Friday, May 9, 2014

Friday Free for All

As I said yesterday, due to Kindergarten Orientation (didn't we just do that yesterday???) at Beechview, Noah was off of school today.  So it was my plan to pack as much into the day as possible because if they're busy, happy, occupied and hopefully worn out at the end of it they can't be fighting, right?  (We've been having some issues with that around here lately...) So yesterday I offered them 2 choices; a trip to the zoo or a trip to the park of their choice and then bowling.  Bowling was the instant choice.

A few weeks ago I signed us up for this awesome program Kids Bowl Free.  Each kid you register is allowed 2 free games of bowling every day for the whole summer!  No catch (other than they need shoes, though our alley said dry street shoes would be OK for the little ones and Grant and I actually have shoes) and as a bonus, I nabbed us a family pass for $20 that allows up to 4 adults to have the same perks for the entire summer!  I figured it we used it three times it would more than pay for itself and the alley is only a little more than a mile from the house - totally within walking distance for us crazy Gatchel's.  This is a national program by the way, so if you have kiddos you wonder what you're going to do with all summer I strongly suggest checking it out.  Anyway, the program officially started last Thursday here for us and I have been wanting to take them.  The passes said that we could go anytime from noon to five.

So this morning we decided to take the wagon for a spin and enjoy the sunshine.  It's been a loooonnnng time since we've had the wagon out and I realized I can't pull both of them in it together for a very long time anymore.  They got to do some walking too!  Then they decided they wanted to head over to one of the bigger parks on 12 mile that has a huge rope spiderweb and a great play structure.  They had a blast, even made friends with a couple other kids that were there.  We made a quick stop for a snack on the way home and then hurried home to get our bowling shoes.  We were all so excited!

So you can imagine the overwhelming disappointment on my kiddos faces when we got there to find the bowling alley closed.  As in no cars in the parking lot locked up tight.  Silly me assumed that since the passes said noon to five the alley would actually be OPEN for us to use them then.  Apparently not so.  There was no sign for their current hours, but a piece of paper tacked to the door says they will be going to summer hours starting 5/12 and on Friday's at least (the only one I paid attention to honestly) they are not even opening until 4.  Grrrrr...  OK, I know it's a free program and I don't have a ton of room to complain, but they were heartbroken.  Since I couldn't even find a sign saying what time they would actually be open today, I couldn't even tell them we'd come back later.  They settled for "maybe tomorrow depending on how things go" and instead we headed over to the Carpenter Lake Conservation Area to check out the wildlife and fish for awhile before the thunderstorms rolled in.  Kayla pitched a bit of a fit, but I have to say I was super proud of Noah who realized right away that I hadn't done it intentionally and tried to make the best of the hiking/exploring we did instead, including saying again and again how much he liked it.  Made me feel like at least a little less of a Mom failure :-p

This afternoon we ran a couple of quick errands, I got the Louisiana scrapbook page done and then set out to make Creole Jambalaya for dinner.  As I've said a couple of times this week already, this is one of those dishes I knew I couldn't skip for Louisiana.  The fact that it had shrimp for my Bean was an added bonus.  For dessert I finally made what I've been most looking forward to all week, authentic New Orleans Beignets.  One of my favorite New Orleans memories was being at Cafe Du Monde, sipping on a cup of their famous chickory coffee, eating beignets and people watching.  A total MUST for a trip to New Orleans in my opinion.  So I was excited to try making these myself.  The recipe made a whole bunch, and while my crew made it through quite a few, I still have some left over.  I'm going to try keeping them in the fridge for the next few days and maybe making them for breakfast on Sunday morning.  We'll see how that goes...

Right now, since they were so busy this morning and made it through the majority of the day without fighting and devoured dinner, Grant and I decided to let them have a little video game time tonight before they crash and burn.  This is a huge treat around here, so I'm enjoying listening/watching as I write up tonight's post.

Not exactly sure what tomorrow looks like, but we will playing host to David and Alexis tomorrow evening for 'make your own pizzas and a movie' which will be fun.  Heading to the 'Mont on Sunday for Mother's Day, then back to normal for a few days before we have company and a big birthday next weekend.  Can't believe my baby is going to be 6...  So until then...

Noah's shot of the flower he picked this morning

Now, if only I could convince them to do this with me in the wagon...


Climbing princess

Spin, spin, spin

Checking out the lake


Louisiana scrapbook page is done!


Mmmmm, beignets!

How they look fresh out of the fryer

A shot of the insides of delightful yumminess!

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