Less is More

Last week we kept crazy busy, rushing and running from one big event to the next.  First was the water park and lemonade stand.  Next came zoo day.  The Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha is unbelievable.  In addition to all of the outdoor exhibits, it has an aquarium, jungle, desert dome, aviary, butterfly pavilion, kingdom of the night, IMAX theatre, and Skyfari, where you ride in a chair lift over the giraffes, cougars, and rhinos.  I’m not a huge zoo person, but I must admit this place is worth a visit every time we venture back to the Midwest.

Adorable baby giraffe in background, adorable cousins in foreground!
Inside the desert dome
Making friends with a sea turtle

In the butterfly pavilion. This little guy loved Nola and stayed on her shirt the entire time we were inside!
Mom taking photos inside the butterfly pavilion.

Unfortunately, this fanged animal accompanied us to the zoo too.  SCARY (not to mention gross):

We were really hoping Sam’s tooth would fall out at the zoo.  Not only because it was beyond ready, but because it would have brought things full circle.  Last year when we all went to the zoo, Madi walked straight into the glass wall of an elevator and chipped her two front teeth.  It was awful, and I have never dreaded making a phone call more than when I had to call my brother that day.  The conversation started with, “Madi is okay, but…” The experience is all just a bad memory now; her teeth are all fixed and we made it through this year’s zoo excursion without any lost or broken teeth stories!

After zoo day, we planned an afternoon at the Fremont State Lakes.

The best part about lakes day?  Sam’s tooth finally fell out!!  Clark’s sister may have sort of “bumped” his face as they were frolicking, and luckily he caught the fang before it fell into the murky water.

Much better!

The next day we visited Clark’s sister.  Who else has a backyard with both a trampoline and a tortoise?

That afternoon we went bowling, and then I headed to Lincoln for a rehearsal dinner.  Sam stayed the night with Grandma Nola, while Mom took the rest of the crew out for “Girls Night Out.”  Shopping and dinner!

Saturday was the wedding of my high school friend Kim.  I was a bridesmaid, and with Clark still back in Alaska my mom volunteered to be my +1.  She brought the kids for me, while Kylie and Madi had a special Grandpa day.

Talk about a busy string of days!  On Sunday, for the first time all week, we had no plans.  It was time to sit.  And guess what?  I think it was the best day yet! The kids spent a lot of time in Grandpa’s pool.

Grandma even got in the pool!

Swimming is more fun when Grandpa throws you around!

The kids also invented a kids vs. grown ups Olympics.  I think it was their way of forcing us to play with them all day, and it worked!  They named themselves the Warriors of USA, and we dubbed ourselves the Goldie Oldies.  Events included tetherball, obstacle course, racing around the house, washers, a drawing contest, Wii bowling, spinning contests, rock throwing, basketball, Apples to Apples, and more.  It was hilarious, but we still have a few events to finish… so stay tuned!

It was such a fun day of playing, laughing, swimming, and relaxing.  Best of all, Tyson and Amy gave the girls permission to stay longer this year.  Yesterday we learned that they will be here for an extra week!  We are all ecstatic! This week we will strive for earlier bedtimes and a slower pace.  We don’t need to plan every last second. Less is more!

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