Our Indoor Waterpark Mini-Vacation

This weekend we went to the indoor waterpark at the Double JJ Resort

We enjoyed the fun waterslides, warmth of the waterpark, spacious accommodations, and big breakfast buffet in the morning that was included in the price.

We only lost one child (Matthew) during our stay and only for about 5 minutes.  
Okay, those were the worst 5 minutes of my life and I am SO thankful that the Lord let us find him quickly!

I must say that this waterpark isn't quite as nice as Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City, MI.  (There are some pictures from our GWL stay at the end of this post.)

Do you remember in The Little Mermaid when Ursula puts on her lipstick?  (click on link to see a short video of what I'm talking about :) ).  

This waterpark needs some Ursula lipstick.  Everything needs to be repainted and brightened up.

The other thing that I didn't like as well about this overnight stay, is that the hotel is really far from the waterpark.  You even have to walk outside (under a tented covering) for a bit.  When it's winter and you're wearing a bathing suit and sandals...that makes for a CHILLY walk/run.  
At GWL, everything is in one building which makes it super convenient and warm.

The room we stayed in, Billy the Kid Thoroughbred Suite, was very nice, even nicer than the room we stayed in at Great Wolf Lodge.  It was much bigger with a living room, a kitchen, and a separate master bedroom with its own TV and whirlpool tub (unfortunately only Matthew took advantage of this!)

The only bad thing about the room itself was that we could hear the neighbors very well.  They had a party into the evening with screaming kids and loud adults.  We could hear it all...even the middle of the night...well, I won't go there.  Let's just say that I could hear EVERYTHING.  

Awkward moment.

  If we had to do it over again, we'd probably bring our snow stuff as there are a bunch of outdoor activities you can do as well as spending time at the waterpark. 

  Even though we probably won't ever go back, overall we had a nice stay with lots of fun family time eating ice cream, staying up way too late watching America's Funniest Home Videos, and of course, getting really wet.


I wanted a tan, but I ended up with wind burn

When I was in high school, instead of going to Myrtle Beach for Spring Break, my family went on skiing vacations to Colorado or other such COLD vacation spots.

When I'd get back from skiing the slopes, I'd walk the halls at school and see tan lines and white t-shirts sporting the warmth of other, non-skiing vacations.  I may have also been wearing a white t-shirt, but it didn't look nearly as nice with my wind burned cheeks and pasty white arms.

I felt so sorry for myself.

I even remember pouting to my mom while we were on one of those ski trips.  I didn't like to be cold.  I wanted to get a tan and go to the beach and be...like everyone else!

Now, looking back, I see how ungrateful I was.  I didn't realize or appreciate what an incredibly expensive, unique vacation I was given by parents who showered me with love and opportunities. 

Nate and I are going to make decisions for our children that they may not like.  They may pout at times and want something different - something that someone else has or does.

But hopefully, someday, they'll look back on the decisions we made and realize what amazing opportunities they were given.  And how much they were (and are) loved.

  Linked up at the HHH


Tapping Trees 2013

Today was the perfect day for tapping our trees.  Sunny and beautiful.

Jonny drilling the hole...that had to be re-drilled.  ;)

Spring is coming!!!


The Dollar I Earned

I do the majority of our shopping at Aldi, an inexpensive grocery store that makes you bag your own groceries and pay a quarter to get a shopping cart. 

You can have your quarter back if you return the cart to the corral, but if you don't...well, then the quarter is stuck in the shopping cart for the next person to use.

Back when I had recently relinquished my job as household budgeter extraordinaire to my husband (who enjoys it much more than I ever did), I was walking out of Aldi pushing a shopping cart bulging with newly purchased consumables, when I noticed that people were leaving their carts next to their vehicles instead of returning them.  It happened to be raining and people apparently melt in the rain.

Being the thrifty person I am, I decided that there was some real money to be made by taking everyone's carts back to the store.

I quickly loaded my groceries and then gathered up the shopping carts that were scattered in haste because of the downpour. 

I made one whole dollar that day.  A real dollar.  As I sat in my car looking at those four glistening quarters, I decided I should reward myself with some coffee from McDonald's for my labors.

I also knew that if I took those four quarters home and showed my even-more-frugal-than-my-awesome-thrifty-self husband, he'd say we'd first need to set aside a portion for the church and then spread the rest throughout the various line items in our budget.

So, I quickly hid the quarters deep in my pocket, vowing that I'd spend them before he could deposit them into our bank account. 

I bought the coffee and savored the fruit of my labor.

Sip, sip, sip.

Nate would never budget my four precious quarters.

Because I already did.  

Budgeting with Kids

Numbers, calculators, budgets...

That's my hubby's idea of a fun time.  ;)

For the first 8 years of our marriage, I did our budget.  

It was a miserable job for me.  Or maybe I just did a miserable job??  

Either way, I did not enjoy it in the least.

For the past 2.5 years, Nate has taken over our budget and, WOW, am I thankful!  He's so much better at it, and he actually ENJOYS it.  Crazy man.

While Nate was teaching the older kids how to budget using our household budget, he decided that they should have their own budgets. 

Granted, they don't have much money (we don't give allowance, but they do get money from grandparents for various holidays.  They can also make money if they do jobs for us around the house.), but he wants them to learn how to wisely use (give, save, and spend) the little that they do have.  If they can start making good choices when they are young, hopefully that will save them from making stupid (oftentimes detrimental) choices when they get older.

They were very excited to have their own budget, and I thought it was a brilliant idea.  

Hopefully they'll learn well from their wise-with-money Daddy.



Watching the Super Bowl

So big!  Loves wearing his "pocket pants" right now - even to bed.

Birthday Matt with friends

Being goofy with Jonny

Yay!  Finished with his first math book for Kindergarten.  He'll officially start K next year, but he's getting a head start.  :)

Hey Tommy, Smile!  ....not quite....

Let's try again!




How about this...Yell!  Kinda looks like a smile...



Besides the psychotic look on some of their faces (that's what happens when you say, "Open your eyes really wide," but forget to say, "Smile!" as well ;) ), I really like these pictures of the colors of my kids' eyes.

And little Tommy, the only one of the bunch (Nate and me included) without blue eyes.

Such sweet kids.  

Each one so unique in looks and personality.

Update: Front Entry Closet

I finally finished up our entryway closet!

(Click here to see what it looked like before.)

 I found an old cupboard door in the trash and turned it into a chalkboard/hook thingy.  
I bought the hooks from World Market.

I've had the green bird hooks for awhile (a gift from my in-laws), but didn't have a place for them until now.

 See?  We even use this cute little space!  :)


Saying "Yes"

Ann Voskamp

"Mom, can I make pancakes for breakfast?"

"Can I play play-doh?"

"We're going to play checkers!"

The snow was up to their knees! 

There's always a wet mess when they come back in.  :)

Uno - A new favorite with the boys that ends up with cards scattered throughout the living room.

Mom, can I (cut up into millions of pieces scraps of fabric to) make my doll a hair thing?

Art time!  Pencils and paper everywhere by the end..

The above quote resonated with me. 

Saying yes to messes is harder on some days than others.

But I'm working on it because I truly do believe that messes bring about creativity and learning in ways that neat and tidy work book pages can't.

And as long as the messes get cleaned up afterwards (preferably by the kids who make them), it's usually a little easier to say, "Yes!"

Just so happened that while I was writing this post, the kids were doing science experiments at the table.  Sometimes it's just best for me to be in the other room while "messes" are being made.  ;)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...