Blogging and Praying that I never forget these days . . . .

Birthday Build a Bear

June 24, 2011
Tonight Max got an early birthday treat from Unk EEE and Miss Cheri.  He had asked for a Build a Bear for his birthday, so they took him to build one.  They first went on a dinner date on one of Max's favorite restaurants . . . McDonald's and then they went on to build.  Mary Kate even got in on the action and tagged along.  Max made a really cool camo bear with Cars 2 pjs and a tent to sleep in.  Mary Kate must have given her best puppy dog face because she came home with a bear too.  She picked out a bear and then I am guessing Unk EEE helped design the clothing.  The EEE Bear has on a Blue and White cheer uniform.  After building they all went to Sweet Cici's for dessert.  Both of the kids were wired when we got home.  They could not wait to tell us all about it.  Mary Kate kept kissing all over her bear and Max talked us through the whole experience.  What a great gift and lots of special memories.  Thanks Unk EEE and Miss Cheri!!

Big Boy Bike

June 21, 2011
Tonight Max received his birthday present from Bebe and Big Daddy (Jessica's parents).  He was so excited and surprised that he just repeated himself all night, "Thank you Bebe and Big Daddy, Thank You."  He has been riding without training wheels since he was three, but he was on a tiny 12" bike.  He has since outgrown that one and needed a new one.  He told his grandparents that he wanted a new bike for a big boy.  Now he has an 18" bike and he looks like a BIG boy on it.  He rides it great and has no balance problems.  He has learned how to slow down and lean to get off of it.  He is still learning how to climb up on it. Hopefully we won't have any major wrecks!   Yay!  Let the 5th Birthday Festivities begin!!

Five Years Old

Kings Island Day Three

June 15, 2011
Our third and final day at the park again started off as the park opened.  It is neat to be there at that point because I never knew they sang the National Anthem before anyone is allowed into park.  It is just like going to a ballgame.  All the characters are also there together and available for pictures.  We got pictures with Snoopy and Linus. 

Since the rest of our group slept in a little bit, we took off with the little ones.  Max and Tristan were pumped to be in the kiddie park as it opened.  We even had to wait on a few rides to get going.  There were no lines so they let me stay on and keep switching off with the boys.  It was great!
Tristan, Jay, and Max

Jess and Max
By mid morning the overcast day had turned into a rainy day and numerous of the big rides were closed.  We attempted to stay dry by watching the Charlie Brown Pirate Show.  Trace volunteered to come on stage and help mop the deck.  He was too cute!

The rain is coming down!
After the show we headed over to a store and stocked up on ponchos for everyone.  Grandma was freezing and she opted for a sweatshirt and umbrella.  As the rain continued to fall more and more of our group bought sweatshirts. 
Our Wednesday deal of the day was cheap tickets again.  The Skycoaster at the back of the park was offering $5 tickets early in morning.  This was a savings of $20  a ticket again.  We were all excited and everyone tall enough rode again.  Kayla was hilarious as she was so nervous!
Jessica, Tristan, and Max
Gotta love the rain!  Max and Tristan's height required for adults to ride some of the rides with them.  So Jay and I took turns getting drenched in the rain.  The ponchos were not alot of help once the wind on the ride blew your hat off and the bottom of the poncho up off your legs.  Oh well, the kids thought it was great!
Our drowned little rats

Unk EEE even found a sweatshirt to keep mKate warm

Tristan and Max during a brief rain break

Last ride of the week!
Even with the rain, we all had a blast at Kings Island.  The rides were just as awesome as they always have been and I love seeing the kids have such a good time. 

Kings Island Day Two

June 14, 2011
Tuesday was our second day in the park.  We woke up worn out from the late night of fireworks the day before, but we kept on moving.  We started with a great breakfast and were off to the park for the opening again.
Mary Kate quickly found her carousel and picked out a horse.  Today she wanted one with jewels and pretties, (Abby, is that a word?) and if she wants it, yes, the spoiled baby of the family gets it.  We rode one with lots of bling while she leaned over to touch the other horse's decorations. 
Tristan, Max, and Jay
Pawpaw and his log of kids
Cheri and I rode the log ride on Monday, so today was Jay and Pawpaw's turn.  I think they got just as wet as we did the day before.  The kids loved the water, but it just isn't as much fun all grown up and wet for the day!
Ashton wanted to ride with Mary Kate, so they all headed over to the Lady Bugs.  She loved it as it spun around on each end.  Ashton was so sweet trying to hold on to her, but Miss Independent wasn't having it and kept pushing his arms aways.  Once he gave up they were both able to enjoy the ride.  Poor Jacob and Trace had to sit this one out because they were too tall!

Ashton, Jay, Jacob, and Cheri

Trace and Jess
We loved riding The Beast, but I don't think it gets any smoother with my age.  This roller coaster rattled every part of being.  Trace and I tried to stuff our elbows in the side of the seat to keep us wedged in, but we still jiggled all around.
Tristan, Grandma, Max, and Mary Kate
Nap time!!  When we all got off The Beast we found Grandma in the above position.  All of our smallest travelers had crashed.  They took a power nap in the shade while we stood in line and rode.  Of course it was precious only for a minute as all the big kids rushed into the scene.
Dinosaur Park
Kings Island has added a new attraction of dinosaurs.  All the kids loved this park, but it was right up Tristan and Max's alley.  It was set up like a zoo with out fences.  Each exhibit had a board with information about the dino and a motion detector.  The sensor would go off and the dino would move and make noises.  Way Cool!  I loved seeing them all in "the wild!"
Watch Out!!

At the end of the exhibits of dinosaurs, there was an area where they were excavating a new fossil.  Wink, wink!  All the kids grabbed shovels, picks, rakes, and brushes to help find the bones.  Neat-O!  I think Max and Tristan would have stayed to dig all day if we didn't insist on moving on again.  Those two were in heaven!
Deal of the Day:  As we entered the park on Tuesday, we walked around the side we ended on the night before.  Here you can find the attractions that cost extra on top of the daily ticket.  Well, we found out that first thing in the morning they offer irresistible discounts.  This bungee sphere was $25 dollars in the afternoon, but at the moment we found it the tickets were . . . drum roll . . . . $5, and you could use the ticket anytime that day.  So of course, we got tickets for everyone that was tall enough and wanted to ride.  We came back at the end of the day and launched ourselves way up in the air!  FUN!!

Kings Island Day One

June 13, 2011
On Monday we spent our first of many days at Kings Island Amusement Park in Ohio.  We were "Kelley Party of 13" and yes the adults were out numbered by one.  7 kids ranging from 11yrs to 16mo old and 6 adults to keep up with them.  It was a blast chasing them all over the park.  We took turns riding little kid rides, everybody rides, and big kid rides.  I think the kids handled the waiting and turn taking better then the adults at some points during the week.  They were a well behaved group for as fast as we kept them moving. 

Can you handle this crew?
 Every morning we boarded the resort shuttle bus to head over to the park.  This is a picture of the crew waiting for the bus.  They were so excited they were giddy.  (Even mKate, and she had no idea what was in store!)
Mary Kate says "Whheeee"
Mary Kate loved riding the carousel.  She was lean back like the horse was really taking off and squeal as it went around.  As the week progressed, she learned where it was and would point and pull you toward the carousel if we approached it.  She also enjoyed riding the little cars with Kayla.  It was a hoot to watch her face as she thought she was really driving.
My Max
Max was literally a really big boy this week.  Kings Island has a banding program where the kids are measured and armband with appropriate colors and heights.  He only measured 42" when we first entered the park and was issued a pink armband.  We knew this wasn't  going to fly because he needed to be able to ride what Tristan (his taller cousin)  was going to ride.  So we turned the corner and tried his Unk P's trick from Opryland back in the day.  Josh (Unk P) was always shorter than Jon and I so he had a growth plan overtime he thought he would be measured.  He carried washcloths with him and would stuff them in his heels and instantly grow a few inches.  We pulled the trick with a stack of napkins.  We ripped off the armband and had Max remeasured at the next station.  After his heel implants and a few lessons on standing tall . . . walaahh....Max got a green 44" armband and was set to go!
mKate and Cheri

Loving the train ride
Grandma and I took turns taking Mary Kate on the kiddie train.  She enjoyed waving to Pawpaw as we would pass by him at the fence.  She was such a joy to have with us.  I think she only rode 3 or 4 things all week, but she was just as happy to be in the stroller giggling at all her cousins.  What a blessing she is to our lives!
Jacob and Trace waiting in line

Ashton and Pawpaw riding the "yellow roller coster"
The "yellow coaster" was in the kiddie park and everyone could ride.  I think we rode it the most over the course of our days.  It was lots of fun as it dangled your feet like the old "Hangman" that many of us are accustomed to riding.  Max loved as it flipped and swirled through the air.
Kayla and Jacob
As the kids began to wear down during the day they all took turns in the stroller.  Many times we had to chase them out of it so that Mary Kate could sit down.  At other times we just pushed it with 4 or 5 kids stacked in!
Pawpaw is "resting those toes"
This picture is classic! She loves for her Pawpaw to take off her shoes and rub her feet.  He calls is "rest them toes, rest them toes" and all the kids just laugh as he does it.  Mary Kate is just now learning how to enjoy it.  She will walk up to him and point at her feet.  Instantly he will snatch her up and "rest them toes".  Too cute!  Wish I could of rested my toes by the end of the days at the park.  Woo Wee!

Jimmy's Wedding

June 11, 2011
Saturday night
After a day sightseeing we got all dressed up for the wedding.  I love to see us all in dressy attire.  The Kelley Kids are all a good looking group of young'uns.  The wedding was at a local church and then the reception was at the country club.  We had wonderful food and then the kids took over the dance floor.  A group of probably fifteen or more danced, flipped, spun, and slid the night away.  I had two very tired little ones by the time we left.  Thanks for a beautiful wedding, Jimmy!
mKate led around an entire line of kids that thought it was fun to follow her all night

Kayla and Pawpaw

They danced and giggled all night

Middlesboro, KY Tourists

June 11, 2011
Jay's family is from Middlesboro, KY and recently we traveled there for a cousin's wedding.  While we were in town we took advantage of some spare time.  Jay's parents took the grandkids (and us) to see the sights.  We hiked up to the Pinnacle that overlooks the town.  We also went over to an area with a spring and let the kids all play in the water and on the rocks.  They loved the freedom, but were quickly chilled by the cold water.  Nearby is also an train tunnel through the mountains.  It is amazing how only a few yards into the tunnel and the world turns pitch black.  It was fun to take the kids to all the neat places and let them discover it.  They were amazed that Grandma and Pawpaw used to live and play here.
The Pinnacle Overlook

Mary Kate and her Pawpaw

Jess and Max

Jay and Mary Kate

Gotta climb on everything

Sweet Siblings

At the Iron Furnace climbing up the spring

The water was COLD

The train tunnel under the mountain

What a crew!

Go Flames