Thursday, November 29, 2007

Breakfast with Max

I love how independent Max is. The boys choose their cereal every morning and THIS morning, Max decided to pour his own cereal too! You can't be mad at a kid for trying to make his own breakfast! What a cutie!

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Disney Mania

I (apparently) cannot travel to Orlando with my kids without getting the "Disney Itch". This is a condition that many Florida born children of the seventies and early eighties are especially prone to. Symptoms include, but are not limited to:

  • Singing Disney songs way too loudly in the car complete with arm waving and dancing that scares other drivers at stoplights
  • Collecting brochures and excitedly pointing out Mickey Mouse to your kids who don't understand why you're so excited since Mickey is on TV everyday
  • Debating whether or not to "splurge" on $200 of tickets so that you can spend quality time standing in lines for hours with your children
  • Staying at Disney World way past your kids' naptimes and praying that they won't have a temper tantrum during the hour long trek back to the car
  • Taking your kids into gift shops on the way out of Disney, "just to look", which you know deep in your soul will cause them to "need" everything with Mickey or Pluto stamped on it, i.e. everything in the store!
People most at risk of developing Disney Mania are adults with small children who, as kids themselves were SPOILED with annual passes, birthdays at the park, holidays at Disney, etc. Also at risk are those persons who may have worked for Disney at one time. However, not all former employees will develop Disney Mania (Edward). This condition is also genetic. Parents willingly and excitedly pass Disney Mania on as if its some type of tradition.

Some positive side affects of the disorder include awesome trips to Disney World where your children light up as they walk under the train station. They are further thrilled at seeing grownups acting like children...for example, seeing their Mother skip down Main Street singing "Zip-a-dee-doo-da" at the top of her lungs and high marching back to her car after a long day singing "Its Time to Remember the Magic!"

We had an awesome time! A BIG thank you to Chris and Julia for getting us in!!!

We started at Animal Kingdom and I was a little worried because the kids were not that impressed by it. We all enjoyed the very cool, new Nemo Musical. And I liked taking them to the Bug's Life show. Nolen was on my lap by the end of it! Apparently he doesn't like being sprayed and sneezed on by bugs. But who does really?

Riding the dinosaur ride in Dino-Land USA!

The kids were not impressed with Animal Kingdom. Here we are in front of the Tree of Life.

This is better Mom. A place where we can sit and chill. We got the MK right at 3 o'clock so we stopped and waited for the parade.

Mom, this place is awesome, we get to play Duck-Duck-Donald here...almost like at school. Wait a second...

Max got up and ran without actually being tagged! My little clown!

Look at that face! Either he is really having fun or he is really proud of himself!

I think this was the highlight of their day. We waited in line for 30 minutes to see Mickey!

Nolen had a horrible time. Haha!

Waiting in line to ride Goofy's Barn Stormer roller coaster. The boys loved it and they were so big. They sat together in one car and I sat in a separate car behind them. I'm so glad they have each other to pal around with.

Favorite picture spot (with flash)

No flash

We caught the castle lighting before we left. Mickey, Minnie, the Fairy Godmother and Cinderella all showed up to decide how to decorate the castle. Cinderella chose to decorate it all sparkly like her glass slipper.

What better way to end a day at Disney than with a lollipop??? Nolen was a little whiny when it was time to leave. He wanted to go on four more rides...which would have taken four more hours! They enjoyed picking out a candy from the big candy shop on Main Street. I told them they each had $2 to spend and then gently guided them towards the lollipops. What good boys!

November in a Big Nutshell

Whew...I just looked back through our November pictures and WHAT a month we have had! I think we took the boys to about five festivals, a carnival, a parade,
the beach visited Carol, Ailee, Nana and Grandpa in Florida, and even went to Disney World!!! If we are this busy in December, look for to be asleep under the Christmas tree...if I ever find time to put it up! I also did quite a bit of sewing this month! I made the boys some really cute turkey shirts, a pair to pj pants and a bag. But more on that later!

Hmmm...whether to go in chronological order or reverse order...I guess chronological makes more sense!

We left our house on Saturday and headed down to visit some friends in Orlando. When we lived there, I loved it and I still love some of the restaurants and parks but that is one crazy town! While we there it was named the 11th most dangerous city in the US! I think part of the reason is that the crimes per capita are off because there are so many tourists. Anyway...we made it down to Ailee and Omesh's house and the boys made themselves at home tormenting their cat Maisy and playing with their two foot tall R2-D2!

On Sunday we did some shopping, visited Kelli and Mike and their new baby and ATE! The boys were so good as I dragged them around all day. Max fell asleep watching Shrek at Kelli's house - score! For dinner we went downtown and visited Lake Eola. It is one of my favorite places in Orlando. Its a nice lake with the Orlando skyline right behind it. There are ducks to feed and a playground for the kids. This is also the lake that Max fell into when he was one and a half! After sunset we headed for Little Saigon!!! Mmmm!!! Max was super tired and didn't do very well but Nolen kept telling me how yummy it was and he even tried using chopsticks!

They have replaced the playground at Lake Eola...its pretty cool.

This spinny seat reminds me of the ice baskets at the Ice Festival in Fairbanks!

The boys enjoying some chicken and veggies at Little Saigon. Nolen is such a big kid!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

A Boy and His Dog

Last night before we got into bed, Ed said, "I guess you didn't check on the boys."

"Why do you say that?" I asked.

"Because if you had seen them you'd be talking about it," he said.

I had to get the camera! Jasmine has been trying more and more to get into bed with US, I guess she found another bed she could get into!
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Tuesday, November 6, 2007

National Peanut Festival

After living in LA (Lower Alabama) for three years (total) we FINALLY made it to the National Peanut Festival in Dothan.

The kids LOVE going to "vegetables" or festivals so I told them we were going to the biggest festival yet. They were excited and told me they wanted to play a lot of games...the festivals we've been to within the last month have been the Fall Festival at church, the Harvest Festival at Nolen's school, Boll Weevil Festival, Chili Cook-Off...all on a different scale. When they saw the fair at the NPF they were pretty excited!!! I think they ran all the way to the midway...well, I was kind of excited to take them there so it may have been me that was running and pullling the kids along...either way we were all ready for a night of fun! I told the boys that we would each get to choose one ride to ride and we would all ride together. The boys were ANGELS!!! We all wanted to ride the Ferris Wheel first. I was a little nervous that the kids would get freaked out at the top, but they were cool as cucumbers. Then the boys chose the dragon roller coaster. I was nervous about letting them ride it, but they were fine and LOVED it. They were both jumping up and down when they got off and each gave me a huge hug.

Can we go Mom? Can we? Please, please, please!!!

Climbing onto the roller coaster - so brave for a kid who gets motion sick on a carousel!

Waiting for the ride to start!

This is my favorite picture of the roller coaster!

I love this picture of Max's hair blowing! (It really didn't go that fast.)
I absolutely love how excited kids can get about life. I guess that is what they mean when they see, "see it through a child's eyes." I really love getting to show my kids all these cool things lately...Halloween, the fall festivals, EHS football game...things that are no big deal to grown ups but turn into really special nights for the kids. And they're extra lucky because they always get to take their best friend with them! OK, enough mush, back to the Peanut Festival.

Happy kids!!!

After we were done at the midway, we got some boiled peanuts and headed over to see the animals. We only saw the goats because then we went to find the Calf Wrangle and Greased Pig Contests!!! We couldn't see very well so the kids weren't that into it. They DID like getting to sit there and eat boiled peanuts though. We didn't make it through the whole show but it was cool to see the wrangle.

The contestants wore football helmets and there were about twice as many people as calfs. They call them calfs, but they weren't little! They were as tall as me. The calfs all start running around and people are chasing and diving and trying to pin them. Once they pin one, they get their rope and try to loop it around the calfs neck and nose and get it back across the finish line. One guy totally did a face plant in the dirt diving after a calf. One guy was trampled in the fray and they brought out a stretcher and paramedics!! They made a point at the beginning to say that the welfare of the calfs is first priority over that over the contestants.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Today was the AAA Chili Cook Off at Fort Rucker. Ed volunteered to be a cook at it and the boys and I stopped by for a bit. They should have called it something else because it was cooler than just a chili cook off. They had a bunch of helicopters parked there, 3 bounce houses for the kids and some random games that were pretty cute too...oh yeah and chili! We didn't stay for too long because I needed to go to Dothan before the kids got too worn out. All three of my boys had fun today.

Edward looks so proud sitting there next to Max. Oh, by the way, Ed's unit's theme was the beach. That should explain the Hawaiian shirt and lei.

I like this picture of the boys on the ramp.

ATTACK! (That's an Army thing. They're running towards a Kiowa which is an attack/scout helicopter. Ed makes fun of Kiowas and Apaches by yelling, "Attack".
Posted by PicasaOne of the three bounce houses. Max was ahead of Nolen all day. You'd never know he was the younger brother! Max climbed to the top and was supposed to slide down the other side but he wouldn't go and he climbed back down.

I think Max is ready for Boot Camp...Hooah! He was running through this obstacle course like it was his JOB! He doesn't know he's 3 years old!

Climbing over the top.
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Check out these cool tires. I ran through them after the boys, luckily I didn't fall down!

Ways we are Going Green

1. We've stopped buying juice boxes for the boys...they cost too much AND they make a lot of trash. In fact I only buy frozen juices and mix them with water.
2. No bottled water either! Even when we take a trip, I pack the Nalgene and if we need to, we'll stop and get a gallon of water, but mostly we refill it at taps. And I always take a Nalgene to Jazzercise too.
3. Of course we recycle...and recycling cardboard boxes from cereal, granola bars and crackers etc. has made a huge impact on our trash can. We really do have less trash each week!
4. I just went to Winn Dixie and bought their reusable grocery bags. They are $1.29 each - very reasonable! I wish they didn't say Winn Dixie, but the Commissary doesn't sell them yet so I guess I'll be carrying my Winn Dixie bags in there. The funny thing is that the lady rang them up and then put them in a PLASTIC BAG! Old habits die hard. I left the plastic bag there. I know its just one bag, but I had to make a point I think.
5. No hybrids yet but our van does shut off half of its cylinders when it can and a little "Eco" light comes on. I was obsessed with watching this light for the first few months we had the van!
6. Ed has created a compost pile in the backyard! We have a huge pile of leaves and banana peels right now...mostly leaves. Hopefully it will be good compost for spring.
7. I don't actually know if this counts but Ed has cut down several rotten tree branches and cut them up into firewood for our fireplace. I don't know if that is good for the environment or not, but the self-sustaining part of it is cool.
8. Next week we're installing a bar complete with soda fountain and beer tap to cut down on soda cans and beer bottles. (OK, this one is a joke but I think the soda fountain is a good idea!)

Well, thats it for now but they say even small things make a difference!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Trick or Treat

Hope you all had a wonderful Halloween! I think the kids had fun and I know I did. We went to a few houses in our neighborhood, then we went to meet up with our friends at Fort Rucker. The kids got more candy than I will let them eat - even spread out over a month. Some of it will "disappear". Nolen was scared of a couple of houses, but not Max, he marched right up to a scary man and said, "trick or treat".

My ghost, Scooby Doo and myself all ready to go!

The trick or treating gang. Max, Dorian was Wolverine, Austin was Darth Vader and Nolen.

The boys couldn't wait for this part. After 5 houses, Nolen told me he was finished. I think he just wanted to go home and start eating!

More details later. Gotta get ready for Jazzercise!

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