Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Teaching Tuesday - Week 9 (A Birthday and Family get-away!)

This past week was an "off week" for our homeschool.  It was Josh's birthday and we planned a much needed yet last minute family get away.  Yes, it was planned and has been planned for several months but we didn't even know if we could go until just a few days prior.  It all was dependent on how work went for my husband after being off so long for surgery.  God provided through some great work days, an anonymous gift from someone at church and turning in a years worth of change.  Our "vacation" was much needed and much enjoyed!

 This is the view from our hotel room.  We had an awesome lakeview room that did not disappoint.  Added to the excitement was the seagulls that were very well fed the whole time we were there :-)  
 Before we left home, we stopped at the grocery store and Josh got to pick out his cake.  He has been "watching" the pumpkin cake for months and was beyond excited to finally be able to pick it out!  The boys had to taste the frosting.
 After unloading and relaxing for a little bit, we went to dinner at one of the few restaurants that was still open (We kinda cut it close in going to Macakinaw City - our favorite restaurants had already closed for the season!)  After dinner, we drove across the big bridge in the dark so that the boys could see the lights and it did not disappoint.  We stopped at the state park and were able to get this awesome view of the bridge.  I think this might end up on the wall in my living room at some point. 
The boys got to experience the huge viewing telescopes at the park too.  When we returned to the city, we all got our bathing suits on and drove to the water park.  We had the whole thing to ourselves - it was awesome! 

Tuesday was the big day and we took the boys to Mackinaw Island - their current favorite place on earth.
 When Josh opened our hotel curtains Tuesday morning he exclaimed, "Wow!  Look at that view!" and he was right!  It was incredible!
 We loaded unto the (empty) boat at about noon on Tuesday.  Because we were just about the only people on the boat, we got a special invitation . . ..
 We were invited up to the Pilot House and Josh got to drive the boat all the way across the channel. 
The Captain was great.  He explained exactly what Josh needed to do and let him drive, giving him pointers along the way.  We learned that the Captains 5 younger siblings are all homeschool and his family (and where he grew up) is all of about 30 minutes from us in a small neighboring town.
  For the record, Nate did NOT want to drive - he preferred to watch.
We might have a future Captain on our hands!
 Once on the island, we went to get lunch and check out the pool at this hotel where we ate lunch.  The boys loved the stairs. 

Then, we explored the island.  One of our first stops was this rocky beach that the boys loved.  We brought home a lot of "pretty" rocks, sticks and "flowers."
 The boys!  Yes, we have hats and gloves on but the weather was fabulous.  The sun was shining and there was very little wind so we were never cold.  Really, we couldn't have asked for a nicer day in late October.
 One of the special things we did was brought the boys bikes.  They loved being able to ride their bikes through town without any worries. Darryl and I chose to walk but the boys . . ..they loved their freedom! 

 On the return trip home, one of the crew members had Josh help him get all of the ropes ready for landing.  Josh loved it and Nate loved watching.  So, maybe we did have "school" - the boys learned about driving the boat and curling the ropes.
On the way back to the hotel, we stopped at a new resturant for hot dogs and waffles fries.  The boys loved it, and the chili cheese fries were pretty good.  The hot dogs . .. well, they were just hot dogs :-)   After dinner, we once again headed back to the water park where we enjoyed the pool, the slides, and yes, I even enjoyed the hot tub for a bit too.  And yes, we had it all to ourselves once again!

 Wednesday was Josh's actually birthday - yep, he's six!  Once we checked out of our hotel, we drove back across the bridge (because it is one of Josh's favorite things to do!) and drove along the lakeshore in the UP for a bit.  We pulled off at this awesome park where we could view the Lake and the bridge.
 Josh loves maps so seeing this huge map of Michigan was a treat.  He was able to see where we live and where the bridge was as well as where Papa and Nana live.  He loved it. 
 Nathan!  We told the boys we wanted to build a house where the park was located and they loved the idea.  We talked about it a lot on the way home :-)  Before we headed back across the bridge we stopped at Big Boy for lunch and then headed to meet Papa and Nana for dinner.  The boys had no idea!  When we pulled in the parking lot of the resturant we parked next to Papa's truck and the boys both said, "That looks like Papa's truck but why would he be here?" - they were so shocked when we walked in and saw them HA! 

 Josh LOVED getting his presents - lots and lots of Legos!  So many that he could build a tower! 
 This was Nate when we got home - sound asleep!  The poor kid was exhausted.
 Josh still had more gifts to open though, and was very excited to do so!

 Harley loved the paper :-)

We ended a very fun few days with pictures with the birthday boy.  Josh loved turning six!