Aunts and Uncles

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This weekend, while I enjoyed (??) a Leadership Conference in Phoenix, Cindy and the boys met Jess and her family in Orlando for a mini-vacation. Today, they started with a Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious breakfast at Disney’s Grand Floridian, then will be moving on to Animal Kingdom.

Here’s the gang with The Mad Hatter…

Mad Hatter

And Kameran and Kalie don’t seem to mind the rather creepy looking Mary Poppins, but Cater John is a bit leery…

Mary Poppins Mary Poppins

Oliver was thrilled to meet Pooh, and A2 always enjoy hanging-out with Tigger…

Pooh Tigger

So, how do you top this breakfast adventure? How about a day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom?

Animal Kingdom

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and the family is gathering at the home of my 97-year-old grandfather, affectionately known as “Pa”. In about an hour, this old turn-of-the-20th-century house will be filled to the brim with people, all family…

Pa's House

Something like this…and this isn’t everyone! Six generations are represented here tonight.

Crowd

Of course, the highlight of the evening is the kids sitting at Pa’s feet and opening their presents . When I was a kid (and the family was quite a bit smaller) we all used to draw names and each would buy a present for the person he or she chose. Now, it’s become a bit unwieldy, so parents bring modest presents for their kids and Pa presents his gifts, and everyone brings something for Pa. This year, Pa’s gifts included a Florida Gator hat (I wonder who got him that 😉 )

Kids opening presents Pa with his Gator hat

After the Christmas Eve activities at Pa’s, we returned to Mom and Dad’s cabin on the hill to get ready for Santa’s visit. So, after a couple quick photo’s with the selfie-stick…

Family Selfie Cindy Selfie

the stockings were hung by the chimney with care…

Stockings

in hopes that Saint Nicholas soon would be there…

Santa

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Today is the boys’ SIXTH birthday…and boy are they proud!

Alex Birthday Adam Birthday

And although they’re twins, they each enjoy their own individual birthday, so as has become a tradition (for Mom), they each get to enjoy their own individual birthday cake. Naturally, the cake is made of cupcakes and shaped into a number representing their achievement in aging…

Birthday Cake

The boys were surprised by a visit from Auntie Diane, Auntie GiGi, and Uncle Bob, who also brought PRESENTS!!

Birthday Party

So, everyone enjoyed their cake! Obviously, Alex enjoyed his more than everyone else…

Birthday Party

Happy Birthday, Alex and Adam! 🙂

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After a long day off cooking and a lot of eating, Cindy (and the boys) cut loose with her sisters…

Thanksgiving Party

Yeah, naughty, everybody knows it, too…

Thanksgiving Sisters

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The summer is in full-swing…

We have family from out-of-town, and a couple from WAY out-of-town (like across the Atlantic), as my brother- and sister-in-law are here from the UK. Of course, our “Independence Day” is to them more likely “We Lost America Day”

Here’s a portion of the party-goers demonstrating their patriotism with little American flags and funny glasses…

Happy Fourth of July

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This weekend is the boy’s cousin Colin’s birthday bash in South Florida. This is a combined birthday and Halloween party…nothing like killing 2 birds with 1 stone! Anyway, it’s a beautiful day, as we check-in to our hotel…

Boca Hotel

After we drop-off our bags and pick-up some beer, we head over to my brother’s house for the party. The boys are the M&M Twins, naturally…

M&M Twins

While Mom becomes the Grinch’s Cindy Lou Who, and Dad, well, doesn’t dress up. Ever.

Cindy Lou Who Dad does not dress up

While Dad doesn’t dress-up, Dad’s brother, David, does! It’s a great costume, except he scared all the kids…

Mad Hatter

Anyway, the boys had a great time with their cousins, and enjoyed playing all the games, like the cupcake decorating contest…

Cousins Dad helps Alex

And fell promptly asleep back at the hotel…

Adam Sleeps

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We’re in Alabama visiting the rest of the kids. We had originally planned the trip for last weekend to coincide with Kameran’s 9th birthday, but we delayed a week due to the storm that wasn’t (of course, we didn’t know that at the time). Anyway, we’re here now and this afternoon, Cindy and Jess took Kameran and the boys to the “Zoo-Boo” at the Birmingham Zoo!

Birmingham Zoo Sign

Kameran escorted the boys into the zoo…

Kam and the boys

And then there’s the seemingly endless posing for pictures…

Three kids and a tree Stocks Dog Hug
Captain America Ironman Pumpkin Pose

Whew!

Now we can start to have some fun! The carousel! Whoo-hoo!!

Carousel

Once the sun sets, the kids get to do a bit of Trick-or-Treating!

Gimmie Candy!

A highlight of the night’s events is a Halloween show starring the “Despicable Me” characters…

Despicable Boo

But before the show begins, let’s take more pictures!

Jess and Kam Mama with Alex
Jess, Kam, and Adam

Now, on with the show…

Despicable Boo

The show’s over, but wait, let’s take another picture with the cast…

The kids with the Despicable Boo cast

Another great night together!

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Kameran in her new bathing suit…strike a pose!

Strike a Pose

Are you through taking pictures? Can we swim now??

Can we swim now?

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Well, our road trip is over and me and the boys are back at home. What a surprise to find Kameran here! It wasn’t really a surprise, as I knew that Jess was bringing her down to stay with May-May for a couple of weeks, but it certainly was a surprise for the boys!

Here Kam and Adam enjoy a leisurely lunch by semi-in the pool…

lunch by the pool

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Despite the fact that I despise the game of soccer, Cindy enrolled the boys in a league. It’s not that I really “despise” the game, I’ve just never been that interested in a game where you can’t touch the ball with your hands. I mean, there’s something inherently un-American in that, and I’m sure the Founding Father would agree! After all, that’s why they started drinking coffee in the “new land” instead of tea!

Anyway, the boys are playing now, so I guess I better learn the rules, so I can keep the other kids (and parents) in line.

The boys are looking sharp in their uniforms, and waiting patiently for practice to begin…

Waiting

Alex was a little apprehensive, because he, too, considers Soccer to be un-American, but with some coaxing (and an escort) from Aunt GiGi, he takes his place on the field.

Alex and GiGi

Today’s skill seems to be dribbling, and Alex takes to it right away…

Alex Dribbles Alex dribbles some more

Adam didn’t do too bad, but it doesn’t seem to come as naturally to him.

AAdam dribbles Adam dribbles some more

He’s absolutely LOVING it, though!

Adam runs

To quote a great American: “Well, that’s life in the fast-paced slam-bang, live-on-the-razor’s-edge, laugh-in-the-face-of-death world of junior league soccer.”

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