Thursday, July 14, 2011

Toledo Zoo and Other Safari Adventures!

I loved the Toledo Zoo. Cohen keeps telling me we need to go to the zoo but it is just too blasted hot here right now it will just have to be something we save for the Fall. They esp loved the goats!

Jace was a little scared at first :)

When I saw on a friend's blog about going to the Safari Wildlife park in Ohio, I knew it was a thing that we needed to do! The pictures alone tell you how much fun we had. We went with our good friends, the Lau's (who we miss TERRIBLY!!!). We all had so much fun scaring the kids (and getting a little scared our selves). I have a video that I even sent in to AFV. I'll have to put in on the blog once we find out if we get on or not (you can't have it on a public site when you submit it to AFV), fingers crossed!

Free pony rides!
Doesn't Matthew look so happy :)

Matthew, Cohen and Jace.

Obviously, my car was gross after going to this place!

For you Toledoen's, this is a must see. You have to take your cameras and lots of carrots!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Road Trip! (and other Toledo stuff)

When we moved to Toledo, Justin and I said that there were 3 places we HAD to see before moving away from that area of the US. And up until April, we had been to two of those three (Nauvoo and Chicago). Well, after much pleading and begging, I finally talked Justin into going to New York and Niagara Falls. And only if I was able to find free lodging, which I did (thanks to Taylor and Laney!). It was an extreemly short trip, but it was totally enough to satisfy my desire to get away with the family and not feel so sorry for Justin and I being, what seemed to be the only 4th years that did not have a celebratory vacation (we WILL have one, it's just has to be after I'm done nursing Carter, March just can't come fast enough!).
Niagara Falls
We left on a Monday early morning and our first stop was Niagara Falls. It was to say the least, unbelievable! It was also extreemly cold that day and rained the whole time we were out side. But even with the cold, the boys loved taking a ride of the Maid of Mist and seeing the huge falls. After that, we decided to eat and Quaker Steak and Lube (known as the inventor of the Buffalo Wing and winner of countless prizes for their sauces and wings). It defiantly lived up to our expectations!

So I know I look like I gained about 100 lbs. I promise that was not the case. I was wearing Carter in my Moby Wrap and he slept the whole time! Don't worry, there was a hole for him to breath out of :)

Thank goodness for the blue ponchos, or we would have been soaked! I wish we had one for our strollers because once we got off the boat, we had a puddle in the stroller.

After our great accommodations, we headed off to Palmyra to see the church history site. After being so blessed to see Kirtland, Nauvoo and Palmayra over the last 4 years, I am so glad that we saved what we thought was the best for last. The day was perfect. It was not to hot and not to cold and the sacred grove was as green as ever! The spirit in that place was overwhelming and such a testimony builder. We also saw the Smith home, the printing press that started the Book of Mormon and the Hill Cumorah.
Top of the Hill Cumorah.

Having a picnic lunch right out side of the Sacred Grove.

Bridge crossing into the Sacred Grove.

One thing I was not expecting was the long walking trail in the grove. I always thought it was just one spot but it literally is a huge grove of these giant trees where Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith. There was such a sweet spirit there and it was so peaceful to walk the trail and think of what monumental experience happened there. There are also 5 trees that they call the witness trees that date back to the the time of first vision. We saw one of them. I wish I got a picture of it but it was not until I talked to one of the sister missionaries about this cool old tree we saw that I realized that it was one of the witness trees. Dang.
Inside the Joseph Smith home.
Both Cohen and Jace feel asleep by this point so we left them in the car for a quick snap shot of the Smith home. It was SO tiny. I can't believe how many people lived in the house. Very humbling.

And other Toledo stuff....
The biggest selling point for us when we were looking for places to live in Toledo was our huge back yard. It was a great place for the kids to run around and as you can see, it was extreemly green. Although our new house has a back yard that is fenced (which is great!), we miss this huge back yard, plus we never had to take care of it!
Trying to pop the bubbles.

I miss this little place. We loved going to Fallen Timber and there fun little kids area. There was also a pond with enormous koi fish that you could feed.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Birthday Time and Last Trip to Botanical Gardens

This year we decided to do Cohen's birthday celebration a little early since we would be in our new house only a couple of weeks when his real birthday was. I was involved in a preschool group this past year and Cohen LOVED it. We invited all of his little friends from that over and I think they all had a great time. The best part was watching the kids hit the pinata!

Ike stayed for the fun since his parents needed to go do some craigslist shopping, I love craigslist! He was so funny to watch because all he wanted to do was just touch the bat to the car and then he was done.
Matthew was by far the strongest one and he knocked it right off the rope!

Ellie just did what she should do...hit like a girl :)
Musical chairs, I quickly learned is not too much of a game for 4 year olds, every time someone got out, there was a small fit by that child. So then we changed it to when you get out, you got a birthday blow whistle. But then the ones that did not get out were sad cause they wanted the whistle. Sometimes you just can't win.
We also played pin the tail on the donkey. All the kids aimed for his face.
left to right: Zeb, Matthew, Cohen, Ellie, Ike. We miss these kids terribly! Cohen keeps telling me since we have been here that he does not like the new kids and he just wants to play with his old friends. I think he is having a little bit of a hard time adjusting.

We got a race car cake at Cohen's request and I never even got a picture of it. But as you can see, the blue frosting was a big hit!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY COHEN!!!!And once the kids were gone and ours were to bed, Justin and I enjoyed a little of it ourselves!
I love how happy Jace looks to be a the botanical gardens. I loved going to this place. It was so pretty and we always loved feeding the ducks!
Our little Carter-Farter, happy as always. His only flaw...this kid let's some crazy bad stinkers. Hence the nick-name.