A Waterpark Christmas

We all (almost all) ended up going to the waterpark on the 26th and 27th right after Christmas.  I hate knowing what to get kids and grandkids for Christmas so this year, I decided I would spring for an overnight at the waterpark.  It wasn’t cheap but it was definitely a one size fits all and was not stressful at all.

We went to Grand Harbor in Dubuque.  I drove the furthest and was only 2 hours away so that wasn’t bad either.

The worst part was getting a swimsuit.  UGH.  Sadly I haven’t been in a swimsuit for likely 8 years.  I’m not big into swimming and don’t go unless I have to.  Both of the swimming suits I did have I’ve had for over 10 years so I think I could safely say they were likely 15-20 years old.  No joke.

It was time for a new swimsuit…but I didn’t realize that until the 16th of December and we were leaving on the 26th.  I went to Amazon and bought three swimsuits.  My priority was most coverage and would get here by the 23rd.

Normally I don’t track things, but these I tracked.  I didn’t want want to ruin the day by me not having a swimsuit.

So they came.  I picked the best of the worst.  They really weren’t terrible but even me who doesn’t care about my body shape anymore is not thrilled with any swimsuit.  I ended up keeping THIS one.  I will be returning the others.

It turns out that Kelli had bought two swimsuits and didn’t love either of them…but had to keep them.  We were in our hotel room getting ready to go to the pool and we were discussing our swimwear problems.  It turns out that Kelli and I, who are about the same size, swapped suits and now we both love our suits.  HA!!  Who knew?


See Karl in the back.  He photo-bombed us!

We had a fun time at the waterpark.  The kids loved it.  Here’s Gannon…

…Carver and I…

Here is Kayla with Jasper.  Lucy is hanging on her back with Carver in the background.

Another Gannon picture!!

Here are Kelli and Georgia.


Kayla and Jasper…

Here’s Kayla with some of the kids.


Kayla and Jasper again.  Spencer, my daughter Kayla’s husband, was with us on the first day.  He had to work the next day.  He works in Dubuque so it worked out okay for him.


Here are Buck and Lilly.


The water slides were the highlight for the kids.  Here is Scotty.


Lilly has no fear and would have likely gone herself had she met the age limit.  Buck took her often.


It is nice that Carver and Scotty and Lucy were old enough to go on their own.


Anders caught the cold that has been going through our households.  He wasn’t excited about water but wasn’t fussy at all.  He’s feeling better now.


We, adults, congregated in the kid’s pool and watched the kids.  It was great.  They played and we chatted while doing head counts.

We’ve decided that we’ll do this again next year.  Just one overnight is enough for us.  We talked to one family and they were staying for three nights.  Nope.  That would be too much for us.  one was perfect.


Kelli’s boys didn’t come and neither did Kelli’s husband Jason.  The boys were sick and he volunteered to stay home with them.

One thing we’d do next time is bring a few water toys.  None of us thought of that.  Luckily a few of the other kids there shared.


In the evening the kids each got to pick a teddy bear.  These were all made from my husband’s shirts.  We picked oldest to youngest unless the kids had a picture of Kramer with them wearing a specific shirt.  For those of you new here, my husband passed away in June 2019.  I didn’t make them.  Kalissa found someone who makes them from our area and charges a very reasonable price.


We had 10 made but have more shirts and will have more made if need be.  Kramer was wearing the shirt of Georgia’s bear when we met her for the first time at the hospital.


This is seven of the ten grandkids.

All in all…I’m very happy with our Christmas…Very happy with how everything went.  We’ll be doing this again next year.  From now on with my kids and grandkids having so many things…and not really needing anything, I’m going to try to do more “experience” gifts.  I think it’s the best way to go for us.

Oh, and the promised Georgia story.  That’s tonight’s post.  This got too long.

19 thoughts on “A Waterpark Christmas”

  1. What a wonderful idea. Our water parks around TN are all outdoors so close in Sept. Might be one in The Smokies that’s indoors.

    1. Susan the Farm Quilter

      Look into Great Wolf Lodge in Atlanta or Charlotte – lovely destination for family water park fun and lodging. These are the closest ones to TN.

      1. There’s a Great Wolf Lodge in Minnesota to. Our daughter-in-law took the twins there. If you have Farm Bureau insurance there’s a discount for Great Wolf Lodges.

  2. What a wonderful idea for a gift of special family time. I would love to see some ideas for types of family experiences you have in mind. Happy New Year

  3. What great fun!!! I so much love seeing the pictures of the family. You all have so much fun together. The picture with the teddy bears is adorable! That was quite a bunch of bears. My daughter and I used to make those bears. My SIL just finished making 30 for somebody with grandfather’s shirts. Great idea!

  4. Susan the Farm Quilter

    Experiences are so much better than things and will definitely be remembered by the whole family!! The bears are wonderful!! I’m doing the same with my dad’s clothing – not shirts, but his suit jackets and robes which are all wool.

  5. This is the first year that we decided to do a summer trip together instead of buying big gifts. We have it all planned for June. Memories we decided are better than gifts.

  6. What a fun way to celebrate the Christmas season, those smiling faces are priceless. The bears are such a special gift to have made for each of your grandchildren, love that picture.

  7. Katherine Gourley

    Wonderful Christmas present. Kids have enough stuff and experiences are the best. Love the Kramer Teddy Bears. Bless you Jo, you make my heart sing.

  8. Such a great gift for your family. Jo thank you so much for sharing your life with us. The teddy bears made from Kramer’s shirts brought tears to my eyes. Such a wonderful gift.

    Sarah

  9. Great Christmas gift for all of you! I agree that ‘experiences’ are a great way to go – everyone seems to have so much ‘stuff’ these days and your kids and grands will have such great memories of your time together!!

  10. I think the Waterpark experience is a wonderful gift. My daughter and her husband have celebrated Christmas with experiences for several years. This year’s experience is Legoland and I contributed to their annual passes. As they said, they don’t need more stuff to stuff in their rooms. Past years passes that I can recall were for an indoor trampoline park and a little kids, hands on museum.
    Praying for your cancer treatment to go as smoothly as possible. Even more so, please Lord.

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