December 31, 2011

Christmas 2011

 Mary won the poetry recitation contest at school and was awarded a medal at the Christmas concert where she also recited her winning poem again.
As a Christmas gag-gift Jay's staff at work gave him these funny dolls that are supposed to look like him.  They are pretty goofy.
My sister made us this amazing quilt from our old T-shirts.  It's super cozy and big so we can share... it's everyone's new favorite blanket to snuggle on the couch with.  It's also fun to look at the quilt pieces and remember the T-shirts that have meaning for us.
 Celebrating Christmas with Jay's family

 To honor our heritage we celebrated Danish Christmas traditions with my family this year on Christmas Eve, including....
 lighting candles on the tree and passing plates of cookies...
 ... while Mary and her cousin represented St. Lucia....
 ... along with many traditional foods like red cabbage, rice pudding, and danish cookies.  And we all gathered around the tree and sang.

Mary was delighted to received the "thing she wanted most in the whole world" on Christmas morning.... Hermione's "Time Turner" necklace replica from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.  She loves it! 
The boys also enjoyed their gifts, though we were so distracted we forgot to take any photos.  The highlight though was the family gift... we finally broke down and got them a Wii game system.  They were pretty shocked... it was kind of funny to watch their faces.  Why didn't I take a photo?  Oh well. 

Then we went to the cabin and spent some fun time in the snow.  The weather was gorgeous so the kids spent most of the daylights hours outside... it was sunny and warm but there was tons of snow.

Mary wanted to make a "Snow Girl" (notice she is wearing a "dress") so Jay gave her a hand and sculpted quite the face for it.

While they were doing that Jack went off and made his own "snow boy" and included "hair" to make his unique. 

 I thought it was pretty clever.

It's been a great year and we are looking forward to another one in 2012!

November 01, 2011

Halloween 2011

Jay carved pumpkins with the kids as usual.  He is the artist, so I don't really get involved.  I can't compete.  :)

Mary decided to dress as Hermoine Granger this year.  I thought she looked really good.

And Jack as a Clone Trooper.
At 12 years old Collin was feeling "too old" to dress up or go trick-or-treating, but at the last minute he ended up throwing on an old army jacket from a thrift store and went out to collect candy with friends.  I remember feeling very torn at that age.... it takes a few years to completely commit to quitting it all together, especially when all that candy is dangled in front of you!  :)

"Get candy, get candy, get candy, get candy."
"The fools are just giving it away!"
- Jerry Seinfeld

October 17, 2011

Fall Break - Part 2

After spending 3 days at the Disney parks we headed to Laguna Beach where my brother and his family live.  We spent a few hours at the quiet beach across the street from their house (lucky ducks!) and enjoyed exploring the tide pools.  Then Darin, my sister-in-law, served us a fabulous dinner (she is an amazing hostess!) and we enjoyed a fun evening of visiting.

Then we headed further south to San Diego where we spent the rest of the week with my sister (another amazing hostess!) and her family.  Thanks Lizzie!  Unfortunately, Jay had to go back to work, so he flew home.  We missed him, but had a good time in SD.  We enjoyed Seaport Village....

the USS Midway tour.....

the Mormon Battalion Visitor Center.....

and Coronado Island.  We walked around the Hotel Del and I ran into one of my very dearest friends!  What are the chances???  We also rented bikes and rode around the island.  I have always wanted to do that, and it was a fun way to spend my birthday.  Yes, I celebrated my birthday there, and Liz made me a delicious cake.
It was a great trip but we were glad to return to our home that we love, and be with our husband/dad who we love!

October 16, 2011

Fall Break - Part 1

At the Lego Store, Downtown Disney
 We take our family to Disneyland during Fall Break every other year, and this year was a "Disneyland Year." 
 One of our favorite things to do at Disneyland is ride "Splash Mountain" and make weird faces for the camera.... we usually decide on a "theme" and we all pose in an appropriate way.  We get tired of seeing the same expression of wide-eyed-wide-smiled surprise in every photo so this time we all tried to look the opposite... bored and expressionless.  Jay is even pretending to be asleep!
 Every time we ride the Winnie-the-Pooh ride we have the kids pose at this spot... it's fun (and kind of sad) to see how they have grown!
 After all these years, this was our first ride on the Mark Twain River Boat!

We love the rides at Disneyland, of course, but some of our favorite things are the non-rides.  The shows at the Golden Horseshoe are really fun, especially Billy Hill and the Hillbillies (music/comedy).  Very entertaining.

We have always loved "Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln" on Main Street.  It has been completely renovated recently and it's quite impressive.  However, we were a little disappointed because he no longer recites the Gettysburg Address!  But it's still really cool, and very patriotic.

Captain EO was re-released as a tribute to Michael Jackson after his death.  Jay and I laughed our heads off remembering seeing it for the first time, but our kids had never seen it before, of course.  They thought it was pretty cheesy, which is totally is.  Totally.  The music is pretty catchy though.

Muppet Vision 3-D at California Adventure is very fun, and it always takes us by surprise even though we have seen it many times.  We are a Muppet-loving family.

The Aladdin show at California Adventure is awesome, but the close-up-and-personal interactive story-telling show at Aladdin's Oasis was really fun too, especially if you got selected from the audience to participate (which Collin did one year).  Unfortunately, they stopped doing the show, which is a bummer; it was very funny and entertaining.  It's still there, tucked between the Tiki Room (another of our favorites) and the Jungle Cruise (fun for some good laughs) but I think now they just use it for photo ops with Jasmine and Aladdin.

When Mary was younger we loved the princess storytelling, but that was also when it was in the toy shop, and it was very intimate... and really, really funny.  It's a lot different now.  Oh well.

We love Disneyland!

Oh, and if you are looking for a quiet place to have an affordable dinner at Disney (quite a feat!), duck into the Grand Californian and head for "White Water Snacks" by the pool.... you can buy pre-made salads and sandwiches, but we always order off the menu and they cook it to order and bring it you!  :)