January 2018

Winter Break Wrap-Up

Right off the heals of Christmas, we had a chance to relax, unwind & enjoy some good old fashioned family fun. Liam was off of school the last two weeks, and I also was off of work for one of the weeks with him. Stephen was able to take a day off, as well, and we did some activities in the evening so it could be all three of us.

On Tuesday evening (the day after Christmas), we checked out Santa’s Winter Wonderland Village ….a holiday fair that comes around by our house each holiday season. It’s quickly becoming a tradition to go to it after the holiday. This year was Liam’s first time riding in the “The Force” . He really wanted to also do “The Himalaya” ride, but he’s not quite tall enough still. He & Stephen rode on the super tall Ferris Wheel …I watched. Haha! They also love the bumper cars & the maze house. Stephen got a really cool picture of the fair from the top of the Ferris Wheel!

The next day, we met up with the Bengel’s at the Science Center. We hadn’t been there since the beginning of the summer, so it was cool to play around there again for the afternoon. The Gingerbread Lane exhibit was still up, so we enjoyed looking at that….it smelled delish, too! It’s incredible that one artist baked AND decorated all that gingerbread.

The beginning of our cold front started really coming through on Friday, but we hiked over to Legoland to check out their Christmas Bricktacular decorations. It never really gets old seeing the amazing displays of LEGO creations.

For all the times we have been to the park, we never stopped to see the ski show. Today, we did & were so happy! It was super cute! Liam absolutely loved it πŸ™‚

It was fun to walk about Miniland & spot the added holiday decor / scenes πŸ˜‰

It was uber crowded there that day, but we still snuck in a few rides…..

We also took a relaxing walk through the old gardens area. Again, we’ve bypassed this in so many past trips…such a shame because it’s so beautiful & they are doing an awesome job of maintaining. The Banyan Tree was incredible!! Such a wonder that nature can create something like that! Liam loved the Southern Belle’s & it was fun to explain to him about how they used to walk around the old park. Not sure he really got that. LOL!

He spotted this statue of Jesus & had to find how the winding path lead to him. It honestly took us a second to figure it out from where we were. When we got up to it, he ran up to Him & just stood there….so I snapped this. I love how it turned out ❀

As part of our Legoland passes, we have admission to the Orlando Eye & surrounding attractions. Such a great deal! So, on New Year’s Eve, we made our way down to International Drive to check them all out.

The Orlando Eye is HUGE! It’s really neat & pretty to look at ….just the boys went up in it. I am way too afraid of heights to leave the ground that far. It takes about 25 minutes to go around in it. They enjoyed it & said the view was awesome. The weather that day was perfect for it, too! Liam told me, afterwards, that he was a little bit nervous while in it but not too bad.

Next, we walked around the SEA LIFE Aquarium. It turned out to be a larger facility than we expected it to be. There was quite a few 360 degree tanks that you could look at & it was neat! Liam was excited for the sharks!

Our last stop of the afternoon was Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. Stephen had been to one of these years ago, but this was a 1st for little man & me. The figures were pretty life like….it was funny! We also got a kick out of seeing what celebrities & historical figures were featured. Liam had fun with trying to pose as each of them were πŸ™‚

Last week, it was back to work for Stephen & I but Liam had his 2nd week off of school. So, he spent the week having fun at winter camp with his old daycare. It was a school age camp so he was with other kiddos in elementary school. Many friends he knew from previous summer camps & breaks, so he was glad to hang out with them again. They did a few field trips during the week. The 1st one was bowling.

They also went to ICE! at Gaylord Palms. This year’s theme was Christmas Around the World. We didn’t make it there this year for our family trip, so I was happy he still got to go. He had a ball but said his face was freezing off….hahaha!!

It was a great few weeks vacation for us all & a much needed mental break. Love creating memories with this sweet, little family of mine!

Until next time, friends!

October 2017

Legoland: Brick or Treat!

Last weekend, we hopped over to Legoland for a spooky good time at their Brick or Treat event! This Halloween event is included in with their general admission, so we were excited to check it out with our annual passes this year.

LEGOS are a pretty big deal in our house. Saying we love them is kind of an understatement. This theme park is SO COOL. LEGOS everywhere & many life-size creations!

These HUGE Lego jack-o-lantern heads were THE.BEST! I wish we could have one for our yard! Liam was fascinated this time around by the creations with the LEGO pieces …he kept trying to pull them apart to see how they were made. Our little engineer in the making πŸ˜‰

We had fun exploring around the park and spying the different Halloween themed LEGO creations. This was a spider hanging out up in a tree πŸ™‚

It was a mommy & Liam date day, as Daddy, unfortunately, got pulled away for work. We were missing him but still had a fun day together. This little man was the best boy for me all day & was such a trooper, as we dragged one another around the park till closing.

Fav Pic of the Day!! ❀

There was the Brick or Treat Trail set up down by the Lake Eloise. Liam actually selected to be a LEGO Knight this year for his costume, BUT it was still pretty warm the day we went. So, we opted for him to just wear his Jack Skellington t-shirt & his mask from his costume. It was so much easier & cooler!

Absolutely loved all the Halloween decor! So fun!!

A trip to Legoland is not complete without checking out Miniland USA. While wandering about, we found some more Halloween awesomeness sprinkled into one of the scenes! We were both pretty stoked to discover this!

One of Liam’s favorite ride’s at the park is Merlin’s Challenge. As we were stepping off of it, we happened to catch this guy,Β LEGOΒ Vampyre. I think I may have been more excited for this than little man….just maybe πŸ™‚

AΒ  13 ft. LEGO hearse

Our little actor ….pretending to be interviewed by this LEGO camera guy. Hahahaha!

We closed out the night watching the most amazing & unique fireworks show —> The Tale of Pirates’ Cove Fireworks

For this show, we were given 3-D glasses, and as we watched the fireworks, you literally saw LEGO pieces exploding in the sky within the actual fireworks. There is no other way to explain it. I wish I could have photographed it. It was so fun and Liam & I loved every second of it!!

We were seeing LEGO pieces where you see red fireworks in this pic! πŸ™‚Β  …Such a great day & fun memories made!

Our Halloween festivities continued the next day with Trick-or-Treat on Greek Street at UCF. This is fun & free community event that we’ve done the last few years, so it was nice to take part in it once again. Since I didn’t have him wear his full costume the day before, I promised him that he could wear it to this. It was even warmer so while it was a good practice run, he didn’t last in it too long. That’s our Florida Fall for ya! πŸ˜‰

That evening, we made dirt cups together. It was a fun activity to create together, and it was super easy. Even Simba got in on the action. LOL!

Liam was most excited to add the gummy worms πŸ˜‰

It was a busy weekend, for sure, but a ton of Halloween fun!

Until next time, friends!

Latest & Greatest News, October 2015

Welcome October!!

1st week of October is in the books! Yes, this family is excited πŸ™‚ …I think I saw it posted somewhere last week that as of October 1st there wereΒ 30 days until Halloween, 58 days until Thanksgiving, and 85 days until Christmas. I’m ready for it! I love this time of the year ❀

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We brought the fall decorations down from the attic & Liam was thrilled to help me put them up. I like to put up fun Halloween decos for October and then switch it up to more general pumpkin, turkey, and fall-leaved themed things for November.

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We have some fun family activities planned over the next few weeks, so that always helps to keep us in the holiday spirit….even when the temperatures here in FL make us sometime question it πŸ˜‰

Halloween Pumpkin

We kicked things off a few weeks back with a trip to Legoland. I had scored us an awesome promo deal for tickets through the Children’s Home Society of FL …we literally all got into the park for less than a full price ticket at the gate. So awesome!! Best of all, a portion of what we paid for went to their agency.

Loved seeing the cool Halloween Lego displays throughout the park! Can you see little dude’s head peaking out of the big pumpkin Lego below? πŸ™‚


We were uber excited this visit because little man was tall enough to ride a few of the “bigger kid” rides. He chose ‘Merlin’s Challenge’ — a mini Himalaya flat ride. I think the smile on his face tells you how much he enjoyed it πŸ™‚ …this mama actually got dizzy…lol!!

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Since starting Pre-K, Liam has had some enjoyable events at school, as well. The 1st was Pirate Week, which ended with a fun Pirate Parade. We squeezed him into his ‘Jake & the Neverland Pirates’ costume to wear for it. Seriously, he was THE cutest!! They also had Community Helpers Week, and had special visitors to the school from Dr’s, Police Officers, and the Fire Dept. He LOVED it.

I’m not sure how/when it started, but Liam frequently asks me to tell him a story when he’s falling asleep about Super Hero Liam and Super Dog Timber. So, I try to be a ‘cool mom’ and make up fantastic stories of these great adventures that he & Timber go on. It definitely challenges my creativity and story telling skills πŸ˜‰ ….then, one day at school, we see this neon plastic guy with a dog. Clearly, I know it’s designed to flag parents to slow it down through the parking lot…..however, my child immediately says, “Mommy, it’s superhero Liam & super dog Timber! They are at my school!” He was thrilled! I thought it was hilarious that is what he thought of when looking at them. So….we took a picture. And, each time we see these guys, he says hello to his new friends. LOL! One day, I will definitely tell him this story πŸ™‚

Superhero Liam

In other news, we went to a good friend’s birthday party at a local Sports Complex last weekend….and yes, even in hot & sunny FL, we ice skated. Liam was overjoyed!! I, on the other hand, ….could not move the next day πŸ˜›

It really was so fun, though, and I am happy that I could introduce him to something I loved to do as part of my upbringing in New England. Next time, we’ll hopefully convince Daddy to get out there with us!

Ice Skating

Β Until next time, friends!

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December 2014, Latest & Greatest News

Our Winter Break {Part 1}

Over Christmas & New Year’s, I had off of work {so nice!! …definite perk to working in higher educ}, so I also kept Liam out of school. Stephen was fortunate to have a few days off, as well, over the actual holidays, so we enjoyed some quality family time.

We were also fortunate to have a few expeditions to surprise little man with during this winter break. Just before New Year’s, I took him for his 2nd trip to Legoland πŸ™‚ — Our 1st trip was about a year & a half ago. This time around, it was just me & Liam, as Daddy had to work that day. However, they are currently running a fantastic deal for residents, where you can pay for a day & get admissions for the rest of the year for free — we definitely want to take advantage of this for the family this year! Liam & I were lucky to get comp passes for the day from my mom’s neighbor so that was awesome!!

I loved that we made it there in time to see all their Christmas decorations! Nothing like a Christmas tree made of Legos πŸ˜‰

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Liam was more impressed with the snowman….of course, he asked to touch him…lol!

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Super excited to ride the carousel again!

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Santa brought Liam the Duplo My First Train Set for Christmas & it came with this conductor guy. He was amazed that this was his same little guy. He kept saying how he was as big as him! Loved it!!

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I was pleasantly surprised to see that a lot had changed since our last visit. Not, in any way, that the park was bad before, but there actually was so much more for us to do this time around. The Duplo Play Area really expanded, and there were several more rides for little man. This train ride was new for us & as luck would have it, when our turn came up in line, Liam got to be the conductor for the drive! He was thrilled πŸ™‚

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Inside the Duplo Barn ….we spent a lot of time running around in here. So fun!

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I think I was just as excited as Liam to discover all the little animals and treasures throughout the park that were made of Legos! So detailed…

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We had a GREAT day together!! Can’t wait to come back to visit again soon! πŸ™‚

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On New Year’s Day, we headed down to South Florida to spend the day with Stephen’s family & have dinner. It’s always a pleasure to spend time with them, and Liam has really taken to his great Uncle’s ….we love for him to spend time with family. It’s precious memories that will last a lifetime for him! ❀

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Having a quick music lesson with Uncle Glenn πŸ™‚

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Stay tuned for “Part 2” of our winter break adventures tomorrow!!

Until then…….


July 2013, Latest & Greatest News

Our Trip to Legoland

Last Saturday was a momentous occasion in Casa de Murphy, friends, as we took Mr. Liam Michael for his very 1st theme park adventure. The park of choice was Legoland, which was built on the old Cypress Gardens property in Winter Haven. You may be wondering why we chose this over Disney for the honor of the “1st” experience. Well, that was two reasons. One, my mom & her hubby, Rock scores us FREE passes from their neighbor….umm, hello….could NOT pass that up and THANK YOU, THANK FOR THAT!! Secondly, this was kind of our test run to see if Liam would even last in the mouse house right now.

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While yes, it was rather warm & a bit of a learn curve for us to tackle a theme park with an [active] toddler, Liam was a trooper and we all had a fantastic time! I was amazed by how much he wanted to walk around himself and just hold our hand. So cute! Surprisingly, he even lasted until about 2:00 without a nap….it clouded up about that time, so we had to put him in the stroller while the rain moved in briefly & he passed out at the point. It was perfect timing.

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The pictures above are from Duplo Village. This is a specific play area for toddlers. LOVED IT!! They even have an AIR CONDITIONED facility for changing diapers, family restrooms, and private nursing rooms. Can we say amazing?!?! …top that off with the fact that when we brought Liam in there, we were the ONLY ones in there. I’m telling ya, insane!! Every theme park needs that building!

After Duplo Village, we headed over to enjoy a car ride with Mommy & a Β water ride with Daddy….they got soaked πŸ™‚

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Since they were already drenched after this fun ride, we found a splash pad that Liam had crazy fun with. He was a hoot sticking his head in the water spraying up and then he would turn around and do his butt….silly, silly.

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After a quick change of clothes, we made our way over to the carousal…this was also Liam’s very 1st time on the Merry Go Round!

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After taking a break for lunch, we headed over to the other side of the park to explore the mini worlds built out of Legos. That was pretty cool. There really was so much to see!

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Overall, the day was great fun, and we were so happy that were able to give Liam this special day & make some awesome memories! Definitely recommend Legoland to any of you out there with smaller kiddos. We’ll bring him back in another year or so, as there were several rides he was still not tall enough to even ride with one of us, yet πŸ™‚

I mentioned at the beginning of my post that this trip was kind of a practice run for Disney…I’d say that we are good to go now. ha! …We’re actually planning a special trip for his birthday, but more about that later!!

It’s been a busy few weeks here in Casa de Murphy and it’s been quiet here on the blog since the 4th so you’ll be hearing from me again soon! …until next time!!