Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Florida 2014: Rides at the Magic Kingdom

For this trip, we decided to spend both of our days at Disney World at the Magic Kingdom.  There's a ton to see there and we knew that it would be crowded, so it was a good idea to give ourselves plenty of time to explore.  I'd rather do one park well than two parks halfway.


Buzz Lightyear shooting game (We probably rode this 10 times because it was air conditioned, everyone could ride--including Lucy--, and what's not to love about shooting stuff?!)

"It's a Small World" was about as boring as I remembered as a kid, but it was air conditioned!



The kids loved the carousel!  IT WAS HUGE!!!  I think it was 5 horses deep!


Hot and sweaty family picture while waiting in line for the carousel


This was our very first ride:  The Magic Carpets!


Abby rode her very first rollercoaster, "The Barn Stormer," and LOVED it!!  She rode it three times and laughed the entire time!


Monday, July 28, 2014

Florida 2014: Princesses and Castles

On Monday and Tuesday, we visited The Magic Kingdom. The girls got to meet several princesses while we were there:  Ariel, Belle, Anna, Elsa, and Cinderella!  I have lots to share about the Cinderella dinner and Anna and Elsa deserve a post of their own, so here are a few pictures of the others (and the castle!)


Belle has story time where the kids get to be in the little play and tell the story.  Anna, Lucy, and Sara were all in it, but I couldn't quite convince Abby of how cute the pictures would be much fun it would be.  We still got pictures with Belle though!






Note the humongous crowds of people.  This was taken just as we walked in right after the gate was opened that morning.  The crowds were insane!!  Have I mentioned that I really don't like crowds?!  Eek!


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Florida 2014: Legos, Legos EVERYWHERE!!!

Everywhere you turned, there were people, animals, and structures made out of legos.  It was pretty remarkable!  The kids loved climbing on them too!

We were trying to get a good photo of all of the kids here...this was the best one we got, but Lucy is hiding, Abby isn't looking, and Anna isn't smiling.  It is what it is!

I just loved this!!



Abby and Anna thought he was real and kept sneaking up on him to wake him up.


Life-sized camel!






These minifigures were just Lucy's height and she loved them!



Super cool mirror in the bathroom!



Fighting crime with the Dynamic Duo




Saturday, July 26, 2014

Standing Tall by Kathy and Joel Soukup


I'm on a kick about reading books about medically complex children recently.  Perhaps it is because I have one myself?!

Standing Tall is a memoir about Joel Soukup's journey with Osteosarcoma.  Because of the location of his cancer, it was necessary for doctors to amputate Joel's cancer at the hip.  Even with this drastic measure, his cancer returned in his spine.  Currently, Joel is in remission and enjoying a normal life.

While I appreciated Joel's journey and struggle his mother Kathy shared, I struggled with the quality of the writing.  It seemed to jump around quite a bit and repeated itself often.  The lack of a smooth timeline made it difficult for me to get into the book.  I did like the insights from Joel, and I think showed bravery for that young man to share the emotions he felt during that time.  I do wish that the font for Joel's thoughts had been different.  It was just slightly smaller and it was hard to tell which thoughts were his or Kathy's.  I read the e-book, so I'm not sure if this is different in the paper version.

All in all, it was a nice memoir of a young man's cancer journey, but it didn't tug at my heart strings like other cancer memoirs I have read.

Disclaimer:  I'm a Book Looks Blogger and receive complimentary books in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Florida 2014: Lego Land Group Shots




Friday, July 25, 2014

Florida 2014: Mini Land

This was Caleb's favorite part of the entire trip.  He absolutely loved Mini Land and could have stayed there all day if we hadn't dragged him away kicking and screaming encouraged him to get on some rides!
New York City

 They had a huge display of DC.  It was especially cool, since we knew what everything was.



Caleb loved The Vietnam Memorial!  (It's his favorite memorial...doesn't everyone have a favorite?!)


See the tiny Obama family?!





There was a big Star Wars display.  Here is the ewoks' tree house that was Caleb's inspiration for his own tree house!



Although I looked through it all much quicker than Caleb, I have to admit that it was pretty cool.  The amount of detail involved in these structures was incredible.  Caleb has decided that this is the exact job he wants when he grows up: he wants to design Mini Land for the various Lego Lands across the country.  :)



Thursday, July 24, 2014

World's Greatest Day: Preschool Edition!

Waaaay back in February when we first found out Abby would have to have surgery, my dear friend Jenn suggested a World's Greatest Day:  Preschool Edition so that we would have something fun to do in these last few weeks.  (Matt does a World's Greatest Day for middle schoolers every year that is an all day/evening day of fun!  The preschool edition is an abbreviated day so accommodate naps and hopefully avoid meltdowns!) Jenn's two girls were looking forward to World's Greatest Day, but sadly Allie got sick and wasn't able to come.  We missed her!

Our first stop of the day was to see "Planes:  Fire and Rescue."  This is a sequel to the original "Planes" movie and was really cute.  There were a few questionable references that made Jenn and I glance at each other with big eyes, but thankfully they went right over the girls' heads.

I can't for the life of my figure out why these are sideways.  They are vertical when I load them, then sideways when I post.  Just turn your head a little..

Our next stop was to get pedicures!!!  Only Jenn had ever actually gotten a real one, so this was a first for Emma, Abby, AND me!  It was really fun!

Caleb was thrilled with the extra iPad time he got while we got pedicures.  He could have stayed with my mom, but he didn't want to miss the other fun stuff we had planned!  He was perfectly content.



Abby was amazed by all of the colors of nail polish!  She just stared at the display for a while before finally settling on a medium purple with sparkles on top.

I sat her up in the chair. They put a pillow behind her to have her sit up more. She looked a little nervous in the beginning, but was okay.


Once the pedicure started, Abby got totally into it. She loved splashing in the soaking tub and giggled when it tickled. Although I couldn't capture it on camera, she had this cute little smile on her face most of the time.  She really enjoyed the whole experience!


Although I don't typically want anyone to touch my feet, I have to say that it was really nice!



Abby and Emma both enjoyed getting their toes done!  Emma was already planning the next time she came!



Check out our pretty toes!  (Caleb wanted to prove that he did not get his toes done!)


Sparkly toes


Our last stop was to Sweet Frog for some froyo!


Evidence of a fun day!


It was a perfect day...The World's Greatest Day, in fact!