Tuesday, July 1, 2008


So I have been gone for a while - literally! Our family took our summer vacation this last week to Branson, Missouri. Jerry's parents chose the location and then we all (2 of his sisters with their families and us) met them there. It's funny, we wouldn't have chosen the location ourselves, but we really liked it. We would even go back again! We stayed at this resort. The resort is the reason that we had so much fun. We think that we could go back with the boys and not even leave the resort other than one or two times to go into town. There was fishing, swimming, a lake, paddle boats, a playground - plus other things the kids weren't really old enough to enjoy yet. Each condo had two bedrooms, a kitchen, laundry, a living area, and a patio. For the four families, we had two condos, and it was quite comfy.

We all went to several attractions together. We went to a Chinese Acrobat show that was fascinating. The things these people can do!! We went to a musical called "Noah" that was really neat. They had live animals and mechanical animals that looked so real, and they stuck to the true account from the Bible. They added some stuff that isn't stated, but it wasn't anything that seemed like it couldn't have been part of the actual story. We also went to Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede. That was interesting. They do a rodeo type show while you eat your dinner. The only catch is that they don't give you any silverware for your food. They serve soup, Cornish hen, pork loin, potato, corn on the cob, and an apple turnover. To be eaten with your hands. It was a bit messy, but Ethan was totally in his element. He loved having permission for once to eat with his hands. Then as our family of four, we rode a train, took a cave tour, did some outlet shopping, went swimming and fishing, and did a lot of driving! It would normally take about 7 1/2 to 8 hours for us to drive to Branson, but for us (with two young boys and a pregnant lady) it actually took about 9. Yeah, we stopped for a lot of potty breaks!

Here are some pics of our fun:

These were taken inside Talking Rocks Cavern. Ethan thought it was really cool to be in a cave, but Aaron was scared for the first half of our time in there.

The boys also had fun playing with play dough on the patio. Aaron here is modeling his fish that he made out of dough.

Overall, our train ride was a bust - it was boring. But one of the workers let Ethan put on his ha for this cute picture. I think he still looks so babyish here...such cute chubby cheeks!

This is all four of us on one of the dining cars on the train. I hate to say it, but the pink milk and snickers bars we bought the boys were the only redeeming things of the whole ride for them. And all that for over $80! We could have just gotten them the milk and candy at the convenience store on the way to the train and saved a lot of green...

We had fun fishing too. Believe it or not, this was my very first time to go fishing. My parents weren't really the fishing sort...Ethan did not want to hold the pole at all, but he played with the worms the whole time and was as happy as could be. Aaron caught the first fish of the day. It totally freaked him out when the fish first started to pull the line though and he was about to throw the entire pole into the water when I took it from him and brought his fish in! He was disappointed that we threw it back though. He really wanted to take it back to our room and cook it for supper! Notice Ethan holding up half a worm to show. Yes, he tore it in half himself.

As it turns out, we should have had someone take a picture of all four of us with Aaron's fish because after he caught it, the fish swam off and told all of his friends to avoid the worms and we didn't catch anything for the longest time. Even I as bored. Finally Jerry caught the one shown here - yes, there is actually a fish in that photo with us. Look really hard! Did you see it???

Finally, I reached the halfway point of this pregnancy this past weekend. Suddenly, my belly popped too. I am half sick of people telling me I have suddenly "blossomed." Okay, so I know they are trying to come up with a nice way to say that my stomach is suddenly twice as big as it was last week, but I am not a flower. I feel like I have exploded. I guess it is appropriate considering it is almost the fourth of July. My baby thinks he is a firework and needs to explode in size all at once! Well, it was bound to happen...


Marie said...

That looks like so much fun! It's great that your family gets together like that. I think you look great! I do believe that the shape of a woman's body when she's pregnant is such a beautiful thing! Maybe it doesn't feel that way, but I think it looks so feminine and healthy. Could just be me though...

Joanna said...

That's awesome.

Mrs. Amy Brigham said...

From the looks of your pictures, your trip looks like it was a blast! :D How neat that y'all meet up for a vacation every year.

Where else have y'all vacationed together? Growing up, we used to head to some cabins "up north" in Michigan, with my grandparents and some other families from church. These simple little vacations were always the most fun, and even the one "fancy" vacation I took as a child, to Disney, couldn't compare. :o)

Joanna said...

Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede used to be in Orlando, too but it closed down. It sounds just like Medieval Times where they have a jousting competition and you have to eat cornish hens with your hands and everything. I thought it was fun.

It's too bad that the train ride was a bust. I get really annoyed when things like that happen, especially to the tune of so much cash.

You certianly do look bigger. Maybe you're having TWINS and they haven't found the other baby yet. LOL. I'm so funny.

Johanna said...

Amy, we have met in Colorado Springs, Tucson, Phoenix, and Disney World. We also went on an Alaskan cruise once. We do it about once every other year. It is nice but it does assure that all of our vacations are with family.

Joanna, definitely not twins!! Maybe twin scoops of ice cream nightly, but not twins!!