Monday, March 5, 2012

What we did on our winter vacation ...

This past week the kids were on break from school.  Our sitter decided to take a vacation, and thankfully a friend (or cousin-in-law as she likes to call me ... she is married to my husband's cousin) said she would help us out.  She had made plans for her children, and added ours into the mix, and so they even got to have a little more fun ... beside playing with their cousins! :)

Furthermore, the plans ended up moving into the evening hours, and so I was able to join them after work.  We went roller skating for the second time this year.  (The first time was because of her, too!)  And, we went to an indoor water park.  Both were just one night events, but they really helped to make the week special for my kids.  I need to remember to give my friend something to thank her for everything!

My husband and I are not the planners of fun events like these.  I am truly grateful that my friend loves to get out and DO things, and that she doesn't mind initiating an invitation to us.  I'm sure that without my friend's ideas (and my parents' too) my children would have a pretty boring life.  The extent of "fun" from me is taking them to soccer and t-ball, baseball or softball.  (With our opposite shifts, the available time to plan these fun events - much less pull them off - is limited, and we are both very unwilling to spend the money.  It's a shame, I know.)  Don't get me wrong ... sports are great, too ... but it's hard to compete with flying around a roller rink to music with friends, or riding an inner-tube 'round the lazy river.

But, to focus on the good times from my children's winter vacation:  Chase got 3rd place in the scooter races at the roller rink!  There was a little group of boys, and Chase was luckily in the middle of the pack as far as ages go, and so even though he was far behind 1st and 2nd place, he still won a prize.  He was ecstatic!  He picked a little spinning top as his prize.  He enjoyed riding on the scooter, and riding the train ... which they STILL have.  It is the same train from my childhood.  It's awesome that some of the great things from my childhood are still there!

Julia wore some new quad skates that my mom had picked up on clearance, and she did much better at staying up this time!  It was still nerve-racking to watch her, but my mom sent the wrist and knee guards that we'd purchased many years ago for ourselves when we roller-bladed home from Shopko (story for another day), and so my daughter had wrist-guards on, at least.  I learned from our previous trip and made sure Julia had better fitting pants.  My daughter is NOT a plumber, if you catch my meaning!  She enjoyed the scooters, her quads, riding the train, and playing with her cousins.

Blake gave both roller blades and quads a try, and he learned that quads are not that easy!  I think he's more comfortable on roller blades, and as long as he's happy, I'm happy.  I just need to learn how to replace the wheels since he was complaining they are wobbly.  I don't think they are actually wobbly, but they are definitely worn a little unevenly ... probably because they were used on a road for several miles!  Blake is getting more adventurous on skates.  I saw him going up on the ramp a few times.  Seeing the roller skating rink from a parent's perspective is an amazing thing ... so many ways to get hurt, and yet I went there for YEARS and don't ever remember getting hurt.  Good times, good times!

Then, the very next night, we went to an indoor water park.  I wasn't able to join them in the water.  Our swimsuits ALL disappeared after our last swimming trip to the same water park the day after Christmas.  I haven't had the guts to shop for a new suit, nor to spend $30 or more on one.  So, I instead practiced taking pictures with my new camera while the kids swam around in their new suits.  (Yes, I admitted I'm cheap, and then talked about a new camera.  The camera has a purpose.  I am working toward creating a business at some point in the hopefully near future.) 

So, the kids had a great week!  The week kept getting better for me, as I watched Sue Bryce on Creative Live over the weekend.  Her posing tips are amazing, and she makes so much sense.  I've seen Sandy Puc', Zach and Jody, and Sue Bryce now ... and if it weren't for the fact that I HAVE to pay for this camera I bought, I would be the proud owner of each of these courses.  Each had something different that I took away from them, and none of them was any less valuable to me.  I was in amazed awe all weekend long when I watched as I could.  I even took out my phone as I bought groceries Sunday night and watched the re-watch from my phone as I shopped.  People must have thought I was nuts, but I didn't want to miss anything!!!  I just propped it up on my purse, cranked the volume and shopped.  Of course, my trip took longer than necessary because I had to stop to watch, too ... but it was still amazing.

To top it off, my friend ... the same amazing friend who orchestrated the fun events for my kids ... invited me to go with her to an award ceremony on Sunday for a local National Guardsman.  It was a chance to practice with my new camera, so I said yes.  I didn't know what to expect, but it was a great experience in so many ways.  We were welcomed.  People wanted copies of our pictures, and I was allowed freedom to walk around to get a good angle.  And most of all, I had the honor of being present for, it turns out, two ceremonies which were very special ... and we got to help preserve the memory of those events.  What an amazing opportunity!  And to be surrounded by so many people who make a difference for our country?  Priceless.

So, that's the wrap-up of my last week.  How was yours?