Not too far from our house, we have a little amusement park that has grown so much since the last time we went, 9 whole years ago! Edaville Family Theme Park is definitely geared towards little kids, but they are expanding to include a water ride and bumper boats for the older crew. We seriously had so much fun taking Maggie, Xander, Declan, and Brendan on Sunday.
While you look at these Edaville photos, let me tell you a story about God's generosity...
We had a nice summer, lots of beach trips and time with friends and family, but we didn't have a vacation or getaway. Brendan just turned one in August and the thought of staying in a hotel room with him was just not appealing, so we just took this as the summer we stayed at home. I felt like maybe we were missing out on making some family memories, but knew that it just wasn't meant to be this summer. At some point during the summer, our goddaughter, Haley, said that she wanted to take our big boys to Six Flags. She loved going and knew they needed a chance to go without all the little kids tagging along and slowing them down ;) The four of them talked about it for weeks and settled on a date that worked between all the busy schedules. The boys all said they would buy their own ticket with their altar-serving money and were so excited to go.
(Before you feel bad for Maggie being left out of this group, know that Haley took her on a whole day date this summer and did all her favorite things!)
After the plans had been made for September 10, Phil got a text from a friend that said "Would you guys be able to use 4 tickets to Six Flags? My wife won them on the radio but they have to be used by September 17."
How perfect was that timing? Now all four of them could go for free! God is so good. But it gets even better. Haley went out to breakfast with her dad the morning before they were heading to Six Flags and told him about her plans for the next day. Her dad said that he wanted to buy all four of them the Platinum Pass so that they didn't have to wait in any lines. These passes cost $70 each on top of the ticket. She told him it was way too much, but he insisted saying something about how he wanted to thank our family for all we've done for his daughter.
So the four of them got to enjoy Six Flags without waiting in any lines, and pretty much had one of the best days ever....all from the generosity of other people, prompted by the Holy Spirit. So cool.
I really wanted to do something special with the younger crew while the older ones were away, so that's why we decided on Edaville Railroad. We have a book with coupons in it (mostly for restaurants) that included a BOGO ticket to Edaville, and my parents have the same book which they let us borrow so that we could get 2 free tickets (the place is pretty pricey - $37 per ticket). Again, just a little wink and a nod from above that we were meant to enjoy this day with our family.
I took so many photos that Maggie asked me if I was going to make a book! I may just do that and surprise her with it for her birthday :)
The three amigos. Maggie could go on every ride by herself, Xander could do most of them, but a few required an adult to go with him, and Declan couldn't go on those ones at all. But there was plenty to keep everyone happy.
We got there right when it opened, and it was like the park was all ours for awhile. No lines, and such a beautiful day.
They have a whole section of the park decorated for Thomas the Train, called Thomas Land, and Declan was a very big fan.
We watched a show with the trains and the kids got to be involved, it was cute.
There's another section of the park, Dino Land, where you can walk through the woods (on a path) and see dinosaurs...
I think the planes were Declan's favorite ride, the Ferris Wheel was Xander's and Maggie loved the Spinning Ladybug ride.
When we went to Disneyworld 6 years ago, we waited in the longest line ever for Dumbo. Who needs Disneyworld?
Then we took an actual train ride on a train pulled by "the real Thomas".
Brendan took a nice big nap in the stroller which allowed us to stay at the park for 5 hours.
Xander was supposed to go with an adult in this balloon ride, but at this point both Phi and I were feeling a little motion sick so one of the park workers offered to get in with him, and surprisingly, Xander accepted and talked his ear off the whole time!
Declan keeps talking about how "Yesterday we went on a train and all the cool rides and it was so much fun!" Everything happens yesterday in his little world, so cute. I am glad we took the opportunity to take the little ones somewhere special while the bigs were away having fun. It made my mother's heart so happy to treat everyone to a nice day that made memories. And it was even nicer that God helped us plan the whole thing!