Friday, July 26, 2013

My Friend Jonah's Fourth Birthday Party

My friend Jonah had a Ninja birthday party! He does karate classes at this place near our apartment, and they do birthday parties, so he figured he'd invite us all down for a really fun (and really active!) party

First, we sat down with the karate master, and he explained what we'd be doing...
Then he told us how to respond to the things he was saying to us. He wanted our movements to be very crisp, and for our responses to be very loud and respectful. Here I am standing at attention and saying "Yes sir!" when it was my time to do so!
He had us stand at a rest position (there's Jonah up front with the instructor) whenever we weren't actively doing anything.
And then he had us snap to attention when he told us. Look at my posture! I think I might be a natural!
This was our defensive position when we were getting ready to punch.
Here I am throwing out some punches which contacted a piece of paper the instructor was holding...we were told to snap our fist out, hit the paper, and let loose with a nice, loud, sharp "Aye-ya"
And yes...I was nice and sharp, and nice and loud. I had some nice solid hits!
We then moved on to some dodgeball, which was utter chaos...but SO much fun. We ran around the room, while trying to avoid getting hit by whoever's turn it was to have the ball. It was wild. The instructor played some loud music while we played, and it was crazy!

We had some lunch, and then some cupcakes that were fashioned into the shape of a dragon. That is the coolest thing I have ever seen! The master even helped Jonah carefully cut the dragon with a REAL ninja sword. SERIOUSLY! That was amazing (as were the cupcakes)

That...was a great party!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

My Friend Ashvini's Fifth Birthday Party

This summer has had its fair share of birthday parties...for my friend Ashvini's fifth birthday (man, we are getting OLD....we are pushing ten, here!) she chose to go back to the same place that she had her fourth birthday party, since she loved it so much...

It's a nice picturesque place that had lots of places where you can feed the animals...
There was a nice variety of animals there: Ducks, and even a peacock! That was one beautiful bird!
I tried my best to have a civilized conversation with the peacock, but he (she?) was prettt aloof.
I even got to see a little bunny rabbit that was being a bit shy.
Later we went on a hayride which was a lot of fun (my friend Skyler is hidden behind me there with her awesome movie starlet sunglasses on)
It was a nice day out, and we had had the party some months before the heat got really bad, so we were happy to have missed out on THAT. I hope we get to back here for Ashvini's SIXTH birthday party next year! This place is great!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Connecticut Visit For Hannah's Baptism...May 2013

We recently visited Connecticut to take part in the baptism of our friends Mike and Laura's daughter Hannah. Dad got to be the godfather, so we took off some extra time to make our way up there for a weekend. It was a nice little trip!

While playing with Nick at Gramma Debbie's during the visit, I had to deal with the fact that I was getting pretty big, and couldn't quite fit through the playset like I used to. Ow! My head! 
Nick let me play with his Batman four wheeler, which was a lot of fun. We rode all of the driveway together...
And sometimes we left the driveway. To be fair, the pool was only about ten feet or so from the driveway.
We zipped around for what seemed like forever, while Aunt Amy and Mom watched us.
We also had some fun when Braelynn stopped by! Gramma brought us some freeze pops! Nothing better in the summer months than hanging with your cousins and eating some delicious little freeze pops!
A typically happy afternoon was had by all!
In the mornings, Nick and I watched some TV together and did a little of that bonding that we enjoy doing... and he even let me sit in his chair...
Well, mostly. He wanted to sit in my lap.
Finally, the big event happened on Sunday, and it was a lovely little affair. The church was really nice, as was the service. Dad looked like a million bucks up there.
I sat with my family out in the pews (Mom was taking the picture) and watched the baptism. It was really nice. Congratulations, Hannah!
We got to go to a little lunch downstairs and the food was great! I also got to run around and play a little bit before we literally hopped in the car to make our way back home. Above is a picture of the three of us acting silly. It's how we do it!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Our Walt Disney Cruise!! (PART 3 of 3)

Yup...I took a couple weeks off from the blog because of some travel, but now I'm back for the exciting conclusion to our Walt Disney Cruise!!

On our last day at sea, we visited Disney's very own island in the Bahamas: Castway Cay!

We docked, and I immediately found the first sand on the island and began playing in it.
It was really warm, and I was able to create a couple small sand castles in a very short amount of time.
Mom and I took some time to take in the beautiful scenery, and amazing weather that greeted us on the island.
Our first excursion for the day was a glass bottom boat tour, which is exactly what it sounds like: We went out on a boat that had glass on the bottom so we could look at the fish, and reefs under the boat. It was pretty neat. Mom and I prepared by doing our best fishie faces.
I also prepared by getting as silly as humanly possible.
Here is a shot of some fish under the boat. The tour guides gave us some oatmeal in little cups that we could throw over the side of the boat, and when we did, the fish just flocked over to us, and ate it right up.
Dad was nice enough to carry me for the really rocky parts of the boat ride.
Dad was taking a picture of this Mickey Mouse shaped hole in the gate at the boat ramps, when I popped my head in for a quick little photo op. Don't you want to just go on vacation with me right now?!
On our way to the rest of the island, we stopped at this little photo op that caught not only the ship in the background, but featured a fish that had caught US.
I got to turn his reel and try to catch more humans, but I didn't get any. Better luck next time!
We grabbed some food, and then headed out to our next excursion: Bike rentals! Mom hadn't been on a bike in decades, so Dad was teasing her a lot...she didn't help her case by gliding into the bushes on her first try. I was determined to make sure she got off on the right foot, so I helped her get moving. I must say, the saying "It's like riding a bike" holds true, because once she got going, Mom did great!!
I took a spill just a few minutes into our ride, but Dad helped me up, and I managed to rally. We rode our bikes through a picturesque little pathway around the island (which strangely had a little section that we inexplicably shared with the trams that brought people to and from the boats) and had a lot of fun! Mom even lapped us a couple times! She was doing great!
We stopped for a break at an observation tower, and got to look out around the island.
We could even see out to our ship! It was an amazing view!
After our break, we hopped back on the bikes, and rode back towards the starting point. I think we rode over a mile! It was longest I had ever ridden, and I was so proud of myself for doing it, especially after having falling right when I started.
All three of us had so much fun riding our bikes!
What  better way to cool off after a long bike ride, than to hit up the old splash pad!
Mom and Dad joined me out there, and we had a lot of fun! Usually grown-ups don't join me on the splash pad, but at this place they did, and I have to say, they had as much fun as the kids.
I even found some other kids to play with out there! SO much fun!
After the splash pad, we were wrapping up our visit to the island and getting ready to go back to the ship. We decided that we wanted to spend a few minutes on the beach, even if it was brief...

I got to play in the sand for a few minutes, while Mom explored the crystal clear warm water...I joined her as we wrapped up, and then we headed back to the ship and made it just in the nick of time! We were part of the group of the last twenty or so people that got onboard the ship! Phew!
We really enjoyed Disney's little island. It was the perfect balance of feeling like a natural island, with that little Disney touch. It wasn't overbearing at all!
 While we got ready for our last dinner and last show, I took a little time to relax and take in some Disney was a nice way to wind down from our island trip!
While we were out and about, we ran into Goofy...Now, if you weren't around for my little moment when disembarking the ship at Castaway Cay, I'll recap it for you: Basically, I walked down the exit ramp, shouting about how I was uninterested in meeting any costumed Disney characters. I did my best impression of a little angry man, and I stated, definitively, that I wanted nothing to do with Donald, Goofy, Daisy, Mickey, Princesses of any kind, Captain Hook.....and Pluto! Yeah, not Pluto either!

Apparently, it was pretty amusing to everyone around me.

So, when we ran into Goofy on the ship, it was with great hesitation that I let Dad take me up to him...and even though I look concerned in this photo, I was really just mulling over the important stuff: Whether or not I was going to show Goofy my Mickey Mouse card that not only unlocked our room door, but turned our lights on in our stateroom.After Dad's super enthusiastic high five (Way to cheese it, Dad.) I finally relented, smiled, and high-fived Goofy. I also took out my card and showed him. He was really nice, and listened to me talk about the card. I was so excited that he listened to me, even though there were other kids waiting. What a great guy!

Now that I had warmed up to the idea of costumed characters, I was able to go with Mom and Dad to see Chip n' Dale, so that Mom could have a long overdue reunion with Chip (or Dale...) apparently they had a thing on Mom and Dad's first trip to DisneyLand, and Mom wanted to say 'Hi'. The two of them were so silly, running around, bumping into each other, and knocking off each other's was hilarious. I also showed them my Mickey card after this pic. They thought it was hilarious. I love those crazy guys!

On our way to the theater, we got to pass my favorite animated this one, Donald, Mickey and Goofy look at a boat schematic, and then quickly build the boat within a cloud of dust....then the boat does several different things depending on its mood. The one I liked best was when then the boat turned out to be inflated, and it popped, sending it off into the sky. I'll have to see if I can upload a video of this thing. It's really cool.
We had a lovely dinner (I'll spare you the pics from dinner....they looked the same as the last one...I had a Mickey ice cream bar, and ended up covered in chocolate) and then went to see our final show, which was a great one! Even my turtle from the Aquarium got to join us!
Upon returning to our stateroom, we found out final towel animal, which was a DOOZY. Look at this guy! We couldn't bring ourselves to take it apart when we left!
Exhausted from another long day, I conked out in my bed...we had to be up obscenely early the next morning to grab a quick breakfast, and leave the ship...after a wonderful vacation, we headed home, well-rested, and full of that Disney magic....we can't wait to do it again someday!!