Halloween Fun 2016

February 20th, 2017 in About Me

We did a few other things for Halloween this year. Going to the Leonardo for their “Spooky Science” exhibit is always a must. When I was editing this photo below, I told Abby, “I am editing a photo of you in the Ghostbuster outfit touching a real human brain. And that is about the weirdest sentence I have ever said.” But here in fact is a picture of Abby in a Ghostbuster outfit touching a real human brain.

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Chocolate Chip and Tyler had a few other Halloween costumes to wear around town.

 

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The girls had a neighbor lady bring them some yummy Halloween treats.

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We went to the pumpkin patch to pick out some pumpkins for the girls to decorate.

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We had an impromptu photo shoot with Chocolate Chip who was very interested in the Halloween fun outside.

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The girls ate an extreme amount of candy Halloween night.

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This amazing family in our neighborhood turns their home in either a Nightmare Before Christmas or Harry Potter land. This year was Harry Potter and I swear a lot of it was even better than Universal Studios.

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We did a little more decorating inside and outside of the house. Outside we always put up “Ty the Dog Guy with his dogs” and then we do a little decorating inside.

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All of the girls have a book club and each group had a Halloween party. Since we homeschool I host these groups so my girls don’t miss out on fun parties like this.

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Lastly we tried a new thing and did “Witches Tea” at the Grand America. I don’t think we will do it again BUT it was fun to try one time. We got pedicures, played in our new pjs, and dined on a Halloween themed tea.

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Ghostbuster Halloween 2016

February 20th, 2017 in About Me

Remember how much we loved the Ghostbuster movie? The girls agreed to do a Ghostbuster theme for Halloween. And BOY DID WE DO A GHOSTBUSTER THEME FOR HALLOWEEN!

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I searched for pilot uniforms that were tan that I could add some reflective tape to but never could find any. So I found hunting coveralls that were in the right color and added patches & reflective ribbon to those. All the girls wanted to be the “goggle girl” so I found goggles in their favorite colors. The suits at first were way too big but I just sewed them up so they would work.
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Don’t they look so fabulous? 

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We went all out for the house too! I got some ghosts that go on both sides of the windows so it looks like they are popping through. My friend made those awesome green Ghostbuster signs for us. At night I bought some lights so the house would flash up. My friend in the neighborhood painted the pumpkins for me. I dressed up as Slimer and handed out slime instead of candy. And Tyler was a good sport and dressed up as Marshmallow man. For the ward party we even turned out van into the Ghostbuster hearse.

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I don’t think we will do something like this again. I mean **I** have this pretty awesome idea to have the older girls dress up as mad scientists and the younger girls as their monster creations. Then I would turn the inside/outside of the house in a mad lab. BUT I am already outvoted and the girls want to do their own thing next year.

Things I Loved This Fall

February 18th, 2017 in About Me

It has been not my favorite home school year because of the schedules we have. The times that Reagan is supposed to be at school and dance. Then the times that Shae should be at her kindergarten extra circular activities. Then Cameron and Abby’s schedules. Nobodys schedules mesh. I set up this school year to make sure every girl could do their thing. But I didn’t think about having a schedule that would be nice for ALL OF US. So it hasn’t been my favorite home school year but I know how to fix it for next school year. It is fun to see the girls do things they love. Like Abby helping in preschool dance classes as an assistant teacher. Reagan trying to new things and making best friends. Abby being on a dance team with girls she loves. Watching Cameron be so close with Abby through the home school they do together. They are special girls.

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Usually we have free Fridays and we go out in nature for the whole day. But this year we haven’t got to do that as much, which I don’t like. We did get out a few times though in nature during the fall. Which is something I like more than swimming in the summer OR playing in the snow OR having spring come. Fall walks and hikes are my favorite time of the year.

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This was a funny hike because sweet Shae saved me from DEATH. I was walking and about to put my foot down and Shae screamed STOP. Below my foot was honest to goodness the hugest HUGEST spider I have ever seen. So then the hike was over and we ran screaming all the way back down.

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Days at the parks in the leaves is always such fun in the fall. My younger two love parks so much more than my older two did. It is a lot of fun to watch them have fun together.

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During Fall we went to our favorite places. To Cornbellys…

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To the Red Barn to play & buy an extreme amount of apples & cider.

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Then with the apples we have “apple day” where we eat only apples dishes all day long. The girls each make one and my kitchen is a disaster.

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In the girls dance classes they all do Halloween demonstrations. All of those are loaded on y VIMEO account here.

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We headed on over to Peterson Farms by us to play and say hi to our favorite farm animals. We are pretty lucky to have a local farm so close to us that is such a perfect family spot.

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Some friends and I went to a cooking class. I think I like that stuff a lot more than every one else. So it was nice of them to appease me and go.

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We had some lazy days in bed, Thursdays it is a rule that we start things later and sleep in. Thursdays are my favorite.

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We found a little hope around town during the Fall. I hope you all found little glimmers of hope too, it has been an awful few months for our country.


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Beautiful Shae starting growing up and losing teeth!

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We attended new exhibits at museums in the area and the girls really enjoyed the Poison one at Natural History Museum.

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Honey is still plugging along at age 14 and now can stand Chocolate Chip. Not friendly, but can stand.

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Reagan and I get some alone time together for a little bit longer. She isn’t quite old enough to go into all the different things the older girls do. Next year she will be able to do some and the year after she will be all caught up with them. Her birthdate is a tricky one, just 9 days after most cut off days. More time with me I guess!

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We celebrated first snowfalls of the season…in the Fall…come on Utah, knock it off.

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These girls got to have some really cool experiences this Fall with STEM projects, such smarties they will be.

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My sister invited my mom, cousin, and I out to do silly things. We went to a place where you just play games with nerf guns. I am AWFUL but had so much fun.

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The girls and I went to some plays. We saw Anne of Green Gables, Wizard of Oz, and Elephant & Piggie. Elephant and Piggie was adorable and they got all dressed up for it.

 

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The girls and I went to Logan to attend the Pumpkin Walk. The girls all brought a friend and we played in the leaves at the end. Logan is such a beautiful city. This year the theme of the Pumpkin Walk was American Icons. The girls took pictures with their favorite scenes:

 

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2016 Logan Pumpkin Walk — American Icons from Vanessa Brown on Vimeo.

I took my brother out one fall afternoon and explained to him how Fall was the most important season of all. We drove around sipping on pumpkin drinks, wearing Uggs, and driving with the window down. Then we went to Trader Joes to buy all pumpkin items to try and sway him.

JB from Vanessa Brown on Vimeo.

Those were a few moments from our Fall! My favorite season of the year that this year was a bit glum, but hopefully next year I feel better. I am sure all the different things going on in our country made for a lot of us to have a glum Fall & Winter this year.

Cameron’s Favorite Things Party

February 3rd, 2017 in Parties, party time

Cameron had a very particular party in mind for her 9th party and planned every detail of it. It was as if I got to spend time in her brain and to see how she works for a bit. She decided to make a party out of her favorite things and give her guests a taste of each one. She also asked her guests instead of bringing a present for her, to bring 12 of THEIR favorite things to share with the other guests.

I gave the wonderful person who does our birthday invites a list of her favorite things and she designed a pattern out of it. You can see it on the invite and also on the wall behind the party set up.

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I also gave the cake lady a list of her favorite things to put on the cake. Which the decorator said was the most random cake she has yet to do.

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This is what her itinerary was, what activity she did to go along with each subject and what she gave away:

Yellow–yellow personalized bags to give her guests

Bear–introduce them to bear–give them their own bear

Alice in Wonderland–pin the smile on Cheshire Cat–Alice in Wonderland Pin

Native American–play traditional Native American Game—dreamcatcher

FAVORITE THINGS SWITCH–All girls introduce their favorite thing and pass out their gifts

Pancakes & Pink Milk–Ate for Dinner

Bouncy Balls–Bouncy Ball Contest–Bouncy Ball

Cats & Coloring–Cat Coloring Page Contest–Markers

NYC–Freeze Dance to Welcome to NY–NY Keychain

Halloween–Guess what the cross thing in the bag is–Halloween Dinner Plate

Gummy Candy—Guess the Gummy Challenge—Gummy Bears

Goats—Watch Goat Video—Goat Figurine

Beanie Boo Collector—Introduce Beanie Boo Collection—Beanie Boo Keychain

Lava Lamps—How to Make a Lava Lamp—Keep Lava Lamp

Harry Potter—Science Experiement—Gummy Spider

Hyenas—Hyena Video—Hyena Figurine

Root Beer—Eat Root Beer Birthday Cake—Root Beer Can

Minecraft—Watch Minecraft Video—Minecraft Blind Bag

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PS Her grandma came and gave away homemade aprons for each of the girls! exchanging cameronpartywithfriends nativeamericanday alicegame alicegame2 alicegame1

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Cameron had a really wonderful time and got to show off who she is.

I am so proud she is my daughter.

Little video of the night:

Cameron’s 9th Birthday from Vanessa Brown on Vimeo.

Cameron Is 9!

February 3rd, 2017 in About Me

Cameron is nine and the only big change in her is that she gets longer. She has gotten taller but everything cute thing about her has stayed the same. So I guess turning 9 is okay at our house, maybe 10 is the one that won’t be allowed.

Cameron is kind, intuitive, meticulous, creative, independent, knows what she wants/doesn’t want, and is an important part of my life.

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On Cameron’s birthday this is the second year she has requested being woken up by candy. For candy to be poured over her head to wake her up. And for the second year in a row I did it! She requested for her birthday breakfast pancakes, eggs, bacon, and pink milk.

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My grandmother gave her a quilt that she just adores and now sleeps with every night.

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For her birthday I gave her presents that I hoped she really would enjoy, one of them turns any drink into a slushie. This girl loves her drinks–root beer, sarsaparilla, butter beer, etc.

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For her birthday night of staying up with me she chose to go spend her birthday money at Target and do silly Target games with me running around the store. We went to Starbucks for a treat. Earlier in the day she chose to go out as a family to get breakfast food–her favorite!

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Meeting Baby Livia

February 2nd, 2017 in About Me

My sister had a baby just two weeks before we went to California and since she lived an hour away from where we visiting we decided to meet our new niece (my first niece on my side!) and cousin. We were going to head to her place but I thought I would pay for her to stay at the hotel instead. That way we could just swim all day and take turns holding baby Livia.

Isn’t she a doll? And wow my girls’ freckles really do pop in these photos, I love it!

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We gave my nephews some presents that was bought for them at the theme parks and took some home for ourselves. It was such a fun trip and having my mom come with us made it even better.

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Universal Studios

February 2nd, 2017 in Our Travels Worldwide

On the way out of Disneyland we couldn’t find our car! I had to use the find my iphone app feature to find the car. I had an old phone in the car and used my new phone to find my car. So we got a later start to Universal Studios and got caught in traffic. We were all pretty pooped too. Universal Studios was somehow even hotter!

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BUT the girls got to FINALLY go to Harry Potter Land. Abby and Cameron read all seven books and watched all eight movies in prep for this trip. It was cool to see it come to life somewhat before their eyes. We went to the wand shop and each girl chose a wand.

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We of course ate at the Harry Potter place and drank too much frozen butter beer. Funny thing about that. So I didn’t want to waste any of it and the girls drank just part of their so I downed as much as I could. Then we went to get on the Harry Potter roller coaster, it looked pretty tame and I thought the girls would want to do it. Well they did but they each wanted to do it ONLY WITH ME, sitting right by me. So after I drank all that butter beer I do those rides. Then Abby and I walked through the castle to do the really cool 4D roller coaster ride. Well when I got off that ride I really was the color of green and so sick.

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But it was worth it, that was one cool ride!

We didn’t spend too long at Universal Studios, we did a couple more spots. We watched the SHREK 4D movie, took a tour of movie sets on the property. Then we visited Minon land which was a huge hit with the girls. We got lucky and ran into a couple of characters. I would say that my girls are more into their characters and movies then the ones at Disneyland. Maybe next time we will start at Universal Studios and use our energy on that.

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We had no complaints when we left, everyone was done with theme parks! Here are a few cell phone clips of different moments we had at the park:

CA Theme Park Trip from Vanessa Brown on Vimeo.

Our First Disneyland Trip–Day 3

February 2nd, 2017 in Our Travels Worldwide

Day 3 of our Disney trip was cut into three different parts.

#1 Breakfast at Goofy’s Kitchen

#2 Playing in the Pools

#3 Halloween Night at the Park

Breakfast at Goofy’s Kitchen was a favorite of the trip. The girls ate plates of desserts for breakfast, Cameron’s plate below of breakfast foods covered in mini M&Ms is amazing. The girls met more characters and just relaxed after a long day previous. Cameron wore every button she could find to show off it was her first time and Disneyland AND a few days away from her birthday. They even sang to her at Goofy’s Kitchen.

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Then we rented a cabana and relaxed in the pools before our big late night at Halloween Disneyland.

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When we arrived we went ran into another hiccup. One of the tickets on the account was STILL flagged and it took forever to check us in. They were feeling bad that this was happening to us on our first trip to disneyland so gave us some golden tickets. We could use them during the night to go straight up to the front of the line and get right on the rides. We went back to the Peter Pan ride and also went and rode the Winnie the Pooh ride again.

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But most of all we saved it for the Nightmare Before Christmas Mansion since that is the ONLY movie that my girls love and will watch over and over.

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That night we also ate a special Halloween dinner at the Blue Bayou and got front seat tickets to the VILLAIN parade at night. You guys that villain parade was my favorite part of our trip. I loved seeing the villains out and the girls did as well.

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There was trick or treating going on that night and we did a bit of that. Our costumes were noses, ears, and sweatshirts turning us into Minnie Mouse and making us way too hot.

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Our favorites of the day were:

Favorite Villain: Doctor Facilier
Favorite Ride: Nightmare Before Christmas Haunted Mansion
Favorite Food: Firefly Clip Lights at Blue Bayou ?
Favorite Park: Still Fantasyland

Check out our video of the villan parade:

 

Villain Halloween Parade from Vanessa Brown on Vimeo.

Our First Disneyland Trip–Day 2

February 2nd, 2017 in Our Travels Worldwide

We woke up and got our fanny packs on with our water, snacks, wipes and sun tan lotion. The fanny pack plan worked okay with the older girls but not so much with Reagan. My girls were really so well behaved at Disneyland and I was so proud of them.

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On our way to the park we stopped at the Lego store and were blown away, I have girls that are big LEGO girls and they took dozens of pictures of what they wanted for Christmas.

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Our first day at Disneyland had a few hiccups. I sure wish that I wouldn’t get mad and annoyed in the moment and just learn to laugh. I spend so much time prepping, making sure that everything goes perfect, that I can’t sometimes roll with the punches.

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So when we showed up for early hour one of the tickets on my account was flagged. Even though I bought them all online in the same order months ahead of time. So we had to sit and wait to see what was wrong. Then I had used the Travel Tours apps to plan our what rides we wanted to go and what path to take. We started following the plans and the first…I beleive 3 or 4 rides after standing in line had malfunctions and closed down when we got to the front of the line. Then we tried to run to a different part of the park—and I guess that different parts of the park open at different times. So I took all my plans and smushed them in a big ball, snapped at everyone, and had a tizzy fit.

So we decided to ride Space Mountain, I put Reagan up on the height requirement and the top of her head made it! But then when we went to walk in they told me that she wasn’t tall enough. So my mom grabbed her and went to another ride when the girls and I decided to still ride it. It had extra effects for Halloween that were quite scary, bloody demons and such. So since I have girls that don’t like roller coasters and get spooked very easily it did not go well. They were FURIOUS and in tears when we got off the ride and wanted to be done with Disneyland. Because with all the bad luck, the heat, etc. it took forever to get on a ride. And THIS was their first ride. I looked at their faces…

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….and started hysterically laughing. Then I found my mom and she suggested we just go to Fantasyland and ride all the slower storybook type rides. My mom is better at rolling with the punches and keeping up a good attitude. So we went there and I got back to myself after riding a couple of rides.

The girls loved all of the rides in that section: Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Peter Pan’s Flight, Pinocchio’s Daring Journey, Snow White’s Scary Adventures, Alice in Wonderland, Mad Tea Party and Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough. But Peter Pan’s Flight was a favorite by far. Cameron has been a fan of Alice in Wonderland since she was a toddler. And I’m sure you know, Alice & Mad Hatter rush through Fantasyland sometimes. I grabbed Cameron and rushed up to them so Alice could look down at her and say hello. IT WAS SO COOL!

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For dinner we ate in the New Orleans district at Cafe Orleans, boy oh boy it was yummy. My mom and I were starting to get tired so we drank a LOT  of coke. We are not coke drinkers so by the end of lunch we were giddy and silly and ready to go.

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The lunch gave these girls an escape from the heat and a pick me up as well.

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We sat in the EXTREME HEAT to watch the Disneyland parade. We had really great seats so it was worth the heat. Look at how red their faces were, so so sunny.

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We hit seeing the princesses at the perfect time. We got to see tons of them and the wait was only about 10 minutes. Cameron was so cute and told each princess about her cousin Lydia and had them sign autographs for her too.

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We spent 12 hours at the park and were pretty pooped! We did one last ride–a ride that I knew would push them and that they probably wouldn’t like too much. But I am a mean mom and made them ride SPLASH MOUNTAIN. I bought Reagan high heels at a Disney shop and she wore them so she would for sure meet the height requirement. I myself am terribly frightened of roller coasters. This one is the longest trip up and has 3 dips. After the first dip I started screaming, great job girls we did it, we did the ride! Abby with as much vengeance and hatred as I have ever seen come out of one of my children turned and said, “WE AREN’T DONE YET.” And the pictures, oh these pictures of us on this ride, will be a treasured gem forever.

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Here is what we decided we our favorites from day one:

Favorite Park: Fantasyland
Favorite Food: Mickey Mouse Beignets
Favorite Rides: Peter Pan’s Flight, Adventures of Winnie the Pooh & It’s a Small World
Favorite Characters: Alice

Here is a video of our first day in Disneyland:

Disneyland Day 1 from Vanessa Brown on Vimeo.

Our First Disneyland Trip–Day 1

February 2nd, 2017 in Our Travels Worldwide

Tyler has a couple of ultimatums and then really leaves life up to me to decide on. I’m not complaining because I like it that way. But here are his two ultimatums that I have known about before having kids.

#1 No baby bows

He asked that none of our babies wear headbands, bows, etc. Odd, but they really bug him.

#2 No Disneyland

He has a hatred of Disneyland/Disneyworld that must be traced back to some traumatic event he has blocked out. But he let me know he will never go.

SO when I decided it was finally time to take the girls to Disney that I would grab my MOM and go. We drove the long trip to California and the kids did really well. I did not fall asleep while driving. My mom and I listed to the worst book on tape.

But when we arrived I didn’t want to head right into the park. We decided to just head to the pools instead. We stayed at the Disneyland hotel and they swam in all their pools, got all their energy out.

We decided to go to Disney the last week in September, which really was such a good time to go. It was their slow season but it was also the first week of their Halloween celebrations. But it was still SO SO HOT!

That night we walked around the grounds a bit and ate by the pool and got a good night rest before our first day at Disney. My first day, I had never been to Disneyland. My girls too, they had never been as well.

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