Monday, February 28, 2011

a magical week- day 4

On Wednesday we slept in a bit, took a leisurely stroll down the road to good ole' Perkins for breakfast, and then came back and packed up a picnic lunch.  We grabbed a map, and headed out the door to our destination.  Cocoa Beach.

Dylan was thrilled.  After doing so much walking the day before, the boy could not have been more delighted to sit his butt in the warm sand with his shovel and dig.  Tim had to coax him to get up and get in the water before we left.  Austin and Sydney are more of the wave-jumping type, and ran right in.  They both forgot to close their mouths, and started gagging from the go :)

Dylan was thrilled to find a jelly fish washed up on shore

Altho a smidge chilly because the sun kept hiding behind the clouds, a fantastically relaxing day on the beach was had by all.  Upon returning to our condo, we got cleaned up and headed to Downtown Disney to do a little shopping and go to LegoLand.  It was so insanely busy, that we left shortly after we got there, because we were literally tripping over people.  We headed to Applebees for a late dinner, and made a quick stop at the local Publix for some groceries.  Oh how I wish we had a Publix around here...a couponers dream  I tell you :)

a magical week- day 3

Tuesday we were up bright and early, our destination Epcot Center.  First in line with the common folk (non-disney resort members :), we headed straight to our first ride once the gates were opened.  Test Track.  A ride that you must be 40" or taller to ride.  Stella is exactly 40" in.... well probably more like 39.75 in.  The rule is, when your child is standing underneath the measuring bar, if you can even slide a piece of paper between your child's head and the bar, they are not tall enough, and cannot ride.  Such was the case with Stella. We told her to stand tall, but a piece of paper could still fit through.  Most attendants let her on through, because clearly the width of a piece of paper in added height isn't going to make the ride any safer....however, some attendants were not having such a magical day.  And so it became a game.  Naturally, this is how I fixed her hair....

...and it's hard to say if it really helped.  The attendants that really, really, checked her height were clearly annoyed that her hair was in the way :)

All in all, we had a fantastic day.  Tim was on the mend from his strep throat, and feeling a ton better.  Spaceship Earth and Test Track were hands down the kids 2 favorites, and we rode them each 5 times. We spent the morning hitting the rides, going to shows, and stacking up our Faspasses.  In the afternoon we toured the world showcase while Stella slept in the stroller, and Tim carried a tired Dylan on his shoulders.  Mostly, we were on a princess hunt, because it became clear that's where they were all hiding out.  We stayed at the park until they closed and enjoyed another fireworks display.


An attraction we frequented was the Cool Spot.  You can stop in and get as many free samples as you want of different coke products from around the world.  We'd walk through whenever the kids got thirsty :)  Did I mention that hamburgers at the park cost $9.00?  Yes, I will drink my free sample all day long.  Even Mellow Yellow from Hong Kong.

Epcot, the one and only day we splurged on lunch.  We had intended to leave the park for a few hours in the afternoon again, so I hadn't packed a lunch in the backpack.  But since we were having such a marvelous time, we stuck around and soaked in all the fun.

Stella was asleep in the stroller when we stopped by to see the beast.  Apparantly she could sense the danger in her sleep.  She awoke from her nap, and was sitting 2 feet in front of this guy.  Her reaction was priceless :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

a magical week- day 2

Monday morning began bright and early with a trip to Osceola Urgent Care.  Tim could no longer talk, and spent the night awake in a miserable feverish state.  We got to the clinic right as they opened at 8, in hopes we'd beat the "walk-ins welcome" crowd.  Unfortunately it didn't go as smooth as we hoped, but we were able to make an apt. to come back in 1.5 hours.  We went out for breakfast to pass the time, dropped Tim back off, and I took the kids to a few souvenier shops to pass some more time.  By lunchtime we were finally on our way, with the diagnosis we suspected....strepp throat and an infection.  The dr. gave Tim a shot of antibiotics to kick start his healing, and we were on our way.  After a quick jaunt to Walgreens, we were at our days destination.   Gatorland Zoo.

Aside from Tim feeling like junk, we had a great time. The boys enjoyed seeing so many alligators up close.  We went to a few entertaining shows, took a long walk through a swamp, and enjoyed the placidity after being @ Disney the day before. 

In the evening Tim was already feeling a whole lot better, which was a huge blessing.  We ate dinner, swam in the pool, and got the kids to bed @ a decent time, in preparation for another long day @ Disney :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

a magical week

As I alluded in my last post, our family just returned from an amazing vacation to Florida.  After watching, obsessing over, airfare for 6 people for several weeks before our trip, my primitive math skills just couldn't get the price low enough when combined with a rental car. At one point I had all 6 tickets in my cart, and we were one click away from flying the friendly skies, but I just couldn't do it and slammed my computer shut.  All of the extra fees tacked on got my dutch blood too riled up.

In the end we made the decision to travel WallyWorld style. At first, I was a bit nervous about traveling 20 hours in the van.  But it went really well.  Really, really, well.  There were no complaints, and I don't think Stella cried once. We left Friday around 6pm, and drove straight through the night, stopping for breakfast just south of Macon, GA.  When Tim finally gave me the wheel just north of the Mason-Dixon line, his last words before he dozed off were "Set the cruise, and don't get pulled over".  So naturally, I was a bit nervous to wake him up when I noticed the red and blue flashers in my rear view mirror :)  Thankfully I only recieved a warning, and that was the extent of the excitement on the way down.  The kids were bummed to hear that they slept right through mommy getting pulled over.

We arrived at our condo on Saturday afternoon, and spent the rest of the day relaxing. Tim and I were counting down the hours until we could go to bed, but the kids had way too much energy after being pent up in the car. So, we swam in the pool until Austin puked...ugh,  and went to bed early. Thankfully the puking ended there :)

The next morning we got up bright and early and headed to our first day of fun at the Magic Kingdom.  We did our research ahead of time, got to the park an hour before it opened, bought our passes for the week, and rode the monerail over.  We went throught the turn-styles just as the park was opening, and were once again told to have "a magical day".  We headed straight to our first ride, Space Mountain.   I did a lot of research, so we had a plan of attack on how we were going to get through the park most efficiently, in an effort not to waste one precious minute of our day in long lines.  We knew what we wanted to ride, and how we were going to play the FastPass game....which is almost as fun as the coupon game :) We floated from ride to ride all morning and had a magical time, never waiting more than 10 minutes. 

 We bought the kids autograph books, and I think we waited longer to get character signatures than we did for rides. As you can see by Stella's face, she wanted no part of this.  The only way to even get her in the pictures was to have Tim hold her.

We went back to our condo for a couple hours in the afternoon to give Stella a nap, and to get Tim some medicine, because he really wasn't feeling well.  We came back to the park late afternoon, watched a parade, went to a few shows, rode our favorite rides again, and stayed for the fireworks show. All in all, a "magical day". 

 More to come.... 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Stella is 3! Tho if you ask her, she will probably tell you she is 10, very matter of factly.  And what better way to spend your birthday, than on the beach in Florida?

At 3, Stella is absolutely hysterical, and usually our greatest form of entertainment around here. She has a mind of her own, and the mannerisms, facial expressions, and vocabulary to go along with it. She's a smart little gal, and understands way more than we realize. She loves her siblings, and uses her charm to be included in everything they do. She also loves being Ellerys big sister, and refers to her as her honey.

Some thoughts at 3...

* She "wuvs" her Ellery Margaret, and will tell this to just about anyone she meets
* She is a daddy's girl
* She loves her brown bunny
*She WILL keep up with the big kids
* She is fully potty trained, but still wears pull ups at nights.
* She likes to get herself dressed, and picks out some fantastically amazing outfits.  Usually backwards, inside out, and both legs crammed into one...but she can do it herself she will tell you.
* She never stops talking, and will continue to repeat herself until you have conversation about what it is she wants.
* She LOVES to help me in the kitchen, and usually takes part in every meal preparation and baking endeavor.  If I start working on anything, she will say "Mom, I help you?"
* Loves to play with her dolls, her kitchen, her little people, and must participate in any craft that the kids are doing.
*She is very persistant, and doesn't give up till she gets what she wants.
*She still loves to do chores, and is usually the first to help set the table and empty the dishwasher and garbages.
*She still takes a 2-3 hour nap after lunch.
*The girl loves her t.v. and her sweets.

We love you Stella Jane!  Happy Birthday!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Fashion Friday- A scarf for the little gal

Awhile back, I stumbled upon a tutorial for the cutest scarf, so naturally I had to give it a try. I've been toying with the idea of making/selling them in my etsy store.

Oddly enough, I'm not a huge scarf wearer.  I don't think they look very nice on me.  I look like I'm choking or something.  Perhaps I have a weird neck?  Too many chins?  Perhaps I just need a lesson in the fine art of scarf tying?   A combination of all three?

Sydney however, thoroughly enjoys any accesory she can get her hands on , and looks darling in absolutely everything.  She has surely enjoyed "accesorizing" with this one :)

Have a blessed Friday all!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

two hands

Just look at those pathetic eyes.  This poor kid once again spent his birthday at home sick on the couch.

And since he hasn't gone to school now in over a week, I blew the dust off my reporters notebook and interviewed him. 

1. What is your favorite color?     Blue
2. What do you want to be when you grow up?     A policeman, so I don't get any tickets.
3.  What is your favorite toy?     legos
4.  What is your favorite thing to do with dad?     Hunt for ducks
5.  What is your favorite thing to do with mom?    Make crafts
6.  If you could have any super power what would it be?     Be able to shoot fireballs like Mario
7.  Favorites at school?     Playtime, gym, and recess
8.  Favorite tv show?     Tom and Jerry
9.  If you could travel anywhere where would you go?    Kentucky
10.  Favorite food?     Grilled cheese and jello
11.  If you could have picked your name, what would it be?   BillyBobJoe
12.  Favorite sport?     Soccer
13.  The best part about being 6?  Still staying home, while the kids go to school.

And there you have it.  Clearly it would be a dream come true, if Tim took him on a hunting trip to Kentucky, watched Tom and Jerry in the van to pass time, and stopped at a small diner for grilled cheese and jello along the way....on a school day, naturally :)

Happy Birthday Dylan.  We love you!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

groundhog day

For most, the flip of the calendar from January to February signifies yet another month of winter.  A short one, but usually a cold, snowy one, nonetheless.... just when you're starting to tire of Jack Frost nipping at your toes. We are trained not to set our eyes on spring until at least March.

For our family, the calendar flip is both happy and bittersweet.  By the end of this short month, my 3 middle kiddos will all be another year older.  "A birthday a week" is the motto around here.

We are blessed....tremendously.  Sure there have been some bumps along the way, but in 8 short years, the Lord has graced us with 5 beautiful children.  The combination of moving forward into this new decade, and taking  measures to ensure that our biological family is complete, has caused me a lot of reflection as of late, and sappy Nat has been sneaking out.

Austin was born in Nov.'01 and Elle Nov. '09.  Our children were all born neat and tidy, tucked into the first decade of this century.  A decade defined by stretch marks, tremendous joy, diapers, crying, anticipation, Curious George, long days, the park, reading books, seeing 3am come and go on a regular basis, never-ending toys and crumbs, and a longing to get out of the house alone.

As we push forward into this next decade, I realize this new chapter will be defined quite differently.  Lord willing, we will see our kids become teenagers, enter high school, drive, and begin to make a life for themselves....and I am quite certain I will long to be back in these simple days.  Rather than requesting they all stop talking to me for 5 minutes, I'm sure I will covet what they are willing to share with their still hip and stylish mother :)

Today is a snow day, the kids are home, and I am ejoying them. 

As I was walking around the house I started to get a bit disgruntled by all the job-security these little darlings provide me.  I realized some day I might miss all of this chaos....and since my camara was already out, I took a few photos that define our home in the present day....

the toothpaste that is always on the counter

 the naked barbie that lives in the handles of the entertainment keep Elle out, naturally :)

the matchbox cars in my birdcage

 school papers
 the stairs
Have a blessed day friends!