Friday, August 28, 2009

The Family Fun Continues (The One With ALL The Pictures)

To cap off our mini-vacation, we took the girls to Idlewild and Soak Zone in Pennsylvania. In retrospect, I probably shouldn't have mentioned to Abby that they had a pool with water rides. I would have preferred to spend the day in the dry area. We didn't get to every area of the park, but I guess that's the truth with most of these parks: You just can't see it all in one day.

We started with a couple of rides and then lunch and then a few more rides. Abby was tall enough for most of the rides in the park. Sarah was too little for most. Although, there was one section of the park that we didn't get to that had more rides for her age. Next time...

Abby rode the log ride with Daddy.

Part of the park is called "Storybook Forest." My mom and dad took us when we were kids to this park. So it's pretty old, but cool. Right inside the door, we met Mother Goose. The path led us through dozens of nursery rhymes and children's stories. It was amazing to see all of it together in one place.
Abby and Sarah posed with Raggedy Ann (while eating cotton candy).
There was a crooked man...
Abby in the crooked house.
The Little Engine That Could - that's me!!
Captain Billy. Or is it Conductor Billy. I'm not sure.
Some mice and cheese (can't remember the story here).
The Sword and the Stone.
A valiant effort, dear!
There was an Old Woman who lived in a shoe ...
Getting a closer look at the shoe.
Peter, Peter, pumpkin eater, had a wife and couldn't keep her...
Smart little piggy.
Not quite tall enough. But still super cute.
That's gotta hurt!!
Abby knows this rhyme very well. She has a fondness for bacon fat and won't eat the meat. I've quoted this to her often and have nicknamed her "Mrs. Sprat."
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The Seven Dwarfs live here.

This is the nursery rhyme she did for her pre-school class.
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Old King Cole was a merry old soul, and a merry old soul was he...
When the forest path ended, we headed to the other side of the park for some water fun. No pictures from this part but it was just as well. Abby wanted to swim in the deep water and Sarah wanted to splash around in the toddler pool. You can imagine what fun we had trying to get one to do what the other wanted.

After drying our tears and our wet bodies, Abby rode her very first roller coaster. Mommy got to accompany her on this adventure. What fun.

Then it was time for a little face painting.


Abby was very pleased with the results.
Then a few more rides.


We finally had to tear ourselves away. We had already stayed three hours more than we had planned, but it was worth it. As we started on our four hour journey home, the girls fell asleep.

It was great fun. Wish we could have spent more time. Maybe next summer!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Mini-Vacation

Because of our BIG TRIP in February, we knew we didn't really want to travel very much this summer. We decided to take a little trip to West Virginia to see my Aunt Linda and some friends.
Four hours in the car turned out to be just right for our littlest traveller. We left around 8pm on a Thursday so the girls would hopefully sleep in the car. But, as usual, Abby slept more than Sarah. I didn't sleep either, which is highly unusual for me. Abby had advised me that I better stay awake to make sure Daddy stayed on the right road. Truer words of wisdom were never spoken. She remembered the last trip when I took a little nap and we took an hour detour until I woke up to say, "Honey, why are we still on this interstate?"

After a few hours of sleep, the girls awoke bright and early. But breakfast and coffee were enough to wake us up and get us going.
Yummy bacon.
We went in search of a blueberry patch (more on that later) and came upon Prickett's Fort. I had been there several times growing up. We stopped so Billy and the girls could get a better look.

I forgot to bring my camera, (we were just going to pick the berries) so Billy took these with his phone. This one is inside a common room where they were demonstrating making yarn and weaving cloth. They all dressed the part. You can't tell, but the guy on the right had big feathers attached to his head.
Looking out a notch in the fort wall.
Petting the sheep. One of them tried to eat Abby's shoes.
An Indian wigwam outside the fort.
After we left the fort, we went in search of the berries again. After asking at a muffler shop, Aunt Linda decided we turned the wrong way off the main road. We went home to have lunch instead.

After lunch, Aunt Linda and I took Abby and left Billy and Sarah home to take a nap. Abby promptly fell asleep in the van. It was a good thing, too, because this became a grand tour of "Wild, Wonderful West Virginia."

We went down one road and flagged a UPS driver for directions. We went down another road and flagged a lady in hair curlers for directions. These horses were no help at all.
We went down another road (very narrow, very steep) and stopped at a scary house for directions. "No, Aunt Linda. Please don't go in there!" She stayed outside and talked to the man for directions.
Then we went another way, (a dead end) and talked to another guy about the big bears he gets in his yard in the winter. I'm glad we missed the bear!
Finally, we got to the right place and found a few berries. Abby woke up as we opened the door to get her out.
On the way home, Abby said, "why is this taking so long?" You have no idea, little lady!!! The drive home was a fraction of the driving time.
That blueberry crisp tasted really good after all that!
Abby helped "Grandmother" decorate a baby shower cake.
"You missed that spot, Grandmother."
Later, Abby decorated one for us to eat. Beautiful job.
The next day, we visited some friends, Ray and Lisa. They had us over for brunch. Yummy!
Sarah is checking out their little dog. The girls had so much fun playing with Mr. Ray. He even gave them airplane rides. I think Sarah loves Mr. Ray as much as Abby does now.
Abby took a bunch of pictures. This one of Ray and Lisa turned out well.
Then I found this one. Love it!
On Sunday afternoon, The Cake Lady struck again with these Baby Lava Cakes. They are chocolate cake with a gooey chocolate center. She garnished the plate with raspberry sauce and put raspberries and mint on top. Beautiful presentation!
This is what my plate looked like a few minutes later. Burp.
So good! But Abby couldn't quite finish hers. I asked Aunt Linda how many calories were in each one and she read in the cookbook that it was 621! Six HUNDRED and twenty-one!! We decided to not have dinner that evening. :)
It was a fun weekend at "Grandmother's" house!

We left the next morning headed for Pennsylvania and a little amusement park hidden in the woods. More on that tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Weekend with Friends

We were SO blessed to host our long-time friends, Steve and Sarah and their family for a weekend in July. They drove ten plus hours from their home in Missouri to be with us. We had spent time with their family in recent years when we were traveling, but this was the first time to host them here. What a treat.

Abby and their little one Elli are around the same age and had met and became fast friends last summer. Then they wrote to each other several times during the year. Abby was so excited when I told her that Elli was coming for a visit.

The first morning, Elli woke up bright and early and couldn't wait to spend time with her friends. As it was too early for grown-ups, I parked them in front of our favorite singing vegetables.

Later that day, we went to the beach on Lake Erie. Sarah is helping Emily build a sand castle.
Abby was loving the swimming in shallow water.


Sarah and her daughter Sophie
All the girls!
A family picture (thanks Sarah).
On Sunday, we hit the lake again to see a light house.
And enjoy the park. Abby, Drew and Elli.
Here's the light house.
Awwww. Sophie and Sarah.

Steve and Billy, the Orangemen.
A little play time in the sandbox. I think there's room for one more.

A fun weekend came to a close much too soon. We were sad to see them go but are so grateful for the visit. Hope to see them again soon!!