Friday, January 30, 2009


A couple of statements in a book I am reading have hit me this week and I thought I would share them with you.

"To live outside of God's will puts us in danger; to live in His will makes us dangerous."

"Peter walked on water, and that's strange enough. But then he saw the wind! Not the waves. Not the effects of the wind. He saw the wind! And then he was afraid. To follow Jesus is to engage the invisible."

both from an {unSTOPPABLE} force by Erwin Raphael McManus

McManus was trying to make us see that it is not safe to be a Christian. We will not be shielded from bad things. But we can overcome them as we walk with Him! Most great men of of the Bible have been in very dangerous situations. We should not think God would not want us to go somewhere or do something because it is unsafe. God has no fear. He doesn't think that way. We need to be willing to go anywhere and do anything that God leads us to do.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I love books. You all know I love books. I think I love books because they talk to me. I see new truths, I feel new emotions, I see new things. I am in the middle of reading three books. One I may not ever finish and the other two are falling into my list of books that speak to me.

Maggie by Charles Martin is so good. I have read all of Charles Martins books that I can get my hands on. If you have never heard of him RUN and get his books. He CAN write!!! His writing is beautiful. Not every book that I like actually has beautiful writing. He is set apart in my list of great writers. He is really gifted. Maggie is about a lady who has given birth to her first child. The boy dies at birth and Maggie falls into coma. She wakes and that is where the book starts. The difficulties her husband and her must go through to find each other again. It is really beautiful. What is so great about this book is that Martin is a Christian. This also sets him apart. I have not finished this book yet but it has made me look at little white lies in a whole new light. Not that I ever thought they were good but he has new insights into them. really makes you stop and think a bit!

I am telling you this because I know we all hunt for the next great book. So go read anything by Charles Martin.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I was tagged

So I guess I was tagged by Amy to post my 25 random facts about myself. Going to try for facts you don't know about me. Not sure I can do 25.

1. I am watching the Biggest Loser right now. Love that show
2. I don't like coffee unless it is blended.
3. As a kid I used to think being locked in a bookstore at night would be awesome! I would read all night long and have big pillows on the floor. I still wish for that. :)
4. I am in the process of growing out my bangs. (I have had bangs my whole life.)
5. I plan on traveling A LOT in my future. Going to China gave me the bug and I WILL travel. Ben says I can take Alicia as she gets older because he does not want to travel outside of the US.
6. If I could learn any sport, and be good at it, I would choose surfing!
7. I would love to be a travel agent someday.
8. I bite my nails, I hate that about myself.
9. I would love to live in Canada! LOVE IT.
10. I HATE talking on the phone.
11. I want to be GREEN. I wish I had more money to make our house as green as possible and I want my next car to be green. I like Leonardo DiCaprio for his work in keeping the environment healthy. There I said it. :) But I am not quite a tree hugger. Really
12. I would love to sleep until 8 every morning.
13. . . . . .hmm, can't think of anymore

Monday, January 26, 2009

Snow Day

So yesterday we knew there may be some snow falling in the mountains. So we went to early service and then headed up to the mountains. We went to this parking lot we always seem to end up at and then went up in the woods a bit. It was fun but the snow was so dry that you couldn't make snowmen, forts, or even snowballs. We played awhile and then headed into Sisters for lunch. It was just one of those nice family days. Sadly within a 4 hour span we saw 4 major car accidents. These were not small ones but ones that made you gasp. We were amazed because this was definitely not the worst weather we have seen in this area. I was glad we made it home safe and sound.

But my goal before our next snow day is to get myself some real snow pants and some boots. The snow pants I have are from my freshman year of college. I am not the same shape anymore. I need new ones. And I am tired of wearing tennis shoes in the snow. Also the kids have added to my list a sled. The area we were at had a nice little hill but without anything to go down it wasn't much fun. Their little bottoms couldn't really make good paths.

So now I am on a quest for these items at good prices. :) We'll see.

Fresh out of
the car

Daddy playing a polar bear.

Since we couldn't make forts they found areas where fallen trees made little areas to hide in.

Friday, January 23, 2009

A bit behind

So while I was blogging our Disney trip something big happened here in the Wilson household. I wasn't sure if I could go back and blog about it but I started to feel the "mom guilt". Poor Ethan is not the first child so the firsts for him seem to be passed over. It doesn't mean his day wasn't as special! So I need to go back to Thursday the 15th. Ethan had been telling me for a few weeks that he had a loose tooth. I figured he was making it up as he was too young to loose a tooth. I figured it was wishful thinking. He has wanted to lose a tooth ever since Alicia started to lose hers. He wants his dollars! I also seemed to forget that Alicia was also 4 when she started to lose hers. I thought you lost them at 6, but Alicia is 6 and has almost all her adult teeth in already. Anyway back to ETHAN!

Ben gets home and looks at Ethan and says, "what happened to your face!" I of course have to go see and he is missing a tooth! WHAT! So we look around where he was playing and there it is! His first baby tooth. He did not even know it had fallen out and there was no blood. Talk about one loose tooth!

Of course the toothfairy came and he still has that dollar bill sitting in his cup by his bed. He tells everyone he knows that he lost his tooth. My baby boy is getting bigger. WAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

One of my 2009 goals

I was spurred by my kindred Amy to read more this year. I read a lot as it is but I want to read more and I want to read a more diverse group of books in 2009. So my goal is one book a week for the entire year. That will give me 52 books in one year. I would like to read a few classics, 1-2 biographies, some good non fiction, fiction. I would like to finsh a few books I have lying around and reread others. I am excited. I have been buying, borrowing, and swapping books to add to my pile so that I never have to go a week without knowing what to read or where to find it. I have gotten some great suggestions and have added one of those to my list. Jill liked Twilight so I have bought that and will read that sometime this year. Also someone from another board has suggested Pope Joan and Josephine B. Now these may not be books I would usually read but I think I will add them to my list. I like knowing what others are reading and staying relevant with my friends or acquaintances.

If you have suggestions feel free to add them here. I am going to need direction if I hope to actually attain this goal! Off to the right I will keep a running count of which books I have read and you can keep up with me. I am reading SoulSalsa right now. Only read 1 chapter this far though, so not sure what I think of it yet. May need to put it aside for awhile and pick up one of your favorites!

Working boots

I have a few family members who wear boots for work every day. And others who wear good sturdy shoes for their line of work. Certain jobs require GOOD Boots. I found a website called that has a great selection of work boots and shoes. They also have free shipping for orders over $50.00, which is a must for me. I buy a lot of my shoes online and free shipping is a requirement for picking an online store. They carry great men shoe brands including CAT, Wolverine, 5.11 Tactical, Bates, Rocky, Converse and many other top name brands.
(Who knew Converse made work boots? I had no idea but they look like some durable boots.)
They even have a military section that can make orders for those in the military that much easier, and can ship to an APO or FPO address. They will even do bulk boot orders for those protecting our country. And another interesting thing is that they allow you to fax in orders if you are uncomfortable with having your credit card number out in cyber world.

I found workbootsusa to be an online store that seems to be out to make their customers happy, a change in this day and age!

So if you buy work boots, I encourage you to go take a look at their website. It might save you some time and gas!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Disney Day 9 ** Fly home

Animal Kingdom Friday January 9

Today I had originally planned to eat at a fun restaurant and spend a few hours in Magic Kingdom before heading to the airport. But we really wanted to go back to Animal Kingdom to see the Lion King Festival and to do the safari one more time. So we got up early and dropped ALL of our luggage off with bell services, before checking out. They would hold our luggage until we returned to pick it up for our flight home. We then headed off to Animal Kingdom. We even got here before it opened! We headed right to the Festival of the Lion King. This show was incredible. I don't think I could have even imagined it. Ben liked the Nemo musical best but I really enjoyed this show. And they had Ben get up in front of the crowd and make an elephant noise. The kids loved that. Also our kids got to be a part of one of the songs so it was just extra special for us.

We then headed for the safari. This ride ended up being even better then the last one! Our driver was GREAT and an ostrich stopped in the road and all vehicles had to stop for a bit. While stopped we were able to see more animals then we had days before while moving. Also more animals were out, since it was earlier in the morning. It was just an all around better safari.
After this we headed to get some lunch. We were then done for the morning here! We did stop in to a store for Ethan to spend the last of his money. He bought a Toy Story Buzz dart gun! He loved that thing!

We headed back to the resort and rested in the Saratoga Springs resorts lounge. We washed up and went potty. We then got some sandwiches to-go and then collected our luggage. I also dropped off the stroller for the next family in the swap. Now it was time to wait for the bus to return us to the airport! I cannot believe the trip is over already! It went so fast. We had a great time and everything went so smoothly.

We had a flight that stopped off in New Mexico and California but that we never got off of. :) And we got home about 11:30. Southwest was great about giving us plenty of snacks and drinks. I was really amazed and the options we had and they let us have as much as we wanted. Ethan fell asleep after leaving our first stop and slept off and on for the next 5 hours! When we got in to Portland he did wake up enough to be able to walk himself! We went to get our luggage and were one of the last families to get downstairs, we had stopped off for a potty break. Well our luggage was sitting on the belt waiting for us. I saw one of our bags in a clear bag so I went to get it and found it SHREDDED! It looked like a dinosaur had its way with it! And at that time we were also missing another bag. Great! Not what you want to do at midnight! AS we took Ben's bag down to look at we saw that Ethan's sword was broken and we only had one small piece of it. Ethan saw it and threw himself on the floor crying. This brought a man over to see what the problem was and he took off with Ben to take care of everything. We soon realized that Ethan's dart gun was also missing. :( Not a good day for him. While we figured this all out Gordon went to get the van and then our missing bag finally appeared. They ended up giving us $100.00 for the bag and things that were ripped or gone. Not quite enough but we just wanted to get home to bed. We finally loaded the van and headed home. We were in bed at about 2 and we woke at about 7 to the kids! O, well back to reality it is.

On Monday I called Disney's gift shops number and was able to rebuy the lost items for Ethan and they should be here in a week or 2 more. I cannot wait for Ethan to get to actually play with his toys. He deserves this. He saved his money for 2 years to spend at Disney and had the new toys for a few days and 1 toy for less then 12 hours. Poor kid.

Our trip is over. I may have some random thoughts of the trip I will post later but it really was a trip to remember. The kids got to spend time alone with their grandparents, they got to swim almost every day, and it was Disney! A great trip for them.

Big News In Blogging World

Today is my one year anniversary of blogging. I had told a friend last weekend it had been about a year of blogging. So today for kicks I went back to see when I really started and lo-and-behold it was January 21, 2008! I have been sending random thoughts and bit and peices of my life out into cyberspace for a whole year. I am glad that good friends convinced me to do it. It has been a nice way to stay in touch with friends and family.

Thanks my bloggging community! It has been a great year

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Disney Day 8

Our last full day
Epcot Thursday

Today is our second day back at Epcot. For some reason I was not really into going back here. And Alicia was really ready to come home. But I knew we had so much left to do in Epcot. I think I would love to go to Epcot with no children. Spend a whole day here eating and enjoying the scenery.

Anyway back to reality, reality with two wonderful kids. We got to Epcot and found Chip and Dale right away. Luckily it was early enough in the day so the kids agreed to wait and get pictures. They were really funny and kept playing with Alicia's ponytails. I was glad we stopped before heading for Soarin. We rode Soarin again and then went over to ride Living with the Land boat ride. I LOVED this ride. It takes you through a boring boat ride where you look at what the land used to look like and how we used to grow things on the land and then they take you through a real life garden there on WDW property. they are doing some cutting work and it was really fascinating. I would hav actually liked to get right back on that boat. But we had to move on. We took off and went into the Innoventions building. It has random interactive things like how to get out of a house while it is on fire, playing video games, making video games, etc. It was really cool. We were near Nemo and friends ride and Ethan wantedd to do that one again. So while we went to do that Ben took Alicia and they went to where we were going to have lunch in a bit. We met them there and then went into Coral Reef. We ate her last trip and thought we wouldn't go back. but we needed a table service today and decided to go back here for lunch. This time we sat very near the aquarium wall. This was so cool. Everyone enjoyed sitting and watching the sharks and turtles. The food ended up being so good and I was glad we gave it a second chance! We debated what to do at this time. We wante dto stay and do some more things but the kids needed a nap as we were staying up late tonight to see Illuminations. So we finally decide dto go back for naps. We headed back to the resort adn martha and Gordon headed to Downtown Disney for osm eshopping. We fell right asleep and we had a hard tim egetting ourselves up. It felt so good to take a break. After we all got up and were ready to head out we left and decide to do the World Showcase of Epcot now. Our first stop was the US as we wanted to see the drummers and singers, The Voices of Liberty. Boy was that good. During one of the songs the man came out and kissed martha's hand. It was quite the show!

We headed around the world enjoying different shows, especially the juggler in Italy.
I bought some chocolates from different countries. Haven't tried them out yet. I am savingthem for a special occasion.

Finally it was time for our dinner at Le Cellier. This was another great dinner. Afterwards we went to get spots for watching Illuminations. We found our spots adn I went off to buy some suckers for the couisins in a nearby store. Not soon after I got back to our spot the show started! BOY what a show.
This was better to me then Wishes fireworks. I loved it. It is all over the water and was so incredible. It was the best way to end the last night on our vacation.

Election Day Random thought

I may have been the only American watching this West Wing when it was on originally, years ago, but I loved it. I ran into the reruns today on Bravo. There were 5-6 of the last shows of the very last season. I am enjoying watching this again. I am recording some and wish this show could come back! Maybe they could try another show like this again. I think it was good to see the people in charge in a different light. It made them human and gave me a better idea at how much they, politicians, give to our country. Kind of fitting on a day like today.

I wish Obama the best of luck in his four years as President. I will be praying for him and his staff. It is a BIG day in our country and I hope to look back on this period and be pleasantly surprised by what he has accomplished.

a few missing readers

So, I guess I lost some readers when I started the Disney trip report. But hang with me, by the weekend I will be done with Disney and will leave it far behind! PROMISE. Come back my 3 readers, come back!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Disney Day 7

Magic Kingdom Wednesday January 7

Today was our second day at Magic Kingdom. We made another rope drop (Hollywood Studios our first) here at Magic Kingdom! It was fun to wait around with everyone. They had hula hoops out for the kids to play while waiting and then they had the train pull into the station and did a opening ceremony. Once we were in we headed to Adventureland. We walked through the Swiss Family Treehouse and then walked onto the Magic Carpets of Aladdin, think Dumbo ride. Next we went to the Jungle Cruise and then onto Pirates of the Caribbean. We were having a great morning. In this part of the park at this time of day there was no one out. And I mean NO ONE! It was so cool. Ethan had been looking forward to riding Pirates all week. He had saved his money to buy something here. He ended up buying a sword and a spy eye scope thing. Great toys. We then headed off to It’s a Small World. Ethan really did not want to do anymore rides now. He wanted to sit and hold his sword, not put them away for rides! But he got over it after a few more rides. Next we decided it would be a good time to go meet Ariel! We stood in line for about 30 minutes and then got to meet Ariel. This was on Alicia’s must do list. This and meeting the fairies in Pixie Hollow. While the girls went in to see her the boys waited. Ben used this time to go get fast passes for Buzz Light Year. We were now hungry so we decided to go find Main Street bakery. I had heard that this was a good place to use credits for bakery items. Boy was this place a find! YUMMY. We bought 7 items and 2 drinks and it only used 2 counter service and 1 snack credit. The cinnamon rolls we got were the best I think I have ever had. They were incredible. We stuffed our faces and then were ready to head out for more rides. We went to ride Buzz and when we came out we saw there was a line to meet Stitch (from Lilo and Stitch!) Alicia had bought a small Stitch earlier in the week and we wanted this picture. We had just finished pictures when the sky opened up on us. This was the only day that had been overcast and it ended up being the only day it rained. But it sure did pour for a bit. As we had been getting pictures with Stitch, Buzz came out so we headed to get pictures with him and then make a mad race to see if our stroller was covered properly.

It was dry so we made another dash for Monsters Inc. Laughing Floor. This was for Alicia but it was a lot of fun, using people forom the audience for added laughs. It was also a covered show that lasted long enough for us to come out to no more rain. We knew we better head over to see Pixie Hollow before we had to leave for the day and the lines got too long. As we went to find that we stopped for Tommorowland Speedway.
I didn’t want to ride so I got to take pictures. I could not believe how much we were getting done today. We had gotten most everything done on our list and it wasn’t even lunch time! The kids next took Gordon and Martha through mickey and Minnie’s houses. By this time Ben and I knew if we were going to eat lunch we needed to do it now because we had early dinner reservations back at our resort. So we asked his parents to take the kids through Pixie Hollow while we went to get some food. No one else was hungry. I was a tad sad to miss seeing this place as I had heard it was really neat but we went and had a nice quite lunch the two of us. It was nice to have some time together. After we met back up we went to get spots for the mid-day parade.
We ended up getting great spots and the kids had fun eating popcorn and playing with hula hoops again while waiting. After the parade Martha and I went back to the Main Street Bakery to buy 4 more cinnamon rolls for breakfast the next day! They were THAT good!

We headed back to Saratoga Springs to clean up and head out to dinner at Turfs Club here on property. We had a nice dinner with poor service. I was sad as last trip this place had incredible service but this time we had the slowest girl ever. It was disappointing but the food was still good. That evening they had planned to have a movie by the pool. I had been excited about this when I heard about it years ago so after dinner we headed to the pool to grab seats before going to put swimsuits on. Ben ended up asking the lifeguard where they would be setting the screen up and she said because of the rain earlier and the weather that day they were moving it inside. :( It was sad but at least this way the kids could swim and get to bed earlier. They swam and then it was off to bed!

Day 7 DONE! At this point I am getting sad that our trip is coming to a close.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Disney Day 6

January 6 Tuesday

Today was a free day! I thought we could lounge around, maybe go swimming and then that evening we had dinner reservations at BOMA in the Animal Kingdom Lodge. I was very excited about this! Here’s the thing. We all loved Hollywood Studios so much that we decided to go back so we could ride Toy Story Mania AGAIN! YIPPEE. SO we got up and actually made a rope drop! We sent Ben to the front to run like the wind for fast passes. They have a short little act before they drop the rope and we all run like wild animals to our area of interest. Most were running the same place we were. Ben got in a fast pass line and we got in the regular stand by line. It moved so fast that we actually had to send Martha and Gordon in with the kids while I hung back waiting for Ben to get our fast passes. I guess what had happened is his machine broke down! Anyway we got fast passes and Ben and I jumped into line. We hadn’t rode a ride together yet so I was excited! It was a blast as usual! We then caught up with our group and headed to Star Tours so Martha and Gordon could take Alicia again. While they did that we watched the Jedi Training. Then we went to get fast passes for Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, RNRC. I grabbed them and jumped in the single rider line. :) love this ride! After I found my crowd we went back across the land to Toy Story Mania. I didn’t do as good this time but it was till a blast. We had Gordon and Ben ride together because they had gotten the best scores so far, this was their scores. We wish this could be a wii game somehow. Next Gordon, Martha and I went to RNRC. We somehow got the magic seats of the first car and I even got first row! It was AMAZING! I actually got off this one and felt a bit queasy, that is how good those seats are. I ended up buying the pictures they take of you on a ride at the end. I have never done that but this picture was so good. Martha looked stricken and Gordon is staring at her, I on the other hand have a look of glee. :) Such a great ride, have I mentioned that. I think I could be a thrill junkie.

We then headed back and got ready for our early dinner at BOMA!

BOMA was great. I had never been to this lodge and was really looking forward to it. It did not disappoint and the little store there is great. So much better then any other resort store. We shopped and then decided we would come back after dinner. The restaurant is a buffet but the food is Amazing. It is African flavors and everything tasted so good. I think all 6 of us thought this was one of the best. A definite do again. We then went outside to there patio area and looked at the animals. What fun. After this it was back to the store where Martha and I both bought some things! (by the way, those desserts were so good so I took a picture. Doesn't that look gooood?)

I think I would like to stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge if we ever return to WDW. It really was incredible there. Here is a random picture of the rocking chairs outside. They were really tall and cool looking. And they were everywhere for people to sit and watch the animals.

At this point it felt like every day was going to be another great day!

I will be taking a short break this weekend from posting the last few days. But rest your little minds. . .I will be back.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Disney Day 5

Epcot January 5 Monday

This is the day I was waiting to show you pictures from. It was a magical evening for this mommy.

Today is our day for Epcot. We knew we wanted to see Soarin’ first this year. So when we got in we headed there and got fast passes. We then went to Nemo and Friends and then on to Turtle talk with Crush. I think the Nemo ride is lame but Ethan loved that one, he liked sitting in "clams," (imagine little arms making clam shells when he says this) and I wasn't as keen on Crush this time either. I am not sure if I was just in an off mood or what. But I was glad to do them. We still had time to kill so we went to the autograph place in Epcot and got Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Donald. It was nice to have them done. Then it was on to Soarin’. I liked it but it just wasn’t as cool as I had got myself to believe it was. Everyone else loved it so I think it was just one of those I built it up to much in my own head. We were getting hungry so we went to France and grabbed 6 different treats to share. They were good. The kids were starting to get crabby so we decided to head back for a nap after we used our fast passes for Test Track that Ben had gotten earlier. At this point Alicia learned it was fast and became a wreck. She really is a wimp at rides. She started to fall apart. I felt like a bad parent making her go but we both knew she would really enjoy it. Afterwards she looked at us and said, “that was it?”

Ben and I took the kids back for naps while Martha and Gordon stuck behind to see the World. :) They were to meet up with us at dinner. We all fell asleep immediately and felt refreshed when we woke. We got ready for our dinner at 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian. This is probably the most elaborate and fancy hotel in WDW. It was dinner with Cinderella, the Prince, the sisters and the Step Mother! I had heard they can put on a pretty good show so I was excited. I will save you the details but we had a very hard time getting to the resort and it ended up taking an hour and 10 minutes to get there. Luckily we left with plenty of time and still made our reservation. We met Martha and Gordon there and then went in to eat. (I again forgot the pillowcases so no Cinderella autograph. I could have kicked myself.) Right away we met the prince. Then we got our food, it is buffet style here. Not soon after they had a dance. Anastasia asked Ethan to come out and dance with her. Now this was funny because earlier he had said he was going to take his knife and be a pirate. :) But he went and I actually got a video of them dancing. After wards she kissed him and came over to talk to him. She actually came over a few times and the staff were joking about their both having red hair. It was fun for Ethan to have so much attention. Originally I had thought this was a dinner choice for Alicia but she really didn't care about Cinderella and Ethan stole the show. Ethan was smitten. He was sure he was going to marry her. He kept saying the one sister was good and the other was bad. She came back by and said that Ethan let her know right away before their dance that he was "not a real prince." She thought that was so sweet. In the picture with the kiss he is looking up at the wicked step mother who is asking him if her daughter kissed him. Ethan was very frightened of her. She never broke character and we all thought she was great, while Ethan, being 4, believed she was very evil. We met the other characters but everything paled when compared to Ethan’s crush on Anastasia and all the attention from her.

It was a GREAT night.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Disney Day 4

I know these are long winded BUT part of what I am doing is saving our memories for years to come. It will be fun for the kids to come here and see what they did when they were 4 and 6. So these posts are more for me then you and so I apologize that you have to tread through them with me as well.

Hollywood Studios Sunday January 4

Sunday! This was the last day of the Osborne Dancing Lights in Hollywood Studios. The MAIN reason I chose early January. I really wanted to see these. So we woke and headed to Hollywood Studios. ! Today was the day we wore the cheesy matching shirts I made New Years Eve they have our names on the front and this is the back:

We got there and I headed to get fast passes for the newest ride in all of WDW, Toy Story Mania. I knew from reading on that this was still a very popular ride. So we decided to fast pass that one rather then stand in a 50-60 minute line. By mid day the lines were at almost 2 hours long! Really who waits that long for a 5 minute ride? Anyway while I grabbed fast passes Martha took the kids over to get pictures with Pluto and Goofy. I had forgotten their pillowcases today! So no autographs. We then headed over to Star Tours. This was pretty much a walk on. I really did not like this one. I felt it was dated and it really made me sick! Ethan also was very scared of it. When the ride was over he just pouted and said he didn’t like that one. It was sad. But this was my daughters FAVORITE ride EVER. :) We found it ironic that Alicia’s favorite was Star Tours and that was Ethan’s least favorite and Ethan’s favorite Splash Mountain was Alicia’s least favorite! Anyway we then went to see Journey into Narnia:Prince Caspain, which turned out to be a short recap of the movie and a waste of time. Next door was the Little mermaid show. WOW that was pretty cool. It was like a very well done puppet show with lots of special effects. This show was for Alicia. She loves Ariel. So she was very into this show.
Now it was time for the ride of the day! We headed back to Toy Story Mania and we got so close and the ride broke down! They ended up giving us a fast pass back that was good any time in the next 14 days. Well we all knew it had to be today as this was the only day scheduled for Hollywood Studios. So we got off and went and found some lunch. It was now 11:30 and we found a counter service. It was next door to Indiana Jones so after we finished we decided that was next on our agenda. So we ate and headed for the line. We didn’t wait long before they let us in. We ended up sitting in the front row at Indiana Jones. It was really cool to be able to see the whole set and then around the corner to where they had other sets sitting to change. Ethan loved this show. I mean really enjoyed this show. They do three small acts that have different “problems” Indiana is trying to get out of. In between they have a bit of comedy. It is a good family show.
Since we seemed to be in the show mood we headed off for Beauty and the Beast show. I had seen this one last time and it is an okay one to me. Ethan was BORED to death. But there were some really good actors this time around. When we left this we were right in front of the Tower of Terror. Now Alicia rode this one last trip but Ethan was to short. So for 2 years he has heard how scary it is. He had said he was not going. But somehow he wondered off to ride it with daddy and papa and grammy! I stayed behind to have an icecream with Alicia. Pretty sure I had the better end! Ethan was proud of himself but says he will not ride that one again. Gordon and I then headed to the single rider line at Rock n’ Roller Coaster. GOODNESS GRACIOUS that one is FUN, and I mean capital F fun. Soooooo fun. I just wanted to get back on it. So finally we get to ride Toy Story Mania. We all put on the beautiful glasses and got in our little cars. This ride is amazing. That was the Family favorite. "You have a toy cannon that fires via a pull string. You take aim at the targets at the game booths you encounter along the way. Cheering you on will be Woody, Buzz, Bo Peep, Hamm and the Green Army Men. Find a hidden target and you'll rack up even more points as you compete for the highest score. The targets and weapons vary. What's even more fun is feeling the rush of air as you pop balloons at one of the game booths." We got off and could not believe that was the only time we could ride that one. So sad. It was getting late and close to dinner so we had to find one more thing to do. We decided we did have time for Lights, Motors, Action stunt show, which earlier we had thought would be a miss. We got there LATE and sat in the nose bleeds but I think everyone was glad that we got to see it. Again, Ethan loved this show. So much that I decided to record one of the acts on my camera to show Ethan later. This came in handy a few nights later on a bus ride back to our resort. I would just replay it over and over. He never tired of seeing the motorcycles race around and the man fall from the roof when shot. It ended with the bad guy catching on fire. Ethan would always ask if the bad man was okay. We then raced to our dinner reservation at Mama Melrose. After dinner we headed to our lights! It was amazing, really pretty. We went down the streets and then found a man to take our pictures. I also knew that I wanted to get the hot chocolate in a special mug. It was very spendy but it has the matching dancing lights. It will be a great souvenir for years to come.

We then headed back to our resort for the regular time at the pool. This was a GREAT DAY!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Disney Day 3

(If you have not read day 1 or day 2 or both please jump below and read those first.)
I have to start by apologizing. I forgot my camera back at the resort this day! I know my mother-in-law has some on her camera but I don’t have those yet. I wish I did as I made matching shirts for the kids. They each had brown shirts with a mickey mouse head on the front in an animal print. Alicia's head was a leopard print and Ethan's was a tiger. They turned out really cute. I am going to try to find some pictures online of Nemo and the other rides so you can get an idea of what they are like.

Day 3 Animal Kingdom

Today is Saturday! We got up at 7. We did this most mornings, getting up between 6:45 and 7:15. We did not make rope drop but were there soon after. We got some pastries from a little cart there with some snack credits and they were so good. (I should mention here that we bought the DDP, Disney Dining plan. This gave us 1 snack credit, 1 counter service, and one table service for every night we were there for each of us.) While we ate Martha and Gordon took some time to take some pictures with the photopass photogs. They are all over the park taking pictures and then putting them on a card for you. I pre-ordered the photopass pictures so I wanted to take as many pictures as we could. We then headed to Expedition Everest for fast passes. Then it was off to Dinoland. We went on the Triceratop Spin and then off to Dinosaur. I thought this one was going to be too scary for the kids but they did great. I got off it and my back was so sore. It is a really really rough ride. The kids and I headed to The Boneyard next while Ben headed off to get fast passes for Kilimanjaro Safari and Gordon and Martha went to Expedition Everest. The Boneyard is a playground that has dinosaur bones to uncover and lots of slides that are combined by rickety bridges and ropes. There is an old jeep to climb on, it is just a fun place to hang out and waste time. We all met back up and then Ben and I went on EE. I loved this ride but I was the only one of the four of us that did. Alicia did not want to do this one and even though Ethan wanted too BADLY he was too short. We had 2 more fast-passes for this one but since I was the only one willing to go again we gave those away and headed to the Safari. We all loved this one. Gordon and Alicia thought it was their favorite for the day. Next we headed to Kali River Rapids but on the way there we found Baloo and King Louie so we stopped for some signatures and pictures. I had made pillowcases to use instead of an autograph book and so I was ready to start getting some names on them. But I guess King Louie never signs his name. The pictures on my photopass are pretty good but I don't have those yet! Anyway we continued on to Kali River Rapids. I was the one pushing for this one and I have to say I will NEVER go on this one again unless I have a full outfit to change into. I got soaked. I don’t mean a little wet but completely soaked. I could not get dry the rest of the day. This did end up being my daughters favorite ride of the entire stay though. So I am glad we went on it -- but ICK! It was now time for our lunch ADR, Advanced Dining Reservation, at Tusker House. We did it at 1:00 because this gave us Nemo passes for the 3:15 show. We all enjoyed the food here. I would definitely go back. After lunch we had some time to kill before Nemo so we went to find some characters. We found Christmas Pooh, Tigger and Eeyore. So 3 more names for the pillowcases. Now we headed on to Finding Nemo, the Musical. The vouchers ended up being great. We did not have to wait in the long line everyone else stands in, but went to our own entry way. They let us in before the others and we got to sit in the front right bottom section! We had seen this show before but it was so cool sitting so close. Partly because you can see the faces better but also because in this show they use the runways and walkways for their show. So they surrounded us. It was very neat. At the end Dory swam out and looked right at Alicia and said “hello princess.” Alicia thought this was very special, her eyes lit right up and she had to make sure we all had seen that. I love this show. The colors are so bright and they do such a good job! It made me really want to see The Festival of the Lion King as I had seen Nemo last trip but not the Lion King. But the kids were fading and us girls were still wet and ready to change so it was not to be. We headed back to our resort. The kids and the men, again went swimming while my mother-in-law and I headed to Downtown Disney to get some sandwiches. I did put on a fleece shirt and a vest from Lands End even though it was still probably 70 degrees. I just could not shake the coldness from that ride. We also stopped by the Christmas store where I bought a few things and window shopped some. Then we all ate some food and headed off to bed. It was another great day.

podcast commercial

Think of this as a small commercial in the midst of Disney Mania.

Last week at church I was convicted through our pastor Tim Schabel. I may be biased, but I do believe he may be one of the best pastors I have ever heard. Anyway we are doing a series on Colossians titled SYNC. How we need to be in sync with God. This week was about believing in truths and living like you believe those same truths. It was very good. So . . . if you like to listen to podcasts of sermons or need something to add to your ipod here is a good one look for part 3.

Now back to the previously scheduled blog entries.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Disney Day 2

Day 2 Downtown Disney/Magic Kingdom
(If you have not read Day 1 please jump down a day.)So I had originally set today up so that if we woke up on West Coast time we wouldn’t feel rushed to go anywhere. Well, we woke with the sun and headed to Downtown Disney to shop a bit. The nice thing about Saratoga Springs Resort is it is walking distance to Downtown, there is a river that separate the two, and it was such a great walk! We saw his crane in the water and it was acting really funny. So we stopped to watch. Well out raced an otter! It crossed the sidewalk right behind us and went into the bushes. It was a great way to start our trip. We met a family at 11 in front of the Rainforest CafĂ© who we would be taking their stroller from. I had joined a stroller swap and so I got a double jogger for the entire time of our stay! It was nice not to have to bring a stroller on the airplane but still have one while there. Alicia and Ben also picked out a star for the top of our Christmas tree at the Christmas store. We have been keeping our eyes out for years for something and the one we got is so pretty. After we were done with Downtown Disney we decided that even though I hadn’t planned on going to Magic Kingdom until after dinner we had time and would head over there. We knew the crowds would be pretty heavy so we figured any rides we got done today would be added perks. We got there and went to one of Ben and I’s favorite from last trip, Buzz Light Year. We fast passed it and a bonus fast pass came out for Tomorrow something or rather, cannot remmeber the name. We went and saw that and then headed to Astro Orbiter. I hate that ride. It is a kiddy ride but it goes around in circles so fast that you feel like you are being thrown out of the car! After that we headed to Buzz and then onto Dumbo. I am not sure when but we also went to Mickey's Philharmagic. That is one of our favorites. Next we headed to Splash Mountain for fast passes to use after dinner. Splash Mountain was going to be closed the rest of our trip for rehab so we had to get this one done. We then headed to dinner at the Polynesian resort at Ohana’s. For the last 2 years we have been dying to get back there to eat! We love it there. It did not disappoint this year either. This restaurant is great because they do all kinds of fun things for the kids, coconut races, the limbo, singing and dancing, etc. This is a picture of the girls asking their dads to dance and then they got leis. Also we had promised Alicia a glowing icecube on this trip and so the kids got those and were so happy. If you look closely Ethan is holding a green icecube in his hand.

After dinner we headed back to Magic Kingdom for the Spectro Magic Parade and Wishes. First we used our fast passes at Splash. It ended up being Ethan’s favorite and probably Alicia’s least favorite. :) It was pretty fun. Plus it was night so it seemed extra cool. We headed to get spots for Wishes, the fireworks show, and we got to be pretty close to the front of the castle. It was a great way to kick off the start of our Disney vacation. One of the reasons I wanted to go in early January was the Christmas decorations and lights. The castle was gorgeous in thousands of twinkle lights. Martha and I had a hard time not taking a lot of pictures of this castle as it changed colors and was just incredible! I even cried during Wishes as it was all so magical. At the beginning the have Tinkerbell fly out from the castle. Our last trip we were so far away we saw something green fly but this time we saw "her." Alicia grabbed my arm so tight and was so excited to see her. Those are the moments you cherish as a mommy.

Next we got our spots on the sidewalk for the Parade. We grabbed some ice-creams and waited. Then a man came by to tell all of us that we were not on the parade route! We had sat for 30 minutes so by then good spots were taken on the real route. :) We did actually snag some pretty good seats for the kids and we stood behind them. All was not ruined!. It was a fun parade and this was Alicia’s favorite thing of the day. Earlier we had grabbed fast passes for Big Thunder Mountain but by this time it was near 11 and Ben was ready to head back to the resort so we gave them to a family nearby and headed “home.”. Ethan ended up falling asleep on me in the bus. He never does that so it was a real treat. Don't you just love the pink Oregon stocking cap.
It was a great first day! "

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Disney Day 1

Well, I was going to do a short Disney trip report. But I am not sure if a 8 night vacation to the most Magical Place on Earth can be done with a few words. So . . . hold on, for the next week I am going to do a day of our trip! HAHA So you will hear and see every detail of our trip. Well, probably not every detail but I plan to let you in on a lot of what we did and saw! have fun and if you don't like Walt Disney World then don't come to visit my blog for the next 9 days!

Day 1

December 31, New Years Eve, while you all partied we tried to get ourselves ready for Disney! I somehow found myself at 5 o’clock starting to make the cheesy matching Disney shirts for our trip. I was pretty angry with myself for leaving it to the last minute but I had bought the shirts and iron on transfers so I needed to make them! I finished them in a frenzy while also trying to pack and feed the kids. My once clean house now looked like a tornado had gone through it and I wouldn’t have time to clean it before we needed to head to bad for our EARLY wake up. We got to bed at 7 and I was feeling good! Until about 11 when I decided to get up as I hadn’t fallen asleep yet! I got on the computer and finished some things and then finally fell asleep about 1. We got up at 3:30 and were out the door at 4:05 to pick up my in-laws. We left there house by 4:15! Finally, after just a few issues ourselves with security and then a lady on our plane that had to get off as she was not listening to the attendants about her carryons, we were on our plane and flying to Orlando at 7:50.

We flew United there and later would fly Southwest back. United has movie screens but the movies they showed were pretty lame. Martha and Gordon sat with Alicia and Ben and I had Ethan. We took Bens new Christmas present, an ipod touch, and Ethan took it over right away. We flew to San Fran and had almost 2 full hours to grab some lunch and get on our next flight. When we got to Orlando at 7:30, Ethan was amazed to see he had lost an entire day. It really upset him. We got in and found Magical Express, which is Disney’s free transportation from MCO to WDW. You can use it if you are staying on property. It is so nice not to have to rent a car and drive ourselves. We had looked at staying off property this trip but Ben really likes using Disney transportation and not having to drive for a week. It is more vacation like for him this way.

I think anyone who has rented points to stay at a DVC unit understands me when I say I was a bit nervous to check in. I knew the lady I had rented from seemed legit and was very easy to work with but you still have some anxiousness. I need not have worried. All went great at check in. I hope to rent from her again someday. When we got to Saratoga Springs I checked us in. (I used about 10 Disney gift cards, from Sunshine, to pay for the Disney Dining plan. The girl was very nice about using them but it took a long time. I was thankful they have the waiting area for kids with Disney tv. I also used our Disney rewards card money.) We had gotten our rooms in the area we wanted, Congress park. This is the buildings closet to Downtown Disney and this year we could actually see the lights from our patio. It was gorgeous. We called for pizza delivery and the kids and the men headed down to swim. It was a nice evening and we were ready to get to bed so we could start our stay.