Yesterday was a very fun FAMILY day! It's been a juggling act trying to schedule one-on-one time for each child to have with Ted, but so far I think (I THINK) we've done a pretty good job of balancing our activities. The timing for various things has just worked out so beautifully; I know God's hand has been guiding us and blessing our time together. Many people have not only prayed for us to get through the deployment but are also praying for this R&R break, and I can certainly feel those prayers lifting us up! Special thanks to those who have been part of this journey with us!
So, highlights from our Friday together:
After a late breakfast, I had to run to base to pick up a prescription, leaving Ted and the kids to hardly notice I was gone while they made some serious progress on a Wii game. :-) We had lunch here at home and then loaded everyone up to go to a surprise somewhere. It was fun listening to the kids guess where we were taking them...even with the clue that no one in our family had ever gone to this event before and that it was NOT a restaurant, they still made all kinds of guesses that defied the parameters!
A dear couple from our church wanted to bless our family with some money to allow us to enjoy something together. So we chose an event, Discover the Dinosaurs, that was in the city for this weekend. I had looked at the web site when someone posted it on our church's homeschool Facebook page, and when I saw the prices, I immediately ruled it out. Not for our family! But the generosity of these friends changed all that!
We had both of the little boys in strollers, which was helpful since it was Lucan's nap time and he seemed content to simply observe from his seat, taking in everything around him! There was a considerable amount of noise from all the roaring of the animatronics. The lighting could also be a bit overwhelming. We were there on a Friday, so there was probably a lot fewer people than there surely will be today and tomorrow, so that did help. I was thankful that both Zaden and Lucan seemed to enjoy the stimulation and weren't upset by it all. Truly, I was surprised that there weren't screaming toddlers everywhere, but I suppose those who would have been upset by the scenes were probably ushered to the other side of the convention center where there were bounce houses and other entertainment in a non-roaring environment.
We actually made our way to the other activities shortly after arriving so that I could find a seat and nurse Zaden while the kids did some activities. Everything required tickets, and at $20 per 12 tickets, it was definitely steep for a family our size! Again, we were so grateful for the monetary gift we received, as it allowed us to purchase 24 tickets and disperse them among the kids.
Tobin, Kenna, and Lucan chose to go through a ginormous inflatable play area first, while Charis and Arden discussed the best way to maximize their tickets. They ended up splitting a small bag at the mining station and spent some time "mining" for pretty rocks--I thought they made a very wise choice! It allowed them to each have a little souvenir to take home plus conserve more tickets!
Kenna and Lucan spent some time digging around the "dinosaur bones" in a sand pit while Tobin did a mining activity as well. Charis and Arden both had enough tickets left to purchase necklaces. Arden found a cool obsidian arrowhead, and Charis chose a cut and polished heart stone. (Later, our sweet and thoughtful daughter took some of her own money and bought a similar necklace for Kenna, just because she wanted to!)
Once our tickets were spent (and it didn't take long!), we went back to the dino scenes and looked around for the answers to the scavenger hunt sheets we got at the door. That took us through all the displays, and we also spent time looking at a collection of REAL fossils. So hey, it was very educational, too!
The kids traded in their trivia sheets for little prizes, and then we all agreed we were ready to head home. It was way past Lucan's nap time, and we had hopes of him getting a nap before we went to church that evening. We did put him down, but the stinker never did go to sleep! However, the older kids and Ted and I played a game (or at least started a game) of Settlers of Catan while Lucan was in his bedroom, and that was a lot of fun! Kenna "helped" Ted play and did a fantastic job of saying "Harumph" when the dice didn't favor Daddy.
In the evening we went to church for dinner, fellowship, and a program that included games and an overview of 2011 with a vision for where God is taking Faircreek in 2012. It was a wonderful time, though we were pretty wiped out by the end! We left just a few minutes early, as I needed to nurse Zaden as soon as we got home. We managed to start a movie with the older kids but then went to bed when Daddy started snoring--loudly!--through the exciting scenes!
For more dinosaur pictures, go to my Facebook album!