Sunday, March 31, 2013

More Easter

Today was a mixed day. One one hand it was sad. Joshua wasn't home as he was called out of town on a last minute work emergency on Thursday. And we've missed him alot as we celebrated Easter over the past couple of days. On the other hand today was pretty awesome! The kids enjoyed their baskets and egg hunt this morning. Then we went to church and it was an amazing service! And we relaxed with movies for the afternoon.

A big part of our family's holiday traditions center around Joshua cooking for us, so we definitely missed his presence in the kitchen. Partly because it's just wonderful to sit back and watch him being happy just because he's in the kitchen...and then partly because we definitely enjoy the results of his culinary happiness! BUT he wasn't here today so I had to step up, and I'm actually kinda impressed with myself! First I made Joshua's family's traditional recipe "Eggs Goldenrod" for breakfast from all the leftover hard boiled eggs from the egg hunt, and the monkeys declared it a success (they were pretty worried that their favorite breakfast was not to be this year). Then I made a yummy ham dinner with all their favorite requests as side dishes. The funny thing is that this is the first Holiday Dinner I have ever made in my almost 19 years of marriage! Joshua usually cooks or I've had my parent's house to go to. Prior to today, I was fairly proud of my "never cooked" track record (mostly cuz it is hilarious to see other wives' reactions when I tell them)...but now I'm pretty proud that in a pinch I can pull off a decent spread!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Happy Easter!!

We had a ton of fun today at a local church's Easter Festival and I got some nice pictures with my new camera!

A couple of pre egg hunt pics of Carter...

And a "where's Waldo" of Carter intent in the hunt of the most special egg...

Success! A basket FULL!

The boys strategizing for the silly string battle...


And the day wouldn't have been complete without Carter enjoying some time in the bounce house. I love how this pic came out even though it's technically a dud. I am still learning how to get my camera to focus on what I WANT it to (in this case I wanted it to focus on Carter, not the netting)...but I thought the shot came out rather cool, with the colorful netting and Carter fuzzy and mid air while bouncing!

And we finished up our day by decorating some Easter eggs.

Hope everyone has a fanatastic Easter!!!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Disney World Pt10

I'm going to go ahead and whack together my remaining semi miscellaneous pictures in one last post.  I'm so excited I've almost finished sharing about our Thanksgiving trip...just days shy of the following Easter lol!

Em and Trev posing in the gallows.  This was NOT a "mom prompted" pic...they asked me to snap it and are making their best "oh no we got caught" faces.

Funny thing...we thought that all the fancy Disney World-type rides were the big draw so we were going to skip the carousel.  But as we walked by it, Carter insisted on riding and he had a blast!

Trevor made this collage after we rode (several times!) another of our favorites... Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters!  And that number was Trevor's awesome high score!

Carter attempting to pull out the Sword In The Stone...

And no trip to Disney is complete without a Mickey Mouse shaped ice cream...

One day we had giant turkey legs for lunch, and Joshua got all three of the kids these weird apple cider ice cream float drinks.  Somehow Trevor ended up drinking all three of them...

This was the last monkey pic we took on the way out of MK on our last day, in front of a Mickey shaped topiary...

On our flight home, Carter also got to visit the cockpit and sit in the pilot's seat.

And did anyone doubt that Bunny came on our trip?  Funny tidbit... We tried to convince Carter all week to let us buy him a Mickey Ears hat.  You know, that classic hat that you see EVERYONE wearing?  Nope, he didn't want any part of it for himself but he did say "apparently, Bunny would like a Mickey Ears hat."  I thought that was going to be a far fetched item to find, but guess what I ran across in a tiny little odd shop towards the end of our trip?!  So here we are, Bunny in her new hat, on the plane ride home...

Hope everyone enjoyed ALL these posts of our trip.  I know it was alot to read through but I just couldn't help sharing so much because we had such a great time. 

And honestly what made our trip awesome wasn't totally because it was "Disney."  Don't get me wrong, we had a great time at Disney World, but our take-away opinion about DW is that we'd rather do DisneyLAND.  DW is huge, takes alot to time to move from park to park (and cost for several days and several parks), we didn't love Hollywood Studios much, we thought that we could have just about as much fun at the Oklahoma City Zoo as we did at Animal Kingdom, Epcot was cool but more like a museum day than an amusement park, and we prefer the compact layout of Disneyland having all of our favorite rides in one park.  So next time we plan an amusement park vacation, we are headed back to CA where we can also enjoy the West Coast beaches and see family.

What did put the icing on the cake of our trip was that all five of us really relaxed, disconnected from regular daily stuff like work and school (and electronics) and had fun doing something together...for five whole days!  And we've decided to make it an annual thing to travel on Thanksgiving so we've already booked a trip for 2013.  The five of us are going to take a cruise!  We are headed to Florida again and will sail for four nights to the Bahamas.  We've never gone on a cruise before, so it will be a new adventure...and hopefully just as relaxing!!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Disney World Pt9

The Haunted Mansion was another much anticipated ride. Em, Trev, Joshua and I were all looking forward to it, and with a little convincing of Carter, we all 5 got in line our first day in Magic Kingdom.

We played around a bit as we wove our way thru the graveyard before boarding the ride.

Being worried just a little bit about Carter being scared, I'm sure one of us said something like "well, it's only a four minute ride, we'll put him with Daddy because Daddy always makes things more fun, and he'll be fine..." Can you read between the lines on this? It of course meant that about one minute into it, the ride promptly broke down in the pitch dark/terrible howling/scary banging section. And not just for a minute or two.  Time ticked by as we waited, and in the dark were instructed to stay in our seats...three minutes...five minutes...fifteen minutes...  At about 25 minutes the lights finally came on but we still weren't allowed to move.  So Trev and I snapped this...

And here's Joshua, Emilee and Carter...  Yes, Carter was fine.  Daddy let him hold his iphone on flashlight mode and they played games.

And we snapped a few pictures as we walked out.  We imagine not many people get to see the inside of the Haunted Mansion with the lights on.  There were some really cool details that you don't usually notice when riding the ride in the dark.  But then a very strict cast member informed us we were not allowed to take any pictures while be evacuated so that was the end of that lol!

And just in case you are wondering, we were able to convince Carter to ride the Haunted Mansion again and he really enjoyed it.  And for our trouble the first time through, Disney gave us all a special unlimited Fast Pass that lasted for two weeks.  We were able to move to the front of the line on any ride (even rides that didn't take Fast Pass) for the rest of our trip.  AND we even handed them off to a random family on our last day so someone else could enjoy them too.

Disney World Pt8

One of Trevor's favorites was the Tomorrowland Speedway...or as we all call it "drive the cars"! And I think the rest of us also agreed that it is just a blast to hop in the little cars and bonk your way around that track.  This was another go-to ride that we did over and over when we had some extra time to kill.  So here are the best shots of us having Speedy fun!!

Disney World Pt7

If I had to pick a Top Three from our trip, Pirates of the Carribean would definitely be on it. We went on that ride too many times to count. Joshua and I have loved that ride (and all of the movies) since the first movie came out in 2003. Emilee and Trevor also enjoy the movies and ride...and now, even though we haven't let him watch the movie yet, Carter has found a love of pirates in general (remember his Halloween costume and birthday party?!), so he's 100% on board too.

On our first day in MK, we found this side show, where children in the audience were allowed to step forward and earn the title of Official Pirate. They had to come up on stage and perform a couple of little pirate moves and take the pirate oath. It was soooo cute and we were tickled that Carter, who is normally shy in new public places, willingly went up on stage and played along.

And boy, oh boy, was he proud when he earned his Official Pirate Certificate from the REAL Captain Jack Sparrow!

And we didn't take many pictures of the actual POTC ride, but here's the shot of Jack with his Pirate Treasure at Carter's request, because Carter LOVES "treasure"!  After you get off the ride, you exit into the POTC store, and it was here, over several trips through, that Carter spend almost all of his trip allowance...on pirate coins, a pirate necklace, a pirate flag, a pirate telescope, and a pirate sign for his bedroom door.  Never has there been a bigger smile on a little pirate's face!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Disney World Pt6

Magic Kingdom was by far our favorite. I guess we are a "classic" Disney family, and most of our favorite attractions were right there in MK, so we found ourselves there three times! I have alot to share from MK so in an effort to break it up, I thought I'd share our favorite Castle shots first...because the Castle is definitely the most recognizable icon of MK.

One of the stage shows with Mickey and Minnie...

The view of the Castle was gorgeous at night.

This is a beautiful shot during "Wishes", the fireworks display over the Castle.

Here's one Em snapped of her and Trev that I didn't even know about until I was sorting through all the pictures from the trip. I love this brother/sister moment that wasn't prompted by a parent!

And here's a collage Emilee made...

And this is the professional picture that most of you have seen as our Christmas card.  It's rare to see all five of us in one shot so you can imagine this is my absolute favorite of the whole trip!

Disney World Pt5

We had some long days in the parks and Carter was a trooper. One evening he passed out in Joshua's arms while we were walking out of the park and this was the shot we snapped after we finally had made the trek from the shuttle to our room with this heavy little boy. He was OUT!
Disney World--- 1
Carter--- 0

And then we were up early again the next day to do it all again! Em and Joshua, perky at breakfast...

And Trevor took this picture, forever memorializing that yes, just like Texas does their state shaped waffles in local hotels, so does DW have Mickey shaped waffles in theirs!

Disney World Pt4

Animal Kingdom was our second favorite park. We did think it was a bit overly hyped up though. Maybe not really a "Disney Park", but more like a pretty amazing zoo. At any rate, we had another great day on our vacation!

Most of the pics we took that day are...wait for it...of ANIMALS hahaha!! We were told how lucky we were that day, though. Just about every animal that "might" be able to be seen from the jungle tour bus we DID see, so it was pretty exciting!




Trevor snapped this elephant picture. See the reflection in the water? I thought his shot was pretty cool!!

And Carter petting a weird lizard in the interactive section

These next two shots are "before" shots. This was the one thrill ride in the park. And it has a teensy little sign that says "you may get wet". It was a nice day. Sunny. So we thought "eh, what's a little sprinkle, let's go for it!" Then we noticed about half the people in line around us in full waterproof poncho gear. Yeah, suffice it to say we were all thoroughly SOAKED on the ride, and we were just lucky to have kept our phones and cameras from being ruined! Oh well, it was a BLAST!

Disney World Pt3

We did the parks roughly in this order...Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom (back to Magic Kingdom for the evening), Hollywood Studios (back to Downtown Disney for the evening), and then Magic Kingdom again for our last day (which happened to be Thanksgiving Day). We went in that order largely due to crowd forecast and then went back to Magic Kingdom the last day because hands down, it was everyone's absolute favorite.

So here's a peek at our fun for the day at Epcot...

"The Epcot Ball" (and ughhh...I can't get this turned around, blogger is being a turkey, so please forgive the necessary head tilt for this one).
This huge sphere is the signature Epcot icon. This attraction takes you through a 16 minute riding tour of the history of technology, from the dawn of time until present day, and into the future. And the whole tour spirals INSIDE of the enormous Epcot Ball!

This pic is a screen shot of the "future" that Emilee and I created based on an interactive questionaire that we answered on the ride. It was pretty cool as they used face shots of us and put us "into" our future.

A pic of the monkeys as we waited...

To see the all important Nemo!!

And just before lunch Emilee wasn't feeling well. So I decided to take her and Carter back to the hotel. Carter and I enjoyed some down time poolside and Em took a long nap in the room.

Joshua and Trevor stayed and explored the rest of Epcot, which worked out perfectly as the remainder of the park is largely visual international displays and yummy food. Not exactly Carter-friendly, but VERY fun for Daddy and Son!

Some yummy pastry from France...

And you can't miss a beer and brat from Germany...

As they blasted off on the thrill ride Mission Space...

They got to see several awesome "street performances" like this acrobatic one...

And one of my favorite pics of Trevor from the trip...a likewise pose with a statue!!