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September 2017

Liam’s 6th Birthday Weekend ~ Part 3 ~ Character Dining Fun

For Liam’s 6th birthday weekend, we had packed our bags & enjoyed a staycation at Walt Disney World. If you’ve been following along on my last few posts, this is the 3rd in a series from Liam’s birthday. We had so many adventures this year that I wanted to break it up, as there were a ton of photos to share. You can catch up with the 1st post about our stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge – HERE – and the 2nd post about our magical time at Cinderella’s Royal Table – HERE.  As part of our celebration, we splurged on a few super fun character dining experiences.

On the morning of Liam’s actual birthDAY, we had breakfast at the Crystal Palace on the corner of Main Street at the Magic Kingdom. It’s a buffet-style service, and the food was good. We enjoyed the charming atmosphere, which is inspired by the Victorian greenhouses of the late 1800s.

All of our favorite friends from the Hundred-Acre Woods were there, so that made little man’s day! He even got to particpate in a celebatory parade that marched them all around the restaurant with the characters. So cute!

Winne the Pooh….

I couldn’t decide between sharing the hug picture above or this regular ‘cheese’ pic ….had to do both. Loved the hugs from Pooh Bear.

Seriously, how cute is Piglet? 🙂

Not even sure how Eeyore signed the book, but kudos to him! That was one area, too, that Liam was completely on top of. He made sure that no one forgot about his book. That was top of his list before any hugs, pics, or small talk with these guys. It was too funny!

Can’t say enough about how good all of these character meet & greets are at the dining experiences. They take so much time with the kids & are so patient. Love it!

Tigger…..

Our final character dining experience took us over to Epcot to the Garden Grill in the Land. We had dinner at Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Harvest Feast. This is a family-style dining meal with food that’s grown from the Living with the Land area there. OH.MY.GOODNESS — it was SO delicious!

It is also neat because the restaurant slowly turns in a circle while you eat, and you get to see different part of the Living with the Land attraction. While you’re dining the characters come around to your table.

We had told our server it was Liam’s birthday, so they presented him with this signed birthday card & stickers. So sweet & he was thrilled!!

Hanging with Chip….

Sharing a laugh with Dale …..

His best pal, Pluto…

So in love with the one & only — Mickey Mouse …& loved his farmer Mickey outfit, too!…. 

We had THE best time at all of our character dining experiences over Liam’s 6th birthday weekend. I’m sure we’ll be looking for more unique visits in the future. The food at all the venues was so yummy, and all 3 of us LOVED the convenience of the meeting the characters right at the table.

Until next time, friends,

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September 2017

Liam’s 6th Birthday Weekend ~ Part 2 ~ Cinderella’s Royal Table

For Liam’s 6th birthday weekend, we had packed our bags & enjoyed a staycation at the Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge. As part of our celebration, we had a special birthday dinner in Cinderella’s Castle at the Magic Kingdom at Cinderella’s Royal Table.

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This restaurant is described by Disney as a ‘one-of-a-kind fairytale dining experience’, and it 100% was. We all LOVED the entire night! I literally had to book our reservation months in advance, so this was one dinner we had been anticipating for a while. The restaurant, itself, is quite small & quaint but I think that made for a more personable experience. It’s situated in the back half of the 2nd floor of the castle. You can see it from the carousel area.

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When we 1st went into the castle, we were greeted by the lovely, Cinderella. Liam was smitten ❤ — She chatted it up with him & danced with him. It was seriously the cutest moment ever! We snagged a nice family pic with her, as well. 🙂

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While we waited to be seated, we hung out in the downstairs area where Cinderella was. Both floors are decorated in a medieval-style & you totally feel like you are in a page from the storybook.

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A winding staircase takes you up to this view, which is where the actual restaurant is ….

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So many pretty details everywhere you looked to make the experience feel complete. Our server was so sweet, too! She referred to Liam, as ‘my Prince’. I was ‘my Queen’ and Stephen was ‘my King’. Loved it!

Each of the boys got their own sword and I was given a wand 🙂 ….We also were given a ‘Wishing Star‘ that Fairy Godmother helped us to make a wish with toward the end of the meal ❤

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While dinner got underway, MORE PRINCESSES came out & around to everyone’s table. How cool is that?!?! — They took their time & chatted with Liam for a minute & then posed for a picture. This mama appreciated that they didn’t leave until you acknowledged that you got a pic you were happy with 😉

Ariel from the Little Mermaid….

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Snow White …..

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Aurora from Sleeping Beauty…

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Jasmine from Aladdin…. 

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Now, let’s talk about the food for a sec because it was fabulous! Both Stephen & I had the beef & shrimp dinner. So yummy! I didn’t take a pic of his, but Liam had the kids mac n’ cheese. Holy cow, it was probably the best mac n’ cheese ever. SO good! For dessert, we had a dark chocolate mousse dish, “The Clock Strikes Twelves“. — heaven!

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Liam got to make/decorate his own cupcake for his dessert. Our server also brought out an extra birthday cupcake with a candle & we sung to him ❤

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It was such a magical evening & such a memorable way to celebrate this special boy’s 6th birthday. We even timed the reservation pretty perfect, as we were able to see & listen to the Happily Ever After fireworks show as we finished up dessert. So fun!

Love our sweet boy & loved everything about this night! Until next time, friends,

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August 2017

Liam’s 6th Birthday Weekend ~ Part 1 ~ Animal Kingdom Lodge

For Liam’s 6th Birthday weekend, we packed our bags & had a staycation at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

This was honestly our 1st real vacation away from home as a family since Liam was born, so we were extra excited for this experience. We stayed in Jambo house, and our room was off of the Kudo Trail on the 2nd floor. This is the view of the massive lobby area when you 1st walk into the resort. It is gorgeous!!

The details that you see throughout the resort are incredible. The entire resort is themed after the Animal Kingdom theme park. You can tell, at every glance, that great care was taken to showcase the culture, wildlife & artwork of Africa.

As soon as we started exploring the grounds, we found the fire pit that is surrounded by rocking chairs. If it wasn’t 100 degrees outside, it would have been perfect….LOL!

I usually am not one to talk about food, but I would be a fool to not rave about all of the deliciousness we enjoyed throughout the entire weekend. We ate at some pretty cool dining experiences, and there’s definitely more to share in my next few posts.

First up –> Boma ….This is a buffet style restaurant with African-themed dishes, and all of the food was amazing. We ate there for breakfast on Sunday.

Their signature drink at breakfast is Jungle Juice. It’s a tasty mixture of orange, pineapple & mango juices. Liam didn’t quite care for it, but Stephen & I thought it was pretty yummy!

Mickey Waffles 🙂

Now onto the grounds outside the resort …..there is a cute, shaded playground for the kiddos & it’s close by the pool.

Once we found the Uzima Pool area, we didn’t want to leave. This pool is amazing! It is SO big — 11,000 square feet & it has an awesome water slide.

Liam was thrilled for this slide! He went down it over & over again 🙂

Cheese!

Our room was nothing short of incredible. It felt like we stepped into our own safari get away the moment we walked in & I’m sure that was the plan. We were fortunate to be able to have the savanna view room, and it did not disappoint.

When you stepped out onto the balcony, it was immediately overlooking one of the savanna’s. There were beautiful animals freely roaming around so close to you. It was awesome!

In total, there are over 30 species of wildlife out on the savanna here. We loved the Wildlife Field Guide that was in our room for helping to track & discover some friends we spotted.

This Giraffe guy, here, was one of our favs. He stayed close by our balcony a lot. ❤

Zebra friends….

Ankole Cattle….

White-Bearded Wildebeest….

Addax….

At one point, on Sunday afternoon, we looked out & saw a little heard of friends 🙂 ….

We saw so may other amazing creatures during our stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. So many birds, cranes, Ostriches, & Gazelles just to name a few. Even by walking through the resort, there are so many spots you can stop & observe the savanna’s or even catch little spots, like the Flamingo area that’s over by the pool. It was truly an experience we will never forget and one that we all LOVED!!

The Animal Kingdom Lodge was, hands-down, a magical Disney experience. It was a perfect way to ring in little man’s 6th birthday! We hope to someday return ❤

Until next time friends,

 

 

 

 

August 2017, Sponsored Post

DISNEY ON ICE DARE TO DREAM + TICKET GIVEAWAY!

Hi friends! As you know, my family loves all things Disney. Not only are we avid annual passholders now, but the last few years, we also have been huge fans of the Disney On Ice productions! It’s like getting some of the best parts of Disney magic right in your own backyard.

That’s right, it’s that time of the year, and I’m SO EXCITED to be partnering with Feld Entertainment as a Blog Ambassador once again when Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream comes to the Amway Center here in Orlando from September 8-10, 2017. Liam is beyond thrilled to see his favorite Disney heroes  hit the ice. His eyes especially lit up when I told him his new fav, Moana, would be there at center stage! I must admit that I am pretty stoked too! It definitely brings out the kid in me, for sure! I am super excited to be able to offer you, my readers, the opportunity to also be able to take your family. More on that, in just a minute.

Disney’s Moana voyages onto the ice for the first time as Disney On Ice presents Dare To Dream, produced by Feld Entertainment Inc., brings courage and adventure to hometowns across North America. Hosts Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse bring audiences on an expedition across raging seas and snow covered mountains in this action-packed extravaganza featuring Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Frozen, Tangled and Cinderella with other beloved Disney characters to help tell these extraordinary tales. Tickets are on sale now!

Dare To Dream takes families on a high-sea adventure as Moana sets sail on a life-changing quest to save her island with help from the demigod Maui. With the ice floor transformed into the vast oceanic scape, Disney On Ice allows Moana’s strength and determination to take center stage. This engaging atmosphere lets audiences deepen their existing connection to their favorite wayfinder and discover one’s true identity is never out of reach.

“As parents, we strive to find role models who embolden our children to choose kindness and exhibit the values we aim to impart, and this production of Disney On Ice truly embodies this goal,” said Executive Vice President of Feld Entertainment and Producer of Disney On Ice presents Dare To Dream, Nicole Feld. “With Dare To Dream, I want to inspire the youngest members of our families with the heroic stories of their favorite Disney characters and allow them to discover the hero within themselves.”

Photo Credit: Feld Entertainment

 

Beautiful production numbers invite audiences into the world of Beauty and the Beast, as Belle shows what it means to be fearless. Along with her new friends in the enchanted castle, Belle is encouraged to step outside the ordinary and find joy in the bleakest situation. As she looks beyond the harsh exterior of the Beast to reach his gentle heart, fans learn there are teachable moments in everyday life.

Through the athleticism and grace of Anna and Elsa, Rapunzel and Flynn, and Cinderella, brave heroes from Frozen, Tangled and Cinderella ignite passions to believe. Showgoers will witness each characters’ unique qualities and talents inspiring children around the world to discover their inner hero.

“One of the most magical things about Disney On Ice is the performers’ ability to authentically showcase the best qualities of Disney characters,” said Director Patty Vincent. “At our shows, moms and dads are able to experience the magic through the eyes of their children, allowing them to reconnect with their favorite characters and once again experience the childlike wonder and hope that inspires us all.”


Where: Amway Center, 400 West Church Street – Suite 200, Orlando, Florida 32801

Dates and Times of Performances:

Friday, September 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 9 at 11:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, September 10 at 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Ticket Prices and Purchase:

Tickets for Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream start from $18. Market pricing applies to all tickets. Rates can fluctuate based on factors that affect supply and demand. Lock in your price and location today!

All seats are reserved. Tickets are available at http://www.DisneyOnIce.com or http://www.ticketmaster.com, at any Ticketmaster outlet, by calling 800-745-3000, or at the Amway Center box office (phone for information only: 407-440-7900). For group ticket sales and information, call 866-248-8740.

SAVE 20% OFF SELECT SEATS WITH CODE: SAVE20. NOT VALID ON PREMIUM VIP SEATING. HURRY FOR THE BEST AVAILABLE SEATS!! CODE EXPIRES SEPTEMBER 7, 2017.

 

For a complete list of tour dates, visit the Disney On Ice website (http://www.disneyonice.com) and stay current on the latest developments through social media:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DisneyOnIce
Twitter & Instagram: @DisneyOnIce // #DareToDream #DisneyOnIce
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/DisneyOnIce

 

Photo Credit: Feld Entertainment

 

Ok, friends, I promised you a giveaway and here are the details….

Feld Entertainment is providing 4 tickets to one lucky reader of this blog!!

Please note that this is for the Orlando showing of Disney on Ice presents Dare to Dream at the Amway Center and no substitutions can be made. Winner will be able to choose either the opening night show on Friday, Sept. 8th @ 7:30 pm OR Saturday, Sept. 9th @ 11:00 am. Contest runs today, August 16th through Monday, August 21st at 8:00 am. Winner will be chosen at random and will notified by reply to comments in this post. Winner must respond back to me with show choice no later than August 22nd or prize will be forfeited & another winner will be chosen at random.

 

TO ENTER:

1. If you do not already, please subscribe to follow this blog (Enter your email address on the “Follow Us” link on the left-hand side-bar of this page).

2. In the comments below, share with us what Disney character your family is most looking forward to seeing at the Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream show!

3. Be sure to “like” Disney On Ice on their Facebook page or “follow” them on Twitter or Instagram to stay up-to-date on all the latest updates & offers for the show.

4. One entry per subscribed email address, please.

That’s it! Pretty easy, right?!?!

Photo Credit Feld Entertainment

 

Everything about Disney is magical & I know this Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream without a doubt will bring a lasting smile to my family’s face ❤ ….hope to see you there! — September 8-10, 2017. Remember, tickets are on sale now, and you can use code SAVE20 to save 20% off select seats! Get ’em before they are gone.

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*I am a Feld Entertainment Blogger Ambassador, and in exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers, Feld Entertainment has provided me with complimentary tickets to Feld shows and other exclusive opportunities.

August 2017

Disney Fun ~ Character Meet & Greets!

For Christmas, we were beyond excited to get annual passes to Disney!! Santa brought Liam the news & we shared that HERE. While we have made one-day trips here & there to the parks over the years, this is honestly the 1st time we have ever held annual passes. It’s made both Stephen & I feel like little kids, ourselves 🙂

Those who are familiar with the annual passholder program know that there are several different tiers for the passes with various different blackout dates, benefits, etc. — We opted for the Gold passes, which have just two different weeks of blackout dates throughout the year and no water park admission (which is okay for us). So exciting that parking is included (that, alone, saves $20 a visit) and the Photopass Memory Memory Maker. Oh my goodness — We LOVE this Photopass feature and use it SO SO much! First, it is fantastic to be able to snag a quick family picture and the convenience of having the Photopass photographers just immediately scan it to download to your magicband is awesome! I can then save it right to the pictures on my phone. LOVE! Second, the Character Meet & Greets! We are obsessed! We have gotten some of the cutest pictures …and again, FREE downloads to your magicband! Liam also loves to get their autographs filled up in his book.

When our passes were 1st activated, we had to wait until the 1st week in January, as we were in one of those small blackout windows due to Christmas. However, once we had the greenlight, we were like kids in a candy shop! I think we went every weekend for that 1st month 🙂 ….Mickey Mouse was our 1st Character Meet & Greet. This one is from Main Street at the Magic Kingdom. We were blown away when we saw that he spoke and interacted!! So cool!!

In January, we also visited Animal Kingdom & got our 1st taste of magic shots. This is Pascal from Tangled on little man’s head ….LOL! I haven’t been too good with asking for many of these yet, so definitely have these on my list for future pictures…

Russell from Up …..

Safari Donald also at Animal Kingdom ……

In Epcot, we met Baymax!

We also met Mickey (in a different outfit this time….more classic looking), Minnie & Goofy 🙂

We found Daisy near Spaceship Earth. She kissed Liam & made him blush …loved it! ❤

In February, we made our 1st trip to Hollywood Studios. We skipped the end of night fireworks & instead, went to meet Kylo Ren from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. We were just a little bit bummed because they said no one from the First Order signs autographs BUT at least we got a cool pic. It was serious business time with this guy! Haha!

Chewbacca!

In March, we went back for some more Hollywood Studios fun… After some face painting, we ran into Green Army Man from Toy Story 🙂

So excited to find Moana! …she was so nice 🙂

Buzz & Woody from Toy Story ….they said Liam looked like Zurg & they were scared! Too funny!

He was thrilled to meet his pal, Pluto. He still says that this meet & greet is one of his favs! ❤

On Spring Break, we also bounced over to the Magic Kingdom. We found Donald Duck dressed up as the Astounding Donaldo Snake Charmer in the Storybook Circus Fantasyland area.

We also found Goofy here dressed as a stuntman, the Great Goofini 🙂

In Frontierland, we found Chip & Dale ….they were so super cute! These pics are a few of my favs so far ❤

Our trips to Disney have been filled with so many smiles & so much laughter. We are thankful to be creating some really awesome memories together as a family. We have lots more fun to share, so stay tuned ….

Until next time, friends

July 2017

Happy 6th Birthday, Liam!

This week, we celebrate our kiddo’s 6th birthday!

I can’t believe we have a SIX year old now! He has grown up so much since last year. I see a lot of change in him when I compare his pics from month to month, and he also has matured a great deal. Not to mention the fact that he will soon be taller than his mama. LOL! — He’s definitely getting closer & closer.

Here is the latest teddy bear pic ❤

If you follow our adventures, you know this teddy bear pic is a fun regular measure of growth for us. Check out all our past pics & updates HERE.


As is our tradition, we conducted our annual BIRTHDAY INTERVIEW. As with previous years, some of his answers were both quite surprising & entertaining! This time around, and for the 1st time, Liam actually insisted on filling out the form himself! He even read the questions. I was quite impressed. He got tired of writing midway through, so I took over, but he didn’t do too bad!

MORE FROM THE PREVIOUS YEAR’S QUESTIONNAIRE THAT WE USED:

What is your name?: Liam

How old are you?: Six

What is your favorite food?: Pizza

What makes you laugh?: Daddy shaking his butt

What are you afraid of?: Bears

What is the best time of the day?: Spending time with Mommy & Daddy

Where do you like to go?: Animal Kingdom Lodge

What do you like to do with your family?: Snuggling with Mommy & Daddy


Other notable things these days….

We have a kindergarten graduate! It was an amazing school year.

We have a kiddo who can now read! He has been doing a great job of keeping up with his reading on his own over the summer, too, and building on his skills. I can already tell 1st Grade is going to so much fun for him 🙂

He is also very good at spelling now, too. Gone are the days when Stephen & I can spell things out to one another when we are trying to talk about something without him knowing.

He stayed pretty even with his growth for the majority of the school year and was wearing a size Extra-Small to Small in boys and a size 13 boys in shoes. However, towards the end of Spring, he went through another growth spurt, and we could tell that he’s probably grown a few inches again. He is definitely moving into a size medium boys in clothes and has already went up a half size in shoes this summer.

We started karate (taekwondo) in October, and he’s been doing so well. I think he has probably built some lean muscle from all the work he’s put into his classes there, so I honestly don’t think his weight has changed too much, but we’ll see with his annual check up in a few weeks. He can almost do a full splits from all his weekly stretching in class…that’s pretty impressive. Last we checked, he was at 52 lbs. He is definitely a strong boy!

He is still our little dancer and is SO good at it. We love to watch him. His latest obsession is the JUST DANCE game for Play Station, and it’s hilarious how good he is! High scores all the time!

He also loves to sing and still knows the words to most songs better than me.

When he is happy or excited, you will see him skipping along next to you.

He loves to color, and is really good at staying inside the lines now.

If it’s dark in a room in the house, he doesn’t like to go in there alone. He will ask you to come with him and turn the  light on first.

He is wrapping up his 2nd summer of Junior Summer Camp. This year, we continued enrollment at the same camp but also mixed in a week of vacation bible school, which he absolutely loved.


This year, we spent his birthday weekend at Disney. Back at the beginning of the year, we asked him if he would like to have a whole Disney weekend of fun & stay at a hotel on property or have a party with his friends. He was thrilled to choose to stay at the hotel. We don’t do many overnights away from home, and almost all we’ve done in the past have been staying with family. Thus, he was extra excited to check out a hotel experience & do it in Disney style!

I have SO many pics to share soon, but for now, here’s a few of our favs. We stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and the first evening, we celebrated his birthday with dinner in Cinderella’s Castle at the Magic Kingdom — Cinderella’s Royal Table. During the meet & greet with her before dinner, she danced with him …..it was THE sweetest moment!

Happy 6th Birthday, our sweet little man, Liam Michael!

You continue to overflow our hearts with joy, love & laughter. You are our biggest & brightest blessing. It is our privilege to watch you grow into such an amazing & beautiful little person with the biggest personality! Daddy & Mommy love you!

 

July 2017

Kindergarten ~ That’s a Wrap!

In seemingly the blink of an eye, Liam completed his first year of elementary school and is now a Kindergarten graduate. This was such a fun year and filled with so many new experiences.

It feels like only yesterday that I was putting THIS post up about the beginning of Kindergarten, and now, here we are. Enjoying the sweet simplicity of summer & gearing up for FIRST GRADE! Really?!?! — If I’m honest, there are so many times that I look at his sweet face & still see our toddler with his big brown eyes and favorite green paci in his mouth (*insert mama tears here*).


Just like with the 1st day of school, when we did that interview with him, I also wanted to do a fun wrap up interview to grab some memories on how he was feeling. I found these fun free printables online & plan to continue them through the years! This time, he even asked to write his own answers 🙂

On the last day of school, several items were sent home. By far, these two drawings were my favorite. Liam had to draw himself back on the 1st day of school, and then again on the last day of school. While we knew he was making tremendous growth over the year with his learning & development, to see the difference in these two pictures literally brought tears to my eyes. The little blobby with stick legs & no arms under the sun on the 1st day picture was how he drew himself (and people) back in August. To see how he draws full-figure people now is so cool! We are so proud of him! Not to mention his creativity and imagination ❤

Officially official 🙂

In the last few weeks before the school year ended, we gave a few things to Liam’s teacher, Mrs. Juarez, to show our appreciation for all she had done this year. He loved her, which means we did too, and he thrived in her room. I wanted one of her gifts to be something personal from Liam, so I found this cute thank you note for him to fill out & color. He loved it! I loved that he filled in all the answers himself. He had just asked for help with spelling some of the words.

Here’s a few of our….

Favorite Takeaway’s From Kindergarten:

Last Day Smiles!! 🙂

When I compare this pic of the last day of school to his 1st day of school pic, I think he honestly looks tired. LOL! It was a fun year for him but it was also hard work. Stephen and I joked many times that Kindergarten should be called “Kindercollege” …seriously, he did far more this year than we ever did at that age. He had actual subjects that he studied — reading, math, social studies, geography, science. He regularly worked on the computer, and we had really never let him touch a computer before school started. He learned addition, subtraction, all about about the planets, animals, and he was reading chapter books with us by the end of the year. His level of learning far surpassed anything we had expected. He was recognized as one of the top readers in his grade by the end of the year! We are SO SO PROUD of all his hardwork! ❤

We are enjoying a super fun summer with this lovable kiddo and giving him a much needed rest. Soon enough, school will start up again, and we can’t wait to see what the next year brings as we embark on FIRST GRADE!! 🙂

 

Until next time, friends,

 

July 2017

Star Spangled Fun 2017

We love the 4th of July in our house, so I can’t let the holiday sneak away without sharing our long weekend fun!


We started the weekend off with Liam’s belt promotion ceremony with Victory Martial Arts.

He moved up in belt rank to Cheeri recommended from Baeoh in the Tiger program. We continue to be so proud of him for his accomplishments, hard work & dedication. Huge thanks to Mr. Johnson and Mr. Valle, as well! Mr. Valle is off to college now, so we will miss seeing him each week, but we’ll definitely be keeping in touch!

Saturday evening, we intended to go mini golfing but the rain thwarted those plans. Instead, we headed to the bowling alley.

The boys were very competitive with one another. My score was awful….hahaha! A good time was had by all, though!

My little artist creating a work of art with his gnome for the front walkway.

We couldn’t let the holiday go by without a celebratory photo. Trying to get both of these boys to BOTH look at the camera was work, peeps!  As you can kinda tell, Timber was not amused with my antics. This shot was Liam’s favorite, so it wins for getting posted 🙂

Monday, it was a just me & little man hanging out while Daddy was visiting his Grandma. So, we had a movie date. Despicable Me 3 was super cute!!

On the 4th, we all got up bright & early and headed out to Cocoa Beach. The weather was gorgeous but it was a scorcher out there.

The sand by our chairs was too hot to play in, so we were building castles by the sea shore ❤

Finished masterpiece by Liam & Daddy….

We decided to forgo our usual trip downtown to see the fireworks this year, and instead, we did some at home. It’s always a little more challenging when holidays fall during the week, so we decided to be creative this year. It worked out well since we’ve actually been seeing quite a bit of fireworks lately on our trips to Disney. So none of us felt like we were missing out {I looove my fireworks!}

photo credit of mommy & daddy by Liam 🙂

Our little firecracker!

You can link up to the posts from previous 4th of July celebrations — HERE

It was a great weekend celebrating our nation’s birthday! ❤

Until next time, friends!

July 2017

10 Tips For a Safe July 4th!

Happy Birthday, America!

I want to share another post I wrote a few year’s back for Orlando Mom’s Blog, as the tips are still relevant for each & every 4th of July holiday. Many of us choose to celebrate with fireworks (who doesn’t love them, right?), so let’s always remember to be safe while we are having fun celebrating this great holiday for our nation.

When I think of the fourth of July, I think of fireworks. Yes, I realize that we are celebrating the birth of American independence, but ever since I was a child, I have always associated this holiday with those beautiful colors that light up the night sky.

Even at 34 weeks pregnant a few years back, I made my husband take me out in what seemed like 100 degree Florida heat to gather around Lake Eola here in downtown Orlando to see the spectacular fireworks show. Now that we have our little man, we have continued the tradition of returning to see this show each year. I truly love seeing my son’s eyes light up as he watches what he believe to be magic!

Whether you are like our family & choose to go to public fireworks events, or you like to do them at your home, please always remember to be safe! While fireworks are fun, we must not forget that they are dangerous. Only adults should handle them, and children & pets should be closely supervised while around them. Children like to do sparklers, and admittedly, we let our almost 4 year old do his 1st sparkler this past weekend. We made sure we stood right next to him & he held it far away from his body, but I will tell you that this momma was still a tad bit nervous. If you are not comfortable with it, don’t do it. Simple as that. Little arms are short, and sparklers can heat up to a staggering 1,200 degrees. A great alternative to sparklers is glow sticks! I know my little one LOVES them & never turns one down.

Here are my TOP 10 Tips for Fireworks Safety this July 4th:

1. Obey all laws regarding the use of fireworks.

2. Always use fireworks outside and have a bucket of water and a hose nearby in case of accidents.

3. Point fireworks away from your body, other people, homes, and keep away from brush and leaves and flammable substances.

4. Light one firework at a time (not in glass or metal containers), and never relight a dud.

5. Think about your pet. Animals have sensitive ears and can be extremely frightened or stressed on the Fourth of July. Keep pets indoors to reduce the risk that they’ll run loose or get injured.

6. Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.

7. Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.  Save your alcohol for after the show.

8. Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.

9. Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks.

10. Never try to make your own fireworks.

Did you know there is a National Council on Fireworks Safety? Many of my tips were taken from the recommendations on their website — www.fireworkssafety.org

I hope you & your family have a happy & SAFE Independence Day holiday!