Sunday, December 28, 2014

Another set of pictures I forgot to post - Disney Studios!

While in Southern California  after visiting Disneyland we had one more stop before heading back North and home. My husband has a former Mission companion who is an exective at Disney. He was willing to let us come and visit him at his office which is at the Disney Studios in Burbank. 

 Security was pretty tight. We had pass through the gate and receive passes to enter.
 We parked near this cool building being held up by the seven dwarfs.

 Hey isn't that the same statue that we just say at Disneyland?
 This is where his office is. It is in the old Animation building. He actually had an office just down the hall from where Walt himself had his office.

We visited in his office and talking about his latest project (He is the producer of a live action Jungle Book. He said live action but the animals will all be computer generated but there is an actual little boy who will play Mowgli).

He thought it would be fun for us to go to the Disney Archives. This is a little museum like area inside one of the other buildings on the lot.  It had a bunch of Disney memorablia to look at. Lots of books along one wall and a few rooms full of "other things" that they didn't really let us see but said was used for research.

One thing he did pull out for us was this Academy Award. Walt won this one for one of his Wilderness documentaries.

 Of course the kids had to take turns holding it.

 It was pretty heavy!

I guess I was too busy looking at everything and forgot to take pictures but we were able to see an animator's desk from back in the day when animation was actually hand drawn. We were also able to see the multiplane camera that they used for filming the early Disney movies.

 I guess we can claim that we actually visited the Disney Vault.

 We were told this building is where the Marvel comics people work. Security is even tighter there and we couldn't get anywhere near it.

We walked a bit through the lot and looked around.  I kept thinking of the movie Saving Mr. Banks as I walked through. It all looked so familiar because they have tried to preserve the look the buildings had back in Walt's day. 

 We visited the company store. They had much of the same stuff we had seen at Disneyland but at much more normal prices.  I guess we could have waited to buy our Mickey and Minnie souveniers.
 The theater had a huge poster of Anna and Elsa above the entrance.

 We also walked down to the actual studios where they film shows like Once Upon a Time and one called Blackish? (I haven't ever heard of that one!) We couldn't go inside of course but did see some of the props men setting thing up inside.

 That was about it for our tour. We walked back by the seven dwarfs.
 Said farewell to Walt and Mickey. All along the walls of this plaza were plaques with the handprints of famous Disney artists. We tried out the hands of musicians, actors, animators and other important people of Disney History. It was a really fun visit.
Molly even took a rest with Roy Disney and Minnie Mouse. 

So what did we do after this? 

We found a theater in Burbank and watched Big Hero 6. The perfect way to finish off our week of all things Disney.

How did I miss these from Thanksgiving!

I know this is about a month ago but I found some pictures of Thanksgiving that I missed sharing.  Sophie has a camera and sometimes it goes with us and documents things that I miss with our regular famil camera. It is nice to have another camera snapping shots of friends, family and events but I often forget to upload those pictures and include them when I write up posts. So here are some lovely pictures of our ourdoor Thanksgiving dinner at Grandma's house.

 We brought some of our friends to Thanksgiving dinner. They were away from their families so came to celebrate the day with our clan. We certainly aren't fancy but I think everyone had a good time and plenty of good things to eat!
 Hoppy the cow even came to the fence to try out the scraps that were thrown over the fence for the animals.
 Ian has told me he loves to take selfies and that he always looks good in them!
 My Dad became the owner of some pans so thought after eating a heavy dinner it was the perfect time to go out to the stream nearby and try our luck finding gold.

 I don't think anyone found much more than a little gold dust but when you live and visit gold country it is fun to at least give it a try!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas just wouldn't be the same without...... Princesses and Legos!?!

We told the kids months ago when we discussed our trip to Disneyland. We explained that our trip was their gift from us so there wouldn't be any gifts under the tree from Mom and Dad. They all heartily agreed and had a great time at Disneyland but now that Christmas was here and the prospect of not having gifts to look forward to was somewhat sad for the kids. Molly especially has felt deprived. Maybe I need to read a few more Little House on the Praire Christmas' or something to make sure she appreciates the things she does have and recieved on Christmas. 

Despite not getting gifts from Mom and Dad, gifts still seemed to show up. On Christmas Eve morning we opened the packages Grandma sent. We were headed up to my parents house for Christmas and didn't feel like packing all the gifts so allowed the kids to open these at home so they could be left behind. 

 Molly loved the new Repunzel dress she was given.

 There were a few minecraft books which were enjoyed and even a Lego Movie book.
 Molly packed up her dress and her new sock monkey to take to the other Grandma's house. I think the boys packed there minecraft books too. I guess that defeated the purpose of opening gifts so we could leave them at home.

Christmas Day arrived and there were stockings of candies and socks.  A pretty tamed down stocking.

 The kids decided to draw a name for gifts for siblings this year that way they could get one bigger gift rather than try to find small things to give to each.  Ian picked out this Merida Blanket for Sophie.
Molly picked out a remote conrol helecopter for Henry.
And Grandma made sure a few more Legos made it to our house.
Henry picked out a Lego Technic set for Ian. 

Molly got a new Merida barbie like doll from Grandma and Sophie gave her a few My Little Ponies. Molly was thrilled with her Christmas!
 Grandma fulfilled Sophie's request for a Merida princess dress of her own. Look at this lovely purple gown.

 Girls really don't ever grow out of the desire to dress up as their favorite characters.

 Here are Molly's new pjs that she got from her other Grandma. They match the sock monkey's pjs.

 That was about it as far as Christmas went. The kids were fine with getting only two presents on Christmas morning and I was impressed that they didn't whine about not getting more. They just enjoyed gifts they did get and talked endlessly about our trip to Disneyland.

The rest of Christmas was a bit quiet.  I did a puzzle. I do one almost every holiday.  One strange thing while sitting here.... That big window behind me stretches across most of that wall and at one point I heard a loud thunk against it. I thought perhaps a rock or something had be thrown but when I got up a robin had flown into the glass and we think it broke its neck. That doesn't happy all that often, even with those big windows. Poor bird!

 Molly pulled out my old plastic horses and the barn and had Merida ride the clydesdale horse around calling it Angus.

We took the long walk with our cousins and enjoyed the crisp air.

We facetimed with the cousins that live on the other side of the continent.

And ate a lot of yummy food, watched a whole bunch of Myth Busters, and just enjoyed being with family.

That was a nice, mellow Christmas.