What’s Up Wednesday

Why hello there Wednesday.  Thank you for all the kind notes and messages about my home tour peek yesterday.  I may have the ideas, but I give Shane all the credit for executing those ideas on my limited budget.  People seem to love the wood plank wall in the boys room.  Can you believe it was less than $50 for the wood?  We had the different stain colors left over from other projects and tools on hand so he was able to pull it off for less than I would have spent for something to hang above each bed.

What we’re eating this week…

Keeping it simple with the dinner menu this week:

Grilled pizzas (brush some tortillas with a little olive oil, spread on some pizza sauce, top with your favorite toppings and cheese and toss on the grill.  Easy peasy!)

Hamburgers with grilled corn on the cob

Pesto pasta (penne with chicken, grape tomatoes from the garden, fresh mozzarella and pesto)

Grilled chicken with grilled zucchini and squash from the garden

BLTs

What I’m reminiscing about…

This month we celebrated TWO YEARS with Quinn.  I can’t believe we will be back in China meeting Collins later this summer.

What I’m loving…

All things summer.

Neighborhood pool…

Lake weekends…

Zoo…

What we’ve been up to…

The great bedroom switch of 2017 is currently a work in progress.

Combining the boys’ room…

Preparing a room for Collins to come home to…

What I’m dreading…

Combining Owen and Anderson’s clothes into their new room.  Still on the to-do list.  Ugh.

What I’m working on…

Getting ready to place our first round of adoption fundraiser T-shirt orders.  Looking forward to friends and family showing their love and helping to bring our Peanut home.  There’s still time to order!  Don’t forget to snap a pic wearing your shirt with #hurryhomecollins

What I’m excited about…

Meeting this little lady.  Folks, it’s getting real.  I’m getting excited and also getting so nervous.  We are going to have FOUR kids!

What I’m watching/reading…

Coming up on Thursday I will be sharing what I have read this month.

I haven’t been watching much, but I’m loving my weekly girl time to watch Bachelorette and catch up with my girlfriends.

What I’m listening to…

Currently the boys are hanging out in my bed next to me watching Monster Jam.  Why do they find monster trucks so fascinating??

What I’m wearing…

Swimsuits, cover ups, t-shirts and shorts.  Summer clothes!

What I’m doing this weekend…

Fourth of July weekend.  The busiest boating weekend of the year.  Looking forward to fireworks over the lake.  Last year we had so much fun.

What I’m looking forward to next month…

Girls day to Cincinnati to hit up IKEA, the Ballard outlet, and whatever else our kid-free hearts desire.  I cannot wait!

What I’m not looking forward to?  School starting.  Yep, we start back up on July 27th.  Time to cram in the summer fun!

Thanks for reading along.  Happy Wednesday!

P.S. If you are interested in supporting our adoption and helping us bring Peanut home, feel free to do your Amazon shopping through our blog affiliate link. It costs you no additional charge and we will earn a small portion of your purchase in commission. All earnings will go into our adoption fund to bring Peanut home. Thank you for supporting our family!

To start your Amazon shopping, click here.

Linking up with Mix and Match Mama, Sheaffer Told Me To.

Show and Tell Tuesday: The Struggle Is Real

The struggle is real.  We’ve all said it.  From the little things to the big, we are all struggling with something.  Here are a few of the not so serious (and one serious) thing I’ve found myself struggling with lately.

Funny story, I originally wrote and scheduled this post for last Tuesday.  Apparently I was a complete week off on my dates.  Clearly if I don’t even know what day it is…the struggle is real 🙂

A swimsuit for Q’s teeny tiny toosh

Quinn has a problem I have never struggled with.  She is long and thin.  I’m talking she is almost 4 and can easily wear 24 month shorts.  Her waist is tiny.  Her booty is tiny.  Her legs are toothpicks.  But she also has a fairly long torso.  This has made finding a swimsuit for her this year near impossible.  All of her suits gape obscenely at the leg openings.  She prefers a tankini for ease of using the bathroom but will not tolerate any smidge of belly showing between a too short top and bottoms.  One pieces that are long enough are huge in the rear.  Last week as we were walking back from the pool she walked half way down the block before I looked back and realized her bottoms were around her ankles.  Where do you get a swimsuit for a skinny legged 4 year old?  The struggle is real.

House projects

I constantly have a long list of house projects on my to-do list.  Lately, I just can’t seem to get any of them done.  We need to combine the boys into one room.  Change Anderson’s current room into a room fit for Collins.  Finish a half-completed basement refresh.  The list goes on.  Shane scored this vintage Jenny Lind bed on Craigslist for me to paint for Collins.

Clearly I haven’t even started on it yet.  Before I know it we will be in China and the little gal will need a room to come home to. The struggle is real.

Finger nails

Am I the only mom that will glance down and be horrified to realize her kid’s toenails look like they haven’t been cut in weeks?  Just me?  Between fingers and toes there are a lot of nails to keep up with in this house.  The struggle is real.

TBR pile

My “to be read” list is ever growing.  We are getting ready to head out of town to visit friends and I’m struggling with choosing what to read on the trip.

My current top contenders are:

At Home in the World

The Turquoise Table: Finding Community and Connection in Your Own Front Yard

The Mother’s Promise

Daughters of the Bride

The struggle is real.

Vehicle for a family of SIX

It’s no secret that I LOVE my minivan.  I think every family should have one (or two).  When Collins joins our family later this year we will become a family of six and officially will no longer fit in Shane’s beloved little blue car.

As much as it saddens him, I’m pretty sure he considers that car a member of our family, it will be time for it to find a new home.  I vote for getting another van, but Shane has exerted his veto power with a strong NO.  So we we are looking for an SUV with a third row that easily fits the 6 of us and frequently 8 with Mimi and DudDud.  It also must fit in the garage, be easy to access the third row, and satisfy my “car guy” hubby.  The struggle is real.  Suggestions???

Parenting

Here’s where I get real for a moment.  While over the past two years we have watched Quinn blossom and bloom, parenting a child with a background of loss and trauma is not without difficulties.  Lately we have recognized some struggles with Quinn, her attachment, and how she copes with stress and anxiety.  It has taken me a while to admit it, but I finally acknowledged that it was time to see a therapist well versed in attachment and parenting children from hard places.  We felt this was especially important to do before we add Collins to the mix and turn Q’s world upside down once again.  We have only been once and I will admit that I was very skeptical.  But she made me feel at ease, assured us that the techniques we were currently using to diffuse her tantrums were appropriate, and felt confident that we can get Quinn to a place that is healthy for both her and the rest of our family through theraplay.  I’m a pretty open book so I don’t mind sharing these struggles.  Parenting any child is tough and adding adoption is an extra layer to wade through.  The struggle is real…but worth it.

Linking up with Andrea for Show and Tell Tuesday.  In case you missed it, make sure you check out the adorable shirts we are selling for our current adoption fundraiser.

BE THE LIGHT and help bring Collins home.  Until next time!

 

“Be The Light” adoption fundraiser t-shirts

We are excited to announce our final adoption fundraiser…T-shirts!

I love supporting my friends’ adoptions and have a drawer of cute adoption tees.  So when we decided to do a t-shirt fundraiser to help bring Collins home I knew I wanted super soft shirts (think your favorite sleeping tee) with a simple design.

The phrase “be the light” came to me almost immediately.  Obviously I blog over here at “letting in the light” and one of my favorite passages in the bible is Matthew 5:1-17 and begins “You are the light of the world…”.  In a world full of darkness, BE THE LIGHT.  It felt like the perfect text to represent our family and this adoption.

The light just shines out of this guy.

Designs available:

Adult:
Sizes S-XL in charcoal heathered grey
Script font with white text


Block font with light grey text

Youth:
Sizes XS-L in light heathered grey
Black, dark pink or dark grey text
Script or block font

Cost:
$18 each
Shipping add $5 for 1-3 shirts and $8 for 4 or more shirts.

How to order:

email your order to melsbury24@gmail.com

Please include:

Name

Shipping address

Please specify: Type (adult or youth), Size,  and Font (script or block) desired.

For youth sizes only: please specify black, dark pink, or dark gray text.

Your e-mail address

How you would like to pay (in person, by mail, or PayPal)

Note: All orders are pre-orders. We will collect orders thru June then place a bulk order. We expect them to arrive in mid July.

Thank you for cheering us on and helping to support our family!

*feel free to share!!!*

What’s Up Wednesday

I thought it would be a good time to catch up on the happenings around here with a good ‘ole What’s Up Wednesday.  A time to share…

WUWquestions edit

What we’re eating this week…

The Peach Truck made it’s first stop of the season in our area this week, so we we will be eating all things peaches.  Things like gorgonzola grilled peach burgers, and grilled pound cake with peaches.  We will devour a 25 pound box of peaches in no time.

What I’m reminiscing about…

My babies are officially done with preschool, kindergarten and second grade.  Time, please slow down!

What I’m loving…

It’s officially summer!

What we’ve been up to…

Yard sale, yard sale, yard sale.  It was a smashing success and I am so thankful for all of the support for our adoption of little Peanut, but man was it a lot of work.  I have a couple of yard sale roundup posts coming up if you are interested in learning more.

What I’m dreading…

The giant stack of laundry currently waiting on me.

What I’m working on…

Hopefully later this week we will be launching our final adoption fundraiser.  T-shirts!!  We ordered a few in for our friends and family helping out with the yard sale and I think they turned out super cute.  Be looking for more info on how to order later this week.

What I’m excited about…

Boating season.  We took the boat and jet ski out and spent our first night at the lake on Monday night.  We love boating season!

What I’m watching/reading…

I’m currently reading Fly Away Home


listening to Tiny Little Thing

and watching the newest season of Bachelorette. We are in desperate need of a new Netflix show to watch but everything seems so dark and disturbing. Any recommendations?

What I’m listening to…

I haven’t been listening to much music lately but I have spending all of my time in the car listening to podcasts.

What I’m wearing…

Wow, have I been failing on my what I’ve been wearing posts.  It’s been pretty boring lately with a lot of scrubs and workout clothes.

What I’m doing this weekend…

Hopefully this…

Napping on the boat

What I’m looking forward to next month…

We are packing up and headed to New Orleans to visit our dear friends.  I. can. not. wait!!!

Bonus question: What is my favorite vacation spot…

Hmmmm.  That’s a tough one.  I have loved them all!  Here are some of my top favorites:

Favorite before married with kids: Australia with my college girlfriends

Favorite before kids: Italy or Switzerland

Favorite trip with kids and grandparents: Disney World

Favorite family vacation: Grand Haven, Michigan

Favorite no-kid getaway: Mexico

Honorable mention:  while it wasn’t a vacation, we loved China (and the little gal that came home with us).  I’m looking forward to exploring more of China this fall.

So that’s what’s up for this Wednesday.  Now I’m off to tackle that laundry!

P.S. If you are interested in supporting our adoption and helping us bring Peanut home, feel free to do your Amazon shopping through our blog affiliate link. It costs you no additional charge and we will earn a small portion of your purchase in commission. All earnings will go into our adoption fund to bring Peanut home. Thank you for supporting our family!

To start your Amazon shopping, click here.

Linking up with Mix and Match Mama, Sheaffer Told Me To and The Larson Lingo for What’s up Wednesday and What I Wore.

Adoption Update: the paper chase, a new pic, and HER NAME!!!

I thought I would pop in for a quick adoption update post.  Things have been fairly quiet here lately on the ole bloggity blog due to our lives being completely overwhelmed with preparation for our HUGE adoption fundraiser yard sale coming up this weekend.  Hopefully next week I will be back to posting more regularly.

First up, I thought I would update everyone on where we currently are in our process to bring Peanut home.  Our dossier, which includes our home study, many different letters, forms and approvals, has been approved through the local, state, and embassy levels and has been signed, sealed, and delivered to the Chinese government and logged into their system.  We are currently awaiting China’s approval, called an LOA, and then the process will come back to the US immigration side.  Our best guess is that we will travel early fall (September?) to bring her home.

We recently received a short update with a couple of pictures, a short video of her WALKING! and updated measurements.  Our 21 month old Peanut is still living up to her nickname weighing in at a whopping 15 pounds.  So Tiny!

Now, on to her name…

There have been hours and hours of discussions, hundreds of names considered and I was STRUGGLING to chose a name.  With some reflection, I realized that I was putting so much pressure on choosing the perfect name for Peanut because it’s the only part of this process I can control.

As a refresher, we had some self-imposed naming rules.  Did we follow these rules?  Let’s see…

  • Must be a surname/last name that can be used as a first name (i.e. Owen, Anderson, Quinn)…Check!
  • Must begin with a letter other than M, S, O, A, Q (no repeat initials in this family)…Check!
  • Must end in and “n” sound (i.e. Shane, Megan, Owen, Anderson, and Quinn all end in that sound)…Um, sort of???? ish???

So, two and and half out of three isn’t bad.  After all (self imposed) rules are made to be broken.

So without further adieu, let me introduce you to…

Collins Violet Elsbury

(a.k.a. Peanut forever)

Thanks to all that weighed in on the name game.  We think it fits her perfectly.  Collins, we can’t wait to bring you home!

P.S. If you are interested in supporting our adoption and helping us bring Peanut home, feel free to do your Amazon shopping through our blog affiliate link. It costs you no additional charge and we will earn a small portion of your purchase in commission. All earnings will go into our adoption fund to bring Peanut home. Thank you for supporting our family!

To start your Amazon shopping, click here.

Show and Tell Tuesday: Throwback to Prom

Springtime means limos, fancy dresses, and awkward teenage boys in tuxes.  Yep, it’s prom season!  When I saw that today’s Show and Tell Tuesday theme was prom photos, I decided to shoot my mom a quick text to see if she could unearth some prom pics for me to share.

I went to both my junior and senior proms with the the boy I dated all through high school.  When I asked mom for a couple of photos I expected the typical standing in the front yard in front of the limo with your prom date pic.  Somehow however, the three photos she found include my girlfriends instead of a boy.  I can say that 20 years later these gals are still important to me.

{Junior year prom-1997}

I loved that red dress.  And going to prom with my bestie.  Why is riding to prom in a limo a right of passage???

Dear seventeen year old Megan, I would like those arms and shoulder back 😉

{Senior year prom-1998}

I still get to spend my Friday nights with this pretty lady.  And for that I am so thankful.  Lennea, you still look exactly the same!

{Shane-aka Prom King}

Look at that handsome fella!  I didn’t feel as if I should post his date’s photo on my little corner of the internet without her permission, but I just had to share this gem of a photo.

{Mom and Dad}

And for fun I had mom send me a couple of her prom pics.

Yes, that is my mom and dad at my mom’s high school prom.  For years this photo was framed in our basement and I always thought my dad was sporting a crazy hairdo.  Years later did I realize that it wasn’t his hair, but a moon shape on the wall behind him.  Ha!

That’s my short and sweet trip down prom memory lane.  I can’t believe one day we will be sending our four babies to prom.

P.S. If you are interested in supporting our adoption and helping us bring Peanut home, feel free to do your Amazon shopping through our blog affiliate link. It costs you no additional charge and we will earn a small portion of your purchase in commission. All earnings will go into our adoption fund to bring Peanut home. Thank you for supporting our family!

To start your Amazon shopping, click here.

Magnolia Market

We’re back today for Friday Favorites with part three of our spring break trip to San Antonio and one of my FAVORITE adventures from our vacation.  Our trip to the silos and Magnolia Market!

Day Five

Like a lot of the gals I know I’m a huge HGTV and Fixer Upper fan.  So after a great week exploring all of the family friendly activities in San Antonio, we had a day for mama and loaded up the rental van for a road trip to Waco, TX.

The kids were pleasantly surprised to arrive and find the lawn full of balls, frisbees and other fun activities for some outdoor play time.

A very serious game of corn hole ensued.

And then sister took off with the bean bags.

Somehow it turned into a game of chase.

After spending some time playing on the lawn we decided to check out the food trucks for some lunch.  The lines were pretty long, but the food smelled so good.

We landed on some yummy bar-b-que.

While Shane stood in line for food, there was a rare moment of sibling cooperation with some adorable swinging.

Look mom!  We’re sharing!

There are a ton of picnic tables around, but it was very busy due to the lunch time crowd.  So we decided to have a little picnic on the lawn. (I think it is worth noting that Anderson is drinking a rootbeer 😉 )

They have these fun chairs sprinkled around.  Somehow little miss snagged the chair.

With lunch finished we took a few pics in front of the famous silos.  I would love to know the number of photos taken at this place each day.

Finally it was time to head inside and do a little shopping.  I love all the men in the background sitting on benches while the women are inside shopping.

Look!  My name on a place card.  It’s like JoJo knew I was coming in today.

This was my favorite corner of he store.  I love the tile, the scale, everything about this little space.

Since we were flying home and I’m currently saving up for adoption expenses, we just left with a couple of small items.  If you purchase anything large, there is a FedEx shipping desk right in the store.  Aren’t the shopping bags fun?

While I was shopping Little Man was outside relaxing.

And Quinn was swinging.

Next we wandered over to Magnolia Seed and Supply.

They had a tub full of baby chicks for sale that belonged to the Gaines’ daughters.

A nice lady that had just purchased some chicks let us hold them.  I thought I might be buying her a new one when Quinn suddenly launched her chick across the yard.  Thankfully, baby chick seemed to be ok and the kind lady didn’t seem to mind my less than gentle three year old.

After lunch time, the crowd really thinned out and there were much less people around.

Can you believe that before this trip Mimi had never heard of Fixer Upper or Chip and Joanna????  Apparently I have failed as a daughter.  So in preparation, she read The Magnolia Story (which I happened to have on my kindle app) and we watched two episodes of Fixer Upper on my iPad in the hotel before we headed to Waco at the end of the week.  She is now a Fixer Upper convert 🙂

DudDud wasn’t feeling well, so he stayed back for the day.  I have a feeling he wouldn’t have been as impressed by my day of fandom anyway.  Ha!  But we made sure to remember him on our next stop…The Silos Baking Co.

Yes, that is the line around the building to get in.  While the crowds were significantly smaller in the late afternoon, apparently everyone was ready for an afternoon sugar high.

Thankfully the line moved fairly quickly and soon it was our time to head inside.

Someone skipped nap (again) and was just ready for a cupcake.

While you wait in line you are given a menu card so you can make your selection, then when it is your turn you just hand your card to the cashier and they box up your order.

We took our cupcakes and headed out to a picnic table to enjoy our treat.  Notice that Owen has eaten almost his entire cupcake before I even took my first bite.  The carrot cake cupcake was delicious!

One final photo before loading back up into the van.  I was shocked that we ended up spending over five hours at the silos.  We had plans to visit some other shops and sites in town from Fixer Upper, but we really needed to be heading back to DudDud and San Antonio.

As we pulled out of the parking lot we turned in the opposite direction of how we had come in.  When I asked Shane where we were going he said he had looked up the address for Magnolia House and that it really wasn’t much out of our way to swing by.  And that, my friends, is why I love this man.

The sun was extremely bright and in a terrible location for photos, but the Magnolia House was so adorable.  There were guests staying inside that we could see through the windows.  Can you imagine hanging around on vacation and see random people pop out of their car to take photos of your house?

Another nice couple was also Magnolia stalking and offered to take our photo.

And that concluded my Fixer Upper fan day.  JoJo, call me!

If you are thinking of making a visit to the silos, here are a few things we learned:

  • Go early in the morning or late afternoon.  Around lunch time was the busiest.  (Although it was kind of fun to see a crowd and everyone was incredibly friendly.)
  • Don’t forget the sunscreen!  We spent several hours just simply hanging out on the lawn people watching and playing.  I was glad I had a small tube of sunscreen tucked away in my purse because I did not think about it ahead of time.
  • If you want to purchase a large item, you can ship it!  Or you can just order it online when you get home 🙂  It’s more about the experience than the actual merchandise in my opinion.
  • Don’t let the bakery line intimidate you.  Yes, the line was long but it moved quickly and the cupcakes were delish.
  • The town of Waco itself is not exactly picturesque.  It was strange to see these beautifully re-done buildings in a neighborhood that is not necessarily in the best shape.  I love that a couple like Chip and Joanna are trying to infuse some love into their home town.

Day Six

Our bags were packed, the rental van returned, and we made it to the airport for our flights home.

Here I need to say an enormous thank you to my mom and dad.  They are so very generous and treated us to this amazing trip.  We are so very thankful for them and that we get to experience such fun adventures with them.  Thank you Mimi and DudDud!!

That’s it for our spring break in Texas.  If you are looking for a family friendly vacation destination other than the beach, I would highly recommend it.

As usual I’m linking up with Erika, Narci, and Andrea for Friday Favorites.

P.S. If you are interested in supporting our adoption and helping us bring Peanut home, feel free to do your Amazon shopping through our blog affiliate link. It costs you no additional charge and we will earn a small portion of your purchase in commission. All earnings will go into our adoption fund to bring Peanut home. Thank you for supporting our family!

To start your Amazon shopping, click here.

San Antonio: Part Two

I’m back today with more of our visit to San Antonio for spring break.  Make sure you check out Part One  if you missed it.  We left off last time after spending the morning at the Alamo and lunch and boat tour on the Riverwalk.  After our boat ride we decided to walk to Market Square.  On our way we stumbled upon something super fun.  They were setting up to shoot American Ninja Warrior!

It was so fun to see the obstacles in person.  We chatted a bit with the crew and found out that it takes almost a week to set up and that they begin filming after dark and usually film all night long.

By the time we made it to Market Square it was WAY past Q’s nap time, so she had a little nap on DudDud while the rest of us walked around.

The boys chose Icee’s as their special treat of the day.  Perfect for a hot afternoon.

For some reason, Anderson had really been wanting tic-tacs lately.  Mimi promised to buy him some on spring break, and finally his wish came true.  Thumbs up for tic-tacs!

While browsing thru Market Square we spotted a playground across the street.  A great place to let the kidlets play after a full day of sight seeing.  This fella loves the monkey bars.

Shane can be a bit of a monkey too 🙂

After running off a lot of energy and making new friends at the park, we headed out in search of some Texas BBQ.  It did not disappoint.

We headed back to the hotel to drop the men and Anderson and Quinn off to do a little evening swimming.  Owen chose to go with the girls to the grocery.

We have a little vacation tradition in our family.  It’s known as “vacation cereal”.  We typically try to keep most junk out of the house and that includes sugary cereals.  But on vacation, all bets are off.  Each kid gets to pick his or her very own box of junky cereal.  Whatever their little heart desires.  Owen takes his vacation cereal decision very seriously.

(In case you are wondering, he chose Cocoa Puffs and Anderson sent us to the store with his pre-chosen selection of  Trix while he stayed back to swim.  Quinn, she ate some of both.)

Day 2

It was supposed to rain most of the day, so we chose to check out the DoSeum.

It is a museum filled with all hands-on, mostly STEM focused activities targeted toward kids ages 2-10.  We expected to spend the morning there, but ended up spending an entire day.  It was a big hit.

They have a specific area for the younger kids that includes a grocery store (complete with working registers), bank, food truck, gas station, vetrinarian office, and airplane.  Even my big boys had fun.

Building creations to test on different activities.

Even though the forecast called for rain, it ended up being a beautiful day.  We were thankful because the DoSeum has some great outdoor spaces as well.

Anderson was obsessed with the tube slide.

We had a blast at the DoSeum.  If you are in San Antonio with younger kids, I would definitely recommend checking it out.

Day 3

The next day we decided to check out the San Antonio zoo.  Q is a huge animal lover so we thought the zoo sounded like a great idea.

Tip: We have a membership to the Louisville Zoo so we were able to secure a 50% discount on admission at the San Antonio Zoo for all seven of us just by showing our Louisville zoo pass.  Always check for reciprocal programs to other zoos and museums if you have a membership.

Anderson and Quinn were all about petting the snake.  Owen decided to pass 🙂

Brushing the goats was a highlight for little miss.  (Sometimes I just can’t quite get over how beautiful she is.)

Ganging up on the poor goat.  Thankfully, they were very tolerant.

I didn’t take many pics at the zoo, but we were shocked at how active all of the animals were.  Typically I feel like zoo animals just lay around and sleep all day.  Almost every animal was walking around and very active.  It made for a great zoo experience.

After the zoo we had a delicious Mexican dinner at Rosario’s, where I apparently took zero pictures. Side note – If you like a margarita with a little kick order the La Piña. We then walked to the HemisFair park where we we went the first night for more playing and a movie on the lawn.

They had a huge outdoor movie screen set up and everyone brought blankets and lawn chairs.  The movie for the night was Nacho Libre.  It wouldn’t have been my first choice of movies, but the kids found it hilarious.  It was the perfect night for a movie in the park.

Day 4

Sunday had us heading to Sea World!  San Antonio may not be anywhere near a sea, but they have a Sea World.  Random, right??

Check us out in the back row.  Hands up!!!  The boys were obsessed with this ride.  What you can’t tell from this pic is that there is a huge lake of water at the end of that drop.  I’m not a huge fan of water rides that don’t involve wearing a bathing suit, but in the pursuit of being a fun mom I took one for the team and rode with them as many times as they wanted.  For the record, wet tennis shoes and undies are the worst.

Enjoying some cotton candy during the beluga whale and dolphin show.

There was one roller coaster that neither boy was tall enough for, but Owen was tall enough for the Steel Eel.  He waffled back and forth and in the end decided to go for it.  He and I are somewhere in this pic loving it.  I was so proud!

When you are too short for rides, you get dip-n-dots instead.  She didn’t complain.

Waiting on Shamu.

Notice the crowd in this pic.  It was not busy at all.  We were able to walk right onto most rides.  We only had to wait on one.  There was plenty of seats during the shows.  Apparently we timed our visit well.  The week before had been the local spring break in Texas and apparently everywhere was crazy busy.  We were thankful for the small crowds.

I didn’t get any photos, but there was a great area for younger kids called Sesame Street Bay of Play.  They had several rides, a splash pad, and a huge climbing area.  Mimi and DudDud took Quinn there to play while Shane and I rode the big rides with the boys.  Huge shout out to Mimi for climbing through tunnels and giant rope nets with Q for over an hour.

We left Sea World at closing time and made our way to dinner.  Quinn played until she dropped and spent most of the dinner snoozing away.  I would call that a success.

That’s the end of day 4.  I’ll be back tomorrow to finish off our vacation recap with our road trip to Waco and Magnolia Market.  Fellow Fixer Upper fans, you won’t want to miss it!

P.S. If you are interested in supporting our adoption and helping us bring Peanut home, feel free to do your Amazon shopping through our blog affiliate link. It costs you no additional charge and we will earn a small portion of your purchase in commission. All earnings will go into our adoption fund to bring Peanut home. Thank you for supporting our family!

To start your Amazon shopping, click here.

San Antonio: Part One

Friday means Friday Favorites and the definite favorite from this past week has been our spring break trip to San Antonio.  Today I am beginning the recap of our trip.  Being the over sharer that I am I have to split it up into more than one post 🙂

When my answer to “where are you going for spring break?” was San Antonio, I got a lot of funny looks.  Yes, San Antonio seems like a random spring break destination to most people in the Louisville area where Destin, FL seems to be the number one spring break choice.  We’ve done the spring break beach trips.  And we love them.  But there is a huge country out there and we want to see it all.  In fact, we have a family goal to visit all 50 states as a family.  I’m currently working on a catchy name (because I LOVE to come up with cheesy names for things).  I originally coined it “Five in Fifty”, but then we decided to add Peanut to the mix which will make us a family of 6.  So I’m on the hunt for something new…Family in Fifty?…hmmm…that might work.

Anyway, let’s hop on a plane and head to San Antonio, Texas!

Travel Day

We boarded our plane before 7 am and landed in San Antonio around lunch time.  After picking up our rental van we headed to the hotel to drop off our luggage, then headed out to find some lunch.  We have always heard great things about In & Out Burger (something we don’t have around here) so we decided to give it a try for a quick lunch.

Enjoying our first In & Out experience.

After lunch we headed to Hemisfair park to burn off some energy after being stuck in an airplane for most of the day.

This park was recommended to us by our good friend.  She described it as a “ninja warrior park” and she was right.  It did not disappoint.  The boys loved it!

The park also had lots of fun games such as ping pong…

and Foosball.  I think Owen was kicking Mimi’s booty 😉

Quinn fell asleep in the car on the way to lunch so she enjoyed her In & Out in the park later.

After the park we headed back to the hotel for a little swim in the pool.

After our swim and baths we grabbed dinner.  Anderson was pooped after an early morning start.  He fell asleep at the table before our dinner arrived and stayed asleep through dinner and Shane carrying him back to the hotel.  Travel is exhausting!

Day 1

This was the day we did the traditional San Antonio activities.  Up first, The Alamo!

We were pleasantly surprised at how interested the kids were in the Alamo and it’s history.  They have really improved the exhibits since we were there 10-ish years ago.  These fellas really enjoyed learning about the weapons of the time.

Apparently these are their “Alamo faces”.  On a side note, this guy looks exactly like a guy we know.  We were convinced he was related to Ray the Painter.

After the Alamo we headed across the street to the Riverwalk.

We enjoyed some Mexican food and watched the river.  Anderson was enjoying the view and a cold root beer.

Then it was time for a Riverwalk boat tour.

Owen wanted to sit between Mimi and DudDud.

We rode right by the stage used in Miss Congeniality.  A co-worker of mine gave me the idea to watch a movie set in your vacation destination, so we watched Miss Congeniality one night in the hotel.  The perfect San Antonio set movie!

Sibling love in San Antonio.

We’ll pause here and wrap it up today.  Make sure you check out yesterday’s What’s On My Bookshelf post if you missed it.  See you on Monday for more of our San Antonio adventures!

As usual I’m linking up with Erika, Narci, and Andrea for Friday Favorites.

P.S. If you are interested in supporting our adoption and helping us bring Peanut home, feel free to do your Amazon shopping through our blog affiliate link. It costs you no additional charge and we will earn a small portion of your purchase in commission. All earnings will go into our adoption fund to bring Peanut home. Thank you for supporting our family!

To start your Amazon shopping, click here.

#everydayelsbury2017

To be honest, I had planned on linking up and writing a Working It post for today.  The topic is balancing work and home life, but when I actually sat down to write I just wanted to laugh.  Isn’t balancing work and home life what all working moms strive for?  And don’t we all feel (at least at times) as if we are still trying to figure it all out?  So while there are many things I have found that help our family run smoothly, let’s be honest.  There is only one key to any success I have at being a working mom…I have amazing support.  Without Shane and my mom, this family would fall apart.  For eleven years I worked night shift, seven days in a row, then seven days off.  Without Shane to pick up more that his fair share on those weeks, we would not have survived.  Last June I was fortunate enough to leave my night shift days behind and start working part time.  While I am home more, I still cannot do this alone.  We have been so blessed to have Mimi watch the kids while I work and all of those other times i need to run people to various appointments and practices.  Thank you, Mom!  So there is my secret to how I Work It 🙂

Since I don’t have any earth shattering secrets to balancing work-family life, let’s get on with #everydayelsbury

A peek at life this week…

After work this evening I made the trek to the parking garage and up to the second floor for my car. Only my van wasn’t there. Hmm. So I went down to the first level. No van. Up to the third level. No van. Then back down to two where I swear I parked. Nope. Then back to one where FINALLY I find my van on the far end of the aisle. I hope the security guys watching the cameras got a good laugh out of that one. #dudewheresmycar

Brackets are done! Ready for some March Madness (P.S. I don’t think the Elsbury fellas will be winning the bracket pool) #godawgs

This morning we finished up The Armor of God at women’s bible study. Not only did I win The Prince Warriors for having not showered before study but I also got wrapped in a suit of armor made out of Reynolds wrap.

Working on their first duet.

We’ve got the snacks covered.

What do 8 women do when they leave 30 (and counting!) kids home with the husbands for the weekend? Absolutely nothing. And it was glorious. #chinamamas #thatsalotofkids

P.S. If you are interested in supporting our adoption and helping us bring Peanut home, feel free to do your Amazon shopping through our blog affiliate link.  It costs you no additional charge and we will earn a small portion of your purchase in commission.  All earnings will go into our adoption fund to bring Peanut home.  Thank you for supporting our family!

To start your Amazon shopping, click here.