Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Sunday 2013

"Jesus said to her, 'I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.'"  - John 11:25-26

We woke up Easter Sunday morning to find that the Easter Bunny had made a stop at the Hearthstone! Stryker was super excited to find his basket full of goodies and a new gun (silly Easter Bunny!). 


I guess it's no surprise that Mr Easter Bunny hooked Stryker up... Look at the yummy goodies he left for him and the sweet note:

After breakfast, we headed to church. This is my handsome boy & me in our Easter best. I just love him to pieces! He's the light of my life and apple of my eye for sure!


Of course I had to take a couple shots of Stryker posing for me. He is a total ham for the camera! He cracks me up! How special he is to Daddy & I! 

After church services we headed to Granny's house to have Easter dinner with her, Mom & Mark. It was a very nice afternoon and there was one little guy that was worn out from all of our Easter activities, gun and all:

Glory be to God for sending his Son to die on the Cross and be Resurrected for us! Alleluia!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday 2013

"God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son."  - John 3:16

We celebrated Good Friday this year with the family and an Easter Egg Hunt! Nana & Poppa picked Stryker up from school while I finished half a work day. While they waited on Dan & I, the kids dyed Easter eggs with Nana, Poppa, Granny & Aunt Lorie. Looks like there was lots of fun to be had and I'm sad that we missed this part.

Cousin Easter Fun!

Such handsome boys!

Looks Like Maddie got the hang of quickly!

Dan & I headed over to Granny's afterward to help the kids hunt eggs. Before there was an Easter Egg Hunt, we went to Fro Yo for a mid-afternoon treat! Us Gehlken's don't like to say no to Fro Yo! Back at Granny's, Lorie & I headed out back to hide the eggs for anxious children.

The boys were so excited to hunt eggs! Luckily, Nana & Aunt Lorie bought camouflage eggs so some were even harder to find, making the hunt more suspenseful!

And this little Princess, she looked pretty with her Easter basket and told the boys where to look :)
Next year she'll be chasing these guys around stealing all their eggs I'm sure!


Once the boys found all the egss, they insisted on Aunt Lorie & I finding them. Nana helped them rehide the eggs and it was our turn. Us gals did pretty good, but couldn't seem to locate ONE egg! It's still out there somewhere....
We played some yard games while we waited on pizza. We shared a yummy pizza dinner together and called it a night. What a Good Friday indeed!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Aiken Steeplechase 2013

This would've been the 4th year that we've been to the Aiken Spring Steeplechase. Unfortunately, Mother Nature held us back in more than one way this  year :(   And with Daddy being out of town, it wouldn't have been the same.

After a week, YES! A WEEK!, of being confined to our house, we needed to get away! Cabin fever to the MAX had set in! Stryker woke up with a considerable fever Monday AM, so no school for him, which meant no work for me. I had heard a small fever virus was going around & most of the class had caught it. I just assumed it was our turn to stay out for a few days. Monday's fever turned into Tuesday's fever and by Tuesday evening it was knocking on 105, which is too high for me. I loaded him up and went to Health First.

Poor baby! He was so pitiful I tell ya. Nothing rips at my heart strings more than my baby being sick. They got him right in started some tests. Flu Test: Negative;  Chest X-Ray: Clear;   Blood Work: WBC a little high, but not too bad ... HMMM. So it WAS just a virus, go figure. We were given antiboitcs & sent home. We started the meds and followed up with Tylenol & Motrin every 4-6 hours. He cuddled in my bed every night and slept pretty soundly (there was a couple night neither of us got any rest). Still that pesky fever stuck around Wednesday & Thursday, too! By Friday, it was back to his pediatrician in hopes of a solution. She couldn't find anything abnormal either, so it was a higher dose of antibiotics and we were sent on our way again. This time, however, it was to Nana & Poppa's house. We had both been out of school & work for 5 days and needed a break from the Hearthstone.

We arrived in Aiken early Friday afternoon. We waited on Nana & Poppa to finish with their work weeks and then we headed out to dinner. We had a yummy dinner at the Chinese restaurant. Stryker didn't eat too much, he still wasn't a 100%, but he had lots of fun throwing all of our change into the fountain and making wishes. Once we got back home, we decided to dye some Easter Eggs for their house. Nana was at Stryker's very first Easter Egg Dying back in 2009 and now 4 years later they got to do it again! What a special tradition!

The next day the weather was YUCK! Storms, rain & just gloomy all around. We headed to North Augusta for some bowling. If there's one thing Stryker is all about right now, it is bowling! Boy, did he have a blast (as well as us adults!)!

Yep! Chicks dig you dude!

Little man is really improving his bowling skills. That ball was like 6 or 7 lbs and he handled it like a champ! 

And while we waited our turn, we took silly pictures together! Love this boy with my whole heart!

After two hours of bowling fun, it was my turn to have some fun! Mom, Stryker & I went over to the Augusta Mall for some shopping. We should've thought better of this plan and had Poppa take Stryker back to the house with him.... I was in shopping mode while Mr Man was not! Thank the good Lord for Nana to keep him busy! He got to ride the train around the mall, she took him to Chick-Fil-A in the food court for lunch & they even played on the indoor playground. THANK YOU NANA!

We had a quiet evening Saturday night with some pizza, wings & a movie. On Sunday, Mom cooked us a very delicious home cooked dinner (lunch). Aunt Katie & Uncle Logan joined us.

Stryker is all into karate right now. While he hasn't started yet (this Momma can only handle one sport at a time!), he is excited to give it a try later this summer. Uncle Logan let him try on his karate garb for practice :) What a cutie!

We packed up in the early afternoon and headed home. We had a lot of fun this weekend even if we didn't get to see the horse races. There's always next year!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Earning their keep!

What better way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon then washing a car?

What's even better? When you have help!

Kendall (3), Stryker (4), Cecilia (7), Turner (8)

Stryker and his friends did an awesome job! And everyone had fun!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Easter Pictures 2013

I try to have our family pictures taken at least once a year. Unfortunately, these pictures have no Daddy since he was out of town for work. Stryker was quite the sport and was looking mighty handsome for his Easter pictures! We just love Kayce Smoak and all her excellent work! She's been photographing our family since Stryker's 1st birthday!
Warning: Picture overload!



Easter Pics Sneak Peak

From my camera phone....

We had our Easter pictures taken today by our family photographer, Kayce Smoak.  We went down to the old navy base where they shoot Army Wives. There are BEAUTIFUL homes and lawns that are perfect for spring pictures.

Stryker was (as always) hamming it up for the camera. He also took direction very well!

Stryker also got to hold, pet & pose with a REAL bunny rabbit. He was a little timid at first, but Skittles was a very relaxed pet (he comes from a family of kids and also visits classrooms). While my snap shots aren't the best, Ms Kayce got some great ones!


And just for fun... While changing from his church clothes to his picture clothes, he decided to bust a Risky Business move for me! That one we'll save for the girlfriend :)

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Family Road Trip

With Daddy only home for about 8 days this go 'round, we planned a special road trip for some family fun! Great Wolf Lodge in Concord Mills NC came highly recommended to us by my boss. We looked into it and decided this would be a perfect getaway for the end of February. Great Wolf is a resort that includes an 80,000 sq ft indoor water park (kept at a comfy 84 degrees!). They also offer all kinds of kid fun in the lodge.
We left Thursday mid morning and drove the 3 hours north. We stopped for lunch in Rock Hill at Panera Bread... YUM!

We arrived at Great Wolf around 2 ready for some water park fun. Especially since it was such a bleak day outdoors!

We checked in, checked out our suite and changed into our suits. We headed downstairs and hit the water! The pool, the family inter-tube slides, the two-person tube slides, the wave pool, the large kiddie play area... Over and over again... Up & down stairs.... in & out of pools... We had a blast! I was in on the fun too and unfortunately didn't get any pictures b/c I don't have a waterproof case (Note to self: Invest before summer!). Daddy got a really great video on his GoPro camera though. You can check it out here.

 After we worked up an appetite, we went back to the room to get ready for dinner. We went offsite into Concord Mills to find something good. We decided on a local place called Tavern at the Mills. They had a pub like menu with the most delicious nachos ever! I had a salad for dinner and it was enormous! After our bellies were full, we walked it off with a trip to Bass Pro Shops. WOW! This place is HUGE! Stryker loved looking at all the fun outdoor stuff, but most especially the boats, 4-wheelers and the fish tank!

Here are just a few of the fish they have in the tank there. Beautiful! And a VERY large catfish!

After wondering around the store for a bit, we headed back to Great Wolf so we could enjoy their nightly story time. First, we stopped into the  Dunkin Donuts shop for a couple hot lattes for Mommy & Daddy and a chocolate milk and donut for Stryker. We found a seat among the crowd in the lobby and awaited showtime.

The Great Clock Tower show was a cute little animated skit featuring a talking moose, an owl, squirrels, raccoon & tree. With the help of an animated Indian girl and a little guy, they told a story of being afraid--or something. I really can't remember. But it was cute nonetheless.

Afterwards, our little man waited patiently to have his picture taken with Wolf himself :)

Since it was still kind of early and we were on vacation, we hit up the bowling alley and the arcade for some fun! If there's one thing Stryker LOVES right now, it's bowling! Great Wolf had a kid-friendly bowling alley complete with smaller lanes and 5 lb balls. He was in PURE.HEAVEN.

We pretty much had to drag him away from the bowling, but once he heard 'arcade', he was all in again. Stryker & Daddy had so much fun playing games and winning tickets.

Daddy found the punching machine... Let's take a look at how this worked out....

Take 1

Take 2

Take 3

A couple hours and 530 tickets later, we emerged with a cute little wolf doll and a tired family! We headed up to our room and hit the hay.

The next morning we slept in and headed down to breakfast in the lodge restaurant. Their breakfast buffet was delish! After a good meal, we headed back up to change into our suits again and pack our clothes. You are able to 'check out' of your room, but still utilize the water park. We brought our change of clothes and used their shower room afterwards to get ready for our trip home.

Stryker got a few more hours of water park in before it was time to leave.

He just loved swimming in the regular pool! Can't wait for the summer and getting our little fish into some swimming lessons! And of course he found a friend right away too! They played some basketball together before it was time to go. 

Once we were all showered and put back together, it was time to say GoodBye to the Lodge. We can't wait to go back though! Hopefully this can be yearly trip! We'd love to introduce our family and friends to this great road trip place too!

Dan & I voted for a shopping trip before leaving Charlotte! We hit Concord Mills mall and were ready to shop til we dropped! After lunch of course :) We grab a bite and then hit the stores. Wouldn't you know it... Not one thing either of us found to buy for ourselves. Go figure. But, Stryker lucked up and Daddy bought him some Legos from the Lego store. That's a neat place! We browsed and then played!

Yes, that's a stroller... I just knew that once we started walking around that mall Stryker would get tired and whining would ensue. I paid for a stroller rental and he was off his feet the whole time. Win-Win! Off his feet until he saw this....

He just HAD to have a turn at flying once he saw this little contramption. Daddy paid the nice lady and she strapped him in. BOY, did he have a good time! We might have to invest in one of these for the backyard! :)

After a few hours in the mall & not buying anything, we decided it was time to hit the road back to Charleston. What a great road trip this was! Even though it was only a night, it was quality family time and great fun! I hope we can continue to make more memories like this often!