The Hawkins Family

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Universal Studios

We took a break from Disney, the little kids, and mass amounts of strollers for the more adult adventure of Universal. It was like going to Six Flags. Our first mistake was going on a Friday...I think that every school within a three hour driving distance was having their end of year field trip. It was insane and we were both missing the little kids and strollers by the end of the day.

We rode all of the rides...Hulk, Duelling Dragons, Spiderman, and Men in Black. We were able to do both Island of Adventure and Universal Studios in one day. The only bad thing was that the park closed at 6.

We had dinner at the a sports bar at the Universal Strip and hit the sack.

Sorry, no pictures.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Animal Kingdom

We foolishly thought that Day Four would be light...Animal Kingdom. Not a lot to see and the park closes early. It was hot, but short. Taris went golfing in the morning and came back around 12:30. We got to the park by 1:15.

We saw the tree of life...very fascinating. Inside the tree is It's a Bugs Life 3-D. It was cute. The 3-D glasses had little ants on the rims and at the end they excused all the bugs first. At that moment you hear the audience randomly scream...then you figure out what their problem is. The chairs are rigged so that it feels like under neath your seat are little bugs walking...very smart,

We immediately hit Mt. Everest. Not upside down, so I can't complain too much. We ended up riding it twice. Then we headed to the petting zoo...Taris' favorite part where we ran into Jimminie favorite part. The last thing we did was take the safari. It was the last one for the day and we were able to see a lot of animals and have a row all to ourselves.

We decided to be super adventurous in keeping the African theme...we ate at Boma. It is actually at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and is a buffet type style, but very authentic and awesome.

I know enough about are the pictures!

Termite mounds from the honor of my parents

This tree is over 100 years old and needs hardly any water...a great option for West Texas I think

One of the Dinosaurs in Dino USA

Taris with one of the animals...she reminded us of Kacye

Taris taking a ride to Dinorama

Me and Jimminie Cricket

Thursday, May 21, 2009


We spent day three at Epcot. We relaxed and took our time. We were at Disney two years ago for one day and spent the day at we had covered it pretty thoroughly last time. Instead, we hit the hightlights.

Of course we rode Soarin', Mission Space, and enjoyed all of the beautiful flowers. We spent some time in the countries...Japan, Canada, England, Norway.

For dinner we had German...can't beat that!

Pictures of Epcot:

Taris at the waterfall at Canada

Waterfall at Canada

At the end of the night


Performers in Japan

Taris at the was like going to a museum with him

The Ball

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Magic Kingdom

Well, we barely survived day one, but if you know me...I am a slow learner. So we were up and running at the Magic Kingdom at 9:15...a little behind schedule. I was in such a hurry to get to Space Mountain, that we didn't really stop to look at anything for the first couple of hours.

Space Mountain was to be my highlight. I have not been on this ride since I was 8! We rushed over to the ride, to find out that it was closed. I don't mean closed for the day. Apparently the ride is getting a major overhaul...gutting it out. It closed right after the peak Christmas season and won't be open again until at least December...maybe January! Really?!?! People come to the Magic Kingdom specifically for this attraction...oh well. Anyway...

We rode all of the major highlights...Small World, Tea Cups...and some new ones...Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger, saw Mike's Laugh Factory, and for dinner went to Epcot for Moroccan food! We even got to see Minnie and Mickey.

If you asked Taris what the highlight of this day was he would say Jerome Bettis...of NFL fame and currently a football commentator. Remember, I told Taris that I would ride all roller coasters and to see Mickey and Minnie we had to Toon Town. There was Goofey's Barnstormer kiddie coaster. So we get in line and who pulls in while we are waiting...I have to do a double take and nudge Taris. "Doesn't that guy look familiar? Where have I seen him before?" Well, that sealed the deal. Taris is like "Dude, that is Jerome Bettis. I have to get a picture!" He lets people cut in front of us so that we can snap some pictures. I have included the not so great pictures that we got...for the couple of guys that might be interested. I will say this, if you are famous Disney is the place to be. There are so many foreigners that unless you have global fame, no one really thinks you are really there. People thought that we were crazy...until Taris had to tell them who it was.

Enough about that, enjoy the pictures...

Cinderella's Castle

Taris and me with Mickey and Minnie

Jerome Bettis...take one with his son

Try two of Jerome didn't want his picture taken.

Me at the famous Walt and Mickey statue

Taris in Frontier Land

Waiting in line at the Space Ranger's a video game ride...pretty neat.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Day One: Disney Hollywood Studios

On our first official day, we decided to easy into it and hit Disney Hollywood Studios. Wow! We underjudged the time that we would spend there! We saw all of the highlights...Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, Toy Story Mania, and of course Fantasmic.

The first thing that I should tell you is that I don't ride roller all...period. This has been quite a topic of contention for Taris and I...he thinks that I am not adventurous enough. I made a deal with him that I would ride every roller coaster that we could get on one time. Well, apparently a lot can change in fifteen years! We rode the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster three times! We had a great time and Taris was happy.

If you have the chance to hit DHS, you have to go on Sunday, Monday, or Thursday, so that you can see Fantasmic! The park is only open after 7 pm on those days and it is an outdoor light show. It was awesome and not to be missed. They use high powered water shooting up in the air to act as screens to show movie clips and create a theatre. It is crazy and very inventive.

Waiting in line for Toy Story Mania

Only a small portion of this background is actual buildings, everything else was painted on!

The Miss Piggy fountain while in line at the Mupet 3-D Show

Meeting Buzz and Woody

Taris with Buzz and Woody

Monday, May 18, 2009

Our Family Vacation

So it has been a month since Taris and I went on our first real vacation in six years. We went to Disney! We were so excited to see our time share (they had not started construction when we purchased) and to get the awesome deal Disney is offering to military families. In case you have not heard and you are military, Disney is offering the active duty member a free five day pass (with park hopper, water parks, and more) and the option to purchase five additional standard five day passes for $99 each. How can you say no to that?

If I had one piece of advice to share it would be this: Plan to go to Disney after all Spring Breaks and about two weeks after Easter. Wow! I don't think that we waited in line longer than 30 minutes. (And that was for the major attraction roller coasters.)

Enjoy the next few days of posting!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

I have been trying to write this post now for two days. This is actually my second draft. I have one draft saved in was typed yesterday. After sleeping on it, I have come to the conclusion that if I posted it, some of you may put me in the looney bin. So, draft two it is.

I was struggling with how to approach this Mother's Day. I have been in a really depressed mood about this holiday for the past week. Most of you know that Taris and I have been married for 8 years now and have no kids. The details that I don't usually share is that we have been pregnant six times...yet are still childless. (I am a private person and don't feel like I owe everyone an explanation about our baby less life.)

I think that this year is super hard because Alexis just had little Kendall. Everyone is at Al's house this weekend (except for me), and now I am alone in our club...the childless club. I have been having a pity party for myself all week...and realized it is helping no one to feel sorry for myself.

It took all I had to go to church this morning by myself (Taris is on a cross country in Oklahoma City). I was reminded that I am not the only one that this day is hard for. Our pastor reminded us that for those that have lost a mother, buried a child, struggle with being childless, or have become estranged from their child/children, this day has a special hurt. For those of you hurting today, my thoughts are with you and my prayers go out to you. For those that are celebrating today with their moms or kids, I pray that you are (and become) the mother that God is leading you to be.

Happy Mother's Day to all the ladies out there!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Military Spouse Appreciation Day

To all of you military spouses out there that read this blog...this day is to honor you.

I think Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff says it best:

“Each May, our nation pauses to pay tribute to our past, present and future military spouses. Nothing could be more right, or more honorable, than this. Without our families, those of us in uniform cannot serve. And truly, our spouses serve just as much as we do. Despite the strain of nearly eight years of war and numerous critical engagements around the globe, America’s military is stronger and more capable than ever. From personal experience, I know that much of that strength comes from our spouses. They are vital to our success. And they make the journey of service – truly one we choose together – so much richer, rewarding, and satisfying. Military spouses bear great burdens, but they also know the tremendous difference they are making. That resilience is due not just to the rewards of service – which are great – but also by means of a critical network of support, one that many spouses themselves create. On behalf of the Joint Chiefs and their families, we are proud to honor this occasion on the eighth of May. The unending service and sacrifice of our military spouses are worthy of both praise and an equally continuous commitment from a grateful nation.”

Happy Military Spouse Appreciation Day!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Thief

I thought that you might want to see the face of the robber who almost attacked me in the golf cart. (Yes, I know...way to dramatic...unless he is giving you the eyes!)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Picture of Kendall

Kendall Grace

Everyone has mentioned that they wanted an update on Kendall (and Alexis) here we go.

Alexis was to be released from the hospital yesterday, but her blood pressure was not cooperating, so she got another night! She should go home today, but I haven't recieved confirmation yet.

Kendall is a fighter. They gave her some meds to help her lungs develop..and they look great. She is in the process of recieving medication to help her heart develop...and is taking to it well. She has been spending some time under the light as well, and does not enjoy the eyewear.

Mom is amazed at how structured the NICU is. Every day there is a specific schedule of events. They have enjoyed "touch time" daily and Alexis has had the opportunity to change Kendall's diaper.

I appologize, I am updating the blog from my phone and thus don't have any pictures to share, but when I get home I wil post one...I should be getting some new ones.

Keep praying..miracles are continuing to happen!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Latest Developments

Kendall Grace Rogers was born at 7:51 last night. She seems to be doing well. Alexis is recovering from surgery. Kendall was born at 29 weeks and 4 days she is tiny...but perfect (of course). Mom and crew didn't see Kendall last night but should get to see her up in NICU this morning. Believe it or not, other than actual birth time, I have no stats, except to say that she has black hair. Keep praying!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Update on Alexis and Kendall

I wanted to give a quick update...the doctors are getting ready to go into surgery with Alexis. There have been some new developments and we should have a new niece in about an hour. When I have size and weight, I will let you know. Please keep Alexis in your prayers.