Saturday, December 31, 2016

Visiting the Bakers for New Years

After visiting Colorado for Christmas, there's one more stop to make before we go home. Luckily our plane wasn't full so Alli got a seat all to herself! It made it so much easier than trying to keep her corralled on my lap.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Air Force Academy and leaving Colorado

While we're visiting Colorado, we might as well head back to Jon's old stomping grounds at the Air Force Academy.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas Day in Colorado

It's Christmas morning! And look at that, it's a white Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Flying to Colorado for Christmas

Merry Christmas! This year we're headed to visit all the rest of the Flowers family in Colorado!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Sleepy Hollow Christmas Lights in Torrance

As a family, we just love Christmas lights. You've already seen what our house looks like. Now it was time for us to head to Sleepy Hollow in Torrance. An entire neighborhood that decorates for Christmas!
Jacob joined us for dinner and the five us of headed out. Two days ago this was supposed to be the perfect night for looking at lights. A not to cold 62 degrees, low winds, and clear skies. Jump forward to this morning though and we had a rare southern California rain storm. As we were driving to the neighborhood around 6pm, the skies once again opened up and it started coming down.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas at Disneyland... yes again

Disneyland again? Yes we were just here 2 days ago, but we still haven't done some of the Christmas things on our list. Theresa and I left work early, grabbed the kids, and all headed to Disneyland! We've got a 1:30pm parade we're trying to make!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Flowers family Christmas traditions

Our family is still pretty new, but we've already got some fun Christmas traditions. We've had some form of advent calendar for Ian for a couple years now, but this is the first year we've got a really nice one. Theresa found this calendar when we went to Bronner's Christmas Wonderland, the largest Christmas store in the world!

Making Christmas Fudge with Ian

Every year for the past couple years, I've been making a special treat for the holidays. In years past, I made gingerbread men and homemake candy canes. This year, Ian and I are making fudge!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Christmas time at Disneyland

Christmas is almost here! We should check in on Santa and see how he's doing before his big trip on Christmas Eve. You know where Santa lives right?

All dressed to head to the North Pole.
Okay, we're not really going to the North Pole. But it's in the 50s here in Southern California so their Mommy dresses them up like they are headed to the North Pole.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

2016 Flowers Family Christmas Lights

It's Christmas time again, which means I get to go crazy on the outside of the house with Christmas lights! Last year we had so many lights that I was wondering how we were going to top it. Theresa had a plan though.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Goodyear Blimp Toys for Tots "Santa Claus Express" Toy Drive 2016

It's the blimp! The Goodyear Blimp flies over our house multiple times a week, and whenever the kids see it they will point it out and make sure we see it too.
I didn't really see it advertised very well, but Theresa happened to be looking for events this weekend and saw that there was a Toys for Tots drive at the Goodyear Blimp Airfield.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

2016 Disneyland Candlelight Processional - Ginnifer Goodwin

It just wouldn't be the holidays if we didn't go watch Ruston singing in Candlelight.
Our Prep and Landing elves are ready to go. Ian decided his code name would be "Candy Cane".

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Decorating the Christmas Tree

Now that it's after Thanksgiving, it's officially acceptable to put up the Christmas decorations!

Ian was really excited to start putting up Christmas lights. I was ready to get started too! It's a lot of work!
Unfortunately Mother Nature had other plans for us, sending a rare California rain shower our way.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Pumpkin Pie Soda and Pumpkin Spice Popcorn

It's that time of year when everywhere you look, pumpkin has invaded all the foods. Besides the regular pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin muffins, I found a couple interesting items that I was happy to try.
First was a Pumpkin Pie soda.

And next was a pumpkin spice caramel corn. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

First Christmas and Thanksgiving in Michigan

There's only a few more days for us here in Michigan, but there's still plenty to do!
On Tuesday, everyone was prepping for the praise giving service at church. As people started leaving in different cars to go to church, I saw Ian over on the side on the exercise bike. I asked him what he was doing and he said "Riding ducky to church." Cute.

Frankenmuth Michigan

It takes a lot of work overnight to get your hair looking like this in the morning.
Ian woke up really excited because he knew we were headed to a Christmas town today in Frankenmuth!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Flying to Michigan for Thanksgiving

For Thanksgiving, we're headed to Michigan to celebrate with the rest of Theresa's family!
We told Theresa's parents to meet us at our house at 6:30am to head to the airport. At 6:23am I was suddenly awoken by Theresa saying "Joe! We slept in!"
I immediately recognized it as a Home Alone moment and would have started playing the "Rush to the Airport" music by John Williams if I had had the time.

Luckily we had mostly packed the night before and were able to get the kids ready quickly.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Halloween M&Ms, White Candy Corn and White Boo-tterscotch

Happy Halloween! There's a couple special flavors this year and because I've got a great co-worker, they dropped them off at my office, knowing I'd love them!
First up are the White Candy Corn M&Ms.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Disneyland Festival of Holidays

Happy Sunday! Well today was supposed to be a relaxing day at home, cleaning the house and just getting prepped for the week. Well once everyone was awake, Theresa asked "Do you want to go to the Festival of Holidays at Disneyland?" Umm. Yes!
This little boy was certainly excited too! He turned 3 just a couple days ago, which means he finally gets his own Annual Pass! Now he has a card like Mommy and Daddy!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Dapper Weekend at Disneyland - Monday

It's been a fun Dapper weekend, but today is the day we check out. The kids were up early, so we cleaned up the room, called bell services to come take our bags, and headed out to the parks for early magic hours!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Dapper Weekend at Disneyland - Sunday Evening

After a fun Dapper Day of hanging out with friends, Theresa and I headed back to the hotel room. Once the kids were fed and asleep, T stayed with the kids while I headed back out to hang out with friends.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Dapper Weekend at Disneyland - Sunday

Dapper Day is finally here!

Dapper Weekend at Disneyland - Saturday

Day 2 of our Dapper Weekend. The kids did great overnight in the hotel room. After everyone woke up, we enjoyed some of the fruit and yogurt we'd brought with, then headed into the park to start our day.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Dapper Weekend at Disneyland - Friday

It's Dapper Day weekend at the Disneyland Resort. We've enjoyed celebrating Dapper Day at Disneyland since February 2013, and now that we have kids, there's a whole level of cuteness that is added. Ian trying on his clothes in the days before and looking so snazzy.

Alli learned how to walk about 2 weeks ago and is looking just too cute in her little white dress.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!
This year, we're going as M&Ms.

And with all the family that is out visiting for Ian and Alli's birthday, we're a whole bag full of M&Ms.

Ian and Alli's birthday party

Happy Birthday Alli and Ian! Because they are close together, and because we have family visiting right between their two birthdays, we split the difference and had a combined birthday party for both of them! Any surprise that it's a Minnie and Mickey theme?

So all the decorations as well took on Mickey and Minnie colors.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Underwood Family Pumpkin Farm, Happy Birthday Alli!

Happy Birthday Alli! A year ago today, your mom and I were at the hospital waiting for you to arrive! Today we're headed to Underwood Family Farms about an hour north of here for a Fall Festival! We certainly love our pumpkins!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Six Flags Magic Mountain with Jacob

"Six Flags?" you say. "Not Disneyland?"
Yes, it's true. Over the Labor Day weekend, there was a sale that was just too good to pass up. A Gold Level Season Pass, good through the end of 2017, plus free parking, for only $74.99. Amazing, right?
Now, I will be one of the first to admit that while Disneyland is an amazing theme park, the "thrill" factor of many of the rides is low. It's always better to enjoy a day at a park with a friend who will ride all the same things you do. Obviously that means Theresa wasn't going to be joining me. Luckily for me, Jacob also loves thrill rides, doesn't get motion sick, and will ride anything! He bought a Season Pass the same day I did and we started making our plans!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Club 33 dinner with friends

It's a Tuesday night. What are we doing all dressed up and what are we doing at Disneyland without kids?
There's only a few restaurants here at Disneyland that you might get dressed up for. Tonight we're dining at "that" one. The one that is on many Disney Fan's bucket list. The one and only Club 33!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Ian and Joe's Disneyland Day

Happy Sunday! It's the day that the Flowers family usually goes to Disneyland. We'd been talking about it for a couple days ahead of time, but when Sunday morning rolled around, Alli woke up with a fever. Poor Alli.
I was really looking forward to going too because one of my favorite artists Allison Lefcort was supposed to be there at an expo. Ian was also asking "Are we going to Disneyland?" as we're eating breakfast.
Theresa, is it okay if I take Ian to the parks today, just Daddy and Ian? Yes? Alright! Let's go buddy! We're going to have a lot of fun! For the 40 minute drive from home, I turned off the radio and the two of us just sang Disney songs the whole drive there.
The two of us hopped on a not too crowded tram and were on our way!

Friday, September 30, 2016

A Whole New World of Alan Menken

All the way back in 2013, Theresa and I camped out at the D23 Expo just to hear Alan Menken and Richard Sherman perform a concert together. The concert was so incredibly amazing and ever since then, I've been checking periodically to see if there were any more performances by Alan Menken.
For years, there was nothing. Then in March of 2016, a friend from the Disney forums on let me know that Alan Menken would be performing at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Southern California in September! Awesome!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

A packed Sunday at Disneyland

Happy Sunday! It's been a busy weekend already with lunches with friends, dinners with friends, and birthday parties too. Let's go to our happy place today!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The San Diego Zoo

Welcome to the San Diego Zoo!
It's been years since T and I have been here. In looking at the cost of tickets, it made more sense for us to get an annual pass, and there's even a discount if you're renewing an old membership. Let's see, I think our last membership was back in 2006... I called them up, they were able to find it in their system, and I was able to renew right over the phone! Sweet!

We checked out of the hotel, picked up Jacob, and made our way to the zoo! Along the way, we told Ian that today we were going to see...
It was fun hearing him repeat it.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Balboa Park in San Diego with Jacob

Welcome to Balboa Park in San Diego!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Newsies Live! - One Night Only

For one night only, the original Broadway cast of Newsies has reunited to perform for a live recording of the play!
Originally intended for a limited run of 3 weeks at the Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey in 2011, it received such strong support, that it shortly went to Broadway, and stayed there for 2 years! After that 2 year run on Broadway, Newsies began a National Tour of the US, which will end in October 2016.
But today is special. Today many of the original Cast Members from the Broadway production are returning for a live recording, which will be released in theaters in 2017.

A Disneyland Sunday with Gram

Happy Sunday! We've been going to Disneyland early Sunday morning for the past few weeks. Since Gram is out visiting, this week she is coming with us too!

Monday, September 5, 2016

M&Ms vote for the new peanut flavor

M&M decided they need a new peanut flavor and they want us to vote for our favorite. This blog post is really late since the promotion has already ended.
I got a text one morning from one of my co-workers saying they'd left me a present on my office door. Knowing how much I love limited time flavors, like the Lay's Potato Chips, she'd bought me all the new M&M peanut flavors, plus a brand new Crispy M&M flavor.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

2016 Disneyland Half Marathon

3am on a Sunday. What are we doing up so early? Well it's Labor Day weekend, which must also mean it's the Disneyland Half Marathon!
As a Legacy Runner, Disney emailed me and told me they were holding a spot just for me (and the 371 other Legacy Runners), in case it sells out and I don't get a chance to register in time. I signed up right on time though and had no issues.
Prices are right around the $200 mark for the Half Marathon. While past years have sold out in days, and in some cases hours, this year the event did not sell out.

Leaving so early in the morning, the freeways were completely clear. And traffic getting into the structure wasn't bad either.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Medieval Times - dining as Kings Royalty

I forget how exactly the conversation started between Theresa and I, but somehow Medieval Times came up and she'd mentioned she had never been. I've been before, but it was way back in the 90s with my family. Knowing both of our families would be in LA, I made reservations for everyone to go together!
After the kids had their Disneyland Kids Races in the morning, we made our way over to the Medieval Times Castle for a 3:30pm early dinner.

2016 Disneyland Kids Race 100 meter and Diaper Dash

It's the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend, but it's not just the half marathon going on. There's a 5k and 10k race as well, plus... Kids Races!
This is the first time I've signed up for the kids races so I didn't know what to expect going into it.
When registration opened for Annual Passholders on January 26th, I was right on top of getting the kids registered. I knew from past experience, that the kids races sell out quick!
Registration opened at 9am, and within that first minute, I had Ian registered for the 1-3 year olds 100m race. Three minutes later, Alli was signed up for the Diaper Dash. Later I overheard that there was 400 entries for each of the bigger kids races (100m, 200m, and 400m), and only 40 entries to the Diaper Dash! Glad I got in quick!

I know I'm totally jinxing it for next year, but the kids races are a really good value. For just $20 each, they get a race t-shirt, personalized bib, rubber medal, snacks after the race, plus the experience of running! Just watch. Next year it's going to be $60 just because I mentioned that.

Friday, September 2, 2016

2016 Disneyland Half Marathon Race Expo

Welcome to the 11th annual Disneyland Half Marathon weekend! Before the race, you have to pick up your runner's bib and race packet. My parents are visiting for the weekend, so we grab them from the airport, grabbed the kids, and all headed to Disneyland together.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

A Sunday at Disneyland with Ruston

What is this? The 3rd week in a row of going to Disneyland? Sounds good to me!
The day started on Dumbo! Both kids fit with me. Good thing too since T doesn't want to start the day with spinning rides.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

A fun Disneyland day

Weekend? Check. Disneyland? Of course! With Jacob? Pretty much always.

We're loving the lines this early in the morning. Can you believe I haven't been on Alice in Wonderland since they upgraded the projections? That must have been at least a year ago, but it's always a 30 minute wait. Only 5 minutes right now! Loved the projections.

Afterwards Alli was asleep, and T won't ride them, so Jacob took Ian on the teacups!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Bring Your Own Cup Slurpee day

Once again, it's Bring Your Own Cup Slurpee day at 7/11! Back in March they did the same thing, and I filled up a 2 gallon kitchen pot with it! They changed the rules on me a little this year, so I had to re-think my container.