Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Angelic Gardens: Fall Fest 2012

After three hours of calming alone time at the spa, I thought it was time to take three children to a pumpkin patch (I know,who does that to themselves?)!  We followed the Google Maps directions to the middle of nowhere and found Angelic Gardens. 

We have learned from experience that thing here are usually a little different than we are used to: smaller scale, more laid back, etc.  This experience was no different, but it was every bit as enjoyable.

We started by checking out the pumpkins and the local feline!

(Sidenote: This photo is the one that won me the Fall Festival Photo Contest!  Yes, there were only two people who entered, but still, I won!)

Next, we grabbed a wagon and were off to pick some apples!

After picking our bounty, it was time to pay the bill.  While checking out we were asked if we wanted to go on a wagon ride.  Of course we did!

What we thought would be a "twice around the parking lot" kind of ride, turned into a glorious 40 minute snuggle-fest.

(Carmen, this is the only picture of my "new do" so far.  Not the greatest representation, sorry.)

After the wagon ride, it turned out to be too late to go to church-- oops!  We opted for continuing the fun-- going out for pizza, and watching a movie at home. 

 Although sometimes we miss the big, blow-out type events at "home", I think that the smaller, laid back events like this one are helping us all become a little bit more laid back ourselves and THAT is a very good thing!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Spa Day

Jason left for North Dakota on July 4th, and left a lot jobs behind... putting the house on the market, packing up our stuff, caring for three kids, etc.

When it was all getting to be a bit too much, I would joke with him that he needed to send me to the spa after it was all over. I needed to hold onto that thought when the world seemed to be spinning a bit too fast. 

 Luckily, he took my rantings seriously and sent me to the spa on Saturday.

I chose a 30 minute massage (which I actually was not all that fond of believe it or not)...

a "chocolate and pepperment" pedicure (by far my favorite part)...

I wish the color showed up a bit better.  They are this gorgeous copper color with sparkles!  

a shampoo, cut and style... 

and a brow wax.

After three hours of pampering, I was calm, relaxed, and ready to take on the world-- or maybe just the pumpkin patch (that'll be the next post)!  Here's hoping I don't wait another 35 years for the next spa day!

Friday, September 14, 2012

He Touched Shaving Cream

I uploading these photos to my FB account today.  One friend commented, "No sensory issues with this boy.".  I wanted to shake her, I wanted to scream, "You do not know what it took to get him to this point!!!".  I wanted to outline, in great detail, how his multitude of sensory issues kept me feeling like I was under house arrest for most of his first year of life. I wanted to tell her how long it took this boy to be willing to touch the shaving cream with his hand (and how, after about 5 seconds after I put it there he would say, "towel" and want me to wipe it off).  But for now, I won't say anything.  For now I will just enjoy the fact that today my son touched shaving cream.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Remembering our 9/11s

This morning I read an absolutely "brutiful" blog post by a friend remembering her story of 9/11. She was there. IN New York. Wondering about friends and family. Struggling to get home. Scared about what was next. My story is not like hers, but I realized that mine is still my story to tell-- to share-- with you and someday with my children. I was teaching 5th grade that year in a small Indiana town. I had just taken my class to library and went into the teacher's workroom to make some last minute copies. The room had an eerie quietness to it (usually you could hear those in the front office laughing it up). That's when I looked up at the tv monitor above the copy machine. I saw the first image. A plane hitting a skyscraper in New York. I thought, "How tragic!". I wondered what happened to the pilot that made him run into such a tall building and then, live, I saw the second plane hit. It was obvious that this was no accident. Even though I was numb, in shock, I had to go pick up my 20-something students from library and carry on. As I made my way back to our classroom, with students following behind, I wondered what was in my planbook that day, and how it could be even kind of important compared to what just happened. Another fifth grade teacher stepped outside her room and said to me, "You know, in times like these, it's okay to turn on your tv and let the kids watch.". And that's what we did. I'm sure we did other things that day. I know parents were allowed to come get their kids if they chose. But all I remember is watching, with a big group of 5th graders. They kept asking me questions and all I could say was, "I don't know". Who has the answers when terrorists hyjack planes with the intent to kill and kids want to know why? I certainly didn't. I remember a rough and tough, football playing, pain-in-my-butt student looking over at me while we were watching. I couldn't help it; the tears were falling and I couldn't hold them back for anyone, not even for him. I remember going home that night and grading papers, and eating dinner, all while glued to the television, hoping, praying good news would come. My husband and I had just found out about a week before that we were pregnant with our first child. I remembering wondering what we were thinking. How could we bring an innocent child into this kind of world? This wasn't the land of the free and the home of the brave. No, in my US, there are no terrorists on our soil. After that I remember there being lots of talk about heroes in the class. Lots of new stories came to light about heroes-- heroes in the Twin Towers, heroes on the planes, heroes saving those in the rubble. I hope that what those now 20 or 21 year olds remember is that we talked about the heroics of everyday people. I don't mean to belittle what extrodinary people did in the aftermath of 9/11, but most of them were just ordinary people who made choices which made them extrodinary. That we can all do. WE can choose to be extrodianry to someone who needs us!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Dakota Zoo

Last Saturday we put an offer on an amazing house on 12th Street.. only to find out that we lost it to another buyer.  There were tears shed and all 3 kids fell asleep during church on Saturday night out of pure, raw emotion.  So by Sunday morning, it was time for some fun. 

We packed our lunch, loaded up the car, and began the 2 hour journey to the Dakota Zoo.  There were several times along the way that we doubted of decision, and thought our parade might truely be rained on, but we decided to stick with the plan.

I have to say, we pulled into the small gravel parking lot and thought, "Well, this trip will be short!".  It seemed so small compared to the Indianapolis Zoo that we're used to.  But again, we stuck with the plan and went inside.  After a long car ride, the first thing David spotted was the playground!  So, we went with it. 

Not long after the kids began playing, we knew the rain was not going to hold off much longer. 
The woman at the front gate told us the best places to keep dry, so we headed off to visit the snakes.  By the time we finished with the snakes, the rain was done.  It turned out perfectly! 

This zoo is actually much more like a park (think "We Bought a Zoo").  You follow the trails, you see some animals-- it's great.  The crowds were low as well, so we didn't have to encage our youngest animal to a stroller either.   These monkeys put on quite the show.  You could hear their interesting noises throughout most of the zoo.

We ran out through a long open field to meet Mama Llama and Baby Llama.

We met a wolf or two which looked quite tame, almost tame enough to take home with us.

And we saw a tiger from two angle, from the side and from underneath!

This animal was so ferosious, we tried hard to keep our distance!

We watched while some cubs had a battle in the pond.

These emus had no problem being up close and personal with us.  Although seeing them made me want to bust out in song ("If I had a million dollars; I'd buy you an exotic pet like a llama or an emu").  The kids were fascinated with their "ears".

It was at this point that my camera began telling me "Camera Exhausted"-- no joke.  So, the rest is photo-less.  We went into a monkey house (no, you're exactly right, it smelled horrible).  After the monkeys we fed various types of birds right out of our hands and we ended the day with a train ride (Guess which toddler did NOT want to leave the train?).  We thought that we had seen all of the animals during our walk, but the train ride proved that we had missed a lot, including reindeer! I guess those will have to be on the must-see list for next time!  It was such a fun, laid back day, especially compared to the craziness that was the day before.  We almost didn't want to leave.  After the long drive home we picked up Papa Murphy's and a couple Red Boxes-- including "We Bought a Zoo"-- again!