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Old 08-03-2013, 10:47 AM   #241
Alysa
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Congrats on the job!!!!! So happy for you!
Love the cuddling on the couch photo.
Great countdown! Getting so close!
Love the supergirls in their capes. Karen is such a great photographer - did she take the photos?
A++ on the Harry Potter night! Love the shirts. Explain the sticker thing to me? Did you make the stencil? And cut out the sticker? Take pity on me, I'm a sadly sleep deprived mum. And dinner looked great! Yummy treats! You're an awesome mom!
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Old 08-03-2013, 11:57 AM   #242
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Originally Posted by wanttobeinvienna View Post
can I just repeat that I love that your vacation is just a few weeks before mine? Because I just keep cutting and pasting all of your wonderful work

My kids think I am sooooooo creative


I love your Harry Potter stuff and can't wait to have a similar night with my crew :D
Just keep cutting and pasting! I honestly LOVE doing the theme party and movie days. If we lived in a more urban, or even suburban, area I'd have started a birthday/event planning business years ago. Not much demand where we live though so all of my creativity gets funneled to my own kiddos.

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Congrats on the job!!!!! So happy for you!

Thanks!

Love the cuddling on the couch photo.

Me too! Just a grainy snapshot with my phone but still a favorite of mine.

Great countdown! Getting so close!

Yes, so close!

Love the supergirls in their capes. Karen is such a great photographer - did she take the photos?

Nope, those are my pics. We got our cameras at around the same time. She's upgraded since then AND she has a lot more drive than I do when it comes to photography. I enjoy it and have some basic skills but I just don't have that same drive to be better. And I'm okay with that.

A++ on the Harry Potter night!

Thanks! It was so much fun! I had lots more ideas but not the time or money to carry them out.

Love the shirts. Explain the sticker thing to me? Did you make the stencil? And cut out the sticker? Take pity on me, I'm a sadly sleep deprived mum.


I found a stencil on google images, copied it to a word document and printed it on full sheet sticker paper. I then cut out the stencil, peeled the backing off and stuck it on the shirt. It worked well because it didn't move around and the bleach didn't seep under it.



And dinner looked great! Yummy treats! You're an awesome mom!
Aww, thanks! I try. And it means a lot coming from someone who I know does so much for her own kids.
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Old 08-03-2013, 01:36 PM   #243
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OMG what a party! You are putting us to shame here!

We have begun our movie marathon, but alas, no butterbeer. I may have to go buy some cream though...did you use cream and cream soda?

LOVE all your theming. And I LOVE the subtle deathly hallows shirt. I may have to do something similar for our as-yet-undecided SeaWorld shirts.

WOW.
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Old 08-03-2013, 02:22 PM   #244
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OMG what a party! You are putting us to shame here!

We have begun our movie marathon, but alas, no butterbeer. I may have to go buy some cream though...did you use cream and cream soda?

LOVE all your theming. And I LOVE the subtle deathly hallows shirt. I may have to do something similar for our as-yet-undecided SeaWorld shirts.

WOW.
Thank you! I have SO much fun putting these things together. And it was pretty easy too. For the most part we just watch movies and maybe have a special snack- this was just a special occasion (the occasion being that I'm a huge nerd).

Yep, the butterbeer was cream soda topped with heavy whipping cream and butterscotch syrup. We lightly whipped the cream and syrup together before pouring it on the soda. In the pitcher it stayed separated and looked like dark beer with foam on top. When we poured it in the glass some of the "foam" mixed withe the soda and some stayed separated. I only had a sip but the kids loved it. :

The bleach shirts would make great SW shirts. A pale blue with a whale and a wave or something would look COOL! if you like the subtle design just be sure to get light colored shirts.
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Old 08-05-2013, 12:08 PM   #245
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A few laid back movie days...

This weekend we watched another movie for our trip and received two more from Netflix that are waiting for us to find time to watch. These are of the more laid back variety. Honestly, I could do a big movie day for all of them but then the kids have less fun (at their age it needs to be more sporadic to be special) and I'd go broke.

So, just a fun, themed snack to enjoy while watching each of these three. Any guesses what the movies are based on these snacks?


I'll leave you here guessing and let you know when I come back to tell you if we enjoyed the movies.
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:07 AM   #246
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AWESOME on the Harry Potter Party! LOVE IT! My eldest DD had a Harry Potter Birthday Party when she turned 9 & it still is her favorite birthday party to date. We had SO much fun putting it goether! And it looks like you did too!

Love the shirts as well- you are very, very creative!

And let's see- the one movie is easy- It's ET. But the other two? I can't think.......... Maple...has to do with Canada? Um... And pot of Gold? Um...Trying to place the rides in Universal and can't seem to match them up to the candy........ Nope, I fail on the other two candies.........
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:20 AM   #247
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Got caught up on the last few pages of your report:

Men-in-Black movie night looked like a lot of fun. I agree with you and others- the picture of everyone snuggled on the couch is precious!

I enjoyed reading about your day at Six Flags. Did the girls get any comments about their capes? That is so cool that they wore those.

I was intrigued by your Dining Plan post. I haven't really heard anything about dining plans at US, other than that all you can eat CS/burgers/pizza/chicken nuggets, that doesn't interest us at all.

Your themed Harry Potter movie night ROCKED!!! The shirts do, too. I have thrown a couple of HP BD parties for my boys and I wish I had used some of your ideas. The owl balloon was brilliant!

BTW- on the fish and chips- may not be in the movies, but it is one of the offerings for lunch at the Three Broomsticks!

Candies: ET, RipSaw Falls (Maple Cookies). Pot of Gold? Hmmm... Mummy? One of the Lost Continent things? Not sure.
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Old 08-07-2013, 01:51 PM   #248
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Originally Posted by Tinker326 View Post
AWESOME on the Harry Potter Party! LOVE IT! My eldest DD had a Harry Potter Birthday Party when she turned 9 & it still is her favorite birthday party to date. We had SO much fun putting it goether! And it looks like you did too!

Love the shirts as well- you are very, very creative!

And let's see- the one movie is easy- It's ET. But the other two? I can't think.......... Maple...has to do with Canada? Um... And pot of Gold? Um...Trying to place the rides in Universal and can't seem to match them up to the candy........ Nope, I fail on the other two candies.........
Thanks! The party really was so much fun to put together. I could easily do another because we just had a blast.

I can't take credit for the shirts. I saw the bleach stencil idea on pinterest (for a Hunger Games shirt with a mockingjay) and just adapted it with a Deathly Hallows stencil.

Absolutely right with E.T.

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Originally Posted by natebenma View Post
Got caught up on the last few pages of your report:

Men-in-Black movie night looked like a lot of fun. I agree with you and others- the picture of everyone snuggled on the couch is precious!

It was fun, mostly because of the couch cuddling.

I enjoyed reading about your day at Six Flags. Did the girls get any comments about their capes? That is so cool that they wore those.

They really didn't get comments but a few smiles and looks.

I was intrigued by your Dining Plan post. I haven't really heard anything about dining plans at US, other than that all you can eat CS/burgers/pizza/chicken nuggets, that doesn't interest us at all.

The DP was just added in July and can only be booked with a package through the UO website. Right now guests staying at partner hotels (but not onsite ) get two days of free dining with a 4 night/3 park day package. We decided to try it out. Three Broomsticks and the Simpson's area restaurants aren't included so we'll have to pay OOP for a few things but since it's only 2 days of free dining for 3 days in the park we'd have to do that anyway. So, it seemed like a good deal... but since it's so new I feel like we're gambling a bit because no one knows much about it so far. Which is why I contacted Universal directly since I was growing impatient about waiting for others to report back.

Your themed Harry Potter movie night ROCKED!!! The shirts do, too. I have thrown a couple of HP BD parties for my boys and I wish I had used some of your ideas. The owl balloon was brilliant!

Thanks! The owl balloon was another Pinterest idea.

BTW- on the fish and chips- may not be in the movies, but it is one of the offerings for lunch at the Three Broomsticks!

Good point!

Candies: ET, RipSaw Falls (Maple Cookies). Pot of Gold? Hmmm... Mummy? One of the Lost Continent things? Not sure.
Yes with ET and RipSaw Falls.

The chocolates seem to be stumping everyone... We haven't watched all the movies yet so I'm waiting to make one post about all three (since they're so laid back) but it's not about the brand of chocolates- the Hershey's Pot of Gold were just on sale so that's what I got. It was really just about the box of chocolates.
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Old 08-07-2013, 01:58 PM   #249
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The chocolates seem to be stumping everyone... We haven't watched all the movies yet so I'm waiting to make one post about all three (since they're so laid back) but it's not about the brand of chocolates- the Hershey's Pot of Gold were just on sale so that's what I got. It was really just about the box of chocolates.
OK- I think I've got it now.
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Old 08-08-2013, 05:05 PM   #250
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We are making progress on our countdown activities.

First and foremost, we paid off the trip! We still have to pay for things on the actual trip and I haven't ordered the PhotoConnect yet because I'm waiting for it to go on sale. But our UO package and airfare are 100% paid off.

We've also crossed a few more movies off of our list. I gave this teaser to hint at our upcoming movies...


Some of you were excellent guessers.

Last weekend we enjoyed (well, the kids enjoyed) the box of chocolates while we watched I Love Lucy. We'd already watched some of these but the 2nd DVD came and we watched even more. Kya LOVES Lucy now. I'm not a huge fan so I probably never would have introduced her to it if we weren't working our way through this list. Jace isn't a huge fan but he does like it well enough. I think walking through the Lucy exhibit and (hopefully) meeting her will be extra special now.

Then Tuesday morning the kids ripped into the boxes of Reese's Pieces while watching E.T. OMG- it was so fun to introduce this childhood favorite to my kids. I still remember when this movie came out and the anticipation that surrounded it. I remember my cousins and I surrounding ourselves with stuffed animals and pretending not to see each other. I remember my brother crying and insisting that my mom turn the movie off when E.T. died... and it was years before he actually watched the end of the movie even though we told him what was going to happen. The nostalgia factor is HIGH for me with this movie and I was VERY pleased that the kids loved this movie too.

Finally today we watched a collection of Dudley Do Right cartoons while the kids had maple leaf cookies. Jace loves satirical parodies so he really enjoyed Dudley's adventures. I didn't love these as a kid but now I can see that the humor was actually pretty witty and smart; it was just to subtle for me to get it as a kid.

So, we have about nine more movies to watch in the next few weeks. I think if we try to do about two per week we'll get them all finished before the trip with time to spare. X-men is next on our Netflix queue so we'll probably watch it soon.
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Old 08-14-2013, 01:35 PM   #251
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Just popping in to say that there isn't really much going on here. We managed to watch Terminator 2 this morning, no special treats or anything to go with it. Mostly because it was too hard to think of anything.

I have done a bit to prepare... I have lists! I love making lists so this was not a chore at all.

I have a packing, shopping and to-do list. Since we're only doing carry on my shopping list included some travel size items so we can comply with the 3.4 oz liquid rule. Our hotel is near a Walgreens BUT we are arriving late on Saturday evening and have to meet the Legoland shuttle early Sunday so we won't have time to get a few essentials. We MUST have sunscreen and bug spray for our day at LL so I got those in travel size.

I'm also working on finalizing our touring plans. I pretty much have everything done but am going through one last time to try to figure out what my mom will be able to do. In addition to her back injury she also has vertigo so she's a bit limited. I am really shocked though by how much she is still going to be able to do. I'll do an update soon that outlines the rides/attractions that are friendly to these limitations.

My new job starts next week and I'm sure I'll have less time to think about our trip so it's good that I pretty much have everything under control. 38 days!
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Old 08-19-2013, 07:24 AM   #252
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Sorry it has been awhile since I have been able to check in. You know how that that "life" stuff gets!!!

Congrats on paying off the trip! That is a great feeling!

Good luck on the job. Let us know how it is going.

So I was so positive I was right on the "Box of Chocolates" hint- I figured out you were going to eat at Bubba Gumps!

WRONG!!!





Glad to hear the kids loved Lucy. Mine don't know who she is, and we didn't do any Lucy stuff at the Studios.

Happy movie watching!
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Old 08-20-2013, 07:30 AM   #253
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Good luck with the new job starting (started) this week.

I love making lists. I wish I was better at crossing stuff OFF the lists though! Hahahahaha!!!!
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Old 08-20-2013, 08:22 AM   #254
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Sorry it has been awhile since I have been able to check in. You know how that that "life" stuff gets!!!

Congrats on paying off the trip! That is a great feeling!

Good luck on the job. Let us know how it is going.

So I was so positive I was right on the "Box of Chocolates" hint- I figured out you were going to eat at Bubba Gumps!

WRONG!!!





Glad to hear the kids loved Lucy. Mine don't know who she is, and we didn't do any Lucy stuff at the Studios.

Happy movie watching!
Ah, chocolates for Bubba Gumps would be good too! Sadly, it's not on the dining plan so we won't be eating there.

Class starts tonight. I'm excited!!

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Good luck with the new job starting (started) this week.

I love making lists. I wish I was better at crossing stuff OFF the lists though! Hahahahaha!!!!
The job starts tonight! I'm so ready. I was starting to get a bit depressed to be honest. Too much time at home and no money to go anywhere (especially since I have been determined to make this trip happen).

The trick to crossing things off lists is to add things after you've completed them just so you get the satisfaction of crossing them off.
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Old 08-21-2013, 02:37 PM   #255
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1 month!!!!!

ONE MONTH!!!!!


One month from today we will be on our way to Orlando! Even though we'll be leaving from STL airport in my mind we'll be at King's Cross Station looking for Platform 9 3/4.

To celebrate the day we watched another movie and had some tasty treats for lunch...


Today's movie was Jurassic Park which the kids enjoyed very much. We had some good discussions about how our understanding of dinosaur behavior and appearance have changed in the last 20 years but mostly we just jumped and cringed.

For lunch we had pterodactyl wings...


Fossil cookies with dinosaur footprints (made using the foot of Jace's dinosaur model he got at the Field Museum in Chicago)...


And striated dino dig dirt cups...


I've crossed a few other items from my to do list as well, most significantly transferring the rest of the money from our vacation account to the one linked to the debit card we take on vacation.

In not so fun news our fridge broke. Thankfully my DH does maintenance for a rental company and his boss is letting us make interest free payments WITH the company discount. His boss does some questionable things at times but he really came through in this instance and pretty much saved our trip so I have to give him credit for that.

We do still have to make those payments though which means we won't be able to save as much in the upcoming months/year as we'd like SO we scaled back a bit on the souvenir budget but that's it. I can handle that I suppose.
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