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Old 05-16-2012, 09:51 PM   #31
kristenrice
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My sister decided to go with a rocking chair, exersaucer, Boppy pillow and the tub-side bath seat. We will be bringing Emilee's Bumbo seat to use as her "chair" so the bouncy seat won't be necessary. She loves the exersaucer at granny's house so hopefully she'll like the one at OKW just as much. She has her own Boppy pillow at home but it would take up way too much space to pack it and bring it.

It still feels like there is so much to do, but it's too soon to start. I have to pack, get a haircut and pedicure, order EarPlanes, find and break in new sandals for the girls, and hopefully lose a few more pounds.

...only 12 more work days!...well, that's still 30 calendar days, but I think it looks better.
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2001 OKW 2002 WL for HONEYMOON!January 2008 POP/OKW October 2008 AKV GIRLS ONLY! June 2009 AKV October 2009 POP with my BFF for my Birthday April 2010 AKV April 2011 HHI Oct 2011 BLT/BWV with DSiL June 2012 GRAND GATHERING at OKW April 2013 HHI November 2013 AKV *1st Half-Marathon*Oct 2014 Surprising the Nieces at AKV May 2015 AKV Expedition Everest Challenge
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Old 05-17-2012, 06:47 AM   #32
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I'm exhausted just reading this PTR! Actually, since I am a bit beyond your parent's ages, and our "kids" are around the ages of your siblings, I'm going to take some planning tips from your mother. We are planning a family trip (DH, myself, our son 37 and our daughter 43) to Hawaii next February. So far I have booked the condo for the Big Island at Kona, and I know which dates I want for our week at Aulani, but I can't book it until July. Beyond that, I've mostly been trying to find decent airfare. NOT an easy thing when we are talking about flying from Minneapolis to Honolulu. This will be our 5th Hawaii trip, but the first that our "kids" will really remember, since they only got to go on our first trip, and they were too young to remember or enjoy it.

I do know there wont be any shipping of food, but we will be renting cars on both islands and I'm now planning what we will do on the trip.
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Old 05-20-2012, 11:15 PM   #33
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Today, we all got together and headed out to the golf course where my brother has worked (part-time) since he was 15 years old. We had our family portraits taken at various locations on the course. It took about 90 minutes and we had shots of the individual families, just the kids, and the entire extended family taken. It was a beautiful, sunny and slightly breezy day. I can't wait to see the results.

Afterwards, we got together at my parents' house and enjoyed brats and burgers on the grill. The kids all played outside and they all behaved like little angels. I sure hope that today was an indication of how our trip will go. Nobody was crabby (despite the fact that it was 90 degrees outside!) and everyone was so well-behaved. My parents were so proud.

I still have a lot to do...but I still think it is too early to start. I guess I will just keep updating my PTR.
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2001 OKW 2002 WL for HONEYMOON!January 2008 POP/OKW October 2008 AKV GIRLS ONLY! June 2009 AKV October 2009 POP with my BFF for my Birthday April 2010 AKV April 2011 HHI Oct 2011 BLT/BWV with DSiL June 2012 GRAND GATHERING at OKW April 2013 HHI November 2013 AKV *1st Half-Marathon*Oct 2014 Surprising the Nieces at AKV May 2015 AKV Expedition Everest Challenge
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Old 05-21-2012, 02:12 PM   #34
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I'm almost embarrassed to post this...

On a whim, I went to the casino this morning with some of the money from my bonus check...I won $180!

So, that helped push me over the edge on a few purchases. First, I've been wanting to replace my ECCO sandals for a while. They are 4 years old and I bought them on a 50% clearance for $65. They are perfect for my plantar fasciitis and I wear them ALL summer long. For the last 2 years, I've been scouring for a new pair, but they are $130...and most places don't take coupons on the ECCO brand. Today is the last day that EBates has 13% rebates at Shoes.com and, lo and behold, Shoes.com has a 20% off code. SUPRISE!...it is valid on ECCO AND they have my size in stock. I ordered them and my total came to $104 and I'll be getting another $13 back from EBates. It is a lot more than I ever thought I would spend on sandals, but if I can get another 4 years out of them, that breaks down to only $25 a year.

Second, the girls need new summer shoes. I usually get them Crocs, but this year, I had them try on some Keen Newport H2's. I hesitated at the $50 price tag, but I realized that they are a perfect all-purpose summer shoe (close-toe, waterproof and machine washable), I figure the girls will get good use out of them. Amazingly, Shoes.com had both the colors and sizes that the girls wanted so I took the rest of my winnings and bought them. (Plus, eventually, DD6 will grow into DD8's so that pair should last a while)

The whole shoe thing was starting to give me anxiety since we are running out of time to break in new pairs. Now I can breathe a sigh of relief. DH still wants to get a new pair but he's so indecisive. I think he's going to end up going to the mall at 7pm the night before we leave.
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2001 OKW 2002 WL for HONEYMOON!January 2008 POP/OKW October 2008 AKV GIRLS ONLY! June 2009 AKV October 2009 POP with my BFF for my Birthday April 2010 AKV April 2011 HHI Oct 2011 BLT/BWV with DSiL June 2012 GRAND GATHERING at OKW April 2013 HHI November 2013 AKV *1st Half-Marathon*Oct 2014 Surprising the Nieces at AKV May 2015 AKV Expedition Everest Challenge
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Old 05-24-2012, 03:18 PM   #35
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Wow and this is all pre trip? The trip is going to be a piece of cake with all your planning. Some to make it all come together at WDW too!
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Old 05-24-2012, 04:45 PM   #36
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Getting in shape!

I woke up at noon today (I worked until 5am and didn't get to sleep until 6am so don't judge...) and it was 79 degrees, sunny with a 10-15mph breeze.... DH came home from a 4-mile run so, being the good wife that I am, I told him he had to go for a bike ride with me. We rode the bike trail for 10 miles and it took us an hour to finish it. It was so nice! The weather was perfect and I got a pretty decent workout in too.
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Old 05-24-2012, 05:33 PM   #37
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Hi Kristen! Ok, you're dad is just awesome!! We are leaving 1 day before your family with our family. We're taking DH's mom, sister, DBIL and our niece and nephew! They have to pay for their stuff though, except the villa and 1 suprise dinner that DH and I set up. Have a safe trip! Haven't been to the casinos in MI for awhile since we just got one in Cleveland.
Safe travels to all of you! We're at SSR for our trip. Perhaps we'll see you all around the parks!
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Old 05-24-2012, 07:30 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dianeschlicht View Post

I do know there wont be any shipping of food
, but we will be renting cars on both islands and I'm now planning what we will do on the trip.
Good thing you live in Minnesota, you can start eating your SPAM early and even tour the SPAM Museum. Unless, you don't care for the Hawaii Delight that is SPAM...
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:43 PM   #39
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Impressive planning

I too am hooked on this adventure. Planning a similar trip in Feb 2013, can't wait how you all make this work
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:53 PM   #40
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I forgot a few things...

Looking back on our itinerary, I realized that I missed a few things...

First of all, on our AK day (Tuesday), my oldest daugher (the birthday girl) chose me to accompany her on the Wild Africa Trek. Normally, this would not be in our budget, but since dad is paying for this trip, we have our own vacation account that is going untouched this year. Since it is DD's birthday, DH and I decided that she could do this tour as her present. We let her choose who she wanted to bring and she chose me. She is a HUGE animal fan...she will probably talk the guides' ears off...so I know she will absolutely LOVE this tour.

We don't want to leave out our other DD so we also booked a fishing excursion from OKW. Both of our girls are very outdoorsy. DH is an avid outdoorsman and the girls have been fishing since they were 3 and 5. On Thursday, we have a 7am trip booked for DH and DD6. Since the trip is for up to 5 people, we invited the other kids (the older ones) to come along, but DSiL declined the invitation. So, we're not sure who exactly will be taking the fishing trip. We told DD8 that she could go too, but only if there was still room. Now, it looks like it will be our family of 4 and maybe Dad too. It's awfully early so I doubt we'll get any more takers. My girls keep talking about catching some "keeper bass"...but they know that it is catch-and-release. They're already making bets as to who will catch the most fish.

That's all for now...thanks for reading!
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2001 OKW 2002 WL for HONEYMOON!January 2008 POP/OKW October 2008 AKV GIRLS ONLY! June 2009 AKV October 2009 POP with my BFF for my Birthday April 2010 AKV April 2011 HHI Oct 2011 BLT/BWV with DSiL June 2012 GRAND GATHERING at OKW April 2013 HHI November 2013 AKV *1st Half-Marathon*Oct 2014 Surprising the Nieces at AKV May 2015 AKV Expedition Everest Challenge
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Old 05-25-2012, 01:48 PM   #41
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We did a MG in Oct. 2010 with 15 ( 9 adults& 6 kids). We stayed 14 days in 5 rooms at AkL. My Parents paid for the whole deal, It was a huge undertaking planning and so forth. Have a great time!
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Make sure you make T-shirts and have your pictures taken at as many locations as you can.
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Old 05-31-2012, 05:02 PM   #42
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I did another "practice pack" today and I discovered that the girls have way too many cute outfits. I was planning on packing 2 outfits in their carryon and then another 3 outfits in the "main" bag. There's about 8 outfits that I want to bring! I know that they will want to wear the same few outfits over and over (hence the reason we book a room with a w/d) so it is pointless to overpack.

So then I moved on to my stuff...and realized that I have a serious shorts shortage. I have about 3 pairs of nylon, running-type shorts. They're so comfy for the hot, humid weather, and they look great with my running tanks (also perfect for summer in Florida!), but do I really want to look like I've just come from the gym? I know, there's not exactly a dress code at the theme parks (and we aren't doing any signature dining) but still...

My mother is insisting that I pack some long pants (jeans) and a sweatshirt or jacket for everyone. Really??? Even if it gets "cold", aren't we talking like 60 degrees? My kids wear shorts and tees in 60 degree weather without batting an eyelash. I guess I will keep an eye on the weather forecast and watch the lows. The weather channel shows the average low to be 70 so I really don't think we will need cool-weather gear.

School gets out on Wednesday and once the girls are officially on summer vacation, I think I will really start getting anxious. There is still stuff to do, but it just seems like it is too soon to do it. I did get the AC fixed in my truck ($1500) so that is one thing crossed off my list.

Just 15 more days until we leave for Detroit....
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2001 OKW 2002 WL for HONEYMOON!January 2008 POP/OKW October 2008 AKV GIRLS ONLY! June 2009 AKV October 2009 POP with my BFF for my Birthday April 2010 AKV April 2011 HHI Oct 2011 BLT/BWV with DSiL June 2012 GRAND GATHERING at OKW April 2013 HHI November 2013 AKV *1st Half-Marathon*Oct 2014 Surprising the Nieces at AKV May 2015 AKV Expedition Everest Challenge
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Old 05-31-2012, 05:54 PM   #43
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You're doing great with your planning! Cant wait to hear how much fun everyone has - it's good that each family has some alone time.

Also, we stayed at OKW during our grand daughter's birthday week. Her name is Olivia as well, and the staff at Olivia's restaurant went out of the way to make her feel special. I hope you get the birthday girls to Olivia's!
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Old 06-04-2012, 05:01 PM   #44
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We're almost in single digits!!

Oh my...it's starting to set in...

We ran into a snag...We can't find the carseat carrier (backpack) for Emilee's car seat! I bought it in 2008 when I flew with DD2 but I held on to it specifically for this trip. I promised my sister that I would carry the backpack and be in charge of it if she agreed to use it on the airplane. Now, it's AWOL. I had it out about a month ago to wash it. Then, I brought it over to my sister's house to make sure the car seat and the Bumbo seat both fit in it. I *swear* I left it there for her...she said that it sat at the top of the stairs for "weeks"...now she can't find it. Neither of us can remember if I brought it back home...I don't know why I would have done that. She thinks that maybe she brought it over to the parents' house, but I checked there...nope. It's HUGE so it's not like it could be hiding in a drawer or something. She is at work now and doesn't get home until 9pm so she said she will check the basement when she gets home. She said that there is a possibility that DBiL brought it down there for "safekeeping".

I'm crossing my fingers and praying that it is there. Since I promised that we'd have it, I feel obligated to provide it. It's only available online so if we can't find it soon, I'll have to order it.

On another note, I spent the afternoon at mom and dad's today. Dad works from home on Mondays so I go there for lunch on my days off. We sealed and labeled the boxes. The baby stuff is 20 pounds and the other box is nearly 50! It looks like it will cost about $60 to mail both of them. We're sending them UPS next Tuesday so that they will arrive by Friday.

Mom was a hoot. She was showing me the stuff she was going to pack. First, she hauls out a suitcase the size of a sofa. I told her that it is so big, she better make sure that it won't be considered oversized. She said, "Oh, it won't be over 50 pounds". Oh dear...I have a little educating to do. Out comes the tape measure...62 linear inches empty. It might be close since AirTran's limit is 64". My mom, still a little confused, says, "Kris, 64 inches is over 5 feet! This isn't even close to 5 feet tall" Aye carumba... It's not like she's never flown before. They went on an Alaskan cruise 3 years ago and not a lot has changed since then.

So then we move on to her toiletries. She had her lipstick, toothpaste, Neosporin and lip ointment (among other things) all set to go in her carryon...then, she hauls out her 3-1-1 bag, which was already full. Again, mom needs a little remediation. The tricky thing with mom is that she has an implanted spinal cord stimulator so she will set off the machine at the airport. She already knows that she'll be subject to a pat-down so she is prepared. I told her that she may want to leave for the airport about 30 minutes before everyone else because she will definitely cause a traffic jam at security. We'll probably all go through and act like we don't know her.

Now I need to wait until my sister gets home and checks for that backpack!
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2001 OKW 2002 WL for HONEYMOON!January 2008 POP/OKW October 2008 AKV GIRLS ONLY! June 2009 AKV October 2009 POP with my BFF for my Birthday April 2010 AKV April 2011 HHI Oct 2011 BLT/BWV with DSiL June 2012 GRAND GATHERING at OKW April 2013 HHI November 2013 AKV *1st Half-Marathon*Oct 2014 Surprising the Nieces at AKV May 2015 AKV Expedition Everest Challenge
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Old 06-06-2012, 12:56 PM   #45
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Well, no luck with the backpack...DSis says it wasn't in her basement. I went ahead and ordered a new one from Amazon.com yesterday...

...and of course, guess what turned up underneath a box in our garage today? Yup, there it was, folded in half underneath a huge empty storage box that DH uses for target practice. Luckily, I was able to cancel the order from Amazon since it hadn't shipped yet. Let me tell you, this took a huge load off my mind. I had a feeling that I was the one responsible for losing it and I really felt obligated to provide it as promised. DH was NOT happy when I told him I spent $40 to order a new one. We have ZERO use for it so I understand why he was upset. Finding it this morning was a great start to my day...

...and then I stepped on the scale....



I made it down to 155!!! I guess my bike riding and lettuce diet paid off. (Ok, it wasn't just lettuce...but I have maintained a strict 1200-calorie/day diet for the last 2 weeks) The lowest I have been in the last 15 years was the 153 that I weighed last Easter when we went to HHI. I was back up to 164 pounds as of 2 weeks ago so I was a little depressed about that. I would love to drop 2 or 5 more pounds but I am not going to stress about it. I know that I will probably gain 8-10 pounds while I am there so I want to start out as low as possible without being unhealthy.

It was the last day of school today and the girls are getting really excited for next week. This Saturday is DNephew's birthday party. It's at his other grandpa's house and they have a huge outdoor pool. Since it is supposed to be sunny and 80 degrees, I can't wait for this weekend.

I'm off to work now...only 3 more shifts...

Tomorrow, I will do the SINGLE-DIGIT DANCE
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2001 OKW 2002 WL for HONEYMOON!January 2008 POP/OKW October 2008 AKV GIRLS ONLY! June 2009 AKV October 2009 POP with my BFF for my Birthday April 2010 AKV April 2011 HHI Oct 2011 BLT/BWV with DSiL June 2012 GRAND GATHERING at OKW April 2013 HHI November 2013 AKV *1st Half-Marathon*Oct 2014 Surprising the Nieces at AKV May 2015 AKV Expedition Everest Challenge
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