This trip was unique because we surprised the kids. They actually earned their surprise earlier this year, but because of timing and cost it did not work out until now. First I will tell you how they earned their surprise. We made a goal of reading 100 books in a year as a family sometime in the middle of 2014. We decided that we would pay a certain amount for each book read to a jar and build up a little slush fund. As we got closer to finishing our 100 books, we decided we wanted to do something fun with our fund we had accumulated. The kids decided a trip to Great Wolf Lodge would be the motivation they needed to get the books read. My kids do read a lot for school because our curriculum is highly reading based, but I like to see them read for fun too so our goal encouraged them to do so. We met our goal of 100 books in the Spring of 2015, but like I said the timing and cost of Great Wolf Lodge did not work out until this Fall. The kids were okay with it because we have done some other fun stuff throughout the year. So the kids thought we were going to stay in just a regular hotel and we let them think that. They had no clue that we were going to the Great Wolf Lodge and that was a fun surprise. As I got out of the car to check in at the lodge, my son just kept saying, "Are you messing with me?" They couldn't get the car unpacked and their swimsuits on fast enough. They were super excited. That was our Sunday afternoon through Tuesday evening when we traveled back home. Thank goodness for homeschooling and being able to take our school with us, we didn't get behind and they got work done before the pools opened each day.
While we were in Cincinnati I took the opportunity to go to Jungle Jim's, which I first posted about a couple of years ago. It is an international supermarket that is just super cool in my opinion. I stocked up on a few items that I just can't find around here or at a very good price on the Internet. The look on the cashier's face was priceless as she rang up the items I had multiples of. I am not sure she got the fact that Cincinnati is a once or if I am lucky twice a year trip for me. We also went to Trader Joe's. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this store, but all of them around me are at least 2 hours away. So whenever I get near one, I stock up on items. They are reasonably priced and they have so many items that fit into my eating plan. Our other favorite stop in Cincinnati is Ikea. I so LOVE that place. I am pretty sure that I could buy one of everything in the store, but I showed great restraint and did not buy one of everything...this time. I only bought a few items that I had really been looking for, mainly because we were out of room in the rental car.
Wednesday was back to school and a church night for us. We heard a great message in our teen room from a Veteran on Veteran's Day. Thursday was school and errands. I might have been to Michael's Craft Stores a couple of times this week. I am participating in a few Christmas craft swaps this year and had a couple of 25% off coupons that I