Weekend at Brook n Wood with Grandpa

Hayride with Grandpa

Grandpa came up this past weekend  to spend time with us. Lots of swimming, biking and campfires. Ava got her cast off and is doing a lot better walking. I don’t think any of us knew how long of a recovery was involved once her cast actually came off. Aunt Michelle and Juliana also came up and on Saturday we went to the Dutchess County Fair and had a great time on the rides. Sarah has come to really like the games at the fair and won several prizes. It was a fun weekend and the weather was beautiful.

Long Island Aquarium

This past week myself and the kids stayed out with my parents in Suffolk County for a few days as Linda was working and it’s a bit difficult caring for all of them solo now that Ava’s in a cast. We went out one morning to the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead and had the best time. The children were engaged for hours petting stingrays, watching sharks and learning about all different kinds of fish and the local ecosystem. We attended a sea lion show as well but the favorite for the kids was the Ray Pool. There’s no replacement, especially for children, for the sensation of actually touching something and even feeding it.

The aquarium is not only fish. There are penguins, alligators, otters and even monkeys to be seen. We had gone here last summer and I’m sure we’ll go here next summer as well, making it a yearly ritual.

When I was editing this video I became inspired by some of the music for the movie,  Jaws. The famous theme can be heard on this video as well as some of the music in the movie that set the stage for many of the town scenes. Enjoy the video and thanks for stopping by!

Lake George Trip

As you may have noticed in our recent post when we went to Sturbridge, MA there were things we (I) wanted to do in the area that were left on the table. I’m ok with that, being we’re traveling and vacationing with small children but just days before we set out on this trip we were thrown yet another curveball: Ava fractured her tibia playing with kids in the yard and after 6 hours in the ER it was determined she needed a full leg cast for a minimum of three weeks. We were in tears thinking of this poor child not yet four years old yet having to cope with the limitations set upon her in the middle of summer. What should we do, cancel the trip? How is she going to react when her siblings can swim and ride their bicycles and she’s confined to a wheelchair. Doctors orders were no weight bearing meaning we would have to do everything for this poor child. It was a difficult call.

13654409_10210384340193131_692566015519912417_nWell, we have two other children to think about. What about their summer? They started going nuts sitting around the house, Ava too. This accident has stressed each member of our family even if some are too young to express it. We decided that whatever limitations existed it was still better to go. A lot of work for Mom and Dad sure but this whole endeavor has been work. Raising small children is work. Camping is work. Life is work, but we love our family and we love giving our children these experiences.So here we go…

I said earlier that there were things left on the table but we still were able to do quite a bit. I was hoping to film at least three movies from this trip but the work we put in limited my ability to film as I was helping Ava, or the other two… or perhaps pushing a wheelchair. A few times Linda and I split up and I took Sarah and Ryan swimming but we had good family time as well. Lake George Escape is a great family campground. Every day of the week had activities and crafts that Ava could make. They had a great saltwater pool with a splash zone for the little ones as well. We also swam and tubed in the Schroon River. All the kids were able to enjoy the large playground and I brought our bicycle trailer so Ava could take rides with us. We could have spent a lot more time there.

We went into Lake George Village to visit  Fort William Henry for a ghost tour that probably would be better suited for older kids and returned the next day to visit a small amusement park, Dr. Morbid’s Haunted House and and ride the Minne-Ha-Ha Steamboat around the lower lake. Sarah and Ryan really loved the haunted house and were asking to go back the next day. Note: this is probably too scary for most children their age by my kids seem to have this fearlessness  about them. I call it vigor.

We visited Fort Ticonderoga at he top of the lake another morning and were able to see the way soldiers lived, performed and prepared for battle. We stuck around long enough to seem them fire the cannon and left afterwards as the heat of the afternoon was getting to the kids.

The weather was great for us. Great nights for campfires and warm days. We actually had a couple days that we didn’t get wet at all. A good thing for Ava as we definitely didn’t want her to feel excluded. Sure,there were things we would have liked to do but couldn’t. I didn’t film and capture as many memories as I would have liked, but Lake George – We will be back! Thanks for stopping by and please enjoy our “highlights” video.


Happy Birthday Ava!

Happy despite it all!

Happy Birthday to Ava who turned four years old on August 2nd. , and yes, that’s a full cast on her right leg! She broke her tibia playing with friends in the yard just three days before her Birthday BBQ. We scrambled to change the venue to a more friendly ceramics class and it worked out anyway as we had rain the day of her proposed party. Hopefully the cast is only on for three weeks and we can salvage the last couple  weekends of summer. Linda and I were in tears as the doctor was casting her leg as she’s been doing so good with swimming and bicycling around the campground this season.

Ava after picking up the wheelchair, which she loves!

Luckily her siblings have been so helpful so far. After much consideration, we are not altering our camping plans for the rest of the summer. Activities maybe, but we’re still going away as we have two other children to think about and it’s their summer as well. Besides, they have been going a bit stir crazy in the house, any new activity will be a welcome activity for them. Kids will be kids. Bones can get broken, skin will be bruised and cuts will happen. All we can do is adapt and overcome these challenges as a family. Now stay tuned as to how we make out. Thanks for stopping by.

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