We have returned! We have been vacationing at the Graybill Getaway from Sunday July 11 and returned home today, July 22! Chris returned last Friday (he was there Sunday through Friday), and the kids and I stayed with Grandma and Grandpa returning today. What a fun but challenging vacation!
Our vacation began on a Sunday after I had worked. I wanted to take a little nap before the 6 hour drive. Well, I guess I did if you count a 1/2 hour as a little nap. Then, off we were to the lake! We got lucky and after eating lunch in the car, the kids slept most of the remaining 6 hours of the drive.
Our time at the lake with Chris along was wonderful. Except for little showers that we all swam through, the weather was wonderful. We swam, boated, road the jet ski, water skied, canoed, fed the ducks, went shopping at the outlet mall, and even got time for a little date in there. Here were the family favs from the first few days with Daddy:
Alivia: Went down Grandma and Grandpa's slide this year! She went down it the first day totally shocking Chris and I. She swam well, with her life jacket. I think we will insist on that for many years since it is 20+ feet deep and murky water. Alivia liked the jet ski rides, canoe rides, boat rides, eating out with Grandma and Grandpa on the boat at Paradise, and sleeping in the bunk beds best.
Addison: She liked celebrating turning 4 (on the first day at the lake. We took them to a beach for her special day and it was closed!), playing in the baby pool with Asher on the dock, learning to float with her life jacket (this is huge progress from a girl who would not get in last year), and riding the jet ski with Daddy.
Asher: Asher liked doing it all...jet ski, riding in the boat while we skied, canoe rides, feeding the ducks, etc. He was up for anything.
Daddy: Water skiing on one and two, jet ski, date night, canoe rides alone for a peaceful workout, swimming with his flipper flappers on!
Mommy: My morning run, Date night, swimming (I love swimming!), going down the slide with shorts on (without shorts it gave me slide burns!), boat rides, water skiing, canoe rides with the ENTIRE FAMILY OF 5!, and jet ski rides with the kids. I liked Chris being there too!
Chris left us Friday at noon to Addi and I in tears. I thought it was no big deal to stay a few extra days without Daddy until he went to leave. DADDY>>>>STAY! Oh, how awful to see Addi cry.
We did have fun. I took the kids to Franky and Louie's to play at the beach. They liked it so much that I had to talk them into getting out when a rain shower came through. We liked it so much that we took Grandma and Grandpa back with us! We also went shopping with lunch at McD's where the kids played at their play space. They acted as if we had them caged up or something when we arrived there. I think that is the only meal that the kids mostly ate. Other than that, they ate no food, just "snacks!" It was rather annoying.
Alivia: Getting new earrings (she can put them in anytime now that 6 weeks have past), getting a new turtle and keychain, and going to Grandma's Candy in Osage Beach. Alivia still liked swimming off the dock, going down the slide, playing at the beach, riding in Grandpa's chair tube behind the boat with Mommy and then with Grandma, and eating cinnamon toast and strawberries with cinnamon.
Addison: Playing in the baby pool and she loved the beach! Addison excels in beach situations. She has sand under her feet and a gradual entry into the water...and she is quite happy. Addison also liked sleeping on the bunk beds with Alivia and drinking Grandma's chocolate milk.
Asher: He was still up for anything. He liked the jet ski, riding in the boat, jet ski rides with Boppa and going fast, he perfected going #2 in the potty (all 3 of our kids were #2 trained at the Lake. There is something about the lake that does it for them. NO MORE DIAPERS FOR THE AUSTINS!), and the beach. Asher was a pretty much up for anything to do with the lake - he was a great sport. He is now ready for lessons with little fear of the water - he is able to kick and move his arms and float with his life jacket. That is way ahead of Addi because she is so afraid.
Mommy: Swimming, my morning run , water skiing with Asher and Grandpa on board, Jet skiing and topping it off at 60-65mph one morning when I was the only crazy one on the lake, and going to the beach because all the kids have fun there. I did not like taking the kids to Mass and am pretty sure I will not be doing that anytime soon. Let's just say I am well known from Asher saying, "MOMMY! I PEED!" right after the Father completed a 45 minute Homily that I could not follow. I also missed Daddy on our extended vacation. My parents were wonderful help, don't get me wrong, but I am nobody without my other half.
We had an extraordinary time at the Graybill Getaway and can not wait to do it again. We have plans for next year at the time we normally go, so we are hoping we will be able to make the trip sometime next summer. Until then...we have many memories and many photos... LAKE OF THE OZARKS VACATION 2010.