Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Spring Break…

Spring Break is this week, but since we’re not in school yet, it really doesn’t mean anything to us… except that AB’s dance studio was closed this week, too.

Our girl did know, though, that it was Spring Break. Last week during dance her teacher told them that they would be closed because of Spring Break and asked if they had any big plans. Apparently, AB thought some of the other girls’ plans sounded like fun, so she came home asking what we were going to do for spring break. She even got specific and asked if we could go to a water park. (I’m guessing someone at dance said they were doing that for Spring Break).

We didn’t make any water park or big plans, but we did plan to spend a day with Aunt Nen while she was off for the week, too. We decided Tuesday would be a good day since we were going to have our nephew Warren that day.

Lauren and I planned to take the kids to the Butterfly Rainforest exhibit at the Florida Museum of Natural History. I haven’t been to the museum in YEARS (since before it was moved to it’s current location). The butterfly rainforest was added several years ago, but we hadn’t been to even see it yet.4

It was so cold when we got there yesterday, that we decided to skip the butterflies and just do the inside part of the museum. I was a little worried about taking the kids to a museum- but it ended up being so fun for them. 5Warren and AB both loved it. There were big fossils, fun tables set up where the kids got to do hands-on things, giant shark teeth, dioramas, re-creations of lots of Florida’s outdoors – including an ocean walk through with giant fish replicas! 2

There were caves to climb through, a beach with moving fiddler crabs, and even a teepee with Indians having a rain dance complete with thunder and lightening – this was a little on the scary side and left Nen repeating “they’re not real people- this is just pretend..”  - By the third time she said it, I realized she was saying it just as much for herself as for the kids. Ha. 3

We explored all of the different areas and ended the visit with a stop in the Discovery Room. It was perfect for all three of the kids – Even Mamie got in on the action! The big kids got to dig for fossils, do puzzles, look at x-rays, and even make pretend butterflies float through the air, while Mamie got to climb a few steps to slide down a tiny slide. 1

I was seriously impressed with the museum and the kids had a great time. Even Warren (who that morning said he didn’t want to go) talked about how much fun it was. I love finding fun things to do with the kids that are close to home. 6

After the museum, we had lunch and then went on a big exciting trip to the grocery store – because what is Spring Break without a trip to the Publix??? :)


Monday, March 25, 2013

Year Five…

In March of 2009, AB and I drove up to Carrie’s in-laws’ chicken farm for our first annual pictures with the baby chicks. It’s a tradition that has stuck and on Friday, we took our 5th Annual Easter chick pictures.

A lot has changed in five years… ImageOur 3 and 5 month old are now big grown-up four year olds… (who apparently cross their legs like ladies these days.) DSC_9460

I wasn’t sure what Mamie would think of the chicks this year- since this was the exact age AB was when she was terrified of them…

AB – scared of the chicks in 2010

Mames liked them though, just from afar. :) She was glad to have a chair to sit in and even kept pulling her feet up so they wouldn’t touch her! Ha… DSC_9378


Turns out, I should have been worried about AB, who at first seemed to have her circa 2010 reaction…DSC_9373

Let’s zoom in on that face…DSC_9373

It wasn’t long though, before she was in on the chick holding action…DSC_9404

Allie was like she has ALWAYS been – first to grab one and last to let them go. DSC_9411She has loved squeezing a chick since before she could walk. It has to be some of that chicken-farmer in her DNA. This picture pretty much tells the whole story…DSC_9399

Allie is squeezing and loving that baby chick, while Mamie & AB are giving her the “you’re CRAZY, girl” look- and Whitt gives the Whitehurst girls the “who YOU calling crazy?” stare… :)

Like always, we tried lots of different ways to get a picture of the kids with the chicks – including putting them on their shoulders…


Whitt thought that was really funny…


So did Mamie who saw one on her sister - DSC_9571

Then I think she got worried one might be on her shoulder, too… so she just played it cool and looked away- hoping if she didn’t actually SEE it, that meant it wasn’t there…


It was though- so she hopped up and then tried to herd the chicks together. You can take the girl off the cattle ranch, but you can’t take the cattle ranch out of the girl…goes back to some things being genetic.


It’s always a fun day visiting the Mizell farm- Carrie has wonderful in-laws and we always love getting to see them a few times during the year. DSC_9621They’re sweet to let us come and terrorize (I mean love-on) their chicks year after year. DSC_9616

We always follow up chick pictures with lunch at the Chick-fil-A, and while it does seem a little wrong – it never stops us. We did forego our usual shopping after lunch for some play time at the park, though. It was a gorgeous day and besides, who in their right mind wants to go shopping with four kids?!?!? I’m not saying we’re NOT crazy, just not THAT crazy.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Another Magical Day…

I had been looking at our filling-up fast calendar, along with taking into consideration how Disney’s crowds would be picking up with Spring Break and Summer vacation coming, so we made a last minute decision, that Sunday would be a good day to use one of the days we had left on our tickets.

We asked my parents to keep Mamie for us this time…We figured she’d be happier at home with Grammy & Pop than doing a LONG day at Disney. Plus, this gave us some one and one time with AB. DSC_9282

On Saturday, we told her we were going and then the girls and I hit Target so she could pick out a princess t-shirt. I totally let go of my typical stance against character clothes and she was so excited to get to pick out a princess shirt!

Mom & Dad got to our house a little after 6:00 on Sunday morning – which was also the day the time changed. Yes, they are the best. :)

We headed out around 6:30. We knew we wouldn’t make it to the park before it opened at 8:00, but we wanted to get there as early as we could.

I was really looking forward to the day, because it was going to be really relaxed – as relaxed as Disney can be. :)  Since we’d just been, we decided that we didn’t have to try to cram so much into the day –  We definitely try to get as much in as we can every time we go – we’re just those people. But this time, we knew we really didn’t have to, since we were just there last month. There were only a couple of things that we didn’t get to do last time that AB had wanted to – meet Gaston, go inside Belle’s castle, and drive the cars at the Tomorrowland Speedway. Those were on the top of our list.

On the way to get in line for the cars, we saw the line to meet Merida (the princess from Brave) – the line was short, so we stopped there for a meet & greet… DSC_9023This was the same spot we met Tangled last year – they had coloring sheets for the kids and even let them take a try at shooting the bow & arrow while they waited to meet Merida. DSC_9008

The wait for the cars was only 5 minutes when we got to Tomorrowland. DSC_9076AB decided she didn’t want to drive, she wanted her Daddy to…I watched from the Grandstands. DSC_9041

When their turn was over, DSC_9090AB said she wanted to do it again and this time drive! They got back in line, and were off again… I loved that all you could see was that hair bow peeking over the steering wheel.DSC_9062


While they were cruising around the speedway, I went and got us some Fastpasses.

We headed to Fantasyland next, to do the Under the Sea ride. On our way over, we saw a line forming outside of Belle’s castle (which is the new “Be our Guest” restaurant. DW stopped and asked if we could just look inside or if  you had to have reservations. I’ve looked at reservations for dinner and they are booked up for MONTHS, so we knew wouldn’t be able to eat there, but AB just wanted to see the inside… Come to find out, you don’t need reservations for lunch – it’s quick service- but the line that was already forming at 9:45 was for LUNCH!! (It opened at 10:30). We debated getting in line then, but decided we’d check back…

We spotted Gaston and got in (a short) line to see him, since that was another one of AB’s requests… DSC_9125

He was hilarious and played the part so well. DSC_9134

We had fastpasses for Under the Sea, so we walked right on to that one…



It was as sweet as it was last time! AB loved it again. 5

On our clam shell

After Ariel, we decided we’d get in line to eat at Belle’s castleDSC_9091


– the line wasn’t that long and since AB really wanted to see the inside, we decided it was worth it. We ended up only waiting about 15 minutes!!! The inside of the “castle” has lots of things that are replicas from the movie- big chandeliers,DSC_9182 knights, and even the stain glass window…DSC_9218The set up is really neat – when you go inside, you are given a “magical rose” – then you take it to an ordering station where there’s a kiosk that you use to place your order and pay. DSC_9187After you order and pay, you get to choose which of the three dining rooms you’d like to eat in. After you have your table, your food finds you (using the magical rose). DSC_9190Servers bring the food out on big wooden carts. DSC_9198It’s really neat and fast, too! DSC_9205We sat in the dining room that looked like the library…14


There were framed pictures of the Beast and Belle hanging on all the walls DSC_9201and in the middle of the room, there was a giant statute of them dancing that spun around. DSC_9200

There’s also the ballroom7

and the West Wing (which was kind of dark and scary)…6

Such a fun surprise that we ended up getting to eat there and AB got to go inside the castle just like she wanted! :)DSC_9212

The line was already backed up when we came out and we were REALLY glad we’d decided to eat early. DSC_9221

After lunch, we did a few more rides in Fantasyland -

- It’s a Small World.8

AB used her Daddy’s phone to take pictures of all her favorite dolls. It was the cutest.


I was excited to see they’d taken down the fence in front of Tangled’s tower since the last time we were there – they re-did the bathrooms in that area to look like Rapunzel’s kingdom. DSC_9224

We did the 3D Phillar Magic movie next– 9We’ve never done that one before, but when we’d gotten fast passes for another ride, it gave us surprise ones for Phillar Magic, so we gave it a try…10AB’s favorite part was getting sprinkled with water! 

We headed over to the Toon Town Circus area next-


AB was brave and decided to ride the Barnstormer again this trip!21

Dumbo is always a favorite – 22 AB is big on being the one who gets to control the up and down knob.20


She passed on riding the Adventures of Winnie the Pooh since we’d done it last time, but we did wait in line to see Pooh & Rabbit. That was the longest we waited all day for anything, and it was about 15 minutes…DSC_9316

Back on the other side of Fantasyland we did the carousel,DSC_9238 rode Peter Pan’s Adventure 13and AB even tried to pull the sword from the stone…DSC_9322

Adventureland was up next and we had to stop for the photo op of the castle in the background…DSC_9338

We also lucked up and saw Princess Tiana in her garden…the line was short because she was only scheduled to be there for another 5 minutes. We hit it just right and were the last people they let through to see her that day…DSC_9351

Aladdin’s magic carpet ride was AB’s next request. 23

After we’d ridden the carpets and had our frozen Dole Pineapple whip, we found a spot to watch the parade.

The parade is always one of our favorites. 16



After the parade, we watched the Country Bears Jamboree. It’s so corny and cheesy, but AB had seen it advertised on the hotel channel when we spent the night last trip and had asked to see it this time. 18

After we endured the country bears, we caught the train and rode all the way around to the front of the park. It was nice to just sit and ride for a little bit. AB loved seeing the monorail (which she calls the “mono-tram”). 24

We decided to hit Tomorrowland again and do the People Mover – by the time we got in line for it, AB was asleep! We rode anyway…

We decided since she had fallen asleep and we’d done everything she wanted to (plus some) that we should call it a day!

Since she was sleeping, it was just me and my prince in this picture on our way out of Tomorrowland…DSC_9357

We tried to wake AB up so she could pick our her charm for her bracelet before we left, but she was OUT – (so we picked one out for her.)

Mames got some surprises, too! – AB had picked out a stuffed animal for her earlier in the day… a raccoon. What in the world?!?!? This happened when I was saving our spot for the parade and DW & AB went into the little shop behind us. She wouldn’t have been able to talk momma into a $14.00 raccoon, but Daddy is a different story…(as it should be). :) We also got Mamie her own mouse ears just like Cooper’s and Annabelle’s. 25

It really was the best day.