Friday, March 22, 2013

Happy Birthday Zach!! & the Blue Angels!

So, Zach went and became a teenager right under my nose!

So, to celebrate, we drove like crazy-people, left Orlando and drove seven hours on Tuesday, so we could watch their first practice of the year on Wednesday. :)

We LOVE the Blue Angels, but Zach REALLY loves them, so it was a MUST to see them ON HIS BIRTHDAY!  How cool is that?

The Naval Air Museum is in Pensacola, which is also Todd's old hometown when he was a little boy, but that is for another post. ;)

The practice was just awesome!  I could sit and watch them for hours.

Only the elite pilots are honored with this prestigious job of flying the Blue Angels.  It is just a wonder, how graceful and smooth they are, while flying at top speeds.

Parker enjoyed the planes, but, all he wanted was a picture next to this John Deere tractor! HA!

 The Air & Space Museum and the Blue Angels practice was also FREE!!  WHOO HOO!

We decided to get tickets to the IMAX show, "The Magic of Flight."  It made you feel like you were flying, but also gave a behind the scenes look at the Blue Angels' pilots.  GREAT documentary.  AND, for being homeschoolers, they gave us a discount!  It was $5 each!  LOVE it!

Guess who we also ran into while we were at the show?!  Only about 3 other full-time families! :)
Talk about sweet company. :)

It was a fun, happy birthday!  Now, I just need to cope with the fact that Zach is thirteen years old!


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Animal Kingdom!!

Oh, what a wonderful place!  Animal Kingdom is part zoo, part amusement park.

The newest ride is Everest.  Simply fast, fun and really high. ;)

There are Todd, Tanner, Hannah and Zach in the last two seats!
 (cause they say it is the most dangerous /fun seat....)  O.K.  :)

Through out the park, you just never know who might be 'hangin' around.

This bat was HUGE!  So creepy....

Look at this beautiful buck.

"It's Tough to be a Bug" show was super!  It was a 3D, interactive thrill!

Then, we went on a safari ride!  Too cool!

So many cool animals.....

Lazy hippos.....

Talk about a headache?!


Gorgeous giraffe.....

All of these animals, walking around OUT IN THE OPEN!!!

Even this awesome lion was just a few yards away!!  LOVE it!

Look closely, see the cheetah?!
He is NOT in a cage!

A rare, white rhino......

We also enjoyed Dino Land, too.  (part of Animal Kingdom)

Pizzafari was one our favorite places to eat in all of Disney!  Yummy pizza, bread sticks and caesar salad was such a treat after a morning filled with fun.

The Primeval Whirl ride was fun......especially for Emily, who rode it about 15 times.  Not kidding......

And then, in Asia, the girls found their chance to dance, dance, dance.

 What!?  Who is that?!
Yep.  That would be Tanner dancing!!!

What happens at Disney, stays at Disney, right?  hee, hee :)

We truly had a blast at Animal Kingdom.

From the Kilimanjaro Safaris, to the Kali River Rapids, and the broadway-like show; Festival of the Lion King, Animal Kingdom was wonderfully memorable!


Monday, March 18, 2013


Day 3 of our Disney fun, found us at Epcot.  This place is just huge!  It is amazing to me, when I think of the engineers that designed all of these locations.  It is also mind boggling to think of all the food, toys, clothes and other fun stuff that is sold on a daily basis.

I LOVE how each park has a different 'feeling' and theme for its' visitors.  There is SO much to capture and appreciate, that it is hard to pick a 'favorite.'

We stood in line for 'Soarin,' for almost 2 hours!!  Thank the Lord, we had snacks to munch on while we waited. The waiting lines also have these interactive games on the wall for you to play.  This is the first ride, I've experienced 3 out of four senses.  Too cool.  Not only do you 'fly,' but you also feel the air blowing, see the amazing landscapes and SMELL the evergreens and oranges!!  LOVE it!

We also rode the 'Living with the Land' ride and enjoyed seeing all the plants, fruit (a 9 pound lemon) and fish produced inside the huge greenhouse.

But, it was the 'Test Track' ride that really got our attention!  We loved all the futuristic vehicles and having the chance to create our own.  Too cool!

Walking through all the countries was so interesting.  I liked how they played music, sold food and clothing that signified each place.

Even the buildings made you feel like you were in the middle of that country!

From Canada, to Germany to China......Epcot includes so many details right here in America!


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Hollywood Studios!! & An American Idol Experience!!

Day 2, of our Disney fun, was located at Hollywood Studios!

The little ones LOVED the 'Honey I Shrunk the Kids Playground,' while the BIG kids rode the BIG rides.

 There was a huge sniffing, dog's nose and a sprinkler spraying water.....

And, an ant busy at work. :)

 Todd took Tanner, Zach and Hannah on the 'Rock N Roller Coaster' a couple of times that day!

The 'Tower of Terror' was also one of their favorites.

All through out the park, you may run into one of the many characters.  We thought the 'Green Army Man,' from Toy Story was too funny!  Look at his shoes!  I LOVE all the little details that Disney does so well.

The Toy Story ride was definitely a favorite for the whole family, too.

Many of the rides are in 3D!!   TOO FUN!

These boys are out for blood.  What do you think? HA!

This Extreme Stunt show was ABSOLUTELY AWESOME!

Not only were there racing cars doing all kinds of fancy-scary thrills.......

But even Lightening McQueen showed up!  WHOO HOO!

 They also showed motorcycle stunts, fire, water explosions and much more.  LOVED it!

They also have a cool Star Wars ride, which is also in 3D.

I thought Zach was going to explode with excitement. :)

At the end of the day, we made our way to the stadium for the spectacular "Fantasmic" show.

It features Mickey, all of the princesses and lights, fireworks, puppets, smoke, water.....AMAZING!

This was Emily's face the ENTIRE time!  She kept screaming out all the princesses' names.
 Pure joy. :)

Another fun part of our Hollywood Studios experience was Todd auditioning for 'American Idol Experience!'  It is part of the American Idol family, but not the REAL show.  They have 'found' many of the top 10 singers for the REAL show, though, so it is definitely an avenue for anyone wanting to see if they have what it takes. :)

So, since Todd is 42 years old, and can't audition for the REAL one, we all thought it would be fun to see what the 'Experience' is like!

After two different auditions in front of the producers, HE MADE THE SHOW!!!!

They interviewed him, filmed all of us playing around the park, and took many takes of him, showing the fun and exciting side of the audition process.

It was SO fun!

He sang "Amazed" by Lonestar, and received nothing but praise from the judges.  The other contestants, unfortunately did not get a lot of praise, and I was a little embarrassed for them.

I know that I am biased.
I know that I am married to this man, but SERIOUSLY!!  THIS MAN CAN SING! :)

When it was all said and done, a younger girl won.  :(  That's o.k., she can actually have her chance to audition at the REAL American Idol now.
It was SOOOO fun to see Todd on the big stage, in front of a thousand people, with the lights and music and judges and everything.  It was a great experience and we were all SO proud!

Hollywood Studios was a blast!