Thursday, January 29, 2015

The A-Team's Adventure in Corvallis (Guest Post)

GUEST POST: Annalise, Austin and Ania :)

Once upon a time, a family of five set out on one of the most memorable trips ever. 
There are so many memories that we can't put it all into words, but we will try our best. 

It started with three people crying! Daddy was going away for a three day Management Class in Corvallis. That trip didn't turn out to be so bad after all. 
After gathering in the kitchen, Daddy told us all, "I have a plan. But... Nah, I think this is a stupid idea."
Finally, he told us that we should come along with him to Corvallis. 

We had five minutes to gather all the books that we needed to last us for those three days. We actually were stuck with doing some of our school work too :)
We didn't need to pack, because Mommy thinks of those kinds of things. This trip was a joint effort with the older ones having kept us distracted, while Mom packed and packed.

Besides having to do school work, the trip was GREAT!!! We had it pretty easy; we got to sleep in, have a buffet style breakfast, we didn't have to clean our rooms, or make our beds (the maids did it for us :)
 To top that off, we went for a two hour dip in the pool. During that time, Austin got inspired by Annalise swimming without a life jacket and Ania got inspired by Austin not wearing a life vest. So, everyone was inspired with the idea of learning how to swim. By the last day, Annalise and Austin were swimming and Ania was on her way to learning it. 

To top that off, we had a wonderful dinner and dessert at the McGraths Fish House
After coming home and getting ready, we all had to take turns on the phone checking up on things at home. After that, we watched an episode of the all-famous movie, Wives and Daughters ;)

The next day, we would have slept the day away because we were so tired, but we needed to get up and get breakfast. 
We needed to have enough energy for another good dunk in the Hilton pool; and this time, a full two hours. This day was very nice and for the most part, relaxing. All we had to do was math; so we got to go swimming earlier. 
When we got back to our room, Annie finished math and Ania and Austin read their history books. When Daddy got back to the room, he got on his lap-top and looked up some gourmet pizza places. One of them was America's dream and the other was Woodstock's Pizza Parlor. We headed off to try The America's Dream first. The only thing was, we couldn't get a parking place.

The next place we tried was Woodstock's Pizza Parlor. It had amazing pizza. After our session of Wives and Daughters we went to bed. 
In the morning, Mom said that we were not going to do school. Instead, we went swimming for an hour. Then we got on the TV and watched a history video. When Dad got back to the hotel, we packed up and drove home. We were conked out from all the swimming that we had done.             

We had such a fun time, and Mommy and Daddy were very generous in inviting us.     

Ania, "I never dreamt of going to Corvallis with Dad!"
Austin, "Thank you Dad for inviting us!"
Annalise, "This was the most wonderful adventure of my life: spending time with you and Mom!"

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Let's Go To Corvallis!

The plan had formed days before daddy left on his 3-day business trip to Corvallis. Dad knew that Annalise, Austin, and Ania needed some good quality daddy time, and that with his following 2-week trip to China, time would be hard to come by. So, it was decided that the threesome youngsters would accompany him on his trip to Corvallis. But it was going to be a surprise, kept secret until the moment before daddy walked out the door. Mom began the preparations two days before they left, trying to secretly pack suitcases, quietly putting together snacks and stealthily bringing it all out to the car. Because nothing ever gets by Annalise, we had to try extra hard to distract her. 
Of course, of all the times, Annalise would decide to look into the school cupboard and ask mom where all of her school books had gone, or head up to her room and inquire why her cosmetics were missing. 
By 5:30 PM on Tuesday, mom had everything ready to go, and the kids were all glumly bidding Daddy farewell. 
"I have an idea..." Started Daddy. "Probably a silly one." He paused. "Nah, I should just forget it. It's one of those really dumb ideas." Their curiosity peaked, Annalise, Austin and Ania urged him to continue. 
"Ah, it's just a dumb idea. You probably won't like it." After leading them on and on for a couple of minutes, he finally said, "What if you three came with me and mom to Corvallis." Needless to say, the room erupted with excited cheers. With that, they were given 5 minutes to ready themselves and head out the door for a 3-day adventure with mommy and daddy :)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Christmas Festivities!

This Christmas, we were blessed with some wonderful quality time together as a family over the course of our two week break! Charae got to come back from Redding for a two week vacation!!!

Tuesday, we all headed out for a "long in the planning" girl's day (accompanied by our wonderful chaperon, Jonathon :)
After enjoying a most delicious breakfast at the Heathman Lodge restaurant, we headed to our favorite store...

Charming Charlies! a girl's dream store, full of every sort of accessory imaginable, from purses and scarves, to jewelry and shoes.

Each section is color-coded with jewelry, clothes and scarfs all of one color.

(Jonathon lovingly bore through the whole visit with amazing grace and even offered his opinion on many of the lovely items :)

New Years Day, our friends put on the most lovely ball at the Hazel Del grange! 

 It was amazing to say the least, and has become a special tradition for our family. We look forward to it from one year to the next!

After hours of dancing, a scrumptious meal followed...and then more dancing :P

For our traditional Christmas movie marathon this year, we decided it was high time that Daddy saw "The Lord of the Rings Trilogy". (Annalise and Austin joined us :)
To Daddy's surprise, he thoroughly enjoyed the movie and was ready to start the journey all over again by the time we reached the end.

Austin and Annalise of course took up to quoting every imaginable line from the movie, much to the exasperation of their family :)

As Annalise's birthday approached, we prepared a surprise Lord of the Rings celebration.

Each table glass bore the picture of one of the different characters from the movie.

Each name was written in Elvish and set beside their respective glasses...

Beside each place setting was a leaf wrapping of lembas bread :)

Of course, Annie's glass bore none other then that of her favorite hero, Sam Wise Gamgee.

Before making her entrance, Annie donned on her medieval dress, and placed the Evenstar necklace around her neck...

It was definitely a birthday to be remembered, and it set the bar high for the birthdays to come :)

Christmas break is over now, and everybody has returned to their normal routines. Jonathon and dad are back to work, early mornings are the new routine, and the after-Christmas-dieting has begun :)

We had to say goodbye to Charae on Sunday! (another three months to go until her next visit :)
We're all counting down the days :)