Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Happy Birthday to Us

Since all of the kids' birthdays are so close together, we decided to keep the presents to a minimum and take a trip to Disneyland. We have a friend who has a condo in Santa Ana and has offered to let us stay there (thanks, Dave!), and we knew that would help with the cost as well. So we headed South on October 15. We have gone to Disneyland several times in the month of October and have always had pretty good luck with crowds (or lack of crowds) and weather. This year was the exception. Unknown to us when we planned the trip, that week was Fall Break for Arizona and parts of Utah. Thursday wasn't too bad, but Friday and Saturday were crazy! And it was so hot! Especially for October.

On Thursday we started off in Tomorrow Land. We were so excited for Ryder to see the Jedi Training. He isn't old enough to participate, but he was mesmerized and even quite frightened by Darth Maul and Darth Vader. We then met up with our friends the Dastrups. It was so great to see them!

Ryder gripped Eric a little tighter when Darth Maul arrived

Fun on the rockets and teacups

On Thursday night the Clarks arrived, so we were able to spend Friday and Saturday at Disneyland and California Adventure (my favorite!) with them. We are so glad that they came. We always have such a great time with them--although Friday's attempt at eating lunch was nobodys favorite. (Hunger+heat+two closed restaurants+winy kids=a lot of unhappy people.)

Haven and Ryder were pretty patient while waiting for the big kids to go on big rides

Haven begged and begged to go to Toon Town this trip. Tina and I took the four little people there while the big kids did their thing. They had such a blast is Mickey's house.

But I think they loved Minnie's house even more

We had some more fun in Bug's Land where Jacob was obviously embarrassed to be seen on the bumper cars

More Bug's Land--we had a good time cooling off there

Savannah can't hide her excitement at being on Heimlich's ride

Tina and I watched the Pixar Parade with Calvin, Ryder and Haven--it was super cute

The carousel in California Adventure

I'm hoping these pictures aren't too small--I love watching Savannah's face change

Tina and I are again hanging with the little people--this time on Dumbo

On Sunday we stopped off at the beach before leaving town. It was a little chilly and we had no intention of getting in the water. Of course Haven headed straight for the water and was a little surprised to see a wave coming right at her. She turned around to head away from it when it hit her from behind and flattened her in the sand. I walked back to the car to try to scrounge some clean clothes for her, and by the time I returned Ryder was soaked! I was so done with the beach for that trip.

Before

After

We really had such a great time even amidst some frustrating situations. Here are a few more tidbits:

- On Friday night we ate at Chick-Fil-A near the condo. When the lady gave me my receipt, she said that if I came back before the end of October I could get everything on the receipt for free! Guess where we ate Saturday night?

- It's not a good idea to try and leave Disneyland during one of their parades. We wanted to meet the Clarks on Thursday night in Downtown Disney. We tried to leave while the parade was going on and I ended up having unkind feelings towards everyone who stood watching in a walking zone. And it was a dumb parade to boot.

- The corndog place in California Adventure is closed right now! They are building some sort of Ariel attraction. You can still get a smaller version in the Farmer's Market near Bug's Land or on Main Street in Disneyland.

- Haven went on Soaring over California and Grizzly Rapids for the first time and loved them both! We couldn't get her to go on any other big rides, although Julia bravely went on Space Mountain and Tower of Terror.

- Ryder wanted to go on all the roller coasters but had to settle for only the Matterhorn. The Dastrups and Eric and the girls went with Ryder on the Matterhorn while I stayed out with Haven. While they waited in line, Ryder fell asleep and had to wake up before they would let him ride. He would not wake up! They tried everything but he wouldn't wake. Finally one of the workers yelled at him to wake up and it worked. I'm glad he awoke, because he had a great time on that ride.

- Our GPS was so helpful! It got us to Disneyland and wherever else we needed to go. It also helped us find a yummy pizza place on the way out of town. How did we ever travel without it?

- It was nice that Savannah and Sage could still use their annual passes. Sadly, though, we had to pay for Ryder because he is now three.

- I had to literally drag a kicking and screaming Ryder from one of the stores where he found a gun that he wanted.

- Rides we wanted to go on but didn't: Haunted Mansion, Toy Story, Nemo (Haven wanted to go on this one), Star Tours, and the Go Coaster (it was closed). But using the combination of stroller passes and fast passes, the kids all got to ride the best rides multiple times.

We had such a fun time. I can't wait to go back again even though I know it won't be for a long time. It was great to see the Dastrups and we always love spending time with the Clarks. And of course it was fun to be together as a family.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sweet is Debatable, But Savannah is 16!

I know this is long overdue, I am a blogging failure lately. In an effort to catch up I am going back to Savannah's 16th birthday in October. This was supposed to be a non-birthday party year due to our Disneyland trip, but it was hard to let this significant day go by without doing something special. The weekend before her birthday we actually invited a few friends and surprised Savannah with dinner at Red Robin followed by a movie projected on a screen in our backyard (thanks Ryan and Brooke!). It was a lot of fun and I think she had a good time.

Before we stuffed our faces

That's my girl

Apparently we weren't exciting enough for Hayley

16 balloons

Everything you need for a movie (check out the cute popcorn cones that Brooke made)

We also had some frosted mugs for root beer floats--Savannah LOVES frosted mugs

Jessica and Megan made this cute cake--what great friends!

Ryder and Haven think they can join in

Sage is ready for the movie to start

Savannah and Megan watching Princess Bride

Jessica and Sarah

On Savannah's actual birthday we had a little party at home.

Savannah wanted a French vanilla cake with whipped cream frosting

Singing Happy Birthday

In all fairness to Tanner, he did ask me several times for more ice cream before taking matters into his own hands

Savannah and Megan