Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Coming to a Close

The last Chocolate has been eaten, the last heart put on the tree. The Christmas play was performed and the anticipation finally abated. The gifts were opened and played with. Grandma and Grandpa were too. Grandma and Grandpa had to leave and soon Christmas will too!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snowed In

The snow started last night around 8 pm while we were out enjoying a date. It's now 7 pm the next day and it's still snowing. They are expecting around 20 inches. In Virginia this almost never happens, so people freak out! Since we have a 4-wheel drive truck, we decided to go have some fun and shop while everyone else was at home. Unfortunately, everyone else was at home; therefore, the stores all closed and we didn't get to do much shopping. We did get to be good Samaritans, though by using our truck to pull several people's cars out. Actually Rob used his muscles more than anything, because most of the cars didn't have anything to hitch the tow rope onto. I wish at least Toy's R Us had been open- we don't have a sled and we are now ready to play!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Carousel of Fun

Last year, I sent Rob a countdown to Christmas in Iraq. It was to help him pass the time, give him a few gifts and let him know that we loved him. He said it really saved him. He brought it back and I changed the things that were in there so that we could use it as a family this year. Best laid plans- you know what I mean? Yah, it's been crazy! Emma was the one that opened them up every morning, but she stopped doing it for awhile, because we just weren't getting any of them done. We have finally gotten most of them in, but only because mom has forced the fun! And some days it has been a really forced, "you will sit here and decorate cookies and you will enjoy every minute of it, while I run around like a mad woman, tripping over things and breaking them and screaming" kind of forced fun! Yeah! We love Christmas! Now don't get me wrong. I really do love Christmas. It is my most favorite time of year. And I hate the humbug kind of whiners who complain about how much work it is and all the stuff they have to do and how they have to go out of their way to find a great present for everyone, blah, blah blah, how selfish am I! Right! We don't like those kind of people- boo! Hiss! Ok, so back to this year. Christmas is killing me!! I know, I know- my own fault! I started too late, I tried to do too much! My craft stuff has been strewn all over the house for weeks. My poor "has to have the house clean at all times" husband has been having heart attacks, but to his credit he has done really well with it! He calls it my Carousel of Fun and asks regularly if I am having fun. I lied every time and said "yes!" See, because generally I do enjoy it, just not when I have to make 45 cards or 40 creative letters or 5 aprons or.... You get the picture. I did enlist Max's help. He actually got pretty good at stamping the letters by the end!! Hee hee!
Well today I finally cleaned up the Carousel of fun! My letters and cards all got sent out and I had to pay 20 cents extra for each one because of my creativiness! My aprons didn't get made, but I figure they can wait until after Christmas. Now I am hoping to sit back and enjoy- yeah right- not with 2 more hats to crochet and a couple quilts to make and....
But in the meantime, we have done some fun things from the countdown like, write letters to Santa, decorate Christmas cookies, make a gingerbread house, cut out snowflakes and make a couple fun treats. Next year I vow to not be so creative so I won't have to pay for it and I can enjoy my Christmas countdown with my children a little better!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas traditions

Today St. Nicholas came- Not the best day considering it was Fast Sunday, but the 6th is the day, whether it is convenient or not! The kids loved it. It was like a little Christmas. We played with cars and ate chocolate for breakfast- all those who could eat, and learned a new card came. It was so nice to just relax this Sunday morning. Things have been a little crazy around here. I have to go to the lawyer this week for one of my ER patients, I just completed (and passed, thank you very much) my trauma nurse course, I have been directing the Activity day girls in a 12 days of Christmas for one of the families in our ward, etc., etc.
We also took our traditional Family Picture, today. It is so hard to get 6 people all to look good at the same time. I finally got everyone else to look good and then I look crazy! Oh well. After that we had to just do one fun one. I think this one would be perfect for the Christmas card, don't you?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Animal Kingdom

Our final day was spent at Animal Kingdom. We took a safari ride. A Termite mount- Yuck!
Even on that, they were in character and doing a show. We had to race after some poachers at some point in the safari.
Mount Everest was our favorite ride. Joseph loved the big rollercoaster! It went up and then you had to stop because the Yeti had torn up the track. Then it zoomed you through a dark mountain backwards then you stopped and watched the Yeti tear up more tracks then zoom down the mountain. As you were starting down the big drop, that is when they took your picture. Emma and I kept making cute and funny faces for the camera, but we could never get Joe to do it with us. We looked pretty fabulous, though!
The two musicals, Nemo and The Lion King were phenomenal! But Bug's life made Max cry like crazy and even got Rob to scream. Of course when we got out I saw why. At one point they had wasp coming out at you and then you heard some stinging. I didn't get stung, but Rob did and it actually left a hole in his shirt!I finally put my foot down and insisted that Max get to meet Mickey. In the end he said it was his favorite part of the day. We met Mickey and Goofy and Donald, but not Minnie. Max only wanted to meet the boys!
Besides a couple of slap fights in the cart, the kids did wonderfully the whole trip. Of course with the technology of in van video and gameboys, driving has become a cinch. I was proud of how well they handle the whole trip, though. They are really good kids, even if the Bishopric has to stop them from chasing each other in the church at times!

Epcot

Ok- did you know that EPCOT actually stood for something? It stands for Experimental Prototype City of Tomorrow. Pretty cool, hu? I wish we would have had 2 days to explore EPCOT. It had so many cool things in it. It was more like a hands on museum than a park, but there were some cool rides, too. We loved Sorin' which was like hanggliding. It was so cool and you could actually smell oranges at some point. Test track was suppose to reenact being a test car driver. Max loved it, even though it went fast! Space mountain was closed for refurbishing, which we were bumbed about, but while we were over in that area, they opened it for test rides. Can I say that I was just a little nervous to take a test ride! Joseph loved it and pulled me along for another ride, though.
We went into a comedy show and were one of the few people there, so we became the comedy! video
It was a lot of fun.
We also went and saw talk with Crush. They make everything look so real. There is a video going of Crush, but he really answers your questions and everything. Max raised his hand to ask a question, but when they chose him, he couldn't think of a question, so Crush asked him what he liked to eat. Max couldn't think of what he liked to eat either, so Joe stepped in and said, "He likes Meatballs." Crush asked if he was the Dude Bro and then asked Joe what he liked to eat. When Joe said Meatballs, Crush said, "Woa, that makes it so easy, Dude." Then he told everyone to say Dude for the rest of the day. Luckily, our children didn't take that to heart!!
We rode the little ride inside of the big golf ball. It had you answer a couple of questions at the end of the ride and then it showed you what your future would be like with your faces on the people. It was so cool!
I wish we would have had time to explore more, but the children really wanted to take the afternoon off and go swim in one of our resorts 8 pools. Our neighbors told us about this program with RCI and the military. It is called the Armed Forces Vacation Club and you get space A rooms at RCI resorts for just $329 a week. They do try to get you to sign up with RCI once you get to the resort, but you just unplug all your phones and you don't have to worry about it. We ended up with a 5 star resort right outside of Animal Kingdom. It had a full kitchen, totally stocked and a washer and dryer and a jet tub big enough for two adults without being scrunched. We ended up with one of their older models, but it was still nice and clean. We will definitely try that again!
That evening we went back, walked around the different nations, watched an acrobat show, ate Chinese food in China and watched the best light, water and firework show IllumiNations.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Hollywood Studios

Monday was our first day at the parks. We had planned it all out so that we didn't go to any of them on the extra magic hours- when all the people that actually pay horribly high prices to stay on Disney property get those extra hours to enjoy one park a day. Monday's is always Magic Kingdom, so we avoided that and headed for Hollywood studios. We loved the Toy Story ride! In fact Santa went out of his way to find that same game on Wii just for us!This is one of the "army men" that ran around by the Toy Story ride! They looked great! They told our boys, "Good regulation hair cuts, boys!"
We also got to see the Osborn family light show. No, not Ozzy Osborn! I actually thought that at first, too. Remember a few years back when that video was going around the internet with those people who had coordinated their lights on their house with music? Disney asked them to help them set one up for them. There were supposedly 28 hidden Mickeys. We found 4. The others wouldn't let me stay long, but it was beautiful!
video

Rob actually convinced me to go on the Tower of Terror. I hate the Drop Zone kind of rides. I have done them before, but I'm not a fan, so I had determined not to go on the Tower of Terror. I am glad he got me on it, though. It was a lot of fun. The other great thing about Disney is almost everyone can ride everything. Joseph went with us. He just kept saying, "it was OK." Finally, I asked him if he wanted to ride it again and he said, "No!" I guess we found out his true feelings in the end.
At the end of the day we went and saw their fire and light show called Fantastmic. It was wonderful!
We ended the day running to our car and trying to jump up and kick flags with our feet. I could do it, no one else could! And trying to kick two people at once. Emma has some definite flexibility issues! I loved that we waited long enough to go until the kids were just fun to be with! We saw so many others with toddlers who were just exhausted and cranky, but our family was feeling the Magic the whole day and enjoying each other all along the way!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mormon Drinking Parties and Tough Birthday Decisions

Luckily, someone remembered Rob's birthday was coming up at the office and made it special for him, because his actual birthday was on a Sunday this year. Let's face it, Sunday birthday's aren't so fun, especially if you happen to be on vacation like we were. Yes, we were at the Happiest Place on Earth on a Sunday! Tough decision now headed your way!! Beep, Beep!

We finally made the decision to not go to the parks or even out to dinner. We had gone shopping on Saturday and bought an ice cream cake and some stuff to make dinners for the week, so really it just came down to how to make that day special for Rob and the kids without going and doing anything that cost money! I remembered the birthday banner and made sure it was put up first thing in the morning. We had ice cream cake and root beer and watched a movie and checked out all the parks without going into any of them. We called it our recon- Preparation for the days ahead! As we went out to start our recon we saw a family all dressed in suits and ties and dresses headed off to church and I realized we weren't 100% great at this trying to keep the sabbath day holy thing- someone was actually going to church on their holiday! I remember doing that when I was a child with my family. Oh well, I guess one can always do better! In the end, having a day to just sit around and make a plan really helped. We saw more and did more than lots of people without totally exhausting ourselves. Of course it helped that the parks were so slow. The longest we waited for a ride was on Friday (the last day we were there) and it was about 40 minutes for a ride that wasn't so fun! Funny thing was that the rides that were tons of fun and all the cool shows that day had no waiting at all! But I digress. The thing was that keeping the Sabbath day holy really did help out in the long run. We were more relaxed, better planned and ready to roll on Monday.
We have a fun time as a family. Robert can make anything into a game or a competition. Sunday we were trying to get Joe to drink some water. He is our one with digestive problems. He won't eat any fruit except mandarin oranges and apples and almost no vegetables. He also drinks hardly any water. He showed us how much he had drank in one sitting (not that much), so Rob turned it into a competition- a Mormon keg party! Everyone competed (except Mom who had drank plenty of water) to see how much water they could swallow before putting their bottle down. Everyone won in the end!
It was a fun first day in Florida!Oh yeah- and Sam lost a tooth- his first molar!

Friday, November 6, 2009

I'm an A+ Student!

After I made those hats for the homeless shelter my children have been begging me to make them ones. This is the first one I finished. Sam immediately loved it. He put it on and has only taken it off when he absolutely has to. I think I got an A+ on that project.
This is another project we just finished. I think Mom and Dad both deserve an A+ on this one! Why do boys always pick the most difficult of all the project options? Of course if Mom had been home when the project was finished it might have had trees and a mossy ground and some men, but it still looks pretty good!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Smoke bubbles!

Halloween- it's not my favorite holiday, but there is all that great candy at the end! We had a fun time with some friends in their neighborhood- ours is not the greatest. Their neighborhood went all out with lights and smoke and music and decorations. One family had a machine that blew smoke and bubbles at the same time, causing the bubbles to fill with smoke. When you popped them, you got a whiff of smoke. Very cool!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Rooaar!

My cute little tiger! It was face painting day at the gym I signed up for recently! I sure am enjoying it and so is Max!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The next RS president

A new lady has moved into our ward and promptly encouraged a bunch of us to do all kinds of random acts of service. She got us all together and taught us to crochet hats. These are the two I did- I am not as fast as some of the other crochet demons. She gave them all to the homeless shelter. But now my kids want me to do ones for them. She also rounded a bunch of people up to go to the nursing home and give out cards and have the kids visit in their costumes. We didn't end up going to that, because of our schedule (crazy!). Can anyone say, next RS President?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A beautiful Monday night picture

I love to see my family together learning the gospel!
Beautiful!
Having family home evening with Dad teaching about the plan of salvation.