Wednesday, April 6, 2011

"Camping" at Rough Creek

John and I have always loved to go camping, and we have patiently waited for the time when the kids would be old enough to go too. John won a gift certificate for a night at Rough Creek Lodge (in one of the cabins), and we felt like this would be a great time to take the kids on their first camping trip!

Now, mind you, I use the word "camping" very loosely. Rough Creek Lodge is a 5-Star Resort just outside of Glen Rose. It has the nicest of everything....beautiful accommodations, pools, fishing pond, hunting, kids play room, gourmet restaurant, etc. But, we told the kids that we were camping in the cabin and they were so excited!

When we got to our cabin, the kids were talking about how much they loved it. Avery said, "Is this our new little home? I love our new little home!" There was a screened-in front porch with two huge rocking chairs and a wooden table with 2 benches and 2 chairs. Directly to the left upon entering the cabin, there was a spiral staircase that lead up to a small loft for the kids. In the loft there were 4 kids-sized camouflage fold-out chairs. I bet they went up and down those stairs a hundred times!

In the one large room of the cabin, there was a queen-sized bed, a twin bed, and a fold-out futon that was large enough for all three of them to sleep across. We had a flat-screened TV with DVD, a mini-kitchen, microwave and refrigerator. There were dishes and cookware in the drawers of the kitchen, and plenty of bottles of water to drink. There was a door beside the kitchen that lead to the outside patio area, complete with a large table/chairs, a hammock between two trees, and a fire pit. Man, we were really roughing it!!

After getting all of our stuff unloaded, we started exploring the area. About 100 yards from our cabin there was a teepee, kids play house, deer stand, and playground equipment. The kids had a great time going in and out of the teepee, playing in the house, and climbing all over the playground! John and I just sat and watched them!

We decided to load the kids in the car and drive over to the main area of the Lodge. After going through the reception area of the lodge, we walked down to the pond and went fishing. The fishing area is amazing. Rough Creek (RC) provides nice fishing poles and there is a refrigerator on the dock stocked with worms. Also, there is every type of lure imaginable. We were worried about the kids being so close to the water without a life jacket, but they did great! The kids each helped John reel in a fish--I didn't catch a thing--which was super exciting for them. Avery absolutely loved it!

After fishing we walked over to the recreation area by the lodge. There was an inflated bounce house, which they raced through a few times, trampolines, and a zip-line for the adults. (We'll do that sometime when the kids aren't there!) And we were lucky to catch the hayride as it was about to leave! The hayride took about 20 minutes, and the kids asked tons of questions about the things they saw. The end of the hayride was the most exciting as the trailer we were on came loose from the tractor! We skidded to a stop and the tractor kept moving! Adam didn't understand what was going on! The driver was apologizing profusely when I stopped him. "Look," I said, "we are from the country ourselves and not the typical customers you have at Rough Creek. This is no big deal to us!" I think he finally felt better about it.

RC also has a children's playroom with ping pong, foosball, air hockey, and other games. Nightly they have babysitters there from 6-10 to watch children while the adults go to the restaurant. We just stopped through and let the kids try to play for a few minutes. Adam loves tennis, so he was super-excited about ping pong!

By now it was time for dinner, so we headed back to the cabin to roast hot dogs and make smores. One small problem, however....the area was under a burn ban. So, thank goodness for the microwave! I heated up hot dog wieners in the microwave and we were good to go!

We played some more on the playground, I washed the kids down, and we all crashed watching "Toy Story 3" in bed.

Adam cried during the night because he said that his foot was hurting. I laid him in the twin bed with me (John was hogging the queen bed) to sleep. I could feel him twitching--I think the poor kid was having leg cramps! Anyway, when Adam woke up the next morning the first thing he said to me was, "Mom, this cabin doesn't have a smoke detector." I just shook my head....Adam believes in safety first!

John crawled in bed with Avery and Aaron as they were waking up. I hear Avery's voice..."Dad, can we go fishing yet?" To which Aaron replies, "I think we can. It's almost dawn." Cracks me up!

After a nutritious breakfast of powdered donuts (Avery ate 11 of them), we set off on a scavenger hunt. I made plastic Ziploc bags for each kid. Inside I put a paper with pictures of different objects for them to find: leaves, rocks, grass, a twig, wildflower, acorn, and a feather. I added the feather because I knew it would be more of a challenge. Little did I know that John would become obsessed with finding a feather. The kids forgot about it, but as we were leaving John said he wanted to go strangle a pheasant that we saw by the road just to get a feather!

We went fishing again, played tennis, walked by the pool,  and pet the goats and miniature horses in the petting corral. The kids were NOT happy when we said it was time to go back home! Avery didn't want to leave her new little house, and Aaron didn't understand why they were going to let someone else stay in our cabin for the night. Adam put his head down and pouted the whole 15 minute ride home. When we would ask him what was wrong, tears would well up in his eyes and he would say, "I'm not finished camping."

I have to say it was probably about the best 20 hours we've ever had with the kids. We all had so much fun and the kids haven't stopped talking about it since we got home. The bad part, though, is that when we really do take them camping, they will be completely disappointed. I can hear Aaron now, "Wait a minute...where is our cabin and bed?"

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

If I Could Stop Time...

Have you ever had one of those days...or even moments...that you truly hoped would go on forever? A moment that you hope stays so burned in your mind that it never fades? I had several of those this last Saturday.

After nap, John and I took the kids to Dino World. Now, you have to remember that we've been to Dino World no less than a hundred times. Dino World, in fact, was the first "real" outing we had with the kids. I  remember how we dressed them up in the cutest outfits, loaded them in the triple stroller, and took them through for the first time. Since they were so premature, we didn't take them out in public much when they were little. But when Dino World opened in March 2008, we went.

Ever since then we've had a special relationship with Dino World. Sometimes we would go because we just had to get out of the house. Sometimes I would take them just because they would be in their stroller...and for a brief while..I wouldn't have to chase them or make sure they didn't get into everything. Then as they got older, TT would take them during the day because they could burn off some energy. For the past two years I've watched our children change against the backdrop of dinosaurs who've stayed the same for millions of years.

So, this Saturday was pretty and John and I wanted to take them again. I found myself getting extremely emotional at the way they were so excited on the drive out there. "Go faster, Daddy!" "It's right over there, Daddy!" And the way they waited so patiently at the counter while we got our new passes. Or by the way the attendant commented:
"Oh, are they twins?" (pointing to the boys)
"They are triplets," I replied.
"Really? Wow, her eyes are brown and the boys' are blue."
To which Adam responded, "Avery's eyes are brown because she's full of poop!" (Yes, John taught them that!)

Then, like KIDS they ran out the door and headed toward the dinosaurs. Although it has been a few months since our last visit, Aaron knew what dinosaur was coming next, and what color the dinosaur was going to be. I'm amazed at his memory. John and I kinda walked behind them and talked about that first visit 2 years ago, and we reminisced about our sweet little babies that were now officially children. About that time I hear Avery say, "I can't wait to show T-Rex my new glasses! He will love them!" How absolutely and completely precious....

After walking the park the kids wanted to play in the play area. They climbed the ladders, crawled through the tunnels, and slid down the slides...all the while John was chasing, scaring, and belly laughing at them. There it was....that moment....I didn't want it to end. I wanted to sit there for an eternity and watch my husband--the amazing father of my children--play. And I wanted the kids to always be as happy as they were at that moment. "Dad, get me!" they would yell. "Dad, I'm over here!" It's like I didn't exist, and honestly, I was fine with that because I was getting to watch.

When we got home it was close to dinner time. John offered to take the kids out back to jump on the trampoline while I got dinner ready. And it happened again...I looked out our kitchen windows when I could hear laughter coming from the back of the yard. I watched for at least 5 minutes without moving a muscle. I heard Avery and Aaron belly laughing....Adam saying "Dad, look at me! Dad, look at me!"....John laughing so loud, while lying on his back and Aaron was attacking him, that I could hear him through walls and windows.
"Please stop, time," I thought. "I want it to always be like this. I want to hear their laughter. I want to hear John's laughter. I want them to be safe...happy...I want them to grow up in a home with two parents who work together to make the best life possible.." I prayed for God to protect all 4 of my Loves on that trampoline. It was one of those moments that I will never, ever forget, and that has been burned in my mind and in my heart.

Blessed? Am I blessed? Beyond comprehension....beyond what I deserve....beyond what I could have ever imagined.

Not from that amazing day....I was too entranced to actually grab the camera...but
from a recent day on the trampoline.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Our Babies aren't Babies Anymore!

We actually have children living in our house these days! Not babies, not toddlers, but children! It has been amazing to see the transformation in them over these past 3 months. Avery taking ballet, tap, and gymnastics, they are all going to preschool and loving it, and the depth/complexity of their discussions....they are officially "children!"

Needless to say, it sure has been fun around here! I thought the kids were really into exploring things when they were toddlers, but the grabbing, touching, tearing, eating, destroying, and asking questions is way more advanced now! Aaron put a flashlight in the toilet because he wanted to see the spider we flushed...When I told Adam that Jesus lives in our hearts, he responded, "Well, who put him there? We better get him out!"...Avery wants to collect every dandelion and rock in the whole yard.

Avery had her first dance performance on the square the first weekend in December. The child is NOT like me....she stood there and didn't move a muscle! She didn't dance, she didn't smile, and she just looked at everyone like they were crazy. That's when I realized that Avery really is slow to warm up to people and that she feels uncomfortable when there are lots of people around. She has been doing, what I thought, was a shy "act" for months, but apparently, she really does feel uncomfortable! Having said that, she got moved from the 2-3 yr old to the 3-4 yr old class in dance/gymnastics because she does so well! She just doesn't like that huge audience.

Here are some recent pictures of the trio:

Making a gingerbread house with TT!

Adam and Aaron ready to watch Avery dance!

Do I really have to do this?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Don't want to forget....

Yes, I'm a slacker. I didn't even post about the kids 3rd birthday party! I had good intentions of doing so, but the end of July, and beginning of August, also signals the beginning of a new school year...and I get so wrapped up in getting things ready for my classroom!

Their birthday party was a family party with a Toy Story 3 theme. I picked that theme for several reasons: 3 kids, turning 3, they like Toy Story, and because I saw a poster that just had a giant "3" in the middle of it----it seemed to fit perfectly! So, a friend here made their cake and it was exactly what I had pictured!! Perfect, absolutely perfect! And did I mention it tasted AMAZING?? Makes my mouth water just thinking about it now!

The kids got tons of great toys from family and friends. They are so blessed to be surrounded by so many people who love them!

This week marked another milestone in their lives...the beginning of preschool! They are going to a church preschool Tues/Thurs for 2 1/2 hours a day. This last Tuesday was the first day of school, and Avery had strep! We really wanted the boys to still go to school and were anxious at how Avery would react to leaving her brothers at school. Avery was feeling so poorly that she couldn't have cared less. John, Taylor, and I (Avery too!) all dropped the kids off and picked them up for the first day. The boys immediately went into their classroom and started playing! It was obvious they felt comfortable. When we went back to pick them up I was looking through a darkened window into their classroom. Avery said, "Mom, hold me, I want to see brothers." So, I picked her up and she got a huge smile on her face. Aaron and Adam had not seen us walk up. Just after I picked Avery up, Aaron turned around and saw her in the window. He ran toward the window yelling, "Avery! Avery!" It was so sweet and brought tears to my eyes!

The boys had so much to say about their morning! They told us about their Bible lesson saying "Mom, did you know God made me?" (Oh yes!! I knew that!) They talked about the lamb that they made, and the playground. It was just so sweet!

Unfortunately, everyone now has strep, so they were all unable to go to school today. But, there will be plenty of time to recover before Tuesday!

I have some pictures of the first school day on my phone that I need to upload, and then I can post them!

Here are some birthday pics!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Our Summer....

It's been a summer of "Firsts" at the Power Household! June was our 1st vacation, 1st time to stay in a hotel with the kids, 1st time to sleep in a real bed, 1st time to San Antonio (and all the 1sts included in that!) and when TT brought the kids back home and John and I stayed in San Antonio, it was the 1st time they were on the road that long without us! 

John, Taylor, and I took the kids to San Antonio mid-June. We had such an awesome time! After getting to San Antonio and getting them to nap, we went down to the RiverWalk. (Our friends from here, the Gills, went also. They have 3 kids: 20, 10, and 9). The kids wanted to ride in a boat SO badly, but by the time we ate dinner, it was alredy really late and we just needed to get them back to the hotel! Our hotel was a family suite, so there was plenty of room for the 6 of us. The kids shared a king-sized bed in the back room. John and I were in a room next to theirs, and TT had the sofa bed in the living area. We couldn't believe how well the kids did sleeping in the big bed together. I know that it helped they were all so exhausted!

The 2nd Day we took Sea World by storm! We started our day with a Sesame Street breakfast (before the park opened). Avery wasn't so sure of the characters, but the boys really enjoyed it! Afterwards we fed the dolphins, went through the aquarium, and watched 3 shows before leaving around 1. They ate lunch on the way back to the hotel and CRASHED immediately after laying down! That evening we took them to see Toy Story 3 (which we all loved) and went to eat some amazing Mexican food!

Aaron, Avery, and Adam in front of Sea World

Adam and I with Telly

Feeding the Dolphins

Watching the Sea Lion show....

The Whole Gang! Elmo, Aaron, TT, Zoe, John, Avery,
Adam, and me!

Besides Sea World, we've had many other fun days....swimming with friends, a weekend trip to Midland, going to my parent's house for three days, Dino World, library, Fossil Rim wildlife park.....The kids are so fun and are getting so independent! It's just SOOOOO much easier to pick up and go!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Quickly Approaching 3!

This, and the three posts following, are finally an update of what's going on in our world! TT took all of these beautiful pictures of the kids (and many more) for my Mother's Day present. I love the pictures SO very much!

Things here are going great! I've been off of work for two weeks now. We've done so much with the kids already! We've gone swimming (in a real pool) twice, gone bowling, watched a movie in the theater, and are making plans for much more! We are leaving this week for a 2-night stay in San Antonio. TT is going with us too, and we are very excited about going to Sea World. Before Sea World opens, we have tickets for a Sesame Stree breakfast with Elmo and others! We can't wait! Later this month we are going to spend two nights with my mom, start swimming lessons, and whatever other adventures we can find!

The kids are doing great at potty training! They've been in panties/underwear for a week now! Very few accidents, and are still wearing a Pull-Up at nap and a diaper at night.

I just can't believe how easy they are right now! They can do so many things independently, and it really makes life so much easier around here. I truly believe this time is the easiest we've EVER had since they joined our family! We've taken all the gates down in the house, so they finally have free-reign. (Except for our bedroom). They can get their own shoes, are starting to drink with regular cups at meal times, and can help do small chores around the house. It is so amazing!

Also, we are just having the best time! We are constantly surprised at what they say, how fast they are growing, and how blessed we truly are. Hope you enjoy this, and the next three posts. Maybe it will get you caught up!!


Oh, Avery! My little, independent, girlie-girl! I find myself just shaking my head at the things she does! She is so funny too, and so prissy!

Avery's newest thing is the red/yellow car that she drives around the house. Now, you know the car I'm talking about-- that Little Tykes coupe that most all kids have. Well, Avery's love for that car goes to a whole new level. She drives that thing ALL over the house. She will tell us she's going shopping, grab her little purse, get in that car, and then drive to a different area of the house. There you can see her pretending like she's buying stuff, and then she will drive it back to you. Frequent trips to the store happen for "Eggs, milk, and nachos." The other night, she even drove her car to the bedroom, and parked it right next to her bed. She got out of the car, crawled into her bed, and went to sleep!

Avery has gotten very adept at pretend play. Poor John was a doctor's patient one whole Sunday afternoon! She plays in the kitchen, shops, plays with her dinosaurs...talking quietly to herself most of the time. She also, however, LOVES to help around the house. She does a great job of helping with laundry and emptying the dishwasher. She likes to clean with wipees, takes pride in feeding Alex, and does a great job of holding the dust pan.

She can be SO incredibly sweet, or full of drama. Of course she won't leave the house without her bow! John has nicknamed her "Popcorn" for two reasons: she can eat her weight in popcorn, and she's little and always popping around the house. When you ask her what her name is, she will reply "Popcorn Power." Ha!! She can often be found singing lullabies to their stuffed animals, rubbing her brothers' hair, or kissing Bella's nose. She's our sweet girl!

I love this picture because she is laughing so hard!!