Tuesday, July 21, 2015

mini vacation | king's point waterpark

We don't usually take many vacations or travel much. Last year Dan and I went to Florida which was our first big vacation in seven years. So this summer we didn't plan a big vacation but still wanted some fun family time with little cost. This year our summer vacation consisted of going to King's Point Water Park in Storm Lake, Iowa. We made it into just a day trip and didn't stay the night. Thanks to some friends of ours that gave us a gift certificate to King's Point a while back, we ended up only spending three dollars on the trip. 

To make it a little more exciting, we made it a surprise for the kids. We woke up as usual on Saturday morning and I was able to pack the swim essentials without the kids noticing. We hopped in the van and told them we were making a trip to Menards...When Kaiden started to realize this trip to "Mendards" was taking longer than usual and we seemed to be driving past a lot more cornfields than a typical trip to Menards, he began to wonder, but still didn't know where we were going. It wasn't until he saw the water slides that he realized we were at Kings Point. You can see in the picture below he's showing a bit of excitement once he realized where we were.

The kids have both been to King's Point before. Kaiden was three and Jada was a baby. It was in the winter so we were only able to enjoy the indoor park at the time. At that time, we told Kaiden we would visit again sometime in the summer so we could check out the outdoor part which included a big pool and kiddie pool area and a lot more big water slides. Unfortunately the outdoor waterslides ended up being closed due to a bad storm the night before that damaged the outdoor slides. Bummer. However, we still enjoyed the outdoor pool and kiddie pool.

We took a break for lunch and chowed down on some food. I'm not sure if it was really all that great. I think we were just super hungry. 

We spent some time indoors to check out the big slides, which Kaiden loved and surprisingly Jada absolutely loved too. Every time we went down the slide she would say "let's do that again!"

By afternoon you can see all the fun and excitement of the day was starting to wear on Jada. She needed a little rest with mama.

After leaving the waterpark, we stopped at the lake for a little hang-out/sight-seeing time before heading home.

 We explored some carvings cut out of trees that used to be there.

They thought this little baby wolf was cute... but not as cute as them.

Kaiden's best attempt at being a wolf.

 This just isn't fair:

 And the ride home. Poor girl was all tuckered out.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

back yard progress | landscaping

It seems as though we are making some progress on our back yard project and it's starting to come together. A couple weekends ago we finally finished up the landscaping in the back yard and side of the house. We kept it pretty simple and lined an area around the house with pavers and added a few plants and rock. Jada and Kaiden helped dad lay the granite sand before he placed the edgers.

And this is where we're at now. We obviously still need to plant some grass to fill in the dirt.

And though we are making progress, it seems that the better the deck/patio and landscaping are looking, the worse this area is looking. Eventually, there will be a shed there. Just not sure when.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

4th of July weekend

I had been looking forward to the 4th of July weekend for quite awhile. My aunt and uncle who live in Arkansas came for a visit and I was super excited to have them. They haven't ever seen our house or where we call home so they wanted to visit for that reason, but also my aunt went to Dordt College here and her mother lived in Sioux Center from about age two to 17. She had not been back to Sioux Center for nearly 40 years and was curious to check it out and see how things have changed.

We drove around town and showed them the wonderful town of Sioux Center and all that has changed since the last time she was here. We walked through the Dordt campus where she recognized her old dorm room and about two other buildings that still remained from when she went to school there. We drove past the proximity and tried to locate, to the best of our abilities and from heresay, as to what house we think her mother (my grandmother) grew up. We also located the gravesite of her grandparent's (my great-grandparent's) at the cemetery in town. Of course we made a trip to Casey's Bakery in town and left with some yummy goodies. And we did a lot of relaxing, talking and hanging out.

Then to celebrate on the 4th, we all traveled to my brother's where my mom and dad where staying and the whole family visited and hung out for the night. All of Kaiden and Jada's cousins from my side of the family were there including one of my nieces whom I haven't been able to see for a year.

And it just so happened they were pretty much wearing the same thing. This wasn't even planned, people.

All the cousins together.

And it wouldn't be a proper Independence Day celebration without some boys shooting off fireworks 

by the way, this is legal in South Dakota and they were being supervised

or some smoked meat from this giant smoker.

Friday, July 3, 2015


To be honest with you, once school was out, I wasn't quite sure how this summer was going to go. I was a bit worried Kaiden would be bored without TK taking up a few hours of his day. I came up with a big list of things we could do in those times when we were bored but couldn't think of anything to do. Well, so far it turns out I haven't had to turn to my list yet and the kids have kept busy with the simplest of things kids do. 
To my surprise, Kaiden has finally started playing outside with the neighbor kids. In the four years we've lived here he has refused to "just go play" with the other kids. The neighbor kids have even come over in years past to ask if he could come out and play and he would shyly decline. This summer he's like a different kid. Maybe it's just age or TK helped him out a whole lot but he just waits for those neighbor kids to come out. One day in particular he was outside playing from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 in the afternoon except for lunch. I didn't know what to do with myself.

But besides playing with the neighbor kids we have also kept busy doing other simple things...

Like blowing bubbles. We got some bubbles from kids day at the bank. We went through three tubes of bubbles. I waved the wand to create the bubbles and the kids ran and ran, chased the bubbles and tried to pop them.

Chalk has been keeping him busy too. 

And some time painting. Our little artists. Taking after mom and dad I guess.

Yay for summertime!