Monday, July 28, 2014

New light pole

We had a very exciting morning today. We finally got our new light pole. About 5 weeks ago we had some straight line winds come though that knocked down our old pole

So this morning they finally came to replace it. We were outside with the daycare next door to watch.


Brand new pole

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Caribbean Princess

Thursday March 13.
What was supposed to be a somewhat normal workday turned into a not so fun day for me. Late Wednesday afternoon I started not feeling well. Truth is I had been battling a head cold/allergies for a few weeks. Wednesday night my throat hurt also so after pedicures with the girls we went to urgent care. Rapid strep test came back negative but because of our vacation being only 2 days away she put me on antibiotics anyway. Wednesday night into Thursday morning I got worse. I was so weak Thursday morning that I closed my daycare. I hate doing that but I couldn't even get out of bed until after 10am. My wonderful husband got the kids off to school. He had some work to finish up so after I was up and finished packing the last of things I needed a nap. I hadn't slept at all the night before. While I napped john loaded the car and even put the right car seats in the car. After I woke up we took the dog over to his daycare, stopped at the bank and then picked up the kids. That night we drove to Chicago. I still wasn't feeling well but I was better than I was in the morning. Unfortunately the beds at the hotel were awful. I don't think any of us slept more than 2-3 hours total.
Friday March 14
After a sleepless night for all 4 of us, we got in the car bright and early and drove to my parents house. There was a mix up with the shuttle and we ended up cramming 4 adults, 2 children, 5 large suitcases and all the carry on bags into our car and driving to the airport. We got there with just over an hour remaining until our flight. Checking in was no problem. Then we got to security. The line was huge. The girls had to pee. John stood in line while I raced them to the bathroom. When we got back I was looking for him and a security lady asked who I was looking for. I said my girls had to use the bathroom and my husband stayed in line. She saw him waving and told him to come over. We thought we were in trouble. She waved to another lady and said I'm sending a family down. My parents saw this and said to the lady, we are with them. They got to come too. We got to go in the express line!! No idea why really but we got through security in 5 minutes. We made it to our gate with only 20 minutes to spare. Phew. We boarded the plane with no problem and we were able to get 6 seats together towards the front. The flight wasn't without a few snags though. Because of my cold/allergies, the pressure in my head was horrible. Luckily it was only bad until we reached cruising altitude and then during descent. Larissa got stuck in the bathroom. We couldn't get to the back one and I could not wait by the front bathrooms (because of post 9-11 laws) so I waited at my seat and watched her. I saw the light go off and she didn't come out. The flight attendant heard her and helped her out as I was on my way up. Larissa doesn't like airplane bathrooms anymore.
We arrived in Houston without any more hiccups. We got to our hotel ok. It was really nice. We got to our room and immediately sat on the bed. Comfortable. Yay. We walked down to a BBQ place called Pappas. It was really good BBQ. For dinner we stayed at the hotel. The girls wanted to go swimming but when we got back from lunch it was overcast. Soon after it started raining. Another problem came when we went to pull out the sofa for the girls. It wasn't a pull out. Where were the girls going to sleep?? The front desk had no roll always and no rooms with 2 beds. Great. Well being only 5 and 7 I was able to convince them that sleeping on the floor was fun and an adventure. The cushions came off the couch and we borrowed some of grandmas cushions. I made them each a bed of the floor and they liked it. We all slept really well that night. The girls were asleep by 8:30 and got up about 6:15. John and I were asleep by 9. When the girls got me up at 6:15 I put cartoons on and went back to sleep until about 7. Because of bring sick, I hadn't slept more than 3-4 hours since Saturday. I was exhausted.
Saturday March 15.
Ah. Cruise embarkation day. After breakfast at the hotel, we boarded our shuttle for the cruise. We arrived about an hour before boarding. No big deal. We went through security about 10:30. Checked in and found our seats. About a half hour later we were boarding the ship. We dropped our carry ons in the cabin and headed up to the Lido deck for lunch. Burgers, hot dogs and pizza. Yummy. We spent the rest of the day looking around and signed the kids up for kids club. We wanted to go swimming but again it was overcast, raining and just plain chilly. We had dinner in the dining room. Everyone but Larissa ordered prime rib. It was really good. The kids went up to the kids club at 6 and we enjoyed a relaxing dinner. By 8 the kids were tired so we picked them up and all got ready for bed.
Sunday March 16
Today started nice and early. The girls were up around 6 excited to start their day. We had a small breakfast in the cabin and lazily got ready. We then went to the buffet to finish breakfast and the kids went to the kids club. John and I went up to the hot tubs, which were more like warm tubs. It was warmer today and sunny, but still very windy. After about an hour we got the kids and took them swimming. They had a lot of fun. For lunch we did the pub lunch. Fish and chips all around. After lunch the girls wanted to rush back to the kids club for the t-shirt coloring and ice cream social. We wandered around a bit and then I came back to sit on the balcony. I put my headphones on, cranked up the music and just watched the sea go by. It was so relaxing.
Tonight we also had the renewal of our wedding vows. May 28, 2004 we got married. In September of that year we took our honeymoon on this ship. We thought it fitting that we renewed our vows on the same ship. The girls got to be flower girls. The captain performed the ceremony. We had a professional photographer. When we got back to the cabin we had a bucket of champaign waiting. It was really nice. Now the girls are back in the kids club watching Monsters University.
Monday March 17
Happy St. Patricks Day. Today the Skylar and John woke up early and went down to the international cafe for some donuts. Skylar had one that was "loaded with sugar and super yummy". They brought back donuts for Rissy and I. When they came back Rissy was awake and they all went to get drinks. I was awake the whole time but didn't want to wake up yet it was only 6!! So we ate our donuts and some fresh fruit, all got dressed and waited for the kids club to open. The girls were going to spend about 5 hours there while we went into Cozumel. We were only going to do some shopping which is very boring for the girls. On port days the girls can eat lunch with the kids club which us something they love. Today they went to the pizza place. The adults all went into port for a bit. John was looking for a new wedding band. We didn't see anything he liked. Grandma Bonnie and grandpa Bill bought the the girls each a t-shirt. Grandma Kathy and grandpa Don bought the girls each a hat. Then the grandmas got a few freebies at the different stores and gave those to the girls also. When we got back we grabbed a quick lunch and did some swimming and hot tubbing before we got the girls. We then took them swimming. Skylar is swimming completely on her own now. No floaties, no help. Just swimming all over. She's very proud of herself and so are we.
Around 3 we had a bit of a storm come through. It's neat to watch it come off the water like that. The storm caused some rough seas and even though we were still moored to the pier, the boat was rocking and bumping quite a bit. You could feel it more on certain parts of the ship. With our cabin being the very last one before the back end of the ship, I could feel the bumps quite a bit. (We love this cabin though, we have had it a few times and it's our favorite location). John and Rissy went to tea at 3:30 while Skylar and I took a nap.
Once we left Cozumel, the seas calmed down quite a lot. We had dinner in the buffet. It was Bavarian night. The girls went up to the kids club for pirate night. They colored frames, made hats, got their faces painted, got a balloon sword, sang songs and were about to watch a movie when we picked them up. They were happy to come back though. It was a long and tiring day. While they were enjoying pirate night, us adults went to see the comic. At first he was blah, but he had a few moments that had us all laughing hard.
Tuesday March 18
Today is Roatan Hondorus. Of course the girls had us up bright and early. After breakfast we watched as we came into port. We then packed up and went into port. We took a chair lift over to the beach. The girls thought that was pretty neat. When we got to the beach the girls immediately went in the water. I swam for about a half hour. John stayed in closer to an hour. The girls just swam and swam and swam. They played on the beach. Played in the surf. There were a lot of photo ops on the island and the girls had a blast posing for them. Then it was back to the ship for lunch and the girls wanted to go to the kids club for a bit. They only stayed about an hour before John picked them up and took them to tea. Then it was time for more swimming. John was trying to teach Rissy to swim without floaties. She does ok but just goes in circles. We will try again tomorrow.
Wednesday March 19
Belize City, Belize. Today we navigated through 26 miles of reefs and sandbars to anchor outside of Belize City. We reluctantly decided to go into town. Neither of us are find of gender boats but we've never been to Belize so we decided to go. It was hot and a lot like every other island we've been to. I would have liked a tour but they were expensive. We left the kids on the ship. I'm glad we did. It was very crowded and they would not have had any fun. It was really weird going away on a tender and seeing our ship there knowing my kids were still on it. The other times we left them at the club to go to port, we just walked off. For some reason that was fine. Maybe because at any time I could walk right back on the ship? Today I was at the very minimum, a 15 minute boat ride away. Anyway. When we got back to the ship we went swimming before grabbing some lunch. The girls wanted to eat with the kids club. After their lunch we picked them up and went swimming with them. We spent all afternoon at the pool. When we finally got back to the room, Rissy promptly fell asleep. Just about every cruise, around day 4 or 5 it finally catches up to them and one or both will take a nap. After we fed them dinner the girls went back to kids club for a super fun disco dance party. They took the kids to Skywalkers night club to dance the night away. The adults went to the Crab Shack. It's a new specialty restaurant. For a cover charge you get an appetizer of shrimp and hush puppies. Then a bowl of Manhattan clam chowder. Then you pick your main course. John and I both picked the Caribbean mix. It contained snow crab legs, shrimp, mussels, clams and then some other sides. It was really tasty. Then we went to see Hawley Magic.
Thursday March 20
Today was the first of our 2 sea days on our way back to Houston. For some reason I didn't sleep well. Both girls were up coughing a lot and of course I was up listening to make sure they were ok. The girls spent almost all day in the kids club. They had a lot of fun activities today. Sponge bob painting and games. Ice cream social, birthday bash dinner. They were so exhausted Rissy took a nap during their hour break between the afternoon and evening sessions. I did 2 liars of laundry and relaxed a lot. John did a little swimming. In the afternoon we saw the movie Gravity in the Princess Theater. We also got to see the pictures from the vow renewal. All in all it was just a normal relaxing day.
Friday March 21
Our last day at sea. Today the girls slept in until 7:30. We ordered room service for breakfast and then we were off to the pools. It was a bit chilly but we swam for about an hour. After that the kids went to the kids club for a bit. John and I walked around the ship a bit to just take it all in. We picked the girls up for lunch and then more swimming. We swam for another 2+ hours then got some ice cream cones. We had to go back to the room to pack up. The girls watched Planes while we packed. For our last dinner on board, we all went to the dining room. This is the first time we have been on a cruise flies to Larissa's birthday so she was excited to celebrate at dinner. We sang to her and she got a cake. We were also celebrating our anniversary so Skylar got to eat our cake. After cake the girls went to the kids club one last time. The last night is always a pajama party and always fun. Now they are in bed, ready to head home. They love the cruises but they are exhausted. They miss their house, their beds, the dog and the next door neighbors. I usually miss my bed on vacation but Princess has some pretty comfortable beds. I've been sleeping very well. I do miss my house, my dog and my awesome neighbors though.
Saturday March 22
Today we disembarked the ship. After a leisure morning we got off about 10:30 and made our way to the airport. Our flight was uneventful. We landed just fine, dropped my parents off and made our way to Iowa. First we stopped at McDonalds for the girls and Portillo's for us. We got back home around 9:30 and all went to bed. It was a long and exhausting day. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Tiffin Fest Parade

This year we got to be at the start of the parade route.  They set up right next to the court and started at the top of the street.  The girls loved watching them set up and of course they loved watching the parade.

The house

We are officially completely moved in.  Every box has been unpacked.  Every room has been decorated.  We are done.  It feels so nice to have a home again.  We are all very happy here.  The girls love having their friends next door.  I like having a friend next door also.  John gets along great with the neighbors also.  Any given night we can go outside and find someone to talk to, or the kids can find a friend to play with.  We have a lot of young children in the court, as well as some families with older children.  Everyone is very friendly.  Here are some pictures of our house.