Saturday, February 23, 2013

Scrapbooking & Piano Recital

This weekend I went to a scrapbook retreat with my friends Betsy and Melinda. It was great all that time trying to get caught up. I completed 49 2-page layouts!

Meanwhile, Clay had a busy weekend with the girls. They went out to lunch with Uncle Jay.
Emma had a piano recital in the evening. I know, I hated to miss it. But I paid for this retreat back in Sept way before they even had a date picked out for the recital.
They had 6 pianos on the stage. Each piano had 2 students playing the same duet. 
 Emma is the one with the short sleeves on the white piano. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

New Haircut

Rebekah has been asking to get her hair cut for a little while now. I kept putting her off I think she just wants the lollipop at the end, and I'm not ready for it. She finally asked me when I would take her so I promised to do it after we got back from FL. She kept me to my word and I took her in. They cut off about 5 or 6 inches! That's what she wanted and she does look cute.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Islands of Adventure

My girls were so excited to go to Universal's Islands of Adventure. They wanted to go back to the Wizarding World or Harry Potter! Emma asked me to make her a Slytherin shirt for her to wear. I made a Hufflepuff one for Rebekah too. Emma even read Rebekah the first couple of chapters of the Sorcerer's Stone to Rebekah on the drive down. Rebekah really wanted to go on the Forbidden Journey ride which requires you to be 48". I measured her and Rebekah is about 46.5" tall. She ran and got her "tall shoes". They were black loafers with a thick heal. I measured her again, right at 48". However, when we got to the park she went up to the measuring post and her head passed right under the bar. Everyone made a quick huddle around her while I took off my socks, rolled them, and shoved them under her heal. Heather said an employee spotted us and said "Good luck!" Well it worked. She now hit the bar with her head. And it was worth it. She loved the ride. Well, she had her eyes closed the whole time. We went back later for a 2nd ride. There was a great employee who hammed it up with her. She said she went on it already but had her eyes closed the whole time. He told her she had to keep them open or he would keep sending her back on the ride until she did. When we got off she said "I kept them open until the skeletons (the dementors) came." That's pretty good.

We also rode on the Dragon Challenge, and The Hulk. Both had loops. I really liked the Hulk, it has a sneaky start. Of course, we went on Spider Man too. They have improved the movie portion of the ride. I think it must be in HD 3D now.

 Dr Seuss Landing is such a fun and colorful place.

Here's the cousins all together. And I finally got a shot of Rebekah holding hands with Nathan.

This was our last day together. Mike & Heather took an early flight in the morning. Heather's parents took them to the airport and then started the drive back to Mississippi. The girls and I cleaned out the house and then started our own drive back. 15 hours later we made it home.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Mike and family planned on starting their day at Animal Kingdom and then going to Epcot. We decided just to go to Epcot and meet them there later. We went on Spaceship Earth, Soarin', the Seas with Nemo & Friends, and then into the World Showcase area. Last time we were there they had a Kim Possible mission/scavenger hunt thing that the girls loved. Well they changed it to Agent P from Phineas & Ferb. We started in Norway. Then Emma did Mexico followed by France. Rebekah got tired of it so we just sat and ate an ice cream while Emma ran around. It really is a fun way to explore the countries, but does take a bit of running around. Emma saved China to do with her cousins. They had a great time with that. I noticed that each of them had different tasks to do in China. I had thought it would all be the same. I guess this way you can do it a few different times and not get bored.

Emma recently did a report on Buckminster_Fuller who gets credit for designing a Geodesic Dome, just like the one here at Epcot.

 Here's some more fun stuff we did. Emma loved watching the dolphin training.

When we met up with Mike et al., we went on Mission: SPACE. I have refused to go on that ride because I do not like spinning. However, Heather told me that the green line doesn't spin at all! It was actually pretty cool. I rode with her parents, Marty & Judy, and we had fun laughing about hitting the buttons in time and whose fault is was that we crashed. After that everyone went on Test Track, but Rebekah wanted to go on Soarin' so I took her. I was bummed to learn that they revamped Test Track. Oh well, I'm sure we will go again.

The interesting thing about this trip is that I never really was with my girls. They glued onto their Uncle Mike and Auntie Heather or their cousins. Ben and Emma never ran out of things to say to each other. And Rebekah was constantly holding Nathan's hand. If there was ever a ride that Rebekah couldn't go on (or didn't want to) then "Grandpa" Marty & "Grandma" Judy took her. I don't recall that the girls ever asked to sit with me on a ride.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Magic Kingdom

When going to Disney World you have to go to the Magic Kingdom. It is the iconic park with the big castle. We were excited to check out the new Fantasyland.

See that pig crane behind the Castle? There were some guys in a basket cleaning or painting the Castle.
Here's some of the regular rides -Tea Cups and Carousel of Progress.
I took this picture of Emma at Small World. I sent it to her piano teacher saying that she was still doing her piano practice even while on vacation. Emma has a recital coming up and one of the pieces she is playing is It's a Small World.
 The new Fantasyland wasn't as exciting as I hoped. First off, it is not completed yet. We hoped to eat at the Be Our Guest restaurant for lunch, but the line was so incredibly long. The line for Enchanted Stories with Belle was also around 75 minutes. However, we did make it to the Ariel's Undersea Adventure ride. They did a pretty good job with the animatronics.

Splash Mountain was closed. We went on Space Mountain. I have to say that I like the on at Disneyland better. Here you sit in single seats. At Disneyland it's a 2-seater with speakers on either side of the headrest so the music goes with you. However, I do like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad better here at Disney World. It's just a bigger, steeper ride. We did have a special surprise treat. While we were on the people mover ride Space Mountain shut down and they turned the lights on! I snapped a quick picture before we passed it. I don't know why that is so exciting, but it is!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Hollywood Studios

My brother, Michael, and his family live in Shanghai, China. He is an imagineer working on Shanghai Disneyland. It's a pretty cool job if you ask me.

They came to the States for a vacation to see family. All the rest of my family lives on the west coast. They asked if we wanted to meet up with them in Orlando. Of course!!!

Unfortunately, Clay had a big review coming up at work. He was working very long hours and was not able to take the time off to go with the girls and I. So my dear friend, Melinda, volunteered to take his place ;) It was great to have someone to help me drive down to FL. She even read a book aloud for me!

Our first stop was Hollywood Studios. It is my favorite Disney World park. My absolute favorite roller coaster ever is the Aerosmith Rockin' Roller Coaster. I also love the Star Tours and Toy Story Midway Mania.
 I took the girls into Walt Disney: One Man's Dream. It was a little walk-through of the history of Walt's animation. Rebekah like the models of the Cinderella's and Sleeping Beauty's Castles.
Oswald was Walt Disney's first creation when he was working for Universal Studios. Disney finally traded an Executive (actual person) for the rights to Oswald. If you noticed in the group pictures my nephew, Nathan, is sporting Oswald ears (instead of the traditional Mickey ears). 

A surprise was a scale model of the New Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom. You can check it out below.
This model is from Tokyo DisneySea. I got to see this in real life. Mike, Heather, and newborn Nathan were living in Tokyo while Mike was working on Tokyo DisneySea back in 2001. I got to go visit them there. When we went to Tokyo Disneyland I could see into the DisneySea park. I remember seeing this part of the park under construction.  
I love this picture of the kids. They wanted to go on the Tower of Terror. The line said 50 minutes. Turned out to me closer to 2 hours. They got pretty crazy. Last year Rebekah loved this ride. She and her friend Evan were laughing the whole time. This time there were some very loud guests who screamed with terror. Rebekah came off the ride in tears.