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

July 4th Catch-up, Part 3, The Fourth Proper

On Monday morning we were off and running! While I finished getting ready for the day, Daddy and the kiddos played outside and had a little photo shoot. The lighting was awesome, and the kids were looking pretty cute, all patriotic and whatnot!

Grammy got some love too.

And before the day got crazy, we tried for a family photo. Lo and behold, SUCCESS! A small 4th of July miracle.
I'm told the swing had a catastrophic failure shortly after this picture was taken. That's the price you pay for a decent family photo, I guess.

We decided to go downtown to check out the festivities. The "Patriotic Program" was at 11:00 with speakers and high school marching band, so we did a walk-by of that. The kids were less than impressed. They did enjoy some playground time and there was prime people watching. We also found a giant blow up slide to try. We were very surprised when Colin ran right up the steps and ZIPPED down all by himself. Last summer he was totally opposed to rides. Gillian, on the other hand, loved rides last summer but on the 4th she got half way up the slide and had to call for Mommy. So, I went up and helped her. It was pretty fun. Super fast!

Then we found THE TRAIN.

Honest, they had more fun than their faces would lead you to believe.

Then we found a strawberry shortcake snack (a fundraiser for a local boy with SMA, so we HAD to help out). Yum.

Then we back to Grammy and Papa's house for picnic lunch! There were lots of people, food, and good times. The kids especially appreciated the doritos. Colin also spent a lot of time taking Joe and Uncle D down to the "Log Patch" (aka wood pile) and the orchard to check out the "Baby Apples" (unripe, green apples).
He's so lucky to have people to indulge him!

The kids headed for a much needed rest and the grown-ups had some dessert! Daddy and I had made this very patriotic dessert for the day, WITH sparkle candles!

After nap, Jess was kind enough to bring the C&G favorite cast of characters to life in chalk.
(That's Momo)

(And Thomas)

(And Gillian)

Then it was time for the parade!!!! Really, it was mostly firetrucks and ambulances. But that was fine with Colin. He was as excited about the 80th firetruck as he was the first. GraGra and Papa Greg joined us, and Uncle D and Aunt Cedes came along too.
(The firetrucks were a bit loud for C).

Besides the firetrucks, the kids had fun with their balloons and eating Papa Greg's french fries and drinking everyone's lemonade.

Then it was home for a very late bedtime. No fireworks for us. These two just can't make it that late. And, honestly, I was tired too! Maybe in the next year or two we'll finally make it!