Sunday, October 30, 2016

Halloween Costumes

I LOVE this costume. Unfortunately, he doesn't love wearing it. I'll be lucky if he keeps this on for two houses tomorrow night!

It took him all of two seconds to figure out that he wanted to be a storm trooper this year. He loves his costume! It might just be my favorite.

 And Lexi girl. Started out wanting to be bat girl, but wasn't loving any of the costumes we found. But she fell in love with the Summer Elsa dress. I had a feeling Elsa would eventually sneak her way into our Halloween. It is an awesome dress. 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Remembering Grandma Voigt

Since I was in third grade my Grandmother and I wrote letters to one another. Distance kept our physical relationship limited, but our letters were so important to me. A stand-up, selfless woman she was an inspiration throughout my life. A devout Catholic, talented seamstress, mother to 11 children, choir singer, expert at Wheel of Fortune, gardener, and a woman with many friends and talents - there just aren't a lot like her. She was full of surprises. Like the time I got an email from her instead of a letter - at age 85 she learned to use the internet. Or her Christmas card with a picture of her standing in front of her new car, so proud. She had a lot of kick, all the way to the end. The day before she died, I received one of her hand made Halloween cards in the mail, with a very shaky signature, "Love, Grandma".  I was a bit shocked to learn that on Friday October 28th, after suffering a stroke earlier this year, my Grandma Voigt left this earth. I'm sure the gates of heaven are shining bright for her and my grandfather is waiting with open arms. But, my heart feels heavy this weekend knowing she is gone.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

2nd Grade + Kindergarten School Pictures

These two, looking adorable and handsome for their school pictures!
Lexi, age 5, Kindergarten with Mrs MacMitchell (best friend jade)

Declan, age 7, 2nd Grade with Mrs. Zimmerman (best friend Kal-El)

Monday, October 24, 2016

Sunday Breakfast

We had the pleasure of meeting Grandpa and DeeDee, and Uncle Jeff and Aunt Emily for Sunday breakfast in Long Beach. I was so grateful for Carie's suggestion of making some time to get together to celebrate all of the Fall birthdays. What a wonderful excuse to see family members that we just don't get to see enough. The kids were on their best behavior as we enjoyed a tasty breakfast overlooking the water. It was just perfect and made me excited for our Christmas plans! Unfortunately Emily is not pictured above because she had to leave early for a shower. 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Nathan goes to Disneyland!

We finally made it to Disneyland! After two almost trips within the last year, it all came together earlier this month. The good thing about postponing it was that Nate was more than ready to go and enjoy it as a two year old. I don't think he would have had as much fun if we had taken him earlier. This time we decided to go up on a Wednesday evening and hang out in Downtown Disney with the kids, stay in a hotel and then be there right when it opened at 8am the next morning. I have to say, the added evening of Downtown Disney certainly added a special feeling to the trip. We had so much fun tooling around, listening to live music and exploring the shops. The kids brought the money they earned doing summer chores (both about $50) and the plan was to hit up the Lego shop and Elsa shop  in Downtown Disney to do our souvenir shopping before entering the park. That worked out great - the kids were pumped and buying toys wasn't even mentioned the next day during our Disneyland Adventure. The cool thing about staying in the hotel too was about 15 minutes after we all laid down to go to sleep we were awakened by the sound of the Disneyland firework show for some special party they were having that night. We had a perfect view from our window, and all watched mesmerized and comfortably in our PJs a most spectacular fireworks show! It was a great start to our Disneyland Adventure as a family of 5!

~Downtown Disney~

Coolest Lego shop ever (I'm seriously surprised Legoland doesn't have something like this!)
Declan and Nathan loved watching the monorail zoom through downtown Disney. I think Declan was the most excited of all three kids. He couldn't stop hopping around that night, so full of energy and happiness! 
The Elsa and Anna Boutique. Nathan is a big fan of Elsa and her famous song! 
It took her 2 seconds to find this reversible Anna and Elsa doll. She knew without a doubt this was her toy. It wasn't very expensive so she had some money to spare. 
Nathan took his time looking for a Lego to buy in the Lego shop.

After much deliberation he ended up with two new Lego set - a race car and a helicopter.
The live band on the street was my favorite part. The kids (especially Lexi) loved dancing. I tried capturing some video of it, but of course she stopped right when I began. 

Absolutely mesmerized

I remember when we were debating if we should become a family of 5 - one of the questions was, "how would we do Disneyland?" Well, we did it! And it wasn't even as hard as I thought it would be. A piece of cake really. They make it very easy for you. The one thing that was super hard about the day that we were not expecting at all were the crowds. Up until this point we have been so lucky and really never waited more than 20 minutes for a ride because we timed the day we went just right. We totally missed the boat this time around. It might as well have been summer, not a Thursday in October. I heard it was due to something about year round schools being out. Ugh! Never again.

But, we made the best of it, took advantage of the fast pass system, split up a few times, and tried to ignore the crowds. There was a lot more walking involved because of getting fats passes and returning to rides at the right time to use them. But, the kids were great all day and so excited. Nathan loved his first time. Even waiting in line was a breeze with him. Overall it was a ownderful day and special memory of Nate's first time to Disney!
This kid is ready to roll!  
I was pumped to be there a different time of year and see all of the Disney Halloween decorations. I mean really? Just amazing! 

Nothing but smiles all day

A new experience for us, we ate breakfast in the park because we arrived so early!
Our first ride was the jungle cruise

I think he was a little overwhelmed and nervous at this point

Shooting guns with Daddy

Trying to pull out the sword...look at all of those people behind him!

She decided to use her extra money for Elsa ears - which are and have been sitting in her dress up drawer since we got home. 
Nathan, Lexi and I went on the Casey Junior train while Daddy and Declan took advantage of the fast pass on Thunder Mountain for a couple of rides! 

A Small World wonderment 

Stop the tracks - old enough to ride alone???

His face during Pirates of the Carribean - Lexi's new favorite ride and Declan's worst nightmare. 
Picture under the pumpkin tree because it was so cool
A monorail break to rest our feet for awhile
Autopia! Nathan is in there between them, you just can't see him.
I'm so pumped Adam took this video for me.

Her reaction when Darth Vader took the stage. She has such a thing for him (and Batman of course)
Cooling down on Main Street

Another split. I think the boys went on Star Tours while I took these two on Dumbo. I won't even say how long we waited in line. 

And his reaction to almost every ride when it was over. He did not want to get off!
All 5 of us on one tea cup with Daddy spinning us out of control! 

We had planned to stay pretty late. But around 7:00 the lines for almost every ride were over an hour. So, we walked through the Star Wars exhibit, which was pretty cool. 

When we finished we were discussing what to do next. But the kids were exhausted from a long day of walking and every line was upwards of an hour. So we surprised ourselves and unanimously decided to leave. As we were walking out around 8:00pm, a flood of people was walking in because California Adventure closes at 8 and Disney stays open until 11. We were bumping into people left and right going against the crowd. It was nuts, and we knew we made the right decision to leave (sadly). It's always hard to leave the magic kingdom when you've been talking about for 6 weeks and literally counting down with a paper chain. 

Overall a great visit and memorable first time for little Nate! He had so much fun (as did we all!)
Our family picture 2016 - I made them all wait in line to take this. They love me so much! Ha ha! 
It was worth it, forced smiles and all. 

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