Wednesday, June 06, 2012


We're keeping busy, just the way I prefer summer to go. It seems that with too much time on our hands, the young ones get a little restless and then the mommy gets super-cranky. In an effort to keep fun mom around, we've got all kinds of stuff happening, like Disney.

I don't think I ever posted about our trip to Disney in December (a last great family hurrah with my sister's family and my parents); actually, I'm positive I never posted all the pictures since I just downloaded some of them before our most recent trip. But anyway, we went back for Memorial Day weekend, stayed in a fabulous resort with an even more fabulous military rate and enjoyed a couple of days in the parks.
we managed to get one picture of all of us - miracle!

We were excited to see a new section was partially opened at Magic Kingdom and started our day with Goofy's Barnstormer roller coaster and then moved right on to Dumbo, a kid favorite.

self portraits are always lovely

Natalie then requested the teacups since she remembered enjoying them back in Decemeber. Jeff doesn't particularly enjoy the spinning experience they provide (maybe it's a little too much like the centrifuge?) but was a good sport and tried to make us all sick by taking over the spin control for a bit. It made me dizzy but the kids seem unfazed. I'm not sure Jeff will ever do that to himself again.

The rest of the day was spent bouncing between rides, most of which the kids requested from memory. I let Natalie drive our car on the racetrack, thinking that since it was on a rail it couldn't be too hard. Quickly I realized that oh, yes, you can get whiplash (sidelash?) when that little car starts ricocheting back and forth on its track. But now that I look at this picture, I think I see there might have been a little problem with her watching where we were going.

do you see those closed eyes? they explain a lot.
I think we rode almost everything we wanted to at the Magic Kingdom that first day. Thankfully, we felt no guilt in leaving in the early afternoon for naps and pool time back at the hotel. The kids loved their swim time and we loved the chance to just relax. As we were sipping our frozen drinks poolside, Jeff and I realized this was the first time we'd taken a trip of that kind with our kids. Usually we're visiting family (which we love) or leave the kids at home (which we also enjoy) but I think the last time we just took a trip to enjoy ourselves with a kid in tow was back in July of 2007 when we went to Ishigaki with a baby Wyatt (you can refresh your memory on that here and here and really, you should, because Wyatt sure was cute). We see a lot more trips like that in our future - the kids are learning to be great travelers and seem to understand that actual travel days are a small price to pay for a fun vacation.

Anyway, day two took us to Epcot, per Wyatt's request. I love that he asked to go there because it was one of my favorites as a kid. He specifically wanted to go "up in the big ball" again and to "visit Japan." Twist my arm, kid, making me shop in the mini-Mitsukoshi store! It's been at least a week since I've said it, but I miss Japan so it makes me ridiculously happy to wander through the incredibly authentic replica at Epcot. And of course we managed to leave with an Engrish bag for Natalie, a fan for Wyatt (his choice that sure came in handy that hot afternoon) and some favorite hundred yen candy for the low price of much-more-than-a-hundred-yen. Natalie fell asleep in the stroller somewhere around Germany, so I sat outside with her while the boys rode Soarin'. I was soon joined by two feathered friends, who settled in for a snooze behind me. Natalie was able to chat with them a bit when she woke up.

It was kind of amusing to me, in the midst of one of the world's most amazing theme parks, how many people were downright fascinated with the two ducks in the flower bed. I bet eighty percent of the people walking by commented on them or spoke to them (me included, of course).

The best part of the whole trip, though, was yet to come. Through the miracles of Facebook, I realized  one of our favorite families in the whole world was at Disney, too. And that's how it came to pass that we spent an evening riding, laughing and catching up with the Rifes. It made my heart so happy to see our friends and for Wyatt to spend some time with his very best buddy. I truly believe these boys have a lifelong friendship! I also loved how our kids immediately intermixed with the parents on rides: Isaac wanted to ride with Jeff, so Wyatt rode with Jerod and Samuel. Later in the night, I had Ellie snuggled in next to me while Natalie chatted with Kristen. At one point all the boys were in one section while all the girls were in another; it all just made me realize Disney really is the happiest place on Earth.

Wyatt and Isaac, right after we found each other  under the flagpole.

Natalie and Ellie were fast friends, discussing who-knows-what away from the silly boys.

We immediately launched into a lot of this. I believe I was holding
a Rife boy's hand for this picture.

dads and kids. in true Disney fashion, an employee saw me taking this
and quickly offered to take a picture of us all.

so here it is: all of us together! 
Last picture of the night; parting is such sweet sorrow!

This week the kids are at Vacation Bible School at our church and I'm working it (totally entertaining but exhausting - not sure how all you teachers do it!) and next week we're off to the beach for a Rock reunion. Can't wait…I'm sure a photo-bomb of a blog will follow!


SStites said...

It's like a little gift just for me when I log on and find a new blog post from you. I just absolutely love keeping up with your family this way. The miles seem to disappear when we can share in your adventures and all of the wonderful things your kiddies do and say. Hugs to all 4 of you!

Darling's said...

So fun!! I hope the kids first Disney trip will happen over spring break next year for us. Can not wait to see Miss A's face with the princess castle and Cinderella!