Friday, July 23, 2010

Great Wolf Lodge

Although a bit expensive, my sister and I decided to take the boys, Noah, Trevor and Oliver, to spend one night at the Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound Washington. Gammy, since she came home from FEMA on time, also got to tag along and enjoy the quick summer-fun trip with us. We packed a bunch of food and snacks to take with us to help with the cost. A relatively short drive, about 90 minutes from here with good traffic, put us at the lodge at 1pm. By 2pm we had checked in, eaten a quick snack, changed and were headed to the indoor water park. Exhausted, we coaxed the boys out of the water about 3 hours later. We tortured the children by making them eat some dinner, then tortured them some more by making them wait until we were ready to go explore some more of the lodge. We ended up buying the boys a magic wand and a game that allowed them to go on a MagiQuest. It's a high-tech game, that sends the kids scampering through the lobby, down hallways, and up and down and up and down and up and down the stairway. Did I mention that we went up and down the stairway A FEW DOZEN times. Sure, we could've taken the elevator but what kind of fun would a MagiQuest be if we didn't scour the magical staircase for clues? I lost track of time but we spent 2-3 hours on our various quests. Mom, Shana and I traded off and on between the boys and taking them on their quests or hanging out with them in the arcade. Needless to say, we were all exhausted and could barely crawl into bed last night. Even though we had to check out of our room by 11am today, we could stay and play until the park closed at 9pm. We decided to play around a bit this morning, pack up our room, then hit the water park at 11am for a couple more hours of play. Around 1pm we hauled the prunes out of the water and headed home. It was so much fun, I am beyond tired and we are all a bit cranky tonight (early bedtimes here we come!) but it was worth it! I can't wait to go back again!

I took one disposable waterproof camera with us and my smaller point and shoot camera. I have no idea how the pictures from the disposable camera turned out but am hoping for some fun shots. It was VERY hard to get pictures with my regular camera, you are constantly getting wet or trying not to get wet. I managed, somehow, to still get a ton and have too many to share. I put a couple of pages, full of pictures, together then I also have some individuals...

We stayed in a Kid Cabin Suite...a cabin area with 2 bunks and a daybed, then the main area has a queen bed and a sleeper sofa. The kids area had it's own TV for movies or video games and the main area had it's own TV too, plus a small fridge and nice counter area for food. It also had a cute little balcony and a cozy fireplace.

These are just some shots from around the lodge, the ones of them sitting on the bear's lap (sorry, cut off the bear's head) is when we were leaving. See how happy they look?? Bottom left is the view from our room and bottom right is the view from the bridge that looks down into the main lobby area.

After story time, which Oliver and I missed most of, he got to meet the wolf cubs!

This is Noah starting out on one of his quests to find the Dazzle Rune!

Even though you can't make us out, this is me with the 3 boys coming out of the Canyon River Run. This was perfect for all of us! Oliver wasn't tall enough to go on the Howling Tornado so I went on this one and the Alberta Falls quite a few times with him.

Noah shooting out of the Alberta Falls tube.

So not only did we climb a thousand stairs on our MagiQuest, we also climbed a thousand stairs going up to the Howling Tornado, Canyon River and Alberta Falls water slides. That really cool thing in the middle is the tube return for the Tornado and Canyon slides. You had to carry your own tubes up for the Alberta Falls.

Oliver relaxing in the hot tub...

Trevor relaxing in the hot tub...

Noah and Oliver standing in this cool waterfall/fountain thing.

My kids are probably somewhere in this picture but I don't know where. This is the wave pool or the ocean as the boys called it, and we spent a TON of time here. There were different wave cycles, some calmer than others but they were all fun. I have more pictures of the water park but this gives you a good idea of where we spent most of our time.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Happy Birthday!!!

Noah, Oliver and Jackson wish you a very happy birthday Gammy!! Here are some fingers and toes in case you need help remembering how old you are now...LOVE YOU!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Ape Cave

Noah has been bugging us to take him to the Ape Cave Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument for a LONG time. We finally made it up there today. It was amazing. It took us a little over an hour to drive up to the park, from there it's a quick walk to the entrance of the lava tube and spelunking we went! The old lava tube was larger than we expected, very dark and very chilly. It was a constant 42 degrees with a slight breeze. Luckily we didn't go during the rainy season so the drops of water only landed on us occasionally. It was tough getting good pictures in the cave, I needed to use the auto focus because I couldn't see far enough to manually focus the camera. The camera had a tough time too! I still managed to take a ton of pictures, so many that I decided to go with a slide show this time. This was a fun experience and I would highly recommend you go and experience the Ape Cave for yourself. However, we did decide against navigating the upper portion of the cave, we were worried about Oliver making his way through/up/over the various breakdown piles. The upper portion is a bit more technical than the lower portion. He did GREAT in the lower portion though. We did hike on the outside trail up to the far end of the upper cave and made our descent into the cave up there.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Duck, Duck, Cute!

Oliver and I made a quick trip down to the "train park" on Monday and found ourselves some cute little additions to the area...

Oliver, look at the mama duck and her babies!
Just out for a stroll, checking the place out.

They all got to his ledge and I started to laugh because a couple of them acted like they were going to jump. It was almost as if mama duck said something because they all stopped dead in their little webbed feet tracks. Similar to when I yell at my boys to stop or look both ways before crossing a street. She is a good mama duck making sure her babies are safe.

As soon as mama jumped in, all the babies quickly followed.

Once they were in the water, we walked over to another viewing area and watched them all swim around for a while.

I had just asked mama duck if she was proud of her beautiful babies...

Who's Your Super Hero?

Oliver-Prime runs to the scene of the crime!
I'll save you!

My hero, jumps into action and saves the day!


There has been some new activity in our cluttered little garage, all sorts of sights and sounds. I thought I'd give you a little glimpse but I'm not telling what it is until it's all done. I know, I know, but I have to entertain myself somehow so just play along.

Birch, it is all over our house so we're sticking with the theme.
Nothing better than running a power tool in a tie-dye shirt made for you, with love, by your two boys.


YES! That is the color!

Quick test drive before proceeding. I don't know about you but I can't wait to see the final product. Of course it may mean painting soon...anyone want to come help?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I Love Lily

Didn't Do Much

I asked Joel what he wanted for his 40th birthday and he said, "A weekend away with you, no kids." So while I save up for that his birthday celebration was kept very simple. I gave the kids away for the night, Noah to Jackson's and Oliver to Gammy's, then we met up with a friend for a couple of beers, had a quick burger at the local burger joint then came home. I whipped up the frosting for his, per request, carrot cake that had now cooled enough, slapped 3 candles on top (1 for birthdays past, 1 for birthday present and 1 for birthdays future) and demanded he make a wish. Nothing too spectacular for the big 4-0 but he claims to have enjoyed himself.

Happy Birthday Joel!
(look, no sprinkles!)

Friday, July 09, 2010

Fun While it Lasted

I bought the boys a Slip N' Slide on Tuesday, it got popped today...boys! I managed to get some fun shots of them playing with it before the tear happened though. Noah, Oliver and Jackson all had a grand time slipping and sliding! Thinking about setting up the pool again, it does make for some fun pictures...

The Three Amigos!

Slip and Slide Right Off

Hazards of Long Hair

Points for style!

Love him!

All or nothing for this boy.

Love him!

It's too bright mom-mom, I can't smile.

Safe! Thanks for the help Jaxy.

Can you guess what happened next?
Yup, went down hard!

Yup, love him too!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Tomorrow is the 8th

July 8th just happens to be Joel's birthday and it also happens to be the day that Noah is having a sleepover at a friend's house (my bad). Noah decided to build Joel a well constructed Lego tower as a birthday gift. To be sure that he got to give his gift to Joel, Noah presented it to him tonight. The "Birthday Inc. Towers" now resides in our bedroom.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Early 4th Pictures

I work tonight so we put together a last minute barbecue yesterday, had some friends over. We had a great time! At the end of the night the boys decided to set off just a few of the fireworks that they have, the rest will be lit tonight. And Tori, don't worry, I'm trying to put something special together of the pictures I got of you.

Yes, that is my 4 year old, with a lighter, lighting his first firework.
It was a Monster Truck!
Noah G. enjoying the helicopter.

Fireworks are serious business!

I love sparkler pictures, this is Oliver.

Noah G's sparkler.

So this isn't the best sparkler that I have of Noah but I love that it looks like he has a ring of fire around his head/neck.

Mortars go boom!

The last firework of the night, the rest are in the garage waiting for it to get dark.