Saturday, June 18, 2016

Catholic Kidz Camp and Finding Dory

Thursday night Bill, Ben and I attended the end of the week musical presentation for the Catholic Kidz Camp that Rebecca and Jacob attended. It was a week long vacation Bible school put on by our church. This year the theme was "Parachute with the Angels and St. Catherine Laboure." 

The kids learned about various angels and the role they play in our salvation. They also made crafts, sang songs, played games and role-played in skits. 

Thursday night was the closing ceremony which included the kids performing (singing and dancing to) different songs that they learned throughout the week. 

Rebecca and Jacob both said that they had a blast and they are already looking forward to next year when Benjamin will be old enough to attend as well. 

On Friday afternoon, Bill and I surprised the kids by taking them to see the movie "Finding Dory" in the movie theater. Typically we do not take the kids to the movies as Benjamin was not old enough and we just didn't feel the kids movies that have come out in the past few years have been worthy of the money to go see them in the theater. However, this time, we felt that Benjamin was old enough and he LOVES the moving "Finding Nemo" so we felt this would be a good choice for a first movie experience for him. 

It was a fairly expensive afternoon-- tickets were $32 and Bill got the kids kiddie popcorn and drinks which were $20, so we spent a total of $52 for the experience. However, it was worth it in that the kids loved the movie and we will never get to have another first time at the movies with Ben or Jacob or Rebecca. It was also our first time to go to the movies as an entire family. 

Benjamin did great during the movie. He was mostly quiet and seemed enthralled with the movie. About 5 minutes before the movie was over, he wanted to get up and sit on my lap. But overall it was a great first movie experience for him. 

As for the movie itself, it was good. It is a sequel to "Finding Nemo" and focuses on the character of Dory who goes in search of her parents and family. Personally, I felt that the story was inspiring especially when you look at it as a fish who has to find coping mechanisms to deal with her handicap and who has to cross an entire ocean and more to find her parents along with the help of her friends. I was glad to see that they referred to the original movie and there enough inside jokes that parents would appreciate. Overall, I thought it was a really cute movie. I will definitely be adding it to our dvd collection when it comes out on dvd and I recommend going to see it in the movie theater if you can.  

What was the last movie you have seen in the theater?

Friday, June 17, 2016

Epaulette Sharks in our town and a rant

I signed my kids up for our library's summer reading program. Each week, they have an hour program featuring something different. The first week it was a singer, last week it was our local kid's science center, and this week was a presentation with the Newport Aquarium traveling shark exhibit. (Now if you know anything about my town, we are a few hours away from Covington, Kentucky where this aquarium is located.)

My kids got to enjoy the Newport Aquarium's Wave on Wheels Shark Encounter. They got to listen to a presentation about sharks from one of the employees and they learned things like how big the largest great white shark ever captured was (23 feet long), what sharks eat, why they bite humans, how humans have abused sharks and how to take care of sharks and animals in general. 

They also got to learn a bit about an Epaulette shark, which is native to Australia and is sometimes called the walking shark. 


After the presentation, the kids had a chance to go up and touch an Epaulette shark. 

Rebecca and Benjamin both touched a shark, while Jacob did not want to touch but preferred to look at it. Rebecca said it felt weird! LOL

I was glad that my kids had a good time because there was something annoying that happened. I will say that I was disappointed though in how the people running it handled things. There were several camp groups that came in that had 20-30 kids with them each and only 2-3 adults. The kids were very loud throughout the entire presentation and were beyond rude. The library staff that was on hand didn't say anything to these camp counselors or did nothing to try to keep the kids quiet. They also did not have a microphone for the Aquarium representative so that he basically had to shout his presentation, and even then you could barely hear him and we were sitting in the front row.  Says a lot about the rudeness of people and the lack of respect that is being taught to young people. These kids all were elementary age, with most of them looking like they were 3-5th grades, so 8-10 years old. I have run camps like that and I have been in school aged care programs and I have NEVER allowed the kids under my watch to behave like these kids did. Just disappointing. 

I won't let it ruin though the memory of Rebecca laughing as she was touching the shark and experiencing something that some people never get to experience. I just have to take the good and know that in my memories it will outweigh the bad. 

Have you ever touched a shark before?   


Monday, June 13, 2016

Wolf Run Regional Park

Yesterday morning we decided to take the kids to a new to us park in our area. We decided to check out "Wolf Run Regional Park," whose sign we had passed a few weeks ago as we were coming home from somewhere else. 

I had heard it was the dog park, however when looking online it appeared that yes it was a dog park, but there were many more acres that were trails and places for humans to hike as well. 

Man were we surprised!

When you pull in the parking lot, there is the fenced in area for the dog park to your left. To the right is a picnic table shelter area. And then there are hiking trails to the front. We ate lunch at the picnic tables and then set off to explore the trails. 

Looking at the map, we decided to walk the pond trail. It would lead us out to a pond.

The kids loved walking the path and they stopped to look at a spider and took notice of many butterflies in the area.

The pond area also had a picnic table and a fenced in dock area. The kids loved seeing all the fish in the pond. We also heard several frogs, but didn't see any. 

After leaving the pond area, we headed up the Overlook Trail. And when I say headed up, I mean U.P.! The path was very steep going up and Ben decided it would be easier to crawl up it. LOL. 

At the top, there was an overlook that was kind of disappointing as there were 3 trees blocking the view. I am sure in the fall, the view is pretty looking at all the different colors of leaves, but it was disappointing during our walk. 

After leaving the overlook, we headed back down the path toward the parking area. At one point, I started becoming overheated, but felt better after I got something to drink. The kids were also getting really silly at this point and being goofy! 


Overall the paths, at Wolf Run, were nicely maintained and it was quiet. There weren't very many people and we didn't pass anyone during our time on the different paths except just as we were starting and then as we were almost back. As we were coming back, Bill said he was glad that we were doing things like this with our kids as his parents never did anything like this and he grew up not liking being outside, but now he was enjoying sharing it with his kids.  We will definitely be returning sooner rather than later to this find in our area.

Do you like walking paths and being outside? Do your kids like being outside?    

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Children's Garden, Zootopia, and Minions

Friday afternoon neither Bill or I had to work, so we decided to pack up a lunch and take the kids to the Children's Garden for a picnic lunch.

The kids had a blast (as always) although they were disappointed that they had taken out the train and the tracks that the kids had loved playing on. 

First thing after lunch, they had to go explore the pond/fountain to see how many frogs they could find. We found 12 frogs, including one who hopped out onto a nearby bush to get it's lunch! 

After that we walked around the paths and the kids had fun going in and out of the different buildings and just enjoying being outside. 

I was kind of disappointed there were not more flowers that were planted and it was looking kind of plain. The prettiest flower I saw was one on a lily pad in a small pond! Oh well, it was a fun afternoon anyway.

Friday night is traditionally movie night with the kids. I rented "Zootopia" for them to watch as it came out this past week (and truth be told I am sick of all the dvds we have at home! LOL) 

Let's just say that I am glad we rented it and did not buy it. It was OK. Not horrible, but not a movie I would want to watch over and over. Rebecca seemed to really like it. Jacob and Ben lost interest about half way through it.  

Saturday, the weather was H.O.T.!!! It was the hottest day so far this year. It reached 95 degrees and it was humid. Bill took Rebecca to her softball game and I stayed home with the boys. Saturday night Bill had to work so I decided the kids could have a bonus movie night. We watched "Minions." 

Having never seen any of the "Despicable Me" movies I did not know really what to think going in. I will say that I thought it was better than "Zootopia" and that I will look into renting or borrowing the "Despicable Me" movies later this summer. Rebecca and Benjamin loved "Minions" and Jacob said it was good, but not his favorite. LOL 

Do you ever have movie night? 
Anyone have any good, newer children's movies that they would recommend?  

Friday, June 10, 2016

Honey Run Waterfall and Rainbow Batman

This past Sunday, the kids were driving me insane and things were coming to a head because it had been so hot here and humid. Finally, on Sunday it wasn't as hot as it had been (at least in the morning), so I told Bill and the kids to get dressed including socks and tennis shoes, because we were going out. I decided to head out to Honey Run Waterfalls so we could do some hiking and just spend some time outside. 

The falls were running good as we had had some rain/storms the night before. As we were looking at the falls, another family came through and warned us not to go in the pond area where the falls fell into as they had seen several snakes in the water earlier. They then pointed out at least one long snake that was swimming through the water. EEK! 

After spending some time near the falls, we hiked several of the trails, including one out to the Kokosing River.

Then we hiked a path that was across the street, that was a good hike with inclines. We heard many, many cicadas as their drone was just constant. We didn't see any but we did hear them. We did see pretty wildflowers and tons of massive ant hills. 

After we hiked, we headed back home to get some quick lunch and so I could shower. 

After lunch, we headed over to my parents' house to celebrate my sister's 20th birthday. I traditionally make cakes for the family and she requested rainbows and Batman. I will have to say I think the cake fit her to a t! 

We made it to my parents' house just before a heavy thunderstorm hit, but that didn't stop my mom from cooking out on the grill. LOL

We were able to eat outside and my sister was able to open her birthday presents. We got her a pair of Batman themed flip flops that she can wear to the beach this summer when she comes on vacation with us. 

We did have to leave early as the kids spent most of their time bickering and picking on each other and tattling and whining, etc. It was tense ride home but what are you going to do? That is what makes memories, right? LOL 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Memorial Day parade and craziness

On Memorial Day, our tradition is to go watch our town's parade. The past few years Rebecca has walked in it (first with her softball team and last year with her American Heritage Girls troop). This year Rebecca was walking in it again with her softball team. 

This was also the last year (probably) that my brother would be walking with his Boy Scout troop-- as he is on the verge of getting Eagle Scout. The weather was great and I did get a little sunburned. 

After the parade, we headed out to my parents' house to have a cookout. I decided to take water blasters and water guns for the kids to do. It turned into an all out water war, with my brother Josh soaking me several times. I think I was wetter than the kids. Thankfully, Josh's friend helped get revenge!

Overall it was a nice day and a great kickoff to summer. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Ice Cream!

Every summer, we kick off Summer break by attending the Velvet Ice Cream company's ice cream festival in Utica, Ohio. This year we attended on Sunday. Once again, we arrived around 10 am (after picking up my sister to go with us) and there was no line to get in! 

Due to construction at the Velvet plant, some of the activities were located in different areas. One of those were the pony rides. These were located just as you entered the grounds. 

Rebecca loves to ride the ponies. For the first time ever, Jacob decided to ride one this year. Ben wanted to and then decided at the last minute that he did NOT want to! 
After the pony rides, we walked around and looked at the vendors and the kids got to do a craft.

Then we went and got ice cream-- Benjamin got chocolate, Rebecca and Jacob both got cookie dough ice cream,my sister got mint chocolate chip, Bill got Buckeye classic and I tried one of their new flavors-- Banana cream pie! Oh it was SO GOOD! 

While we were eating our ice cream, we sat and watched the Columbus Zoo show off some of their animals in their traveling exhibit.

We saw an owl, a fox, a penguin, a joey, a bearcat and a sloth. I thought the sloth was really cool, but apparently they really stink! The kids really enjoyed watching the animals. 

After that was over, we walked over and looked at all the cars that were in the annual car show...well I should say Bill looked that cars, my sister and I discussed which car colors were the best and the kids looked at the ducks in the pond! Priorities, right? 

After that, we decided to get some lunch for the kids and Bill. The kids had pizza and kool-aid boxes and Bill had a coney dog. I was waiting to get my "lunch" before we left. It was starting to get crowded and hot outside so we decided to leave around 1pm. As we were heading out, I got each of the kids a snow cone and I got myself my "lunch"-- a funnel cake! So yummy! 

Overall, it was a lovely morning and early afternoon and was a great way to kick off Summer break!