Happy Birthday Lian!

We stopped trying to plan out Lian's parties a long time ago. The kid changes his mind on a dime (he's a lot like his mom in that way). So, as far as I knew when we got up yesterday, we were going to Happy Joe's for his birthday. I was checking out a waterpark that Minnesota unschoolers have set up a gathering at when he said, "I want to go to a pool." We looked around, and there were a few parks within a day's drive. We looked at pics of the parks, and he picked out the one he liked best -- King's Pointe in Storm Lake, Iowa. It was surprisingly affordable. :)

Initially, we were going to drop money for gas and tickets at my sister's before heading out but I didn't reach her by phone, and by the time we went by her house (and her car wasn't there) we'd only have about 2 hours to enjoy the park anyway. It was snowing tiny little balls of ice, and reports weren't good for the roads, so we decided to brave it alone. I'm glad we did. Not because we didn't want them there, but because the drive wound up being pretty dangerous. Thankfully DH has a few years of delivery driving (read: tooling around in the worst possible weather) under his belt, and a set of brand new tires.

On the way there, Strata taught Nathan and Lian how to blow bubbles.

By the time we got to the hotel, it was snowy, dark and the kids were pretty squirrelly. Did I mention dad has an abscessed tooth? What a champ. We took a few minutes to rest up in our cushy room.

Then we got on our suits and headed down to the waterpark ... which I did not get pictures of, but was very fun. Strata said it was way better than Great Wolf Lodge or any of the Disney resorts. I think the best thing was probably the lazy river that really did push you around once you got on a floatie. The slides are pretty cool, too. They're super fast and go outdoors before dumping you back inside the very warm water. (Not that I know this firsthand ... didn't think it would be a good idea now that a baby's on the way.) Everyone was really enjoying swimming around, but after a few hours, we had to go back to our room for cake and presents.

As usual, Denn put the design on the cake.

Presents were awesome. Operation. Scuba Gear Spiderman. Batman and the Joker. The kids played all night, while we got takeout from the restaurant downstairs. Several baths later, and we were all in bed sleeping peacefully.

It was a great birthday, and turned out to be an awesome Iowa resort.