The Ence Gang

The Ence Gang

Monday, June 2, 2014

Mickey's Halloween Party

Last October at our Girl's Week, we were able to go to Mickey's Halloween Party in Disneyland. If you know me well, or really even a little bit, you know that I love me some Disney and Disneyland falls at the top of my Disney Love List (I should make one of those).

When we knew we would be going, we all got excited to dress up as a family together. This year we chose the mix of pirates, Peter Pan, and Jake and the Neverland Pirates, it all fit together well. Goodness it was SO fun!

This was pre Halloween party. We went for the day and let the boys dress up before the party in the evening. (Luke's was too warm for daytime.) They were so cute in their strollers (a must in Disney with little children) while waiting in line.
Bladen was pretty excited. I really wish there was a way to convey to everyone in a picture, or to somehow share the feeling I get when I read this sign, pass through the tunnel and into Disneyland. I know it sounds so cheesy, but it is so accurate to say how magical it feels to walk inside. It's like you can feel the happiness and magical pixie dust (or something), running through your veins. It's perfect, and was even more special with all their Halloween-ness. (Have I also told you how much I love Halloween?)
We rode some rides, and finally caught the Casey JR. Train! Last time we were here it was closed, but the kiddos loved it this time around. I think it is a super cute ride and fun to sing the song. "Casey JR.'s coming down the track, coming down the track. With a smoky stack."
Holy cow, Bradley is old enough to ride Splash Mountain! I can't even imagine Bladen riding this ride, what a big boy! Everybody has a laughing place, a laughing place to go oh oh!
Then it was time to get changed!
This is the only picture we got of us all together. We were a GOOD looking group of pirates and misfits. And yes, all the costumes were gathered or made by us. From left to right, Tinker Bell, Tic-Toc Crock, Peter Pan, Princess Tiger Lily, Jake, Captain Hook, and a cute pirate!
I tell you it was a blast! It was fun being dressed up, but it was so fun seeing what everyone else was dressed up as too! There were spots around the park to Trick-or-treat where they seriously loaded you up with either candy or snacks. There were also lots of meet and greets and little dance parties. We focused on the trick or treat part of things.
I think it was important for me to share the many faces of Princess Tiger Lily. Rocked it.
Everyone's costumes were so awesome! I especially love Lukey's. Well maybe I just love Luke, but he does make a cute Crock anyway.
Yes! Bladen got a picture with the Storm Troopers! When we saw them he yelled out "Oh! Storm troopers!" So we had to hop in line for a photo, they were great. Daddy was so proud.
Then we caught the Halloween parade and the boys eventually zonked. It was just wonderful. One day the whole family needs to go together and do individual family themed costumes. That would be such a blast.
This was one of my very favorite Disney memories, and there are a lot of them. I think we made the cutest family there.

August 2013: Virginia Trip!

I'm still playing catch up from my large blogging hiatus. There were too many fun things that I haven't blogged about yet!

Last August, almost a year ago (what?!), Christina and I got to take a very special trip to her parent's house in Virginia. I don't know about you, but to get to take a random "friend vacation" together is a pretty rare thing for me, and we had SO much fun! Both of our husband's had to work, so we took off for a week with our kids in tow, and had a blast playing and relaxing.

 I think it was somewhere around a 10 hour drive, and that is no joke with two little one's. We were a bit intimidated but prepared well with toys, activities, snacks, and movies!
Nap time was short, but well appreciated and loved by the mama's!

And then after Christina's wonderful East Coast driving, we arrived to this beautiful place in record time!
This is the back of the house, I didn't get a picture of the front for some reason. Beautiful isn't it?

This is their backyard and where we got to spend a lot of time playing! I was very bewildered by how warm it was there and that it stays pretty warm. I don't really think of Virginia as being a warm southern state, but it must be. The water itself was perfect and warm (for a lake), and Bladen and I had fun playing around in it.
This is the only swimming picture I got and that is what we did most of the time! Christina's parents live in a closed gate community that is fancy pantsy. So they had an outside clubhouse pool that we visited probably just about every day. Avery was a little timid and shy about it at first, but Christina helped him feel comfortable after awhile in the water. Bladen couldn't get enough swimming. They had a special floaty that went on his arms and was connected to a floaty that went around his upper chest. That gave him so much confidence to "swim on his own." I equally loved it and it scared the crud out of me with how brave he was. He would just push off of me and let go to swim on his own. He got pretty good with the help of that floaty. Swimming was I think one of our favorite activities of the week.
Another favorite activity that the boys got to try was drumming!

Christina's dad, Al, plays the drums in his own band, has been playing for years, and designed/built his drum sets. I so enjoyed hearing him jam out with some of my favorite music. He likes to play with the "funky" music that I love. Anyway- Bladen and Avery loved it, and Al was so kind and patient.
The rest of the week was filled with fun outings with Chrissy's family. We went shopping, to a couple restaurants, a little local zoo with a train ride, among other things!
Haha! I don't know what it happening in the picture. Being lovey? Silly? Challenging? I don't care, it's too cute! They were cute buddies this week, I love it!
Aren't they a cute family? Al's missing, but they are still super cute even without his slicked back hair. =) Laurie is a very big sweetheart. She was on a potato salad kick while we were there and would always be kind enough to offer me some with every meal. Bladen really thought she was a sweetie too. It made my heart happy to see how much he liked Laurie.
Giving nice hugs before dinner one night.
The boys were pretty well behaved the whole week. They were pretty good playing buddies, taking turns and sharing. I think they were just enjoying the new surroundings and happenings.

One fun thing I got to do was have my hair dyed! I've never done anything besides cut, perm, and unfortunately "Sun In" my hair. I've never dyed it before because I am afraid of the upkeep and the money and if I would look terrible. Basically I'm chicken and cheap, haha. But I decided to just try a box kind that would wash out in so many weeks.
I LOVE how it turned out. Too bad it wasn't permanent, but then I would have to keep up with roots. And who has time for that? I know it wasn't wildly different than my lighter brown hair, but I don't think I would ever do a lighter color, or different color like red or something. I felt like the darkness made me look and feel kind of exotic. I know that sounds stupid, but I really liked the dark and how it made me feel. I think I will try it again soon, it suited me.
And then of course there is us! This is the only picture I got of us together, we were just having too much fun to stop for posed pictures. So when we went out on the lake on a paddle boat, I snapped this one really quick.
Goodness I love this girly, she has been such a blessing in my life. In the 4 years, almost 5 now, that we have lived in the East, we have been close best friends. We don't get to see each other as often as we would like because of distance, work, kids, life. But when we do get together, those are some of my happiest moments. Even if we don't do anything besides veg around, watch Ellen, and eat chocolate. She is an amazing person and I am so thankful for her. Heavenly Father blesses us with what we need in our lives, and when we moved out here, I think HF knew she was what I needed. I look forward to always being friends, regardless of where either of us lives.
Thank you Christina, Pat and Al for letting Bladen and I come and spend a fun week with you in your little slice of Heaven. If it were possible to do it every year, we would be there with bells and whistles! Love all of you guys!

Christmas 2013

Edit: I started this like a gazillion years ago, then got pregnant and the case of the lazies...

Last year's Christmas (2012) was spent on our own, and was a nice experience. But this year we were ready to see some family in Utah, it had been 2 years after all. Due to cheaper flight rates, we were there for a week before Christmas and left the day after. We wish we could have stayed a few more days (or forever), but we had a super enjoyable time, here are some tid-bits of our trip.

Grandma Ence was so excited to have Bladen at her house, she made a very special STAR WARS bed for Bladen. He thought it was the coolest thing and didn't have a wink of trouble sleeping.

Trains were a big hit, as were all of the other fun new toys in Grandma's closets. Jayla and Bladen would push their trains all over the place. Deric was excited to pull out a lot of his old toys that have been held onto, for Bladen (Deric) to play with. The electric train and a train whistle box was a hit.

I don't have a ton of friends left in Cedar City, or super close good ones anyway. Most of those people moved away after college or to surrounding cities. But every time that it works out, I really try to see my buddy Ron. I have always appreciated my friendship with Ron because it just seems unlikely to me that we would connect as well as we do. We worked together at Home Depot when I last lived in Cedar, and since I have moved, we still text and talk on the phone every once in awhile. He has a funny sense of humor, likes to chat about the same kind of music I like, and we just seem to get along well. I appreciate that we have stayed friends over these years.
Anyway- so I stopped by on lunch break and we had a good catch up. Although Ron, I have to say with that beard and mustache, you've got a Colonel Sanders thing going on.
We were also able to see our very good friends, the Papa's! We have quite a history with them and it was so good to get to have a lunch date together after several years being apart. I still love Erin, and all her kiddos. And I still love these dumbs boys that make me laugh, I love their connection. (Nice photo bomb Noah. WHOA! Isn't he huge?!)
We had lots of nice family time which is what it's really all about. It's not very
often we get all of Deric's siblings together. (Mostly because we live 12 states away.)
When we do all finally get together, we always have a blast that is full of fun, laughter, and no doubt someone getting picked on. =)
There are so many things that Deric and I love and miss about Cedar City. It really is a little slice of Heaven there. But this awesome aquatic center was built after we left (but we voted for it!). So every time we go back, we have to go swimming here. Man, if I lived in Cedar, Bladen and I would be there a couple times a week. I love swimming and being in water.
Oh goodness, one of my favorite things to ever happen at Christmas time happened this year. I seriously hope it can become a tradition, but if not, this year rocked and was so fun. We were able to go watch The Muppet Christmas Carol (an Ence Christmas Eve tradition), at a real movie theater that we had all to ourselves! Travis has a friend that lets him use it, or something like that. So we headed up to Beaver, loaded up on goodies in the lobby, and had a blast watching this favorite movie together.
It was so much fun. Everyone had their own plush couch, a bucket of popcorn with as much butter as you wanted, and an empty theater to quote and sing along with the movie. Best night ever.
Thank you Karen and Clint for having us and providing so much fun for our family. We love to be able to visit, and this was such a great one!

I think my own tree and decorations, with the help of our awesome hearth, turned out very pretty this year. Is it weird that I always think of my mom when I look at my Christmas tree? It doesn't vary much from year to year, but I always look at it and think, "My mom would be proud." =)
Christmas 2013 was a great one!