Disney Cruise Review

While we were on our vacation, we had a whole ton of people ask us about the cruise that we on.  Enough questions in fact, that it warranted it's own write up here.
The Wynns in front of the amazing Disney Dream
If you are not aware, we surprised the kids by taking them on a 4 day Caribbean Disney cruise aboard their brand new boat, the Disney Dream.  We had received one of those promotional sales DVD's in the mail at some point about the cruises, and the kids became obsessed with going on a cruise.  Max especially so, I am pretty sure that he may know every detail about each boat in the Disney fleet after having watched that DVD probably 100 times.

Max's 6th Birthday

Given that we were heading to Florida for Max's birthday again, we decided to throw a small party before we left on vacation.  We were planning on leaving on December 3rd, so we had to move his party all the way up to  November 27th.

Max picked 3 of his buddies to go with him to see the new Muppet movie.  Afterwards we headed to his favorite desert place, Dairy Queen, for some ice cream and presents.  The kids had a really fun time, the new Muppet movie was actually pretty good (the movie theater even gave him a poster of the movie).  We really irritated a lady to take this photo, she was sitting on this bench and we asked her to move so that we could take a picture.  She wasn't very happy, and I just don't care.

Max referred to it as his fake birthday since his real birthday was not for a little over a week.  For his real birthday, we were on our cruise that we surprised the kids with, so we let him mostly decide what we were going to do that day (we rode the Aquaduck a lot and ate a ton of ice cream).

Halloween 2011

Still getting caught up with posts to the site, this is the last one to get me caught up.

Halloween has come and gone and was a big success here at the Wynn household.  We held our second annual Halloween party which I would say was an excellent success.  However, Sarah and I were so busy that we didn't stop to take any photos, so nothing much to share unfortunately.

For Halloween, the kids really put a lot of effort into their costumes.  They spend hours pouring over the catalogs full of costumes and usually agonize over the final decision.  This year, Ella decided to be a Police Officer, while Max was Zorro.

Their costumes were really nice, luckily they get a lot of use out of them, playing dress-up is one of their favorite activities.

New Tattoo for Chris

You may have heard by now that I got a new tattoo this last September.  I have been wanting to do something for the kids for quite a while now, but wasn't sure what.  I traveled to Austin, Texas for a special event to promote Gears of War during the Austin City Limits Music Festival.  XBox had setup a special VIP area for the various musicians and other people deemed important.  I was there to show the game just before it was about to launch (in fact I went from Austin straight to New York to officially launch the game at midnight on September 19th).  There was also a bunch of booze (brought some home because there was so much), a lady who brought some really good cupcakes, and a tattoo artist to tattoo the musicians.  

Soccer Season Summary

Another fall is through, and another soccer season is in the books.  Max got his first outdoor season behind him with a more casual city league.  Good to get him out in the grass and running around though.

As Ella gets older, the competitive spirit in her and the league picks up intensity.  The still do not keep official score at this age (which is total crap), but don't tell the girls that because every single one of them keeps score. Ella got really aggressive this year, really getting physical and using her body (well, mostly her elbows) to get the other girls off the ball.  She also makes some runs towards the net when she gets the ball which she was always hesitant to do.  Working with her to keep the hustle up and not give up on plays and to get her shots off quicker.

Back to School

Another exciting school year begins here in Seattle.  For Max, it is his first official year starting Kindergarten while Ella began 2nd grade.  Both of them are attending Alcott Elementary and get to ride the bus together and everything.  Max only has school for half a day so he comes home earlier than Ella.

Highlights so far seem to be the extra curricular activities like art and running club along with library.  At least they look a little happier than last year's first day of school photos.

Road Trip!

Ever since we got the new car, the kids have been asking to go on a road trip.  We think this is just because they wanted to watch movies in the car and hook up the Xbox in the car to play while in the car.  Nevertheless, we decided to go for it.

Our original plan was to head down to Lake Tahoe and stay there for the weekend, but my crazy travel schedule through August and September made things a little difficult.  Labor Day weekend was the only time available to go and all of the resorts in Tahoe were booked solid so we needed a new plan.  We had also planned on stopping in Sacramento to see our good friends, the Schwaznicks, who had just moved there from up here.  So instead of going to Tahoe, we just drove down to Sacramento to stay with them over the Labor Day weekend before getting back to Seattle so that the kids could start school.

The map makes this look like a pretty simple drive, pretty much a straight shot, about 750 miles one way.  We figured about 12 hours of driving.  Our lack of road trip knowledge hurt us on this one.  We hit all kinds of holiday weekend traffic, especially in Portland leaving Seattle at about 1pm.  At 1am, we were still about 2 hours away and just had to stop in Reading, CA for a quick sleep.  A nice night at the Holiday Inn and we were back on the road with a nice easy drive the rest of the way.

No updates

Sorry for the lack of updates here. We have a technical issue and I do not currently have admin access to our own website. Google has been seemingly unhelpful thus far. I may be able to post now, but I have no way to edit things for now.

Some early letters to Santa

I am cleaning up the office while Sarah and the kids are finishing their trip to Michigan.  Buried under a pile of papers I found some early letters to Santa that the kids wrote probably a month or two ago.  Max likes to keep things simple, while Ella can get very inquisitive.

From Max:

I want a big lego pirate ship
I want the Death Star

From Ella:

My Christmas List:
Dear Santa
Last Christmas I loved my new play-house.  And my brother is ruining it.  I'm relly up set with him.
Can you tell me who is on the noty list
p.s. Christmas is my favorite holiday

Happy 4th of July!

I hope everyone out there had a nice 4th of July.  We were a little caught out by actually having nice weather here in Seattle.  The local saying goes that summer doesn't start until the 5th of July in Seattle.  With the weather nice we decided to meet up with some friends and check out some fireworks.

We met up with our friends the Dunn's who have three kids of their own.  Their son, Gavin is Max's best buddy, then they have another son Ella's age and a daughter who is just a little older than Ella.  They live in Sammamish which is close by and Sammamish was having their own fireworks.  So we headed to the City park and took up a nice spot on the hill.  They had a bunch of things for the kids to do to keep them occupied, bounce houses and things like that.  Then we settled in for a cool fireworks display.

Ella broke her arm

We have the first broken bone in the family.  About 2 weeks ago, Ella fell off the monkey bars and broke her right arm.

The crazy part is that she hobbled around with it for two days before we finally took her to the doctor.  She never really complained about it hurting, it didn't bruise up or really swell at all.  She complained a little about the pain that first night, but we just gave her some aspirin and then she never complained again.

It's a new car!

We finally had to trade old Betsy about 2 months back.  Our 8 year old, 160,000 mile, Buick Rendezvous was starting to show it's age and it was time to upgrade.  After shopping for a few weeks, and looking at the Buick Enclave, the new Ford Explorer, and the Audi Q7, we went with another Buick.  You just can't beat that GM discount.

So now we are the proud new owners of a 2011 Buick Enclave, this baby is fully loaded, leather, navigation, rear seat DVD (which we did not want but got kind of stuck), AWD, the works.  I have to say it is really nice, we are really happy with it so far.

Ella's 7th Birthday

I cannot believe that it has already been a month since Ella turned 7.  She is already acting 17, gets her feistyness from her mother obviously.

For her birthday, Ella took a few friends to the movie to see Hop.  The kids all wore bunny ears during the movie, we had about half a row filled with little girls, then Sarah, myself, and Max.  The theater brought a little kids meal thing to each kid with some popcorn, candy, and a drink.  Ella also got to bring home a movie poster from the movie which is now hanging in her room.  I need to get a real movie poster frame that lights up and makes it look cool.

Trip to Vegas

A few weeks back now Sarah and I enjoyed a nice complementary (prize from my poker championship).  We had 3 nights and 4 days at the Wynn at the end of the strip.  We were hoping to get some nice comps just from our name, but none really came.  One pit boss asked for a raise, and a lot of people would do a double take when they saw our name.

We had a great time, the room was fantastic, it is a really nice hotel.  So nice, that we didn't do a whole lot at the other casinos.  Most everything we did was on the Wynn property, we walked the strip a couple of times and checked out a few things, but it was so convenient to stay that we often did just that.
Our home away from home
Our room
Our view of the strip

Chris Wynn - Poker Champion

Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?  Hopefully, the first of many.

Let's not get too far ahead of ourselves, but I did win a small local poker tournament back in October.  Sarah gave me an early birthday present and bought my entry to a poker tournament that our gym (Pro Sports Club) was putting on.  The prizes were pretty good and she thought I would have fun.  I played pretty good and ended up winning.  I won a trip for two to Vegas, four nights at the Wynn Las Vegas, airfare and the whole deal.  We are hoping that our name will get us a free room upgrade, we'll see.  Little known fact the owner Steve Wynn is not a real Wynn, he changed his name, but I think we will let him join the club as an honorary member.  We are going to go in mid February, should be a lot of fun.  They even put out a bi-monthly magazine called the Pro Pulse that had a nice photo spread of my victory.  Check it out.

Ella's Vacation Report

In Ella's 1st grade writer's workshop, Ella decided to write all about our vacation.  It was sent home today in her backpack for Sarah and I to read.  I am rewriting here for everyone because it is pretty funny, this is word for word, but I corrected the spelling to make it easier to read.  I scanned the actual papers, including her illustrations and posted those below each report.

I got so much stuffed animals!  I got Bolt, Piglet, and a Pygmy Puff.  We went to Harry Potter Land.  We went on the Hagrid ride 10 times.  I went to Ollivander's to get my wand it had real unicorn hair in inside it.  I did real Harry Potter magic!

Happy New Year!

2010 - 0, The Wynns - 1.  That's right, we kicked 2010's butt, wiped the floor with it.  Moved the whole family across the country, started a new job, new routines, new friends, everything and we came out pretty good if I do say so myself.  We have a busy 2011 ahead of us, so look out.

New Year's resolutions you ask, ha not for this family.  I have never been a resolution kind of a guy, we always have goals that we are working towards, but those goals cannot be stipulated to by a calendar.  They happen when they are ready to happen, not because the calendar says May or June.

In other news, Ella lost another tooth.  The other front bottom one this time, she lost it in school while in class, it just popped out she said.  The tooth fairy got a little stuck and only had a $5 on her, that was it, so this tooth was worth $5.  Good thing the tooth fairy wasn't stuck with only a $50 or $100.

I have started another blog to track my renewed interest in brewing my own beer.  Follow along, hilarity and failure will undoubtedly ensue - Little Monkey Homebrew.

I was able to earn Silver status on Delta airlines from all of my travel last year.  Free upgrades all next year baby, should come in handy on a flight to LA next week...

Finally, thank you all for the presents and warm holiday wishes.  Sorry we did not send out any cards this year, we were just a bit busy through December and just did not get to it.  I hope everyone enjoyed your holidays, we sure did.