What I did with my Summer Vacation ...

by Kristi Van Dyk in

Lets be frank. I'm going to remember the summer of 2012 for one major reason ... the arrival of our 3rd baby. Baby Tres's grand entrance into this world (which we are still anxiously anticipating) is the most momentous occasion I can think of. However, there are other amazing events that I don't want to forget (like the heat wave, just in case we're tempted to plan another "summer baby"). And many other special family memories that could get lost in the shuffle if we don't record them. I know it's the eve of August (okay, it's 4:30 in the morning on August 1st, and I simply can't sleep anymore), so there is still enough summer left to make some more memories. BUT, from May 31 (when I like to think our "summer" officially starts) until today, here is what the Van Dyk's have done with our summer:

1. Gone to Coldstone as a family for ice cream (actually, countless times), sometimes biking there, but mostly Mommy drove for fear of falling off the bike

2. Had a great beach day at Maranatha with Grandpa, Grammy, Auntie, and Ryan 3. Went to Binder Park Zoo with Auntie and Ryan 4. Caught Hand Foot and Mouth (the first time) 5. Mommy started a consulting job with addalingua (such an incredible, young business with so much to offer language immersion schools, but ... more on that later). 6. Coached a State Tennis Tournament (and had a fabulous Holland weekend with a great team) 7. Met our new nephew/cousin, Beckam Davis Creswell! 8. Worked on the flower garden (planting, weeding, and watering as a family; they are great caretakers) 9. Visited John Ball Park Zoo with Grammy, Auntie, Ryan, and Beckam before they left for home (in New Hampshire). 10. Had an end of the season pool party with the tennis girls 11. Went to two very special high school open houses (and Kayleigh ate as much dessert and candy as she could possibly con out of anyone)! 12. Went to Millenium Park to go swimming and enjoy the Splashpad with Grammy 13. Went tent camping as a family for Father's Day (in over 90 degree heat!) 14. Learned how to Slip n Slide in the back yard

15. Went to the Frederick Meijer Gardens to play in the Children's Garden with Grammy 16. Bought an inflatable kiddie pool 17. Went to the library at school, often, to check out books 18. Kayleigh took Summer Spanish classes and "traveled" to 6 Latin American countries (I have her "pasaporte" to prove it!) 19. Took lots of naps 20. Met our new friend (the 2nd baby in our lives from the Summer 2012), Elise Joy Hoeksema 21. Mom got to play match play with her high school tennis girls (and the kids enjoyed evenings with Daddy at home) 22. Met another new friend (the 3rd baby in our lives from the Summer 2012), Kayla Grace Texer 23. Mom ran junior tennis camp with some amazing helpers (and the kids had a great week with one of their "favorite" tennis girls, Audrey Bouma) 24. We spent a week at Maranatha as a family that included: family sunset watching, late night swims, Grand Haven coffee dates, a trip to the musical fountain, special visits to the Sweet Shoppe and Snack Shack, Family Photos on the beach, Kayleigh's first on stage "performance," and private fireworks on the beach (with "old fashioned candy" that Grammy found, and glow sticks from some generous friends who equipped all of the Maranatha kids with as many glow sticks as their tiny hands could hold) 25. Kayleigh started ballet lessons (and Benjamin cried a lot, wishing he could join her) 26. We had Alexa over a few times to play 27. We visited the dentist (this is truly a highlight for my daughter, she LOVES the dentist) 28. We spent a weekend at Grandpa and Grandma Van Dyks' Cottage: including Kayleigh's first tube ride, Mommy's first fish bites, and LOTS and LOTS of jumping off the dock 29. We got to meet (for Benjamin) and get reconnected (for Kayleigh) with our relatives visiting from Germany. 30. The kids spent a couple days with Grandpa and Grammy Creswell at Maranatha ALONE that included: Kayleigh's first "pajama party," LOTS and LOTS of jumping into the pool, special trips to the Sweet Shoppe, Kayleigh's "second" tabernacle performance (this time including a fall OFF the stage because she was dancing too vigorously), and lots of repeated viewings of Veggie Tales. 31. We made strawberry liquados as a family (which flopped, but it was fun nonetheless) 32. We made LOTS of "big big donut" runs and "hot cocoa" (yup, even in the summer) trips 33. Survived our 2nd battle with Hand, Foot and Mouth

... and had many, many moments of family snuggle time, good food, great friends, and wonderful blessings in between.

When you look at it all that way, we've had a very full summer (and its not even over yet).

Maranatha Vacation Highlights 2012

by Kristi Van Dyk in

Saturday, June 30: Move in DayMy parents graciously watched the kiddos while Steve and I unpacked in our beautiful apartment for the week. We joined Mom and Dad for dinner on Saturday night, skipped the concert and snuggled the very tired kids to sleep. Dad then came down and watched the darlings while Steve and I got to take in our first sunset of the week on the Maranatha beach





Sunday, July 1: WICKED Date Since our vacation changed weeks mid-Spring (we were originally scheduled for Week 3, but then a vacancy opened up in the apt we wanted at Week 2) With a baby on the way, we figured a sooner vacation would definitely be less risky. So, we moved up our vacation one week, BUT Steve had already purchased us Wicked tickets for July 1. So, we went on vacation knowing Mom and Dad would take the kids while Steve and I went to Wicked. The kids played happily at classes during church, they went to the pool and by the time dinner was there, Mommy and Daddy were back. We had a fantastic (though very sweaty) time at the show at Wharton Center, but wanted to see the kids after we got home. So, a late night beach trip was in order ...




Monday, July 2: Kayleigh's Pool Marathon We wanted to make certain that Benjamin got naps (in order to make it the entire day), but Kayleigh is ALMOST done napping entirely, so we thought we'd give skipping a try :). After going to morning session, Grammy picked up Kayleigh and we brought Benjamin back for a nap. By 3:00, we were all at the pool, having great play time. By the time we finished playing, Kayleigh was exhausted. She collapsed SO HARD on Grammy's couch that I needed to pick her up repeatedly to wake her. She managed to get through class (they both did), and we spoiled them with family flurries at the Whippi-Dip before going to bed.

Tuesday, July 3: Catch Up day After a late night the night before for both kids, lots of activity (and the 4th coming up with even more excitement promised), and so much learning happening at classes, we decided FULL naps were necessary for everyone. We all went to our morning sessions and came back to the apt for family naps. After nearly 3.5 hours of sleeping, the kids woke to head down to the pool. Benjamin was still exhausted so we didn't last long. We only sent Kayleigh to session that night and let Benny take a night off. After which he headed to Grandpa and Grandma's (thinking he'd sleep quickly there) and we took Kayleigh to Grand Haven for a little Musical Fountain fun. She so dearly loved that when we did it last year that we simply had to try again. While she wasn't as excited about the music (it was pretty slow/low key) this time, she definitely had JUST as much fun with her parents.

Wednesday, July 4th: Parade, Pool, Special Foods, Private Fireworks Delayed to Friday On the morning of the 4th the kids scurried off to class so they could get ready for the parade. Benjamin had a rough morning parting with us, so we weren't quite sure he'd make it in the parade. Kayleigh, on the other hand, couldn't WAIT to get involved in "throwing candy" and "waving at friends." They both ended up in the parade (though Benjamin slightly less happily than his enthusiastic sister). And after short naps, we all went to the pool for some swimming, back to Grammy's for special treats (sparkly red and white cupcakes!) and ice cream sandwiches (with sprinkles). I'm not certain that the kids grasp the entire importance of this day in our country's history (nor do I expect them too) but I think they thoroughly understood that it was America's birthday ... and boy do they LOVE the way "America" celebrates that.

   Thursday, July 5th: Benny's Special Date Kayleigh was up early on the 5th, so we decided another day of swimming all day with Grammy and Grandpa would be good. As it turned out, she was a bit naughty in class! She eventually apologized to her teacher, but we didn't allow her to go to class at night time (it was movie/pajama night). She still had fun swimming with Grammy and Grandpa, but this was Benjamin's turn for a special date. After class, we took him to the Sweet Shoppe where we thought we could find him something special to eat. We ordered plenty of options ($$!) but he ate, literally, nothing ... He just enjoyed being the only child. After lunch he got to take a nap, completely sandwiched between his Mommy and Daddy. He LOVED IT (and slept for over 3.5 hours!) We couldn't even take him to the pool/beach because there was no time left in the evening. BUT, he definitely enjoyed his cool afternoon nap.








Friday, July 6th: Our Last Full Day The private fireworks on the beach were scheduled for this evening ... PLUS, the children's program was also in the evening (at the Tabernacle). Kayleigh was in Pre-K this year, and the preschoolers have a part in the program. So, being that her last "program" was a bit of a disaster (she ran off the stage crying), we wanted to make sure she was well rested and ready to go. Both kids went to morning session, and we all left promptly for the pool after lunch. We swam until about 2:30 and then came back to the apt for a long nap. Both kids slept VERY well and we were up for pizza in a knick of time to get everyone to program ... well, everyone but Benny, who simply didn't want to go. He snuggled with Grandpa at the back of the tabernacle and watched sister perform.

Kayleigh did a great job. She wasn't scared (very proud in fact). She ADORED her teachers and did a pretty good job singing and participating exactly as she was supposed to. They did a Bible memory verse, sang a song, sang a whole GROUP song, and another congregational song too!! It was over 90 degrees outside so the non-a/c tabernacle was quite warm. But again, our little girl did a great job.

This was a really fun moment for me (and my parents) as Dan and I used to sing in these very same programs, at this very same age, in this very same tabernacle. My parents met some of my former youth leaders who saw my little daughter singing that evening. They knew right away which little girl was mine ... apparently we share some similarities. Our friends it was like being transported back 30 years (really, only 27 ... but, who's counting technicalities). Its fun knowing that there are places in this world that don't change ...

As a special treat to Maranatha guests and members, friends of Maranatha put on a private firework display on the beach front. Friends handed out free glowsticks to everyone who came down. My parents made it special in addition to the fireworks with more glowsticks, sparklers, and "old school" candy. The kids had candy necklaces, sweet tart suckers, sugar daddies ,etc. It was great fun ... and such an amazing evening. What a precious gift to take our kids to a late night show and be able to be back home in bed less than 10 minutes later, with almost no crowd to battle. Thanks so much, friends!

We had a beautiful get away! Thanks Mom and Dad for making this possible for us!

Spring Break - Monday at Typhoon Lagoon

by Kristi Van Dyk in

It had been our plan all along to make Tuesday our day at the Magic Kingdom. All park info/bloggers suggest that Sunday and Monday are super busy because everyone vacationing for a week STARTS at the Magic Kingdom. So, we decided to leave it until Tuesday and get there EARLY. We wanted to the kids to be rested, so anything we did on Monday had to end ON TIME so they kiddos could sleep. Typhoon Lagoon opened at 10 and closed at 6, so it fit nicely into our plans. After breakfast we packed a cooler for lunches, tossed a bunch of towels/clothes/sunscreen in a beach bag and told my parents to enjoy the peace and quiet. (They really didn't need much encouragement, Mom was ALMOST already out by the pool for her sunbathing for the day at 10 a.m.) :). At any rate, we weren't the only people who decided to come to Typhoon Lagoon that day, but buying tickets at the automated booth was very easy, the line wasn't too long, and we were able to grab the last few chairs available surrounding the kiddie area (where we anticipated spending most of the day). Benjamin wasn't REALLY into much of anything at time of the a.m., but Kayleigh was curious about it all. We let them explore the kiddie area for a bit and then hopped on the lazy river before it got too crowded. The kids did alright ... Kayleigh liked it for the most part, until she heard Ben screaming to get out. So, once he was out, she wanted to too ... I must tell you that I'm glad we didn't run into anyone we know at the park this day. Pushing my 5.5 mont pregnant self into an inner tube with my wiggly 3.5 year old atop the mountain that is her brother/sister was quite a sight to behold ... but NOTHING compared to what I must have looked like attempting to disembark my enormous belly from the inner tube I was sandwiched inside while keeping a whiny 3.5 year old from "getting too wet." :) Steve gave me a good boost but I know it was a very clumsy endeavor and I almost couldn't stop laughing at myself (which didn't make things easier).

After our adventure in the lazy river, we let the kids lead us and, surprisingly, they wanted to check out the wave pool. This makes Mommy, the former lifeguard more than a little uneasy, but ... we decided as long as they didn't venture too deep we would be okay. They loved splashing around in the waves, watching the ENORMOUS wave come crashing towards them, and slam down at their knees. :) We spotted a little slide, built exactly like adult water slides next to the wave pool. The lifeguard graciously allowed us some extra time and we were able to coax (okay, push) both kids down it. They LOVED it and we had requests to go back there off and one throughout the day.

As they started to get weary, we went back to the kiddie area so they could splash around in the sprinklers, go down plastic kiddie slides (that were well doused in water), spray hoses and squirt guns at each other and throw sand. There were castles to climb with surprise fountains and splash pads, even a miniature tube ride where adults could follow them the entire way and they got to simulate a large "big kid" water slide. We could have easily spent all day at this area, though Mom and Dad were starting to get a little bored. We stopped around 1 for lunch and the kids were so hungry they ate EVERYTHING in the cooler (that was 2 full sandwiches, a bag of grapes, 2 bananas, two packages of goldfish crackers and two large water bottles of juice!) Steve watched them ravage the food and decided pregnant Mommy did, in fact, need a lunch. So, he splurged and ordered an 8 piece chicken meal with fries, of which the little vultures at 6 chicken strips and 90% of the fries, while Mommy and Daddy shared the remainder :) I guess playing in the water takes it out of you.

After a quick lunch we tried to ride the "family" water slide ride ... you know, the kind like they have a Cedar Point with the enormous inner tube that thunders down a "mountain" side and gets you way more wet than you want to be at an amusement park? We thought it'd be great fun and it was labeled "for all ages" and had no height restrictions. So, we talked it up to the kids, walked on over to get in line and ... read the sign, "Not for expectant Mothers!" WHAT??!!! So then we had to talk Kayleigh OUT riding the ride (much easier said than done) and appeased them by going to the wave pool again ... We watched at least 3 massive waves come by and soak people ... it got to the point that the kids recognized the sound to signal a coming wave from across the park ... they would giggle and scream and jump (even though they were far from harm's way).

Around 3:00 they were far too tired to think straight and Steve and I were pretty hungry. We started making our way back to the seats to load up when we saw them ... chocolate Mickey Ears with ice cream centers. I don't care how Dutch a family is, when you're in the land of Mouse, you must splurge a little bit. After a hot day, where the kids were eating anything in sight, we decided this was a "must have."

Aren't you glad we did?










What these photos DON'T show is how much chocolate was running down Benjamin's legs, chest, and arms. He even had some in his diaper region when we changed him at the car ... I know it was worth the $5 we had to spend to bring that little delight to their eyes. Plus, lets be honest, Mom and Dad stole a fair amount of those chocolate ears (just to make sure the area where we were eating wasn't TOO unsightly for the next people). :)

On our way out we met a British couple who wanted their picture taken, so, we stopped to take a photo for them and they traded and took a family picture of us. No one is really looking their best after a hot day in the sun (and lugging kids and gear, and Baby Tres), but I treasure it because we have so few pictures where EVERYONE is together and EVERYONE is smiling ... that I just can't get enough of it :)








Isn't Kayleigh just your "quintessential" 4 year old in this picture? Cheesy, baby grin, but still looking might grown up and VERY proud :). After we managed to load everyone up, and exit the parking lot, we were NOT EVEN clear of the rest of the Disney parks/resort area when I looked back to see 2 sleeping kids.











We went home that afternoon thinking we could get them a quick nap before dinner ... FAIL. So, we tried to eat dinner thinking an early movie (to help prep enthusiasm for the BIG PARK the next day) would help ... FAIL. Benjamin refused to eat and instead just screamed through dinner. ON top of it, Tangled was removed from Netflix AND rental on iTunes, so we couldn't give Kayleigh the movie she was promised. We let her watch Lady and the Tramp instead with Gramma and Daddy and Mommy spent 30 minutes from 6:30 - 7:00 snuggling Benjamin into bed. It sounds sweet and peaceful ... what it really was a 20 minutes of shrieking, "Don't like this .. DOWN .. DOWN ... Don't like this" that ended abruptly with him falling into so deep a sleep that he didn't move again until I went to wake him at 7:00 a.m. for the Magic Kingdom day ... 12 hours sleep isn't too bad ... and K wasn't too far behind him :) (Though I think she surely enjoyed her popcorn and bouncing from lap to lap to lap to lap ... Pretty fun when you have 4 laps to pick from for nighttime snuggling :).

Spring Break - Sunday

by Kristi Van Dyk in

After a late evening at Downtown Disney we thought the kids might sleep in (FALSE)! They were up by 6:30 (not that I let them leave their room) and ready to go. So, after breakfast, Steve and I took them to the playground that is part of the complex we rented from. They enjoyed playing/climbing and generally getting their energy out.
















It was apparent to us, immediately, that our kids were not used to the Florida heat. Normally a trip to the park in Michigan could last upwards of an hour. They NEVER want to leave. They made it about 30 minutes in early morning sun before asking to go home to go swimming. So, we left to head back and spend another afternoon by the pool. The kids swam, again, this time with Kayleigh getting REALLY brave and trying to paddle across the pool with a noodle AND swimmies. (This girl is VERY cautious and careful and doesn't do anything she isn't 100% certain she can completely accomplish). So, we were so proud that she was willing to let us let go over her! Kudos to my mom for coaxing her into this progress!

After some good naps, we hung around the house until bedtime. The kids took a while to fall asleep, but once they did Steve and I tried to go out for ice cream. We were seriously unsuccessful as the local ice cream place closed at 9:00 p.m. (and we arrived at 9:05). So, we settled for McFlurries and went back to the house to read in peace and quiet before bed.

It was a largely "uneventful" day, but on vacation with little ones, it seems fitting to have one or two (or more) of those low key days ... Besides, it was during our ice cream date that we tossed around the plan to try out Typhoon Lagoon! We had casually mentioned wanting to take the kids to a water park while we were planning this visit. BUT it wasn't economically critical to buy the tickets in advance (and two-day multi-park passes were not that much cheaper than two one park, one day passes). So ... rather than force ourself to use it if the kids weren't up for it, we decided to "buy on the fly." With temperatures for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in the upper 80's, low 90's, we didn't think we could really go wrong with a water park. So ... that evening we took a big breath and decided it was time to try it out ...

Spring Break 2012 - Saturday (for real)

by Kristi Van Dyk in

  So, I tagged my first post as Friday - Saturday but I'm a full day off :) We traveled Thursday into Friday ... so in order to update you on the whole of vacation, I must remember Saturday :). I suppose I was in a total brain fog ... 21 hours in a car with a pre-schooler, a toddler, and a little squirmy Baby Tres will do that to a mom ;). ANYWAY, Saturday dawned beautifully sunny and gorgeous with forecasted a little bit of rain and temps in the mid-upper 80's. We began our morning with some breakfast (totally as we got up, so on our own time). The kids went to the grocery store with Grandpa and Grandma to buy groceries for the week. I didn't think they'd want to take them, but I guess when you DON'T do your shopping with two in tow all of at the time, it's fun to have them along. So, the kids got out with Grandma and Grandpa to the WalMart, Daddy took a long run and I sat reading by the pool. It was a blast :) Most of break I spent reading an "informative" book from my favorite parenting guru, James Dobson. This one has been particularly insightful in raising Kayleigh, "The New Strong Willed Child." At any rate, I had some time to myself and they crew came back about an hour and a half later. We immediately did some swimming ...










And had a picnic lunch on the pool deck









As soon as the kids were tucked into bed, we went back out to "enjoy" the pool in solitude. God chose this moment to bless Florida with some extra rainfall (according to the weathermen down there they are in desperate need of some). So, we read/napped (okay, mostly napped) inside. Kayleigh woke quickly and Daddy took her to the park. She came back with a soaking wet bottom, but lots of stories about her fun at the park. After dinner, we decided it was time to head to Downtown Disney. Both kids have been there before (Benjamin was 11 months and Kayleigh 2.5), and Kayleigh STILL talks about this place every time we mention going to any "Downtown." So, we knew they'd love it. We did NOT anticipate just how much nagging would happen ... at every turn ... but, I suppose that's exactly what is to be expected when Disney products are at eye level EVERYWHERE you turn. At any rate, Benjamin found the souvenirs he wanted from Grandpa and Grandma (More Cars toys that he carried with him for the 7 straight days that followed, including as he slept) and Kayleigh found, everything.











As we meandered through Downtown, the kids had plenty of willing riders for the kids rides that were available. Daddy took them both aboard the kiddie train and then Grandpa and Grandma each took a child on the ever popular carousel. It's tough to tell who is enjoying the experience more, the adults or the kids.


















One thing we did NOT manage to find last year, in our trip to Downtown Disney, were the incredible Splash pads all over the marketplace. What a genius idea to have a play area where they kids can run and be enthralled while the adults spend their money in peace ;). While my mom and I were doing just that, we sent the boys and Kayleigh out into the open air to find some space to run. When they did, they came across this little gem ... which became Benjamin's favorite part of the entire trip (except for, of course, those cars!!!). Ben got completely soaked from head to toe during his enjoyment of this venture, but I definitely did not mind). Seeing the joy this simple delight brought him (and they extreme joy he brought random passersby) was worth getting his "nice" clothes completely soaked. :) These pics don't capture half of the smiles because people literally stopped and laughed and giggled because Ben's happiness was so contagious .. oh that we all possessed that same gift (that of making others happy because we can't stop being joyful ourselves).











After so much fun packed into one Saturday, you'd think they came home and went straight to bed ... not exactly ... :) It took them a little time to discover just how to sleep in their new home. BUT, they certain had plenty of exercise/ways in which to tucker them out. AND plenty more excitement ahead of them!

Spring Break 2012 - Friday & Saturday: The Road Trip

by Kristi Van Dyk in

This break was fantastic ... I didn't make any time to blog because I was far too busy enjoying my children. I know, though, that if I don't take the time to relive some of the little moments via this blog, I'm going be kicking myself later. So, bear with me as I recount our joyful time as a family. Kayleigh and Benjamin began their countdown to Disney World nearly a month ago. So, for 22 days, they faithfully removed post it notes from the windows by the table. Each night at supper we'd talk about Disney World, what we were going to do, and things we could look forward to. I snapped a few photos the morning we were leaving as they removed their very last post it notes. I think their little faces say it all.









We were planning to leave around 4:00 because Kayleigh had a field trip at pre-school that morning. So, Steve took Kayleigh to the fire station, and I took Benjamin along as we dropped off Rafael at "his babysitter's house." Both kids were SUPER tired from their morning excursions, so contrary to plan, we let them take a post-lunch nap. I had been thinking they'd nap late in the car, but they NEEDED it before 4. So, right after nap, they were basically whisked into the loaded van and our journey began:

They were SPECTACULAR! Seriously, beyond belief. They knocked down the first 2.5 hours without a problem (and with NO MEDIA!!!). By supper, they were excited enough that we could take a quick pit stop and eat in the car. So, we barely stopped for 20 minutes before our scheduled "pajama" rest area. It was now somewhere around 9:00, and we put their jammies and slippers on and FINALLY (5 hours into the trip) started their first movie. We watched Cars, after which they fell right asleep and managed to let us truck on through until around 3:30 a.m. We made great time and JUST cleared Atlanta when Benjamin woke up. When I asked him what was wrong he said, "need to get OUT! OUT please, OUT!" Since we had managed to drive almost 12 straight hours without a stretch/run break for the kids, we decided this was a very reasonable request. In addition, we were in GA and the weather was mid-60's. We pulled over at a gas station for a little stretch break ... and this is what we got:

 After our little dance party (the music was on at Sonic, so we really did have about a 30 minute dance session ... it got pretty crazy. Daddy was busting some moves I've never seen before!), we loaded back into the car, started another movie (yup, the other Cars movie) and then held on until breakfast. We couldn't find a play area, so I was the shameful mom who let her kids run on a booth ... yup, I did ... and I didn't really feel bad about it either. They were a little noisy, but so full of glee - I just couldn't resist. About this time, we learned that we couldn't get into our rental until 4:00 p.m. We were scheduled to arrive in Orlando, at the going rate, at about 10:30 a.m.! So, we took it very slow for the rest of trip, stopping for lots of snacks and running breaks. Clearly, Benjamin enjoyed these little escapades:

My mom and the INCREDIBLE owners we were renting from worked it out so that we could access the house around 2:00 instead of 4:00. So, after a very LONG play session at Chick-fil-a, we headed on over to the house. It didn't take long for the kids to realize what was in the backyard ... (and Mommy had anticipated this!!) So, I pulled out their beach bag and they got right to swimming. I was not too far behind them, but it was a treat to unpack and set up without 4 extra helping hands.

After a quick swim, the kids went down for a short nap and then Grandpa and Grandma came!! (They had had some adventures with their travels as well!!! But fortunately, they also arrived EARLIER than anticipated). We had ordered a pizza and the kids were basically too tired to eat, so Steve and I enjoyed it by ourselves. All of us turned in for an early bedtime - and were excited about the beautiful home we had - and all of the fun ahead of us.