Vernon Volumes

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Monday, March 11, 2019

Paige's School Carnival

On Saturday afternoon we went to Paige's school for the annual Spring Carnival. The weather was perfect and the kids got to hang out with a lot of their friends. Paige got a snow cone and got two cupcakes from the cakewalk. Connor mostly played football and basketball with his buddies. Andrea and I went through the silent auction and were the high bidders for a teacher fun day for Paige and her class quilt as well.


Sunday, March 3, 2019

Connor's 12th Birthday and Party

Connor turned 12 this year and we celebrated with some of his friends at the house. Andrea had been asking him what he wanted to do for his birthday, and Connor decided he wanted to have a sleepover with some of his friends, and to just have some fun at the house. Andrea still made it special by getting him his favorite dessert (Whoopie Pies from a local bakery), his favorite food (cheesy potatoes from a local BBQ place), and some cute decorations and goodies for everyone. Before everyone arrived, we got a picture of Connor with the balloons, and also a few with the family.

Connor's friends arrived around 4pm. Liam, Quinn, Robert, and Wolfie all came over and for the first hour or so they played Fortnite together. I think it wasn't the most competitive setup for them since most of them had to play on mobile devices, but it sounded like they were enjoying it. Andrea and I warmed up the BBQ and we ate dinner together. We asked them about middle school and we enjoyed hearing their stories while we ate.

After dinner, the boys played basketball. It had rained most of the day, so it was a little slick and cool out. The boys played super hard and it was fun and entertaining to watch them. They played Knockout, Bank, and then 1v1 Continuous, where the winner of the 1v1 goes on to 1v1 the next player.

After basketball the kids were hot and ready to swim. They did a dunk competition, Marco Polo, the alligator game, and finally just played basketball, which pretty much devolved in to a wrestling match.

After swimming, everyone took some warm showers and then we ate desserts and sang "Happy Birthday" to Connor.

The boys stayed up late playing Fortnite. We had them shut down the electronics at 10pm and were hoping they'd be asleep by midnight. I went up a few times to tell them to turn off tablets and phones, and one last time after midnight I told them to go to bed. Apparently they were trying to stay up until 6am and each boy had a shift they worked to keep everyone awake. Quinn's shift at 2am didn't work out and he couldn't get Connor or Robert awake and finally around that time they all fell asleep.

This morning they ate some donuts and cinnamon rolls and we said farewell to his buddies. It was the perfect party for a cool rainy day, and we're glad his buddies came over to hang out and celebrate with Connor.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Friday night at Cheesecake Factory

One of our favorite things to do as a family, when our schedule allows, is to go to dinner at Cheesecake Factory on a Friday night. We like the "Happy Hour" pricing on the appetizers and then we all get something yummy for dessert. The kids split a cookies and cream milkshake and Andrea and I split the strawberry shortcake.

After dinner we did a little shopping and the kids were funny goofing off together. They have a secret handshake and then they do a game where you have to slap your legs and then choose between reloading, a shield, or a gun. Paige won this round and it went on quite a bit longer than most of the games.

Connor's first middle school tennis match

On Thursday, February 21st, Connor had his first middle school tennis match of the season. Connor played on line 1 doubles with Carly. They played on the hard courts at the Mills courts, and it was a little bit of an adjustment for Connor who is used to playing on clay. Connor did an awesome job of hitting consistently, placing the ball well, and going after some shots when it made sense to play aggressively.

I put together a video compilation of some of their good points during the match.

They won their match 8-1 and their team won 3 lines out of 4, only losing line one of the singles by the narrowest of margins in a tiebreaker.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Disney Wonder Cruise

This past week we set sail for a short three-night cruise on the Disney Wonder. All of the Disney boats are different, and while there's not quite as many bells and whistles on the Wonder, it's a nice little boat and never feels crowded.

On our first day, we went to the new Sail Away party on the top deck and then Paige went to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique for a Princess Tiana Makeover. It was the perfect night for the Tiana dress since we ate dinner that night at Tiana's Place.

Paige wanted to do a "Before" picture before her makeover and tried to make an ugly face.

Tiana loved seeing Paige all dressed up like her.

Connor loved the big chunky alligator Louis. Louis played his trumpet on stage and came around to the tables to say howdy.

After dinner we got some pics with Mickey and everyone together since we dressed up for the night.

On the first night we saw the Golden Mickey's, the second night was Frozen and the last night we saw Dream. We had seats three rows back in the center, and the smaller boats are nice since it was easy to get good seats for all the shows.

On Friday, we had our stop at Nassau and we stayed on the boat. Andrea and I had brunch at Palo's and that was the only time the kids went to the Oceaneer's Lab/Club.

In the afternoon we watched the new Mary Poppins show, went to the early showing of Frozen, and then just hung out around the boat.

On Saturday we were at Castaway Cay and we got off the boat and got a nice spot on the beach.

The weather was perfect, and we decided to go to the excursion area to see if there was any availability for any activities and we were pleasantly surprised to find that the jetskis still had available spots at 11am. We booked a spot and took two jetskis out around the island with a small group. It was a little wavy to get started as we came out of the harbor area, but once we got in to the shallower waters, it was pretty flat and we were able to go pretty fast. The water was crystal clear and at times was so shallow we were worried we'd get banged up if we fell off. About halfway through the tour we stopped in a shallow area and took a short break and took some pics. Then, we rode around and eventually went back to the boat. We got to see a starfish up close and saw a wild stingray as well. We were a little disappointed the tour guide didn't have much to say about the area or anything, but the ride was definitely fun and it was a neat way to see parts of the island we'd not seen before.

The rest of the day, we swam around, played in the water, and had lunch. This was the first time for the kids to swim without earplugs since they had their tubes out and they definitely seemed to enjoy the water more than usual and they swam for a long time. Daddy was a mean shark for a while and hunted the kids down on their raft, which they always enjoy.

Saturday night we ate dinner, and then watched the show and went back to the room and packed up.

It was a short cruise, but we had a lot of fun together!