Thursday, August 26, 2010

Niagara Falls

Finally, the last portion of our trip.

Sunday, we headed out to Niagara Falls. We stopped in Niagara-on-the-Lake for some sightseeing and walking, and also bought yummy fresh produce at roadside stand.

There were incredibly HUGE flower gardens in this little town. I think their weather must be amazing, being so close to the lake. I have never seen impatiens and cannas that were so giant and beautiful.

(I thought this guy looked lonely...)

This was also a very old area--if you can't read the sign, it says the town of Niagara was settled in 1780!! My uncle was explaining to me some of the history of settlers moving from the northeastern part of the U.S. north, into the Ontario area. I realized how little Canadian history I really know.

We made it to Niagara Falls and the first agenda item was to find lunch before Kris and I fainted from hunger. (Oh, and a little sidenote: for this trip, Kris was referred to as "Snookie" and I was referred to as "The Situation". Just so you know.)

After lunch, we enjoyed the falls--they were amazing!

Here, we can see the falls on the Canada side.

These are the "American" Falls.

Now, do you see that Maid of the Mist dock down there?

And, how about that teeny boat in the mist?

That was our next adventure! (Don't you remember that Pam and Jim got married on the Maid of the Mist?? We HAD to see it!)

It was a good thing they gave us ponchos...I was SOAKED.

After spending the day in Niagara, we were ready for a hotel room and pizza. We drove across the border (where Kris prophetically spotted our North Carolina license plate!) and stayed the night in Buffalo, NY.

We found the most delicious pizza place--they even had grilled chicken wings! (Joel was in heaven.) I didn't get picture of that, but it's probably a good thing. You'd literally be DROOLING on your keyboard.

The next day we drove the 7 hours back to Indiana and spent another day with Joel's family and OUR KIDS!!!

I know it's healthy to leave the kids occasionally...but it sure stinks. I am always so thankful to be with them again.

And there it is--our trip of 2010.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Thank You!

Thanks for the comments on my last post--especially to you moms who shared similar stories. It's so nice to hear that even moms that I think are THE BOMB had kids who were crazy.

Maybe there's hope for her yet.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Someday I'll look back and laugh...

In the past 5 days, Lily has:

*eaten several handfuls of dog food
*thrown my two dish towels off the oven into the toilet
*thrown Ollie's toy truck into a *ahem* 'full' toilet
*'stuffed' an entire bath towel into the toilet
*hidden the babysitters glasses in our kitchen cupboards
*eaten playdoh, crayons, and paper
*brought me a toilet bowl brush at least 3 times
*thrown her baby doll into our pool
*thrown her shoes into our pool
*locked the keypad on my phone

(Okay, I know you're thinking, "Just shut the bathroom door and keep the toilet lid shut!" Seriously, we do. In the few moments that they're open, she wreaks havoc. Every. Time.)

And these are just the things that come to mind. My parents were not exaggerating when they likened her to a hurricane. She is into EVERYTHING.

Mornings aren't exactly her favorite time, either. Lately our mornings have consisted of dealing with crying for her 'nigh night' (blankie) and fits whenever I tell her 'no'. This morning, Ollie added to the fun. At lunch, I offered to go to work for Joel for the afternoon...but he declined.

Someday, I'll look back and laugh.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Joel's parents took our kids back to Indiana after our fun week in Ohio, and we took off, along with Joel's sis and her husband, to the Great White North. Toronto, to be exact. We were going to visit more baseball fields (remember our New York Trip of '08?).

Thursday we stopped in Detroit and caught a Tigers afternoon game.

After that, we went to Slow's BBQ (as seen on "Man Vs. Food") It was quite delicious.

Later that afternoon, we had an unfortunate sudden stop on the side of the road for Joel...which was only the beginning of our 36 hours of horror. Thankfully, we were able to get a room separate from Kris and Sara--so they didn't get sick. But seriously, all Joel and I did from Thursday evening through Saturday morning was sleep and watch Canadian HGTV. And puke. It really stunk. And I missed IKEA. (Thanks, Sara, for buying me something anyway!!!) Did you know there are at least 3 IKEA's in the Toronto area???

Finally, Saturday morning we felt like we could stand without fainting, so we ventured out into the city. I happen to have family that live in and near Toronto--so I was excited to be back--I hadn't been there in 20 years!

We started out at the St. Lawrence Market--a giant outdoor market with fresh fruit, veggies, honey (I bought some!), meat...just about anything. It was so cool.


We also walked by the CN Tower...

and found a bite of yummy food (literally, our appetites took DAYS to reappear) before catching game #2 of our trip--the Toronto Blue Jays. (Which, by the way, is my Grandpa Epp's favorite baseball team!

Joel and I stayed with my Aunt Joan and Uncle Ron that night and walked along Lake Ontario--a mere 5 blocks from their house! You can even see the CN Tower from the dock where we were--the picture is HORRIBLE...but hopefully you get the point.
(can you see it? That greenish light is the CN Tower!)

The next morning, we left and met my cousin Denita and her husband, Adrian, at Tim Horton's. It was such a fun time! I wish we'd had more time with them. This was the first time I had met Adrian!

We then ventured on to Niagara Falls...which will be my NEXT post.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fish Day

I loved what I saw on Julie's blog and Jill's blog--how they had theme days with their kids. It didn't occur to me until mid-July that this could be a fun thing to do with my kids! Honestly, I think that since planning fun educational activities is my JOB, I just don't think to do it at home.

I decided to host a Fish Day for my kids and a couple others. It was a lot of fun! We started with fish puzzles that Taylor and Mason brought over.

Then, we listened to a fish book on CD. After that, we had snacks--gummy fish in blue jello.

Naturally, swimming followed. And boy, did we have some fish that day! These kids LOVED the pool!

We also had a texture tub of sea didn't quite go over like I had planned...but they did get a few fun moments with it.

We had a fun fish craft after swimming. The problem was that we had 5 INSANELY hungry kids trying to do a craft while we made lunch...the big kids did fairly well, the little ones, not so much.

Last we had lunch. What do you eat for fish day? FISH STICKS!!!

Camping Day is next. I love the idea of doing these every month--it sure mixes things up a bit!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Rafting in Colorado

So, this post is about a month and a half late. I meant to blog about whitewater rafting on our Colorado trip with our small group right away...but totally forgot. Amanda had her camera that day--so these are taken directly from her blog--you may have already seen them!

Four of us couples decided to go white water rafting--and boy did we look hilarious! Here we are in wetsuits and everything. (And if you have seen these, they are just as funny the second time, as I found out)
Getting 'debriefed'


Even more information. (Check out Aaron's shoes! We bought them at Alco on the way)

Awesome helmets. Apparently, I was wearing mine a little low in this picture...

All of us before heading onto the bus.

Later, the rest of the group joined up with us and we ate supper and spent the evening in Idaho Springs. It was a beautiful evening, and such a fun time with the other couples!