Saturday, October 23, 2010


Not only did the kids have theThursday and Friday of MEA off of school, but they also had Wednesday off this year as well. We took this extended opportunity to head into the cities, stay with Grandma and Grandpa, and have a little "vacation" in the cities.

First stop was The Dead Sea Scrolls with the big boys only. It was much more than I thought it would be. Artifacts dating back more than 2000 years ago, history, Biblical words, all combined into quite an impressive display. It was amazing how these scrolls were preserved for so many years, and how they remained hidden until now. Many of the scrolls contained the inspired word of God, written upon them, same today as yesterday, and as will be in the future. Quite amazing and overwhelming to think about. Such truth and power, both spiritually and physically preserved for all of time.

On Thursday, Jonny spent the day at an Improv Camp at The Guthrie Theater. this was a birthday present to him from Grandma and Grandpa. He experienced a day packed with theatrical tips and comedic fun. Grandpa even got to watch a short presentation they put on at the end of the day. Jonny had a blast. This theatrical stuff is really his niche. He was treated to dinner with his Grandparents at Applebees to complete his marvelous, special day!

While Jonny was busy with the theater, Grandma and I took the kids to Mall of America for some adventure and fun. We began our trip with lunch at the Rainforest Cafe. Just walking around the gift shop and looking at all the larger than life aquariums was fun in and of itself. While we dined, we enjoyed the waterfall behind us, and the occasional thunderstorm that rumbled through. Bethany was just a bit confused and alarmed about such an event occurring indoors. Yeesh, just when she thinks she is understanding her world, we go and confuse the heck out of her. Poor girl. No wonder she is so crabby.

After lunch (and a stop at the special Build-a-Bear section with animals unique to the Rainforest), we toured Underwater World. A giant indoor aquarium, full of neat fish to see. But for $75, and less than an hour's worth of sights? Good gravy, that is one expensive trip. And that $75 was after the free coupons the kids got for the Read -a-thon at school. Ugh. That is the precise reason we have only been there twice. Once when the boys were little, and now with these guys. The seahorses and jellyfish were pretty cool though, I must say. Jelly fish have no brains, and no blood supply. With only a nervous system, I just don't get how they do what they do. I will need to make that a home school research project, I think.
We spent Friday at the Children's Museum with Grandma and the Smiths. Oh my goodness, the kids always have so much fun here. The girls and I had gone there last week after a specialist appointment in the cities, and had had such a good time, especially in Spooky Hollow, that we were excited to go back again. This is easily a place we could spend all day at, and still not be ready to go home, nor have seen all there is to see. I just love how their creativity is inspired here, and how every one of my kids (except for the two teens) just loves it.
That evening, I took the kids to the Shoreview Community Center....a place I promised them we would return to someday after they looked on the pool area in awe during a wedding reception we had attended in August. We left Bethany with Grandma, which ended up being a good decision, as there was not much to do for a little one. The indoor play structure was a blast for the kids. That thing was two stories high, with so many wide tubes and things to crawl through. Impossible to keep track of any of them, but they were having so much fun, none of them would have ever tried to escape. The pool was also of mega proportion, and the water slide was at least two stories high, perhaps even more. Melissa and Crispy spent a full two hours just going up and down that thing. What a good workout hidden in all that fun they were having! The slide was lit in the inside with color changing lights, and music they got to pick for their ride down. Very fun! Laura and Tubby were not quite as thrilled about the pool. There was only a small zero depth area for non-swimmers, which would have been fun if it were not for the 20 sprinkler sprays coming at all directions. It was impossible to be a short little dude and not to get sprayed in the face. When the crowds died down, we were able to move to the stairs in the big pool where I could help the kids float, and where they took turns swimming out the the floatable climbing animals. By 9pm, we were certainly ready for "home" and pizza with Grandma and Grandpa before heading off to bed.
We spent Saturday at the Science Museum. On a Saturday, this was pure insanity. We had meant to visit it yesterday, but had become so caught up in all the fun at the Children's Museum. We waited forever in line just to get in, then rushed off to see the IMAX movie, Arabia. It was interesting, but sure seemed more like a visitor's brochure commercial than what could have been made for educational purposes. After an expensive lunch in the cafe, the kids played for quite a while on the musical steps and the Geometry Playground, a new exhibit. Fun with shapes, climbing through, over, and manipulating them. As always, our visit would not be complete without the optical illusion show. We have seen this a million times, but it never gets old for the kids. Once again, Bethany was confused by all she experienced. Poor girl...I am messing with her delicate neuronal connections so badly this weekend!
We left for home exhausted but happy for all of our adventures during our vacation. Thank you, Grandma and Grandpa for such a good time!

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