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.

music

So, its about time that I blog about JJ Heller.  We discovered her music on our trip out west this past August.  Listening to her music combined with Adventures in Odyssey comprised most of the time we spent in the car.  When putting a couple thousand miles on a vehicle, finding something of quality to fill the non conversational times is quite key.  🙂

We had, of course, heard a couple of JJ’s songs before, but I didn’t make the connection until our trip.  JJ sings what I would call folk music.  Most of her songs are family oriented or Christ centered…or both.  They are just beautiful pictures of life…whether joy or pain.  My ultimate favorite of hers is “The Boat Song,” but so many are just to listen to without tiring of them.  Often her songs will be found playing in the background of our daily activities whether at home or in the car.

Speaking of music not growing tiring…my children play their favorite song 24/7 on their IPods lately.  Whether the volume is quiet or loud, the song inevitably ingrains itself into our heads.  My daughter’s current song is Shakira’s “Try Everything” from the movie Zootopia.  It is a fun song with a good message, so of all the ones that have played non-stop in our home, this is one of the family favorites.

My heart, O God, is steadfast;
    I will sing and make music with all my soul.  PSALM 108:1

 

Cherries, Goals, Joseph and Josh McDowell

My daughter recently had a birthday, and I was lacking in taking pictures of the food, so I will just tell you about it.

Her theme was cherries, so I decided to include cherries in every part of the dinner.  We had cherry coke and cherry koolaid to drink, cherry glazed pork roast and cherry coke bbq ribs for our main course, cherry applesauce and a tossed salad with dried cherries for sides, cherry muffins and cherry jello topped of the dinner off.  Dessert included  cherry pie cookies and a chocolate cake shaped as decorated as a cherry.  Cherry heads, cherry tootsie pops and cherry twizzlers garnished the table as well.

I had a lot of fun making these dishes, most of the recipes were new.  And, she was excited that cherries touched everything!  I think her love for cherries is waning slightly…probably just because we were inundated with them for awhile.  😉

Anyone interested in the above recipes, shoot me a message!  🙂

In other news…I know I have not done well with blogging every day as was my goal.  Gallbladders and floods got in the way.  BUT, I have to say that God is drawing me closer.  Definitely giving me new questions to tackle and research, which means I am digging into His word more, which is always a good thing!  I am by no means digging in as much as I could/should, but I am getting there…only because of Him.  In my gallbladder craziness, both food and exercise went by the wayside, but it actually helped me get back to normal living.  I found that overtraining leads to overeating for me, because the calories you burn can’t compete with the incredible hunger.  So, I am mixing it up, doing different cardio and strength routines, not getting stuck in a rut and not getting crazy hungry.  ‘At first there was no difference, but I am happy to say that I am finally seeing some more definition in my body AND shed a couple pounds (just a couple, but I am ok with that for now).  😉

I recently finished UnDaunted.  It is a nonfiction book about Josh McDowell.  Josh McDowell is the author of More Than a Carpenter.  Josh learned to forgive the unforgivable, to trust the untrustable and to hope in something he didn’t quite believe all because of God.  The writing may not be the greatest, but the story is amazing!

My husband and I began watching Seasons of Gray~A Modern Day Joseph Story.  WOW!  So good!  We have to finish it tonight but I can already recommend it.

That is my eclectic post for the day!

🙂

Footprints and Bobbleheads

I thought I would take a break from my running posts, although I did run my first 8 miles yesterday.  🙂

Valentine’s Day has changed for us over the years.  Before children, my husband and I would go out in celebration of the day.  When the kids were just babies we would wait until after they went to bed and my husband would bring in food while I set up a faux fancy dining table.  But last year, we decided to take the kids out for Valentine’s Day and have a family evening.  It was so much fun that we will be making it our new tradition…and I love it!  This year the tradition continued.  We just took them to a movie, but it was so sweet for us all to be together.  It was evident that they felt special and included, as well…a family date!  🙂

Valentine’s Day also brings crafts when you have young children, so this year we found the best thing for Grandpa…paint your own bobbleheads!  Each kid painted his/her own bobblehead and then glued a picture of his/her face where it belonged.  I have to say, they were pretty funny!  Definitely keepers!  And then, for Mema and Bepa (grandma and grandpa) came a framed picture of the kids.  On the matting they left red footprints…this made a pretty big picture.  That one almost didn’t go out the door.  Their footprints made in a V were hearts and over the picture we put the quote “Sometimes people leave footprints on your heart.”  Many pictures were taken of that project before it was given away.

This week was not all about the kids, thought…we were able to drop them off at Mema and Bepa’s this weekend and enjoy an evening of skiing and outdoor hot tubs AND sleeping in the following morning.  It was nice to spend one on one time with my best friend.  My husband is amazing.  He seeks the Lord, he helps everyone he is able to, he is an incredible daddy, a hard worker, a good friend and he puts up with me!  He is one of the biggest blessings in my life.  Actually everyone mentioned in this post are amazing blessings, God most of all!

No matter what last week held for you, happiness and joy, or frustration and sadness, it is my hope that you seek the perfect joy from our Lord and Savior.  He doesn’t promise a perfect life, but He does promise to walk through it with you!