Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Our New House

After what seems like an eternity of living out of boxes, we moved into the new house on Oct 19th.  We couldn’t be happier!  It fits our family personality exactly!



The kids’ favorite part:


My Favorite Part:



PicMonkey Collage

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

One Last Magical Day

Things you never thought you’d have to say to your kids: “Blake, STOP licking the pole.  Seriously.  Stop.  I’m going to have to put you in time out if you don’t stop licking the pole.”

Our last day at the Magic Kingdom was probably my favorite.  We got there close to opening and made a dash for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  It quickly became a favorite and we rode it about 5 times in a row.  After 2 times Blake had had enough of the noise and opted to not
go anymore. 

Josh’s favorite ride was Space Mountain.  We did it many, many times.  But, in every single one of the pictures they take on the ride his face looks like he is totally bored.  We got such a kick out of it.  We re-created his face below:


On the very crowded bus home that night out of nowhere he started to bawl his eyes out.  I asked him why he was crying and he said, “I’m gonna miss Space Mountain so much!”  The whole bus had a good chuckle.

When asked what his favorite part of Disney World was, Blake said, “the SLOW rides.”  He also loved meeting Pluto.

Josh said Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain, Tara said Cinderella’s Royal Table with the kids, Halle said Rockin’ Rollercoaster and Rusty said spending the day with Halle at Universal Studios.  (Which technically isn’t part of WDW, but I guess I’ll let it slide :))

IMG_5502  Magic Kingdom

Hollywood Studios


So many fun things to report from Hollywood Studios.  The kids were all really excited about the Tower of Terror.  As we got closer and closer to the front of the line Halle became more and more concerned.  She decided she didn’t want to ride, and so she and I stayed back.  The boys rode, and when we saw them at the end Blake was sobbing and Josh was shaking.  Josh had put his jacket on the floor during the ride, and said he had to keep stepping on it so it didn’t fly up :)  After Halle saw that the boys all lived through the experience (sobbing and shaking aside) she decided she’d give it a whirl.  It was not a success.  She said she didn’t hate it, but when asked if she wanted to go again, she replied with an emphatic, “NO.”
DSC_0523 But Rockin’ Rollercoaster was a HUGE success.  Halle, Rusty and I loved it. 

We also thought the car stunt show and the Beauty and the Beast stage performance were both phenomenal. 

The hands down favorite of Hollywood Studios was Toy Story Mania.  So fun and so clever!  The huge downside is the line.  It’s really really long, and Fast Passes are gone by 11am so we were only able to ride it one time. 

And Fantasmic was by far our favorite night time entertainment.  Blake was a little scared of the dragon, but we all loved to see Mickey save  the day.   
Hollywood Studios
We really loved the characters at Hollywood Studios.  Our favorite was Phineas and Ferb.  The kids were so excited to meet them and there were high fives and group hugs all around.  They also loved Mike Wizowski.

IMG_3219Back “home” on the NYC set

IMG_5513Playing in the “Honey I shrunk the Kids” playground

Monday, February 18, 2013

Break Day

Halle and Rusty went on an adventure to Universal Studios while the boys and I took a much needed break.  We visited the hotel game room for a couple of hours, and I think Josh had just as much fun there as he did in any of the theme parks.  We also soaked up the sun at the Big Blue Pool.  We played lots of water tag and jellyfish.  After a quick nap for mom and some ipad time for the boys we headed to Downtown Disney to visit the Lego store.  Everyone had a good time building fun contraptions.  We also made a stop at Goofy’s Candy Company.  Ummmm….YUM!
DSC_0431  DSC_0437DSC_0434 IMG_3195 IMG_3197 IMG_3199

Halle and Rusty had an amazing time at Universal. They went there with the express purpose of visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  Rusty and Halle have been reading all the books together, and it was a special thing for Rusty to get to take her here. They explored the village, having butter beer at the Three Broomsticks, and getting a magical wand at Olivanders.  Halle said the Hogwarts castle was amazing, but she did not love the Forbidden Journey ride.  She thought it was pretty darn scary.

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Friday, February 15, 2013

Ohana and Chef Mickey’s

What addictive substance is in Mickey Waffles? Why are they so delicious?  Is it just their endearing shape?

We were able to enjoy two more character breakfasts during our stay.  Ohana with Lilo and Stitch, and Chef Mickey’s. 

Ohana was really fun.  They greeted everyone with a lei and a kiss, and the food was served family style.  Blake kept calling Stitch, Pikachu.  We all got a good laugh at that.  Blake and Halle participated in the Ohana parade where they got to walk around the restaurant shaking their maracas.

Ohana Collage


Scan 13 Scan 14

Chef Mickey’s was my favorite breakfast.  There was so much delicious food I wish I could have stayed for days.  My one beef with character breakfasts are all the interruptions. I’d just be settling in to a nice waffle with strawberries and bananas, and here’d come Mickey.  I’d have to pull out autograph books, snap a few pics, then go back to my food.  2 seconds later, another character would arrive.  I guess it’s worth a little irritation on my part to see my kids so happy.  Pluto was the favorite character on this day.  The kids didn’t see him coming so he snuck up and stuck his big face right between them.  They turned to take a bite of breakfast and there he was!  All the kids were belly laughing, and so was Pluto :)

chef mickeys

Cinderella’s Royal Table

Scan 2
It was the most expensive hot dog on the planet, but it was worth it!  Cinderella’s Royal Table is a magical experience.  I thought Halle would be to old to want to dress in her princess gown, but after a suggestion from my friend Jen, I went ahead and asked her if she’d like to take her Snow White gown with us.  Her cute little eyes lit right up.  She looked beautiful.  Although she did tell me she felt a little silly in her princess gown and tennis shoes :)  The staff really does treat you like Royalty.  The boys got swords, and the girls got a special wand.  The food was pretty delicious, and the princesses were so sweet.  We couldn’t have hand picked a better table.  We were right at a window overlooking the Regal Carousel in Fantasy Land.  Halle soaked up every minute, her favorite part was meeting Snow White, of course.  Snow White made such a fuss over her dress.  Halle was beaming.  I know when she’s all grown up I’m going to look back at these pictures of her in her Snow White dress and remember how sweet and wonderful she is.  I’m so glad I got to share this day with her. 

 Cinderella's Royal Table 3 

Scan 1


Cinderella's Royal Table 2Cinderella's Royal Table

Blake Sleeps in Disney World

This is Blake about 5 min after we arrived at the Magic Kingdom on our first day.  AND he slept for about 2 hours on the plane.

This is Blake at Akershus.  Ariel called him her little sleeping guppy

This is Blake with his favorite friend Pluto.


This is Blake at Cinderella’s Royal Table.  Ariel had quite the laugh when she saw her sleeping guppy again.  She tried to wake him with true love’s kiss.  He was pretty grumpy about it :)
Blake and Ariel



Two words. Test Track. So fun. Loved it. IMG_3181   
Soarin’ was a close second.  I will never forget Blake’s face, or the way he curled up his little feet when we were gliding across the ocean.  So cute. 

Agent P adventure.  Admittedly, I thought my kids would like this more.  They LOVE Perry.  But, they kept fighting over whose turn it was to hold the communicator, and we kept missing the instructions. Also, it took a long time.  45 min at least.  But, it was fun to make the troll dance in the gift shop window, raise the flag on the Norwegian castle, and save the world from Dr. Doofenschmitrz. 

Reflections.  My least favorite of the night time entertainment.  Due to poor location, I spent the entire show with Josh on my shoulders. 

World Showcase.  The kids had fun at the kidcot stations getting their passport book and their Perry sticks stamped.  I enjoyed all the yummy treats along the way.  Pretzel in Germany, yummy pastries in France, and funnel cake in America.  My kids had never had a funnel cake before and it was a highlight for me to watch them devour this delicious treat. 

Aquarium.  We loved seeing the sharks, dolphins, and all the little Nemo’s.  The actual Nemo ride?  We did not love that.  Turtle Talk with Crush?  LOVE.


Josh got tired of standing on the buggy board, so he figured out a way to wedge himself criss-cross apple sauce so he could sit.


Funny Story: In Mexico, we met Donald Duck.  We gave him a green pen to sign our autograph books, and he refused.  We offered again and he stamped his foot and crossed his arms.  We had to get out a black pen for him to sign with. 

I had a mini meltdown in Epcot. Well…..more like a major meltdown.  After scaring Halle to death at seeing her mom act like a 2 year old I was able to pull it together and have fun the rest of the day.  But, I was very glad the boys and I were having a “break day” the next day.  A little pool time is just what the Dr. ordered.

Lunch at Akershus was a highlight of our Epcot experience.  Halle just loved meeting all those princesses!  They were so sweet and fun. 


Scan 5

Happiest place on Earth

family castle
We just returned to a fun-filled, adventure-packed trip to Disney World!Rusty says a vacation is where you get to relax and rejuvenate, and a trip is when the kids come.  This was definitely a trip :) I’m going to split the trip into a few posts, so as not to have the longest blog post in the history of the world. 

Can I just say that flying with the kids now is about 10000000000000 times easier than it used to be?  It’s a major perk of them growing up a bit.  The flight was great, dare I say, relaxing? 

We rode the Magical Express to our hotel, the Art of Animation.  What an amazingly wonderful hotel to stay at with kids.  Our room was a “Cars” family suite, and the kids couldn’t have been more thrilled.  Cone shaped lights, Mater and Lightening everywhere.  The sidewalk leading up to our building was painted like a road, and there were life sized “Cars” characters at every turn.  We stayed in “Casa del Tires.”  So great.  The pool was located at the Cozy Cone hotel, and had cone shaped cabanas.  

Art of Animation  DSC_0447   

Our good friend, Tinkerbell, had visited the kids in Colorado before we left, and she had left us a fun bag of Disney goodies in our hotel room as well.  What fun!

DSC_0680DSC_0671 We dropped our bags and dashed to the Magic Kingdom to spend the rest of the day.  Hands down, our favorite thing on this day was Enchanted Tales with Belle.  Josh got to be the Beast, and he played his part perfectly.  He got to dance with Belle, and even got his first kiss from a princess.  You should have seen the grin on his face.  Rusty said, “Well, if he wasn’t interested in girls before, he certainly is now!”  Halle and Blake got to play the part of enchanted picture frames.  We also love exploring Belle’s village and eating cinnamon rolls and drinking Lefou’s brew in Gaston’s Tavern. 
Enchanted Tales with BelleDSC_0236After a fun packed day we watched the fireworks through our Mickey Vision glasses (Thanks Tink!) which made all the fireworks look like they were shaped like Mickey Mouse. The picture doesn’t do it justice.  It was really pretty cool.