Tuesday, May 21, 2013

And now...the Rest of the Story!

So after a delicious dinner at the Cheesecake Factory on Wednesday night...the girls decided to leave a little earlier than the guys and get both Karter and Malachi home!  Both had passed SMOOTH out sitting at the table!  After all...it was 10:00pm California time, Midnight Texas time and neither had gotten any rest since leaving that morning, flying out and going to the beach!  So - Lolli carried Malachi on her back, Elizabeth led the pack and Amanda and I pushed Karter the 1.1 miles back to our hotel and got them into bed!! 

He hasn't fallen asleep on her like this in a LONG time so she savored the moment, I'm sure!
The next morning was Malachi's birthday!  We had brought a couple small presents for him to open so he ripped into this cute Disney Hedbanz game!!  Then, He and Karter got all dressed up in their Disney duds and we headed out for our visit to California Adventure!

 The whole crew (in the only picture I can find with ALL of us in it) at Breakfast!
 The full-sized replica of Radiator Springs was incredible!  I kept saying how fun it must be to work in the props/decorating department for Disney!  Seriously - we felt like we were in the movie!
 Malachi and Karter got to have their picture taken with Lightning McQueen!  Malachi is still young enough that he thought that Lightning had just gotten there (as in, when he's driving to California in the movie with Mac and gets stuck in Radiator Springs!)  Lightning McQueen even noticed that it was his birthday and told him Happy Birthday then revved his engine!  I do not even understand how the animatronics work...but his eyes moved and when he revved his engine, he moved too!  (Malachi about peed his pants when that happened...but it was funny!)
 Malachi driving the bumper cars in the "Bugs Land" section!
 Elizabeth, Lolli and I rode the Tower of Terror...I feel TERRIBLE that I didn't get my Mom when I took this picture of us!  But...she was there I promise!  This was a VERY intense ride but I'm so glad I rode it with those two!
My phone died shortly after this and I had left my camera at the hotel so any other pictures of Disney are stolen from others' facebook pages!  We went straight to the Aladdin show after this and it was HYsterical!!  So good! 
After grabbing a small (but plenty expensive, mind you) bite to eat...we all went on the Monster's Inc ride.  It was SO cute and VERY VERY life-like! 
We then headed over to Paradise Pier and rode the Little Mermaid.  Right as we were getting off the ride, I noticed a little boy crying and screaming at one of the cast members that he had lost his mommy.  The poor cast member (Cassidy C) was great...but, he's not a mom!  I sprinted over as the little boy was trying to run off and got him to stay with us.  He was 6 years old and his name was Clarkie (I think it was actually Clark...but he told us it was Clarkie!)  Thankfully, Clarkie was holding a glow stick ball and I had JUST seen a little girl that looked a LOT like him holding a glow stick flower.  So, we got Clarkie to stay with us (and the cast member) and searched for his parents.  Finally, about 20 minutes later, here comes his Dad strolling out of the Little Mermaid, completely unaware of the fact that his son wasn't with his wife.  We couldn't understand how neither of them noticed...but were sure thankful that sweet Clarkie was safe!

It was a terrifying experience for that sweet boy, but Cassidy C and the Security Officers that came over handled it perfectly!! It was about 4:30, and we knew we only had about 3 hours before we needed to BE in place for World of Color so we tried to figure out a plan of attack for the rest of the park. Some wanted to ride the ferris wheel, some the big roller coaster (can't remember what it's called) and EVERYONE wanted to ride the Toy Story ride! Just as we were walking off Cassidy came over and gave us a "golden ticket" which allowed us to get to the front of any line we walked to. He said that was Disney's way of thanking us for our help! We were super touched and thankful because it allowed us to ride what we wanted to without having to wait the 1.5-2 hours that it would've required otherwise! So - we chose the Toy Story ride and all 10 of us jumped literally 150-200 people who were waiting in line! 


We headed over to the Ferris Wheel and then to dinner before ending up at World of Color!  That was an AWESOME show!  The Bellagio has NOTHING on Disney!  I've never seen anything like it in my life!  The water and fire were amazing and the scenes projected were just amazing!  I will admit that I bawled like a baby when they showed Mrs. Jumbo singing to her baby and then cried even harder when 'Punzel came on.  It was just a wonderful way to end the day and to remember that seeing it all through our baby boy's eyes was the most important thing!  On the way home we stopped and got some ice cream and let the boys sugar up a bit more before they crashed!  After we dropped the stroller off, though, we were looking at Malachi's hair and it was greasy and soapy!  We couldn't figure out for the life of us what he had gotten into and then...it hit us!  Mom and Dad bought Malachi, Karter and Kadi Jo Bubble Guns.  The Bubble guns were in a plastic bag on top of the stroller...the bubble guns leaked when Malachi was sitting in the stroller. Ergo...Malachi had bubbles ALL in his hair!!  It was so funny!!  He needed a bath anyway!
The final day of our vacation was spent at Knott's Berry Farm!  The whole fam got to meet Charlie Brown and our very own Charlie Brown got to meet his namesake...okay, he's not really his namesake!  haha
 Karter, Snoopy and Malachi!
 Malachi and Karter rode a few kiddie rides and loved it!  (Although you can't tell by Karter's expression here!)  ha  I actually took this picture from a roller coaster that Mom, Elizabeth and I rode!  Aunt Amanda, Uncle Tanner and Pops joined us for one of their really big coasters later!! 
 Sweet boys!
 Having a blast!
 Snoopy's racers!
 Whoops - slid ride down that seat!!  Don't worry, he regained his footing quickly after this!! 
 Hot Air Balloons!
Oh, and remember that story about Clarkie?  Well...I have a lot more understanding now than I did when we were helping him!  Mom, Dad, Thomas and I were walking out of the park...Mom and I were in front of the boys and right after we'd gone through the turnstyles, Thomas and Dad noticed that Malachi wasn't with us.  We thought he was with them.  So, for the next 20 seconds (which felt like an eternity) I jumped over the turnstyles and starting running through the park.  Malachi was running and screaming my name.  When he saw me, I cried, he cried and for the next good while we had a talk about what to do if he ever gets lost!  I don't know that it would've EVER taken me/us 20-30 minutes to realize he was gone, but it was definitely a learning opportunity for us all!  We'd been so careful...only to lose him as we were walking OUT of the park! 

After we calmed down, we went to some of the little stores around the park and Malachi got his picture taken with Charlie!
That night we went to the Anaheim Angels game!  We were all so tired that we barely made it through the game!  Aunt Liz and Uncle Tanner were so sweet to Malachi the whole trip!!  They sure love him and the feeling is DEFINITELY mutual!
 And to end our vacation, we saw one of the best fireworks shows I've ever seen!  It was close to us, it was loud and the fireworks were HUGE!  We definitely ended California 2013 with a bang!       (hardy har)
We got up bright and early the next morning and headed back to Flagstaff before leaving again on Sunday morning finally arriving home around 7:30 Sunday night!  We are still recovering but so very thankful for the safe traveling mercies from the Lord, the opportunity to fellowship with one another, the opportunity to spend time with Logan's sweetheart and get to know her better and the opportunity to take a break from our struggles and just laugh!  I'm so thankful for my family (blood and otherwise) and wouldn't trade a single person on this trip for the world!

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