Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Rosalie is a PUGGLE!!

Rosalie is so excited to be an Awana Puggle! Puggles is the Awana club the 2 year old age group. This was the very first thing that Rosalie has ever done apart from me. Yes, I was nervous. We've been talking about it a long time. She already knew that I wouldn't be staying with her. As I started to walk away, she got very nervous and unsure. Mrs. Cindy picked her up and distracted her as I left ... and no tears were shed. She had a great night and has been telling me all about it every day since! She LOVED it. (just as I knew she would)
My sweet girl is super social and loves to be with people ... and will talk anyone's ear off who will listen. I love how much she loved it!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

First night of Awana (for us)

Awana started the week after our Disney trip, so we got a late start this year. This past Wednesday night was our first night of the Awana year. It was a much anticipated night for my children for many reasons:
1. We love Awana!
2. It was Rosalie's first night EVER of Awana!
3. We LOVE Awana!
For the very first time, all of the children got to pile into the van and go to church for Awana. Rosalie was so excited that she was able to go too!

She loved putting on her Awana Puggles shirt!

I love how much our children love Awana! I love how hard they work to memorize the scripture verses each week.
I am a Cubbies leader again this year. I get to listen to the Cubbies (Jonathan's age group 3's, 4's, and some young 5's) say the verses that they work on at home. It's my favorite part about Awana, so I am thankful that I get to do it!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Jonathan started Kindergarten!!

Here is my big kindergartener in front of our school room.

Here he is walking into his classroom (a.k.a. the school room) the first time as a school boy.

Here he is sitting in what has become known as the "hot seat". The hot seat is where each student sits while I teach them their lessons. Then they go to the table to do independent/seat work.

Jonathan started Kindergarten shortly after our return from our vacation. We did the first official school day at home before we headed to Virginia to help my Mom and Dad. I packed about 4 weeks worth of school books to take with us to Virginia ... not knowing how long we would stay. We ended up needing all 4 weeks worth.

Jonathan is doing very well! He is a hard worker and seems to learn concepts quickly. I am encouraged at how it is going with him. I am thankful that he is an eager learner. He loves school! This makes him easy to teach ... and I love to teach him!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Rosalie meets Minnie Mouse and update

It's a little hard to believe that it's taken me longer than a month to finish the blog posts on our trip to Disney. The video above is the reason I didn't have very good pictures of Rosalie and Minnie. I wanted to capture the meeting on video. Rosalie was more excited to meet Minnie than any of them, and the wait was worth it!
Our trip to Disney was really fantastic. We are so thankful that we were able to experience it with my parents and sister's family. Rich and I were planning on checking this Disney thing off of our list ... and then moving on to all the other great vacation spots we want to hit ... however, we were only a couple days into the trip when we started talking about returning when Rosalie is of the roller coaster riding size! Whether or not we are able to do that still remains to be seen, but we are thinking about it.

Thanks to all of you who continue to follow my very slow moving blog! Since our trip to Disney, there really hasn't been a "normal" for us. I am sure that normal will resume in time, though. We returned home from Virginia about 8 days ago, and it's taken me that long to get back in the swing of being back home. We spent close to 5 weeks in Virginia to help my Mom through her recovery. Her surgery went very well ... however, her recovery is going to take a very long time. Many of you continue to ask me about how my Mom is doing and I know that many of you are still praying for her. Thank you for that. My Mom is doing as well as she can be doing under the circumstances. She is learning to be left handed and one handed. My sister lives very close to my Mom, so she is helping my Mom to get to all of her doctor appointments and therapy appointments. It will be a long time before she will be able to drive again.
I am thankful that I was able to help as long as I did, but wish that I could be closer to help out on a more on going basis.

Thanks for praying for us over the last several weeks!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Miscellaneous Disney Stuff

Rosalie was dancing at the concert at tomorrowland in this clip. This girl likes to move!

This is a clip of Lauren speaking with Crush. We loved how he interacted with Lauren and was so quick to grab the Buzz Lightyear toy when Lauren showed him her toy!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Day 6 - Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Magic Kingdom

All 4 of them in the shark!!

Ever so close to meeting Mickey!!

Rosalie and GraceAnn with Mickey!

...with Pluto

If you look closely, you will see that Donald has Rosalie's Daisy stuffed toy in his arms. She was carrying around her Daisy toy all day at Epcot, and when Donald saw it, he took it away from her.

She played right along with him ... and started laughing her head off at him. Donald did finally return Rosalie's Daisy. And we all had a good laugh!

Meeting Minnie was the absolute best for Rosalie! Right before it was Rosalie's turn to meet her, Minnie had to go powder her nose. So, we had to wait until she returned. As soon as she returned, Rosalie took off running toward her! So sweet!! Rosalie has just about perfected the Minnie stance ... (notice Minnie's left leg), and especially loves to wear dresses so that she can be like Minnie!

Lauren wanted to meet Aurora more than anything else while she was at Epcot. So, we found her and Lauren was a very happy girl!

Rosalie has never seen Sleeping Beauty, but she had to meet her too ...

We especially loved going to see Crush while at Epcot. Aaron was chosen to talk to Crush ... and I got it on video! Lauren was also chosen ... and I'll share that later. Crush was one of our favorite things from the entire week!

Yes, we did all 3 of those parks in one day. We started at Hollywood Studios at 8:30 AM, and made it back to the condo at about 11:30 that night. It was a long day, but so much fun! After we did Epcot, I put the camera away... it can be exhausting pulling the camera out every few minutes!

Day 5 - Dinner and Downtown Disney

We all met at the Steak and Shake and had a fun meal.

The children were especially excited about the fun hats!

We headed back to Downtown Disney to see more of the stores. We only managed to see the Disney Store and Lego Store on our first trip there. We had to pause for a picture with Mickey and Minnie!

Rosalie likes to dance. She starts moving as soon as she hears music. I caught her on video dancing to some music.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Day 4 - Magic Kingdom

We were at the park bright and early on what seemed like a bright and sunshine-y day. We started the day by taking a family picture with the castle in the background.

Since we had already done most everything in tomorrowland ... we moved on to the other parts of the park, starting with the cars. All of the boys LOVED this ride! I rode with Aaron on this one ... and it was bumpy to say the least!

Then we headed to the tea cups. (her hair is wet ... not from rain ... but from sweat!)

The rain started to come down when we headed to the Pooh ride, and it was coming down pretty good as we ran toward the Dumbo ride. Rosalie did not like getting wet at all. We headed toward the merry-go-round and dumbo ride, and tried to keep cover. We all put our ponchos on and made the best of it by riding all the indoor rides. We did the Snow White ride, Peter Pan ride, and the 3D movie with Donald Duck.

It's A Small World ride ... was Rosalie's absolute favorite!!

After going to the Haunted Mansion, we stopped and ate our packed lunch ... and froze while we were inside! We were all wet ... and the AC was making us cold! It let up on the rain a little bit ... so we moved on to Thunder Mountain Railroad and Splash Mountain. All the boys were big enough to ride ... and they all LOVED it!

Rosalie and I had fun taking some pictures while the others were riding Splash Mountain!

She's such a ham!
After we rode several more rides including the Pirates of the Caribbean and The Jungle Safari ride ... it started pouring ... and kept pouring for a couple hours. We took cover, and while we were taking cover Rosalie fell asleep in the stroller. We finally decided to head toward Tomorrowland ... and on our way stopped to take a family picture while in our rain gear ... it is definitely a memory!! You can see Rosalie's little legs peeking out of the stroller ... she was sound asleep! I sat with Rosalie at a table near tomorrowland while Rich took the boys to ride the Buzz Lightyear ride again.

By 5 PM, the rain had cleared and it was a beautiful evening! It was as clear as it could be ... cool and comfortable. We ended up eating dinner in the park, riding some more rides, watching the parade, and fireworks, and staying until it closed.
It was a fantastic day at the Magic Kingdom! We made some very happy memories!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Day 3 - Mom's 60th birthday Dinner and Downtown Disney

We all met for dinner at the Olive Garden on our 3rd day in Orlando to celebrate my Mom's 60th birthday! We enjoyed a great meal, lots of laughter, and lots of noise coming from the children's side of the table ... and a yummy birthday cake! After dinner, we headed to Downtown Disney to shop! The children were armed with the money that Mamaw and Papaw gave them! We headed straight for the Lego store. Wow ... impressive! Jonathan bought a Mater lego set, and Martin bought a Star Wars lego set and then we moved on to the Disney Store. The Disney store is absolutely massive. My advice on this store is this: Do not enter the store unless you have a phone and the other people in your party have a phone. Do not let go of your children in this store ... you might never see them again! LOL I've never seen anything like it!
Rosalie knew what she wanted the moment she entered the store. She bought a very large stuffed Minnie Mouse with a pink dress. She was and still is thrilled with her purchase! Jonathan had some money left over and he bought a red pirate gun. Aaron bought a Club penguin stuffed toy. (and I forgot to mention that he actually bought a stuffed elephant at Animal Kingdom the day before ... he collects elephants)
Martin also bought a stuffed Mickey Mouse dressed like Obiwankenobi.
It was a fun night for the children ... celebrating Mamaw ... and spending their money! (and just in case you start thinking that your money can go a long way at Disney ... Mommy and Daddy did provide the extra funds the children needed when their fund wouldn't take them as far as they needed. )

Jonathan was proudly handing over his money to buy his lego set!

My boys and my Dad hanging out with the Lego Woody at the Lego store.

This is a shot of the children on the stairs of the town house where we stayed.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Day 2 - Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom

On Day 2, we started out at the Animal Kingdom. I forgot to bring my camera that day, so I didn't get any pictures. (although Rich has some pictures from that day on his phone)
We thoroughly enjoyed our day at Animal Kingdom! We especially loved the jungle safari ride! We were close enough to a baby giraffe to reach out and touch it. It was so much fun to see all the animals! We had a brief afternoon rain, Rosalie napped in the stroller for 2 hours, we packed our lunch and ate it there. Martin absolutely loved Expedition Everest. Aaron rode it with me, and didn't love it. He said that it was terrifying. The children enjoyed watching the parade in the afternoon. It was a great day at the Animal Kingdom!
We left around dinner time and took about a 2 hour break to eat dinner at the townhouse. Then we headed back to the parks ... this time to the Magic Kingdom!

Once we got to the Magic Kingdom, we headed straight toward Tomorrowland and rode everything that we could ride there ... starting with the Buzz Lightyear ride. Martin loved Space Mountain, Aaron chose not to ride it, Jonathan would have ridden if he'd been tall enough ... so the rest of rode the People Mover. It was a fun night that went by too quickly! We found a place to watch the fireworks and ate some ice cream while we waited.

Rosalie was an absolute trooper! She stayed awake as long as she could to take it all in. She was absolutely amazed by the castle - and shouted with great joy and glee every time it changed color! Her expressions were priceless on this trip! I will never forget her joyful exclamations! Finally, on our way out of the park, (at about 11PM) she could no longer keep her eyes open. She fell asleep hard ... I had to take this sweet picture of her on her Daddy's shoulder.

Another great day at Disney!