I did an awful job with the camera this weekend. Between cooking, catching up around the house from the Disney trip and being lazy.. the camera did not get picked up much. We had lots of family here for Thanksgiving dinner. And, the kids always love when Mamaw and Grandpa come to stay.
We used a car service to and from the airport at Disney World. When they came to pick us up from the hotel to go home we were lucky enough to have a limo show up. Ella was SO excited! She said my next car needs to be a limo. And, we were pretty sure we were going to have to replace everything in the car as the little monkey had to mess with it all.
On our last full day we went to Animal Kingdom. It was nice change of environment and a lot of fun. Ella was so ready to go through Dinoland. Ella, Ashlyn, Shannan and I went on the Dinosaur ride. It was very dark and loud. At one point I was worried about Ella being scared. It was so dark that I couldn't see her eventhough she was right next to me. I grabbed her leg to make sure she knew that I was right there. However, when I could see her again she said, "I loved that!". I was shocked.
We had lots of fun in Animal Kingdom. We saw the wonderful afternoon parade. Then, we went back to the hotel for a bit to attempt to get some rest. For the evening, we headed to Magic Kingdom to see the Light Parade and fireworks. It was spectacular and a great finish to our trip.
We were so lucky to have my sister Shannan and her family join us for the weekend. Kendall had just turned 4 this past Thursday, and Shannan is turning 3_ (let's just say older than me) on Tuesday. So, it was a birthday celebration.
Precious Neices.. Ashlyn and Kendall
We did Magic Kingdom again. Yes, even after the 12 hour a couple days ago we still had not hit everything. Then, we headed to Downtown Disney in the evening for a birthday dinner at Rainforest Cafe. We had a bit of a wait before there was an available table. So, the kids got to dance with the crowd around the stage.
We started the day with a character breakfast at Hollywood Studios. It was with the Little Einsteins, Special Agent Oso and Handy Manny. The kids had a blast. We then went through the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Playground, went on the awesome Toy Story ride, and saw the Little Mermaid show. We then headed to the hotel for a little break before heading to Epcot for the afternoon and evening. Epcot was a lot of fun. We had dinner in Japan, walked through all of the countries, rode Nemo twice and watched the fireworks. We are so glad that we fit that in.
We decided to hit Magic Kingdom the first day. There were Magic Hours that morning. So, we were able to get into the park an hour early since we were staying at a Disney Resort at the Swan.
Right after this, we walked through to the castle. I made a little detour to the left with Ella as I thought that was the restaurant. I was just going to see if there was any chance of an opening during our stay. As I approached the podium I asked if there was availability. Then, the lady says, "Oh no ma'am. This is the Bibbidi Bobbity Boutique. We do hair, make-up and nails."
I looked down at Ella. Her eyes were lit up with stars. I knew that I made the WRONG turn, but there was no going back. I made an appointment at noon. She chose from 3 styles...Disney Princess, Disney Diva and Disney Pop Star. She chose Diva. She was so proud. Daddy almost had a heart attack.
Will was a little hesitant of the first character meeting. It was Pooh and Tigger. Luckily, that changed before the character breakfast on Day 2.
Ella loved meeting Rapunzel from the new movie Tangled that was to be released the next week.
Will crashed in the stroller and slept through Ella meeting the princesses. Belle asked Ella if Will was her 'little sleeping beast'. She didn't miss a beat and quickly answered, "YES!".
We stayed in Magic Kingdom for 12 hours the first day. We were in bed by about 10pm. That was our earliest night to sleep.
I just had to make a note of our plane trip to Disney. The kids were absolutely fabulous. The trip to McDonald's Playplace before the airport helped to get some energy out, and I did have a backpack full of stuff. Regardless, we were very proud of them!
We got to the hotel just after 10pm. Brian went down to get us all a little something to eat. Will quickly discovered that he could jump from bed to bed. He was in heaven. They were really pumped up, but once we got them bathed and in bed... They crashed!
Ella's November homework was to create a poster showing our family traditions over the holidays. We thought of going to see the Nutcracker, watching Texas vs. A&M after a great dinner, going to see Christmas lights, taking pictures with Santa, visiting Mema, and opening presents. The middle drawings that Ella did from left to right are.. visiting Mema's house, Christmas Lights on our house, decorating the tree and the Nutcracker.
There was supposed to be a soccer clinic with some professionals. However, our team didn't seem to get the message that it was cancelled. Oh well, we still had a great little mini practice with the few girls that showed up. Here is a cute snapshot that I got...
Ella's school participates in the Annual Jump Rope by the American Heart Association. It's a fundraiser for children with heart disease and other issues. When they asked for volunteers, I knew I had to help. Afterall, 80 Kindergartners jump roping... I had to see this.
Ella is making her heart and ready to go!
She couldn't quite get it, but she was a great sport and really tried.
Our backyard hasn't been the prettiest lately. We have some wonderful trees on our lot, but they cause several spots to have light issues. Therefore, some plants just can't make it. I have talked to MANY companies about what to do, but I finally found Mari Graham. She had great ideas and was very reasonable.
The bed outside the back door looks soooo much better!
Gorgeous new vine and pot. A couple more pots with plants will be added.
The vine on the fence was trimmed back so that it will grow back in the pattern that it should be in. Gravel was put down in the area that grass would not grown in. We hope to put up a fence at some point on this side of the pool equipment.
Ella and I plan to get pots and grow herbs here. Brian seems to think that is funny and will never happen. Therefore, we are determined, and it will DEFINITELY happen!
The bathwater was apparently at the perfect level for Will to lay in the tub without having his face covered. I was laughing at him just laying there reading a book. He said to me, "Mommy. Shhhhh. I'm sleeping."
There are some really great internet resources for Ella as she learns how to read more and more. It cracks me up that I can't get Will to sit still for 2 seconds but to be with Ella he would sit for hours. Ella is really doing well and teaching her little brother at the same time!
Ella has been begging to paint lately. We finally cleaned up our wonderful easel that Mema bought for Christmas a few years ago and picked up some paint supplies. Ella and Will have had a blast over the past couple of days. The weather has been beautiful.
Ella did a portrait of her sea otter swimming in the ocean.