Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Big Party

One of the reasons we came to New Jersey was to celebrate Grandma Dot's 90th birthday!  She really doesn't turn 90 until Sunday, but we celebrated a week early.

The weather is so nice here, so we enjoyed a great party outside at Aunt Peggy and Uncle Gorden's house.

They have a beautiful home with a HUGE backyard as well as a swimming pool, so the kids had a great time running around and swimming.  Matthew and Peter had the best time playing together.  Many of Grandma's friends came, and everyone enjoyed good food and fellowship.  It started raining toward the end, but the storm quickly passed over.

We were also celebrating Alyssa graduating from Gordon College and Emily graduating from Hawthorne High School.  The cakes were DELICIOUS - one had a strawberry cream center and the other had a chocolate cream center.  We had a great day celebrating Grandma Dot, Emily, and Alyssa!!  Congratulations on reaching some big milestones!!

Saturday, June 29, 2013


We arrived at Grandma and Grandpa's house late afternoon, and the kids played outside for HOURS!!!  Peter got a New Jersey bike last summer, so this summer was Danielle's turn.  She has only recently learned how to pedal Peter's old Spider-Man bike, so she was so excited to have her own bike here in New Jersey. With Aunt Amy's help, she rode up and down the street over and over again.  Peter also enjoyed riding his bike, but he was going so fast that it was making me nervous!!

One of the foods we enjoy eating in New Jersey is pizza, and Peter has been asking for weeks if we were going to eat pizza on our first night here.  Thankfully everyone here was thinking the same thing.  Amy wrote the pizza order on the magnadoodle so Grandpa would know what to order - cheese for Danielle, pepperoni for Peter, and meatball on a whole wheat crust for Daddy.  It was sooooo yummy!!!

We also had lots of company throughout the evening as well.  Grandma Ruth came over for pizza, and Aunt Lois and Uncle Henry showed up to say hi as well.  After dinner, Grandma Dot, Aunt Kathy, Uncle Dave, Gwen (Andrew's cousin), and Matthew (Gwen's 7-year-old son) came over with ice cream for dessert.  Everyone was in town for Grandma Dot's 90th birthday party, so it was nice to see family we haven't seen in a long time.  Matthew, Peter, and Danielle had the best time playing together and catching lightening bugs.  .

The biggest excitement for the day, though, was Aunt Kim's news.  She spent most of the day with David, her boyfriend of about 3 years.  Just before dinnertime, she came home with a ring on her finger!!  Congratulations Aunt Kim and (soon to be) Uncle David!!!

Summer Trip to New Jersey

Summer has arrived, so that means our summer trip to New Jersey is finally here!!  The kids absolutely love traveling to see all of our New Jersey family each summer, so they have been talking about this forever.  Our day started early - we left at 5am for the airport.  We parked the car and took a bus to the terminal.  Peter asked how much the bus cost.  Then he said that if we had lots of kids in our family, we would need to buy a bus.

When we arrived at our gate, we saw Aunt Mary and Uncle David at a nearby gate.  They were flying to Boston for a vacation with friends.  Peter was a bit confused why we were seeing people we knew at the airport.  We were only there for a few minutes before it was time to board.

The kids did GREAT on the plane!  They have been flying since they were little bity, so they are seasoned flyers.  Peter got the window seat, and Danielle was a little sad.  I told her that she could have the window seat on our way home to Texas.

Our first flight was a quick trip to Houston.  The flight itself was fine, but the problem was in the timing.  When we first booked the flight, we had a layover of almost an hour.  That would have been totally fine.  However, somewhere along the way, the airline changed the time of the first flight and pushed it back.  That took our layover down to about 30 minutes.  Well, that could have been doable as well, but leaving late from Austin put a kink in that plan.  We left about 10 minutes late from Austin.  We landed in Houston after boarding started for our next flight.  We were in the last row of the airplane, so we were the last ones off.  Andrew grabbed our two carry-on suitcases and took off running.  I grabbed 3 backpacks, 2 pillow pets, my purse, and 2 kids, and we took off as fast as we could.  I wasn't able to hold Peter's hand, so I had to keep looking to make sure he was next to me.  I had Danielle's hand, but she kept tripping because I was pulling her faster than her little legs wanted to run.  To make the situation worse, we had to go to a completely different terminal!!!

The kids loved the little train that took us from Terminal E to Terminal C.  Andrew called while were were getting off the train to tell us that they said that had to close the door to the plane.  I told him we were in the terminal and on the way.  We were about 5 or 6 gates away, so I scooped Danielle up, told Peter to run to Daddy, and started running as quickly as I could with everything I was carrying.  As we go to the gate, there were 4 people standing there ready to take our seats from the standby list.  It was CRAZY!!!  We were the absolute last ones on the plane.  As we sat down, the captain announced that they had closed the door.  Peter kept saying, "Phew - I'm so glad we made our flight."  Me too, buddy, me too.

The flight from Houston to Newark was uneventful.  The kids stayed entertained with their LeapPads and Pez.  I downloaded a couple of new games as well as some episodes of Daniel Tiger.  Peter asked how much the plane cost and who owned it.  They he said if we had 60 kids in our family we would need an airplane.  Yes, Peter, we would....

Danielle was a little upset at the beginning of the flight because the sun was in her eyes, but she was content to wear some new princess sunglasses until we were above the clouds.

She fell asleep fairly quickly after an episode of Daniel Tiger and slept until just before we landed.

3 hours later, we landed in New Jersey.  Yay for 2.5 weeks of vacation!!! :)

Friday, June 28, 2013

Preparation for New Jersey

Preparation has begun for our summer trip to New Jersey.  Homer is hanging out at the Pet Hotel, and our fish and frog are enjoying a little time away at Ms. Paula's house.  

The kids didn't have a difficult time dropping Homer off this time, but Danielle was a little sad after leaving her fish at Ms. Paula's house.  Peter reminded her that they were heading to New Jersey the next day, though, and she was just fine.  :)