Sunday, November 13, 2011

Skyeler's New 'Do

Skyeler has been considering a shorter hairdo for a couple months.  She had thought about doing it before our vacation to Florida but wasn't 100% sure.  This past week she came to me and told me she was thinking about it again.  She was telling me because when it is such a drastic change I make them wait to think about it.  :)  Well, by Saturday she had thought about it enough.  Here is a quick pic of the new 'do.  We think it is adorable.  Now we will need to do some more senior pictures...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


The title says it all!!  We were volunteering at the mission on Saturday and they asked if we would want a couple kittens.  Aly has been wanting her own kitten for about two years now.  She was all over wanting to bring these cuties home.  When asked, Daddy said yes and we picked them up yesterday.  They are just too sweet!  They are brother and sister and just as cuddly as they are cute.  The only person in the house who was not convinced this was a good idea was Sparkles, Skyeler's anal 10yo cat :)  We rocked his world yesterday.  We haven't yet been able to integrate them.  Sparkles is still trying to get used to the scent of the kittens on us and in the house.  He even hisses at our clothes LOL.  I'm really praying that he will tolerate them soon!

So what did they call them?  Well, that took some discussion!  Before we saw them, Skyeler had picked out the name Pascal (from Rapunzel) and Aly had picked out Toothless (from How to Train Your Dragon).  But they didn't really look like Pascal and Toothless.  They threw out quite a few names but in the end settled on names from our favorite television show ... Doctor Who!  

 Meet the Pond's

 Rory (The Last Centurion) 

Amelia (The Girl Who Waited)

Trick or Treat

We were very sorry to not be trick or treating with Bryce and Carter this year!  Darn that Halloween thing falling on a weekday :)  Skyeler knew that Aly would be missing the boys so she offered to trick or treat with her little sister this year.  Since Aly was going to be Hermione again, we all thought Skye would be Luna Lovegood.  She already had the outfit she wore to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter plus her new Luna wand and radish earrings.  However, she worked to finish sewing the Rapunzel costume she was making.  There are still a few details she needs to add to the Rapunzel costume, but it was plenty wearable for trick or treat.  Skye wasn't feeling too good and Aly got tired so we weren't out very long but they still got a nice haul!

 Aly as Hermione Granger

 Skyeler as Rapunzel.  She collected candy in the frying pan, that got lots of laughs!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Our first Patch the Pirate Performance

About six weeks ago we started a new Patch the Pirate Club on Wednesday nights.  Not only have the kids been learning verses and doing daily devotions, but they have been practicing a song (or two) to sing in front of the church family.  They did a great job for their first time!  I'm so proud of them!

Left to right:  Max, Madi, Makenna, Brianna, Noelle, Kami, Nina, Zane, and Aly

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Jurassic Park River Adventure

Finally, I have figured out how to get some videos uploaded to the blog!  I'm so excited!  This was my test video and unbeknownst to me, it was the one where Dan got the whole entire ride!  The first day at Islands of Adventure it rained in the morning.  We decided to stow the camera bag in a locker and go ride water rides.  Only two were open, the other was down for maintenance but we are still trying to figure out which was our favorite.  

Our whole family loves Jurassic Park.  Skyeler has been watching it since she was two :)  We can practically quote the whole thing (which you'll hear on the video)!  I don't know how many times I'll say this as I'm blogging about our trip, but the themeing was magnificent.  Really, they spared no expense *giggle.*  The video is a little long but it takes you through the whole ride.  Dan's recording is a little jumpy in places.  We are not as good at recording as Skye. ;)


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Highlights: Wizarding World of Harry Potter Day Two

Our last day at Islands of Adventure was beautiful and sunny.  I was able to take a lot of pictures.  There are so many cool areas to Islands of Adventure that I had trouble picking the highlights, so I'm going post a couple highlights from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and then a separate one for day two of Islands of Adventure.  

 A family picture at the entrance to Hogsmeade

 Skyeler and Aly in front of the Hogwarts Express

 I'm sure I mentioned Butterbeer :)  We sat in the Hogs Head and had Butterbeer.  I stayed behind to write our postcards (and enjoy my Butterbeer) while Dan and the girls went to ride the Dragon's Challenge.

 In the afternoon we got to see the Durmstrang and Beauxbaton's perform.  What a treat!  Skyeler captured it on video.  Afterwards, Aly was able to be first in line to get her picture taken with them.

Skyeler under the Hufflepuff banner.  

Monday, September 12, 2011

Highlights: Universal Studios

Wednesday was our only day at Universal Studios.  It is definitely a different park than Islands of Adventure. What was I looking forward to the most ... Jaws!  Cue the music, I was ready.  It was a lovely day.  The rain held off till an hour before the park closed.  Again, these are just a couple highlights.  As I began posting, I realized that I forgot to take a picture of The Mummy ride.  The girls rode that one the most and it would have been in the highlights if I hadn't missed it.

 Skyeler, Dan, and Aly in front of the Universal logo

 The Rip Ride Rockit, one of the favorite roller coasters of the week

 Dan and the girls trying to look like Agent J & K.  Afterwards, they went to shoot some aliens.

 It looked like someone had caught Jaws before I could get on the ride.  Oh no!  Aly's fake look of horror would soon be replicated on the Amity Boat Tour (Jaws ride), only it wasn't so fake :) I don't think she realized just how big Jaws was going to be.

Cue the music ... here he comes!  Straight out of the second movie and larger than life!  Good stuff!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Highlights: Islands of Adventure Day One

The excitement in the air on Tuesday morning as we made our way toward the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was electric.  :)  It was everything we hoped for and more.  Beautiful.  Authentic.  Brilliant!  Tuesday was Aly's birthday.  She was excited to be going to Hogwarts on her 11th birthday just like Harry, Ron, and Hermione in the books.  

 Hogwarts Castle

 The wand chooses the wizard.  Aly was chosen for the wand choosing ceremony inside Olivander's.  Her wand:  Holly, 11 inches, unicorn tail hair core.  

 Butterbeer.  Oh! My!  I wanted to bring it home with me.  Think cream soda but better with more vanilla and caramel and this great foamy, sweet top.  Oh! My!  Cold or Frozen.  Um, I had...a lot :)
 Aly dressed as close as she could get to Hermione for the park.  She had a sweater vest but it was way too hot and I vetoed it.  

 Skyeler dressed as Luna.  Yes, she spent half the day in the park like this, minus the Spectrespecs.  :)  She bought Luna's wand to complete the outfit.

 Aly and her souvenirs from our first day.  Her wand, a pygmy puff, Spectrespecs, and Crookshanks.

Skyeler and her pygmy puff.

Highlights: Royal Pacific Resort & City Walk

At the moment, I don't have time to post all the pictures and stories from our trip to Universal Orlando, but I wanted to give everyone a small peak at some of our favorite moments of each day.  It was truly an amazing experience!  I'm sure that you all will hear me ramble on about it for more hours than you'd like when we get back :)

 The view from the bridge that leads to the lobby of the Royal Pacific Hotel.

 The hotel upgraded our room to a park view since it was Aly's birthday Tuesday.  This was the view from our window on the 7th  floor.

 We ate in the food court at City Walk the first night.  The Hard Rock Hotel was all lit up (and too loud to eat in).

The Universal logo lit up and spinning in front of Universal Studios.  

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Shaker Village

After checking out of the house late Wednesday morning, we were able to get reservations to eat lunch at the village.  While they were getting our table ready, the kids explored.  There was this beautiful spiral staircase in the building where we were to eat.  The craftsmanship of the Shakers is amazing.  

Calleigh, Riley, Tori, Elizabeth, Lindsey, Colin, Skyeler

Lunch was delicious.  We were all starving after sleeping in and skipping breakfast.

We had a little bit of time to explore the village before our riverboat ride.  This is the Centre Family Dwelling. It had 40 rooms and was just under 25,000 square feet.  Many families would live in this house together.  The guide said that often those that lived in the house were the ones who were the most strict.  Different rooms now house a look at all aspects of Shaker life from bedrooms to school rooms to the apothecary.

In the basement we found a map of where the Shakers had established villages in the United States.  

A picture of a Grandfather Clock.  We learned a neat little fact in Bath.  A true antique Grandfather Clock will have the number 4 as IIII instead of IV.  Those with IV are from a later time period.  The clock in the Centre Family Dwelling had IIII.  Actually, all the clocks we saw in the village had IIII.

One of the bedrooms

A dining room

It would have been nice to have had more time to explore the village.  We barely made it through this house!  But we were looking forward to taking the riverboat ride.  So we loaded up the van and drove across the road and down to the river.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Tanyard Brick Shop 1823

We pulled into Shaker Village in Harrodsburg, Kentucky at about 2:30 a.m. Wednesday.  Shaker Village was our destination for Wednesday and they had a house available for us to spend the night in.  An actual Shaker building, the Tanyard Brick Shop.  It was set way back from the actual village so it was a little eerie driving through the fields to it at 2:30 in the morning.  The house was filled with authentic Shaker furniture (with updated baths and mattresses).  I was surprised at how much the kids were looking forward to staying here.  Though we got in extremely late (or early), we were already at our destination and were able to sleep in and take our time in the morning.  

 A picture of the house.  I never quite figured out if it was the front or the back :)

 The living room

Colin, Elizabeth, Riley, Lindsey, Calleigh, Tori, and Skye

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tuesday Fun!

Our Tuesday was pretty packed!  We spent quite a bit of time in the van traveling.  I spent quite a bit of time driving :)  It was brutally hot, so time in the van with air conditioning was not altogether a bad thing.  With so much time in the car, I had less opportunities to take random pictures.  Here is a small sampling of the fun that was to be had on Tuesday...

Lindsey and Calleigh sitting on the bank of Bath Creek in front of the Bonner House.  

I briefly mentioned in another post that Bath is famous for being the home of the notorious pirate Blackbeard. This historical marker is placed just down the street from the Bonner House.  I, for some unknown reason, kept getting poor Blackbeard's name wrong and called him Blackbird on more than one occasion, all to the hysterical delight of my traveling companions :)  They finally said that Blackbird must be Blackbeard's lesser known brother.  Whatever!

A small section of a house we toured was dedicated to Blackbeard.  The sketch of the pirate was decked out with a plastic sword which the kids found irresistible.  Elizabeth somehow managed to incur the wrath of Lindsey and Riley (maybe one of them was "Blackbird" LOL).  She also was the one who had to try and put the sword back where it belonged.  Most of the items in the gift shop had to deal with pirates.  Colin bought a Pirate Code of Ethics printed on parchment paper.  We brought our Captain Jack loving Aly home some shillings and a Pirate Treasure map.  Interesting note, Blackbeard's treasure was never found.  Dan said that might be our next field trip :)

No, Skyeler is not paying homage to some historical marker at the battleground.  I mentioned it was brutally hot on Tuesday, even in the late afternoon.  Skyeler thought the stone felt cool on her hot head :)

The Battle of Alamance

The Battle of Alamance site was our next destination.  We barely made it there in time.  Tuesday was our fullest travel day and rarely does everything go according to the schedule!  We pulled in fifteen minutes before the visitor center closed.  That was just enough time to see most of the video on the history of the battle.  Dan brought us here because many Baptists were involved in this battle. It is believed by some to be the first battle of the Revolutionary War, though fought well before Lexington and Concord.  Dan told the kids how during the Revolutionary War many of the Baptist that had been jailed for not conforming to the Church of England were released to fight in the war.  After the war, they were thrown in jail again.  This was a quick stop on our tour (and not just because we were running late).  

Another historical marker

The battlefield 

Across the road was this monument for the Battle of Alamance.