Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Hershey, PA

August 15 - 25, 2014

We've had a trip to Erie, then Hershey planned for about 6 months. Blake and Brian were going to attend an anesthesia conference together.  Blake and I flew out of Idaho Falls on Friday, Aug. 15th.  Brian and his family left Cindy's house on Friday morning, and got home about 4pm.  Blake and I arrived in Erie a little after 10pm. 
One good thing about them just having left Idaho was that Annie already knew Blake and didn't have to take any time to get to know him.  Maden's face is very typical if you tell him to smile. I kept telling him that when he's older he'll be sad that he wouldn't smile for pictures.  He doesn't seem to care.
On Saturday, we harvested and washed some produce from their garden.
Blake and Brian had been playing tennis, so we went to join them for a picnic and some playing in the park.
After the picnic, the kids had a little tennis lesson.  Annie doesn't want to be left out of anything, and thinks she can do whatever Maden does.
Saturday night, Brian and Celia went on a little date to see Cirq de Sole and to a street fair, Brian was real happy with his big bag of kettle corn.  It was really good. While they were gone we took the kids to Chic-fil-A, and to Krispy Kremes and to Walmart.
Blake was the designated reader on Saturday night, then the helper to put this huge puzzle together on Sunday morning.
Sunday afternoon, we went for a river walk. Blake found a snake in the grass before we went to the river.  The kids love taking river walks. They took a net and caught some little minnows.
They found quite a few minnows to put in the bucket. The water was cold when you first stepped in, but you got used to it pretty soon.
Annie is quite the trooper in the river. We went to some deeper spots and found more minnows.  It was getting quite late, so Blake picked Annie up to carry her home, so we could go faster. He slipped and fell, neither were hurt, but his leg and pants got all dirty. Annie was not very impressed when they fell. I have to point out the smile on Maden's face! We put the fish in the water table, the kids loved watching them swim around in there.
After the river walk, we came back and roasted marshmallows in the fire pit. Maden was shooting some baskets and Annie was doing the hula hoop, she was so funny, she would hold the hoop up and let it fall, then wiggle her hips after it had fallen.
Of course, Annie had to take some selfies.
Monday morning, Maden played the Wii, and Annie cheered him on and sang some songs with Grandpa. 
Annie loves babies, she can spot them in a crowd anywhere. And of course another selfie.
We went for a little walk with the wagon and the trike.
Monday  afternoon, we drove to Jamestown, PA to the Pymatuning Deer Park. It is a nice little park with animals to feed and see.
Maden loved riding the see saw, and of course if Maden did, then Annie did too.
Maden got to go on a little horse ride, love the smile on his face because he didn't know there was a picture being taken. Annie loved seeing all the animals and birds.
Maden got brave enough to let the deer eat out of his hand, Annie would pick the corn up and give it to him to feed.

We spent the day Tuesday travelling to Hershey. We drove both of Brian's cars with Blake and I and the kids in one and Brian and Celia in the other.  We stopped in Grove City to go to an outlet mall. It took a little over 6 hours to get to Hershey.  The kids were really good little riders. We stayed at The Hershey Lodge. It was huge with a lot of rooms and restaurants and meeting rooms. It was pretty funny that the shampoo, conditioner, soup and lotion all smelled like chocolate. 

Wednesday morning while Blake and Brian were in their meetings we went to check out the miniature golf course at the resort. Maden got a hole in one on hole #4, then I did! The pressure was on, but Celia came through and got a hole in one also!
After golfing, we got in one of the pools. Maden loved swimming around with his floatie. Annie wasn't so sure about the pool and life jacket, but she still smiled and said cheese for pictures.
After the guys got done with meetings, they went to play tennis for a bit while Annie was napping. See how Maden watched tennis? When Annie woke up and came out, she of course had to take some selfies.
We went to the Hershey Tour and took a little train like tour to see how they make chocolate. We had to wait in line a long time because it had started to rain, so all the people in Hershey Park came inside too. 
Thursday morning, Celia and I took the kids toThe Story of Hershey and museum.  The kids learned how chocolate was made in the old days with some interactive stations. Funny Annie in the bottom right were supposed to stand on the little stair and have your chin rest on the top so it looked like you were in the factory uniform. She was too short, but stood there smiling and saying cheese even though she couldn't see over the top.
Brian and Blake played tennis again after their meetings, then joined us in this little spray pool. Celia and Maden had fun dragging Brian into the spray. Annie didn't want to get in at first, then changed her mind and had fun in the cold water.

The grounds of the resort were beautiful, Blake loved these huge leaves. Maden enjoyed playing some games with us in our room.  Annie loved looking at pictures or videos on my phone on IPad.
Friday morning we went to Zoo America Hershey. We decided that Maden really doesn't like zoos all that much, but Annie loves them. I'm glad those bears are not real, they are pretty big. Annie and Maden seemed to have grown some antlers!
Friday afternoon, we went to the Hershey Gardens. They have some beautiful gardens, along with a butterfly house and a children's garden. The fountain with ball was very interesting. There was a place that you could make music by hopping on the squares. Maden really enjoyed that.  They had races between the rows of flowers.
We tried to take a family photo, but they turned out a little blury. That makes me sad.
Saturday morning, Celia taught the kids how to play shuffle board.
Annie got tired of the shuffle board, so we went over to the play ground. She was determined to climb up by herself, and she did! She got pretty good at it too.
She sat down in this little circle and it turned into an impromptu photo shoot. Isn't she just the cutest little bug?
We went back to the mini golf in the afternoon. Maden got another hole in one, then Celia did too. Brian got three! Blake finally got one!
Brian and Blake had to try their hand at shuffle board too. There was a lot of fun things to do at the resort.
Sunday morning, Blake and Brian left their meetings about 9:30, so we loaded up and headed back to Erie. We followed Brian all the way. Maden was hiding under his blanket so I couldn't get a picture of him, but I caught him, even with a smile! Of course Annie wanted to have my phone so she could take her own selfie.
When we got back to Brian's we had to look at all the pictures that I took while I was there.

We had a great time, it was fun for Blake and Brian to attend the conference together and be able to talk about the things they learned.  It's always such a treat to spend time with Maden and Annie. It's always hard to say goodbye. We flew out early Monday morning and are not sure when we will return to Erie, it might be next May when Brian graduates.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


August 7-12, 2014

When Brian heard of Terry's death, an idea started to form in his mind. He decided to talk to the director of his anesthesia program and found out that he could take the time off and come to the funeral. They made plans with Cindy to pick her up and left Erie at about noon on Wednesday, August 7th and headed west, deciding to surprise us. They picked Cindy up at about 5:30pm and kept on driving through the night. They arrived here about 5:30pm on Thursday, August 8th. 

Blake was outside weed eating, I was inside in the office.  Blake didn't see them drive up, they parked over at Anderson's and Cindy and the kids got out of the car and just sat on the grass waiting for him to notice them.  He finally turned around and saw them, but wasn't sure what he was seeing. The kids ran to him telling him they came to visit.  I heard the small voices and thought it was someone at Anderson's, then I looked out the window and saw Maden running across the front lawn! I ran outside and couldn't believe my eyes that they were all here. I'm kind of glad that I didn't know they were coming and driving all night, or I wouldn't have slept either.

Here they are at our house. Maden wanted to go play "pool table", and Annie had a great time exploring the little house and toys.
Then we went out to swing, it must have felt really good to be out of that car!
Jared and Nikelle came down as soon as they heard we had surprise visitors. Annie and Maden had a great time dancing with Nikelle.
Friday morning, there was more swinging and hot tub time for Maden and Celia. Cindy, Brian, Celia and Randy went to play tennis for awhile too.
We went to Texas Roadhouse before the viewing. Blake and Annie had fun making up silly moves together.  Annie loves to steal my phone and take selfies!
The kids all went to the viewing early, then left with Jared to help him take care of the chores for Doug and Chet. They had a great time feeding the horses, milking the cow and feeding the calves. And of course they found some kittens.

I'm not sure what day it was that Brian and Celia went for a drive in the '65 and it ran out of gas, or so we thought, but I guess it was really just flooded.  On Saturday morning, Blake, Brian, Cindy and Randy went to play tennis, they came home about 8 am. Just as they got home, and Maden was having fun with the light bright, the power went off.  Cindy, Brian and Blake had to race into Randy and Courtney's to shower.  Good thing Celia and I were showered and had already done our hair!
The funeral was very good. Beckie and Brent did an excellent job with their talks, and it was very nice tributes to Terry. The weather was perfect at the cemetary.
After the funeral, Blake, Brian, Celia, Cindy, Randy and Jared went to play some more tennis, then we all met in Randy and Courtney's back yard to roast hot dogs and marshmallows.
I played "Mother May I" with the kids, Nikelle did some more dancing with them too. Cindy played in the fire for a bit.
Then everyone joined in on a game of "Duck, Duck, Goose". It was pretty funny.  When Blake got up to chase Maden, he slipped and fell on the grass. It was a great way to end the day.
On Sunday, we went to Randy and Courtney's Sacrament Meeting, then came home for dinner.  Blake had to go to Boise to work on Monday, so he left after dinner. The kids all played a rousing game of Egyptian Rat Screw, which is always a great time.
On Monday, Brian and Celia went to look at some houses and Cindy and I took the kids to Tautphus Park Zoo. We met Beckie, Porter and Paige and Nikelle there. We had lunch at the park and let the kids play at the park.  When Blake got home from Boise, we had dinner at Rupe's.
Tuesday morning there was some IPad playing, swinging, game playing and sitting in the flowers while Brian and Celia went to the temple.  Annie wanted her chair right in the flowers, so Cindy helped her out. We talked Randy into playing Phase 10, and he won the first hand he played without even giving Cindy or I a turn! All the while telling us he didn't know how to play.
Tuesday afternoon, we went to Courtney's school. Annie loved sitting in the desk, I hope the 3rd graders are taller than her! They taught Maden how to play 4Square.
They played some baseball out on the softball field.
Maden went down this big slide, so Annie had to go down too.  The first time Brian went up with her, but the next two times she did it all by herself!
They got up early on Wednesday morning and started the trek east. Maden won a prize at a Perkins. They stopped for the night in Kearney, Nebraska. They took this "corny" picture somewhere in Iowa. They stopped at Cindy's on Thursday night, then headed for home on Friday morning. The kids were really tired as they approached Erie. 

It was a fast, long trip, and they sure did surprise us! The funny thing is that their only deadline to get home was to pick Blake and I up at the Erie airport on Friday night at 10:00!