Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Monday, June 20, 2011

Miscellany Monday 6/20/11

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters
1. The girls are have been gone to camp for 3 nights and have one more to go. They come home tomorrow! I've been able to look at pictures from camp online and it looks like they are having a great time. It also looks like they will be in desperate need of a shower and a nap when they get home. :)

2. Dropping the girls off for camp was certainly an adventure. There were so many kids there. Pastor T said yesterday during the service that our church took over 200 kids to camp! It took 3 school buses to get them all there. Wow!

2. Our pastor's wife has been posting a few updates from camp on Facebook. Last night, she said, they had an amazing response to the call for salvation in the childrens' service (1st-6th grade). From the sounds of it, nearly all of the kids were either praying to receive salvation or praying with someone who was! AWESOME! That's what camp is all about. I can't wait for the girls to come home and tell me all about it.

3. Daniel's days off are Thursday and Friday, so Landon and I have been pretty much on our own while the girls have been gone. Saturday we played together for most of the day, including a 2 hour Mr. Potato Head marathon. We also, played with legos, painted, and played with play-doh. He isn't used to that kind of attention and he loved it. It was pretty fun for me too! Sunday, we had church in the morning. Then, we went to lunch and a movie with Grandma Debbie. We saw Mr. Popper's Penguins. It was cute and Landon really liked it. Then, we went to visit Pops (and Memaw) for Father's Day for a little while. For dinner, we went out with Granma P. and Grandpa. A very busy and fun day.

4. Today was much more relaxed. Landon and I slept in until about 8am then played on the computers for a while and ate breakfast around 10. We got dressed and headed into town to the splash pad and wading pool. It was pretty windy today and the temp stayed below 90 while we were there, so it was a good day for it. Landon made friends with a boy who was just a little bit older and showed him how to do cartwheels and flips in the water without holding his nose. He had a blast! Then, we went through the drive-thru at McDonald's for a Happy Meal and came home for some PBS and a nap. He's still napping and let me tell you, it's really quiet around here. I can't decide if I like it or not...

5. Cheyenne gave Landon the idea that I "might" take him fishing sometime when the girls were gone this week, so I guess we'll have to work that in sometime before the sun goes down this evening. I'm hoping Daniel gets home in time to go with us. Maybe I'll have some pics to post of our fishing expedition later.

6. We pick the girls up tomorrow morning around 11. Don't tell Landon, but, if we can get it in gear early enough tomorrow, we may hit the splash pad one more time on our way. He'll be very excited about that.

So, what random things are going on in your life this week? Write your own Miscellany Monday post and link up over at lowercase letters.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Woohoo! Five Question Friday time with Mama M.! Go on over to her place and link up. You know you want to!

1. W
hat is your favorite summer time activity?
Anything where we can get wet! We like hanging out at the splash pad, Grandma P.'s pool, turning on the sprinkler for a little while, water guns, and even washing the van. A couple of years ago, we had a big family water balloon fight. It was so much fun! The kids are begging to do it again this year. If only the water balloons came pre-filled. My fingers got so sore from trying all those balloons!

2. Do you have one laundry soap you stick to, or do you buy whatever's on sale?
Laundry soap is tricky at our house. Landon has very sensitive skin, so I have to be careful what I use. So far, the only things I have found that don't irritate his skin (and that I can afford) are the really, really cheap liquid detergent (because it's mostly just water), original scented Gain, and Arm & Hammer. I really, really love laundry that smells good (especially towels) but when I tried the scented Gain it broke him out, so I have to stick with the original. I'd like to try making my own laundry soap, but I haven't gotten brave enough to do it yet.

3. What is your favorite dinner to make in the summer?
Anything that doesn't take much time or heat up the kitchen much. We love to use the grill in the summer, but ours broke before we moved, so we don't have one right now. We tend to do more sandwiches and popcorn/movie nights in the summer so we don't have to cook.

4. Do you have any talents?
Not really. I would love to be able to sing, really sing, but that's not one of the gifts I was given...

5. If you could instantly be an expert in something, what would it be? Why?
Right now, I'd have to say 7th grade math. I'm trying to get Dakota through the last few lessons in her math book and it's about to kill us both. There was one problem the other day that we never did figure out. When we looked at the answer, it made sense, but we never really understood how they figured out the answer. I think we may have a math book burning party when she's done! I'm so excited to try a different math program with her. I think we're going with Life of Fred. It looks like it will fit her personality perfectly.

All righty. We're gonna be up bright and early this morning to see the girls off to church camp. Not sure what Landon and I are going to do while they're gone, but I'm pretty sure he has some things in mind. I sure hope taking a nap in the afternoons is in his plans, but somehow I'm guessing it's not.

Have a great weekend!

Vacation Day 5-turkeys and Typhoon Lagoon

Outside the back door of our hotel, there was a little pond with some ducks. The kids really wanted to pet them, but they could never get close enough (smart ducks!).
This guy also liked to hang out at the pond. I'm not exactly sure what it's called though.
And, in the mornings, we usually had a couple of these visitors outside our door.
Living in the country, our kids have seen turkeys before, but I don't think they'd ever seen them this close up. They had so much fun feeding them!
The ducks got their fair share too. And some kids from another room came out and joined the fun.
Once the turkeys and ducks had their breakfast, it was time for us to have ours. Then, we loaded up on the bus for Typhoon Lagoon!
I didn't want my camera to get wet, so I don't have any pictures to share. We had a blast though!
The first thing we went to after we got our stuff settled on the "beach" was the shark reef. I must say, I was expecting something much different after reading about it on the website. For one thing, the water is really deep and COLD! Most of the fish and sharks are close to the bottom, so you're not really swimming with them, more like swimming over them. And they ask you to keep swimming all the way across. You don't get to stop and really see things. But, it was a cool experience and the kids liked it (all except poor Landon and his sensitive skin. The cleaner they use on the equipment combined with the sunscreen on his face made his skin burn. He didn't even make it to get into the water. Poor kid!). Dakota and Cheyenne even went back and did it again later.
We played in the giant wave pool for a while. Let me tell you, those waves are STRONG! Then, we split up for the water slides. Dakota and Cheyenne were able to ride everything, but Landon and Sierra were just barely too short for the biggest slides. So, Grandma Debbie went with the big kids and we took the little kids. I'm not for sure about Sierra, but I know it was Landon's first time to ride a big water slide. I was a little worried about how he would handle it, but he did great! Daniel was the official water slide chaperon (I hate water slides) but they did talk me into doing the big family raft ride with them one time. I will admit that it was fun(ish) but I don't really care to do it again.
We stayed almost until the park closed then caught the bus back to the hotel for some rest. That night, we went back to Epcot and caught the fireworks/light show there. If you want to be able to see the show well, I recommend that you get your spot early (at least an hour before showtime). It gets pretty crowded around the lake.
During the fireworks show, I started getting facebook updates on my phone about all the tornadoes that were going on in Oklahoma that night. The one that got to me was news of a mother who was searching for her 3 year-old boy who was missing after being pulled away from her during the tornado. I was overwhelmed with how blessed I was at that moment. I was at the "happiest place on Earth" enjoying a wonderful vacation with my kids while other people in my home-state were out searching for theirs. Wow! I can tell you that I saw the rest of our trip in a whole different light.
After a little more of a relaxed day on Day 5, we were ready for another crazy busy day on Day 6. We were going to hit Animal Kingdom bright and early in the morning. If only we had known that everyone else in Florida had the same plan...


My girls are leaving for church camp tomorrow morning. I hope they have a memorable time making friends, having fun, and most importantly having an encounter with God. I know it's going to be awesome and I can't wait to hear their stories when they come back!

After my appointment with the dietician this week, I know I need to be eating more healthy foods. (okay, I actually knew that already but she confirmed it). It's been hard this past year because it seems like all the veggies that I actually like are on the vitamin K list of stuff I'm supposed to limit-broccoli and spinach being the top two (only raw of course. NEVER cooked. Eeeeew). I'm hoping that I get to lose the Warafrin in September which would make things easier.

I've been having a grand time writing up the posts about our Disney vacation. We had so much fun! It's nice to relive the memories.

Dakota has been playing a game on the computer for a while that is an RPG (role-playing game) with Pokemon. Each person creates a character and they write about their character's adventures. The other day, she was reading some of her posts to us. Her writing was very impressive! I've always tried to encourage her to do more creative writing but she says she's not very good at it. I have to disagree. After she read the first one, Daniel said, "YOU wrote that whole thing?!" It was very good!

My kids are very into finding "lucky" pennies on the ground. Sierra is the best at it. She finds them everywhere. I think it's because she pays more attention than the rest of us. No matter how many she finds, she's just excited as if it was her first one.

Link up your own Thursday 5 at Flip Flops and Combat Boots.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Vacation Day 4-Epcot Center

Day 4 of our vacation was the big event we had been waiting for-Princess Breakfast! Sierra and Cheyenne wore their most "princessy" dresses and their tiaras for the occasion. They were so cute! Here's Sierra on the bus to Epcot. Can you tell she stayed out late the night before? Ha!
When we got to Epcot, we made our way to "Norway" where we were going to be dining at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall. We had to wait a little while out in the heat, but it was totally worth it!
When it was our turn, we went inside and were greeted by Belle (the same Belle that the girls and I had met the day before-she was incredible!)
The food was fabulous! Sierra especially enjoyed the giant strawberries.
And as we were eating, the princesses came around to visit as well as Mary Poppins. They spent time at each table signing autograph books and talking with the kids. So much fun!
While we were there, the princesses gathered up all the kids and had a parade through the restaurant. I loved it! The best part of Disney World is the kids, even the ones who aren't yours. They were adorable! We actually were there long enough for the kids to do the parade twice. Once they walked with Mary Poppins and once with Snow White.
All the kids had a great time, even Dakota (who would never be caught in a tiara, but did enjoy wearing her Mickey Mouse ears).
If you're taking little girls to Disney World (or even little boys-ours loved it), I think this is definitely a "must do". It's a little pricey just for one meal, but the experience is priceless!
Here are a few pictures from the rest of our day at Epcot.

We rode Spaceship Earth and a few other rides at Epcot and then called it a day. It was so hot (have I said that already?) and we were still pretty wiped out from the night before. We went back to the hotel and enjoyed some down time (naps). We had to rest up for another busy day on Vacation Day 5-Typhoon Lagoon!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Wordless Wednesday-You've Got a Friend in Me

Vacation Day 3-Magic Kingdom Day! (pictures, pictures, pictures)

I can't believe it's taken me this long to get around to posting our Magic Kingdom adventure. It's been kinda crazy trying to get back into the swing of things around here. Our brains have switched over to summer but we still have just a couple weeks of school work left to do. And just when I'm about to get it all ironed back out, the girls are leaving for church camp on Friday. I'm kind of excited about it, though, because it will give me some time to plan out the rest of our summer.

Okay, back to our vacation.

We woke up bright and early on Sunday morning so we could be sure to get there before the park officially opened for the day. Everyone met in the lobby of the hotel so we could all go together. While we were waiting, the kids wanted their pictures taken with this Mickey statue. Can you tell they were a little excited?
We hiked over to the hotel across the street to catch the monorail. (Later we learned there was a bus from our hotel that would take us to the monorail. Saved us lots of walking the rest of the week). The monorail dropped us off at the gates to the MAGIC KINGDOM!
When we got there, we found out that the park opened a little later than we had thought. That was okay though because we have plenty of time to take group pictures.
Something I wasn't expecting was the heat. Florida in May is HOT! We were melting standing there waiting for the park to open. Just when I thought we were gonna loose a couple of the kids, they started the opening show. It was great! The kids loved seeing all the characters. It was a perfect way to begin our day.
Just as we came into the park, we met Daisy.

Then, we were off to Tomorrowland! We stopped by the Monsters Inc. show and then the Buzz Lightyear ride. On the way to the ride, there was a mechanical Buzz talking the the audience. Landon was so excited! He kept waving at it and saying "Hi Buzz!". I don't think he even noticed that it didn't wave back. During the ride, we managed to capture Zurg and put him behind bars, but there was one little problem...
When we came out of the Buzz ride, guess who was there to meet us?!
We went on more rides and met some more characters.

I think Peter Pan was my favorite character that we met (other than the princesses). He was awesome and spent a lot of time talking to the kids. They loved it!
Then, it was time for a nice, cool snack. We went to the ice cream shop on Main Street and got some very yummy sundaes. As we were sitting there enjoying our ice cream, the parade began. Daniel, Dakota, and Landon went up for a better view while Grandma Debbie, Sierra, Cheyenne, and I watched from afar and finished our snack. It was the first time Sierra got a good look at Tinkerbell and the princesses. She was pretty excited!
When the parade was over, it was finally time to meet Mickey and Minnie! We had to wait a few minutes for them to get back from the parade, but it didn't take long. We were really glad that they were greeting their guests in an air-conditioned building. Did I mention that it was HOT?
After we met Mickey and Minnie, our group split up. Daniel, Dakota, Landon, and Grandma Debbie went back to the hotel to rest up for the fireworks show and light parade. I kept the two girly-girls with me and we did some girly things, like meet the Princesses (who just happened to be in the same wonderfully air-conditioned building as Mickey and Minnie.
Meeting the princesses was amazing! They were in a private room and only about 5 families at a time were allowed in. We were the last family in our group. When we finished taking pictures with Aurora, we had to wait a minute or two before the group ahead of us finished with Belle. Aurora stood and talked to the girls and asked them to please invite Belle to a tea party with her in the afternoon. They were a little star-struck and almost forgot to ask her until I reminded them. Cheyenne finally spoke up and Belle said, "Oh, that would be so lovely! Would you please ask Cinderella if she would like to come too?" Of course Cinderella accepted the invitation and she said to Belle, who had walked over with us, "would it be okay if Jack and Gus-gus joined us as well?" Too cute!
After that, we shopped, rode rides, and just had fun together until it was time for the light parade and fireworks show. Of everything we did at Disney, this in the one thing I would really like to go back and do differently. I was disappointed with our experience for the parade and fireworks. It was crowded, which I expected, but people were incredibly rude-pushing and shoving to get closer. I ended up getting separated from my kids. They were just a little way in front of us, so no chance of them really getting lost, but it wasn't the way I had hoped things would happen. I was looking forward to sharing the experience with my kids but I couldn't even see them.
When the fireworks started, I quickly figured out why there hadn't been a lot of people in that spot when I first got there. We were a little too close to the castle. We could see the fireworks that went the highest, but didn't really get the full effect of the show. Oh well, we lived through it and went on to have a great time the rest of the trip.
Once the fireworks show was over, we were off to ride one last ride-Splash Mountain. When we went before (when Dakota was 5 and Cheyenne was 2) it had been Dakota's favorite ride so I waited until she was with us to ride it. Poor Sierra was so tired she could barely make it over there. But once we got on the ride, she perked right up. We all felt a little refreshed after Splash Mountain, so when we came to the Pirates of the Carribean ride, we couldn't pass it up. The park was open late that night-til 3am-for resort guests, so there was almost no waiting to get on. It was great!
Before we left for the night, we decided to stop by and let Dakota and Landon meet the princesses.
After visiting the princesses, you leave the building through the gift shop. We decided that it was the perfect time to get the kids' their Mickey Mouse ears. I love that they each picked a different kind. They fit the kids' personalities perfectly!
By the time we left, it was about 1am. We had a fun, exciting, exhausting day! We ate a little snack at the hotel and all crashed into bed to get ready for day 4-Epcot Center.