Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bye-Bye Summer

Well I can hardly believe that summer is coming to an end.  Kyle went back to work on Tuesday.  Much to his surprise when he got there his room had no carpet, shelving, fixtures and on and on.   I guess there was also a large whole in one of the walls.  They are in the middle of building him a new room but it won't be ready until spring and his current one had to be totally stripped due to mold etc.  It has made starting the year interesting for him.  I have had a few days now with just my kids.  It's always odd getting back to routine.  I have not been able to get my body out of bed like I should, I'm hoping that will come next week.  During the summer Kyle and I live like college students.  It's great, we stay up late and sleep in, but it makes getting going in the fall harder.  Especially as I get older, I just don't bounce back like I did.  I should count my blessings though, because our kids love moving their sleep schedule too.  They are happy to stay up a little later and sleep until 9:00 or even 10:00.  We adults try not to stay in bed that late however, but it's nice to know that we can.  Now, however I have to switch their schedule too.  Especially since Alex is starting all day school.  He is going to be a big first grader, I can NOT believe it.  I actually cry thinking about it.  I have really enjoyed him this summer, he is so funny and super smart and I will miss having him with me.  On the days he rides the bus he will not get home until 4:15.  Kyle could actually get home before him some days!  Sarah is also leaving me, to be a kinder!  Poor Adam is going to be suffocated with love from me.  Here are some pictures from one of our final summer flings.  We went Putt-Putt with the kids, it was loads of fun.   

 My competitive nature did come out when I thought I might beat Kyle, but sadly we only tied.  And we only tied because Kyle was kind and gave me a 2 on a hole that I really got a 4 on.
The top picture is of Sarah making  shot.  I love the boys expressions. Above are their ball choices, black for our serious 7 year old, blue for our sweet little Adam and then purple, of course, for the girl.  I couldn't resist putting in the last picture, oh my she is pretty.  Check out the 80's side pony in the ball picture.  She came up with that all on her own, now she just needs some leg warmers and stretch pants. 

Thursday, August 21, 2008

So Much FUN!

Well we are finally back from our wonderful trip to California.  We had so much fun and came back with some really special memories.  I will share a few here in my blog, probably more then anyone really cares to hear.  But if you give me a chance I will gladly talk to you about it for hours.  Excitement started right away as our first stop was in Cottage Grove at the local McDonald's where we met Kyle's dad for breakfast on our way out of town.  The most amazing part of that experience was when I took Adams diaper off and he proceeded to urinate all over the floor, a lake could have been filled with this stuff.  I was horribly embarrassed but what can you do.  Of course it was right in front of the sink so every person that came in I had to warn not to wash their hands for fear of slipping in my kids pee.  Awesome!

This did seem to trigger something wonderful though because at our next stop Adam used the toilet for the first time EVER!  We were all totally shocked and my mom paid him $20.00.  I tried to convince her to pay me money for using the bathroom but no go.  Boo.  Seriously though we were so excited we had to take his picture in front of the place where he first did the deed!  Then to our amazement he went poo at the Taco Bell that we stopped at next.  Amazing.  We were so excited and hoping that meant we were done with diapers forever.  Sadly he is still working on getting this under control but at least we have a bit of succes
s under our belts.

We split the drive up into two days so arrived in Anaheim on Sunday the 10th.  The drive really went pretty well considering we had every seat in our van full and that my dad came really close to killing all of us after we got into the L.A. traffic.  We were all happy to be there and out of the car, but amazingly not because the kids were driving us crazy.  

On Sunday we went to California Adventure where we started with the Pixar Parade.  This was about the best thing we could have done for Adam as he is totally into the Pixar characters, especially Lightning McQueen. (sp?)  Well, who leads the parade, but the car hi
mself.  Adam watched in amazement, hand over mouth, the whole time.  He was so overwhelmed with seeing his special friends out there big as life, that he could not even hardly breath.  It was precious.  Alex and Sarah were so excited for him that they kept saying "Adam do you see who's coming, wow Adam look it's Nemo"....and so on and so on.  So sweet.  We hit a few rides and then the Electric Parade and called it a night.  A great intro to the week ahead.

On Monday we headed to the real park, Disneyland itself.  There we started with our standard ride, The Jungle Cruise.  Adam loved it, but was a little concerned about some of those creatures.  Sarah was very concerned when we got to the hippo's and our 
guide took out a gun.  I was surprised she didn't start crying, Adam jumped about a mile when the gun actually shot and made sound.  After that Alex got to go on his soon to be favorite ride, Pirates.  I think we rode that about 5 times over the week.  The rest of that day was pretty standard, lots of fun.  From here on I will just hit some of my favorite moments.

We attended the Minnie and Friends Character breakfast, I highly recommend this event. 
 We got so much great time with all the characters and found out that Adam had a major crush on Minnie.  At one point he snuggled up right against her and whispered into her ear for about 5 minutes.  She was so sweet to him and kept giggling and giving him kisses.  At one point he was kissing the top of her nose.  Sarah was terrified of Captain Hook and wouldn't even look at him, good girl.  And Alex pulled Kyle aside and said that "he saw mesh in 
Minnie's mouth so he was pretty sure these were all costumes, but don't tell Adam."  I thought it was amazing that he didn't want to ruin that magic for him.  The characters had so much time with us that they were playing with us.  We'd be trying to get a picture with one character and another one would jump in front of the camera.  Several of them also picked up our kids stuffed animals and posed for pictures with them.  The kids got a kick out of that.

Another top moment was stumbling upon Wendy and Peter Pan, Pinnochio and Hook back in a little corner in Fantasy Land.  Before we knew it we found ourselves involved in a wonderful game of charades with these guys.  Alex got up and froze on wha
t to do, so Wendy stepped in to help him.  It was so special to watch all these characters with my kids, reminded me of the old days at Disneyland.

I also loved watching my big 7 year old ride every single ride.  He got off a few not totally sure he liked them.  After California Screamin' I asked him what he thought and he said, "I don't know, it was pretty scary.  I'm serious mom, it was really scary."  He proceeded to turn around and ride it again 5 minutes later so I think he was o.k.

Sarah was of course the perfect princess.  Well not perfect, since she 
did cry a few times for unknown reasons with people I thought she would be so excited to see, like Ariel.  That's a story in itself, but I won't bore anyone with it now.  On the last day we put her in her Sleeping Beauty dress and headed to the Princess Fantasy Faire.  She was of course shy of the actual people trying to lead the faire but when the crowd cleared out she became a different girl.  In her mind she was at her very own ball and she twirled and danced and jumped across that floor so many times I lost count.  She was loving it and I wanted to cry watching her it was so sweet.  She also asserted her princess status by getting shoulder rides about any time she wanted them, especially from Grandpa.

We also had the great pleasure of going to the exact spot where Kyle proposed, Snow Whites wishing well right next to the castle. We had a family picture taken.  It was great because when we got there Alex said, "hey I know where we are, this is where dad asked you to marry him."  I couldn't believe he knew that, and people overheard him and started congratulating us.  It was really fun and great to share that place with our sweet kiddos.

I think that overall the part I liked the best was watching my kids with the characters.  Loving on them and hugging them and waving like crazy as they left to move on to the next adventure.  Hearing them talk to them like they were old friends.  Captain Jack Sparrow asked Alex and Adam what they did for a living and Adam told him he went to church.  
The pirate wasn't quite sure what to do with that info.  Alex about tripped over himself trying to get to Cinderella for an autograph, I guess he likes blondes.  I couldn't get Sarah to dance for me at the faire, but when Sleeping Beauty herself came up to our ribbon circle and asked the girls to spin, you can bet she was spinning, eyes star struck.

Second best was watching them just become a part of what was around them.  Adam found himself on the water front in New Orleans Square hunting pirates, Sarah couldn't help but sing and dance every time she heard a tune she liked, and Alex - even though he is sooooo old and sooooo mature - still couldn't help but whip out that pirate sword at any given moment to battle it out with his little brother.

We were so happy to get back home safe and sound, but I kid you not I could plan another trip right now.  I wish that I could write every special and amazing moment in this blog, but I really wouldn't know where to stop.  I hope you enjoy some of my favorite pictures from our super great Disney vacation.  Ask me anytime and I will gladly share every detail with you :)

*Scroll down the sidebar to look at all the pictures, I have not been able to insert more then a few of them directly into text yet.  We took well over 1000 pictures so it was amazing I got it down to the few you see here.  I'm sad I can't put them all on here.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Did I forget anything? Of course I did!

We are just 12 hours away from the big moment.  Loading the car, and I really mean LOAD, and heading down I-5 to the happiest place on earth.  We are praying for safe travels, that our family can grow closer, and that we can all stay happy in our van full with 7 people and all of their stuff.  My mom and I have now gone through about 10 re-writes of our schedule - that we will probably ditch on the first day.  But at least we feel prepared.  Kyle has finally finished his homework, yeah, and so he is also getting excited.  The kids are bouncing off the walls and I am looking around at all the stuff I still have to do.  Yet somehow I don't care, maybe I'm a little excited too.  You never imagine just how much stuff three kids alone can require for a 10 day trip.  Way more then I think we needed when I was little.  We have three DVD players, several ipods, food, survival bags, pillows and on and on.  Not to mention that my fashion forward daughter needs three princess outfits and several options for daily clothing.  It's CRAZY!  When I get back I am sure I will blog a huge post about our trip, pictures and everything.  I can't wait to share our fun.  For everyone we are leaving to go about their daily lives, we will be sure to tell Mickey hello.  Pray for us and we will see you all in a little over a week.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

13 Truly Wonderful Years

Today I get the pleasure of celebrating 13 years of marriage to my wonderful husband.  We had the chance to go to breakfast, just the two of us, and have found that we can still hold a conversation.  Although a lot more of what we talk about revolves around people 4 ft and under.  I asked Kyle what the 5 top moments of our marriage are and he then asked me the same question.  It was awesome to see how similar our favorite moments are, but how we each remember things a little differently.  A lot of our favorites stem from trips we have taken, one being our recent cruise to Alaska.  Of course we would put our kids at the very top of greatest moments, but what was really neat was seeing how much we love the people we are becoming because of the grace of God.  Kyle said that when you are newly weds you think you never want it to be any different, you want things to stay just the way you are.  Then you get to look back and realize what a miserable marriage that would have been.  Thank you God for growing and stretching our marriage and developing it into what it is today.  We truly look forward to looking back 13 years from now and seeing what God has done in us, and in our relationship, and praising Him.

Monday, August 4, 2008

So Many Birthdays

It's hard to believe how many birthday parties you go to after you start having kids.  You never realize before you enter this great adventure of parenting that you will need to know not only your own kids greatest passion, but you must also understand 30 other kids greatest passions. After all you would hate to show up with a gift that is totally ridiculous.  It's not so bad really, it's actually very fun watching all these munchkins grow up.  I love looking at all my kids friends and guess which ones will have crushes and which ones might be life-long friends.  The party tonight was at our very good friends house for their little girl Brynn.  Brynn's mom and I have said that our two oldest kids should never date, it would surely end in heartache as they are both very headstrong.  However, I suspect we may have very little to say in the matter.  We just have to pray for all our little ones as they grow and get closer to the world of dating.  Pray for large amounts of wisdom in lots of different areas.  For now, I will happily go to a million birthday parties.  If I still have to attend parties with my child then they are too young to date and that is just fine with me.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Disneyland Or Bust!

Last night my wonderful, sweet parents came over to plan our trip to Disneyland.  We leave next weekend and I think we are all very excited.  We talked for about 4 hours about what rides and shows and parades we want to do and when.  Alex and Sarah have both been twice, but this will be little Adam's first time.  What is so exciting to me is that he loves all the original characters thanks to the new Mickey Mouse Clubhouse show.  He can't wait to see Donald and Pluto and Goofy and especially Mickey himself.  He is just 40 inches tall so I'm hoping that he will be brave enough to ride some of the bigger rides, but my mom is fairly sure he shouldn't.  We'll see....  We have decided to do some of the meals where you see the characters, which I have never done.  I'll try not to push my kids out of the way to get my picture with Winnie the Pooh, but I make no promises.  My parents are joining us, as they have in some fashion every time we've gone, but this time we are all able to go together - which has never quite happened.  I can't wait to see it all play out.  I know it will be fun - I just can't wait to see which parts I hold as favorite child-raising moments.