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And You are the Lucky Winner

May 31, 2013

Yesterday we spent the day at Stone Mountain Park compliments of a staycation giveaway with Occupy My Family and http://www.stonemountainpark.com/. What a fantastic prize!! We were so thankful to have won an Adventure Pass package for 4 and chosen a day that was perfect for touring the park…not too busy, beautiful weather, and a great way to start the summer. Four days in to summer and we are loving a new, more relaxed bedtime schedule! Thank you to OMF and Stone Mountain for today’s memories!

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It’s not often the kids wake up to find daddy home on a weekday nor dressed in shorts and T-shirt after his shower. I wish I’d had a picture as they realized something was really fishy! He ran a quick errand and then came home to start the fun. He required each of them to do a set of things based on the attractions and events for the day.

SkyHike we knew would be a favorite and was indeed first on our list after arriving to the park.

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He asked them to get their bungee cords (which they repeatedly try to use as climbing apparatus on the hill and the front yard tree) and their tennis shoes.

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Katie, having had experience last fall, was a natural on the ropes.

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The course is designed to give you choices so that your trek isn’t always the same. Katie found that part really fun. Although, she was a little disappointed her safety line never had to be unhooked. I thought it was genius! Simply create a track they can pull their line through depending on their choice.

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Michael, was a little less sure on the ropes. Not surprising though. He tends to be less inclined to experience the unknown.

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Michael was disappointed that the main track, didn’t contain a zipline…something he was insanely jealous Katie got to do repeatedly in her ropes course last fall.

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Luckily, Camp Highland Outpost had a zipline. He was quite content to run the easier course in a few minutes to get to the end and swing!

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Nate was a good sport and looked forward to sharing this event with the kids. He loves to climb rocks so why not climb among the trees?! Sadly, in the end, Katie & him weren’t able to complete the entire course (more specifically the third level) as their hands were beginning to hurt. They’d hope to get back to it later in the day, but there was so much fun to be had everywhere it didn’t happen. I guess that’s reason #1 for considering a family membership.

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Before leaving the house, Nate’s clue was to find a calculator (to tally your points for shooting people below) and a soft ball. Thankfully, the barn didn’t disappoint. Clare was relegated to the stroller as this momma couldn’t track the tree climbers looking up while simultaneously keeping track of Clare on the ground. Sorry sweetie. You must be strapped in like it or not. You’ll get your turn.

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I lobbied for the next event as Clare deserved some serious time to run.

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Oh my did she love the Great Barn! It had oh so many great things to climb and throw and more “rooms” to explore than she knew. (I love that Michael can make her laugh like no one else.)

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Who doesn’t love to sit on nursing piggies? Actually, she is often trying to sit on her sister as she nurses so I guess this was the perfect spot for her!

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The big kids declared mandatory “collapse time” shortly before leaving as they had played so hard…running the stairs between the various levels, sliding down the three-story slides, gathering foam “fruit” balls as ammunition for passerbys below and of course the various guns strategically placed on the second story.

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Kids were supposed to gather their swimsuits as their clue for Geyser Towers.

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The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Everyone was standing around watching for the geyser, Nate was about to tell Clare to step away from the center grate knowing that it was “due” to erupt any minute, when sure enough….

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…it did explode, hitting her square in the face and of course knocking her to the ground. As good parents, what did we do? We laughed of course. Katie ran to the rescue and I simply kept taking photos. (For the record, it was clear very quickly she wasn’t hurt, just upset.)

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It didn’t take her long to realize she much preferred this little water fountain and it’s predictability and relative size.

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Lunch in the car, the chance to change clothes and cool off in the air conditioning, and then off to the 4D Journey movie. Unfortunately, Clare seriously disliked it despite her initial love of the glasses.

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I enjoyed the movie so much (Afterall, who doesn’t love special effects?) that Michael accompanied Nate for a second showing this time without a scared 2-year-old. I opted to stay with Katie giving her a little more time to chat with the baker at the candy store. She was making Key Lime fudge. Warm fudge on a stick…yummy! I’m not one for fudge but Nate and Katie were in love!

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She was so good to encourage Katie in pursuing her dream of becoming a baker and opening her own shop. I hope UFOs and More does indeed one day become a reality.

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The Scenic Railroad seemed the perfect chance to encourage a 2-year-old nap. (Nate had asked the children to bring him a train whistle as part of this unveiling.)

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Yea for a plan that does indeed work.

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Actually, both babes slept through it.

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Katie is so dramatic these days. She makes me laugh. It makes me happy to see her enjoying life and with just a bit more flare than is “normal”. I love it!

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The Scenic Railroad was fun. What a great breeze coupled with a little bit of history and chance to sit down also.

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This particular gentleman has been conductor the last 20 years. Simply awesome. He was happy to talk with us and pose for a photo too!

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Just because you can, why not? Sure. You can run through the water before we head to the Summit.

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The kids had been curious about the Summit SkyRide all day. After finding their binoculars, the kids were happy to read all about this attraction.

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The famous Stone Mountain carving is 3 acres in diameter. I truly loved watching the movie on its creation and the historic nature of its feat. Truly impressive!

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The kids made friends with two boys and their nanny while waiting for the sky lift. It made the natural hesitancy of this ride all the easier. We did indeed make it to the top.

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“Standing on top of the world” is really pretty cool!

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Michael wanted to be able to say he’d finished his Twist Band bracelet on top of the mountain. He’d made the blossom pattern using glow-in-the-dark bands in hopes they’d glow during the laser show.

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This girl just might be her daddy’s. She climbed and tromped all over this granite rock, falling and sliding and exploring without limit. It was a potty break that tore her away from the view. (Sadly, it was that same bathroom break that kept us from the skype call to Gramma Lissa.)

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We had reserved the right to decide if we were staying for the Laser Show after assessing how the babes were doing at 8:00 pm.

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I’m afraid we have a second energizer bunny in this family. Look how tired her eyes are in this photo, and yet she didn’t sleep until we got back into the car and were moving.

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This little one wanted to sleep too, but there was simply too many reasons not to submit.

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In fact, I’m actually a little worried about her birthday celebrations this year. Born the day before Independance Day, she’s sure to have fireworks on her birthday every year. She didn’t seem to like the fireworks as part of the laser show. Bummer!! I took some video hoping she’d watch it and decide they were cool.

Having had a fantastic and very full day and arriving home at 11:15 p.m., the kids were quite happy to be going to bed. However, after walking through the front door and being pelted with balls from our second story by a surprise guest, they were less anxious to sleep. These next 36 hours are going to go fast!! Welcome to Atlanta bro.

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