Saturday, November 18, 2017

Halloween 2017

Halloween is always a fun time! 
One Saturday morning, I made the kids pumpkin waffles
The Dojo had a trunk or treat. Adelyn was excited to sport her Mal costume (from Descendants). She did NOT like the wig. 
James was a ninja 
Oak Grove had their trunk or treat on a Wednesday night. I got zero pictures of James, but here's Adelyn with her friend Leah
The Siemons hosted their annual pumpkin carving party. This year, Adelyn and I carved one pumpkin and the boys took care of the other one

Finished pumpkins (James was in the bathroom during the picture)

Seth's aunt and uncle always host the family for dinner at their highly decorated house. The cousins all wear their costumes 
Conner as an astronaut is hilarious!
Skeletons sunbathing 

I am the room mom in James's class and had to plan the Fall Centers party. I am not very crafty, so I ordered 3 crafts from Oriental Trading and the kids also made a fall snack bag (pretzels, candy corn, m&ms, chex cereal, etc.). 
On Halloween (a Tuesday), we went to the Abernathy's neighborhood to trick or treat. They set up a haunted house in their garage. 

Tatem and Adelyn
James and Myles
Police went to various neighborhoods in town and handed out candy to the kids
Melissa and I trick or treating with the kids
The next morning, Seth and I played our typical "We ate all of your candy!" trick. This year, we upped our game and had been saving wrappers for a couple of weeks. It really looked like we had eaten a boat load of their stash. James was boohooing! 

Hope everyone had a fun Halloween!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Fall Fun

I love fall! It does make me feel like the wintery cold weather is looming, and I start already missing summer. However, this fall has been filled with some fun and warm days! :) 

 I've done some baking. Our garden was still producing tomatoes so I made one final giant batch of roasted tomato sauce. That'll make the winter days a little more bearable! I love making pumpkin bread!
We got friends together at Milton's to celebrate Seth's birthday

 Happy 41st, honey! Seth left the next day for Belgium. He did his first European race over there. He was gone for 8 days. It was a 12 hour race that he did with 3 other friends. They ended up finishing 2nd! So happy for him!!! 
 My mom came in town while Seth was gone to help me with the kids. Are you wondering why the kids are eating breakfast in the floor?? That would be because we got pantry moths. I had never heard of them, but they will rock your world. We have a very large pantry. I had to take everything out and clean it all. I wiped down pantry items (and tossed a lot) and shelves with hot soapy water, disinfectant, and then sprayed with a vinegar/water/peppermint extract mixture (and used Raid). It was a tedious project. So glad my mom was there to help me! 

The kids' school had their first Color Run! 
 Adelyn ran a lot of it!
 Our friend's son was one of the high school volunteers. He made sure to get my kids pretty good! 
 James and Nana afterwards. He insisted on tucking his shirt in. He's a cute little dork. 
 Adelyn and Nana
 James had a baseball game this week and Nana got to attend!
 Seth's birthday was actually while he was in Belguim and the kids never got to celebrate with him. I made him chicken parmesan and we enjoyed chocolate eclairs on the night he returned. 
 Of course, we hit up the fair while it was in town! Tatem and Adelyn had fun riding rides together!
As did Myles and James
It was insanely crowded on the night we went. We met up with the Abernathys and Scotts. We were there for 3 hours and the kids just rode a handful of rides. Long lines, but it was still fun! 
James was scared to ride the swings, but did it anyway and liked it!

 Sweet Mrs. Rachael (James and Elijah's teacher from Young 5s) came to see one of their last baseball games. That warmed my heart! 
 My girl Randy came in town! We have been best friends since college and she moved to Florida 2 summers ago. It was so good to spend a Saturday with her at her friend's house and at Ponce City Market. 
 We met up with her again on Sunday at Kinsey Pumpkin Farm
 I frame these pictures of them at Kinsey every year! It's fun to see them from infants up to now. 

 James was so happy to see Bella (they were in PreK together) and Gavin!
 Late night ladies golf cart ride at Stuart's birthday party 
 Girl Scout meeting at Kinsey Farms
 Red Ribbon Week- camo day. James couldn't be more excited!
 Seth was the Watchdog Dad that day. I happened to also be subbing, so the whole Thomas family was at the school that day. We all ate lunch together. :)

I used to attend Birds on a Wire meetings (a local Christian Moms group) when the kids were little. Karen Stubbs is the woman who runs/leads this. She's a mom of 4 with a wealth of knowledge on how to raise children in a Christian manner. She's written books and bible studies. My sister in law and I attended her conference (SOAR) on a Friday night and all day Saturday. It was rejuvenating! I got so much out of it. 

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Fall Break Disney Cruise

Last Christmas, the kids found out we were going on a Disney Cruise on the Fantasy ship. Needless to say, we have been excited for this vacation for a LONG time! 
The devastation caused by Hurricane Irma is horrible. My heart goes out to those who lost loved ones, their homes, and their businesses. We are still praying for their recovery. Our cruise was originally supposed to go to St. John and Tortola, but that obviously had to be changed. Our new itinerary took us to Cozumel Mexico, Grand Cayman Bahamas, Falmouth Jamaica, and Castaway Cay (Disney's Island). I had never been to these destinations so was still pretty pumped!

September 23rd: Arrival Day

Since we were nearing October, the ship was decked out for Halloween! It was really cool to see the pumpkins everywhere! This tree changed a little each day ("grew" pumpkins, got taller, etc).

I decorated our door with the same magnets I made from our Disney Cruise in 2015. This made finding our room so much easier!

Upon arrival, we checked out the kids club. They kids got to converse with BB8. 

We have to start the trip off with soft serve ice cream! It's a daily occurrence on the ship :)

They do a big show when the ship sets sail! Seth and I celebrated with the daily drink!
The first night was ROCKY. You could really feel the movement of the ocean and the waves were rough! James was not feeling so hot (he never got sick). I took him back to the room after he was clearly not feeling like dinner, put him to bed early, and thankfully we never had another issue.

September 24th: Day at Sea

We met Anna and Elsa
Played some putt putt

Cartwheel Queen
Adelyn met Tiana on the way to dinner
Our awesome waiter quickly figured out Adelyn liked cherries. Every night he would bring her a big bowl of cherries. :)

Yi, yi, yi! I can picture James in his college years already. He looks like a little frat boy with his toasting boat drink and collared shirt!
Our friends, the Duffs, were also on the trip! Every night we would go see the shows. Donovan and James are best buds from Pre K. 

September 25th: Cozumel

These two are ready to go on our excursion to Playa Mia (a resort)
This inflatable playground was super fun! It was my favorite thing there

There was a nice pool and this kid play area
A crazy storm hit. We grabbed lunch and sought shelter.
Pretty soon after, we were back in the pool and hit the water slides. I loved these curved tiled "seats" in the shallow area of the pool. 
We are ready to get back on the board the ship!

Adelyn wants a doll from every country. This is her doll she got in Mexico 
Our family dressed as Star Wars characters for the Halloween Party! After dinner there was a character show and trick or treating! 

September 26th: Grand Cayman
Our original plan was to take a cab to Seven Mile Beach. However, the weather looked iffy and you had to take a tender boat to get to the island, so we just decided to stay on the ship and enjoy it while most people were off of it. 

We typically grabbed lunch at the quick serve places near the pool. These kids loved having pizza, hot dogs, and hamburgers every day! They also had salads, wraps,  and fresh fruit. 
James said he's full
Mickey water slide
James and Donovan
We took the kids to the Oceaneer Lab (kids club) for some slime fun!

Then we met the princesses

Adelyn always thinks Belle's dress is so soft. She rubbed it this time too!
Captain Hook
Seth and I dropped the kids off at the kids club and enjoyed the adult only pool

Love time with my man! (even if I did end up taking a little nap on the lounge chair)

We met Goofy before dinner
This was our 2nd night dining at Animator's Palate. As soon as we sat down, each guest was asked to color the figure on a sheet of paper
James did a green ninja
While we ate, there was some magic happening behind the scenes! They made everyone's characters into an animated slideshow. There's mine!
There's James's
Adelyn's is on the far left with the star necklace. The characters danced to  music and it was on large screens all over the restaurant. It was so cool! (Sorry, Seth....I never saw yours!)
After dinner, the kids traded pins with the captains. They thought this was pretty neat!

September 27th: Falmouth, Jamaica
We didn't see much of Jamaica. You could walk off the ship and visit the junk shops. Again, Adelyn got a doll (this one is reversible) and James chose a sword that says Jamaica on it.
We did the Mystery Hunt two times on the trip. This was so neat! See the framed screen? Normally it looks like a regular framed picture. However, when you stand on the metal circle on the floor and hold up the mystery hunt card (with a QRC code on it), it activates the screen. The screen shows a quick clip with a clue to solve the mystery (think Guess Who? and the kids are eliminating suspects). There's also an interactive part where the kids had to toss cans off a shelf or pop balloons to figure out the clue). The screens were located on all ends and floors of the ship, so it was a great way to tour The Fantasy! 
Pirate night!
This little pirate lost a tooth!

And this little pirate said he wanted to sit in my lap.... and then he went right to sleep. 
Mickey's Pirate Party had to be moved indoors (and fireworks cancelled) due to rain. :( Donovan and James had a blast! Our whole family went to see Pirates of the Caribbean 3D after that (it was a late night). 
Reason # 5,693 I love Disney. Tooth Fairy: check

September 28th: Day at Sea
This may have been my favorite day. We wanted good pool seats, so we ate our breakfast in them and basically stayed there ALL.DAY.LONG. The weather was fantastic and we all had a blast!
The Duffs brought another couple with them. This family had 2 girls (and one was a 3rd grader). They all got along great! I took the girls to play putt putt. 
James had ice ream a couple times this day!
Spoiled! Poolside lunch rocks!
Sydney and Adelyn on the AquaDuck
After showers, we took the kids to see Micky Mouse. We were taking them to the kids club after this and Adelyn insisted on changing out of her Micky Mouse shirt. Someone is growing up! :( 
We did the adult dining at Remi. They brought us these fun before dinner drinks. This meal was amazing. It was 6 small courses. We ordered one of the French and one of the American and then split them both to get a wide variety of delicious foods. 

Cheers to my love!

September 29th: Castaway Cay

Adelyn said she wanted to do the 5k with us. And then James insisted on doing it as well. That was a mistake. He whined the entire time, and it started in the first minute. We knew that we would be doing more walking than running, but didn't know we would be dragging a kid too. I wish we had just taken him to the kids club because it really made the 5k NOT FUN for us all. Just being real! 
The kids with Goofy after the race
After the 5k, we went back to the ship to rinse off and eat breakfast. This is what the sky looked like! Uh oh! 
But it quickly cleared and turned into a beautiful day. We went to enjoy the beautiful water and sun!
They had a ropes course that Adelyn absolutely loved
Yummy lunch! :) 
After lunch, James was still on this whining kick (this had been a theme of the trip) and we were quite tired of it. We took him to the kids club and only Adelyn, Seth, and I went to the pirate water slides. It was hard not having us all together, but we definitely saw a change in behavior after this. 
Hammock swinging! 
Love this girl!

After this, we took Adelyn to the kids club and the two of us hung out in this hammock. We enjoyed ice cream, a book, and then we both took a short nap! :) 
James went on the verandah when we returned to the ship and promptly took a nap
That night we dined at the other adult restaurant, Palo. It was another delicious meal!
The other families got to the theater early and saved the small balcony section for our group! It was SO, SO neat to sit up there! This is Karen and I after the show
Since this was our last night, we sent the kids back to the kids' club and checked out this really neat bar. It had web cams of big cities all over the world on big screens and drinks from all over the world too. It was a fun way to end the evening. 
                          September 30th: D-Day (go home)

See ya real soon! Gosh, I hope so!
We were all pretty sad the trip was over! This is the one family vacation that I'm not exhausted when it's over. We made countless memories. We unplug and just enjoy each other's company without an agenda or schedule. There's no cleaning and no cooking. We see neat places and all get to be a kid!