Thursday, November 13, 2008

Julia's Big Day

As an early birthday present, we took Julia to Sweet & Sassy to have her ears pierced. She has been asking to have it done for a long time, so we decided to wait for her 5th birthday. She was so excited and didn't cry or even flinch. What a big girl... 5 going on 16.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Magical Family Vacation

We had a great family vacation this year. My parents arranged for the whole family, all 3 kids and their spouses and the grandchildren, to spend a week at Disney World. Sheila, the kids and I left a couple days early, so we could go to Sea World too. Sea World was a hit last year when we took the kids there, and we all loved it again. The kids love Shamu! We got to feed the stingrays, watch several other aquatic shows, go on some rides and even had dinner backstage with Shamu! That was a really cool experience being poolside where they train the orcas. Julia was able to meet a Shamu trainer and learn what it takes to become one. For those of you who have not heard, Julia has been saying for the past year that she'd like to be a Shamu trainer. Another highlight was riding Journey to Atlantis three times. It's a combination roller coaster/water flume ride that Julia and I love.

Julia & Hutch watching SHAMU

Julia w/ a SHAMU trainer

The next four days were spent at Disney World. We stayed in the Villas at Wilderness Lodge, a beautiful property at Walt Disney World. We visited all of the Disney parks and had an amazing time. Highlights included lunch with the Princesses at Cinderella's Castle. Julia even received the royal treatment with an appointment at the Bippidi Boppidi Boutique. We also had dinner with Mickey and his friends at a backyard BBQ at Fort Wilderness. We went on all of the famous children's rides at the Disney parks, such as It's a Small World, Peter Pan, Snow White, Finding Nemo, etc. Julia and I also went on most of the thrill rides. We rode Splash Mountain, Thunder Mountain, Expedition Everest and Mission Space, among others. So far, she really enjoys all of these rides. She throws her hands in the air on the roller coasters, but makes sure to keep saying "keep your arm around me Daddy" for the whole ride. Disney World was just an incredible time, as always, and it was great for my parents to see the grandchildren enjoy the experience. Thank you again to Mom and Dad for planning and giving us this great vacation!

Winnie the Pooh signed autographs & posed for a picture

Julia & Hutch w/ Grandma & Papa Helton

Julia dressed as Belle

We departed Orlando on Friday and headed to Amelia Island to meet Sheila's parents for the weekend. We had a great time visiting with them. If you've never been to the Amelia Island/Fernandina Beach area, it is really beautiful and nice. Sheila, Julia and I headed to Jacksonville Saturday afternoon to go to the FSU-Colorado football game. Hutch spent some quality time with Grandma & Papa Strausser on Amelia Island. We really enjoyed the game. Our seats were only five rows off the field, and the FSU cheerleaders were right in front of us! That was a big hit with Julia, who also says she wants to be an FSU cheerleader. Since Julia was there, the Seminoles won again. We are 4 for 4 when Julia is in attendance, for those keeping score. If we could just get her to every game, we would win another national championship.

Julia & Grandma Strausser

Julia enjoyed watching the cheerleaders up close

We left Amelia Island and drove home Sunday. We all had a great time, but we were ready to get back to our own beds and a normal schedule again. Hutch was even wilder than normal after a week of extreme stimulation and fun. It was a magical family vacation that we will never forget.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Go Seminoles!

Forgot to post this pic... love this one of all my sweeties.


A Weekend in Tallahassee

Sheila had a craft show she was working this past weekend, so I took the kids to Tallahassee to visit Grandma & Papa Strausser. We had a great time! Julia and I went to the Florida State football game on Saturday, while Hutch got some one on one time with his grandparents. Hutch even got an early birthday present from Grandma & Papa's friends, Maryanne & Larry....a new garbage truck with all kinds of cool features. He loves it! The football game was a great experience. This was Julia's third Seminole game, and it is so much fun seeing Julia enjoy one of my great passions. You will see her "War Paint" in the pictures. She wore her cheerleader outfit with her Seminole Crocs and new FSU visor. She was doing the "War Chant" all during the game, even reminded me to do it a few times. FSU is now 3-0 in games that Julia attends, so I plan to take her a whole lot more, including the game against Colorado in 2 weeks.

It was just a really special weekend. Thank you to Sheila's parents for hosting us and showing Hutch a great time too.


Hutch & Julia sporting their FSU gear
Julia in front of the Unconquered statue
Julia posing during the game
Hutch & Grandma Strausser
Jonathan & Hutch
Jonathan, Hutch & Julia (Julia is smitten with Jonathan)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Wedding Pics

Julia and Hutch had the time of their lives being in cousin Christie's wedding. Little Connor had quite a time too! What a beautiful wedding... the bride and groom seem so happy. What a sweet couple. We wish you the best of luck!!!

Aunt Jenn, Connor, Julia & Hutch

Angelina, Hutch & Julia practicing before the wedding

Uncle Chris (Papa Helton's brother) took Angelina and Julia for a spin on the dance floor

Aunt Kerry and Hutch made great dance partners

Uncle Jeff, Aunt Kerry & Hutch

Connor looked adorable!!!

We had a yummy lunch at Lady & Sons... Paula Deen took a minute to pose with Hutch

Hanging Out

Hutch and Daddy enjoying a lunch date.

Julia teaching Hutch how to trace his hand... she loves doing arts/crafts, just like Mommy.

I want to be a fireman!!!