Sunday, December 27, 2009

Character Breakfast

We ended our Christmas fun in Orlando by using some of our Disney credit card points to go to a character breakfast. The hotel it was at had a carousel made out of gingerbread. By the way, I think Ethan's shirt is totally cool. Derek picked it up for him at Target a while back, but the sleeves were too long, so this is the first time he wore it. Not sure what Aubrey is doing, maybe her ear itches.
Notice I am sporting another of my purple Christmas shirts. I really do like purple and it does come in many different shades, so I am good.
Last time we did this about 2 years ago, Aubrey did not like the characters at all. This time she loved them and was happy to give out hugs.

Ethan was totally into the autograph book thing.
So we enjoyed on non traditional Christmas and will be heading up to NC to stay with Nana and Papa for the week tomorrow after church. More fun to be had!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Swimming on Christmas Day

We went from being all bundled up in ice, to swimming in the pool at our hotel. It was about 74 degrees outside, but the pools were heated and felt like bathwater. We stayed in the water close to 3 hours. This is the best picture I could get of Ethan coming down the waterslide.
It was completely dark inside and was really fast. He was scared at first, but I told him he just had to do it once and if he did not like it he did not have to do it again. Well, he loved it! He did it at least 20 times. There were some other people swimming, but there were only ever 3 people in line for the slide and most of the time he walked right on. I thought he would really like it so I am glad he gave it a try. Sometimes we moms really do know what we are talking about. Aubrey went down once and that was it for her. I do not think she liked the dark, but at least she tried it.

Aubrey jumping into the pool. She did her first jump all by herself several months ago at a friend's pool, but I did not have my camera to document it. This took some coaxing to do and eventually she did it as long as Ethan held her hand and jumped with her.
I know her head looks very close to the edge, but it was not that close and she did not hit the wall- just in case anyone was worried!

Just chilling out enjoying the pool.
This is their circus they got and they had a lot of fun playing with it since we had some time to just hang out in the room that evening. Wasn't that a good idea for me to bring it to play with?
Well, I thought so but Derek was so embarrassed that I would carry this into a nice hotel. I must say it got several comments both going up to our room and coming down as I proudly carried it. Ethan told Derek "Dad, you do have kids and it is Christmas - I think it will be okay" Too funny. I had Derek take a picture of me carrying it out to the car this morning to add even more to his embarrassment. The things he puts up with I tell you. The kids had a lot of fun though.

ICE in Orlando

Since we were staying in Florida for Christmas Day, Derek thought we might be a little lonely since we are used to be with family, so we planned trip down to Orlando. He found out about this ICE thing at the Gaylord Hotel and we thought it would be neat. I especially liked that I would feel cold on Christmas Day. The ICE exhibit is 9 degrees. We bundled all up and they give you parkas to put on. It was really neat and the pictures do not do it justice, but I tried.

Everything is carved out of ice and I really was impressed at how vibrant the colors were.
Eskimo kissing

Aubrey telling me that her face is cold. That was really the only part that was cold, except for my hands because I kept taking my gloves off to take pictures.

Aubrey touching fire
There was a carousel out of ice, but it did not turn.

The kids and I by a penguin because I have a strange fascination with penguins from my first grade teaching days.

Our only picture with Santa this year.

This is Aubrey on her first trip down. She went so slow. She actually had to start pushing herself because she basically had stopped. Her second trip down I gave her a big push and she flew down the slide. She was done after that trip down and her gloves kept coming off and her hands were cold.
Ethan really liked it and must have gone down at least 5 times.

Derek's turn

My turn
This was the nativity scene. We enjoyed it and stayed inside for about 40 minutes or so.

Christmas Morning

We woke up on Christmas morning and of course started out with reading the Christmas story. Ethan was able to help read some of it this year and was really excited.
Then they tore into their presents. They got the Playmobil Circus (parts of it) to share.

Opening some individual presents. Aubrey has had her eye on her princess presents for weeks now and was very excited to be able to finally open them.

She was not disappointed! She got a camping set addition to her doll house.
Ethan got a Lego RV- he really did like it. I think he just did not want to stop for a picture.
I got my Perfect Brownie pan from Aubrey.
I got the new Wii fit from Ethan. Aubrey wanted to be in the picture too - imagine that.

The kids got Derek the Bible Experience. It is the Bible on Cd's, but it is read by famous actors and singers.

Here I am showing off my new presents from Derek. He did really well with a purple shirt, plus the necklace, earrings and a bracelet. This has been my Christmas of purple shirts. My family obviously knows that purple is my favorite color - in fact my sister and mom got me the exact same shirt!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

This is a really cool picture that a photographer at our church took of Derek during rehearsal on Tuesday night. The Christmas season is very busy for Derek. There are many extra things that are added to his plate during this time of year. There are extra publications that he either creates or oversees, videos to shoot and edit, the living nativity, dramas, and extra choir and band rehearsals. I say all that because he does it all without complaining. He truly does love serving the Lord as a worship pastor and puts his whole heart into making each service a unique experience. God has blessed him with so many talents and many of them shine during this season. The band played a really great song tonight and it was also very difficult. Derek is a very accomplished pianist and rarely needs to practice. I know the song is difficult when he needs to practice it, as he had been for tonight. He and the band did a super job! We are getting away to Orlando tomorrow and then after church on Sunday we are heading up to NC for the week. He needs some relaxation. Derek has such a heart for serving and is very wise and gifted and he takes his calling to ministry very seriously. Most people do not know all that he does or the hours he puts in because he would never say anything. I just wanted to brag on him some because I am honored to be his wife and a part of his ministry.
Here is the link to the band performing Wizards of Winter last night - it was super!
We started out the morning with cinnamon rolls for breakfast and had a relaxing day at home until it was time for us to go to church.
Ethan kept asking for tinfoil today and it turns out he was using it to wrap presents.
Here is his note that he typed up for Santa. I will translate it in case you are not up on your first grade writing. "I hope you like your cookies. Do you like delivering presents? Please do not step on the tinfoil presents there is stuff that can break in them."
Is that not the sweetest little thing ever!
So, I am sure you are wondering what was in his treasured presents - I will not keep you in suspense any longer.
Derek got his wild chicken that he made in art class.
I got a Smencil (scented pencil) and a fire truck he had painted.
Aubrey scored a stretchy man, a pig pencil topper and a ring.
These were all items out of his room and he came up with the idea all on his own. I think these are the most treasured gifts that I will get! He is such a blessing in our lives. Now, I did take him shopping and he bought something for Daddy and Aubrey, but he wanted to give something of his own I guess.

My two cuties all dressed up and ready for church
Pastor Barry brought the kids up on stage to help him with the welcome. I had already checked Aubrey into the nursery and Ethan and I were sitting in church and he walks down the aisle with Aubrey and grabs Ethan to go up with him. Aubrey was not so sure about it. She kept her finger in her mouth the whole time, but at least she did not do anything embarrassing, like pull up her dress.
Family shot after church.
We came home from church and Santa had come to our house. You can see the delight on Aubrey's face!

I think she likes it!

Ethan tearing into a present. He got a mixer to mix different songs from his ipod.

Ethan got a percussion set- Santa must know he likes music!
A bike helmet to go along with the bike - safety first!
Aubrey got a Zhu Zhu pet and the Unicorn Webkinz that she had her eye on at Books A Million. She was very excited about these.

Ethan got a fake pink panther diamond that he had wanted after watching the Pink Panther movie - he was really excited about this.
Daddy helping Ethan with all his percussion instruments.
Mommy helping Aubrey with her stocking stuff.
Ethan showing off his tamborine
Aubrey got two princess Polly Pockets that she did not have- Jasmine and Sleeping Beauty. She got Sleeping Beauty for her birthday last year, but Bruster chewed it up the first day she had it.

I got some of my favorite peppermint Junior mints which you can only find at Christmas. You can see Aubrey wanted to help with my stocking too.
Derek got some adult gummy vitamins in his stocking.