Monday, August 5, 2013


Man I have to say that I just LOVE Nauvoo!  I love the feeling there.  It just makes you feel so good and everything is just so peaceful!  I decided to take kid pics while we were there to see the Pagent.  I totally love how they turned out! 
 (well most of them! hehe!  I really would have rather gotten a nice smile out of Dylan and Lacey instead of a nice wide open mouth shot but they were all having so much fun being silly!)
 Usually I will pose a couple pics and then just let them do whatever while I snap away.  That is usually where I get the really good moments captured!
 While Abby, Dylan and Lace messed around Colby was really really interested in the grass.
 Bryan has that nice pioneer lineage and is related to couple people who lived in Nauvoo including John Taylor so we took a pic in front of his house for Bryan's Grandparents.
 Standing on a random wagon-fun times.
 Soaking in some sun and beautiful flowers in the Relief Society Garden!
 We spent some time down by the river where the Pioneers crossed.  The kids spent most of the time seeing how many rocks they could throw in the river.
 Man those wagons were small!
 Before the Pageant starts they hold a little Country Fair with all kinds of games and crafts.  It is pretty amazing and the kids just loved it!  Bryan even pulled them in a handcart, which they thought was pretty fun!
 The kids really enjoyed the pageant and wanted to go back down this past weekend!  It would have been so much fun to go down again!  The Pageant was wonderful and I always leave with so much peace.  It was a perfect last big summer trip to do with the kids.  I think it might have to become a yearly thing!

Adventure Land!!

This year we took the kids for an actual family vacation not just the usual staycation we normally do.  It was a little stressful for me but we all had a great time!!
One of my biggest fears was that we would lose a kid.  Now I am super paranoid about where my kids are on any normal day so I kinda had a hard time!  I got everyone nice bright t-shirts and put "Stoker" on the back of them and then just for giggles "mandatory family fun" on the sleeves!  I actually got a lot of compliments on them and lots of people were like "thats a great idea".  It was kinda funny because I know we arent the only ones who have done this and I dont think it was a very new idea!  But anyway the shirts were awesome because the kids knew exactly where we were and I could do quick head counts!
Anyway this was the kids first time to an amusement park and they had a blast!  The rode the Pirate ship thing first and they came off with mixed feelings!
 We decided to let Colby try out a ride.  He was soo excited!  And then it started to move.   And he wasnt excited anymore.  He was screaming.  Everytime he passed me he would reach out his hand and call for me.  It was so sad!   But also really funny!
 So Bryan has been waiting and waiting to take the kids on The Raging River and as I am not a big fam of the water rides Colby and I hung out to get some pic from the bridge.
 The one thing that was totally awesome was that the park was pretty empty so we pretty much walked on to all the rides (with just a couple exceptions of course) and the kids could usually ride a ride a couple times in a row without getting off.  So we totally got our moneys worth!  Abby, Dylan and Lacey loved this ride because you could make the dragons go up and down while it was spinning.  I went with Colby and every time I went high he would start yelling at me to make it go down!  I think that was the only time he rode that one. 
 Abby and Lacey loved this one.  It is just a little kid ferris wheel.
 Another water ride I was more than happy to sit out of.
 The had a little circus there also.  I really wouldnt call it a circus it was more like a variety show.  They had a tight rope walker, a trapeze artist, a hula hooper, a juggler and the best part, the quick change couple.  Now that was awesome!
 One super nice thing was staying at the Adventure Land Inn they have a trolley to and from the park that runs all day.   So here the kids are while we waited for that!
 This was by far the favorite ride for the older kids.  I think all total they probably rode it about 10 times!
 We were able to talk Abby and Dylan to try a roller coaster!  I dont think I can ride roller coasters with my kids while they are young.  All I could think of  were worst case scenarios of everything that could go wrong!  Now I do that enough when it is just me but add them in the mix and my imagination was on overload!  Abby didn't really like them and almost blew out my eardrum on the Tornado.  Dylan loved it and I even got him to go on the Dragon which has a couple loops-yeah he said he wouldnt do loops again.  But he was up for regular coasters!
It was funny how some of the rides the kids liked best were ones where they were sitting on a car or something and just going around in a circle!
 The tickets to the park also include tickets to the water park.  That was really fun and the kids had a blast!  I dont have any pics from there because I was to busy trying to keep track of everyone!  They had this huge pirate ship play area thing for the kids.  So my guys of course spent most of their time there but they did come in the Lazy River with Colby and I for a while!  Colby who as you know is not a big fan of water spent most of his time sitting on my lap in an inner tube on the Lazy River. 
Lacey at one point didnt want to wear her life jacket anymore and was like "no one else is wearing them mom!"  So I nicely told her that she had to keep it on.  She isnt a very strong swimmer and I wasnt taking any chances!  So I watched her as she walked back to the play area and she walked up to some lady and asked her to take off her life jacket and the lady DID IT!!  I was like oh my gosh you have got to be kidding me!!  Who does that?!  There is now way I would take of some random kids life jacket!!  So I walked over grabbed the life jacket Lacey had thrown on the ground, found that little stinker and put the jacket back on her and told her that if she took it off again we were leaving!  Yeah she left it on after that.
So by the end of the second day Colby had lasted as long as he could and finally gave up and fell asleep in the stroller-he was fighting it hard!
The next day we took the kids to the Science Center in Des Moines.  I have a couple pics but they are on my phone.   They had some pretty fun things there but the kids all decided that they like the Putnam better.  I was super excited because they had a planetarium there and I thought the kids would love it!  But not so much.  I think if they had a different program showing then they would have gotten into it.  And I think Colby thought we were going to make him take a nap.  He was so not happy being in a dark room!  But anyway I think we all had a great time and I have to thank Bill and Jenny for going with us.  It was nice to have each kid have a buddy!