Thursday, December 29, 2011

Melissa Jones Photography

Some time in the fray of pre-holiday crunch, we got the chance to have photos taken by the talented and lovely Melissa Jones.
Thank you to my friend, Mary, for extending such a great opportunity to us.

Here are some of my favorites:

Christmas Concert

Will rocked the house at the Atkinson Piano Studio Holiday Concert, playing rousing renditions of 'Jingle Bells' and 'Once a Year on Halloween'.


I figured out that this is the 10th year that I have gone to Timbuk Tree Farm for a Christmas Tree.
The first year I lived in Columbus, I went with my program director, Dr. Joel Weaver, and his family because Timbuk is their traditional source of Christmas trees. In years after that, I dragged other resident friends along. When Rick moved to Columbus, we went together to get our tree. Over the years, we introduced other good friends to Timbuk: Jen & Adam and Rod & Anna. Now we hunt the family tree with Will and Soren...

So it was back to Timbuk this year where
with the help of Ernie, the friendly driver
we once again found the perfect Christmas Tree!
Soren was so excited he had to lay down in the mud.

Santa Train

Thanksgiving at Grandma and Grandpa's kicked of the Christmas season with a good ol' small town Holiday Parade featuring my cousins Andrew (playing the clarinet in the marching band) and Rachel (dancing with the dance team) and, inexplicably, a horse dressed as an igloo.
Then we were off to Roaring Spring for the traditional ride on the Santa Train.
Here come the holidays!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Halloween at Disney - Day 5

We spent our last day at Epcot.
The day started at the Nemo ride where we explored the adjoining aquarium for a while, then met our friends the Thikkurissys for an early lunch
(shame on me for not getting a group photo).
Then it was off to the World Marketplace where...

William shopped for Mexican Hat Dance supplies in Mexico
Rick and Soren communed with Vikings in Norway
and Soren tried to access the Ministry of Magic in Great Britain.
It must have been closed for a holiday.

With heavy hearts and tired feet we headed back to Ohio the next day.
Fall was a great time to go to Disney:
shorter lines, decent weather, happy family!

Halloween at Disney - Halloween!

It was torrentially downpouring in the morning, but being intrepid Disney fans/loons, we headed to the park anyway. We may have been damp and our shoes may have been squishy, but we didn't have to wait very long to meet Disney characters!
We went back to the hotel in the afternoon (just as the weather was clearing up, of course) to catch a quick nap. Then we costumed up for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party.
Will was Sir Smiley, the Golden Knight;
Soren was a fierce dragon;
Rick was a dashing Prince Charming;
I was Rapunzel;
and my dad was a very impressive Merlin.

We gathered treats, watched the parade, met the Seven Dwarfs, enjoyed the fireworks, and rode It's a Small World about 17 times.
What an awesome not-so-spooky Halloween!

Halloween at Disney - Day 3

Our second day at the park dawned sunny and beautiful and, with temps in the mid-70's, we ran around taking pictures with the Disney characters.
Will got caught up in the Disney excitement and did several out-of-character things:
he chose carrot sticks instead of fries at lunch;
he let himself be talked into riding Thunder Mountain;
he bowed to peer pressure and went on The Haunted Mansion- a ride he declared he would not ride before we even left home.
The cast members on The Haunted Mansion are dressed as gothic, creepy maids. When we got off the ride Will asked, "Why are there so many maids in the Haunted Mansion and it's still not clean?"
I guess they have let the cobwebs get way out of control.
On this day, it was Soren's turn to sputter out at the dinner table.

Halloween at Disney - Day 2

Our first day at WDW park started with breakfast at the Crystal Palace with Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, and Eeyore. Breakfast is served buffet style with a lavish spread of waffles, pastries, sausage and bacon, omelets-to-order, biscuits and gravy, breakfast pizza, and fruit. I had a proud parent moment when Will chose Raisin Bran and yogurt for breakfast.
Then we headed out to ride our favorite rides. Soren picked It's a Small World and when the boat floated into the first room, he said, "Oh, Wow!". Will picked Dumbo's Flight and The Mad Hatter's Tea Party. The weather was a little cloudy which may have been why the lines were short. My kids were happy to ride the rides over and over again.
A neat thing Disney does is distribute pins that let people know if it's your first trip to WDW or you are celebrating a wedding, a family reunion, an anniversary, etc. Since it was my dad's birthday, he was wearing a Happy Birthday pin. Everywhere we went, people said, "Happy Birthday, Rudy!". At dinner, the waiter brought him a festive sundae.Unfortunately Will missed out on the celebration once again.

Halloween at Disney - Day 1

We left chilly Ohio in the wee morning hours.
Despite the excitement (and probably with the help of a little Benadryl) Soren slept through most of his first airplane ride.
We spent the afternoon settling in and exploring at the amazing Wilderness Lodge, then took Grandpa to the Whispering Canyon Restaurant for a birthday eve dinner. The theme of the restaurant is sort of a western cowboy camp; they serve meals in skillets and drinks in Mason jars, and though it's called 'Whispering Canyon', hollering is not only tolerated, it's encouraged.
The waiters holler at each other.
No one seemed to care that my kids were hollering.
And if you want ketchup, you holler for the last table that had it to bring it to you.
In what would become a recurring theme for the week, Will ran full blast all day and finally sputtered out at the dinner table.
The restaurant made my dad an awesome Mickey birthday cake. As you can see, Will was overcome by excitement.

Stadium Cake 2011

This fall, we made the annual pilgrimage to see the Stadium Cake.
We always seem to get there just as they are dismantling and cutting the cake... which I guess is the best part.
Once again, Jen's family did an amazing job.
Something new this year- you can 'friend' the Stadium Cake on facebook.
(I'm pretty sure the cake has more facebook friends than I do.)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011

We Love Pigeon Roost!

It was one of those afternoons when we were trying to herd the boys into the car and there was lots of whining and lots of complaining (and a little bit of yelling) and fighting and shouting in the back seat all the way there, but as soon as we turned into the parking lot Will said,
"This is Pigeon Roost! I love Pigeon Roost!".

The rest of the evening was spent running and playing, climbing and swinging, sliding and selecting the perfect pumpkins.

I love Pigeon Roost!

Dear Noodle

Dear Noodle,

We have so many good memories of the time you spent with our family. From the moment you picked us by crawling onto Rick's shoe and falling asleep, we knew you were the perfect dog for us.

You loved camping
protecting the kids when we were out for a walk
relaxing by the fire
relaxing with your Grandpa

and riding in the car to Bedford.
You were the smartest dog in your obedience class.
You were gracious about sharing your bed with the kitties.
You were always such a good sport.
You were a beautiful, loving dog and we know the thing you will enjoy most about heaven is...
NO LEASH LAWS!We'll see you again some day, Mr.Dog.
Until then, be a good boy!