Milestones

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Last night, we took Alex and Adam to their first LIVE concert! Trans-Siberian Orchestra was in town for their 2016 Winter Tour; Cindy and I have gone to see them several times, so it was a time for the boys’ introduction…

TSO Tour

I wish I could say the evening went smoothly, but alas, I can’t. Sure, we left in plenty of time to get to the arena, but we didn’t consider the Main Street bridge construction, which detoured traffic through town, causing a HUGE back-up and inchworm-like progress. Anyway, after cutting through a few side streets we were within a stone’s throw of the venue when everything came to a grinding halt! Traffic was merging onto a 1-lane road from three different directions. WOW! So, naturally, Dad took one for the team, while Mom and the boys exited the van and headed for the entrance. Thankfully, they made it for the start of the show and I wasn’t too far behind. And Cindy had a beer waiting for me, which made it all good. I actually think TSO delayed the start due to the traffic issues, which worked-out great for us (and many others).

As expected, TSO didn’t disappoint! It was a great show and the boys had a BLAST! When it was over and we were walking out, Adam asked me to upload this music to his iPod (he also said he couldn’t hear, which means we got our $$$ worth ;-)) So, there you have it…TSO has two more fans-for-life! Here’s a clip from last night’s show…the song is called, “Christmas Jam”…

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Today’s the DAY! The boys are EIGHT-years-old and what better way to celebrate this momentous occasion than with a STAR WARS JEDI TRAINING PARTY?!? So, we invited about a bazillion of their closest friends…

Star Wars Invite

Of course, Mom and Dad still have A LOT to do to get ready for the party this afternoon, but before we get started, the boys’ enjoy the pre-party opening of presents…

Pre-Party

Cindy really went all-out with the decorations and the food! Which, of course, made much more work for ME! Not really, Cindy put almost all of this together herself!! All the food was Star Wars themed, like “Obi-Wan Kabobbies”, “Jedi Juice”, and “Edible Ewoks”.

Happy Birthday Banner

Food Food
Food Darth Vader Mister
Happy Birthday Banner The Force is Strong

And R2D2, C3PO, and Yoda came for the party, too…

R2D2 and C3PO Yoda

F-I-N-A-L-L-y it was time for the party, so the boys put on their Padawan garb and the kids arrived, then more kids came, then even more kids. We had several games planned that served as Jedi Training, like Balance-The-Balloon-On-The-Lightsaber, Death-Star-Hot-Potato, etc., so on. Each game had a little poem the Jedi Master Trainer would read to explain the rules of the game, like this one for the Emperors-Lightening-Bolt-Silly-String-Game…

With the dark side, the Emperor is strong
To defeat him, you’ll need a good jolt
You’ll show him with the Jedi you belong
If you can withstand his lightening bolt

So, the kids all had a can of silly string and like Adam…

Adam Silly String

There was also plenty of time for the kids to make-up their own games, like Alex and Westin…

Alex and Westin Alex and Westin

The highlight of the party was this huge Star Wars pinata! In fact, it was the only time we really got any semblance of organization from this rowdy group of Padawans…

Alex and the Pinata Adam and the Pinata

and when the Pinata finally busted open, it was a mad scramble to get the goodies!

Pinata Scramble

So, after a delicious dinner of “Hut” Dogs, the Boys’ were regaled with a chorus of the “Happy Birthday” song from their fellow Padawans…

Happy Birthday

And later that evening, after all of the Padawans had received their Jedi certificates and “goodie bags”, the boys started the day much like it began, with a post-party opening of presents…

After Party
After Party Alex After Party Adam

Yoda, who always seems to know just what to say, summed it up pretty well as he headed back to Dagobah: “A GREAT DAY IT WAS!”

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The boys wanted to join the cub scouts this year. The scouts are still a great organization for teaching kids positive values. So, Alex and Adam are in Den 1, and their mom is the Den Leader and their dad is the Asst Den Leader. Today is their first den meeting.

I’m sure if they gave merit badges for smiles, they’d earn them easily…at least for “doing their best”. LOL

Scouts

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Well Summer Vacation is officially over and the boys are ready for their first day of school…

First Day of School

of course, it’s probably going to take some adjustments on their part…

Back to School

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So, Alex likes to chill in this floating bubble thing

Bubble Boy

and when he’s not hanging-out in the bubble, HE’S SWIMMING LIKE A FISH! He’s come a L-O-N-G way!!!

Alex Swims

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This year we ordered new magic bands with our Disney Annual Passes. The boys (and Cindy) were getting tired of the Grey bands we USED to have! Me? I just don’t understand why things have to CHANGE!

Magic Bands

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Day two of our Disney Cruise and Adam is up with the sun! So, he and I head topside for the sunrise, a cup of coffee for me and a hot chocolate for Adam. We’ll be docking in Nassau pretty soon…

Adam Sunrise Early Topside

There’s virtually no one up here! Adam and I have the whole deck to ourselves!

Fore Aft

After breakfast we have to stop and meet Jake. Alex always has his autograph book handy, for just such an occasion. With Jake’s name in the book, we’re ready to head into Nassau. Our destination? Dolphin Cay at the Atlantis resort. As we exit the ship, I notice they’re already out cleaning the hull. This is the cleanest cruise ship I’ve ever seen!

Nassau Cleaning the Boat

Anyway, at Dolphin Cay, we suit-up for our dolphin encounter.

Mom and the boys Dad and the boys

Family at Atlantis

To be honest, we were a little worried about how Alex would react to the dolphin, but he took to it, like Sandy Ricks took to Flipper! We all got to spend some one-on-one time with her, then she posed with us for a family picture.

Splash A kiss for Alex
Adam rubs her belly Mom and dolphin

Family and dolphin photo

After our time with the dolphin was over, we strolled through the aquarium at the Atlantis resort. The boys were sporting their new stuffed sharks…which I guess are cooler than dolphins? But, hey, as Adam says, I’d rather swim with a dolphin than a ‘big white shark’…

Atlantis

We got back to the ship in the late afternoon. We had plenty of time before we had to dress for dinner, so we took in a movie: Disney’s The Jungle Book in 3-D…

Jungle Book

After the movie, we changed into our swimming trunks and went up to the pool deck. We wanted to hot the water for a bit and catch the sunset and the pirate show.

Hook Entertainment Hook Entertainment

F-i-n-a-l-l-y…it’s time to get ready for dinner. The food was great, as usual! By the time dinner was over; Alex was OUT!

Alex is out

So, I take Alex back to the room. Tonight, the steward has prepared a little Tiki God to greet us…

Tiki God

While I put Alex to bed, Mom and Adam head up to the pool deck for some fireworks…

Jake

Off to bed soon; tomorrow is another busy day!

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Today’s the BIG day! We’ve embarked on our Disney Cruise! The boys are very excited (and so is mom and dad)! We arrive at Port Canaveral about 1:00 to board the…

Disney Dream

While the stewards made their way to our stateroom with our luggage, we headed to the pool deck to enjoy a drink or two.

Drinks

Soon, we’re underway…

Drinks

After waiving good-bye to Port Canaveral, we head down to our stateroom to change into our swimming trunks, for some splash time in the pool before we have to get dressed for dinner. The stateroom was AWESOME. We had a veranda on the starboard side of the ship. I spent a LOT of time just sitting out there and enjoying the fresh sea air.

Stateroom

We had the second seating for dinner and by the time we were done, it was getting pretty late. The busy day was taking it’s toll on Alex, who sought refuge in any port(hole) in the storm…

Alex Porthole

Of course, when Captain Mickey and Minnie showed for photos, Alex perked right up!

Mickey Mouse Mickey Mouse

Minnie Mouse

Adam, well, not so much. He wanted to go back to the room and relax before going to bed. So, while Mom took pictures with Alex, I took Adam back to the room. When we get there, we see the steward had left a swan to greet us…

Swan

Of course, Adam wasn’t all that impressed. He was quickly into his pajama’s and kicking back on mom and dad’s bed for his kick-back time.

Kicking Back

Soon, it’s off to bed for all of us. Tomorrow is going to be a busy day!

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A big step for Alex this afternoon. The boys were invited to a birthday pool party for their friend at the community center. After some pizza, the boys all hit the pool. Alex, who normally stays close to the edge ventured into the middle of the pool! He’ll be swimming across it soon!

Alex in the middle of the pool

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Today is a BIG day! Alex was recognized at school with a Character Counts! Award, “The Pillar of Trustworthiness”…

Alex Trustworthiness Alex Trustworthiness

Even “Durbie the Explorer” was there…which, I understand is a BIG DEAL!

Alex Trustworthiness

We’re very proud of Alex…and he’s pretty impressed with himself, too…

Alex Trustworthiness

as he should be…

Alex Trustworthiness

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