Saturday, December 1, 2012

Disney Surprise

We have wanted to take the kids to Disneyland for a while now but I get very anxious going during busy times because of the crowds and lines! So when Trent came home for a quick visit, after working crazy hours for two weeks straight during Hurricane Sandy, we jumped at the chance to take advantage of a typically slow week at the magical kingdom.  The best part of the plan was that it was a complete surprise. This worked out for two reasons, I did not have to hear about it every minute of the day and there is nothing better than an awesome reaction to a surprise (oh there is actually a 3rd reason, Trent did all the packing while I was at work so the kids wouldn’t see him).

Wednesday afternoon I left work early so we would be able to pick the kids up from school and head out. Trent was amazing and thought of literally everything we would need. He went grocery shopping so that we could eat at the hotel, he had everything charged and he packed all the things the kids needed. He also cleaned the house!! AWESOME! With the van all packed up, we headed over to the kids school. They were a little surprised to see me, as I am never able to pick them up, but got in the car and chatted about their day. I told them we had a bunch of errands to run and we better take a quick bathroom break so we made a quick trip to the QT (which included purchasing sodas, milkshakes and snacks).  After driving for about 20 minutes, Aiden asked “where are we going?”. I responded, “where would you like to go?”, and was totally got off guard when he said “Disneyland”. After taking a minute to compose myself I responded with “okay, I think there is something here for you guys that you may need”. We then gave them a Disney gift bag with their game boys, candy and a Minnie/Mickey t-shirt. Aiden seemed confused and thanked us for the shirt but Anna started screaming her head off and yelled “We are really going to Disneyland?”  I don’t think they believed us for a few minutes until we assured them that it would be a very mean joke if we weren’t!

We decided to stay at the Disneyland Hotel to get the full experience. I will say the convenience of it is definitely worth it but other than the neat details of Mickey throughout the room, it was just a regular hotel room.  I loved being right next to Downtown Disney and it was definitely worth getting the magical hour where you get to enter the park an hour earlier than everyone else. I honestly don’t think we would have been able to ride on the new Cars ride if we didn’t get into the park early.  One of the best things we did this time around was bring bagels for breakfast and make sandwiches for lunch. It saved us a ton of money and allowed us to splurge on other things. I have always wanted to eat at the Bayou restaurant inside of Pirates of the Caribbean, so we booked a reservation and had lunch there on the first day. BIG DISAPPOINTMENT! Other than the awesome ambiance the food sucked and it was crazy expensive. Anna did not touch her $13.00 kids meal, which was a plain cold chicken breast and a side of spaghetti.  Oh well, lesson learned! I could live on the churros and that is what I did the next day.

Our first day in the park, we ran into one of my oldest friends, Edie MacDonald Gardner and her family. We didn’t have a lot of time to chat in the a.m. as we were in line for the Matterhorn but when we ran into them later at Toontown we ended up spending 5 hours with them cruising through California Adventures! She has kids the same age as mine (plus a gorgeous baby that makes me SOOOO want one) and our kids and husbands rode every single scary ride in that place! I could not believe that they even went on the Tower of Terror and liked it so much they did it again. I of course waited with Edie and the baby, in case she needed help! We had such a blast with them and it really made the day more fun. Next time, we will definitely want to go with friends.

We literally rode every single ride we wanted to and more than once. We were able to practically walk on the rides, which made the overall experience amazing. Anna was able to get lots of autographs and I was so grateful that she still loves her princesses. As great as it is that they are old enough and big enough to ride everything now, it was bittersweet that they weren’t more excited about the Disney hoopla as they once were. I was though and would love to go with people who want to see every show and deck themselves in full Disney gear!

It was a perfect trip and we had an amazing time. It will definitely be a trip I remember for a lifetime, and the kids are at the age where they should too!

Such a fun surprise to run into my oldest friend, Edie!

Aiden and Anna with Taylor and Tyson
I love that I caught him looking scared....especially since it was just Thunder Mtn. :)

Nothing worse than getting wet, especially when it's kind of chilly out!

crazy kids.....I can't believe they went on California Screaming! And more than once!

I'm so glad Anna is still excited to see her princesses!

This is how excited I am to see the parade....

This is how excited Trent is to see the parade...
Here's the kids faking there excitement to see the parade....

Here's Trent trying to show more enthusiasm....


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Anna's Choice

How it is possible that our baby girl is 8 years old is beyond me, but what an exciting time it is in her life. After being literally one of the last 2 girls in her group of friends to turn 8, she was more than ready for her turn to be baptized. I love that in our faith we wait until the children are 8 so that they are fully present and cognizant of this sacred ordinance . We have had lots of talks with Anna about what it means to be baptized and the covenant she will be making with her Heavenly Father. She is excited to follow the example of Jesus and become a member of his church. As I have watched her mature and develop, especially this past year, I know that she is at the age of accountability and is able to make important choices. She has chosen to be baptized and we are very grateful for her decision.

Her baptism was a special day filled with people who love her and support her choice. Her Nana gave an awesome talk about baptism and Anna was able to share the day with one of her good friends Krystal. Her dad was home to perform the baptism and confirmation which is always awesome to witness. I am especially grateful that he has made the choices he has made to be able to hold the priesthood and perform these ordinances. He gave her a beautiful blessing and for a man of little words he sure had a lot of amazing this things to say! After the baptism we went back to our house for a very casual get together.

Anna looked so beautiful dressed in white and we are very proud parents. She is a such a needed part of this family and a unique spirit. I am always surprised by her witty comments and how aware she is of her environment. She never ceases to amaze me with her insight and strong testimony of the gospel. We of course think she is the most adorable thing on the planet and feel very blessed to have her in our lives!

Grandpa Dan, Uncle Adam and Cousin Maddie

Nana and Papa

Coco and Mel

Papa Andy

Mattie, Natalie and Addy

Krystal and Anna right after the baptismal ordinance doing their quick change

This is quite a group! Anna has a lot of people who love her!

Berkley, Presley and Paisley...could they be any cuter???

Berkley, Presley, Paisley, Maddy, Maddie, Matty and McKenna

McKenna and Jackson....seriously right? Love these kids!

Grammie and Papa Andy

Anna was excited to get her own scriptures!

Nana searched high and low for some of this candy! We loved it!


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Move over Buddy....There is a New Cake Boss in Town!

For Anna's big #8 we had a cake themed party with 12 girls! The day before the party I went ahead and baked the cakes so that they could spend their time decorating instead of baking! Considering I could only bake three cakes at a time it took awhile!

I bought very affordable aprons and chef hats for each girl and added a personal touch to them. The names and cupcakes for the aprons were cut from heat transfer paper on my new Silhouette (which I am obsessed with, sorry Cricut I've moved on). I made the flowers for the chef hats  using a tutorial found on Just Between Friends.   I then turned the kitchen/dining area into a bakery! Everything turned out super cute and I was happy with the results. Most importantly Anna and her friends had a great time!
Inspiration for the invitations came from here!

How cute are these streamers....made from cupcake liners! The inspiration for this party came from the HTWM blog here.

The cupcake liners came from Sweets and Treats (most of them I bought on cute!).

Natalie Mills

McKenna is just a little bored as she patiently waits for the fun to begin!

Maddy Stevens

Crystal & Natalie


now McKenna is enjoying herself!


Maddie Germer

Mattie Price (yes, that's right there were 3 Maddie's and they all spell it differently :)

Melanie Cardon

Learning to use fondant....this was a first for me too!

Colette Cardon

I made cute cake plates out of a plate and candlestick from the dollar store. The idea came from Crafting Chicks blog. I spray painted them in different colors. I guess they aren't food safe once you spray paint the add a doily before you put food on them! Easy and cheap party favor!

Melanie's new name is the "Poser".

My mistake...I casually mentioned that I couldn't wait to see the girls eat their cakes because they were full of frosting and candy. Anna looked right at me and said "okay, watch this..." Then the fun really started!

Melanie had been waiting to shove her face in the cake since the party started! Glad I was there to witness her do it!

Nice Nana....real nice!

where did this guy come from?

How do you wash off all that cake...jump in the shower in your clothes, of course!