My Sizzlin’ Summer Vacation

Thanks for linking up everyone! I hope you had as much fun as I did!  The door prize winners can be viewed below…if you see your name, please email me your address (  Thank you also to the companies who donated something! And if you have a chance this weekend, please blog hop and read everyone’s awesome posts!  Happy Labor Day.

Welcome!  I’m so excited you’re here.  I’ve been looking forward to this Sizzlin’ Summer Vacation Spectacle for a long time.  I’m excited to read and see photos of your sizzlin’ or fizzlin’ trips.  

Don’t forget to link up your story at the end of this post.  I will be announcing door prize winners all day long, from 7 a.m until 10 p.m. Friday night (CST). Door prizes are only for Linky participants. (I am giving away 4 prizes for commenters on this post…keep reading).  You only need to link up your vacation post ONE TIME to be eligible to win one of the door prizes. And your post doesn’t have to be a current post, just one from this summer’s vacation (day trip), but I would appreciate a link back here.
Here is the list of 21 door prizes (not in a specific order) that total around $800.00!  I will update winners every couple of hours, so please check back as often as you can. Some of the prizes were donated locally and do not have links and these will be given away first, so Please take time to visit each donator that has a link. These business/blogs have been so kind to donate the following:
Prize #1. Travel Scrapbook ($25 value) Winner: Tonggu Momma
Prize #2. $25 Gift Certificate to Ultra Beauty-4-You Boutique
Prize #3. Two Beautiful Wooden Frames for your vacation snapshots ($25 value) Winner: Craft Junky Creations
Prize #4. Huggable Kid’s Digital Photo Frame ($30 value) 

Prize #5. Personalized Set of Cards from Creative Blessings by Stacey ($20 value)
Prize #6. A Kid’s Travel Activity Lot ($25 value) Winner: Forty b4 Forty

Prize #7. Shawn is offering a $15 Gift Certificate w/free shipping to Shawnsbidness Collectibles (ebay store) Winner:  Lisa@ Stop and Smell the Chocolates!
Prize #8. Travel Disney Scene It: To Go ($15 value) Winner: My 3 Wisemens 

Prize #9.$25 Gift Certificate to Me Oh My Paper Boutique
Winner: Rohal Call
And three companies have offered grand prizes:
 Prize #10. Pine Cove Family Camp is donating a Prize Gift Box (over $50 value) consisting of: 3 Pine Cove T-Shirts (1 Adult, 2 Children’s), 2 Pine Cove Outback Car Decals, an Outback Boomerang and stuffed kangaroo and Pine Cove’s Newest Worship CD:  Second Life of Mattresses. Winner- Life at the Circus
Keylime Cove Logo

Prize #11. One free night plus 4 all-day waterpark admissions to the amazing Key Lime Cove Indoor Water Park and Resort  in Illinois!  Go check out this amazing place. (Value $150; in your comment please mention if you’d like to win this and would be able to use it, expires December 2009).
Lonely Planet Logo
Prizes #12-21 Lonely Planet is offering 10 Travel Guides (up to $30 value each). Winners have can pick the travel guide of their choice! You can view the choices here. !
Winner –Kelly’s Krazy Kids, (pick a book here!)

Winner- Frantically Simple (pick a book here!)

Winner- Sandra (pick a book here!)

Winner- AgSoccer Mom(pick a book here!)

Winner- PS He Loves You (pick a book here!)

Winner-Neurotically Yours (pick a book here!)

Winner-Carolina Mama (pick a book here!)

Winner-Rockin Mama (pick a book here!)

Winner-Little Toes & Cheerios (pick a book here!)

Winner-Demos (pick a book here!)

PLUS, these amazing guides (Florida, USA, (2)Blue List: Best in Travel in 2008) will go to 4 lucky commenters on this post (that’s a total of 14 Travel Guides from Lonely Planet. This is a total value of approximately $400!
Winner- World’s Greatest Mommy-Travel Guide- USA
Winner- Simple Things-Travel Guide-Florida

Before you link up, indulge me and check out my Sizzlin’ Summer Vacation.  We went to Pine Cove Family Camp in Tyler, Texas and had an incredible week.
It was simply amazing.   Here are some other highlights:
Redneck Hubby with a Gun, Shooting some Skeet.
One little boy conquering his fear and flying down a zip line for the first time.
A fearless girl who lived on the giant water slide and Blob!
Our first family boat trip was awesome.  

Oh. And the water balloon fight was pretty spectacular.

Watching my family fly off the Water Rocket was hilarious!
Falling into the water, upside down & backwards was  cool!
Swinging with Daddy was the best!
The Breakfast Trailride with my hubby was awesome!

But most of all, the best part of our vacation was reconnecting with my hubby, my kids and God.  That was the greatest!


  1. 2


    I hereby promise that I’m taking an actual trip next year. If we have to camp at the park down the street and shower in the neighbor’s sprinklers…it will be worth it to say we didn’t stay home. The kids did have a blast with the water slide though.

    Your summer looks like it made some fun memories!

  2. 3


    You might just have as much fun GIVING things away as "we" will receiving them–great stash!

    Your vacation was a family wonder :). The zip line conquered? Whew! It scares ME just lookin' at it. Swingin', blobbin', water balloon fightin'…it's ALL good.

    They'll remember this for the rest of their lives (and so will Mom & Dad).

    Thanks for giving us reason to celebrate the wonder of Summer…it makes for memories for all of us :).

  3. 4


    My sil and her family live near Tyler!!! I’ll have to tell them about this place.

    I was a bit more wordy in my vacation exploits post. Oh well . . . . just look at the pictures if you want :-)

  4. 5


    Hooray for the summer spectacular! Been looking forward to it for awhile… and clicking refresh for the last 45 min. :-)

    Looks like you all had an awesome time at camp! We went camping too though not quite as organized.

  5. 9


    I love the water balloons! Such fun. Facing fears is a great thing to do when you are with family.

    Thanks for setting this up! I had so much fun getting my post ready and reliving the wonderful vacation.

  6. 13


    First: That is an absolutely precious picture of you on the water rocket! I am loving it.

    Two: I have got to find a camp like that around here.

    Three: That KeyLime Cove place looks so totally awesome. I think it would be well worth the trip to go there. Now if I can just get my Hubby to drive that far. :)

  7. 14


    This is wonderful! Thanks for coordinating all of this–it had to have been a labor of love!

    It looks like you had an awesome vacation. Ours was just a weekend camping trip, but it was memorable nonetheless.

    Iowa isn’t THAT far from Illinois. I’d make sure if I won that we would make a weekend of it!

  8. 15


    It’s finally here!!! YAY!

    Loved the cowgirl pix of you!

    Looking forward to reading through and visiting everyone’s summa’s!

    It’s great your so clever to set this up…I don’t need anything in return just come by and “auto graph ” my comments or leave some love!!!

  9. 17


    I live 10 minutes from Pinecove!! Were ya’ll at the Woods? We love it there…we never branched out to family camp though. We done the single parent retreat and some mother/daughter ones. My brother in law even took my son to a father/son retreat.

    Thanks for setting this up! I look forward to peeking in on everyone’s summer fun.

  10. 18


    That pictures of your son falling into the water is really awesome! Looks and sounds like your family had a wonderful time. Hard to believe summer is already coming to a close…

    Thanks for hosting this – it’s fun! : )

  11. 19


    what a great promotion! i can’t wait to read all the trials and tribulations. we did the kansas city thing and it rained the whole time, which defeated all our tickets and plans!

  12. 21


    Since I live in a travel trailer and live somewhere new every six months or so, “going on vacation” is mostly what I write about. OK, so we work fulltime, but on our days off, we go somewhere to see what we can see. I have linked to a post about going to Kanab, Utah. There are some interesting things about that town, not to mention that the scenery is just awesome. Did I mention the dinosaur tracks?

  13. 28


    Loved seeing the pics of your vacation. Looks like it was a blast!!!

    OOPS! I put my link up twice…I’m not sure what happened the first time…I have no idea how the words “Italian Beef Sandwiches” ended up there. Can you delete the first one?

  14. 29


    been looking forward to this. My post is up :)

    Your family holiday pics are great, I look the diving into the pool shot.

    Looking forward to visiting the other blogs too. Thanks for all your hard work in organizing this.

  15. 30


    I have so very many possible stories, but I had to choose the most painful – our trip to China to adopt our daughter. Well, the flying part to get there, as it very much shows our “luck” with flying anywhere for vacations.

  16. 32


    Your pictures made me want to throw the family in the car and head off to camp!

    I’m still trying to figure out this blog participation stuff. I’m #46 on the list – I list myself as Lori instead of Tree Climbing Mom, but anyway that’s me and my post about one of our sanity saving day trips.

    Looking forward to avoiding housework today and reading everybody’s posts instead:)

  17. 34


    Nothin’ red neck about shooting skeet, my dad does it as a sport! All of your pictures look awesome! I am posting today part of my vacaction I took last week in Maine, so much fun!

  18. 35


    I linked up last night but was to tired to do much else…lol! So now I am back to comment.

    What a neat vacation your family took! I love the simplicity of it. Looks like you could be laid back and really enjoy each other. I love the picture of your son jumping in the pool. :o)

    Thanks for this fun contest!

  19. 38


    I hope that people get a real kick out of my amazing vacation photos (please read that dripping with sarcasm).
    Key Lime Cove is about an hour from my house, so I could definitely make it there should I win the passes.
    Thanks for the fun fest!

  20. 41


    I have been looking for to this for weeks. I was so danged excited that I sat down and blogged it last week and scheduled it to post today. I couldnt wait any longer!! Seeing everyone elses trips gives me ideas for next summer. Thanks for doing this!

  21. 45


    Whew, writing this post was almost as exhausting as the actual vacation. My husband took over 3000 photos this summer and managed to pick just a few!

    I love the idea of a family camp and we are going to look into that camp before we are stateside again. What a great idea!

    Hope you have something fun planned for this labor day weekend!

  22. 47


    I wrote my post and linked up last night, then I dragged myself off to bed. So here I am bright and early with a little comment:) Your family photos are lovely and especially love your zip line photo, what a brave little guy! The Key Lime Cove resort sounds awesome, but I know we won’t be going to Illinois anytime before 12/09, so I have to pass on that one, (sniff!)

  23. 48


    I’ve been waiting for this!!! I’m so excited about this giveaway!

    I love your pictures of your vacation at camp. That looks like a wonderful spiritual retreat for the whole family!

    Check out my blog for our vacation to the beach with a screaming 15 month old! Talk about family fun!!

  24. 50


    Man, I wonder if there’s anything like that near me here in Tampa, FL. I’ve always wanted to go down a zipline!!! I love doing things like that!
    Sure looks like you guys had a blast of a good time. :)

  25. 52


    One of my good friends from college used to be a counselor at Pine Cove. Her name was Wal-Paper and she married another counselor named Tomahawk. They loved that place and I’ve been there once to visit her. So nice!! Thanks for sharing your vacation.

  26. 54


    What a fun place, my daughter usually goes to a camp run by the Catholic Youth Organization that look very similar to this and she has a blast every year. But because she is now playing rep soccer and we travelled so much for that she had to forego camp. We did however travel to Virginia Beach for a soccer tournament/vaca and I did write about it on my blog. I have really enjoyed reading your adventure I hope you enjoy ours.
    – Highway
    – Sweetest place
    – Different Soccer

    Take care and have an amazing long weekend

  27. 61


    Oh wow! What fun! I love reading about all the fun places people have been and all the great things there are to do. Thanks for such a fabulous Spectacle!

  28. 63


    Can I tell you how much I love your linkys? Well I DO.
    But I gotta say- I was more than a little bummed to see this one coming my way….it was the final sign that summer was over. Kids start school on Tuesday….back to reality.

    Thanks again for doing this really amazing event. Gosh so many prizes. I hope good people win.

    Thanks again.
    Your biggest fan,

  29. 65


    Well, I messed up on my Mr. Linky (that is what I get for trying to do it with a baby on my lap.) Link #76 is the wrong one!! so I tried again.

    With 4 little kids, our vacations exist of visiting family, but we did have some fun times at an area park this summer!

    I wish I had planned ahead better and done a post on family travels. maybe next year. thanks for hosting this!

  30. 67


    I had to remove my linky b/c we didn’t get a vacation in this year..not even a day trip. A wedding was what we had!

    LOVE love your family camp pictures!

  31. 69


    Wow, it looks like you all had a great time. I am so impressed, camping with a little one. Bravest I’ve been is hotel camping! :)

    Thanks for hosting this, looking forward to visiting many new (to me) blogs.


  32. 70


    I love the zip line picture …holding on for dear life! :)

    Pine Cove looks so awesome. It would be fun to go to a place like that when my kids get a little older.

    This is such a fun carnival idea…I can live vicariously through all of you that took sizzlin’ vacations this summer. :)

    We did go to Disney for the first time in March…that was awesome!

  33. 73


    We went to ND in May. That is our summer vacation this year since I am 6 weeks away delivering baby #3!

    I LOVE your blog – I read it constantly and even re-read some old posts. Good stuff!

  34. 76


    OMgosh, that slide looks AWESOME! I’m not linking up to this because we didn’t go on vacation this year. :( I thought about putting together some pics and stories of the stuff we did do but it just wasn’t very interesting. My poor children.

    But here’s something I thought maybe you could help me out with. :) I posted something today calling for stories about your worst parenting mistakes. I know you’ve got some posts already done, too! They’re for my friend who is pregnant for the first time and scared to death and I thought some stories about how we all screw up might help her out. If you could link up to it, I’d SURELY appreciate it!

  35. 77


    Too fun! Glad it is here – after all the anticipation. 😉 The Illinois giveaway will work this way as well – we have family south of Chicago.

    Thanks for all the sizzling fun!

  36. 78


    I love vacations…sadly the closest we came was Nashville to see the grandparents and BlogHer (I’m not complaining!)

    Thanks for hosting

    jasonncaryn at yahoo dot com

  37. 79


    Woo Hoo!!! I almost forgot about this…and it’s my birthday!!! I just put up my link, and I’m heading over to my blog to get the post posted…. Thanks!

  38. 80


    I got in on the fun late, but I hope I can still participate!

    Your trip pictures look great! I would so want to do the zip line, huge waterslide, and the water rocket! How fun would that be!!

    Great photo of your son going into the water!! Good camera action!

    Thanks for hosting this fun carnival! :)

  39. 84


    Okay, so I am not the brightest bulb in the tanning bed.

    I just posted my comment on the wrong post. So if you see some random post that doesn’t make sense, its mine.

  40. 85


    Thanks for doing this! It was fun! Some of our wackiest family memories are from vacations. Growing up, our family was totally THAT family! Nothing has ever been normal on one of our vacations. And, unfortunately (or fortunately, in my opinion), I’ve inherited the THAT family gene so the vacation spectacles continue!

  41. 86


    Whoops! Forgot to say that Key Lime Cove looks awesome! If it’s free, honey, I’ll find a way to use it! Yea! This is so cool! Thank you again for doing this!

  42. 92


    WoooHooo!! I popped in to check out some more sites and I saw my name was in red! I plan on buying the boys a DVD player for my car for Christmas this year. I am going to save this until Christmas too, and give it to them with the DVD player! :o)

  43. 96


    Good golly I won something!!! I am super excited!
    I would love the travel book on Belize. My husband youth group may be taking a mission trip there next summer!

  44. 100


    Guess I should have said, sure I want to win the grand prize. I would love to take a trip with my hubby after returning from Afghanistan. We haven’t really taken a true family vacation since he’s been home.

  45. 101


    I can’t believe I won something, and it’s perfect! I told my husband that even if we have to drive all over creation, this next year we are going to vacation as much as possible. The guide for the USA will be just the thing to help me plan.


  46. 102


    WAHOOO!!! I thought all the prizes had been awarded, but obviously I gave up too soon :). THANK YOU for hosting and giving–we ALL have received much (hehe, some more than others 😉 ).

  47. 105


    My husband and son went white water rafting. I have a post on my site. It is in the month of July entitled…white water rafting. Very cool pictures! angie

  48. 108


    I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your website.

    It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more enjoyable for me to come here and visit more often.
    Did you hire out a developer to create your theme? Outstanding work!

  49. 109


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