Tuesday, December 10, 2013

November funtimes

Here is my tradition picture of the kids with their Halloween loot! They had a great Halloween!
November 12th, it snowed and the kids LOVED it! They were really sad they didn't get to stay home and play all day! Most of the snow melted, but luckily the trampoline was shaded enough to keep some snow for the big kids! They had a blast and played outside until they were soaking wet!
 Ethan had a blast walking over to the neighbors for a playdate!
My grandpa passed away last year, but we weren't able to bury him until this year. We made the drive to Mohomet, Illinois for a burial service and luncheon with everyone. It was a special day. We miss him everyday.
We got the whole family together for a picture. Fun times!
And then there's us!
Dylan had a field trip to 4 different places on November 6th. They were studying economics and learned about how the businesses run. We first went to Clay Critters where they make magnets in all different animals and things. The kids got to pick one to take home after they toured the facility.
The second stop was Montical's pizza for lunch. After lunch, we headed to the downtown public Library for a tour. It was neat to see the behind the scenes of the library. The final stop was Dylan's favorite, Urban Swirl Frozen yogurt. It was very good and the kids loved it!
Here is my big boy! Growing up way too fast!
Lauren was so excited to hold the girls! (her cousins)
Ethan won't take naps very easy anymore, but he will fall asleep anywhere if he's really tired. I just love the sleeping pictures!

October catch-up

I guess October went by so fast because we had to adjust back to normal life after our wonderful vacation. It was totally worth it! I've been enjoying spending time with all my kids more as I'm not babysitting as often. It's been really nice. Here are the updates with pictures in no specific order. 

We went to a pumpkin patch for playgroup. It was really cold, but the kids didn't care. Ethan with his best friend, Jack. They loved the pumpkin people.
My little man!

Ethan and I met my parents and brother at the Covered Bridge Festival while the other kids were at school. It was so nice outside and we had fun until I got stung by a bee on the tip of my finger. Ouch! This was my first ever bee sting and I can now say that I am not allergic and I don't ever want to get stung again!
The kids made a tower fort with block.
I got to help out with Dylan's class party. They made these really cute Owl cupcakes. I still can't believe that he's in 2nd grade!
Ricky had to work the Saturday before Halloween and Dylan hadn't been to a pumpkin patch, so we headed over to Exploration Acres for the day. It was fun times for the kids. They didn't want to go home!
Playing in the hay pile.
Riding on the tractor (Ethan's favorite part of the day).
The corn maze was fun, but too long for these kiddos. Glad I had some fruit snacks to get them through to the end!
 Riding on the tire horses.
My sister-in-law had twins in September and I am taking every chance I get to see them (and of course hold them too!). They are precious and growing too fast.
Lauren asked me to come eat lunch with her at school, so I did. And then she talked me into going outside for recess with her. It was such a fun day and I got to see her play with all of her friends. We even played Duck, Duck, Goose!

Halloween Day: Dylan as Luke Skywalker, Ethan as a Fireman
Lauren as a Bride! She was beautiful!
I got to go to the Pumpkin Patch with Lauren's class for their field trip. It was such a nice day and it was really fun to spend some time with Lauren and her classmates.
Some of Lauren's friends.
Love my little girl!
Trick or treating downtown Lafayette. Dylan insisted that he wanted to be a box this year. He loved it until he had to walk around in it. Not so fun anymore. He decided to go around the neighborhood as Luke Skywalker instead. Lauren wanted to be Tinkerbell and Ethan was a Fireman. He loved the costume so much that he wore it almost every day for 2 weeks!
What a busy, yet fun month! Now to finish November!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Bora Bora

September 25- October 2
Our 10 Year Anniversary is coming up in December, so we decided to celebrate early by going on vacation to Bora Bora. (Ricky works retail and can't get time off right before Christmas.) It was AMAZING!!!!! It will probably be the best vacation of my life, it was that good! Here is the view from the airplane.
 We left on Wednesday while the kids were at school, and took Ethan over to Grandma's for the day. It was nice to have the grandmas and grandpas watch the kids while we were gone. They stayed at our house, to keep the kids on somewhat of a schedule with school and all. We had free internet in our hut, thanks to Ricky's gold membership, so we Skyped with the kids as much as possible. The 6 hour time difference made it a little challenging some days, but we made it work. Our trip there included a 2 hour drive to Chicago, a 4 1/2 hour plane ride to Los Angeles, an overnight flight of 8 1/2 hours to Tahiti, a 1 hour flight to Bora Bora, a water taxi to Viatape (the main city in Bora Bora), and then another boat to the island where the Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort was located. With layovers, we left at 12pm on Wednesday and arrived at 11am at the resort (plus the time difference) which ended up being about 30 hours of traveling. When we got there, I didn't even care about how long it took. It was breathtaking! The water was gorgeous! (Pictures are in no particular order, just enjoy!)
 We got lei-ed when we got to Bora Bora, how cool is that?!?!
  We got there too early to check into our room, so we changed into our swim suits and just hung out on the beach while we waited. Not too bad of a way to wait for your room. We got checked in and they took us on a golf cart to our hut for the week. We knew it was a hike, so we clocked it on my gps one day, and it was a quarter of a mile walk from our hut to the restaurant! I guess we got our exercise in for the week by walking to breakfast and dinner each day. 
Relaxing in the hammock! It was so relaxing the whole time, no worries, nothing to do, and just plain beautiful everywhere you look! They had hammocks all over the resort, along with lounge chairs and umbrellas set up on the beach. When we checked in, they told us they were fully booked, but we barely ever saw people around. That was one of the perks of being on an island with water access from our room.
 We saw the black rocks from the volcano. The rocks were hot to touch, but beautiful. They do weddings on the top of the hill overlooking the black rocks. 
 We went to the main city to explore and enjoy dinner. They only had a few shops and everything was soooo expensive. T-shirts were $31! Crazy!  We picked out souvenirs for the kids and grandparents (for watching the kids).  Dylan got  a ukulele, Lauren got a tropical flower skirt, and Ethan got a stuffed turtle with Bora Bora embroidered on the belly. They didn't have too much to choose from.  Ricky got a hat (because he forgot his and his head burnt the first few hours we were outside), and I got a black pearl necklace. It is beautiful and I love it!
 The view as we walked along the path each day, just stunning.
 We went to some of the little shows they put on at the resort, and this one was how to open a coconut. The pool boy, Tapu, showed us how to open the coconut and then let Ricky try it. I feel good knowing that Ricky can open a coconut if we ever get stranded on a deserted island!
 Speaking of deserted islands, we spent one day on the private island of Motu Tapu, the Hilton owns the island and took us there. We were there with one other couple and the 2 workers. It was so peaceful and a great way to spend our last full day in paradise! It was so cool to know that we were on the same island where the TV show Amazing Race had a challenge.
 They made a picnic for us to enjoy. It was AWESOME!
 Right before we were leaving the island, Ricky and the other guy saw a sting ray in the water. Ricky went after it to see how close he could get. It was really cool and now he can say that he's swam with the sting rays in the ocean. I was content watching from the beach, but it was really cool!
 The view from our breakfast table everyday, Beautiful!!!!
 One of the hostesses. They remember your room number and just put everything on your tab. (When there are only 3 restaurants on the island, and 2 of them only serve dinner with reservations, you get to know the staff pretty well!)
 Another stunning view of paradise. 
 Our room was one of the few that could see the sunset every day. It was magical! I loved how the sun would disappear, but you could still see the light in the sky. It just shows you that the world is round! (one of our discoveries while we were in Bora Bora!)
  I set the camera on timer to get a shot of us jumping in the ocean. Fun times!
 The day we left, we had to check out of our room by 11 and didn't need to leave the resort until 4, so we hung out by the pool. One of the workers came over to ask if we could help vote on the Mr. Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort for 2013. It was fun to see their culture, since we missed the Polynesian dancing night. Some of the men were totally into it, which made it fun for everyone! (The guy holding me was the winner!)  
We hiked up to the chapel and the top of the resort to see the amazing views of the island. Such a great place and I really hope we can go back there sometime!
 The fish in the ocean were so colorful. They would swim right up to you! Ricky had a great time snorkeling, and I tried to get into it a couple of times. I had a hard time with all of the bigger fish coming right up to you. They were beautiful!
 The resort also had free rides on the Hobbie Cat (Catamaran). I thought it was cool, but it was very scary in the middle of the ocean when one side of this little thing was up in the air. My fingers were purple from holding on so tight and I don't think I have heard Ricky laugh so hard in my life. He was loving it, and I just wanted to be back on land. I'm pretty sure I can say that I will not ever get on a small Catamaran again.
 I was much better when we got in the pool and I could relax again! The pool was a double infinity pool with 2 levels. It was another one of the amazing perks about this resort!
 This was by far the best vacation of my life! I am so grateful for my loving husband who has a great hobby of collecting miles to get us to amazing places like Bora Bora. (He got us free flights, a free upgrade at the resort, 5 free nights, free internet, and free breakfast everyday!) We had the best, most relaxing week of our lives. Maybe we can go back for our 20 year!