The April Vacation posts are done. There are three total so be sure not to miss any :)

It was a crazy week but we had some great fun! I hope you have as much fun reading and seeing the pictures.

Jessi, your turn :)

Fisher Cats - April Vacation Part Three

The Autism Society of New Hampshire (www.autism-society-nh.org) recently teamed up with the NH Fisher Cats (a "farm team" for the Toronto Blue Jays - www.nhfishercats.com) to hold an Autism Awareness Day. Tickets were cheap, it was to support a great cause, so we grabbed a bunch and went with the family.

My kids have never been to a professional baseball game (I went to see the Red Sox, at least, once a year when I was growing up - now tickets are SO outrageously priced there is no way I could take my kids) and they were very excited! Zachary even brought his baseball glove hoping to catch a fly ball.

We had a great time with my family (even though it was pretty darn cold and pretty darn rainy).



Alex finally showed up:

Alex and Thanny:


Andrew having more fun with Sue's toys than watching the game:


Christian and Zach are getting too big to sit with the grownups:



Fly ball:


Thanny getting every last bite of popcorn:


Andrew and Dad:



"Da plane, da plane" - Manchester Boston Regional Airport lands very close to the field


There was even a baseball game going on!




The Fisher Cats won 3-2. It was a great game even if the boys had more fun tormenting me than watching it :)

While I hoped all my boys would fall asleep on the way home...


Thankfully Kirby didn't fall asleep either :)


Zach didn't catch a fly ball but a few of us were featured on the big screen (even me, doing my "Macho Man" impression...now I realize why they call it a BIG screen, ugh).

Hopefully next year will be a bit warmer!

Fishing, Flying and Frenzied! April Vacation Part Two

As previously mentioned, weather during April vacation was fabulous!

We went to the park almost every day, we even ventured to The Nick as the kids were getting a little bored with the playground behind their school.

Andrew had a great time at The Nick! He played with a group of other kids and was even the leader of the pack! It was amazing to watch him running with all those kids, telling them what they were going to play! A number of times they ran past me screaming "FIRE! FIRE!" (they were playing firefighters). I wondered if it was okay...then I realized that I couldn't care less what they were yelling - MY SON WAS PLAYING WITH OTHER CHILDREN! You can't even imagine how that felt!




Zachary had less of a good time - mostly because he is getting a little too big to play on his own at a playground. He did test his fears and make some risky climbs. He and I have a similar fear of heights. I never would have been able to do what he did.




Flying high!

Zach spent a couple of days with my mother and went to a friend's house another day. This left Andrew alone and bored (as Tom spent the entire week working with my father). Luckily, a $.25 yard sale toy kept him happy for quite a while!




We went to the movies with Sue and my nephew Christian. It was an experience...Andrew doesn't do well with sitting for 90 minutes. What I saw of Nim's Island looked pretty good :) Zachary, Sue and Christian enjoyed it!

The last weekend of vacation was the Webkinz Extravaganza Weekend. Retailers that sell Webkinz were having parties to celebrate their 3rd birthday. We went to the local Hallmark store and partook in the festivities.

Poor Andrew was OVERWHELMED to say the least! It was all too much for him to handle. There were tons of games to play and prizes to win!

In the end, Andrew won a Webkinz ("Wilbur" a pig), and a mousepad. Zachary won a pack of trading cards, a pirate eyepatch, and a figurine. I spent $10.75 on a couple little things for the kids and walked out with all that and a free Webkinz for Zachy (a charcoal cat he named "Coaly").



At the end of the week we went fishing (Zach has only been begging me to take him fishing for 4 months). Finally the weather was nice enough (although a bit windy the day we went) and the ice was off the lake. So we went down to my office, had a picnic dinner and took Andrew, Zach and his friend J fishing.

Kirby got the first fish of the season:



Zach's friend asked me why Andrew had to wear a life vest. A few minutes later he found out. Andrew ventured a bit too close to the water, lost his footing and fell in, face down. Of course, I was right there and he was fine. Although, he did find out that even though we have had some beautiful weather (that even felt beach like) the water was not even close to warm enough for swimming!

Andrew's Birthday Party Adventure - April Vacation Part One

I have one thing to say:
It's OVER!
Honestly, this is the most important part of April vacation!

Don't misunderstand me! I love my children and I love being able to do special things with them but, man oh man, they know how to drive me insane! Monday couldn't come fast enough!

Our week was pretty unadventurous. Thankfully, we had some beautiful weather to get out and enjoy (had there been rain I may not have been here to write this).

On Monday Andrew went to his very first birthday party! For a couple of months he has been talking about "C". C is a girl in his class that, I believe, he has a little bit of a crush on (although, if you ask him he will tell you he does "NOT HAVE A CRUSH ON C").

Due to his emotional nature, I do not spend time in his classroom during school hours. Therefore, I don't know who his classmates are unless they get picked up from school like he does.

A week before April vacation he came out of his classroom, invitation in hand, SO excited to be "going to C's house". Typically, I don't bring him to other kid's homes unless their parents are aware of Andrew and his "quirkiness". This was not going to happen. He knew what he was being invited to, he knew it was C's party, there was NO way he was going to let me out of this one.

Little did I know that C was a twin. C's twin sister is in Andrew's class...Of course, Andrew, being so fixated on C, never mentioned this. Again, no backing out now. We were going. No ifs, ands or buts about it.

The weekend before Andrew and I went out and got C and S their birthday presents. He was SO excited! Everyone we saw heard all about C and S's birthday party - too cute!

The morning of the party did not go by nearly fast enough for him. "When are we going" got a little annoying by the 15th time. But at 2 he was ready to go!




Thankfully, when I got to C and S's house I found out that their mother volunteers in the classroom one day a week. She knows Andrew and understands his "quirkiness". Both she and her mother assured me that they would keep a very close eye on him...I assured them I was not leaving him. :)

Less than an hour later I was ready to go. Keeping Andrew out of people's bedrooms and away from their (rather large) pond got a little tiring. As soon as cake and presents were done, so was I! It was too early by Andrew's terms (thankfully I was the one driving).

Since then, all the talk is about when C and S are going to come to our house...at least he wants to make friends, right?


To my fellow blogger: I Sweat Butter

I saw this on MySpace today and thought of my blogging buddy I Sweat Butter (see two of his blogs listed to the right). If I didn't have kids...hmmmm...maybe when I "retire". :)

Couch Surfers of the WORLD UNITE!!!

8 Tools to Help You Travel Forever and Live Rent Free

So you’ve decided to do it. You have a friend or family member who can store your belongings for an undetermined period of time, you’ve tied up loose ends, and your bags are packed.

It’s time to start traveling long term!
But now what? You have a few family members and distant friends who have offered up a couch if you’re in their neck of the woods, but surely they won’t appreciate your arrival on their doorstep with no planned departure date in sight.

How then, do you travel long term and not run out of money? Hotels (and even hostels) are expensive over time, and finding rental accommodation in every city you visit is impractical.

Heck - you don’t even want to pay rent at all!

Here are eight handy resources to help you get started on your long term travel adventure:

Caretaker's Gazette

(http://www. caretaker. org)

By joining this service (annual membership is approximately US$30), you will gain access to a classified system of people looking for caretakers in exchange for rent-free living. The opportunities vary widely in scope from ranch hands, to organic farm workers, campground hosting, motel management, nursing for the elderly, to just plain house sitting. Locales for your next potential gig could be anywhere in the world, from numerous U.S. locations, to Australia, to Europe and even Micronesia.

Some are paying opportunities, while others are simply work-trade arrangements for accommodation. Others yet will supply an additional stipend depending on your experience and the work entailed.


(http://www. planetfriendly. net/wwoof. html)

WWOOF is an acronym for a number of different phrases, the most apt of which in my mind is “World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms”. It is an international organization (located in over 70 countries) of organic farms, gardens, businesses, ranches, (you name it) where you can exchange your services for accommodations, food, and training.

Required services include basic garden and farm maintenance, as well as cooking, teaching, caring for children, and handy work. There is usually some work suitable for anybody willing to adopt this lifestyle.

Whilst surfing Wwoofing opportunities, you will likely also find links to volunteer organizations, and other similar work exchange opportunities. It’s a great way to gain valuable experience, friendships, and to cover your living expenses in a constructive manner.

Most countries require a subscription to gain access to their full listings and contact information of the hosts, and the subscription prices vary from area to area but are not over-priced for the value received.

House Carers

(http://www. housecarers. com/)

If you are happy to spend your vacation house-sitting for somebody else, you may find the right opportunity here. You will find lists upon lists of people requesting house sitters for periods of time from a few days to a few months, anywhere in the world. In many cases there are a few hoops to jump through in order to gain the opportunity with liability and bonding issues, and already living or traveling in the same country carries an added advantage.

You can choose from the limited free membership options or the full US$45 one year membership, depending on your needs.

Organic Volunteers

(http://www. organicvolunteers. com)

Much like Caretaker’s Gazette and woofing, you will find many worldwide opportunities to proverbially “pick blueberries for a living”. The prospects aren’t limited to organic farms though; you will find hostel management jobs, artist retreat internships, in addition to various agricultural and permaculture settings.

For US$20/year, membership will help you gain access to many great listings and a user-friendly system of contacting hosts and searching for opportunities.

Trinity Couch Surfing: London

Couch Surfing

(http://www. couchsurfing. com)

Couch Surfers are a network of people who are willing to open up their homes and hearts to frugal travelers, as well as be those travelers when they are not hosting guests. The site prides itself on referrals and having only high quality members, but as with any chance to stay at a stranger’s place for free, a prudent amount of caution should be exercised.

Trinity Couch Surfing: Amsterdam

Global Freeloaders

(http://www. globalfreeloaders. com)

Similar to Couch Surfing, Global Freeloaders is a cultural exchange program for hosts and travelers. Registration is free, but members are required to be able to host as well as travel, so unless you expect to be able to offer up your digs as a host within six months of signing up, you are politely requested to wait.


(http://joomla. servas. org/)

This is the original Couch Surfers and Global Freeloaders. Servas (meaning “serve” in Esperanto), is a non-profit non-denominational non-ethnic organization of good-will and cultural exchanges. It’s been around for at least 50 years, and is recognized by the United Nations. In addition to being a network to connect people and places, volunteers around the world work in relief camps and advocate for peace through various projects.

Hosts offer their homes and dinner tables for two nights (or more, at the discretion of the host) to travelers who contact them and who meet with their approval. Travelers must go through an exhaustive process which includes an in-person interview before being accepted to the program, as a way of screening for quality candidates.

Once travelers are interviewed and accepted into the program, they are given printed lists or booklets of the hosts in their destination country (Servas is moving towards an online platform, but is not there yet). There are also membership fees which vary from country to country.

Hospitality Club

(http://www. hospitalityclub. org/)

Free to join and internet-based, it appears to be the Servas of the online world. It is kept “safe” through a series of passport checks and online feedback systems with checks and balances.

These are just a few opportunities in the world of long-term travel, as you will discover with a little research. I don’t vouch for any of the services or programs, and a healthy amount of caution should always be exercised when accepting hospitality from strangers.

We are all friends.

We just haven't met yet!

I also Highly recommend Lonely Planet

http://www. lonelyplanet. com/

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