Would you mind …

June 30, 2012 on 8:11 pm | In Uncategorized | By Cindy | No Comments | Add a comment

Kevin has a pile of scrap wood in our yard.  There is no real purpose to it … it is just waiting to be hauled away someday.  The boys have discovered this wealth of imaginative play and this week alone, I’ve seen that wood made into an island, a walking path, and most recently a home for a toad (complete with an amusement park and pool – or so Ricky tells me).

We have no problems with the boys playing with this wood.  We just ask that they put it away when they are finished each day.  This does cause some grumbling, but so far, they are being fairly obedient.

Yesterday, however, Kevin had to hover a bit to make sure the job got done.  Billy, unaware that his dad was hovering on the deck above him, was dragging a large plank across the lawn.  Trouble, the dog, happened to be laying in the path that Billy was following.

Billy started talking to Trouble, as only Billy can …

“Trouble, would you mind allowing this board to be your table?”

He then proceeded to lay the table in front of the dog’s paws and walk away.

A voice from above (aka Kevin’s) informed Billy that Trouble did not need or want a table and to put the board where it belonged.

There you go.

The Vacation, Part 9: The Random End

June 29, 2012 on 3:18 pm | In Uncategorized | By Cindy | No Comments | Add a comment

With 3 adults, 2 cameras, and 2 phones on this vacation, there are lots of pictures.  I wanted to throw in a few more … in no specific order.  Enjoy!

My mom has always had a camera at Disneyland.  When she chaperoned my Senior Choir trip to Disneyland in 1996, she brought the camcorder along – it was about the size of a small microwave!  But the videos are priceless and she was happy to do it.  It was fun going through her pictures and seeing a few different angles and shots of my family …

I love the teacups …

I love this Dumbo shot …

The merry-go-round …

Doing the Twist at Goofy’s Kitchen …

The Town Hall Meeting at the early entry into Toon Town …

My mom sat at the back on a bench during the Disney Junior Show … maybe a better seat than the front row floor?

Waiting for “The World of Color” show to start (I love that face!) …

(and this one, too)

The headboards in our rooms … can you find the hidden Mickey?

The sun was bright our last day.  And it was really humid …

Them’s my family …

All was well, until the Baboon touched his shoulder …

Then things weren’t so swell …

The Fairy Godmother came to try and make things right again …

And then Chip (or Dale) couldn’t resist that cute face, and it started again…

No hands is important on It’s a Small World …

And Tommy was all about driving his own car …

Sometimes, for Kevin and I, it was just easier to grab our phone and snap a picture than locate the real camera.  Those are the ones that follow, hence the questionable quality of these pictures.

Grandpa Brent was good and let the boys watch as many cartoons as they wanted – or as many as their mean mom would let them …

Here are a couple of happy pictures of us on that not-so-slow train at John’s Incredible Pizza.  The boys were smiling when it got over, too, but mostly because they were glad it was over!

Tommy learning to play Yahtzee …

Tommy not wanting to SHARE Yahtzee …

More of the Carousel …

Some more Small World …

Staying up late to play cards …

A night in Disney without kids …

Mickey Mouse with some of the cutest boys I own …

Our maid was very sweet about the boys’ stuff.  We’d come back and not only had she cleaned everything up, but she’d arranged the special stuffed friends in an adorable way, too.

Waiting to ride Autopia …

Ricky was SO excited to be driving …

Waiting in line does NOT have to be boring …

Especially not with these two hams …

And, finally, the ride shots.  A couple of the bigger rides snap a picture of you while you are riding.  We usually don’t buy them because they are way overpriced, but we did buy this one  …

That was Billy’s first big ride.  Splash Mountain.  That’s a pretty steep and surprising drop for a five year old.  And despite the face, he LOVED it!

You can kind of tell he’s happy in this one, but the reason I got this one (taken from the display monitor with my phone), is because that family in front of us was cracking me up!  They pulled out full rain gear while we waited in line.

Billy’s first ride on Space Mountain, as you may recall, was “not what I call a good time!”

But he rode it again because it was a GREAT time for Ricky!

And again with Kevin, because we convinced him that it really is a great ride!

And there you go.  Our wonderful California/Disneyland Trip of 2012.  Ahhh.  How long until we can go back?

The Vacation, Part 8: The Last Days

June 26, 2012 on 8:39 pm | In Uncategorized | By Cindy | No Comments | Add a comment

After a nice long ride (gotta love the 91 Freeway), we got back to Grandpa Brent’s house … and to his pool.

The boys did some unwinding and some playing with their new Disney toys.  I think they were just happy to chill.  There was some swimming and some pizza and somewhat early bedtimes for very tired little boys.  Kevin and I stayed up playing games with his folks and sisters.

Nintendo DS time with Aunt Wendi was just an added bonus to this trip …

On Saturday, Kevin and Ricky went to a piano recital where our nephews were performing.  Later that evening, we went over to Kevin’s brother Marc’s home for dinner and some more visiting.

The boys aren’t really used to being around girls.  We have none.  Here in Utah we only have Cousin Cate and I’m not really sure they notice she’s a girl all the time.  Even the boys’ best friends come from all boy families.

So when it came time to eat dinner and Billy saw the kids’ table and that he would be sitting next to one of his girl cousins, he put on a not so happy face and whined, “Momma!  I don’t wanna sit by Cambrie!”  I sympathized … life can be cruel sometimes.

The kids had a good time and probably would have stayed all night, but, Kevin had more homework due and we had to get some rest for the drive the next day.  Actually, it was more the homework than anything, since we stayed up late playing some pretty intense Uno …

Naturally, the boys slept in on Sunday morning, just because they knew we wanted to leave early.  But, we know our boys and we knew very little sleep would happen in the car, so we let them sleep … even though it meant we got away almost 2 hours later than we’d hoped.  It was a good thing, too, because the whole way home, the only sleeping that happened in the car was 30 minutes from Tommy before we even left California.  That’s it.

But, they were good travelers and it was a pleasant ride.

It was a pleasant vacation that was hard to say good-bye to.

Until next time …

The Vacation, Part 7: Disneyland, Day 5

June 24, 2012 on 1:59 pm | In Uncategorized | By Cindy | No Comments | Add a comment

There is just something sad about knowing that it is your last day at Disneyland.  We know we won’t be going back for several years and it is just a little hard to leave.

The boys were really great about it.  Seriously, they were awesome travelers – no whining or tears or droopy lips about it being our last day.

We took the monorail into the park and split up for a bit.  Kevin went off to get Fast Passes, Grandmama and the biggers went on Autopia (so Billy could get to drive), and the littles and I just wandered around Main Street for a little bit.  I made sure to get a picture of Rusty by this statue.  It is in the center of his Disneyland map and he used it as a marker to figure out where we were each day.  Did I mention he’s really cute?

We all met back up at the Plaza Inn for breakfast with Minnie Mouse and friends.

Any lack of enthusiasm I may have felt from the characters at Goofy’s Kitchen was more than made up for at this breakfast.  The characters were fun and interactive and all over the place!  It didn’t start out well for Tommy though.  He was happily eating when he suddenly turned around to find Raffiki (the wise baboon from The Lion King) standing behind him.

Oh how Tommy screamed!

A chocolate muffin helped calm him down.

Captain Hook came by …

And Dale (or maybe Chip – I don’t remember now which one has the red nose) …

Minnie brought her love …

Goofy’s son Max wanted to play with the boys, but they weren’t really sure who he was (oops!) …

The characters were coming around so much that we barely had time to eat!  But it was completely worth it – an excellent way to start our last day!  Tommy wasn’t so sure about that though …

When Tigger headed our way, Dale was right behind him … typing a balloon to his tail!  The boys laughed and laughed as Tigger tried to figure out what was going on.  Eventually, I had to take the balloon off for him.  Have I mentioned how fun the characters were at this meal?

Eeyore was heading to the outside tables, but we snagged a picture with him before he could get away.  The boys thought it was SOOOO cool that we got to see Eeyore!  Maybe not Tommy …

Winnie the Pooh was there, too.  And FINALLY, Tommy warmed up to a character!

Gotta take your picture with the castle behind you …

Rusty really wanted to ride a roller coaster again, so we headed back to ToonTown for the Go Gadget Coaster.  While we did that 2 or 3 times, Tommy said his good-byes to the slide in Goofy’s Garden…

Grandmama had to head back to the hotel so she could catch her flight home and I took Ricky and Billy on Thunder Mountain a couple of more times.  We met up with Kevin on Tom Sawyer’s Island where the little boys had been exploring and found some treasure …

As soon as Ricky, Billy, and I stepped off the raft onto the island, Rusty grabbed my hand and hauled me off to show me what he’d found.  He took me into a tunnel called “Dead Man’s Grotto.”  It turns out, Rusty hadn’t been in the tunnel before.  And it also turns out, that he was quite scared of the tunnel.  We were almost to the end, when we saw a skeleton and he turned to head back out – fast!  I stopped him and showed him the exit just about 10 feet in front of us.  He wasn’t interested in going through there again.  He did like crossing this rickety bridge with his brothers, though …

While we waited for the raft to take us back, the boys had fun watching the ducks …

Looking in barrels …

And getting some love …

As we walked out of the park and headed back to the Disneyland Hotel, we said good-bye to everything as we passed.  It was seriously such a fun vacation and totally worth the money and time!  I love Disneyland anyway, but it is so much more a magical place with little boys!

The boys did finally get their souvenirs on our way out.  Each one got to pick one stuffed animal and one toy.  We ended up with two Perry the Platypuses (different styles), a Pluto, a Donald Duck, a Star Wars play set, a Cars play set, a toy monorail, and a light up R2D2.  Everybody was happy and satisfied.

They were all worn out.  This was the hottest day we’d been there and it was humid – very humid.  Poor Tommy had played too hard all week.  Before we got to the freeway to head back to Grandpa Brent and Grandma Jeanne’s, he looked like this …

We never made it to the pool and Splash Mountain was shut down when we tried to do it again.  We missed out on the Matterhorn and the new Cars Land, but I wouldn’t change a thing.  Hey, Disneyland!  Watch out!  We’ll be back in a few years!

The Vacation, Part 6: Disneyland, Day 4

June 22, 2012 on 8:08 pm | In Uncategorized | By Cindy | No Comments | Add a comment

We slept in some this morning.  The boys needed it!  And by “some” I mean 7:30 or 8:00.  We used another of our Resort perks and went into Disney California Adventure 45 minutes earlier than the park opened to regular guests.

To be honest, DCA (Disney California Adventure) isn’t my favorite.  It is actually quite low on my list.  But it does have a few very cute parts and my opinion may change once my kids are old enough to do some of the more adventurous rides.

It didn’t help that on this trip there was major construction going on.  We were a week too early to see the new Cars Land.  I bet the boys would have loved that, but, alas, it was not meant to be.

What was meant to be was grabbing Fast Passes for “The World of Color” show for that night, and getting in line for “Soarin’ Over California” with Grandmama and the two olders, while Kevin and the two littlers saved us a spot for the Disney Junior Show.

Soarin’ Over California is a simulation ride where you fly over different landscapes of California.  You really feel like you are soaring!  The boys thought it was really cool – and I’m pretty sure Billy’s arms were up for most of it!

The Disney Junior Show is my favorite part of DCA.  Essentially, it is an episode of the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse performed by puppets.  The hostess was human, but everyone else was a puppet.  Mickey and his gang were there and so were the Little Einsteins, Handy Manny, and Jake and the Neverland Pirates.  Our seats were right in front which made it a little hard for the boys to see the puppets who popped out of the floor or the stage.  Billy asked, “Why are they just heads?”  Even if all they could see were just heads, the boys were riveted and sang along and used their dancing shoes at all the right times!  My legs were completely asleep by the end … to help Rusty and Tommy see a little better, I had one sitting on each knee.  Oh, the pins and needles after 20+ minutes of that!

After the show, guess who greeted us outside … Handy Manny!

He is WAY cooler than Geppetto and the Mad Hatter!

We also went on the Monsters, Inc. ride and saw the Muppets 3-D show.  The kids thought that one was excellent (it is much better than Captain EO, just sayin’).  We also wandered around the Animations building where the boys got to hear a presentation by Crush the sea turtle from Finding Nemo.

Then we had lunch and naps back at the hotel.  Since Kevin had his homework finished, he took the two older boys back to Disneyland to ride a few of the bigger rides again.   I know they did Star Tours and Space Mountain.  While waiting for Space Mountain, they were getting close to getting on, when the ride broke down with an undetermined restart time.  Kevin left it up to the boys if they wanted to wait or go somewhere else.  They decided to wait and were glad – the ride was up and running just a few minutes later.  When they got off of Space Mountain, they were facing the gift shop.  The boys had been really good and hadn’t asked for souvenirs or trinkets or anything … except for a Perry the Platypus.  The boys had been told that they could pick out a stuffed animal on our last day and Billy saw this Platypus on one of his rides down Space Mountain.  He saw it again Thursday afternoon with Kevin and said, “If I don’t get a Perry the Platypus right now, I am going to EXPLODE!”

He didn’t.  Get the platypus right then.  Or explode.  But at least he knew what he wanted.

The three of them also wrote Autopia.  I have never ridden that one.  Not sure why, just never have.  Ricky got to do the driving – or at least he was in charge of the steering.  Kevin and Billy were a little concerned for their safety, but they somehow survived (probably because the cars run on tracks, but, shhhh, don’t tell them that).

Grandmama, the two littles, and I met up with the others in D-land and had some dinner.  We were greeted with Ricky saying, “I have a BIG idea!”  and Billy saying, “You’ve GOT to hear Ricky’s BIG idea!”  So we listened.

Ricky’s BIG idea was to ride the railroad “all the way” around Disneyland.  Now let me explain.  We’d ridden the railroad.  Lots.  Several times most days.  We used it as a great method of transportation – it had a stop near the monorail which would take us right back to our hotel; it was a great way to get around some of the crowded streets.  We’d ridden it.  But, I guess Ricky had noticed that we had never ridden it the entire way around the park.

So we did.

We actually went all the way around plus a stop.  That extra stop meant we got to see the “Grand Canyon” twice.  Exciting.  The boys loved that part.  It is one of the few parts of Disneyland that time has not touched.  When we got home from the trip, Ricky even told someone that the Grand Canyon was his favorite part of Disneyland.  If you haven’t experienced it … well, that’s okay.

We rode that extra stop because we were heading back to DCA for the evening and it was the closest stop to get there.  We did some Soarin’ Over California again and then met up Grandmama who’d staked out a great spot for the World of Color show.

This show was fabulous.  I almost didn’t let the boys stay up for it – they were tired and it didn’t start until 9:00, which is way past bedtime.  But I did and I’m glad.  Grandmama got them some ice cream to wear enjoy while we waited.

This is a water and light show over the “lake” in DCA.  There must be hundreds of fountains that shoot up and twist and lights that glow every color.  At times, parts of Disney movies are even projected onto the mist.  The music is great – the boys were glued to it (as were the grown ups).

It was a long walk back to the hotel, only because Tommy was so exhausted and wouldn’t ride in the stroller or let anyone besides me hold him.  He’s gotten heavy! We got to enjoy the Disneyland fireworks as we walked back – best of both worlds that night!

The week was almost over and the boys were feeling it.  We did not have a hard time getting them to bed that night, but it was a bit harder getting them up the next morning.  They looked like this …

and this …

… and this …

And that was after a few attempts to wake them up already!

But wake up they had to … it was our last day in the Happiest Place on Earth!

Have I mentioned Rusty’s ability to read the Disneyland map?  He could figure out where we were and he’d ask where we were heading … sometimes I could just describe where we were going and he’d find it just fine.  Granted, it is a map with lots of pictures on it, but still – he’s only 3.  We all thought it was pretty cool.  Rusty always wanted to have a map in his hands …

This is what the map looks like …

And because I found it and thought it was cool – this is the map from the 1980s when I frequented the park with my family every year …

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