That Time I Took Isla to Disneyland

Originally for Isla's birthday, I asked her if she would rather have a party or go do something fun as a family and she was torn. I loved how much thought she put into it, making pros and cons lists. Then I found out her best friend was going to Disneyland the week after Isla's birthday. It was a girls trip, so I decided to ask if Isla and I could tag along and see if Isla would be interested in doing that for her birthday. It was a yes for both. 

Meeting friends and having just Isla at Disneyland was such a different experience. It was so relaxing and fun and we managed to go on so many rides and do so many things. It was quite the stress free and fulfilled day. And it really was something special, getting to just focus on Isla. 

^^ I rode on the tea cups and it was literally the worst decision of my life. I probably looked like a nut, but I was trying so hard not to throw up. NEVER again, never again.

Isla and I left about 6pm, so we could drive home that night. Isla didn't want to miss school the next day. And honestly, getting at the park right when it opened and staying until 6pm was just perfect. We got to go on so many rides in the first couple hours before the park got too busy. And leaving at 6pm was leaving on a high, rather that a tired low. It was just the perfect day that I hope Isla will be able to remember.

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That Time We Cut Down a Christmas Tree

A couple days before Thanksgiving, a mom at the kids school mentioned to me that the 4th grade national parks pass also comes with a Christmas tree tag. And, not only that, she had already done all the research on where to go to get the tag and get the tree. She forwarded me the information, I mentioned it to Ian and we decided to go for it. Up until this point, we have either always had a fake tree or had no tree at all...because living in small quarters means no tree. 

We stuffed the kids in the truck and headed out the Friday after Thanksgiving. There was a bit of whining along the way until we saw snow. Then everyone was excited. And it started dumping snow, which obviously was SUPER EXCITING. When we stopped at the ranger's station for our tree tag, he told Ian a couple good places to find trees. The first place was covered in cars, so we continued on. We stopped in the second location, which had three other cars besides us. While we were getting Willa and Callum sorted, Connor and Isla went running into the snow...which at this point was a few feet deep. Before I knew it, Isla was waist deep in snow. Of course, after a few minutes, she was complaining she was cold and wanted in the truck. But, the rest of us were going to look for a tree nearby. Then, Callum kept getting his boots stuck in the snow and just walking around in his socks, so Ian asked me to take him back to the truck. At which point, Connor asked to go back too. So there I sat, in the truck with all the kids, while Ian went in search of a tree. He came back with one (pictured above) much quicker than I expected. 

Once home, we had to cut down our tree a bit to fit it inside. It's still much wider than our fake tree, but I like it. It reminds me of an oversized Charlie Brown Christmas tree because it only has needles at the ends. But, it's ours and comes with a fun story and for that, I totally love it. Also, there have been no bugs coming from the tree, which I feared because of the internet, and literally no pine needles have fallen. So it's definitely been a win and I would totally get a real tree again.

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Fall Fun

I'm a recovering listaholic. You know those adorable themed lists on Pinterest (15 fall fun things, 20 things for the Christmas season, etc)? I ATE THEM UP. Somewhere along the way, I had FOUR kids.  And, you know what? I can't keep up. And I don't care. Because, guess what I discovered? The fun still happens even if there isn't a cute list. Shocking, right?! Clearly the timely blogging about said fun things doesn't happen because, again FOUR KIDS. Here's some things we got up to during the fall. 

We bought cute pumpkins at Trader Joes because they were cute and cheap. Then we took the kids to a pumpkin farm (not a patch with fun activities, an actual farm) to pick out some pumpkins for carving later in the month. 

But then one night we decided to go to a pumpkin patch, not for pumpkins, just to play. It was dark and chilly and we basically had the place to ourselves. Which was perfect because then the kids could ride the zip line as much as their hearts desired and do all the other fun things there because we basically had the place to ourselves.

We took the kids to a kid friendly haunted house in our city's museum. It was mostly a success and the kids left with far too much candy for it not even being halloween yet.

Isla made a pumpkin character from a book for school. It's bad kitty from Happy Birthday Bad Kitty, in case you were wondering. Also, all the hot glue started popping off on the way to school. It was a bit of a disaster until I learned Isla's teacher had a hot glue gun already plugged in at school to fix mishaps like that.

We carved pumpkins. Connor carved his all on his own, Isla drew hers and had Ian help cut her's out. Callum wanted a piece of candy carved and I carved it out...I'm not sure if it was a success or not, haha! 

I may be y-e-a-r-s late to the trend, but I picked up a big pumpkin and carved two holes for Willa to sit in. And, well, just look how cute that turned out!

All the kids dressed up for Halloween. The three older ones had parades at their schools that morning. That evening, we trick-or-treated in our neighborhood before coming back home and passing out candy. Then Isla's bestie came and Isla went back out trick-or-treating again.

Just because there was a certain dog poop in leaf pile incident a couple years ago doesn't mean I don't like fall leaves. It just means the kids no longer can freely play in them! But, I still plopped Willa down in some for a cute picture. 

We ended the fall season by going to my grandma's house for Thanksgiving. I always love having my kids see my grandma and know it is so special for them to even have a living great grandparent. It was a sweet, sweet time. And before you get on me, yes I know technically it's still fall. But, as soon as Thanksgiving it over, it's Christmas season to me...yep, Christmas is a season all of its own! 

All this fall fun happened while also celebrating both Isla and Connor's birthdays and Ian and I managing a trip to Nashville for a few days. We really did manage to have a fun filled fall, even without a beautiful Pinterest list reminding us what we should do.

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