Sunday, April 28, 2013


Annika got a rocket for her birthday from my parents.  She has been waiting unpatiently since then to set it off.  We finally had a dry, semi sunny day, and the wind wasn't too bad we thought.  So we found the biggest wide open area we could, the high school.  We hiked beyond the soccor fields and golf area.  It took several tries to get it to go off.

 And then it did!  It was really cool!  Then the wind caught it.  See the high school in the photo below?  We think the rocket landed ON TOP of it.  It went that far.  We looked and looked and never found it.  I need to call the high school and see if  the maintenance men found it.  Ah well, super fun while it lasted.


Tanner's favorite game of all time has to be Hullabaloo by Cranium.  The little machine tells you which mat to go to, how to move, and then declares a winning mat and when to do the victory jump, bow, or dance.  It is one mommy and daddy are willing to play.  He loves the music and movement.  He has quite the moves.

Puppets galore

The kids worked really hard for two days creating puppet shows for us.   Enough so that it took two hours on two different nights to perform all of them.  They created sets, costumes, and the scripts.  Tanner went first and his were quite cute. He had us laughing as usual.

 Next Annika performed her saga of the Dramadik Pig and Brave Big Dog with ten set changes and removable props.  This photo shows the angel coming from above to talk to the pig.
 Those are the removable weapons the pig used.
 Phoebe made an opera singer with a lunch bag and even had crowds.  The poor singer got kicked out of the kingdom because her singing was making her too powerful.  She hid in a zoo and befriended the animals, who eventually helped her overthrow the king and get back to her people.

Phoebe also created aliens, planets, UFOs, walkie talkies, and helmets for her alien presentation that was very cute.  

Monday, April 8, 2013

Best Vacation EVER

We will start with Saturday morning, when the Easter Bunny came to visit early.  He hid 6 eggs for each kid, brought a TON of candy, and Kindle gift cards for the kids.  Excellent choice Bunny, since the movies and games the kids bought came in quite handy for the next week.

 This is the BEST picture.  Such a different expression from last year.  
This makes my heart melt to see my Annika back.
 We left our house at 2 am.  We were actually the very first people in line for the TSA!  Tanner loved his first flight!  He, in true Tanner fashion unfortunately, waved out the window and exclaimed, "So long suckers!" as we took off.  But we still had to laugh.  We had great flights and the kids took it all in stride.  An easy taxi ride to the resort and straight to the pool and ocean. 
 Oyster Bay has all sorts of entertainment each night.  Easter is the kick off of St. Maarten's Carnivale season so the first night was free drinks (virgin mixes for the kids) and dancers.
 And a silly how well do you know your wife competition!  
Jeff won!  Such a good husband!  He got a bottle of champagne for his efforts, and he really did deserve it.  
He nailed it on the head and had the whole crowd roaring.  
Tanner LOVED the pool.  Actually that is an understatement.  He never would have left it.  He was swimming underwater and doing cannonballs like a champ by the end of the week.  
The girls could practice all their new skills from swimming lessons.
Phoebe, true to her self, was my collector for the week.  This crab shell in perfect condition was her first find, but alas it was pretty fragile and did not survive the week.  
But she managed to find a bucket's worth of shells.  So she was quite happy.
 We also saw lots of lizards this year.  We would go looking every day for some. 
 See this big one on the square rock?

 Monday Phoebe got her hair braided.  Another party poolside, won two more bottles of champagne, 
and I got my dancing in for the year.  :)  And so did our ladies man.  

My awesome parents who make the whole thing possible.  I can never thank them enough. 
 And we had such a great time with them.   The kids made some really wonderful memories with them.
Tuesday we bought a boogie board.  Annika proved to be a champ at this! 

Tanner dug holes large enough for him to disappear in.  Not surprising.  He was not a fan of the ocean--it was pretty windy and rough and he forgets to close his mouth.  Apparently it was too salty. 

 Worn out, a little sunburned, so snuggling on the pull out couch and watching their Kindle movies over and over was actually welcome.
 Wednesday we hit the butterfly farm, it was loaded with mating butterflies that were very active so it was a lot of fun to see them flying and eating.  

Phoebe was a great photographer and captured some wonderful shots, here are a few. 

 They liked my sunscreen and kept sucking it off my legs.

After that we went to Galeon Beach for a picnic and playing in the ocean.  No waves there.
We enjoyed a cooking class with the resort restaurant chef at Infinity.  Annika paid very close attention.  
 Delicious food, fun to watch, French accent hard to understand. 

Jeff took the kids fishing four times I think.  They were all able to catch fish on their own.  And Jeff stayed down alone a few times and caught a lot, has some good stories, and relaxed even more.  This was another of Annika's favorite things too.  She really needed all that daddy time and soaked it up.
Apparently puffer fish  are common here and they eat shrimp. 

 Thursday morning we went to the sand bar to hunt shells, hike a little to the island across the bar, and visit Calvin to hold sea creatures. More pool, naps, and fishing.  

Friday morning we spent in the pool diving for quarters, Annika went boogie boarding again.  
 Then we went to Phillipsburg for some souvenir shopping and delicious ribs for lunch on the boardwalk. 
 Definitely a new favorite restaurant.  

 Saturday family photo shots before we must leave.

And lunch at Sunset bar.  It is right at the end of the runway (one of the ten shortest in the world), 
so you can see in the pictures how close we were.  It is pretty crazy cool. 

And then another afternoon in the pool. 
Beautiful weather, on a gorgeous colorful island.
 Smooth flights.  Well behaved children--they were at the perfect ages.  
Good food.  No one got sick.  
We couldn't have asked for a better, more fun, more relaxing, excellent family time trip.