Friday, June 27, 2014

Feathered Friend Friday

I don't care much for bird shows, and totally not into parrots and such for pets, but the bird show we saw in St. Thomas was pretty much the most awesome thing ever.
As you can see by the pictures, a crazy bird lady has trained her birds to be held like babies.  She can even throw them up in the air in this position and catch them (they just lie still like they are).
Look how excited Kyle and Reed's faces are to be holding these birds.

The birds (who she's had for 35 years) also play basketball, ride bicycles, and roller skate.
She told us they'll live to be about 85, and that they are going to go to a zoo in Australia once she can't care for them anymore.

When it was Kyle's turn to get his individual picture made he said, "I'm taking off my hat, I want to feel the bird on my head!"

I've never been so excited about seeing some birds in my life, I even told the crazy bird lady she should try out for America's Got Talent.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Not a lot of Him

I have to be real honest, I didn't see a whole lot of JR on the cruise.
As an 11 year old, he was able to go the tween club, and even more exciting (for him especially) he could check himself in and out of it, which basically means he could do whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted while he was on the boat.
He came back to the room each evening to go to the nightly show and dinner, but other than that he did his own thing. (And as soon as he was done eating dinner, off he went.)

He'd head off to "the club" and say, "I'm going to improv class" or "I'm going to a cooking class".  He stayed out every night until 1:00 AM when they shut down.  (I know!)

But it's not like we didn't ever see him throughout the day.
We'd run in to him at the pool

and around the boat

and I could always count on running in to him picking up a spicy chicken sandwich
(I think he ate at least 3 a day).

But we gave him a lot of freedom to do his own thing, and we were very proud of how he handled it.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

My Aqua Duck

Kyle also really enjoyed the kids' club (here he is after Toy Story boot camp with the green army men) but he spent most of his cruise in the water.

 He went from the Donald pool to the Mickey pool all day long.
On the Mickey slide
Snorkeling at Castaway Cay.
(BTW, Bringing our own snorkels and having them practice before we left was the best thing I could have done!)
The slide at Castaway Cay
But he said his very favorite thing was the Aqua Duck.
Here is a section of it. (It circles around the pool area, so it finishes back below where it starts. You're looking at the start.)

We checked out the Aqua Duck online before we left, and it said you had to be 7. 
We had already cried and gotten out all our tears about not being able to do it before we left.
But when we got there, Kyle marched right up to the lifeguard in charge and found out if you weren't 7 it was a height requirement (which they met). 
He came back with an arm band and told us all he needed to ride was a parent to do it with him. 
Needless to say, Jason and I rode the Aqua Duck many, many times. 
Here's Jason and Kyle on one of their many rides.

Kyle and JR are both really good about not being shy around adults.  Neither of them have any fear of asking questions or talking to people in "authority". 
Because of this, we put Kyle in charge of ordering all our room service.
(We found we usually needed a snack while getting ready for our 6:15 show to tide us over until our 8:15 dinner seating...cause, ya know, eating all day long hadn't filled us up yet.)
Here he is ordering up some chicken strips.
 A little after-swim room service on the balcony.
Kyle was the least interested in the characters of anybody, but his eyes lit up when we just happen to see Phineas and Ferb. 
He gave them both huge hugs and asked, "Where's Perry?!"  I was glad he got to see them.
We also saw Captain Hook one night. I'm not sure Kyle even knew who he was.
Yes, my little "aqua duck" certainly enjoyed himself.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


I figured I finally better get to writing about the cruise. So here goes...
 Jason and I said many times our kids were the exact perfect ages for this trip.  Everyone got to do exactly what they wanted, when they wanted. 
So I'll start with the youngest and work up. 
This is my favorite picture of Reed.  Yes, he's wearing a tuxedo that he picked out and had me buy for him special for formal night. 
(I also think he looks like he's Jason's ventriloquist doll.)

All of the kids had one thing in common.  Seeing the characters was at the bottom of their lists.  There were way too many fun things to do besides stand in line for pictures, so the character pictures we did get were ones when the kids just happened by at the end of a greeting when there were only 2 or less people in line. (If there were more than 2 people they refused to wait.) 
I also don't have any pictures of all 3 of them with a character because they were hardly ever all together.

 Here JR and Reed ran in to Woody after being at the pool.

Reed loved the pool and the kids' club, but what he loved more than anything was going to animation class. This class was really more for tweens and up, but Reed went to class and participated just like he was an adult. 
(I went with him just in case, but he would have been just fine without me.)
His first class was Donald Duck (he actually did go to this specific class in the kids' club).
They give you pencils without erasers which just about killed Reed, but I guess people would erase and redo and never finish the class.  So whatever you put down on paper the first time is what you walk away with.
Our first class together was Buzz Lightyear.  They said this is the hardest character they teach because he's a person and not an animal (and people are harder to draw than animals).  Reed couldn't stand the guidelines on the paper, so he used his own eraser and got rid of them when we got back to the room. (You can see where he erased them.)
We also went to a Pooh and Tigger class. 
I was feeling pretty good about my Pooh until I looked at how good Reed's is!
Tigger is supposed to be one of the easier ones, but you can see Reed and I both had trouble with his chin...and since you don't have an eraser, it just had to stay that way. 
When I asked the kids what their very favorite thing was from the whole week, Reed said the drawing classes. 
He even continued to draw Disney characters on the way home!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Lucky 13

Jason and I have been married 13 years today.
Nothing says "anniversary" like a Nemo's Reef photo bomb.

We're celebrating tonight by watching TV.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Pre Cruise Crafting

 I did a tiny bit of research into Disney cruises before we left.  
(Seriously, I really didn't put much time into it.)
And I quickly found out that everybody decorates their door. 
(People have way too much time on their hands.) 
Not only do people go all out on this, but decorating Disney cruise doors is so "important" that you can actually buy pre-made and custom door decorations.
I knew my kids would act deprived if they had the only undecorated door on the ship, so before we left I grabbed some stars, stickers, and magnets from Hobby Lobby and whipped these up. 
The whale I found in the craft section of WalMart and slapped a magnet on it too.


And before you (my mom) tell me how "great" our door looked,  just look at our neighbors' doors.
On a side note, Jason almost got thrown overboard when he jokingly asked me why I didn't make new magnets for every day of the week!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Side Effects

Guess what the side effects of being on a week long Disney Cruise are?
(Besides 6 loads of laundry.)
Being completely and totally wiped out. 

And also having JR cry himself to sleep because he misses it so much...and "we'll never, ever, ever take a better vacation."
He has "nothing more to look forward to because nothing will ever be as fun. Ever."
But to be fair, he started crying on Thursday about having to get off the ship today.

Saturday, June 14, 2014


I'm writing this on Friday before we fly to Orlando and drive down to Cape Canaveral. Then on Saturday we are boarding the Disney Fantasy for our first Disney Cruise.
We'll be gone for a week, hitting up St. Maarten, St. Thomas, and Disney's private island, Castaway Cay.
Jason and I aren't huge Disney fans (I mean, it's fine, I'm just not one of those people who gets super excited about it), but all of us really like cruises.  Reed even said, "I really want to go on a Disney cruise, but if we can't take a Disney cruise can we just go on any kind of cruise?"
So I'll be back next week with adventures from the sea.

Friday, June 13, 2014

They're Crafty

I guess it makes sense that Reed loves crafts, but I still find it funny how much Kyle loves them too.
They are always begging me to do crafts with them, and I promised myself I would try to do some easy ones with them this summer.
We happened upon a tooth pillow kit on the clearance rack at Hobby Lobby and so they each made a tooth pillow.  This one was right up my alley because all the pieces were pre-cut.  I just had to help them sew a little.  Not sure Kyle has many more teeth to put in his (I swear that kid has lost almost all of them) but Reed will have plenty since he still hasn't had one fall out on its own.

We also did a perler bead craft.  This required complete adult help.
(Actually 2 adults, my mom and I both had to help on this one.)
After they finished making their animals I threw everything else away as I don't want anybody asking to make anything related to these little beads again.
Kyle with his cat.
Reed with his dog.
We got a package of Presto Dots in the art basket we bought at the JDRF fundraiser. 
Reed calls it "clay-dough" and was able to make something similar to the picture on the box without my assistance...which is the best kind of craft there is!
Reed keeps begging for canvases, so I see a big art project in our future.
I'll keep you updated.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


When we were in Hawaii we took the kids on a snorkeling trip.
Nobody could snorkel...and there were tears.
I also think I almost drowned trying to teach one of them, but I might be exaggerating a bit.
(But probably not.)
Looking back, jumping off a boat into ridiculously deep ocean water and thinking they would just miraculously snorkel was probably not a well thought out expectation.
So I bought them some cheapy snorkels yesterday so they could practice for our upcoming cruise.
I told them to sit on the steps in the shallow end and practice learning how to stick their faces in and breathe.

Then they progressed to the floaty.
And finally, I have 2 new snorkelers to add to the family!

Monday, June 9, 2014

What the Kids Were Doing

While I was in Dallas, JR was with my parents, and Kyle and Reed went to Jason's new deer lease.
Jason called me on Saturday and reported that Kyle had "burned himself in the fire, gotten in a fire ant bed, and cut himself with a knife." I told Jason that maybe he might want to "watch Kyle".
Even with all the "injuries" the boys couldn't have had more fun.
Here are two of the pictures Jason sent me.
Now, I normally wouldn't post these, but both of them have a look of sheer joy on their faces.
I'm going to warn you there's a dead rabbit in the pictures, so if that's something you don't want to see, stop reading here and come back tomorrow.
The text I got said "Big kill for the weekend".
Just look at those smiles, I'd say they were loving it.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Party Weekend

Friday I headed up to Dallas for the weekend.
I met up with Caroline, and our luck of finding ourselves in ridiculous situations continued.
(This has been a trend for us since we were freshman in college.)
As we were pulling out of a shopping center behind a UPS truck, 6 of his packages flew out of the back. Caroline and I consider ourselves the heroes of this story as we stopped traffic, picked up the packages, and found a UPS truck (after going into a FedEX store like they could help us) to give the packages to. 
Somebody got their contacts, medicine, pictures (we think), golf supplies, and random Amazon package because of us.
You're welcome.
Here we are looking for a UPS store.
Then Saturday I was one of the hostesses at my friend, Marcia's, sip and see for her new baby girl.  It was a Mad Hatter Tea Party and I think it looked great.  Lots of the decorative items are things I took out of my parents' house.

 Front view

Back view

None of us are talented enough to make these cake pops, but we knew how to stick them in a purple top hat to make them look even cuter!

And our drink table
I went home with Kelly and thought we were heading out by ourselves for the evening.
They totally surprised me to celebrate my birthday. (Which is this week. Shhh! Don't talk about it!)
I couldn't believe it when I walked in and all my girlfriends were sitting there!
I even had birthday cake with my parents when I swung by their house on the way home to pick up JR.
Definitely a good weekend.