If there is one thing my family does well it's "ENJOYING THE SMALL THINGS IN LIFE!"
Ponca State Park is not per-se the most glamorous or extravagant of vacation destinations...but we don't care. It's Ponca. This is where we have been fortunate and blessed enough to have been able to go to each and every year for AS LONG as I can remember. We always have a great time...making lifelong memories of simply "BEING" together.
I appreciate the preparations/planning that me, my mom and sisters partake in the weeks leading up to Ponca. This usually consists of a thread containing 92 emails...We are all slightly anal like that...We usually lay out our meal plans for the week, coordinating group breakfasts and dinners and designate who brings what, etc...this year we did things a little different...rather than sharing each meal, we all "signed up" for an entire meal that would feed all five families. You would be in charge of all aspects of that meal including clean up. This was very smooth and highly successful, I enjoyed the meals every one brought, all were very scrumptious! I especially enjoyed being about to simply "show up" to the meals that were not my responsibility :-)
One of my favorite things about Ponca is morning time...just waking up and enjoying each others' company...that is of course when the toddlers are not screaming, fighting, crying, yelling or bouncing off the walls, as was the case most of the time...I mean come on, what else would you expect? So we did not get too much of the peaceful "enjoying of each others' company" as in years' past, but it was still nice and relaxing :-)
Once again, G-Ma & G-Pa just watch Macy as she gracefully arises from her slumber...she had to sleep on the floor as I, being the super mom that I am, had to forget something...and the PACK 'n' PLAY is what somehow did not make it into the car. oops...she was fine, and slept fairly well each night.
Grandma and Macy watch the sunrise...NICE HAIR! Not sure whose is worse here? :-)
The impatiently waiting for breakfast to be served.
Joe escapes the madness and sits out on the back porch to read the paper. smart smart man :)
GOOD MORNING SUNSHINES!
Awww...Ally giving her cousin Macy a big smooch on the head. Macy says "hey don't you mess up my hair lady!"
Everyone enjoying mom's yummy french toast casserole :-)
With it being Hallowfest weekend, their are tons of festivities for the kids to partake up at the lodge as well as around the park. Here Anna shows her mommy the cute ghost she made over at Arts & Crafts.
Oh and this is the Snake guy giving his annual snake demonstration. sweet huh!?! I have sat through his presentation four times, for some reason, it never gets old. I hate snakes, but find him somewhat interesting...in a strange and creepy kind of way.
We were shocked when Anna and McKenzie expressed an interest in going up towards the front to hold or pet the snakes. These are REAL LIVE snakes that they somehow managed to muster up the courage to actually TOUCH! euuwww...gross! no thanks.
Macy behind the wheel....EEEEK! She's is a hurry to get over to the Pumpkin Rolling contest...
okay, seriously, before you contact CPS, she was not really driving...the car is in park here. geeesh.
McKenzie writing her own name on her punkin'...what a big girl (it was a stick person)
let's get it started.
The referee guy explaining the rules to everyone.
Anna and McKenzie have their punkins and are READY TO GO!
Danielle was freaked out and super scared of one of the new scary attractions that was added to the pumpkin roll obstacle course.
McKenzie's turn! She just launched her pumpkin down the hill :-)
Watching it go...yippeee, it went through the tube thingamabob, that means she gets a prize!
Lisa, Brook and Ally wait their turn.
The ref guy lining up Brook and Dalton...
Ally's up! She was SOO excited. Check out her reaction here, you'd think she just won a million dollars! toooo cute! :-)
Way to go girl.
Anna just went and was quite impressed by her performance.
here she is on her daddy's shoulder's enjoying her winnings :)
My & Kenzie's shadows
I thought it would be fun to get at least one mom and daughter shot...but Kenzie did not agree.
She was more concerned about not spilling her skittles. oh well, we tried :-(
A big group gathered in our cabin to watch the much anticipated Nebraska vs. Texas football game. What a disappointing that was! :-( oh well...here is my cousin Andy, with his wife Brie and little cutie-pie Skyla.
Ponca also has a really awesome Haunted Hayrack Ride that we are always super excited to be a part of. My parents usually stay back and watch the little ones, while us adults and the big kids go. But this year, I decided I wanted to just stay back, as neither of my girls would be able to go on the haunted ride through the park. So my parents went...and my mom was apparently scared to death the entire time, and even cried. tehe. They really do have some SUPER SCARY and CREEPY parts.
I'm kind of bummed I didn't go, but there will always be next year...and besides it was really nice to have a quiet cabin all to ourselves without all those noisy adults for a couple hours. hehe McKenzie was in bed by 5:30 that night and did not wake up until 8am the next morning. Can you say pooped!
Here's Brook and Ally in their totally awesome skeleton jammies.
awwwww! so CUTE!!