The Abraham Family’s Journey to Russia to Bring Home Their Daughter

January 2, 2012

2011 in Photos

Since I clearly do not have time to blog on a regular basis anymore, and I really miss documenting our family memories, I decided to sum up 2011 in photos. So I created a favorite photo for each month of 2011 (using followed by a collage of family photos.

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and blessed 2012!













January 16, 2011

Fall Break 2010 in Orlando

So many parks, so much fun...

Lexi LOVED all the characters this year... her favorite was Goofy

Kissing Minnie's Nose

Park Hopping: on a shuttle bus on our way to Animal Kingdom.

We did Hollywood Studies, Animal Kingdom and Epcot all in one day. We mapped out our favorite rides and didn't miss a beat. Yes, we are Disney Pros like that! j/k Lexi and I enjoyed Beauty and Beast while Martin and the boys did the Rockin Roller Coaster. Everyone except Lexi loved the Kali River Raft ride. She did NOT like getting splashed even the tinniest bit. While the boys were on Mission to Space and Test Track, Lexi and I found all the characters, talked to Crush, and rode Finding Nemo.

Pirate's Dinner Adventure: Lexi and I cheered for the Princess while the boys enjoyed all the swashbuckling pirates. It was an interactive show and since we had front row seats, Martin was recruited to help defend the ship. Garrett was in a boat race. All the boys got to dress up with muskets. They ambushed the mean pirate and saved the princess! The food was good too!

We haven't been to SeaWorld in several years so everything was like new to us. Our condo in Orlando is right across the street from SeaWorld and we have watched the Kraken roller coaster from our balcony for years. Preston and Garrett were finally tall enough to ride it (several times) and all the boys loved Journey to Atlantis. Of course, Lexi loved the animals. Nolan got to shake fins with Seamore the SeaLion and Martin braved the splash zone with three boys at the Shamu Show.

Disney Quest: I think the boys could have stayed in there ALL DAY AND NIGHT! It is a video gamer's dream come true. Even I really enjoyed the interactive rides like Pirates of the Caribbean and the Jungle raft ride. Lexi had fun in the arcade for little kids. She's a great air hockey player.

Note to self: never ride a simulated roller coaster ride created by Garrett.

On the monorail to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party. They were so excited and there was so much to see that it was impossible to get them to smile and look at the camera. I gave up trying.

The Magic Kingdom is at its best during the special parties. We arrived at 4:00 pm and stayed until closing at Midnight. We rode all our favorite rides multiple times and left carrying huge bags of candy. In fact, the lines for candy were longer than for the rides. Liam was thrilled to finally get to ride Space Mountain.

Splash Mountain was so empty that when we got to the end of the ride, they told us we could stay on and go again. I got off because Martin was holding our place for the parade (with Lexi) and I didn't want to keep them waiting. But Nolan jumped over the seats to the front row and rode it all by himself. I still can't get over that my 8 year old wasn't afraid of going down that huge drop alone and in the dark. But not in the least. He. Loved. It! If the parade wasn't about to start I would have purchased his photo. Crazy kid!

Universal Studies Islands of Adventures: We had a blast there, but didn't manage our time wisely. We bought tickets for both parks, but only had time to ride two rides at Universal Studies. It closed early for their Scary Halloween party that night. But it was still a very fun day. I can't believe I let Preston talk me into riding the Incredible Hulk roller coaster with him. Oh. My. Goodness. It was the wildest thing I've ever experienced! My heart flutters just typing this.

Liam with ice-cream in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. He wasn't tall enough to ride the main ride and since the line was over an hour, Liam, Lexi and I hung out for a while before going into the Castle to the baby swap room. It's hard to describe how amazing and realistic the ride is, but Martin and I were both a lovely shade of green afterward. It was brilliant, but I won't be signing up for broom riding lessons any time in the future.

While Martin, Preston and Garrett toured the Hogwarts castle (a.k.a. waited in line), we rode the Flight of Hippogriff. Liam sat in the front row by himself. Lexi and I were right behind him. For a girl who cries on rides like those silly little cars that go around in a circle at the fair.... she LOVED this roller coaster ride! Go figure! When the ride ended, there was a girl behind us who was crying. Lexi turned to her and said "That was AWESOME!" (We'll have to work on her empathy skills.)

What is the best thing about the Nickelodeon Resort?
Breakfast with Dora and Friends!

Garrett's Birthday Cupcake

Never too old (or too cool) for a hug from Boots!

I have videos of "Slime Time" by the (really nice) Nic pool. This is when a giant bucket of slime comes crashing down on anyone who dares to get in its path. The slime was really green water, but fun none-the-less.

Our family also got picked for a Slime Time Live show. Boy were we naive. What we thought was going to be a fair competition between two families was really fixed so the other team who actually paid big buck to get slimed (we paid nothing) would win no matter what. This was a hard lesson for our ultra competitive boys to learn, but now they understand that you can't always believe what you see on TV.
As a consolation prize, Preston got a whip cream pie. They gave him a choice of smashing in it his parent's face or his own. He choose to pie himself and did a 360 smash all around his head. I love that kid!!!!

Our room was super small and everything cost extra. Martin started calling it the "Nickle and Dime You Resort" instead of "Nickelodeon Resort" and the front desk would not let my sister's family visit us AT ALL even after their staff originally said it was okay (very rude indeed). So we'll probably never go back there, but it was fun for one day/night.

October 22, 2010

She's Three!

I started this post in September of 2010 when my baby girl turned three years old. Better late than never, I guess.
Now, Lexi has been home for over two years and is still the sweetest bundle of energy. She has grown in so many ways. Her language has exploded and she talks non-stop. She dances and flips all over the house. Nothing can stand in her way when wants something. She definitely keeps us on our toes.

Sweet Princess, Alexis Katerina, you are loved beyond words. I thank God for you everyday!

Below are photos from Lexi's birthday party. She wanted a "Princess Mermaid" party. Other than that, her only request was her cake had to be all pink.

Cheese Dip and Cheetos - two of her favorite foods!

Nana brought the princess carousel pony rocking chair. Isn't it great!

#3 Pinata

I was looking for something more girly and pink, but Liam picked this number out. He was SO proud to show it to her that I couldn't say no.

Candy Grab!!! She knew exactly what to do!

The BEST birthday cakes are home-made. Our kids love creating their own cakes.

They may not be the most beautiful cakes, they sure make fun memories.

The bow on top was a music box that played Happy Birthday. Inside the box was a little prize for Lexi.

This is Lexi's BFF - Princess Jordan.

A spa fit for a Mermaid Princess and all her court.

Lexi also enjoyed playing in the fountains!

Present time!

Goodie Bag "Princess of Everything"

I had so much fun filling them with beaded necklaces, ring pops, princess silly bands, Disney Princes rings, and a mini lip gloss set (plus candy they collected from the pinata). Oh so very, very girly!

Close up of the oyster cookies from Family Fun mag. I forgot to put eyes on most of them, but the kids didn't notice. Lexi made the one with the pink pearl for herself.

This is how she spent most of her birthday... doing the Nestea Plunge!

My Beautiful Birthday Girl!