Saturday, June 22, 2013

Disney Trip Photos

At the beginning of this month, we took a trip to Disney World with my family. It was an amazing trip, and we're so glad we went! (Justin wasn't able to go, but he was happy for us to be able to go without him.) Elias did AMAZING with all the break from routine, and we were not surprised to learn that he LOVES roller coasters! Here are some of my favorite pics from the trip.
Our first day, we went to Star Wars Weekend at Hollywood Studios. We got to take pictures with Ewok Chip-n-Dale, and Chewbacca too!
Elias was excited to visit the Magic Kingdom and see all the characters and Cinderella's Castle!
Sweet family moment in the Magic Kingdom.
Riding Big Thunder Mountain Railroad with Grandma. He LOVED this one! A roller coaster that's also a train... How could it get any better??
We had breakfast at Chef Mickey's. Elias liked meeting the characters and eating Mickey-shaped waffles, but his favorite part was dancing and twirling his napkin to the Celebrate music!
In Epcot, we loved this musical group called the Jammitors!
Elias watched Monsters, Inc. for the first time in the car on the way to Florida, and he LOVED it! (We watched it twice!) So we were pleased to find Mike & Sully every where. We also visited the Monsters, Inc Laugh Floor in the Magic Kingdom, which he loved! (Did that twice too.)
This model railroad in Epcot was fun.
Sweet cousin moment at the Garden Grill in Epcot. Pay no attention to the chicken leg that Azlan hadn't quite finished with yet. :)
We saw characters all over the place, and Elias was never too sure about them. The closest he would get to them was a high-five. However, by our fourth day, he had warmed up a little, and he actually gave Dale a hug at the Garden Grill!
Family hug in front of Spaceship Earth.
It was Elias' idea to do the Chicken Dance while we waited in line for the Safari at Animal Kingdom. The whole line was entertained!
Everybody enjoyed some Mickey ice cream!
Animal Kingdom was our last day, and by then Elias was riding the big coasters like the Primeval Whirl!
This was the official photo from the Dinosaur ride (which was way too scary for kids, IMO). But the picture is classic!
The Festival of the Lion King in Animal Kingdom may have been my favorite part of the entire trip. It was AWESOME!
For our fancy dinner on our last night, we ate at Narcoossee's at the Grand Floridian. The boys were all stylin' in their Warrior Poet shirts.
As a souvenir, Elias bought a stuffed Mike & Sully, which were good entertainment on the way home!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Trip to Chattanooga

Earlier this month, we took a trip to Chattanooga that was so special! We stayed at the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel, and then we went to a Day Out With Thomas! Elias was in little-boy heaven! :) As his souvenir of the trip, he chose a Day Out With Thomas photo album, and then I made a little story of our trip with the photos we took. So rather than typing out the tale of our trip into a blog post, I thought I'd just show the story pictures we put into his album.
If you're having trouble viewing the photo story or want to see larger pictures, try clicking here to view it in Photobucket.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Where Does He Come Up With This Stuff?: Angry Birds Edition

Over the past 6 months or so, we've learned that Angry Birds are a big hit among young boys all around the world. Elias was slowly introduced to it by way of friends who liked it, but when we returned to the States, he began playing the game on Grandma's iPhone. He, of course, thought it was super fun, and another Angry Birds fan was born. So then the next time Grandma was at the store, she saw a box of Angry Birds Cheese Nips, which she knew Elias would love, so she got them. And he did. Not only does he enjoy the tasty crackers, but he also loves looking at the box where all the Angry Birds are there together.

For reasons beyond my comprehension, he decided to make up names for each of the Angry Birds. Therefore, these are their new names:
Red one = Mado
Black one = Moodo
White one = Meedo
Yellow one = Tofasar (That's pronounced toe-fuh-sahr. I have no idea.)
Blue one = Charlie
Bahaha! Oh, and as mentioned in my last post, the green pig is named Guido.

So that's all well and good, but here's where it gets really funny. My dad is a backyard birdwatcher, and so he keeps birdfeeders that attract all sorts of birds. Elias and I have really gotten into the birdwatching as well, and Elias has now identified a real-life bird to be the equivalent of each of the Angry Birds! Let me introduce to you the identities of each one!
So we'll be sitting at the table with the birdfeeder outside, and Elias will suddenly shout "Hi, Charlie!" or "It's Meedo!" So we'll look to discover a blue jay or nuthatch at the feeder. And there can be any number of the same bird on the feeder - the 10 goldfinches in our field of vision are all named Tofasar.

So I don't know where my kid comes up with this stuff, but it's fun!

*Thanks to the Angry Birds Wiki for the images of the Angry Birds. I also learned there that each bird already has a name. We're going to stick with Elias' interpretation.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Kite & Culture Festival

This afternoon we went to the International Kite & Culture Festival in Georgetown. There were bouncy houses, which Elias thoroughly enjoyed. Then we got some food; Justin thoroughly enjoyed a lamb gyro and baklava! (Elias and I preferred more boring food: a cheeseburger and a chicken philly, respectively.) We had brought Elias' kite with us (the green pig from Angry Birds - Elias has named him Guido), and the weather was great for kite-flying!
Below is a shot of the whole festival from the top. The white tents are the food/craft displays. The bouncy houses are in the back behind the tents. Justin and Elias are the pair on the far left, and you can see their green kite at the very top of the picture.

Friday, April 12, 2013

New Bicycle

My parents' neighborhood has a Facebook page, and Dad spotted on it that someone was giving away a bike for a 4- or 5-year-old boy. So he claimed it for Elias, and we went to pick it up. It is a great little bike, the perfect size for Elias! Such a blessing to be given it for free! We just picked up some training wheels, and he's good to go.
The bike has both a horn and a bell, which Elias likes even more than riding on the bike!
We hope the weather warms up and stays good so that we can use this great new bike!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Celebrating Easter

If I hurry up and get this posted, it'll be not quite a year since I've posted on this blog. I haven't been snoozing that whole time - the things I've been blogging have been over on our Turkish Travels blog. However, while we're back in the States, I'll start putting things back on this blog... I like having kind of a record of what our life is like, and I also like being able to share it with others.

So although we had only been back in the States for a few weeks and barely had our wits about us (and still don't for that matter), we had a joyous celebration of Easter! How beautiful to reflect upon the resurrection of Christ and what that means for us both in this life and for eternity!
My parents' neighborhood had a little petting zoo the Saturday before Easter. Elias LOVED the chicks, and still talks about them! He was less excited about the goats (that you can see in the pen behind us).
We colored eggs the day before Easter. Grandma had bought some no-spill coloring cups, and those worked great!
I had also bought some of the shrink-wrap egg decorators, which I remember using as a kid. However, rather than dipping them in boiling water, which is what I remember doing, the instructions said you could also shoot them with a hair dryer to make the plastic shrink. Elias loved that too!
Our beautiful eggs!
We had brought home from church an Easter craft for Elias to do, so he and Grandma did that the day before Easter. He liked the way he could "open" the door to the empty tomb!
Then on Sunday morning, there was a lot going on at church! First a sunrise service, followed by breakfast. Then the choir practiced its cantata that it would be performing in the later service. Then Sunday School, then the later service, then an Easter Egg hunt!! In the later service, the children performed a handbell song, which Elias thought was awesome!
Listen at the end of the video... Hear the excited "YAAAAAAAAAY!"? That's Elias. :)
My parents' church has this cross of daffodils planted on the hill behind it, and every year it blooms just in time for Easter!
Due to bad weather, the Easter Egg Hunt at church had to be moved inside, but Elias still had fun!
For Easter supper, we made Easter Egg Salad! You can't really tell from the pictures, but the egg dye got on the eggs themselves, so our salad was pretty psychedelic. Made it even more delicious!
Christ is Risen!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Thankful for Her Legacy

1000 Moms Project
Today in celebration of Mother's Day, I wanted to join in with the One Thousand Moms project and show a little gratitude for my mommy in this public forum. Although I have kinda the best mom in the world, so there are a lot of things to be thankful for, one thing I've been meditating about a lot recently is her legacy that faith, love, and family are more important than material things. (Of course, I'm thankful for BOTH my parents having lived this out, but today we're focusing on Mom!) A few ways she has done this:

- Before I was school age, she took in sewing at home so she could stay home with me instead of going out and getting job, when I know we could've used the money.
- When I was in elementary school, she and Dad both went back to college to finish their degrees in order to pursue their dreams. Looking back, that was like totally insane of them, but I'm proud of them for doing it. Seeing their sacrifice made a big impact on me.
- When I was in college, they sold everything and moved to Poland as missionaries. That is such a huge deal! They quit comfortable jobs that they loved, sold a beautiful house, and left behind their family to follow the Lord in obedience.
- Even after returning to the States, they took jobs (or stayed in jobs!) that were less comfortable, less money, and further away from family, all for the sake of the ministry they were called to.

Seeing where I am today, it's easy to see how watching Mom & Dad's life of making drastic steps of faith and obedience has shaped my worldview as well. Mom, I'm thankful for the way you have shown me with your life that materialism is NOT where fulfillment is found, and that love is not hindered by distance! I love you!