Wednesday, November 30, 2016

elms field trip

more on Williamsburg to come, but for now - field trip! no rest for the fun crowd, we rolled into town around 10 Monday night and were field tripping by 9 the next morning.
the school district owns the land at elms and each year most of the classes field trip there. so that means this was at least my third trip (seems like there should be more though?). they do such a good job that it's all good. we learned about the wetlands (and it was actually very informative) and pollution. our experiment:
it was a rainy day (lucky us!) but thankfully we didn't get too wet at all.
we did a bird hike and were told we were the quietest group in our guides two years. but she probably tells all the chaperones that.
bird watching.
then we did a hike around, which was my favorite part. beautiful even on a gloomy day.
we had elders and brian (future elder) over for a breakfast dinner and they left us with a fun lesson.
they had to balance two forks on a toothpick coming out of a salt shaker.
the boys tried and gave up, and then addie wanted a turn. look at that focus.
finally elder shank showed us how it worked. pretty cool. with Christ as our foundation, we can find the balance. good message.
it was elder shank's last night in somd, so we sent this to their mommas. I know I hope I will get lots of pictures when chris heads out. :)
matt and I watched making a murderer and shook our heads in disbelief the rest of the night. craziness.

Saturday, November 26, 2016


with thanksgiving, and just me generally, we didn't pack anything until about 7:15. we had hoped to leave by 8. oops. even still, we were ready to go by 9, because we are awesome. little fashionista all excited and ready to go.
and we're off! we'd been driving for awhile by the time i remembered a picture, and franks was already not feeling well, even with her sea bands.
this was when matt and i started belting out bon jovi at the top of our lungs.
oooooh, we're half way the-re! hahaha, so fun!
our first williamsburg stop was to cici's pizza where we learned, to our shock and horror, that the $2.99 buffet is no more. no no, it's now a $7.99 buffet. they've nearly tripled their price and i can say with 100% certainty that their quality has improved by 0%. we also had to force the kids to eat more than one piece of pizza. rookies!

next stop, along with half of the residents of virginia, was christmastown at busch gardens. we had bought tickets from mwr and got to skip the lines all the way into the park. it. was. gorgeous.
tracie had told us that the shows were amazing, so i kind of had in my head (with no research or planning on my part) that we were gonna see all the shows. when we went in we saw the first show right up from at 2:30, so we went right to that. it was scrooge no more and it was fabulous. there was a slight problem with the seating. we went in and several ushers told us there were still seats up front, so we went all the way up to the second row. i wasn't sure if that was smart because we were so close, but we thought, let's try it. after about 5 minutes, an usher came over and told us those were vip seats and we couldn't sit there. by that time, a lot of the seats that would have been available to us 5 minutes ago, were no longer available. frustrating! but on a positive note, these girls were mesmerized, it was so cute.
i had never been to busch gardens, but it is really cute. all separated by countries, which i love, love, love. grandmother willow.
we quickly headed to another show (remember, my goal was every show!) gloria! it was all about Christ's birth and it was also really great. then we decided to hop on the sky tram that had just opened up to head over to france. we got there right after 4 when it opened, but they weren't ready. they had to cycle through several empty cars. not sure why they didn't have that done before they opened, but whatever. then after they left a few people on, they had some kind of problem and couldn't let people on again. we decided to wait it out.
and we waited, and waited, and waited. and it became one of those, well, now we've waited sooo long...
finally, after a good 30 minutes we were on our way.
i love sky trams. since i'm afraid of heights it's even a thrill ride for me.
beautiful day! perfect temp!
the tram basically runs through a roller coaster, it's pretty crazy. a lot of the rides weren't running though, and this was one of them, thankfully.
sweetie girl. only 4 people per tram, so franks rode with the mc's behind us.
everything was decorated so beautifully, really couldn't have been prettier.
we walked through france and then over to germany and oktoberfest. they had lots of rides open including jr. rides. this little cutie loved the jr. rides!
addie and frankie went with the mc's to the big swings.
everybody loves uncle david!
i meandered around oktoberfest after a bathroom break, and found this cute "family friendly" roller coaster, so i got in line. matt met up with josh and kids and they offered to watch d so we could ride together. i thought we could all ride it, but the swings were taking forever so it was just matt and i. this was right before we were in for the surprise of our lives. that coaster was crazy! it accelerated quickly, had several crazy drops, and at one point, the bottom opened up right out from under us and we fell several stories down. i had no intention of riding scary roller coasters and i was horrified. my legs were shaking uncontrollably the whole time.
after that we took the girls on the autobahn. this one had a jr. ride too, and d loved it!
she rode it probably 30 times.
pure. joy.
addie and maggie finally, after waiting forever in line, got to ride the big autobahn. frankie had decided to come over to the jr. auto's, but i somehow didn't get any pics of her.
we also flew some planes.
ads and franks rode together, and d and mags were supposed to ride together, but sadly mags was too tall.
which means d had to ride with this little excited cutie. it was hilarious because they didn't get their airplane up at all, the other girl had her arms up the whole time, and d had her head resting on her hand like she was bored out of her mind. so silly.
mags really wanted to ride the ship ride, the one that rocks back and forth. that used to be my favorite, so i put on my big girl panties and rode with her. and it was super fun. we even put our hands up.
we stayed in oktoberfest riding the rides for a long time. then we meandered around in search of hot cocoa and snacks. after waiting in a hot cocoa line for 30 minutes, we got to the front only to find out they had run out of the refillable mugs, and wouldn't refill the regular ones. so frustrating.
we finally got our hot cocoa and met up with the gang at twas that night with elvis stojko, 2 time silver medalist and 3 time world champion figure skater. laura was super stoked to see him, and it was a really great show. ice skating reindeer and santa on a sleigh, and elvis was an amazing performer.
we headed back to oktoberfest for a few more rides. the older crew wanted the family friendly coaster, but i wasn't to be fooled twice, so matt and i stayed with the 4 girls playing.
d loved the baby swings and autobahn, but the bigger girls were bored, so we headed to germany to catch the tram over to england.
only the tram was broken. again. so then we went to the carousel. but then as we were waiting the tram was fixed. non-stop excitement. but i only bring it up because there were several of these disappointments throughout the day. it's like they don't run an amusement park every day of the year or something.
so we finally got our tram ride and the girls loved riding in the dark and being able to look down on all the lights. mags said it was her favorite thing of the day. pretty magical.
we closed the park down. we actually closed the parke down and then some, we didn't leave till 10:30. after a carmel incident and a lost boot (found in the parking lot thankfully!) we finally made it home for some goldfish and reading before bed.
we had a fabulous day!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

greenwell field trip

{jumping around}
before halloween i got to go on a first grade field trip with my best 1st grader. it was also wear red day, so holla.
i got this cute group of 6. and no, that cutie in the adidas shirt is not in the water, just a trick of the eyes.
it was an absolutely beautiful day. perfect temperature and clear blue skies. the kids ran and ran.
greenwell is a cute little state park a few miles from our house. this is a pilot program that mrs. g volunteered for, and we loved it.
we collected different sizes, shapes, colors, and textures. lots of fun nature up in thar.
the kids each got this little fairy person to decorate.
franks named hers lexi.
then we went down to the beach and made fairy houses for them. most 6 year olds weren't into it, and after trying for a few minutes, i gave up.
franks and roz used this old log to make their shelter.
then each group got an animal to study about. we had fish and shrimp.
other people had hamsters, a turtle, and big beetles.
after we studied and wrote about ours, we got to go around and check out other peoples.
then they had to move like their animal and search through a bowl of beans to find a jolly rancher, all like their animal.
the fish and shrimp kids couldn't very well use their mouths (gross), so they got the little pinchers. frankie with her reward. but then she still had to take the wrapper off with the pinchers and her mouth.
working it.
and finally, i'll just use my hands real quick like.
these orange type fruits looked like brains. nature is cool. mrs. g told them they could bring home one thing, and i was happy when frankie did not choose to bring her brain home. you know what i mean. ;)
another field trip in the books.