Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Disney World ... We love it!

Disney World - May 2009

We are home! It feels good to be home and having the whole summer ahead of us is a breath of fresh air. I have posted a ton of pictures on facebook and I am going to break our trip down here on my blog so I can journal it better.

I had written the following post before we left but I was never able to finish it. Just a little diddy about why we love Disney so much :)

All the below pics are from previous visits ...

I know families who visit Disney the way we do. Scheduling their trips over the years and looking forward to each vacation with more excitement than the last!

I also know families who have never been. Never want to go. Could care less.

I just want to share a few reasons why Disney has become one of our favorite family vacations:

*** Escape!

Disney is one of the few place where we go that I feel like we have truly "escaped" from the daily grind. Because we make an effort to budget a trip where we fly instead of drive and we have eaten for free (Free Dining has been offered every year from August - October) then that means less work for momma!

Plus, we can sing at our table and swing our napkins.

We arrive in Orlando and the Magical Express bus picks us up and takes us to our resort. They even pick up our luggage and take it directly to our room. When it's time to head home, the bus picks us up (and our luggage) and takes us to the airport. So, contrary to my life on planet earth, I don't have to drive ANYWHERE at Disney World!

The first year we stayed at Port Orleans Riverside. It is a wonderful Disney resort but we made a goal to upgrade for the next visit. We started using a Disney Visa for all of our purchases including our cell phone bills, car insurance, and cable. We have never carried a balance (credit: husband-who-would-rather-die-than-carry-a-balance) so our "points" which actually transfer to "Disney Dollars" have been absolutely free! We have accumulated over $1,000 Disney Dollars this way :)

We upgraded in 2007 to The Contemporary and were hooked! Using the monorail system means we are minutes from Magic Kingdom and Epcot and a 10-minute walk from MK.

Our Private Jet -
(Note: it makes the teeny-tiny airplane less scary when you pretend)

*** Variety!

I cannot think of another place that offers the variety of activities for so many age groups. We most always swim in the afternoons at our resort and head back out to the parks in the evening.

The thrill rides are awesome:

Tower of Terror, Rock-n-Roller Coaster, Space Mountain, Escape from Everest, Mission Space, Test Track are just a few of our favorites.

The vast majority of the park offers shows and rides for our entire family. The stunt show at Hollywood Studios is a favorite among the men as well as the Indiana Jones show. We all love the parades and the fireworks are amazing!

With four different parks and each one being completely different from the other, the choices are endless!

*** Magic!

As cheesy as it sounds, the Disney folks work extra hard at making your vacation special. There are always those people who could use an extra dose of sweetness but for the most part they are accommodating and helpful in every way. Because the parks are built with children in mind, there is an added convenience that is often missing from other vacations.

Walking through the gates on our first visit and hearing the familiar Disney music piped through ... rounding the corner to see the castle with Mickey waving frantically AT ME!

Okay, maybe he was waving at the children. Still, it was a special moment that I treasure and take with me each time we go!

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Monday, May 18, 2009

School Pictures


Obscene amount of pictures to follow:

Hannah - 8th grade

Emma - 6th grade

Samuel - Kindergarten

Benjamin - 1 Year

This is his FAVORITE book we brought from home.

And when I saw this one. I passed out.

Click here for last year's school pics.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Nutshell

Here comes May and bits of April all tossed together without a single bit of order. As goes my life ...

The butterflies have come out! It was a glorious occasion on Friday and we actually saw it happen. Truly amazing.

Hannah had a piano recital last month. I believe I have video footage somewhere.
She played beautifully. She gets her musical talent from her mother maker.

We went to Busch Gardens last month. I haven't written about it because I was waiting for the bad words to leave my head. The trip that usually takes about an hour took about three. After a wrong turn and an exit ramp with 4,037 people all waiting to to go the same place, we should have started taking hints.

It was crowded ya'll.

We took pictures with Elmo. Of course I was banished to the side-window so that "Doris the Professional" could take her $14.99 picture (in which my son never glanced her way because she was a STRANGER).

I feel bad words coming on, so I am moving on now.
The girls and I went to a neighborhood garage sale to look for some baby items. We found a whole bunch of nothing.

Until we saw this:

If this makes no sense to you then our sense of humor won't either. When my girls and I saw this, we busted out laughing and knew that it belonged with Daddy. It was meant to be.

And I don't know what was funnier.

Seeing this little fellow on the card table at the garage sale for fitty-cents or imagining his day in the sun when someone actually paid full price for him ($12.99).

Then we went to a flea market where I found this bird cage for TWO BUCKS!

We went to Kelly's house last week for a play and lunch date. The weather was gorgeous and the kids had a great time.

That grinding sound is the battery screaming for help. Never mind that Samuel is four years too old and 15 pounds too heavy for the little firetruck.

Again, my sense of humor. This picture is cracking me up.
Baby Dedication took place this past Sunday and it could not have been a greater Mother's Day gift. Our church family is a precious thing. I am so grateful for the very purposed planning that went into this special occasion. We have dedicated each of our babies in front of our church families and it was meaningful each time.

For Benjamin, the added blessing was hearing our church family affirm our decision while pledging to hold us accountable to that.

Here is Mr. Fancy Pants himself, who behaved like a wild banshee typical toddler during the ceremony and caused his father and I to sweat profusely smile and nod knowingly at one another.

Oh. And Samuel got new sunglasses. With R2D2 and C3P0.

And if you think that is not news-worthy, then you must not know Samuel.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009


We are going to Disney in two weeks AND it's Star Wars weekend while we are there! Guess what we will be doing at Hollywood Studios??? Samuel is honing is light saber skills as we speak ;)

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