For our little family reunion this year, we wanted someplace where we could all meet together, and somewhere people of all ages could enjoy. After much planning and communication about it, Karen found this awesome lodge not too far from where they live in Maryland. It's located in Williamsburg, Virginia and it's called the Great Wolf Lodge. There are a few other locations around the country too.
This was the one time we could all get together before people start going their separate ways again. Stuart and Brooke are taking their second Foreign Service post in Singapore and Erin is turning in her mission papers soon. The timing was great because Katie is a teacher in China and her school year just ended. Colin also had to take two consecutive weeks off from work sometime this year, so we took it when his family could all meet together.
Erin attends school at BYU-Hawaii and her school year was done in April. Stuart and Brooke flew in to the DC area in June, took a trip to Europe, and Brooke had some training to do for work before moving out to Singapore. Katie and the rest of us flew in to Baltimore on June 30th. July 6th we all drove down to Williamsburg to meet at the Great Wolf Lodge.
We rented three rooms. Ours was the Wolf Den Suite, the boys were pretty amazed when they discovered the wolf den bunk bed set up. I think they were really excited that they'd each have their own bunk but to be honest, they both slept in the top bunk two out of the three nights we were there. There was also a TV in their "room" too so they were able to watch cartoons!
Our room was on the first floor which was great because all of the indoor attractions were located there. The resort was amazing. There was so much for everyone to do. There was an arcade, a teen club, a kiddie club, a workout room, a sweet shop, a restaurant, two gift shops, a meeting area, the water park, and a game called MagiQuest upstairs. It was like a wizard game where you bought a wand, had it activated, and did some scavenger hunting around the top level of the hotel. We didn't do the MagiQuest because it was quite pricey and looked like it was more suited for the older kids.
This is the large meeting area and front entrance of the hotel for check-in.
Each night at 8:00 this area comes to life and a story is played out.
Violet the Wolf came out and told the kids a story.
There was a large crowd of kids and adults there to enjoy story time. My boys were really in to it!
Ocean, Ryan, and Evan posing with Violet.
Each morning we had breakfast in the hotel restaurant. It was an awesome buffet! Here is the group minus the one behind the lens. Ryan, Colin, Bruce, Karen, Katie, Maple, Stuart, Ocean, Brooke and Erin.
I went with a few friends on a mommy-field trip to the Spode Dish factory in Malaysia. We had the best time and it was an experience I won't soon forget. We met at Becky's in the morning and got our three car caravan ready to go. We said a prayer, did a cheer and were off at about 9 am. We crossed the border without any issues (except for toll top-up cards) and hit the road. In about an hour we arrived at this little side-of-the-road pottery market. It was typical of a third-world place. True Outlet shopping. There was a nice aluminum roof and some big fans to keep us cool. The plates were very dusty from being outside so long but there were so many lovely treasures. We all had a good time just wandering around searching for new dishes.
I was looking for a set of every-day dishes and anything else was a bonus in my mind. Spode is a European brand that outsources production to Malaysia. Their retail cost is pretty high but we got some amazing deals. After we had be…
The Elementary School at SAS celebrated Festival of Stories this week. They had several days and activities devoted to stories, writing, and illustrating. Evan was looking forward to dressing up for the culmination day: Character Dress Up Day. He decided he wanted to be a YOP from Dr. Seuss's One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. He chose the character and assembled the outfit entirely on his own (So Evan) and he was ready at least a week ahead of time. He asked me every single day (even weekends) how many days there were until Character dress-up day. He loved meeting the Author and Artist in Residence (as did Ryan: they had a different author and illustrator visit the older kids) and they even got a signed copy of Todd Parr's book!