The Niehaus Inn was full the first quarter of 2015. We were blessed with family as well as friends that are like family visiting us.
Grammy and Grampy made a visit in January. Grandma and Grandpa came in February. “Auntie” Helen, Marielle and John came late February/early March. Grammy came back early March and stayed until we flew with the kids to Indiana at the end of March!
We crammed in a lot of fun and even a little crazy with 5 kids 5 and under! Brayden, Caylee, and Bryson love the all the excitement and are always wondering who will be staying in the guest room next.
While Grammy was in Florida she joined us for a trip to Orlando as Brad had a work event at The Swan in Disney. We asked her to come along, so she and I could have fun with the kids together during the day. Brad and I were also looking forward to having her watch the squirts a few evenings, so I would be able to attend the dinner events. Unfortunately, Brayden got sick the first night and remained sick the entire trip. We still managed to have some fun here and there, but I have to say, it was far from what I would call a true vacation! Oh well, I don’t regret us tagging along because it was quite an adventure. I’m all about adventures!
Now onto the pics…
Brad, Grandma, Grandpa and the kids checked out the Tree Hill Nature Center in Jacksonville. They also stumbled across a science fair while they were out. That made this homeschooling mama quite happy because science really isn’t my thing. For the most part, Sid the Science Kid has been our science this year. That show really is pretty cool though. In all seriousness, this is the one subject I want a little more for my kids than what I currently provide. I think I’ve found the perfect fit with a homeschooling science class at the zoo for next school year!
Brad and I got almost an E N T I R E day to ourselves. A day date was just what we needed to refresh and recharge. We spent some time sitting on the beach, walking around the Atlantic Beach area, shopping a little and eating a delicious dinner at The Flying Iguana. Thank you Grandma and Grandpa!
Grammy, Grampy, the kids and I had a fun outing to Adventure Landing. The big hits were bowling and the go karts. It was the first time for Brayden and Caylee to ride go karts, so they were beyond excited. We also enjoyed some open gym time at TNT Gymnastics. I have to resist taking off for a tumble pass every.single.time I walk through that door. Flipping was one of my first loves in life, and it just doesn’t go away!
We showed off The Hands On Children’s Museum to our friends. During the “wintery months,” we go almost weekly. The kids LOVE it and finding something that keeps all 3 kids happy is a-m-a-z-i-n-g. I mean I actually get to sit down which is pretty darn nice every once in awhile. 👍 Everything is better when shared with friends, so this morning was a big hit! We also enjoyed a little party for John’s 3rd birthday. Don’t you just love the simplicity of it? One little present, a tiny cake, a homemade sign by Brayden, Caylee styling in a stained undershirt, and a whole lot of love in our kitchen. Helen and I left ALL 5 KIDS 5 AND UNDER with Brad a couple times for a couple hours! Love you, love you, love you, love you, love you Brad! 😘
Grammy takes A LOT of pictures, so a month long visit = 1,000,000 pictures. So… Grammy gladly joined us on our first beach day of 2015. Our hometown’s school was closed for a snow day, so that made me appreciate it even more! 😜
Grammy doesn’t like to miss ANYTHING, so she was grinning ear to ear that she was here to watch Brayden’s first soccer game!
Every time she comes to town, she helps me decorate our house AKA spending our $. 😉 This time around, we worked on the kids’ room. I love having all three share a room, and on a small budget, I think it turned out great!
Grammy finally got to check out the Hands on Museum with us. Once again, the kids loved it.
Looking back at all we did while in Orlando, it’s hard to believe Brayden was so sick. He tried so hard to push through and have fun as he was so excited about this trip. In reality, he could barely eat, ran a fever daily, and had awful restless nights with night sweats. When you’re the mommy, all you want to do it make it better for your child. Sometimes, you just can’t and it hurts to see your child suffer. 😢
We still managed to make many memories. One of the best being that we stayed on Disney property and my kids were all young enough to not even ask to go to Disney. All along they thought they were just going to Orlando. As we were pulling in, they saw advertising and started asking if we were staying close to where Mickey lives. I panicked a little (thinking – I’m the worst mom ever. How on earth can I take them to stay at Disney, and not even take them to Disney?), but they had not a clue as I calmly said yes, Mickey lives very close. We did get to go to Hollywood Studios to see Indiana Jones as part of a work event and Grammy and I ventured out with them to Downtown Disney one evening. The BIG highlight of the trip was riding the Ferry boat around even though we weren’t getting dropped off anywhere. This, my friends, is why I absolutely adore little kids. Everything is great to them. Everything is a new experience. Everything is a big deal. Their excitement makes me never want to stop seeing, doing, growing. Life is one giant experience made up of a bunch of little experiences. When you cherish them and mesh them with living your life for The One above, well, that’s where it’s at. It’s the good life.