Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Just a Swingin'

We gave our kids their swing set for Christmas.  Mr. Safety (aka Big Daddy) had held onto 'they don't need anything bigger than Little Tykes' a year or two too long.  
With JR being so big, ML not being an outdoor girl, and our neighborhood being so 'front porch' oriented, we worried that it might not be used much.  My mother in law actually advised against us buying one.  
But I felt like every kid should have one 'big kid' playset.  So I insisted, and we invested in a small playground.
 We should have invested quite a bit more!  ML and JR LOVE this playset!  ML probably more than JR, but that's just because JR spends more time with his friends out front.
 This girl LOVES to soar high up into the air on the swing.  This is usually what she does every night while I cook dinner.
 I love this girl and her free spirit!

 She loves to run:
 And jump!
That last photo cracks me up.  Evidently they are learning how to leap in ballet and now ML is leaping everywhere!
Tuesday, August 28, 2012

JR's First Pep Rally

Last Friday was such a fun day!  JR had his first pep rally (for his little football team - how cute is that?) and the whole grammar school participated.  

This year I am room mom for both JR and ML's classes, which sounds like a lot, but I'm lucky to have a great group of parents to work with in JR's class, so I just do most of the set up/ take down in JR's class and one of the other parents actually oversees the parties/ events.  In ML's class, I do the set up/ take down and I make sure I'm able to be in the room during the parties - so fun! 
 For the Pep Rally each class made signs/ pennants and we had face paint on hand in case anyone wanted their face painted.  It was so cute seeing them all with their 'Warrior' stripes!

Some of the big kids with their signs:

It was LOUD in the PE gym  REALLY LOUD - this photo almost captures how excited they were!:

The school mascot was there.  Here he is with some of the little sisters of the football players:

The Varsity cheerleaders came.  I think JR was beside himself over that.

The team gathered, waiting to have their names called out and run through the 'tunnel' the cheerleaders created:

The 'tunnel' of cheerleaders:

JR and two sweet friends at the Pep Rally:

Such a great, memorable event!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Run, run, run as fast as you can...

It has been a full on nutty two weeks!  Football, dance, choir, life! has kept us on the run.  

JR at his first game of the season (a jamboree):

Loving that #15!

We were invited to a Roaring 20's birthday party.  So fun!

This weekend, I got to help craft for a construction themed dinner at church:
These photos don't do the cuteness of the event justice.  Those centerpieces are adorable - all thought up in the mind of my creative friend, Leah.  Those are building plans on the tables, so cute!

Big Daddy was in a skit at the event.  He was in typical Big Daddy form.  Hysterical!

On Saturday we had a meeting to attend, so the kids stayed with a sitter until we went to JR's football game.  After the game we had a late lunch and then we split up.  Big Daddy and JR left for home and ML and I went to a birthday party at Chuck E Cheese:

From that party, it was straight to a local place where our friends gathered to celebrate Big Daddy's birthday in style.
It was a great evening that turned into a great night.  We love dining on this patio!  The live music and atmosphere made it hard to leave, but eventually the kids were 'done.' so we headed home.
We brought a couple extra with us for a sleep over.
After church, helping someone move, visiting the grandparents, and another meeting tonight, Big Daddy and I are 'done' too.  It was a great weekend!
Friday, August 24, 2012

On our way home

After we dropped Big Daddy off at the airport in Orlando, we had the option of returning to the beach for up to a week longer, but at that point I was so ready to be home it wasn't even funny.  In the month of July I spent just 11 nights in my bed.  Eleven!  As much as I love to travel, I was ready for my home.
We always take 2 days to drive the 12 hour trip home from the beach.  It's more fun for everyone that way.  Of course, we wanted to fit in a few stops.  
The Olympics were in full swing, so we stopped off in Atlanta and visited:
Olympic Centennial Park!
The kids loved playing in the fountains:
Lots of lovely sculptures:

And the playground:
Then it was time for another Atlanta favorite: The Varsity!
Check out this photo bomb in the pic below.  At the time I didn't even see that guy in the background.  When I got home, we laughed so hard at him!:

Later, we stopped at the Etowah Indian Mounds in Georgia:
It was a beautiful day, but it was SO HOT!!!!
They even had signs up saying 'remember to drink plenty of water.'  I joked that at that moment, I wished JR wasn't able to read road signs yet.  Ha!
Of course we had to climb the mounds, so we made the sweaty journey to the top:
The views were amazing. No wonder all the indian chiefs lived up there!  In the distance you can see the moat they dug around the village - that's where they got the dirt to build the mounds.  Isn't it fascinating?

We were all exhausted after our visit to the mounds, but we made one last stop right before we crossed over the Alabama state line - The World's Longest Yard Sale was going on!  We had no idea, but we had a good time looking around (sorry no pictures.)  And then finally, we were home!  School was just days away and my bed was as awesome as I remembered.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

You knew we HAD to do it....Right?

If you know us - you know our love of all things Disneyworld.  So when we had to take Big Daddy to the Orlando airport (to fly home) in August, we had a few things at Disney we wanted to do. 
#1 on our list was seeing the new Value resort - Art of Animation.
Even before we drove in, we knew this resort was going to be special.  We told the security guard at the gate that we just wanted to tour the new resort and, after showing him our identification, before we could do anything else, he told us all about the resort.  He told us about the amazing new food court, the unique design of the resort, and on and on.  It was amazing how much he knew!  And that was just the security guard.
We parked and made our way inside.  Rain was headed our direction.
Inside, the lobby was impressive:

And the entrance to the food court/ gift shop:
I loved everything about the food court!  They made little improvements to everything about the Value food court design.  Even the 'bussing' stations were more efficient and impressive:
In addition to cool seating areas, the kitchens were amazing.  The food prep area is 80% visible (the result of many customer surveys - I thought it was cool.  I know I like being able to see where my food is being prepared, how clean it is, etc. so I thought it was awesome!)  Also, ML wanted a grilled cheese for lunch - and even though it wasn't on the menu, they made one for her!  Fantastic!
Our lunch was awesome!  Everything is very fresh and healthy at the AofA food court.  You can still get a few fried things if you'd like, but most things are geared toward healthy (but tasty!) eating.

After lunch the rain mostly went away, so we went on a guided tour of the resort. Here's the main pool - the Nemo pool!
It is the largest pool - not in a water park- on Disney property!  Some super cool features include being able to hear Dory speak whale while you are underwater - amazing!

The Lion King section wasn't quite open when we were there, so we toured a suite in the Cars section:

Everything at this resort is themed so intricately.  Our tour guide said that Disney had tried to add that 'immersion' feel that the other Value resorts were lacking - and it shows.  You really do feel immersed in the scenery.

Unlike other Disney Value (and even moderate!) resorts, the AofA family suites have indoor hallways:

This dining area becomes a bed with one pull of the handle (and removal of the chairs.)

Bathroom #1 vanity:

I love the thoughtful details, like this pocket door (takes up less space in the bathroom when the door is open.)  You can see the bathtub/ shower curtain for bathroom #1 in the background.

I don't have a picture of the couch that is to the left (right beside the coffee table) in this pic, but it is so cute.  It looks like the leather seat of an old car and it pulls out into a bed as well.  What's special about this bed, is that it's made from 3 pieces of memory foam that become one big piece when the bed is pulled out.  So, a nice comfortable place to sleep after a long day in the parks.  No more weird couch bed springs poking you!:

Master bedroom bed:

Master bathroom.  Hellooooo shower!:

Breakfast nook bed open:


After the suite tour, we walked around a bit more and saw the playground:

And then it was time to take Big Daddy to the airport.  
I hope you enjoyed this tour of the Art of Animation Resort!  We can't wait to stay there.