Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Moving NorthWest

Well, it has been a whirlwind few weeks here.

James has been offered a teaching position at a seminary in Wisconsin and we have accepted it.

Please whisper a prayer for us as we prepare for the transition.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Elizabeth Becomes a Whole Hand

On Tuesday, our darling Elizabeth turned 5 years old. We went out to eat at Red Robin for her birthday lunch and then picked up snow cones.

On Wednesday, we had a birthday party. She asked for a Tangled themed party.

Our local bakery made a lovely and delicious Rapunzel cake. 

We had over a few friends and her godparents. 

She quite a nice selection of books, including several Froggy books

Frog and Toad are Friends. 

And Twelve Magical Musical Masters, which plays songs with a biography from 12 classical composers. This is actually our second copy because all the girls adored our first so much they used it until even new batteries could not resurrect it. 

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Wii game. 

And DVD. Can you guess she is fond of frogs and turtles? 

A rare smile. (We got up this morning to two girls with congestion and Elizabeth with a fever. I'm pretty sure it is just a cold running through the house, but it explains why she so rarely smiled through most of these pictures.)

An awesome Sofia the First coloring and activity book from her godparents. 

Her own sleeping bag, in green. Guess what her favorite color is? Yeah, I think that has something to do with why she likes turtles and frogs so much, but green suits her perfectly. 

A camp chair so she has her own chair the next time we go camping. 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Legos

A Frozen Anna costume with boots, displayed by Cecilia. 

Each of the girls has a collection of pins from Disney World. 

Cecilia took three of her own and put them in an envelope as a present for Elizabeth for her birthday.

A small Ninja Turtles Lego set.

And a medium Ninja Turtles Lego set. 

A Vtech computer from Brigid's godparents. 

A guest very happy to get a snippet of ribbon. 

My dad helps Elizabeth read her cards. 

Another rare smile!

Elizabeth as Anna. (Blurry but smiling)

Elizabeth as Anna (in focus but phony smiling )

Everyone had a fun time and Elizabeth is proud to declare herself now an American Heritage Girl. She has been counting down for two years until she would be 5 and could become a Pathfinder. 

They do grow up so fast!

Happy Birthday my Sweet Elizabeth!!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Since we were less than an hour from Orlando, it only made sense to stop by Disney for a couple of days before heading home. So we spent 2 days, one at the Magic Kingdom and one at the Hollywood Studios.

I don't have quite so many pictures of Disney (you can breathe a sigh of relief) for two simple reasons. One, we've been there several times before so, apart from the kids, there isn't much for me to take pictures of I haven't already. And two, 5 small kids overstimulated with a pregnant mommy makes for a busy day and I simply wasn't reaching for my phone or camera very much. There were a few highlights though.

While my parents and James took Felicity, Elizabeth and Teresa on the Haunted Mansion, Cecilia, Brigid and I browsed. Brigid seemed to be having teething pain and was overtired when she spotted a Mickey and Minnie just her size and just within her reach. She actually tried to grab multiples of them but I held her at one each. She refused to let them go though. Rather than set off an overtired, grumpy teether, I just bought them. Teresa tried multiple times to lift them from her but Brigid now has her own small Mickey and Minnie in her crib that she sleeps with every night. 

The last time we were here there was still a fair amount of construction through Fantasy Land. I liked the finished Rapunzel's tower even if it does only mark a bathroom, it was a much appreciated bathroom when Brigid really needed one. 

We did not get on the new Snow White and the 7 Dwarves coaster. It will be on our list next time but it had not opened yet when we got our fast passes and we simply were not willing to wait 90 minutes to ride it. 

Felicity really wanted to ride Thunder Mountain Railroad but it was closed for technical difficulties when we were by it and later the wait was too long. She is still upset she never got on it, so it will be a high priority the next time we go. My daredevil girl. 

I couldn't resist buying just a couple of baby boy items. 

The girls met Wreck-It Ralph and Vanellope. Brigid was hesitant but fascinated. 

Felicity is a huge Vanellope fan. 

Teresa was a bit hesitant of the huge Ralph but still loved them. 

Teresa is a HUGE Mickey fan. She cannot let him pass by if she sees him. 

So adorable. I think a Mickey cartoon where he babysits Teresa is in order. 

I have a picture of each of the girls meeting Mickey or Minnie as a baby or toddler. In Cecilia's she grabbed Mickey's nose. Felicity, my shy one, didn't get quite so close. Elizabeth took Minnie's hand. Teresa cuddled Mickey. But I didn't have one of Brigid. 

I'm not sure I can decide which is better, but, like Cecilia, we got another nose-grabber. We'll forget afterwards she tried to poke him in the eye. Too cute though. 

Teresa knows you can't have Mickey without Minnie and she lit up meeting her. While she had met Mickey before, I don't think she had ever met Minnie. 

Brigid gave her a kiss on the nose. Priceless. 

Everyone had a good time and the girls didn't want to leave. 

Friday, June 20th, we began driving back home. It took until 2am (a special thanks to the construction in Virginia that closed 3 lanes of I95) to get home, but we made it back without stopping at a hotel. 

Naturally the girls have been going through vacation withdrawal. Fortunately the DVD of The Lego Movie arrived when we got home and it has been easing their pain. 

I'm rather proud to have finished the unpacking and laundry in only 3 days, especially considering one of those was a Sunday, during which I generally prefer not to do anything. 

P.S. - If you go to Disney and meet any characters, they have cast members who will offer to take pictures for you and you can download them later. We've done this before and the advantage is you can be in the picture or hold your child for the picture. However, I only discovered this week that Disney has significantly upped the prices just to download a picture. Not to print, but just to download one picture is $14.95. So I heartily recommend just taking the photos yourself or, if you have a very young one, having someone with you to take it for you. (And they aren't professional photographers anyway... one I didn't download but would have been a great shot was totally blurry and three of these I had to lighten.)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

LegoLand Florida - Day 2

Since we had never been to LegoLand before, I planned two days for the visit to make sure we had a chance to do everything we wanted.

We began our second day in the Imagination Zone, which fortunately had Duplo tables to help occupy the younger ones.

The middle girls tried to build Duplo buildings that could withstand an earthquake test.

Felicity was taking no chances. No way that building is going anywhere. 

And Cecilia built a Lego car and tested out how fast it was. 

As well as how well it handled the steep slopes. It was an impressive success. There is also a robotics room for older kids, but we weren't ready for that. 

There is a video game room, which the girls played in for a few minutes while the adults soaked up the A/C

I loved the Lego Movie poster in the game room made entirely of single Lego pieces. 

Teresa loved the Lego giraffe and insisted we take her picture with it. 

In the Technic Lego section, the girls went on a circular airboat ride (represented here by my photographing a lego octopus attacking some lego divers... don't ask me why... it was hot.)

And Felicity asked James to take her on Project X. Felicity is my daredevil and she likes the coasters. So far she is my only girl to ride on them. 

Then we went to MiniLand, which consists of islands of models of various places built entirely out of Legos. Here is Washington D.C., complete with marching band. 


Rockefeller Center, NYC. 

They also have lego models from Star Wars films including a life-size R2D2

and life-size Lego Darth Vader. 

The Kennedy Space Center. 

We had almost seen and done everything we had any interest in doing (apart from their Water Park, which we weren't up for with so many little ones) but we couldn't leave without visiting the train ride again. And just in case you weren't sure how much Brigid loved that train ride...

And this time Felicity and Elizabeth got a chance to ride as well. 

Then we visited the gift shops and did our part to sustain the park (cough!). 

Each of the four oldest got foam swords and shields. Felicity's is pink with a unicorn. Elizabeth's is elongated with a lion. Cecilia, ready to go to Hogwarts as soon as she receives a letter, got one with a Griffin on it. Perhaps fittingly, Teresa's bears a green dragon. On her way out of the park she stopped to slay the giant lego dragon/dinosaur by the front gate. 

Really, it is an adorable park and a lot of fun. It is also really designed for young kids, like Brigid's age up through tweens, which was absolutely perfect for us. 

By the afternoon though, we were ready to hit the road for our second stop before heading home.