Gracie Goes to Disneyland: The Adventures of Our Elf on the Shelf!

A few weeks before our family left for Disneyland, I asked Chris “How funny would it be if Gracie made the trip to Disneyland with us?” to which he replied “Let’s do it!”.  I’m so thankful for a husband who is game for my silly antics!

Gracie was packed & ready to go the morning we left!

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She sat up front with us.  The funny thing is, Chris and I drove by ourselves as the girls rode with my parents.

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Finally to the state line!

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They didn’t look too scary so I picked these two up!  What do you think the chances were that a bus-load of prisoners would pass us as we were taking this picture? Yep….totally happened!  

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Raring & ready to go the first morning!

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Checking out the crowd while hanging out on Aunt Jenny’s shoulder.

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Happy to be safe & sound with Chris!

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The obligatory photo op by the tree!

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Gracie had no idea that Space Mountain would be as fast as it was!

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It’s a Small World was definitely more her speed!  She was thrilled to see the North Pole! She rode the whole ride on Grandpa’s shoulder…he’s such a good sport!

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The Jingle Cruise was another favorite!

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Ready for our character breakfast on Christmas morning!

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She loved the attention from Rafiki!

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And thought Alice was definitely beautiful!

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Her favorite ride of all was definitely California Screamin’! She was happy to be sitting next to Skylar! (Sorry for the picture of a picture!)

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All in all it was an amazing vacation for Gracie!  She is hoping for a family Christmas cruise next year!  We sent her back to the North Pole with the message to Santa to help make that happen!

I hope you enjoyed Gracie’s adventure to Disneyland!

Make it a great week!

JuJu

*We clearly do not follow the “don’t touch the elf or she’ll lose her power” rule!  We were more than happy to include everyone in on the fun with Gracie!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hello December

Hi there, friends!  December is one of my favorite times of year and I was so excited to say Hello to December this year!  This morning we went to church and I was thrilled to find that it was Communion Sunday!  Seriously…what an AMAZING way to usher in this season of Advent!  It was beautiful!

My friend, Stephanie, posed the question today “What are you doing this Christmas to be intentional in making this a season of joy?”  I shared our family’s plans with her and thought I would share them here with all of you!  First and foremost, I want to keep my focus on the reason for this season, and that is Jesus!

So here are the things that we as a family will be doing to focus on Advent, document our memories, make fun memories together, & serve others this Christmas season.

ADVENT

I searched for devotionals that would be good for both Skylar and Hailey.  I wanted to make sure that they would interest Skylar, but also challenge Hailey.  I found the perfect resource!  We are using the e-book Reasons for the Season by Kathy Hutto. I’m looking forward to all the different activities we will do together as a family.

For my personal devotional time, I’m looking forward to using the Advent devotional videos from Ann Voskamp and also following along with the Advent devotional series from Good Morning Girls.

DOCUMENTING CHRISTMAS

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I’m really looking forward to documenting our December with a simplified version of Ali Edward’s December Daily.  This year I will be using one photo from each day, like the one above, dated with these digital elements.  It’s going to be super easy:  snap photo, print, back on chipboard, & attach all photos with rings.  I’ll be sure to show you as the month goes along.

MAKING MEMORIES TOGETHER/SERVING OTHERS 

We have a list of activities that we are going to do as a family.  Each day we will do one activity.  Here are a few examples:

-watch a Christmas movie together (this is one we will do multiple times)

-get cocoa and drive around to see the Christmas lights

-bake cookies for our friends and neighbors

-make a CD of our favorite Christmas music and share it with some of our friends

-go to ZooLights with our cousins

-pick out a new ornament from the Christmas Store

We will also choose different service projects as a family.  Some will be simpler than others, but we want to make sure the girls recognize that helping others is what we are called to do.

GRACIE THE ELF

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This morning marked the return of our friendly elf, Gracie.  The girls absolutely love her!  When Skylar walked into the kitchen and saw Gracie, she read the card and said “Oh Gracie!  I missed you too!”  Pretty sure that Chris and I enjoy this way more than the girls do.  Who would’ve thought?  I seriously used to poke fun at people that did this.  You can see the post of silly things that Gracie did last year, HERE.

We are looking forward to a fabulous December and I hope you are too!

What are you doing to make this December full of joy?

Whatever it is, make it great!

JuJu

The Antics of our Elf on the Shelf, Gracie!

Hello friends!  So excited to share the adventures of our Elf on the Shelf, Gracie with you today.  I need to give a shout out to my grandmother and Aunt Carol who shared the Elf on the Shelf craze with our family last Christmas.  I admit that I was originally against adding in this tradition, but I am really glad that we decided to do it!  The girls LOVED Gracie, but I’m pretty sure that Chris and I had even more fun with Gracie’s antics.

For those of you who are new to my blog, both of our girls are on the autism spectrum.  They are very literal and we usually know exactly what they are thinking, as it just spills out!  Hailey cracked me up with her almost daily comments about what Gracie had done.  I’ll add her thoughts below the pictures.

WHAT A “CUTIE”

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This was our first morning with Gracie and the girls thought she was pretty funny. Hailey jumped in on the fun and continued to take parts of the orange away during the day.

GOING FOR A SWIM

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“Good thing she didn’t eat all the Cheerios, Skylar would have been mad!”-Hailey

ENJOYING THE VIEW FROM ABOVE

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“That’s hilarious!  She must not be afraid of heights like you are mom!”-Hailey

HIDE AND SEEK

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TAKING A BUBBLE BATH

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We went down to Phoenix for an overnight trip and the girls didn’t want to take Gracie with us.  They wanted to see what she would do while we were out of town. This presented a challenge for Chris and me.  Gracie got all settled into her bubble bath right after the kids got in the car.  When we returned home the next day, the marshmallows were pretty stiff from sitting out for about 24 hours.  Hailey said, “Well that can’t be comfortable!  Why would she want to bathe in hard marshmallows?”

TAKING OVER

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“I can not believe that Gracie knocked the angel off the tree!  That should definitely put her on the naughty list!”-Hailey

SUCH A JOKER

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CELEBRATING SKYLAR’S BIRTHDAY

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“I can’t believe Gracie didn’t eat all of her cake!  It was SO good!  Can I have the rest?”-Hailey

JUST A SIP

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“Well that’s a waste of a perfectly good straw!”-Hailey

A LITTLE LIGHT READING

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This is a really blurry picture, but Hailey’s comments were some of my favorite.  She said, “Oh my word!  Why is she reading Twilight?  Who told her those books were good?”

MISSING SANTA

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REPLACING OUR STOCKINGS WITH UNDERWEAR

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“Wow!  I hope those are clean!!!”-Hailey

SUGAR HIGH

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GREEN MILK

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“EWWW!  How’d she do that?  That is really weird!”-Hailey

VANDALIZING

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“What a waste of toilet paper!  You’d better save that, I’m sure we’re going to need it!”-Hailey

Thanks for reading about our adventures with Gracie!  The girls were excited that she left a note saying goodbye and that she would be back next year.

Blessings for a great New Year for all of you!

Make it great!

JuJu