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Old 08-06-2008, 05:23 AM   #241
Robin+5
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I am so glad that everyone was healthy for your trip . I love the tease of a trip report. The pictures are awesome. We are not going to US/IOA. We are doing another day at MK and going to Blizzard Beach, but I am second guessing myself now. Nathan looked at the web site and was not interested We will figure that out later.
I love the picture of Clay and Shay Lynne looking at the castle with their Mickey ears on. That is priceless I can't wait to hear more. Glad that the suitcase was returned safe and sound.
Welcome back
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Old 08-06-2008, 05:40 AM   #242
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I was crying too! Thank you so much for sharing what you have already! I am so glad the trip went well and especially with all that could have happened.

The pictures are darling! I am sure they would have been without the outfits too but they looks so cute with their outfits!

Come on over to the disboutique thread now too! We love to have company!
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Old 08-06-2008, 06:41 AM   #243
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Clay and Shay Lynne looked so wonderful in the outfits from the awesome disboutiquers. That was a good tease to the tr and I loved looking at pictures of the kids with goofy. Glad you got your suitcase back. I can't wait for more.

becca
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Old 08-06-2008, 08:50 AM   #244
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Welcome home!!! Can't wait to hear all about your trip!! I love the picture of the 2 looking at the castle.
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Old 08-06-2008, 09:36 AM   #245
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Welcome home!! Are you glad to be back, or do you miss it already?
When DH and I went on our honeymoon, the whole week after we got back, I cried everyday going to work because I wanted to go back.
Well, it sounds like you had a fabulous time and the pictures got me so excited and teary-eyed. I'm anxiously awaiting your trip report!!!
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Old 08-06-2008, 10:45 AM   #246
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Originally Posted by AmberGreenawalt View Post
Welcome home! I can't wait to hear all about it!
Congratulations on your new little bundle, Amber!! She is just as precious as your other two!

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Originally Posted by HeatherSue View Post
THANK YOU for the TR teaser!!!! LOOOOOVE the pictures and the commentary!! I'm sorry to hear the CMs were grumpy. We had a LOT of grumpy CMs on our trip. I write about every one of them in my TR! Okay, maybe not ALL of them, but lots of them. Oh no! It looks like you had the same Wendy we did! Here's hoping she was in a better mood the day you saw her! Can't wait to read more!!
I don't remember Wendy, specifically, but she might have been grumpy! I was too busy taking pics and trying not to cry because that was one of the CMs that was really nice to us, and the family we stepped in front of was SO sweet. The mom was awesome to us, and so was her son...just such a nice family. But when I look at the pics, Peter and Wendy don't look too happy, do they? They were about to leave, so maybe we irritated them. I think the PhotoPass pics are a little better, though!

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Love the pictures. Everyone is so cute, or darling or handsome or whatever the appropriate adjective would be. I am still in awe that you did all six parks. I think with our smaller people, we will be hard pressed to achieve such a great accomplishment. I can't wait for details. Your Big Give things are so cool. We are starting to see packages at our house and it has been so much fun.

I finished all my Hawaiian projects and today took on a kind of rush job that I hope to have done in a day or two. My girls are pitching in to help and that will cut the time down as well. It is similar to the Big Give but no where near as wonderful as the things we have seen from those folks.

Glad the suitcase showed up! They usually do but the worry is awful Again, welcome back.

Denise
You finished!! I'll have to go have a look! It's going to be a big job catching up on all the PTRs, but I don't want to miss anything. So much has happened in a week!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin+5 View Post
I am so glad that everyone was healthy for your trip . I love the tease of a trip report. The pictures are awesome. We are not going to US/IOA. We are doing another day at MK and going to Blizzard Beach, but I am second guessing myself now. Nathan looked at the web site and was not interested We will figure that out later.
I love the picture of Clay and Shay Lynne looking at the castle with their Mickey ears on. That is priceless I can't wait to hear more. Glad that the suitcase was returned safe and sound.
Welcome back
Robin
Don't second-guess because of me! You know what your family would most love to do. There were just so many things we loved at Universal. My kids love the exciting, thrilling rides, and they love to be scared. Example: Clay and Shay Lynne both loved the Tower of Terror and asked to ride it a second time! They weren't quite tall enough for the huge rollercoasters at US, but some of the rides they could ride there were pretty scary! They loved it all, even Twister, which we had to talk Shay Lynne into doing only because she hates tornadoes. And at US there were several characters there that Clay wanted to meet, which led to an extremely magical moment for him. I will say it was not easy fitting in so many parks in so little time! The ideal thing would be to do Universal in one trip, then do Disney in another--at least for us.

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Originally Posted by jessica52877 View Post
I was crying too! Thank you so much for sharing what you have already! I am so glad the trip went well and especially with all that could have happened.

The pictures are darling! I am sure they would have been without the outfits too but they looks so cute with their outfits!

Come on over to the disboutique thread now too! We love to have company!
They most definitely looked cuter with the outfits!! It was so much fun!!

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Originally Posted by bex271 View Post
Clay and Shay Lynne looked so wonderful in the outfits from the awesome disboutiquers. That was a good tease to the tr and I loved looking at pictures of the kids with goofy. Glad you got your suitcase back. I can't wait for more.

becca
Goofy was awesome! He was just great, as were the rest of the characters (maybe besides PP & Wendy). Jonah will love seeing them all.

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Originally Posted by 2cutekidz View Post
Welcome home!!! Can't wait to hear all about your trip!! I love the picture of the 2 looking at the castle.
That is one of my favorites, too!

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Originally Posted by hotmamac View Post
Welcome home!! Are you glad to be back, or do you miss it already?
When DH and I went on our honeymoon, the whole week after we got back, I cried everyday going to work because I wanted to go back.
Well, it sounds like you had a fabulous time and the pictures got me so excited and teary-eyed. I'm anxiously awaiting your trip report!!!
I do miss it. We were so tired by the time it was over, yet I felt depressed coming home. Now I just find myself constantly speculating as to when we might can go back!
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Old 08-06-2008, 11:51 AM   #247
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Welcome Home!!!! I am loving the pictures and the kiddos and outfits and everything!!! Can't wait for more
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Old 08-06-2008, 12:13 PM   #248
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OH HOORAY!!! I am so glad you had a great trip!!! The kids look PERFECT in their customs!!! You must have got so much attention!!!

WELCOME HOME!!!!!!!!

...t.
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Old 08-06-2008, 12:52 PM   #249
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So glad you made it back home safe and sound. Everyone looks great in their customs. I can't wait to read more...so hurry up with an update.
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Old 08-06-2008, 01:25 PM   #250
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyDoo View Post
After a day of resting and replenishing the refrigerator with a trip to the store, I want to post a few pictures for you (we took about two thousand as we had three cameras with us the entire time!). We truly had the experience of a lifetime, and I know that all of Clay's wishes were definitely fulfilled. Everyone at Give Kids the World Village was just amazing. They spoiled us rotten!! That is the most amazing place, and Madison is already asking if she and I can go back next summer and volunteer there. I would love to do that!! I feel such deep emotion when I think of all the angels there and when I think of what they do for families like ours every day. We came home feeling like we hit the highlights of each park we visited, and the only thing I'm sad about is that we didn't get a decent spot during Spectromagic. But we saw the afternoon parade twice! The kids got to meet almost all their favorite characters. In fact, I can't think of anyone we didn't run into at some point that they truly wanted to see. We had an absolute blast at Disney, and I am so glad to have seen all four parks! And Universal--well, we had a completely amazing time at both Universal parks, and let's just say that our most magical moment happened there. More on that later--I don't want to ruin any surprises to be included in my upcoming trip report. I am so very, very glad we didn't decide to skip Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure! SeaWorld was something we probably could've done without, although feeding and petting the dolphins was a blast. It's just that we live in Texas and have been to the SeaWorld in San Antonio and we like ours better than Florida's. It was just so hot that day, and we had a very short time to cover a large, spread-out park. I'm glad we did it, though, as I could never tire of watching those whales and dolphins. This will shock many people, but after being on these boards for so long and reading of others' experiences, I had come to expect that Disney would be where we would be treated so well, but Universal Studios actually prevailed for us in this area. We were treated like royalty there, whereas the Disney CMs seemed to have a rather "ho-hum" attitude toward us for the most part (maybe the heat and the crowds made everyone grouchy). There were some that stood out, of course--mainly those at the character greets, but it didn't compare to the treatment we received at Universal. The important thing is that we did get to go to the front of the lines most of the time and were able to do more than we otherwise would've been able to do had it not been a wish trip. Nothing can replace Disney for their beloved characters and all those timeless stories they tell with their theming throughout the parks. Being there truly is like being in another world, and no amount of grouchiness could keep us from having a magical time. I can't wait to go back to all the parks, and I hope it's soon!

Clay got kissed by more princesses than we could count...



Shay Lynne LOVED meeting all of her favorites...




Here are a few more favorites (Goofy was pretty popular!)...





We had a variety of adventures...








Everything was tiring, but FUN!!...





We did entirely too much of this...



...which is why my arm looks like this...



Clay was glad to get to see Goofy one last time, on our last morning at GKTW...



All in all, it was a magical time for everyone!!




I promise I have TONS more to show and tell, but for the moment, let me just say that everything you DISboutiquers did for my family just made it all so perfect. It was beyond awesome to be walking through the parks and have people comment on the twins' outfits and autograph books and to ask where we got them! I had so much fun ironing all of it, folding it, packing it, and spreading the outfits across the bed each morning. It was just perfect, and that's all I can say. I assume I'm not banned from your thread anymore? Let me know as I'd like to come over and say a "thank you" there!!

By the way, for the past few weeks I have been praying fervently about several things regarding our trip. For one thing, my eighty-nine-year-old grandmother has been very sick and I was worried to death about something happening to her--but so far, so good. For another, I have been down in my back all summer, and I saw a neurosurgeon five days before we left and learned that I have two herniated disks. However, I was miraculously able to be admitted for shots in my spine that made me virtually pain-free during the entire week of the trip. Also, Lance got home from his trip on Sunday before we were to leave on Tuesday, and he had a toothache. He was miraculously able to get into a dentist who has never seen him before for an antibiotic and pain meds--he has to have a root canal, though, but he did fine during the trip! And then with four kids it seems that someone is always sick. One morning during the week, Ty told me is throat hurt. I almost panicked because my kids get strep throat all the time--even Madison, who has no tonsils! But Ty ate breakfast and felt better immediately. I just prayed everyone would stay healthy and nothing bad would happen through our trip. One night at the pool, Clay got over into some deep water and couldn't stay afloat, but I was studying a map of EPCOT and didn't see it! Lance saw, though, and jumped in, clothes and all, to pull him out at the same instant that another dad saw him and swam toward him. All was well there, and instead of succumbing to the horror of it, I just said a prayer of gratitude and accepted it as a reminder of how blessed we are to have Clay. And then today--the very day after flying home--Shay Lynne has run a temp of 101 all day! I think it's viral, but I am so thankful she didn't get sick any sooner!!! I am so thankful we were all miraculously healthy and safe for our trip. So it has been evident that God was smiling upon us during these past few days because more than a few miracles occurred for us so that we could have the trip of a lifetime!

p.s. My suitcase was delivered early this afternoon!!

I'm so glad you had a great trip! Welcome home!

I'm LOVING all of the pics - but the last one of Clay and Shay Lynne looking at the castle - well it just flat made me cry!
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Old 08-06-2008, 05:10 PM   #251
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I love the pictures! I can't wait to read all about your trip and see the rest of your 2000 pictures!
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Old 08-06-2008, 05:20 PM   #252
tinkerbeth
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I'm so glad your trip went well! I can't wait to read your trip report and it will make me even more excited about my trip coming up in...13 days! WAHOO.

What an amazing story about the power of prayer. I hope your grandmother is okay. Isn't it amazing how things seem to work out?

I thought it was funny when you said, "we" have unpacking to do...I think you meant, "the mom" has the unpacking to do!!

Can't wait to see more pictures of your amazing kids and read all about your trip.

Beth
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Old 08-06-2008, 08:24 PM   #253
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Hey - what was Snow White telling shay Lynne?
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Old 08-06-2008, 09:30 PM   #254
GoofyDoo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twob4him View Post
Welcome Home!!!! I am loving the pictures and the kiddos and outfits and everything!!! Can't wait for more
Thank you! I'm trying to hurry!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by t-beri View Post
OH HOORAY!!! I am so glad you had a great trip!!! The kids look PERFECT in their customs!!! You must have got so much attention!!!

WELCOME HOME!!!!!!!!

...t.
We got TONS of attention! I'm not used to that, but I loved it!!!The kids loved all the attention from the characters--most of them commented on their outfits, and that was so much fun. One of Cinderella's stepsisters asked Clay if mice made his Pirate Mickey outfit! It was so cute! I am hoping that Hannah runs into those characters while she has on her Cinderella outfit. I would love to hear what they say to her! I couldn't help thinking of LisaZoe's letter about how the mice made her dress.

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Originally Posted by kpgriffin View Post
So glad you made it back home safe and sound. Everyone looks great in their customs. I can't wait to read more...so hurry up with an update.
I'm trying! I've been messing with the PhotoPass all day. All the options they give you are not a good thing for me because I'm obsessive about my pics. I had 198 pics on it to start with, and now I'm way over 500! Ridiculous!! I just want to have my options, whether I use them all or not. Crazy, I know. But Day 1 is my next project!

Quote:
Originally Posted by revrob View Post
I'm so glad you had a great trip! Welcome home!

I'm LOVING all of the pics - but the last one of Clay and Shay Lynne looking at the castle - well it just flat made me cry!
I love that one, too!!! It's a framer.

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I love the pictures! I can't wait to read all about your trip and see the rest of your 2000 pictures!
I will try to spare you of all 2,000. I think it would crash Photobucket's server!!! I am always guilty of going overboard with pics, but I'm trying to be selective. We'll see how that goes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tinkerbeth View Post
I'm so glad your trip went well! I can't wait to read your trip report and it will make me even more excited about my trip coming up in...13 days! WAHOO.

What an amazing story about the power of prayer. I hope your grandmother is okay. Isn't it amazing how things seem to work out?

I thought it was funny when you said, "we" have unpacking to do...I think you meant, "the mom" has the unpacking to do!!

Can't wait to see more pictures of your amazing kids and read all about your trip.

Beth
Thank you, Beth! You are correct--I have to unpack every bit of mine and the twins'. The older two will just live out of their suitcases until I fuss at them about unpacking it. Ty's suitcase is still open at the bottom of the stairs! And of course Lance does his own since he is used to living out of a suitcase, but his job is easy because he takes the bare minimum in the first place! I am so excited for you about your trip. It's not long now!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2cutekidz View Post
Hey - what was Snow White telling shay Lynne?
I showed her the picture and asked her...and she said that Snow White was telling her that she was a princess--a "Minnie Mouse" princess. Isn't that the cutest??

Here is one more pic I was curious about:

I asked Shay Lynne what she was smiling about, and she said she thought Dopey's signature was funny. Have you seen it? It's cute!! He writes the "e" and the "y" backwards.
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Old 08-07-2008, 01:54 PM   #255
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Day 1, Part 1

Since Clay's send-off party was held the night before we were to leave the next morning, you can imagine how late we stayed up making sure everything was packed and ready to go. Our flight was to leave at 7:20am the next morning, and although the general rule is to be at the airport two hours prior, Lance never does this, even when he's piloting the plane. It causes me a great amount of stress as I cannot tell you how many times we've boarded a plane together as the door was closing. I can hardly take it, but he does it every day. Anyway, I think it would kill him to have to sit around in an airport by choice for longer than necessary, so it was probably a blessing that we weren't extended the offer of a limo ride like many other Make-a-Wish families. They did provided us travel money for gas and free parking, so it was actually nice to be on our own schedule (as far as Lance was concerned).

When we woke up at 4am, I was so so so so so sleepy! I usually can't sleep on planes, so I knew this was bad. The kids popped right up--they were so excited to get ready to go! Here is a pic of the twins boarding a plane for the first time...



And here are a few more pics from the plane ride (the flight wasn't full so the kids traded seats and rows a lot)...







Shay Lynne was a little nervous during take-off!



We arrived just fine in Orlando airport, although the only one who slept on the plane was Lance--I guess because he's used to doing it all the time (not in the cockpit, though--LOL!!) We walked through the gate, and Clay saw this wall outside the Universal Studios store and got way excited:



Then we looked over and saw our greeter from GKTW!



He was SO sweet! He would not let us carry or pull a single bag, and he walked us straight to the car rental place and gave us our directions, told us when/where we would need toll $$ and how much...he just covered everything. He gave us girls a hug before he left and shook all the guys' hands. This was our first experience with GKTW angels, and we knew we were in store for some major spoiling during the coming week.

We made it to the village, and the kids could not wait to see it (neither could I!)...



We got checked in and they gave Clay a big Mickey Mouse, which he loved, and suggested that we go over and have lunch at the ice cream palace. We were more than ready for some of that ice cream!!! I took pictures of us eating our lunch, but they weren't very pretty. This one was kinda cute, though, with the twins sitting at that cute little ice cream cone table...



I ordered a big ole honkin' banana split, and boy, was it yummy! Madison and I took pics of each other...




After stuffing our faces, we went and explored a little. There is a castle there--the Castle of Miracles--that is filled with all kinds of magical stuff. Where did they get all that stuff? It's just awesome! The kids had a ball. Fourteen years old is NOT too old to have fun in that place. Neither is thirty-six or forty-three!! The kids played dress-up, made pillows, and found a magic mirror, among many, many other things...










We left, promising the kids that we would come back later that day, and learned that our villa was ready...so off we went to see it!




Inside there were lots of snacks and drinks for the family and tons of treats for the kids! We started unpacking right away. By this time, I thought that if I didn't just lie down and close my eyes for a little while, I would not make it, so I did that! It felt SO good. I was only down for about forty-five minutes, but it made all the difference in the world.

The kids wanted to swim that night, so they got their swimsuits on and we decided we'd swim after supper...only later it would start raining and the pools would be closed. We decided to do some more exploring before eating because they could not get back to all those fun things fast enough!

I've almost reached my limit for pics in one post, so I'll have to divide this day into two posts. Part two coming right up!

Day 1, Part 2-3
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