Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The kids' favorite Disney memories

I found the perfect meme to link up with this week. Heidi at Reviews and Reflections hosts the Destination Disney meme. This week's topic is "kids' favorite Disney memories".

Since we just came back from Disney World, everything is still fresh in the kids' minds and they had a hard time choosing a favorite thing. Here are the answers I got when I asked them:

Landon: Splash Mountain, getting Buzz' autograph

Sierra: Splash Mountain, Tower of Terror, Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, getting the princess' autographs, princess breakfast

Cheyenne: Splash Mountain, Tower of Terror,Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, meeting the princesses, princess breakfast, Typhoon Lagoon

Dakota: Splash Mountain, blackberries at breakfast, typhoon lagoon, roller coasters

As you can see, the one thing everyone agreed on was Splash Mountain. They loved it! We rode it at least 4 times. I wish I had a picture from Splash Mountain, but, as the name implies, you get wet so my camera was put away for that one. If you don't know what it is, you can check it out at Wikipedia. Believe me, it's great!

I do have pictures of some of the other things, though.

These are some of my favorite memories from our trip.

You just can't beat seeing those smiles!

Now, go ask your kids what their favorite Disney memories are and link up too!

Our Florida Vacation-days one and two:traveling and Cocoa Beach (hope you like pictures)

We're baaack! We had an awesome time in Florida! Disney World truly is a magical place and we loved it. I could definitely get used to living in the world of storybook princesses, pixie dust, and rooms that magically clean themselves while you're out having fun.

We started our journey to Florida on Friday afternoon around 1:00. The plan was to drive all night and get there sometime Saturday evening, get settled into the hotel, and be ready for a full day of Disney fun on Sunday. Traveling with 6 kids, we were expecting to stop A LOT on the drive. I expected the 1200+ mile drive to take around 28 hours total.
Here's one of our late-night gas/potty stops. The kids got in a quick game of tag and stretched their legs before piling back into the cars and going to sleep for the night.

Even after hours of being in the car, the kids had smiles on their faces.

Tag! You're it!

The kids really surprised us with how well they did. I can only think of a couple of times we stopped other than for gas or meals. We made the trip much faster than expected-about 22 hours instead of 28! We even made it too early to be able to check in at the hotel.
Since we had some extra time to kill, we drove over to Cocoa Beach. Of the 6 kids only 3 had ever seen the ocean before and none of the 3 really remembered it much. My favorite thing of the day was when Cheyenne came over the top of the crossover and saw the ocean for the first time. All of a sudden, she gasped and said "That is not what I expected at all!" I asked her what she expected and she said, "I don't know but I never expected it to be so BIG!" It was so sweet! The kids had a blast playing in the waves and sand. Definitely something we have to do again soon.

After the beach, we walked over to Ron Jon's surf shop before making our way to the hotel to check in. We decided to take the scenic route back to Orlando and drive by Cape Canaveral on the way.

I'm so glad we went that way. Not only did we get to see all the really cool NASA stuff, but we got some good views of some Florida wildlife too. We saw several alligators in the water along the side of the road. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), they were too shy for us to get any good pictures. Trust me, though, they were pretty cool.
A little further down the road, we saw dolphins! There were lots of them just a little way from the shore. We stopped and watched for a while wishing we could get in and swim with them (or maybe that was just me).
Dolphins are some of my favorite animals! I could watch them for hours.
(The video is so much better, but my dinosaur of a computer won't let me upload it. Grr.)

Can't wait to tell you all about our first official day at Disney World-the Magic Kingdom! But it will have to wait for another post. Right now, I'm off to put away some of the mountain of laundry that followed us home (too bad the room cleaning fairy at the hotel didn't do laundry too) and then to take Dakota to the dentist. Fun stuff! I know you're jealous!

Monday, May 23, 2011

I guess my name was supposed to be Jennifer.

Hey everyone! I hope you're having a great week! If all goes as planned, by the time you read this, I will be soaking up some warm Florida sunshine and shaking hands with Mickey Mouse. Woohoo! I don't think I've ever done a scheduled post before, so I hope I do this right...

I've mentioned here before about how people who don't know me or can't remember my name always call me Jennifer. It used to bug me a little, but it's happened so many times now that it's just funny.

Like the time just after Daniel and I got married and we went to take pictures of us all dressed up for some friends' wedding. The photographer said something like, "Okay, Jennifer, come stand over here."

Or when I stood for 5 or 10 minutes in the middle of Wal-Mart with a little old lady scolding me for skipping out on church for a few weeks. I tried to assure her that I HAD been to church every Sunday, but she was convinced (I had no idea who she was, but didn't think much of it because I didn't really know any of the older ladies in our church). As she walked away she said "Okay, Jennifer, I better see you there on Sunday."

One time when we first moved to Stillwater, I worked at Hardee's. One of our regular customers came in and asked me my name. He said, "Oh, do you have twin? I talked to a girl last night who looks just like you but her name is Jennifer."

Just last weekend after Landon and Sierra's Tae Kwon Do class, the dad sitting by me said, "Do I know you from somewhere besides here?" I listed off all the places I could think of where I could have met him before, but he said no. He said, "That's weird. You look so familiar. It's Jennifer, right?"

And the best one yet happened on Wednesday before we left for our trip. I was sitting at the computer when I got a text on my phone from a number I didn't know. It just said, "Hi." I replied asking who it was and the response I got was "Oh, I'm looking for Jenn. Is this the right number?" Apparently, you don't even have to see me to get my name wrong!

Hi! My name is Tiffany
but you can call me Jennifer.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thursday Five-May 19, 2011

Only one more day!!! We leave for Florida tomorrow and it looks like I'm actually going to be ready. I have Landon and Sierra's suitcases packed and ready to go. We're taking the day off school today to finish up. My goal is to have everything we can already loaded in the van before we go to bed tonight.

This week's Thursday five words are:

On Mother's Day, I got to see my sweet little baby cousin L. He is absolutely irresistible!
Not only is he cute, but he has the best personality. I love to hear him laugh!

Last Wednesday night, Pastor Terren talked about the importance of having a positive attitude. Ouch! I needed to hear that.

We have had a pretty successful school year. We aren't quite finished with everything for this year yet, so we'll still have some work to do after our vacation. We're going to be a lot more relaxed though. Summer's here and it's time to have some fun!

Sierra loves vibrant colors. This makes for some interesting clothing choices. I usually let her wear what she wants unless it gets too outrageous. The other day I was trying to convince her to change her bow to match her clothes and she said, "But, I just like to mix colors!" Kind of like in this picture.
Gotta love the purple bow/green shirt combo. It definitely fits her personality!

The word glorious makes me think of this song.

Love the part that says, "You make everything glorious. What does that make me?"

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Monday, May 16, 2011

Poison control center knows me by name...

This week, I'm killing three birds with one stone (or 3 blog hops with one post). I'm linking up as usual with Once Upon a Miracle for True Story Tuesday. I'm also joining one of my favorite blogging friends, Lynnette, for her blog hop-Blog and Share. The third place I am linking up today is The Life of a Sippy Cup Mom (I don't have any kids that use sippy cups anymore, but I love her blog name!) for Follow Me Chickadee. I can't wait to hop around and find some great new bloggy friends!

The kids and I have some really fun conversations, mostly during lunch time or while driving in the car. One of our favorite things to talk about is "remember when..." The other day, one of the kids brought up the time that Landon (who was 3ish at the time) bit a hole in one of those Hot Hands things while we were driving to daycare. Scared me to death! The older girls remember me calling poison control as we were driving (don't worry, he was fine). This got us started talking about all the other times I've had to call poison control-I can count 6 without having to think much. I'm sure there are more). Thankfully, the things my kids have gotten into haven't been too bad. We've never had to do more than give milk or water and watch them.

So far, I've called
*when Landon bit into the hot hands warmer
*when Cheyenne sprayed dusting spray in her face (she claims she thought it was spray cheese??)
*when Cheyenne ate an entire roll of peppermint antacids
*when Landon got into the bathroom cleaner and ended up with some in his mouth
*when the little girl at daycare climbed onto the changing table, got into the "child-proof" cabinet, and was eating vaseline by the handful.

And, the kids' favorite story to hear, when Dakota at the top off a marker.

It was Dakota's second Halloween, so she was about 18 months old. Back then, I was a student at OSU taking classes in Early Childhood Education, so I was all about giving her experiences. So, it wasn't enough for us to just carve a pumpkin for her to enjoy, I wanted her to get to help decorate it! So, I decided to let her color it with markers.

I went out and got her some special "kids' first" washable markers. They were supposed to come off with just water, so I thought they would be perfect for her. She could have all the fun she wanted and we'd just rinse it off in the bath. I showed her how to color on the pumpkin with the markers and she loved it. She was sitting in her highchair happily coloring on her pumpkin when I turned my attention to something else just for a second.

When I looked back, she smiled the biggest smile at me but all I could see was the blackish/purple stuff covering her chin and running down from her mouth. She was chewing on something. I opened up her mouth and took it out and guess what it was. Yep, the tip to the black marker she had been coloring with! She had bitten it right off and was covered in the ink!

We were brand new parents, so we did the only thing we knew to do. We panicked! I immediately called poison control to find out what we should do. The conversation went something like this:
Operator: "Poison control center..."
Me:"My 18 month old was just coloring with a marker and she bit the tip off. She has ink all in her mouth and all over her face!"
Operator: "Okay ma'am. Can you tell me what kind of marker it is?"
Me: "It's a 'kids' first' marker!"
Operator: "Uh, ma'am. On the side of that marker, does it say 'non-toxic'?"
Me:"Yes it does...oh."
Operator: silence--------(pretty sure he had muted his phone to hide his laughter)"She's going to be fine."

I'm sure they all got a laugh out of that call. We still laugh about it all the time.

Have a great week! We're going to be leaving on Friday for our vacation, so I'll probably be MIA for a little while. I was hoping to get some scheduled posts of for next week, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen. It's been quite a while since we've been on a real vacation and I had forgotten how long packing takes.

Head over to these lovely ladies' blogs and join the fun!

Sippy Cup Mom

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Miscellany Monday 5/16/11

We have had a pretty busy week and weekend and it's definitely not going to slow down any this week! I'm taking a few minutes to link up with Carissa at Lowercase Letters this week for Miscellany Monday. I didn't get it done last week and I missed it.
Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters
1. Only 4 more days!!! We leave on our way to Florida on Friday afternoon. The kids are getting so excited! I went on a BIG shopping trip on Saturday and I think I finally have everything that we need. I've been working on my packing lists and getting all the laundry done. By this afternoon, the first suitcase will be officially packed. I'm started to get excited about it a little more. I can't wait to see Sierra's face when she meets Cinderella!

2. Dakota and Cheyenne had their rank test on Sunday. They both tested for their green stripe and they did an excellent job! It was a crazy mess getting there, but they had fun and passed their tests, so that's what matters. I'll try to get some pictures up later this afternoon (I have to clear the memory card, so I'll have a good excuse for being on here. hehe)I love watching the rank tests. It's so impressive when all the students are out on the floor together doing forms or kicks! Maybe someday I'll take tae kwon do with them (ha!)

3. I had blood work done last week to check my hemoglobin again. My last level was 7.9. I'm really hoping for it to be above 8 this time but as tired as I've been lately, I don't think it will be. I will be so happy when it finally gets up to where it's supposed to be. Being tired all the time is no fun! I have an appointment with Dr. G on Tuesday morning, so hopefully she can give me an idea of how long it might take to get back to normal.

4. I think I have finally settled on a curriculum for next year. We're going to try The Weaver curriculum from Alpha and Omega. It looks like a good fit for us and more suitable to my teaching style. We're going with Singapore Math for the younger 3. Not sure what math we're going to use for Dakota but she's requested to switch from Saxon. Can't wait to get our new stuff in and start planning out our year!

5. I'm wondering what today is going to hold. We've gotten off to an odd start so far. The first child didn't wake up until 7:20 and it was SIERRA! You know, the child who loves to sleep in til 9:00-9:30 as much as possible. She sleeps so long most days that she almost missed breakfast. The other 3 followed over the next hour and guess who was the last one up at 8:20? CHEYENNE! She is almost always up by 6:30 at the latest. Wonder if that means the rest of my day is going to be weird too?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Thursday Five

This week has absolutely flown by! I can't believe it is already Thursday! We leave for our vacation in only 8 days. I have so much to do! But we've been so busy lately that I haven't even had time to make my to-do list for the trip, much less actually get anything done to get ready for it. I'm hoping this weekend I will find some extra time to get some things done, but with tae kwon do classes on Saturday morning and the older girls' rank test on Sunday afternoon, it doesn't look like I will. I'm guessing there won't be much sleeping for me by the end of next week.

I'm joining up with Nicole again this week for Thursday Five. Go over to her blog and link up too!

The words for this week are:


I had a pretty excellent Mother's Day this year. The best thing this year was that Daniel was off work! He was supposed to have to work but found out Saturday that he was going to be out of town this week so they let him have Sunday off. Hooray!

The things that make me happiest are the most simple. This week, I pulled out an old reading textbook I used when I taught first grade (has it really been over 6 years?) for Sierra. Being a new homeschooler, I still have a little lack of confidence and wasn't sure how she would do with it. She did fantastic! After listening to her read it, I don't know why I was ever worried. Seeing how proud she was of herself after she read the first story was priceless! She made my week!

Seeing my husband's paycheck from his new job has me feeling pretty joyful these days. Once we get back from vacation and things get settled, we should finally have a little breathing room in our budget. It will be nice to have some money to put into savings finally! Can't wait!

I've been seeing lots and lots of pictures on facebook of my friends' kids all dressed up for the prom. They all look so glamorous! I can't believe the kiddos that were only a year old at my wedding are already old enough to drive and go to the prom! Wow! 15 years(almost) will do that I guess.

It will be so refreshing to have a change from our school routine while we are on vacation. I'm ready to make some changes to our school day, but I feel like I need to finish up the curriculum we have first. It has been nice the last few days since the kids have begun to finish up math and English. We've had a little extra time and I have enjoyed it.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Five Question Friday 5/6/11

Have you ever had roommates?
Just one. He's been my roommate for the past (almost) 15 years!

2. How many names do you/your children have? (i.e. Prince Charming William Phillip Arthur Louis John Jacob Jingleheimer-Schmidt)
Everyone who lives in my house has three names-first, middle, last. My dad had four because he had two middle names.

3. Did you watch the Royal Wedding?
I hadn't planned on it, but when my alarm went off that morning, it was on (I sleep with the TV on). It was when she had just come into the church and was walking down the aisle. It sucked me in and I watched for about 30 minutes. I caught bits and pieces of it after that. The kids and I watched when they were on the balcony so they could see a "real prince and princess." Cheyenne and Sierra were very impressed.

4. What is the messiest room in your house?
It's a toss up between my bedroom and Sierra's. My room still has all sort of things stored in it that really just need to be taken back to storage or taken to Goodwill. Somehow, I never have time to sort through and figure out which is which. Someday...
Sierra's room actually is not too bad at the moment. We had some men here yesterday to install our air conditioner (which works great, by the way. I'm freezing) so she had to clean it up. But usually it's a mess. She always has good intentions, though. She'll decide she wants to clean out her toy box or a drawer and she'll empty it all onto the floor. But then she gets distracted playing and it never gets put back where it belongs.

5. What is your ideal mothers day?
This is a hard one. I think I would just like to hang out and do something fun together. Maybe go to the zoo or a movie together, we haven't gotten to do much of that lately and I miss it. And of course, any day that included someone else cooking and doing the dishes would be perfect! :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Thursday Five 5/5/11


Our vacation is just over two weeks away and I think I am finally getting a little excited about it. It's going to be so much fun to see the kids' faces when they see Main Street for the first time or when we go into Cinderella's castle!

The weather here yesterday was amazing! It's been too wet for the kids to go out much the last couple of weeks. As soon as we got home yesterday, Landon was begging to play outside. He needed to get out and run off some energy. It will be interesting to see if it makes any difference today. He's been climbing the walls the last few days from being cooped up inside.

I'm so ready for summer to get here! Can't wait to spend some time at Grandma's pool relaxing in the shade with a good book while the kids swim. It will be a nice break from the busyness of the school year.

I took the kids shopping for swimsuits yesterday at the mall (remind me not to do that with ALL of them at the same time again. Poor Landon was so bored). Cheyenne and Sierra both got fabulous swimsuits that are so cute and fit their personalities so well. They only had to try on about 50 each (wish I was exaggerating) before they found THE one. Can't wait to post pictures from our trip so you can see them. So cute!

Life with us in always interesting. We never have a boring day, that's for sure. Yesterday Dakota had a dentist appointment in another town-about 1 1/2 hours away (yes, I'm going to be finding another dentist for her soon). I had meant to put gas in the van on Monday evening, but I forgot so we had to stop on the way, which made us run a little behind. When I knew for sure that we would be a few minutes late, I called to let them know and they said I would have to reschedule if I was more than 10 minutes late. Long story short, we were 12 minutes late and ended up rescheduling for later in the afternoon. Trying to kill 5 hours is not so much fun with 4 kids tagging along but we made it through the day in one piece.

Go by and link up at Flip Flops and Combat Boots and tell us about your week.

Wordless Wednesday-Landon's new belt

Last Thursday, Landon tested for his orange tiger belt at Tae Kwon Do.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

True Story Tuesday-

For this week's True Story Tuesday, I'm going to go waaaaaaaaay back to my junior year of high school. Can't believe it's been 16 years! Wow!

My very first car was a '66 mustang.
(this is not my car, but similar. This image is from classicponycars.com)
I LOVED that car. Actually, I still love it. My mom has it in her garage. Someday, I hope we can get it back out on the road. I would love to drive it again. Every time I go out there and see it, I think of this song (grab some tissues if you go listen). My dad and I always had a thing for old mustangs.

Anyway, as much as I loved it, I decided for some reason that I needed a "new" car. I ended up with one of these
(again, not my actual car. This photo was taken from howitworks.com )

I had so much fun with that little car, eventually. First, I had to learn to drive it because it happened to be a standard. Coordination is not one of my gifts, so the whole gas/clutch/brake/shift thing took a while for me to master. Once I got going, I did great. It was the stopping and starting again that got me. Big problem when you live in a town with a stop sign at every corner.

After a few lessons with my dad, I was getting it down pretty well so I thought I would venture out on my own. I can't remember if I went to work or just out for a drive but I remember that it was going pretty well until I came to a certain 4-way stop on my way home. Stopping was fine, but getting going again-not so much. Let's just say that I definitely came to a full and complete stop (more than once). I finally made it home and promptly forgot about the whole incident. The important thing was that I had been out driving my new car ALL BY MYSELF.

The next day, I drove it to school and got to show it off to my friends. I got a lot of attention that day and was feeling so proud. My proudest moment of the day was just before Trig class. We were all standing around outside the classroom waiting for a few stragglers from the class before to leave so we could go in. I was talking to a friend who was in the class with me when THE guy walked up. You know THE guy-senior, football player, blue eyes, tall, cheerleader girlfriend, wouldn't talk to me in a million years-well, he walked over to me and said "Hey, did you get a new car?" I couldn't believe it! Not only was he talking to me, but he had noticed me and my new car. I think the only thing I managed to say was "Yeah," but I'm not sure he could have heard over the pounding of my heart. Then he said, "It's a standard, huh?" My heart still trying to come out of my chest, I managed an "Uh-huh," this time.

Then, he smiled his perfect smile at me and said "Yeah, I saw you at the stop sign last night."

If only the floor could have opened up and swallowed me right then. I don't remember anything else that happened that day, but I'm pretty sure I didn't learn any trig.

Do you have an
amazing, hilarious, miraculous, outrageous, or true story to share? Go on over to Once Upon a Miracle and link up!