The Busy Giffs: June 2018

June 28, 2018

Summer Fun Plans

I really love summer. I spend all year working, and I mean, I work a lot. Weekends, late after school, early in the morning. I lose a lot of time with my kids to grading so summer is 10 full weeks with my kids and husband.

The kids and I sat down to make our summer fun list because even though summer itself is fun, we want to go to some extra fun places. Plus, having a list reminds me to get things done! Here's our hopes for this summer:

Masscahusetts, Ma, splash pad, ice cream, travel

This looks like so much fun, right!?
I can't wait to see which we cross off our list first!

xo, Heather

June 26, 2018

Coney Island Theme Park - Ohio

With a 5 pm flight, we had some time to kill in Cincinnati. We could have gone into the city but honestly, I was a bit nervous about Monday traffic, so instead we ended up at Coney Island in Ohio.

Emmalee has been all about carnivals and street fairs lately, so Coney Island's rides were the perfect way to spend our morning. The actual park consists of a water park and the rides, but we opted to only pay for the rides and forgo to water park.  At only $13.50 for adults and $6.95 for children ages 2-7, it was a very affordable way to spend the morning.  They even offer wagon rentals!

 After buying our wrist bands, I learned that parents can go in without wrist bands if they do not plan on riding the rides! That's an even better value for parents of children who only wanted to go on the kid sized rides.

There were a good amount of rides for the kids: turtles, airplanes, helicopters, but also had rides that parents will enjoy like bumper cars, a roller coaster. and the scrambler.

The kids had a blast and we got to try funnel cake for the first time! Coney Island is the perfect size amusement park for a 1 day trip, but if we had gone to the water park, we would have needed two! I'm glad we made time to visit!

xo, Heather

June 21, 2018

Great Wolf Lodge - Mason, PA

For the last year (at least!) Emma has asked to go to Great Wolf Lodge and honestly, I just wasn't really into it.  Over $300 for a hotel room seemed a bit crazy, and honestly, I'm just too cheap for that.

BUT with Emma's birthday being a bit overshadowed by our travel to Ohio for my brother's wedding, coupled with a great promo that the Mason OH location was offering, we figured it would be a great birthday surprise on the road!

We pulled up and Emma screamed in excitement. She could not believe that we were at Great Wolf Lodge! The front desk check in was amazing and quick! They even gave Emmalee a special set of ears that had a birthday hat on it!

We were given the option of upgrading our standard room for a KidKamp and considering how inexpensive the upgrade was, we grabbed it! I am so happy we did since the kids loved the extra KidCabin set up!

The KidKamp was adorable! A bunk bed set up, tucked into a "tent" that had their own tv and table set up. Emmalee was especially excited to sleep o the top bunk!

The room itself was wonderful- comfortable and spacious. We especially loved the balcony that overlooked the outdoor pool.  It was perfect for a end of the day snuggles, late night drinks with my husband and an early morning wake up view. 

Even though we loved the room, we decided the afternoon at the water park would be a better way to spend our time. 

I love that Great Wolf offers puddle jumpers and life vests for children to use. They had so many different activities- slides, including a little set for younger kids, a lazy river, the obstacle challenge, and a wave pool.  Tyler thought it was so cool that some of the slides even went outside! The water park is kept around 80 degrees, but with so much moisture in the air, we ventured outside and loved the quieter outdoor pool. As the sun began to set, we went back into the indoor pool and spent even more time in the wave pool and on the slides. 

I was so glad we were there for more than one day because there was so much more to do! The resort has a candy company, an arcade, and a Dunkin Donuts, as well as multiple restaurants and snack counters.

And if that's not enough, they have a whole schedule of fun every day! We got to do arts and crafts, morning yoga, and meet Oliver! And honestly, the most amazing employee ever works at the Mason location. You can get that whole story on my twitter feed...

I honestly wish we were there for more than one night and I've already started looking at when we can go again to our more local location.  It was absolutely worth it!

Have you been?

xo, Heather

June 4, 2018

Competitive Dance Team

This year we started a new adventure-- competitive dancing!
I will admit I was hesitant... I've never even seen an episode of Dance Moms, but the world of competitive dance has always just sounded catty and a bit crazy.

Emma has put in months of work.  Dance classes are twice a week plus at least once a month she has a private lesson for her duo and a semi-private technique class.  Each class helps her become a stronger dancer and more confident in her ability to compete! Her dance teacher is unbelievably amazing.  She's encouraging and nurturing, but pushes Emma to constantly strive for more.  The ambition and determination she has embedded in Emma is unreal.

At competitions Emmalee competes in 2 group dances, as well as duo with her cousin.  Every time she takes the stage, I am in awe of her and her friends.

So much sass. And determination. And focus. And drive.

All the hard work has paid off. After 7 competitions, she has quite a few pins and awards on her lanyard. Some are for her duo and some are with her group dances.  I am constantly in awe of what she accomplishes.

Beyond the Stars:




Each competition was a chance for her to spend time with her friends and push herself in a way she hadn't before.  Whether the girls were all playing with Snapchat in the audience or dolls back stage, or if they were stretching together and giving high faves and hugs after performances... it was amazing to see this new little family emerge. Celebrating Tyler birthday at the Platinum competition was especially fun for him-- he was surrounded by so many of his favorite "big kids".

With our dance recital 3 weeks away and our National competition just over a month away, we're sad to see the end of this season, but are hopeful about next season! Emmalee has grown so much as a dancer this year, I can't wait to see how far she will go!

xo, Heather

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