Monday, September 26, 2011

Another....

We found out today that we will be adding another BOY to our family on February 14th. Miles is excited (don't think he even realizes what is going on), Bennett (at the dr.) told us right after it had been announced "But I don't want another brother...I already have one!!!", and Halle asked "Why Heavenly Father didn't send a girl"...after a couple hours they seem excited, and WE are ecstatic. Bring on the boys- hopefully this one won't be bigger than Miles (seeing as he was 9'2) and my babies only get bigger. 

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Monday, September 19, 2011

"breathing treatments"????

Miles wants to be just like his big brother... enough so that he found this and thought he needed to give himself a breathing treatment. 
 Too bad for him that isn't exactly what this is used for....
He thinks it is... and for another couple of months we will just let him believe! 
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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bennett's First day of Preschool!

This cute little guy started preschool on Tuesday at a local gymnastics place. They offer preschool AND gymnastics lessons (one hour each preschool day). It is AWESOME! They go from 9-2 so he is exhausted by the time he gets home. 
 Miles had no idea what was going on and was so excited too..until we dropped Bennett off.
I think Bennett thinks picture taking is for morons...at least that is the look I am getting from him in all of his individual pictures. He loves it and looks forward to going every Tue/Thurs.

I can't believe what "freedom" only having one child is. We get SO much done during the day while the kids are at school. I remember having just one and not knowing how to get anything done...now that I have three I don't understand what my logic was!!! 
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Monday, September 12, 2011

How to do florida CHEAP

We had so much fun in Florida. Here is a breakdown of some of the best ways to save $$ while going. 
  1. Before we even left both Dustin and I applied for Chase Credit cards THROUGH disney. If you apply while they run certain promotions you get a $200 giftcard to use at disney. I think they assume you will use it to eat or buy souvenirs while at the park but we used it on tickets. 
  2. We drove...even though gas does cost a lot these days, you have a car to then drive you around while staying at the hotel. You save money then by not having to rely on using the hotel to feed you 100%. 
  3. We booked our vacation through www.familygetaways.com . At first I didn't think we had gotten a really good deal, but after hearing what our package included-we did. We had a "upgraded" room which had two double beds and a pull out sofa, valet was included, internet, and breakfast buffet every morning while we stayed. 
  4. We ate at the hotel for breakfast, then for lunch we brown sacked it. Meaning, at the breakfast they offer fruits and breads. Well, I took enough bread and fruit to make sandwiches (made pb&j) and then had chips etc that we had picked up at our local store before we left. We didn't buy a single item for lunch and always had enough snacks on hand. 
  5. We did NOT buy souvenirs inside the park. There is a super walmart RIGHT down the road that has a huge disney section. We went in there and let the kids each pick a shirt and a stuffed animal...you don't even want to know the price difference between what disney charges in park and what walmart charges. Each shirt was $7 at walmart and the stuffed animal was $5-$10. I am sure we would have paid triple that if not more in the park. 
  6. In Destin we stayed in a Residence Inn (Marriott) they offer continental breakfast AND a managers reception for dinner on M, T, & Wed nights...which is like spaghetti, meatloaf..etc. Not the best tasting but free. 
  7. At Gatorland we got a 20% discount because I am a member of AAA. 
  8. We did NOT fill up with gas anywhere near the park. The gas station right by the park was $4.60 a gallon. 10 miles down the road we found a gas station for $3.40. 
  9. The way there we drove through the day (big mistake) we had to stop easily every 2-3 hours to let someone go to the bathroom. (Bennett had a hard time with public restrooms at first...but got over it real quick when he had no other option!) On the way back we drove through the night and that was NICE. Everyone slept pretty much the whole way. 


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Florida part 4- finale

On Thursday we went to Gatorland- an Orlando classic. I remember going here when I was little!! 
 The kids were nervous at first- but realized that this one didn't move.
Gatorland was fun, we got to see the gator show where they make them jump in the air (or as much as gators can jump). We also got to walk around the park and see just how many they have in their park...kind of eerie!! 


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Florida part 3-Most magical place

Thursday we hit up the most magical place on earth... and it was fantastic. The best part was that we didn't pay full price (makes you enjoy it that much more). I will give a $$ breakdown later. We were right on time to get to the park early before anything opened... until our tram broke down RIGHT outside the park. We sat there for 30 minutes while they figured out how to get it working again. The one big benefit is that we got a fastpass that we could use at any ride we wanted.  
Here are the kids at the entrance to the park
 I got each of the kids notebooks before hand for autographs. They loved running up to characters and getting them to sign their books- even Miles loved it!!
 Sorry it is sideways- here is Dad and Halle meeting Chip'n'Dale- we were actually on a different ride when they got this picture.
 Peter Pan ride...kids loved it!!
 And of course we watched the parade.
 Bennett got a nice big hug from Donald- and couldn't stop talking about it!
 Sideways again- but here are the girls in front of the castle.

Overall it was a fantastic day. We got there at about 9:30am (After the delay) and walked onto every single ride all day long. We only had to use our special fastpass 3 times, and only on the 3rd time did he take it away. By 4 in the afternoon we had gotten on every ride, and even let the kids ride their favorites again! It was SO worth pulling Halle out of school to go, to be able to walk onto everything...worth it. I hear in the summer you wait in lines for hours upon hours. 
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Florida part 2

After Destin we drove to Orlando and celebrated Bennett's real birthday in style by checking out downtown Disney. We ate at the T-Rex for dinner (of course WAY overpriced but you pay for the expierence). Bennett wasn't a fan of sitting too close to the moving dinosaurs so we got to sit in the "icecave" that changed colors every 2-4 minutes. Very trippy. 

 We walked around- the kids got a kick that everything was made out of legos.
 Halle got some pixy dust sprinkled on her (which I think is still in her scalp).
 And took a pictures with Buzz.


IT was a great way to get out of the hotel and get the kids running around.
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Our Trip to Florida- part 1

First off- I have to say that we just had the most wonderful vacation to Florida!! We were a little nervous due to Halle throwing up the day before we were suppose to leave, but it was just something that she ate. (Yes, I got to expierence the wonderful world of your child throwing up in the middle of church). ANYWAY- we ended up taking off a little later on Monday and drove to Destin Florida. It was SO BEAUTIFUL! We stayed Monday, Tuesday and part of Wednesday in Destin playing on the beach.

 Miles never liked the beach. He would rather sleep in the beach tent that we have.


 We walked around a downtown area later that  night-

 Ate dinner then went out to walk on the beach- so beautiful!!
 These next two are my favorite pictures-
 See that bump...yep this babe is growing. There is my 18 week bump, and no we still don't know what we are having. Our insurance makes us wait until 20 weeks.
 Enjoying some family time in bed watching cartoons- I talked the front desk into upgrading us to a two bedroom suite WITH kitchen.





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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Birthday Boy

Sweet Bennett- this little guy turned four on Sep. 7 but we actually celebrate a weekend early (he wasn't too upset). He actually sat in front of his present just looking at them for a good 20 minutes before we started opening...he was so excited!! 
 Showing off some of the goods he received-
 He had no problem just tearing into the presents. Miles had a hard time just sitting on the sidelines.
 He got a dumptruck...(thanks Grammy)
 And here is his cars cake- Have you seen the one that they sell at Williams & Sonoma...I wish i had the patience to do that one. I think this one was a major hit though.
 He was so excited to blow out his candles and make a wish.
 THe funniest thing was after he blew out his candles he didn't want a piece of cake- he wanted to go and play with his presents. Among those were a new Leapster (thanks Sugar and Pops), a stereo to play his own music (thanks Grandma and Grandpa) and lots of other goodies.
We were so grateful to have spent the time with Sugar, Pops, and Alex- and for all the presents sent by other family members!!

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Monday, September 5, 2011

6 of 100 Things to do In Houston

My parents came in town this past weekend to help celebrate Bennett's birthday. We started off by going to the Butterfly museum downtown. Usually it is about $7 per child and $8 per adult. I got a groupon the week before for 4 people to get into the museum for $14 (mom, dad, sis and one of our kids) and since Dustin, Bennett and I have Rice ID's we got in for FREE. Worth every penny to visit. 
 You go to learn all about bugs-
 Look through a microscope at different types of things.
 And of course this little guy was just along for the ride...not really sure about anything.
 At the end of the tour they have a kids section the kids can play in- here the kids are in their own beehive. We thought about leaving them up there...but decided they would probably want to come home...eventually.
 They have puzzles-
 And stories that you can read. Miles is our little/big reader. He loves to read books.
 And Bennett realized that you could get a good amount of air while jumping off tall ledges.

Overall is was a wonderful museum- knowing that we get in for free we will have to go visit more often!! These Rice ID's are coming in handy!
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