Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Clown Ballerina? Is there such a thing?

It's nearing the end of Septmeber, which means the start of fall and the beginning of the Halloween season. YAY! I love Halloween so much. I have so many great memories of Halloween. When we were little, some people in our ward would have a giant Halloween party at their farm every year. They would have a scary movie playing in the barn, a hayride for the little kiddos, a warm fire, hot cider, the works.  I also have memories of my cousins who lived up Brighton canyon coming to our house every year to go trick or treating with us. As we got older and didn't trick or treat any longer my mom made it a tradition to have Chili, breadsticks and donuts at her house every Halloween for whoever wanted  to stop by. I love love love Halloween!
Even though it won't be the same Utah Halloween I'm used to (crisp fall air, leaves changing colors, the annual Halloween parties) I'm determined to not to let the sweletering Florida heat fool me into thinking Halloween isn't just around the corner. I've started thinking of costume ideas for Owen (suggestions welcome). I'm coming up with nothing. Am I horrible mother? The poor little dude isn't even two and I've already run out of fun Halloween ideas. I thought of sticking him in his costume from last year again but as you can see from the second picture, he doesn't really care for mustard. (Tyler's joke... need to give credit where credit is due)

Anyway, I decided to go back to some of my pictures from past halloweens to see if it would conjure up any creativity on my part. Mostly it just conjured up tears of laughter about what I thought were great halloween costumes at one time. Like this one:

I wanted to be a ballerina, my best friend April was going to be a clown. Can you tell that my mom did both my makeup and April's makeup? Maybe she thought deep down I wanted to be a clown too. It's ok mom, I think it's hilarious and I must have not known it was embarassing at the time.

Or this one:

At our church they asked everyone to be something from the past. I thought it was a great idea to be the Pinta. You know the Nina, the Pinta, the Santa Maria? Weird.  Do you see the shirt under the boat? It's a clock. I thought it was super clever to wear something that was representing "turning back time".

Or this one:

I honestly don't even have an explantation for this one. I don't remember what I was thinking but it was probably something along the lines of "I know I'm too old to be trick or treating and I don't have a costume but maybe if I draw polka dots on my face, stuff my outfit with pillows and throw on a red wig, I can trick neighbors into giving me some candy."

Anwyay, like I was saying,  I love halloween, there is nothing more fun than going to a haunted house with the man you love and cuddling up close when the chain saw guy is coming at you or eating chili and donuts on halloween night (Tyler thinks chili and donuts are a weird combo but to me that's halloween. Yummy) or getting lost in corn mazes or eating candy corn or seeing my mom dressed up for Halloween even if she isn't going anywhere the whole day. Plus, I love fall, it might be my favorite season. Could you Utah friends please mail me some leaves that have changed color? I need me some crisp fall air and something other than green trees!

Ok, so as I writing this blog post Tyler came up with the best idea... he wants the few of you who read this blog to email me a picture of your most ridiculous or your funniest Halloween costumes from the past. My email is: brittersport@gmail.com. If it's ok with the people who do send them, I'll do a post ranking our favorites. If only one person sends me their picture, then I guess you'll automatically win. For you more timid folks, you can just leave a comment about your funniest costume. I would just love to hear that there are others out there who wore humiliating costumes in their pasts as well. The winner will receive halloween peeps, unless of course you hate peeps in which case I'll send you the halloween candy of your choice. Please send some pictures in... Tyler and I need some entertainment!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

YAY for the Brandon and Sarah Cushing Family- The Conclusion

Saturday, Sunday and Monday:

After our exhausting day at Disney, we woke up Saturday morning and decided to relax and play by the pool at the hotel before heading over to Downtown Disney:

Ok, so the kids didn't relax at the pool, they spent their time working hard at dunking their dad for the hour or so we were there. The hard work paid off. They totally succeeded.
Then to Downtown Disney:
Can you believe that whole dragon is made out of legos? So intense. Who has the time to build something like that?

Yep, Woody is made out of legos too. There was also a whole family of tourists and with dogs built out of legos. I was so bummed I didn't get a picture of it. Oh well. You should probably go and see it yourself. Totally worth it.

At home Owen loves to pull out the oven mitts, put them on and run around the house with them on. We found these Dinasour puppets that fit over his hands in the Disney store and he was chasing everyone in the store trying to scare them. Pure entertainment.

After shopping for a little while the kiddos found the souveniers they wanted and we got in the car to make the ride home. I lost my book somewhere along the way and my sweet husband pulled into a rest stop and spent a good ten minutes looking everywhere in the car for it.  In the end,  we found it under my seat. Oops. He was mad...

Doesn't he fake a really good mad face? What a talented guy I married... such an actor.

We got home around 6:45 that night and Brandon, Sarah and kids really wanted to hit the beach one more time before they left back to Utah so we quickly changed, jumped in the car and headed down to the beach for a swim. We were too busy swimming to get any pictures. Bummer...

One thing so weird about the beach that night... we get done swimming and we go to rinse off all of the sand and this family of five was at the showers totally showering, not rinsing off, full on showering with shampoo, conditioner and soap.  Also, the dad had hair cutting shears. Isn't that so weird? Cutting hair and then showering in the beach shower. Not ok.

Something so sweet... while we were at the beach Camron was looking for shells most of the time. When we got home he asked for some string, I didn't have any but told him I had some wrapping paper ribbon he could use. I had no idea what he was using it for when about ten minutes later he came out with a necklace for me and Tyler that he had made out of the shells and the ribbon. We loved them. Such a great gift. Thank Cam!

Sunday was Brandon and Sarah's anniversay so they took an anniversary drive to get some donuts:


Don't be mad at me for posting you guys eating donuts ok? They are the only pics I have of your anniversary date!

They also came back from their anniversary drive with a gift for my house. A new swiffer mop! YAY for anniversaries! Who goes out for their anniversary and comes back with a gift for their sister? Brandon and Sarah do. Man... what did I ever do without a swiffer? They are so much nicer than a mop and bucket. Anway, thanks guys! Happy Anniversary.

We hit up church and then relaxed the rest of the afternoon. That night we decided to take a walk down the riverwalk and jump on a water taxi to check out some of Ft. Lauderdale from the water.

Wow, are we bad parents? Letting our child suck on a hand rail in a water taxi? Probably not the most sanitary item for him to chew on.

Tyler and I love the water taxi but realized that it may be more of an enjoyment for the adults. The kids weren't super into it until we make a stop and saw these:
Can you see those? They are called Tarpon and they are huge. The kids loved this part of the night.
We got home and crashed. We had such a fun busy week and were so not looking forward to the Brandon and Sarah Cushing family leaving us the next day.
Monday morning we got up and said our goodbyes. Such a sad day for us:
One thing I forgot to mention in my first post is that when we picked Brandon and Sarah up from the airport, they came out with only THREE carry on bags for luggage. That's it, for a family of six. Can you believe that? I take more bags than that for just me and Owen. I was super impressed.
Good bye Brandon, Sarah and kids! We miss you already!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Brandon and Sarah Cushing Family-Part Two

Thursday and Friday...
Thursday we just drove to Orlando, checked into the hotel and got some grub. Not to brag but we seriously got hooked up on this trip... the first night we were there the restaurant was out of the onion rings for Tyler's burger so they gave us a huge thing of free fries and free drinks... nice.

Owen was really loving it.

So this was the part of the trip the kids were most excited about. We got up Friday and headed to the Happiest Place on Earth. If you don't know what I'm referring to, here is another hint:

If you guessed Disney World, you would be correct.

So, quick story  about what a great hook up that we got to get into Disney. The Cushing family had done some volunteer work at the beginning of the year to get free tickets into the park but Tyler and I didn't participate because we were in Florida. We were super excited to visit the parks but not super excited to spend the money on the place. I was telling my good friend Chelsea about this and she mentioned that she had an amazing hook up named Ray that could help us out with that.  She told me that you just pick the guy up from Walgreens, drive him to the park and he gets you into the park for free, oh and he gets you free parking. Once you're inside the park, you give the guy $60 and he heads home on a bus. It sounded a little sketchy when she was telling me about it but we decided to call this guy and see if it was legit. When I called this sweet  78 year old man answered the phone, told me he would check his schedule and then informed me that we were good to go. We just had to drive 20 minutes to pick him up the next morning and we would be on our way. We seriously loved this guy. He used to work for Disney so for part of his retirement plan, they told him he could get up to three people into the park for free every day. He decided to take advantage of that deal and make himself a little retirement income on the side. He said he's booked through November and he makes a good little living out of it. Here we are on the monorail into the park:

Oh man, don't you just love this old guy? Seriously, we love him. Thanks Ray for saving us $160!

None of us, except Sarah had been to Dinsey World before so it was such a fun time. We seriously had such a blast.

Loving the Parade


Aren't they cute?

Space Mountain (my personal favorite)

The highlight for Owen. Driving a Car.

Handsome hubby on Winnie the Pooh

Getting sick on the teacups. Love this ride.

Sarah bought some popcorn and Tyler and Owen accidently spilled it, so there were a ton of birds hanging out by this table we were sitting at. The babies were loving it, chasing them all over the place. It may have been one of Owen's favorite things at Disney World. Oh and after we spilled it, the janitor came over and offered us another free popcorn since we spilled ours. Then about an hour later we all wanted frozen bananas and the guy at the banana stand just gave three of them to us for free... can you believe that? Such a good day for hook ups right?

Something so annoying though... we realized on our drive to Disney that it was closing at 7:00 that night for some Christian get together. So everyone had to leave the park unless you paid $56 extra per person to stay and listen to Christian Rock.  They wouldn't even let you into the stores to purchase souveniers. Can you believe that? Anyway, we decided to opt out of that and headed to a way yummy dinner at Bahama Breeze... mmmm so good.

It was such a fantastic day!
To be continued...

Sunday, September 12, 2010

YAY for the Brandon and Sarah Cushing Family- Part One

This past week Brandon and Sarah and kids came to visit, YAY! We had such an amazing time with them and Owen is for sure going to go through withdrawals without the kids here after we drop them off on Monday :(.

Anyway, we obviously want to remember their visit so I'm going to post everything about our trip. I don't want to bore the few readers I have to tears with every detail of every day in one post so I'll just do a few posts that are per day or two.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday:

This is how the trip started:

That's a picture from my car window. As you can see it was pouring rain and we were going 0 miles an hour. Poor family was sitting at the airport just waiting for us to arrive. Once we did arrive though (only and hour after their plane arrived... oops) we were so excited to see everyone and luckily by then, the rain had cleared up.

I could not wait to wake up on Tuesday and take the kids to the beach. They had never seen the ocean before and  I couldn't wait to see their faces when we hit the beach. There reactions did not disappoint. So excited to be there. Such a good day spent making sand castles, playing in the waves and finding sea creatures. Way fun.

Brandon and Zack building the Star Castle

The whole fam playing in the ocean

Aren't they a cute couple? Really though...

They loved it as much as I hoped they would.
That night we decided to head down to this place. I got everyone pumped to walk through the mangroves and check out the dollar museum (costs a dollar, not an actual museum about dollars). We pulled up to the gate and... who knew? Closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Weird. Luckily we had a backup plan. We took them over to Hollywood beach to walk on the boardwalk and play at the park and sprinkler park. Obviously we didn't know the kids would be playing in the sprinkler park since we didn't know we would end up there but we made do without their swimsuits and they were troopers walking around soaking wet afterward.

The babies were loving these little horses. Oh and I loved that I caught a pic right as Cam was falling off the thing in back. Action shot.

Cam and Zack's (twin nephews) birthday was at the end of August and since we couldn't be there to celebrate with them on the actual day we decided to have a birthday party here for them. We got out the banana cream pie (requested by the boys, guess I've got some nephews who don't like cake) and lit the candles.

So funny, apparently I didn't read the package when I bought the candles and we ended up with trick candles. Not a good thing when you've got babies sleeping and the smokey candles are right under your super sensitive smoke detecter. Tyler was trying to wave the smoke away and this happened:

If you can't tell, he broke off the smoke alarm. oops. Oh and Brandon, terribly sunburned. He doesn't typically walk around with his shirt off.

Once we got all of the candles out for good, we went to cut into the pie and it was totallly still frozen inside. Another little oops.  Cam had the idea to stick a piece in the microwave for a minute to unfreeze it... maybe a bad idea? The Birthday boy had this for his piece of pie.

You may not be able to tell what's happening but it's completely melted.

Don't worry, I cut a new one for him and dug right in to the melted peice. I'll tell you what, melted banaa cream pie... yummy.

Wednesday morning we were heading to Shark Valley. Since we had visited Shark Valley a few times before and seen about twenty alligators within the first fifteen minutes of getting there, I'd been telling the kids all about how they were going to see so many big live alligators as soon as we got there. When we were pulling into the park I asked the parking attendant if we were going to see Gators... his response "I can guarantee you'll see some babies.", not a good sign. We walked in the gate and did immediately see these little guys:

Pretty cute right? But no big gators to be found protecting these babies. I figured we'd keep walking and would for sure run into some gators soon enough. Well I didn't think things through very well when I was bringing a family that is used to the dry Utah weather to a asphalt covered walkway in Florida heat at 12:00 in the afternoon. We had been walking for about a half an hour without seeing a real Gator (not that the babies aren't real but you get what I'm saying) and I'm feeling like it's the perfect weather for a walk (some cloud cover and a breeze- you couldn't ask for much more in a Florida summer) when I start to realize that the Utah family I'm dragging behind me is slowly melting. Kids are starting to have small meltdowns, babies are crying, etc.

 I'm praying my little heart out for a gator to show up since we just spent an hour in the car to see one when all of the sudden I hear Sarah yell "Hey guys! Get over here, I see one!". We all run over there and it's just lying on the ground. The kids were so super excited and I was excited for a photo op so I'm telling the kids to get closer when it get up on all fours and does this: Sorry in advance for the shakey video. I guess I shouldn't be the one on camera duty.

Scary right? Ok, maybe not super scary, it wasn't charging at us or anything but it could have. Come to find out there were like 20 little babies sitting right next to the Mama and she was all about protecting them. We got out of her way in plenty of time, no lost limbs or anything.

Luckily seeing the big gator turned the kid's mood right around and we decided to end it on a good note and head back out of the park. Right before we left we spotted this guy.

When we got out to the gift shop place, the guy informed us that September is probably the worst time to visit Shark Valley and expect to see Alligators. I guess because the rain makes the water so high, they are hard to spot. We felt super lucky that we left having seen two big turtles, about thirty baby alligators and two big alligators. The kids loved it.

That night we decided to head back to Hollywood beach, this time with our suits and hang there for a while. So much fun.
We hit up the ocean:

Yummy Greek Restaurant:

The Park:

The sprinkler Park:

And a free concert where we danced our little hearts out:

Dancing to a really bad but super fun cover band

Such a fun day and there was more to come.... to be continued....