Monday, December 31, 2007

The end of vacation...and 2007!

Matthew was giving me a BIG "Happy Birthday Aunt Katy" smile!!

Mary let me borrow her "Princess" candle to blow out. David Oates had gone to get donuts for my birthday breakfast that morning - the kids thought it was a GREAT idea!!!
Reading my cards from the kids...they were precious.
Josiah, Luke and John sequestered themselves in here for probably 30 minutes - they were busy making my birthday cards. I sent my sister in to take a picture for me!!
Don't Matthew and Callie look adorable in their red, Christmas sleepers?
Here's the story with these two pictures. Callie, by this point in the vacation, was a little bit of a mess. She hadn't had her normal naps in her bed in about 5 days (for real). With all of the excitement of all the family around, Disney, and the travel, she was a bit at the end of her rope. For whatever reason, her "stranger anxiety" seemed to go into high gear around David Oates - I think my sisters look enough like me or sound like me, that she was fine with them. But she would freak out with David. He tried everything - finally on the morning of my birthday, she let him pick her up and he gave her some glazed donut. Now she completely adores him!!! :) Oh the things I will only let an uncle do!!!

Monday was our last hoorah!! Kelli, Scott, and Kristen had to drive back to West Palm Beach on Sunday night so they could go back to real life and work the next morning. We were able to spend Monday morning with just Kim & her family before we had to hit the road. We had some donuts for breakfast, and had lunch with them before packing up the van and heading back north. It was such a phenomenal week - so many wonderful memories with all of my sisters and my mom. The kids had a great time everywhere and were such troopers. They did fantastically well with the LONG car drive, and we were so blessed to be able to do it. We totally missed Dick Clark and the ball dropping, but the trip was worth it!!!!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Sunday in Tampa

The boys eating don't even want to know how many eggs or how much bacon I cooked that morning! It was so fun!! It was a treat having the Sunday off from having to be "working" - we just got to have a leisurely breakfast and then head to church to regular people!
Kelli and I (see my new running visor that Kristen got me) - we did a speed 3 mile run that morning. Man was I hot and tired!!! I was so thankful for Kelli though - she's the one that inspired me to do all this and kept telling me that I could even when I thought there was no way. I told her back in October that if I was going to run this marathon in March and train through Christmas, then she was going to have to run with me. And she did - we ran each day according to my training schedule and I couldn't have done it without her. Shamrock here I come!
Here's Jacob loving on Matthew's head just like he does Callie. A few times, he got them confused I think - but the love is the same!
L-R, Jacob, John, Luke, and Josiah - at their church that morning in the children's wing. They had a FABULOUS time and loved going to their cousin's church. The worship was incredible - we loved going and being a part of it. We are so thankful that Kim & David and their family are in such a wonderful church.
Kristen fed Callie her solids for me that morning...another treat for me!
David and Scott...just chilling!
John and Kelli playing Go Fish before church

After church, we headed to their mall foodcourt for lunch. Their mall also has this 2-story carousel with this whirring tea cup thing. You can see Jacob holding on for dear life - I really thought he was going to lose it, but he did not want to be left out!! David was supposed to be the supervising adult, but as you can see from the picture, he was just taking it all in!!!

Luke taught Josiah how to play the Wii thing in the mall...
John was helping Callie to finish her grilled cheese from Five Guys!!! Yummy!

Josiah and John were playing Disney Pictionary later that afternoon during rest time. (Very cool game - it has a DVD that draws different Disney characters for the kids to guess)
All the girls were playing one of Mary's new was trying to guess what people would most love to do and why. Very fun pajama party, teenage, girlfriend type game!
Josiah, Luke and John played in the pool in their backyard for resttime!

Sorry for the out of order again....This is the kids after they got off that carousel thing!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Off to Tampa!

All of you non-Toy Story fanatics can scroll through these next pictures, but there's a few of you (Beth - you've GOT to show Harrison these!!!!) that will appreciate them like we did!!!
Can you see my boys standing on Buzz's feet? It will give you an idea of how HUGE this thing was!
Here's Woody!
Now who in the world would hang a baby on Rex the dinosaur??? Who thinks that Katy was ANYWHERE near when this picture was taken?? Nope, didn't think so!!! Guess I need to supervise more!
After swimming in the pool, found another photo spot!
John and Callie. John and Jacob are two of a kind. You know how I'm always talking about how physical Jacob is - always wanting to "pet" Callie and rub her head? Well, John is the SAME way with his baby brother Matthew - and he did the same things with Callie. It was very cute.

Oh, more pictures from that Toy Story hotel. The boys by this time were quite used to being posed, so they were running around the courtyard saying "Take a picture of me in front of this one, Mom"
This is RC - the remote control car from Toy Story.

Once we got back to Tampa, we attempted some family pictures and Kim & David's neighborhood pool (isn't it beautiful?) Here's my sisters and I in the right order!!! L-R, Kimberly, Kelli, Katy, and Kristen.
Here's everyone - husbands are in the back row (L-R David Oates (Kim's hubby), Scott Roads (Kelli's hubby), and David Schrodt (Mine!)
All of Mom's grandkids!! Jacob is holding Matthew, Mary is holding Callie. In the middle is Josiah, John, and Luke.
The whole gang again!!
Mary got new flip flops from Kelli & Scott for Christmas.

Okay. You nursing moms will LOVE these pictures!!! We walked around the mall for a bit while we were waiting for our seats at Cheesecake Factory. Kim showed us their "Family Lounge" - it has a place for older kids to play with toys or watch the flat screen TV - shown in the background....
Here are 2 of the 4 diaper changing hanging from the ceiling, had wipes warmers, bottle warmers, microwave if you need to warm up food...
...And it had these nursing stalls. Big armchairs and footstools for you to nurse in privacy!! And this was at their mall - it was pretty amazing - I LOVED It!!!
John, Josiah, and Jacob playing with John's new castle.
John with Matthew & Callie - I told you he's a lovebug!!!

I just noticed that we're out of order!!!! Anyways, this is Mom & my sisters at Cheesecake Factory for my birthday - it was a wonderful, leisurely dinner!!!
Kristen ordered vanilla ice cream for dessert....who orders anything other than cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory???
Happy Birthday to me!
Kristen got me a running visor for my birthday - I love it!!! Oh - and notice the fog in the background? We ate outside, and as dinner progressed, it got worse and worse. It really looked like a huge fire somewhere, but it was just fog!! Bizarre!

On Saturday morning, the rest of the family enjoyed sleeping in and preparing to check-out. Kelli and I got up and had to do my long run for the week - it was 7 miles and HOT!!! It was actually fun though - we ran around several of the resorts and were able to catch each other up on the day before (they were at Epcot and we were at Magic Kingdom) and hear all about it. While on our run, we ran past the All Star Movies resort, and I noticed that one of the hotel buildings in that resort was named after Toy Story (remember how ours was "Center Court" - tennis stuff?) Well, after our run, we swam in the heated pool outside at the hotel before checking out. David and I then took the kids down to see this Toy Story hotel and what an amazing site we found in their courtyard!! The kids thought the HUGE, 3 story tall statues were incredible!!! We then all headed over to Tampa where we'd spend the rest of the weekend at Kim's house. We were able to do Christmas with them and enjoy the afternoon together. That evening, my Mom and sisters surprised me with a birthday dinner out at the Cheesecake Factory!!! It was such a wonderful surprise, and was a wonderful evening spent with them (no babies either!!!)

Friday, December 28, 2007

Disneyworld...Day 2

The Buzz Lightyear ride was a FAVORITE of my boys -and they were SO excited to ride it again on Friday with their cousins, John & Luke!
This was right next to the Dumbo ride - we headed there first thing Friday morning and only had to wait in line for 15 minutes (normally a 2 hour wait!!!). What fun!! Here's all the grandkids together (Mary is holding Matthew, the rest of 'em are crowded in together!)
Waiting in line for Dumbo!
I LOVE this picture of me and my oldest sister Kim. Matthew was born 3 months after Callie - it is so fun having babies together!!!!!
BIG JACKPOT! During the Christmas parade that afternoon, there was a Toy Story float, complete with Woody, Buzz, Jessie, and the Toy Soldier!!! Boys were Ecstatic!

Jacob and Josiah on the Winnie the Pooh ride...

Josiah and Luke - they walked through the park most of the morning hand in hand. Luke has such a tender heart and they just hit it off!

This "grocery list" was on Minnie's fridge in her house in ToonTown. Sounds like a good list to me!!! :) I LOVE cheese!
I mean! Cute or what??? I told Josiah he could choose one thing to buy at Disney World. About halfway through the 2nd day, he declared that he wanted Mickey Ears - I was so excited!!! Got their names on the back and everything - they were ADORABLE!
These little statues of Huey, Dewey, and Louis were right outside our hotel building. It was the All Star Sports resort, and each building of the resort was a different sport. Ours was called "Center Court" and the courtyard was a HUGE tennis court. Very cute!

Callie giving Mickey a kiss (lucky for me, it was a new Mickey fresh off his break, so I knew his nose was clean....not that it would have mattered, right?)
Jacob was emphatic about wearing his ears to show Mickey!

LOVE this picture of David and Callie!

It really was so beautiful with all the lights and decorations. This was Main Street. They even had snow machines (REAL snow) - it was so fun!
Cinderella during the nighttime lights parade. I have a bit of an obsession with her!
The castle at night - gorgeous. The colors changed too...amazing. Something like 200,000 lights on it for Christmas.
The boys were standing in the stroller watching the parade...awestruck.
David and Josiah riding the speedway together - the boys thought it was great that they could drive the cars themselves!

The best thing we did was do Disney in two days!!!! It was SO nice not feeling like we had to cram everything into one day. On Friday, Mom, Kelli & Scott, and Kristen went to Epcot and we stayed at Magic Kingdom. Epcot does a spectacular Christmas program complete with choirs and the reading from Luke 2. For my kids though, Magic Kingdom was a better fit for them for the day. Luckily for us, we were able to spend some of the morning with Kim & her kids. My boys were SO excited to get to ride some rides with their cousins - particularly Dumbo and Buzz Lightyear!!! Kim was a great help to me too - showing me which rides you can nurse babies on, etc!!! We enjoyed being able to spend the rest of the day just us Schrodts - and we had a ball! After lunch, we caught the Christmas parade and then headed back to the resort to take a nap. After 3 hour naps for everyone except me (why does that always happen?), we headed back to the park for more fun. It was just an amazing day.