Saturday, January 26, 2008

Our adventures in Disneyworld

Kyrie had been begging us to go to Disney world for over a year. I kept trying to put it off, but every couple of days I would hear about it when she fould some money lying around. Of course it would go directly into the Disney fund, which has developed into quite a stash. So before Brielle turned 3 (and we had to pay for her tickets)we decided to go. We tried to keep it a surprise for Christmas, but Kyrie got it out of us, she was so excited, and even more so when she found out the Grandma & Grandpa Nielsen were going with us. We had so much fun with them, the kids usually picked them to go on rides with. I think that we walked their legs off. I know MY feet hurt alot after each day.

The weather was perfect, and because of this the park was a little crowded. But we still had a great time. The first ride of the day was Winnie the Pooh, which I think we ended up riding at least 5 times by the end of our 3 day stay. It was by far, Brielle's favorite ride, followed closely by the merry-go-around. Kyrie's thing was getting autographs and pictures with as many characters as she could. She filled up a whole book, but sadly we never saw the elusive Snow White. She loved seeing Tinkerbell fly over our heads during the firework show that night. Afterwards, she told me a secret- that she wants to learn how to fly.

Some other favorites were:

* Having ice cream every single day!

* Screaming during the Bugs life 3-D show

* The giant golf ball (Epcot)

* The girls getting their faces painted

* Making Kel drive an Uplander (our rental van)

* Watching their faces light up during the parade when they saw their favorite characters

* Getting to spend so much time with Grandma Debbie and Grandpa Bishop

* Funnel cakes

* Goofy's Roller Coaster Ride

* Getting lost everytime we drove back to the hotel

*Eating in the Rainforest Cafe, monkeys and all
(Emily ate her first calamari)

* Kyrie driving on the Race track
(a little crazy on the home stretch)

* Running through the fountains in Ariels Grotto
(You would think that Kyrie was a mermaid she was so wet)

* Kyrie's tinkerbell necklace and making her own charm bracelet

I have never seen my kids so happy for such a long period of time. And because of this disney world high, I think that I heard more silly phrases from my children in 3 days than in a whole year. Imagine little Brielle teasing her older sister, then saying "I like teasing you", or I just love that... One of my favorites from Kyrie was after we rode Big Thunder. I didn't think that it would be that scary of a ride for her, but she didn't like the bat caves or thinking it was going upside down. After we got off some of the comments from her were: I screamed so hard I started losing my voice, and I was so scared it felt like my heart was breaking in two. Needless to say she didn't want to go on too many more rides with her dad after that. Crazy though, she wanted to ride that one again the next day.

At the end of it all I caught Kyrie looking really sad, and I asked her about it. She said "I wish I had a tear on my cheek". I said why, and she says "because I am so happy, these were the best three days of my life." It was hard to see it all end, but then again, Kyrie has already started saving her money again...

Monday, January 21, 2008

We are on our way...

Well, we are heading out the door to our long awaited vacation to Florida. The kids are so excited they can hardly stand it. Kyrie's chance to finally meet the princesses is here. We are holding our breath that the travels go smoothly, which I'm sure they will, we're just a little frazzeled because kel got in a car accident last week during the big snow. That was a huge frustration...the insurance co. saying it was our fault, and that we had to pay for all the damages, when the other person was parked in oncoming traffic. Crazy. I guess we're getting rid of the car after all. Anyways, wish us luck, and we'll be back in a 5 days.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Oh, craziness has been happening all week. We started the process of getting pre-approved to buy a home, not knowing if we could because of unfortunate events in our past. With the current market and countrywide credit concerns, we were very worried we couldn't get approved or would get a really high interest rate, and not be able to afford the kind of home we're looking for. We applied to 4 different lenders, and spent much time in prayer, and our prayers were answered... assuming we were able to come up with a large enough down payment. We have been frantically trying to save since we have been out here in Maryland, but what we had, wasn't quite enough. Then another blessing came, we sold the Audi yesterday, and finally have the necessary down payment that we need. I am a little sad to see it go, because it was the nicest car I have ever driven; but also soo, so happy because everything that we knew had to happen is finally falling into place. Ahh, I'm finally sleeping a little better at if only the realtors will stop calling. :)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

'07 Trips Part 4

Ok, this is the last of the trip posting, for a while at least. I had to write about this one, because it was by far the kids favorite. On one of our PA trips we took a detour out to Sesame Place. I must have been around July because it was soo hot! I felt so sorry for the workers there, a lot of who wore fuzzy character suits. Luckily though, it was part water park. Well, I guess I shouldn't say part water park, there was really no segregation, like I assumed there would be. I figured we would go on some rides, then go to a water park for a little while. For those who haven't gone yet be forewarned that (this was a little awkward for me) everyone just walks around in their swimming suits the whole time. I wish I had known so I could have had some kind of cover-up. It wasn't a big deal, I was just expecting something different. Other than that stipulation, the place was really fun (minus the rope jungle gym, it was a little too hard carring munchkins on your back through little rope tunnels). Kyrie was finally tall enough to go on her first roller coaster, which she was really scared, but ended up going anyway and loved it. Brielle wanted to go on the rollar coaster also, but was too short. I had to find something to distract her. In fact, even now, she won't stop talking about going to Disney World next week and going on a "rowrow hoasto". She loved, loved, meeting all the characters. This is my favorite pic with her and Cookie Monster. I think we saw and/or met just about all of them, except for Oscar. I so wanted a picture of him and Kelly, but I don't think that he comes out--too grumpy, Oscar that is. Haha. J/K. Here's a few more pics, they always express better than I do... Oh yeah, and Super Grover was the friendliest Monster I have ever met!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Little Tadpole

After trying for about a year to convince this little girl that it was ok to put your face in the water, she has finally trusted me enough to actually do it. And holy cow, in about two minutes she was swimming. Now granted, she still has a long way to go but, Yeah! I was so excited I had to record it, especially for Grandma Debbie, who promised about a year ago that if she would learn to swim they would take her to Hawaii. And with a bribe like that you would think that she would have learned a long time ago. Well, she won't stop talking about it now. Now, I just have to figure out how to get there...

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Good news

After waiting for about 3 months, we have finally heard word of whether or not we are moving. After living here for a year and half, Carmax is choosing to move us (or Kel, rather) to open a new market in Colorado Springs. Which is probably a big thing considering all the expenses involved, but Kel has worked so hard, and learned so much at the largest store, that he will be a big asset at a new one.
As I am posting this I have a lot of mixed emotions... We have made so many friends out here and had so many great adventures, that we are sad to leave. The possibility of owning a home and being closer to family, however, evens it all out. Thanks to everyone who has reached out to us, and made this recent stay a great experience.
As for dates, Kel will tenatively need to be there about a month before the store opens, which is about the beginning of April. Not a whole lot of time to do all the things I want to...

I still haven't been to New York (anyone want to take a short day trip?).

'07 Trips Part 3

There are a few times that us girls have tagged along with Kel when he went up to the Manheim Auto Auction, in Pennsylvania. They put us up in a nice hotel, and feed us dinner? I really couldn't say no. So, we've spent a couple weekends exploring the surrounding Amish country and such. We took a ride on the Strasburg Railroad. The kids loved it, the farms alongside the tracks were some of the prettiest I seen.

We sampled a few Amish wares, Kyrie had to have a bonnet (even though she hasn't touched it since). We drove around Bird-in-Hand, it was lovely, if you like the whole country scenery thing. I worried every time we passed a buggy that one of them would get hit. Those Amish are amazing, completely self sufficient. I decided after that point that when we moved, I was going to have a big garden, and big farm, horse and buggy. Well at least yes to the latter. We also went the oldest working pretzel factory in Lititz, I felt akin since I worked at a Pretzelmaker once, ah, just kidding. And we couldn't pass up the Wilbur chocolate factory. I went back for seconds on the samples. Hehe.

I loved being in this part of the country, the charm throughout the neighborhoods was intoxicating. I had a hard time choosing which Victorian house I liked the best, and if I get the chance I'll drag the kids along and do a little more exploring.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

'07 Trips Part 2

On our way home from Niagara, we stopped in Palmyra, NY. This was so much fun for me, knowing that this is where it all started. The peaceful spirit that still resides there is witness to me that the Lord still cares for his children very much. It felt very different here than anywhere that I have ever been, and I think that anyone who has been here will know what I'm speaking of. I wanted to stay a little bit longer...always longer. But the six hour drive ahead of us kept us moving a little faster than I would have liked.

I was very grateful after touring the Smiths' log home, knowing that they had ten people all squished in that little space. I no longer complain about the tiny apartment we are living in now, well most the time anyways. :)
Amazingly we were alone in the Sacred Grove, and also at hill Cumorah (and that's a good thing, my kids were a little noisy, screaming like birds at the top of their lungs, they would have ruined the spirit for anyone else). While we were there I couldn't resist the idea of wondering where the scriptures might once have laid, and do some sacred items still remain? Is this where Joseph was visited? Wondering what it must have been like to be visited by Heavenly beings. It was heart-breaking to walk through the guided tour and listen of Joseph Smith's trials; losing family members, homes, hard living conditions, etc., and yet we were reassured that it was all meant to be, and that their strife is a blessing to all mankind. I have always been in awe of the strength of the family that lived here, and grateful for their sacrifices. If I ever had the chance to come back to this place again, I would in a heartbeat.

In town, there is a place called "four corners". On each corner there is a church of a different religion, and no where else on earth is this found. Huge beautiful churches; and just think, right down the road lay the truth. I will always bee amazed by God's work, and glad that he is in charge and not me!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

'07 Trips Part 1

This past year seems to have just flown by...and I've been thinking today about a few of the places that we have been. And, if I don't write it down it will probably be forgotten, so bear with me as I feebly recall a few of our favorite stops.

Our big family trip for the year was up to Niagra Falls in October. It was the first time I have ever been out of the country, even if it was just over the border. Yes, it was a huge tourist trap, but very entertaining. Here is a picture of Kyrie in front of the American Falls. It's about half the size of Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side. We loved taking the Maid of the Mist boat ride. It's a good thing that they give out rain ponchos, because you get drenched just from the mist. We got so wet from the mist of the falls, that we didn't even realize that it had started raining. Brielle was a goof ball and wouldn't put the hoodie on or let Kel. About halfway through the ride, she changed her mind making Kel put it on, pulling it down over his face. We were soaking wet for hours afterwards.
We took off next to the Butterfly Conservatory to get indoors and dry off. This was by far Kyrie's favorite place. We had been studying butterflies in school prior to our trip, and this was the perfect chance to see many different kinds up close. It was her quest to get one to land in her hand. One finally did, and she was ecstatic. Brielle wanted so badly to hold one too, but when ever one got close she would start jumping around excitedly, and off they would fly. Unfortunately this made her really mad.

Butterflies so close, but so far away. This indoor jungle was amazing to be in, we didn't want to leave, but there were other tours for us to go to. Like behind the waterfall... a crazy little tunnel journey I'll never forget.

Seeing the amount of water that flows over these falls put me in awe, I kept waiting for it to dry up, or even slow down. I was even more surprised to see and feel the differences in being in another country. I never thought I would be so glad to drive back across Rainbow Bridge and be back in the good ol' USA.