Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Countdown Continues....

We are in the homestretch. Just 10 more days til we head to Christmas in Disney World. As we are preparing for the fun here, just a few more highlights of our trip in 2006 for your enjoyment.....
As the kids were 5 & 4 when we last went, we did not spend as much time in Epcot as we would have liked. There is a ton to do there that we hope to take advantage of this trip. We enjoyed all the different countries that are represented in the World Showcase. At each one, the kids made a craft that attached to their passport. I hear at Christmas time, each country has storytellers and demonstrations on how they celebrate Christmas. Should be fun.

England in the World Showcase at Epcot
One of our favorite rides of the whole trip was there, Soarin'. It is an amazing ride that simulates a hang gliding over California, complete with the sounds and smells of the beaches, evergreen forests, and orange groves. My kids still talk about it! Here is a cheesy stock photo I found online of it:
And the last of the 4 parks at Disney World is Disney's Hollywood Studios. It is a fun park to see lots of great characters, ride Movie-themed rides, and go behind the scenes of several of your favorite movies. It is a fun park for all ages.
In 2006, Cars had just been released, so my kids were so very excited to "meet" both Lightening McQueen and Mater. Love it!

Matt was also picked out of the crowd to re-enact a "Pearl-Harbor" type movie for the crowd. He did a great job with the over-acting bit!!
And one of the kids favorite spots is the "Honey I Shrunk the Kids" playgroud. Totally out-dated, as my kids have never even heard of this movie, but who wouldn't want to slide down a roll of film ("What's film, mom?")?
We are counting down the days here.......thanks for reminiscing with us!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Sweetest Touch

The sweetest part of our Thanksgiving this year wasn't the pumpkin pie. It wasn't all the sweet baby hugs we gave Bubba. It wasn't all the "thankfuls" we proclaimed all week either.

It was this:

It was my Aunt's gift to us for hosting Thanksgiving this year. Here is my Aunt, my mom, and my cousin with the 20 lbs of chocolate.
All of us gathered around soon after our big meal to see what the 'sampler' had in store for us!
It comes complete with a directory. Do you want a Chocolate Whip or a Cashew Cluster?

We will have enough chocolate to last us until Christmas!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Time to Get Thankful

Thanksgiving is a few days away and I have always hated how quickly we pass this holiday by to move onto Christmas. So to celebrate the meaning of Thanksgiving and to have my kids spend a little time reflecting on being thankful, we have been putting together a list of our family's "thankfuls". It started 2 years ago, when we asked our extended family what they were thankful for. As the emails started pouring in, we would write them down and post them in the kitchen for us to reflect on each week.

In 2007, we had a Thankful Turkey:
In 2008, we had a cornucopia of thanks:

Our kids have learned that we have lots to be thankful for from good health, to grandchildren, to God, to good grades, to trips to Disney World (I am sure that will be on the list this year). It is important to us that they understand that all of our blessings come from God and for this, we are thankful.
Here's wishing you a very thankful thanksgiving this year!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Disney..only 2 1/2 weeks away!

A little over 2 1/2 weeks from now and we will be at Disney World. And we are getting Super Excited over here!! As part of the countdown, here are some highlights from our trip in 2006.
Let's head on over to our favorite park of the trip, Animal Kingdom. We thought this was going to be a "disney-fied" zoo, but it is so much more than that! We enjoyed the way guests interact with the animals in the park, though tours on jeep to habitat walks, to amazing animal shows. And of course, there are a few great rides sprinkled in there too.

The first thing you see when you enter the park is the Tree of Life. It is amazing- these pictures don't do it justice!

We could stare at this tree for hours and find all kinds of new animals. 20 artists carved into the trunk, branches, and roots over 320 animals.

Sis's jaws are just about as big...

We loved the street entertainment, where I just had to prove to my kids how good of a hula-hooper I was...

We found that just because we were at the "happiest place on Earth" didn't mean you were always happy....

Our favorite ride at Animal Kingdom was the Kilimanjaro Safaris, where we saw tons of amazing wildlife straight out of Africa.

One of our favorite shows, Birds of Prey, featured several amazing birds.

What other park can you find Pocahontas?

It's a short week here with only 2 days of school and then we are out for Thanksgiving break!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Has it really been 6 months?

I can not believe it. My sweet baby boy is 6 months old today. 6 MONTHS!!!!! Where does the time go? It seems like yesterday, we were bringing him home from the hospital and now he is a big boy!
A big boy that loves to smile.
A big boy that is so easy going.
A big boy that sleeps through the night (momma loves that!)
A big boy that makes a HUGE mess when eating rice cereal.
A big boy that loves to watch his big brother and sister act incredibly silly to make him giggle.
A big boy that loves his bath time.
A big boy that loves to sleep in the car (before we get out of the neighborhood).
A big boy that warms the hearts of all his grandmas and pa-pas (even Great- grandmas & Papas)
A big boy that rarely fusses.
A big boy that loves to play.
A big boy that is loved by so many in this family!

We are so incredibly blessed to have him in our lives! And we thank God every day that he is a part of our family! I have loved each and every minute of these past 6 months! And I look forward to another 6! But can we slow them down a bit??

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Soccer- How I will Miss You!

I think you guys know by now that we are a soccer family. If not, read about hubby's obsession with soccer jerseys or how he liked to brainwash our baby to love soccer. Yeah, I'm married to that guy.
Sissy has played 10 seasons of soccer (that's a lot of games!) and has grown to love it! She is becoming quite the little defensive player. Brody has not played as much- he picked his nose and laid down on the field refusing to play his first year. So we waited until her was a little older to start. He still isn't crazy about it- every once and awhile he "gets" it and plays really well. But the other 75% of the time....not so much. But, he likes it and enjoys playing and that is all that matters. Really, it is more about our kids being a part of a team and getting some exercise. At least, that is what we like to tell ourselves!
Soccer season wraps up this week for the fall. And I am a little sad about it- I really have come to enjoy these games. Watching Sis get competitive and upset if she makes a mistake or seeing her exuberance when they win has become a real joy. Of course, watching Brody's funny faces when he kicks the ball has become just as much fun:

What's with the tongue?

Of course, we now have weekends free- that is until indoor soccer starts in January- Yay!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Disney World- Here we come!

We leave for Christmas in Walt Disney World in a little less than a month from now. And we are ecstatic- I mean the kids are....Matt & I happen to be a little more reserved about the whole thing. I jumped on the vacation planning back in August when I got a good price and thought how fun it would be to go at Christmas time. And I didn't really think about the consequences. How am I going to take the kids out of school for that long? What about Ian? Take him? Leave him behind? And is it sensible to go to WDW right before Christmas????
Well, it is a little too late for that! The trip is booked and paid for and we are going! My sweet momma is going to watch the baby (which makes my heart palpatate each time I think about it- not my mom watching Bubba, just me being apart from him for 7 days...ahhhhhhhhh!!) It will be great, I know- it isn't sensible to bring a 6 month old and this way we can spend some quality time with the older two. He is going to do great with my mom and not cry each night missing me (that will be me!!). And this will be our Christmas present to the kids- fun, right?
Our tickets arrived last week and we started a countdown:
We took a trip in 2006 when the kids were 5 & 4 and it was a magical time. At that age, you are so excited to meet the characters and see all the "magic" that Walt Disney World has to offer. As a countdown to the trip, I thought it would be fun to highlight some of my favorites pictures from that trip. We can start in the Magic Kingdom:
Taking the ferry from Wilderness Lodge over to The Magic Kingdom our first day. Look how tiny they were!

Cindi's castle all light up at night- so pretty- the best fireworks show I have ever seen is put on here each night.

One of several character meals- character meals are the best way to get one-on-one character interaction. This one was at Liberty Tree Tavern- the pic says it all.

Sissy getting to call out "All Aboard"on the Walt Disney Railroad- Brody is fascinated by trains but was too chicken to call it out- maybe this time?

Sissy playing "Mother May I" with Snow White, Alice, & the Mad Hatter during Extra Magic Hours one morning. She also played "Red LIght, Green Light" with Peter Pan, Wendy, and Captain Hook- was the highlight of her trip!

Brody would rather fly on Dumbo than play with the characters!

Brody was enamored with Show White after she gave him a little kiss!

So, I am not a Disney fanatic, but I do like to get a little prepared for the trip. I make my ADRs (advance dining reservations) at some fun restaurants, check on the park schedule and plan our days, and spend time reading about all the fun "hidden magic" Walt Disney World seems to hold.
I put a lot of planning into our last trip and it made for such a wonderful vacation. We went nuts last time (attempting to do everything!) and were exhausted by the end of the trip, so for this one, we plan on taking our time and enjoying each and everything we stumble across. The kids are not wanting to try to meet every character (they think they are too old for that now!), so that will free up a lot of our time to enjoy other things.
As nervous as this Momma is to leave my baby behind, I am looking forward to seeing the joy on my kids faces as they are having so much fun in such a magical land!
Have you been? What was your favorite thing to see or do?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Little Mommy- Take 2

Sissy has always been a "little mommy" to Bubba, but in the past few weeks, she has stepped it up a notch. Feeding him bottles, picking out clothes, dressing him, and even (gasp) changing diapers (wet ones only- were working on the dirty ones!).

I even caught her last week doing this:

Oh, how I love this girl...and so does her little brother!

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