Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Aunt Sarah...

We love you!!!
Cash, Riley & Tripp

See you this weekend!!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy V Day!!!

We started off Valentine's Day with some chocolate donuts with sprinkles. Cash and Riley were so excited about the donuts. They are just like their mom...they like to eat!!! We got out the easels and let them paint too. My mom sent them these paints that had the paint in the handle so they were very "mess free". Just what we like here at our house. They had fun painting and spent most of the day making awesome pictures!
Tripp enjoyed the balloon, that is, when Riley gave it up. She was probably the most excited about the balloon. The first thing she talked about, when she woke up from her nap, was the fact that she had a balloon waiting for her downstairs.
We brought out their ride-ons from the basement for something new to play with. I love switching out their toys. Bringing out new toys every few days keeps them happy and busy and I like that!
Darin was watching the Daytona 500 (I think) and the kids really seemed to like it too. They got on their cars and were riding around. Cash kept telling us that his favorite car was the blue car which was the Miller Light car. Riley's favorite was the red car which was the Target car. How fitting. Not that Cash is a big Miller Light drinker, but we do like Miller Light in the Johnson house. =) And of course we love Target!
Pretty low key, but we had a great day. Hope you all had a Happy Valentine's Day as well!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Welcome to the Jungle...

Tuesday morning we were up bright and early to catch our plane to Tampa to visit Grandpa Mel in Clearwater Beach. Darin and I both were up at 5 getting everything ready and then we woke the kids up around 6 to get them dressed and into the car.
They did pretty well until we go to the airport. Riley had a major meltdown right as we were going through security. I think it started because she wanted to be buckled into the stroller and we couldn't because we had to send it through the scanner. So she is having her meltdown on the floor right in front of the security scanner that we are supposed to walk through. I am trying to get her to get up and walk through to her dad on the other side, but she is doing her best impression of a dead fish. Oh, except she is screaming very loudly.
The security woman is just staring at me and I asked her if I could just pick her up and carry her through and she said no. She was not nice or understanding. The line is slowly starting to build behind us so I send Tripp and Cash through. Finally, by the grace of God, Riley walks through, still screaming and crying. Darin and I are trying to grab everything that has collected at the end of the conveyor belt while strapping Tripp back into the stroller, calming Riley down and answering Cash's millionth question. It was NOT fun...and everyone is staring at us.
We get through to our gate, Riley has settled down and then we notice that our plane is not there yet. It was a little late, but not too bad. We finally get everything and everyone all loaded on and buckled into their seats and then the Captain gets on and tells us that there is a mechanical problem. They are going to have to wait for the mechanic and see what he says. We might even have to change planes which would mean waiting for one which could take hours. So there we were waiting to hear the news. We were praying we didn't not have to pack everything back up, get off the plane and wait in the airport for who knows how long. And the chances of us getting another non-stop flight to Tampa were not good.
The captain got on and said that he had good news. We were able to stay on the plane we were on, but it was going to take a while for the mechanic to go get the part he needed and then fix the problem. We didn't care. We didn't want to change planes.
Anyway, so we were on the plane for about an hour before we took off. So our 2 1/2 hour trip was extended to about 4 hours and crept into nap time. Not good. I had to do my best and pull out all the stops from my bag of tricks I had brought along. Tripp enjoyed a sucker which I never give him, but I was desperate.
Cash and Riley were really good. They watched dvds, colored and ate a lot of junk. Whatever. They were quite for most of the trip.
We finally got there, got our minivan and drove the rest of the way to Clearwater. When Riley saw her first palm tree, she said "Mama, we in the jungle." It was pretty cute.
The first fun thing we did was take the kids to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.
The aquarium is right down the street from where Mel lives. They rescue and rehab marine animals. The main attraction at the aquarium is a dolphin named Winter. She was caught in a crab trap and lost her tail.
They had nurse sharks...
A nice volunteer passing out shark's teeth...
Dolphins (this isn't Winter, she was back in the other pool)...

Sea Otters...
A giant turtle to play on...

More dolphins...
And turtles...
The trainers did a short presentation about each animal. They told what had happened to the animal, how they found them and if they would be released back into the wild or if they would stay in the aquarium. This dolphin, I can't remember his name, was found beached with his mother when he was a baby. He has scars on his back from sunburn and he almost died. They were able to save him, but not his mother. They said he will stay in the aquarium. He can't be released because he never learned how to hunt.
It wasn't a big place which was nice because the kids were able to get right up in front and see everything.
That afternoon we took the kids to the beach. We were going to eat at a place that was right on the beach and of course they wanted to go check out the water. It wasn't warm enough to swim, but they had fun anyway!

Riley was liking all the birds that hovered around us as we ate. The kids thought it was so funny that these birds would walk around by our feet and eat up anything we dropped on the floor.
We took them for a walk down the pier.
Attempted a family photo.
And let them go back to the beach to watch the sunset. Cash and Riley loved trying to run from the waves as they came in. They also had fun finding shells on the beach and throwing them into the water. Unfortunately, my camera died so I didn't get many pictures. Riley got totally soaked anyway and we had to get home because it was getting too cold to keep her out there with wet clothes and shoes.

The next day we drove to Orlando. Darin's cousin, Kim and her husband, Brian live there and are, seriously, some of the nicest people I have ever met. They used to live in Celebration, but moved into their new house this past July. It is an awesome house! Beautiful. Here is Cash admiring their popcorn maker. Tripp playing football.
And Riley, covering up with a dog bed. Don't worry, her dogs were probably cleaner than my children so no worries.

Cash loved lounging on the couch and watching cartoons on the big screen.
We visited and ate a lot of good food! Kim made homemade manicotti with crepes instead of noddles. It was soooo good!

This is Kim, Brian, Darin and Aunt Mitz (Kim's and Darin's aunt, sister to their moms who are both passed away). Riley was in love with Kim's dogs. She has two little dogs. Not sure what kind of dogs they were, just little and furry. This black one is named Beau and Riley would not leave him alone!
Riley in the entrance to their house.
The pool, hot tub and waterfall.
We took a walk down their dock to check out their boat. We were going to go for a ride, but we didn't have life jackets for the kids and it was a little cold.

View of the house from the dock.
On our last night we drove to one of Mel's favorite spots for dinner. The Lucky Dill is a deli and it was really good. The kids did well, despite it being so late in the evening and missing their nap that day, that we let them pick out their own dessert from the bakery. They had rows and rows of all these yummy treats. Riley had her heart set on this giant chocolate cupcake.
Cash picked out this tart thing. Basically just for the powdered sugar that was all over the top of it because after he licked all that off, he was done.
Riley was nice though and shared her cupcake with Cash. They even got pink lemonade to drink instead of milk. What a treat, I know!
Tripp got a little bit of cupcake too!
The next morning we packed up to head back to KC. Our trip home was much better than the trip down. Maybe because everthing was on time or maybe because I had "better" treats in my carryon. Who knows?! It was better and that was all that mattered to me!
We had a lot of fun, but are glad to be home!!!