Last weekend we took a trip to Indianapolis to spend time with John's brother Chris, his wife Stephanie and their three boys, Jackson, Gavin and Griffen. We arrived Friday afternoon and that weekend the weather was just starting to warm up- not just above freezing, but actually into the 50's! It was bound to be a great trip for that reason alone! It felt SO GOOD to walk outside without wearing thick winter coats, not even gloves or hats!
Saturday morning, Jackson had a "Pinewood Derby" contest with the local Boy Scouts. He and his dad had made a small race car all by themselves and all the scouts got together that morning to race against each other. Jackson's car was Top 5 this year! Saturday night, Steph arranged for a babysitter for the kids while the adults went out for a nice dinner at The Ram in downtown Indianapolis, then we did a driving tour of the city and got to see some of the hospitals where Chris currently works.
Sunday was Jackson's 8th birthday party. It was held at the Hoosier Gymnastics Training Center. What a great place for a birthday party! There was a small "waiting room" that we used to store our shores and coats and enjoy our birthday treats and had small things for the kids to climb and bounce on. The large room of course had all the BIG toys, the spring boards, the balance beams, the rings, the uneven bars. It looked like an Olympic training center! What the kids mostly got to use were the fantastic trampolines! And perhaps best of all was the "foam pit". The kids waited in line and took turns running full speed, then jumping onto a trampoline and spinning a 360 in the air until finally falling into a huge pit filled with large foam cubes! They could also swing from large ropes across the pit (or into it!). There were also two other very large trampolines for super high bouncing, another large rope just for climbing, lots of cushy mats for flopping onto and that was just the free play time!
The man who led the play time also had some organized games, like jumping in the foam pit, flashlight hide and seek, running and rope climbing games. As you can see from the following pictures, the adults had just as much fun as the kids did! Any birthday where all the kids are encouraged to run, play and "exercise" is outstanding! If I lived in Indianapolis, *I* would want to take some classes there!
Steph made a scrumptious strawberry cake, as requested by Jackson, and after almost two hours of play time we finally settled down for cake and ice cream! We all needed naps after that! Oh, I forgot that after the birthday party, while playing outside, I was dodging ice balls being thrown by the neighborhood kids and accidentally knocked Gavin's loose tooth right out of his mouth! We searched all over the street looking for it, but we never found it! A bloody grin with a missing front tooth sure made Gavin look tough! What a fun day!
We were so excited to finally visit Chris and Steph and the boys, and I'm glad we got to go out to Indianapolis before they move to South Dakota this summer!
The trainer helping Renee jump off the little trampoline into the foam pit.
Jackson doing a 360 into the foam pit!
Gavin is literally flying through the air!!
Chris doing a summersault off the trampoline onto the big soft mat!
Gavin gave John a "thumbs up" while jumping off the trampoline.
John enjoying being a kid again!
Nice height on that jump!
Wow, Chris can almost do the splits!
"Happy birthday dear Jackson, Happy birthday to you!"
Renee loved swinging from the bar and flopping on the mat.
I love Griffen's hair while he jumps on the trampoline in "shark infested waters"!