May 28, 2012

A Weekend Away

Well, for a family who was supposed to stay at home and get settled into a really good routine this summer, we are not doing so well!  The Mr. was offered a sweet deal for a job over the that paid for the family to tag along.  So, we quickly packed up and took off for an unexpected getaway.  Can I just's been fun, but I've decided that trying to keep up with five kiddos in new places is stressful and exhausting.  We have this one particular problem...our kids are used to being outside and running and shouting and playing and shouting and rough housing, and did I mention shouting, for hours every day.  Being cooped up in a hotel room is definitely not our family's ideal.  I've been waiting this entire weekend for the hotel desk to call and let us know that someone is complaining about the noise level on the third floor!  The Mr., on the other hand, sits back and laughs at them, riles them all up, then kisses me good bye and wishes me luck for the day!  

We have had a lot of fun though.  We went swimming in the indoor pool which was FREEZING!!!  I'm proud to say that I lasted an entire hour!!!  We took the kiddos to Chuck E. Cheese!  It was so cute watching the kids spend their coins.  They had seven each to spend, so the Mr. and I stressed to them that they didn't have many coins so choose wisely the games they wanted to play.  They walked around for an entire half hour trying to decide what they wanted to do, and then it still took them an hour to spend their coins because they didn't want to "waste them."  I was kind of impressed! :)  Who would have thought that four kiddos with only 30 coins could have so much fun for so long?  Last night, we took them to their favorite restaurant...ready for this?...CRACKER BARREL!!!  This is awesome because it's one of my favorites too!  Then, we went for another swim in the subzero pool. 

The entire purpose for coming has been for the Mr. to drive a semi and work a booth at bicycle races.  No, our family is not into bicycle races (the Mr. wants to make sure that is clear :) ), although they have been fun to watch.  He does side jobs for the company sponsoring these races, and so we have been able to go to the races and watch them.  The kids love being at the finish line, and let me tell you, even though we don't know one racer's name, my kids are cheering for them like they are best friends...cowbells, horns and all. If you ever need a cheering section, call my kids!  By the way, if someone offers your kids a knapsack full of free stuff at a bicycle race, walk away quickly.  I think everybody gives away cowbells, and if you will spend only 2 minutes with my kiddos and cowbells, your stress levels will quickly begin to rise as well!  

Pause here for a humorous story:  Mr. G was ringing away on the cowbell at the race, and the Mr. and I had had enough.  The Mr. told Mr. G to put it away.  Some guy walks up and begins to tell the Mr. about how this is a bicycle race and cowbells are a part of it.  Then, he walks a few feet away and starts talking to someone else.  So, the Mr. told Mr. G to go stand close to the guy and ring his cowbell.  After a couple of minutes, the guy looks at us with the most annoyed expression.  The Mr. waved and smiled....and told Mr. G to put away the cowbell. may not want to offer the Mr. too much advice.

Miss E, who enjoys all things performance, has thoroughly enjoyed watching the races and has become completely enthralled with the awards ceremony.  If this child does not become some kind of performer or director, I will be amazed!  Mr. A follows his Dad around everywhere, asks lots of logical questions about how things work and pitches right in with whatever job Dad is supposed to be doing.  We always receive so many comments about hard he works with his Dad.  He did have to sit in the semi for a little while while the Mr. was taking care of a few things.  The Mr. was interrupted from his work by someone who was looking for him to let him know that his "little boy" was hanging out the semi window hollering for him!  (Are you beginning to feel my stress?)  Apparently, Mr. A had a burning question about something he had seen and wanted to ask the Mr. about it "before he forgot."

Well, last but certainly not least, Miss M also had an experience.  As a little girl, I always walked in my sleep...a lot!  I've always wondered if any of my kiddos would do the same.  Up until now, none have, but alas....The second night we were in the hotel, I heard the latch click on the door.  I was dead asleep and almost rolled back over and talked myself into thinking it was someone else's door.  But, Miss M let out the slightest whimper, so I jumped out of bed, ran out the door, and found Miss M sitting in the middle of the hotel hallway with this dazed look on her face.  I called her name, but she never moved.  I finally went out in my PJ's (thankfully remembering at 2:30 AM to prop the door open) and picked her up and tucked her back into bed.  We made sure to latch the top of the door last night.

I would tell you about the newbie, but honestly, there isn't much to tell.  He is the most easy going, laid back, smiley-faced little guy.  He does nothing but eat, sleep, poop and smile....and for that, I am beyond thankful!  So, this is what a long weekend at a hotel with 5 kiddos and a crazy Mr. is like.  You know, we get all kinds of weird looks.  (I seriously never have to do a head count because there is always someone else walking by counting my kids for me!)  We get lots of criticism and a ton of "Good for you's" (with the look that says, "You are beyond insane!")!  But I am so thankful for the family God gave me.  It isn't perfect, and the truth be told, the Mr. and I are always trying to find that balance between letting kids be kids and obedience and responsibility (it seems especially elusive right now!)!  I remind myself, though, that I want my kids to love our family and to love the life God has given them.  So, I can stress the entire time and turn this family into quite the impressive little army who has no creativity or humor, or I can relax a little, enjoy the ride, and let my kiddos explore this great world and all that is in it. 

I think I will take a quick nap before the rat race begins again.  Don't forget to take the time today to tell our soldiers thank you for their service to us.  Teach this to your kids, too!  As our family is out and about today, we will be stopping to say thank you to the soldiers we see, and we'll try to make sure Mr. G doesn't bring the cowbells along.

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