Monday, June 9, 2014

Locke's turn

With all of the birthday posts, I thought it was time to let Locke have a moment to shine.  This kid is just getting bigger and ornerier all the time.

Locke LOVES his plasma car and rides it around the living room all the time.

Locke at Ledger's Bigfoot party.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Disney - Arrival Day

Not only were we all excited to take off for our trip to Disney, but Ledger was very nervous about his first flight.  Luckily, Papa generously upgraded all of our flight seats to first class -- so we were very comfortable (spoiled!).  The flight attendant paid Ledger a lot of special attention and once we got into the air, we settled him into watching a movie on his tablet and he was in heaven.  He did great for his first flight!
Ledger checked out the emergency instructions on our flight.
He earned his WINGS on his first flight and wore these for 2 days.
He gave his flight a THUMBS UP.
As soon as we arrived at the Orlando airport, we were swept up in the Disney magic.  We put on our Magic Bands and didn't bother to pick up our luggage -- don't worry, Disney will get it and deliver it straight to our rooms!  We followed the signage to get us onto the Magical Express, which quickly whisked us away on our Magical vacation.

Our first (fake) monorail ride at the airport!
So we checked in at the Contemporary Resort and since one of our rooms was ready, we quickly explored our digs at Bay Lake Tower.  We had a 2-bedroom villa and it was actually bigger and more spacious than I expected from the videos we've watched.  You walk into a large entry way with full bathroom and laundry closet off of it.  On one side there is the master suite with a king-sized bed and a large en suite bathrom including a jacuzzi tub.  On the other side is a standard room with 2 queen-sized beds and a full bathroom and tub.  The bedrooms are separated by a large shared living area with a full kitchen, large dining area, and a living room with floor-to-ceiling walls with views of the Magic Kingdom and Cinderella's Castle.  

Yeah... we were in heaven.  But we were also hungry.  So we dumped off our stuff and headed down to the Contempo Cafe -- anxious to try out our Magic Bands as well as start working on those dining credits!  At Contempo, the ordering system is pretty confusing.  You use a kiosk to order, then you pick up all of the self-serve items (that you are just intuitively supposed to know to pick up?) and take the kiosk reciept to the check-out.  Needless to say, we were all tired and it took some serious bumbling to get our orders straightened out... but eventually we were all fed and much happier.  (Later in the trip, we were pros at this system and made sure to try to help other confused-looking diners.)

Alright, so we'd officially been at Disney for a few hours and we were all pretty anxious to head into the Magic Kingdom and use the Fastpasses we'd reserved ahead of time to hit all of our favorite classic attractions -- Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain, and Big Thunder Railroad!

Ledger ready to hit the parks wearing his "wings" pin, his "first visit" button, and his "birthday" button.
He was really excited about his flair...

We stayed in the park until dark and watched fireworks with the Daltons.  The nighttime fireworks show is called "Wishes", and it's a beautiful show.  Then we joined the thousands of other people headed towards the gate to get some rest after a very busy day!  Our Disney vacation is just beginning!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Ledger turns FIVE

I cannot believe that Ledger is turning five years old.  FIVE.  We were lucky to have family in town to celebrate the weekend before his birthday.  Since his Bigfoot party was such a big event, our home event was smaller, no-theme, but lots of balloons, family and fun. :)  Ledger got his first set of golf clubs from BoomMa and BoomPa, a super-cool tablet to take to Disney from the Daltons and Grammie/Papa, and a new bicycle from Mommy and Daddy!  Ledger was super excited to get on his bike and ride, so we all enjoyed watching the boys ride down the street. :)

For his actual birthday, he enjoyed a celebration at preschool with his friends.  He loves the birthday crown that Mrs. Freeland makes especially for the birthday kid. :)

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Big Foot Hunt Birthday Party

For the last few months, Ledger has been obsessed with Bigfoot -- we've watched videos and documentaries and read books from the library and even rented Harry and the Hendersons on Amazon.  So, for Ledger's 5th birthday, we planned a BIG FOOT HUNT party.  I'm actually pretty proud of the details, so I'm going to post them here.

First, I made Bigfoot hunter t-shirts and ID badges for all of the invitees.

The boys had to earn their badges and equipment bags (nets, toy binoculars, flashlights) by beating up the Bigfoot pinata.  I'm actually pretty proud of this pinata -- it's a monkey we found at Walmart, but we amputated his tail and gave him "angry" eyes and mouth to make him a Bigfoot.

So once all of the boys got their badges and equipment, we took off into the woods to look for clues to prove Bigfoot's existence.  And BOY did we find them!  The boys founds multiple Bigfoot footprints, claw marks, and bigfoot hair in the woods. Unmistakable proof that the big guy roams the area.  Luckily for us, it was daytime, and everyone knows that Bigfoot doesn't come out during the day!

After our scouting expedition, of course it was time to go back to base camp and enjoy cake, ice cream, and open presents.  Ledger had an awesome time and I'm very proud of how our first "kid party" turned out!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Delivering the May Baskets

Oma took the kids overnight and they worked to make May baskets to deliver to our friends and family this May first.  They even went to the nursery to pick out flowers to deliver with the baskets.  We got the fun task of delivering the baskets to our friends and family...

Monday, April 14, 2014

Off Road Rage Adventure Race

A month ago, I talked Oma into signing up for the Off Road Rage Adventure Race.  The race was advertised as 15 miles of biking, 5 miles of running/trekking, and 3 miles of canoeing and should take between 4-6 hours.  This weekend was finally race day and we showed up with our bikes and gear about an hour before race time to check in and get our surprise race maps.  We checked out the route and were able to locate where we thought most of the checkpoints were going to be.  At 8 a.m. we took off running towards a checkpoint, only to realize that the only way to get there was to cut across a muddy field and trek down into a ravine to find the checkpoint hidden on the backside of a fallen log.  And that was only the first checkpoint.  We soon found out that part of the "adventure" was to FIND the checkpoints -- they weren't out in plain sight and most of them weren't even on the beaten path!  It took us 45 minutes to hammer out the first three checkpoints on foot and then we got on our bikes and rode 7 miles into town -- finding a couple of checkpoints on the way.  Then we were back on foot, heading  far north onto the trails at Lakewood park. We had to find checkpoints in 10 foot tall bamboo grass and even crossed a river on a fallen log (and the checkpoint was hanging in the middle of the river!).  But we kept going.  Then we had 3 miles of paddling on the Smoky Hill River.  And when that was done?  Another 5 miles on the bike finding more points.  So as we were seeking out yet another checkpoint, another racer mentioned that we weren't going to make the cutoff time.  The what??  Apparently you had to be at the finish line by a certain time -- we had no idea.  We were 5 miles from the finish and had about 20 minutes to make it.  Unfortunately, that 5 mile ride was completely INTO 20-40 mph south wind.  It was exhausting.  The last 5 miles took us 80 minutes.  80 grueling minutes.  But we made it to the finish line.  No, we didn't finish by the cutoff time.  Actually, we were an hour late, but I could not have been more proud of our team for FINISHING the race.  My mom will be 60 this year, and she is a super bad ass to be able to do this at all.  And, as a big-girl, I'm proud of being able to push my body to do something requiring this much physical stamina.  Our team name was also our motto: "Slow and Steady".  Overall, we raced for 7 hours and traveled over 30 miles on foot, canoe, and bike.  I am proud of our accomplishment and hope that the race is close enough for us to try it again next year!
Pre-race.  Didn't know what we were getting into.

Mid-race -- slowing down, but still going.

Paddling pair.

Go Oma Go!

Finishing together!

Team Slow & Steady finish the race.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Big Party

We've been planning a big celebration for Steve & Pam Michel's 40th wedding anniversary.  Jaime and I have been coordinating details by phone for a couple of months.  I am very happy to say that it all came together very smoothly.  The turn out was outstanding -- everyone loves Pam and Steve and it was pretty evident by the number of people who came out to congratulate them.  Uncle Brett served as the event photographer and was able to get some great pics!