lititz fire and ice festival

This festival really brings all the people to Lititz’s yard let me tell you what! With the kids all off for President’s Day last week and the weather being as absolutely gorgeous as it was a few of my friends and I knew we had to be in the great outdoors! And why not see some ice sculptures while we are at it? We had lunch first because one needs sustenance for seven kids… Then we headed into town in to quite a mess of people…so we saw a few of the sculptures and then left. Quite a shame! And all the things were melting! But that didn’t end our fun… everyone came back to our house to play out front and eat ice cream with all the fixings! And I sat my butt in a beach chair facing the sun… perfection!

valentines and super bowl party

Celebrated at my parents' house of course.... Both things. All the things! My mom had found a cool "stained glass" cookie recipe so she thought the kids could do that prior to the game... exchanging their Valentine's with their cousins and of course all the chaos lots of cards and candy can do... and then of naturally there was the game itself... so what if we left before halftime? I mean we watched it of course because hello great line up and nostalgia and I'm not really that old right? But I digress. We watched the half time show at home in our pajamas and then the kids went straight to bed. Stuffed. Full of far too much food and wings and chips and cookies and candy! A sure sign of a great party!  Oh my!

a friends’ valentines

This festive day of Fetter fun is on something like its third year in the making? We always end up doing something messy and this year we did sugar cookies and of course all the decorating! Not to mention plenty of heart shaped eateries! But I think the highlight of the day for everyone of the dog loving variety was the visit with Wilson, Toniel's new puppy. I do have to admit he is quite cute! But he also doesn't live with me. And yes to all who noticed I did let him inside because he was shivering out in the cold and I am not a monster!

Until next year! The festive day... not the pup. By next year he will be huge and shedding and boxer fur be prickly!

the in between….

Since returning from Disney and all the depression that that entails we have been keeping busy…. Loosing more teeth…we bought and investment property with two of my siblings and their spouses… basketball for both boys… visiting with friends… having a spa day with friends…. Each kid got dinner out for their good grades, (well, Dom just lucked out that evening) David requested a dinner with my parents and Letty with Matt. I had my first job at the middle school and lived to tell the tale! Annnnnd more basketball! With friends! And of course there was Valentines Day!

audrey’s fourth birthday party

Last weekend (well, two weekends ago technically) we got to celebrate my niece Audrey as she turned four! Family from near and far arrived and there was delicious Chinese food, a rainbow cake and of course presents! All about those themes and my brother and sister-in-law nail it every time!

Oh Audrey…. Aud! You have changed so much in this past year and I am loving getting to spend more time with you and chatting! I appreciate the new allowance of hugs and I just love your sweet voice! You are a spitfire girl and I know you won’t let anyone forget it! You are funny and bright and silly and I love you! I’m excited for every passing day seeing you grow! I hope you felt the love girl! I mean I know you are loving all the Letty attention….

our final day…

And what a sad one! It was sunny, yes, but it was so cold! After packing up and leaving our bags with bell services we took the Skyliner over to the Riveria resort for breakfast at Toppolino’s. Again with the dining! So good! So much food! And characters! If we have to go home what a nice way to round out the trip! After breakfast we walked around Disney Springs a bit and honestly I could have done without that. It was super crowded and it has changed so much from back in the day. We ate an early dinner on the Boardwalk while letting the kids run around and we soaked up what sun we could before heading to the airport. We got home at like 2 am and we’re rudely greeted with frigid temps. Now.  When do we go back?!

hollywood, epcot and space 220

So sad! Our last day in the parks! We were at Hollywood again in the morning…. Did the thrill rides first this time before one final ride on the Railway…. Saw a cavalcade on the way to the Disney Junior show for the littles…. The sun came out and Matt and I were just basking in it! This was the weather we came for! Sun and palm trees! We then saw the Indiana Jones show which I haven’t been to in forever and it hasn’t changed a bit! We had lunch then at the ABC Commisary before hopping over to Epcot where we had Lightning Lanes for Remi. The line for this ride was long all week long so we decided to bite the bullet and buy a ride on…. I have to say u was slightly underwhelmed with it. I was expecting Railway caliber and it was definitely not. Still cute though! After the ride we got some things off of our list, finding the rainbow arches, painting the paint by numbers mural wall, Spaceship Earth and family photos with the ball and Nemo. Our dining tonight was the most spread out of the trip but I’m just thankful we even got in! Thanks to Beth! Space 220! So half the group went to eat and the other half did some World Showcase walking. Including the Three Caballeros. Then it was time for our dining experience!!!  I mean wow you guys this restaurant is just phenomenal. The riding the elevator up into space was so cool! Dining in space! Who would have think it! The food was sooo good too! I wasn’t ready to call it a night after dinner so we walked over to Soarin one final time…. Ending the trip the way it began!

hollywood to animal kingdom to epcot….

I think we are transitioning from most of the kids saying Magic Kingdom is their favorite park to Hollywood Studios is their favorite park. As far as I go you should all know, it is Epcot. So we were back here again this day. Doing what we do. Railway first of course because every last one of us can go on it, then Tower of Terror for the thrill seekers, we watch the Beauty and the Beast stage show before a lunch at Pizzerizzo’s. Then we watched the Muppet 3D show, met a few characters, annnnnnd then got a bus to Animal Kingdom. We did the safari right away of course before Flight of Passage. Another really cool ride! Matt did it this year as he is sort of a Nancy about thrill rides but it definitely isn’t like that! Again, worth every Lightning Lane penny. Dinner was at Yak & Yeti, a favorite of ours from last time. We saw the show on the tree after dinner and then had to walk through Pandora at night which we had never done before…. Then us Olsen’s decided we needed more Epcot in our life so we took the bus there. We rode Spaceship Earth and did a walk around the World Showcase before heading back to the resort. 

mickey! with a side of rain.

We were back at Magic Kingdom the very next day and of course had to stop in an see the big guy himself, Mickey! We rode the Flying Carpets, checked out the Enchanted Tiki Room (a first for us), then we had lunch at Cinderella’s Royal Table! Another first for us! Let me tell you we dined at all the good places this trip courtesy of my sister’s planning and my father’s financials and I am here for it! Such great experiences at each and every one! Ponchos were donned once more and we caught a quick cavalcade on our way out as we headed for Hollywood Studios. From one parade to the next but after least at Hollywood no more ponchos were needed! We got our kids photo with their Nonna and Pop in their fun matching shirts too! We saw a Lightning McQueen show before Rock n’ Rollercoaster…. And then, Rise! Of the Resistance. My sister had gotten up early and got those who wanted Lightning Lanes for it. Such an experience I’m so glad we got to go on it again!! Worth every penny. Then we did Toy Story Mania…. And then we took the Skyliner over to Epcot. The kids loved this too! Might be my favorite type of Disney transportation.  We then hopped on a bus to go to Magic Kingdom for their fireworks show. In the rain. But it held off for the actual show and minus the man who blocked our view by putting his daughter on his shoulders it was a great show! This was a night where certain resorts had extra hours so we hung out and did a few more rides, Haunted Mansion, Pirates, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and the Speedway. We left as the park closed and boy were those kiddos exhausted! It was our last time at Magic Kingdom for the trip so you know I had to say my internal goodbyes to the castle…. She’s just so pretty!

a rainy day at disney…

Is better than a sunny day at home…. That is how the saying goes and I think I said it like a dozen times. The ponchos definitely did some solid work this day! Thank goodness we have them! We didn’t rush to get to Magic Kingdom at rope drop…. We were hoping between the rain and the fact the park was closing early for an event would keep people away… and I think it did for the most part. We knocked a bunch of rides off the list, Buzz, Space Mountain, Dumbo, Barnstormer, Under the Sea… we had an early light lunch and then did the Philharmagic which added a song from Coco! Loved that addition. Then we did Pirates, Winnie the Pooh, Small World and the Teacups before Space Mountain. Again. We had early dining reservations at Artist Point so we took the boat over to the Wilderness Lodge. I had never been to this resort before so it was fun to check it out. This dining experience was just so cute and fun! We got to see Snow White, Dopey and Grumpy and of course the Evil Queen. The food was so tasty! The entire thing from the apps and drinks to the desserts was themed! Then we took a bus to Epcot and just walked to our resort… calling it an early night because of the rain. 

hollywood, ohana and epcot fireworks

We moseyed on over to Hollywood Studios first thing and once more went on Minnie and Mickey’s Runaway Railroad. Railway? Details. Then we headed back to Galaxy’s Edge for Smuggler’s Run again. I let someone else pilot this time and David even went on it again and willingly! We saw more parades… and then did Tower of Terror, Mikayla and Harrison’s first time!! Then we did the Frozen show which is, as always, silly and corny but when the snow starts it just gets me every time! My sister had gotten us reservations at Oga’s Cantina so Matt and I took the older two with my brother and Ashley and Colton. The drinks were tasty and the environment was everything I thought it would be! Slinky Dog had been down for a bit but opened in time for us to use our free Lightning Lane pass. We got it for free because of a screw up when we tried to get Rise…. Then we did Rock n’ Rollercoaster which was a definite favorite of the triplets…. Dinner was at Ohana and mylanta the food there! If you know, you know. After dinner we decided to walk off all those noodles at Epcot. The light show on the ball is so fun and Rainbow Connection!?! I love it. We rode Spaceship Earth again before rushing on to Test Track before the fireworks. I missed fireworks! This whole new show was just so good even without having the best viewing location! Certain resorts had an extra two hours at Epcot that night so we figured Frozen would be a walk on and boy were we mistaken. I think we waited almost an hour for that ride… And then, bed! A day of days! 

park hopper is back!

And on our first full day in the parks we utilized it! I definitely missed Park Hopper last visit! This was also the moment I realized the kids could have really used their winter coats so I took to Amazon to buy three coats asap! We started our day rope dropping at Magic Kingdom. All resort guests get into the parks a half hour early so we really were there early. Ponchos ready. We decided to go to Seven Dwarves first. Got that right off the list.  Then we headed for rides with indoor queues and such next because: cold. So it was Small World, Haunted Mansion, the Peoplemover (we saw Tron!), lunch, Carousel of Progress, Pirates, then the sun came out briefly and we watched a few cavalcades…. We did Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and more cavalcades before heading to our dinner reservations at Be Our Guest. We saw the Beast, ate delicious food and the kids got to paint little chocolate Chips! Always a favorite, that place!

My parents and brother and his family headed back to the hotel and my sister and I went to Hollywood Studios. The wait times just looked too good to pass up, tired or not! We did Smuggler’s Run which was a first for us and oh my word so much fun! I had the best time being a pilot! We did the Swirling Saucers which is fun for all and then the first of many Minnie and Mickey’s Runaway Railroad visits! And just like that we were able to walk back to the resort! Disney Beth is a whole other version of Beth and I am here for it!!

we went to disney!

I am sure this is no shock to you, dear reader, as I pretty much discussed this trip with every single person I came into contact with in the weeks and months leading up to it. If the walls had ears I would talk to them about it as well. I was so worried that one of us would have covid or a covid exposure that would stop us from traveling south and miracle of all miracles we were good! Olsen’s have been dodging covid bullets left and right at this point and I am not sure how we have come out of the past two years so far unscathed (knock on wood). 

So. Disney. This time the entire family (minus my elder brother of course) was able to go. Sixteen deep. We stayed at our favorite resort, The Yacht Club. And we flew. Again. It is quite nice, flight delays not withstanding. We left my parents house via enormous van at 2:30 am on a Saturday morning and made our way to Philly. By 11:30 we had our rented double strollers in hand and were on our way to Epcot. The weather this trip did not want to cooperate however and this first day was just the toe dip into said inclement weather. We stayed as dry and bundled as we possibly could as we made our way around The World Showcase… We hit all the true blue family favorites as well, The Three Caballeros, Nemo, Spaceship Earth and Soarin. Goodness I love that ride. We also did The Land because we didn’t want to go back outside…. The afternoon rounded out with a dinner at Tutto Italia which had the largest piece of chicken parm I have ever witnessed. Annnnd much to my sadness we just went back to the hotel and relaxed afterwards... Unpacked. Etc. I suppose a 15 hour day could take a lot out of a person. And now, photos.