Andy, Kelly, Carter & Charlie

Spring Break Adventures

About a month ago, Kelsey and I tried to figure out what we wanted to do for spring break. Skiing / tubing? Slumber party? We went back and forth, until Kelsey finally said, “I kinda just want to say, screw it, and go big!”

By February 20th, we had 7 plane tickets and a VRBO in Indian Rocks, Florida! The kids were certain we were sledding and tubing. When the weather just got nicer and more beautiful, they were content with just hanging out together (seriously – we have amazing kids!).

The kids and I drove down to the Bumsteds Sunday evening. As life began to get crazed with the Covid19 spread, we still planned to take off and enjoy!

They love games! Game night is Carter’s favorite! So we played some word games:

Monday, we were up crazy early, driving to Moline. We beat the desk attendant at Allegiant. By, like hours! We hopped the flight to St. Pete’s, then drove onto Indian Beach.

It was a bizarre flight. We wiped down EVERYTHING in our area: tables, arm rests, seat belts, and everything we touched. The plane was maybe half full? The fear of the Coronavirus was building, and the uncertainty was a lot to carry. This is why we rented a car last minute; if need be, we planned to drive back to Iowa!

Hello, Florida! It’s great to be here!

We parked near our VRBO, grabbed swim bags, and headed for lunch on the water!

I LOVE his freckly sunshine face <3

We changed clothes quickly after lunch, and we headed to the beach!

#AdventureCrew hits the beach!

Seriously. Could not get there quick enough!

Charlie’s first great find: two halves of a sand dollar!
And the girls found some great ones, too!

Adventure Crew ’20 –> <3

And also, F U CoVid19

HELLO from the beach!

Digging the hole and making the moat. With lots of sand!

Charlie’s handstands

Tag and wrestling!

We loved our first afternoon at the beach!

On the walk from the beach to our VRBO, we stumbled upon Tropical Ice Cream and their 70+ flavors! We are on a mission to try all 70 this week!

At our VRBO house, we all get settled in. We cleaned up, unpacked and made a quick grocery list. After Charlie’s shower, he snuggled in for a little snooze. How sweet is that sun-kissed face?!

Hello, Jake’s Cantina, another great find on our walk from the beach. They had the most amazing tamales and Mexicorn! Carter loved the tacos, and Charlie inhaled the queso!

Our good looking crew wrapping up the greatest day of travel and adventure!

Welcome to Haven Beach and Indian Rocks, Florida <3

It was a hidden little piece of heaven!

Florida’s version of “partly cloudy”!

Charlie was determined to ride this boogie board! He more just floated on it while having a blast!

Digging a burying hole!

Buried Nora!

And a buried Grant!

Yep! This’ll do for the day!

Having a blast!



Carter and I walked up to Jake’s for lunch. And Kelsey walked up to Slyce Pizza place. BEAT THIS, I dare you! Amber texted me from Iowa saying to enjoy eating out while in Florida, because they’d closed down restaurants in Iowa due to the Coronavirus.

Mer-Mama! Well done, Carts!

Little sandy, lots of fun!

Whatta day!

Dinner with the best of friends at Crabby Bill’s

Let’s ride the sun to tomorrow <3

Now that’s a view!

And we wrapped up our day with Unstable Unicorns! The kids were quick pros at it, but Kelsey kept yelling, “Don’t touch my stuff!” and “I’m a lateral thinker!” HA!

Wednesday morning, the Adventure Crew was up bright and early to go shelling. Well, Kelsey, Nora, Carter, and I were up at 5:45am! The boys were cashed out!

The beach was pitch black, and we were the only people around! Slightly scary but super cool!

It’s a Bob!

We wrapped up our shelling adventures just as the sun was popping up over the boats. This is the life!

We roused the boys, suited up (and sunscreened! A lot!), then headed back to the beach. We splashed and swam, made sand castles and moats, and dug a beach seat!

Collin earned himself a massive sunburn, and everyone else was pretty sunkissed, as well. So we took a beach break to go mini golfing. Things in the world, a world miles from where we were relaxing, continued to negatively become impacted by the Coronavirus. We began to see signs popping up, directing groups to limit to 8 or less and remain at least 6 feet from others.

Carter, Charlie, Kelsey, Grant, Collin, and Nora hit the tees as I kept score and giggled at them!

Carter putted from above, and her ball descended to the hole. This little lizardy guy bolted just in time to avoid being rolled over! And, Carter earned her second hole in one!

1st: Carter Kay
2nd: Kelsey
Tied for 3rd: Grant and Collin
Tied for 4th: Charlie and Nora 😉

After mini golf, we did a little souvenir shopping and of course we got ice cream!

Back to the beach! The big kids dug a big ol’ hole, and they buried themselves, with the help of their new friend Zander! The little kids played on the wave board and with the paddle balls, and they wrestled in the waves. The joined forces for Beach Chicken, and we all soaked in the setting sun.

We’d spent Wednesday basking in the sunshine. The world beyond the Florida waves began to more aggressively and somewhat per-emptively attempt to keep everyone safe from CoVid 19. “It’s just the flu” seems to no longer be the sentiment, and I’d be lying if I weren’t a little concerned. Florida news share conversations regarding the closing of restaurants, businesses, and even the beaches. All while we are generously washing hands, sanitizing, and worrying about getting home in a couple days … but, for now, there is Jake’s Cantina! Mexican Pizza, Burritos and Queso, and MEXICAN CORN <3

Thursday, we slept in and then headed to Gulfport Marina for some shelling and snorkeling!

Look who joined us as we headed out to Egmont Key!


My favorite ding-dong put his shoes down to splash and play … then forgot them when we walked on! Luckily he found them (Grant also forgot his flips, so maybe it’s just a dude thing?!)

We then headed to snorkel not far from Egmont Key!

They both found conchs!

I’m pretty sure Carts fell asleep on the 40’ish minute boat ride back!

After landing, we headed back to the beach one more time

Carter’s time lapse setting sun <3

Last night, filled with Spoons, beverages, and lots and lots of laughs!

I’m not really sure how we misjudged our time Friday morning. Kelsey and I went over leaving the condo, driving to the airport, dropping off the car, and dealing with the airport a dozen times. But somehow we were off. Luckily Kelsey was up and rolling early, and we had everyone up, with their things shoved in hands, within 10 minutes! All at 4:30am! We arrived to the airport with time to spare, and we were home by noon Friday.

Andy, Kelly, Carter & Charlie

Here Come the Cooties …

Reflectively, March 9th Carter felt awful. She got through part of dance, but she felt like she needed to come home early. They weren’t doing much at dance, anyway, with many absences and people gone early for spring break.

Looking back now (March 25, 2020), I’m wondering how we could be so unaware of the pending Coronavirus pandemic. I think back to December and January, and I wonder if this is what got ahold of Charlie. So far, rest and self-care has kept us all safe. Here’s to hoping we remain healthy and well.

Andy, Kelly, Carter & Charlie

Charlie's Spring Conference

Going into Charlie’s conferences, we always know we’re going to hear at least two things:
* He needs to slow down and be a fluent and comprehensive reader.
* He is quite the chatterbox!

But these aren’t bad things! He wants to read to please, and he loves sharing his knowledge. He’s a wonderful friend and takes care of others. Reading is becoming more consistent, and he’s shown a lot of growth this year. Math is coming along nicely, as well. He loves digging into science and he loves the story-telling aspect of history. He’s a great writer who puts his own creativity into his work, bringing his words to life. His teacher shares that he is a solid leader who strives for his own success, and he also he nurtures others to grow as leaders, as well.

This is all the greatest to hear! What an outstanding young man! Charlie, we are so proud of all that you are: Smarts, Sports, and Citizenship <3

Charlie was not in a pickle this round of conferences!

Celebratory ice cream with his goofy face!

Andy, Kelly, Carter & Charlie

Happy Birthday, Riley!

The girls got together to celebrate Riley! What a cute crew and awesome friends!

Andy, Kelly, Carter & Charlie

Spring Showcase

All the glitters is gold <3
Tonight was the Show Choir Spring Showcase, and RM did not disappoint!

Girl, I am oh so proud of all that you’ve accomplished! You’ve grown so greatly in your showmanship skills, but also in your connectivity and social ties! This season has been a blast; thank you for letting us join you on your awesome ride!

Andy, Kelly, Carter & Charlie

M A T H :(

Ugh. Math is the pits!

Hang in there, buddy! Don’t let that long division beat you!

Andy, Kelly, Carter & Charlie

Raise the Roof

Woot! Woot! It’s time to RAISE the ROOF, Cedar Rapids!

Daddy left early for crew work and setup, and we left after school. We spent the night with Uncle Kevin and Aunt Katie and Linc and J.

Whatta day!

Up at sunrise, glitter-riffic and fabulous, ready to roll!

Carter Chalupa Fan Club <3

Our crew is here! Let’s roll, Ankeny!

Carter Chalupa Fan Club! Thanks for coming guys <3

Hanging out with Show Choir folks between performances and judging

5am to midnight: It’s been a long day!

The boys were exhausted, too!

Andy, Kelly, Carter & Charlie

Game Night!

Popcorn, Claws, and Exploding Kittens!
For real: Does it get any better?!

Andy, Kelly, Carter & Charlie

Wrastling with Daddy

Andy, Kelly, Carter & Charlie

Charlie's Magic Trick

Presenting, the Charlie the Great!