Saturday, May 14, 2011

Spring Break

I keep meaning to update this blog more often.  Life has gotten so busy lately that I keep forgetting to write about it!  So I have some catching up to do.  The most exciting thing over the last few weeks... we were able to go to Gettysburg to visit my parents for Spring Break!  Mr. Wonderful had to work, but that didn't stop me.  Yep, just me and 5 crazy kids in a car together 15+ hours... twice.  I know what you're thinking... I'm NUTS.  But a little adventure has never stopped me before!  The things we do for free babysitting for time with our loved ones!  They have this tiny apartment, but somehow, we all manage to cram in there.  I know every time we come we completely disrupt their lives- the kids manage to trash the place in a matter of minutes and baby Jarom keeps them up at night.  But they're so sweet and welcoming and never even mention what a hassle it is to have us there. 

We had the BEST time.  My camera broke, but I managed to get a few shots with my Dad's phone...

We went to the annual Civil War Battle reenactment that's played out right in the middle of the street downtown.  The cannons and gunfire were deafening... but little Jarom was as happy as ever.  Some guy even commented, "No baby could possibly be THAT happy!"  It's true- he's one smiley kid!

 Here are the troops parading down the street after the battle.
Celeste was a little weirded out by the whole thing.  She asked questions like, "Mommy, why did they kill each other?, Why do they celebrate this every year?,  Couldn't they just talk about it?" etc.  Loaded questions for sure!  I did my best to answer, but found it difficult.  It's hard for little kids to wrap their minds around the concept of war.  It's hard for me too.
In a field nearby there were tents all set up and men were dressed as soldiers teaching us about what life was like back then.  So we were all excited to see what fun demonstrations they had in store for families.  First up?

An amputation demonstration!!

Nice, huh?  Not exactly the family friendly activity we were expecting.  What in the world?  (I still can't get over that!!)

 Thankfully, the kids weren't too traumatized by it and we quickly moved on to the next tent.

Dad usually does the cooking when we visit- he's a super talented chef- but one night we ventured out to BK...
And to the park...
 But one of the highlights of our trip was a special Make-A-Wish foundation event.  Make-A-Wish is such a wonderful organization!
There was a little carnival for families, and then the Wish Kids got to ride in semi-trucks and honk the horns as we lined the streets and waved to them.  So that was really wonderful- but heart-breaking too.  We tried to hold back the tears watching these sweet children pass by.

Lastly, my Mom and Dad both celebrated birthdays during our visit.  On my Dad's birthday, we had the bright idea (literally) of putting 63 candles on his cake.  NOT smart.  Seriously- there was wax all over the place, we even had to throw out 1/3 of the cake, cause it melted everywhere.  Besides, it was a SERIOUS fire hazard! 

Love this pic...  My dad looks a little scary, but it shows how fun they are!  Lol!
 We have a tradition of going around the table and expressing something we love about the birthday boy or girl.  I was a little embarrassed by the kids responses this time- "I love Papa cause he always buys me stuff."  "I love Papa cause he gives me whatever I want."  I love Papa cause he sends us a package every month!"  Ugh.  We'll have to work on that! 
I told them, "One reason I love Papa is cause he is THE most empathic and compassionate person I know.  He constantly thinks of other people first, and makes great sacrifices to help others."  It's true.  He's the one humbly doing all the work behind the scenes making sure everyone is comfortable and happy.  He's the one who drove ALL night from Florida to Texas after Celeste was born and he knew I had a horribly traumatic experience giving birth- and he wanted to be there to support us.  He's THE best father.  I honestly don't think he ever yelled at me growing up- even though I SERIOUSLY deserved it.  I can't remember one hurtful thing he ever did or said to me.  Ever.  He is truly a great example to me.  In so many ways.
And don't even get me started on Mom- here's just one quick example of the kind of person she is... so
I found this amazing nutritional cleanse system that has been SUCH a blessing in my life.  I lost 10 lbs and 11 inches in 9 days, and it's completely safe and healthy!  I honestly believe finding it was an answer to a prayer.  I feel better than ever and I have more energy to keep up with the kids.  I've never promoted anything in my life... but I'm just really passionate about the state of our health in this country- and I know these products could make a tremendous difference in people's lives.  So I'll do a post on it soon so I can share it with everyone!  I'm just so excited about it!! 

Anyway, it turns out there was an Isagenix seminar in Pittsburgh, and it would be an amazing opportunity to learn more about it.  I just felt really strongly that I needed to be there.  So my mom knew it was really important to me, and she wanted to help.  So she insisted on driving 4 HOURS to Pittsburgh, watched the kids while I was in the meeting, and drove 4 HOURS back to Gettysburg that night!! And the kids and I continued on home to WI the next morning.  I mean seriously, where do you find that kind of love?!  I'm so glad I went- it further strengthened my convictions about these products- and I'm grateful to her for helping to make it happen!!

Thank you again Nana and Papa for EVERYTHING! 

Until next time Gettysburg!  It might be a while though.  The drive home was pretty miserable (the dvd player stopped working halfway through) so it was pretty difficult... but definitely worth it.


Jill said...

I love Celeste's expression by the amputation booth. Gross!

Julie Jardine said...

That looks so fun! And what a classic... amputation demonstration?!! Awesome! I love the pic with everyone under the umbrellas. Your parents are wonderful! I think trips like that will be worth the headache of the driving. You're such a great mom!

6jardines said...

they really are great! We miss all of you guys!!!!


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