2015 Christmas Update

So it has been a crazy busy year and we’ve made little time to update the blog, but I thought I would at least post something incase you wondered over to the site because of our Christmas card.


Jennifer has been working towards a teaching certification over the last few years, through Northwestern online. This Spring she reached the point in her study that she had to student teach or get a teaching job as part of the alternative certification program.  God opened the door for to teach 1st Grade at Simsboro.  It has been some refining by fire, having not student taught before, but she has had tremendous support at Simsboro and is plugging away at it. The above picture is from Book character day, and I’m sure I’ll pay for posting it later, ha!

12369242_723740007725479_3653122428741859458_nCaden is now in the 3rd grade and is an Orange with black stripe Belt in Taekwondo. His good friend Sawyer (on the left) also in Taekwondo, but I’m sure you figured this out?

He still loves being outside, Star Wars, Legos (don’t know where he gets that from), and Caleb and him love rough housing, all the time.  Caden has accepted Christ and was Baptized  in October!


Caleb started preschool this Fall and loves it.  He also loves Legos, cars, and Star Wars He has one speed, go, go, go, until he passes out.  He brings lots of laughter to all of us, all the time. We never know what is going to come out of his mouth.

I’m still working for Donnie Bell Design and loving it. With Jennifer teaching, my routine has changed a bit, I take late lunches and pick up the boys during “lunch” which is usually between 2 and 3, ha!.  They come hang out at the office with me until it is time to go home.


Do I even need to say that I love Legos, Star Wars, and being outside? Yea, I didn’t think I did?


This summer we went to see my mom in South FL and got lost in Orlando for a few days at Disney, staying at Old Key West.  The last day before we found our way to mom’s they boys were able to participate in the Jedi Training Academy. They had a blast, see the video below.

Of course we enjoyed another season of LA Tech Bulldog Football!



So here is the Jedi Training Video  (yes it is a little long, but worth at least skipping around and watching the boys fight Darth Vader, and starting around 13 minutes or so is a slideshow of the picture that were taken during the “training.”

And not to be left out, but Emma, the dog, is still plugging along, at almost 13 years old. We thought we were gonna lose her earlier this year, but we have a great vet and he pulled her through the rough spot.

We hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year!  We are much better about updating our Facebook pages, so look for us there if you wonder what is going on with us!

Disney 2014 – Day 4, Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Day 4 started with Breakfast in the room (take out from the Contempo Cafe), then a bus ride over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  The trip must be catching up with Caleb because he was asleep before we ever got there.  We had a little fun with it taking some photos outside the park…

wd054wdw201414779266643_6993787112_18 wd055wdw201414779266644_6993788000_18DSC_0245 DSC_0246

but by the time we got through the gates he was awake so we stopped and took a few more family photos and Olaf even snuck into one of the photos with the boys.

wd067wdw201414779522895_6993788618_18 wd059wdw201414779522898_6993788767_18 wd021wdw201414779522893 wd022wdw201414779522894 wd026wdw201414779522901_19

We meet up with the Greers and off to Toy Story Midway Mania, which is one of the best “non thrill” rides in the park with the combination of 3D and how it is used on the ride!

Star Tours was next for everyone but Caleb and Jennifer, so we walked them over to Disney Junior Live where the girls saw Sofia the First­ and wanted to go meet her. Avery opted not to, so we hung out and found some swords and “hair” to try on while waiting.

IMG_3474 IMG_3475 IMG_3477 IMG_3488

Jennifer and Caleb went to the Disney Junior Live show and we were off to Star Tours and Caden let me know then that he wanted to buy a Darth Maul lightsaber, so I told him we would find one later in the day.

IMG_3603 IMG_3606 IMG_3608 IMG_3607 DSC_0248 DSC_0249 IMG_3496

The Greers had lunch at Hollywood & Vine while Caden and me rode Tower of Terror while Jennifer and Caleb hung out and got a snack.

Both boys were pretty tired at this point, so we decided to go back to the room and rest, and return later in the evening to eat at the Sci-Fi Dine-In and then possible stay for Fantasmic (firework/stage show), but most importantly find the Darth Maul lightsaber for Caden, after having no luck finding it on the way out of the park, although we did find a Star Wars hat with Mickey Ears which made a fun photo.

wd061wdw201414779353502_6984969685_18 IMG_3614

We stopped by the Contempo Cafe and picked up lunch to go and ate it in the room. Jennifer and I split our favorite Hot Turkey sandwich  (Turkey, Brie, Arugula, Green Apple Slices, Apple Butter, and Honey Mustard on Challah Bread with House-made Chips).

IMG_3498 IMG_3522 IMG_3500 IMG_3504

After naps, we headed back to Hollywood Studios and plan to meet up with Steven Neumann, a former co-worker from Donnie Bell Design, but now he works at Walt Disney World.

But first off… the search for the Darth Maul lightsaber… no luck at the first location, but surely the Star Wars store at the end of Star Tours would have it? They didn’t, BUT they had a “Build your Lightsaber” station and the cost was very reasonable, compared to what one costs in the store (having priced them on Amazon recently for Caden’s upcoming birthday).  The line wasn’t too long, either, win! win!

Jennifer and Caleb headed to Muppets 3D while we were on this mission, and while we were in line, I get a text from Steven saying he is in the park. I text him back letting him know that we are building a lightsaber.  Within a couple of minutes I look up and Steven is there, he had just gotten off of Star Tours.

IMG_3507 IMG_3508 IMG_3509 IMG_3510 IMG_3511 IMG_3512 IMG_3513 IMG_3515

Thanks to Steven for taking some of the photos while he was building the lightsaber!

Caden had a great time building the lightsaber and he has enjoyed playing and taking it apart and rebuilding it many times since we’ve returned home.

We met up with Jennifer and Caleb and visited for a few more minutes with Steve and his wife Marcela (but I failed in taking a photo with them, maybe next trip).  They walked us over to the Sci-Fi Dine-In and we said our “see ya laters.”

DSC_0252 DSC_0251 DSC_0250

Meanwhile, the Greers pushed through the afternoon with no naps, and managed to score FastPass seating for Fantasmic.  We enjoyed eating at Sci-Fi Dine-In, the food was ok, but it was a very fun environment to eat in.

Fantasmic was as good as I remembered and the kids I think really enjoyed it.

Tomorrow, Day 5 – Animal Kingdom and Chef Mickey!

Disney 2014 – Day 3, Breakfast with Gigi and Epcot

We started the morning with a Supercalifragilistic breakfast at 1900 Park Fare

Gigi and Me DSC_0139

located in the Grand Floridian as you might have guested, Mary Poppins was there…

DSC_0177 Mary Poppins was trying to get Caden to snap DSC_0173 DSC_0184 DSC_0182 DSC_0181

along with Alice in Wonderland, The Mad Hatter…

DSC_0186 DSC_0189 DSC_0187

Tigger and Winnie the Pooh.

DSC_0170 DSC_0169 DSC_0163 DSC_0162 DSC_0172 DSC_0155 DSC_0143 DSC_0146 DSC_0158 DSC_0145 DSC_0148Big Beartha

There is also Big Bertha, a turn-of-the-century, fancifully designed organ from France that we heard play right  before we left.

We really like this breakfast, Jennifer’s favorite is strawberry soup, the boys love the mini mickey waffles, I enjoyed lobster eggs Benedict. I even spotted brownies on the buffet. After breakfast, we rode the monorail back to the Contemporary and mom left for the airport, headed to Nashville (to visit her other grandchild) and we headed to Epcot where we meet up with the Greers and headed to Test Track, then Mission Space!

wd051wdw201414679164697_6993775347_18 wd053wdw201414679162358_6997524231_18Caden and Avery before their first ride on Test TrackCaden's Car Design ICaden's Car Design II wd072wdw201414678910182_6984184660_18wd075wdw201414679017624_6989288252_18IMG_3463

While Trey, Avery, Carley, Caden and myself were riding Test Track, Jennifer, Caleb, Stephanie and Lily went to ride Maelstorm in Norway (we got a rider swaps so Stephanie and the girls and Caden and Jennifer could ride later in the day).

Gift Shop Troll?The Greers had a lunch reservation at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall (more princess stuff) so Caden and I rode Maelstorm, then caught up with Jennifer and Caleb for a quick service lunch at Kringla Bakeri og Cafe.  This quick service restaurant is one of my new favorites.  Normally at a quick service restaurant, the meal comes an entree and dessert but many times we substitute one of the desserts for a side item not included with the entree.  The sides are included as part of the meal and are very generous. I was told… “In Norway, everyone gets pastries!”  (sorry, no photos of the pastries, but they were good!)


After lunch, we were waiting on the Greers to finish up, so we took some photos around Norway and made friends with strangers also waiting around…

DSC_0196 DSC_0204 DSC_0202 DSC_0210 DSC_0211 DSC_0212 DSC_0213

Caleb had a conversation with someone else which is what he is doing in the picture to the right. We don’t know what he was explaining, but it looked like it was important, ha!

After the Greers were done, we headed back over to Test Track and Mission Space to let the girls ride with the kids while Trey and I kept Lily and Caleb. It was good opportunity to check out the cars in the show room and let Caleb and Lily have some good time together. It seems they couldn’t decide who was going to drive.

DSC_0214 DSC_0220 DSC_0223 DSC_0225 DSC_0227


After the girls (and Caden) were finished with Mission Space and Test Track, we stopped for a brief cool off at the Coke Station, where the kids walk through mist.

DSC_0233 DSC_0234 DSC_0235 DSC_0236 DSC_0237 DSC_0239 DSC_0240 DSC_0241 DSC_0242 DSC_0243

Then caught the end of the JAMMitors (trash can drummer’s show). We had seen this show 10 years ago with Trey and Stephanie and Trey remembered the guy in the green hat. He talked to him afterwards and he said he had been with the group since it started, so it was indeed him.

We have a Disney Visa card which allows you to get one free 5×7 (each day) you are in Epcot. So we headed over to Innovations took a few photos with Mickey and Pluto. While we only get one 5×7, they take a lot of photos, so with the PhotoPass (now called MemoryMaker) we get them all.

wd046wdw201414679047614_6993771028_18 wd048wdw201414679047600_6984403121_18

After we were done with our “photo shoot” we all hopped onto the monorail and headed back to Bay Lake Tower for some down time. The Greers joined us which was a lot of fun. The kids watched “classic” Disney cartoons and the “adults” got a chance to visit… We headed back to Epcot later that evening to ride Space Ship Earth, we ate supper in Morocco at the Tangierine Cafe (we like to try different food when we are on vacation. It was good, but I don’t know if I would eat there again).

After supper it was less than 20 minutes until illuminations (the firework show) started so we started looking for a place to watch them. We quickly found a great spot without a lot of people, so we quickly claimed it.  It was between Morocco (18) on the map below and France.

Fireworks at Epcot

After the fireworks we headed to the resorts, Day 4, Hollywood Studios!


Disney 2014 – Day 2, Magic Kingdom with Gigi!

As I mentioned previously, my mom, aka Gigi, joined us for a few days on this trip.  We only went to one of the parks with her, so of course it had to be Magic Kingdom.  We ate breakfast in the room (Quick Service from the Contempo Café) and were at Magic Kingdom bright and early.

View from our Room Gigi & the Family

We quickly headed to Space Mountain (Caden and me), while Jennifer and Caleb went to
Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid.

Caden, Carley and Avery in line at Space Mountain Gigi and Caden (Space Mountain in the background)

Gigi, Caden and Dumbo


We met up with them and rode The Barnstormer (Goofy Roller coaster, Caleb’s second year to ride it, he still loved it, wanting more once the ride stopped).  We also rode dumbo, then headed to Buzz Lightyear, after which we found Buzz and took some photos with him, while the Greers were at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique getting “princesses up.”

Mom in SHOCK! She can't believe how good we are at destroying alians

Stephanie told me that after the girls were done at Bibbidi Bobbidi, they caught the end of a parade. Everyone in the parade who saw them waving at them, bowed to the girls (which they loved! Disney magic at its best!)

LilyCarley Avery


The Princesseswd064wdw201414578520764_6997502541_18

Avery& Caden in line at Peter Pan
After right the Carousel of Progress, we caught up with “the princesses” and their parents just in time to ride Peter Pan. Caden and Avery rode this right by themselves with no adults in the “boat.” Jennifer looked at me and said, “I am not ready for this!”  I replied, “For him riding without an adult or riding with a girl.” She answered, “BOTH!”  They “enjoyed” each other’s company the entire trip. It was a lot of fun to see.

Where to eat lunch? Ask Grace (suggestions in her book)After Peter Pan, we tried to figured out a place to eat near by for lunch.  Stephanie pulled out her planner Grace had put together to see what she suggested, which was Columbia Harbour House which has very unique eats for a quick service.  It was good and I would eat there again. We always split quick service meals (we all order off the adult menu for everyone, which lets us stretch our food credits)

Nap time for us, so we headed back to the room until early evening.  When we returned to Magic Kingdom, we headed to Liberty Tree Tavern for supper. We really like the dinner here, it i served family style and is very good. We arrived just in time, the bottom fell out of the sky and it rained and rained and rained.  Most of it had stopped by the time we were done with supper, so we headed to Space Mountain to let Jennifer and Caden ride, while mom, Caleb and me rode the Transit Authority PeopleMover, then we called it a day.

Last ride of the day!

Gigi with Caleb on the PeopleMover

Fireworks from the room!

Day 3 is Epcot… after breakfast with Mary Poppins and friends!


Disney 2014 – Travel Day & Day 1

We had a few firsts this trip:

  • First time to travel with another family (the Greers). The Trey and Stephanie went with Jennifer and me 10 years ago in 2004, before any of us had kids. Between us, there are five now (not counting Trey and myself).  They have 3 girls, Avery, 8, Carley 6, and Lily 4.  Caleb is 4 and Caden was almost 7 on this trip
  • My mom meet us. Not the first time, she met us for her 65th birthday 5 years ago and got to experience a few days of Caden’s first trip (he was 20 months, I’ll keep you from doing the math. He was along for the ride, Jen and I were having withdrawals)
  • This trip was the longest trip we had stayed with kids, 5 nights was the most before this trip, which was 7 nights.
  • First trip using MagicBands and FastPass+.  I quickly decided i liked the MagicBands, especially with my hands full, all I had to do was hold my wrist up to the door. It beats digging for a card. Caden and Caleb loved that they could open the door themselves.  I’m not a huge fan of FastPass+.  I like not having to run around to get my FastPasses, but don’t like being locked to that much of a schedule.

We left on Friday, May 23  around 4:45 am, ate breakfast in Vicksburg, and lunch at the Florida welcome center (we started this last year, we pack lunch and eat there. It is more relaxing than being crammed in a restaurant  at lunch time).  We of course took a few fun photos.

DSC_0017 DSC_0006IMG_3566IMG_3397 IMG_1046DSC_0027DSC_0010 DSC_0015DSC_0028

We stayed at Ocala, for the night and arrived at Bay Lake Tower before 11 am, being “Welcome Home” by name. When we stopped to check in Jennifer’s door was open for her and we heard “Good Morning Mrs. Breeding, your room is not ready yet, but I show someone is currently cleaning it, so it shouldn’t be too long.”

Last year were decided that the day we get to Disney World, we would just explorer around the resort, go swimming and not go to the parks.  It worked out well last year, so we did the same this year.  We took the monorail to Magic Kingdom (not going in), then took a boat to Fort Wilderness Campground (not realizing there is a boat that goes there from the Contemporary, which is right next to Bay Lake Tower, our Resort.

IMG_3408 DSC_0087 DSC_0088 DSC_0092 DSC_0094 IMG_3401 IMG_3402 IMG_3404 Jennifer feeling like "her mom" carrying everything.

We were attending the Hoop Dee Doo Review later that night at Fort Wilderness Campground so we found where it was going to be, picked up our refillable mugs at the Quick Service location (the mugs work at all of the resorts, not just your home resort), then road a boat back to Magic Kingdom, then walked back to Bay Lake Tower by way of the Contemporary where we stopped and tried on some Mickey Ears.

We met up with mom mid afternoon, swam, rested, then had a good time at the Hoop Dee Doo, where we had a table right next to the stage.  The guy in the show that was the comic relief kept hitting on mom. It was fun.

We met up with the Greers at our room and watched the fireworks from there before crashing for the night.  Day 2… Magic Kingdom!