Every good and perfect gift is from above...James 1:17

Monday, April 17, 2017

Ezekiel Embraces Eleven

Rise n shine, Birthday Boy!
Daisy taped his door because he loves that prank. He could hear the tape being pulled off the roll as she was doing it, but he was a good sport and waited until she was finished to exit the room.
He figured out most of his gifts, but this one had him stumped.
Drumsticks for my future percussionist! He's joining band next year so I thought I'd get him started with some basic equipment. Green is his favorite color.
Birthday Breakfast--a bull's eye.
Teamwork showing double 1s for his age.
Traditional bday pics in front of the ruler and birthday sign.
'1-1'  My big boy can't count his age on his fingers anymore.
Birthday lunch--per his request, tacos.
The remnants of his birthday treat, a cookie cake. I nearly missed it; I was taking dictation for Elijah's class and lost track of time. He even came looking for me and told his teacher that his mom would never miss it. :| Oopsies!
After school gift. He had asked for book 8 in the Harry Potter series.
I barely saw him for the rest of the night. He finished it in 2 days. I love his passion for reading.
Birthday dinner--per his request, more tacos.
Bean boozled!
I think I had the ickiest tasting one of all. It was moldy cheese and the flavor really lingered. The next worst was toothpaste. The rest were the good flavored ones, so there's got to be a lot of bad ones left...maybe I won't play next time.
Birthday 'cake'--butterscotch fudge!
My crazy boys. I like how these two look like conjoined twins here. Lijee adores his big brother so much he would probably like that.
Off to scouts in his new uni.
The birthday party was Friday after school.
Look closely and you can see Zekers, Sam, Daisy, Grant and Nolan playing outside.
My little boy and my big boy. How sweet are they?
Per Zeke's request, double layer cookie cake with chocolate icing in the middle.
Zeke was adamant he wanted his birthday party dinner at Golden Corral.
Cheeky little monkey.
I was as excited as Zekers about the Escape Room.
Unfortunately, there was a ton of talking without much communicating and 7 sets of busy little hands touching, poking, moving and pulling all sorts of stuff. We did not escape the Escape Room.
We did, however, have a fun time trying!
 Zekers, you are smart and witty and you have the biggest heart of anyone I know.
Happy 11th birthday to my big boy!

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Spring Break By The Seat of Our Pants

Spring break 2017!

We left the house without a single reservation. Wingin' it all the way. It mostly worked out great with only a couple hiccups along  the way.

We first headed east with the Smokey Mountains on the radar. We made it just past Arlington and decided to stop for breakfast at IHOP. It just happened to be Shriner Day and we got some free pancakes. Woo hoo!
Once we got done with IHOP we drove just past Nashville and called it quits for the day. We wanted to make sure we stopped early enough that we still had time to swim. #priorities
We hit the road again the next morning. The is the remnants of a bubble at least half the size of Zeke's head.
This is the look of boredom.
When we arrived in Pidgeon Forge, Tennessee we spent the afternoon at the MagiQuest center. MagiQuest is a fun little treasure hunt type thing. The magi's use their wand and the clue book to find more clues and gather rues.
 We got separated in the mirror maze. Daisy, Lijee and I kind of thought we might never get out of there! For real. Thankfully our big boys came to the rescue.
They James Bonded it through the laser room.
 Downtown Gatlinburg had all sorts of fun, family stuff.
The size of a real man at Ripley's Believe It Or Not.
This tire reminded me of the one we used to play on as kids at the station.
A Transformer made from real car parts.
 Life is like a box of chocolates.
 Daisy sweet-talked the manager at the restaurant and he gave us free cookies. She was quite chuffed with herself as you can see.
Here was the first snaffoo with spur of the moment. I had found a cabin to rent at the last minute. They emailed the directions and house number. When we drove up there was a car in the drive way; we thought maybe it was a duplex. When I entered the code on the lock box someone came to the door from the inside. Oopsies! It was the wrong cabin. Each cabin was named, so we drove around he little cabin community until we found 'Goldilocks and the Three Bears.' Unfortunately the lock code did not work. I left a few messages with the after-hours number but they never got back to us. Turns out the after-hours guy had an emergency and was at the hospital which is why he never got back to us. On the upside, we saw a beautiful sunset while wondering around searching for our cabin.
Fortunately I had come across a hotel with some cool water features while searching for a cabin, and they happened to have vacancies, so they kids were happy.
 The waterslide tubes went outside, so at night they were pitch black while going down.
 The next day we went to Ober Gatlinburg. It's a ski resort with lots of other fun stuff.
 There are my boys taking the lift up to ride the alpine slides.
Zekers is a real trooper to tag along with the littles without complaining.
 We rode the lifts all the way to the top of the mountains.
Zeke found his own little shack.
 We watched the cute little otters do their thing.
 We were in the right place at the right time and the kids got to feed them. They threw mushrooms down to the otters and the they gobbled it up.
More coasters.
 One of the workers was quite the talker and he gave us a piece of candy. When we got into the car Zekers found this in his shoe. How the heck did a piece of candy get in his shoe without him knowing?? Even after it left a mark on his sock from getting damp and sweaty, he wanted to eat it. Eww!
 Look at this cute little booger clapping along at the Dixie Stampede.
 This was one of those no silverware experiences. I thought the kids would love it--especially my Lijee.
 He didn't want to use his hands to grab the meat off the whole chicken. He was not impressed.
 Nor was she.
 The Dixie Stampede wore fancy lighted shirts for the grand finale. It made me want to have a horse of my own.
 Zeke found a horse with his name sake,
 and so did Eli!
The Island had some cool water fountains that were synced with music.
 Aren't they sweet?
 This was the morning we checked out. There was a storm rolling in. There was a small blue patch in the sky which happens to be in the picture, but the rest was a dark gray. The high for the day was already over at 9:00 in the morning; I think it was about 45 degrees and incredibly windy. It also started misting. The outside pool opened for the season on checkout day, so we had to go outside before we checked out. Once again, #priorities.
You can see the slides in the background I mentioned earlier. The kids loved it.
 The Wonderworks Museum was awesome. The building is upside down! Look closely and you can see Abe and the kids standing in front. Abe is actually doing a handstand so he is right-side up to the building.
 To get in there was some type of crazy mind-bending tunnel. The lights were twirling around you and it really felt like we were the ones moving.
 We experienced an earthquake
and hurricane winds.
Daisy and Elijah are climbing the wall.
 Zeke and I made it to the top.
My motion-sick man rode this contraption with me. It turned us around and around and we pedaled to make it go faster. He didn't even get sick. There was a fun ropes course that was up on the ceiling. Four of us loved it; Daisy said she only cried 3 times. But she conquered her fears and did it with us!
 Astronaut Elijah.
You made your bed, now lie in it.
 Next stop: Sister's or Bust!
Polar Plunge time! About 45 degrees and misting, but that did not stop these crazies brave souls.
 the team
 Sabin is such a smartie. I taught him 'bang' while we were there.
 Lunch time with cousins.
 The Whole Gang (minus Sister)
 The Five Points in Birmingham. Urban legend says it's a devil statue; I read up on it and it's based on a goat with a human body telling the other animals a story. A little creepy, but nothing devilish about it. However, Zeke wanted nothing to do with because of word on the street.
our wonderful hosts
 the girls
 This day was about as cold as the first, but my cold weather troopers decided they had to swim again.
 Abe said his hands and feet were numb for quite a bit after they all came in. No sir. Not for me.
 After a few days with the Hernandez's, we headed down to NOLA. First stop was Story Land. Who knew there was something in New Orleans besides Bourbon Street?
Look at this cute little Alice in Wonderland house.
My aerospace engineer in the rocket ship.
Sleeping Beauty
There was an old woman who lived in a shoe...
Connected to Story Land was the Botanic Gardens.
We were lured in with $1 tacos, but we couldn't pass on the drinks, which were not $1.
When in New Orleans, one must have beignets for dessert!
This hotel had an indoor/outdoor pool that was connected. I have to admit, it was pretty cool.
The Hop-On-Hop-Off bus tour for the DanFam5!
We took a little side tour of a cemetery. Look closely at the boys in the background hugging. #sweetbrothers
The British Plaza near Poydras Street
While waiting for the ferry, I opted for a Voodoo drink,
while the kids opted for a sno-ball.
Riding the ferry to Algiers, drinking our drinks.
Stumbling upon a statue in Wolderberg Park.
This Phillips gas pump at lunch reminded me of my dad and my brother.
We once watched a movie about dogs who happened to stop by New Orleans on their journey and they saw these statues.
Laissez les bon temps rouler.
I hope this is the only table and pole dancing she does.
We couldn't leave without stopping by Cafe Du Monde.
By the looks of those lips and his shirt I think he liked the beignets.
The last Bachelor series had a date at Cafe Du Monde. I was pretending we were on the show.
We had a couple days of break left when we got home. We spent one of them at Six Flags. It was super-duper busy and I made a mental note to not go during spring break again.
Finally we wrapped up spring break 2017 with St. Paddy's day.
Good bye, two week spring break vacations. You were good while you lasted.