Friday, January 5, 2018

Our Visit to the Magic Kingdom

While our family was visiting for Christmas we wanted to take the big kids to the Magic Kingdom. That's my nice way of saying, "there's no way I was pushing a stroller with two two-year olds around Disney World for two days so they stayed home with my parents." We left super early (4:30 early) the day after Christmas.  It was wonderful! The weather was perfect, we had fast passes so we didn't have to wait in lines and we had a blast together!! 

Our obligatory picture in front of the castle... love!

Love being at the park at Christmas!

Julie and I had a blast together!

I loved being able to take pictures of every ride we went on... such great memories and I love everyone's excited faces!

Our first ride was the Mad Tea Party... you just have to!

Chris and I on the Dumbo ride. I love that the castle is in the back!

The Little Mermaid Ride... Julie and I loved this ride!

The kids' favorite ride... Space Mountain!

Chris was such a good uncle... he took the kids down Splash Mountain while me, Julie and Jamie had a coffee. We had no desire to get wet!

On the train. Our lazy way to get to the other side of the park. 

The kids on the Dumbo ride! 

Papa and Abe on the Small World ride... another must!

Barnstormer... worlds quickest ride.

Heading up Thunder Mountain. Another favorite!

We loved that the kids always wanted to ride together. 

One of my favorite pictures!

A second favorite!

Of course a trip to Disney isn't complete without enjoying ALL the many snacks and treats! And boy did we enjoy them...

Mickey cake pops... yum!

Enjoying the biggest cinnamon roll at Gaston's. 

Taking a break to enjoy the ice cream treats!

Our lunch! Look at those huge hot dogs! So good!

Being there at Christmas was fun because the park was decorated, they were playing Christmas music and we got to enjoy the Christmas parade.

After our second day, we finished at the park around noon and all the kids wanted to do was head back to the hotel to swim. It's their favorite thing to do together! They always have a blast! And who doesn't love swimming at the end of December??

Sweet cousins!

Of course, the adults loved our time together, too, sitting by the pool! No complaints from us!

We had an amazing time and we were so glad we went!! Don't worry, we will take Luke and Jack soon. We just want them to be a little older so they can actually enjoy the park. Thank you Gram and Granddaddy for keeping them for us!! I know they had a blast with y'all, too!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Its the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Oh, this Christmas season has been wonderful! Since Chris and I were married 11 (oh my goodness) years ago, we have always traveled for Christmas or been alone celebrating just the two of us.  But this year, since we are in Florida now, our family blessed us by coming to us!! What an amazing gift it was that our kids got to stay in their beds, with their schedule and routine and enjoy our family being at our house everyday!  Chris and I can't stop talking about how wonderful this season was. 

First, Chris' mom came to see us for Thanksgiving. The boys absolutely loved having her here with us! Chris' leave was unexpectedly cancelled, but we got to spend Thanksgiving at his office and one night we were able to enjoy the lights in St. Augustine (our new favorite town).  They offer Red Train Tours and the boys were in heaven as we rode on a train to see amazing lights! Definitely a new tradition while we are in Jacksonville.

My boys, before the train ride. 

All of us on the train! Gotta love Chris' Christmas tree hat!

The town square was beautiful!

Sweet Boys!

Then, the first week in December, Chris' brother, Michael (or who the boys call Uncle Moose) came to see us. They loved having another boy in the house! Michael was great and would play legos with them, show Abram new video games, and even helped Chris decorate our house for Christmas. I think they did an amazing job!!

We love getting ready for Christmas at our house! The boys love helping me unpack all of our Christmas boxes and looking through everything.  I collect nativity scenes and I also have a few that the boys can play with throughout the season. They are always a favorite! One of my favorite moments this year was when Abram was in the play room for awhile and when he came out, he showed us the amazing nativity scene he made. He said he made it to add to my collection. Sweet boy! This year I started a new tradition. I wrapped 24 Christmas book and the boys took turns unwrapping one book every night and we would read it before bed. We all loved it! 

Enjoying all our Christmas books!

Love the Little People Nativity set!

Our 24 Christmas books.

Reading one of our Christmas books before bed.

It was a little hectic after Thanksgiving with Chris' work schedule, so Chris and Abe went one Sunday afternoon during nap time to pick out our tree. They got a great one!

Of course now that we live on the mainland, our Christmas activities include Chick-Fil-A, too!!

Luke loved playing with "my baby Jesus." 

Abram's nativity sets he built out of legos to put with my collection. 

Another new tradition we will do every year while we live in Jacksonville is Luminaria. Every year on one Sunday evening in December, our entire neighborhood puts white bags with candles along their sidewalks.  Everyone walks around to enjoy the lights, music and people. It's amazing!! This is the only picture I took because we were busy corralling our three boys in the dark and enjoying all the lights!

Then, a few days before Christmas my family showed up! My parents and my sister, her husband and my niece and nephew. It was amazing! It was so wonderful getting to spend so much time with them, enjoy our Christmas traditions together and everyone loved waking up on Christmas morning together. 

Sitting down to decorate Christmas cookies on Christmas eve!

Our finished products. So yummy!

Ella and Abram made the cookies this year!
Of course, they all wanted to go to the beach so we headed out to Talbot Island. Its a beach covered in drift wood that you can climb on.  We all had a great time and the weather was beautiful!

Such a sweet picture of my mom with the boys!

The cousins

Christmas morning was our favorite! It was wonderful to wake up with everyone together with all the excitement for the day.  We started the morning by reading the Christmas story and praying and then the kids opened their gifts. After the gifts, my sister and I got busy on the Christmas lunch, the boys went out to do some projects in our yard and my mom was with the kids playing with their new toys. After lunch, we had our candy cane hunt and sang Happy Birthday to Jesus.  

The explosion of gifts!

Reading the Christmas story on Christmas morning. 

Happy Birthday, Jesus!!

We had a wonderful Christmas season celebrating the birth of our Savior with our family and we hope you did, too!!