We spent a week in Florida and 5 days at Disney for our vacation. It was Kirsten's turn to choose the vacation destination, and nobody was surprised that she picked Disney.
We spent pretty much all day everyday at the parks. I think we hit them all. Although, when we were at Epcot it rained quite a bit which shut down many of the attractions.
This poor girl got so sick while we were there. She felt terrible on this day. I think the next day we went to Animal Kingdom and she felt too bad to even make it. It really sucks to be on the vacation of a life time and not be able to enjoy it.
Someone was very excited to get his very own Chewbacca mug at lunch.
We even had dinner with the princesses. Kirsten was so excited to get to go inside of Cinderella's castle.
But this was on the day that Abigail was so sick, so Avery went in her place. Who can blame him? He got to hang out with princesses and have a great meal.
It was really a good time. It was exhausting and seemed to fly by all at the same time.
I took this quick video on the drive home. As you can see, everyone was pretty tired.
I know. I know. It's been a really long time. But in my own defense, we got new phones and I had to get anything off my old phone. Then I had an update all typed in and I can't seem to get back to it. The drafted post is there, but I can't open it. Me and technology....get outta here.
The school year ended successfully. Wyatt was inducted into the National Honor Society. We are just so proud of all of our kids.
Still no new drivers. There has only been a little bit of interest with the other three, but hey, they have Addison to chauffeur them around.
Once more, my kindness was not repaid the way I wanted. Another of our cats had kittens!! That gives us a total of 11 cats around here. I've become the crazy cat lady without even trying.
Abigail went to spend most of July in Nova Scotia with her boyfriend, Avery, and his family. She really enjoyed it, but doesn't think she could live there. It was good for her to see what it might be like to live in other places. When she left there, she and Avery and his mom Jen, met us in Florida where we spent a week at Disney.
The rest of us took a few days driving to Florida.
We did a little high fashion shopping on the way.
We stopped at an alligator farm.
We also did a swamp tour in an air boat and saw a whole lot of alligators. The tour was with Swamp Fever and they were fantastic.
We finally made it to our destination and got to see Abigail again.....but we sure missed her on the way.
Oh my!! I can't believe how long it's been since I last posted. It's been busy around here, that's for sure. We survived tax season, and it wasn't nearly as rough as last year. I hope there is never another one like that.
We caught these two stray cats that have been hanging out at the office.
The larger one (on the left) repaid our kindness by having three kittens. Nice, huh?
There was recognition for the soccer team and their parents at the last regular season game. Since Wyatt is a trainer I got to be escorted onto the field by him.
He also received a certificate at the year end banquet for being the Trainer of the Year.
This guy came to visit and was curled up near our back door. Don't like seeing them at all, and like it even less up close to the house.
Prom happened. They all looked great and had a good time.
One of those cats that we captured bit me. But, with a tetanus shot and a long round of antibiotics everything is all good now.
Addison got her driver's license. That whole ordeal was a nightmare. Maybe I'll post about that later. There is more that has happened and I'll be back a little more quickly to get all caught up.
Just for the record, I have been trying to post this update for a week and have had one problem after another. Fingers crossed that it works this time.
It's that time of year again. We are full on into tax season, but life still demands our attention. Sometimes it's a little overwhelming.
Addison and I recently spent the weekend on the coast. I took her to meet up with some friends to go watch a hockey game. The view from our room was quite nice.
She and Abigail also competed in the county fair's life skills division. Addison made a lot of food and Abigail entered some art work. There were blue and red ribbons received.
One of the entries that Addison made was lemon marmalade. It's pretty good stuff, and we've still got several jars.
Kirsten competed in an area art competition and received a score of 4 out of a possible 4. She was thrilled. Then they lost her artwork.....which did not thrill her. But, word is that it has been found so we're just waiting for them to let her know when she can pick it up.
Unfortunately, there's also been bad. While Addison and I were at the coast, one of our dogs got really sick and Dax had to rush her to the emergency vet. However, her kidneys were failing and he had to make the tough decision of putting her to sleep. Even when something is irreversibly wrong, and you know it's for the best, it's still a hard choice to make.
Then, less than a week later, Abigail had to make the same choice with her guinea pig. He had developed a tumor that could not be removed and that was causing more problems and it was obvious he was suffering.
We still haven't gotten adjusted to their absences.
We look forward to better things, and now it's time to start planning for Junior/Senior Prom.
December was actually a busy month around here. Even aside from Christmas.
Early in the month, Dax's sister got married. With everyone being in the wedding, it was a weekend long event.
Someone was thirsty!
Getting ready for the wedding....
We all get ready in different ways......
(I'll update with pictures of the ceremony once I figure out how to get them off my camera -- gotta' love new computers!)
And the celebration after....
It was a lot of fun and so nice to be there and be a part if their special day.
The morning after the wedding we drove down to Galveston to take the kids to Dickens on the Strand. Dax and I used to go every year and we were so excited to be taking the kids. Unfortunately, when we got there, we were so disappointed. It used to be free to get in and they had so many great performances every place they could fit one. This year, they charge to get in, the performers were sparce, and it even felt like there were fewer vendors. We were so broken hearted. So much so that I don't think we'll go back again. The changes might make more money for the merchants' association, but it didn't make for a better experience.
After we got home, in addition to getting ready for Christmas, we also had to get ready for a visitor from out of town. Abigail's boyfriend came from Canada to spend some time with her.
Here's their first time to see each other in person....
He seems like a really sweet kid and we've really enjoyed having him here.
I recently became aware of this life size gingerbread house from the fine folks at The Fairmont in San Francisco. I've never been there, but would you look at that?! Can you even imagine a tradition of decorating something that size? We can't even manage the little gingerbread houses.
Our traditions actually start at Thanksgiving. We make sure the tree is up and ready and the kids decorate it with Busha (Dax's Mom). I readily embraced this tradition because when they were little and they decorated the tree with me they always got into an argument about something. They didn't do that with Busha so it was a great tradition to go with......although at 17 now I would like to hope that would no longer be a concern.
From Thanksgiving until just after Christmas the Trail of Lights is set up at The Emily Ann Theater here in town. The light displays are set up by different groups and organizations in the area. It's always fun to see what they come up with each year. We usually walk through once or twice during the Christmas Season to see the lights, listen to the band, sit around the campfire roasting marshmallows, and drink hot chocolate. The weather has been very agreeable this year so it was packed.
Somewhere along the line the kids managed to talk us into letting them open a gift on Christnas Eve. That one gift is always pajamas (Dax loves this one pair if pajama pants so I occasionally wrap them up and give them to him again.) We usually open those pajamas and them watch Christmas Vacation together.
This year we were blessed with a visit from 'Cousin Eddie'.
We generally head to bed far too late and then get up far too early to see if Santa has come. Dax likes to open the last gift, so our challenge is to sneak one aside to have it to open once he is through. Some years he's paying more attention and it's a tough thing to do.
After all of that, we start what usually turns out to be an all day eat-a-thon. There is always too much food, but we do our best to eat it all. A few years ago we decided we just didn't want turkey again so close to Thanksgiving so we've opted for steaks cooked out on the grill. I can't tell you what an amazingly great choice that has been.
Since the kids have gone and outgrown trick-or-treating (why do they do that?) Dax and I like to go sit and have coffee in town at the square (that's downtown for our little town) and watch the little trick-or-treaters. The last couple of years Addison and Kirsten have gone with us. We love seeing all the little kids in their costumes and being so excited about the candy.
This was my favorite costume this year:
He's a half gallon of ice cream. So creative!
I'm usually a little sad that the kids are too old for that kind of thing, but then I remind myself of how much work I don't have to do anymore. Ha!
We also welcomed two new critters into fold.
They are adorable, but get into everything......like the dishwasher....
Unfortunately, we also had to say goodbye to a family member, as my uncle passed away. It still seems hard to believe and I know his presence is missed by all.
The kids managed to sneak in a birthday and are now seventeen. SEVENTEEN! What the heck?! I'm tired of them doing this growing up thing. Next they're probably going to want to move out on their own or something.