Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Snow Day!

The last day of school before winter break we got a "big" (to Washington) snow storm and school got cancelled.  It was such a gift!  I am really learning to appreciate our days off, and getting an extra one was great. 

The kids loved playing in the snow, and even Wardie got to go out. 

One of the last things we did before we found out we'd be leaving Utah last January was to get the kids decked out in awesome snowgear so they could start ski lessons.  Their stuff has been in tupperwares ever since, so it was great to break it out and get some use out of it.






Maggie was giving Wardie sled rides whether he liked it or not.  Thankfully he liked it:





The snow was pretty much melted by the next day, so I felt pretty good about that too ;) 

Maggie-isms


Maggie has been super awesome lately.  She makes me laugh.  A lot.

Two of my most favorite stories...

At dinner Maggie was telling us about school and she said,

"Ms. Mary asked us whose birthday it was on Christmas.  I said, 'Jesus!'" (point Maggie!)

Eric asked her what everyone said then?  Maggie answered:

"[Boy in the class] said, who is Jesus???"

Which is especially funny because Maggie goes to a Christian preschool ;)

A little bit later, we were asking the kids what they wanted for Christmas.  Maggie went into a really long, crazy description of some toy with spinning penguins???  As "Santa" this worried us and we asked her where she saw it.

She didn't even hesitate: "I saw you wrapping it!"

How considerate of her to ask for something I already bought and wrapped ;)

Christmas 2013

We made a bold choice this year and declared we would stay home for Christmas.  There were definitely moments where I wondered if that had been the best choice.  I also think part of me was pretty sure that someone would come to us too...

It ended up being a great, quiet day for our little family.  (Full disclosure: we had the missionaries for dinner and they entertained us quite a bit).

The calm before the storm:


Amos and Maggie slept in until 7:45 a.m., and at that point we let them wake up Audrey.  Oh, the poor girl:



We started with stockings in the library.  We, of course, needed to check to make sure Santa ate all of his cookies:



 After stockings, Audrey finally joined us in the land of the living:



The kids were good about taking turns and helping each other open their presents.  I have to admit, it was nice and orderly.  Especially for us.






Of course, the best part was the wonder and awe:


With the addition of sibling love:



We were so, so blessed this Christmas.  With toys, sure, but also with a happy family and lots of neighbors and friends who made us feel loved and included. 

And, in case you noticed, Ward was absent for 99% of Christmas.  When he did finally show, he wasn't wearing his coordinated Christmas jammies.  So rude!


He's lucky he's a baby.  This is the last year that will fly.

Out with a bang-Hollywood Studios

Our last day in FL we went to Hollywood Studios.  HS is a tricky place.  There is really one ride for our kids' ages, and it has a KILLER line.  We knew to book it right over to the Toy Story ride to get fast passes, but even then, they were for 5:45 pm, or something like that.  Yikes! 

Thankfully the kids were very happy with the Disney Junior stage show, Ariel's stage show, seeing "Jake" (of the Neverland Pirates), seeing Lightning McQueen, and especially the Stunt show.






It felt like we did a lot more waiting around/standing in lines on our Hollywood Studios day.  The kids did pretty good, and even took to story time to entertain each other:


My kids did have a bit of rough patch about 5:30 while we were waiting the last few minutes to go on Toy Story Mania.  I pulled a trick out of Eric's bag and put them in "lockdown."  It means they have to stand or sit in a specified location with their arms folded until you tell them they can move (yes, glorified timeout, but my kids know "lockdown" is SERIOUS).  For the record, the Sookhoos are only there for moral support, they weren't in trouble like my kids:


And, then, finally it was time for Toy Story Mania!  Yahoo!  






After Toy Story Mania, we headed home early enough for some swimming and playing with the cousins before going to bed early so we could get up for our flight in the morning.

One last shot from the rental car return: 


So much stuff and people to move for Jamie and I! 

Our return flights went really smoothly and it was a super relief to be home with Eric again.

House Day

After a couple park days in a row, we were ready for a very much needed day at the house.  The kids swam, played with their toys, and we ventured out to Chik-Fil-A and Walmart for some Disney swag.

Not kidding...the kids were as happy at the Chik-Fil-A playplace as they were at any of the parks.  I really could have saved some money and just taken them to Chik-Fil-A everyday.







The kids really, really, really liked swimming too.  Maybe I've learned something...less park days, more house days.  Or, at least ask the kids what they want to do.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Back to the Magic Kingdom

After our disastrous day at Epcot, we headed back to the Magic Kingdom sans Wardie.  He stayed home with Grammy and Grampy and had a great day.  Crowds were better this time, and we had lots of fun.

We went on the Buzz Lightyear ride like a million times.  Everybody loved it, so everybody wins.




We definitely ate our share of Mickey Mouse ice cream, yum!:


Maggie turned out to be a total trouper and went on Splash mountain twice!  She loved it:


I am sad the flash made her eyes close, she was so excited!


Front row and loving it:


We hit Prince Charming's carousel:




Another favorite at the Magic Kingdom is Enchanted Tales with Belle.  Amos gets picked to play the Beast every time.  He's going to think that's how it is...



Maggie was Maurice, and Audrey was Chip.  So cute!





AND, Shawn got a part!  That was my personal favorite.


At the end, everyone get a chance to pose with Belle.  I started to wonder if my kids would put it together that it wasn't the same Belle every time (or in Epcot).  No one seemed to notice.










And, yes, I had a couple different days of pictures going on there.

By the end of the day we'd hit all the rides we wanted to, most of them twice.  Good, good day.

Country Bear Jamboree:


Mickey's PhilharMagic:


And some general cousin lovin':


By this time it was clear that our trip was flying past us-only a couple more days to go!