Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Record Cold

Lauren has been on cloud nine because one of her little dance buddies has "tippy toe shoe" and has let Lauren wear them during break time at dance class (this is her NON ballet dance class).  She was so excited that I got there at break time because she wanted me to take pictures and video.  She wants those shoes so badly, but the ballet teacher says she's not old enough.  Lauren insisted that the teacher did NOT know what she was talking about and her friend is six and already has them.  So, to prove my point I had her go ask her little friend how old she was.  The look on Lauren's face was priceless.  "Mom, she said she is NINE!" :)
This week we have been seeing record lows and unusual weather for our region. It has been in the 30's and many around us saw a dusting of snow and we had sleet! (that's one for the history books)  I know we have been in much colder in the States, but it always seems way colder here.  I think in part because the city is built for the usually warm climate, so there is no insulation, everything is made of concrete, and you can forget about central heating!  I felt so bad going to wake the girls up this morning for school. Lauren was completely covered head to toe sound asleep and it was COLD!
 We have a thermostat for school that we used to see the temperature inside our house.  It is a balmy 52 degrees WITH the space heaters going.  Even the cat is cold. Haha!  He kept getting closer and closer to try and steal some of Regan's body heat.  I missed the best shot where he had his head buried in her armpit and the rest of him was in as small of a ball as possible!  My friend gave me a "hot water bag" for Christmas and boy has it saved my hands!  It's my new favorite item.
 And just another way to know it's cold is when your children sleep in earmuffs, jackets, and gloves.  No not all of them, but they are bundling up.  Not to mention showers...it's a love hate relationship... hate the ice cold tile floor in the shower, love the hot water to warm you up, hate the ice cold water that sits on the floor after you turn the water off.  Thank goodness for space heaters!
 A few of the blankets did not get delivered with the others, so a friend just sent me a few pics from her phone when she delivered them.
 The timing couldn't have been any better!  It just started snowing.
 Katherine's finished train track.  She's not normally one to play with it, but I think it gave her an excuse to sit by the heater. haha!
 And this cracked me up...my son, Benjamin, and his not so subtle hint about his upcoming birthday.  He wants a vet party and apparently he thinks we are getting him a golden retriever....keep dreaming buddy. Now to brainstorm on how to pull off a vet party! Hmmm.

Thursday, January 21, 2016


Ok people, it's a long one because we have been on vacation!  This was the kids' main Christmas present this year.  We went to Hong Kong Disneyland!  

It was so much fun for everyone!  Lauren and Katherine don't remember ever going (too young) and this was Hudson's first time to go to Disney.  We had so much fun on day 1 that we decided to upgrade to the 2 day pass :)

The kids (minus Benjamin) enjoyed meeting the princesses and Katherine thought Snow White was hilarious...she talked in a funny little voice.
Lauren's dreams came true. She got to meet her favorite princess, Cinderella.  We were the last ones before they closed the line down.  As soon as we left from seeing her she knew what she wanted to buy with all of her Christmas money.  We went straight to the castle gift shop and she bought a Cinderella dress.  I just loved seeing those eyes sparkle!

This was the train to get from town to Disney....so cute...only Disney :)
Some nice guy offered to take our picture on the MTR.  I guess it was pretty obvious that we were tourists ;)
We decided that we would rent a stroller to help Hudson out with the fast paced excitement of the other kids.  He still did plenty of walking, but I am really glad we had the stroller.  He wanted to know why we couldn't have one at home and I told him because he needs strong muscles (which he's getting)
I love the determination on that face.
Then you have these two coming up with their strategy to get the sword out :)
One of our favorite parts of the day...a little Mickey Mouse ice cream!
Lauren drove my car notice that the steering wheels are on the right side of the car...just like Hong Kong and Great Britain.  Now every time we see a car Hudson asks me which side is the driver!
Katherine spotted so many beautiful (and real) flowers while we were on vacation.  She wanted a picture with all of them!
Tarzan's Tree house
The Grizzly Gulch County Jail

Other than THIS look and hearing their conversation, I think my next favorite part was when Hudson went up to her and gave a a huge high five.  She was quite surprise and said that was very "princely" of him.
Watching the night time parade
Again, love the expressions
One of many night time floats in the parade
Even the dancers walking the parade route were covered in lights.
And of course we stayed for the fireworks (both nights)
and here you have it....exhaustion after day 1...but they were ready to go the next morning (we went 2 days in a row because the day after we went was supposed to be sunny and the rest of the week rainy)
Regan and I had nothing Disney to wear, so we bought matching shirts to wear on day 2.
Hudson sporting his new shirt that he picked out and bought by himself.  We asked each of the kids what ONE thing they wanted to do on day 2 and Hudson said cars (no surprise there)
He drove like a pro...with his arm out the window and everything.
The princess drove her Daddy in her favorite color car.
We met Buzz Lightyear (and after we got home Hudson said he wanted to watch Toy Story...which he  has NEVER watched before because he won't sit down long enough to enjoy it) He did watch it by the way :)
The First Order had invaded Tomorrowland. Benjamin wanted a picture with them and he got more than he bargained for.  They walked him across the park and detained him.  He was loving every minute of it.
My two Star Wars fans (who had not seen Star Wars 7 yet)
WE even went to Pixie Hollow to meet Tinker Bell.
She was great with each of the kids.
She even got Katherine to pose!
But I think this one stole her heart when he just bear hugged her!
We finally made it over to the Toy Story section...yes, the green army men are real.

Everyone rode the parachute drop except Jonathan.  You sat in groups of three, so Daddy lucked out with the picture taking.  I was riding with the two little ones right behind these three.
On our way out of that section, T Rex talks to you.  The girls were running over to get a picture by it when he roared at them and started talking....scared them to death :)
And then the princess got hungry :)
We ate lunch while waiting for the day time parade to begin (we missed it on day 1 so this was our last chance to see it)
She was in heaven
and the parade begins
They had lots of floats, but I liked the bouncing Tigger dancers around this float.  They must have been tired at the end of the parade! (you can't see them in this picture, but I have one somewhere)
The much anticipated float of Princesses
And this is the look after Cinderella spots you in a crowd (because she remembered you the day before) and blows you a kiss.  Made her day!
My two thrill seekers waiting to ride the Runaway Mine Cars roller coaster
This was us after we RAN from the complete other side of the park to try and get back to this roller coaster at night before it closed down...mostly because this became Katherine's favorite and we had not ridden it at night (which was really fun...we went several times) :)
And this picture says it all :)  It starts out as just a fun little roller coaster, then on the way up one of the hills it climbs, the mine cars "break" and start going backwards until it leads you into a cave with bears who are playing with dynamite and "accidentally" blow you out of the cave where you fly through the rest of the coarse.  Lots of fun!  I told the kids I was happy that I had roller coaster buddies :)
And these two took selfies while they waited on us to finish riding (Hudson wasn't quite tall enough)
Dumbo made the list of "must do again"  :)
The carousel was on Lauren's list because Cinderella told her that it was her favorite ride (hence the name Cinderella's Carousel) She wanted her picture riding side saddle because "that is how a Princess would ride"
Hudson and Regan
The look on her face when she heard them say that it was Cinderella's ride and talked about the princes and princesses all riding..."How did they know that I was on here!?!"
Katherine and Benjamin right before they got off (I couldn't see them well from where I was riding)
So this was the only time our family split up at the park.  Benjamin wanted to go buy something at the Buzz Lightyear store and Hudson wasn't tall enough for the ride that Lauren and Regan wanted to do, so Jonathan took the boys and Katherine came with me to take pictures.
Yes, THIS is the RC Racer (the crazy orange thing in the back of this photo).  I was all about it until AFTER I rode it.  CRAZY!!!  My girls were scared to get on, but when it was over they wanted to go again.  I said that was fine, but I would take pictures.  When they went back through to get on again, Lauren wasn't old enough to ride without a parent (even though I had just ridden it with her) So they made the girls come get me.  They were in tears...how could I say no.
So, I rode again and screamed the entire time (hence the reason I had no voice for the next 2 days). This is the only picture that Katherine managed to get of us. Most of the others were too fast and she missed us.  I'm top right in the bright blue shirt, Lauren next to me, and then Regan next to her.

They did this all by themselves.  Too cute.
We then RAN again to Tomorrowland to meet up with the boys and to try and ride the space ships at night...Success!

Daddy and his girl on Dumbo

 Katherine wanted their signature mouth shot...I really need to find all of them and put them together!
And here is the exhausted crew on the way home.
 Further proof on day 3 that this little guy played his heart out at Disney...it wasn't even lunch time yet! :)
 the Harbor
 I think Regan took this one
 Our hotel was across the harbor, so we took a ferry across.  The kids enjoyed the view.
 I wouldn't let Hudson go stand by the edge though.  We just grabbed a seat as close to the edge as possible.
 Here we are in the subway...people, people everywhere...all the time people are riding the subway.
 This was in all of my kids top favorite things about vacation....laying in bed watching ENGLISH TV.
 This girl is always finding plants, flowers, and leaves on the ground or elsewhere that she wants me to take a picture of...very similar to her brother (Benjamin) who is always finding metal (nuts, bolts, screws, etc) I'm always finding stuff in his pockets.
 AHHH! MY favorite part...Papa Johns!!!  LOVE! (and so did the kids)
 a great little park that we found
 our selfie on the beach
 They have wanted to see a beach for quite some time now.  Even though it is chilly and you are not allowed to swim in the water, they enjoyed seeing the beach. This girl cracks me up! I didn't know you could roll your pants up that high!
They all wrote their names in the sand and then Katherine and Benjamin dug quick little trenches to try and save their names from the water.
walking in the rain...

 wearing her daddy's hat :)
 This is how we travel....bright suitcase that can't be missed by anyone, with umbrellas hanging out of the pocket and a stuffed dog "who likes to see where he's going"

 The kids did a 3 story obstacle coarse.  The guy said it was for 3 and up, but there is no way Hudson would have made it.  They let him play in the ball pit at the bottom for free while he waited on the others...he was a happy camper.
 Katherine was super fast.  She actually did many of the things and then went backwards to find her brother and sisters, so she really got her money's worth.
 Katherine: That was fun!  Benjamin: That is harder than it looks!  Regan: This is higher than it looks!  Lauren: That was a little scary, but I liked it!
 Regan has met her match for drama.
 She is the perfect match for him :)  She just does drama right back at him.

 But you can see by that grin...he has his big sister wrapped around his little finger :)
 Posing by a Christmas tree that is still up
and again...
 and one more time.
 Four of my five little monkeys...one monkey refused to join in the fun (at least for pictures)
 Stingray for lunch anyone?
 This is one of the only ways I can get a real picture of Benjamin...when he doesn't know I am taking it.  This is the smile you get when the older two talk movies with their daddy.
 And this ended our vacation...off to see Star Wars 7 with Hudson and Benjamin wearing matching shirts (Benjamin's request and Hudson LOVED the idea), Regan in her BB8 shirt, and then the younger girls in matching Minnie Mouse.
Family selfie to start the day and kids posing by the poster in the mall.  Hudson thought the 3 D glasses were free and packed them away in his bag...took forever to find them while walking out of the studio.  He came prepared with a bag to keep him busy during the movie...worked perfectly. Now, it's back to work.