The Elenbaas Family
Ma, Da, Tinkerbelle, Wally, JackJack, and Big Wes

  • Florida 2014
    It was one of the best Florida weeks I can remember. The weather was great and the kids are really getting to an age where we can enjoy everything.

    Florida Memories:
    • Wesley happily crawling around with a lot of personality. His crawl has swagger.
    • Wesley eating sand and getting face fulls of sand and not being bothered by it.
    • Evie swam all the time. She would spend all afternoon in the pool
    • 2 Manatees parked in front of our dock all day one day. Saw them many times over the course of 4 hours.
    • Jack motoring around the pool with his life jacket on. Will typically playing by the side or needing to be held in the pool.
    • Jack turning into a fish. On Thursday he swam for about 2.5 hours straight. Typical Jack he was in and out of the pool a million times but swimming for large portions of it. Of course he never stopped giving his commentary.
    • Evie?s birthday celebration on 4/10 (Thurs) included cake and presents.  Evie received an Elsa dress that Erin made and ?Frozen? DVD.
    • A lady gave us a kite the last evening at the beach. Evie let go once and I had to sprint down the beach to save it. Evie let go a second time and some girls were in the right spot to save it. Both boys flew it for a while but I tied it around their waist.
    • Perfect sunsets on Thursday and Friday.
    • Jumping waves in the ocean.
    • Taking the kids out in to the serf and going up and down with the waves.

  • Disney
    We had an absolutely fantastic day at Magic Kingdom last week.  It was a marathon as we left our condo before 6:00 am and returned home at 2:00 am.  The park was mobbed but we managed to keep our wait times under 45 minutes for every ride.  The kids had a great day but were so tired by 10:30 that they basically passed out in our arms and in the stroller. 

    I didn't tell Evie what space mountain really was before we went on the ride because I didn't want her to back out.  She did well but didn't want to go on it again.

     The Barnstormer roller coaster was a favorite. The boys could ride it and wanted to do it again all day but we never got back to it.

  • Batman

    It has been a LONG winter.  The boys are ready for the outdoors again.  This should be a great summer.

  • Chicago Day
    I turned a short Chicago work trip into an overnight family vacation.  We stayed at the Embassy Suites (highly recommended) in downtown and had an exhausting but excellent 30 hours in Chicago.  Our activities in order:
    1. McDonalds for lunch
    2. Swimming in the hotel
    3. Rain Forest Cafe for Dinner
    4. Cocktails at the hotel (free)
    5. More swimming
    6. Bed
    7. Big continental breakfast
    8. Subway
    9. American Girl Store and Lego Store
    10. Cheesecake Factory for Lunch
    11. Chicago Zoo (free)

    The kids loved the view from our 11th floor room.  

    Evie, William, and Jack shared a double bed.  As expected there were some problems.  Will was moved to our bed to fall asleep because someone kept pulling covers away from him (he was doing it to himself), Jack & Evie needed several reprimands, and Jack was upside down by the time we went to bed.  

    The Zoo was far better than I expected. The lions, tiger, gorillas, polar bear, and hippo were active and very interactive.   

     The kids were impressed by the size of the McDonalds.  It was 2 stories with service on both levels.
    The subway was a highlight. For boys that love trains it was awesome to ride one.  
     Evie renewed her interest in American Girl Dolls after seeing all of them in one place.

  • 2013 Photo Stats
    It is time to start working on my annual family photo book.  I organize with Picasa which provides me with some fun statistics.  Here are some facts about our pictures.

    Total photos taken and saved (I only delete duplicates and poor quality pictures).

    • 2004:  3060
    • 2005:  2174
    • 2006:  2431
    • 2007:  3243
    • 2008:  2967
    • 2009:  3069
    • 2010:  5399
    • 2011:  4412
    • 2012:  4926
    • 2013:  4090 - I am a bit surprised that we were down on total photos in 2013.  Maybe it is because we carry our cameras less since we have phones with cameras. The biggest reason is probably that we weren't as adventurous in 2013 with 4 little kids. In 2014 we have 2 extra trips planned so I expect our photos will go back up.
    2013 "favorites"
    • Total: 919
    • Include Evie: 386 
    • Include Will:  384
    • Include Jack:  383
    • Include Will & Jack: 277 (shows that they are almost always together)
    • Include Wesley:  246
    • Include Erin:  104
    • Include Randy:  135
    • Include all 4 kids:  66
    • Include all 6 of us:  25
    • Include Randy & Erin: 41
    • ONLY Randy & Erin:  3 - Only 3 good pictures all year of Erin and I without any kids around.  Improving on that number in 2014 is a new goal.