Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Toy Story 3 and Shrek the Final Chapter....

My son had really been looking forward to seeing Toy Story 3. He had received Toy Story & Toy Story 2 (Blu-Ray, nonetheless) for Easter, thanks to a great deal that I, mom, I mean the Easter Bunny found. Each of the dvds came with a free ticket to see Toy Story 3 and an interactive game for the computer. The two tickets were supposed to be for him and dad to have a guys night out.

Well.......what was supposed to be a guys night out, turned into a family night out...

We ended up going to our local drive in and for $18 all six of us saw Toy Story 3 and Shrek 4. If you need help with that, it equals $1.50 per movie for each of us. We made popcorn before we left and brought some other snacks. We also made a big jug of ice sweet tea. The only drawback was that the first movie didn't start until 8:15, but it was a Friday night, so no biggie. It turned out to be a great night. The youngest didn't make it through all of Toy Story 3, our son made it through all of Toy Story and most of Shrek. Our oldest two made it fine through both.

Oh and just so you know son and dad have other things planned to make up for their Toy Story 3 guys night out. They were great sports though and didn't mind us girls tagging along!!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Kansas City Trip Part 3: Deanna Rose Farmstead

In trying not to be completely waterlogged, we decided to take an afternoon and visit the Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead in Overland Park.

"Designed to depict a turn-of-the-century family farm, the Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead has almost 200 animals and birds of prey, vegetable and flower gardens, a one-room country schoolhouse, an old-time fishing pond, pony rides and more" .

My kids love this sort of thing. They are nature lovers and animal lovers. My six year old son's dream is to own his own farm or even his own zoo. The girls equally love the outdoors. We have had a variety of animals throughout the years, including a blue haired rat...yes, you read that right and yes, we actually paid for it. It has gone on to rat heaven though..sniff...sniff. (Read that as sarcastically as possible!!) They have even used their saved money to purchase their own plants for the garden. So visiting this Farmstead was a must on our vacation.

This is our oldest enjoying her pony ride...our son also rode a pony, but every picture I took had some little girls head bobbin up...

Our eight year old bottle feeding the goats. This was something all of the kids really enjoyed, even our two year old. I think it was the fact that she was feeding them with a baby bottle, just like she does her babies..well almost.

Pretending to milk a cow...

Sitting on a cow....

This was a fun thing they are mining for gem stones. They were allowed to keep whatever they found...

Our two year old conversing with the chickens...

I definitely recommend visiting the Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead if ever in the area. Admission is free. There is a cost to do the various things, but they are very inexpensive - we are talking $3.

It was also very informative. In each area there was a staff member there to give a little history lesson and to answer questions. For instance, did you know that there are really not any wild buffalo in North America? We actually have bison. Buffalo and bison are similar, however, buffalo are native to Asia and Africa, where bison are native to North and South America.

Go ahead google know you want to...I did...LOL

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Kansas City Trip Part 2: T-Rex Cafe

My husband is a deal maker, especially with our kiddos. The "big" deal on this trip was with our six year old son....isn't he a cutie?!

The deal was that he if he would go down one of the big slides (provided he was permitted)we would then go to the T-Rex Cafe for lunch or dinner one day. That was all our dinosaur lovin' little guy needed to hear. Within the first five minutes of entering the waterpark, my son and husband had gone down the big blue slide..I wish I had a picture. As soon as he was up out of the water, he confirmed that we would be going to the T-Rex Cafe.

We did.

He loved it.

Unfortunately, our youngest was not quite as excited to see these creatures, ok, not only was she not excited, she was plain ole' scared. She stuck close to mom and Oma on this outing. Our oldest, well, she, of course, is entirely too cool to even begin thinking that this dinosaur restaurant was remotely exciting. She still had a good time though, inspite of the uncoolness of it all!!!

Edited to add:
Prices were a little on the high side, however, the amount of food you receive was unbelievable. We took our leftovers back to the Lodge with us and had them for dinner that night. All in all, it was worth it.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Summer Fun At Great Wolf Lodge

This week we had the privilege of spending four days and three nights at the Great Wolf Lodge in Kansas City.


If you are not familiar with the Great Wolf Lodge Resorts, they are a very large indoor waterpark. I loved the fact that while they did have an outdoor pool area, the actual waterpark was indoors, which means weather and sunscreen were not worries.

Below are pictures of the waterpark and our stay at the lodge....enjoy!

This is what you see right when you walk into the waterpark area..pretty cool, huh?! There are a total of five slides, three of which are partly outside.

This is one of the pool areas, my two youngest daughters spent a good deal of time here, they even made friends!! The deepest part was 4'3" - which was perfect. My two year old wore her Coast Guard regulated swimming vest that the Lodge has available.

Cute, huh?!

Every five minutes, that large bucket dumps 1,000 gallons of water on the crazy water lovin' people below.

This is the area just before you enter the waterpark. There is one of the two shops on the grounds. This one is primarily for those items that maybe you left at swimsuits (lol), goggles, batteries, etc. This is also wear they check the height of the kiddos to determine what or where they can play in the waterpark. Fortunately, with the exception of our two year old, there was not really anything that they could not do.

Once you are done pruning for the day, you can hit the arcade located near the entrance to the waterpark. You can earn tickets to turn in for prizes, which we did. Each one of our children eneded up with 230 tickets a piece to spend... we might as well have sent them to the dollar store with one dollar to spend, yes, it was that painful. The attendant had the patience of Job and did not seem to mind, probably just thankful that we only had four kids!!

There were certainly other non-water activities available to guests including storytime, which we somehow managed to miss every night, Cub Club Crafts, my wonderful husband took the kids to do this activity while his mom and I shopped at the Legends outlet mall.. yup... you read it right, the Lodge in Kansas City is right next to a huge outlet mall!!!

Overall our family gives the Great Wolf Lodge two thumbs up.. it is a great family getaway and while initially the prices can seem to be high, when you consider that it includes lodging plus the use of the waterpark, it really is not bad. The employees were fantastic and the customer service really could not have been better. There were numerous life guards on duty at any given time and they were all very well trained, never did you see them standing around talking, but rather always were walking around their given area, watching the swimmers.

**Believe it or not, I was not compensated in any way for the above review and it is my opinion only**

Friday, June 11, 2010

Summer Fun Thus Far...

I cannot believe we are almost to the middle of June!!

So far I am having the best time with the kids. This week I had two extra kiddos during the day. They fit right in with my group and they all had a great time. We They played outside a lot, we went to the park, we took advantage of McDonalds spring time fun coupons for kids and got free ice cream cones. We have made s'mores. It has been fun!!!

Tomorrow is garage sale day.. I went last Saturday to a subdivision sale and really scored, mostly in clothing for the kiddos. I wish I would have taken pictures, but didn't and they are now all washed and nicely put up to be packed for next week.

I will share a run down of my best deal...

One house I went to had boxes and boxes of boys clothes...that just so happen to be the size that my son is in..a huge sign said, "Fill a bag for $2" I started looking and could not believe what I is what I filled my bag with and paid all of $2 for..

-3 pairs of brand new, tags still attached Wrangler jean shorts
-1 pair of Tommy Hilfiger jean shorts
-2 Ralph Lauren shirts (1 pullover and 1 button down)
-1 Levi Strauss T-shirt
-2 Tommy Hilfiger button down shirts

All the clothes were in perfect condition... I almost felt bad giving only $2 for it all.

I "heart" garage sales!

Next week is our vacation week. We are heading to the Great Wolf Lodge in Kansas City. The kids are so excited and can't wait to go, well, neither can I. I will be taking tons of pictures and post them when we get back... well, most of them. There WILL NOT any pics of me in my me you thank me for that!!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer too!!!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Diebergs...Worth Blogging About...

If you are in the St. Louis area you should be familiar with Dierbergs grocery store. Today they had one of their 15 hour sales, not having shopped at Dierbergs for awhile I decided that some of the prices for this sale were to good to pass up.

For $20.XX this is what I purchased:

-5 lbs. of potatoes
-2 bags of salad
-1 2-liter of Pepsi (my downfall)
-2 Duncan Hines brownie mixes
-4 packages of ready to cook cinnamon rolls
-2 boxes of North Star 100 calorie fudge bars
-3 boxes of cereal
-2 packages of Kellogs Pop Tarts

Hmmm... I think that is it. While none of it is really all that exciting, it is perfect for us since next week I will be having a couple of extra kiddos for breakfast, lunch and snacks. (Babysitting for one of my best friends) I figure I at least have the breakfast covered for a couple of days, as well as snacks. My lunch should be covered with the salads...ok who am I kidding, it will probably be more like a baked potato and salad at!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Summer is Here

So this is my first summer in a long while that I am able to be home with the kids. I am so excited.

I am anxious to give them a good great summer. They deserve it! My three older ones who are in school, ended their school year with great grades...I think they get that from me!! LOL - ok maybe not!

Since we no longer have my full time income, we certainly will have to stay within budget when it comes to our summer outings, however, I am excited about what there is to do around town for free or nearly free.

Some of things that we have tentatively planned include:

-Parks... we are fortunate and live within minutes of several parks. A little picnic lunch and we are set.

-Zoo... we live near one of the best zoos in the country.. and its free. We actually visited this over the weekend and had a blast. While we were there till it closed, we still did not see everything, so we will be going back.

-Six daughter has a free ticket from school and with the coupons that are always around, this really should not be too costly.

-Local Drive In - this drive in allows two kids per each paying adult. So my husband and I each pay and all of our kiddos are free. They play two movies. Our plan is to go this Friday, bring our own snacks and enjoy a couple of movies under the stars.

-Chicago - I have family that lives up there and we absolutely love it up there.

-Kentucky - We go there for an annual family reunion. We do a little shopping and a whole lot of swimming at the hotel we stay at. My kids look forward to it every year.

-Great Wolf Lodge.. this is happening in just a couple of weeks. Looking extremely forward to this. We were able to find some other things in the area for the kids to do.. best of all they are free.

-Springfield, IL.. so much history there and I heard there is great shopping too!! LOL

I know that there will be more that will make it onto our summer vacation to do list and I am so excited!!! I will try to post about our outings and how we did staying within budget!!

Have a safe and happy summer everyone!!