Fun and Games

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Today we took the boys to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi and despite the look of aggravation on Adam’s face, he really was excited about seeing the movie. It’s just that he wasn’t too thrilled with having to stop for a picture, which put him in direct conflict with his mom, who loves to take pictures, so you’d think he’d have learned by now that there’s no way he’s going to win, so just SMILE and get it over with.

After all, that’s what Alex did! You think that’s a real smile? Nope, he’s just good at it by now. 😉

Last Jedi

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Trying-out their new skateboards; walking in the footsteps of Tony Hawk and Rodney Mullen…

Skater" Skater"

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ALL ABOARD! With gold tickets in hand and the boys dressed in their pajamas, we boarded The Polar Express in Tavares, Florida, for our trip to the North Pole…

Polar Express Tickets

Today’s experience was our Christmas gift from the boys’ Godparents, Chris and Sherrie, and is based on the more-than-30-year-old Christmas classic, The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsberg, and the 2004 animated movie directed by Robert Zemeckis.

Prairie Dogs

Each car in the train had it’s own steward (ours was named “Hannah”), who directed all of the show’s activities, including the conductor visit, the hobo, the reading of the story by the author, singing Christmas carols, and the hot chocolate song complete with dancing waiters in the isle. She also punched the tickets, of course…

Steward Hannah Tickets Punched

When we reached the North Pole, Santa joined us and presented all the kids on the train with “the first gift of Christmas,” a silver bell…

Santa

The whole experience lasted just over an hour and was well worth the two-hour drive to Tavares! Although Adam questioned: 1) why the trip to the North Pole only took 30-minutes (“because the movie was two-hours”); 2) why, upon reaching the North Pole, there was no snow; 3) why Santa’s gray mustache wasn’t white like his beard; and 4) why he couldn’t have more hot chocolate.

( sigh )

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It’s hard to believe the twins are 9-years-old! I can remember the day they were born as if it were yesterday! Cindy’s blood-pressure shot up the day before and it wouldn’t go down, so Dr. Christy scheduled the c-section for early the next morning. The procedure was quick and by early afternoon the boys were whisked off to the neonatal ICU (in a different hospital) as a precaution. Cindy only got to see them briefly before they were loaded in the ambulance for the trip across town. After about 24-hours both boys were thriving and we got to bring them home soon after. Then we didn’t sleep for a year! 😛

We sleep a lot better now, of course, and the boys are a lot of fun. Their birthday this year was a simple affair, with a few friends joining them yesterday afternoon at Rebounders, then coming to the house for pizza and cake…

Birthday Party

As usual, they each get a cake…

Birthday Party

This morning, they awoke to their presents, which featured a home-made toy train from “Poppy”…

Toy Train

and each was hauling 9 gold dollar coins…

Toy Train Toy Train
Toy Train Toy Train

And if that wasn’t enough, Mom and Dad got ’em brand new iPads…

iPads

All-in-all, not a bad birthday. I guess turning 9 is pretty great! When I turned 9, I think I got a toy Thompson sub-machine gun and a Partridge Family album. I shoulda put the Partridge Family on their iPads!

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Bubble Boy Bubble Boy

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So, how do you top a great Thanksgiving dinner at Disney? How about snow tubbing and ice sculptures in sunny Florida? This afternoon we visited the Gaylord Palms Resort for ICE! Featuring Christmas from Around the World. It was a great afternoon, but first, we had to pick-up some caps and gloves for the boys…

Christmas Tree

Naturally, I was wearing shorts, which in the end was really short-sighted…

Christmas Tree

Then, we were outfitted with parkas for what was to be an 9°F winter wonderland experience (and underneath the parka, I was still wearing shorts!)

ICE!

It was fun at first…

ICE!

but, it got colder…

ICE!

and colder…

ICE!

and we didn’t even WORK there!

ICE!

Still, it was pretty amazing and the ice sculptures were beautiful…

ICE! ICE!

especially, the Nativity scene!

ICE!

After the ICE! display, we took a minute or two to warm-up, then visited the Ginger Bread Room…

ICE!

where we built a ginger bread house…

ICE! ICE!
ICE! ICE!

TA-DA! (although I’m not quite sure how much candy went on the house and how much went into Adam’s mouth!)

ICE!

And to cap-off the afternoon, there was snow balls…

ICE!

and some ice sledding!

ICE!

What a blast! (an icy blast, but still a blast!)

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So, this year we’re changing things up a bit and will enjoy our Thanksgiving dinner at my personal favorite Disney park: Disney Hollywood Studios!

Tram Ride DHS Statue

There was so much to do. We had our Fast Passes which made it pretty easy to get to the other activities we wanted to do…mainly just enjoying the Christmas music and awesome decorations,

Christmas Tree Christmas Tree

and…

SANTA!

Santa

Santa

Who also was seen doing a little breaking-and-entering…

Santa

Anyway, we scheduled an early dinner at Hollywood & Vine, where we got to mingle with the Disney characters…

to start, Goofy and I shot the breeze for a bit…

Dad and Goofy

then, we brought the family in…

Family and Goofy

And while we waited on Mickey and the gang, we helped ourselves to Thanksgiving dinner!

Thanksgiving Dinner Thanksgiving Dinner

And in-between going back for second helpings, we hung-out with some Disney VIPs…

Mickey Donald
Minnie Daisey

After dinner, it was just starting to get dark and the Christmas lights we all coming on. Mom and Alex toured the Pixar Studio area, while Adam and I made our way over to the Rockin’ Rollercoaster…and whoooosh!

Rocking Rollercoaster

And that about wrapped-up our day. We watched the light show on the Tower of Terror…

Lights

and stopped for one last picture…

Family

And best of all? NO DISHES TO WASH!!

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The boys were out of school today, so we got on the road a little early to start our Thanksgiving vacation and in the penthouse, no less! What a great view…

View of the Pool

After dinner, Mom and Alex hit the pool…

Alex Floats

and the hot tub!

Hot Tub

This is living!!

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It was kinda spur-of-the-moment when Cindy suggested we go see Thor: Ragnarok. Considering Mom rarely wants to see these superhero movies, the boys and I jumped at the opportunity, and with popcorn in hand, we settled into our cozy theater loungers…

Movie Night

Thor: Ragnarok is the next installment (fifth film) in “Phase 3” of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (this is the period of turmoil and discord that occurs for our hero’s in the aftermath of Ultron’s attack on the Earth), and sets the stage for the battle with Thanos next year in Avengers: Infinity War. The movie was, in a word, “AWESOME”! I’m was in heaven!

And so were the boys…

Movie Night

Even Cindy liked it! 🙂

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The days are getting shorter, but there are lights on the field! Tonight Adam is catching…

Adam Catches

There aren’t many balls that get past him, which says a lot given these fist-time little league pitchers. The balls are just as likely to go wild as they are to go across the plate.

Adam Catches Adam Catches

He’s a leader when he’s behind the plate…

Adam Catches

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