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Friday, February 27, 2009

Green Belts!

Patrick and Carter tested for their green belts in karate last night. They were so excited as well as nervous about breaking the boards. I was nervous that one would be able to break them and not the other. I was SO happy when each one of them was able to break the boards with his foot and his hand! I always feel so proud when I see their belts being replaced with a new color. I hope they both continue to enjoy and grow in karate...it has been so good for them.

The last time to put on their yellow belts

Breaking the boards

Carter sparring

Patrick sparring

Patrick's belt ceremony

Carter's belt ceremony

Congratulations Patrick and Carter. We are proud of both of you!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

All About Mama

The kids each answered some questions about me today. I had so much fun reading the answers. Here are the questions with answers from each one of them.

1. What is something that your mama always says to you?
Madison: I love you
Patrick: I love you
Carter: Do your chores

2. What makes your mama happy?
Madison: When we do very well on our school work.
Patrick: Vicki
Carter: Love notes

3. What makes your mama sad?
Madison: When we do not do well or try hard with our school
Patrick: When dad leaves
Carter: Arguing

4. How does your mama make you laugh?
Madison: I really don't know. She is just funny.
Patrick: She tells me about insane people.
Carter: Telling us jokes

5. What do you think your mama was like as a child?
Madison: Fun to be with and very pretty...loved to play
Patrick: Energetic
Carter: A really fun child

6. What do you and your mama do together?
Madison: We spend lots of time playing board games and shopping.
Patrick: Vacations
Carter: A lot of things

7. How are you and your mama alike:
Madison: We both like gymnastics. We both like babies and so much more.
Patrick: Our sense of humor
Carter: We will never grow up

8. How are you and your mama different?
Madison: I don't think there are any ways.
Patrick: She's a girl
Carter: She is taller than I am.

9. What is her favorite thing to do?
Madison: Read books
Patrick: Read
Carter: Do things with us

10. If your mama becomes famous, what will it be for?
Madison: Writing a book
Patrick: Writing
Carter: Love

11. What is your mama really good at?
Madison: Writing, teaching, typing, and being a mom!
Patrick: Writing
Carter: Reading

12. What is your mama not very good at?
Madison: Singing
Patrick: Singing
Carter: Sports

13. What is your mama's job?
Madison: Teaching us and being a stay at home mom
Patrick: (left blank)
Carter: Teaching us

14. What is your mama's favorite food?
Madison: Olive Garden
Patrick: Olive Garden
Carter: I don't really know.

15. What makes you proud of your mama?
Madison: She stands up for herself and us.
Patrick: (left blank)
Carter: A lot of things

16. If your mama was a cartoon character, who would she be?
Madison: Barbie
Patrick: Gumby
Carter: I don't know

17. How do you know your mama loves you?
Madison: She says that she loves me and hugs and kisses me all the time.
Patrick: Duh
Carter: She does everything

18. What does your mama like most about your dad?
Madison: He is handsome and very nice.
Patrick: Everything
Carter: He is so nice.

19. Where is your mama's favorite place to go?
Madison: Aunt Vicki's house
Patrick: Cozumel
Carter: Everywhere

This was fun. I think we will so an "All About Dad" next!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Valentines 2009

It's appropriate that I am so late posting my Valentines post because it really got lost a little in the activity surrounding our cruise. We arrived home only two days before Valentines, so I really should have planned things beforehand. However, with all of the packing and stuff, it just got overlooked before we left. We did end up having a great day, though!
I loved the fact that Valentines Day fell on a Saturday. Jeff usually misses the kids getting up to their treats, but he got to be here this year.
I made heart-shaped pancakes for breakfast.
Our plans to go to the movies in the afternoon almost fell through when Carter got sick off of too much chocolate. Like every Valentines Day, I let them have as much chocolate as they wanted whenever they wanted it. As for Carter, this usually means that his is gone before breakfast. Luckily, he got over his stomach ache, and we were able to go see Coraline. After the movie, the boys wanted to ride the carousel in the mall. Like always, Carter wanted the seat that spins around. My first thought was that Patrick would get sick. Like me, he gets motion sickness easily, especially when spinning in circles. I didn't even think about Carter already having a weak stomach from that morning. All three of them..our neighbor, Josh, was with us as well...got into the seat with one other boy. Everything seemed fine the first time around, but I knew it was going downhill when they came around the second time. By the third round, all three of the boys were yelling for the other boy to stop spinning, to no avail. By the time the ride stopped, all three of them were sick. I grabbed them immediately and started for the mall bathrooms. I cut in front of one lady, trying to explain that I had some boys about to throw up. None of them did throw up, but had to sit awhile to let their stomachs settle. Luckily, I still had some Bonine(motion sickness pills) in my purse from our cruise, so I gave one to each one of them. I don't think they will be getting on the spinning seat on the carousel again any time soon! Jeff had a singing that night, so I offered to keep my nieces for Jeff's brother so his wife could go along. Jeff and I had just had five days alone...we'd had our Valentines Day early. My kids were excited to have Jayden and Annabeth over for the evening. We had a great time. They brought us a yummy cookie cake, which was nearly gone by the end of the evening.
So, I learned that we CAN have a good time without all of the planning. Everything we did was very "last minute" yet still worked out.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Cruise 2009

We sailed out of New Orleans on the Carnival Fantasy on Saturday. The New Orleans cruise port was MUCH better than last time we used it. We boarded the ship in time to have lunch on the Lido deck. The Fantasy looked great. It went into dry dock after our cruise in September for the new Evolutions of Fun renovations and almost looked like a different ship. Sunday was a day at sea. It felt so strange to leave New Orleans the day before with jackets on and wake up the next morning to beautiful, warm weather. We spent the day lying out in the sun, eating, and resting. We had formal night that evening then stayed up for the midnight comedy show. We arrived in Progresso on Monday. We did a little shopping then took a Mayan ruins tour. We had planned on seeing some Mayan ruins on our last trip to Progresso but ended up not doing it. I regretted it so much and was determined to do it this time. It was great! The ruins that we visited were only discovered and opened to the pubic in the mid 80's. It was so amazing to me to stand in the middle of those ruins and imagine life as it was.

We visited the area where the Mayans collected sea salt to trade. We also saw some flamingos from a distance. After the tour, we did some more shopping before leaving Progresso at 4:00. We arrived in Cozumel on Tuesday. We spent the first part of the day at Paradise Beach. The weather was beautiful, and it felt so great to just sit out in the sun and relax...and eat! In the afternoon, we went into town to shop and look around until the ship left at 5:00.
We had another day at sea on Wednesday as we headed back to New Orleans. We spent it lying out in the sun and playing in the new Water Works area. I mentioned the new Evolutions of Fun renovations that Fantasy had done. Here are some before and after shots around the ship. The before pictures were taken on our September trip...before the ship went into dry dock. The after pictures were taken on this trip. The changes were amazing.
Here is a before picture of the main pool area.
Here s the main pool area with the new renovations. Back pool deck before renovations.
This back pool was completely taken out and replaced with Water Works. Here is the back part of the main pool area/stage area before picture. They replaced all of the deck chairs and added the palm trees. You can also see the spiral staircases on the sides that were added.
Here is a picture of one of the hallways before renovations.
The carpet was replaced, the pictures were replaced, and the wood was added. They also added this wood to most of the interior eating areas on the Lido deck.We were so pleased with the Fantasy's new look. I look forward to sailing on her again, but mostly look forward to getting away with Jeff again. Thankyou, Jeff, for an amazing time! I appreciate Jeff's mom and dad for, not only keeping the kids, but entertaining them so well while we were gone. We couldn't do this without them!