And a 6th birthday too

If I really stop to think about it, Ky turning 6 makes my heart flutter.  (I mean, she now needs two hands to represent her age ~ six just seems so much older than five...).

The good news is that last Saturday, the day she became a six year old, was so busy that I didn't have much time to stop and think about just how quickly she's growing up.  A day split between Epcot and the Magic Kingdom will do that.

We did go ahead and present her birthday gift before we headed out that morning.  You know, just in case we got back late or something.  Not like our family is known to do that or anything...

princess themed of course ~ we were at disney after all...
While she got to request which park we spent the second half of our day in, Ian and I had one surprise for the birthday girls up our sleeve for the morning.  All we told them was that they needed to get into their royal attire (otherwise known as borrowed princess dresses ~ some of you will remember my pleas via facebook) and we ushered them off to Epcot.

our little aurora and belle had no idea what was coming
Upon arrival at Epcot, we admired a few new flower gardens that had opened, grabbed fast passes to Soarin' for noon, and then headed to Norway.  All four kids were still clueless, though starting to talk about being hungry as we didn't eat much of a breakfast at the condo.

he may have a crush on "the one with the purse," but our eldest prince charming has a soft spot in his heart for his princess siblings
We waited around for a while, so to pass the time, our twins broke out in dance.  

total melt this mama's heart moment!  these two can irritate the fool out of each other like nobody's business, but they have a connection that is all their own.
Finally the announcement came.  The M family was being invited to attend the feast at the Akershus Royal Banquet Hall with several regals.  We met Belle,


 Snow White,

even the boys were giddy
Cinderella and Ariel.  The meal was actually pretty good too, but as far as Ian and I were concerned, the food was secondary.  This was our one splurge while on our trip and judging from their reactions, it was a well chosen one.  

After our last conversation with a princess (Ariel was my favorite ~ she was so in character.  She talked to the kids about dinglehoppers and snarfblats) Kylie wasted no time in ditching her Belle dress for her birthday outfit.  Guess she wanted to make sure that everyone had the chance to know it was her birthday.  And she was quite satisfied to use the China pavilion as the backdrop for her birthday shots.  

she may complain about him bugging her from time to time and stealing her time in the spotlight, but she LOVES that little brother.  they have quite a special relationship
Since we were in China, our morning with the princesses wouldn't be complete without getting to spend some time with Mulan.

i've got a few great posed shots of my kiddos with her, but this is my favorite.  she spent so much time chatting with my gang (right around 10 minutes) that i began to hear grumblings from those waiting in line behind us.
Birthday girl directed our next stop.  Back to the Seas with Nemo and Friends. For the third time.  

the striking difference this time was that we took three "clammobiles" instead of just two as the girls decided they were brave enough to ride on their own.
Followed by?  Turtle Talk with Crush.  Also for the third time.  Despite the fact that we had already seen the show twice, Ian and I still managed to laugh at some of the funnier parts.  

By this time we were getting the "shui jiao (Mandarin for sleep) please Mommy" chorus from the peanut, so the boys climbed into the stroller while the rest of us went to check out the Pixie Hollow garden that had been created for the International Flower Festival at Epcot.  

ky and darcy excitedly flitted about looking for each of the fairies in the garden.  their favorite, silvermist, is behind them in this picture.
Ian got his science teacher groove on as they explored Innoventions for well over an houras the boys slept on.  Finally Ky requested that we move on to the Magic Kingdom, so we hopped the monorail (no need to fold up the stroller allowing for optimum napping) and by the time we arrived, Caleb and Daniel awoke from a nearly three hour snooze.

i've always been a fan of walt disney so i wanted one shot of our family with his statue in the background.
In addition to late afternoon snacking,

another way we saved A LOT of money ~ a backpack well stocked with ziplocks full of our favorite snacks
we hit the highlights.  That meant we:

Took one last spin on the Astro Orbiter,

cruised around the speedway two more times,
discovered on our next to last ride that if you have a family like ours, just tell the attendant that you want to do a driver swap when you come back in and they'll let you switch drivers and keep going one lap without having to wait in line again.  
and of course rode the carrousel.  Two more times for good measure.  Cause you know, you can never ride the "up down horse" too many times.

told you she loves him.
As we began to make our way out of the Magic Kingdom Ian told the kids that if they could get the sword out of the stone that we'd come back soon.  They tried with all their might.

But it wasn't gonna budge.  So after a final pause to catch a bit of the last show in front of the castle, we bid a fond farewell to Disney World.  

When we got in the van Caleb spontaneously said, "Thank you Mommy and Daddy for bringing us here.  It was the best week ever!"

Was it the magic of Disney that made the week so remarkable?  Oh, sure, I suspect it played into it some.  But I can think of four other equally magical places.  Civil Affairs offices in Guangzhou, Wuhan, Hangzhou, and Urumqi to be exact.  Those four rooms were magical in their own right.  But what made this trip so special was the six of us.  Together.  No agenda beyond enjoying one another's company.  

And that we did.  We did it well.


Mary Beth said...

I love the dancing. I LOVE that Mulan talked with your kids such a long time. I love the surprise breakfast. And I am so impressed that you were able to go back for a second trip on Astro Orbiter. We rode it once, and said never again. We do fine on just about anything, but those fast circles were too much! :)

Heather said...

I haven't been able to really comment like I wanted to. But I've been following along this past week. Pics were so much fun! Glad they had such a great week. Priceless memories for sure!!!!

Laine said...

Happy Birthday Ky and DQ! What a fun way to spend your special days! I have loved reading about your Disney days!

Jordan Carl said...

It sounds like you guys had an incredible time all week cuz! I'm glad the kids loved it as much as they did!

anything but LoKEY said...

That's they way to celebrate a birthday!!

Cindy M said...

So happy you had a magical time! Such beautiful fun memories! I love that you sat through the Crush show three times! Hilarious! Missing your family a ton!

Wife of the Prez said...

I can't believe you can blog while at Disney! IMPRESSIVE!

I have been blogging about our trip to Disney but it was in September and I never blogged about it, but wanted it documented for the blog book!

I love the place I admit it. I am NOT however telling Li'l Miss thought that we missed Rapunzel. To my credit, she became fascinated with her after watching Tangled for the first time in Fort Wilderness at the nightly movie (we camped there on our trip).

Thanks for sharing and I'm cracking up at the napping boys. I only wish I fit in to a stroller LOL! BTW, we took our trip with Disney VISA dollars earned from China trips (and everyday purchases) as well! :)

Nancy said...

This made me cry!