Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Day after Christmas

I had to head to work today...boohoo.  I was extremely tired.  Not a lot of sleep for the last couple of days and last night I got 3 hours of sleep tops.  The day wasn't as busy at work as I thought it was going to be which was good because I felt so dazed!  Hpoefully tomorrow is the same because I don't foresee a ton of sleep for me tonight either.

I got home around 3pm and we took the kids to Game Stop so they could spend their gift cards graciously given from grandma and poppy!  I kept the little ones (ben, zoe and violet) in the bus while the ds owners looked for games.  I was so please to hear Keith's retelling of the trip.  He told me that Lilianna had been quite a bargain hunter...getting 4 games for her $50 in gift cards..I was impressed.  She got one new one and 3 used ones.  She was by far the thriftiest...apparently she was paying attetion to the Financial Peace U Jr books we bought her..haha!

After gamestop we took Ben and Zoe to walmart to buy a game for their new leap pads.  The kids were very good at the store..when they are good they are very very good...when they are bad...look out!

We had some dinner and played video games, nerf sword fighting and pinball after dinner.  Tomorrow Lily heads to NoLa to stay with her bio dad for 3 1/2 weeks...Lord, please help her to regulate her behavior and keep control of her anxiety and help me when she gets back!  She is excited.  She wants to take her big Santa gift...a metal detector...with her.  I'm not sure that is such a good idea.  It is her present, but I fear it won't make it back in one peice.  Oh well, maybe we will talk her our of it tomorrow.  O is heading back to Bham tomorrow too.  It is going to be quiet around here.  Not too quiet though...Ben can more than make up for 2 kids missing!

vacation day 3

Sunday - we slept in and then went to Blizzard Beach.  What fun!  It was pretty fun - a little cold but fun.  We bought new swim shoes for everyone and went down the lazy river together.  We split up after that Keith taking the big kids with him and Stephanie and I keeping the little ones in the kiddie area.  Lily got kicked out of the kiddie pool for being too big.  She was so sad because the slides were just her speed!
I have always wanted to go to the teen area..but haven't gotten to yet...maybe in October!
I would say we got there around 1130 and we left around 430.  It was one of the most succesful family trips to a water park for sure. 
There has always been O and Keith running ahead and wanting to go on rides while I wait with little kids...and walk behind with the little kids.  That is always the experience whenever we go anywhere with our family.  This particular trip was awesome because I didn't have to follow them around from area to area with the little ones (like 20 feet behind them).
I even got to leave the littlest kids with Stephanie for a while and play in the wave pool with Lilianna.  It was definitely a first!
After we changed we headed back to the hotel and changed.  We went to Downtown Disney and had dinner at Trex.  The kids (especially Lilianna) loved digging in the little excavation area.  The wait for us wasn't that long...the wait for a family of 4 was 45 mins to an hour...the wait for a family of 10 was 15 mins...woohoo.  However, the wait for the food was more like an hour.  Zeb fell asleep at the table!  Classic Zeb!  The food was really good. 

Unfortunately, Violet got into something on Sunday...I don't know if it was at the water park or downtown disney and she threw up all night monday night.  yuk!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


nope no pictures because I just never download them now that I have a fance phone..haha.  maybe someday i will figure out how to send pictures to the blog from my phone.

Christmas eve was really nice...I was on call during the day and had to work until about 430.  I had started some slow cooker chicken and dumplins in the morning so when I got home that afternoon, I threw in my dumplins and was able to have dinner with everyone.  After dinner we started to get ready for  cookies and hot chocolate and I had to head back in for an appendectomy.  by the way...the chicken and dumplins were super duper delish...a good start!

I returned home around 8pm and the kids were in the media room watching something and Keith was putting together the super awesome chrstmas eve gift...a lego table he made for the kids...i will have to post a picture of that...he made a very sturdy, beautiful, functional and huge lego table.  The kids came out and started doing some major lego building.  I was surprised that O was as into the lego table as he was....he just turned 13yo and I expect him to be too cool for playing legos with his little bros and sisters.  

We sent all the kids to bed around 9 and had our annual Christmas eve fight about "the plan" for the evening...which always slows us down by about 2 hours...then we got everything set up and headed to bed around 3am.

Up at 7...with grandma and poppy already here for the fun.  we played with the santa gifts until breakfast was done...monkey bread and sweet cornbread with honeybutter (which also turned out super delish even though it was the first time I had ever made it...yeah!).  We got our huge 21 pound turkey in the oven (my mom did all the gross stuff....thanks mom...I am sooooo lucky!) and opened gifts.  We were very organized and made short order of completely destroying the playroom...I have no idea where everything is going to go. 
Best moment of the day?  Ben saw that we got a fort building set like Lily got last year and started jumping up and down screaming...haha.
Lets see...close second....Lily got a water cannon shooting remote controlled helicopter in round 3 of gifts and O got one in round 5....he saw what it was and looked at Lily and said..."it's on."  it was hilarious.
Surprise of the day...Violet can unwrap presents like she was born to do it! haha.

I feel like this was one of our best Christmases....I probably say that every year....everyone really liked their gifts...not a single one of the kids were petty and jealous of anyone else's gifts..there were no fights...the food was all delicious.  We got to hangout with my parents most of the day and everyone just chilled and got along.  There was a nap time and that probably helped with the getting along....haha.  It was very relaxed all day long...yeah.

I am feeling abundantly blessed today for sure. 

I supposed I would be more blessed if I were asleep at 230 am instead of sitting up with such a bad cough that I keep waking myself up with it! haha.  Today was really great. 

Right before bed all of the kids got light saber flashlights and went outside to battle...each other...imaginary villains and then the crazy lion statues....It was great fun to watch them all just play.  Sometime soon they won't play like that.  I know there will be something just as fabulous to replace it...but I do so enjoy watching them play.  So darn lucky!

vacation day 2

On day 2 is when we actually made it to the AKL - we stayed at Kidani Village and it totally rocked.  We went the magic Kingdom our first was the opening weekend of the new FantasyLand.  A couple of things stand out for me that night.

The first happened when I rode the Flight of Peter Pan with Lilianna.  Lily is a little anxious.  She gets downright out of control with a little unknown.  She agreed to ride the Peter Pan ride..and then O told her it left the ground.   Well, it does leave the ground...but it is a kiddie ride.  She almost backed out of it..but I was able to keep her calm and distracted enough to keep her in line until we got on the ride.  She plugged her ears (as she always does with everything from toilets flushing to fireworks) and she closed her eyes at first...but then she opened them.  Yes, it is a silly kiddie ride....but she opened her eyes, she conquered her fear and she was sooooo excited  to be on a ride that went off the ground.  One of my top moments at Disneyworld, hands down, was watching Lily open her eyes on that ride and seeing them just totally light up.  It was completely unexpected to me that a 9 yo could be so excited about the peter pan ride. 

Later that same night we watched the fireworks from Fantasy land.  Every single one of the kids...even the big kids had that same magic look in their eyes.  I never in a million years would have expected Lily to be as in awe of the show as she was.  I was holding Benjamin and he kept sayin..."look over there...wait over there...the fireworks are everywhere"  in a dramatic way (with hand motions) that only he can pull off.

I think Alex was just dazed...she actually did walk into a wall the first night and fall off of a curb. 

When I am senile and look back on this vacation...I hope I can vividly remember the big toothy smile and look of wonder in Lily's eyes on the peter pan ride and out watching the fireworks.  I want to always remember Ben and his tilting head, hand motions for "the fireworks are all over the sky, mom"


I don't have any time or pictures to upload...but I wish I would have at least posted everyday while we were at that in 30 years when I am senile I can relive the fun!

My parents had to cancel at the last minute so 9 of us left the house at 5am on Dec 1st in the bus to head down to pick up O and then on to Disneyworld.  The kids did so good.  we had dvd players for everyone..attached to the seats with some clever little hanging devices Keith made.  Violet watched colors all the way down there ...the preschool prep series not the terrible Ice-T cop movie from the 80's..haha.

I was amazed at how much stuff we had to bring for 10 people for 7 days..thank goodness we were staying someplace with a washer and dryer...I only packed 2 long sleeve shirts, 2 pairs of pants, 2 pairs of shorts 5 undies and 5 pairs of socks for everyone.  Even on vacation I had to still do 2 loads of laundry a day...oh well!

We got to Birmingham and picked up O around 1130.  We stopped at Chick Fil A....LOVE that place.  We went in so the kids could run around the play area.  They all behaved so well...I was very proud of them.  We hit the road around noon.

We stopped an hour away from Disneyworld and got 3 hotel room.  I took Violet into one room because she was a loud blubbering mess after having slept most of the way in the bus...she wanted nothing to do with sleeping.  We checked in just before midnight.  We got up around 930 hit the continental buffet changed into our first set of matching "Byrne-Cox" team jerseys and drove on into disneyworld. 

We registered at the Animal Kingdom some lunch and had everyone take a nap.  We went for our first evening to the Magic Kingdom.

Karyn Purvis Insights and Gifts - sharing power