Monday, June 29, 2009

Disney Trip 09 - Day 2

Tuesday was our first day at Disneyland, and it was also our Magic Morning. We could get into the park one hour before the official opening. That meant 7 o'clock...which meant we needed to get to the gates by 6:30 a.m.! And we did! In fact, we were second in line. Great, right? Well it totally would have been if the scanner at our turnstile wasn't broken!!! Ggrrr. Certainly the people WAY back at the end of the line probably thought that it was us--like there was a problem with our tickets--but really people, I swear! Even so, I couldn't look back. Making eye contact wouldn't have been pretty. Especially at 7 in the morning. But thankfully after the seemingly 90 year-old cast member tried dozens and dozens of times to make things work to no avail, he asked the cast member next to us to scan our tickets, and he did. So with that fiasco behind us, we walked with purpose to Fantasyland.

Peter Pan is traditionally our family's first ride. Always. And so it was again. Then it was off to Dumbo and the Matterhorn. Yes, the Matterhorn! After countless attempts we finally *talked* Grayson into trying it! (So what that there may or may not have been a little money exchange. *Talked* him into it or *payed* him off...really, what's the difference?!) Molly could have done it, too, and we did get her all the way thru the line, but we opted not to be those parents who make their wailing, kicking, screaming children go on rides. Bribery? Yes. Forced torture? Nah. So just G and I rode, and thankfully that ride was just the beginning of Grayson's new love affair with roller coasters. Yahoo! (Again, there may or may not have been money exchanged for each new ride tried.)

Now that I look at my pictures from this day (see below), I am cracking up! While I did take several, there were hours and hours of fun that I never got a single shot of! Huh. Apparently I only got my camera out early in the morning and then again at dinnertime. Oh well. Besides, I think that might have been the day that Molly napped for like 4 hours. Tired girl.

Other highlights from Tuesday:

-We ate at 2 of our favorite restaurants--Carnation Cafe on Main Street and Rainforest Cafe in Downtown Disney. Both were fun with great food.

-Molly and I were the first people in line to meet Minnie at her house. And shock of all shocks, Molly didn't cry or cover her eyes! True, she didn't smile either, but she did agree to a picture and let me hold her next to Minnie.

-Just by chance, Grayson and I ended up on Thunder Mountain Railroad during the fireworks. Awesome! In fact, that was the perfect ending to an awesome first day in the park. We headed back to the hotel happy but exhausted.

Disney Trip 09 - Day 1

Thankfully there were no early morning trips to the emergency room on the day of departure this year. Phew! Instead everything worked in our favor and we got to sunny southern California without delay.

The hotel we stayed at--the Howard Johnson--has a super cool pirate-themed water play area. We stayed there last summer, too, but missed the opening of the new play area by 1 week! So it was fun for the kids to try it out on this trip. And they loved it! It definitely made up for the fact that the walk is a teensy bit longer to the front gates of Disneyland from this hotel than many of the other off-site hotels.

After lots of water fun, we ate dinner at Mimi's and then headed back to the hotel room to rest up for our first big day at the park!

Let's Get Summer Started!

Hallelujah! It's finally here, as is the sun. Thankfully the Ryan Four survived the last couple weeks of the school year. Barely. I mean the school year itself was a good one--great kids, great families to work with--but the last 2 or 3 weeks of any year always seem to suck me dry. This year especially since I also had to deal with moving out of my classroom, which was no small feat. I realized that I inhabited that classroom longer than any house I've lived in during my adult life. Boy you can collect a lot of *junk* in 7 years! Ha!

But the good news is that I'm done. Packed up. Moved out. Ready for summer. Speaking of which, we just kicked it off with an awesome trip to Disneyland!!! Now that's how you get summer started!

Multiple trip reports to follow...

Sunday, June 28, 2009

End-of-Year Highlights

I should just move on and resign myself to the fact that I was a TERRIBLE blogger the last couple of months, but how can I go forward without marking the end of Grayson's year in kindergarten?!? I can't. And I can't believe that he's not in kindergarten anymore!!! What a great year he had. His favorite part? Recess, of course. But in the classroom, he was a super little student. I'm so proud of him for learning so much, but more than that, I'm proud of him for not being one of the "naughties"! Ha! He truly gave it his all while being kind, respectful, and well-behaved. Phew! And ever so slowly, we are starting to see those wings of his spread out a little wider by the day. He's always been our shy guy, kind of like someone else I know well--me! And to this point, he has never really been one to fly solo. Instead he has always been more content to ride on the wings of others. But this boy, he's going to soar soon! All on his own.

Grayson, your mom is so proud of you. Proud that you walked into your classroom on the very first day without shedding a single tear. Proud that you fell in love with soccer and gave it your best out on the field. Proud that you performed up on stage with your classmates even when you were incredibly nervous and didn't really want to. Proud that you can actually read now! On your own. And you choose to read! On your own. Proud that you now write incredible stories full of rich content about your life, your family, your friends--may you always love to write! Yes, Grayson, you had a great year in kindergarten. But that was only just the beginning. I can't wait to see what new heights you will reach next year as you take flight on those new wings of independence. Go high, Buddy!

(Speaking of performing up on stage...the kindergarten classes at G's school put on a DARLING end-of-year fashion show. It was NOT his favorite thing, but he did it! And judging by the picture below, the soccer uniform is one of this season's hottest trends! Ha! Ha!)

Our buddy Garrett strutting his swimwear!

Isaac in his OSU Beavers attire.

Here they are singing the grand finale--Big Dreams.

And one last pic--a fitting finale for this post. Here's one of the MAJOR reasons why G had such a great year:
Thank you, Mrs. D!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

I'm still here!

Really, I am. But it seems that I have gone on somewhat of an unplanned blogging hiatus. Oops. Stay tuned though! I promise to come back! Soon.