Monday, July 26, 2010

Disney World- Day 9

Our "going home/back-to-reality" day had finally arrived. Sadly we all woke up (to an EARLY alarm), to load up in the car for the 10 hour drive back to North Carolina. Even with the heat and the boys being sick, we had an AMAZING week and made so many wonderful family memories. I can totally see how people become Disney World "addicts"-- I began asking Tyler when we can plan our next trip as soon as we started driving off Disney property!! ;-) I'm keeping my fingers crossed for 2012!!!!!

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Disney World Day 8

This was originally supposed to be our "Going Home" day. But due to Tyler getting sick, we checked with the resort and we were able to extend our reservations by one night. By this time, Caiden started feeling not-so-great. But it was our last day and we had yet to visit EPCOT, so off we went!! Thankfully the heat had finally subsided, and it was a beautiful, sunny, mild-temperatured day, and it actually got quite chilly that night! We had a WONDERFUL day at EPCOT, and I would really have loved to spend more time there-- I really think you need two days for EPCOT, one for the "Land, Sea, Space, Air" side, and one for the "Countries" side. Our night (and our trip) ended with EPCOT's not-to-miss SPECTACULAR fireworks show. We saw a lot of fireworks shows while at Disney, but EPCOT's was by far the best!!!

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Disney World Day 7

We managed to get in bed at a decent hour the previous night, so we were able to get up early and make it to Animal Kingdom shortly after the park opened. We were able to go on, and do everything today that we weren't able to do the first time we went to Animal Kingdom. We enjoyed the park MUCH more being there first thing in the morning, as opposed to later in the day! After we had our fill of animals, we headed back to Downtown Disney to finish our souvenir shopping as our trip was quickly coming to a close! Then we headed back to our room to freshen up before our dinner reservations at The California Grill restaurant atop Disney's Contemporary Resort. I had read that this restaurant was one of THE best in all of Disney, and that you could also watch Magic Kingdom's fireworks show from the top. What a NEAT experience!! We went outside onto the hotel's rooftop viewing area to watch the fireworks. They even had speakers on the roof coordinating the same music and narration for us that was playing throughout Magic Kingdom!! Then it was back inside for our super Gourmet dinner. We have NEVER experienced a dinner like this, and although it was especially tasty, I'm not sure if we'll do it again- we're more of a burgers & fries kind of family. But it was definitely a cool experience, and I highly recommend experiencing a gourmet dinner at least ONCE in your life!!!

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Disney World Day 5 & Day 6

**I'm including two slide-shows in this post because Day 5 is super short. It has maybe 6 pictures?!**

We decided to take a break from the parks for a day and head over to check out Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park. This time it was just me and the kids. Poor Tyler was feeling miserable on this day, and decided it was best if he stay behind and rest up for the rest of the week. The kids and I had a great time together playing on the water slides, but Tyler was definitely missed. Although I really think this "day off" helped out a lot! He came and picked us up from the park that evening and we headed over to Downtown Disney for dinner and to play at the Disney Quest huge video-game/arcade center.

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The following day we left Disney World for the day and headed up the road to visit Sea World. A HUGE thank-you, once again, to Anheuser Busch for the "Hero Salute" program that they offer year in and year out for us military families!!!
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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Disney World Day 4

This day was our BIG day!!! We decided to purchase tickets to attend Mickey's-Not-So-Scary Halloween Party event that evening. Kids, adults, and even Disney characters were dressed in Halloween costumes! They had a special parade, and special fireworks, and there were even places for the kids to "trick-or-treat". Between the three of them, they received enough candy to last a lifetime!!! We also decided to let the girls experience the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, and let Caiden experience the new Pirate's League- perfect experiences to make our Halloween party even more fun!!! What another GREAT day!!!!

**This is the LONG slideshow, but SO worth it! :-)**

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Disney World Day 3

After staying out past 2 am the night before, we got a VERY late start the next morning. I don't think anyone got up before 10am!!! We started our day at Animal Kingdom. It was sooo hot and since we were there mid-afternoon, it was a little too crowded for us. We didn't stay too long, and decided to go back to Hollywood Studios. We spent the rest of the day there, again taking advantage of Extra Magic Hours.

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Disney World Day 2

We got up early, nice and refreshed and ready to head to our first park. We chose to start out at Disney's Hollywood Studios. This park ended up being one of our favorites!!! After spending a full day here, we headed back to our resort to cool off, eat and freshen up before heading out to Magic Kingdom that evening. One of the HUGE perks to staying on property is the "Extra Magic Hours" where certain parks open early or close late and allow only resort guests entrance. This perk was so awesome and beneficial, that if we go back, we won't even consider staying off-property. Magic Kingdom was open that night for Extra Magic Hours until 2am. I remember telling Tyler, "We don't have to stay until it closes, let's just go and stay until the kids are tired and ready to go home." Well, we stayed until it closed!!! We had so much fun and were able to go on EVERY major Magic Kingdom ride with little or NO wait at all! What a GREAT day!!!

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Disney World Day 1

We drove down to Orlando Friday afternoon and didn't get in until after midnight. So our first day was devoted to touring our resort and Downtown Disney. We wanted to make sure we got to bed at a decent hour and were well rested to hit the parks the next day! We stayed at Disney's Port Orleans Resort- Riverside, and LOVED it!! It was very "Song of the South"-ish, and was inspired by rural Louisiana. It was just beautiful!!!

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Friday, July 23, 2010

The Happiest Place on Earth!!! Disney World- Oct. 2009

I think every year since we've lived here in NC, I've wanted to go to Disney World. Something else always got in the way- mostly a shortage of funds. In January 2009, Tyler and I seriously began talking about going, especially after the wonderful people at Disney announced a military promotion SOOOO GREAT that there was no way we COULDN'T go and take advantage of the huge discounts they were offering us. I am so thankful for this promotion as it allowed us to splurge a little and do things at Disney that we wouldn't necessarily have done since our ticket and resort prices were so great! Our trip was FABULOUS, minus a couple things we could've done without. In doing some research and talking with different people, we decided to take our trip in October. We wanted it to be warm enough to enjoy the water parks, but not scorching hot. Well thank you Mother Nature for the RECORD SETTING temps that you bestowed on us during our week at the "happiest place on Earth". Seriously-record setting, we're talking High's in the mid to upper 90's in the middle of October!!! It was SOOOOO HOT!!! And the other "minor" thing we could've done without??? Poor Tyler ended up getting pretty sick only a few days into our trip. Although we never had him officially tested, and we really probably should have, we are pretty sure he ended up coming down with the H1N1, or Swine Flu, Virus. Yup, at Disney World. Combine that with the heat, and well, I'm pretty sure you can guess how his Disney trip was!! Poor guy was a trooper though, and between him and Caiden (who started not feeling well on the last day) we probably went through an entire bottle of Advil.

Now, part of the reason why I have procrastinated blogging is due to this Disney World post. Why, you ask? Because I have over 1000 Disney World pictures on my computer to sort through and pick the very best to share!!! Seriously. Over ONE THOUSAND pictures. Gotta love this new-age digital camera stuff! Again, the problem of how to present these pictures weighed on my mind. I have decided to tell our Disney World story in a Day-by-Day Slideshow format. Some days only have a couple pictures, one day has about 100 pictures, but on average their are about 40 pictures in a slideshow. So sit back, relax and enjoy looking at our Disney World Vacation pictures!!!!

October 2009

October had to be one of the BEST months of 2009!!!! It was the month we had been waiting for ALL year- two words- DISNEY WORLD!!!!!!!! More about that in the next post, though. This "October" post is about everything ELSE that we did in October- Kami's first field trip, school projects, another night at Cotillion, and of course Halloween!!!

School Projects
Madi and Caiden both had school projects that they needed to complete before going on vacation. Madison had to choose a person from the Civil War period, make a poster board about him/her, and then dress up like them. She had to present her report to the class since we were going to be in Florida when the rest of the 5th graders would be presenting their "Living History Museum". Madi chose "Molly Pitcher". Caiden's project was to make some type of diagram of the phases of the moon. Both kids did a wonderful job and received 100%!!!!!!

Kamrynn's First Field Trip
The day before we left for Florida, Kamrynn's class went on their first (and only)field trip- to the Wayne County Fair. Tyler had taken the day off, so we were both able to go which Kami LOVED!!!


Halloween Parties
I made some yummy, "spooky" eyeball cupcakes for Caiden's class for Halloween, and then headed to Kamrynn's class to help with their "Fall Festival".

Pumpkins & Costumes & Candy, OH MY!!!
We decided to do things a little differently this year and paint pumpkins instead of carve. With all of the excitement from Disney, Halloween really snuck up on us and everything was very last minute! Just a side note- Tyler tried to re-create Caiden's face paint that he had at Disney. He did an okay job... but just wait till you see our Not-So-Scary-Halloween pictures... Caiden's face looked AWESOME!!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

September 2009

September was a GREAT month.... my sister Stacey and my nephew, Kayleb came to visit us for the first time!!! We had such a GREAT week together, although it went by WAY too fast! The month was also FILLED with SOCCER- big surprise, I know. This time Kamrynn decided to give soccer a go, and although she had fun during practices, games weren't really her thing. She had more fun twirling her ponytails and watching her teammates! She sure looked cute out there, though! Madi also began her first year in Cotillion, and we had an overnight visit with my cousins from California!!

Swansboro Soccer Tournament & Caiden's Fall Season Begins
We spent Labor Day weekend down in Swansboro, near the coast, for a soccer tournament. This tournament "opened up" the Fall Soccer Season for Caiden's year-round soccer team.

Stacey and Kayleb Visit
We were sooo excited when Stacey and Kayleb came to visit for a week!!! We tried to squeeze in as much FUN sister/cousin time as we could!!! We had a blast and cannot wait until they come back for another visit!!

Kami Does Soccer

This was Kamrynn's last game of the season. And this is where she sat the ENTIRE time. She REFUSED to play. I think we'll stick with dance!!!

Derrick & Timothy Visit
My cousins took a trip to New York, D.C., and Philadelphia, and made a pit stop at our house for a night before continuing on to Charlotte. We hadn't seen them since Christmas 2009 and the kids enjoyed spending time together. I even made a cake for the boys since it was their birthday week!

At the end of 4th Grade, Madison received an invitation to attend Carolina Junior Cotillion during her 5th Grade year. Here is a description taken from the Registration Card: "The Carolina Junior Cotillion classes are held in an atmosphere conducive to practicing self-control and good manners. Emphasis is placed on expressing respect for oneself and for others. Along with dancing, the classes encourage the children to observe small courtesies. Good manners formed early in life are those that remain with us forever." They teach basic etiquette and basic formal (waltz, fox trot, cha cha, etc.) and informal (Line dancing, electric slide etc.) dances. The boys and girls all dress up, and let me tell you- it was SOOO neat to see everyone looking even better than their "Sunday best". Fifth graders have their own Cotillion and the girls all wear white gloves. Next year will be a combined 6th, 7th, and 8th grade group. Here are a couple pictures from her very first Cotillion!