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Disney Day 1

Day 1 was Magic Kingdom Day!  So much fun.

We were there before the park opened so we got to see the opening show.  I cried.  Yes, cried.  I was holding Justus and when the train pulled up and he saw Mickey and starting jumping in my arms screaming, “its Mickey!  its really Mickey!” and waving his chubby little 3 year old arm, I started crying.   We’ll just say it wasn’t the only time during the day I teared up watching my kids and their joy.

We attempted to get a pic with all the kids in front of the castle.  See grouchy pants on the far right?  He wasn’t having any of that smiling business.  At least not yet.

We spent the majority of the morning in Fantasy Land riding all the fun rides there.  The teacups, Dumbo, the Carousal, the Barnstormer Roller Coaster…we rode them all and we learned that Avery DOES NOT like rollar coasters, and Elliana could ride them all day long if we let her.   And by all day long, I mean, hands raised, screaming at the top of her lungs, and immediately asking to ride the ride again.  I love that girl’s love for life!

By about midmorning, I started to see Justus’ personality begin to emerge again.  We are waking that kid up way early in the morning so by the time we get to the park, he will be fun.  It took him 3 hours before he really woke up!

On our way to The Crystal Palace for lunch, we stopped and rode Buzz Lightyear.  I think that was my favorite of the day!  So much fun!!

And my favorite picture of the day….

After lunch with Winnie the Pooh and friends, Elliana got delivered a birthday surprise complete with a card signed by Tigger, Pooh, Eyore, and Piglet!

We then went to dance a bit in a parade

Wave our hardest to get Minnie to see us

And then latch onto Uncle Mark the whole way to the bus and back to the room.  See what Uncle Mark has in his hands?  Pink Cotten Candy.  He was like the Pied Piper leading all our kids from the park.  Its amazing the power of a little processed sugar =)

The rest of the afternoon was spent in the wonderful pool at the resort.  This place is amazing by the way.  It was just a perfect day.

I feel like I just used a lot of exclamations points in this post, but seriously, that may be the only punctuation that truly describes the day.  The whole day is one big exclamation point!!!!!  Now to go shower and go to sleep.  Tomorrow is Animal Kingdom day.  Can’t wait!

A Week of Vacation

My parents don’t come to visit very often, but when they are here, life is just about perfect. My dad had some business down here, so we got lucky and got my parents in town for a whole week! We had a blast pretending we were all on vacation.

We spent time at the zoo


We also visiting the jump house

And no visit is complete without a stop at Babes to dance the hokey pokey and to eat some good fried chicken.

Dad’s birthday was a few days later, so we celebrated his birthday with some yummy chocolate cake!

Then the kids took turn saying why they loved Grandpa

Avery: “Because he tries to get my sugar”

Elliana: “Because he loves me and is so kind”

Justus: “Because he wrestles me and plays with me”

They stayed a little late on Saturday so they could see Avery doing her cheerleading thing.  She was so happy they were there!

Justus had the hardest time saying good bye. I think he chased after their car 3 different times to get more hugs. After we said a final last sad good bye to them in the parking lot, we got into the car and felt like this


We LOVED spending the week with Grandma and Grandpa! Thanks for coming and playing and just loving on us. We all feel so incredibly blessed to have had you here!

We Made It Home

Two incredible weeks of vacation at my parent’s house in Iowa.  I truly feel like a new woman after the rest we got while up there!   Twenty-one people, eleven of whom are children, all staying under one roof, and I absolutely LOVED it.

The kids did great.  Well, except for a couple few incidents by little man.  We learned he liked switches as we woke up on morning to a freezing cold house because he turned off the heat the day before, and one morning my dad had a cold shower because Justus turned off the water heater.  Luckily, my parents are gracious and laughed at my son’s energy =)

Some people go to a beach to get away and relax.  We go to Iowa.  There is just something about being surrounded by family who loves you that just allows all the stress of the world to go away.  Thanks mom and dad for letting us crash at your place for two weeks!



“I drew this for you Grandma!!!

And look, I even gave you all your legs.”

The Perfect Evening

Norwegian pancakes on the griddle, bacon sizzling, a fire in the fireplace, and time with my parents.

Life is good.

Another Family Tradition

My kids associate Grandma and Grandpa’s house with ice skating.  They have not yet discovered there are numerous ice skating rinks within minutes of our house so the only time they get on the rink is when we go to Iowa.  To say they are excited to ice skate is an understatement.

This was actually the first time the little man actually got on the ice.  He had a blast!  Here’s a little video recap of our adventure:




Christmas Traditions

Dance Recital

They were both in the same class this semester so here they both are in the tap and ballet routines.

For ballet, Avery is the 4th from the left and Elliana is the 2nd from the right

In the tap routine, Avery is 4th from the right and Elliana is 6th from the right.

First Practice

A bunch of 4 year olds on a basketball court is simply a bunch of cuteness.  Too cute not to share in fact =)


I think I’m really going to enjoy this basketball season!

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