Sunday, June 28, 2009

Busy Bees!

So I have tried for the past 2 nights to download pictures and have been unsuccessful. Tonight I just bit the bullet and downloaded the pics 2 at a time....will never do this again! And will also warn you that I posted too many but hopefully you will enjoy them anyway:). I didn't realize that we have really been on the go since coming home from vacation last week. I will just go through the pictures and explain as I go:

Went with some of mom's running buddies to Dubach to an alligator farm. Not a public farm, but Mr. James uses these alligators to feed his dead chickens to. He had over 200 of them(He works for Pilgrim's Pride)!

And yes I was the only stupid one to go into the pit to take a picture while the rest of the group looked on. Mr. James told me to run up the hill if the alligator came out of the water. Not sure that would have helped but luckily "Cadillac" never did.

The smart onlookers............;)

Saturday started out early with a BLAZING HOT 5K!. My sweet running partner Kennedy Coates was running the Peach fest 5K and therefore I told her I would run as well. Sarah was helping organize the race and therefore didn't run. We finished together in first place and glad it was over.

After the race we raced over to the parade and tried to catch some shade! Here is the group(minus me and Matt!) watching as the parade started. The Lees' invited us to join them and we had a good time watching the kids try to figure out what to do with all this "stuff".
Landry had 3 pieces of candy in her hand the whole time and refused to put any in a I collected a few things for her so that she would have a bag to take home.
And Landry did pretty good at the diaper derby. She was supposed to go through this hoop. Well, she came close to the hoop, looked at it, then decided to walk off the mat and around the hoop...then came straight to me. I figured that was wonderful problem solving:)!!!!

And here she is staking out all the goods mama scraped up for her at the parade....this was the next day and she wouldn't even look at me she was so into her candy.

And our last event of the Peach Fest was to go and ride the ponies. So Sunday afternoon I took the kids and Jake actually rode one.

And just for some of those who wonder what my children do while I get ready....they SCREAM at my feet for me to pick them up:(. Really, this picture did not capture the anguish on their faces. I have to remind myself at times like this that it could be worse. Really?
We went to Chuck E Cheese yesterday with FBC and had a good time after the getting ready part:). Here is Jake with his buddy Landon Hall.

My niece Abby is in from Atlanta and has been a tremendous help to me this week. The kids love her and I love having a helping hand! I told her she cannot go back:). My nephew Nicholas is in town as well and they will be going to the beach with us on Sunday.
Late this afternoon we had a last minute play date at Temple. The kids had a blast playing with Katie! She was throwing these tennis balls in the air and the kids were having the best time running around and catching them.

The kids caught wind of an aerobics class on the other side of the partition in the gym. They were for some reason mesmerized by this and thought it was a cute picture!
And last, I had to post a picture of one of our youngest members of our "play group" : Kennedy Hall. Isn't she precious!
Well, I am tired and have a full day tomorrow as well. We are headed to the Children's Museum in Monroe tomorrow with some friends. Tomorrow also marks the start of our new home renovations. I am going over early in the morning to take some 'before' pictures. Can't wait. For now I am off to bed so that I can meet my running buddies at 5:30am...............UGH!:)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Day 3 and 4 of Disney

I am tired from a long day with the babies, so I am going to let the pictures do most of the talking. Saturday we went to MGM or now Hollywood Studios. It was OK but there wasn't a lot that little kids can do. We did breakfast at the PlaynDine at Hollywood and Vine and it was our least favorite. Don't recommend it to anyone. The characters were OK but hardly anyone was there. The rest of the day was fine and we ended up staying until 2pm. Jake took a 3 hour nap that afternoon because he was just worn out! The rest of the day we stayed at the resort and played in the pool.

Sunday was GREAT and I HIGHLY recommend breakfast at Chef Mickey's. I knew it was a popular one, but thought only Mickey was going to be there. Yet Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto were there as well. We will do that one again...loved it! Landry cracked us up as she would wave and laugh at the characters as long as they kept their distance. But as soon as they walked into our little room, she would literally try to climb out of the high chair in fear. It was funny but sad at the same time. We left that breakfast and spent the rest of the day at Magic Kingdom. We stayed until 3:30 that day to watch the afternoon parade. It was absolutely SCORCHING, but the parade was great and I was glad we did it.

Overall it was a wonderful trip! The kids were young but Jake actually caught on to so much more than I thought he would. So thankful that my mother-in-law was gracious enough to take all of us there. Yes, the weather was H-O-T but we survived it! We probably won't go again until they are 5 and 6 and we are thinking the week after Thanksgiving will be good. So that is it. Been there and done that with the kids. Loved it but glad to be back home. Currently we are having doors made for our kitchen cabinets and redoing the counter tops and back splash in our new home. Hopefully we will be in within a month.

This weekend will be busy with the Peach Fest. I am doing the 5K at 8, parade at 9, and Landry will be doing the Diaper Derby at 11. May opt out of the 5K...we'll see. Bye for now.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Magic Kingdom!

We started out day 2 by heading out to the Magic Kingdom. We had an early start as we had to be out at the bus stop by 7:30 in order to make our 8:20 breakfast at the Chrystal Palace inside MK. This was a great time for a breakfast as the park did not open that morning until 9, so we were able to get in early and take all of our "had to" shots with out fighting crowds. I let the Disney guy take our Cinderella Castle shot so I don't have that one in my file. It was so fun to hear Jake scream: "Dere Cinewella's Caaasssle!" It was like time hadn't passed since my last visit over 10 years ago and then from my childhood memories. There truly is NO PLACE like the MK. I don't care if you are 5 or's a magical place! I got chill bumps as we walked gown Main Street to our breakfast destination.

Breakfast was good; Jake was in a bitter mood from lack of quality sleep so he was crying a good bit while we waited to be seated. All he cared about was finding Mickey to take a picture(who knew he would be so into taking pics with him...)and explaining that we were going to do that after breakfast only made him more upset. Luckily he brightened up a little once we got to our seats and saw Tigger. The other characters at this breakfast included Eeyore, Piglet, and Winnie the Pooh. He wasn't fond of Eeyore, but found interest in all the others. The pictures make me laugh because he would be so stiff for the characters and not move much when their arm was around him! He looks so solemn but I promise he was having a blast;)!

After breakfast I was outside taking a couple of pics when I saw the crowd coming from Main Street. They had opened the park and I almost went into panic mode...only me and my mom, I know I know....Matt and his mom were inside finishing up and it took everything in me not to throw the kids in the stroller and high tail it to Fanastyland. But I waited until they came out and still managed a "Come ON!" in a panicky voice. Silly I know, but I think you just get caught up in the rush and excitement of the surroundings..and so we should!

So from there we headed to "It's a Small World Ride" while Matt went to get fast passes to Peter Pan. We were the first group to ride that morning and looking back should have done Dumbo first because that line was in the sun. Small World was in the air conditioner(note to self!) and not busy early on. But SW is a classic and I have lots of memories(or rather my mom has lots of memories and shared them with me a lot!)so I'm glad we did that one first. From there we went to the carousel and then to line up to see Mickey. Jake insisted on going to the race cars, so Matt did that with him while we waited at Toon Town to see THE mouse. They didn't open up Toon Town until 10 and we got there about 9:30 so we wouldn't have to wait so long to take a picture. I would have to say that the one thing I wasn't really prepared for was how pushy some of these stroller driven moms are. You can't help but want to stake out your territory when you have patiently been waiting behind the rope for 25 minutes when some mom in a stroller starts closing on YOUR stroller and before you know it they are in front of you and had only come up 2 minutes ago...had to tell myself to not worry about it several times but come on! OK, so maybe that is the competitor in me, but I just eventually let it go. But I did pass her up on the way to see Mickey:).

We did a couple more rides before heading back to the resort at a relatively decent time. Noonish I think it was. LGT didn't make it pass the Contemporary Resort without crashing and we put the kids down for a nap once we got home. Since they got up around 3ish, we had time to hit the main pool as it had more to offer than the one in our unit. They loved it and Landry went down the smaller slide all by herself several times. She would grin from ear to ear the whole way down. I loved it! Jake was one with Donald Duck at the water play area. I think I traumatized him a couple of weeks ago when I tried putting him in swim lessons and he just wasn't ready. We didn't go back after day one, but he won't even get near deep water anymore. I am sure he will outgrow this, but in the mean time he is just my cautious child and that is OK.

That night we went back to the Magic Kingdom to ride some more rides and eat at the Liberty Tree tavern. Not our favorite but it was perfect because our dinner reservations were at 9pm(yeah..another last minute reservation and that was the only time available) and the parade went right by our restaurant. So we watched the entire parade and I will tell you that it was GREAT! I am so glad the kids got to see all of it as you cannot go to DW without seeing the parades. Jake LOVED it and knew more characters than I thought he would so that was fun to see his reactions. When we got back inside we ate dinner and then prepped for the fireworks. Jake watched for a while but I think they were a little loud and therefore he told us he wanted to LEAVE. Word to the wise: if you don't want to get trapped in the MAYHEM of crowds after the fireworks, don't be in the middle of the park or be in a hurry to leave. Of course you want to watch it near Cinderella's Castle, but really any view point would have been OK with a 1 and 2 year old. So we had made it to CC by the time the fireworks were ending and that is when the crowd buckeled and you couldn't go ANYWHERE. Try adding a stroller to the mix and we just waited out the crowd and 30 minutes later we exited the park with 2 DEAD SOLDIERS.

Got back to the resort around 11:15 and I was SO glad I had changed our 8am breakfast reservations to 9:20am earlier that day. It would have been tough to make it there that early! But of course LGT was up by 6:20 the next morning and thankfully laid in bed with us until 7:15. More about day 3: Hollywood Studios tomorrow. Hope you enjoyed the recap and sorry for the lengthy details! But I will refer back to this someday when we go again and it will be a reminder of what to do and not to do.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Disney Part 1

I thought for those of you who like details I would split the trip up into days at Disney. This may be a little much for some of you, but I just cannot begin to do just one post on all that week did last week!

From the beginning, the flight was perfect! We had a whole row of seats together and no one was behind us. Landry fell asleep as soon as the plane took off and we laid her on the seat behind us...she slept almost the whole time. Jake watched a video and was able to get up and move around a little, so that was good for him. The direct flight took about 2 hours and we landed on time at 2:20. Because we did not land at the main Orlando airport, we had to hire a van to drive us to the resort. He also stopped at the grocery store for us where we loaded up on goodies for the week.

We stayed at Saratoga Springs Resort and had a 2 bedroom condo. It was plenty of room for all 5 adults and 2 kiddos. We were nearby a pool and the main pool was a 5 minute walk way. That night we had reservations at T-Rex restaurant at Downtown Disney. Wasn't sure if we would make it due to the fact that the only time I could get us in was 7:45( and yes, I called over 2 months ago). But the kids were troppers and did great! There was a meteor shower every 20 minutes where the lights would flicker and it got really dark, etc. and that kept theie attention. Dinosaurs were everywhere and it was just a cool atmosphere.

Due to the character dining reservations and such, we did Animal Kingdom on day 1. We did as much as we could without overdoing it. We saw the Lion King show, the safari, the dino ride, walked the trails of the animals(can't remember the name), and most exciting saw Mickey, Minnie, Donald Duck, Goofy, and since Jake insisted on finding Pluto, we had to go to the Dinoland to find him. He did great with the characters, although he may not look like it in the pictures! He would give me the same look over and over! Priceless were his hugs he would give them. I really wasn't sure he would go near them, but he did...never knew I would get so excited about him meeting the characters but it was priceless! We didn't do everything I would have liked to do at A.K. but I didn't want to totally blow it on the first day by wearing them out. So without visiting the land of Asia, we left around 2:00(Landry had taken 45 minute nap during lunch so that bought us some more time)and returned to the resort just in time to get soaked by the afternoon thunderstorms!

That night I did not have a reservation for dining and it was a mistake I won't make again. Wish I would have done a character dinner for that night, but I just didn't know what to expect during the evening hours with a 1 and 2 year old. So we made last minute reservations at a restaurant at the Wilderness Lodge and Campground(I say we, but Matt made the call to get the dinner). On the way out there, it wasn't bad as we went to the Magic Kingdom and rode the ferry to the campground. But coming home we had to take 3 different buses to our resort and it took FOREVER! We did not get home until after 10 and had an 8:20 breakfast the next morning:). But the kids did fine for the most part and bounced back the next day...kinda!

Well, that is it for Day 1. I will do more tomorrow! Also, I tried to consolodate the pictures as much as I could, but there were too many to choose from. We also did the photo pass that Disney does where they take your pictures and you can view them on-line. About to go and look at those now.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Disney Delights!

I am posting from my iPhone to let you know that I will post pictures and stories from our trip tmrw. Yes we had a blast and did it all! Even the fireworks and electrical parade(don't think they call of that anymore but I am old school). We are tired but home for 2 weeks before heading to the beach. I just love summer!!

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Farewell and Disney World!

We headed to Bossier last Saturday to wish Jason and Elizabeth O'Dell farewell. They became very good friends of ours over the last 5 years and were in our Sunday school class in Benton. Jason did his residency at LSU and will be doing a fellowship in Tampa for a year before heading back to South Carolina to start his practice. Elizabeth is one of my dearest friends and we will miss them a lot(more than we do by not being in Bossier all the time!). But we had a great turn out and the kids had a blast playing in the water at the spray water park.
Some of the girls from our SS class...notice my 2 are never far from my side....

Sweet LGT

Love my baby boy!
2 of my bestest buddies: Melody and Elizabeth
Hudson(Melody's son), Jake, and Ben(Elizabeth's son). AKA: the 3 amigos

And now we are looking forward to our trip to Disney! We have a direct flight out of Shreveport tomorrow at 11:15 and will get there at 2:20(we gain an hour). Both kids have flown, but the last time was to the beach last summer. Jake will have his own seat this time and me trying to hold Landry is going to be tough but it'll be done. Along with my mother-in-law, my brother-in-law Mark and his girlfriend(who is flying in from Houston) will be coming with us. We are staying in a condo on the Disney property that sleeps 8 people, so we should all have plenty of room.

As for the plans, I tried not to be too organized, but I had to have a game plan. Tomorrow night we are eating with the dinosaurs at T-Rex at Downtown Disney as it is a short walk from our hotel. Thursday we are going to Animal Kingdom and super excited about that. The last time I was at Disney was '97 and this is a new addition since then. I won't bore you with the remainder of the details, but know that I will take plenty of pictures. We will have 4 full days of WDW and are coming home on Monday. I may or may not try to post. Check back.

See you real soon:)!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Old Friends

Yesterday some friends of mine since elementary school got together for a play date. Molly(Stone) lives in Montgomery, AL and was in town with her little girl for the week. She invited us over to play at her parent's house along with Heather(Reeder) and Erin(Johnson) and their children. Angie: we missed you and hope Sarah Kate can come next time! It was hot(as you can tell from the sweat on my shirt!) but it could have been worse:). We stayed over there for 2 hours and the kids had a great. time. It was also fun catching up with everyone. We love having play dates!!

From left: Jake, Hannah Reeder, Landry, Audrey Stone, and Connor Johnson.

Erin, Molly, me, and Heather


We had a really good time in Vegas over a long weekend! I got home around 9pm on Monday...but to start things out, we got to Las Vegas around 1pm on Friday(they are 2 hours behind the central time zone), picked up our rental car and headed to the Hoover Dam. We did the entire tour and it did not disappoint. It was really neat to see such a architectural marvel! There was a lot of traffic there, and it was supposed to pick up even more on the weekend, so I am glad we did this on Friday! At the Hoover Dam:

After the tour, we rode back towards Vegas and stopped along the way to shop and eat. We got into town and checked into the hotel shortly after 9pm. When we got to our hotel room at Caesar's Palace, I was disappointed to find that we did not have a bath tub and only a shower! Matt called down to the front desk and worked some magic and thus we were changed to a junior suite for no additional charge.....nice:). After freshening up, we decided to take advantage of our 24 hour rental car and hit the road once again to downtown Vegas and went to Fremont Street. This was where Vegas got its start. It was pretty neat, but we did not get home until 1:30am(3:30 our time) so needless to say we were worn out! It probably goes without saying that we "accidentally" slept in until 11:30 the next morning. I can honestly say this was a first in my lifetime at sleeping that late....Below is the "old Vegas strip":On Saturday we walked a good 3-4 miles. Each casino is a good 3 or 4 blocks long, so you think you have walked a good bit and then realize you haven't gone as far as ought to have(not sure that made sense!). Anywho, we rode the New York New York roller coaster(FUN!), I went to the Bodies exhibit which showcased actual disected cadavers in all forms, including a fetus room that showed embryos all the way up to fetuses of 14 weeks gestation plus a set of Siamese twins that looked full term. Obviously some of what I saw was tough to see, but I marveled at how complicated the human body can you not know that only God could create something to complicated and marvelous. We just mainly took in the sites of Vegas for the rest of the day....and again got in really late that night, but didn't sleep near as late the second morning! Below we are in front of the Belagio:

Sunday included lunch with some of Matt's friends that he works with. They were going to see Jersey Boys that night and I am SOOOO glad I tagged along. Matt opted out and went to play some at the Venetian, but the play was GREAT and I highly recommend it. Below are some pictures before we went to the show:

Matt is still in Vegas and will be home Friday. It was great to see the kids and they were WELL taken care of while we were gone. Jake didn't seem to miss a beat with the potty training and last night even pooped on the potty. I made a REALLY big deal out of it and we went to Wal-Mart this morning to get him ANOTHER Thomas train. Landry Grace is still her typical assertive self-but doesn't want mama to get too far away or she goes kinda crazy;). Only 1 more week before we leave for Disney World. Jake is SO excited and talks about it every day. Of course he doesn't know exactly what is going on, but at the same time he catches on to more than we realize. Lately we have been watching a lot of home videos on You Tube of families who have gone to WDW and he loves who knows! Stay tuned for more updates.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Viva Las Vegas!

Well, I just got done packing for Las Vegas and am about to go to bed. Matt's national sales meeting is all next week and we are cashing in some frequent flyer miles and found a great deal at Caesar's Palace so we are going out there for the weekend. I am coming back Monday night but Matt will be in Vegas until next Friday. Then we close on the house we are selling and buying the following Monday(June 15th).
I am looking forward to visiting Las Vegas again. The first time I went was August of '06 when I was pregnant with Jake. Maybe it was the pregnancy or the heat, but I didn't have a very good time. Hopefully it will be better this go round! We are landing in Vegas shortly after noon tomorrow and will pick up our rental car and head to the Hoover Dam. After that, we really don't have a lot of plans. The Bodies exhibit is there and I definitely want to do that. Matt doesn't really care about seeing it, and I would think that a someone with a biology degree would have SOME interest in it, but I don't mind doing that solo! Mainly I just plan on lounging by the pool while Matt takes some interest in the poker room:)
Below is a picture of our first visit to Vegas...HAAA how our lives have changes over the past three years!

Jake is with Matt's parents and Landry is with mine. The pictures below are from yesterday. My parents seem to have an abundance of turtles in their yard this summer! Jake LOVES trying to get the turtles to come out of their shell. He tries to whisper and coerce them, and was pretty successful yesterday!

Be back Monday..................I sure will miss my babies!