Wednesday, November 13, 2013

We Saw Santa!!

The kinds and I went to the mall last week to buy a gift for William and we were very surprised to see Santa there!

It was in the middle of the day on a Thursday so Santa was not busy at all. We sat with him and played and talked for about half and hour. It was so much fun.

Santa was fantastic and commented how much the kids had grown since the last time he saw them. I almost teared up. It was a great day.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Walt Disney World -- Day 4 --Epcot

Day four at Disney World took us back to Epcot. We wanted to end on the most magical note possible  so we wanted The Magic Kingdom should be our last day.

Rosie brought Dancing Bear with her again. It was so adorable seeing her talk to her little bear. Telling her all about what we were doing and what we were seeing. There were moments she just sat by herself and talked to Dancing Bear.

It was so sweet to watch.

The first thing we did when got to Epcot was see Mickey Mouse again.  Epcot has a wonderfully air conditioned indoor spot where you can see several characters at once. The lines can get kind of long so we thought we'd do that first thing in the morning.

Obi was particularly happy to see Mickey again.  He didn't want to say good bye and grabbed Mickey's nose and gave him a big kiss. It was the most adorable thing. I think it was one of the best moments of the whole vacation.

Goofy was very friendly and gave lots of kisses. He won Obi over in no time. Rosie was adorably all smiles too.

Then it was time to meet Minnie. Rosie had been asking to meet Minnie Mouse and was very happy to introduce Dancing Bear to her. Minnie was sweet and gave kisses to Dancing Bear and the kids.

I love Disney. I love everything about it. I would go to Disney World or Land every year if I could. Even if I didn't have kids. But with kids it's even more magical than I ever could have imagined.

Watching the kids be so happy to meet the characters was absolutely amazing and yes... magical.

After the character meet and greet... and kisses, we were off to enjoy the rides. 
We rode several rides but I think Obi liked riding in the double stroller the best. He loved sitting next to his Ro-Ro.
Here he is sporting Mama's new sunglasses. I was very happy to find some sunglasses in the kids section. I have such a small head and can never find glasses that fit me. But I did at Disney World. And they are princess glasses too!
Epcot does have some rides and some fun things to explore. Mostly science related. But the real draw of the place are the world pavilions.  Last time we started in England and worked our away around. We didn't cover much ground that day because we got stuck enjoying France so much. 
So this time we started on the other end of the circle and made our way around the opposite direction.
We also stopped at almost every food stand we passed (remember it was Food and Wine Festival while we were there).

Rosie was awesome and let  me try hats on her from around the world.
Here she is in Mexico.
Also in Mexico
We discovered Norway this time around too. I've never stopped in this one before and quite enjoyed it. 
They even had a ride that I never knew was there.
The Norway ride was a boat ride through different historical and cultural scenes from Norway. 
Rosie really enjoyed it.
She was wide eyed the whole time and took everything in. 
She asked a lot of questions about what she saw...
...and in the end she decided she liked Trolls. There were a lot of Trolls in the ride.
After the ride she had her picture taken in one of the shops with a big troll.

I also got to talk with a couple of the shop attendants from Norway. They were really sweet and fun to talk to. I've decided I really like Norway. 
I'd visit there some day.
Rosie was a little confused about this hat, but she let me put it on her anyway.
Rosie rather liked China. 
She had asked the day before if we could visit it.
 She wanted to "see where she was born."
Of course we spent quite a while in China reminiscing about our China days and eating red bean ice cream.

After eating our way around the world it was time for dinner.
We ate at the Pub in Great Britain.
Sadly we were not too impressed with the food or the service. But we did get to eat out on the balcony and watch the lovely sunset. That was very nice and peaceful.

After dinner we hung out in England a bit. The boys had fun playing in the phone booths.
Rosie and I looked every where for the blue police box TARDIS but in the end we had to make do with the red phone box.
After the park closed we dicided we wanted to ride the Monorail.
So we rode to the Magic Kingdom. 
From there we were going to catch our bus back to our hotel. 

The conductors on the Monorail gave us stickers and were so wonderful to us. I'm glad we took the time to ride it. It really is the only way to get a full grasp on how big Walt Disney World really is.

The Magic Kingdom had closed early because the Not-so-scary Halloween party was going on that night. We arrived outside the gates just in time to see the fireworks show!

It was actually a great location to watch the show because we got to see the fireworks and still hear the music without all the crazy crowds or having to see all the evil bad guys that dominate the Halloween show.
It's a little hard to see us but we are there in the dark in front of the park entrance.
For the most part the kids enjoyed the fireworks. It was a little loud for them but they enjoyed the pretty lights. 

It was a long and wonderful day.
We all dragged our selves back to our hotel and got ready for our last day in the Magic Kingdom.
And actually, I think Rosie and William got a couple more hours in the pool before bed. 
What a little night owl she is.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

9 Years and Counting -- Happy Anniversary!

 29 years ago these two little kids met and became fast friends. We played at church and bible studies and had many adventures in the woods behind William's home.

(This is an actual picture. It is not Photoshopped, just cropped)

20 year later. (Nine years ago) Those two kids grew up to become these two kids and got married! ------>

Five years after that those two kids made this amazing kid! 

Doesn't she have the most amazing smile?!

Then baby number two came and we were a family of 4 kids (of various ages).

Now these four kids are still having adventures, exploring the world and having fun.

All because nine years ago today these two kids got married. 

Happy Anniversary to my wonderful husband and soul mate. It has been an amazing nine years. 
I look forward to the next nine years.  
(and the next nine kids)

Monday, November 4, 2013

It's a Bug's Life -- Our Halloween Extraviganza

This year we had three nights of Halloween. The first night was the Friday before Halloween and was a fun "pre-show" of the festivities to come.

Halloween its self was a dark and stormy night and most of the towns around here postponed their events till Friday night.  They do that around here, and no one went Trick or Treating.

The the local Baptist Church still had their event in their social hall so I took the kids to that.

I love Halloween and how communities really come together to have fun and hang out together. The Baptist Church Halloween party was very crowded and very fun. Every one was really nice. We met some new people and ran into some friends from our church.

My little bugs enjoyed the candy and prizes they received, especially Obi. He sure does love those suckers.
But even more than the candy, they enjoyed playing the games that were set up in each of the Sunday School class rooms.

 Obi helped his sister put the bean bags in the Pumpkin mouth.
 After that we went to our friends house for some mulled wine, apple cider and hotdogs. And of course more candy. It was a very nice, very happy little Halloween.
The weather didn't seem too bad. There was some rain and there were some pretty strong winds but it wasn't cold.

I found out when I got home that we were actually in a Tornado Watch. I'm glad I didn't know that before I got home though. Being from California the words "Tornado" and "watch" or "warming" kind of freak me out a bit.

The day after Halloween was absolutely beautiful however. That's Tennessee for you.
It was also All Saints Day!
I went to Mass in the morning with the school children so I could see them all dressed up in their Saints costumes.
 Some of them did a really amazing job on their costumes. Aren't they adorable?!
 Then that evening we got our own costumes on one more time and went Trick or Treating.

When you live in a more rural area like we do there aren't normal suburbs for kids to just wonder around in. So many communities have Trunk or  Treating in parking lots or have designated neighborhoods for Trick or Treating.

At least that's how it is where we live.

The local Fire and Police shut down Main Street in town and everyone goes to those house to Trick or Treat.
 What makes it especially amazing is how a lot of people decorate their houses and front yards for Halloween!

There were some pretty cute decorations, and some creepy ones.

Rosie especially liked the yards with blow up things. She and Gregory liked this little creepy house blow up thing.

It's also super fun because every ten feet or so you run into some one you kind of know.  Again, the community coming together and just having fun and playing.

I didn't get many pictures of this event because it was so dark out. But the kids really enjoyed them selves. After we'd tick or treated at all the houses we got to ride on a hay ride back to our car. Rosie thought that was great fun.

We ended the evening back at our out friends house for another Halloween / All Saints Day party.
 Here are the very lovely Ginter sisters in their costumes.
 There was mulled wine, apple cider, hot dogs and chilli, tons of candy, and a bonfire complete with marshmallows to roast.  The kids had a blast completely destroying Gregory's play room. They all played so nicely together. It was like a Halloween miracle.
It was really quite a fantastic Halloween.  At the end of the night Rosie said she was sad that Halloween was over, and I have to admit, I am a little bit too. It really was a wonderful time of hanging out with family and friends.
(trees on Halloween night)

And of course the candy isn't all that bad either.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

All Souls Day

 Did you know that today is All Souls' Day? All Souls' Day is the day we celebrate, think about and pray for all our loved ones that have died.

I love All Souls Day because it's the one day a year we have Mass outside.

Actually we have it in the cemetery... because we're creepy like that.

It was a beautiful Autumn morning. Just a little bit crisp with lovely colors all around us and the sun shining down on us.

Plus it's in the cemetery.. and that's just cool.

After a lovely and intimate Mass Father Michael went around and blessed all the graves in our little cemetery, especially those of friends and family of the people who attended Mass.

With three holidays right in a row  (Halloween, All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day) this has been a very busy weekend.

I hope you had a Spoocktacular Halloween, and wonderful All Saints' Day and a fabulous All Souls' Day.