Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What a Wonderfully, Wild, Whirlwind of a Week!

Around Mother's Day this year, my husband Ray told me to find out what it would cost to get my son Jeremy and 8 year old grandson, Alex here from Phoenix. I hadn't seen them in almost 5 years, and missed them terribly. He said he would fly them here for me for a Mother's Day gift!

I did, and found a pretty good deal and bought the tickets! To get this deal though, we had to go with a flight that got in at 10:30pm on a Saturday night.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

My daughter Jessica said she'd drive, so she and I, my daughter Molly and my other grandson, 6 year old Christian, went down to the airport to pick them up. Ray works weekends and has to get up quite early, so we left him home to sleep.

Here's my son Jeremy, at the bottom of the escalator. He hadn't noticed that Alex was a little afraid to get on when he did, but with a nice lady's encouragement, he was on his way down.

In the van, on the way from the airport, I turned around and snapped a picture of these two cousins in the back seat. Since it was totally dark in there, I wasn't even sure what I was taking a picture of. I was thrilled to see that the two of them were hitting it off, like they'd known each other forever. They hadn't seen each other since Christian was a baby. We stopped at Applebee's to get a bite to eat, since they had gotten on the airplane at around 5pm Arizona time. We didn't get back to our house until about 1:30 AM.

My two grandsons in the matching pajamas I'd bought for them. They were instant buddies!

Here they are, acting silly at about 2 am!

And posing here with Grandma

Sunday, June 12th
Sunday afternoon, we decided to drive out to my parents' house so they could see their grandson and great-grandson as well. Jeremy's dad and his wife met out out there too, along with a couple of my sisters and their families. My sister, Kathy has two boys around the same age, and the four of them had a blast together.

Grayson (age 5), Tiegen (age 7), Christian (age 6) and Alex (age 8)

Grayson, Christian, Alex and Tiegen on Grandpa/Great Grandpa's Minneapolis Moline.

Grandpa Jerry (my ex), and his wife came out to say hi too. Here's a picture of a bunch of Ditto's. The littlest ones were pretty tired of posing for pictures by this time.

What could possibly be so interesting to these four little guys?
Tadpoles!!! Tiegen and Gray had caught them earlier in the day.

My dad, with my two grandsons. I love this pic!

Monday, June 13th
We didn't do anything real exciting, on Monday. Mostly just tried to figure out what we were going to do the rest of the week. Christian had Taekwondo that evening, so we all went to the ice cream shop in town for a nice treat, before he had to be there.

Tuesday, June 14th ~ Edinborough Park!
I had recently heard of this place, and it seemed like a great way to spend a day with the boys, while Jessica was at work. She didn't want us to go to Valley Fair without her, so we took Jeremy, Molly, Alex and Christian down there to play for the afternoon. Ray's daughter, Ruth lives down in that area, so she met us there too. The best thing about this place? The price. It's $6 for children under 12, and adults get in for free with a child. They also have a swimming pool, and if you want to use that, the price goes up to $10 per person, (including adults).

This is what they call "Adventure Peak." I stole this pic off of the Edinborough Park site. I couldn't find the battery charger for my camera that day, and I only had a very blurry one of this incredible structure. It's basically, a McDonald's Play Place on steroids! Jeremy, Molly and Ruth even got in on the action and crawled around in this thing with the little boys!

There is also a huge gym, where the kids can bounce in a "bouncy thing" or ride around on these little scooters, or play basketball like Christian is doing, above. Both of the boys said their favorite thing was the little scooters, like Alex is on, below:

Wednesday, June 15th ~ Moving Day for Jessica
My daughter, Jessica had just gotten a new job in St. Cloud, and signed a lease on an apartment there. She had planned on moving in on July 1, but found out that it was possible for her to move as early as the 15th of June. We were trying to figure out how we could get all of her furniture from her storage unit to the apartment, without a truck or trailer. She had a huge bedroom set and living room furniture in it, as well.

My wonderful husband, Ray came up with a fantastic idea! He said we should just rent a U-Haul truck, and get her moved. So...after she was off work that day, we met her U-Haul and then went out to the storage unit. We had also picked up Joel, so with the muscles of her two brothers, her step dad and sister Molly all helping, we got her moved in relatively short order! Wasn't it nice of Jeremy to come thousands of miles, just to help his sister move?

Thursday, June 16th ~ Sarah's 30th Birthday!
While we didn't actually get to see Ray's daughter, Sarah on this special occasion, our thoughts and wishes for a happy birthday were with her that day.

Jeremy, Jessica and I went back to St. Cloud with the boys, while Molly stayed at a friend's house that night. And of course, Ray had to work early in the morning so he stayed home.

We also picked up Joel, and stopped to say hi to my 3 brothers, Dan, Bob and Mike, who were playing in a volleyball tournament, along with Bob's wife Rose and Mike's significant other, Joyce.

(Since my brothers don't take too kindly to have their faces on the internet...I won't point out who's who in the photo below.)
Since it was getting a bit late by the time the vb games were over, I took the grandsons back home with me, and left my kids to party for awhile with their aunts and uncles.

Friday, June 17th ~ Joel's 28th Birthday
Molly helped out with a car wash/ brat sale at Coborn's , as a fundraiser for Cheer leading. Jeremy and Jessica stayed in St. Cloud that night, to help their brother celebrate his birthday.
I got to spend the day with my two sweet grandsons.

Molly and the other Cheerleaders, giving my dirty van a much-needed bath!

Saturday, June 18th ~ Valley Fair!

Jeremy and Alex, Jessica and Christian, Ruth, Molly, Ray and I all went to Valley Fair for the day. Joel was supposed to come to, but wasn't feeling well. I'm not sure if the fact that it was the the day after his birthday contributed to this or not.

I had only been there one other time in my life...when Jeremy was a baby, and I was pushing him around in a stroller! He's now 32 years old. You do the math! The problem was, the weather was not the best on this day. There were supposed to be "scattered showers," but it just kinda turned into one big continuous shower for most of the day, but we tried to make the best of it.

Here are the little boys, just after entering the gates. I took this picture mostly, in case on of them were to get lost or something. That way I'd remember what they were wearing. Alex is into "silly face" pictures, as you can see. At this point, it wasn't raining, but it started to shortly.

We took shelter in the "Peanuts' Playhouse," which is full of all sorts of balls, and guns that shoot balls, and a vacuum cleaner to suck them all up again, etc. It was great fun...but eventually, everyone else decided to come in out of the rain too, and it got a bit crowded in there.

Alex, (in the hat) on the upper level, taking aim with one of the ball shooters.

And now, on the lower level, using one of the big guns!

Between showers, Alex takes a ride in one of Snoopy's airplanes in the "Planet Snoopy" part of the park. We couldn't talk Christian into flying one.

After that, Jeremy and Jessica arrived and it had started to rain again, so we all went back to the "Peanuts' Playhouse."

Jeremy and Jessica, checking it out.

Jeremy, Christian and Alex.

Christian gave Snoopy a hug, but Snoopy's nose is so big it almost covered Christian's face in this picture! I'm not exactly sure where Alex was at the time.

Eventually, it finally quit raining, (pretty much) , and we went to the water park. Ray and I sat and watched the boys (and everyone's shoes and clothing), while the others went on rides.

Here is Christian in the blue tube, and Alex in the background, waving at me. He couldn't quite figure out how to get on one of those things...but had fun walking around in the water.

The grandboyz, taking a shower.

Eventually, Ruth and Molly came and begged Ray to go on some rides with them. They didn't have to twist his arm. Turns out, he loves going on rides. Who knew? Jeremy and Jessica took their boys, and went on a few more rides as well. I was content just to watch. Being as it had finally cleared up around 5 pm, we ended up staying until the park closed at 10 pm.
I believe this is the roller coaster they call "Wild Thing." Ray, Ruth and Molly are all flying down it in this picture. Not this kid. I like to keep my feet firmly planted on the ground, where they belong!

June 19th ~ Father's Day

We went to my parents' house for a potluck dinner to celebrate Father's Day, with most of my siblings and their families. A good time was had by all, with all sorts of activities taking place.

Dad was NOT fooled by my sister's writing "FORD" on the wing of a picture of an old Chevy on his Father's Day card! But he got a kick out of it.

My dad, opening Father's Day gifts.

Farmer Boy, Alex riding the old Ford pedal tractor.

Christian on the newer Ford pedal tractor.

There were 7 kids between the ages of 5 and 8, that were in and out of this pool that day, I just never seemed to be able to catch all 7 of them in there at once!

A little later, the little kids...and the big kids played a rousing game of "wiffle ball!"

Here's Alex at bat.

Because it happens so seldom, I wanted to get a picture of all four of the children I gave birth to... in one place! Left to right; Molly (14), Jeremy (32), Jessica (29) and Joel (28)
And grandsons Alex (8) and Christian (6), in front.

Alex, saying goodbye to Great Grandpa and Grandma, (my parents).

June 20th

The cousins, saying goodbye at the airport. This is Alex's sad face, since he won't see Christian for awhile. It was so much fun while it lasted...can't wait to see them again! Thank you, thank you, thank you to my wonderful husband, for the BEST Mother's Day present ever!!!

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