Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I really wasn't sure how I would like being at Walt Disney World for Christmas. Turned out, I loved it!!! It was so easy, with nothing to do but go to Magic Kingdom. We had planned to wake up at 6:30am and head out the door. But on Christmas Eve, that planned changed. There was 70% chance of rain all morning.

Anderson woke up at 6am, came out to see his presents from Santa and played by himself for almost an hour. Around 7am the rest of us woke up and we had a great time opening presents and enjoying the time being a family. Around 10am, the rain let up, so we decided to make a dash for the park. We got there around 11am and the park wasn't full. We had heard a lot about how they have to shut down the park by 10am b/c it is at capacity (65k people!).
The rain helped us out a lot. We wanted to see the Christmas parade.
It started at 12nn so we went and staked out our spot and got an awesome spot in Frontierland. This is the parade they normally show only to people attending the "Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party". However, the parties are over on the 22nd (or so) and then they start doing the Parade and Fireworks for everyone at Magic Kingdom.

Next, we tortured the kids by bringing them to Haunted Mansion. This is one of my faves! The boys were terrified, and luckily I have ridden this ride about 100 times so I knew when the scary parts were. They were not happy to say the least.

We tootled around for a little bit, and then rain came! It was coming down in sheets. We took
cover in Pecos Bill's and waited for it to let up. The boys were not happy...

We left Magic Kingdom and immediately, all 3 of us fell asleep. Not Jeff as he was driving. Apparently, he drove around for about an hour to let us sleep (mainly Parks). We made it to Boma, Animal Kingdom Lodge, for our Christmas Dinner reservations. We love this restaurant. Its great food and service. We try to eat here everytime we come to Disney.

To finish off our Christmas Day of 2009, we headed over to Hollywood Studios. They have an AWESOME display of Christmas lights. A family donated their personal collection of Christmas lights to Disney in 1995. You can read about it here. There is a coordination of the lights with music and fake snow. The boys love it, and it was great thing to finish the day with.

As we were leaving, the "American Idol Experience" finale show had started. They were airing it on the big screen right outside the theatre. This is really cool, all throughout the day, there are auditions and from each audition show they take the finalist and they return for the finale show. Then the audience votes for the winner and that winner gets a "golden ticket". It gives them the right to show up to any audition for American Idol and they get through the "first round". We have seen the show 2x before, and the boys love it. So we stuck around outside and watched it.

What a great Christmas Day!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Disney Day 2 and 3 and Christmas Eve!

As I update, DH is out trying to find a tree...I hope he is successful...

Day 2 - Epcot & Magic Kingdom

We headed over to Epcot around 9am. DH and Anderson zipped over to do Test Track and Mission Space - Anderson's all time favorite. While Parker and I headed for Character Spot.
On our trip last October, we did this 5x! oh yes! Thankfully, the Character Spot had just opened about 15 minutes and we only had about a 20minute wait. Awesome! Parker loves his characters and Anderson is really past them. Never was into them, and caught on pretty quick that they are just grown ups in costumes. Parks thinks they are real and are quite concerned when ever they go "for a snack". Since Parker is too short to ride Test Track and Mission Space, this eats up a good amount of time for us.

We were able to knock out Character Spot and Spaceship Earth before it was time to meet up with DH and Anderson.

One of the boys' favorite thing to do is go to "Club Cool". They have Cokes from around the world you sample. Since drinking soda is treat, they love this!

We decided to brave "Finding Nemo" (30min wait!) and hung around
there for a while before heading back to our hotel for a nap. Relax!

We headed over to eat dinner at a restaurant nearby. Now normally this wouldn't be too exciting, but this place did it rig
ht. They had a small outdoor patio seating area, but right next to it, was an enclosed playground! oh yes, DH and I were able to have a quiet dinner for ourselves while the boys ran crazy. They were the only ones in it, so that was a bonus!

Next we headed off to Magic Kingdom. When we walked in, it was so wonderful. The magic
took over. The place was gorgeous and it felt like Christmas. We arrived around 7pm and started to stake out our spot for the SpectroMagic parade. Yes, we are one of THOSE PEOPLE. We wait on our curb all arrogant and don't EVEN THINK ABOUT TRYING TO TAKE UP ANY OF OUR REAL ESTATE! Won't name names, but there have been ugly exchanges more than once. People trying to butt in our space at the last minute - I THINK NOT! So DH or I take turns sitting in o
ur area and then taking the boys on a ride. They really wanted to do the Indy speedway, it was a 40minute wait and then about 20min to do it 2x. The nice people let us just do another lap switching drivers - the boys take turns.

We love the SpectroMagic parade. Its so fun, and Parker has really gotten into the parades. Like I said, he really thinks the characters are REAL! Its cute. We had planned to stick around to watch the fireworks show, b/c ITS AWESOME! But the boys were melting down, and we didn't want to risk some ugliness as the masses were exiting.

Day 3 - DISNEY HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS & EPCOT


We spent the morning at Hollywood Studios. Again, DH took Anderson to ride Star Tours(star wars) while Parker and I did the Playhouse Disney show and character greet. I love meeting the characters, so this is not a problem for me! The lines aren't too bad. Not any worse then when were there this past fall.

When we met up, Parker was tired, he didn't want to do anything! So Jeff took him in the car, and he was asleep before they pulled out of
the lot. Anderson and I took the ferry over to Epcot. A nice leisurely ride.

We had a dinner package for the Candlelight Processional. I was really looking forward to this. We first ate dinner at San Angel, the Mexico restaurant, and then headed over to theatre in America. Each year, starting after Thanksgiving, they have different celebrities read the Christmas story (from the Bible) and there is an orchestra, choir and different high school choirs that all get together. IT WAS AWESOME! I was telling DH that I wished we lived closer so that I could come and listen to it each weekend. They have about a dozen or so celebrities that come and read it through the time. Our reader was Edward James Olmos. This was his 9th consecutive year. He was fantastic. It was amazing. We sat in the second row, and Anderson seemed to really enjoy it, Parker - not so much. But they both did great.

One thing that is really neat at Epcot around the holidays, they have storytellers at each country telling how that country celebrates the holidays. We didn't get to see many, but one we did catch was Mexico and it was really neat. They spoke about how they celebrate "Three Kings Day" in honor of the 3 Wise Man.

We left after the show, and went to get situated in our new hotel/condo/timeshare. No fireplace or chimney, so here is our makeshift stocking hangers.
The boys got new Mickey jammies (they are Christmas ones!)...
We got Santa a cookie from the Bakery at Disney, these cookies ARE AWESOME! Santa is really going to enjoy them...
Merry Christmas to all! And remember that Jesus is the true reason for the Season!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas at Disney - Day 1

We purchased the annual pass when we were in Disney this past October. So I wasn't all that worried about being here during the holidays. A few hours here and there would be okay.

We pulled in late last night, checked into a hotel around 12:30am. This was after trying to decide which one to go to. There were plenty of space available, but trying to make the decision. Thank goodness for the iphone! We settled in and the boys were quickly put to bed.

We had a slow start, on purpose, this morning but arrived to Animal Kingdom around 11:30 or so. First stop - "Finding Nemo, the musical". The boys love this show, and its my all time favorite. Last trip, I bought the soundtrack so the boys and I have been singing to it a lot lately. Shockingly, they didn't sing along to any of the songs.



Next, Parker wanted to the see characters. So we went to Camp Minnie Mickey and waited. The lines weren't bad, they weren't worse then what we had in October. Anderson was being grouchy about having to see the characters, so he and DH left to walk around and see the sights. Parker and I saw, Mickey, Goofy (his fave), and Donald. We always skip Minnie, she's a girl. Last trip, it took us a week for Parker to warm up to the characters, this time, Mickey got a big ole hug! Not quite comfortable doing it himself, but still no tears or crying! BONUS!
We spent the rest of our time doing the safari and watching the parade. We are parade stalkers. We like to stake out a spot for at least 30minutes! Better not try and creep in...

Boys did really well for no nap. Parks was out cold by 7:30pm...aw sweet peace.

Tomorrow we are going to brave Epcot (Anderson's all time favorite park!) and Magic Kingdom.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

NO SNOW PLEASE SANTA!

TOO MUCH ON MY PLATE...

Not just food, I mean because that has been my problem too lately. I had a stomach ache today and I think its b/c my pants were too tight.

Let me first tell you all what is on my plate for the next 48 hours...

I am organizing our Sunday School Christmas Party for about 60 adults and 70 kids or so.. I should be trying to figure out my centerpieces but instead I'm in bed b/c I'm exhausted! :) This is happening tomorrow night.

Then on Saturday, I'm hosting a Christmas Party at my house that will have 75 bodies. WHAT AM I THINKING! Trying to organize my list. I have some sitters coming to watch over the 40 or so kids that will be tearing up my house. WHAT AM I THINKING

And NOW THEY ARE FORECASTING FOR SNOW! PLEASE! this cannot be happening to me...

OH and did I mention I am leaving for Disney on Sunday. We weren't supposed to leave til Tuesday or Wednesday, and now Jeff says let's leave Sunday or Monday morning...

I think I need to go to bed....

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cookie Day



It's cookie making day here at our house! I had a big helper, as you see! It took twice as long, but it didn't matter. He really enjoyed himself. We make cookies to give out to teachers, and friends. I tried out two new recipes this year, and I really liked one. Its called Chunky Chocolate Gobs. They have Mounds and Oreo in them! sooooo good!


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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I Miss Laurel


Who is Laurel? Read on...

We are back from a very long vacation. We spent 2 weeks at Disney World and then a week on a Disney Cruise in the Caribbean.

We took advantage of the Disney's free dining they were offering, so we had a lot of food that we didn't have to pay extra for! We did character dining that the boys loved and Epcot was having its annual Food and Wine Festival. We were able to use snack credits for the food and it was divine. And do I even need to mention the massive amount of food I consumed on the cruise? More about the cruise later....

WALT DISNEY WORLD

During the course of 2 weeks that we were there, we made 6 trips to the urgen
t care. Yep, all four of us were on antibiotics at some point or another. Parker had an allergic reaction to his antibiotic or some form of allergic reaction, where he broke out in a rash all over his body! Anderson had some bug where he had a high fever for only 24 hours. Which we were very thankful for, since this happened 4 days away from our cruise. We were so fearful it was the flu!!!!

Anderson came to LOVE Mission Space ride at Epcot. He loves Epcot to begin with and I spent 5 full days at Epcot! I am a big fan of Epcot, but seriously, 5 full days! I rode mission space and test track a lot during that time.

Jeff was gone on a business trip for 4 days and of course it was when Anderson was sick. That day I spent 5 hours at the urgent care...some urgent... I thought if I put a mask on him it would help us jump to the front of the line, but NOPE! I am thankful for our good friends, T&H. They took Parker to Magic Kingdom ALL day with them. He had a great time. We were at Disney with 4 other families that we are good friends with. In fact, they all went with us on the cruise as well.

It took Parker a full week to get comfortable with the characters. he was all about them after
that first week. Epcot has an attraction called "Character Spot"
where you stand in line, for about 30-40 minutes, and you see about 5 characters. I did that 4x! It was something that Parker and I would do, when Anderson would ride his rides that Parker wasn't tall enough for. He loved to give them hugs and high fives!

Not sure if I'm ready to do a 2 week trip to Disney again anytime soon..my kids were on empty by the time the cruise came around. They each took a nap every day, but I think it still wore them out!

DISNEY CRUISE LINE

I am a huge fan of the Disney Cruise Line. I have sailed on 2 other cruise lines, and with kids, this is the best. They have an awesome child care facility that my kids loved. The moment they would wake up they would ask "can we go to Oceanner's Club?

We went on the cruise with 12 people total - 8 adults, 4
kids...WHAT A BLAST!

So who is Laurel? My stateroom attendant, that picked up the towels, made my bed, folded the clothes, hung up the
wet clothes, did the turn down service and most importantly, did the towel animals. I asked him if he would move in with me. I did tell him that I will miss him the most.

Unfortunately, the weather didn't cooperate as much but it didn't stop us from having a
great time. It rained almost every day, but hey - we were on the floating version of Disney! always something to do.

One of our stops was Grand Cayman and it was raining that day. We left all the kids in the club and headed off the boat to walk around and do some shopping. We knew they would of hated it.

In Cozumel, we had booked us a day at a private beach where it was all you could eat and drink. The kids loved the pool (very cold) and they loved to play in the sand. It was quiet and cozy. They only allow around 50 people to come on the beach every day. And it did rain
on us....


Castaway Cay is Disney's private island in the Bahamas and it is always our favorite stop. We got off first thing in the morning and went the farthest part of the beach. It wasn't as crowded and we had the end of the beach to ourselves for a while. It poured down rain for about 15 minutes but then the sun came out. What a great way to end our vacation! :)

There was so much food on the boat, that I'm afraid to know how many calories I inhaled every day.

We can't wait to go back on another cruise. In fact, we rebooked for October 2011. Yep, 2 years away, but you get a discount and you can always cancel with no penalty.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

This is too good to be true

As many of you know, we purchased our home almost year ago, and it was a "short sale" it was days from being on the auction block. The house had been empty for 1.5 years, and when we purchased it, the former owner still had possessions. Lets just say that when we closed, they were still in the attic. When they arranged for movers to get their stuff, it took 1.5 moving trucks to haul out the stuff! oh yes...

Today...it got better We discovered termites a few months ago. Today at our house was Termite Termination day. This nice man from the Termite company came at 8am and was at house til about 5pm, exterminating the termites. When he went under the screen porch to take care of the termites there, he found something quite interesting behind the lattice around the screen porch. He found BOXES AND BOXES AND BOXES of women’s clothes! Oh yes ladies, women’t clothes. He said, there were termites in there and he wouldn’t be surprised if there are dead animals inside these boxes. SERIOUSLY! SERIOUSLY!???!!!!???!!!!

Any volunteers to take away the boxes? Or does anyone need new clothes? J

Monday, September 28, 2009

been busy


Sorry to all my faithful blog readers. Its been a long time and we have been busy.

This past weekend we had lots going on. We hosted an outdoor movie and BBQ party for his class. Well, it was raining so we moved the movie part to the garage. It was really cool. This company came in and set up a huge movie screen and projected it on the screen. The kids loved it. We had so much BBQ leftover that we invited about 12 more families after church to eat the rest!

Here is a picture of Anderson from his Patriotic Program at school. He did such a great job!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Weekend in Myrtle


We suprised the boys with a last minute trip to the beach. They have so much fun. DH took them to the coast last weekend, and Parker loved it so much that we decided to do a weekend of it.

Tonight we took the boys to play some mini golf after dinner. They really enjoyed it. Did you know that Myrtle Beach is considered to the be mini golf capital of the world???!!! Anderson even got a hole in one!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Another First Day of School


Parker started school today. He was soooo stinkin excited. He couldn't wait. After Anderson left for school (DH drove him today), Parker ran around the house yelling "TIME FOR SCHOOL! TIME FOR SCHOOL!!! LET'S GO MOM!" UGH...I wasn't ready to let him go....

When I dropped him off in his classroom, I got a quick hug and kiss and away he went! Didn't even look back at me....sniff sniff

Sunday, August 16, 2009

We Are Family....

Its been a busy week! My family from the West Coast invaded my home. My mom turned 65 this month and we had a party for her. About 50 adults and 12 children came over this past weekend. We had a great party! :) I think she really liked it.

It has been a really fun week with all my cousins and their spouses and their kids. My mom's siblings came as well. It is sooo much fun when we all get together. We do nothing but eat and hang out. I know I gain some lbs when we get together. The food at my mom's party was incredible and each meal we eat here, is incredible. I hate it that we don't get to see each other as often. But love every minute we spend together. Its fun for our kids to get together and play and fight - but its brotherly love! :)

The thing that makes me laugh the most is that we all make up names for each other and make our kids use these names. My brother is called "uncle goof" (my cousin has her boys call him that) and my aunt is now "EPo Rocks!' So the name is just "eporocks"....hilarious! :)

We will miss them. My house is will be sad and I will miss the noise!

Pictures to come...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!

We have survived the First Day of School!


Here is Anderson all decked out in his "dress uniform"

And of course, Parker had to get in on the action too!



The day before school started we had a "Special Day". We had a "practice" day where we went to school and met the teacher, sat in his desk and there was a short informational meeting with the teacher. He was very very nervous! Afterwards, Anderson and I headed downtown to a kids museum. He had so much fun. We also ate lunch down there too.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Busy Times


Last weekend I hosted a reunion with my youth group from years yonder. Yep, i said it, "yonder". My youth group "Above & Beyond" from our church in Florida. It was sooo much fun. Except for the fact that my house is trashed, but it was so much fun. I saw friends that I haven't seen in 18 years. None of us changed, maybe a little bit. We stayed up late and ate a lot! Friends from Boston, MD, SC, TN, IL, GA and NC came into town. I can't explain in words how refreshing and how much fun it was.



DH left the day before the festivities came and took the kids up to visit his family in MI. Not many people brought their spouses or kids, so it was a nice time to catch up. I flew up to MI after everyone left. My house was a mess, however when we got home, DH helped me clean up...He's the best!
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Sunday, July 12, 2009

DISNEY HERE WE COME!!!


Most of my friends know that I "heart" Disney! And I think that is putting it mildly.

I just finished booking my 2 week vacation at the theme parks. Yes folks, 2 weeks!!! I'm so excited. The 2nd week I will be without my DH. He has his yearly sales conference that week, so he didn't want to miss out on all the fun. But before you all freak out that I will be there by myself it isn't all that bad. I did it for 3 days last September and within days and hours of his leaving, there will be 3 other families coming to Disney and 2 of them are staying at the same resort. These are also the same families that will be traveling with us on the cruise.

Oh yes, cruise...we will be at the parks for 2 weeks and then at the end of the 2 weeks, we will be going on a Disney Cruise with 3 other families.

I'M SO EXCITED I CAN'T STAND IT!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Happy 4th of July everyone!!!


We had a great party at our house on the 4th!

Anderson was ready

We had 70 bodies! About half adults and half kids! it was crazy! we had FANTASTIC weather, couldn't of been better. It wasn't hot, it was very comfortable. We live close by a park where they do a spectacular fireworks show, so those that could stay walked down to the lake and saw the fireworks.

Great food, great friends...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Dr. Phil is my new BFF

Its 8:30p.m

We have been in potty training boot camp for 12 hours and I am happy to report that we have had a very successful day. I am indebted to Dr. Phil - and my brother who told me about this method!

We started out with just wearing underwear and a shirt and explaining what would happen when he would go on the potty. He would get a pee pee party and candy!

By 10:30 we had made a successful trip to the potty. Now there was wet underwear involved, but that is okay! I have used up an entire roll of paper towels, a container of lysol wipes and half a thing of baby wipes (to wipe the pee that ran down the leg) and consumed 1/2 gallon of apple juice (i dilute 2/3 water). We are at about 1 out of 3 trips to the potty with dry underwear!

So this evening we had a pee pee party for Parker! He asked for a candle, and how could I say NO? (oh and yes I see that the icing is crooked, it melted in the car yesterday)


Of course the day of bodily fluids would not be complete with a "choking" accident. Oh yes, at lunch and dinner Parker vomited, but thankfully we were at home! He just put too much food in his mouth.

Well tomorrow is Day 2 of isolation Potty Boot Camp.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Potty Talk (Thanks Dr. Phil)

My brother gave me this great idea - he did it for Samantha and she was potty trained in a day (or so), so I'm trying it on Parker.

The idea came from Dr. Phil - seriously, the guy does have some good ideas.
http://www.drphil.com/articles/article/264

The idea is to have your child's favorite doll/animal go pee pee on the potty. And then you have a party for it. So we had a "pee pee party" for Mickey Mouse. (of course we would do it w/Mickey!!).

First, we put underwear on Mickey, then we gave Mickey some pee pee juice. Jonathan took a ziploc bag, filled it with water and Mickey "pee pee'd" on the potty. After that, Mickey got a party. And all the while we are all going CRAZY for Mickey. Giving Mickey a high five and going nuts for Mickey that he pee'd on the potty! So we all sat around the table and Mickey got a cupcake and no one else did. And boy did Parker get mad! He wanted the cupcake, but we told him he had to go on the potty. He turned around, went into the bathroom and stripped to go pee. I wish I could tell you all that he did it, but sorry, he did not. But, he did get the idea. The rest of the evening was spent talking about how Mickey got a party and that he could get a pee pee party if he goes on the potty tomorrow. Seriously, I don't think I could of done it with such pomp and circumstance as Jonathan and Rach. They were way into it. Parker LOVES my brother, so I really wanted him to do the whole party thing for Parker.

I have my arsenals ready for tomorrow. I am spending the next 2-3 days in my house, doing nothing but potty training. Parker knows that the first time he pees on the potty tomorrow he will get a party. And I will have to find somebody to stop by and go all nuts for him! I know my parents will. Unfortunately, as I type this, my brother, Rach and Sam are on their way to Michigan, then IL, then MN before coming back to NC before returning to China (but that is a whole other blog post).

I've got a tray full of goodies for every time he goes potty (and a fridge full of juice to pump him full)....

**the cheerios are for aiming at in the toilet

I've got a stash of underwear, that might last me the morning....


And a prayer that it will all work and that Anderson will obey and be helpful!

Keep you posted on the potty adventure

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Busy Week!

We've been so busy here at our house for the past week. My brother and his family are home from China for the summer. They are here in our area for 8 days and then off on a mad tour of the midwest. He is taking grad classes in IL and then off to visit family before heading back here for a week or so before heading back to China. His time here at our home is limited so we are soaking it all in! Up at breakfast and then back here at the house after dinner.

A good friend of ours, Lem, and his wife DC is here for a visit as well. They are staying here with us while my brother, Jonathan, and his family are at my parents. Lem and my bro are good friends as well. Its been a whirlwind!


Then off to a local university, where the architecture is gorgeous and the scenery is beautiful. The boys played hide and go seek with Uncle Lem, not sure who had more fun..









There is a garden on campus as well and we took a tour in the heat!


Today we took a drive to the coast and did some good eating! yummy seafood...Sam seemed to like it..


Then we all took a walk on the beach. Anderson got a bit wet, but he didn't seem to mind.


We are tired to say the least. Our friends are returning home tomorrow and we will miss them!

Monday, June 15, 2009

My Baby? (sniff sniff)

This is my baby! He turned 3 today. Here he is...The Carolina Hurricanes were on their way to the Stanley Cup. In fact, I was at game 6 the night before I gave birth. What a memory.

Where did the time go? We had a little family party yesterday, and he got a few presents. My brother and his family arrive on Sat so we are waiting to do a bigger party on Sunday (father's day) and we will open all the presents then...
For months, he has been telling me that he would start to wear underpants. I decided to give it to him for his birthday. He was soo excited, believe it or not??!! In fact, he wouldn't go to bed with his diaper on, he insisted on wearing underwear! So I had to put his underwear over his diaper! Hilarious!

Today, we went to a minor league baseball game. We have a mini season package, and the boys love it! I told Parker I would get him ice cream..and boy did he love it!