Monday, December 1, 2014

Traveling - Fergus Falls, Dells, and Michigan

The past two weeks have been a whirlwind!  On Thursday, November 20th we drove to Fergus Falls to see Grandma and Grandpa T, Uncle Javonte, Auntie Sarah, and Uncle Ty for an early Thanksgiving.  The visit had a surprising twist as within an hour of arriving at their house I came down with the stomach flu.  Unfortunately I was up almost that whole night and in bed much of the next day.  On Friday night, it was Colton's turn :(.  Unfortunately, because Grandma and Grandpa were going to host Thanksgiving at their house for all of the extended family on Saturday, it had to be cancelled so no one else would get sick.  We really missed seeing the whole clan that was going to join us Saturday for our early Thanksgiving:(.  Nevertheless, we had so much fun playing with all Grandma and Grandpa's toys, doing crafts with Grandma, reading LOTS of books, and being together. 

Making pancakes with Grandma

Reading books with Grandpa

Grandpa got lots of giggles out of the kids by giving them rides and "making" them into different kinds of "food" to eat

Making the traditional Lefse (mmmm!)

Paul and Grandpa T deep frying the Thanksgiving turkey


Church on Sunday at Grandma and Grandpa's church - we are so blessed to have both sets of grandparents love the Lord!

We headed home on Sunday and within an hour of returning home Paul came down with the stomach flu.  Unfortunately he had the longest bout of it and stayed home from work both Monday and Tuesday.  Meanwhile, the kids and I got unpacked, did our laundry/cleaning/groceries, went to swimming lessons, BSF, library story time, and got all repacked and ready to leave the house again on Wednesday!  Whew!

Because our upcoming trip would have us driving over 20 hours, we stocked up on lots of snacks and special treats~ the kids were most excited about the gummy worms they picked out!  The peanut butter crackers, trail mix, and dried fruit provided two "car trip" lunches and the sunflower seeds kept Paul awake for all his driving!

After library story time on Tuesday, we checked out over 50 books and DVD's to help pass the time in the car :)
 The main destination for our travel was Battle Creek, Michigan where my grandparents live.  Because it is such a long drive we decided to make a stop in the Dells and have a mini family vacation (our first one!) for a day.  It was absolutely amazing and no one was sick!!

Each kid got to have one special new "activity book" for the car...Summer chose a princess "scene" book with re-stickable stickers

Colton chose a Disney Cars book that came with cars and a play mat at the back of the book.

They also each got a new notebook and pencils

When we got to the Dells right around bedtime on Wednesday (night before Thanksgiving) the kids were ECSTATIC to look around!

The waterpark was awesome and perfect for our age of kids.

Love them!

The next morning we had a nice relaxed breakfast of pop tarts, hard boiled eggs, and instant oatmeal

while watching the Thanksgiving Day parade!

Then we got ready to hit up the waterpark
 Here is a video of Summer singing "If you're happy and you know it" with Larkyn while waiting for everyone to get their swim suits on....

We are SO excited!

We're READY!
 I didn't get any pictures of the water park, because we didn't want to get our phones wet, so I'll just include 2 from their website.  We started on the lazy river.  Then the kids went down these slides MANY times!

The kids loved these slides and zipped down them more times than I can count with huge smiles!

Colton really wanted to go down this BIG slide!  They said it was ok if he rode with Daddy.  He LOVED it!  After watching, Summer decided to go too, and we spent a very long time with them taking turns going down with Daddy while I held Larkyn.  I absolutely LOVED their smiles!
After lunch in the water park, we came back for naps/quiet time.  Summer was awesome about reading and playing quietly on the bed while her siblings slept

My friends lent us this pea pod tent for Larkyn and it worked perfectly!  The pea pod folds down to the size of a large purse, which was really convenient because we were in so many places for naps and bedtimes on this trip.

She slept quite comfortably!
After everyone was awake, we headed to the indoor theme park.  The Thanksgiving special we got at Mt. Olympus Resort included free water park AND free theme park admission!!!  The kids could ride as many rides as they wanted!

The older two and daddy had a blast in the interactive ball pit - complete with air guns to shoot the balls!

We went to dinner at Buffalo Phils where the mini trains delivered our food!   The kids loved it!  Here is a picture of the train pulling the kids macaroni and cheese to our table.

Here Summer is taking her food off the back of the train

The restaurant was so fun!

After we got the kids to bed, Paul ran out to Walmart to pick up a Black Friday item for Colton for Christmas and came back with ice cream for us :)  YUM!!!

Friday morning we continued our drive all the way from the Dells to Michigan.  We left as soon as the kids woke up and got in just before dinner.  This play place at a rest stop was the perfect way for the kids to get some energy out mid-drive while I fed Larkyn!
We arrived just in time for dinner, and Larkyn got to meet GiGi-ma (Great Grandma Kirkwood)

Larkyn got to meet GiGi-pa (Great-Grandpa Kirkwood)
Friday night dinner at GiGi-ma and GiGi-pa's house

Playing with Auntie Kristin after dinner

We slept at Aunt Lynda's house, and came back for the day on Saturday.  Here is a 4 generation pic!

GiGi-ma and GiGi-pa with Larkyn

Playing trains

One of the highlights for me was getting to spend lots of time talking with my Grandpa.  He is 91 and was just diagnosed with Alzheimer's.  Wanting to see and talk with him before it progressed was the reason we decided to make the trip and I am so glad we did!  My grandparents have already had a rough road to walk with this and it will only get harder.  My grandma is so perfect for my grandpa and my grandpa is so sweet with handling it all.  I am so thankful for the time I got to spend with them.

Grandpa Kirkwood and Larkyn

The kids wrestling with Daddy

Larkyn fell asleep on Grandma at the mall

The kids making "pine cone hotdogs" in GiGi-ma and GiGi-pa's yard

Grandpa and Colton

Summer and my Uncle John

On Sunday we started our loooooong drive home...leaving right after the kids woke up and getting back home right before bedtime.  Gummy worms were a huge highlight!

Summer worked in her notebook during "quiet time" while Colton napped

Unfortunately Colton's nap was quite short as we hit a traffic jam/parking lot on the highway and the car stopping had him wake up, but he still managed to do well despite!
Loving her sticker book!

Playing cars :)
We made lots of memories on this trip and the kids didn't want to come home :).  We are so thankful for all the gracious hosts, lodging and food provided to us and feel so blessed to have such an amazing family. 


Jill said...

Great post. You guys sure covered a lot of miles in those days. Glad the stomach flu is done. Ugh. Larky Loo in her swim suit is just too, too much. Oh, my goodness. :) :) I love how she responds to Summer singing to her. :) LOVE!

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