Thursday, October 23, 2008

Visit to Glen & Sherie

Ok, this isn't at Glen & Sherie's house. This is at Epcot. We saw an amazing interactive show with all the Nemo characters, where the animated characters on the screen talked to the kids in the audience, personally! Calling them by name! Hard to describe, but very impressive!
On Sunday, we went to visit Uncle Glen & Aunt Sherie in a place called The Villages, FL. They do all their transportation on Golf Carts! In fact, Glen is a Golf Cart Salesman! So, at the end of the night, he let Faith drive! No Disney ride is cooler than this!
John fell right asleep on our little tour of the town. The weather was beautiful and they treated us so kindly! Thank you so much, Ottleys!
I love this picture of Mom with Johnny! The kids just LOVED all the attention from their grandparents, and we can't wait to see them again - hopefully soon!
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Family time is PRICELESS!

I just love this picture of John, standing in front of Pluto. Clark must have done something funny, but this is just so typical of our little funny-guy, Johnny! I love you, sweet boy!
Each morning before the parks would open, people would be lined up behind ropes, and...
they'd bring out the characters! They did a little dance and skit which made us all smile, and then OFF YOU GO to your destination within the park!
Mimi and Papa spoiled the kids with YUMMY chocolate ice cream bars almost every DAY! It's crazy, but I guess that's just what Grandparents do, right? We love you so much, and thank you for such a magical week together!
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I love my kids, oh yeah, oh yeah!

Daddy and Faith just taking a break! We packed our lunches into our backpacks each day, which was great, because we could stop to eat whenever we got hungry, AND we figured that the whole lunch cost us about $4 instead of $84!
Faith and John in Dino-Rama, a carnival-type section in Animal Kingdom.
John and I waiting for Faith to finish coloring her Dinosaur! John was such a trooper through the whole trip, just napping as we went, and being a happy as can be! Couldn't have been a better trip!
Here we are riding on the Dinosaurs, a ride exactly like Dumbo, minus about a 45 minute wait! Aren't they cute?
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Quick, stop for a picture!

Andrew's not a BIG fan of pictures, especially when we're trying to hurry and get to a ride before everyone else does! But, on our way in on the first morning, I said "Turn around for 5 seconds" and this is what I got! Not bad, huh? Those Fast Passes really are brilliant, and we used them to the fullest extent while we were there!
Here's cute Minnie in the Animal Kingdom. This was orange-shirt day, and we even ran into some other families all in orange as well!
While we rested for a minute, the kids got laughing SO hard with their "boingy toys". THIS is what it's all about - siblings laughing and playing together - who needs all that Disney to have our own kind of magic?
Here's Goofy and Pluto just outside the Dinosaur ride at Animal Kingdom. Our kids were all such a perfect age for this trip! John and Clark were about 40 1/2 inches tall, which meant (in Johnny's words) "I'm tall enough! I'm tall enough" to ride almost every ride in every park! Baby inside did just fine, and I kept myself off a few rides. My only mistake was the Everest roller coaster that I shouldn't have ridden a second time - I was this close to losing my cookies!
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The Speedway!

The kids loved the Buzz ride at the Magic Kingdom, and thought it was so funny to get in jail with Zurg! We rode that ride at least 3 times during the week, but we have to say that it's not quite as neat as the new Toy Story Ride. Sorry, Buzz!
Mimi and John coming off the Autopia ride. This is what the kids talked the most about - driving a car ALL BY THEMSELVES! So, on our first morning in the Magic Kingdom, we went straight to this ride, and practically walked on, while Papa was picking up Fast Passes to Splash Mountain!
He made it back just as we were getting off the ride, so Grant jumped on for another round with HIM!
Here's Daddy and Clark waiting for their car to arrive. Clark is SO excited, he can't even look at the camera!
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Disney Fun!

Here's the gang (minus Mommy who's taking the picture) right before we entered the PhilharMAGIC show. It was very well done, and the kids got quite used to putting these 3-D glasses on during the week. We saw at least one in each park
Here's "THE PICTURE" that we really wanted to get, and it turned out pretty well! Faith absolutely LOVED Minnie, and held her tight like that for as long as we were there!
Our matching shirts were so wonderful! I recommend that to ANYONE going to a big park like this. We stood out to others, who would comment about our family, AND we were able to "count heads" in an instant! It was SO GREAT
The kids sitting on Minnie's couch in her house. That house was the cutest thing I think I've ever seen! Faith and I would have moved in in a "heart beat"! (the whole house was COVERED with hearts!)
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Wow...what a week!

We just returned from a magical week with our Mimi and Papa in Orlando! The weather was great, the company was fantastic, and we wore ourselves right OUT!
We had a 5 day pass to the Disney Parks, and were pooped by the end, but fit in almost everything that the kids wanted to ride.
Yes, we DO have a carousel at Clemyjontri park, but Faith insisted on riding this one, and they loved it! We arrived at the park 30 minutes before it opened each morning, and those first couple hours were priceless! Lines were little to NONE, and we were able to ride the BIG rides during that time AND get Fast Passes for later!
This is waiting in line at the new Toy Story ride in the Hollywood Studios. It was Andrew's favorite ride of the whole week and right up there for me. You wear 3-D glasses and shoot targets as you spin around. The technology is GREAT and any age can do it! Mimi was so great to bring little Dollar-store toys each day that the kids could play with while we waited in line. They're still a hit here at home, MOm!
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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Caramel Apples - Our new Fall Conference Tradition

Ooh, these tasted SO good! Daddy helped the kids make these as the final session of General Conference.
They were easily the stickiest and messiest food we have ever fed our kids, but BOY did they love them!
Everyone needs a Caramel Apple every once in awhile, right? I have to admit - they were yummy!
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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

It's a BOY baby!

After much anticipation, we visited the doctor this morning to discover that we are having another BOY! Is it even possible that I will be the mother of FOUR sons? In the spirit of making Faith feel special, we had the doctor whisper it to FAITH and then she told us the news.

She didn't cry, but was less than thrilled about the possibility of another BROTHER! But, I reassured her that she will be my princess forever and ever! More girls nights out, more fingernail painting, shopping, and taking care of our new baby brother!

She will be the BIGGEST helper when this baby arrives in February! This whole baby experience will be different than the last 4 because my other children are more grown up. When we had John, our OLDEST, I repeat OLDEST of 4 children had just turned 5. Faith was only 3, Clark was ONE. So, this will be different all together!

We are thrilled that the baby is doing well, and now are planning for our trip this FRIDAY to Orlando with Mimi and Papa. More on that later!

Thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers in our behalf!

Friday, October 3, 2008

A fun week so far...

We had our Primary Program this past Sunday at church, and it went VERY well. I'm the Music Director for the Primary Kids, and I love it! Everyone's favorite song is "Called To Serve", and I told them beforehand to sing as loud as they can, and they certainly DID! In fact, our non-member friend, Chris (who's been taking the discussions at our home) broke into applause at the end, quickly quieted by those around him. It made me smile, and I was grateful that he liked it so much.

We also invited our friends, the Filpis, our backdoor neighbors, to come with us on Sunday. They have 4 young children and they said the really liked it. The next morning, Kristen and I made Mom Croshaw's famous bread and had another great gospel conversation. They are such a sweet family.

This picture above is John combing his hair for church. He wanted a turn, and this is what he came up with. Even though I fixed it afterwards, his rowdy play made it look about like this before we entered the church. What's a mom to do? (wink)
Last night (Thursday) we went to see the Bar J Wranglers at the Kennedy Center in downtown DC. It was a FREE concert! Every night at 6pm, the Kennedy Center has a different group at the Millenium Stage, and we'd always wanted to go. So, when we heard it was the Bar J Wranglers, we were IN!
Tim Hodgson, the fiddler, was my fiddle teacher when I was about 15 and it was SO fun to hear them play again. I miss being on the stage, but can live vicariously through people I know who are doing it everyday! I don't think the crowd at the Kennedy Center knew what to think of them. They were all dressed up fancy for their other concerts later in the night (opera, Symphony) and so when a few of us were "whooping and hollering", they started to loosen up, just a bit.

It was a great night. Tonight (Friday) we're headed to the Nelson's home, a beautiful home in Alexandria. They have 5 children and a GREAT kid yard complete with zipline and fire pit. Andrew served his mission with Ryan, so we are excited to get to know them, again!
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