Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Souvenir Photos

I'm a sucker for the photos that they take at theme parks!! It's really hard for me to avoid buying them. I avoided purchasing them yesterday when I saw how they had turned out but when I saw the ones from today I had to get them:



I love my family

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Riding the cold waves and the winding roads and the wooden tracks

Our hotel offered us free passes to an indoor/outdoor water park so we went there to check it out.

The only bad part was that Conrad and I pretty wimpy when it comes to being cold at water parks. We've been spoiled at our last few visits because being in the Southern States, the daily temperature during our last few water park visits have all been days with temperatures of at least 40 degrees Celsius. Today's temperature of a cloudy (and a little windy) 23 degrees was a little too chilly for us! We slid as a family down one slide outside before heading to the indoor part where we were able to spend a few hours on these slides:

After a late lunch, we made a reservation here:
 and were thrilled with our fun room, complete with a bunk bed!

 and 2 queen beds. It was a little pricey at $194.00 a night but it came with 2 day passes for 5 (a $300 value) and so we took the plunge.

After checking in, we went to check out the park:


Mount Olympus had something for everyone...for the chickens:
 ...and the ride warriors!

Kiandra and Conrad started with two roller coasters and it didn't take them long to convince Kaden to join them. Kezia and I rode the 5 go-cart tracks over and over again! (It's a bad sign when I was incredibly sore in my arms the next morning from gripping the steering wheel so tightly!)












Conrad, Kiandra, and Kaden did humour us with some go-carting too but their favourite rides were the roller coasters.




 Mount Olympus is HUGE and with so much to do --2 water parks (indoor and outdoor) and 2 them parks (indoor and outdoor) it was easy for the hours to fly by and we stayed until the park closed at 9:00. This Trojan horse go cart track was a favourite for all of us:
One of the funniest moments of the day was when Kezia and I asked Conrad if they had been on ALL the roller coasters. He replied "all but the one way over there". The photo below is a picture from the main drive and you can see from this angle the parking lot in the background. Kiandra and Conrad lamented the fact that there was one coaster that they couldn't seem to get to. There seemed to be no accessible entrance and no line up and so far away. I laughed when I told them that was the other side of the Hades 360 coaster which had an underground part that ran under the huge parking lot and then emerged for a loop on the other side before heading back under the parking lot to where it started. So they had been able to ride that mystery coaster after all...they just didn't realize it!

Monday, July 29, 2013

And we're off!

Our thought was that by arriving on Sunday and being able to talk to the hotel manager in person, we just might be able to get out of our non-refundable hotel booking. Conrad was able to speak clearly about our situation changing and he has a real way with words --I think it's all these years in sales :) --and he was able to get our reservation cancelled!

So we hit the open road...not even sure where we would end up...




Our thoughts were Minneapolis, Wisconsin Dells, or Chicago. Discussion on the way was that we had been to Minneapolis before and Chicago was still quite a bit farther to drive (although it still remains on my list of cities I want to visit one day!) so Wisconsin Dells was became our destination. We . . . ok I . . . couldn't resist a stop in Albertville at the outlet malls after a quick lunch at Culver's:





where Kezia visited her favourite shoe store:

...and it was obvious that there were not many shoppers on that Monday afternoon:
We actually didn't buy much in the few hours that we were there. I got a pair of runners, the girls bought some clothes and jewellery, and Conrad bought a pair of shorts.
Our next stop was Target where Kiandra was thrilled with these free(!!) umbrella bags:

We were back on the road...
photo by Kezia
and arrived in the State of Wisconsin around 7:00pm
photo by Kezia
and we arrived at our destination late in the evening and made our hotel reservation using free wifi at McDonald's! It was a long day but so enjoyable!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sunday's to do list

Attempt to sleep in because church is on summer schedule and only starts at 10:30-- check! (But unsuccessful)

Conrad and Kaden must make a visit a walk-in clinic because he is complaining about his wrist being sore (I'm convinced it's just an adverse reaction to the cleaning we did yesterday!) --check!!

Pick up Kiandra from her friend's birthday sleepover--check!!

Kiandra and Kezia complete nursery duty at church--check!!

Conrad takes Kaden for x-rays at the doctor's recommendation--check!!

Arrive home at almost the same time--check!!

Eat lunch together--check!!

Hatch a plan to leave tonight for vacation instead of Monday morning--check!!

Make a stop to feed my friend Janice's cat--check!!

Find a place open on Sunday to renew our yearly health insurance for traveling--check!!

Arrive home, pack in half an hour, and depart for our trip--check!!

Realize about 20 minutes later that I forgot (for the first time ever!!) to bring my laptop and remind myself that it's good for me to go without it--check!!

Eat at one of our favourite American restaurants--check!!

Drive another hour to our hotel-check!!

Arrive late at our hotel--check!!

Crash for the night--check!!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Fortunately, Unfortunately

Fortunately, it is summer and I can sleep in as long as I want.
Unfortunately, this has not happened yet...not even once.

Fortunately, my kids have been able to and the girls were especially tired this morning after a full week of day camp.
Unfortunately, their sleeping in ability is making me jealous!

Fortunately, even after a slow start to the day, we were still uber productive in organizing the kitchen cabinets and overhauling the (many unused) items in them.
Unfortunately, I realized we have so much stuff!!

Fortunately, all the kids helped.
Unfortunately, not all of them as willing as others.

Fortunately, Conrad arrived home to a delicious homemade supper (including delicious "fried" pickles!) and we could enjoy the time around the table with all 5 of us.
Unfortunately, this is really such a rare thing.

Fortunately, Conrad had some good news about our plans for his week of holidays which included going farther than we intended.
Unfortunately, we had booked 3 nights on a website with a non-refundable rate.

Fortunately, Conrad had the patience to spend over an hour on the phone with the hotel representatives.
Unfortunately, the end result was that Conrad would have to talk to the hotel manager to confirm any changes and the manager would not be in until Monday.

Fortunately, we were still going to have the chance to get away.
Unfortunately, we didn't know exactly where.

Fortunately, it doesn't really matter because it is just nice to get away.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Cookies!


Our church is hosting week long day camps at our church all summer. One of the weeks the day camp program is being held at the inner city church that our church is affiliated with. To feed the soul and the body, the week will include lunch and snacks for the participants. Here's what I signed up to bring...


15 dozen cookies! It was a token amount from the 90 dozen(??!!) that they are looking for as snacks for the day camps. 

Since you had to sign up in 3 dozen increments I made 5 different kinds of cookies.

3 dozen oatmeal cookies (recipe here)
3 dozen chocolate chip cookies (with the swirled chips from SuperStore on sale for $1.49) (recipe here)
3 dozen chocolate rainbow chip cookies (using this recipe) but subbing rainbow coloured chocolate candies.
3 dozen sugar cookies (recipe here) with this icing
3 dozen gingersnap cookies (recipe here)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Why stop there?

When I painted the basement doors I discovered I LOVED how they dark they looked. The colour "stealth jet" is almost black but somehow it looks like it matches the dark brown espresso cabinets in the basement. I decided to paint the upstairs doors as well. Again, I loved how they turned out!

BEFORE
AFTER

BEFORE
AFTER

BEFORE

AFTER

Now the fun part...touching up the white trim in the basement AND upstairs. It seems like there's always a project on the go....

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