Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas Afternoon 2014

On Christmas afternoon, we went over to Becky's house to celebrate with my family. There are 12 kids, and 13 adults! It was crazy!!
We had appetizers to eat, and the kids played, then it was time for presents!

The only way we get the kids to all sit together like this is to bribe them with the presents!

After pictures, Grandma and Papa handed out their stockings, and ornaments. They all get a new ornament every year. Michael's was a big dump truck!

Michael got a voice changer in his stocking! Highly annoying!

He was very excited about his new flashlight!
 After stockings, we let the kids hand out the presents they bought for their cousins. Each kid picked a name, and bought that person a gift. Leilani picked Michael's name, and she got him a Batman costume!! He loved it, and put it on immediately!

Things get so crazy, that I just had to take a picture of the chaos!

After cousin gifts, Grandma and Papa handed out what they got everyone. Michael got this giant Dusty plane that talks, and he was flying it everywhere! 

I got a fuzzy new blanket and a gift certificate for a massage! Andrew got bullets, a survival kit, a t-shirt and some beef jerky. 

It's always so much fun being with everyone!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas Morning 2014

Christmas morning was wonderful! It is so fun to watch Michael take in the magic of everything.

He woke up around 8:30 and ran in our room asking if he could go look under the tree to see if Santa came. I quick grabbed my phone, and followed him, so I could record his reaction. He is such a serious child, and doesn't make any over the top expressions, and Christmas morning was no different. A sweet little smile crept onto his face when he saw the presents, and then quickly bent down, to try and grab one of the presents. I quickly stopped him and told him we needed to wake up Daddy first.  So, he ran back upstairs to get Daddy, and then all tree of us came back down stairs to open presents. 

All ready to open presents
 Before we opened presents, we read the Christmas story, and made sure Michael understands why we get to celebrate Christmas, and why we get presents.
Reading the Christmas Story
 After the story, he dove right into his stocking.
Opening his stocking
 Then it was onto the bigger gifts.
Iron Man!
 This Iron Man doll was a total impulse buy, after I was done with all of his shopping. But I am so glad I bought it, because it is one of his favorite gifts!
Opening his new Spin Car!!
 Michael saw this remote control car in Costco several months ago, and talked about it constantly. So we went back and bought one for him, and just held onto it for a couple months. He loves it!! And it really is a cool car. Mommy and Daddy have a lot of fun playing with it too!

He also got some hot wheels cars, and some Disney Cars, cars, Candy Land, and a new watch! He thinks the watch is so cool, and shows it to everyone!

Santa dropped by Christmas morning, because he "forgot" to leave one of Michael's presents the night before. 

Opening his present from Santa, a bow and arrow!
With Santa!

Trying out the new Bow and Arrow

Our little family
We had a great morning, and Michael got to play with all of his new toys. We had to leave around 1 to visit family, so we all took showers and got dressed and made our way to Greenville. 

Up next, Christmas Afternoon with the  Cox Family!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas Eve 2014

We had such a wonderful Christmas this year. Everything is so magical and exciting for Michael. He talked about Santa daily, but we also kept the focus on Jesus, and the reason we get to celebrate Christmas.

This is just the first of many Christmas posts.

Christmas Eve was spent at the Wolff's house with lots of family. We had a wonderful dinner, the kids had a visit from Santa, the adults played Dirty Santa with gift cards, the kids got to decorate cookies, and everyone had a great time. Here are just a few pictures of the festivities.

Michael and Maggie

Mimi and Papa with the Grand kids

Michael with Aunt Amy and Uncle Mike

Our little family

Our crazy family

With Santa

Opening gifts from Santa

Just having a little chat with Santa

This Child is so shy, except for with Santa. He runs right up to Santa, and jumps on his lap!
Decorating cookies

All done

Opening his big gift from Mimi and Papa!

A new Basketball Set!!

Friday, December 19, 2014

A Visit with Santa

On Sunday, we went to Cabela's to visit with Santa. It was great. There was hardly any line, and Santa spent a lot of time with each of the children. Michael walked right up to Santa, sat on his lap, and told him what he wanted for Christmas. He asked for a Spin Car ( a remote control car), some race cars (hot wheels) and a bow and arrow.

Here is the picture that they took, which was free by the way.

And here are the ones we got.

We will definitely go back to Cabela's for all of our visits with Santa.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Our Christmas Card - 2014

I'm linking up with Faith at Walk with me by Faith for her Christmas Card Carousel.

This is the sixth year I have participated. It's so fun to link up and see everyone's Christmas Cards.

Here is our cards from 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008

This year, we went for a tropical theme, since all of the pictures are from our trip to Hawaii.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Our Caribbean Princess Cruise

Let's go back to the week of September 10th when I got an e-mail from Princess Cruises with their cruise specials for the month of October/November. They had a 5 night cruise for $199 a person, plus a $200 on board credit for each person! Well as soon as I got the e-mail, I almost booked it. It was too good of a deal to pass up. Well, when Andrew got home from work, we talked about it, and decided to pass, and just wait to see what kind of deals they had in January, since Andrew didn't have enough vacation time at work to take off for a cruise, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. We were happy to wait and see what kind of deal we could get, and I kept checking for deals. Well, that weekend, we found out from Andrew's parents that we wouldn't be going out of town for Thanksgiving, so therefore, Andrew didn't need to save any vacation time for the week of Thanksgiving. We found that out on Sunday, while we were at lunch with them, and on the way home started talking about going on the cruise in October. It was just too good of a deal to pass up, so driving home from Greenville, I called and booked the cruise!! We had 34 days from the time we booked until we left. And the best part, when we stepped on the boat, we had $400 waiting for us to spend!! That meant all of our gratuities were paid for, and we could go on a some excursions! The cruise was making two stops. One in Grand Cayman, and one in Cozumel, Mexico. Both places we have never been before. To say we were excited, is an understatement!!

We decided to leave Michael home with my parents for this trip, and that was such a good idea. He would have been so bored on the cruise, and it definitely would not have been a relaxing trip. Michael had so much fun at my parents house, and I don't think he missed us at all.

We drove down the night before, and drove all night long, to get to Ft. Lauderdale by 12:30pm.

We ended up getting there around 9:00, so we took our time eating breakfast at Waffle House.

Then we drove over to the port and still had about an hour to kill before we could get in line to check in.

We got in line around 12:00, and were walking on the boat by 1:00.

 We went straight to our room to check it out, and then down to eat lunch in one of the dining rooms.
After lunch we went back to the room to see if our luggage had arrived, and unpacked.

Walking into the room

Our tiny inside stateroom

desk area

super small bathroom

Closet area. 
Then we went exploring around the ship and had to participate in the muster drill. We didn't do too much that night besides eat dinner and go to the welcome aboard show. The whole cruise was so relaxing, and we didn't want to be running from one thing to the next. So we took it easy pretty much the whole time. 

Sunday, we slept in late, went to the buffet for breakfast, and then found a chair on the pool deck and sat for several hours. Andrew napped, I read, we both snacked, and just enjoyed our day at sea. 

Sunday night we went to see the comedian, Darrel Joyce , that was on board, and he was hilarious! He was clean, but kept us laughing!

Monday, we woke up in Grand Cayman!

We took our time getting ready, ate breakfast in the buffet, and then made our way off the boat.

We had to take a tender boat to the dock, but it didn't take long, since we waited to get off the boat.

 We had an excursion to Seven Mile Beach planned for the day, but got to shore a little early, so we walked around some of the shops, and found some free wi-fi, I was able to upload some pictures, and check in on Michael. He was having fun, and not interested in what we were doing. Then it was time for our excursion.

 We hopped on a little bus that drove us over to the beach. Then we were shown to our beach chairs, and were able to relax for several hours on a beautiful beach. It was pretty hot, so we spent some time in the ocean too. It was so refreshing and so crystal clear. 

About 3:00 it was time to head back to the boat. We got back on a little bus, then back on a tender, and we were back on our boat. As soon as we got back on the boat, I ordered room service, since we were at the beach during lunch. We both ate a little, took showers, and rested/napped until it was time for dinner. After dinner, we went back to the room, and I crashed. I was worn out from our day at the beach.

Tuesday was our day in Cozumel. The weather didn't look too great, and we were really afraid our excursion was going to get rained out.

It wasn't raining when we got off the boat, so we continued to our catamaran and got on board for a day of snorkeling and playing at the beach. We booked the Fury Beach excursion, and it was great!

It did start to rain while we were snorkeling, but since we were already in the water, it didn't really matter. We snorkeled for about 45 minutes, and then got back on the catamaran, and sailed to Fury Beach. It was set up with a ton of lounge chairs, cabanas, hammocks and giant inflatable toys to play on in the ocean. We decided to spend the time in the ocean, since it was still a little rainy, and sitting on the beach in the rain didn't sound like too much fun.

While we were playing, it started pouring rain! And it was cold rain too! We did play for a long time, but finally we took a break in one of the cabanas, our of the rain. Then it was time to sail back to the ship.

We walked through the duty free shop on the way back to the boat, and bought some vanilla for the in-laws and a shirt for Michael. I know, big spenders!!

Back on the boat, we ordered room service again and showered and Andrew napped again. Then it was time for dinner. After dinner, we both crashed, It had been a busy day on the beach.

Wednesday was another day at sea, but was rainy and cool. We went to the culinary demonstration and the galley tour. Then one of the restaurants was having a Irish pub style lunch, so we went to that.
After lunch, Andrew went to watch Planet of the Apes, and I walked around with my camera taking some pictures.

While I was walking around, the sun came out, so I hurried to get my bathing suit on and head up to the pool deck to get some sun. At 3:30, Andrew and I met for Afternoon Tea, and it was really good. Little desserts, and mini sandwiches. Very lovely. When we got out of tea, it was yucky again, so we decided to get our bathing suits on and go sick in a hot tub. It was really nice and relaxing, and there weren't many people out, so we had it to ourselves.
Back to the room to shower and get ready for dinner.
After dinner we went to the Illusionist. He was ok, but had some really corny parts.
Then we had to go back to the room and pack our bags and put them out in the hall way by 10:30. We walked around some more, and I went to purchased a couple pictures.  Then it was time to go to bed.

Thursday morning, we were up and out of our room by 8:00. We went to eat breakfast in the dining room rather than the buffet, since we knew it would be crazy busy. Then we were off the boat by 9:30, finding our luggage, going through customs, and finding our car.  We had a long drive back to South Carolina.

As you can see, we slept a lot on this trip. And that is exactly what we were hoping to do. Relax and not worry about anything! I also didn't take nearly the amount of pictures I usually do when we are on vacation. We had a great time, and I am so glad we decided to book a last minute cruise. I'm sure that this will not be the last time we do something like this!