Wednesday, August 25, 2010

More Summer Catch Up

That's it. I can't put this off any longer. It's September, for gosh sakes! I have several "back to school" posts already lined up, but I just have to get the rest of these summer posts up first.

So, even though the sky is cerulean blue and the crispness of Fall is right around the corner, just pretend you are back in the sweaty summer.

One of our last days in Ohio included a trip to the Air Force Museum at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. This trip is one that every Ohio child of school age has made at least once with the rest of her classmates, but my kids had never been, and we thought they (mostly Ben) would enjoy seeing all the big planes.

Kayli and Claire posing outside the museum while we waited for the rest of the family to catch up.

Yes, he's almost 4 and still in a stroller. It's more for containment purposes at this point. If you have a 3 year old boy, then you know what I mean.

Now, are you ready for lots of pictures of people posing with planes?

Here they come!

Open your eyes, Zach!

This next one is my favorite. My dad recalls seeing this exact plane during a field trip when he was in 5th grade.

I'm sure you can imagine just how funny it was for a 10 year old boy. I can just hear the whispered jokes now.

The Bockscar dropped one of the atom bombs to end WWII.

I think I've mentioned before about 3 and 4 year old boys and their "cheese" faces? I present the following evidence for just how difficult it is to get a genuine smile for the camera out of these monkeys.

Uncle Zach, Uncle Jesse, Kayli, Claire, Zeke, Tristyn, and Noah - posing with the rockets. What could be more natural?

Probably the highlight of the trip, for the grown-ups anyway, was getting to tour some of the former Air Force Ones.

Mommy, take a picture of me!

All the cousins!

It was a fun trip with Papa Bill, and my kids walked away very excited about it. Well, actually, I think Ben was probably more excited about getting to ride on a school bus to one of the plane hangers, but oh well.

We also spent a couple nights at Grandma's house due to the great AC revolt of the summer.

Storytime. So sweet.

We had a great time visiting everyone in Ohio.

Next year, everyone just needs to come visit us!

A Deluge and King's Island Baby!

One day of the Grizwold Family Trip to the North included a much-anticipated visit to the "Paris of Ohio" (also known as King's Island). I had been talking up the trip to the amusement park with great enthusiasm for several weeks because I dreaded the idea of paying a big ticket price only to have my children weeny out at riding any of the rides.

Claire and Ben seemed super-psyched about the whole idea, and as the day approached, they could hardly contain their excitement.

Cue freaky lightening flashes and Noah's second flood.

We woke up that morning and were glued to the radar on t.v. (I felt a little like an old man), hoping and hoping that the storms would pass in time for us to enjoy the park. We decided to give it a go, and . . .

After a short stop to pick up Nana . . .

We hopped in the car, along with the ever-fearless-cousin Kayli Jo whose mother styled her hair that morning with the hopes that the added height achieved by her bun would allow her to ride on more of the adult roller coasters.

I can't even fathom what it would be like to have a child like she.

And, as the weatherman assured us, the clouds rolled back and we walked into the gates of Paris.

Grandma came along for some added support and Uncle Seth too.

We were ready to go.

We promptly headed straight for "Kiddie Land," and detoured into the first line we saw. Unfortunately for us (Claire) it was the line for the Haunted House.

She was histrionic the entire time, and the day was nearly lost.

To make matters worse, as soon as we exited the ride, the freaky big head Peanuts characters accosted us. She about passed out.

But, thankful, she recovered.

And, the rest of the day . . .

great fun was had by all.

The very first roller coaster I ever rode as a child is located at this park, and really, the entire park holds some great memories for me, so I was really excited to share this with my kids. I can vividly recall the mix of fear and anticipation I had as I borded that ride and the intense pride as I left it. It was a big moment in Kiddom.

It took several hours, lots of bribing, and plenty of encouragement from her fearless cousin, but we were finally able to get Claire onto what is now known as The Woodstock Express (for all you Ohioans - the Beastie).
And . . .

Wonder of all wonders . . . SHE LOVED IT!

Seriously, you could have knocked me over with a feather, but she had a blast, and even asked to ride it again!

We had such a great time.

The day progressed.

The exhaustion set in . . .

And, as we made our way back toward the front of the park, I had this terrific idea of taking Claire on The Racers. I figured, if she had such a wonderful time on the other coaster, surely she can handle The Racers.

Um, let's just say that that moment will go down as one of my worst parenting decisions of all time. The poor thing spent the entire ride moaning and groaning bent nearly double because she was unable to sit up due to the G forces. She got off that ride and nearly puked.


So, we decided that a trip to the top of the Eiffel Tower was in order.

Someone didn't like it.

But everyone else did.

All in all, it was a great day, and we made some great memories. I got to ride The Beast again, and all was right with the world.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Sweaty Dad's Day

Want to hear a funny story? It goes like this . . .

Once upon a time there lived a little family who, in attempts to escape the sweltering, insta-sweaty days of a NC summer, decided to hop in the car and travel north for some cooler days and time with their extended family. Their family was thrilled to see them, and while the weather wasn't quite as cool and comfortable as hoped for, they were reconciled with the knowledge that air conditioning would solve any sweat related issues.

And then . . .

A sweltering, insta-sweaty front rolled in and, AND the A.C. BROKE!

But no, no worries, never fear, it can just be fixed, right? Oh, no dear family, it must be replaced and replacement would not take place until, UNTIL . . . THE END OF THE WEEK.

Cue the sweat.

All I can say, is thank the Lord for ceiling fans.

Thus, while I was thrilled to actually get to spend Father's Day with MY dad for the first time in a long time, the above story will serve to explain any and all shiny faces in the following pictures.

Dad and Me

All the cousins. This succession of pictures cracks me up. Pay attention to Kayli (2nd from left) and Zeke (red hair in middle).

This one is hilarious.

Want to hear another funny story? The AC wasn't working properly at my dad's church either.

The muggy air must be to blamed for the look on Zach's face in this shot. Because, seriously, there is just no other reason for anyone to EVER look like this.

But, the AC was working just dandy at the restaurant we all trooped to to celebrate Dad's day with our dad.

Zach at the "kid's table." Please notice the pained looks on both Ben and Zeke's faces. This is what happens when you tell a 3 and 4 year old to say "cheese."

Posing with their daddy.

SueAnne and Dad

And so . . . the mommy and daddy of the little family decided to spend a lovely night away from their kiddos to celebrate their 10 year anniversary in the same hotel as their wedding night.

And guess what?

The AC was broke.

Ohio Summer Trip 2010

Seeing that school starts tomorrow, I have finally realized that I have absolutely no more time to procrastinate on these summer posts. I need to get them up here because I'll have some first day of school pics to post soon.

I was considering just jumbling them all together in one big long post, but finally decided that wouldn't be very nice - for you or me. So, I am going to divide them up a bit, but I fear that any semblance of my usually witty remarks (just pretend) will be kept at a minimum this time around. :-)

Every summer, we make an effort to brave the long car trip in order to visit our family in Ohio. Really, apart from the car riding, everyone looks forward to this trip all year. It does get a little difficult since both of our families live there, and we have lots of people to visit and few days to do it, but we manage to fit it all in.

Another reason for our June visit this year was a Ridgeville school reunion for me. This reunion had been planned for quite some time, and I was really hoping to see several of my old classmates. Well, so much for that. Only one other girl from my class was there. Any of you old classmates reading this who didn't show up - SHAME! I really was sad that not many from my time there turned out. I was happy to catch up with those students and former teachers who were there though. Unfortunately, ding-dong packed her camera and then promptly forgot to take any pictures.

The reunion was held outside at a park in sweltering heat that apparently hitched a ride north with us, so that afternoon we cooled off at the pool with Nana and Grandpa Dave. My brother Jesse and his kids were there too, so the cousins got to enjoy some pool time together.

Zeke and Claire. Not the most flattering picture of my girl, I fear. Someone should have told her mother to fix the poor girl's goggles. Geesh!

My mom has a picture of me taken at about 2 years of age with pig-tails and a teeny bikini at this exact same pool. Even back in those dark ages, the pool was painted blue and white.
And apparently they are very intent on keeping that color scheme, as the pool was freshly painted just days before it was filled with water and, unfortunately, before the paint was fully dried. Thus, the milky/painty water. Nothing like starting off the summer with a dip in some chemicals!

Ben. Does he or does he not look enormous in this picture? My wittle baby all grown up!

And the three together.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

In which I assure you we are, indeed, still alive

So, it's been nearly three months since my last post. Definitely a record for me, and for the one of you (hey Claudia!) who actually noticed the absence, never fear, we are still alive. I just wanted to take a bit of a summer break from the blog.

Well, actually, the break also had something to do with the fact that I have really been wanting to upload some video, but because of some computer issues - which I could describe, but which would be totally boring - I've been unable to do that.

I've been really bummed about that because getting these short little snapshots of the kids at different times in their lives is important to me. Important because they also provide for some serious comic relief. The kids get a kick out of seeing themselves at younger ages too. Their favorite videos of late include the award winning "Um, No" and the ever hilarious "Papa Dud(ie)." You should check them out.

Really, you should. Because you certainly won't get any video in this post. Which is a crying shame because watching my girl dance across the stage in all her ballerina/perfectionist glory is really something to behold. Can't remember the next step? No problem, Claire will remind you. And if, for some strange reason, you don't think to look at her, she will stop dancing and wave her hands around to get your attention.

I know. You're just dying to see it, right?

Well sorry, Charlie.

You'll just have to make do with these two shots:


And, post-performance on the stage

And now, since I've caught you up on this momentous occasion that occurred all the way back in June, I might actually get my act together and post some more about more recent(ish) summer events.
We'll see.