Sunday, May 31, 2009

Once again behind in posting pictures!

Last week Carter tried Blue Moon ice cream for the first time ( i had never had it either but ALWAYS wanted to try it). He was a mess! We also went swimming in Grandma and Papa's pool for the first time this year. Carter ended the day in the hot tub with cousin Mason.

Friday night we went to the Whitecaps game with Riley's school. It was a beautiful night for a game and we had a nice time. They lost but it was still fun. Carter calls them the "cap caps" and he truly enjoys when we go.

Saturday morning our troop had a cookie booth at Zeeland Lumber. Riley really enjoyed it and we sold almost all the cookies we had left to sell.

Last night we celebrated Riley's 8th birthday. She is not yet 8 but we will be out of town for her birthday so we celebrated a couple weeks early. She had a flip flop themed party. Aunt Abby made her an awesome cake and we had a great time. It was truly the most enjoyable birthday party I have thrown. I had almost everything done and ready and could enjoy the party! It was really fun.

Riley got a 50 pack of cream cheese packets from Papa Dan. She is in heaven!

This is Riley going outside to see her new scooter from Papa Ron and Grandma Phyllis. I never got a picture of her on it. I am sure she will be on it in the future for me to get a picture.

We were able to get to the boat for a quick sail today before dropping Matt off at the airport. He is gone for ten days for work and to be honest we are not looking forward to it! It used to be normal for him to go away every week but we are not used to that anymore. It will be a long trip on our end!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Putting the boat in the water

Yesterday was the day. Matt was so excited to put the boat in the water. Everything went smooth. It is in the water, we got the motor running after just a little work and got out to sail for a while in the afternoon. We learned a lot about our new boat in a short time. The process was very impressive to me and I looked like a tourist snapping pictures of the whole thing. Some guy walked up to me as I was videotaping them lowering it into the water and said "New boat owners, eh?" I realized then that I stood out like a sore thumb! Oh well. We were excited!

Matt thought it would be funny to put Borculo, MI on the back of the boat. He wanted to put Borculo Yacht Club but I talked him out of that. For those of you that do not know, Borculo is not a town and best of all there is NO water here so the boat is not from here at all. We are just a four way stop with an ice cream shop. Our address is not Borculo but he thought that was funny.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A lot of things coming to an end...

This is the busiest time of the year as everything comes to an end for the summer. Last weekend Riley and I were invited to a "Tea Party" with other leaders and their daughters. It was soo nice and it was a great way to end the year of Girl Scouts. We had such a nice time. Riley dressed up so pretty too. I let her dress herself and she picked out lots of jewelry and we had a great time.

Monday we celebrated our troop's accomplishments with an awards ceremony. I cannot believe how much work it took to put a 45 minute family celebration together. However, it was really nice and the girls earned a lot of awards this year.

We are also finishing up our year of preschool. I think I really will be bored this summer! No more church, girl scouts, preschool, etc! But here is Carter on Tuesday with his snack that he made to look like a mouth. We were learning about teeth and the dentist.

Matt also home on Tues for the morning and he built my garden box. The kids thought it was a great place to dance.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Videos from the trip

This is in the hotel before we left when Carter was watching airplanes.

Carter wanted to dance with the characters at breakfast but as you can see he didn't last very long.

The Frog Hopper at Sea World

Pooh was so nice to take Carter by the hand and walk up the path with us. Sorry the video is sideways. I have tried to change it and cannot figure it out.

Carter was so tired the night before we left but he insisted that he eat some ice cream before going to bed.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Family Vacation-updated

I will apologize right up front because this will be a long and for most of you it will be a boring post. However, I want to put this in words for our memories. So enjoy the pictures and read if you wish.

May 1st:

We drove to Chicago to spend the night before flying out early the next day. We stopped for dinner at a famous burger place Matt had always wanted to try. So we ate at Redamaks in New Buffalo. It was awesome. The burger was outstanding!!! We got to the hotel at bedtime. We had a king bed and they were out of rollaways so we put Carter on the chair with the ottoman and he was pretty comfortable. We stayed right outside the airport so he could hear the planes coming and going. Needless to say no one got much sleep. Carter was too excited and he and Riley were at the window watching the planes at 6am. We had a quick breakfast and left for the airport.

May 2nd:
We had no problems at the airport and the shuttle/parking was GREAT! Carter watched the airplanes coming and going until it was time to go. He loved taking off as did the rest of us. I think it is the best part. He fell asleep shortly after we were in the air and Riley and I played games, colored and listened to music. When we got there we had to wait a while to get the rental car. Long line + slow clerks = long wait. We went right to the hotel, got checked in and went for dinner. Our room was perfect. We had expected a bedroom, living room and kitchen but Matt's friend (the GM) upgraded us to a 2 bedroom suite with two separate bedrooms, living room and kitchen. I even had a dishwasher!!! It was great. Of course the best part was no bill! :) I didn't take many pictures of the room though. After dinner we went and got some groceries and then went swimming.

May 3rd: Magic Kingdom

We started out early and we at the park before it opened. We were able to get the stroller and get in the park right at 9 am. The park was open until 11 that day and we planned on staying for the fireworks. We headed right to the rides we knew we wanted to get on before it got busy. The first thing we rode on was the tea cups. We love those. We were able to ride everything we wanted and didn't wait at all. We saw Minnie and Mickey's house as well as had our picture taken with them. It was really hot but we took a lot of breaks, made sure we had sunscreen on and drank a lot of water. We carried at least 5 bottles with us everyday. Riley was really bummed when we found out that Space Mountain is closed until this fall. She was really excited to ride that but soon realized she could ride other stuff. We had a nice lunch at a restaurant in Liberty Square. We watched the afternoon parade near the end by Splash Mountain and before it finished Matt and Riley went and got on the ride. This was the first of several water rides that Matt managed to break. It broke while they were some where on the ride. Carter and I waited patiently at the bottom for 45minutes. But once it started working again they gave them additional fast passes to get back on if they wanted because of the inconvenience. So Matt then took Carter on it and he loved it! I was a little nervous because Carter had been acting really unsure all day. In fact he had asked us several times to go home. We were thinking it was going to be a long week if he already wanted to leave after a couple hours! He soon got over that. We managed to make it until almost 8pm when we decided to call it quits. We knew we would be back to MK another day and thought we could catch the fireworks then.

Tea Cups

Riley driving at the speedway (Carter and Matt were in front of us) Our car would not go as fast as the rest so we kept getting passed.

Mickey's House

I happened to capture this moment and I am quite proud of it. This young lady had Down Syndrome and she was so much fun to watch. I watched her more than the parade because she was TRULY enjoying herself. But when the Genie spotted her he walked directly over to see her. He sat down, hugged her and waved at the parade with her. It was darling. She was so "star struck" and she smiled for the rest of the parade. I didn't realize the picture that I had because I would have liked to give it to her! her parents didn't have the same view that I had!

Splash Mountain

We wore them out on the first day!

Monday, May 4th:

We spent the second day at Epcot. Since we didn't make it to the fireworks the night before at MK we decided that we would try to make it to the ones at Epcot. That meant we would be in the park from 9-9 which would be a long day for Carter without a nap. We started out at Nemo and Friends. We saw Crush (turtle from Nemo) and we liked it as much as the kids! Then we rode Soarin' which was awesome! It really felt like we were flying. The kids wanted to get some more autographs so we waited in the longest line we had to wait in the whole time we were there to see Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Pluto. (I think it was 45 min) We ate lunch in Germany. Riley signed up to do the Kim Possible activity. It was really cool and you can see in the pictures that she got into it. It was a cell phone looking thing that she got clues on and they had her finding places/objects throughout a certain country. When she found the place she had to activate the clue with the phone. She made statues come to life, things appeared out of no where and images appeared on the walls. It was great and it kept her interested through several countries. We were worried they would not be interested in looking around World Showcase but they didn't want to quit. We managed to stay in the park all day and found a great spot for the fireworks. As soon as the fireworks ended we threw Carter in the stroller and headed to the exit. Carter was asleep within 5 minutes. Then we had to carry him from the stroller return to the car. We couldn't take the tram that night because we were parked too close but when you are carrying Carter nothing seems close! We stopped at McDonald's on the way back to the hotel for a LATE dinner and Carter never even knew we ate. He was so tired and he slept until morning.

Test Track ride

Cooling off at the misting car garage

Shopping for a new hat

Carter found this duck and wanted to have a picture with it. Why can't he pose so nicely when I ask???

Posing with the "big golf ball"

Solving her Kim Possible mission

May 5th:

Tuesday we went to Hollywood Studios where we started the day with a character breakfast at Hollywood and Vine Restaurant. We loved the fact that we got to go into the park before it opened and there was NO ONE else around when we got our picture taken.

Breakfast was really good and JoJo, Galiath, June and Leo all ate with us! It was a lot of fun. The characters came to the table throughout breakfast and gave autographs and we got pictures.

May 6th:

We went back to Magic Kingdom on Wednesday for the morning. The plan was to take it easy so we slept in a little bit and got to the park around 9:30 and rode all the rides we missed on Sunday. We were planning to leave the park around lunch time and go back to the hotel to swim, eat and nap. Then we were going to go back to the park for the nightly parade/fireworks. Well, we left a little later than we wanted to go go back to the hotel. We ate lunch, Carter napped before joining Matt and Riley in the pool and I got our laundry done.

After swimming we decided to go to Downtown Disney for some shopping and maybe dinner. We found some souvenirs and walked around for a while. The kids wanted to go play miniature golf so we left to get something to eat (there were waits and lines at all the places there, especially the dinosaur restaurant we wanted to check out) and realized while eating that it was already too late to play golf. We pushed that off to another night.

This is a dragon made out of legos.

May 7th:

Thursday we spent the day at SeaWorld.

Looking at the sharks outside the Underwater Shark Grill where we ate lunch.

Inside the grill eating lunch and watching the sharks.

Outside the Shamu show. This was the second attempt at getting wet. We sat in the soak zone in hopes to get wet however we didn't not have a drop of water hit us. We had amazing seats but didn't get wet. We blamed Matt since he had been on Splash Mountain when it broke. :)

Carter's size roller coaster called the Shamu Express. We were able to stay on for three rides because no one was in line. He loved it.

Riley was posing us for pictures.

Carter looking pretty warm. he was red in the face most of the time we were there. We attempted again to get wet here at the dolphin show. However, even in the soak zone we managed to stay dry! I need to mention that after we left the dolphin show we went to ride the water ride called Journey to Atlantis which we waited till later in the day to ride so we were not wet all day. We walked up to see them putting closed signs up because the ride had just broke down. That would be the fourth attempt at getting wet!

Manatee rescue statue. Riley (as well as the rest of us) loved the manatees.

The dolphins

My sun poisoning/heat rash or whatever it was was really bad and you can see it in the picture. It hurt so bad and itched like crazy.

Touching the sting rays

May 8th:

The last day of our vacation was spent at Animal Kingdom. We loved this park because it was beautiful and there was so much to look at.
The Tree of Life is behind us in this picture.

We were lucky enough to see Pooh, Tigger and Eyeore on our last day. The best part was when Pooh was leaving to go have some honey and we were leaving at the same time so he walked up the hill holding Carter's hand. He loved that!

The safari ride with animals everywhere!

The petting zoo

This was Matt's highlight of the trip. He went to Disney to have his turkey leg and we didn't get one until the last day. He enjoyed it but the kids loved it too so he had to share this time.

Riley and Matt wanted to go on the Kali River Rapids and I was dragging my feet because I saw how wet the people were when they got off that ride. I convinced them to wait until late afternoon so we were not walking around all day with wet clothes. So in another attempt to get wet on this vacation we got in line later in the day. About 15 minutes into waiting to ride, a Disney employee announced that the ride was experiencing technical difficulties and we could wait if we wanted but they didn't know how long it would take. Since it was our last day and we had not had much luck on water rides we decided to wait. We noticed the line started moving only to find out they had closed it and we had to leave. Needless to say we didn't have much luck on the water rides on this vacation! We did manage to ride Everest though, and that was amazing!

May 9th:

This is Buf Car! Carter fell in love with our rental car. The first day we were there, when we were getting out of the car at Magic Kingdom I looked back at the license plate to help me remember which car was ours. I thought is said BUF at the end. So I said to the kids, "It's Buf Car!" That would be easy to remember. The whole week we called it Buf car and the kids talked to it, sang to it and Matt would push the button to make the horn honk back at them when they were talking to it. It was really funny. Carter would be riding along and say "Sing it Buf car! Ten bottles of beer on the wall..." Anyway, when we got up the last day and told Carter we were leaving he started to cry because he didn't want to leave Buf car. When we went out to the car he wanted a picture with it so we told the kids to each stand by the license plate. At the same time Matt and I both realized that is didn't even say Buf, it said 8UF!!!! Oh well, we won't tell Carter! He had a complete meltdown at the airport when we dropped the car off. He cried real tears for 10-15 minutes almost sobbing! So here is Buf Car.

That is our vacation in a short novel! Sorry it is so long but like I mentioned at the beginning, we wanted to have it written down for our memories. I left out the character pictures to post them all together so here are the characters that we met.