Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Magic- Summer style

We've been home from our Disney trip

for 4 days now and although the bags are unpacked and the laundry done and all the little things around the house that didn't get done before we left, have now been taken care of, I continue to neglect my blog.  I have read 2 books in that time, though! (They were small.) 
We finally decided on a Disney trip,

because we figured it would be the last time we could do it as a family.  We are headed to Europe in less than a year and while there, Emma will graduate and then be off to college.  
Disney in the Summer is a lot different than in the Fall. 

For one thing, it is hot, hot, hot and humid.  Every day the humidity builds up until it pours down on you.  We had thunderstorms almost every day.  For another thing, there are a billion people there!  We didn't ride hardly any rides, 
This is one ride we did because we got there early.  It is similar to one of our favorite rides in a different park, but that ride always had 2 hour wait time and the fast passes were always gone really early in the morning.
because the lines were so long and we just didn't want to wait 2 hours to take a 30 second ride!  We did learn to get fast passes as soon as possible for the couple of rides we wanted to go on,
One of our favorite rides ever- Mt. Everest and the yeti!!
but they were usually for 2-3 hours after we got the passes.
Space mountain is the one of two rides that we went on more than once.  We loved it enough to wait in line one time- 45 minutes!
You aren't allowed to get another pass for any other ride until you have used the one you are waiting on.  So by the time we would get a pass, ride that ride and wait for the time to be up and get the other pass, there was only enough time to get those two.  Also this time we had Grandparents with us. 
Grandpa Kress and girlfriend MaryJo
Besides not wanting to go on many rides,
Rob offered $5 to anyone who could get Grandpa on a roller coaster.  We got him on this one, because we forgot to tell him it was a roller coaster until Sam pointed out that we owed him $5.
Joe got the $5 on this one, because he went back for Grandpa who had said no and was sitting down under a tree.  Joe told him it wouldn't be worth it, if he didn't come.  Guilt- it works every time on Grandparents... and parents!
they also are a little slower and get lost in crowds, easily- kind of like toddlers.  Ha ha- and we thought we were over that stage!  Max has always been scared of fast or tall rides.  Even tall slides kind of scared him.  But this year, it all changed.  He was ready to go on everything and he loved it all!  It was so fun at the water parks to be running as a family from slide to slide, instead of "it's your turn to stay with Max."  We had a blast competing against each other on the racing slides!  
We got the military deal with 4 days at the park and 4 times at the water parks.  We also used the Armed Forces Vacation club to get a sweet resort for only $400 with tax for a week.  We went to all 4 parks 
The tree of life at Animal Kingdom
Chinese Restaurant in Epcot.  We mostly ate dinner in our condo, but we had dinner in the park one day.
and then did 2 of them again at the end of the 4th day.  We also went to one of the water parks twice.  We decided Blizzard beach sounded more kid friendly than the other one.  All of the other parks' slides said for older children, teens and parents to ride.  We found the zipline at Blizzard Beach at the end of one of the days.

The kids loved it!  I wanted to go on so bad, but it was only for little ones.  Emma couldn't even go on.  The second day we got thunder stormed out.  Until it started thundering though, we had great fun sliding around in the rain!
We avoided meeting any characters, except Stitch,
Stitch took off Emma's hat for the picture and then accidentally, on purpose, threw it!  Max said that Stitch hugged really tight!
because we were right there when he came out and most of the parades, 
Captain hook shook Max's hand and then wiped off his germs on his coat.  You can't tell, because of all the people!
because the crowds were just about unbearable in that heat.
More people!
There was some crazy maneuvering to get this photo, but she was just so cute- I had to get a picture of Boo!
 We did see one, after waiting a really long time, to hold our spots by the fudge shop.  It was a hard job!!  
We ate frozen lemonade almost every day

and we shopped a lot more,
Outside the Lego store!  It is crazy that these are all made of Lego's

just to get out of the heat.  I am sure it was good for Disney, but I wouldn't recommend anyone going in the summer, if you can help it.  We went the week before the week of Thanksgiving last time and it was perfect!!  Definitely felt like we got to experience all the magic possible, then.  This time, it seemed like we were avoiding a lot of things because of the crowds or heat or both!
We did see lots of shows.  Emma in her bug glasses for the 4D bugs show.
We also found out what Disney character we were closest to.  Emma got Dot and Cinderella.
I got Tinkerbell and Nala
The last time I did it, I made this face for the camera and said that I liked to eat nice people for lunch instead of eating with nice people for lunch.  I then got Lady Tremaine, the evil step-mother of Cinderella!
We still had a good time and really enjoyed the waterparks!  

I took this picture- yes, on purpose!

 My Laurels laughed at me when I told them that it was one of the pictures I took at Disney.  They said, "Good one!"  This is a picture to help me remember one of the reasons I adore my husband.  His Dad decided to buy some sandals after the first day of walking around Disney in socks and dress shoes.  He got two pair- one like Rob's and then a pair of all leather sandals.  He wore the first ones one day and then the next day he wore the all leather ones.  He got a blister pretty quickly on one of his toes.  None of us had a bandaid, so his girlfriend opened a panty liner and put it over his toes.  After lunch, when we were all cleaned up and ready to go, Rob said, "oh, there is one more thing I wanted to do" and then proceeded to tell his Dad how he wanted to try on his shoes, because he was thinking of getting himself a pair like those.  He told his Dad to try on his shoes, as well.  Then he asked his Dad what he thought about his shoes- did they rub at all, were they comfortable?  His Dad said they were good and so Rob stayed in his Dad's shoes the rest of the day.  I would have never thought to do that.  That is why, although he may blow a lot of smoke, I know he is the most tenderhearted man on the planet!
On our car ride to and from Disney,
See the shark swimming over the Mickey head?
 I made the kids earn monopoly dollars that they could use towards candy, gameboy time and movie time.  They had to read for 15 minutes to earn one dollar, there were some car games they could do or writing or practice their letters or multiplication facts, also.  I also gave them a dollar for eating a fruit or a vegetable, because I have at least two that don't like to eat either one.  They had to earn at least 4 before they could turn them in for anything.  I really was happy with this arrangement, because they were still quiet and happy, but they didn't turn their brains to mush just playing games and watching videos the whole way.  Emma and Sam even finished there library reading hours during the trip and can turn them in for a chance at a kindle fire.  Emma already has one, so Sam has claimed both tickets as his!
Disney was great, 

but the next summer vacation we spend, better be on a beach somewhere!!  Italy here we come!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Maxwell gets a little older

Maxwell has gotten so big this year.  He has gone from my little baby boy to a big boy that runs outside as soon as possible to play with his friends. 
Some of his school friends.
He has also grown in height.  He is almost as tall as Joseph.  I believe we might just get one tall one out of the bunch.  
This is at his Kindergarten field trip the day of his birthday.  Both he and Emma (the little girl) had birthday's today.  They had a field trip to the park that is around the corner from the school.
I am glad he still loves to give me hugs and tell me he loves me.  He loves me to 
sing him a song at night- it goes:  I love Maxwell, he loves me, we love Daddy, yes siree.  Emma and Samuel and Joseph love us and so you see:  We are a happy family! 

He is really good with math.  He seems to get numbers.  He understands addition and subtraction and can do story problems in his head.  I love how enthusiastic he is to show me all the things he knows and can do!  

I think back to when I was so adamant that I could not handle another child with Rob gone so much and I am so thankful that the Lord knew better and blessed us with a Maxwell, anyway.  It was shocking at the time and it took awhile to sink in.  Even at his birth, I said, "I didn't plan this child, so I don't want to deal with the pain."  I didn't get any relief unfortunately- stupid body that refuses to accept an epidural and do something productive with it, instead of just try to kill me!  Instead, I dealt with the pain and welcomed him into our home and fell in love with that precious soul.  How thankful we are for him in our lives!
Joseph is making sure that he blows out his candle on his Cheesecake properly.  (I always wanted Cheesecake for my birthday as well.)
Maxwell wanted another sword (a power ranger Samurai sword) for his birthday and a Nerf gun and a water gun.  We have quite the arsenal at our house now!
He also loves Mario and Lugi and the gang and when we found some things like Legos with these characters he had to have them.  He is building Bowser in this picture.

He is our sweet little boy (who has no trouble holding his own, by the way.  You have to be tough to be the last child and the third boy in one rambunctious family!)