Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Jerry Gutwein Christmas

This year the entire Jerry Gutwein family headed to Florida to spend our Christmas at Mark and Tricia's place rather then coming this way to Indiana like they usually do.  Our plans were to leave Friday around 2pm and drive as far as we could and arrive in Sarasota on Saturday.  Thursday night we packed up the van so it was ready for when Nick got off work on Friday.  However, while Nick was putting air in the tires, I told the boys that I bet if we pleaded with Dad that he would leave tonight yet:).  When Nick came in from the garage, Elijah got down on his hands and knees in front of Nick and pleaded and pleaded to leave tonight.  Then Caden and Liam did the same.  Before long, they were begging.  Nick hadn't said "no" yet so the boys kept pursing.  Within 30 minutes, I was on the phone to Tricia making sure if we left now it was ok to arrive on Friday in Florida??  With the OK from Tricia the boys were excited and ready to go.  We left our driveway Thursday night at 9:30pm!!!  Arrived in Sarasota, FL at 3:30pm!!  A whole day sooner!!  On saturday we hit up the beach because we weren't sure if we would have the chance to get back there.  Kids sure enjoyed it!

 Here is the "kids" table each night at Mark and Tricia's house.  Each night we took turns cooking.  I was Sunday night and had a Chinese themed meal of Chicken Chow Mein, Egg Rolls, and Chinese Lettuce Salad.
  My Parents, Jason and Joy, and Aj and Raquel stayed at Sun n Fun while we stayed at Mark and Tricia's the whole week.  However, we were at Sun n Fun basically everyday as they had activities for the kids and adults and a heated swimming pool for the kids which was MUCH NEEDED since we had sad weather the entire week:(.
 This picture is a bit deceiving....looks like I am playing well, but in reality if you were on my team you always lost:( .  Guess I need to put to use the ping pong table in our basement and practice up!!!
 The kids did a lot game playing in the mornings before heading over to Sun n Fun.
 Several mornings were cool.  In fact, every day except one day was overcast. Talk about wishing I had packed warmer clothes......BRRRRRR.....  We took the kids to a park rather than water this morning.  What a unique park with some neat older kids activities!!

 This little girl remained on my hip pretty much the entire time.....exhausting!!

 Our christmas was actually celebrated on January 1st.  Wow.....lots going on and very crazy and noisy.  Think maybe we need to get some structure to it:), but its so hard when the majority of the kids are 5 and younger!!
 We had one very nice day.  We were at Sun n Fun by 9:30am so we could get every ounce of the sun on our faces.  Even my kids mentioned "mom, the sun feels so good on my face" and at times I caught them laying in the sun:).

On Friday it was a whopping 53 degrees!!  Granted the sun was partially shinning(once every hour or so) but it was COLD!!  We drove to another park where it was more walking and less playing, but none the less the kids climbed tree's and made the most of the day.  Pretty cool Banyan Tree's at this park.

 Finding a few shells along the beach at this park.

 What????  Ellie wanted to walk alone without me holding her????  Had to document this for sure:)
Then after the park we decided to take the kids back to Sun n Fun for some more play time.  NO swimming allowed:).

 The kids played shuffle board and THIS is what my mom and I did while they played.  I was so cold, I couldn't hardly get warm.  Florida you say?????  Sure couldn't tell!!

 This was fun for the kids.  A bounce pillow.  They loved it and played a long while on it.  Finally us adults couldn't bare the cold anymore and said it was time to go.  (just for the record this day my sister Tricia didn't come to Sun n Fun because it was just to cold:))....
Our original plans were to leave on Sunday morning for home.  After hearing we were going to be getting a major snow storm on Sunday in Indiana we decided to make Friday night our last night and head out Saturday morning at 6am to beat the storm.
Our last night in Florida we went to Olive Garden for dinner.  Kind of a way to celebrate Joy's birthday which was January 3rd.  I have to laugh at this picture because me and my dad are wide mouth and working on our soup while Ellie is wide mouth with a smile and happy to eat her pasta!!
Although the weather wasn't ideal, we still had a very enjoyable time in Florida. On our way home nick mentioned that we shouldn't wait so long to return:).  I think we might see what 2015 Spring Break looks like and perhaps we will be returning!!  Thanks to Mark and Tricia for being such amazing hosts!!  We sure enjoyed our time with you and everyone else.