we had such a wonderful time with grandma and grandpa!
the kids have missed them so much since they left and remind me regularly that grandma is the best because "grandma would let me do...". and they are right, grandma is the best! ellie even cried as we drove away from the airport. so sad!
because mom and dad are serving as missionaries and bart is the medical director for 12 (or 13?) missions, his phone rang constantly for a few of the days they were here. it gave us a pretty good idea of how often he is on the phone everyday and how much time and effort they are putting in as missionaries. what a great example they are to us and the kids.
but we had plenty of play time too!
chris and bart were able to play a whole lot of golf (3 rounds = a whole lot to chris who has been golf deprived for the past couple years). they even took jack to the driving range. janie and i were able to take the kids to the library, out on bike rides, to target to pick out "surprises", and a whole lot more. it was a fun and eventful 6 days. we even managed to get a trip to the beach in. it was so great to have an extra set of hands around. janie helped prepare meals, bathe kids, read stories, sweep, do dishes, and the list goes on and on. after having 8 of her own, she sure knows how to balance housework, kids, and fun! now I'm starting to realize that maybe those polygamists don't have the wrong idea after all. except, maybe, for that minor detail of all being married to the same person... :)
we didn't take a bunch of pictures during their visit except for graduation and then a trip out to skunk ape in the everglades. janie was pretty nervous, but quickly those nerves turned to steel and she was touching and holding all sorts of animals.
jack wasn't as brave as he has been in the past, but slowly started to warm up to some of the animals. now its all he talks about. he has even taken pictures in to show his class how awesome he is. and he is awesome!
even little charlie got in on the action
before hand, i decided i would toughen up and hold some creatures i haven't before. first up was this awesome scorpion that turns turquoise under a black light! so cool!
i couldn't bring myself to actually touch this guy so i asked the guide, rick, if he would just put him on my shoulder. SICK!
this bird was great. he would poop on command! wish we could get the kids to do that...
ellie was pretty scared of every. single. animal.
but now she keeps stealing my belts and pretending they are snakes. what a rebel she is!
after skunk ape we continued on 41 for a couple minutes and stopped at turner river road. it was a fantastic spot for a picnic and a great place to release some wiggles. would highly recommend it. a river runs along side it and there is a nice little boardwalk to view gators, birds, and fish.
we had a really fun and FaNcY valentines dinner with grandma and grandpa too! we went all out and decorated, had candles and glass goblets and went out for ice cream for dessert.
ellie, grandma and i made chocolate dipped strawberries for the occasion, but with ice cream we didn't get to them... until the kids were in bed. i think my favorite part of their visit was giggling and laughing while eating chocolate strawberries and drinking bubbly with bart and janie after the kids went to bed. it was the perfect valentines day!
thanks again mom and dad for making the time to come celebrate with us. we sure love you both and couldn't be any prouder of our missionaries!!!