Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween!

A Saturday check in to wish everyone a 

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

From our crazy crew to yours!






We hope everyone has a fun and safe evening. Stay warm (and dry!) 



Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Pumpkins and Birthday Party Vlog!




In this week's vlog we share our trip to Pumpkin Blossom Hill and the October kids' birthday party! We are getting SO CLOSE to the end of the month, and I can't believe how quickly our fall festivities have gone by for the year. But of course they aren't quite over yet. We still have some fun to finish out this week. Pumpkin carving, trick-or-treat, and maybe even a special family day thrown in for good measure. We vowed to make up for some lost time this fall, and I'm pretty sure we did just that. I can't wait to see some of your little ones dressed up and having fun this weekend!



If you missed our first vlog of the season, you can find that right here!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Grace and Reagan's Birthday With a Mouse

For several years my kids had been asking to have a birthday party at Chuck E Cheese. I'm pretty sure it was the commercials of kids in the ticket blaster...you know, the wind tunnel reserved only for birthday kids who want to be caught in a hurricane of swirling tickets. You keep what you catch! And it was finally this year that I said...okay. Let's do this thing.

It meant that I wouldn't get to stay up late at night making special decorations. It meant not planning out a little menu or getting food for the party. It meant not organizing any games or activities or all of the things that I have always spent a considerable amount of time doing in the past.

Well, sign me up!! Maybe it's my age. Maybe it's having four kids. But I just can't stay up until 2am working on projects like I used to. My body says...mmmm nope. So I was more than happy to make a reservation and let someone else take care of the details!


We showed up and were directed to our special spot by our birthday coordinator. I took the picture up there out of sheer joy. You see what's on the table? We brought our presents and our cupcakes...shamelessly purchased from a store bakery...and we brought ourselves. Hallelujah! When do we start the fun?



The birthday kids get special capes. I knew this, and so we brought along our Halloween costumes so that Evie could wear something, too! (Those costumes have gotten a ton of mileage this year. Several parties, superhero day at school today...and we haven't even made it to Halloween!) Plus, if you wear your Halloween costume this month, you get 50 bonus tickets to spend on junk! :)

Drinks and pizza are included in the package for kiddos as well as TONS of coins for playing games. We brought home enough leftover coins for a future trip! We made sure to snap a family photo before we unleashed the kids to play!


These are the real pictures. You know, the several you take before you actually get a decent one. :)

All of the kids loved the bumper cars. Even Reagan, and I was afraid he might still be a little too young to figure them out. But nope! He was zooming around with the rest of them and having a blast!





The kids are given about 45 minutes at the beginning to play, and then everyone is paged back to the tables for PIZZA.




My brother Roger got to be a big kid, too. ;)

The kids chowed down while the adults enjoyed the salad bar and some cheese and pepperoni. :) It's not five star food, but it's not terrible either. The salad bar is actually pretty decent if pizza isn't your thing.


The party people didn't want us doing a thing. Every time we turned around to serve some pizza or get out the cupcakes or whatever they said, "Oh that's okay, we'll do that!" 

We sang a special Happy Birthday song and then the kids got their chance in the....TICKET BLASTER! Haha. It was hilarious watching them try to catch tickets. (They couldn't.) Reagan caught more on his head than in his hands.





But because it's their birthday and because they are running a special promotion for the month of October, I'm pretty sure they walked away with vouchers for a few THOUSAND tickets. Literally. They got thousands of tickets.

We did all of the normal party stuff...cupcakes and presents....




...before the kids went skipping off to spend some more of the copious coins we had been given.

It was a fun day. Two hours packed with things to do, and it wasn't a bad price, either. I know there are parents out there who just cringe at the thought of taking their kids to Chuck E Cheese...I cannot relate, but I get it...but come on. It doesn't get any easier for a birthday. So yeah, totally do this if you are in a birthday bind and would like to give your kid a nice party with little stress on your part!


Party was over, and still feeling fine! I thought Grace was behind me for this picture, haha!

Here we go.... 

Reagan was OUT. A sign of a successful day!

Now that our family's "birthday season" is officially done for the year, we have nothing but holiday fun to look forward to. Wahoo!!! Can't wait. :) Later taters. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Reagan is Three!

He calls himself Daddy Mario Kart. :)

Oh, Reagan! My one and only sweet son. Thank goodness God gave you to us and provided for our family a reason to play superheroes and dinosaurs and sword fights and guns. Haha. My daughters aren't into that stuff as much on their own, and we need a healthy dose of boy in this girl-dominated place!

But really...I can't believe that you are three. A piece of me just weeps a little bit inside. I said it with Evelyn, and I said it with Gracie, and now I'm saying it again with you. There is just something about that number three. You are turning into a big boy. And on these days I always remember how, before I had kids, I would look at three year olds and think it would be forever before I had one of those of my very own. Now my third-born is three. THREE three year olds have passed through this house. It's a little surreal!

Reagan is sensitive and sweet and definitely my little mama's boy. When he's sleepy and grumpy and I ask him, "Do you need a drink? Do you need to lay down? Do you need a blanket?" He shakes his head no, points to me, and says, "I want YOU!" And it melts my heart every single time. I can't help but stop what I'm doing to give this kid a snuggle. 


Even though he loves his mom, nothing can replace all of the men in his life. He has been especially attached to Eric lately, cheering when he walks through the door every night. He adores both of his Papas. I hate to say it, but it's happened more than once when we're leaving grandma and grandpa's house that he would much rather trade in his old mom and stay with Papa for just a little bit longer. :) And my brother Roger. Oh my goodness. Reagan calls him "Junior" and follows him everywhere when he is around. He wants to hang out with the big boys!

Like Gracie was before him, Reagan has been a bit of a late talker. It's taken us a long time to get a peek inside of his brain and find out what goes on in there. But he is saying more and more every day. Now Eric and I spend most of our time with him laughing at all of the cute and hilarious things he says. We can't get enough of him! 


Reagan's favorites:

*Superheroes - especially Spiderman, Batman, and the Hulk!
*Food - Reagan can't get enough cheese!
*Lately he's been loving all things HALLOWEEN! He talks about it nonstop, points out all of the decorations when we're driving, and will point to the most cute and innocent thing and say, "Oooh, spooky Halloween!" I think it might just be his first favorite holiday, haha.
*Pummeling his sisters. He's all boy there.

When I ask him what all of his favorite stuff is, he just says, "Mario Kart!" :D

Thankfully Eric isn't traveling this week, so we should be able to have a family night this evening with our little man. Traditionally I let the kids pick out dinner for their birthday. I just asked, and so far it sounds like he wants some Dairy Queen. That will probably change a few times this afternoon, haha. Whatever they want on their day!

Reagan, we love you so much and wish you the happiest third birthday! You have a big year ahead!! Can't wait to watch you grow some more!

But not too much. 

You'll be mama's boy forever, right? :) Happy Birthday, little guy!


Friday, October 23, 2015

Where should your family stay at Disney World?


You've done the research and you're ready to go!! Now what? What do you need to decide first thing when planning your Walt Disney World vacation? Today I'm sharing the first steps to booking your vacation and offering tips and advice on whether or not your family should stay on property as a Disney Resort guest or if you should check out other options for lodging in the area!


Thanks for watching, and don't forget that all of our Disney videos can be found at the top of the page under the "Disney FAQ" tab!


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Pumpkin Blossom Hill 2015

Our fall weekends have been full of festivals and all kinds of fun, but we kept ourselves so busy that it wasn't until this Sunday that we were able to make a trip to our local pumpkin patch as a family. Oh, how I've missed this place!



We were actually supposed to take our annual trip to Eckert's Fun Farm on Sunday, but after a fitful night with a feverish Reagan we decided we needed to stay closer to home. I'm not sure what caused our only son's sudden sickness...allergies, possibly some teeth...but we decided to let him rest on Sunday morning while I skipped off to church to serve in the nursery with Charlotte. By the time I got home the kids were running around and ready for lunch, and Reagan seemed well enough to enjoy some family fun. I'm so glad, because we had a great afternoon!

There was one undeniable difference about our trip to Pumpkin Blossom Hill this year...the people!! There were so many people out enjoying the beautiful day. Eric and I could not get over how many cars were parked in the fields. No, this is not a huge commercial farm, but we used to pull up on a Sunday afternoon with maybe five or six other cars on the lawn. I do believe that with word of mouth and social media the secret has gotten out! We couldn't help but say "Good for them!" over and over as we watched so many families enjoying this place. 



They insisted on this picture. :)

Our kids love running around from place to place...from the submarine to Thomas the Train...the ball pit and the slides...with all the people around we kept losing our children. :D 



Evelyn and Grace each took a turn riding the mechanical bull. I find this slightly hilarious!


And we always love the corn maze. I think they made it a little longer and more challenging this year. It was actually more fun to get stuck a few times and have to turn around when we ran into a dead end! 



Of course one of the perks of coming on a Sunday afternoon is KETTLE CORN. Mmm...it was delish. 



We've been blogging about this place for years now, and I can't tell you how happy it makes my heart to see this quaint pumpkin patch on the edge of our tiny town thriving. I have seen it make some "top ten" lists for Illinois patches this year, which is pretty amazing! The family who owns it couldn't be nicer, the prices are extremely reasonable, and you can come out for many days of fun without having to pay any sort of cover charge for memories. I'm glad places like this exist!

Watching our kiddos play! The weather was perfect. 


The only thing that makes me sad is that we are so close to the end of this wonderful season. Pumpkin patch season, that is! It'll be such a bummer when we realize it will be a whole year before we get to come back again. I think another trip will be in order in the next week so we can get our fill until next year!



Is there anything more beautiful than pictures dotted with orange pumpkins in the background? I submit that there is not. :) My favorite!

(That's a lot more than five or six cars. Seriously...so happy for this little place!)

Thanks once again Pumpkin Blossom Hill for all of the memories!! We big time love you. :) Until next time!


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