Vernon Volumes

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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Connor's Living Museum Project - Bald Eagle


This week, Connor's first grade class presented their "Living Museum" project at school. Last year, when Connor was in Kindergarten, we saw all the first graders when they dressed up for their project and we heard that it was a big deal. We've been nervous about it all year, and have heard that in many cases the parents have to do a ton of work helping with research and planning and doing it all. Connor's teacher decided to have a different approach and instead set up class time to work on the project and made sure that the children were the ones researching their topic and doing pretty much everything besides putting together the costume/outfit. There was no homework for the past few weeks and instead we just worked with Connor to review his presentation and make sure he was ready. It was actually a nice break for Andrea, although she did still work on his reading and spelling words.

On Friday, I went to his school to see how it all turned out. First, all the first graders walked together in a parade through the school to show off their costumes.


Connor looked pretty cool in his costume.



For Connor's "American Symbol", he chose the Bald Eagle. Andrea got the mask off Etsy and the wings from Amazon. It turned out pretty cute.


After the parade, the kids went to their assigned stations and then the "Living Museum" came to life. All the parents and some kids from other classes came through. When someone pushed their "button" (the paper plate on the floor in front of them), they would talk through the facts they learned. Some of the kids would read them, and some had their facts memorized. Connor did his mostly from memory.


It was awfully loud in the classroom, and it was pretty hard to hear the kids when they talked. Connor did very well with his work and his presentation. He got a 100 out of 100 for his project!


Great work Connor!


Monday, March 24, 2014

Connor's first tooth!


It's been loose for a long time, but Connor's first tooth finally came out today. He has been working on it for a while and I asked to take a look at it. I couldn't believe how loose it was. If you pushed it towards the back of his mouth you could see underneath it and tell it was barely held on by a tiny bit of skin.

I took a little video of it, thinking it might still be a few days.

Afterwards, Andrea wanted to see it and she couldn't believe it was so loose too. Before we knew it, she'd worked it very loose and then popped it out!


Connor was very brave about it, although it did hurt and bleed a little, he was very brave.


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Rog, Wendy and Jenny visit


Today, we went over to Grandma Alice's and Grandpa Rick's house to visit with Rog, Wendy and Jenny. They were passing through on their Spring break trip and we went over to say hi.

Before they arrived, Paige and I played with the stomp rocket in the street.




Paige had fun with everyone.




Connor was at a friend's birthday party, so he wasn't there. It was nice to have a chance to see everyone while they were passing through.






Friday, March 21, 2014

Spring Break cruise on the Disney Wonder with Prescotts and Edwards

On Sunday, March 16th, we drove down to Miami and started our Spring break cruise on the Disney Wonder for a five night cruise to Cozumel and Castaway Cay.


We have been excited to do another cruise with our friends and very excited to do another Disney cruise. This cruise was on the Disney Wonder. At this time Disney has four boats and the Wonder is the oldest boat that hasn't been refurbished and reworked. The Wonder was very nice, however after being on the Dream recently, it wasn't quite as amazing as the newer boats.

When we got aboard, we unpacked our things and met up with our friends to explore the boat and snap some pics.








We went out on the top deck for the set sail party and danced with Mickey and pals for a bit.





Paige has really been in to her Princess dresses lately and once we set sail we bought her a new dress along with gloves, a scepter and a purse. On Monday morning we woke up early and Mommy got Paige all dressed up to meet the princesses.


We planned to go to the "Princess Gathering" at 9am to meet a bunch of the princesses all at once, but the line was incredibly long even though we got there early. We decided we'd wait until the 11am gathering, hoping the line would be shorter. In the meantime we went and met some of the other characters.

The first princess we met was Sophia.



Mickey was all dressed in his Captain's outfit and was happy to see us.




Paige has been watching a lot of "Jake and the Neverland Pirates", and both kids loved to meet Jake.



Minnie was dressed very cute in her sailing outfit.



By the time we got done with the early pictures we noticed there was hardly any line left for the Princess Gathering. We figured that the line was cut off, but we were thrilled when they let us in.

The first princess we met was Belle. She was very excited to see Paige all dressed up just like her.








Connor's favorite princess of the day was Rapunzel. We've never met her before and she was very pretty with her long hair and purple dress. She asked Connor what his favorite part of the cruise was and he told her it was playing soccer, although we hadn't actually done that yet.






The first sea day was really the only day we swam much on the boat. There was one small yellow slide that was only for kids 14 and younger. Connor rode the slide for a while with the bigger kids, but Paige was too scared.


Paige spent most of her time swimming in the pool that was shaped like Mickey's head and complaining that there were too many kids in the pool. It was pretty crowded and cold the first day.


Monday night was Pirate Night! Andrea had special pirate outfits for the kids and we all dressed up in stripes to look extra piratey.

When we got Paige her princess dress, we let Connor pick out something in the store. He picked out a Stitch pillow-pet and on Pirate night he was very excited to give Stitch a big hug.





Captain Hook and Smee were a little scary, but Paige built up her courage and took a picture with them.



Chip and Dale were very cute in their pirate outfits and Chip pointed out that we all had stripes on together.



We met Captain Jack Sparrow for the first time on Pirate night. Paige and I were too scared to take a picture with him, but Andrea and Connor got a nice one together.


Andrea had all kinds of decorations for our cabin door. The pirate decorations were the cutest.



After we took our pics with the characters we met our friends for dinner.





After dinner we took a pic with Pirate Mickey and then we went to the Pirate party!




The pirate party was up on the top deck and started off with all the kids participating in an interactive game on the big TV. After the game, various Disney characters came out and danced with the crowd. The kids enjoyed it for a while, but it went on a bit longer than it really needed to. Eventually Captain Hook came out to take over the ship and then Mickey zip lined down to save the day. It all ended with a bunch of fireworks, and then we went to bed. Unfortunately, right after we left the music apparently got good and we missed out on some more fun partying. Probably best we went to bed, we all were very tired!


On Tuesday, we woke up and got ready for our day at Cozumel.



Mommy fixed Paige up with some pigtails and Paige looked extra cute.


At Cozumel, we went back to the Paradise Beach resort. Last time we were there we had an awesome time and this time was more of the same. The drinks were good, the guacamole was delicious, the pool was big and uncrowded and the beach was beautiful. We all enjoyed our day.


Last time we were there, just as we were leaving, the kids discovered the hammocks. This time, they remembered where they were and started off the day playing and swinging in the hammocks. They spent a lot of time pushing each other, wrapping themselves up, and falling out of the hammocks.









We played at the beach for a little while, but the water was a little chilly.



We spent most of our time in the big pool. The boys threw a football around for a while and all the little boys came over to play with us.








Before we left, we snapped a couple group pics.



When we got back to the boat we had to hurry up and get pretty for formal night!

Paige looked very pretty in her sparkly dress. She loved the way the dress billowed out when she spun.


Mickey looked dashing in his tux. We were first in line to see him and it was cute how he greeted Minnie on the steps and then our kids when he got down to the lobby.














After dinner we snapped a group pic with everyone looking snazzy.


We found a fun area to dance for a little while and then we went to see the Golden Mickey show. We'd seen it before on the Dream, but I think it was actually better this time around. After the show, the kids went to the kids club to play together.


On Wednesday we had a sea day to max and relax. We met up in the lobby with our friends and some of the characters for a dance party.










In the afternoon, Connor, Chris, Sofia, Danny, Kenlyn, and Dan went up with me to the top deck for some sports fun. We played a little basketball, but mostly played soccer with a bunch of the kids. It was some wild and intense action and I actually had a lot more fun than I expected. Connor had some fun too, but he was a little timid with the big kids and mostly played defense.





After our play time, we got dressed up for dinner and took some pics. We were first in line for Minnie Mouse and she was very cute coming down the stairs.














For dinner we ate in the Animator's Palate. The walls went from black and white to colorful as the night went on.



After dinner, we all met up with Mickey for a group pic.



That night's show was Toy Story, the musical. The costumes and sets were amazing, but the songs and storytelling were awful. It was our least favorite show we've seen on a Disney boat.


On Thursday we went to Disney's private island Castaway Cay. We started off on one end of the island and rode the slide and played in the sand, then we ate lunch.








After lunch, we rented bikes and rode around the island with everyone.











In the afternoon, we went to the bigger beach and played in the water. It was much warmer and beautiful weather, so we did a lot of swimming.




Chris, Andrea, Sofia and I got some snorkel gear and swam way out to see all the fish and wreckage. Disney sank a boat and some various things out in the water and a bunch of fish were living among it. We saw three stingrays and the fish were all over us. Andrea got near a Minnie Mouse statue and managed to stir up a big school of fish. They chased us around for a while and it was fun to hear Andrea shrieking through her snorkel. I actually had to shoo them away and pushed them back with my hands.



We stayed late at the beaches until they kicked us out and packed everything up for the night. We skipped the dinner that night and got room service while we packed up. The show on the last night was "Dream" and it was by far the best show we've ever seen. They had music from Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Lion King, and Beauty and the Beast.


On Friday, we woke up early and drove home. It was an amazing trip and I'm so thankful Andrea did so much planning and organization to get us all together for it. We are exhausted from all the fun and we made so many memories with our friends.