Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Planning another Disney World trip!

At Christmas last year, we decided to plan another Disney trip that the kids will have to work for. We also told them that birthdays and Christmas in 2012 will be very light because of the upcoming trip, and they agreed to it. They are very excited! Last time we took them was May 2010.

They are earning this trip by filling in their personal "Mickey head" on the white board that consists of three parts: head, and two ears, like a Mickey Mouse head. But, it ended up evolving into a "Minnie Mouse head" with the addition of a bow on top of the heads since we have little girls, but they still only have to fill in the three parts. They get to fill in a part by being good, doing what they should be doing, doing their chores, staying on task with homework without complaining, etc. Once they fill in all three parts of their head, they get to move up a space on our "Disney Monopoly game board" that I made, and they get a new blank head to fill up again, and the process continues.

Disney Monopoly game board:

Every time they go around the board and pass Go, they get a picture from our last trip to put into their "passport books" and $4 of Mickey Money. Mickey Money is saved and will be used to help pay for their character breakfast, and any other stuff they'd like to buy while there.

Passport Book example:

They also have a "bad behavior Mickey head." If they are bad, they fill in a part on that head, and when it is full, they move backwards on the game board. It is to help encourage them to not do bad things. They get more "good Mickey" fill ins vs. the "bad Mickey" fill ins, so it seems to be working! :) They're usually good girls anyway, just have their moments. This system seems to help them to have less bad moments.

Once they get a certain amount of pictures in their passports, they will have earned their trip! :)

Monday, June 30, 2008


Brandon, Alyssa, and I went to Orlando for Brandon's work trip to Networkers. The other two girls were left at Grandma and Grandpa Doyal's house. We got there June 22 in the evening, and left June 27 in the morning. We got to stay at a Disney World resort (Port Orleans Resort) paid for by Cisco since this was a business trip. Probably wouldn't have stayed there otherwise. They even had Mickey printed on their bars of soap. . .so cute! There was a big place to eat our meals, and swimming pools, boats to take you to Downtown Disney. . . lots of fun! Monday night we had dinner at a really nice restaurant with Brandon's old group from California. It was nice to see some old friends. Brandon knew more people than I did of course! That restaurant had the best mashed potatoes! One of the nights, I think I remember it being Tuesday, we ate at Rainforest Cafe with one of Brandon's co-workers who also went and his wife and daughter. I got their veggie burger. The BEST veggie burger EVER! It's a must try, even if you're a carnivore. ;) We also got some kind of strawberry drink in a cup that had flashing lights. What fun! Tuesday, Alyssa and I got on the shuttle to Epcot, and rode the monorail. Just to pass the time and get out while Brandon was at work. I got to see how the monorail worked and where it went to. Little did I know, this would work to my benefit the next day!

Brandon decided to get me a ticket to Epcot for Wednesday since he was going to be gone ALL DAY and he didn't want me to be bored. My first time ever going into Disney World! This is where going on the monorail the previous day worked out. I waited, and waited and waited for a shuttle for Epcot, but it never came! Multiple shuttles for the other parks kept coming, but not the one I needed. I knew that the monorail went to Epcot and Magic Kingdom, so I decided to take the shuttle to Magic Kingdom, then monorail to Epcot. Not the most efficient way to get there, but it got us there! I rode most of the rides I could take Alyssa on. It was nice to go, but very tiring holding a baby in long lines by yourself, and no one to pass her off to. At least some of the lines were really short, or no lines at all! :) There were some frustrating moments, and some moments where people were really kind and helpful. And sadly, it rained in the afternoon, so we got wet. I took some pictures of Alyssa with some of the characters we saw. We stayed for the fireworks and got back late. . . .and STILL beat Brandon back to the hotel! He was at a party at Universal Studios that A and I couldn't go to. He said he was jealous of me getting to go to Epcot. . .he he. We're going to take the family to Disney World in the spring! :D

Here's some pics:

Finally there after long car ride, and happy to be out of car seat!
In our room:

The next three are the "monorail day."

The following are from the day we actually went into Epcot.
Two with Donald (in the "Mexico" area):

Two with Mulan (in the "China" area):

Here's two with Mickey. Couldn't figure out which I liked better, so you get both!



Chip and Dale poking at her legs:


Thursday night, Brandon and I went over to Downtown Disney again and got some stuff to bring back for the girls and my parents. The wait was too long for the restaurants there, so we decided to eat dinner back at the eating area at our resort. Friday, we drove back to SC to get our girls.

And here's one of Alyssa after getting caught in the rain one of the days.
I don't think she was too happy!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Easter weekend trip to Grandparents and Busch

Last Friday night, we traveled up to Williamsburg and stayed with Grandma Avery. . .Grandpa was out of town this time helping one of my uncles. Spent the night, and then Saturday morning there was an egg hunt in my grandparents neighborhood that we took the girls to. Rachel was soooo close to having the most eggs found, but didn't win. She was very upset! You win some, you loose some.

Then we went to Busch after the egg hunt. This year, Rachel past up the 42 inch mark, so she was able to go on some new rides! New for her anyway. . . She was excited since the kiddie rides are "slow and boring." We took the kids back to grandma in the afternoon, ate dinner, and then Brandon and I went back to the park to ride some of the roller coasters together childless. :) It was lightly raining, so a lot of people went home early. There was practically NO LINES for everything! One ride, Alpengiest, there was nobody at! We walk up, and the girl running it was all like, "Hey, there's some people coming! Whoo-hoo!" We wait for the next train to come back and no one is on it! Then the girl makes a comment about how we get to have the train all to ourselves. How often does that happen? :) Getting to ride a roller coaster with just you and your husband on it. . . :) When it came back around, we were able to just stay on, but some more people came and got on too. . .so we had to ride with 4 other people next time around! After the second time, we were ready to get off even though we could have stayed on a 3rd time. We were there childless for only 2 hours, but still got to ride each roller coaster 2 times, except Big Bad Wolf only once (because we chose to), and Apollo's Chariot 3 times. Oh, we didn't get on Griffin at all because Elizabeth is chicken! That's the only roller coaster exception. We even did Dark Castle thing twice, and the bumper cars and Leonardo's Cradle ride one time each. Getting on rides is pretty efficient when there's either no lines or only a few minute wait!

On Sunday, Easter, we went over to G and G Doyal's house to spend some time with them, and ate lunch. Then, went to my aunt and uncle's house to deliver some Girl Scout Cookies my aunt had ordered from Rachel. Then, back to the Avery's for dinner, then headed home.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

SC Trip

So, this is like a week past due! Been so busy. March 12 I left with the girls to go visit my parents. Came back on the 17th. Had to do all the driving myself since I was the only adult on the trip! Brandon had to stay behind. We made it there safe Wednesday afternoon.

Thursday, I did some homeschooling with Rachel. We also tried to go to Kids Planet, but they were closed while they were doing something to the park for the day. Rachel was bummed about it, so Grandma took us to Cracker Barrel for lunch. In the evening, my mom and I went to her ward's enrichment birthday dinner. The girls colored eggs with Grandpa while we were gone.

Friday, we tried Kids Planet again, and they were open. The kids had a great time! We had to leave earlier than the girls would have liked since I had an appointment to get my hair cut. Got it chopped off really good! It was getting WAY too long. . . .I hate long hair.

On a swing at Kids Planet:

Saturday was the Easter egg hunt and other activities at my dad's work. It was for the children and grandchildren of Flour employees. Free games, food, fun, etc. . . . Rachel won the ring toss and won a stuffed bunny! Lucky girl! :) Michaela did the egg hunt for the 0-2's and the 3-4's. . .seeing as how she's 2, almost 3. Sounded as though lots of people did that, and especially since there were a few 9 year olds picking up eggs for their 2 yo siblings! Rachel did the 5-7 egg hunt. Rach got more eggs in her one hunt than Michaela did in her 2 hunts combined! (She's slow at picking up eggs!) It was actually more of an egg charge than a hunt, though. ha! There was supposed to be face painting, but they ended up with a temporary tattoo instead. The event ended early since there was an impending storm looming. . . supposed to have been really bad, but didn't come as soon as expected. Oh well! We also called the Easter Bunny and had him come hide eggs at Grandma's house while they took their nap! ;)

Rachel's Winnings at Ring Toss:

Big Inflatable Slide:

Flour Egg Hunt, I mean "Egg Charge!"

Hunting for eggs at Grandma & pa's house:

Sunday, we just hung out. Monday I headed home with the girls.

Grandma saying good bye to Alyssa

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Speaking of Busch Gardens

Thought I'd share some highlights of last year at Busch! Seeing as how it's on my mind. :) We went to Busch three times last year. . .March, August, and September, but only have pics from March and September's trips. Went to Water Country with our passes in June and August, no pics there.

First trip was on March 17th when they opened the park to just season pass holders. It was COLD! If I remember right, I think we saw a few snow flurries. Since I was in first trimester, I got to go on some of the rides with them. :) The only time I got to ride anything the whole summer!

I *think* this is called Elephant Run

On Turkish Delight. We don't know the other girl with us. She just hopped in.

Rachel and I on the Waveswinger. They have special swings for children needing to ride with an adult.

Not sure what this one is called. Rachel is by herself on the purple dragon behind Michaela and I.

On Eggery Deggery

In June we went to Water Country for the first time ever. Wave pool and the Hubba Hubba Highway were real big hits with Rachel and Michaela! After getting out of the Hubba Hubba Highway (It's a lazy river), we were sitting in chairs, and Rachel decided to sneak off and go back in by herself! Scared us half to death looking for her! Luckily, she still had her life vest on since she can't reach the bottom. Brandon was waiting by the entrance to it thinking she may have done that, and was watching to see if she'd come around (after looking in other places in that area first). Sure enough, she came bobbing around the corner, and said, "I went all by myself, Daddy!" with a big ole smile on her face! Little did she realize the near heart attack she gave us! NOT cool, Rachel!

In August, we went up there for my grandma and grandpa Doyal's 60th Anniversary. We went up early and went to Busch for one evening, and Water Country the next day before the big 60th event the following day after that.

In September, we went on the first weekend they were doing Hallowscream, which was September 15th. That was the only weekend that would work as I was getting closer to my due date.

Naughty girls!

On Little Balloons

On Little Gliders

Kiddie Swings

On Red Baron

"We're not too sure about him!"

Witchy Poo and Pumpkin

On Bug-A-Dug

On Chug-A-Tug

Us with Jack. . . Rachel was trying to be scary, Michaela wanted Daddy, and I'm just very pregnant. Looks like Jack's pumpkin is the size of my tummy! ha! The girls are wearing streamers that were shot out at the crowd after the Jack is Back show. Also after the show, Rachel wandered off following a lady handing out Busch Gardens necklaces and stuff, and it was so crowded that it was so hard to find her! Luckily, some nice, honest lady found her looking for us and helped her look. The lady saw Brandon looking, so she figured she belonged to him, plus Rachel recognized him of course. I think we need a homing device on that child when we go out in crowds!

Looking forward to another season of Busch Gardens and Water Country fun this year! :) Especially since I get to ride all I want this time, and go on roller coasters. . .yippie!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Our next possible trip

So, I'm trying to bounce around the idea of whether or not I'm wanting to go visit my parents sometime while Rach is tracked out. I'd have to go alone, and it's a 4 hour drive to SC. Last time I drove it alone it took me 5 hours because I'd stop to rest, let the girls have a snack, potty, run, etc. It's just not fun, but I'd like to go visit them for a few days too. Plus, having to plan around other stuff going on here at home that I don't want to miss. So, anyway, that's where my mind is at right now. My mom has been wanting to see the girls sometime before she heads out to my sister who will be having a baby soon.

We're also planning on going up to Williamsburg and using our Busch passes and staying with my grandparents sometime soon. But, that would be just a weekend, and the whole family would go. I wouldn't have to worry about going alone with the kids on that one!