November got off to a great start when my mom came to visit for the weekend! We were so glad to have Mimi in town for a few days. We started our visit with a family dinner at Henry’s…the ultimate welcome to Acworth…before Mimi and Emma spent the evening birthday shopping and Clint and I took Eli to the NCCS football game. We all had a great time together and on our separate adventures! Saturday morning, Emma and I went with Mom up to Cartersville for a Christmas craft fair and then shopped our way around town. We found some cute shops and got a jump on some Christmas shopping. The evening took us down to Atlanta for a fun dinner at Superica. It was great to show Mom one of our favorite Atlanta places as we hung out at the Krog Street market. Mom headed home early that Sunday morning. After church, we took the kids up to school to play some basketball and wrapped up a great weekend!
The next week headed into Emma’s birthday. She turned 9 on November 15th and we celebrated for a week! We went out to The Diner (her choice) the night before her birthday on our way to the school art show. Emma did a great job drawing her Converse shoe for their 3rd grade shoe project. We celebrated Emma’s birthday at school with Moe’s for lunch and her classmates sang Happy Birthday to her. Emma has been working hard the last several months to raise money for a return mission trip to Haiti. We gave Emma 9 $5 bills and put a different picture of Emma from Haiti on each of the bills. She loved it! My sister sent Emma some facial masks that she’s been wanting and we had a lot of fun with those too!
Clint and Eli had a great time cheering on Georgia Tech at home in a big win over Virginia Tech. We have really enjoyed watching Eli fall in love with football. He loves to play it all day everyday. Right now he is most interested in kicking and he does a good job with the coordination of punting. He also loves practicing his tackling! Eli and Clint also had fun at the end of the month cheering on the Jackets against Bulldogs. Alas, the Dawgs were victorious this year…but our Jacket spirit remains strong!
We wrapped up Emma’s birthday week with Thanksgiving celebrations at NCCS. Our K4 traditionally does a great Thanksgiving play reminding us of how much we have to be thankful for. This year our sweet Eli was one of the “Big and Brave” Native Americans. He looked so handsome! Clint snapped a great picture after the play of Eli pushing his friends on the tire swing. He loves to play outside with his friends! Clint also had a chance to be the mystery reader for Eli’s classroom and that was a fun surprise!
The Sunday before Thanksgiving we loaded up and headed to Disney World for the week. Clint and I got a great deal on a nice condo through the NCCS Auction back in the spring and we had been looking forward to a fun family getaway. We arrived in Orlando mid-afternoon and spent the rest of the day getting settled and wandering around Disney Springs. Eli was especially happy to find the Under Armour store and both kids were excited about the fake snow falling in the Disney Christmas Tree Forrest.
We had a wonderful time at Disney World. We intentionally didn’t load up the week so that we could have fun without totally wearing ourselves out. We spent Monday at the Magic Kingdom, Tuesday at Hollywood Studies, Wednesday just hanging out at the condo, Thursday (Thanksgiving Day) at the Magic Kingdom, and then drove home on Friday beating the traffic back into Atlanta. We did a lot of familiar things at Disney World, but we did one new thing and it was a blast! I read about the Jedi Training at Hollywood Studios, so we planned to get there early so that we could sign the kids up before all the spots were gone. We arrived at the park before opening and made our plans. Clint was prepared to hustle over to be one of the first in line for Toy Story while the kids and I rushed over to the Jedi Training reservations. We hit the jackpot as both ended up working out! Jedi Training was lots of fun as both kids have developed a bit of an interest in Star Wars. They learned how to use the light sabers and then each kid took a turn fighting Darth Vader. Emma and Eli both did a great job and seemed to be having lots of fun. When Darth Vader confronted Eli, Eli shook his fist at him, and everyone laughed. What a fun memory!
As always, Space Mountain, Toy Story, Dinner at the Sci-Fi Drive-In, Tower of Terror, and Seven Dwarfs were big hits…Eli rode Space Mountain for the first time ever and immediately insisted on riding it again and again! The weather was beautiful all week and we had a great time together! It was a special treat to start Thanksgiving Day with a character breakfast at The Crystal Palace before bumping into sweet friends in line at Peter Pan, and then ending the day with dinner at Cracker Barrel.
As soon as we got home, Emma sat down with the computer to journal some of her thoughts from the week. We spent the rest of the weekend together cooking and getting ready to jump into the Christmas season! We had taco night on Saturday evening and Emma insisted on making Moe’s at Home. It was a big hit!
November was lots of fun as our girl turned 9, we celebrated both kid’s birthdays at Disney, and we were able to spend lots of time together!