Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Break!

We've actually been on break since last Friday, after I taught the last Latin class for this year.  It hasn't been all that relaxing of a break so far, however, because we've been battling some head cold/fever thing.  My friend Emily posted this article to my facebook timeline, and it definitely describes our house, except that we're really not sick all that often.  Except right now.  And we're all passing the germs around.

  But still--we're on break!  And Wednesday at 11:00 we left for Great Wolf Lodge with Rivendell!  After we stopped for lunch, Luke drove the big van for the first time the rest of the way to GWL.  Now he is in complete agreement with our assessment that the big van is the most fatiguing and uncomfortable vehicle to drive.  He did great though.

Once again we had 2 rooms.  It works really well, with the younger 6 in with me, and the 4 older boys with Bob.  Unfortunately, I was not at the top of my game, packing-wise, since I really wasn't feeling well at all on Tuesday or Wednesday.  After we checked in and had pulled around to the door closest to our room, I told everyone to bring inside whatever they had in the van.  At that moment, it dawned on me that I had completely forgotten Micah's and Drew's blankets, even though they were clearly written on my list at home.  Oh, I just wanted to go home right then!  My head hurt, my nose was dripping, and the idea of a sleepless night of temper tantrums was more than I could bear.  Luke said he was sure it would be okay, because the boys would be so tired and they would just go right to sleep--but I knew that over-tired boys could certainly go the other way, into full-blown tantrums!  So the whole trip started off with a deep sense of dread for me.

 The waterpark wasn't too crowded, and everyone had fun.  We hardly saw the older boys at all.  The 3 girls hung out with Elena or Abigail.  That left Micah and Drew to go between the kids pool and the wave pool, while I followed with Verity in the stroller.  I wore my swimsuit bottom but just a regular t-shirt that whole time so it would be easier to nurse.  I knew I wasn't going to be getting all wet!

We left about 6:45 to go to Golden Corral for our traditional dinner.  The McC's called ahead--4 families, 30 people!  I will be glad when all our kids can go through a buffet line by themselves, though.
 Here is Caleb McC doing his famed re-enactment of the classic Beowulf and Grendal with gummibears.  Everyone was quite enthralled with his epic story-telling.
 We got 10 sets of fuzzy wolf-ear headbands, one for each kid.  I meant to get a picture of the older boys wearing them, but somehow that didn't happen . . . Drew looked really cute in them though!  This is Drew in his pajamas, and I am so pleased to report that in fact Luke's assessment of the situation was accurate--Micah and Drew miraculously fell right to sleep without their blankets with no fussing at all. Whew!  Such an answer to prayer!

 Thursday we paid for a late check-out of one room, which was nice, because after I nursed, I went back to sleep while Bob did all the breakfast stuff and took everyone down to the waterpark.  It was great for Verity to have one nice nap in her pack-n-play, since she didn't really have a good nap the entire rest of the day.  Drew and Micah came back up mid-morning, and they would have been pretty happy to just stay in the room, playing on the ipad, for the rest of the day, had that been an option.  Micah melted down when we packed up all the stuff in the room and told him he had to put his swimsuit back on!
 Here Drew is demonstrating his lovely cooperative attitude, with Jonathan modeling it alongside, just for good measure.  The little boys were definitely done by lunchtime!  It will really be nice in maybe 5 years, when all the kids are good swimmers, and no one needs an afternoon nap anymore!
 Look, a picture of me, to prove I really was there!
 Here's our group photo that a nice lifeguard took.  She took one on Christine's camera, and also one on Michele's.  For Michele's picture, she waited until the big bucket was dumping all the water--that shot will definitely make the yearbook next year!
One last family shot in the front of the fireplace in the lobby, which looks really evil and haunted in this picture, but is actually really nice and cozy.  It's sad to think Nathan won't be at GWL with us next year!

We left at dinnertime and drove straight to Cracker Barrel for dinner.  The Cracker Barrel is actually right next to the Golden Corral we ate at the night before, and Caleb was lamenting that he didn't ever even remember eating at Cracker Barrel.  We used to stop there fairly regularly on long trips, and Nathan remembers always ordering the kids chicken and dumplings meal, but then not eating very much of it, because as it turns out, he doesn't love their chicken and dumplings.  It just sounded good whenever he ordered.  He must take after his grandma and her great love for the idea of clam chowder!  Anyhow, we had a delicious dinner, even though Micah kept telling us he didn't want to eat--he just wanted to go home.  And eventually we did make it home around 10:30.  Today we're trying to dig out from the huge pile of stuff we dumped in the entryway last night and then ignored completely!

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