Tuesday, July 21, 2015

3rd Annual Banta-Mizerany Beach Trip

Every time we leave the beach, we look forward to our next trip.  After our Memorial Day vacation, we were sad as we headed home, but we knew we would be back in 6 weeks.  Our mid July trip marked our 3rd annual Banta/Mizerany beach trip to the panhandle!  The house we booked is owned by a family in Birmingham, and it worked out perfectly!  It had a small private pool, is located in a gated neighborhood, close to the beach, and had a perfect location in regards to amenities.  To top it off, we had five bedrooms to spread out in each night!

fun at the splash pad
shark that they caught...everyone gathered to see and take a picture
As always, we had a great trip!  We had some delicious seafood, the cousins got to have plenty of one-on-one time, and my parents got to have all of their family under one roof for a week!  The weather ended up being great the week we were there, so we got plenty of beach time!  The kids fished, learned to surf, played beach baseball, built tons of sand castles, found lots of pretty shells and had several special desserts throughout the week!  Now don't get me wrong, we had down time too.  There were naps on the beach, fun on iPads, golf on TV for the adults and plenty of cocktails throughout the week!  We even managed to exercise some with morning bike rides, walks on the beach and runs through the neighborhoods.  Man how we love the beach and all it has to offer!

Nene and Poppy with the 4 oldest
sweet cousins under water in the Gulf
these two think they are so cool!
Walker loves the water
trying to catch bait fish with their nets
Fun in Rosemary...puppies and a zombie
Pres catching a wave
Bennett surfing
The Bantas and Mizeranys
Another trip in the memory book!  Thanks Mom and Dad!  We have more fun times to look forward to this year, and hopefully another beach trip will be booked for next summer! 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Mom's Surprise 70th Birthday Party

Several months ago my father decided to throw my mother a surprise birthday party for her upcoming 70th birthday!  It sounded like a great idea at first, but ended up being a little more difficult than we anticipated.  Since my father isn't very savvy on his smartphone, she set up his phone where all of his emails go to her phone and iPad - which really hindered our opportunity to communicate behind her back.  So my dad snuck in calls to me on his way to rotary, the gym and whenever he ran errands and we slowly pulled the party together.

Steve, the kids and I drove in Wednesday before her party to visit with a couple of friends and handle any last minute party details.  Since she didn't know we were in town, we had to steer clear of Peoria Heights.  The night of the party, Aunt Sue, Uncle Jim, Brian's family and all of us went to the Country Club of Peoria to greet the guests. 

About 65 people attended her party, and though she suspected something was going on when she came down the steps....she didn't know how big it would be, nor did she know that we were all in town!  She was thrilled to see all of her grandchildren, and then seeing her sister through the crowd topped off her night!  She cried some, and enjoyed talking with all of her friends over the next 2 hours.
grandkids with golf themed birthday cake

kids loved playing instruments
All of the family after the party
We all enjoyed the delicious food, and listening to the band play music from her era.  After the party wrapped up, all of the family went back to my parent's house to hang out and catch up more.  Saturday, we took the kids back to the CCP to swim.  Then we enjoyed burgers at my parent's.  Sadly, the Bantas and Blairs left on Sunday, so it was much quieter. 

blue tongues from slushies

Kids spent almost an hour building stuff!
Though it wasn't raining like we anticipated, we decided to visit a new museum in Peoria.  It was an interactive, science-type museum which all three of the children enjoyed.  We were there several hours, and probably could have stayed longer if we weren't so hungry.  So, we headed out for hotdogs and ice cream at one of my favorite spots....The Ice Cream Shoppe.  Whenever I return to Peoria, I have to hit all of my favorite spots.

Walker loved the "floating balls"

Poppy showed him how it worked
who doesn't love ice cream?
Though it was a fast 4 day trip, not including our two travel days....we all had fun!  The kids all traveled there and back wonderfully, and I got to see a few friends and spend time with my family.  I'm still a little shocked that we were able to pull off the party, but mom swears she didn't know.  So happy 70th birthday to my mom....who is really celebrating this week!