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  • Derek Carroll

Some time away...


It's been a while since I've sat down to write a journal. It hasn't been that I haven't had anything to write about, but I've been busy and haven't had the ability to take many pictures due to a failing phone.

However, now is the perfect time to write as we had a big experience and it warrants a journal. Just to fill in what has happened since my last journal we had the holidays (they were great and the kids had a blast), we went snowmobiling in Northern Wisconsin for a few days (it was very cold, but the trails were mostly good), and Beckett and I have been trying to make as many high school basketball games as we can. We even brought Kayla and Brynleigh to the last game we went to and both kids got mini basketballs from the cheerleaders. While we were able to get one snowmobile trip in, I'm not sure if the weather will allow another one with the warm temperatures we have been having.

But the main point of this journal is to highlight our trip to Florida to see my grandparents. There was quiet a build up to this trip as it would be the kids first time flying. Beckett had a countdown going and would remind us how many days until we went to the airport to fly on a plane. On the morning of our flight he came in and exclaimed "It's the day we go to the airport!"

We were all pumped to head to the sunshine of Florida:

The flight left at 5:00pm so most of the flight was during the night which meant there was not much to see out of the windows. The kids stayed busy with books, tablets, and some treats. However, both kids were ready to get off when we landed after being cooped up for nearly 3 hours. Bryn tooted "beep beep" to everyone as she was walking off the plane, meaning "get out of my way." We did receive a few compliments from those around us on how quiet the kids were, which meant a lot considering we felt a little overwhelmed during the whole process.

We didn't have to much stuff planned, but there were a few things we wanted to definitely see and do while there. The first was a local children's museum that had a Curious George exhibit. Both kids really like Curious George so we thought kids museum plus Curious George is a can't miss.

Brynleigh gave George about 7 hugs. One of the exhibits was about the four seasons, and if you've read my previous journals you know how much Beckett loves fall and picking up leaves:

The kids had a blast at the museum and I think we spent about 5 hours there in total.

The other activity we had planned was a day at the beach. We went to the beach on a Tuesday hoping to avoid the weekend busyness. However, the traffic was so congested due to road construction that it was still very hard to find a place near the shops and restaurants to park so we ended up in an area that was surrounded by homes and was actually much quieter and allowed the kids some more space to play and run around. So we lathered the kids up with sun block and set out to play! The weather was nearly perfect with temps in the low 80's and a good breeze. And plenty of sunshine! The beach was beautiful and the white sand was great to play in. The water was a little chilly, but didn't stop us from having a blast. Here is Bryn playing in the surf:

And Beckett was busy sorting out sea shells and digging in the sand:

The beach was great and really wore the kids out. It was a lot of fresh air and a lot of playing.

Here is a family shot:

With perfect weather, I had to get out and play some golf with my grandpa Larry. We also had a newbie in our group, here is my grandpa giving Beckett some tips:

That tip didn't work:

In Beckett's defense he wasn't expecting to play and had sandals on. When we got to the course the golf pro grabbed some kid's clubs for him and told him to have fun. Beckett has never been on a golf course and only ever swung some plastic clubs a few times.

He must have had a good time because the next day he rode along for 18 holes and his swing was looking much better, I think having shoes helped:

I now have a good reason to get out and play more this summer, and I think Grandpa Larry was excited to teach him more this summer.

We also wanted to spend a lot of time at the pool. Both kids have come a long way since last summer with their confidence in the water. Bryn now is comfortable jumping into someone (it's more of a fall forward):

And Beckett started doing cannon balls and spins! Here is one of his spins!

He also did some swimming without a life jacket (under close supervision). It's so cool to see how much they improve over time. He's not ready for the deep end yet, but he certainly is improving.

We also took a lot of golf cart rides around my grandparent's community. My grandpa loved driving the kids around the park and showing them off to his friends. Meanwhile Kayla and I would ride behind them on a pair of bikes (huffing and puffing). We also took a lot of walks with the kids just to maximize our time outdoors. Many times our walks ended up at the shuffleboard court:

Beckett may have struggled with golf, but this kid can play shuffleboard! When we found a caterpillar the game was quickly called and the caterpillar was relocated to a neighboring bush with the help of a water cup.

We had a fantastic trip and the kids were not ready to home. It was nice to get away with the kids and spend a week with them and not have to worry about the daily grinds at home. Fortunately for us, the weather since we returned has been very spring like and made coming home a little easier.

On Sunday was Beckett's birthday so he got to pick what we had for breakfast. Kayla made some delicious French Toast and she even put a few candles on for him to blow out.

We finally got around to building his sandbox for him. Beckett and I went to the Mt. Carroll Home Center and got the wood and some landscape fabric for the bottom. When we got home we charged my drill gun and got to building it. It is nothing special as far as sandboxes go, but it was fun to work with him and see how excited he was to build it. I suppose I should have taken a picture of the sandbox, but I'm sure there will be many pictures of it in future journals. Now time to get some sand! I'd love some from the beach we were at.

I hope you enjoyed reading about our vacation and Beckett's birthday. We are looking forward to Brynleigh's birthday in a little over a week when she will be turning two.

Stay safe and insure that I see you next time!


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Mt. Carroll, IL 61053

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