Friday, November 30, 2012

First Night at Big Cedar

Wanna know a good way to work off dinner?!?!  Push your single stroller loaded with 3 kids totaling about 95 pounds up and down hills!!!!  Lucky me, I have an injured foot so I can't push!! : )  But, if you remember, last time we were here I had Owen in the Beco on MY BACK walking the hills while at times pushing a stroller with Ethan in it so I've done my time!!: )
We were in no rush.  We had no where to go.  It was just family night.  A night out.  A night to look at lights.  A night to be together.  So, we could take our time.  Stop when we needed a break.  Stop to look at horses passing by.  It was all part of the experience and we were loving every minute of it!
Most importantly, the kids were enjoying every minute of it!!!!  It was late, past bedtime, but you wouldn't know it!  There is something about being outside, fresh air, pretty lights, horses, and a funny mommy and daddy that help you forget about being tired! : )
We came upon a house that was completely covered in lights and decorated so pretty!  A perfect place to take pictures!  Addyson ran up to the door to knock as I was telling the kids it was Santa's house.  Both big kids quickly left the porch..... and wouldn't come back to take a picture!  Way to go Ambre!
The big kids did NOT want to be posing for a picture with their daddy and have Santa come up behind them to surprise them!  Nope!  They were NOT taking the chance so they went off to play in the distance while I begged them to come back!!!  I had gotten the boys matching shirts and Addyson a complimenting one....we WERE going to take pictures!! : )
Awwwww...... after a little bribing and convincing them that Santa wasn't there (we had to look in the windows to double check), they came to pose for pictures! : )
Love this family shot!!!!  Would have been a perfect Christmas Card shot had I not already mailed our cards out!  Here's to kicking off our Christmas holidays!!! : )
And once I got a picture.... they were off!!!  Enough posing mom!  There is too much space to run around and too many things to see to sit here and "smile"!!! : )  And didn't you bribe us with something?!?!  Time to go find that!! : )
And find a good bribe we did!!!!  Right behind "Santa's House" is a little cafe.  They had cookies for $1.50 and they had ONE cookie sandwich for $1.50.... guess which one we choose!  I just had them cut the yummy sandwich in half and everyone was happy!! : )
Wow!!!!  We never get anything this yummy!!!! ; )
Brad and I skipped the cookie and opted for a drink to walk around with.... okay, we did sneak a bite or two of cookie from the kids but they were happy to share!!!  We were all in a giving mood!!! : )
This little guy was enjoying the freedom to explore!!!!  He was SO happy and so funny!!!
They were all being silly and crazy!!!!  Why Addyson decided to lay in the pile of leaves behind the bush I'll never know!  But she was laughing and so were her brothers so that's all that matters!!!
It was late but that didn't matter!  Life was good!!!
After the kids ate their cookies I talked them into going back in front of the house to try to get a picture of each of them and then a group picture!  I was thinking Christmas card.... but you know how well we do with getting all 3 kids to pose for a picture......
My big guy!!!!  Long weekends with him are the best!  I think we are all on a high when we are all together!!!!
Sweet girl!  Wouldn't look at me.  But, here is her shot by herself.
2 peas in a pod!!!  She is just as happy as I am when he is home!!!
And here is my shot with 3 kids.... up way past their bedtimes and on a sugar high!!! : )
No Christmas card photo but lots of fun memories made so I guess that is all that really matters!
After some photos we did a bit of shopping in the gift shop.  The two big kids each got a stuffed animal to take with.  Owen got a white tailed deer and Addyson got a red fox.  They loved them! They both slept with theirs and I'm sure they will get a lot of play out of them, especially this weekend!
What a great night and a great way to kick off our weekend!  Stay tuned for more Christmas adventures!

Dinner Out

This weekend we are at Big Cedar in Branson Missouri.  Big Cedar holds a special place in our hearts!  It is where Brad took me the weekend after he got home from Iraq!  It is also where we went for our honeymoon!  And it is where we went for our babymoon on Valentine's weekend when we were pregnant with Addyson!  We love it here!  This year we started what we hope will be a tradition of taking the kids here to kick off our Christmas celebration with a weekend of Christmas fun!  I even got the kids new shirts and vests to be festive for the weekend! : )
Big Cedar on an average weekend is beautiful!  Add Christmas lights and Christmas spirit and it is amazing!  I was looking forward to everything about the weekend but ONE thing.....
Eating out!  We never eat out any more!  It is a bit much with 3 kids..... 3 young kids.... a meal gets a bit crazy and anything but relaxing!  I've actually gotten use to eating at home... and we all like it!  So, knowing we were going to be living in a hotel all weekend meant several meals out and I was dreading it.
Mainly because of this little guy!!!  He will sit in his highchair for 5 minutes and then wants out!!!  So at home we put him in his chair at the very last minute, then he eats (I feed him like crazy), and then he wants out and he wanders around.  In the restaurant that isn't so easy!  We wait way more then 5 minutes just to get food! 
First distraction, bread!  And we didn't put him in the highchair... we let him play in the booth!  That bought us some time.....
I also had a bag of new toys to play with in hopes that would buy us some more time!  I know it kept Owen happy... but it wasn't him I was worried about!!! : )  See the mat in front of him, I bought that for Owen when he was 2!  It has states on one side to talk about and the other side is chalkboard to write one.... and I bought new chalk for this weekend!!!
Addyson isn't one to play with toys but we asked to sit in front of the window we sat in front of last month when we came to eat lunch here... the one with all of the animals set up behind it.  Looking at that kept her busy as week as making funny faces for the camera.....
and taking pictures herself kept her busy!  Me.... this kept me busy!! : )  Maybe not busy but it helped keep me sane! ; )
Here are some more pictures from Addyson documenting our evening.... crazy dinner out through the eyes of a child! ; )  See the toys on the table! : )
See the mess on the table?!?! : )
Owen and I spent a lot of time playing tic tac toe and other games on the mat!
And this is how I looked most of the time..... lap covered with kids.... and table covered with toys and kids!
See the blurry spot?!?!  That was Ethan most of the time....a constant moving target!
And then the food finally came!  He refused to sit in his highchair.... guess he is too big for that these days or he got a taste of freedom over Thanksgiving and now he won't go back.... but at least he was sitting and eating.... and quite for the most part!
Downside is he was eating ribs and he was a tad bit messy... I didn't want to be the one sitting next to those slimy hands that were on the loose!

All in all our first dinner out in a while wasn't too bad... it was manageable.... but really, anything but relaxing.  Let's just saw we ate and ran.... no time to sit around and chat.... we could go outside and do that!! : )  We all survived the dreaded first dinner out.... I'm hoping the rest of the weekend is this manageable!!!

iPhone Pics of the Week

 Great evening for a walk!
 Ethan's first day of Kindermusik!
 Playing the cymbal with mommy
 Making bird food
 I can climb too!
 Perfect for hotel travel!
 Patio "date night" at Big Cedar!!!  
Kids in bed, mom and dad on the patio enjoying the BEAUTIFUL weather and surroundings!  Perfect way to kick off our Christmas celebrations!