Thursday, September 25, 2014

Michael’s 5th Birthday

I started writing this all in one of the other posts I was writing and then thought, it really deserves it’s own post.

We celebrated Michael’s 5th birthday by going to the park and inviting just about every person Michael knows. Of course it was right before July 4th, so only a handful of people could make it. Which I anticipated and was perfectly ok with. It was really nice and low-key and I got an amazing compliment from one of the moms who said it was probably the most age-appropriate birthday party they’d been to, even for all her kids which ranged in age from 2-9. I thought that was awesome. I was aiming for easy for me, but still fun for all the kids, and I think we accomplished just that. The kids’ favorite activity was easily the piƱata.


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Definitely one of the best tasting cakes I’ve ever made, and probably the prettiest decorated too. I’m not known for my cake decorating abilities, but I was pretty pleased with how this one turned out. Michael was very specific in his requests: blue cake that was really tall (the dome for the cake stand wouldn’t even fit on top!) with a circle of sprinkles on top. Nailed it! Equally as important, it was super super yummy! Deep rich chocolate, so good. Of course, goofy girl that I am, I forgot forks! So people had to eat with their hands, which meant quite a few people opted for cupcakes instead. Oh well, more for me later!



And out comes the candy!


Love this picture, with all his friends enthusiastically singing and him so concentrated on his cake! Love my big Michael boy!

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The morning of his birthday. Trying to get a sincere smile without him being silly is just not going to happen!

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Ben took Michael out to breakfast on his birthday, per Lemmon family tradition, and he requested this giant cinnamon roll for his birthday “cake.”

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And birthday dinner at Red Robin. Yup, spoiled 5 year old. You’re only 5 once!

And a couple pictures of the other kids, cuz they were there too! And they’re kind of cute. Winking smile

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Look at that girl’s dimples! She’s still got her bubbly face! And of course Adam wouldn’t look at the camera, he’s getting stubborn like that lately.


I love you Michael. You are a pretty fantastic 5 year old!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Disney Vacation (part 2)

So I left you hanging after our day at the beach. The next day was Friday, and it was back to the Park for us, only California Adventures this time. I hadn’t been before, and we all thought it was awesome. My favorite part of the park was Cars Land (or Cars World, something like that). It was so fabulously designed, it felt exactly like you had stepped into the movie Cars! I loved it! The best ride there was Radiator Springs Racers. So fun! The kids loved it too, although if you asked them, they’d tell you Ariel’s Undersea Adventure was their favorite ride. They went on that at least 4 times.

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Fun seeing the full-size Cars characters driving around.

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The most requested ride.

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Sweet Ferris Wheel. I loved how the buckets swung around the loops, but it scared Adam and Peter. They weren’t expecting it, and they both started crying when it happened the first time.

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Adam before it started swinging.

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And then he was terrified. Poor kid.

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Sis and me.

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Adam loved giving hugs to the characters we met.

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Too cool for this waiting in line nonsense.


On the Cars ride. Lots of fun!

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My handsome husband bought himself a hat to avoid getting a sunburn on top of his head. Actually, I think I’m the only one who didn’t get a Disneyland souvenir. Ha! Good thing I take lots of pictures! Winking smile


Baby tongue! Such a cutie!

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We bought these water spray bottles with little fans at Walmart to try to keep cool. You know, since we couldn’t eat ice cream for every meal. They were much used and appreciated.


My new favorite selfie. Smile

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More hugs and character meetings.

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Strike a pose! Lily was very pleased when we let her buy these Minnie Mouse ears. Also, notice the pink bracelet she’s wearing? It has her name and our cell phone numbers on it. We bought one for each of the three older kids. We never lost anybody, but it was nice to have them, just in case. They wore them everywhere.

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Stopping to watch the parade. Anna and I decided to go and get a FastPass for the rollar coaster since we wanted to go on it later, only we got all the way there (across the park) and realized that we didn’t have our tickets to get the Fastpass with. So I waited there and Anna ran all the way back to where Ben was waiting with the kids, and then ran back to me. And then we both hurried back so we wouldn’t miss the parade. Anna was fairly exhausted, but the rollar coaster sure was fun!

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That was pretty much the end of our day in California Adventures. We went home after the parade, I drove to buy some dinner from Cheesecake Factory, and we chilled at our apartment the rest of the evening.

Saturday brought a trip to the San Diego Zoo. Ben and I had gone when we were in San Diego for our 4th anniversary, and we knew we wanted to go back with the kids. Everyone really enjoyed it. I think our favorite part was seeing the pandas, and feeding the giraffes. Feeding the giraffes was really cool! They have some seriously long tongues.

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Such cool animals, and very fun to be so close and interact with them.

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Baby panda!

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Just a pretty picture. It was so sunny every day we were there. And yes, I know, we’re in California. Still, it was so nice!

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Oh yeah, the koalas were pretty awesome too. Lots of fun to see animals that we don’t get to see in the Seattle Zoo.


Cool dude Adam.

The next day was Sunday. We drove to Chula Vista to visit Ben’s Aunt, Cousins, and Grandma Bailey. It was nice to spend Sunday relaxing with family, just hanging out. I didn’t get very many pictures, but Ben made sure we at least got a picture with his Grandma.

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She was very happy to meet Peter. He looks a little concerned, lol!

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Well, this is too long already, but I don’t feel like doing a third post on Disneyland, so you get more after all. Monday was our last day at Disneyland.

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We got to meet Mickey! Yay! Ben and Michael missed meeting Mickey because they rushed off to do the Star Tours ride before it got really busy.

We also got to meet Minnie Mouse, Chip and Dale, Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, and a few other characters at a breakfast meet and greet thing. There was a buffet breakfast and lots of characters just walking around. It was lots of fun.

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The baby was quite popular with Chip and Dale, especially.

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I think Lily was most pleased to meet Minnie. Smile

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Waiting in line for the Matterhorn. I’ve got such good looking boys.

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Trying to get a picture of Peter in his cute onsie. It had Mickey Mouse on it and a cute little tie and Peter Pan collar. It was pretty adorable.

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Adam waving and yelling “Hi!” to everybody in the parade. He really enjoyed the parade that day.

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I just love this picture of Lily. Pretty girl, even the back of her.

Monday was great, in large part because Anna took the kids back to the apartment after the parade and let Ben and I have a date night at Disneyland! We had such a great time! It was probably our longest time being away from Peter, and apparently he cried for a good portion of the time we were gone. Poor baby, and poor Anna. But it was so sweet of Anna to watch the kids and let us have a night to ourselves. We really appreciated it!


Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. We went on it twice.


Our spot for watching the fireworks that night. It was very pretty and surprisingly cozy. I enjoyed just relaxing together.



It was a good night.

The next day, Tuesday, was our last day in California and the day we were traveling home. But we did have the morning and most of the afternoon before we had to head to the airport. So we were able to visit a science center/kids discovery place, and that was a great way to end the vacation. Lots of time just wandering around, knowing we didn’t have to be anywhere in particular until the evening. We spent a few hours at the Discovery Center, had lunch, went back for a bit and then ended the afternoon at a park letting the kids run around.

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Attempting to pull a tablecloth out without disturbing the place setting. We pretty much all made this exact face!

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I don’t know what’s going on with Peter here (at the restaurant we ate lunch at), but my sister looks really cute!


Best part of the park: This girl’s happy face after the kids gave her the Mickey Mouse balloon we knew we couldn’t take on the plane. She was overjoyed, it was so sweet.


This picture was actually taken on Wednesday at about 1 in the morning. Such a long long evening of traveling to get home. We all finally got into bed around 1:30 am. Happy to be home, but still a little sad to leave. It really was a wonderful vacation. A wonderful way to kick off the summer.

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Goodbye Disneyland! We’ll miss you!