Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Riley Jones Griffin

We are so excited for Ashley and Chris and their precious miracle Riley! Riley was born on January 30, at 26 weeks! He weighed 1 lb 14 oz, and 14 inches long. He spent about 12 weeks in the NICU at Baptist South. He is finally home Praise the Lord! And we cannot wait to watch him grow! I am so thrilled that Cullen will have a cousin close to his age, and I hope that they will be big buds! Congratulations Ashley and Chris! You ARE fantastic parents! 
The first time I saw Riley, he was only 2 days old here

NOW, almost 3 months old! Unbelievable...what a precious gift from GOD! He weighs well over 5lbs now and is doing great. 
We continue to pray for little Riley as he faces the day to day challenges of being a preemie. We are so proud of how far he has come! Cannot wait for him to get to meet the boys! 

Monday, April 23, 2012

I can do it!

Cullen is into feeding himself these days! He is doing a pretty good job at it...that boy loves some food!! He is growing so fast, and this is yet another milestone that is bitter sweet.

Doing good...

So proud of himself!

Thursday, April 12, 2012


1 yr
That must be the magic number...Mason has just been dying to be 5! Today when he woke, he asked if he was 5 yet and I said yes...his face lit up like a firecracker. He was so excited.
Happy Happy day to you our sweet, sweet boy! You always have a smile...and you can light up any room. You are all about having a good time! You are delightful and helpful. Don't get me wrong you are most definitely stubborn, strong-willed, fearless and full of energy, but that is what makes you, YOU! And we love you more than you will ever know. You are a special little boy and I look forward to seeing what God has in store for you. Hope turning 5 was all you dreamed it to be. LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!

5 years

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Packing up

All good things must come to an end...even though we would have stayed another week! This was the best trip ever and we cannot wait to go back.
We slept late and enjoyed some time in the arcade before we headed over to Downtown Disney. We ate a yummy lunch at Hollywood Studios and did a little shopping. The kids enjoyed Lego Land. It was neat to see all the action figures made out of Lego's. I bet that took some time!

We headed for home...the longest drive ever! The boys were out before we even got out of Orlando! They slept for about the first 2.5 to 3 hours then is was "are we almost home?" "how much longer? How many more minutes, how many more hours, if I counted how high would I have to go before we are home?"

I cannot say enough about this trip. The boys are still talking about it and probably will for a long time. I am so glad they enjoyed it and I loved seeing how happy they were. It truly is 'the happiest place on earth!'

Monday, April 9, 2012

Day 4-Animal Kingdom

We got up early to hit this park when it opened in hopes of beating the crowds. Some of us followed through while others (me) turned the alarm off and went back to sleep!! We still made it there in time to beat the crowds. We walked right up on all the rides in Dino-land. Dino-land had several rides and many, many carnival type games that we somehow got out of doing!!
Mason and Mom on Triceratops
We wanted to make sure we did the Rapids ride before the crowds rolled in because we knew that would be one that would consistently have a wait time during the day. We put our ponchos on and boarded our raft. Thank goodness for the ponchos...that is not a ride where you get just a little wet, you get SOAKED! We went ahead and rode it again while we were all ponchoed up and got that out of the way. This ride reminded me a lot of Thunder River at six flags.

TIP: If you would like to keep yourself somewhat dry for the rest of the day you will absolutely need a poncho on this ride. We used the .89 disposable ponchos and they were fine.

This is the Expedition Everest...a super fun roller coaster. We got a fast pass for this one and as soon as we got off of it we got another one. This was one of the best roller coasters I have ever been on. It went frontwards, backwards, upside down and sideways. The kids loved to see how long they could keep their hands up!
Mason putting his hand in the tiger's paw.

We saw lots of animals, some were on our African Safari ride and some were in various areas of the park. Tigers, elephants, chimpanzees, lizards, giraffes, hippos, and lions to name a few.

Picture break in front of the chimps.

The animals on the safari ride were so close...this giraffe was right beside our wagon.

silly pic

Even the snacks were Mickey shaped!
What a fun park! Lots to do and see. We also did a cute little 3-d show about bugs. We saw a fabulous   broadway type musical called the Festival of the Lion King. A definite must see. We ended this day early evening because...well we were all exhausted and the kids were begging to go swimming. We headed back to the resort for a relaxing evening and SWIMMING!
Favorites at Animal Kingdom:
Expedition Everest 
Dinosaur ride 
Festival of the Lion King

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Disney Day 3-Hollywood Studios

Here we go day 3! We headed to Hollywood Studios with lots on the agenda! We let the kids sleep late again because we had Disney Magic hours and we knew the crowds would be better at night.
We grabbed a fast pass for Tower of Terror and then went to see some shows and stunt shows.

The boys loved meeting Lightning McQueen and Mater

At the stunt show, Lightning Mcqueen showed cool!

Mason was all into watching the fast cars

Braxton loved the Motorcycle stunts

How sweet is this??
We let the kids play at the Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground and we were going to come back to it again but time just didn't allow. Thank goodness the kids forgot!

Mason and Davis enjoyed every opportunity to get squirted

Hollywood Studios has their own parade, so we got to see lots of fun characters.

Cooling off on the streets of New York :)

We all loved the star wars ride. Again more 3-D glasses.  

We rested our feet awhile and enjoyed watching  Beauty and the Beast

Indiana Jones show

Toy Story Mania...what a fun ride for the kids! You got to rack up points by hitting targets with your laser gun.  Similar to the the Toy Story ride at Magic Kingdom but I thought this one was a little more fun. 

The dad's took Mackenzie and Braxton to ride the Rockin Roller Coaster and Shea and I took Davis and Mason to the Little Mermaid and then to a dance party with Mickey, Minnie and friends. The little ones werent quite tall enough for the roller coaster. They didn't mind a bit because they got to get down with Pluto!!
Yay! Finally meeting Mickey!

dancing a jig with Pluto
It was so fun to watch them intereacting with the characters.
Shea and I played tag with the dad's and off we went to the Rockin Roller Coaster with Mackenzie and Braxton. We used the parent swap which allows both parents the opportunity to ride when you have other children that cannot ride. The best part is that we did not have to stand in line. You get to walk through the fast pass line. Nice!!
We closed down yet another park and headed back to the resort for a quick rest.

This was what our ride back to the hotel looked like every night!!  They were DEAD TIRED!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Disney Day 2-Magic Kingdom

 We let the kids sleep a little later because they were exhausted from our first day. When we all got ready we headed back to the Magic Kingdom to do our most favorite things from the day before.  We got there just in time for another parade. The kids loved all the parades and it was about the only time we got to see all the characters in one spot!

Tip: Allow at least 2 days for Magic much to do and see.

Waving to the cute!
 We walked through the castle, something that we did not do the first day. I wish that you got to see more of it! It would be cool to see some of the rooms in there.
Picture at Cinderella's castle
We headed to the carousel, because we noticed when we passed by there wasn't a long wait and we had a little time to kill before our next fast pass.

Tea of the favorites.

Meeting Tigger and Pooh...Tigger was playing around with Mason's hair, running his paws all through it.

Pirates of the Caribbean was closed while we were there but we got to meet Pirate Goofy! Mason was all about meeting the characters! Something I thought he wouldn't be into.

Magic Carpet Ride
We rested our feet awhile and watched the Dream Along with Mickey show. Another opportunity to see all the characters together.

This face says it favorite picture! Riding on Dumbo.

Late night picture with Mickey

Beautiful castle at night. It changed colors every few minutes

We ate dinner here at Casey's Corner. Yummy Hot dogs. It was a "take me out to the ballgame" theme. Perfect for the boys.

Tip: Dining Plan is a must. Our plan consisted of 2 meals and 1 snack a day. We would have spent so much money on food had we not had this plan.

After dinner we took advantage of the short wait times and less crowd.

Tip: During the electrical parade and firework show the crowds are slim and there is little to no wait times. Another reason to do this park more than one day.

We did Splash Mountain about 6 times in a row...that was such a fun ride. I wish I had taken all the pics of us on the ride. We all had a chance of riding that front row seat and getting wet!

This night offered the Disney Magic hours until 3 a.m.  We had every intention of sticking it out but one ride on the People Mover and we were DONE! That was a nice relaxing ride around Tomorrowland and much better than we expected. The kids were starting to fizzle. We had done all the rides several times and were fine with heading out a little early or late however you want to look at it. (2 a.m.) Shea and I discussed several mornings about how we felt like we had been partying all night. Our eyes were all red and swollen in the mornings. It was all worth it considering the difference in the park late at night. It was so peaceful and calm, no crowds to drag the kids through, and the weather was nice and cool. 
All the kids passed out on the bus for the ride back to the resort. We rested for a few hours (it felt like only a few) and we were back up and ready for our new adventure.

Tip: Stay on Disney properties...they have many resorts of all different price ranges to choose from. This way you get to use the park at special hours that others do not. Well worth it!! There are also other perks that come with it as well. We stayed at one of the value resorts and it was everything we needed. We were only there for a short time at night so it was perfect.

Favorites of day 2
Dream along with Mickey
Splash Mountain