My memories of the Christmas season this year are for the most part, very joyous. I was pleasantly surprised. This first picture is not really related to the Christmas season. It was a picture that I had to take after Gwen had found my bright red lipstick and tried it on without any help of a mirror or myself. Reminded me of when Trevor got into my finger nail polish and put it on himself and all over my bathroom. Thankfully, Gwen didn't get it anywhere except her lips and face. And of course she was so proud.
Anyway, this Christmas season was eventful, and our annual festivities of Christmas haven't even started. We got the largest tree we ever have...11 ft. It was fun to decorate and admire until the base cracked and leaked water everywhere. Then it tipped over. Since then, it hasn't been able to be straight upright. So next year or before next year we need a bigger tree stand.
I wrote in this year's Christmas letter that I knew by next year at this time, Trevor would probably be able to beat both Russ and I at chess. Well, I didn't even last a week beyond the letter. Granted, I don't know much else other than how each of the pieces move, but Trevor already has such patience and foresight to know how to strategize a winning game.
Music has probably been the biggest change to my family Christmas season memory. As long as there is a song playing on our all-Christmas music station, she likes it. Her new favorite is Rockin' around the Christmas tree. I had a Kidz Bop CD in the pile of Christmas music that has a version of that song on it, which has been played plenty. Along with the Muppets Christmas and a few other songs that I haven't heard on the radio. What I will remember most about this year was that if Gwen heard a song on the radio, even just once or twice, it would often get stuck in her head and randomly she would belt it out. My favorite is when she out of the blue started singing the song that we heard from Wham!...I think the title is "Last Christmas". It really got me because she only had part of the chorus, and I tried to help her out, but I got stuck, and she filled it right in: "Last Christmas...I gave you my heart..but the very next day, you gave it away. This year, I'll save you from....." Quickly, Gwen said "tears mom." and she finished the lyrics.
Thursday, August 4, 2011
We came back from lunch and Gwen and I hit the water again. This time I was on a raft. I was determined to get a strapless tan for the wedding this weekend. There were plenty of waves so I took an anchor and tied myself to it. Gwen jumped off, or rolled off more accurately, to both sides of the raft. Somewhere around 3pm my dad, Brian, Kelly, and I all rode up to the Tiki Bar to have our yummy VooDoo drinks. We were back around 5, or maybe 5:30? And then my dad took both kids back up the creek. It didn't take them more than two seconds to decide. My mom threw some burgers and hot dogs on the grill and had a yummy dinner ready when the kids got back. I heard they got to touch the bridge, were good listeners, and got to go really fast for a bit. Gwen was screaming in glee, Trevor was screaming in terror. I guess that's why he won't go tubing, he doesn't like the extreme speed unless he has some sort of seat belt or similar safety device on. He loves rollercoasters and going fast, but I guess the thought of flying out is too much for him to enjoy a fast boat ride.
The kids enjoyed a movie and crashed pretty early that night. Mom and I went to the casino and both of us came back even money. Sunday, we woke up and went swimming one more time, ate some lunch and headed home. I think the temperature all three days was somewhere in the mid 80's. On Saturday I didn't get hot enough to jump into the lake. It was pretty windy which cut down on the humidity. But for me, it was perfect. Lots of sun. Lots of swimming for the kids. It is how the lake weekends should be. We definitely missed Russ, but hope to have many more of these trips with him in the future.
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Last Friday both Trevor and Gwen finished off their golf lessons with their own Junior Tournament. Trevor again took 2nd place in his 5 hole league and again was upset by not taking first, but it seems that 2nd is really in the cards for him this year. Add to these two 2nd places, the fact that he is going into 2nd grade this year, and it may have helped him start to graciously accept not coming in 1st place. He is still very competitive but really has had some good experiences with teammates watching to observe how they react to the news. As parents, we are trying to be supportive and happy at Trevor as long as he is a good sport and tries his best.
Congratulations Trevor on a great baseball and golf season. May you continue to enjoy the sports and have wonderful experiences in the years to come.
Sunday, July 24, 2011
So the kids got to take part in their favorite activity with Papa, which is blowing out the candles and opening the cards/birthday presents. I really hope the birthday honorees are ok with how they throw themselves on them and "help" them for these activities. I still have to remind both kids that when they are at their friends' birthday parties, it isn't like our family that lets them blow out their candles and open their presents. It is their time. But thanks to our family for letting them take part!
Anyway, Kevin, Kelsey and Ethan arrived on Friday night and while it rained Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, the kids did get in a little bit of swimming Friday morning and Saturday afternoon before we had to head off.
We all were invited to the reception but unfortunately Russ was not able to attend because the golf tournament was all out of whack because of the rain the day before. I think it was perfect for the kids because Gwen's favorite part was the dancing and Trevor got to hang out with Derek and Michael, Kyrsten's brother. I didn't have to keep bothering them to sit still, and act polite because they had both had a good nap in the car ride back and made it all the way until 10:30 before coming back home for the night. Tracy was asked to sing before the dance part of the reception and did a wonderful job. Then she danced the night away with the kids there even if she had never met them before. I think everyone had a great night.
So then we get up the next day to run up for a fun shower on Sunday afternoon. It was a pretty packed week! But it was great to be with everyone and say hi and have the kids have as fun of a time as they did.
Next up: baseball weekend!
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
We checked into our hotel and talked to a very nice check-in guy who helped us by telling us about some local facts. We were near the edge of the shady sort of town, but there were plenty of ways around. He explained that the bar at the hotel closed at midnight. There was a great diner less than a block away. A wonderful seafood restaurant across the street. How to quickly find our way to the boardwalk, and also a menu for a pizza place that delivered late.
So we all went up to our room and crashed for the night. How sweet is it that we got to sleep in until 10:30 before rolling out of bed? It is an extreme luxury for me! We slowly meandered over to the recommended diner and found that they served breakfast throughout the day as well as other foods for a very cheap price. After getting some food, we wanted to check out the boardwalk. We saw the beach, and although it had a funky odor, it was interesting that there were plenty of people swimming and lifeguards every block or so on the beach. There was also a lot of construction. Although the weather forecast was a bit scary coming into town, we didn't see rain during the day on Friday. It was pretty humid but in the mid-80s was pretty tolerable to me. Our first stop was at the House of Blues restaurant to grab a drink right on the boardwalk tables. We said our cheers and then decided to check out some of the casinos. We were happy to find $1 blackjack seats for everyone and the dealer and one other player were very kind to us. No one lost a ton of money, but no one was ahead a lot either, if I am remembering correctly.
I believe it was at the casino where we were told to check out the beach bar back where we started. So we did. It was very nice as how many places have a bar right on a beach complete with dancing? It was early enough in the afternoon so that it wasn't completely packed so we grabbed a table near the dance floor and before we left some people at the bar remarked that they picked up the front row of tables to make more room for later in the evening. They said they had a huge crowd at night. We left after a couple hours but it sure was nice to sit in the sun with drinks and hoppin' music!
We went back to the hotel to grab some drinks at the bar with an order at the pizza place. We all were ready to go out for the evening so we grabbed a taxi to the Tropicana Quarter which is the Tropicana as a casino attached to a little mall that included shops, a few nightclubs and a karaoke bar. That is where we spent the evening on our way out, in the cab, was the only time during our trip where there was rain. And it was HARD rain. I wonder how the beach bar did that night?
We got back early the next morning and slept late again. Some of us headed out around noon to get breakfast from the cheapo diner and then moh and I headed out to the boardwalk for more casinoing. I stink again. We did the $1 blackjack and I won some of my money back after being down $40 but I still enjoyed being there.
We met the rest of our crew after we walked around a bit and sat at the other beach bar. For a late lunch, we ate at the Hard Rock Cafe, and then for the evening we hung out at the casino. Pink bride won over $170 in slots that evening! The rest of us didn't get our money back. So for our closing number, we went to the delicious seafood restaurant across the street from the hotel. Yum Yum.
Unfortunately, we had to wake up at 3am to catch our flight back to Minnesota. We had to get back to Philly and arrived in Minnesota shortly after 8am. I had a nap and just kept on going. Russ had to leave that evening for his trip to Tennessee.
Overall, it was a spectacular trip. Except for the flight delay on the way out, it was wonderful! And us pseudo-psisters are going to have to plan next years trip, perhaps to Chicago? Not likely that we will get to go out on free airfare again. Thanks to everyone for making it such a wonderful event!