Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Crayola Crayon Factory

The motto for the Crayola Crayon Factory in Easton, Pennsylvania should go something like this:

"Bring your kids to the Crayola Crayon Factory where a person becomes the pallette."

Or maybe...

"Come on down to the Crayola Crayon Factory where your kids can become the canvas!"

My kids emerged from that place covered in head to toe with markers, paint, and melted crayon wax. And worst of all, I'm not traveling with my stain removal paraphernalia!

They did have a great time. They watched a presentation on how crayons and magic markers are made, and they got to write on a plexi-glass wall with markers. They loved the finger painting room, and most of all the area with Model Magic.

Besides the messy factor, we had a great day. Five days later, I'm still trying to figure out how to remove the wax that is splattered on some favorite clothes! I'm going to have to wait until I get home, because the Crayola website says that WD-40 is needed to rectify the situation!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

New York City

I don't know what I was even thinking when I was considering taking my four rugrats on a day trip into New York City. We thought it would be fun for them to see and feel the excitement of big city life.

Boy am I relieved that our "Big-City-Educated" family members talked us out of that crazy idea! It would have rated up there in stress level as a trip to the dentist for a root canal....or a spot on a favorite outfit that cannot be removed with OxyMagic and Spray-N-Wash with Resolve Power!

It didn't take much coercion to convince us that a day in the city without children was a much more reasonable plan.

We made use of more public transportation in seven hours than we have in both of our lifetimes combined.

Train. Subway. Ferry. Train again.

And we saw more people commuting on foot than we have ever seen anywhere else. The whole time we were pushing our way through the hustle and bustle of people, I thanked God that we listened to sound advice and left the kids a home.
After arriving at Grand Central Station, we walked north to Central Park. I partook in a relaxing snooze on the grass, surrounded by green trees, a running river, and a sea of people!
A bit recharged, we proceeded to Rockefeller Center, Times Square, and a Disney Store large enough to make Mickey Mouse himself intimidated!

After visiting the Empire State Building and deciding that $19.50 was too high a price to pay for a short-lived view, we took the subway to the World Trade Center and solemnly stood before Ground Zero, amazed at the hole that has been left in the skyline of New York City. Personal stories are posted on walls around the area and bronze memorials of fallen officers are displayed for all to see. I felt a deep sense of sadness for those who witnessed first-hand, the awful events of 9-11.
Although my feet are as sore as if they have been stomped on by elephants, all of the walking was worth it. Not only for seeing the sights, but to work off the mammoth-sized buffalo chicken sandwich that I ate for lunch at a local restaurant!
Maybe in a few more years we'll return with kids in tow. Until then, they'll have to get their New York City culture from the television waves that bring us the Today Show!!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Tranquil Travel

I am truly amazed at the ease with which we maneuvered through the airport the other day, as we began our much anticipated family trip to New York. I fully expected to look like something out of one of the National Lampoon Family Vacation movies. I dreaded the thought of having to remove eight pair of shoes, as well as mine, while being herded through a metal detector like a family of cows, but even that task was accomplished without incident!

Even the fact that for a little over five hours, eight of us shared a space of about 16 square feet directly in front of the rear lavatory on the plane, did not faze us a bit. We colored many pictures, crawled under plane seats to hunt for Legos, and climbed over plane seats to share time equally with each family member.

And this is the first event ticket that we’ve bought for Annie that we didn’t feel so bad about her sleeping through. It was actually welcomed!

To say that our schedule has been off kilter is a complete understatement. Our heads have not hit the pillow before 1:00 am once since we have been here. There is much too much to see in New York.

After a seven hour drive, that would have probably been less than six if we hadn’t been travelling with four children and caravanning with a Uhaul truck, we arrived in Buffalo, New York. The highway scenery was painted a deep green, from the rolling meadows, to the tall, full trees. Adding a splash of color were the blue, rolling rivers that flowed between the greenery. The foliage in New York makes it clear that there is an abundance of water around.

And the water of Niagra Falls is the most impressive scenery we’ve seen so far. The amount of water that drops over the falls to reach its destination over 230 feet below is a sight to behold. The sheer power was breathtaking.

After a boat ride on the Maid of the Mist, and a hike through the Cave of the winds, we were drenched from head to toe. It was welcomed wetness, as wearing plastic bags on a humid day can generate a lot of body heat.

Although it pales in comparison to the entertainment of the Falls, we did have some exciting entertainment at our dinner at the TGI Friday’s in Buffalo. A couple sat down at a table arms length away from us, and ordered their drinks. Within minutes of receiving their drink order, the argument broke out. We are unclear of what the argument was over, but we are clear of the fact that the woman was a good aim. She hurled her stiff drink at her man and landed it smack dab in his face, while shouting a few expletives that I wish not to repeat. She stormed out of the restaurant immediately after throwing the few straggling ice cubes in his directions. Before long, four sheriff cars pulled into the parking lot to break up the fight that had continued outside. It was quite exciting, to say the least! I only I had reacted fast enough to snap pictures of it!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Happy Anniversary

It doesn't seem possible that today, my husband and I are celebrating our 9 year anniversary. Boy, oh, boy, has life changed since that first time we met, almost 17 years ago. His grey hair and the wrinkles around my eyes are evidence of that!

But we would never trade in the stress and work that it takes to raise a family, as it is equally marked by love and laughter! I've seen the words hanging on plaques in many stores and I always think of our own family when I read them.

All because two people fell in love.

Happy Anniversary, Mark! I love you!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Busy Little Bees

I haven't failed to post because I lack activities to share about. On the contrary, rather, I haven't sat down long enough to upload photos to my computer, then upload photos to photobucket, then write something worth reading about each!
So now that I have done all of the above, here are some photos of how I have kept the kids busy as a way to maintain the cleanliness of our home! The more hours we spend out and about, the more hours my house stays tidy!!!


More swimming...
The Swimming Avoider...
Playing around at out local YMCA Water Park...
Making use of our public transportation system by riding the trolley to a local ice cream shop where we got a tour and then ate some of the yummiest ice cream we've ever tasted.

Played games and posed for pictures while waiting for the fireworks display...

Getting baby fixes...

Posing for pictures...

Oh boy...please tell it August 25th NOW????