Neat Stuff

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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 they still sit like this. You’d think it would be uncomfortable, but I suppose after spending almost 9-months as “womb-mates,” this would be considered palatial…

Twin Thing

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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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The trees are up! We have the regular Christmas tree upstairs and Cindy’s special “Elf Tree” downstairs…

Christmas tree Elf tree

and the house…

Christmas Decorations

Christmas Decorations

Christmas Decorations

I’ve said you always know what time of year it is by looking at our house! And the tradition continues 🙂

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Bubble Boy Bubble Boy

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You know the Stephen King movie? Alex assessed the phenomenon and determined it was “creepy” (and I’d have to agree).

The Mist

Hope this burns off, so we can spend some time in the pool before we pack-up to leave!

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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 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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It’s here…it’s finally here! The boys have been going on about Halloween for a couple of weeks now and counting down the days. Soon their coffers will be filled with CANDY!

This year, Adam was a S.W.A.T. officer, and Alex was the Red Power Ranger. Long gone are the days they would dress in similar costumes, as each year they become more and more diverse in their interests. But hey, they’re both crime fighters this year, right?

SWAT and Power Ranger

This year Charlie even got into the act, as a Rocker with his jean jacket and guitar…

Charlie Rocker

Meanwhile, in Alabama, grandkids Oliver and Carter John look AWESOME as Woody and Buzz…

Woody and Buzz

and Kameran was Barb from Stranger Things. I think she did a great job!

Kam and Barb

As expected, the boys cleaned-up on Candy…enough to last them into December. And Charlie absolutely loved the walk (and the attention).

Happy Halloween

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It’s the day before Halloween and Cindy has the pumpkin carving station open for the boys to make their jack-o’-lanterns. Adam is really seems to be into the carving and gutting of the soon to be jack-o’-lantern…

Adam Cleans
Adam Carves

While Alex is taking a less messy approach and covering the pumpkin in glow-in-the-dark paint for what appears to be some sort of Incredible Hulk fixtures…

Alex Paints
Alex Paints

UPDATE: The finished products…

Alex’s Incredible Hulk pumpkin…

Hulk

and Adam’s (left-side) and Cindy’s jack-o’-lanterns…

jacolantern

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