Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Spring Break - 2008

Our 1st official spring break for the kids was a raging success!! Disney, Dells, Mexico, Girls gone wild?? No WAY, not us .... Golden Valley MN was our stay-cation and THE spring break destination for 2008.

Our Motto for the week?? no schedule, no sleep, no plan, no clue
Highlights include (if you can call 10 days of one on one kid time with three kids a "highlight")
Weekend kick off events or otherwise know as TIMPLS (vs Target India Palm Meadows (TIPM) & Target India Zen Gardens (TIZG)
~ Welcome Home & Happy 40th Birthday Paul! Our good friend and now fellow ex-expat returned from Bangalore via a 2 week trip to Australia just in time to celebrate his 40th birthday with his loved ones (us and other ex-expats). His flight landed at 11pm and he managed to make it to his surprise birthday party with 10 min's left on his official birthday. Fun was had by all:)

~ Taco Night Revisited -The kids welcomed home their friends Rochen, Grayce and Owen with light saber duels, banana bread, tacos and a sleep over at Cadens house. The highlight of the evening? "Sixteen Candles" and chocolate in chocolate milk (ie Chocotini) for the adults and a full fledged April snow storm in honor of the newly arrived ex-expat children

~ Hi Craig - where the "hell" have you been?! - Our good friends and former colleague Craig, Mary and their kids Alex & Charlie braved the Murphy household for an evening of food, magic tricks, circus acts and the Doodlebops. This was their 1st trip back to MN after moving to Madison 2 years ago. Even WE got home more frequently than that and we lived in INDIA!

Week Long Schedule otherwise known as ... when does school start again?!?!
~ Playdates - Jimmy was "too excited to sleep" he was having his 1st playdate with Sam. He showed up and Sam was jumping up and down at the door. Apparently having a playdate with your best friend when you are 7 ranks right up there with beer bongs and wet tshirt contests for college students when its spring break time. We also had dinner at Ben's house (family play date including capture the flag and corndogs - yummm!!!) and managed to sneak in more ex-expat kid time.

~ Library and Wi activities - We LOVE the library! Not only for the books, DVD's, etc, but they had a FULL 3 hours of "Wi" time. It was for 6th graders and older but Jimmy was the only one there. He had a blast playing tennis on the Wi. He broke a sweat and was so into the game that he peed his pants. Literally. He couldnt stop long enough to go to the bathroom. I am a bit worried that this might be an insight into his competitive nature.

~ THE ZOO - We joined Caden and Wyatt for the baby animal petting at the zoo. While Kay was disappointed that they didnt see a giraffe, the kids feasted on soft pretzels, carmel corn, soda, had a lunch stop at McDonalds and got to buy a toy each at Target. Does it get any better than this? At the end of the day, Jimmy was so grateful, he kept thanking us for being "the best parents ever" and promised that they'll "never ask for toys again, unless its our birthday, or Christmas, or Easter, or Mothers Day, or Fathers Day or our Gotcha Days...." Right. I'm not putting any money on that one.

~ Former babysitter reunion - Susie Spence - After 20+ years of searching for my favorite babysitter (as a kid), she found us! AND, her daughter, Hillary, goes to the U. Small world. So, we had them over for a "let's catch up on the last 30 years of your lives" chat and dinner. Events of the evening included: an Easter egg hunt for everyone, planned and executed by Kay, a demo of light saber skills by Jimmy, a circus performance by Kay, an oral history of their adoptions and adoption books (Hillary's boyfriend is Korean and the kids had a million questions for him about his favorite Korean food), a running oratory about Star Wars and lots of hugs/kisses at the end of the evening.

~ Random Thoughts/Quotes - Getting out the bikes and trying not to get run over by the crazy Minnesoata drivers. Billy had a blast riding on the back of Juimy's bike and screaming at the top of his lungs. Kay on the other hand would much prefer us to hook up the burly so she can ride like the princess she aspires to be! Kay woke up Thursday morning and declared "I dreamed about all of us last night. We got another dog in my dream and Mommy woke up and said ~ sh-t we have another dog". Nice, I think we need to work on our vocabulary.

~ Gotcha Day - Jimmy & Hayden - Jimmy and Hayden entered our lives 7 years ago on April 10, forming the beginnings of the Murphy & VanMeter families and a lifelong friendship/connection for all involved. How did we celebrate? Korean food at Mirror of Korea of course:) Followed by ... cupcakes, red wine and a rewatching of their adoption videos. Its amazing to see how much your kids change (while we dont) and all the little "babyisms" that they had. Too much fun.

Weekend Wrap Up or thank god its almost over

~ Boat Party - this counts Milbraths - The 1st of the 3 Easter Egg hunts began at Jimmy & Sandras lake home on Friday night. Kay, Amy and Hayley proceeded to hide all the eggs just to turn around and find them again. Kay both hid and found the golden egg. Coincidence?? I think not.

~ Easter Egg Hunt # 2 -
Our church had an Easter party on Saturday and in an effort to give Tom some study time, I took on the task of taking all 3 kids. (see the Science Museum blog for a reference of taking 3 kids out in public by myself...)

~ Easter Egg Hunt # 3 and the arrival of the Easter Bunny (oh and Kay ran away from home twice) - Kay bounds into our room at 8am asking "is anyone else up? did the rabbit come?" Thus started the day destined for a sugar hangover. Jimmy was less than thrilled with his present (a tennis racket) and so we had to explain how the Easter bunny shops at Target. That's way Target is closed on Easter Sunday, because the Easter bunny has bought ALL their toys. But, the good news is, we can exchange the tennis racket for something more desirable by a 7 yr old boy. This fib fooled the child. Kay, on the other hand, was less malable. She was sneaking candy all morning and finally caught in the act 5 min's before lunch. Lunch proceeded as normal, but when it came time for the post lunch treat, Jimmy was the only one that had managed to avoid temptation and got to eat a post lunch treat (a point which he drove home with the other two kids). This resulted in Kay telling me she didnt love me, didnt want to live in this house anymore and she was leaving. And, leave she did. She put on her boots and made it almost to the stop sign. Jimmy was yelling "come back Kay, we love you" at the top of his lungs. At first he was laughing while he was yelling and then it turned a bit desparate. I went out on the search and rescue and had to bring her home kicking and screaming how much she hated me. She wasnt home 5 min's and set off again to find a house that would let her eat chocolate instead of lunch. Oh the joys of girls and their chocolate.

~ Easter with the Gottsackers - We spent Sunday afternoon with the Gottsackers, their kids and Mike's sister in law & niece. We had a WONDERFUL dinner of ham, potatoes, strawberries, salad and carrots. The kids played video games and jumped on the trampoline for hours. Thank god for Jack and his willingness to "hang out" with 3 little kids for all of Easter. They adore him and it allowed the grown ups to sit and visit. My stomach hurt when we left from laughing.

~ Decompression glass of wine with Tim/Patricks - Have we mentioned how much we LOVE our neighbors?? On the way home from the Gottsackers, we texted the neighbors and asked if they wanted a holiday decompression wine on our deck post the kids going to bed. The resounding answer... YES!! So, at 9pm last night, they walked the backyard with 3 bottles of wine, each with a 1/3 of wine left in them from their hosting of Easter. We drank a glass, compared family traditions, solved a few world problems and headed off to bed with thoughts of a successful weekend in our heads.

Next up?? Sleep and Betty Ford.
Thank god for Mrs VanBatvia and Mrs Houston at Meadowbrook Elementary School.

(as of Monday, Kay is still in residence at our house, we'll keep you posted on the progress of that)