disneyland is known as the happiest place on earth.

i will unashamedly admit that i got excited just watching videos or talking about it as a family.
we saved our money and were gifted some as well.
the vacation this fall came at just the right time.
our calendars were maxed out and our momentum in ministry at full speed.
some would say we were crazy to leave town, but we know leaving town allows us, sometimes, to regroup, refocus, and relax.

relaxation had begun!

you know disney...they like to celebrate everything!
surfboard rice krispy treats were delivered for elijah's upcoming birthday.

we let teachers know we'd be taking elijah and sam out of school for a few days for family vacation. we don't do this often, and let them know when we're at school we are fully committed and fully attentive. but we believe we get our money's worth and it truly is a vacation when we can be at disney during off-peak season.

the boys got lots of character time during this off-peak season! in fact, if we waited in line longer than 10 minutes they replied, "it's crowded today!"

perfect age to go to disney! not even asher was afraid of the characters. you can tell he was quite fond of them...her!

a few years from now, the trip to disney will look totally different. our experience will be more about the rides and thrills, while this trip was a perfect combination of magical experience and enjoying the rides.

our first time to disneyland! a few of us have experienced disneyworld, but we now prefer disneyland for many reasons: 1. it's only 2 parks. 2. you can walk to everything rather than waiting on shuttles. 3. it's more intimate. 4. it's drivable for us. 5. it's the original.

we had no strollers. they didn't complain about walking...
they're used to walking lots in the city.

Asher was 40" and could ride 90% of the rides.

elijah was chosen for jedi training academy and got to defeat darth maul
and bring the dark side down!

boys in toon town

eating hand battered corn dogs in a prime spot to watch the evening parade

weather was great with warm afternoons and cool evenings

fairy godmother showed up at breakfast and was curious if we came in a pumpkin or not!

i took one for the team and went on the wet ride and ben took one for the team and went on the teacups. always a lose-lose situation!

we were blessed to enjoy 3 days in the parks, riding more than 15 rides per day. (stat provided by our older two boys) we saw lots of our favorite characters and fun shows/parades at night.

this vacation was an escape from normalcy. we spent time laughing and breaking routine.
we took time to look at each other and relax.

i will agree that disney is the happiest place on earth, but temporarily. this vacation brought us pleasure and memories. but truthfully, our happiest place on earth was with us the whole time. and that's the 5 of us that God has chosen to make our family.

and chick-fil-a was the cherry on the top on the way home -
making the vacation all the sweeter!