Our Boys!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Liller/Cassidy Gatlinburg Trip

So our big trip this year was a 5 day trip to Gatlinburg . . . well, really Pigeon Forge TN, with our best friends from Cincinnati. It was an awesome family trip - and one we had all looked forward to. The only problem was that is was TOO SHORT!!! I can't believe how much there is to do there! We only made it into Gatlinburg once for a timeshare presentation (cuz' it's all about the free gifts - and we got 6 all-day passes to the Nascar Speedpark for attending. At $32 a piece, that was a huge savings, so it was worth sitting through the 90-minute presentation). Anyway, here are a few pics of our trip - we can't wait to go back next year, and we're definitely going for at least a full week next year!!! The cabin we had was perfect and secluded, was only about a 5-10 minute drive to the main parkway in Pigeon Forge, it fit all 10 of us VERY comfortably, and we just had an amazingly good time! The kids all got along great, and even though it rained most of the day on Saturday, we had fun hanging out while the kids played the Wii, and Linda and I even got away for several hours finding all the good deals shopping at the outlets! We spent every night playing euchre and chillin' in the hottub. The weather couldn't have been more perfect. It was in the 70's and 80's on Thursday and Friday, but cooled off quite a bit at night which made the hottub feel awesome! The kids would play in it in the morning, cuz' it wasn't too hot after being chilly all through the night. The only thing I didn't get pictures of was the night we took the kids gem mining. It was really cool and looked like a genuine mining experience - the kids had fun and brought all their "gems in the rough" back home with them. Anyway, I would highly recommend this relatively inexpensive trip if you're looking for a family getaway or a getaway with friends!

Our cabin.
The view off the main deck.
Blake taking in the view off the deck.
The 4 hot tubbers, they had a great time "swimming" in the hot tub.
Shawn and Kevin enjoyed their hot tub time too once all the kids were in bed. Notice the candles lit for ambiance while they smoked their cigars! Too funny!!!
We went to this awesome restaurant called the Apple Barn, they had shops, a candy factory and amazing food! We had all the kids sit in this gazebo by the water stream for a picture.
We noticed this place when we drove in on Wednesday. It looks like it's built upside down - really cool!
The 3 boys standing by the entrance to WonderWorks. Blake wasn't too sure about it. Inside they all played Laser Tag and then Shawn and Evan went inside the "indoor amusement park for the mind".
Evan exploring WonderWorks - here he is trying out the NASA spacesuit. They also got to see what a 7 scale earthquake would feel like, what winds feel like in a hurricane, and Shawn even tried the Bed of Nails.
Grant and Blake got to drive their own Nascars at the Nascar Speedpark. There's a video of them at the bottom of this post.
Alexis, Blake, Taylor and Grant swinging on the Nascar swings.
Evan played games inside the Nascar Arcade and scored a jackpot in tickets. He bought Taylor and Alexis unicorns with his winnings!
All the kids enjoyed the rides, they all loved this Nascar carousel.
The boys got to drive the big Nascar cars at the Speedpark, but that didn't stop them from enjoying some Wii time blowing up tanks!
Not even rain stops Shawn from grillin' out our dinner. Here he looks like the Gordon's Fisherman - we were crackin' up!

I didn't think Blake would be able to drive, but he did really well. Grant is in the first orange car (Home Depot) and Blake is in the 2nd orange car (Cingular).

Monday, March 24, 2008

Exactly 24 hours later...

So, I was praying it would look better 24 hours after-the-accident, but it's not looking too good. He was too self-conscious to go to school this morning, so he's hanging out here with me, Blake and my parents. Hopefully he'll look a little better by Wednesday morning for our trip to Gatlinburg! Here's to hoping anyway!!!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter with some drama!

Well, our Easter started off great! Shawn's mom and sister came up on Friday to visit, and my mom and dad came on Saturday. We had a lovely brunch around 11:30 on Saturday morning before I had to go to church to sing for the 6 services we were having over the weekend. Shawn brought my parents and the boys to church for the first service at 3pm - so these first pics are of the boys in their adorable Easter outfits!

Shawn had to go out of town on business . . . again, and of all days he had to leave, they shipped him out of Indy on a flight bound for Jacksonville at 8:15 Easter morning, so my parents stayed to help me out with the other 3 boys while I was at church.

So, I get through the first of our 3 services this morning, and I get a call on my cell phone around 9:15 telling me I need to get home and take Grant to the hospital. He decided to jump off our steps about 5 stairs up from our ceramic tile entryway (what is it with that particular staircase in our house - it's cursed!!!) His foot apparently got tangled up at the gate we keep across our stairs and he landed head first onto the tile. He couldn't walk and was dizzy, so that raised concerns. The goose"egg" he received over his right eye actually looks great in these pictures compared to what it looked like when I first got home (and may I say, I made it home in record time from the church - I was actually hoping to get pulled over so I could get a police escort the rest of the way home!!!). Anyway, I took him over to St. V's Children's Emergency Room off 86th - cuz' almost everyone who knows me knows I RAVE about that ER - they are absolutely phenomenal with the kids, just amazing!!! They did a Cat Scan just to make sure he didn't have any internal bleeding, and sent us home a few hours later! Luckily he's going to be fine, but he won't be LOOKING fine for a good week or two!

It just reminds me that the suffering my child just went through was nothing compared to the suffering God watched his child - Jesus Christ - go through! Pretty appropriate I think that on the day God's one and only son rose from the dead, my son also rose from that hospital bed with a clean bill of health - in more ways than one!!! A day to praise God indeed!!!

Happy Easter everyone - may you have a blessed week. Don't forget to take the time to thank God for what he's given you. Even through the trials of life, there is hope and light at the end of the tunnel - no matter how far a road you have to travel to get there. Grant's tunnel was short... Evan's tunnel stretches years and years and is still ongoing, but we still see the light far off in the distance for him, and we're stronger knowing God walks that path with us!

Love you all!!!

My 3 little Easter darlings!
With the Easter Bunny cake my mom made.
Me and my boys!
"Hmmmm, does this goose egg look like my Easter egg???"
Quite the shiner - you should've seen it a few hours ago!!! When it first happened, he couldn't even open his eye!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

"Cereal" Straws

Have any of you heard of these Cereal Straws??? Well, my kids must've seen them on a commercial b/c it's all they talk about wanting to buy. So, today I go for a Wal-Mart run and Blake is with me. We're in the cereal aisle and he literally SCREAMS "Mom, stop - we need those" Yes, he has spotted the infamous cereal straws and won't let me leave the aisle until I stop to check them out. We pick the chocolate Cocoa Krispies ones and go on our way - and for the rest of my shopping trip, Blake is trying his best to get me to let him have one BEFORE we get to the checkout (don't worry, I didn't let him win - fortunately he patiently waited until we got into the car for me to open them).

Here are a few cute pics of Blake and Grant drinking milk out of them - well, guess they're at least getting some good calcium out of it! I don't think we're going to see them drinking out of their cereal bowls, but I guess we'll have to wait until tomorrow morning to see...

Monday, March 03, 2008

Shawn's sister gets married!

On Friday we travelled to Cincinnati for Shawn's sister's wedding. We had a great time - I don't think I've ever been to such a small, intimate wedding - but that's what made it so great!!! There were only about 25 people (immediate family + spouses and children, David's best man Ivan, and Stacy's best friend Sandy). Actually, it was held in Sandy's house, which made it that much more special. The ceremony was great, and it was nice to be able to chat with EVERYONE! But I have to say that the wedding cake was the best part!!! It was a 3-tiered cheesecake from Jerry's Cheesecakes - pretty famous if you're from Cincinnati - and I LOVE cheesecake!!! So, here are a few shots from their big day!

The new, extended Liller famly: David, Stacy, Mom Jean and Shawn.
So everyone knows how tall Shawn is, so this was a funny pic Shawn wanted to take with his sister to make her look taller for once!
Shawn's dad has been dead for almost 12 years now, so this was cool to see him walking his sister down the aisle.
Making it official! (notice our cameraman in the making, Evan, in the background)
Just had to put a picture of the cheesecake on here - Raspberry swirl on the bottom tier, Amaretto for the middle tier, and plain on the top tier! Yum!!!
Aunt Stacy and newly appointed UNCLE David with our boys!