Showing posts with label summer. Show all posts

Summer Recap 2018

Happy Labor Day! What a much needed and well appreciated day off! Know what I did today? NOTHING!!! LOL! Honey, my tired is tired and that’s the truth LOL! With Labor Day comes the unofficial end to summer and I can officially say “It’s a wrap ladies and gentlemen!”

Tomorrow is the first day of school for the kids in our county. Lazy summer days are being replaced with books, papers, and homework. There are school activities and organizational hacks that need to be discovered. Summer is unofficially over. I decided that in addition to our regular Weekend Recap, I’d round out our Summer with a fun trip down memory lane. Hope you enjoy.

1.  End of Summer Bash/Baby A.'s Birthday Party.  It’s not every day you celebrate your first birthday. We decided to combine our annual End of Summer NFL Fantasy draft with baby A.’s birthday party. The kids had a ball with moon bounces. (Truth be told so did the adults). The adults enjoyed drafting their favorite players and building their amazing teams. We had food for days, friends for months, and fun memories for a lifetime. It was the perfect way to end summer.

The moon bounce was the hit of the neighborhood!


May! May already?! (2018 Summer Bucket List)

Hi guys!  Oh my goodness, it's May!  That came WAY too quick.  I enjoy the month of May because it is the unofficial start of summer month.  The weather tends to stabilize and more outdoor activities are available.

I'm so looking forward to some fun Summer Activities.  I've already put together a mini Bucket list of some of the cool things I would like the family to accomplish this summer. With this being baby A.'s first summer, Honeybee being old enough to try some new things, and Bug being old enough to hang out in preteen territory (gasp!), I'm sure it's going to be great.   I'm super excited to check items off and to share the adventures on this blog.  Feel free to download our list for a few ideas or download the blank Summer List for your own family's adventure!


Printable Version of Our Summer Bucket List
Printable Version of A Blank Summer Bucket List

Vacation Recap: Embarkation and Port Departure- Part 2

Embarkation
Happy Father's Day!  It really was the perfect day for Embarkation.  FatherWinter made the suggestion for a cruise this year and it seemed perfect that we were leaving on a day meant to honor fathers. FatherWinter was in a great mood and decided to share it by encouraging Superbug to wake up :)

Daddy jumping on the bed to wake Superbug


After gifting FatherWinter with Father's Day cards and getting ready for the day, we were off to the Port to go cruising!

Superbug had several great memories of the trip.  One of his favorite was driving to the port and seeing the ship as we approached.  He talked about it quite some time after we were actually on board.

Approaching the ship

Approaching the ship

Once we arrived at the port and paid for parking, we went through the boarding process.  We were pleasantly surprised that, though there were already quite a number of people, the lines were moving quickly.  After having all of our documents processed properly and posing for our Sail and Sign Cards which served as currency on the ship, we were ready to go.

Superbug is ready to board the ship

Taking the escalator to the gangway

Preparing to board
Superbug was very excited to cross the gangway onto the ship.  Our sister and brother (in love) were already on board, so we went straightway to their cabin to say hello.  After a brief conversation and catch-up, FatherWinter and I took the kids to our cabin and placed our luggage, which had been bought to our room, inside.

The cabin was a very nice balcony cabin with an upper berth for Superbug and a pullout for Honeybee We stood outside on the balcony taking in the sights and then decided to grab a bit to eat!  (Our family loves food).  Despite their being so many of us (4 adults and 6 children), we were able to find a booth section rather quickly.  The men went to the buffet line for the moms so they could bring back plates for the kids.

The food was absolutely delicious and everyone was very satisfied with their meals.  Being done, we all went to the top deck to take in some of the sights of the port before leaving. It was such a pleasant time up there.





Taking in the sights from the  ship

Somewhere over there is our car

Cousin time
 We knew our time would be a bit brief there as the ship had to prep for the muster drill.  The drill is like a fire drill for a cruise ship.  It preps the passengers for what to do in the event of an emergency requiring passengers to access the lifeboats and/or prep for an abandon ship order.  The safety briefing that accompanied the drill was a bit long, but the information was important.  I didn't mind at all.

This was our second time on the Carnival Victory, but our first with children.  We were interested in hearing how things would be done with and for them in the event of an emergency.  All of that was explained including the actions that would occur should the children be in the youth clubs while the emergency was declared.  Children under the age of 12 were all given wristbands that coordinated with their muster station.  They wore those bracelets during the duration of the cruise.  Even my 9 month old nephew had one attached to his ankle.  It gave a good feeling knowing the kids were so carefully considered in the cruise.

After the muster drill was over, the family returned to our previous activity of viewing the port sites, but this time we were also excited to see us towed to sea.  FatherWinter and I had never departed from this port before.  It's funny the comparisons one makes in their minds.  I think I might have an aesthetic preference to Miami only because you are leaving by the highway and people are more inclined to wave.  (It kind of makes you feel super special).  However, the port workers were very kind to wave goodbye, as were some of the passengers on the cruise ship we were departing.




Pretty soon, we were out on open water and were ready to head for a day and evening of fun.  We went to a show and then decided to check out the kids club.  I'd already registered the children prior to boarding the ship, but SisterWinter (that's FatherWinter's sister) had not.  We took all the kids in and allowed the younger ones to play in the club to get acclimated before we would have to return later.

They loved it.  For the rest of the cruise, all I had to do was sing to Honeybee let's go pla--a-ay".  She would giggle and sing it back.  Then would anxiously go to the cabin door ready to leave.  The staff was awesome to her and called her "cutie pie" which is now a new word in her vocab.  The older children also enjoyed the club for the most part.  They enjoyed the activities and made some new friends.  After registering the kiddies, we walked around and caught a show, caught an early dinner, and enjoyed some of the endlessly fun activities. Superbug asked if he could hang with his cousin for a while in her cabin with Sister and BrotherWinter and we were glad to let him hang out with family.

That left us with Honeybee and entertaining her.  No problem.  We got her dressed for bed and posed for a few selfies.





Soon, it was time for Honeybee to call it an evening.  FatherWinter and I watched the NBA Finals in our bedroom until my tummy started growling again.  Superbug, who'd returned to our cabin by then, joined me for a jaunt upstairs where we searched for, found, and claimed cheese and pepperoni pizza.

Without a doubt, it was a great day.

-WinterMommy

Vacation Recap: Freeport, Bahamas-Part 3

Welcome to Freeport


When we woke the next morning, we were greeted by the the inlet of Freeport.  Because we wanted to give the kids a chance to experience the cruise and didn't want to overdo it with activities, we decided not to do excursions this time.  We decided to go out an explore the harbor on our own.

There were plenty of shops and eateries available.  We walked the main drag and enjoyed looking at all that was available to see.






-WinterMommy

Vacation Recap: Formal Night and Nassau, Bahamas-Part 4

No lengthy explanations needed here.  We enjoyed beautiful singing, lots of fun activities, a beautiful beach (Tiki Beach Hut), and tons of great beverages and food.  It was a great time!  There are plenty of other pictures, but I thought I'd keep some just for us :)  We hope you have enjoyed journeying with us.  We will talk to you soon!

Singing and dancing for love

Formal night fun







-WinterMommy

Vacation Recap: Road Trip to the Cruise Port! Part 1

We're back!  Oh my goodness, what a wonderful vacation we had!  I have to admit that I was more than a little nervous about taking the kids on their first cruise, but I needn't have been.  They loved it. FatherWinter and I are already discussing doing another one when Honeybee is just a bit older.  For this first one for the kids, it was really nice.

The Drive Down
FatherWinter and I decided that it made much more economical sense to drive down to FL for cruise embarkation than it did to fly.  Round trip flights for a family of four are not inexpensive.  Buying gas for the car and going down just seemed to be a much better option for us.

Our original plan was to leave at 5AM, but some challenges had us leave about 7AM instead.  The kids were pretty excited about a new adventure and were all for pre-trip photos before our departure prayer.





After we let, the kids were sleep pretty quick.  As was I.  FatherWinter took first drive and we slept for about four hours and then stopped for breakfast at the local Shoney's.  This is sort of a tradition for our family.  When we do long road trips South, we stop at Shoney's for a good breakfast buffet. This one didn't disappoint and after a quick meal, we were on the road again.


Several hours later, we arrived at our hotel and were so excited to just to stand up lol.  We grabbed a bit to eat and then met up with FatherWinter's sister and brother in law and their kids.  The older kids went to the pool and played all evening.  I went straight to bed with Honeybee.  We were exhausted!

-WinterMommy


Weekend Recap: Rainy days and Summer bucket lists

This weekend was a complete rain out.  I didn't mind.  It gave the household a chance to catch up on much needed rest.  I didn't move on Saturday until 10AM.  I can't remember the last time that happened.

Since Superbug's baseball games were cancelled yet again, we had some time on our hands.  That's when I thought about the upcoming summer season.  I thought it was the perfect time to create a summer bucket list.  The one I followed for the Fall was so fun and we accomplished most of it.  I thought it would be equally as fun to create and follow a summer one.  So, after much thought, here is what I came up with.


I'm looking forward to seeing how many of these we cross off by end of summer.  I'm also looking forward to adding a few experiences that aren't listed.  The weather is supposed to break and this weekend is the unofficial start to the summer season.  Let's see what we can knock out!

Talk to you soon!

-WinterMommy

Our Summer Recap

It's over....sigh.  Summer is unofficially over.  It was a wonderful ride, but it's time to return to the normalcy of all things school and responsibility.  Usually, this is the point where I share our weekend recap, but since we've officially hit the last event on our "summer calendar", I thought it appropriate to give a belated summer recap and reflect on all the things that God has allowed us to enjoy and experience this summer.

1.  Placement Agreement

Before an official summer kick-off, we were blessed to sign Honeybee's adoption placement agreement. After such a long and arduous process, we were finally able to start the legal finalization proceedings that would lead to our Honeybee becoming a legal forever member of our family!  Even though we are still waiting for everything to be finalized, we are very close and I couldn't be more excited!



2.  Family Vacation

We kicked off our summer with a family vacation to the Sunshine State.  We were blessed to have FatherWinter's sister and her family join us and also FatherWinter's brother and his family join in. Theme park fun, tasty food, long car drives, magic shows, and tons of rain.  It was a pretty great time.





3.  Reading 

Superbug is just like his Mommy and loves to read. So this summer, it wasn't unusual to catch him curled up in his favorite reading chair reading new adventures.




He's been reading the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series and has really been enjoying them. What's awesome is his little sister has been observing him read and now sits in her seat or beside him to "read" her book as well. Looks like we will have another budding avid reader on board.

We've also enjoyed some pretty cool family memories from "camping" to weddings to birthdays. I didn't get to do all that I wanted to do with the kids this year, but I'm definitely thankful for the things that we were able to do.






Without a doubt, we had a great summer.   I'm looking forward to similar family memories this Fall.

-WinterMommy

Weekend Recap: Labor Day Fun

What a great weekend it has been.  It's the unofficial last weekend of summer.  Come tomorrow morning all students in the area will have officially started school for the 2015-16 school year.  This weekend's recap is dedicated to family.  May we always be blessed....

Saturday morning found FatherWinter and Superbug attending a family church function.  Our church's Deacon Ministry hosted a free bowling event.  I decided to stay at home with Honeybee to prep some of the food for our cookout later in the day and also knock out a couple of errands.  I so appreciated being able to get things done without the extra tails.




FatherWinter is a fan of my slow cooker ribs and asked if I would make two racks for the cookout. I had to smile at that. For my husband to request a dish to be made is a true compliment. I love my ribs too and they are so easy to prepare.

But I have to be honest.  It's not really my recipe.  It's a combination of recipes that work together for a creation of something ultimately yummy.  (If you're interested, feel free to click here for the base recipe.  ) Shortly after the guys arrived, the baked beans entered the oven and the corn on the cob was placed on the stove.  It wasn't too long after that guests/family started arriving.  The kids, of course, were thrilled with the key entertainment.

The moon bounce
The moon bounce was FatherWinter's idea.  I came home on Friday and he was on the phone with a local inflatables renter.  We were expecting about 20 kids so he thought it a great idea to have something else besides the playroom to occupy them.  He was right.  The moon bounce was delivered Saturday morning and Superbug was so excited to test it out.  As our guests arrived later in the day, every child was more than anxious to go to it first.

Once the majority of our guests arrived and the food was blessed, we allowed the youngest (in utero to 5) get their plates first and then every one else followed after.  It was a great time.  The guys ended up in the basement and  man cave discussing basketball.  The ladies found ourselves in the kitchen and family room.  The kids in the playroom when not moonbouncing.  It was just a really great and fun time.





After dinner,  several of us participated in our annual NFL Fantasy Football draft.  I've been participating since dating FatherWinter and can tell you I really enjoy it.  Our family is extremely competitive.  I lost solely on an error in the championship game last year and was determined not to do the same this year.  But this year's draft was a lot harder than it has been in the past.  It seemed like the clock was moving like wildfire!

I wish I could have gotten some pictures of the event for you, but intense.  No time for snapping photos when you're trying to assemble a world class team!

I suppose the highlight of Saturday evening was when we surprise Superbug with a birthday surprise.  Since we'll be at a wedding on his actual birthday weekend, we decided to have a gigantic birthday cake for him.  During the cookout, FatherWinter had him go upstairs and "clean up" a bit in his room. While Superbug went upstairs, all the attendees gathered downstairs in the basement beside me holding a huge sheet cake.

FatherWinter called Superbug and when he walked into the room, everyone started singing Happy Birthday to him.




Superbug's face was priceless.  He told us that he was very surprised, but got why we'd sent him to his room to clean a room that was already pretty clean.  After enjoying cake and second and third helpings of dinner, we celebrated and said our final goodbyes to our guests about Sunday morning.  As FatherWinter and I sat and discussed the evening, we both agreed that it was a pretty great event.  
Sunday morning saw us wake much later than usual.  Both FatherWinter and I had stuffy noses and I had horrible headaches.  We missed church and stayed in PJs with the kids most of the day.

Fortunately for us, there were plenty of leftovers to heat up and a Disney family movie marathon on television.  We watched Cars 2, Ratatouille, Tangled, and a few more shows until Mommy and Daddy started feeling better.

And today?  Today was just prep mode.  Back to school lunches are packed.  Outfits have been selected and everyone is nestled snugly in their beds.  Definitely my favorite part of the evening.

Here's looking forward to great back to school memories!

-WinterMommy