Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Every year I plan to type up a clever, pithy note to accompany our Christmas cards to our friends and family across the country and every year it just does not happen.  So here's my back up...

2010 has been a year of firsts for us:

Samuel, 2nd grade, started piano lessons (which he loves!), performed for the first time in his school's variety show and offers mini concerts for anyone who visits our home.  He is also reading up a storm and continuing to play soccer in his free time.

James, Kindergarten, participated in his first ever art class- complete with art show.  He is loving school and spends lots of time working on his reading and math skills, drawing pictures of anything and everything, and playing soccer.

Matthew had his first birthday in August and he covered lots of those usual major firsts leading up to it:  sitting, eating table food, playing with toys, tackling his brothers... the walking came a couple of months later- during another first:

We took the kids to Walt Disney World!!  It was a first for me ( I had never been further south than Myrtle Beach, SC) and for the kids.  John had been years ago when he was a kid.  It was an amazing trip and I promise I will finish blogging about it now that the holidays are almost over.  In the meantime, check out some of the previous posts.

John is keeping busy with work and is still serving as the stake clerk at church.  This was the first season since Sam started soccer that John didn't coach.  He enjoyed watching from the sidelines.

As for me, I spend a lot of time chasing after the boys!  =)  In November I was asked to serve in the Relief Society presidency at church and after surviving my third Messiah production, was released from my stake duties.  Whew!

We send lots of love to all of our family and friends out there and send hopes for a healthy and happy new year!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Disney Day 3 - Epcot

We decided to attempt the impossible and try to see all of Epcot in one day.  Lucky for us it opened an hour early- at 8:00am and didn't close until 9:00pm so we had lots of time to meet our goal.  First off: a picture in front of the giant ball and then race over to "Soarin" - an awesome ride that feels like you really are hang gliding over California.  Next we visited the other attractions in the land pavilion, the imagination pavilion, watched Captain EO, surfed through the ocean pavilion, and went on the travel through time ride (the ride inside the giant ball)- all before lunch.  By the time we sat down for a late lunch, the last couple days of non stop action were starting to catch up with me and I was BORED out of my mind.  Don't get me wrong, some of the things we had seen were interesting, just not quite what I had been expecting and I was itching to get to the international section- which was still several pavilions away. 
The food woke us all up a little bit and we headed over to the space pavilion.  The ride there was a space shuttle flight to Mars.  The boys are still talking about this ride, two weeks after the fact.  It was really awesome.  Next we headed over to the test track.  It was a ride where you test drive a car over pot holes, through hot and cold weather, through sudden stops and then a high speed roller coaster type ride.  This was another favorite for John and I and the boys.  At this point it was almost 5:00 and I was ready to hit the international loop but the boys still wanted to go to the Energy Pavilion to see the dinosaurs.  So John and I decided to divide and conquer.  Matthew and I went to scope out the International scene and John took the boys on the 45 min dinosaur/energy excursion.
As soon as I set foot in Great Britain I was in love. The atmosphere changed distinctly with each different country and walking around the loop really felt like a mini trip around the world-minus the jet lag. My favorite section had to be Morocco but I seriously loved all of the countries. I was kicking myself for not ditching the kids earlier- ok, I'm kidding... mostly. When I got to Italy, a mini replica of San Marco's square in Venice (where we have actually been before) there was a clown juggling soccer balls and playing catch with some kids. I watched the show for a while then continued on to meet John and the boys in Mexico. We stopped in Norway or Sweden to ride with the Vikings and then continued on back to Italy for our dinner at Via Napoli. At this point the kids were completely exhausted. We made it through dinner, though barely, and we're ready to head back to the hotel without staying for the fireworks. Luckily, an extra long line for the bathroom delayed us enough that we stayed to watch them. The fireworks at Epcot are shot out over the water surrounded by the different countries. There is a giant globe in the middle of the water that creates a light show complete with pictures that show up on it during the fireworks and then at the end it bursts open and shoots out more fireworks. Very cool. After that we dragged ourselves home to bed.
Oh and one more thing, after dinner Matthew decided it was a good time to start walking.  He strolled around Italy without a care in the world- charming passers by as he did his victory lap.