Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

What a happy day!
We baked pumpkin pies and started our chocolate dessert for tomorrow.
Tonight we watched Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and ate pumpkin pie!
After the movie we went through our thankful box and here's what we found:

my darling
for taking my girls hunting
for eyeballs, because then you can see
to have been able to help the girls with 100 shoeboxes
to be born in America
for everything God has given us
soap, because it gets the germs out
my bed
a gun
my hermit crab
the smiles and joy that all 3 children bring into our home
Daddy's job
my boopoo
kiwi fruit
going hunting with daddy
for a husband that loves me and loves Jesus even more
my beautiful wife that is patient with me and is a blessing to me
for my little partner that takes care of the princess and the darlings while I'm gone
for mom letting us eat pumpkin pie early

Happy Thanksgiving!! Have a wonderful day celebrating with the ones you love!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Vacation Top 10

It's officially Thanksgiving week!
To start it off we made a list of the Top 10 things we are thankful for from our vacation.

1. Being able to spend time together making memories with our family.
Not just us, but our extended family too!! What a treat!

2. For Mike and Ang and their family for generously sharing their timeshare points!
Thanks for providing us with a beautiful place to stay!

3. Mike and Ang...again! They also did a timeshare sales pitch so we could buy Disney tickets at a discounted price AND get a free day at the waterpark!
Thank you!!

4. Breakfast on the balcony in the beautiful Florida sunshine!
The Lord gave us beautiful weather our entire time there!
5. Bonfires on the beach! And Smore's!
6. Storytime with a cousin!
7. Scavenger Hunt--2nd place finishers!
8. Movies on the big screen. Poolside. No jacket needed :)
9. Spending time with these two cuties!
10.  Family meals.
This vacation was our early Thanksgiving and Christmas celebration with my family.
Since we won't be eating with them this Thanksgiving like we usually do, this outside dinner in Florida is what I consider our Thanksgiving dinner!
No turkey, no stuffing or mashed potatoes, but we were all together!
And very, very thankful!!
Although Aiden looks grumpy.


Highlights from Magic Kingdom

Main Street, USA
Fun fall decorations!

Fantasy Land
A trip to Disneyworld isn't complete without a ride on It's a Small World!
Aiden really liked this ride, so we did it a few times!

This one makes me laugh!

Peter Pan was another one of his favorites....mine too!
As soon as we got off Peter Pan he said, "Let's do that one again!"


Who knew Dumbo could be so scary?
Seriously, she is afraid of Dumbo and this is as close to the ride as she came.

Tom Sawyer's Island
One of Aiden's favorite spots!
He was able to shoot guns in the fort,
and walk over the barrel bridge.
Nanny rocked the barrel bridge too!
So did the girls!
Taking time for a game of checkers!
Taking a break and sharing some love!
Just after Tom Sawyer Island we did Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain.
All 3 kids wanted to ride them!
Aiden rode with me, and he was hilarious!
He knew there was a huge hill coming in Splash Mountain, and he kept asking, "Is this the big hill?"
Once we actually were at the big hill and I told him this was it he said, "HOLD ON TIGHT TO ME MOM!" and he scooted as close to me as he could get!
Once we were done he said, "I think I'll ride that one with Dad. He can hold onto me tighter than you can."

Jungle Cruise!
We also did the show in the Tiki Room.
It was the perfect time for Ryan to catch a cat nap!
An older gentleman smiled at me and chuckled when he saw Ryan "resting his eyes" during the show!

Tomorrow Land
Roz at the Monsters Inc show!
Aiden has been saying his favorite line from the show in his best Roz voice ever since!
"I'm watching, ALWAYS watching, Wazowski!"
We also did Space Mountain because one of our children really wanted to do it.
This would not be the same child that was afraid of Dumbo!
Somehow Uncle Mike and I were elected to be the grown ups to go along.
Well, actually, I offered to go.
I forgot that the last time I rode it I told myself that would be the last time.
I quickly remembered, but it was too late!
We all survived Space Mountain, even the one who is afraid of Dumbo!
One of our children really wanted to do it again.
No one offered to go.

Aiden really liked the Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin.
So did Uncle Mike. I think he made Star Cadet!
You can barely see Aiden's hand in the picture!

Disney's Electrical Parade
What a great way to end the day at Magic Kingdom!
Some of us ended our day before the parade even began!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Cinderella's Castle

Everyone wants a picture in front of Cinderella's Castle.
For some reason this was not an easy task for our family.
We made many attempts at great castle are some of them.

Mom with her grandkids, the 2 youngest aren't looking at the camera.

Emma tried to smile, but you can tell she's thinking about all the people around her.

Tried again, but Aiden was too busy checking out the map.

Not a bad photo, but we're missing some of our group!

Little blurry and dark, but love the view of the castle from here.
Emma took this one for me.

Me and my Prince Charming.
Not bad, but the castle looks crooked.
We did a second take, and it was still crooked.
Emma said, "The castle must be crooked."

Me and my little Prince Charming.
He agreed to take this picture with me if I would do another pose for him.
Wouldn't you know the castle wasn't crooked for his pose?

Princesses and Mickey Mouse at Magic Kingdom

We all love Mickey and as you can see below we did have time for a photo
with Disney's main man (or mouse:)
The girls asked to see the princesses too, but Aiden said he didn't want to see them.
I assured him he only had to come with us, he didn't have to talk to any princesses
or have any photos taken.

While waiting in line he began to change his mind.
Rapunzel was the first princess and he said "I don't want to see her. I want that one," as he pointed to the next princess, Sleeping Beauty.
The girls did take a photo with Rapunzel.
And then Aiden had a chance to visit with Sleeping Beauty.
She asked him if he would save her and help protect her.
He told her no.
She asked why not.
He responded, "Because I'm already busy saving the other princess."
Sleeping Beauty assumed he was talking about Rapunzel and she looked at me and said,
"Well, I guess he doesn't like me as much as the other princess!"

It turns out he does like the other princess more, because that other princess isn't Rapunzel. It's me, his mommy.

Ryan and Aiden play this game, we call it Partners and Princess.
Ryan and Aiden are "partners" and when Ryan leaves for work he tells Aiden to "take care of the princess!"
So Aiden spends his days protecting the princess and defending her castle, and the princess couldn't be more grateful for her little partner.
Sorry Sleeping Beauty, but for now, the little partner has time for saving only one princess, his mommy!

I'm not sure what he's telling Cinderella here, but he may be telling her that he saw the Beast.
The day before we had seen Beauty and Beast on stage.

As we left Cinderella said, "Good-bye Prince Charming!"
He looked at me with a smile and said, "She called me Prince Charming!"
Then he asked, "What is a Prince Charming, anyway?"

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Animal Kingdom

Highlights from our day at Animal Kingdom:


At the end of our jungle walk we met a very sweet young woman from South Africa. She had come to  work for a year at Disney in April. She told us a bit about where she was from and some of her struggles in learning to live in our country. Disney does all it can to make the transition as smooth as possible, but she was ready to go home! And it turns out that the city she was from in South Africa is the same city that is home to an orphanage that we helped raise money for in September!
She went on to express her gratitude not only to us, but to all Americans who generously give not only to her country but other African countries as well. How I wish I would have thought to take a picture of her!


 The picture is a bit blurry, but we must have a picture of Marlin and Dory!
Mr. Ray picking up his students.
The sharks! Aiden liked the sharks!

3. Rafiki's Planet Watch

We weren't sure about taking time to head out to the Planet Watch area, but we were glad we did!
Our kids love animals and they enjoyed the hands on area!
They also liked the exhibit building where they saw a huge python, beetles and other animals.
Emma talked with one of the caretakers about working at Disney caring for animals.
Aiden liked the various samples of animal scat they had available for observation!

One of the nice things about the Planet Watch area is that is much quieter than the rest of the park! We brought our lunch along and found a quiet picnic table to stop and have lunch.



During our jungle walk we met a young employee named Emma and she gave our kids a card with a stamp and told them they could collect a stamp in every area of the park once they completed the task at each station.
Of course the kids accepted the challenge!
They had fun doing the tasks and somehow we kept running into the employee Emma at the various stations!
When we found the last station, we found Emma working there!

 So the same girl who got them started was able to give them their final stamp and their animal booklets. And she recited the wilderness pledge with them!


Aiden sporting his 3D bug glasses for the movie.
We all loved the fun movie that squirts you with stink bug stink,


        Doug and Russell from the movie Up.                                         Moriah loves Doug!


Aiden loved it!!


Ready to go!