Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Christmas in July at Jellystone

As if July was not fantastic enough, my ASIL(Almost Sister In Law) treated us girls to an extended weekend at Yogi Bear's Camp Jellystone Campground.  It's a super-fun campground geared for the 4th grade and under set.  My brother and ASIL own a tow behind camper that can sleep up to 8 so the 5 of us were quite comfortable.

The theme of the weekend was "Christmas in July" and we met up with some friends while there that made our time even more special.  We even set up a Christmas tree and other decorations too.  Some people even brought their wicker deer!  And much to the delight of all children present, Yogi-Santa stopped by and deposited stockings and other small gifts.

It was my first time in their camper, and I must say that it is luxury itself compared to a tent!  Air conditioning, heating, stove, potty, all within feet of your bed!   I could get used to this.

The campground also featured a water park, complete with water slides and water guns and just enough other spraying things to minimize how many pictures I could take due to errant spraying.

Adalyn loved the water park, where she could greet only the water on her own terms.  She hated the beach(still) and only tolerated the pool.

She was in heaven though, getting to sleep with me for all 5 nights.  However, the camper is not baby proof nor was it designed with curious toddlers in mind so much of the first few days involved trying to keep her away from touching inappropriate things.

The last night our companions set up a projector and put on Frosty for the kids to watch.  We even had use of a golf cart, which the kids got to try their hand at steering it.  The morning and evening boasted Hey, Hey, Hey Rides.  Where a energetic college student led the group in songs and loud yelling.

Unfortunately, the weather was uncooperative, raining a lot.  Not a light sprinkle either.  More like torrential downpours.  I was very grateful(for like the 100th time) that we were in a camper.  But it did leave me feeling strangely s'more-deprived since campfires were impossible some nights.

Also unfortunate was that each of my girls got sick.  They were never all sick together.  But Willa got a 24 hour high fever/barfy bug, Adalyn picked  up a low fever cold, and Denver got the high fever(no barf) version of Willa's sickies.  I can only hope we did not pass it on to our companions.  It made for a challenging weekend, though  I still would call it successful.  We came home extremely tired, which I think is the sign of a good time.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Last of the Vacation Pics(I'm almost positive)

So I need to wrap up our vacation retrospect.  If for no other reason but that life keeps happening.  And there are pictures to go with these current events that refuse to wait.  So here, one last time, are some vacation pics and a few stories to accompany them...

This is Sue.  She is my Almost SIL's Mom.  Many thanks for her help with the baby especially.  Her husband spooked Adalyn at first.  I'm not sure why, but it might be that he was 10 times the height of her.  She would run one way until she spotted Ron and then you could almost hear her put on the brakes.  By the end of the week she had stopped running away and even bestowed some shy smiles on him.

My Mom kayaking!  My Mom is not a fan of water but had a fun "trying new things" attitude that week and this was on her list.  Actually, there was a quiet wildlife reserve that we paddled out to.  Tall reeds full of birds.  On the bank we saw a snake working on a meal of I-know-not-what.  We also glimpsed an otter of some sort.

It seems a tradition to bury Tyler so here are my brother's 4 lovelies burying their brother.

The Napping Pictures

Adalyn was sick for the first few days; a low grade fever, no appetite, crabby, crabby, crabby!  Her first visit to the ocean and she pooped out on us.  I can see just looking at her face that she wasn't feeling well.  When she finally kicked it, she was like anew baby.  So much better.

Who doesn't like to curl up with a couple dolls?

On our brief trip to the boardwalk, Willa conked out within minutes.  She was running on empty all week!

Other Favorite Pics

Denver seemed to be entertaining herself for a while when I snapped this pic.  I could hear her voice but couldn't quite make out her words.  I snuck closer and heard her orchestrating contests between waves about which one was going to win by making it on shore first.  That's my first born, she thinks she can direct anything and anyone!

I love this pic b/c the wave is so close to crashing behind her and she has no idea!  Waves were not tons of fun for Willa.  Her little 40 lbs. body was intimidated by the greatness of the ocean waves.

Goggle Girl!
She wore these goggles all the way down to the OCean.  Then when we opened the door to get out, she took them off and handed them to me.  Honestly don't know what that girl is thinking sometimes!

At the house hangin'.

I took these our last day at the beach.  She was happy as long as we were holding her.  Eventually I took her back to the house to hang out with Gran.

I was trying to get a shot of the 3 of them together on the beach but Adalyn was balling so profusely I could only take one from behind.  Ah, well.  There were quite a few shots I didn't get, but you can't get them all.

So that concludes my vacation posts but forgive me if a few pics creep up here and there.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Happy Fourth of July

For the 4th, we spent the day in the pool and on the beach.  After we dragged the kids out of the pool, I put them in adorable red, white and blue outfits.  They were exhausted, but consented to try for a photo.  Try they did, Adalyn apparently did not get the memo on the photo and would not sit for it.  I have a few more pics along the same theme.

This was also the end of Willa for the night.  Shortly after this picture was taken we found she had tucked herself into bed for a rest.  I absolutely could not wake her for dinner and only barely got her to open her eyes for the fireworks.  She really slept through most of it.
The house was situated on Back Bay, and lucky us, they set off their own fireworks on the 4th.  So we viewed the spectacle from our back porch, ridiculously close to the launch site.  This spooked the girls a little so we moved inside and all 3 fell asleep on me while the show finished and we 'watched' from behind the glass door.

Friday, July 16, 2010


At dusk, the crabs came out.  Thousands really.  Skittering in their sideways movements down to the water to feed and back to their little holes.  Armed with flashlights we headed down to see what we could find.  I'm hopeful I didn't step on any, but there were a lot and I don't want to think about the curious crunching sounds I hear on occasion during our hunt..

The brave boys would pick them up, collecting sand bucket full of large disgruntled creatures.  Though in the dark, they weren't the most photographic creatures so I'll spare you the remarkably blurry pictures I took of these crustaceans.

Denver loved the crab hunting although Willa seemed to be spooked by their crabbiness.

 Denver, at 7 1/2, seemed to be transitioning from one of the 'little girls' to trying to be a big kid.  Of course, it was only a partial transition.  She still needed us a lot, but definitely less than in vacations past.  And I caught her sneaking up behind Willa in the pool and shoving her forward with a giggle.  Willa took it in the good humor it was meant but it struck me at the time as something my brothers' kids would do.  And I remember thinking, 'Wow, she's trying to be like them, like a big kid.'  Not a bad thing since I adore my nephews and niece.  And they certainly do more than shove each other around, at least I'm pretty sure they do:)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Out and About..Well, Almost

On Wednesday we decided that we had secluded ourselves long enough and wanted a taste of Virginia Beach, Tourist Style.  It was a great idea in theory.  In actuality, it was HOT, HUMID, and unpleasant.  Even on the boardwalk, there was no breeze.  I find this picture kinda funny since most of us look miserable.  I was trying(unsuccessfully) to get everyone to pose like the statue.  (Truly, it would have been a fun picture).  I have since been informed that we chose the wrong time of day and the evening is the better time to visit the boardwalk.

Oh well.  It's a funny memory in that it was so bad.  Seriously, $10 per car(3 cars total) for parking that lasted a total of 1 hour.  Long enough to take the above miserable picture, walk less than a 1/4 of a mile and turn around, get ice cream and try to salvage the day.

But salvage we did.  We visited the Aquarium.  The girls enjoyed this a great deal.

I think most everyone else was wilted and done with anything that did not involve excellent central air and/or the pool.  But we mustered through(along with everyone else in VA Beach) the almost cool aquarium.  The big highlight was the Stingray tank.

There they got to touch the Stingrays swimming in the pool.  Very Cool.  Adalyn, however, had her own ideas and a nap sounded like just the thing.  Hey, who doesn't want to kick back and take a snooze in an aquarium..

I will say a big Kudos to our group though.  Having so many with us made our workload as parents significantly lighter.  And it would not nearly have been so pleasant a trip without everyone's help.  My brother's awesome kids would take/entertain the two older girls(which they loved) and the adults all pitched in with Adalyn.  Sometimes watching her so Wayne and I could do the Ocean thing, or join the older two girls in the pool or the kayak.  So thanks to everyone in our group for all the help.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


During our stay in sunny lovely, VA Beach,  a few from our party decided to show their bravery by going parasailing.  I prefer more subtle ways to show my bravery(like with my feet firmly planted on the ground) so  I rode the boat as a photographer only.

It was rather neat the way they did everything from the boat.  Harnessing and then speeding off and the riders gently gliding to the top.

Altogether we had 7 riders.  Above is Mikayla and Mikey-Poo, who I'm pretty sure is using some colorful language at the moment this shot was taken.  You could choose to be 'dipped' if you wanted.  When they explained this, they said they would dip your toes in...

This looks like a tad more than toes to me, but the kids enjoyed it.

And Now, the Moment You've All Been Waiting For...Proof that My Parents Parasailed.  Shocking all their children and grandchildren for sure!

Everyone enjoyed the parasailing, although not everyone enjoyed the boat ride over choppy waves.  I don't want to mention any names(Kurt, Mom) but a couple individuals may have tossed their cookies overboard.  I can't poke too much fun since I was not too far behind them if the ride had not ended when it did.

Mikayla even got to drive the boat back to shore and I'm not saying that contributed to anyone's seasickness or anything.  I'm just throwing the possibility out there.

It was fun to watch but reminded me that my stomach may not be cut out for a speedboat.  Wayne had already parasailed before so he stayed on shore with Adalyn.  The girls rode the boat with us and seemed to like the ride, although by the end they were so quiet I wondered if they would join the 'toss your cookies club.'
  But their tummies held and we came home on shaky but happy legs.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Jumping Pictures


The boys made up a catching game with a tosser in the pool who tossed 2 balls and you got one point if you caught 1 with 2 hands, 2 points if you caught 1 with 1 hand, and 5 points if you caught both balls.  

This is my favorite picture from our trip!

Crazy as it may sound, I wish I had taken more pictures.  As the week progressed and I got more tired, I kinda pooped out on the picture taking.    Don't get me wrong, there are lots of great shots to come.  But I do wish I had taken pics or video of the 'fun with flotation devices' on the last night.  Nothing could replace a picture of some of the events on that crazy night!