Monday, June 30, 2008

Almost time

I am at 186 days until we got to Disney! :) That means on Saturday I can call Disney and make my ADR's for our dining. You have no idea how many hours I have poured into reviewing restaurants and changing my mind over and over. But it is so fun. Whenever Ben would turn on some boring history channel show I would grab the computer and dream away! :)

I am just listing the table service places we will eat at as those are the ones that need reservations. There are some really good counter service places I also have planned but will not list those.

Walt Disney World has what the call the DDP or Disney Dining Plan. This year, 2008, you got 1 table service, one counter service and a snack credit for 37.99 ADULT and 9.99 CHILD. I have heard that in 2009 this may change some but at this time we are planning on doing this again. It was so nice to prepay our food and was also cheaper for us. And since we are bringing Ben's parents it will be nice to just have this paid so they don't worry about how much they are spending. They can get whatever they want and it will just be 1 credit! Very nice.

Day 1 -ARRIVE I am ordering pizza from a place called Giordano's that is supposed to be the BOMB. :) I am looking forward to it.

Day 2 -Hollywood Studios we will just do counter services as this park does not have very good table services.

Day 3 -Magic Kingdom 1900 Park Fare (at the Grand Floridian hotel) for breakfast and Kona (at the Polynesian hotel) for dinner

Day 4 -our free day, Boma (at the Animal Kingdom lodge) for breakfast
I think we will do the campfire with smores, sing-along with Chip and Dale and Disney movie this night at the Fort Wilderness.

Day 5 -Epcot Le Cellier for dinner

Day 6 -Animal Kingdom Turfs Club (Saratoga Springs Resort) for dinner

Day 7 -Magic Kingdom Ohana! (at the Polynesian) for dinner, This was Ben and I's favorite last time and we are drooling thinking about going back.

Day 8 -pick a park day so we will pick a table service for this one that day

Day 9 -LEAVE :( BOOHOO depending on our flight time I have a credit to use for a table service we may use this day.

If you are planning on visiting Disney and are a great site to learn from and they even have menus of my above choices.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

WICKED and other books

For the last year I have been part of a book club. The choice for this summer was WICKED. I had heard really good things about the musical so I was really looking forward to reading this book. I had a lady order my book along with a bunch for other women and last Sunday she brought it to me at church. She handed it to me and said to hide it. :) She was only half joking. She had read most of it and was a little embarrassed that it had been her choice for the book club. I thought she may be overly cautious, until I started to read it. I actually never finished the book. I cannot think of one time in all my life that I have not finished a book, or at least jumped to the end to see how it turned out if not going to finish one. Some of you may have know how many books I have read and know that this is really really unusual. I just could not get past the all the sexual scenes. And they are not "normal" sexual scenes. I later read some on the web and found out that the musical is very loosely based on the book. They took one part of the story and ran that direction. Sounds like that was smart. :) Anyway I want to warn any of you who have thought of reading this book to really think hard before you do. Though it may very well have turned out to be great book I just cannot promote it.

But on another note I found a new author I am enjoying. Kristen Heitzmann. She is a Christian writer but her books have something that a lot of Christian writers are missing. I am not sure what it is but I really enjoy her books! Thanks Kim for letting me borrow some, Secrets and Unforgotten. I am now waiting to get the 3rd in the series!

Also if you are looking for some good children books we have just heard every Mrs. Piggle Wiggle on CD there is. I highly suggest this series. We have listened to them on long car rides but I know they are also really good books, the kind you touch and turn pages. :) Great for kids imaginations. We laugh alot when we listen to them. Go try them!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Summer schedules

I just love when school ends and summer starts! (I also love when summer ends and school starts back up as well.) I have been getting up with the kids, getting them a drink and snack and then getting back in bed! SHHHH! don't tell anyone. Then about 8 o'clock I get up and we look at our day. Today was their first day of "tumbling blocks" at the YMCA here in Stayton. It is just early gymnastics for 4-6 year olds. This will be Tuesdays and Thursdays for a few weeks. Also on Tuesdays our local library has "story time" and the summer reading program started today! Then we have Wednesday park dates with moms and kids from church through the summer. There is also the occasional free movies on Tuesdays and our trip to the Redwoods in July. I am also thinking of having Alicia do a tennis camp ran by the highschool in August. Summer to me just means FUN FUN and more FUN! I also got to lay out in the sun yesterday while the kid stook a nap inside. So very relaxing. Summer has begun!!!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Great Wolf Lodge

Last night we got back from a small vacation trip to great Wolf Lodge in Centralia, Washington. It was a grand trip. We left the house around 9:30 Thursday morning. We made it to Salem where we went through the rainforest jungle! (This, to you adults, is known as a "car wash.") Then we hit I-5. Somewhere just past the Washington border we stopped at a nice rest area where we had sack lunches I had packed. We thought it was going to be a warmer day but we were all freezing. We then got back in the van and continued on to THE GREAT WOLF LODGE! We were allowed to check in at 1:00 and I had been told that we wouldn't get our room until 3:00 but we could start swimming right away. We stood in line for awhile as everyone else got there at 1:00 as well and then we found that our room was ready! We got our wrist bands that allowed us into the water area and also had our credit card attached. This was a great thing as you don't really want to carry around cash when you are wearing a swimsuit and wet. If you need anything you just let them scan your wristband! Anyway, back to check in. We got our room assignment and went back to the van and got all our junk. We got to our room and got into our bathing suits. We spent a few hours swimming and then we came back to our room for a few more hours before going back to swimming. They have a wave pool, a little kid area, a play set area with two water slides and all kind of water features, and 3 more adult style slides. Ethan and Alicia of course did not like the same things so we were separated a lot. But it was still fun. I would like to go there with just Ben and just do the adult slides and wave pool. :) I took a water camera but I am not sure when I will get those developed.
The kids loved the room just as much as the swimming! This is their sleeping area. It is like a little cave area that they call a wolf den. :) It has bunk beds and their own little tv. The kids loved loved loved this area!
We got back to our room and the 4th NBA final game was on so I lost Ben. :) I went to Pizza Hut that they have there in the building and ordered food. Again swiping my wristband. We ate dinner and then I took the kids down to the first floor for songs and story time at 8:00. It was a bit corny but a fun thing to do ONCE. Then I went and got myself a hot chocolate there at the Starbucks they have right by the front desks! So nice to have a full size Starbucks there!
I took the kids back upstairs and got them to bed. I read and Ben finished up his game and then it was lights out for the adults as well. Here is the thing. The pool is open until 10 and they have this treasure hunt game that goes until 10. But we could hear kids being very loud in the hallways up until midnight. At 10 some kid banged and banged on our door. I opened it and he realized he had the wrong room and that our lights were out. I think he felt bad. So this lodge is not an place to go expecting to get a lot of rest.
The next morning we got our bags packed and to the van and we headed to the pool at opening, 9 0'clock! We swam for awhile and then headed into town for lunch and some outlet shopping. Then we went back to the lodge for more swimming. We had thought we would stay until closing but at 4 we headed out. The kids were pretty tired.
It was a really nice time. Next time we may go for 2 nights just because it would allow us to go back to our room and take a nap or rest that second day and take advantage of more swimming. It will also be nice to have Ethan a bit older and taller. Alicia was tall enough to go down the Bigger slides but they were a bit scary for her. When Ethan is tall enough I know he will enjoy the fast slides and then we can take him with us instead of leaving one of us with 2 kids. They also have a spa there and a children's spa area called SCOOPS. I think it would be fun do do this with Alicia. Besides the treasure hunt they have crafts every hour you can do. It costs like $5.00 a craft and they looked pretty cool. There is also an arcade that a lot of moola could be thrown around in. Overall we didn't spend all that much but boy a person could be tempted. Next time I may save more to be able to do some of the fun things that cost extra. :)

Thursday, June 12, 2008


About a week and a half ago I went out with some girlfriends. I am not sure why I didn't blog about it but it was such a nice time I thought I would let you all know, now. One of my college friends is moving to Portland and so we went up to see the house she is renting and she took us to some local restaurants. First she took us to a Cuban restaurant! It was so good. We sat outside and then watched the clouds roll in hoping not to get wet. We actually left just as it started to drop a few raindrops. Phew. We had fun ordering food that some of us had no idea what we were really ordering and we also ordered drinks that would be a complete mystery as well. I liked mine, the yellow can in the picture, and Becky had a coconut pop that was so good, green pop can, but no one really liked the tea that Karen and Kim got.
Here is the food. The first plate is mine (the beans and rice was incredible) and the second is Becky's plate.

Then Kim took us to a dessert place. Boy was that fun. They have a display of their desserts and when you choose what you want you go sit down and they come get your requests. This is what the 4 of us chose.
Doesn't that look incred-ible! It may have been the best chocolate cake I have EVER eaten. If you are ever in Portland looking for a great dessert place try PIX!

It was such a nice evening. Good friends, good food and then we ended the night talking a bit about books and I was able to borrow some books from these friends. Perfect night for me.

THANK YOU GIRLS! I love my nights I get to spend with you.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Oregon. A love/hate relationship

This is how I feel. Today was the first day of summer break but really, does it feel like it? Sorry it is blurry. I had to make it bigger to see and became more blurry. But you get the idea

Thursday, June 5, 2008


I have to start this story in a very odd place so you can fully understand what happened. So bare with me. This morning I was putting my hair up and asked my son to go get my pony tail off the coffee table. He promptly came back with his new birthday dump truck. Silly boy. I told him no that wasn't it and made due with what I had. I guess what he did next was decide he also did not want the dump truck and threw it down in the walkway.
So out I come from the bathroom and am going to get my keys for the rental KIA to take Alicia to school when, being the klutz that I am, entangle my foot in the truck. I try to get away from it and step on it with my other foot. I am not sure how many times I went back and forth dancing with the truck but enough that when I fell to the floor my daughter was scared and started to scream at her brother for leaving it on the floor. This causes Ethan to go screaming and crying off to a corner. All I can do is lay on the floor wishing death would come. Seriously. But I had to get up and limp to the car to get Alicia to school on time.

It still hurts. So I took a picture so you can all see what a tiny little injury can do. What you cannot see is it has also swollen a bit under that cut. And the skin on my pinkie toe on the other foot has come away from my toenail.


Wednesday, June 4, 2008


This last week I pulled out my dusty albums and realized the last pages I scrapbooked in Ethan's book was his first birthday. Well, as you may have read he just turned four. I am behind! So I sat down at the computer and ordered all the pictures I have taken and not bought yet. They came yesterday and lucky for me Ben took the kids to the pool last night giving me some time to pull stuff out. I soon realized something. I am out of practice! I just really had no idea where to start. I picked pictures of Ethan playing with trains in 2006 and then those same trains a few days ago in 2008. I am going to do a THEN and NOW but all I can come up with is that idea. And I wasn't really having fun. It just felt like something that needs to be done so that Ethan won't look back someday and wonder if his mommy loved him as much as his sister. As his sister has 2 full books. I have now learned that if you stop doing something for awhile, even things you once loved to do, it is hard to get back into it. I think that is the way it is with most things in life. For me it rings true of reading the Bible. When I get out of the habit it is hard to get back into it. Once I have it back as a habit I enjoy it again.

So I am hoping to get back into habit. Hopefully once a week I will stop and take time to scrapbook all the wonderful memories we have made. I have pictures from the beach, WDW, birthdays, Easter, cousins being born, snow days, kids playing in leaves, and the list goes on. But I want to someday hand these books over to my children. Wish me Luck!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

4 years ago today

Today is Ethan's Birthday. Do you want to know how I spent my first waking hours of this day?! Searching high and low for said son! Ben woke me up at 5:00 when he got out of bed. I noticed lights were on and our door was open. He was gone a bit and came and got back into bed. I asked him something (I cannot remember as it is early morning) and he said he couldn't find Ethan but he was sure he was in his top bunk. Well, being a mom that just does not cut it. So I went in his room and found NO Ethan! I searched the living room, dining room, laundry room, Alicia's room-NO Ethan. At this point I have told Ben that I cannot find Ethan! So he and I are going back through the rooms. Still No Ethan. Next, I went to our room and check the coset and there he stands. He tells me with a bit of a cry and a pout that something scared him in his room and he couldn't sleep. I was so relieved to see this little stinker! He had taken his blankie and a stuffed animal and was sleeping under Bens dress shirts in the closet. He climbed into bed with us where he and Ben promptly fell back asleep and I lay in bed AWAKE for the next 2 hours!
Sunday we had Ethan's spiderman birthday party. I had planned on this being an outside party but when we woke up Sunday it was raining. So I quickly decided it would be an indoor party. That meant a little more house cleaning then I had first thought I may do. :) Anyway we had a great time and it never rained so the kids played outside most of the time and I was able to do the fun outside things I had planned.
Like Spidermen making webs: (They were supposed to be wearing the spiderman masks I had!)
This was a big hit. The kids all had a can of silly string but the adults seemed to take over and it was a loud, fun mess.
And then there was pop-its:
But the best part was the presents. He got some great ones this year. He loves them all, walkie talkies, legos, trucks, books, a tent. But I think his favorite is the bike we got him. He has been riding it around the house for the last two days while Alicia is at school. I sure do love my birthday boy!

Monday, June 2, 2008


So tonight we went to Alicia's Kindergarten graduation! This is the night I have been thinking about almost all year. What an important milestone. She has quite the crowd show up for her. It went pretty smoothly and was a lot of fun. We had asked Alicia all week what they would be doing and she said "I'm not telling." So we were pretty surprised to see her play Peter. The class recited versus and sang sings. They answered questions their classmates would ask them about the Bible. It was all very touching. I only cried once when the teacher has them go find their families to show them the paper they made at the beginning of the year about themselves and the one they did last week. It is AMAZING how much she has learned. Her handwriting is incredible now. Uncle Danny says it is even better then his.
Below is the beginning of the year picture. Alicia is crossing her arms because she is embarrased at how silly it looks. It just says, "my name is Alicia" with a picture of herself. And then the other picture you can't see that she wrote many sentences in very good handwriting, things about herself with a picture of a little red-headed girl swimming. :)

I will cherish this piece of art forever!
I just have to add the picture of my mom with Alicia. It was nice to have "Nana" there as she was just up here yesterday for Ethan's party.

Playset update

This is last Saturday.
Ben worked half a day that Friday and then ALL day Saturday working on this project. He even worked in the rain for me. I wanted him to get it done so that THIS weekend it would be done for Ethan's birthday party. So he got it done and we had a great time. Alicia and Ethan call it "the park in the backyard."

And then the completed "park."

Do you thinnk the kids are having fun? We left the yellow baby seat on for Ethan's party so the little ones could swing too. Now we will take that off and put another blue seat on.