Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Bowling Pumpkins

We are in full holiday swing around here.  Seems like as the kids get older, the costumes get a little more complicated and involved.  It's all good as long as we start working on them early enough.  (Not always the case each year, but we are getting better.)

This year I was in charge of the game for my son's preschool class.  Since there are 7 little boys in that one class and no girls, I wanted something that involved lots of movement.  And, after doing some searching online and on Pinterest, I decided to do a little bowling.

Such a quick and easy project!  You'll probably even have all the supplies on hand.

Whatcha Need:

6 paper towel rolls
14 sheets of orange construction paper
1 sheet of green construction paper
Permanent marker

Whatcha Do:

Tape 2 & 1/3 sheets of orange paper together.
Roll the orange construction paper around a roll of paper towels.
Repeat for all 6 rolls.
Cut the green construction paper into 6 equal squares and draw stems on each one.
Tape the cut out stems on the orange 'pumpkins'.
Use a permanent marker to draw faces on the 'pumpkins'.  Then set them up to play.
Use a ball to knock the pumpkin pins over.
My little helper - the king of photo bombs!
The game seemed to be a big hit with all the boys at the party today.  Hooray!  They then played tackle bowling with the pins just before we decided it was the end of their party.  Such is life with little boys, right?!

Enjoy your Halloween!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Madi Made A Wish

A little over two years ago, our third child was diagnosed with ALL (acute lymphoblastic leukemia).  It's been quite the journey.  If you would like to read more about this, feel free to visit Madi's Milestones.

As we near the end of this chapter in Madi's life, it seemed really appropriate to have Make-A-Wish contact us to find out what Madi's wish would be.  Is it any surprise a 7 year old girl wanted to make a trip to Disney World?!

This trip was definitely magical for our whole family.  That's right - the whole family, all 7 of us, got to go to Florida for a week.  Amazing!  Everything was taken care of for us.

We got a limo ride to and from the airport.  A first for all of us.
We then maneuvered through the St. Louis airport.  Kevin in the front, since he is very familiar with traveling in and out of this airport, and me in the back corralling little ones.  Not sure how many times on this trip I said 'eyes in front' to keep the kids from running into people.
Anxiously waiting for our plane to arrive.
Three of the five kids had flown in the past, but that was six or more years ago.  They will definitely remember this trip!
When we arrived in Orlando, there was a vehicle waiting for us to use the whole week we were staying.  So generous!
From the airport, we made our way to the village at Give Kids The World.  This place was amazing!  Here we are in front of our villa.  Our family of 7 was very comfortable in the space.
During our stay, we were able to visit Disney World and Universal Studios.  Both parks were a lot of fun for our family!  Disney's Magic Kingdom was definitely a favorite for our family, though.
While Magic Kingdom was a favorite, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure had the bigger rides to appeal to the older kids' adventurous side.
Lots of fun was had in both places, though.  Madi had special passes at all the parks that essentially worked like unlimited Fast Passes.  Very little waiting at either park with the passes and the smaller amount of visitors for the time of year.  (I can't imagine going during the summer months!)  We made sure to enjoy the perks.  If we go back, it won't ever be the same.  They definitely spoiled us!

There were a couple of hot days during our trip.  Lots of ice cream was consumed that week.
We even had a few meltdowns and 'moments'.
And we were all completely worn out by the end of each day.
Life got back to normal very quickly.  School the next day, church that evening, and treatment for Madi on Thursday.  Here's Mr. Tom playing a game with Madi during her appointment.  He spends time with any of the kids and helps keep them on track with their school work.  He and Madi worked on math before getting out the game.
Our weekend was full, too, with pre-teen Bible study Friday night, Tough Mudder on Saturday (for Kevin) and then church on Sunday.  I'm really not sure how all you that have kids in sports do it all!  I still don't feel fully recovered or caught up.
The memories from our trip are amazing!  Such perfect timing for our family, too.  Madi will soon be done with her treatments for leukemia and this was a great way to start the celebration.  She and the rest of the kids deserved to have this magical time for all they have been through.

Thanks for all your prayers on our family's behalf.  Please keep them coming!  Madi may only have one treatment left, but she will forever have to be monitored in life to make sure this nasty illness never comes back.
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