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Cheryl's Parenting Journal

Entry 36 ~ August 16, 2009
~ Life's Great Little Surprises!

Annie and BradyI believe it's just about a year now that I've been posting entries to this wonderful website (really an extended family!) we all know and love as StorkNet! When I began journaling, our family of ten had just returned from our summer vacation to Disney World. My kids were in a period of mourning after the fantastic time we had! I think it took nearly two weeks before they accepted the fact we were home and that school was around the corner!

Well, here we are one year later, and we've returned from our summer vacation once again, only this time we went to New Hampshire for a pretty low-key getaway. While there we did visit a great amusement park called Canobie Lake, (which believe it or not folks--was cleaner than Disney World!) but since it is pretty close to where we live-the post-vacation withdrawals were not so bad! We had perfect weather (and believe me-that in itself was a blessing after all the rain we've had this summer!) and while there, we got a nice, unexpected surprise.

Cheryl with Brady on a rideWe had planned on going to Canobie Lake for two full days. This place also has a water park in addition to the rides, so it was a great way to end the day . . . swooshing down the water slides and just enjoying the cool water. Day two, at about 4 PM, suddenly the staff working inside the water park started shouting for everyone to get out of the water. There were hundreds of families inside, so this was no easy feat. My heart stopped instantly, frantically trying to find all of my eight kids, my husband and my brother and his family. My first thought was that maybe someone was in trouble or had gotten hurt. I was so busy looking for most of my kids that I hadn't realized that all the water had stopped rushing down the slides and down the waterfalls etc. Once everyone was out of the water area, they announced that there had been a town wide power outage. The entire park was now without electricity. Yikes . . . imagine being on one of the upside down roller coasters when something like this happens? Thankfully, there were no injuries anywhere in the park, but sadly, they had to close early (usually they close by 10 PM) because of the electricity problem.

A pleasant surprise came of all this, however! On the way out of the park, they issued free passes to all families for a return trip anytime before end of September! Yahoo! Now we got an extra day out of the deal and it didn't cost us a cent! (Well, except for snacks, meals, arcade money etc . . . you get the picture! Ha ha) But still, for our family to go into a park like that the cost is about $350, so we looked at it as a gift!

Brittany and AnnieBack we went the next day and it was supposed to pour all day, but again . . . another gift . . . sunshine and no humidity for the entire day! It was heaven.

Speaking of unexpected gifts, last year when I first started journaling I received a wonderful e-mail from a fantastic lady that lives out in Michigan. I knew I liked her immediately by how friendly, funny and outgoing her first e-mail was. We began corresponding back and forth via e-mail and have been very good cyber pals ever since! She is one of the highlights of my day (we are both addicted to facebook! Ha ha) and I just wanted to say thank you to her for her friendship! Thanks, Ann!!! You see, you just never know what great little surprises life has in store for you. I love being open to new things (with eight children, I have to be!) So as the last few weeks of summer make their way to you and your wonderful families, I hope you are enjoying every bit and will be grabbing a few unexpected surprises of your own!

P.S. The hot water tank finally got fixed! Some burly guy named Jimbo (about the fifth gas guy to look at it) found the problem! A little black wire that was not good any longer! Yeah for Jimbo! Five weeks without hot water is a long time my friends, but the nice surprise there was no one ever charged us for the work (because they felt guilty, I think! Ha ha) and we ordered extra black wires in case this should ever happen again!

Take care and enjoy the end of summer everyone!
~ Cheryl

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