Sunday, August 2, 2015

Ye Olde Mill and my birthday

Last Tuesday, July 28, I turned 36 years old! I had a good birthday, even though Jacob tried to tell me that I was turning 46! Bill had bought me doughnuts from Tim Horton's as a birthday breakfast treat. He got me honey cruller donuts which are my favorite! The rest of the morning was spent at home, when my mom and sister came over. 

After Bill got home from work, we headed out and had Burger King for lunch. We decided to spend some family fun time together and so we then took the kids to Ye Olde Mill at the Velvet Ice Cream Company in Utica for a treat. We go there every year for the Ice Cream Festival, but we wanted to go when it was a lot less crowded and we could just relax and explore the grounds a bit.

 We walked through their little museum and read some fun facts about ice cream. 

We let the kids play on the playground. 

We took part of a nature walk, until the trail was roped off due to recent flooding. 

Then we got to the best part....ICE CREAM! Benjamin had chocolate ice cream in a bowl. Jacob and Bill had Buckeye Ice cream cones. Rebecca had cookie dough ice cream in a cone. And I had peach cobbler ice cream in a cone which was divine!

After eating our ice cream, we walked around and looked at the ducks and fish in the ponds. 

Then we headed home hot and tired. For dinner, Bill took me out to eat at a local Mexican restaurant. The food was great! Then we went to see "Ant-Man" which was okay I guess. Not the greatest movie. 

Overall, it was a very good way to turn 36 years old. 

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Gatlinburg Family Vacation-- Day 7

Saturday morning, July 18, we were up early.

We headed down to the continental breakfast which was typical of hotels. Benjamin was glad they had yogurt!

Then we headed back to the room to do a final pack of the van and we headed out onto the road to head back to Ohio. The drive back was uneventful. We did have to detour at one point, when the GPS found a shorter route off the freeway. Apparently, there was an accident or something that made I-71 traffic to be at a complete standstill. We were able to bypass that and made great time getting home. We stopped at McDonald's in our town for lunch and we were able to eat lunch in our own home!

It was a truly memorable vacation. We made lots of lasting memories. But as Dorothy from "The Wizard of Oz" says: "There is no place like home." 

Friday, July 31, 2015

Books that I read for fun in July

Last year, I spent the last half of the year documenting the books that I read for fun.  I have decided that I need to continue that as reading is important part of how I relax. Books that I read for fun are books that I have not been asked to review and that I have chosen to read, well because I like to read.

Looking back over the first 6 months of 2015, I have read 34 books for fun! That is a ton! This past month, I had several books to read for review so that took up some of my reading time. However, I did get some fun reading in to help up my total of books read for fun!  

Here is what else I read for fun in July.... (Disclaimer: if you click on the book picture, it takes you to the page on Amazon.)


Here are the books I read for fun in:

June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015  
January 2015
Books from 2014

Have you read any good books lately?

Gatlinburg Family Vacation --- Day 6-- Dinos!

Friday morning, July 17,  we got up early and Bill packed the van up for us. We made sure everything was put back into place and we said good-bye to our “Above the Clouds” condo.

We stopped for lunch at McDonald's and the kids enjoyed eating fast food. (We had a rule for our trip, no fast food or chain restaurants that we could eat at home! However, we made an exception for the car rides.)

After lunch, we got in the van, and headed north toward Cave City, Kentucky for a fun surprise for the kids.

 We were able to go to Dinosaur World in Cave City, Kentucky. This past school year, Rebecca's class spent half the year learning about dinosaurs and she really, really got into dinos. Dinosaur World has lots of models of dinosaurs and dinosaur facts for the kids to learn.

There was a playground for the kids. They had a fossil dig that the kids could do and search for fossils. Both Rebecca and Jacob found a shark’s tooth.

They also had a huge area that was set up like an archaeological dig and the kids spent a lot of time in there.

There were a ton of butterflies present on our vacation. Someone once told me that butterflies are a symbol of a child that we lost. At Dinosaur World especially there was a butterfly that kept following us around. We definitely believe that it was our son Travis coming along with us.

After we left Dinosaur World, we headed about an hour north to our stop for the night at Comfort Suites in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. I am so glad we chose to stop there. The room was great and the beds were so comfortable.

After we checked in, we decided to head to dinner. We headed across the street to the Texas Outlaw BBQ restaurant which would give us a 10% discount since we were staying in the hotel. I don’t know what the online reviewers were saying, but our service was great and the food was fabulous. I had a fresh trout sandwich---so good!

After dinner, we headed back to the hotel to take in a swim before bedtime. After, swimming, I got the kids bathed and we all headed to bed exhausted from our drive and day at Dinosaur World. We were looking forward to the next day, when we would make the final stretch for home!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Gatlinburg Family Vacation-- Day 5: Part 2 ---Cataract Falls

After lunch on our anniversary, we headed out to the Sugarlands Visitor Center in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. From there, we went on a family friendly hike through the woods to Cataract Falls, a nice waterfall. The kids had never seen a waterfall before and they enjoyed it very much. Benjamin didn’t want to leave the trail when it was time to head back to the van when we were done. He is our little outdoors boy!

We headed back to the condo and hung out for a little bit, then headed back to the pool for a while. When we were heading out to swim, we saw a rabbit and lots of yellow bird in the grass near the pool.

After swimming, we went back to the condo and I made dinner for the kids and Bill went back down the mountain to pick up food for our anniversary dinner. On the way back up, he was lucky enough to see a bear in the road.

He got food from Mountain Edge Grill--I had a ham and swiss croissant and Bill had a buffalo burger. It was really good! We enjoyed our anniversary dinner, while the kids were in the background watching a new episode of “Spongebob Squarepants.”

After dinner, I spent the evening repacking for home and getting things ready to pack up the van in the morning to leave to head for our final destination in Kentucky. Overall, it was a great day and I feel so blessed to have a wonderful husband and kids to share these experiences with.