Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

What a FUN Halloween! We decided to go low-key and trick or treat in our own neighborhood with our family(my mom included). I must say this year was the most fun yet, but I'm not sure who had more fun. The kids getting their candy or us laughing at their speed to the doors and shrills over their loot. It was also nice saying hello to neighbors we don't see very often. And of course this brings back memories of how it was before all the carnivals and hayrides, etc.

Jake and Landry Grace before church on Sunday.
I'm not a creative/crafty mom at ALL, so I had to document my easy cookie craft for Jake's party at school. Apparently this was on Pinterest, but I just saw these in the hall at school on Friday and copied the idea. I thought they turned out cute.
My parents with Jake the pirate and Landry Grace "Little Red Riding Hood"
And who wouldn't like to ride in style while trick or treating!
Oh how I wish this had been videoed coming from this house! They were screaming about the goody bag they'd received! LG especially was going hysterical! It was quite hilarious.
Miss Little Red Riding Hood
Glad we stopped for a quick picture. Definitely going to make a tradition of doing it "the old fashioned way" from here on out. So much fun!!
Happy Halloween Y'all!

Peace Out

Not sure if this video will send from my phone, but I have to try. We got so tickled looking back at this. I was filming during Jake's warm-up(who needs a warm-up at 4 yrs old!) and he was giving me peace signs. He's so silly!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Jake's First Swim Meet

We learned a lot of do's and don'ts at the swim meet today. First and foremost, dress cool as it's super warm in an indoor pool. Jake false started his first race and was too upset to finish it. At this age, I want to teach him the importance of doing your best, but we also realize he's 4. Overall, I think he had fun. He swam 4 events and the relay was probably his favorite event. Jake might tell you that the best part of the day was getting to pick where we ate. McDonald's was his choice so we obliged! More than anything, swimming is great exercise and he enjoys doing it!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Our Weekend

What a great weekend it was! We started out Friday by having Matt's co-workers and their families over for dinner. He works with 2 really sweet partners. One of them has a 2 year old, Parker,whom LG had fun with. She thought it was the greatest thing feeding him. Other than this picture, we just enjoyed each other's company and had a good time watching the kids wear themselves out. Wish I could say mine slept late on Saturday...but that didn't happen!

Saturday morning we headed out to vote. Since our precinct is close to our house, it made sense to hop in the tractor and go. Later that day we joined our friend Bailey Jack at Lincoln Parish Park to play at the new Legacy Park playground. Bailey Jack is a 3 year old who has Downs Syndrome. His (awesome) mom, Jana, has worked for 2+ years on getting the funds together ($350, 000) to open a playground where children with special needs can join their peers and play together. The soft opening was Saturday afternoon and to say the park is fantastic is an understatement. I personally am so proud to be a part of such a wonderful community who worked together to make this park a reality. Hate that I didn't bring my camera to the event. Saturday night we got together with our Sunday school class for dinner while the kiddos hung out at the church. I don't like being the one lugging around a big camera, so I opted to once again leave it at home:).
Sunday afternoon we headed over to Lander's house for his 5th birthday party. Everyone/thing was decked out in camo.

Below is Landry Grace with Bailey Jack. She absolutely loves him, but BJ is not so sure of LG! I had to talk with her after the party about not being so rough with him. Her response, " But Mom, everyone LOVES Bailey Jack! and he ONLY loves me!" What could I say, short of laughing? I pray she always has such a loving heart for everyone.
Jake and the birthday boy
Peyton, Jake, Lander, and Talan
Monday night I headed to Natchitoches with some co-workers for a night of fun and a workshop the next day. How often I forget what a neat place it is. Hannah, promise I'll call you next time:)! We had a lot of fun and got some great information on autism spectrum disorders.
Last, but NOT least, is the LION KING! I got this e-mail from Disney yesterday and wanted to pass it along. I've seen this show twice and it is hands down my favorite Broadway production. Not all of the info is included, so here is the rest. The show is running from March 14-April 15. You can go to Ticketmaster for the tickets. I'm thinking we are definitely doing this since our spring break falls during the month of April. Wanted to share in case you are interested!
And Meryl, here is the link to Disney's Photopass:)!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

More Disney

Before we went to Disney, I pre-purchased a photopass CD. By doing this, I saved $$ and was guaranteed some decent family pictures. We took about 100 pictures on the CD but I narrowed it down to a few to show on the blog. One of these I'll use for Christmas pictures and the rest are just for fun! I definitely recommend doing this.

Meeting Cinderella for the first time. We had just arrived at WDW and went to get pictures with the princesses first. She was in awe!
With Aurora(AKA Sleeping Beauty)
You can see LG's anguish on night 1; Mickey and Minnie have over 150 different outfits. Thought that was a cool tidbit of info.
My favorite picture from the whole trip!
They are currently working on Cinderella's Castle, so it's hard to get a good daytime picture without a huge crane in it. I cropped this one.
If you ask the photographer, they'll put Tinkerbell in the picture. Just another fun thing, but you have to ask for it!
To Infinity and Beyond!
Waited for an hour to see Jessie and Woody...wouldn't have done it for any other character. This was our last night and LG had just woken up from her nap. Glad we got to meet them. I also didn't think mine would get into the autograph book, but Matt bought them one while we were there and they LOVED it!
They haven't stopped talking about Disney since we came home. Definitely glad we were able to go back.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Wedding Weekend

I'm a little late on this post, but better late than never! We had a really great weekend in Rockwall(just north of Dallas) celebrating with my brother. Lots of family came in from all over, many that we haven't seen in several years. I think most families seem normal until you get to know them;), and that's definitely the case with mine. We have lots of different personalities in our group! Let me just say that I laughed more last weekend than I have in a year. Wish that the weekend could have lasted a little longer, but all good things should come to an end.

On Friday, my parents had a small get together for family and friends. We are so thankful that after 42 years, Darrell waited until he found the right girl. He was so emotional all weekend! After the party on Friday, we headed back to the hotel and gave Stephanie a lingerie shower by the pool where she got some fun things. We hung out with friends and cousins until late in the evening before calling it a night.

Saturday started out early with a golf tournament for my brother and his friends. All of the family played in it as well. I think it's safe to say they(all 48 of them!) had a good time. While they guys were golfing, my aunts hosted a luncheon at a nearby restaurant. All of our events and where we stayed were right on the harbor in Rockwall. The area is a really pretty place and the weather was great. Darrell and Stephanie picked a beautiful place for their wedding.

The wedding was at 5 on a small boat that could only fit 49 people. I thought it might be pretty crowded but it wasn't at all. Darrell and Stephanie were married while we sailed. I might add that during that ceremony I gained a new niece, Madison, 10, who we all adore. My children have met her once and think she's the coolest:)! We are so blessed to have gained not 1, but 2 family members through this new marriage. A reception with more friends was held at a cousin's house. The pictures are out of order but I'll explain as I go.

From left: my dad's twin brother Uncle David and Aunt Jeannie(Atlanta), Mom and Dad, and Daddy's older brother Uncle Jerry and Aunt Liz(Birmingham)
Darrell and Stephanie
My dad toasting to Darrell and his new bride after the ceremony.
This is my mom's side of the family. I am SO glad they were all there!!!
My sweet brother Brian and his toast on the boat.
My mom and her sisters, Jody and Renee, with my grandmother, Big. She looks great to be 85!
Love this picture!! Stole it from sweet Suzy(great meeting you!!!)
Me and mom on the boat(another stolen picture!)
My entire family. It's been a while since we got everybody together; 8 years to be exact. Oh, and Matt was coughing. He looks mad!
Another of the kids, minus Darrell. he was off talking.
I accidentally cut the cake without a picture, opps! The cake was a hit!
At the luncheon on Saturday.
Again with my Aunts Jeannie and Liz
Hope you enjoyed the pictures!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Big News!!

My oldest brother, Darrell, is tying the knot this weekend for the first time! He is marrying the sweetest girl, Stephanie, and I think it's safe to say we(my family)are thrilled for them! They are getting married on Lake Rockwall aboard a boat. Looking forward to a weekend of celebration. Pictures to follow.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pumpkin Patch Picture

Zelda Garcia took Jake and Landry Grace's pictures last week and I received the CD today. Of all the pictures, this one turned out the cutest! And really, I only needed 1 really good one. I can remember the days of blood, sweat, and tears to try and get one decent picture...usually to no avail. Now they are at the age where I walk away and let the photographer do all the work. Miracles occur everyday. Some way bigger than others. This little miracle has been a long time coming.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Red River Revel

Since Matt had to work in the hayfields today, I asked Mom to go with us to the Red River Revel in Shreveport. It's an arts and music festival and there are always lots of activities for the kids. Today was fun but it was super hot and I decided not to bring the stroller. I was trying to teach Landry Grace a lesson about walking. We had lots of issues at Disney World with her wanting to be carried everywhere....that's another story for another day! She did OK but it was still hot(did I already mention that?).

They loved the Brookshire's grocery store where they got to shop for things on their list and then check out with a "cashier". Both of them did pretty good trying to locate the items. LG was pretty serious when it came to checking out her groceries. Man, I'm going to miss these days!

Jake loved the sand art. This was a great activity!
And if I never ever ever get another good picture again, this one will be worth it. They were headed to another activity when Jake took her hand to explain what they were going to do. Moments like this don't happen often. What a great reminder of God's unconditional love for us through the actions of my children.
And you can't go to the Revel without a big ol' turkey leg(said with my most southern drawl). We were all about the food but good gosh it was pricey! Oh..and you can't forget Miss Priss in the background sucking those fingers! So hoping I can come up with a strategy to make her quit soon. :(
After this we rode the ferris wheel and headed home. On the way to the car we passed SciPort(a children's science and experiment museum) and they had some activities set out. I looked over at one point and Jake was in total concentration mode. He has always loved some pipe cleaners. The ideas are endless!
Happy Saturday!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Where Dreams Come True!

Disney World Video

I put together the pictures from our WDW vacation on YouTube(click on link above to view). I accidentally put 2012 in the title of the slideshow and didn't catch it...oops! There are 160ish pictures that I trimmed from 500+ that I took. What can I say, I tried to narrow them down! We had a great time. The weather was still very warm until Saturday and Sunday. Crowds were great until the weekend as well. I want to be as detailed but I'm also tired, so here is my short version of what we did and some "must-do's". Of course I'll leave something out but maybe not!

We got an earlier flight on Tuesday(September 27) than originally planned, putting us in Orlando at 10:55am. We stayed at the Port Orleans-French Quarter and they let us check in as soon as we arrived. We all took naps and headed to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party that night. Kids had a good time trick or treating at the Magic Kingdom but LG was petrified by the characters until day 3. Turning point came at Hollywood Studios when she saw Phineas and Ferb(one of their fav morning cartoons). Hilarious! We also were able to ride some rides that night.

Wednesday: Went to breakfast EARLY at O'Hana and were at the MK by 8:45 for "rope drop" aka when the park opens. You have to do this! Makes the most out of your day. Back to resort by 2:00 for naps. Had 5:40 dinner reservations at 1900 Park Fare with Cinderella, Prince Charming, Lady Tremaine, Anastasia, and Druscilla(Step-mother and step-sisters). Loved this one!!!!! Very entertaining experience. Didn't leave hotel in time enough to be at our reservation. Opps! Took over an hour to get there with stops and transfers to the Grand Floridian. Note to self. Back to MK that night for rides. It was not busy at all on this night and we were able to walk on most of the rides. Didn't even use "Fast Past" until later in the week. It helped that Landry Grace was RIGHT AT 40 inches and could ride a lot of rides that had height requirements. This didn't come into play that much at MK but it did in the other parks. Got home that night around problem putting kids to bed.

Thursday: Up at 7:30 for breakfast(we chose to eat a snack at the park on this day) for Animal Kingdom. Park opened at 9 and I think we got off the bus around 8:40. They were already letting people in by the time we got to the gate. To me, this is a park you can visit once and get it done in a half day. We went to the safari ride first and it's always cool. We then hit some walking trails and spotted lots of animals before heading to Expedition Everest where Jake took a ride on his third roller coaster ride of the trip. Last we hit the 3-D attraction "It's Tough to be a Bug". Um, NO GO if your kids are scared easily. LG was ready to G-O on this one. We left AK around 1:30ish.
Home for naps and back at Hollywood Studios for that evening. We did 50's Primetime for dinner and it was great! The whole cafe is decked out in 50's(of course) style and the waiters treat you like "family". We kinda had a dud but the kids wouldn't have caught on anyway. Food was really good. Rode the #1 attraction Toy Story Mania. Totally worth the 35 minute wait(one of the longest waits on the entire trip...not bad!). Saw Phineas and Ferb. Rode Tower of Terror....scared the kids but didn't scar them for life;) and did a few more things.

Friday: Up early again(7:30) for a trip to Epcot. We REALLY enjoyed this day because of all the characters we got to see with little to no wait in line for autographs. Highly recommend it! Last time we went, we didn't feel like we had time to do Epcot bc there wasn't much for the kids. We were wrong(but it helped that LG was 40 inches). Soaring is the #1 ride there...awesome! We rode this one twice and did get fast passes(which allows you to come back at a certain time and go to the front of the line with little wait time). You are in a simulator hand gliding over the state of California. So cool! Lots to do for the kiddos. Don't forget to try out Test track. We stayed there until 3 that day and then went back to the resort. Since our dinner reservation wasn't until 8 that night, we had time to take advantage of the resort pool. The kids had been dying to swim so it worked out great. We did O'Hana a the Polynesian for dinner and it was REALLY good food. Another that I recommend. We also were able to catch the fireworks at 9:30 from our dinner table. That was fun! Got to bed late again. We never made it to bed before 10 the entire trip, so we slept in until 8:18 ish the next morning.

Saturday: Got to Hollywood Studios around 9:30 and went directly for fast passes at Toy Story Mania. They(fp's) go quickly. We did a lot at HS and I love this park! One of my favorites was the Beauty and the Beast show. Great! Lots to do here. Left at 4 ish and went back to resort for late naps. We decided to hit the MK that night since they were open until midnight. Saturday was a celebration for Disney's 40th year in business. It was C-R-O-W-D-E-D. Every line was long but we made due. We hadn't ridden the tea cups or race cars at that point so we made sure to do it that night. It's a Small World ride was ridden every chance we went to the MK and Peter Pan's Flight was my kids' favorite. Didn't get to bed until after midnight.

Sunday: LAST DAY! Slept until 9:30. Matt took Jake fishing(he was dying to go and since we were there for 5.5 days we had time to fit it in...that was nice) and then rented a two-person bike that we all rode around the neighboring resort. Then went back to room to go back to MK for the afternoon. We ended our trip with dinner at Cinderella's Castle. LG fell asleep in the stroller around 4(dinner was at 6) and when she woke up, it wasn't pretty. It took her a good hour to get back to "normal" and we missed a photo op with Cinderella at the beginning of dinner. There's always next time.

Left on Monday.

Wish I could elaborate more but I'm exhausted. Please excuse any errors. I'm spell checking and going to bed. I'll continue soon!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Update from Disney

We are 5 days into our vacation and it's been everything we could imagine. There is no place on Earth like WDW!! The kids have been going strong but we always take midday breaks at our resort for naps and recharging. Tonight the Magic Kingdom is open until midnight so we plan to stay out late and have some fun. Our last full day is tomorrow. We have had plenty of time to get everything done that we wanted to. I'll add more details later. Hope y'all are enjoying this cooler weather!