View Full Version : A surprise is born... *Updated with DHS

02-15-2010, 06:22 PM
So once upon a time (2008), we surprised our kids with a little birthday surprise. ;) A little surprise called Disney World!! :goodvibes

If you'd like to read about it, here is the link: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1605602

As soon as we were home, Disney fever hit. We've been wanting and waiting to go back. So finally, we decided enough was enough. The baby of 2008 isn't a baby any more. The kids are getting older and are talking about Disney every day. They just can't wait to go back! And so, a secret was born. We are assuming Free Dining will be out again this year and so - we're going back again this year!!

02-15-2010, 06:53 PM
The Who:

Some characters will be familiar, some will not!

First up, the head of our household and love of my life - Ken! He's a Disney grump turned Disney Fanatic. In DIS language - he's drunk the kool-aid. :thumbsup2 (we are doing a homeschool project in this picture)


Next up is me! Laura. Suffers from Disney OCD, overplanner, TGM lover, and CAN NOT WAIT TO GO BACK!!!!! :dance3:


02-15-2010, 07:45 PM
Nathaniel - The oldest of our children. This birthday boy will be turning 8 this year:bday: and since, once again, free dining falls on his birthday - we're surprising him with a trip to the world for his birthday! He is the artist of the family by far!



Ainsley - Our only daughter. A little bit princess, a little bit Laura Ingalls. It will be her 5th birthday while visiting the world.



Ephraim - no longer the baby of the family. In love with all things Tigger and "lalalalalalala Pooh" (We have a christmas CD in which Pooh sings Deck the Halls - hence the name lalalalalalalala pooh). In love with all things Mickey and Minnie...and Goofy...and Pluto...and Donald Duck...and Daisy Duck...you get the picture! We have done a good job preparing him for the WONDERFUL place known as Disney World. (He was 9 months the last time we went, so no memories for him there.) He's our resident trouble maker, comedian and love bug and prayer warrior. Will not go to bed unless you and he and everyone around has prayed for everyone in the room - including the 10 Sesame Street and Disney stuffed animals he has brought into the bed with him.



We have one more addition to our family! The new baby of the family - Mr. Felix Matthew!


Obviously, much like the last trip report - this one will consist of waiting for a surprise trip and a baby!!

We will hopefully have 2 others joining us as well, Kris and Jade - although as of yet, those plans are not set in stone. We will refer to them as our "borrowed children" - mostly because that's what we call them! :) They are the children of a good family friend. They have been to Disney once...almost. They drove all the way down there and had one day to visit MK. And on that day - it POURED. And so they did not go. :guilty: They are a bit older than my kids (12 and 10), but they get along GREAT, and we just couldn't imagine going on this vacation without them!

This will be a surprise for ALL involved except for Ken and me! You'll need to wait for all the other details!!

02-15-2010, 11:03 PM
The details:

The all important questions! When to go, where to stay, how will we get there? Decisions, decisions, decisions!

When to go was back and forth for a bit. We were REALLY contemplating going for the beginning of December. The beautiful Christmas decorations, MVMCP - it was all in the works....and would have most likely stayed in the works...but then I got pregnant and horrors of horrors - WE DIDN'T FIT IN THE WILDERNESS LODGE ANYMORE!! Did we REALLY want to go down for Christmas if we weren't going to be in the Wilderness Lodge?? We LOVE Christmas, and we just weren't thrilled with being anywhere else but Wilderness Lodge - ESPECIALLY for Christmas. Besides, it could be cold and we wouldn't be able to go swimming. Packing multi layered clothing would be a pain. So we decided to wait on Christmas in Disney. We decided that September was perfect last time, let's stick with perfection. And since Nathaniel and Ainsley's birthdays are in September, that made it pretty easy to decide when in September. So we are going basically the exact time we went last time. Tuesday September 14th - Thursday September 23rd.

After Christmas was decided against, but before September was decided on came the problem of where? As a family of 5, we no longer fit in our favorite resort. Unless we did club level of course - but no. Not happening. We looked at the values. The price was more than right....and yet....it just didn't give us that warm fuzzy feeling of relaxation and home that Wilderness Lodge did...and besides - they had double beds. With kids in the bed, that would get old very fast.

How about the Family Suites? Again, price was right. This one had queen beds in the master and pull out fulls and twins. We are getting warmer. And yet, the ambiance of the All Stars Music leaves MUCH to be desired for us. We don't listen to music that doesn't focus on Jesus very much at all (with the exception of good old Blues Clues or Sesame Street) - and every time I saw photos of the food court, I just did not feel comfortable with making that decision. So we ruled out Values and ruled out Disney. Sigh...we'll just have to wait for DVC.

But the Disney bug just wouldn't stop biting. And before long, we were back looking at Deluxes. Maybe, just maybe there was a way we COULD swing a Deluxe! We started praying and crunching numbers and realized we COULD in fact stay at a Deluxe if the savings were right! We were back and forth. Contemporary? Poly? Beach Club? Yacht Club? Where oh where to stay!? We finally decided on Contemporary because the price was right and it was right on the monorail line. One of the things we had LOVED about Wilderness Lodge was it's location - so close to the parks, easy to make it to the monorail line to have meals. The contemporary grounds left us feeling ehhhh, but the location was the best spot for us. And it wasn't HORRIBLE - it just wasn't Wilderness.

Then one day I over hear Nathaniel talking to Kris about Disney. Nathaniel asked him something about what he thought his favorite part of going to Disney would be or something like that. Kris' answer reminded me of his response to his birthday present this summer. We took Kris (sports fan fanatic) to his first baseball game. It was supposed to be a surprise, but Nathaniel blew it and started talking about the baseball game. Kris responded with "Oh...well, I guess that team is ok, but I wouldn't really want to go because that team isn't that great." So of course I jumped in and said "That teams not that great? Really? Oh...I guess then I'll give someone else the ticket we got for you." His reaction went something like this: :) :confused: :eek: :woohoo: :yay: :dance3: Kris' response to Nathaniel's Disney question put a thought in my head...and I just kept it to myself and prayed about it. I figured if Jesus wanted us to bring Kris and Jade along, then He'll show my husband the same thing.

Then one night, as my husband and I are talking, he brought it up. "What would you think of having Kris and Jade come with us? I just can't imagine going without them. They're like part of the family!" (They are currently here 4x a week while there Mom is in school full time to become a nurse. God bless her heart and determination! I would NOT be choosing to go back to school anytime soon!) Of course, I had been praying about that very same thing - so that was a no brainer! We then did the children and adult math and realized we'd have to get two rooms and before that sentence left our mouth we just stopped and looked at each other.....how much would TWO rooms at Wilderness Lodge be?? Could we swing it? SHOULD we swing it? After lots and lots of praying and lots and lots of pricing and math - we were decided!!! 2 rooms at our home away from home - WILDERNESS LODGE! We wouldn't be staying courtyard like last time - but we don't care! We are going home!

02-15-2010, 11:07 PM
Hey Terri -

If you are looking for ideas, here's what I did last time (Scroll a bit towards the bottom and you'll see the videos - I think the 2nd one is the start of the reveal)

There is also a thread called KOTS (keeper of the Secret) over on www.disboards.com that has tons of people who surprised their kids and how they did it.

Youtube is also great for collecting ideas.

I'll post what we plan to do this time around later!

02-16-2010, 10:11 AM
The Surprise:

So we have 5 kids who haven't the slightest clue as to what we have up our sleeves. :goodvibes (well, 6 - but the littlest doesn't count)

The last time we surprised the kids, we did a box inside of a box inside of a box with one word on each box. Each of those words spelled out the question "Guess where we are going tomorrow?"

We were debating on how to surprise the kids. The scavenger hunt leading to suitcases packed in the van was the runner up until while laying in bed I had a stroke of genius. 5 kids....1 word for each kid.... Guess...where...we...are...going? PERFECT! So here is the plan as of now (subject to change since we have a long time to wait - but last time I was certain we would change it between when I wrote my pre trip a year in advance to when we revealed the surprise - and the plan was played out exactly as I had envisioned it a year in advance. So now I'm less likely to believe it will change!)

So - the plan....Line the kids up in age order on one side of the kitchen table and explain that we have a little present for all of them. There will be a card and a present for each of them. Jade is the oldest and so she will open her card first. It will say "Guess" - of course in the Lowes Mickey head. (I'll need to be a bit more sneaky in grabbing these lest my kids start to suspect.)

I think at Jade opening the word "Guess", at the very least Nathaniel will know what is going on. We may need to prep them before not to say anything if they figure it out until we ask them.

Kris will be next with his card saying "where". Then Nathaniel, Ainsley and Ephraim. Once everyone has opened there card and they understand what the question is, we'll have them all open their presents. We were going to at first go with Mickey Hats as their gift, but then I priced them. I couldn't justify spending $20 a hat when I knew they'd wear them once or twice. So I think instead we will be grabbing matching shirts off of Disney.com with Mickey or Minnie on them. I have no doubt that at this point my kids will fully know what is going on. Kris and Jade might not. I'm thinking they'll be in too much shock! :laughing:

Here was where I got my inspiration for this surprise: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GX4gR5bv27Q

02-16-2010, 10:39 AM
Since I have a little bit to wait until Disney releases their hours for September and Tour Guide Mike to release his best days calendar, I'll go over our hopeful ADR's!

We are planning to be on the dining plan. (Assuming there is free dining - which I am 100% sure there will be)

Kona - This is a must for us - a multiple must for us. Hands down our favorite place to eat!
Nine Dragons - We wanted to eat here last time for dinner, but it was closed for renovations.
Yak and Yetti - We were supposed to eat here last time for lunch and canceled our reservation and instead ate counter service. We ate Yak and Yetti counter service and it was DELICIOUS. The Yak and Yetti became a must for us after that!
Artist Point - The highlight of our dining last trip! A must repeat!
Coral Reef - We want to try someplace new. The menu looks good and it has a giant aquarium so we can't go wrong!
Cinderella's Royal Table - We will be celebrating Ainsley's birthday again the same way we did last time. A trip to BBB in the morning followed by lunch or dinner with Cinderella and friends!
Chef Mickey's - You don't think we could visit WDW without stopping here, did you?
Hollywood and Vine - Like last time, we plan to spend the entire day in this park (DHS) - so a nice long air conditioned break is needed along with the freedom for the kids to get up and roam with their favorite Playhouse Disney characters. Hoping we'll get lucky enough to do some more pin trading with Leo!
Liberty Tree Tavern - This was simply delicious for lunch last time, so it's a must on our list!
Tony's - This one we are uncertain about. Want to do something in MK or near it - and the menu looks good, but we are originally from Long Island....we tend to be picky about our Italian food.

02-16-2010, 08:42 PM
So, no hours yet - but that isn't going to stop my planning! I'm basing a tentative schedule based on last years hours and TGM information. Hopefully there won't be too much rearranging once the hours and TGM's best days chart comes out!

We'll be in the world for 10 wonderful days! We would have loved to swing more - but that just isn't going to happen this time around! Last trip, we spent 4 days in the Magic Kingdom, 2 days in Epcot, 1 in Animal Kingdom, 1 in DHS and 2 rest days. For the most part, it worked great. I had done some rearranging of the schedule while down in WDW which led to 4 days touring in a row. 4 days was a bit much - however 3 days was fine. So here's my not set in stone plans as of now:

Day 0 - Let the vacation begin! We'll be spending the day hopefully at a museum until we can check in at our park and fly hotel!
Day 1 - We'll be grabbing the earliest non stop flight we can and hope to be down in the world by late morning/early afternoon. Check in and then mad dash to MK! We'll grab lunch at Colombia Harbor House this time! No more Casey's for us!! :sick: Dinner at Kona Cafe about 6 and back to the hotel for an early night.
Day 2 - MK rope drop! Good morning, Good morning....hopefully we've slept the whole night through and will be bright eyed and bushy tailed! We'll break for lunch at Tony's before heading back to WL for our afternoon break. We'll head back to the park after dinner and maybe stay for Wishes.
Day 3 - Our Epcot day! We plan to be here for rope drop and tour Future World. We will NOT make the same mistake we made last time by staying too late by seeing just "one more thing". We'll break in the early afternoon before the insane heat hits and then we'll be back for dinner at 9 dragons. We'll do a little shopping around the world. Ken REALLY wants to see Illuminations this trip, so we'll try to stick around for it. Worst case scenario, Ken and the older kids will stay and I will take tired kids back home!
Day 4 - Rest day! Nothing planned today but swimming and relaxing! Maybe a photoshoot - and at least one meal at Kona...maybe 2! And the Chip and Dale campfire - just for Nathaniel! No movie though - need to prep him for that before hand!
Day 5 - AK day. It's also the day we'll be celebrating Nathaniel's birthday. We tried to stick it out to the parade last time without an air conditioned lunch break. That didn't happen. So, we'll tour in the morning, break for an early lunch at Yak and Yetti and then continue on our touring - making sure we have lots of AC shows planned! We'll stick it out to the parade if we can, and then head home. We'll stay no later than the end of the parade. We'll come home, relax, freshen up and then have a later dinner at Artist Point - our favorite special restaurant!
Day 6 - Another Epcot Day. We'll be here for ropedrop again. We'll tour some of the fillers/favorites in FW until World showcase opens. Then we'll go and visit a few of the countries. Was going to try and fit in Coral Reef for lunch- we'll see how that fits into the plans. Tonight is an early night.
Day 7 - Magic Kingdom day! We'll be celebrating Ainsley's birthday today! We are going to have a repeat performance of last trip. 8:00 BBB appointment, spend the morning on Tom Sawyer Island and then either lunch (not 2:15 this time!!!) or dinner at the castle. We'll break mid day and head back at night to see Spectro and maybe Wishes.
Day 8 - Break day! Nothing planned! Late breakfast at Chef Mickey's. Lots of swimming - maybe shopping at DTD and hopefully if we can swing it - La Nouba!
Day 9 - Full day in DHS. No F! Try to see as much as we can in the day - take a LONG AC break at Hollywood and Vine for lunch. Stay to park close.
Day 10 - Good bye Disney World! We'll check out and head over to MK for the day. We'll have lunch at Liberty tree tavern and just enjoy some of our favorite rides....and WE WON'T BUY ANYTHING!!!!! Lesson learned from last trip! We also won't stay incredibly late and almost miss our plane.

03-15-2010, 06:39 PM
See - already changes to the plan! This is why I love pre trip reports. Typing out my plan helps me to see the flaws!

Day 0 - Let the vacation begin! We'll be spending the day hopefully in a museum until we can check in at our park and fly hotel!
Day 1 - We'll be grabbing the earliest non stop flight we can and hope to be down in the world by late morning/early afternoon. Check in and then mad dash to MK! We are hoping it will be a MNSSHP this day again. When we went in 2008, it was - and we had the parks to ourselves! We'll grab lunch at Colombia Harbor House this time! No more Casey's for us!! Dinner at Kona Cafe about 6 and back to the hotel for an early night.
Day 2 - MK rope drop! Good morning, Good morning....hopefully we've slept the whole night through and will be bright eyed and bushy tailed! We'll break for lunch at Tony's before heading back to WL for our afternoon break. We'll head back to the park after dinner, use up those FP's and maybe stay for Wishes.
Day 3 - Our Epcot day! We plan to be here for rope drop and tour Future World. We will NOT make the same mistake we made last time by staying too late by seeing just "one more thing". We'll stop for an early lunch at Coral Reef and make sure we break by 1 before the insane heat hits and then we'll be back for dinner at Chef de France. (after reading reviews of the refurbished 9 dragons, we are skipping this one and opting for Chef de France instead!) We'll use up some of those FP's and see some fillers. Ken REALLY wants to see Illuminations this trip, so we'll try to stick around for it. Worst case senario, Ken and the older kids will stay and I will take tired kids back home!
Day 4 - Rest day! Nothing planned today but swimming and relaxing! Maybe a photoshoot - and at least one meal at Kona...maybe 2! And the Chip and Dale campfire - just for Nathaniel! No movie though - need to prep him for that before hand!
Day 5 - AK day. It's also the day we'll be celebrating Nathaniel's birthday. We tried to stick it out to the parade last time without an air conditioned lunch break. That didn't happen. So, we'll tour in the morning, break for an early lunch at Yak and Yetti and then continue on our touring - making sure we have lots of AC shows planned! We'll stick it out to the parade if we can, and then head home. We'll stay no later than the end of the parade. We'll come home, relax, freshen up and then have a later dinner at Artist Point - our favorite special restaurant!
Day 6 - Another Epcot Day. We will skip rope drop unless we REALLY feel we want to see just a bit more of Future World. We plan to be there just before 11 and spend the day in WS. We'll go and visit a few of the countries. We'll snack around the world and top it off around 2 or 3 with a stop to Beaches and Cream. After that, we'll roll on home to spend the evening relaxing and swimming.
Day 7 - Magic Kingdom day! We'll be celebrating Ainsley's birthday today! We are going to have a repeat performance of last trip. 8:00 BBB appointment, pictures taken at the expo, late breakfast at Main St. Bakery, spend the morning on Tom Sawyer Island (try to be there before 11) and then break around 1. Mandatory nap today for EVERYONE! We'll have a birthday dinner at the castle around 5, use up FP's we've collected during the day, and stay for Spectro and Wishes.
Day 8 - Break day! Nothing planned! Late breakfast at Chef Mickey's. Lots of swimming - maybe shopping at DTD and hopefully if we can swing it - La Nouba!
Day 9 - Full day in DHS. No F! Try to see as much as we can in the day - take a LONG AC break at Hollywood and Vine for lunch. Stay to park close.
Day 10 - Good bye Disney World! We'll check out and head over to MK for the day. We'll have lunch at Liberty tree tavern and just enjoy some of our favorite rides....and WE WON'T BUY ANYTHING!!!!! Lesson learned from last trip! We also won't stay incredibly late and almost miss our plane.

03-15-2010, 06:40 PM
Just noticed that Cirque blackout days are from 21st - 24th. So I'm reversing my break days so that we can leave room for Cirque. I am REALLY hoping we get to see it! It was just amazing last time!

03-15-2010, 06:41 PM
We are wanting to get walkie talkies for our trip so we don't have a repeat performance of last trip:

"Originally I was going to grab a FP for BTMRR and ride Splash, but Splash was shut down, so I grabbed a FP for Splash and told Ken if he wanted to, he could take a ride on the railroad with the kids and we'd meet him under the umbrella by hte railroad afterwards. Then Nathaniel and I took off for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. It was about 11:10 at this point. Nathaniel of course LOVED it! We got off and headed back to teh train station. I didn't see Ken so we took a bathroom break. Still no Ken.... I notice Goofy was nearby so we stood online and met Goofy. Nathaniel and I get our picture taken with Goofy because there was a photopass photographer there! We got our use of the Photopass guys! We come back....Still no Ken.....At this point I noticed 2 trains had gone by so I figured he'd be on the next train. Under the train Depot is a playground. So I sat in the shade while Nathaniel played. The train came....and still no Ken... Now I'm starting to get worried. How in the world am I supposed to find him? He has a cell phone, but I don't. He has all my stuff, so if I leave the park without him, I can't get back in AND I can't get back into the hotel room! What if Ephraim's getting hungry? It's getting closer and closer to our Liberty Tree Tavern lunch. I know they won't let us check in without our whole party. I think, "maybe he's waiting by the enterance to Big thunder Mountain?" I go over and look - no luck. I check near the exit. No luck....I better just wait by where we said we'd meet. Maybe he needed to change a diaper or something. I asked someone what time it was and it was 11:35! Ok, WHERE WAS KEN!??! We start wandering around looking for him. We stop to say hi to Jesse (no autograph or picture because Ken has everything!) and still no Ken....We go over and check Big Thunder again - no Ken. I check down by the Tom sawyer docks - no Ken! As we are coming up from the docks I hear my name - THERE HE IS! He didn't listen to the plan and waited for me at the exit instead. He figured he had time to run the kids to the bathroom, so while he was in there, Nathaniel and I finsihed the ride. The one time I looked over there, he was out searching for me......This is why we STICK TO THE PLAN!" - The 2008 Surprise Trip

Soooo - anyone care to recommend walkie talkies for us!?

03-15-2010, 06:42 PM
Sooooo - today the September hours were published here on TGM BEFORE they were released on Disney's website!! YEAAAA! Thank you TGM! So, while no Least Crowded Park Days are out, it looks like I was spot on with my plans except for our last day, the 23rd. I don't know what I did, because last years MK Thursday was a red day too, but I had planned on our last day being MK because I somehow thought it was green. MK was really was the only park that made sense because of the amount of days we'd be at each park. And so, we did the only logical thing to do - added another day onto our reservation!!! So now we'll be leaving Friday the 24th instead - which is a MK green day! Perfection. We'll use the extra day (day 10) to do a half day at AK to see a few other things we had wanted to see there and just couldn't fit in a 1 day plan.

03-15-2010, 06:43 PM
So, this afternoon I'm sitting here on the internet and doing a little research on pins - where to buy them etc. I need to pick up Kris, Jade and Ephraim some pins and a lanyard so that they can have pins to trade too. (Nathaniel and Ainsley have some from their last trip.) Jade is sitting next to me working on school work.

Jade: "Sooooooo.....When do you think you are going back to Disney World?"
Me: "ummmmmmmmm......some time in the future...." (see - no lying!)
Jade: "oh.....so.....how much do you think it would be for the average teenager to go to Disney?" (Lol - the average teenager...aka - Jade!)
Me: "ummmmmmm.....Well the cost of an adult ticket...and then the air plane ticket and stuff..." At this point I "casually" but as fast as I can shut down TGM, Mousepinsonline, and the other things I had up and said "Well, OK - I'm done here - Tell me when you finish your essay" and I skeedadle out of the room!!!

This is going to be MUCH trickier to get all my extras done with certain children wishing and hoping to go to Disney (mine included)! It was much easier when all children were younger and didn't suspect a thing!!! Last time I was even able to PACK in front of them without question!! I guess the easy days of surprises is over!

03-16-2010, 10:59 AM
So, we have a little over 180 days until our trip, and about a month before Felix arrives. So what have I been doing to keep myself busy? Making my husband be busy of course! Since I have the desire to nest like crazy, but do not have the physical strength to do it, he has become my hands and feet. We are in the middle of some major kitchen renovations, and who has he recruited to help him other than our borroweds and our bios! My goal as much as it depends on me...which really isn't at all other than that I am the lead supervisor because I'm too sick to help - as my sister puts it "It's good to be the pregnant queen" . Anywhoo - my goal is to have the kitchen mostly finished by the time Felix arrives. Should he decide to show up early, I will not complain however!

So our Kitchen before:






Our kitchen had some very good bones, but was just in need of a facelift! I had grown tired of the yellow and green color scheme, the @ 30 year old linoleum needed to be replaced. It was disgusting - past the point of being clean even after a cleaning. And those awful vinyl tiles had to go. We had been praying about replacing the countertops too. As one can imagine, red peel and stick countertops are only in style for so long - and it went out of style in the 60's....Not to mention red countertops really don't go with anything.

I never thought of myself as a person who loved the color brown...but it's become very apparent that I do! If you read my other Pre-trip, you know that when we gutted and redid the bathroom, brown wound up being the color scheme. Turns out I loved it so much, I wanted it in the kitchen too!

First up on the destruction list is to get those awful tiles off the wall! We recruited Ainsley's help for this - she was a MUCH bigger help than Ken had imagined she would be. He wished he had her help for the whole kitchen.



While laying sick in bed, I had a clear view of the insides cabinets since Ken had removed the doors. Lined with old contact paper and over cluttered - they were a mess. Doing the insides of the cabinets had not been on the original "Honey -do" list, but as I sat in bed and those ugly things stared at me, I begged him to add it onto the "Honey do" list. He was originally very persistent in his "no" answer. But my asking made him curious about just how bad it was under the contact paper. Turns out it just needed a small sanding in some spots and a good coat of paint! We even found under the contact paper some of the wallpaper that we're assuming went with the counter tops - red rose floral pattern. So after some MAJOR decluttering of the cabinets - I mean did we REALLY need 50+ tupperware containers....if I wasn't nesting I would have said yes, but thankfully I am so I tossed a whole lot of stuff...here was the finished results of the insides of the cabinets


and the walls...


Next up on our demolition list was the floor.


As you can see - it was a little worse for the wear. Do you see the big gouge in the linoleum? This is why you do not let the wife help move furniture.

So one of our borroweds to the rescue. Kris came over to help Ken demo the floor. That kid worked like a beast! Ken was so glad he was there to help! It would have been longer than a weekend job without him!



The original plan was to pull up the linoleum and luon (sp?) and then have someone come in and replace the linoleum. That was the plan until we found this...



At that point we went "Oh my!!!" Obviously a MUCH different find than what we found in the bathroom. (For those of you who didn't read my last pre-trip - what we found was that our toilet's wax seal had broken years ago and we didn't know it. Waste soaked through the floor and up the walls. We found all sorts of nasties under that linoleum!!!) At that point, we decided if our landlord consented, we wanted to keep the hardwood floors, provided they were in good condition.

Ephraim was as good as could be during the floor demo. While the older kids played outside in the snow, he sat quiet as a mouse playing with his brothers legos...see - he's not ALWAYS a trouble maker!


We demoed the rest of the kitchen and low and behold - it's beautiful throughout!



The boys clean up and call it a night!


03-16-2010, 11:06 AM
The next morning they are back at it again! This time it's the bios turn to help! Nathaniel helped get up all the nails out of the floor while Ken tackled the last of the linoleum on the floor.




Finally there was a "Ladies Job" and Ainsley could help out without killing herself!


Even Ephraim "helped"


We put the cabinet doors up and called it a weekend!


Next up was the sanding and staining and polyurethane-ing of the floor. We sent the kids over to our neighbors for the sanding so that hopefully we wouldn't have an asthma attack on our hands. And then Kris and Ken went to work!


After Kris saw how it was done, Ken let Kris have a go with the sander.


The finished project


The next day, Jade helped out with staining the floor.



While Ephraim lounged and watched TV



And in case you are wondering where all the kitchen furniture went....





We got the Polyurethane on. It was supposed to be "quick dry" - a 3 hour drying time. The first coat took about 4 hours to be tacky to the touch...the 2nd coat??? over 12 hours to be tacky to the touch! So because of the central location of our kitchen (you can't get from point A to B without going through the kitchen), there are foot prints in the floor polyurethane! We decided our next weekend trip to see family we'll put down the last coat right before we leave. That way it will have plenty of time to dry!

You are now up to date with the kitchen remodel! As for the baby...


He's still growing! I have about a month left! Can't wait!

By the way - do you know how difficult it is for a very pregnant lady to jump over a table??

Oh and because we had budgeted about $400 for the Linoleum kitchen floor, but wound up spending just over $100 on the hardwood - we are going to do the counter tops (with our landlords permission) - and still come in under budget!!! :)

03-16-2010, 11:07 AM
Jade came across the kids 2008 Birnbaum for kids book - so now I have a pretty good idea what are her "must do's". Turns out Tower of Terror is one of the top things to do on her list "if she ever ever gets to go to Disney." DHS is going to be tricky to plan....I'm thinking maybe Ken and the older kids can hit TOT and RNR while I take the little ones to Playhouse Disney. While my older kids would sit through Playhouse Disney (and secretly enjoy it), I don't think they'd MIND missing it....at least I'm telling them a bit early this time! That will help with some last minute park tour planning.

And no surprise here - but Canada is number 2 on her "must do" list. She has a random obsession with Canada.

03-18-2010, 10:12 AM
After a very restless sleep, I was finally up at the crack of dawn to book my ADR's.

9/14 - Kona Cafe 6:15 (wanted 6:20)
9/15 - Tony's 11:35 (wanted 11:40)
9/16 - Coral Reef 11:35 (wanted 11:40)
9/16 - Teppan Edo 5:30 (Wanted 5:45)
9/17 - Chef Mickey's 11:10 (I wanted the latest breakfast)
9/17 - Kona Cafe 6:15 (Wanted 6:20)
9/18 - Yak and Yetti 11:30 (wanted 11:40)
9/18 - Kona 5:30 (wanted 5:40)
9/19 - Donald's Safari Breakfast 9:55 (wanted 10:30)
9/19 - Artist Point 5:40 (wanted 5:00)
9/20 - BBB 8 am - exactly what I wanted!
9/20 - CRT 5:25 (wanted 5:00)
9/21 - Kona Cafe11:05 (wanted 11:05)
9/21 - Kona Cafe 5:10 (wanted 5:00)
9/22 - Hollywood and vine 12:10 (wanted 11:40)
9/23 - nothing! - Snacking around the world and Beaches and Cream
9/24 - LTT - 12:05 (wanted 11:40)

03-18-2010, 11:31 AM
Hi :goodvibes I came on to to go my PTR and ended up seeing yours. I remember the name from your last PTR! I enjoyed it, and I loved your surprise videos! The kids are so much bigger now!

We went for the first time last May and are going back in September as well. We are staying from 9/18-9/27!!!

Great job and congrats with getting all of your ADRs.

And that kitchen of yours looked like quite the job! But it's looking great!

It's also so nice of you to take your friend's kids along. It sounds like they are going to be super surprised and grateful to be going. :thumbsup2


03-19-2010, 10:09 AM
Hi :goodvibes I came on to to go my PTR and ended up seeing yours. I remember the name from your last PTR! I enjoyed it, and I loved your surprise videos! The kids are so much bigger now!

We went for the first time last May and are going back in September as well. We are staying from 9/18-9/27!!!

Great job and congrats with getting all of your ADRs.

And that kitchen of yours looked like quite the job! But it's looking great!

It's also so nice of you to take your friend's kids along. It sounds like they are going to be super surprised and grateful to be going. :thumbsup2


Lol - The word "surprise" always pulls me into a pre trip or trip report too because I love people surprising their kids with Disney!

We hadn't realized how much the kids had grown until we started watching the old videos from the last trip. Ainsley was as tall as Ephraim is currently!!

Oh - we'll be there around the same time! Where are you staying? I'll have to read your pretrip - did you get the ADR's you wanted too?

The kitchen hasn't been too much of a job - especially for me since I just sit and supervise! :rotfl2: But seriously - after the bathroom, the kitchen is a walk in the park.

I can't wait to surprise our kids and Kris and Jade - they are ALL going to be so excited, and I think our kids will be doubly surprised that Kris and Jade get to come! :thumbsup2 They know that we want to go back to Disney "sometime in the future" - but they think between the baby coming, and buying a house this year, that it won't be for a while. ;)

And thank you! I am waiting not-so-patiently for Felix to arrive. The warm spring weather has me feeling impatient because I've been telling the kids "when the flowers appear, it will be time for Felix to come." Well, the flowers are starting to poke through the ground now and I'm like HURRY UP!!!!!!

03-22-2010, 10:31 AM
Oh, I know toward the end of a pregnancy you just can't wait any longer for that little baby!

And on our ADRs, we didn't need to make any ,we are doing the quick service dining plan! I debated between upgrading to the regular ddp, but we are staying with QS.

03-22-2010, 11:21 AM
HEY! joining in on the fun! Can't wait to read more!

04-06-2010, 10:14 AM
Thanks for reading everyone! Not much has been going on here. We did manage to grab out airfare down to Florida for $74/pp! That's from NY to FL! :banana: So now we just wait for the price to be right for the way home!

Other than that, I've had an infected wisdom tooth extracted :sick:, patiently awaiting the announcement of Free Dining :wizard:, and not so patiently awaiting the birth of our son :cloud9: - and really hoping that the last two don't fall on the same day!!!:rotfl:

05-06-2010, 01:50 AM
Hi, just checking in! I hope you got the Free dining. We did!! We were with the QS plan that I had with my pin, but since we are staying at Port Orleans riverside we have the regular ddp, i'm so happy. We got great ADRS too!!! My kids are going to love the dining.

Did that baby of yours arrive yet?

05-06-2010, 12:40 PM
Ok - so I've been very very bad at updating my PTR on the Dis..but I've been updating on TGM - so I'll cut and paste everything that has been happening - as you'll find out, I've been very busy!


So I am still waiting on Free Dining and a baby! So of course, since Disney changed the MNSSHP dates and Spectro dates, and I'm still waiting, I took the time to rearrange my schedule, because Disney's change in schedule left me with 2 days of yellow parks. You didn't think I'd keep my schedule the SAME this WHOLE TIME did you!? So here are the new plans:

September 14th - Our flight arrives at 9 am - so we'll be in the parks around lunch time!! We are still hitting MK this day. No change in schedule here. Still going to Kona for dinner.

September 15th - Still hitting MK this day too. Still going to Tony's for lunch. Still staying for Wishes.

September 16th - We are still going to Epcot this day, however we are using this as one of our "rest/take it easy" days. We'll be touring World Showcase instead. We'll be there for WS opening at 11, which gives us some sleep in time. We'll wander about for a few hours, mostly shopping and snacking and finish off with a walk over to Beaches and Cream and head back for an early evening of relaxing over at Wilderness Lodge.

September 17th - Crazy day over at DHS. We'll be there from park opening until park closing - but no F! so park close is at 7. We are going to Hollywood and Vine for lunch at 1 - perfect time for a long AC break. We'll do CS for dinner.

September 18th - Today is a rest day. We have a Chef Mickey's breakfast ADR at 11:10. We'll do a little shopping at DTD later in the day, dinner at WGP Express or Earl of Sandwich and La Nouba. If we cannot swing La Nouba, we will go to Kona for dinner at 5:30 instead. Either way, it will be a time of relaxation today!

September 19th - We are going to the AK today. We aren't celebrating Nathaniel's birthday today. We'll do that on our 2nd day at AK. We'll go to Yak and Yetti for Lunch and Kona for dinner. We'll see if we can stay for the parade, but who knows.

September 20th - Today we are keeping the plans the same. Mk for Ainsley's birthday. There is a green Spectro night on the 17th which I'd prefer to do, but I won't be able to get the 8:00 BBB appointment, and that's a top priority for me. I'm not too worried about it. Our main goal for the day is Tom Sawyer Island and collecting FP's to use later at night. A yellow day isn't going to affect TSI at all. We're still going to the castle for dinner as well. Spectro and Wishes tonight. Hopefully it will be the Main St. Electrical Parade.

September 21st - Today is a rest day. Nothing planed except breakfast and dinner at Kona Cafe and going to the Fort Wilderness Campfire Singalong.

September 22nd - Another MK day. And it's green! :) It will however be our very last day in the MK. :( We'll go to the Liberty Tree Tavern for Lunch and Crystal Palace for dinner. I was back and forth over whether to go to CP or not. Finally guilt over not taking Ephraim to see his favorite characters won out!!

September 23rd - We hit Epcot FW today. We have a reservation at Coral reef for lunch and Teppan Edo for dinner. We'll be staying for Illuminations this night. By the way - rescheduling all my ADR's online this late was a breeze. There are SO MANY open ADR's. Don't be afraid if you need to reschedule for now. I'm sure as soon as they announce Free dining that will all change!

September 24th - Today we celebrate Nathaniel's birthday. Kind of stinks that we celebrate on our last day here, but we decided to stay the full day and catch the earliest non stop out on Saturday instead. And The choices for green parks today were DHS or AK, and I felt AK would give us more time to pack, swim and enjoy our last day at the park....that and I think Jade may revolt if she has to wait this long to go to DHS! We have a 10:20 reservation with Donald and we end our dining experience with a bang! Artist Point tonight at 5:40.

September 25th - Our flight leaves at 9:50, so it will be a bright and early morning! Sigh. It makes me sad just thinking about this. I don't want to go home already.

05-06-2010, 12:42 PM
4/23 -

I'm having a repeat performance of Ephraim's labor. I'm on day 8 of labor right now. So hopefully sometime soon he will arrive! I thought last night was going to be the night, but not so much!! I'll update with pictures as soon as he shows up!!

05-06-2010, 12:43 PM
4/24 -

Thanks everyone for the prayers! As you can see, I'm still home!! He beat Ephraim's 5 days of labor. But spirits are high and I'm just waiting for the Lords perfect timing for Felix to arrive!

05-06-2010, 12:44 PM
4/27 -

This update was written by my best friend on TGM:

I'm going to spread the news on behalf of my best friend....she had a very, ummmm, let's say INTERESTING, delivery experience...


Luckily everyone is happy and healthy!!!

Now if only Disney would announce Free Dining - then Laura's month would really be complete!

05-06-2010, 12:45 PM
4/27 -

Lol - My Lauren is correct!! Felix Matthew Tangel was born at 12:42 PM this afternoon. He weighs in at 7 lbs. 9 oz. and is 20 inches long. Wait for it.....he was born on the side of I-390!! Vicki (My sister) and Ken delivered him. He just couldn't wait! Besides that I wouldn't have to have to be poked and prodded all through labor and delivery (LOL - Prayer Answered! Just not in the way I would have thought!) , my prayer was that Felix and Free Dining would not arrive on the same day. So now that I can make the phone call - C'mon FREE DINING!!!! :)


I'll give the full details later on!

05-06-2010, 12:49 PM
I gave birth on the side of the road....it doesn't even seem real. I feel like I'm telling about a dream I had instead of real life! But I shall try and relay my story!

So, as you know, I'd been sick with morning sickness for 9 months, and had really been hoping for an early delivery. Ainsley's pregnancy was very similar, and I had her nearly 2 weeks early, so I thought this pregnancy would follow suit. But as the 13th came and went, I knew that my hopes for an early delivery were not to be. Looks like I get to learn a lesson in patience and endurance again!


Then, on the 15th, I wake up to contractions! Yeah! Felix will be born today. But as the day progressed, I suddenly realized we were in for more of the waiting game. Contractions were coming strong every 10 minutes....and doing nothing. They didn't get closer, they didn't intensify. They just were there. It was a repeat performance of Ephraim's labor. Ok - That lasted 5 days last time. We'll just have to wait them out.
The morning of the 20th came, and the contractions woke me up...and they were coming harder and faster! Yeah! The time has come!!! We had a Dr. appointment in the morning, so we canceled it. We said we'd be coming in later - labor had finally started to pick up. Ken took the day off of work and we waited....and waited....and waited. Contractions coming steadily every 5 - 7 minutes....and yet...nothing. I finally decide to lay down and they putter out to 15 minutes apart and I can sleep mostly soundly through them. The minute I stand up they are back up to 5 - 7 minutes apart again. Sigh. Ok - not today. I tell Ken to take the rest of the week off. Something in me was terrified to have Ken go anywhere remotely away. I figure, "take the week off - the baby has to come sometime this week, right?" Wrong.
Friday we call the Dr. and let them know what is going on. We schedule an appointment for Monday so that certain family members can calm down. I was CERTAIN Felix was doing fine during this whole ordeal. He was the most active baby I had ever had this late in a pregnancy. We knew going into the Dr. appointment that induction was not going to be an option for us. Well, it would be an option, we just weren't taking it. We had trusted Jesus this far, we just didn't feel led to go and have medicine interfere.
Monday morning came and the contractions were practically non existent. Ken asked what I thought, and I told him that it felt like the calm before the storm.
They did the stress test and all the Dr. really had to say was "hmmm...VERY active baby. I think it should be any day now." Felix was in the right position, VERY low, I was dilated some what. We just continued to wait on the Lord's timing fir Felix's arrival and be patient.
By Monday night, the contractions had started up yet again, but this had been the normal for so long that we didn't want to get our hopes up. We went to bed, and I slept through most of the contractions again - but I noticed that they didn't slow down this time. They didn't pick up speed or intensity either.
Tuesday morning started off like all the rest of my labor days. 5 - 7 minutes apart, same intensity, but I was fairly certain that this was it. We had an ultrasound appointment at 1:30. I didn't want to drive all the way up to the city, come back home and have to go back up again to deliver, so at 10:00 we canceled the appointment, called my neighbor to give her the heads up (she was watching the kids for us) and told the kids they had the day off from school.
Around 11 or so, I decided that if I was going to get a shower today, it had better be now, so I took a nice hot shower. I started to have waves of nausea in the shower, not unusual for me, so I asked Ken to make me some lunch.
As I am getting dried off, I'm hollering out when I'm having a contraction so my sister can keep track of it. (My sister, Vicki, had come up at the end of March to help out around the house and be here for the birth. She was such a Godsend! I don't know how I would have done anything without her here!) I have one contraction and then another crazily close together. "Really?? 3 minutes apart..."Vicki tells me. Probably from the shower - no big deal. I tell Vicki to make the kids lunch and send them over to the neighbors house after they finish. While I'm eating my lunch, the contractions suddenly pick up intensity. I tell Ken to hurry the kids up and get them out the door. We need to go soon. It's about 12 at this point, and the first time I had any thought of "it's time to head to the hospital now".
Our neighbors come over to pray over and anoint me before we head out the door. I make one last bathroom run and as I go to head out the door another contraction hits and hits hard. I suddenly think, "Should I be going??" I wasn't so sure. But Ken and Vicki were hurrying me along, so into the car I went. We didn't even get out of the driveway before another contraction hit. I screamed for them to stop the car. We have a gravel driveway and the rocking of the car on the gravel while enduring the contraction was a bit much. The contraction stops, on we go and I as I take one last look at the house I thought, "Oh....I forgot a garbage bag and towels to sit on in case my water breaks in the car....should I tell them to turn around for it....nah." So on we drive. As we head out of town, a contraction rocks my body and I yell at them to pull the car over, turn around and head home. I was suddenly pushing. Ken looks at me and asks, "Seriously??" but by that time the contraction had stopped. I started praying out loud for wisdom on what to do. Ken heard and said "If you are not sure, then you are going to the hospital." And on we drove.
About 4 minutes later, I was very aware that my contractions were 1 minute long and 1 minute apart. Hmmm...not a good sign. We hit the turn for the highway and I very matter-of-factly realized that we aren't making it to the hospital and we weren't making it back to the house. The peace of Jesus was with me because I wasn't nervous, scared or anything. It was what it was and Jesus had the whole situation.
And suddenly there was another contraction, I had the urge to push and I could feel his little head going down the canal. I yelled out something to the effect of "I'm PUSHING!!!" Ken said something along the lines of "well, don't". Lol -yeah, like that works. The contraction ended and Ken asked what he should do. I said, "Well, my water hasn't broke, so he can't be born yet." Not 15 seconds later is another contraction, and my water breaks and his little head hits the seat of the car. I lift my self off of the seat and scream "PULL OVER!!!!!!! My water broke and he's here." Vicki in the back seat is rubbing my shoulder and assumes I jump up because my water broke and it feels gross. Ken tells Vicki to call 911, pulls over to the shoulder, but doesn't really stop. He looks over at me questioningly and says, "Seriously??" To which I so sweetly reply "STOP THE FR.....(grumble grumble Jesus help me control my tongue) CAR!!!!" He stops, and I hear Vicki reply to the 911 operators question of "911 what's your emergency?" "Having ....a baby??" and then she hands the phone over to Ken. Vicki jumps out of the car, opens my door and I tell her to get my seat belt off. I'm trying not to push but I can feel he is here. As Vicki gets my seat belt off, she asks, "Do you need to stand through a contraction or something?" I answer by standing up and saying "Pull my pants down and catch!!!" She gives me this quizzical look, but obeys. In Vicki's words, "I pulled down your pants expecting to see your privates, but instead I thought...Oh! That's not supposed to be there!!!" Vicki Put her hands on the top of Felix's head, I sat down and gave a push while Vicki caught Felix's head and yelled out a very coherent "KEN!!! HEAD!!! HE'S HERE!!!" Ken made a mad dash around the other side of the car and took over. One final push and Felix landed in his Papa's arms on mile marker 58.2!


We had about a 10 - 15 minute wait for the ambulance to arrive - so those first few minutes were just the 4 of us. No running around and whisking him away from me and giving him this shot and that medicine. Even though we were on the side of the highway - it was the best birth experience I've had yet. It was so wonderful to just be there with my little boy and not have cray amounts of people buzzing around me. So at 12:42 Little Felix Matthew entered the world - less than an hour from the first time I realized that we needed to head to the hospital!


In the ambulance:


Aunt Vicki aka head catcher (who gave the shirt off her back to wrap Felix in!)


The kids meeting Felix for the first time:


Proud Papa:


Little Felix


05-06-2010, 01:36 PM
OH MY WORD!!!!!!!!! I don't even know what I want to say right now. You must have been scared, your poor husband must have been scared. WOW!!

Congratulations!!! He is absolutely beautiful!!!! I'm so glad everything went well with you and that felix is nice and healthy!!!! Keep those pictures of that cute little guy coming!!!!!
The pic of all of the kids at the hospital with the baby is really cute too! Your husband looks so proud. I know all new parents are but his job was definitely a different experience.


Your Disney plans look great, we'll be there the same week, but it looks like we have different parks planned for each day, but ya never know, we may run into you guys!!!!

05-07-2010, 09:05 AM
Sooo - Free dining was announced AFTER Felix was born (Yeah! Another answered prayer. Thankfully Lauren was on stand by for us just in case!)

Before Free dining came out - the Stay and Play deal came out, and Lauren suggested that I do some Disney math to figure out the best deal. So Free Dining comes out AND a 40% off Resort Room on the same day! And that's when the wheels started turning...we have 2 rooms to book...which means I can arrange people in the room reservation so that I can make the best of the deal. So after a whole lot of Disney math on the Disney website, here is what I booked:

Wilderness Lodge
9/14 - 9/25
Woods Room view
Connecting Rooms
9 day base park pass

Room 1:
40% off plus added dining plan - save nearly $700 over Free Dining!! Thank you Lauren and Disney Math! I would have just booked Free Dining without thought before hand.

Room 2:
Free Dining - to book with the 40% off plus added dining plan would have cost $200 more than Free Dining!

So thanks to Disney math, deals, and Lauren - I saved about $900!

And last night I had my very first Disney dream. We told the kids, told them to pack their suitcases, we had less than 2 hours to get to the airport and then suddenly we realized, "Where is Kris!?" We then realized he was over an hour away in the opposite direction of the airport, and we were trying to figure out how we were going to get him to us and get to the airport on time. Lol - mental note - Make sure Kris is with us when it's time to leave!

05-07-2010, 10:38 AM
Great looking plans!!!!!

I still can't believe your article though! :goodvibes

05-07-2010, 10:52 AM
OH MY WORD!!!!!!!!! I don't even know what I want to say right now. You must have been scared, your poor husband must have been scared. WOW!!

Congratulations!!! He is absolutely beautiful!!!! I'm so glad everything went well with you and that felix is nice and healthy!!!! Keep those pictures of that cute little guy coming!!!!!
The pic of all of the kids at the hospital with the baby is really cute too! Your husband looks so proud. I know all new parents are but his job was definitely a different experience.


Your Disney plans look great, we'll be there the same week, but it looks like we have different parks planned for each day, but ya never know, we may run into you guys!!!!

Actually, we weren't scared at all. We had known that my labor could go very fast - and so we had jokingly prepared ahead of time, not REALLY expecting to deliver Felix on our own. We even watched a youtube video on how to deliver a baby unassisted! :laughing: Little did my sister know how handy that would come in! She said she caught the baby's head and all she could think was "What came next in the video....WHAT CAME NEXT??? KEN!!!!" :lmao:

We loved the experience of delivering our own baby that we are doing a home birth next. Partly because we are afraid we won't make it to the hospital on time again and partly because we want that hands on experience again.

And we are all loving little Felix! He is getting so much attention, between me and Ken, Kris and Jade, and Nathaniel, Ainsley and Ephraim - the boy never gets put down! :cloud9:

05-07-2010, 10:53 AM
Great looking plans!!!!!

I still can't believe your article though! :goodvibes

Lol - I lived through it, and I still can't believe it either!!!:rotfl:

05-07-2010, 05:25 PM
I just stumbled across your pre-trip report and started reading and I am amazed at your birth experience! I had short labors with my first two kids (6hrs and 3hrs - 2nd child delivered 12 minutes after we arrived at the hospital) and when I was pregnant with my third I joked "I just don't want to be that woman on the news that has her kid on the side of the highway!" I'm glad everything turned out great for you and your family!

05-18-2010, 03:20 PM
It never occurred to me that I might go on the side of the road! I thought either home or the hospital. It didn't really dawn on me that in the hour commute to the hospital I might give birth! :lmao:

06-03-2010, 04:23 PM
We were at the Dr.'s the other day for Felix's check up (which by the way went well) and while we were there, I had Ainsley's height checked. Turns out my little peanut has passed the 40 inch mark!! That means she can ride Splash, BTMRR, Soarin', Test Track and a whole bunch of other rides that she's wanted to !!!! YEAH!

Felix is growing by the day and is wonderful! He's already sleeping through the night! Right now I'm on the search for a baby wrap to wear him in Disney. I have 2 - One ring sling, and a wrap. The wrap I have is perfect for cooler days, but I think we will both die of the heat if we wear it in Florida!! I'm seriously thinking of this one.


and maybe this one:


Anybody happen to have one and can give me thoughts/opinions?

Besides searching for cooler fabric baby wraps, I've been thinking on coordinating outfits! I pulled out Ephraim's summer clothes today and he has TONS of REALLY cute shirts, many that match Ken's - so now the wheels are turning! We'll be searching the stores for good deals on shirts for Nathaniel and Kris, as both closets are lacking - and I'm neurotic about having coordinating outfits!

06-03-2010, 04:28 PM
So after just not being satisfied with the original surprise plan, we came up with a new one! We will invited the borroweds over for a family birthday party for Ainsley and Nathaniel. That won't strike them as odd because 1. They are always here anyway and because 2. They were here for family birthday parties for Ephraim, Ken and me. We will hold the ever popular "game night" - or day as the case may be, as part of the celebration. Instead of the usual Family cranium, Mastermind or Bingo, we will have a scavenger hunt. We will tell them that a prize awaits them at the end of the game.

Here's the rules of the game:
1. No running.
2. Work as a team and stay together.
3. Any mess you make while looking for a clue must be cleaned up before you go to the next clue.
4. You must open the clues in order.
5. Clues can be found inside or outside.
6. The name on the envelope tells who gets to open and read the clue.
7. Have fun!!!

The clues are as follows - I am not going to give you the answers yet - please try to guess them and post the answers so I know if they are too hard to understand!!! You guys can be my test run! Thanks!!!

1.) The first clue will be found where you rest your head.
You'll find the clue under your _______.

2.) Hurry! Find the next clue! Don't wait 'till later.
The clue is getting cold in the _____________.

3.) Just ask Pa, Ma, and Little Carrie.
The next clue is hidden with ______________. (Hint: This clue will be read by Ainsley)

4.) Pretend to make burgers with all the fixin's.
You'll find this clue in the _______________.

5.) Soaps and suds clean muck and mire.
You'll find the next clue by the ______________.

6.) Here's the mail, it never fails.
It makes me want to wag my tail.
The next clue can be found with the ____________.

7.) This one will be tough.
I know this for sure.
You'll find the next clue hidden behind a ____________.

8.) The next clue is in the Living Room.
That is for certain.
Good luck finding it behind the ____________.

9.) Dinner will be on the floor if its not stable.
You'll find the next clue under the ___________.

10.) It's not impossible to find the next clue, "For nothing is impossible with God."

11.) This one will be tough. I just have this feeling. You'll find this clue hidden up on the ___________.

12.) Scrubba dub dub. There's a clue in the _________.

13.) It's the Great Big Book of Everything with everything inside. Take a look around it. The clue is right inside.

14.) Zone 2 holds the answer - I know it for sure. You'll find the next clue on the CLOSET FLOOR. (You wouldn't know the answer, because you don't know our cleaning schedule!)

15.) We use these to eat beans and lentils.
You'll find the next clue with the _______________.

16.) Look under there.

So the first clue will lead to an envelope with a piece of paper that reads "In just two weeks..." along with the next clue to lead them to the next envelope.
So here's how it will play out:
1st envelope - "In just two weeks..."
2nd envelope - "We will be going to..."
3rd - "Buffalo!"
4th - "What are we doing in Buffalo?"
5th - "We will spend the night at a hotel..."
6th - "and bright and early the next morning..."
7th - "We will have breakfast."
8th - "That's it??"
9th - "No." (I'm so mean! Lol - I'm going to drive them nuts!)
10th - "Then we are going to visit the airport!"
11th - "Are we going to ride on an airplane?"
12th - "YES!!!"
13th - "Where we are going?"
14th - "We are going to Disney World!"
15th - "we arrive in Disney on September 14th and are staying for 11 days! Our home away from home will be the Wilderness Lodge." They will also find a bag of goodies such as pins and lanyards, autograph books, Epcot passports, Disney Journal.

07-07-2010, 09:57 AM
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07-07-2010, 10:13 AM
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07-07-2010, 10:16 AM
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07-07-2010, 10:17 AM
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07-07-2010, 10:18 AM
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07-07-2010, 10:21 AM
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07-07-2010, 10:23 AM
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07-07-2010, 10:24 AM
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07-07-2010, 10:26 AM
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07-07-2010, 10:28 AM
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07-07-2010, 10:32 AM
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07-07-2010, 10:34 AM
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07-07-2010, 10:38 AM
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07-07-2010, 10:39 AM
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07-07-2010, 10:45 AM
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07-07-2010, 10:47 AM
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07-07-2010, 10:48 AM
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07-07-2010, 10:51 AM
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07-07-2010, 10:52 AM
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08-04-2010, 10:28 AM
So I was dying to tell the kids. It was near impossible to try and do all the things I needed to do and get JAde and Kris' input, so we decided to tell the kids early. We were going to tell the kids Thursday night, because they were sleeping over anyway - but then we remembered that my Uncle was coming for a visit. I figured that we'd have to wait another week or two to tell them now. I was cooking tacos Tuesday night thinking I should invite them all over for dinner because it was 500 degrees outside and we have AC and tacos are Kris' favorite when Ephraim yelled out "PAPA'S HOME!!!" I'm thinking that can't be right, it's only 3:30, but he was home! He got off work early! So he came inside and asked if I wanted to tell the kids today instead since he was home early. You bet I do!!! We ran through the house for a quick pick up, hid the clues and ran to pick up Kris, Jade and Jennifer. (The brakes on their car gave out the other day).

Jade said she knew something was up when we started to play a scavenger hunt, and she thought it may be Disney World, but she wasn't sure. Nathaniel knew as soon as he found out we were spending the night in Buffalo. Kris was thrown off the trail by his mother who mentioned "when the Tangels take you to Mexico" - so he thought we were headed to Mexico...which was sort of true...we'll hit MExico in Epcot!

The kids were THRILLED and it was all they talked about last night! They were lamenting a bit that they now need to wait 2 whole months, but now they have time to get excited, Kris has time to learn about Disney (He didn't know Disney World consisted of 4 different parks, and has no concept of how big Disney is...we started trying to explain it last night.) All in all a HUGE hit!

08-04-2010, 10:29 AM

Only 60 more days!!!

08-04-2010, 10:30 AM
Going through the clothing today to coordinate our clothes, and then Monday we head out to go shopping. JC Penney's is having their 70% off clearance again - so clothing for all the children and a few things for me and Ken! I love sales!

08-04-2010, 10:30 AM
Thanks guys for reading! So speaking on my openness of my faith....with a full plate of 4 kids at home, planning our trip, schooling the kids, the Lord opened the doors for us to be buying our house NOW! We figured back when we became debt free that March 2010 would be when we would be buying a house, but as our timing is so not often His timing, I was instead having a baby in March 2010! (well, I was pregnant and due in April - but I was too sick to go house hunting, so the Lord put a solid stop on our house hunting plans then!) The only clear vision from the Lord regarding the house has been financial. We are not to take on more debt than we can pay off within 7 years. Our desires has been lots of land, secluded, but still close to every thing, a fixer upper and a dirt road. Well, we found it. A 5 acre lot that has a beautiful farm house off a dirt road, selling for $32,000. We know this kind of place could be a burden or a blessing, depending on His will for us. IF it's the house for us, we'll be blessed by it and the work that it needs (and believe me, it needs work! However the potential is amazing, and I feel safe moving in - I don't anticipate it falling down around us!). If this is not the house for us, and we press onward, the work ahead will be a burden. So prayers for the Lord's will to be done would be appreciated! If this goes through, we'd be closing between the end of August and beginning of September, and we leave the 14th of September!

Other than house hunting, we have been in a field trip term. So we've been traveling all over! Trips to the zoo, to the aquarium, Niagara Falls - it's been busy and LOTS of fun! We're soon headed down to LI to visit with family (including my fellow TGMer and bestest friend Lauren! Can't wait!) We've been doing lots of shopping too. We hit J.C.Penney's and did wonderfully there! Lots and Lots of new clothes - hopefully it will last them until at least next summer! No major growth spurts!

I'll post pictures soon - of clothing combos, field trips and hopefully our new house! So much to do! I'm down to 42 days, and I still have tons of things to do!!!!

08-04-2010, 10:31 AM
Alas, the house bid fell through, so we are back to square one. We think we are going to hold off on the house hunting until after Disney because I leave in a few days and will be gone for 2 weeks, home for 2 weeks and then DISNEY FOR ALMOST 2 WEEKS!!!!

So, onto my obsession! Disney planning! First off, the clothing! I went over to Kris and Jade's house with my camera a couple of weeks ago and took a picture of every single piece of clothing they owned. I then came home and armed with those pictures and the clothes in our closets, I came out with color themes of the day. Here's a little preview of the coordinating outfits consisting of only the clothing I had available before our shopping trip!

08-04-2010, 10:32 AM

Here is our Green Day outfits - Ken, Ainsley, Ephraim and Felix.

08-04-2010, 10:37 AM

Tans and browns for me and Ken.


Shades of gray for Ken and me


Black and white day for Ken, me and Ephraim


Shades of blue for Ken, me, Nathaniel, and Ephraim


Our red white and blue day


Yellow and blue day


Orange and brown day

08-04-2010, 10:50 AM
So, field trip days have been very helpful in practicing the buddy system in a touring setting! Generally, Felix and I are paired together:


Ken and Ephraim are paired together, or Ephraim is in the stroller if he is getting tired:



Ainsley and Jade stick together:


And Kris and Nathaniel stick together:



Turns out that, as we thought, that touring together is easy AND fun!!







08-04-2010, 12:59 PM
Great field trip pictures! Glad everyone works together well! They will do great in Disney!

Felix is absolutely adorable.

I loved the treasure hunt videos!

08-18-2010, 01:46 AM
I have been on the hunt for a new bathing suit for a while. When I first turned my life over to Jesus, modesty was one of the first things he worked into my heart. Clothing was always fairly easy to be modest in. It's easy enough to find shirts that aren't low cut, skirts that cover my knees etc. Bathing suits however was another story. I resigned myself to the fact that bathing suits were going to be immodest any which way you wore it. I wanted to have something that covered me more, but didn't really know what to do about it, so I was just content with the fact that everyone dresses like it, so, it's ok, since I can't do much about it. Then I picked up a book by Stacey Mc Donald called "Raising Maidens of Virtue". One of the chapters really challenged me. They asked something that really made me start thinking.

Tonight when you are getting ready for bed, stand alone in your underwear. Pretend that your underwear are made of stretchy, clingy material (Like a bathing suit) and picture that they are colorful - maybe with a bright floral pattern. Now try to imagine walking outside your room. Were you embarrassed at the thought? How about walking to your neighbors house?

And you know what? I was embarrassed at the thought! I wouldn't be walking around my kitchen in my underwear. I certainly wouldn't be walking around the neighborhood in my underwear. My bathing suit really didn't cover up much more than my underwear. Why, just because it was in a pool setting, was this suddenly ok? And after some prayer, the answer was that it never was ok. And so then the hunt began. And this time, I was going to stick to the standards that I knew Jesus had set for me. So after some searching, I discovered a bathing suit for me! It's from a company called Slim Perfect. It's a set of capris, with a tank. I tried it on, and felt very comfortable in it. I felt covered. And then I put it to the true test - the pool! I LOVE it! I am so happy with it!

While not in the least bit flattering, here's a picture of my bathing suit:

I love that it has a high back as well.

And even with all the extra material, it's easy and comfortable to swim in.


So woo hoo! I have a new bathing suit!

09-28-2010, 02:20 PM
Ok, first off, I love your bathing suit and it is flattering! It looks very nice!

Now come on....... I want to hear all about your trip and see pictures!:cool1:

10-01-2010, 04:11 PM
Why thank you! We're back from our wonderful trip, and so I won't keep you in suspense any longer! (By the way, I'm sorry to hear about your trip, but happy to hear you will be going in 2011!)

So on to the trip report!!

While at my Mom's house in August, I borrowed some luggage, because I was certain our one set of luggage was not going to be enough for all of us.


In the end, even all of this was not enough. We needed to borrow some from our neighbor as well!!

Try as we might, we did not finish packing in advance like we wanted to! Our goal was to be packed on Sunday night, but that just didn't happen!



I made a quick pasta dinner


while the kids watched Little Bear.

We had really thought about doing Garden Grocer this time around to ship down cereal and water, but in the end, we decided to stuff it in our suitcases. We were flying Southwest, so we were allowed 2 bags per ticket without fees. We decided it would be wise to use what we had at home, and use as many suitcases as we were allowed.



Before long we were on our way....actually it was long. We had aimed to leave by 2. I think we pulled out of the driveway around 6.


Felix was ready for a nap by the time we were ready to leave, and of course wanted to nurse to sleep. That coupled with our TERRIFIC sense of direction :thumbsup2 got us there in about 2 1/2 hours instead of an hour. We decide our plan for dinner at Denny's is out at Mc Donald's is in.


We once again stayed at the Sleep Inn and enjoyed it. It was actually cleaner than the last time we stayed. We ordered a King size room, and bedroom with 2 double beds that connected. It worked perfectly. We all sprawled around wherever to eat our dinner.


After dinner, Ken, Kris, Jade and Nathaniel went to unload the car while I stayed behind in the hotel room with the youngers. The kids entertained themselves by pulling out the hotel room bibles and reading bible stories. And because there were 2 rooms, there were 2 bibles - which means no arguing over who gets to hold the bible!



It wasn't long before the kids were snuggled down in the beds, trying to get some sleep before our flight early the next morning!




10-01-2010, 04:45 PM
3:30 the next morning we were up and getting ready for our flight to Disney. Our shuttle was going to pick us up at 5:00, and around 4:15, we were downstairs getting our breakfast. This breakfast buffet is one of the reasons we picked this hotel. The buffet starts around 4am, much earlier than the other hotels do, so we can have breakfast when we have an early morning flight. Also, the shuttle runs 24 hours a day, so we don't need to worry when our flight is at 6:10 and need a shuttle at 5 am.

For just under $200, we got 2 rooms, parking for our car for 14 days, breakfast for all of us and a ride to the airport. Along with not having the stress of missing our flight!


Before long we had finished our breakfast and was on the shuttle to the airport!

It was freezing both outside and on the shuttle!



Before long, our Motley Crew was walking the halls of the airport headed towards the first ride of the day.

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The kids then camped out by the window for the next several minutes checking out the plans, wondering which plane might be ours. This was Kris and Jade's first flight, and they were both nervous and excited.


We camped out in the same spot as last time, the waiting area with kids toys. This helped keep the younger kids happy while we waited for our boarding time.



We get everyone on to the plane with only one minor poopy incident (thanks Ephraim), and watch the sunrise from the plane.


The kids worked on their journals and coloring pages and other activities I had put in their journals.


It was an absolutely beautifully clear day for flying and a nice to see God's creation from a different angle. Both Kris and JAde enjoyed their first plane flight, and the view!



Ephraim, of course, WASN'T tired. Not one bit. He would not go to sleep because he was NOT tired. ;)


Felix also took a nice nap too.

The rest of us were too excited to sleep!




Before long, we were off the plane and in the bathrooms and it was only a little after 9am!


We hurried to our first monorail ride of the day

This time it wasn't nearly as confusing as it was last time, because we knew the ropes of this very confusing airport!

We of course stopped for the first Mickey sighting of the day.


It takes a real man to take the princess bag.

And before long we had piled onto my favorite bus - The Magical Express!!!


10-17-2010, 10:10 PM
We made it on the bus and we were on our way! We watched the movie and looked for all the landmarks - The Epcot Ball, The Tower of Terror etc. We were very excited!


The ride took much longer than I remember it taking. I remembered it being a 1-2-3 ride, but in reality, it must have been about 30 - 40 minutes. Either way, the excitement was at a fever pitch, so it did not matter! Before long, the kids were walking through the lobby of the Wilderness Lodge!


Check-in was a little difficult with 2 rooms, because 1 room was under Ken's name, and the other under mine, so I needed to keep calling Ken over while he was trying to herd the little ones. We had asked for connecting rooms, close to the Roaring Forks and laundry rooms for convenience. We had hoped that we would get the 6th floor, but didn't request that. Well, we got everything we had requested, and even the 6th floor that we didn't ask for! Our one room was ready when we arrived, but not the other, which was fine. We just wanted to run upstairs, check out the room and location and put down our stuff. Our stroller was also waiting for us, which we were happy about! Instead of having bell services bring it up, we chose to carry it up ourselves in order to get to the parks faster.

We had been thinking about renting the City Double from a stroller renting company, but when Ken found it on Amazon for $40 more than renting it, he seized the opportunity and bought it, having it shipped to the Wilderness Lodge. I was really hoping that we made the right choice by buying this stroller. I had done a lot of research, and was mostly certain that this was the one I wanted, but I hadn't gotten a chance to test drive it. Well, this stroller was worth every penny and so much more! It far exceeded my expectations of a stroller! So for anyone agonizing over the choice of a stroller, I HIGHLY recommend the City Double. We got a Micro, the next version up I think will be our next purchase.


We went up to our room (6008 and 6010) and the kids were just thrilled! They immediately went to the balcony to check out the view which was amazing. We had a woods view, and given the option, this is hands down the room I'd pick again. We could see the little alligator pond, Bay Lake, and if you looked through the trees, you could see the Contemporary, the Castle and Town Hall. If the wind was blowing towards the hotel, you could also hear the train whistle from the Main Street stop. The room was at the end of the hall, so no noise from traffic, but still close to the elevators. The elevators brought us right to the laundry and the Roaring Forks. It was amazing. And the best part? At night, you could watch the fireworks from the balcony. It was everything we had hoped and more!


View of Bay Lake from our Balcony:


Now it was 11am - Time to hit the Magic Kingdom!!!!


10-18-2010, 10:32 AM
So we left our room and headed down to the boat dock. Jade was complaining of the heat. It really wasn't that hot at the moment, but compared to NY it was!


As we were walking we heard the whistle of the boat, so we hurried along and were able to get the boat right away. Now, the last time we were here, at Ainsley's first glimpse of the castle, she let out a squeal of delight and her whole face lit up, but I didn't have the camera ready, so it's forever in my mind, but not on film. I was determined to get it on film this time.

With everyone else saying they had seen the castle, this was the reaction that I got: (video)

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I was thinking "That's it! That's your reaction!?" Oh well, I guess she's just getting older. or lying. It was the latter. When we turned the corner on Main Street USA and she REALLY caught the glimpse of the castle she SCREAMED " CINDERELLA'S CASTLE!!!!!!" and then started to cry because she was so happy. But of course, since she had led me to believe that she had already seen the castle, I do not have this on video.


As you can see in the picture, crowds were non-exsistant like they were last time! I knew it was going to be an awesome day in the Magic Kingdom!

After the mandatory picture in front of the castle, we were off to Colombia Harbor House and it was just past 11:30.


We use our first day as a day to get acquainted with the park. We do a lot of shows, not a lot of rides - or at least not a lot of the "main attraction" rides. We walked through Adventureland so we could grab a Fastpass for the Jungle Cruise, but the Fast Passes were closed down for the day there because there was no wait.


As we walked the round about way to Colombia Harbor House, we passed by Splash Mountain and grabbed a Fast Pass for it. Ainsley was beyond excited about this ride. She was finally tall enough to ride!

We finally made it to Colombia Harbor House. Trying to remember 6 orders of food was a bit much, but it was our first day, and I had forgotten a lot of the tricks I had learned last time. Like you do not need to order kids meals for kids on the counter service plan. So the kids had a PB and J sandwich with grapes and fries, while the rest of us had fish and chips, chicken nuggets, and a tuna sandwich (all DELICIOUS by the way. This is hands down our favorite counter service in the MK.) Ainsley and Jade needed to go to the bathroom, and I was nursing, so I sent them together since we were upstairs and there was a bathroom right there. Before long, I could hear Ainsley SOBBING hysterically, so I got up to see what was the matter, and Jade was carrying her back to the table. She had gotten to close to the door and someone opened it and it went over her toe because she was in opened toe sandals and the door scraped back the cuticle skin rather gruesomely. I thought she might lose her toenail during the vacation it looked so bad. We fished ice out of our cups and held it on her foot to numb it a bit. After a bit, the sobbing and the bleeding subsided. She had a real hard time controlling her emotions because she was so tired, even though she wasn't ready to call it a day. Ans soon as she would calm herself down, she would take one look at her toe and the waterworks would start all over again. She eventually got herself under control. Ken ran and grabbed a FastPass for Peter Pan since we were right there while we cleaned up and off we went. First stop - Swiss Family RObinson Treehouse!!


I was not going to miss that yet again!!!


This really was everything I hoped it would be! I loved it and it was NOT boring Mom and Dad!! I did discover however that if I lived in a treehouse, I would have thighs of steel. My goodness that is a lot of stairs!!

I'm pretty sure that the Robinson's did not have this in their treehouse...just sayin.



The view of the river:

When you get upstairs and the organ music is playing, I could not help but smile. This was just what I nedded to get me in the Disney spirit.


Amazing views


And so that was our first attraction we did in the MK - and honestly, I think that may have just become a "must do" for every trip!

10-25-2010, 12:27 PM
We left Swiss Family Robinson's Treehouse and headed towards The Tiki Room. As we walk, Kris notices that the ground is all wet. "What is this from?" Kris wants to know. "Wait here to find out" I tell him. It wasn't long before the kids were playing in camel and Tiki spit!!



While they played, Ken ran over to find out how many minutes until the next show at the Tiki Room. Once we found out we had 12 minutes, we jumped on Magic Carpets of Aladdin because there was no wait.



Kris was less than thrilled to be going on this ride because it was such a "kid ride." He changed his tune by the end of the ride. "THAT WAS FUN......for a kids ride I mean." Ahhhh...the Disney bug is starting to bite Kris. This ride is a must do for us, but on our MK filler day. I think if we only had 1 day in the MK, this would be on the chopping block.

After that, we ran over to the Tiki room and made it just in time for the next showing. We started watching the show, were singing along and having a grand old time, when Kris gave me this look. I thought it was the "Are you kidding me?" look. Turns out it was really the "This is AMAZING" look. This became one of Kris' favorite shows hands down. Jade was equally in love. Her favorite part of the show was when the castmember came dressed up as the Tiki Goddess in the middle of the show. It became an even more favorite part when she discovered that it was a robot!

After that, we went to ride the Jungle Cruise. I was expecting Ephraim to be in love with this and many other rides. And he did love the rides....but it turns out he is a CHICKEN. And so I now introduce for your benefit, Ephraim's Scale of Terror. A smile means no terror. A slightly terrifying ride looks like this:


There is also the one hand to the mouth, meaning that the ride is terrifying. Two hands to the mouth means it is slightly beyond terrifying. Two hands to the mouth laying down in the fetal position so scared that he can not even utter a cry is the absolutely worst ride of terror ever. I'll let you take your guess as to what ride caused this behavior.

Anywho, onto the Jungle Cruise we go!

"Everyone turn around and wave good-bye to the folks back on the dock... They may never see you again. "


You know, a lot of safaris camp around this area. Hmm.... that could be one up ahead. (Points) Uh-oh... this one has some uninvited house guests! One of those gorillas is going to have an eye opening experience. Should be mind blasting. I couldn't get that jeep started. They got it to turn over.


Do you know how you can tell that that's an African elephant? (wait for response)... It's because we're in Africa


Up on the grassy knoll, a fake giraffe is choking on a plastic leaf.


Here's a little advice. Never play poker in the jungle, because there are lots of cheetahs around. If they say they're not a cheetah, then they're probably just a lion. Over there is an example of the first Law of the Jungle: Don't be a zebra. Don't worry kids! That zebra is just sleeping. Those lions are his friends! The Lions are protecting the sleeping zebra.


There's that lost safari we've been looking for. Obviously mixed up in some kind of native uprising. That rhino seems to be getting his point across, and I'm sure that guy on the bottom will get the point in the end! Hey I know that guy on the bottom, on the bottom, there's Ahontis. Looks like the Rhino is trying to poke Ahontis.


Don't worry, the natives tell me that they are only dangerous when they wiggle their ears and blow bubbles....


And look at all the elephants out here today! This comes as a complete surprise to me cause I had no idea these guys were going to be here. If you want to take pictures go ahead- all the elephants have their trunks on.


As you can tell, this is one of our favorite rides! As we excited the ride, one of the cast members spotted Ephraim and apologized. He swore he had no idea how the monkey got out of it's cage. We promised we wouldn't mind taking our monkey home. The kids all REALLY wanted to ride the jungle cruise again. We had wanted to try out the Liberty Belle this time around, so it was a choice. We decided we would stick to the plan and head over to the Liberty Belle and try to go on the Jungle Cruise on another day.

Ephraim's Scale of Terror for the Liberty Belle:


Not a full smile, but we're getting there.

The Liberty Belle Boat ride provides some nice scenery, but I don't think we'd do this again. It was nice to do once, maybe we'll do it again in the future, but it certainly won't ever be a "must do" for our family.



The kids enjoyed this. Kris and Nathaniel ventured off by themselves to the bottom of the boat. We told them to stick together, and to meet us at the exit of the boat when the ride was over. Ainsley and Jade stuck with us in the shade. It was REALLY hot and humid.


Towards the end of the ride, Ken decided to take Ephraim and run down to the bottom to be with the boys when the ride ended. We agreed to meet up at the exit....guess who didn't stick to the plan again? We get off the ride and....Where is Ken and the boys?? We wait by the exit and wait and wait....soon the boat is empty and there is no sight of them. :headache: Since the exit and the entrance is in two different places, we decided to check the entrance where the stroller was parked. We head up to the entrance and....the stroller is gone! Uggghhh! So know I'm left wondering, did Ken take the stroller, or did someone else take the stroller! I decided to leave Jade and Ainsley at the entrance of the Liberty Belle and I was going to go check the exit one last time, and then head down to the Country Bear Jamboree because I knew Ken knew that was where we were headed next. I checked the entrance - no luck. I ran down to Country Bear Jamboree - no luck. People are lining up for the parade and I'm left wondering what to do....Do I let the kids watch the parade and hope we find Ken later? I run back to the Liberty Bell hoping they will be there and what a relief - they are! Ken did not follow the plan at all. Not even a tiny little bit. He took the boys to get some water, walked up to get the stroller, went back to the exit, saw we weren't there, stopped for more water, before finally meandering back to the entrance where the girls were waiting. :mad: FOLLOW THE PLAN.....you will see this is a problem through out the trip ending in a meltdown on my part.

10-25-2010, 12:28 PM
Now that we have found each other, we head over to take a seat to watch the parade. We don't get our amazing shady spot by the country bear jamboree because of Ken's wandering, so we take a slightly shaded seat and Ken runs across the street to grab water and ice cream.


We were so hot that I was afraid we were going to lose some of us to the heat. It wasn't long before we were digging into Mickey bars and Itzakadoozies and watching the parade.



When Miss Piggy and Kermie drove by, I called my Lauren to tell her I couldn't WAIT for our 2012 trip.





And then comes the first glance of the princesses and Ainsley is in heaven!





Poor Ephraim was so tired from the early morning and the heat of the day that he passed out cold in the stroller and missed the parade completely. Jade LOVED the parade. She was VERY emotional and said on three different occasions had to choke back the tears. :hug:I understand Jade, I understand!

05-03-2011, 09:34 PM
I hope someday you can update this report on the DIS since I'm no longer on TGM; I just love your trip reports!

11-13-2011, 10:21 AM
After watching the parade, we went directly to Country Bear Jamboree and had a great time singing along! :love: This is one of my favorite shows! Then we went over to The Hall of the Presidents.


The kids enjoyed this, but not as much as Ken and I did. And Kris. He loves American History - but like any 12 year old boy, he'd rather ride the rides! So we took one set of our Splash Mountain Passes and headed over for Kris, Jade and Ainsley's first ride on Splash Mountain!!!


I'm pretty sure the tongue sticking out means she's enjoying her first ride on Splash Mountain!


This is video of Ainsley's first ride on Splash - fast foward to about the 25 second mark, because before then it's just darkness and the noise of Splash.

http://i912.photobucket.com/albums/ac324/DisneyLaurabora/Disney%202010/Day%201%20-%20MK/th_Disney960.jpg (http://s912.photobucket.com/albums/ac324/DisneyLaurabora/Disney%202010/Day%201%20-%20MK/?action=view&current=Disney960.mp4)

We rode the rest of our fast pass rides and before long, it was time for us to head over to Kona Cafe! So we boarded the Monorail and headed over!


Dinner at Kona was AMAZING as always! But we were TIRED and practically falling asleep at the table. So after we finished, we tucked the younger kids into the stroller and headed to the monorail to catch a ride to the Magic Kingdom so we could catch the boat to the Wilderness Lodge. On our way, we spotted the Water Pageant.



:love: These two are melting my heart.


We got back to the hotel, got into bed and headed to sleep because we have a day planned at the Magic Kingdom tomorrow!

11-13-2011, 12:47 PM
It was bright and early the next morning and we were waiting at the boat dock hoping to make it to the MK in time for opening ceremony!


The boat ride from the Wilderness Lodge to the Magic Kingdom is one of the reasons we love the Wilderness Lodge so much.


We made it to the Magic Kingdom 15 minutes before park opening!

11-13-2011, 12:55 PM
Yeah! That means we get to hear the Good Morning song! It is one of our favorite ways to start the day!! But we still had 10 minutes to wait until opening so we took some photos, much to Kris’ dismay.


The kids watched the opening ceremony and loved it.


Here’s the crowd level on a TGM Green Day at opening (and once again – get TGM. Best money I’ve ever spent!)

11-13-2011, 01:34 PM
First ride of the day – DUMBO!

Dumbo is not my favorite ride, but the little ones enjoy it, so we always make it a point to ride at least once.

Next up, one of my favorite rides in Fantasyland – Winnie the Pooh! I was excited for this ride because I was SURE Ephraim would love it, since he loves Winnie the Pooh….but remember when I mentioned that Ephraim was a chicken?

Ephraim’s Scale of Terror: Scary


Early Morning Green Days are the best! No lines!


Snow White’s Scary Adventure is a favorite for us because of the massive amounts of Hidden Mickey’s on this ride. We love trying to locate them all.


Next we headed over to Ainsley’s favorite ride “La La’s Horses” as she used to call it. It’s bittersweet when I think of our 2008 trip. We had such a great time, but they all grow up so fast. Gone are the days when she couldn’t say the name Cinderella.

Ephraim’s Scale of Terror: Fine!!

11-13-2011, 01:39 PM
Felix first ride on Cinderella’s Golden Carousel
Video of the kids enjoying the carousel:
http://i912.photobucket.com/albums/ac324/DisneyLaurabora/Disney%202010/Day%202%20-%20MK/th_Disney961.jpg (http://s912.photobucket.com/albums/ac324/DisneyLaurabora/Disney%202010/Day%202%20-%20MK/?action=view&current=Disney961.mp4)

Next up we took a twirl on the teacups….well, I didn’t because if I twirl, I hurl. :sick:

http://i912.photobucket.com/albums/ac324/DisneyLaurabora/Disney%202010/Day%202%20-%20MK/th_Disney962.jpg (http://s912.photobucket.com/albums/ac324/DisneyLaurabora/Disney%202010/Day%202%20-%20MK/?action=view&current=Disney962.mp4)

Here’s Kris. He learned that twirling leads to hurling the hard way. Thankfully, he didn’t actually, but he was turning all shades of green!


11-13-2011, 01:43 PM
After Kris had regained control of his stomach, we headed over to the Barnstormer – our first roller coaster of the day!! The kids LOVED this one. They rode it 4 times in a row!


After that, we caught the train and went over to Frontierland and rode the second rollercoaster of the day – Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. I let the kids know that under no circumstances was there allowed to be dancing on BTMRR.


Video of the kids enjoying BTMRR:
http://i912.photobucket.com/albums/ac324/DisneyLaurabora/Disney%202010/Day%202%20-%20MK/th_Disney964.jpg (http://s912.photobucket.com/albums/ac324/DisneyLaurabora/Disney%202010/Day%202%20-%20MK/?action=view&current=Disney964.mp4)

Another Video of the kids enjoying BTMRR:
http://i912.photobucket.com/albums/ac324/DisneyLaurabora/Disney%202010/Day%202%20-%20MK/th_Disney965.jpg (http://s912.photobucket.com/albums/ac324/DisneyLaurabora/Disney%202010/Day%202%20-%20MK/?action=view&current=Disney965.mp4)

11-13-2011, 01:46 PM
After 3 rides on Big Thunder, it was time for our reservation over at Tony’s. We strolled down to Main St. enjoying the sights and sounds along the way.



Before we left, we got each of the kids their own pressed penny container. It was just an M&M container that had a custom label made by one of the many talented Dis’ers. It was a BIG hit, and a fairly inexpensive souvenier.


I had heard many bad things about Tony’s. I had heard the food was mediocre at best, don’t go expecting amazing Italian food etc. So I went in with fairly low expectations, but hoping that we’d at least enjoy our lunch. We LOVED our lunch! We had Chicken Parm, Tony’s Flatbread, Panini of the day – I think my lactose kids had pasta with olive oil and basil. Now, maybe I loved it so much because I was expecting a horrible lunch, but all the kids kept raving about how much they loved their lunch. We will come back here again for sure. It wasn’t as bad as people made it out to be!

11-13-2011, 01:52 PM
And once again – I LOVE TOUR GUIDE MIKE! How else, can you consistently get crowd levels like this! This was taken around 1.


So we finished our lunch and we headed over to take a ride on Pirates of the Caribbean and who is there but Pirate Goofy!


You can see the awesome autograph clipboards that we made. We love them!


When we went to Tommorowland, the kids discovered the cooling stations.


Video of the kids enjoying the cooling stations:
http://i912.photobucket.com/albums/ac324/DisneyLaurabora/Disney%202010/Day%202%20-%20MK/th_Disney966.jpg (http://s912.photobucket.com/albums/ac324/DisneyLaurabora/Disney%202010/Day%202%20-%20MK/?action=view&current=Disney966.mp4)

It was hot out and close to two, so we called it an afternoon and headed back to the hotel to rest and swim in the pool for a while.


After a swim, shower and rest, we were feeling refreshed and ready for the rest of the night!

11-13-2011, 02:10 PM
Maybe the extremely observant noticed that Felix had a wardrobe change in the middle of the day...



You see, as we took the train from toon town to Frontierland, Felix's insides exploded. Everywhere. Down his legs, up his neck - if you have kids, you know the drill. The 1000 wiper. Ok. No big deal. I'm a super Mom. I have four kids. I come prepared for times like these. We strip him down - right there on the train - cleaning as we go, tossing wipies and dirty outfits into the plastic bag as we go. Finally Mr. Felix is cute and sweet smelling again, and we are ready to get him dressed. I ask Ken to pull out the outfit from my bag. Ken looks in the bag and says, "I don't see it." I tell him look harder, it is in there. I know it is. I packed it the night before. It's the "Little Stinker" onesie that Ephraim wore the last time we were here and he blew out his diaper. With the word "Little Stinker", Ken's eyes get big, and he asks, "Didn't you pack another outfit?" :confused: No - I already packed one back up outfit...why would I pack two. And to that, Ken replies, "I was trying to be helpful...." At this point, I am not sure exactly what he did, but I know he did it, and that Felix will be naked for at least the remainder of this train ride. Ken then explains that he saw that my bag was a little overpacked, and being the master packer that he is, he rearranged my bag for me to make things fit better. He also took out things he didn't think I would need....like the back up outfit. :thumbsup2 At that point there was nothing to do but laugh!! When we got off the train in frontier land, I ran to the shop by Splash Mountain and found something for Felix to wear - and I even found it in blue to match the rest of us! :woohoo:

11-13-2011, 02:22 PM
It was time to head back to the Magic Kingdom and the kids passed the time waiting for everyone to get ready by watching the wildlife outside our balcony.


Finally we all ready and at the boatdock waiting for our ride to the Magic Kingdom!


We rode a few rides and once it was closer to Wishes, we bought a few Turkey Legs to enjoy while waiting for Wishes to start. We saw these on a Food Network Special on Disney World and since then, we have all wanted to try them. Let me tell you – these things did NOT disappoint! Felix was still too small for turkey legs, but he didn’t seem to mind!






11-13-2011, 02:27 PM
Before Wishes started, Ephraim was enjoying himself…

Ephraim’s scale of terror pre-wishes: Having a great time

Tinkerbell took flight, and he was fairly amazed at it all, but you can see the smile has left his face.

And then the fireworks started…..
Ephraim’s scale of terror: terrifying

Then comes the part where the villains have overtaken Cinderella’s Castle
Ephraim’s scale of terror: slightly beyond terrifying

11-13-2011, 02:32 PM
We finished watching Wishes, wandered through the stores and streets buying time because we’d rather wait in the stores and street than on the line for a crowded boat ride!



http://i912.photobucket.com/albums/ac324/DisneyLaurabora/Disney%202010/Day%202%20-%20MK/th_Disney967.jpg (http://s912.photobucket.com/albums/ac324/DisneyLaurabora/Disney%202010/Day%202%20-%20MK/?action=view&current=Disney967.mp4)

All in all an amazing day in the Magic Kingdom!!!

11-15-2011, 12:53 AM
It was Day 3 of our vacation and we were headed to our first day in Epcot. We were planning on today being spent in only the World Showcase, so we slept in late, got up, got dressed and went outside and it was a BEAUTIFUL day! We were looking forward to a great day in Epcot.




We could have taken the bus, but as I said earlier, one of the reasons we love the Wilderness Lodge so much is that we love the boat rides in the morning. Something about it is just so refreshing and relaxing. So instead of taking the bus to Epcot, we opted to take the boat to the MK and catch the monorail to Epcot. I knew it was a “red day” at the MK according to TGM. I had never witnessed a red day – nor did I ever want to after we had done a yellow day in MK on our last trip. But I was curious to know what it looked like. Well, I had my curiosities satisfied, and I was once again, I was oh so thankful that I wasn’t going there today and that I had found Mike last trip!!!


It was noon and we were on our way to Epcot!

A quick monorail ride…

And we were in Epcot!

11-15-2011, 09:12 AM
Our first stop….Club cool!! We had taken the time to go on and on about how GREAT the Beverly was to Kris and Jade and they were eager to try it. *Insert evil laugh* And of course, once we saw everyone drinking the Beverly, we all wanted to try!




Trying to get the Beverly down


http://i912.photobucket.com/albums/ac324/DisneyLaurabora/Disney%202010/Day%203%20-%20Epcot/th_Disney969.jpg (http://s912.photobucket.com/albums/ac324/DisneyLaurabora/Disney%202010/Day%203%20-%20Epcot/?action=view&current=Disney969.mp4)

Once we were done with Beverly, we all took some of the Mozambique, hoping to wash away the taste!

Now that we were full from drinking all the sodas of the world, we were ready to start our tour of the world. We had decided ahead of time to only focus on a few countries. I knew that in order to have any sort of meaningful time in each country, we would have to choose which ones we wanted to visit, and which ones we wanted to skip. We figured we’d spend about an hour in each country, and I had each kid pick a country they wanted to pick – and of course, they had to study out the country ahead of time!! We headed over to our first stop, Norway, to try our hand at the new-to-us Kim Possible interactive game thingy…Lol – the actual name of this escapes me.


11-15-2011, 04:26 PM
This was pretty cool, but now that we’ve played it, I think next time we might split the kids into two groups, because trying to be able to hear the message with 8 people crowded around the phone is somewhat difficult.


Either way, we had a lot of fun searching for clues and making the things pop up all over Norway.



The game took longer than I thought it would and Felix was getting fussy before the game was over, so Felix and I wandered over to the eating area in Norway to nurse. Once he was done, I wandered over to the gift shop, where we had arranged to meet since it’s air conditioned! I was wandering around, admiring the stuff when I saw a sweater that I REALLY liked. I had been thinking about getting a practical souvenir for myself, and in chilly upstate New York, a sweater would be great! Well, it would be great, that is, until I noticed the price!


I know. I’m a cheapskate. :rotfl: But at that price I might as well fly to Norway myself and pick it up. It may be cheaper. So instead of a sweater, I walked out with my favorite Swedish candy bar, D’aim. It’s kind of like a heath bar, only better. My sister usually sends me some for my birthday every year (She lives in Sweden), so it’s wonderful to get an extra treat during the year! Not exactly practical, but it sure was delicious!

11-16-2011, 01:19 AM
Finally I met up with the rest of the Kimpossible team. They had finished their mission and were ready to move onto the ride in Norway and do their Epcot Passports. Everyone really enjoyed the Norway ride – but then again, who doesn’t!? We then went over to the Kidcot station and bugged the poor Norway lady with lots of questions about Norway and how to say this or that in Norwegian. She was very nice, but way too reserved for our crew. I don’t think she was ready for my homeschool crew to have a million questions! But she was a good sport and even let us take pictures with her!



Next up, Kris’ choice, America!

I was excited for this choice because we had never explored this land in Epcot. I was never a history fan in school, but once I became an official Charlotte Mason Styled Homeschool Mama (yes, that is my official title), I found it fascinating. We’ve been studying over the past few years American History, and while I am sure that some of this was covered while I was in school, I certainly never retained any of it. I was probably half asleep, trying not to drool into my text book.

As we came into The American Adventure, the Fife and Drum Corps was just coming out, so we hurried up to watch the show. They were AMAZING!


http://i912.photobucket.com/albums/ac324/DisneyLaurabora/Disney%202010/Day%203%20-%20Epcot/th_Disney970.jpg (http://s912.photobucket.com/albums/ac324/DisneyLaurabora/Disney%202010/Day%203%20-%20Epcot/?action=view&current=Disney970.mp4)

Ha - one of the cons to homeschooling - some of the things you did day in day out on a daily basis in public school you do not do in homeschool. It was brought to my attention on this day that I had failed to teach my kids the Pledge of Allegiance! :sad2: Epic Fail for this homeschooling Mama!
http://i912.photobucket.com/albums/ac324/DisneyLaurabora/Disney%202010/Day%203%20-%20Epcot/th_Disney971.jpg (http://s912.photobucket.com/albums/ac324/DisneyLaurabora/Disney%202010/Day%203%20-%20Epcot/?action=view&current=Disney971.mp4)

http://i912.photobucket.com/albums/ac324/DisneyLaurabora/Disney%202010/Day%203%20-%20Epcot/th_Disney972.jpg (http://s912.photobucket.com/albums/ac324/DisneyLaurabora/Disney%202010/Day%203%20-%20Epcot/?action=view&current=Disney972.mp4)

We then went into the food court to have lunch, because we were starving. We had some all-american food. Burgers and Chicken Nuggets with Fries. Not very adventurous, but it filled our hungry tummies.

11-16-2011, 09:41 PM
Then on we went to the American Adventure show, which shows the history of America with the use of those amazing audio-matronics like they have in Hall of Presidents. I never get tired of watching them move. Amazing. The show was great. The kids kept piping up because they recognized an event or person in history, and the whole show was just fascinating. We loved it! We then came downstairs and checked out the gift shop in order to kill some time before Voices of Liberty started.


Voices of Liberty were AMAZING. We were so glad we watched their show. Really, if you go the American Adventure Pavillion, this is a don’t miss.

http://i912.photobucket.com/albums/ac324/DisneyLaurabora/Disney%202010/Day%203%20-%20Epcot/th_Disney973.jpg (http://s912.photobucket.com/albums/ac324/DisneyLaurabora/Disney%202010/Day%203%20-%20Epcot/?action=view&current=Disney973.mp4)

After watching them, I decided that this will be a must do for our 2012 Christmas trip.

So after saying afew hundred times how much we all loved the show and were amazed by their voices, we went to the kidcot station!


Cast Member Chris was a HOOT! He had us in stitches trying to spell all the kids names, and when we finally got to Kris’ name, Chris was all like “Oh – I can spell this one!” and started to spell it like his own name, to which Kris said, “Actually, my name starts with a K.” I WISH I had grabbed a picture of Chris’ face. We were already in stitches with his jokes but that look sent us over the edge.


11-16-2011, 11:29 PM
We had taken much longer than one hour per country and it was getting pretty late, so I told Nathaniel and Ainsley that their countries were on the cutting block since they had been to Disney before and Kris and Jade never had and Jade was SO looking forward to seeing Canada. They were fine with it. They are such good kids!

We wandered around the Canadian gift shop, checking out the different Canadian stuff they had, and adding “eh?” to the end of everything we said. They also had a cute scavenger hunt in the store that the kids did. And of course, we took the mandatory totem pole picture!




I’m tall enough to ride the rides!

After that, we went over to watch the movie “O! Canada”. Well, everyone but Felix and I. When I was a kid, we watched the old “O! Canada” movie – you know the one with the song, “Canada Canada My Canada Canada” – go to 6:50 if you have no clue what I’m talking about. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyUSgcUHTqI&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PL87602017527EE761

This version of song was one of my favorites. I have fond memories of replaying that song over and over again on my cassette player in my room singing into my hairbrush in front of the mirror pretending that I knew flawless french and do not sound like a braying donkey when I sing. But alas, I get motion sickness easily, and I left that show so sick to my stomach! So I decided that I would skip O Canada this time around. So I took Felix in the stroller and went for a stroll around the countries by myself. I think it may have been one of my favorite parts on the vacation. I made my first stop to some drink shop (It was an espresso shop or something) and got myself the equivalent of a McDonald’s Mocha Frappe – Delicious! And with cool drink in hand I strolled through the park. I walked as far as France before turning around and eventually parked myself in front of Off Kilter.


http://i912.photobucket.com/albums/ac324/DisneyLaurabora/Disney%202010/Day%203%20-%20Epcot/th_Disney974.jpg (http://s912.photobucket.com/albums/ac324/DisneyLaurabora/Disney%202010/Day%203%20-%20Epcot/?action=view&current=Disney974.mp4)

They were great! I highly recommend stopping by to see them!

11-17-2011, 09:37 AM
Finally the kids and Ken were finished with the movie and we were more than ready to head home. We were thinking of staying for Illuminations since we were so close to them starting, but in the end, we decided we would skip it and beat the crowds home.

We had been in the park for about 8 hours, and we were wiped, and because of that my feet and some of the kids feet were dragging. Felix had also had it with the stroller by then and wanted to be held. So Ephraim and Ainsley went into the stroller for Ken to push and I held Felix, which just made me drag even more. My feet were done. So were Nathaniel’s, who kept wishing he were small enough to fit in the stroller still. Kris and Ken were just slightly up ahead of us when Nathaniel had to stop to tie his shoes. We stopped, he tied his shoes …. And Ken and Kris were gone. Well, I know what direction they went so no big deal. Until we get to the exit and they aren’t there. Did we somehow beat them to the exit? Maybe they turned back to find us and we missed them? By now the fireworks were just about over and people were pouring out of the exits. We waited by the exit for a little bit before a cast member came to us and said “It looks like you lost somebody.” In fact, we did! She suggested we go to Member Services because that’s where you go when you loose someone. We wait and we wait and we wait….no Ken…. One of the members asks if it’s possible that he left and went home to the Wilderness Lodge. No way, I say. He would never leave us like that. He must be here in the park somewhere. I ask if I can use the phone to call his cell to find out where she is. She says no dice, I’ll need to use the pay phone. So outside into the dark corner I go, rummaging through my purse, hopping to find enough quarters to use the payphone when a hero comes. His name was Benjamin. He was by far my favorite cast member of all time. He could tell I was frazzled and he wanted to know what was wrong. I tell him, and he says “Never fear – help is here!! I shall help you reunite with your family!!” (No joke – he actually said that, with hands on his hips and everything). So inside we went, and I used the special Mickey Mouse phone to call Ken. While I talked with Ken – who HAD left the park, but was waiting just outside the exit for us – Benjamin entertained the children, giving them all sorts of goodies and pins. Once we had located Ken, I asked Benjamin for one more favor. We must have a picture with him to remember the day he rescued us. He came up with the brilliant idea of rearranging the greenery to pose for the picture, so it would look like we were escaping the “Jungles of Epcot in which we were lost!”


We shall always be thankful to him!

We met up with Ken outside the exit – long after all the crowds had gone. So we still missed the crowds – we just didn’t beat them the way we thought we would! It didn’t take long for the kids to be out cold.


It had been a long day in Epcot!

11-19-2011, 09:56 AM
It was a long day in Epcot the night before, but we were super excited about our day in DHS so we were up, out the door and on the bus by 8:14! I wish I could bring some of this pixie dust home with me in order to help me drag my bottom out of bed in the mornings. I am not a morning person – unless I’m in Disney!

So onto the bus we go – and we are the ONLY ones on the bus!


I’m hoping the empty bus means that it will be an amazingly empty day in DHS. I know that it is a green day according to TGM, but I’ve noticed there are varying shades of green!

We got there before the park opened. See all the people? I think it’s safe to say that all but maybe 10 of them went to Toy Story Mania first. It was insane.


By the time we reached Toy Story Mania – which was right away following ropedrop – and we weren’t incredibly far back


Anyway – by the time we reached Toy Story Mania, the wait time was all ready 45 minutes!!!


And the Fast Passes were already up to 10:25 not even 15 minutes into the day! Crazy!


Our original plan was to grab FP’s and then ride – but we skipped the ride. We are TGM’ers and we do not do lines. At all. Ever. We had our Fast Pass for TSM in hand so we decided we’d go on Toy Story Mania a bit later and we went onto our next stop on our to do list – Rockin’ Rollercoaster!

Once we hit the other side of the park – the non TSM side – it was like a ghost town.


It wasn’t even 9:15, and wooo hoo! No line at Rockin’ Rollercoaster because EVERYONE is over at TSM. (On a side note – really!? TSM beats Rockin’ Rollercoaster? Or Tower of Terror? I mean, yes, very cool 3-d interactive game ride, but really? I don’t get the hype.)

So this is our very first ride on Rockin’ Rollercoaster


11-19-2011, 10:10 AM
Just wanted to wish everyone a very wonderful Thanksgiving!! I'll update more when the festivities are over!!! And don't be afraid to say hello all you lurkers! :thumbsup2

Psalm 100
A psalm of thanksgiving.

Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!
Worship the Lord with gladness.
Come before him, singing with joy.
Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
He made us, and we are his.
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good.
His unfailing love continues forever,
and his faithfulness continues to each generation.

11-19-2011, 02:26 PM
Happy Thanksgiving to you too! I just discovered your TR today and I'm really enjoying it. It's very sweet that you took Kris & Jade with you on their first trip to Disney!

04-18-2012, 09:13 AM
Yuri was one of the cast members here, and she immediately became an honorary family member! She was feeling hurt because we hadn’t gotten the memo to her in time to wear orange, when we had obviously told Leo in time


so she searched high and low until she found an orange silly band. And our Christmas Photo for the year was born


Even Felix had a great time interacting with the characters


And I love the interactive dance party that goes on here….even if one doesn’t dance, it doesn’t seem to stop any of the other kids from having a great time!! Check out the video below... and no, we have no clue who the boy in blue is. He just REALLY wanted Ephraim to dance!

http://i912.photobucket.com/albums/ac324/DisneyLaurabora/Disney%202010/Day%204%20-%20DHS/th_Disney558.jpg (http://s912.photobucket.com/albums/ac324/DisneyLaurabora/Disney%202010/Day%204%20-%20DHS/?action=view&current=Disney558.mp4)

Yuri gave us tips on where it was best to see the parade, so we parked over by Pa (Aka Michael Landon).