Babies, Beads, Candy and a REALLY Messy House!

As I said, all of my kids (4) and their spouses (3 in attendance) and grand kids (3) plus Hubby and me where at this house this past weekend...You do the math.  That's a LOT of people in one house for any amount of time.  But HEY!  That's how we roll and I wouldn't trade it for anything.  Now, these people come with a lot of noise, a lot of stuff (suitcases, baby equipment, etc.) and...a LOT of messes.  That's just how it is.  And I decided quite a while back that I would just let the house go whenever they were all in visiting because to stress out about a clean house with all of those people around is futile.  So, when Hubs walked through the living room Saturday night, he simply shook his head and said, "I would say we needed to pick up a bit, however, I don't think this house will ever be the same...I think we might just have to burn it to the ground and start over!"  I might insert here that this was after I had slipped on parade beads and almost broke my neck and Beckett HAD slipped on parade beads and bumped his head...and then Poppi finally picked them up stating their fun had run its course and put them on the counter.  Well, we played hard and got in as much "Fun Stuff" as possible while there were all here and, of course, I had my camera in tow to capture some of those moments.

One of the reasons Caitlin and Holli decided to visit at this time was because her high school was having its Homecoming football game with parade and all events that included.  She and Ryan both graduated from the same high school so he was on board to go to the game with us and then everybody else decided to join in on the fun as well!  Caitlin and I decided it would be fun to take Beckett and Holli to the Homecoming Parade so we packed them up and found a parking spot at a park on the parade route so the kids could play while we waited...

By the time the parade rolled around, all of the adults were worn out from chasing these two around the park, but they were so excited whenever they found out candy was involved...and we couldn't open it quick enough for them!
                                           Yes...Those are the beads that I was talking about!
 They were barely buckled into their car seats afterwards when we looked back and saw this.  Apparently parades wear you out.
 Before the game that night, everyone was fighting to get in my lap.  I asked Parker where Lila Kate and Baby#5 (she doesn't have a name yet) were going to sit.  She informed me that I would have to get a bigger chair...and longer arms.
 Saturday morning found us at the Junior League's annual Merry Market shopping for some Christmas goodies.  Parker Ann had gone earlier than us to attend the Character's Breakfast...That's why she is dressed in her Elsa costume.  As you can see, Beckett fell out pretty quickly and no amount of noise could wake him up.  I don't believe his parents when they tell me he's a wild child or never sleeps in his stroller.  Maybe I'm just the "Grand Baby Whisperer"?
                                         It wasn't long before Holli joined him in Dreamland...
        And Parker?  Just give that girl an i-phone with her games on it and she is totally content.
 Whenever they woke up from their naps, they were in awe looking at all of the Christmas decorations.
                          Parker Ann and Holli decided to try on these fun Christmas headband.
   And thought it would be funny to put one on Beckett's head too.  But he wasn't having it (Girls!).
Later that evening, we got everybody together to take a few family photographs.  Kevin was in Ohio working so we're hoping he can photo shop himself in.
It was a fun, busy, noisy and messy weekend and on Sunday afternoon whenever the last car pulled out of the driveway, guess what?  We didn't have to burn the house down!  All that "stuff" was theirs and they took it with them (whew!).  Hubby ambled out to the yard to piddle around, I grabbed a pillow, dimmed the lights and turned the television on and before I knew was nap time for me.  I have had a few days to catch up on my rest and am now gearing up for Halloween.  Not everyone will be here but we will still have just as much fun.  Families...You've gotta love 'em!


Fun With the Kiddies at the ZOO BOO!

It had probably been about 20 years since I had braved the lines at our local zoo to get in on all of the Halloween fun that was inside the gates.  You see, the last time I decided to attend this event I had four small children and well, let's face it,  standing in a long line just wasn't too much fun.  Apparently something has happened to me since becoming a YaYa and it was my idea to give it another whirl this year.

I called all of the kids and luckily all of the Grands were able to attend!  I decided that we should go on day 1, which was a Thursday,  and hopefully the lines wouldn't  be as long as they would on Friday and Saturday.  The gates didn't open until 6 but I thought it would be best to be there an hour early.  When we pulled up, it was clear we needed to quickly secure our place in line...which already stretched around the corner...
                  This was the line in front of us that wrapped around the side of the zoo.
And this was the line behind us!  Beyond them are the metal barriers that people have to walk through (Disneyland-ish style); thank goodness we had gotten there an hour early!

                                                   Beckett came dressed as an astronaut.
                                                      Parker Ann was Elsa from Frozen.
We had to come up with a kitty cat costume for Holli since this was a last minute thing we decided to do and she had left her costume in Ohio.
    The entire zoo was decorated and so festive.  The Zoo Boo is the largest fundraiser our zoo has.
A treat bag was given to each child when they walked through the gate and there were many candy stops along the way.

In the middle of the zoo there were games set up for the children to play and even some dancing witches on a stage...
                                                                     The Hay Maze.
                                                                   And Noodle Maze.
                                                 And LOTS of places for great photo ops!
  Can you tell that Parker was having a little trouble keeping these two in one place?! (He-He)
                                                             Time for a "Candy Break"!
                                             Parker said she HAD to stop here for a photo!
         And Poppi and Beckett got a shot with the Ninja Turtles (His Dad's favorite!)

                      Parker Ann and Holli wanted to dance with the witches...And they did!

Some people may complain about the long lines and waiting and I can surely understand that but at the end of the day, what else do you have to do?  OK, I realize that this is a YaYa talking but truly, the important things in life are those you surround yourself with; family.  These moments only last for a while and you can never get them back.  I thought the Zoo Boo was so much fun and could tell by the kids' faces that they did too.  I'm glad we participated in it this year and think we just might do it again!
                                                       HAPPY HALLOWEEN WEEK!

                                   Now, go out and make some memories with YOUR family!


"Adventure" Gone Bad...

Robby and I have been wanting a jeep for some while now.  To sport around in...and have "adventures".  OK, so I'm the one who wants to "sport around" and he's the one who's seeking "adventures".  Because those of you who know me know that I am not much for adventures that I think I can possibly get hurt participating in.  However, I had no idea that I was setting out for an "adventure" last Saturday.

It all started out with, "Hey, we need to go to the grocery store; let's take the jeep."  The jeep that was just purchased the day before and Hubby had already taken all the doors and roof off of.  But hey...I agreed that we did need some groceries.  As I hopped in and we left the driveway we turned in the opposite direction of the highway.  I asked where we were going and Hubby said, "I'm gonna take you for a little ride out on some of the trails back behind our house before going to the grocery store."  Hmmm...not wanting to be a "Negative Nellie" I said, "OK".

We headed out through the woods and when we came upon the first mud hole I gripped the dashboard and asked, "Are you sure we can make it through there?"  Hubby confidently replied by telling me that we were in a four wheel drive jeep, that's what they were made for.  When we came to the next one, I held on tightly again.  Hubby said, "Trust me; have I ever gotten you into a situation that I couldn't get you out of?"  Well, he had a point there, so I decided to just relax and enjoy the ride through the woods, after all it was kind of nice.  Next, we came upon a really tall hill where a ravine was below.  Hubby put the jeep in park and looked around and that's when I said, "That's a pretty steep drop, I know this is an "adventure" vehicle but I don't think we should attempt to go down that embankment.  With an eye roll he told me he wasn't going to do that.  We turned around to head back out of the trail and I was actually starting to relax and enjoy the ride.  We were talking about how much fun it would be to take the jeep to the mountains or even fly to California and rent one.  I was just thinking that "adventures" were pretty fun and that I wouldn't mind having some more of them when suddenly...our "adventure" went bad.

Let me preface this by saying that I think that at ten years of marriage, perhaps even twenty, this "adventure" could have turned out differently.  However, at thirty-two years of marriage, my reaction was not what anyone expected.  We were driving out and came to another mud hole.  Hubby stopped just before hitting the four wheel drive to go through it and that's when I knew that this particular hole just might be a little too deep for our jeep to navigate it.  I was looking out the place where the doors used to be (yea, remember, the doors and roof had been removed) and mentioned the fact that we were dangerously close to taking water.  That's when the wheels began to spin and Hubby said, "ABOUT to take on water?  We ARE taking on water!"  I looked over at his side and indeed there were a few inches of water covering his feet!

Well, we were stuck in this mud hole and couldn't go forward or backwards and all that muddy water was a little creepy and I definitely didn't want to get it on my feet.  Hubby got out and determined that we had high centered.  It seemed that this hole was much deeper than we thought and the tires were not even touching the ground.  He tried putting big limbs under the wheels but the jeep just wouldn't move.  Eventually he took his phone and headed toward the main road to call someone to come pick him up so he could go get his truck to pull us out.  Me?  I got to sit in the jeep and wait for him.

While I was sitting there I took some photos with my phone and sent them to the kids.  That's when I decided that this whole "adventure" was quite funny!  The kids were astonished that their parents had done such an irresponsible thing and somehow that made the situation even more funny to me.  By the time Hubs and his dad came driving back through the woods in his truck, the first thing he did (after judging my temperament) was to ask if this "adventure" (or "misadventure") was already on my blog.  I gave a belly laugh as I told him..."Not Yet!"

As it turned out, I had to get a little of that muddy water on my toes (I only used the tips of my toes on the gas pedal) while I steered the vehicle out of the hole.  As I drove out of the woods (trying to throw as much water as I could out with each curve) all I could think of was one thing:  Yes, this was an "adventure" and one gone bad.  However, I think that all couples who are thinking of getting married should be required to have such an "adventure" of their own to see just how they handle it.  Like I said, at the ten or even twenty year mark of our marriage I may have handled this little situation much differently.  But I have learned a lot over the years and one of those things is that one's reaction to situations is important.  Would it have done anything but cause tension if I had become upset?  Was there anything good that could have come out of telling my husband that we shouldn't have gone through that hole, at the point when we were sitting there unable to move?  Of course not.  And if nothing good could have come out of it,  then why say it?  Instead I decided to just turn a negative into a positive and laugh at the situation and call it an "AWESOME ADVENTURE"!  And ya know what?  It was!  And as I drove out of those woods, with water sloshing around my feet, I wondered what the next "adventure" would be because "Life is either a great adventure or nothing."