Family vacation week! A look at the joy & chaos of our week

Every week I like to take a moment to showcase the moments that brought me the most joy, but also keep it real with the chaos. The key is seeing that despite the chaos, there is still so much good! Sometimes it's awesome activities and other times it's a sweet moment between the kids. There are always moments that can fill us with joy if we choose to see them with a thankful heart.

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Phew! We are back home after ten days visiting family and it feels so good to sleep in my own bed again. I don't know if I can find enough words to say how great it is to see our kids growing their relationships with their grandparents. We laughed, we played, we exhausted ourselves - pretty much what every vacation with kids should be!

We started the week at Micah's parents. I actually missed the first two days because I had a MOPS retreat to prepare for the upcoming year (of course they landed at the same time!) but I took a bus and met up with everyone on Sunday for lunch followed by some time at the park before Micah's sister and son had to head back home. 

We even managed to get a picture of all eight grandkids together with Grammy and Papa. It's not easy getting eight kids to sit even remotely still for a photo, so this is pretty good! 

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And because this girl is not to be outdone by anyone, she simply had to lose another tooth before kindergarten starts in a few weeks. This time Jamison pulled it out for her!

missing tooth, second lost tooth

We mostly laid low while at the house but we did manage to take a trip to the pool with the closeby cousins. And because it's a small town? We walked to the pool along the bean and corn fields. 

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I didn't take any pictures at the pool but we lasted nearly three hours. Parker and Jamison even went off the diving board into the 12ft pool! No worries though, they were wearing their life jackets! 

Mercedes loved getting time with her only girl cousin. Out of eight cousins there are only two girls! These two are like sisters - both the way they get along and fight! But they always finish visits as the best of friends. I wish we didn't live so far apart!

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On Wednesday we headed to my parents house for the remainder of the week but the real fun didn't start until Thursday. 

We started with a trip to IKEA. Micah and I were hoping to get new nightstands for our room because we are still using the hand-me-down, mismatched pieces from college. We figured our mid thirties are a good time to start finding matching furniture. Unfortunately they were sold out of the nightstands we wanted so we are waiting until our next visit. 

And we can't leave IKEA without lunch! We all ate for a whopping $12. 

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Next up was the Mall of America - one of our favorite places to visit while in Minneapolis. We decided not to do any rides this time so we could save the money for a future visit. We loved visiting the LEGO store though! A few of the boys posed with the Voltron statue for the new Voltron LEGO set that was just released. It's pretty high on Micah's wish list this year. 

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We didn't end up buying anything but we all added several sets to our Christmas wish lists for the year! And I think the kids enjoyed themselves ;)

fit three car seats across in minivan

Thankfully the car naps got them all rested up enough for a rousing game of baseball after dinner. We aren't a sports family but we can still pretend! Plastic bats and balls, frisbees for bases, and so much laughter made even the pouty faces enjoyable. 

family baseball game

Friday we visited the Science Museum of Minnesota with my parents. If you live within driving distance I highly recommend it! This is our first trip back in three years but I know we'd visit more if we lived closer. I took so many pictures but I'll only share a few ;)

Mr. T-Rex is the door greeter - so welcoming! 

minnesota science museum trex dinosaur

The kids had fun trying on the different glasses for babies vision. They had a few different ages, improving as they got older. 

minnesota science museum body works senses

By far our kids enjoyed the LEGO exhibit the most out of all four floors. This room was filled with millions of LEGO - most in use by the incredibly detailed replicas of buildings around the world. Each display table was filled with bricks for people to build their own creations and the kids couldn't get enough! 

minnesota science museum LEGO exhibit
minnesota science museum LEGO exhibit
minnesota science museum LEGO exhibit
minnesota science museum LEGO exhibit
minnesota science museum LEGO exhibit
minnesota science museum LEGO exhibit

And I couldn't very well skip getting a picture of our resident dino expert with the dinosaur of his choice - the triceratop! 

minnesota science museum triceratop

And these goofballs kept pretending to slip on the ice on this play set. I mean, look at their faces!

minnesota science museum ice age

Friday night called for a bonfire with s'mores. Have you ever made them with Fudge Stripe cookies instead of graham crackers and chocolate? So delicious! And the chocolate is already added :D

smores at the campfire

Saturday wasn't a particularly warm day. In fact, it rained most of the morning. That did not stop our kids from having THE MOST FUN EVER on this inflatable water slide. My dad borrowed it from his sister for the weekend and it was our last chance to use it before heading home. My mom and I kept adding hot tap water to keep the temperature up in the pool but the kids didn't care. They spent several hours splashing around before we finally called it a day. 

Micah and I ended the week with a date out for sushi - surprise, surprise! We tried a new place and were very impressed. The rolls were larger than our normal joint so we weren't able to try as many as we wanted to this time. We simply need to go back again the next time we are in town! And a side note, I really need to work on my selfie skills ;)

date night all you can eat sushi tokyo sushi brooklyn park

Phew! Thanks so much for sticking with me through all that - I know it was a lot! We are back home and into our normal routine so next week's post will probably be significantly shorter again. 

 

What was the highlight of your week? Where did you struggle?

Share in the comments about your own joy and chaos!