Friday, November 30, 2012

Christmas party

It's date night!
To be more precise, we are going to a Christmas party at the Bragg-Mitchell mansion.  Grace took this picture for us.  It's interesting to see us from her viewpoint.  And I'm not sure why my hair looks so red...  Anyway, a night off without the kiddos.  You can tell who is most excited... Me!  I'm so giddy I can hardly stand it.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Playing the piano

This was my Aunt Peggy's piano.  It's beautiful and plays quite well.
I learned to play the piano when I wasn't much older than Grace.  Of course, coordination has never been my strong suit.  I can read music and I can play the keys on the piano.  I just can't do them both at the same time.  Weird, I know.  But MeeMee can play and she taught Grace her very first song on the piano.  It was so sweet to see them play and sing together.  I think Aunt Peggy would have liked it, too.

O Christmas Tree

Today we went to a Christmas tree farm to find a Christmas tree.
Faith and Grace wanted a little tree.
Because it was so cute.
But we settled on a great big one instead.
The man leveled it off and I kept the piece to turn into a decoration.
Then we loaded it up and brought it home.
Isn't it gorgeous?  Our home is starting to look, smell, and feel a little like Christmas!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Christmas train

We went to ride the Christmas train again this year.
It was a bit blustery so we all bundled up.
We started on the little train ride.
And Pappy and MeeMee both joined in.
Then we climbed aboard the great big coal train.
And headed to the North Pole.
Where Benjamin met a Christmas elf.
And we all saw Santa Claus.
Grace told him she wanted a snowman and cotton candy maker.
Faith barely hugged him and wouldn't say a thing.
As an extra treat, we got to see Mrs. Claus!
Then we had time to decorate our wooden trains.
Faith colored hers with crayons.
Benjamin let his Daddy decorate his.
Then he admired his work and tried to eat it.
And Grace just wanted to play with hers on the tracks while the rest of us enjoyed hot chocolate and warm molasses cookies.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Fun in the sun

We simply couldn't resist the allure of the beach.
So we packed up to play in the sand.
David started flying a kite.
And we each took turns.
And spent another fantastic day together making memories.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


We finally made it to Disney.
And first things first, was Cinderella's castle.
We got there just in time for a performance.  How fun!
Then we walked around the park some.  Actually quite a bit.
And took turns riding rides.
Grace, David, and I rode Splash Mountain together.
While Faith and Benjamin waited with MeeMee.
We watched the parade.  I took this picture of Grace upside down.  She was so excited to see the princesses.
Next up, Faith and I rode Dumbo.
And Grace rode with MeeMee.
Then we waited in line for well over an hour to see Ariel's Grotto in the new section of Magic Kingdom.
We didn't realize that we were in the line to meet Ariel and not ride a ride.  But that was fine with Grace and Faith.  They were both super excited to meet Ariel.  Grace kept telling me that she didn't know that Ariel was a REAL LIVE MERMAID!
Then we went by Lego Land.
And played with Legos.
And we rode race cars.  Faith drove me.
Grace drove David.
It was getting late and time for the fireworks so we pumped the kids full of chocolatey sugary icecream to keep them going for another half hour.
We admired Cinderella's castle and watched the show.
Poor Benjamin was tuckered out after a full day.
And so was Faith.
Grace and David.
And MeeMee, too.  I am so grateful that she was able to join us at Disney.  Otherwise we would not have survived.  Riding the shuttle with three small sleeping children and double stroller was more than two adults could have handled.  Not to mention only Grace was able to ride most of the rides.  Faith could ride some of the smaller ones but Benjamin didn't get to ride any.  Except the jungle cruise.

Anyway we needed an adult per child just to get to and from the park.  Once we got on the shuttle to head back to the hotel, David had to wake Grace up so he could carry the stroller on board.  Poor Grace was walking around like a zombie.  I held Faith while MeeMee took care of Benjamin.  Once the shuttle finally arrived back at our hotel, David barreled his way out the back door of the shuttle.  I blindly followed him while carrying Faith and got completely knocked off my feet.  Literally.  Those doors slammed so hard into me that they knocked me back into the steps where my knees buckled and I hit my bottom.  I must have scared the wits out of everyone on the bus because everyone was shouting, "Ma'am!  Ma'am!  Are you okay?"  And I just sat there somewhat dazed while taking inventory of all my aches and bruises.  After coming to the conclusion that all those aches were already there and nothing on me or Faith was broken I assured everyone we were fine.  Meanwhile the bus driver had climbed off the bus and raced around to the side and opened the door for me.  I think he was fearful of a lawsuit but I was just thankful to be back at the hotel where a nice cozy bed was calling my name.  

We all enjoyed our trip to Disney - especially Grace.  But honestly I don't think we got any more enjoyment out of it than we would have if we had gone anywhere else.  For us, we just enjoy spending time together as a family.  The locale of our experiences together is just an added bonus.  We try to keep our kids grounded and teach them that it is the time spent together that is meaningful not the place that we choose to spend that time together.  Disney is just another amusement park in my mind.  A place designed to entertain.  And we were entertained.  And I will admit that I thoroughly enjoyed riding the teacups.  They were my absolute favorite and maybe one day I'll post a hilarious video from it.  Anyway, I'm sure Disney will entertain us all again, but it will probably be 5 years or more before our next visit.  Personally, I'd rather go to the beach, or on a cruise, or to the local park...  And I think my kids would, too.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Swimming in November

We finally arrived at our hotel at Disney.
It's amazing how much luggage we brought.
Benjamin was super excited about finally getting out of his car seat.
And he was content to sit by the pool and watch everyone swim.
And both my girls enjoy swimming.
And playing in the little fountain.
And everyone enjoyed the warm water and a little exercise after a long car ride.
I'm so glad our hotel had an outdoor heated pool. 
They didn't swim for long but everyone enjoyed every minute of it.  Funny thing to note:  Faith said she was ready to get out so we went to the hotel room and she was almost near hysteria trying waiting to get her diaper on.  Why?  Because she needed to go potty and knows to not tee-tee in the swimming pool.  So her little bladder was about to burst and she wanted her diaper on.  Now please explain to me why she won't go in the potty?  Obviously she pool trained.  Now I just need to un-diaper train her...
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