Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Linville Falls

And...our last spring break day trip: Linville Falls. We met Destinee and her kids up in the mountains for an awesome hike. We had never been there, but had a great time and would love to take Andrew back.

We had a picnic and visited. The big kids came up with tribes and were trying to recruit each other. The three little girls walked around singing songs from Frozen.

 Our hiking crew.
Both trails are short and very manageable for kids.

They were off! 

And after a quick .4 mile hike,
  a beautiful payoff.

Mason and Brandon are brotherless cousins
who always look forward to having another boy around. 

Poor Whitney assumed that since we were meeting up with Avery,
we would be doing a kid swap. Unfortunately, we were not.
They had to make the best of their half day together.

You can take a different trail and catch this view:

But these little two-foot stone walls are the only things
keeping you from plunging to your death! Yikes!

After we were done hiking, Destinee showed us two fun places to stop on the way home.
The first was this cute cheese store where we were introduced
to the deliciousness of cheese curds. Yum.

 The girls tested out the rockers on the front porch.

The second was "Dots Dario" a very random and yummy ice cream shop.

After finishing off our yummy treats, we gave hugs and headed home.

It was not our usual big-trip spring break, but we still managed to create fun memories together.

Sunday, April 27, 2014


Our next day trip for spring break was to Carowinds, an amusement park near Charlotte. This was a first for me and the girls. Brandon had gone once with a friend. Diane and I scored a great deal on tickets and decided to go down together I'm so glad we did. It worked out perfectly. Diane is not the biggest fan of roller-coasters, so she got to hang out with the younger kids. And, lucky me, got to ride all the big rides with Brandon and Lauren. Everyone was happy!

The park was busy, but not too crazy. I think 45 minutes was the longest we had to wait for a ride. The food prices were ridiculous: $15 for a chicken strip combo meal, or pizza combo meal. Thankfully, my kids don't eat a ton, so I got by with only buying two meals for all four of us and everyone was full. (Cheapskate mom!) Overall, we had a fabulous day and I would definitely go again...hopefully I can find another deal for affordable tickets.

The NC/SC border runs right through the middle of the park.
Straddling two states 

 B, Lauren, Me on the viking ship.
B LOVED this ride.

I think he rode it 8 times.
It left you hanging upside down too long for my taste.
I felt like my eyes were going to pop out of my head.

Very fun. Almost made me pass out.

My favorite was Intimidator. Fast and Fun!! 

C's favorite ride: Peanuts Pirates 


Whit and Leann on Peanuts Pirates.
Despite her face, W says this was her fave, too. 

In line for Boo Blasters.
This was the line we waited the longest in.
It was the only one that all seven of us rode together.
Everyone except C liked it.
It was a little on the scary side for her.

Diane and Me 

 Boo blasters!

 Snoopy's Space Race, another of C's faves.
She loved the way you could push the button to make it honk.
(And honk it did--LOUDLY. Not so fun for waiting parents.)

Killing time while waiting in line 


 Carolina Cobra, another fun, fast coaster.
Takes you forward and then you do the whole ride backwards.

Woodstock Gliders
This one is cool, because you can use that handle to control how high you go.
It's a contest and the people waiting in line vote for a winner.
Brandon and C-Bear won!

The kids talked me in to letting them play some carnival games.
They found out how tricky they are.

But Whit won the piggy race. Yippee!

The kids with Snoopy

It was a fun, fun way to spend a spring break day.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Spring Break 2014

Our winter weather has been so lousy that we technically lost our whole spring break to snow days. In the 11 years we've lived here, that has never even come close to happening! Well, I guess enough parents and teachers protested because they forgave a few of make-up days and gave us a little 3-day break (5-day with the weekend). Lucky for us, we didn't have a big vacation plan. (Andrew's surgeon said my proposed Disney trip was not a good idea at this point in his recovery.) So, we just did little day trips.

Our first day off, Whitney got to cash in on her birthday present from Andrew and me:

She got her ears pierced!
She was so brave, especially for the first one.
She was anticipating A LOT of pain.
(I think a certain big brother may have really talked it up.)
And it was not nearly as bad as she imagined.
The second one hurt a little more, but she bounced right back.

We had it done at claire's.
I was not super impressed.

Before the worker pierces the ears, she draws a dot on each lobe to see where the earrings will go. She asked if I was happy with the placement. They were not quite even, so I had her adjust them a couple of times. She finally had them lined up perfectly...but, she missed one of the dots. Seriously? She was nervous about the piercing. When I saw how badly her hands were shaking, I should  have walked out. But I didn't. 

Now Whit's earrings are not quite symmetrical. Boo. But it's not terrible. And Whit seems happy with them. So I'm trying to not let it bother me.

Whit's other request was a trip to the ice skating rink. It was pretty empty and we had a great time skating.

 The kids are getting good!
Caroline's balance still needs some work, but she has got speed.
She pulled ME around the rink. It was hilarious.

We finished the day at Whit's favorite restaurant,
Golden Corral, where we all stuffed our faces. Yum.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

She wants candy

Miss Whitney turned ten this month! Double digits! How exciting. She decided she wanted to have a candy-themed party here at home. The dental hygienist in me struggled with that...but we went for it anyway. Ten-year-olds are so fun and easy. (Or at least the four that we had over.) They had a great time getting a huge sugar high. And then I sent them home. I hope their moms will still be friends with me.

I don't have a pinterest account and don't spend much time on that site, but for party-planning, it is a MUST. Whit and I found a few ideas we liked and got to work.

We made a candy garland.
It is difficult to photograph.
And even more difficult to make without the strings getting all tangled up.
If I do another candy party, I'll skip this part.

We got plain white gift bags for the girls to decorate as their goody bag.

We poked holes in gumballs with metal skewers,
turning them into beads to make gumball necklaces.

I counted all 734 of those Skittles for the "Guess How Many Skittles" game.
The winner guessed 684. I was impressed.

And the BIG centerpiece was the candy bar.
I had so much fun putting it together.
It was just a little tricky knowing that only 4 girls were coming.
Hard to have a lot of variety without being left with a ton of candy.
Not that it's a big problem in our house...

My favorite part was this dum-dum topiary.
It took 3 1/2 bags of dum-dums to make that ball.
I originally bought ONE bag and had to keep going back to the store for me.
Lucky me, they were on sale at Harris Teeter, buy one get one free.

After anxiously waiting for 3 hours and 15 minutes between the end 
of school and the beginning of the party....
it was time!
The creative girlies did a great job decorating their bags.

Pizza dinner

Andrew designed an awesome candy treasure hunt for them.
It was rainy outside, so we had to move everything indoors.

We also had a little game show called, "Name That Candy."
Whitney rocked it.

We thought we had improvised a good indoor pinata hanger.
It survived a couple of hits, then came out of the ceiling. D'oh!

In the end, we resorted to Brandon holding it while standing on a ladder.
It worked.

Next we made our gumball necklaces.
They turned out super cute!
But were harder than we though they should be.
Getting the ribbon through those little holes was NOT easy.

Modeling their necklaces.
Can you tell which friend is new to this group? 

Whit decided we would do the candy bar in place of a birthday cake.
So instead of lighting a candle, Andrew lit a dum-dum on fire
while we sang, "Happy Birthday."

The girls made "candy cocktails" and had fun gobbling them up.

Then they had a few minutes to dance while we waited for parents.
Such a fun, fun night with Whit and her friends.