Stories from our lives here on the Front Range of Colorado. Lots of mountain bike adventures, ski days, hikes, pictures of Cooper and Lauren, our two dogs and anything else I choose to pontificate about.
Well, it is that time again...... school is back in session. Cooper is starting 3rd grade (WOW), and Lauren is going into first grade. We had to wait until the weekend before school started to find out who the kids had as a teacher, but glad to see that Lauren has Mrs Mueller, and Cooper has Mrs Hosek. I think both teachers are a great fit, and since I am late in posting this, both kids do seem to enjoy school this year. Honestly we have such a great school, I do not see how they could not love it.
Here are a few pics....
Cooper (9 Years)
Lauren (6 years)
Proud Papa :)
Proud mama - and maybe a little happy that school's back :)
Hard to believe that Cooper is nine years old. I know I have said this tons, but time flies, and I think it is starting to go even faster the older they get. We had a pretty laid back birthday. I took the kids to the museum the day before, and then the evening of we were having a community night out.
Letting the birthday boy hold the fire hose
Little sis gives it a try
We had a great day, and are so happy to have this amazing kid in ours lives, sis especially.
We have been reading the Harry Potter series for the last year with Cooper. So when we decided to go to LA for vacation, we knew we had to go see the new Harry Potter's world at Universal Studios.
Cooper, Jill and Lauren heading into the Park
Of course we headed right to the Harry Potter ride. It was really fun, and a little more intense then Lauren wanted. The ride stopped for about a minute when we rode it the first time, so they let us ride it again without waiting in line. Lauren declined, so Cooper and I rode again. They also had a small roller coaster, that Lauren did love and rode about 10 times. Cooper had gone to cast spells with his new wand, and we could hear Lauren screaming with joy from the coaster, just walking past it. We also checked out a few of the other rides.
Saying Hello to the Minions
After checking out several of the other rides, like Minions, The Simpsons, and Jurassic Park Log rider (which was awesome), we headed back to Hogsmeade(the name of the town in the Harry Potter books). Cooper had decided even before we left home for our trip that he wanted to get a wand for his souvenir. So we grabbed some lunch at The Three Broomsticks and then over to Olivander's.
Hogwarts Express and conductor
Cooper with his Butterbeer
Proud owner of a new custom wand
Now to casting the spells. They had about 12 different spots within the Hogsmeade that you could use your interactive wand. They had brass circles in the ground that would show you what to do with your wand to make something happen. For example, you would have to draw an R like shape in the air and a tape measure would go do and back up, or a flower would bloom at the flower shop. It was really fun for the kids and we spent about 1 1/2 just walking around and doing them.
Taking this very seriously :)
While in California, we also spent one day at the beach. It was cool enough that we had the beach to ourselves.
Joel with the kids
Lauren was happy to be buried in the sand just to warm up a little
We had a great time in California, and I hope the kids enjoyed it. We were all really tired after 5 days of constant motion, but were happy to have the life experiences. Now to plan the next trip :).
We had taken the kids to Disneyland a few years ago, but now they were bigger and ready to really take in all the ride and experiences.
Last time - Nov 2013
(Cooper 5yrs and 2 1/2 yrs)
This time - 8 and 6 ;)
Again, we hit the park when it opened, and made our way to the Pirate's of the Caribbean ride. Riding it twice, before getting a fast pass for the Indian Jones ride. Fast passes are like line holders, the park gives out so many for a certain time frame, and you get to come back in
a shorter line to wait for the ride. Lauren and Cooper should be very grateful for their Dad who ran all around the park picking up the passes as the day went on. Well, we did not try the Indiana ride the time we came before, and Cooper thought we should have skipped it this time. His direct quote was "I hated it". I thought it was a cool and different ride, but it was loud, and that is not Cooper's favorite thing. After Indiana Jones we went on the Safari cruise, which was much more our style (We ending up riding again later in the day).
Happy on the easy boat Cruise
In front of Cinderella's Castle
Gave our feet a little break, and went to watch a live action play of the Frozen movie - Lauren was very happy, and Cooper had to grudgingly admit it was "okay"
Since the kids had enjoyed the Avengers training the day before, and Cooper had remember fighting Darth Mal years earlier, we signed them up for Jedi training.
Cooper took it very seriously.
Lauren thought it was awesome
Lauren fighting DarthVader - She was so brave
Cooper was excited to fight everyone - while the show was going on, he and another boy were fighting with their light sabers :)
Joel had gotten a fast pass to Splash Mountain, but it was not until 8:30. By that time Lauren was not up for ride, so Cooper and I went over to ride it. It was a lot of fun, but the park started to block things off for the fireworks display by the time we had ridden the ride. Trying to get back together was a practice in patience that I was not up for about 13 hours at an Amusement park. After walking in circles for about 30 mins, we were finally able to get back together to hear the announcement that the fireworks had been canceled due to high winds. Still having a great day we headed back to the hotel. We had a great time at Disneyland, and are grateful for the memories.
We even got a pretty decent family photo on the Small world ride :)
When planning our summer vacation this year, Joel and I went around on where to go.... in the end I just said Disney/ Harry Potter. It was a little lazy, but we ended up having a fun trip.
Lauren Ready before we leave Denver
We flew in on Wednesday. Knowing we had a few hard days ahead of us, we decided to take an easy day when landing, and just walk over to DisneyLand main street, and walk around. They have shops and restaurants. Joel had chosen a hotel right around the street from Disneyland, and it worked out great. We could hit the ground running, and not worry about traffic and parking.
Lauren found some friends
As did Cooper
The next morning we headed into Disney's California Adventure Park. As per all the web site advise, we headed straight to the Car's ride. We were able to get on with only a short wait and really enjoyed it. It was a fun ride, and that started a day of ride after ride. I think the only thing we did not do was the Tower of Terror ride.
Joel, Cooper and Lauren took a test to see what Super Here they were - Lauren was the Panther, and Cooper was IronMan (He was a little disappointed since he wanted Spiderman)
Riding the Bullet - we loved it
Mom and Cooper's turn
Cooper rode his first big roller coaster, and loved it - the California Screamer
After lunch we had signed the kids up for Marvel's superhero training. They were able to go thru training and save the Superhero hideout from an Evil Hydra Agent.
Lauren and Cooper getting training
Going thru the training - Defense stance
With Captain American Sheilds
After the training we went to get some dinner, and ride a few more rides. Could not leave out the water raft ride. Since it was a little colder then normal in southern California, the line was short. Needless to say after riding it three times we were all a little wet, but having a great time.
By this time, it was around 8:30. We had been in the park for about 13 hours. Cooper had been wanting to meet Spiderman, so I took him over the wait in line for him, and Joel took Lauren to the Bug's Life area that had more kiddie rides. We waited and waiting for the superheros, but they were slow. Joel and Lauren decided to walk back to the hotel while we waiting more. Thankfully we finally made it.
Cooper talking to Captain America
The web slingers
While Cooper and I were walking back to the hotel the Disney fireworks were going off, so it was about 9:45 before we made it back. Now ready for the next day at Disneyland.
We try to get family pics about every 18 months, so it was due. We set up out pics with the great Katherine Forbes, and then Cooper and Lauren decided to give sis a haircut. Well, we wanted to document our lives :). Katherine did a great job, and we are very happy with the pics.
Here they are. Cooper is 8 and Lauren is 6.
Grandma's - Please let me know if you want any of these pics printed for you.