We’ve Been Around the World

The world of Disney that is…I am thinking that maybe…just maybe it is as exhausting as actually travelling around the whole world…just a thought.

We couldn’t have had such a nice trip without the generosity of many.  We were also greatly blessed by God to have such amazing memories…things just worked in our favor. We didn’t deserve any of it, we didn’t need any of it, but it was a wonderful wonderful time!

A few tips for any potential Disney goers…

  1. PLAN AHEAD!  Seriously, plan plan plan.  This advice is especially worthwhile if you are only making this journey once or twice while your children are young.  There is so much to see and do…and you can see and do all of it (truly) but having a plan helps significantly.
  2. Use Fast Passes!  They are key to the top rides and well worth the waiting up until midnight 1-2 months before to get them.  Hint: do not plan them close to the same time and on opposite sides of the park.  Having ours clustered nicely in similar locations or time frames = happiness.
  3. Use the wait times app!  We still check on ours just to see if the parks are still running smoothly without our presence there.  😉
  4. Go through the parks in order (primarily Magic Kingdom, as there is the most to see there).  Time is wasted trekking back and forth across the park.  Going in order saves time, energy and sanity.
  5. Get to the parks early…you can save a lot of line waiting time if you are one of the first (first thousand) in the park.
  6. Roll with it!  If your plan gets changed, its meant to be and everyone will live.
  7. Use the photopass system…the park will take hundreds of pictures for you that are well worth the purchase!
  8. Have fun!  You are there to make memories with your family…make those memories happy ones.

I am surrounded (literally) by the hundreds (um…1000+) photos that we printed.  Shutterfly’s free unlimited 4×6 prints was a lifesaver!  Looking through them is a bit mind blowing.  A year of crazy planning, a week of insane walking/riding/sweating has been over now for a couple weeks.  Life has resumed to normal, but the memories in mind and photo will be a vivid part our family conversations for years to come.

Happy Monday!

Good morning!

I hope everyone had a great Easter weekend!  He is Risen!!!  And because of that we have a way to eternal life with Him.  🙂  Our weekend was very special and fun…and warm (yay!)  I ate WAYYY too much, put back on a couple of pounds that were lost with hard work…but that’s ok…back to it today.  I tried a few new yummy recipes that I will share:

The first is super easy…roasted cauliflower…my kids are not big fans of cauliflower, but this was a hit!  Just cut cauliflower into large chunks.  Drizzle with olive oil (enough to toss the cauliflower in).  Lay on a tin foiled baking and sprinkle with sea salt and chili powder.  Cover with tin foil and roast for 15 minutes on 450.  After 15 minutes, uncover and continue roasting for 35 minutes.  Soooo yummy!

Another easy one…lightly oil a baking sheet and place asparagus on it.  Sprinkle asparagus with salt.  Wrap in pairs with 1 slice of bacon.  Broil for 10-15 minutes.

The last one for today is baby portobello mushrooms stuffed with crab and cheese.  That recipe can be found here:  https://www.hy-vee.com/meal-solutions/recipes/Cheesy-Crab-Stuffed-Mushrooms-R1513.aspx  This was my personal favorite!  Really, with all that cheese…how could it not be.  😉

Enjoy the rest of the week!

🙂

 

 

30 days

Christmas break officially ended today!  School began, work began, routines began.  While it is fun to be on break, there is something to be said about routines too.  It makes the down time more appreciated in the least.  My workouts were few and far between during break, so I started 2 30 day challenges yesterday.  1 is a 30 day ab flattener found on the Cassey Ho website.  The other is a 30 day arm challenge found on shrinkingjeans.net  Completing both takes under 5 minutes, but it is a quick strengthening tool to add to my “what should be normal” workout routine.  😉  Check them out and let me know if you are doing them along with me.  🙂

“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” 3 John 1:2 (NIV)

10.28.14

Yes I am still here!  Life just recently exploded (nothing serious, just time crunches all around)  🙂

First of all, I want to start with this verse that came in my email a few days ago.

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.  Hebrews 4:12

Talk about a convicting verse!  All of our thoughts and attitudes are judged by our SINLESS, PERFECT, Master and Creator.  If only we could remember that every day.  Remember that not only do we not have any right to judge another no matter how “bad” that person may seem, but how do we stand before our perfect maker knowing that He knows our innermost thoughts, feelings and secrets.  We are not called to judge, but we can hold each other accountable…there is a fine line there we must be careful not to cross.

Something else I have been convicted by for quite some time is prayer for children.  I have been a pro-life advocate for as long as I remember, but it goes beyond that.  We need to do everything we can for children all over the world.  Some of us can help them in a tangible way, some in a monetary way, some with prayer.  I feel that kids need to be the forefront of prayer…our own childrens’ eternity, babies not to be aborted, girls who are sold, children who are bullied, children who are abused, bullied, taken advantage of, and even killed.  Children need to know real love, real hope, real faith.  They need to know their loving Father through Him and through us, through prayers and through hugs, through warmth and through clothing, through kindness and through honesty, and through safety.  Let’s keep them in solid and consistent prayer.

Now, I also was supposed to put health and fitness on here too, so moving onto that, which is significantly less important than what I have typed above…BUT…we do need to take care of our temples, too…so here we go…

I have been doing pretty well with calories and workouts…I now have a Christmas party to add to the motivation list.  😉  Even if your calories don’t change, you will feel so much healthier if you switch soda for water and add some green veggies.  Health is the key, remember.  Health and toning is the goal!  If you have ever heard the saying “Abs are Made in the Kitchen” that is correct.  Granted you have a bit more leeway if you are working out hardcore, but part of being toned is what you put in your stomach.  Some foods will help shed fat, while others will put a nice fat layer over those muscles you worked so hard to achieve.  Switching up workouts also keeps your muscles on their toes.  I have been adding some cardio boxing into the mix, which has been great!  Constant moving, squats, arm and back muscles active, and very fun!

OK, off to tackle the day!  Enjoy yours!

Festive Fun!

We recently hosted a Christmas party and had about 100 guests.  I LOVE this party!  It is a lot of prep, but I just love that so many families gather together.

Here are some fun desserts (you all know I enjoy making desserts!)

rice krispy trees

 

pumpkin cakes and cookies, chocolate covered oreos, peppermint white chocolate brownies, Happy Birthday Jesus cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Birthday Stretch

My daughter officially turned 7 yesterday.  Cannot believe it!  She was a bit confused that after 2 parties, one with the family and one with friends, that she turned 7 on a day with no celebration.  😉  We did give her our gifts and sang to her with a leftover cupcake from her friend party, but  her actual birthday was definitely much lower key than earlier in the week.  I look at her and see how much she is like me when I was her age.  She is beginning to get into music, loves writing and just got her first diary.   Though it is bittersweet watching her grow up, it is definitely a blessing and a wonderful journey.

A peek at her cupcakes:

 

Weekend Fun

We had a pretty fun weekend  🙂  The kids went to pack Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes at church.  I LOVE OCC!  And I love even more that the church is including the youth to partake in giving to other children all over the world.  The kids had a great time serving and loving from afar!

We also had my daughter’s birthday.  I am not sure if I have ever seen her so excited!  She loved every single second of her day and went to sleep happily engrossed in one of several books she received for her special day.  This is her cake:

I love how frosting can cover up fondant mistakes.  I did run out of frosting, so had to improvise on the back.

I stayed away from the yellow dye of the cake, but was cursed by the crescent rolls!  I never even checked the ingredients on those!  I am currently an itchy mess.  😉

Also found out that vanilla may come from a certain place on a beaver…gross!  (Thanks a lot source of info…you know who you are.  😉  )   http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2013/10/01/beaver-butts-emit-goo-used-for-vanilla-flavoring/

I am choosing to forget that piece of knowledge and hope beyond hope that most still use the good old vanilla bean in making vanilla extract.

My daughter’s friend party is in just a couple days…time to start preparing.

🙂

Sugar and Slides

Sundays are our family days.  No matter how busy we are during the week, we set aside Sundays to do things fun as a family that do not require work or school as part of the day.  🙂  Today we went to a park fairly near our house.  It was our first visit there and it was pretty awesome.  They built a slide into a hillside, resembling a small water slide, but without the water.  You are supposed to bring a piece of cardboard and you sit on it to go down the slide.  There is also a playground there.  The kids had a blast!  And I loved that something so simple was entertaining to them.  Free outdoor fun is always a good thing!  The only snag, which irked Mommy and Daddy more than the kids, was when a grandpa didn’t want to share the box that we brought.  Long silly story that I do not want to go into, but it was interesting that all the kids could share with each other and the grandpa was unaware of how that process worked.  Alas, another life lesson for the kids.  That was about 30 seconds of the whole time we were there, so it was a successful, happy and fun day!

Something interesting that I have been doing….I did a 10 day no sugar experiment.  I could eat natural sugar…meaning fruit, but nothing processed.  I gave myself a 10 day limit so I could see the end of the tunnel and therefore have more success.  Today is day 11, so I am pigging out a bit, but I am going back into another 10 day no sugar beginning tomorrow.  Being without sugar made my body much healthier. I could feel it.   I have had quite of bit of sugar today (in different forms)  and my body noticed right away.  But I do not want my body to forget how to process any of those foods quite yet.  Interestingly, I had a diet soda and it tasted horrible!  Which actually made me happy…because I know diet ingredients are really awful for your body.  And if I lose my temptation for them, all the better.  Baked goods however did not taste terrible, however if I get in a habit of only eating them every so often, I am not too concerned.  I did lose a little bit of weight…I will gain a fraction of that back today.  For me, the best part of no sugar is how quickly my belly slimmed.  My belly is not my biggest problem area, but wow! any slight improvement is ok with me.  I am sure after today there will be a little bulge, but it will also go away.  🙂

And that is the light weekend update!