Live so that when your children think of fairness and integrity, they think of you. The highest courage is to dare to be yourself in the face of adversity. Choosing right over wrong, ethic over convenience, and truth over popularity ... these are choices that measure your life. Travel the path of integrity without looking back, for there is never a wrong time to do the right thing.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Now that school has been back in session 6+ weeks, don't you think it's the perfect time to blog about the last week of school from last year!?! I'm movin' on up...

The last week of School Haliee and Drew both came home with these awesome notes from everyone on their classrooms. Each kid who could choose to remain anonymous had written to them about what that particular person thought of them. The only rules they were given was it had to be a nice comment, & it could not just be one word like "hi" something like that. Some teachers did this the previous year and I LOVE how it has blossomed to more classes and schools. What a great way to end the year. I also love every kiddo gets to feel special with kind words written to them.

I had tears in my eyes reading all the wonderful words written to my kids. I mean I know they are pretty great, in fact, I think they are seriously PERFECT! However, to read words written from peers their own age, it made me so proud. I expected them to have several generic "you are cool" or "you are fun" you know, not personal...but no, they were all super descriptive and just plain sweet. I saved these for the ever growing boxes in my garage of keepsakes from their childhood but I wanted to post a few here as well. Way to go teachers for this idea! I am so glad my kiddos are sharing their love and friendship with the world.

Here are a few of my favorites written to Haliee:

Dear Haliee,
You are a cute, beautiful, funny human being. I am proud to be your friend especially for so many years. I love your personality. Your hair is beautiful. You are so smart. Don't ever lower your standards, you are a born leader.

To Haliee Hunter:
You are always smiling, responsible, and independent. You are strong in character, outgoing, and compassionate and caring to others.

You are always fun when I am around. You are really pretty and I look up to you. I hope to always be your friend.

Haliee H.:
You are amazing Haliee. You are one of a kind and have a great personality. You are hilarious, nice, and outgoing. You're always smiling, always positive, and friendly.

To: Haliee
You are really smart and creative. You're witty, outgoing, and a great friend to everyone.

To: Haliee
You are nice, comfortable, and a true leader.

To: Haliee
You are intelligent, responsible, confident, one of a kind, hilarious, and honest.

To Haliee,
You're nice, funny, fun to be with, hard working, easy going, always positive, and gorgeous.

Your always smiling, funny, nice, plus a good dresser. Your also a good friend and you make me laugh whenever I am around you.

Ok, I'll stop now, but it is hard to choose there are 20 more just like these!!!

Here are some of Drew's. It was neat to read the differences between 4th and 7th grade and between boys and girls. You can totally tell the gender of the authors!

You are one of the nicest boys I've met. You are the most loyal friend.

You are one of the best players in baseball history. Thank you for being one of the best people on the world.

You are an awesome mathematician. You are awesome + a super funny friend.

You are a super great guy, you have done alot for me. I hope I get in your class next year.

You are super good at football. You are an awesome athlete.

You are smart and one heck of a pitcher. Good luck and I hope you succeed in life.

You are a nice student to me. Have a great summer. You are a penguin expert.

Andrew, Thank you for everything this year. I hope all your wishes come true. You are cool and a good football player. You rock at playing football.

I am so proud to be these kiddos Momma!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Drew's Birthday Weekend Part 2:

The Great Wolf Lodge!

This year for Drew's Birthday, he opted not to have a friends party and come to Wolf Lodge as a family after the traditional Mariner's weekend! This place looked super fun for kiddos and it exceeded their expectations! :) When we drove up we couldn't believe how huge it was. Once inside, it was all the grander. They really thought of everything, so user friendly! You can have your credit/debit card linked to your bracelet for the water park which also acts as your room key so you don't have to worry about cash or debit while in the water park. It was so nice to be able to go from water park to restaurant to arcade and back to the room without carrying any $ or room keys, etc. around.
Drew was so so so excited! When we arrived at the room he had a surprise banner awaiting him on the door! He felt super special :)
Once inside, he opened the info. for the rest of his extra birthday surprise package!! An ice cream from the candy shop, a magi quest birthday package, and more...
We splurged for the cave room inside a room suite and he was so super excited! Haliee was a trooper oohhhing and awwweeeing up her digs for his sake :)

The room was super cute although you don't spend any time there :)
Inside the lobby everything is interactive. They have a story time by the fire which reminds me of the splash mountain ride through the brier patch at Disneyland. All of the animations come to life and the kids loved it (even my kids to pretended to be uninterested and too old through dinner and finally gave up the act to run over and see what it was all about)!

The fireplace was HUGE like 3 levels high, I tried to snap better pictures of it unoccupied several times, but someone was always there.

The water park was actually quite fun! I thought I brought my camera along once to snap pics, but apparently not, I was having too much fun playing with my family. Here is the only pic I have looking from inside the lobby into the water park :( SAD! They have 4 slides and 2 family rides which were pretty fun. It wasn't crowded at all and we were able to re-ride as quickly as we could climb back up the stairs. Our kids were on the older end of the activities but we all still had a blast. Everything is a competition for our family so we had a basketball (pig) competition as well as a leap frog competition. They have this little jungle gym activity of 6 or 7 lily pads with a rope across the top so you are able to stabilize yourself and hop across them. We competed on several levels as to who could cross without falling {fastest, standing no rope, lying on your tummy, no hands} you name it, we competed. SUPER FUN! I was the best....according to Drew he was...nevetheless we were quite entertaining for onlookers lol!
They had this little teen club complete with a cover charge area called "GR8 Space". It was totally cute for teens only with wii's, a dance floor with black lights and disco balls, couches, lounges...Haliee thought she was "too cool" for it, although I am sure she would've loved it with a friend. We kept teasing her to try & see if she would go in.
The arcade was pretty standard and of course a hit (although Drew barely went in as he was all counsumed with MagiQuest I'll explain below) It was all too convenient to slide your wristband & receive $5 worth of tokens...DANGER! Haliee beat me at Skee-ball (BRAT!) This is my favorite and I usually dominate! It was also full of blacklights and they had tons of fun.
Ok now on to MagiQuest....which is a post in itself...GEEZO! found this on the website when we booked our reservations. It looks like an interactive game where you do through a room with a tour guide of sorts finding clues, etc. They had a birthday package where you could play, choose a wand, etc. so we surprised Drew with it thinking he would go though this hour room and have a great time. Now, there are several of these places around the US this one just happening to be inside the hotel.

Drew was elated to say the least. We took his voucher into the Storefront and it was good for 1 round of the game which actually is good for 3 days at this location, a wand of your choice, and a wand topper of your choice. They had outfits (thankfully Drew was too old to want one), a variety of trinkets, wands, toppers, belts, etc. He could choose from any topper and any wand (there were more than a dozen toppers to choose from) except these 2 specific ones which were about $15 additional....wanna guess which ones he liked the best...YEP! Along with this $15 felt belt to hold your wand and we were ready to play! :) Now the game itself was quite elaborate. You could choose to be as involved as you would like. When they sign up and choose a name and their booty though, they are given a brief guide and told if they complete all 12 missions they can return for 3 additional special missions and upon completion of those can receive a special award certificate and button. Which was all Drew needed to hear...Well this entire hotel is 1 huge game. It is not a room like others...So through the hotel you go, there are 5 floors and after about a zillion trips up and down the stairs and elevators, we were not so impressed with the Magi...LOL! Drew was insistant upon completing his "Mission" So we played day and night in between eating, water park, arcade, candy shoppe visits, we were on the Mission of the stinking Magi! We played as a family and took turns putting up with Drew's relentless conquest...The clues were vague at best and it was way too involved not to have adult assistance. Alas, we completed his mission staying hours after checkout and breaking it up with some waterpark action!

All in all this place was a blast, they make it so user friendly and it was fun for the whole family. Our kids keep asking to go back even though I think it would be ideal for ages 6 - 9. The restaurants were super yummy and quite reasonable which was a pleasant surprise for Mommy & Daddy! :) Happy Birthday Drewy! I can't believe you are already 10, I hope we made all your little 10 year old birthday dreams come true my little prince!