Category Archives: Disney

Home again, home again

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We went back to Disney again.  If you’ve known us long, or read our blog very long, you know this is a normal thing for us.  We were just there in January, and the time before that was December.  This trip marked my 40th time to Disney, Jeb’s 22nd time, Caden’s 17th, JL’s 15th, and EK’s 11th.  This was one of my favorite trips to Disney to date.  EK was so much fun this trip.  The boys are getting to an age where they are easier to handle as well.

We went down a couple of days before Mom and Dad got there.  The excitement was through the roof by the time we got there.  We left home Thursday night AFTER Jeb got off work.  We ended up leaving about 630.  We had to leave the house “show ready” just in case someone called to see the house while we were gone.  That was quite the feat.  The kids only had a 1/2 day of school that day, part of that 1/2 day was Caden’s Bye Bye Brunch.  So, I had all 3 kids at home, while I packed us up, and loaded the car.  OH, I also got a text from our realtor that morning that he wanted to show our house at 1pm that afternoon.  You don’t turn down a showing, so I said “Sure!” and then I drove the kids around for an hour till he was finished showing our house.  Good times.  After that, I finished packing and loading the car.  We drove part of the way Thursday and finished it up Friday.  The kids were SO READY to be there.  We unloaded our bags, and headed out to the park.  We had planned to meet our friends at EPCOT.  We pulled into the parking lot and found this.

They woke up shortly after this.  Apparently I didn’t have my A game going this day.  We got there, got EK’s special assistance card, and then her ear started blinking that the battery was dying.  We had to cancel on our friends and go back to the hotel to get new batteries.  Thankfully they met us at the hotel to eat dinner.  We ended up going swimming afterwards so the kids were happy.

Look how cute this little rugrat is with her little pig tails.  LOVE.  She developed an undying attachment to her flip flops during our trip to Disney.  I’m not sure why.  However, I am thankful she’s actually able to keep them on.  This day, she wanted her “pop pops” but I was able to get her cute red Sun San sandals on and get her out the door before she took them off.  From time to time she’d start whining, and we’d think there was something wrong with her.  I’d ask, “what’s the matter?”, and she’d say, “Pop Pops!!!!!”  Cracks me up.

This is the obligatory castle picture.  I love a good castle picture.  I love that the kids all wanted to wear their hats.  EK still will get hers out from time to time and just wear it around town.

We always have to play the pig game.  The boys LOVE it.  It’s one of their absolute favorite things about Disney.  EK will cut you if you try to take the pig from her.  She designated herself as the pig carrier.  She actually crawled into one of the machines to try to get the pig back while the boys were playing the game.  We had to grab her by the ankles and pull her out.

Riding the monorail is also one of our favorite things to do.  I’m not sure why, but I’ve always loved it and now the kids do too.  Everytime EK saw it she’d point and say, “Boat!” and I’d ask her what it was and she’d say, “Monorail.”  She still calls it a boat and a monorail even when we look at pictures.  Not sure why she gets it confused with boats.  We stayed at Bay Lake Tower, which is part of the contemporary, so we had the monorail coming through the atrium when we’d eat at the hotel.  She LOVED it.

 Before we allow JL to go to kindergarten, we really need to teach him the importance of wiping his face.  I fear this is how he will look every day when I pick him up from school.

The guy on the bottom left is one of the parking lot attendants we saw at Animal Kingdom.  We thought he looked like one of our friends (top right).  We send text messages back and forth with friends and this was the final list of the 4 people who look similar.  Couldn’t they all be brothers?  I think it’s pretty crazy how alike they all look.

I told Caden to give me a warrior pose.  It’s obviously not his forte.  He can play instruments with the best of them.  Dressing up, not his thing.

This guy, he excels at dress up and role playing.  He LOVES some dress up.

EK loved this ride.  We went to Animal Kingdom one night and there weren’t a lot of people there.  We were able to ride this over and over again.  The ride would finish and she’d say, “No, ride again!”  I don’t know how many times we ended up riding this ride, but I’m glad the adults took turns riding with her.  Going around in circles for long periods of time isn’t as easy as it used to be, which is why I sent Jeb on the teacups with the boys.

The last night we were in Disney Jeb had the boys at EPCOT riding Test Track and I took EK back to the room so I could pack.  She sat just like this for over an hour watching Fresh Beat Band.  I was able to get all our packing done.  So thankful she was able to stay entertained while I got some work done.

We had such a fun trip.  We were exhausted as usual, but it was good.  We move at our own pace at Disney these days.  We wake up whenever our kids wake us (usually at 7ish on vacation), we get ready, we eat in the food court area, and then we figure out where we are going.  This is so much different from the pre-kids Disney trips…I used to have spreadsheets, dinner confirmation numbers, and parks picked out every day…all done months before our trip occurred.  We always do quick service dining because we don’t want to have to plan our day around where we are eating a meal.  Next time though, the boys have already requested to eat at Chef Mickey’s and to eat in the castle.  So thankful I have been able to carry on this vacation tradition with our little munchkins.  So thankful I was able to bring Jeb over to the Disney side.  Once you go, it’s hard not to be hooked. :)

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First of all, let me tell you…I wasn’t worried about the world coming to an end Friday…1. because The Bible tells us no one will know b. I think the Myans are kookie. and 3.

This made me laugh.  We love James Spann at our house.  Apparently I blog about him quite a bit.  For some reason, more people come to this blog because of James Spann than Cochlear Implants, go figure.

Now, onto Disney.  We DROVE to Disney again.  Jeb worked Tuesday and we were supposed to leave Wednesday.  Tuesday morning I got the idea to leave Tuesday night.  Jeb agreed, and I worked my tail off to get us packed by the time he got home.  I worked from the time I dropped the kids off at school until Jeb came home at 7pm.  We left and headed down 65 and onto I-20.  We ended up stopping south of Atlanta around 1am eastern time.  The trip was painless getting there.  The kids were SO good.  They watched movies, played with the iPad and 3DS.  We stopped ONE TIME.  Once we get on the road, I’m ready to get to our destination.

This time we stayed at the Art of Animation in the Cars Suites.  It was such a neat hotel.  We didn’t do the dining plan this time, just to see how it worked out money wise.  We saved around $75, assuming we saved all the receipts.  We would have gotten a lot more food if we had done the dining plan.  With 3 kids and Disney just charging $11.99 per day for kids, it is totally worth it to do the dining plan (in our opinion).  I ended up getting kid food some days (for myself) just because I didn’t want to pay $12 for what may or may not be a good plate of chicken.

The theming for the Cars section (and I’m sure the other sections too…we just didn’t walk through them) was phenomenal.  There were little cars (just like the one the kids are sitting on) all through the area.  The pool was like the motel in the movie and they had little cabana’s made to look like orange cones.  So fun!

The kids got new hats this trip.  Caden and EK opted for traditional Mickey ears.  We are beyond thankful JL landed on this Perry boggin.  The 2 he had decided on before this one were HIDEOUS.   One of them included the little propeller on the top of it.  JL is a treasure.  A treasure.

The first full day we were at Disney it was misting all morning, so we took that opportunity to tour the hotels and see the awesome decorations they had.  This was a gingerbread small world at The Contemporary.  We also stopped at the Polynesian and the Grand Floridian.  Grand Floridian was fantastic as usual.  The tree was gigantic, as was the life size gingerbread house they sell cookies out of.  We all got yummy treats.

She thought it would be beneficial to do some lunges while eating her cookie.

This was EK’s first experience with the characters.  She was so excited.  She was not a fan of waiting her turn.  The boys were not as excited as she was.  Caden is so over meeting characters.  She was a little nervous once we actually got up to see goofy.  She was more at ease when we got to Donald.  By the next day when we saw Minnie, Pluto, and Mickey she acted like a pro.  She *may* have tried to pull Pluto’s tongue out of his mouth.

This is one of my favorite pictures of the 2 of them ever.  The little 2 were asleep in the stroller, so we played would you rather do, this or that with Caden.  He kept asking me this or that questions all trip, so we gave him a turn.  Such as, would you rather stay at Contemporary or Polynesian.  Would you rather ride Big Thunder Mountain or Space Mountain.  He loved all the attention. :)

We headed back to the Polynesian for dinner after a long day at Magic Kingdom.  We were having a lovely time and EK had what we like to call a “poo-splosion.”  She is not potty trained.  It’s not because she can’t be…it’s because she doesn’t want to be.  Good times.  I smelled her and said, “Ella, did you poo poo in your pants?”  She said, “bah eawl.”  That’s “bad girl” if you have trouble understanding. :) So Jeb cleaned her up, and we put the pants in a bag, and wrapped her in a blanket.  We didn’t let the poo-splosion keep us from this photo op though.  ”Dad!  A Tree! With ornaments bigger than our heads!!!”

Day 2 was spent at EPCOT Hollywood Studios (that night for Osborne Lights)

Love this picture of them.  EK just wanted to touch and look at the characters.  She didn’t want to look at the camera. :) She calls him “Mih Mow!”

This looks sweet and innocent, but she’s actually got her hand in his mouth trying to pull his tongue.  She seriously LOVED all the characters this time.

Here’s Jeb and I in front of some of the lights.  They were AMAZING.  At this point in the day, JL was asleep.  He doesn’t last too long without a nap.

 

Day 3 we went to Hollywood Studios again.  Caden was excited to ride Rockin Roller coaster and JL wanted to ride Star Tours.

I got to ride Star Tours with the boys this time!  Usually I let Jeb go first and then I’m so exhausted from entertaining EK while they rode that I wanted to move onto the next ride.  I had so much fun with these 2. :)

 

We decided we were going to eat a late lunch at Downtown Disney and shop for the kids for Christmas.  We had bought 1 thing for them prior to our Disney trip.  Since we were eating later we decided we needed a mid morning snack.  Ice cream, nuts, and popsicles!

 

 

 

These three delight me (most of the time). :) EK has to do EVERYTHING exactly like her brothers.  They were stretching their arms out with popsicles, so of course she needed to as well.

 

 

And here’s Caden and EK doing their glow bracelet ninja moves on the way to dinner at the hotel.  They are too much.  I think JL was asleep again at this point.  We did wake him up to eat. :)

We woke up Sunday morning, got ready, and headed out early.  We got home around 4pm.  It was a fairly short trip, but so much fun!  We always have a blast at Disney, but are also ready to get back home to normalcy.  It’s definitely tiring with 3 young ones.  The memories, the smiles, the laughs, and the togetherness make it so very worth it!  We’re headed back 2 weeks from today!!  Roll Tide, Merry Christmas, and Happy Disney.

 

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We gave away Cat #1. She went to a sweet friend with 3 kids. From what I hear she had an exciting trip back home trying to keep the cat in the box, and then the cat somehow squeezed itself out of the box through a handle in the side. I haven’t heard from her since then. I’m just going to assume all is well and Ally is loving country life.

This is JL’s santa suit. It was sort of a Santa superhero outfit. He walked around the house saying “Hohoho, here’s your Merry Christmas present.” He makes me laugh.

Jeb got a new car. His old one had a hole in the back bumper, the speakers were dry rotted, the passenger side door had long scrapes down it, and the front bumper had been gashed on rocks and had hit a dog. Poor car (and poor dog). I’m glad he has something he loves driving.

This is the hat JL got to wear at school on his birthday. He also wore it the day after his birthday because he said, “Mom I’m STILL 5, so i can wear it. It says John Luke IS 5.” Well, yes, that does make sense. Wear whatever you like buddy.

He wanted me to send a picture of him to Pops. This is what he did for the picture. He is not right.

So, long story short. Jeb is going to the National Championship Game with my dad. I was sad. He was sad that I was sad. Mom and Dad had the idea to go to Disney World so we would all have something to look forward to. I wasn’t sad anymore. This is the face he made once I wasn’t sad anymore. He’s so very very excited. :) we will all head to Orlando, stay for a few days then the guys will drive down to Miami go
To the game spend the night and head back for one more day with mi mowe (what ek says for mickey mouse)

Sadie and JL last Christmas.

Sadie and John Luke this Christmas. Let me just get this out in the open…praise the Lord he didn’t have to wear a reindeer shirt with a bow under the fluffy ball nose this year. He is a boy. Also, please notice they BOTH have food on their faces. If this relationship doesn’t work out, I don’t know what will…they are perfect for each other. Maybe they’ll at least be friends for life.

This is JL with Mrs. Amy. He loves her. She has been such a great teacher this year. So thankful for her!

We had EK’s Christmas party this week too. She had to see Santa to get her present. She wasn’t too sure about it. If only he had Mickey ears on. She was all about going to see Mickey Mouse.

She was much more relaxed once she was a safe distance from Santa. I don’t blame her. It’s creepy. I used to tell my dad to tell Santa to leave the presents on the porch because I didn’t want a stranger coming into our house.

The Christmas list Caden gave me yesterday…for any last minute shopping.
1. Art supplies
2. Glo brix
3. 3DS (I don’t know why he turns his 3s around sometimes)
4. Once upon a Christmas (I had to get help deciphering this one)
5. Series 1 (trash pack)
Love this kid. He is always thinking. And, to make this even better…he did it while he was in time out for acting like a crazy loon at dinner. I guess he knew he’d get back in good graces soon.

We started out our Christmas vacation today. Jeb had to work, so we went to Decatur to buy the last 2 Christmas presents on our list! WE ARE FINISHED! We also ate at Panera. Yummy! The kids asked to eat at a restaurant where they could go inside and sit down. I thought they meant like a “real” restaurant…like Olive Garden. I asked them what that meant, and they said KFC! Um, no.

Ella Kate is going to school 4 days a week now. The day she doesn’t go to school is when she’s at therapy in Birmingham. She’s really starting to take off. She talks to me all the time, but I can only understand about half of it. I’m starting to decipher more and more. I haven’t been counting lately because I forget, but I’m thinking she’s well over 500 words she understands and over 300 words she expresses on her own. She’ll repeat just about anything you ask her to repeat.

We went to Disney last week. I have lots of pictures, but I’ll give them their own post.

At this time of year we always reflect back on how the Lord has blessed us over the past year, and this year is no different. We are so very thankful to have our babies in our arms alive and well this Christmas. That’s more than some parents can say. We pray we never take life for granted. We pray for those mama’s and daddy’s who don’t get the same luxury as we do of rocking their babies to sleep this Christmas. We pray during the wake of the tragedy in CT, the victims and the parents are not forgotten amongst the quarrels about 2nd amendments rights and asinine protests by hate groups passing themselves off as people who love Jesus. I hope I never forget. I hope and pray I keep my new perspective. Hug our kids a little tighter. Not get frustrated as easily. Love more. And on a somewhat funny note, Monday was the first day we took the kids to school after the shooting. We prayed together before school and we took the wise counsel of Jon Acuff (who writes a blog called Stuff Christians Like). He said why do we pray for a hedge of protection, why not protection of lions, or of fire breathing dragons…they’re much more likely to protect you….so Monday, when I was about to start boohooing, Jeb prayed for a hedge of fire breathing dragons around our boys that day (EK had therapy)…I loved it. We picked both of them up that afternoon. I kept hugging Caden for long periods of time, and eventually he said to me, “mom, have you ever thought about giving me away?” I said, “Um, no, do you think I’m giving you away because I keep hugging you so much.” He said, “Yes, yes I do.” So then we had to have a talk about how I wouldn’t ever give him away, and I just loved him and that’s why I was hugging him (they have NO idea anything happened in CT. I didn’t want to give him a complex and set him up to be terrified to go to school. Let’s face it….I was terrified to drop him off until I found out a uniformed on duty policeman was at the school all day. If I was scared, I know he would have been. We want to shelter him from unnecessary fears, so no news is good for him.)

Merry Christmas to all of you. Hug those babies tight. Don’t take them for granted.

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So, where did I leave off?  Oh yeah, Caden is a ride dare devil.  He was soooo excited because he got to ride Expedition Everest.  He’s loving the rider swap because it means he gets to ride all the roller coasters twice.

While at Animal Kingdom we rode Kilimanjaro Safaris…that and EE were the only 2 things we did.  I do not care for Animal Kingdom.  It’s huge, hard to navigate, has lots of animals that smell interesting, and I always get cranky there.  After only doing 2 things there I didn’t get cranky…crisis averted.  At least I know my limits.  Anywho, I snapped this picture of JL while we were waiting in line for the safari.  He CRACKS.  ME.  UP.  He is so animated and loves to pretend.

Speaking of JL, next to getting his face painted, riding a Surrey Bike was the 2nd most important thing to him in life, so we obliged.  If there is something that the kids do not let up on, and seem to be very serious about doing, we usually will agree.  On this trip those things included, but were not limited to, roasting marshmallows, arcade, swimming, the Great Piggy Bank Adventure, NOT staying at Boardwalk again, and Surrey Bikes.  So, here Jeb is with the kids on the Surrey Bike.  I don’t know if you guys have ever ridden a Surrey Bike, but it is HARD to pedal 5 people up a hill only using 2 sets of leg power.  We thought we might be dying, but then I talked Jeb into doing it 2 more times because I have a new thing for forcing myself to continue to exercise.

Caden got to drive a car at the Tommorrowland Speedway.  EK got to ride for the first time.  If the bar hadn’t been there to guide us, EK and I would have feared for our lives.  There is a reason 6 year olds aren’t allowed to drive, and it’s not only because they can’t see over the steering wheel.  He had a blast though.

See, doesn’t EK look thrilled to be riding in the car. ;)

We watched Mickey’s Philharmagic, and this is the best I could get for EK wearing glasses.  I guess the extra set of glasses was just too much for her.

Oh, another one of the boys wishes was to go to the Wilderness Lodge.  They wished we had stayed there.  Caden gave me a pattern of where we should stay in the coming years.  He changed it around throughout the week, but I think it landed on the Contemporary one year and Wilderness Lodge the next year.  Glad he’s not too high maintenance.

We ate lunch, watched the geyser, and took in the magnificence of the hotel.  It really is a neat hotel.  We stayed there last year, and loved it.

We ate most of our meals at night in EPCOT.  Boardwalk, our hotel, was within walking distance from EPCOT, and since we didn’t have anywhere great to eat at the hotel we ended up eating at the next closest place.  We pretty much exhausted all restaurants in EPCOT, but it was fun.  We’ve never eaten at a few of them, so that was a new experience.  We had fish and chips from England, hummus, chicken, and couscous from Morocco, Quiche and a Napoleon from France, Shrimp Lo Mein from Japan, and lots of meals in Mexico.  While we were there we “HAD” to play the Great Piggy Bank Adventure.  The kids, yes all 3, LOVE it!  It’s in innoventions in Future World.  You get a piggy bank and take it to different stations.  There are 3 little games you play to try to save money.  It teaches you about diversification, inflation, and savings.

Here’s a pic of the boys choosing what we were saving for…

EK’s job was to get the pig and carry it to all the games.  She took her job seriously.  She did not take it lightly if someone tried to “help” her with her job.

 

So, that’s days 6-10.  I have lots more pictures, but I thought this hit the high points.  This is the longest we’ve ever stayed in Disney as a family.  We never got tired of it.  The last day we were a little blah, mainly because we knew we would be getting up at 3:45am the next day to catch our 8am flight.  We haven’t started planning our next trip, but I’m thinking it will be in December for JL’s bday.  Maybe.  Our annual passes are expiring a month from yesterday, boo.  Bright side?  Our Disney Vacation Club purchase just closed, so we can get a better deal on our next annual passes!  Yay!  Maybe I’ll get around to posting about current life soon.

 

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So, to clear up any confusion on the last post about my parents walking in…no, we did not go on vacation with my parents this time.  They were leaving from Port Canaveral on a cruise the following day, so they stopped by and we ate dinner together and shopped.  That would make 3 times that we’ve been in Orlando on a family vacation and my parents have been down there for a totally separate reason, and we’ve been able to meet up with them.

So, we did that Saturday night…ate at Captain Cooks (our FAVE) and shopped at Downtown Disney (which was like an explosion of people…crazy busy!).

So, here are a few pictures of all the fun we had while we were down there.  There were a few melt downs, broken “ears,” vomiting stories, and the always fun pat down by airport security on the way home, but I choose to focus on the fun…so here goes…

Star Wars Weekends was up first.  The boys enjoyed it, especially Jeb. :)

JL got to fulfill his lifelong dream of getting his face painted like a super hero.  I posted this picture on Facebook, and one of our friends said JL would be the nice superhero.  Jeb said his super power would be turning all the bad guys into good guys, because that’s what he does with his superhero and star wars characters at home.  He turned Boba Fett into a good guy the other day. :)

Passing the time until Hyperspace Hoopla started…

And it finally began…and it was worth the wait…even for those of us who haven’t seen Star Wars.

at Hollywood Studios was Jeb’s favorite thing we did all week.  It was the final show of the day for Star Wars Weekends at HS.  I’ve never seen Star Wars, I know, GASP!, but I though it was hilarious.  There’s something about seeing Chewbacca dance to “I’m Sexy and I Know It” that’s laugh out loud funny and Boba Fett and Darth Vader dancing to Smooth Criminal was fabulous.  I highly recommend going to it.  We got there about 45 minutes early and got a pretty good seat.

Sunday we went to EPCOT after Jeb finished his conference.  We had never taken the kids to all the Kidcot Funstops, so we did that.  When you’ve been to Disney 4 times in the last year, you start to look for new things to do. :)  We got stamps from all the countries and then completed another Duffy bear in addition to the stamped Duffy Bear.

JL’s completed Mickey Mouse Duffy

EK’s first completed Duffy! She only got marker on her shirt once! Too bad it’s permanent marker. :(

 Later that same day Caden rode Mission Space with Jeb (because I refuse to ride that ride again…it’s like a claustrophobic’s worst nightmare on steroids).  EK and I played with cars (she’s obsessed), looked at rabbits, ducks, and birds, and jumped off the embankment.

A trip to EPCOT isn’t complete without hanging out in an English telephone booth

On Memorial Day we went back to Hollywood Studios.  The day began with us all in color coordinating outfits.  It ended with us like wet dogs and one of us covered in vomit.  There were some high points between the beginning and the end though…

Caden rode Rockin’ Roller Coaster…twice.  He is quite the risk taker on rides.  It’s rather impressive.

And, yes, that’s me in the glass.  I didn’t notice it until after I uploaded the picture.  Oops.

That about wraps up our trip through Monday.  I’ll add more soon, but tonight I am way too tired.  :)

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Day 3 continued the there’s no where to eat for breakfast saga, but this time without one of the leading cast members. Jeb had a conference Friday through Sunday. Friday I took the kids to the pool which proved to be quite a handful. We have been leaving EKs ears on her because of this very informative, yet apparently too enthusiastic, email cochlear sent us saying her ears were water resistant (saying we could wear them in bath, sprinkler, etc). I let her wear her ears. They got splashed a time or two. Nothing big. Certianly, not soaked or drenched. So, the first issue of the day was one stopped working. We put it in the dryer and went potty and BOTH of them fell in the potty. I already had right back up on, so I dried it as best I could and then put left back up on and put both wet/not working ears in the big daddy dryer. By this time it was lunch time so we went to where Jeb was having his conference and ate lunch. We ate, JL slept, we met Jeb, and then I noticed one ear wasn’t flashing…so I turned it on and it was flashing orange (which is what is supposed to do until it touches her head), when I put it on her head it would turn off…sending my heart into my stomach. If you want to fluster me, make EKs ears not work. It will do it EVERY TIME. I tried not to panic, not to think, “OH MY GOODNESS SHE HAS AN INTERNAL FAILURE AND WE’RE ALREADY USING THE BACKUP FOR THE OTHER EAR! WHAT IF IT STOPS WORKING TOO AND SHE HAS NOTHING!! NOTHING!!!” We walked back to the hotel as fast as we could. As soon as we got into the room I put on the back up that had been drying. Phew, it worked. Sigh. Of. Relief. Come to find out…I got our audiologist to look at the implant cochlear sent us that wasn’t working properly and…it had NO MAPS IN IT! Cochlear sent us an empty CI. All of our implants are working properly at the moment and the empty implant has been mapped. It sure is nerve racking sometimes when we depend on an electronic device for our child’s hearing, but I’m oh so thankful for them!!

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Today is Disney day 4, so in an effort to remember days 2&3 I should go ahead and write them down. Let’s face it, I’m struggling to remember them already, so years, months, or weeks from now they’d definitely be a very faint memory. Day 3 started at Boardwalk Bakery. Well it actually started with a 2 year old waddling into our room and me realizing 3 minutes later that meant she had to climb out of her pack and play. She’s never done that before. I was so impressed that I put her back in so I could see it. We’ve never had a kid that climbed out of their pack and play. So, she did it again. I was entertained and we went about our day. So, back to boardwalk bakery…we are big on eating counter service in our fam. It’s quick, not formal, and easy to pick and choose where we go. Something we’ve learned on this trip is there are NO GOOD COUNTER SERVICE RESTAURANTS AT BOARDWALK, YACHT CLUB, BEACH CLUB. First world problem? Yes. Still annoying? Yes. So back to boardwalk bakery. We stopped by there and then headed to the bus stop. We hopped on a magic kingdom bus and headed over to begin our magical day.
Thursday (day 3) would have been Caden’s last day of kindergarten, so we took a commemorative picture.

And one of JL too…
I have a little app on my phone that tells me different things about park crowds, restaurants, wait times, etc. It said the park crowds were 9 out of 10 that day. We didn’t have much hope of riding many rides, but we got a different disabled assistance card this time. I didn’t ask for anything specific. I just told them she needed an assistance card and we got a different one than last time. We were able to ride Peter Pan, Small World, Dumbo, Barnstormer, jungle cruise, buzz, tomorrowland speedway, the people mover, and Winnie the Pooh. not too bad for a 9 out of 10 crowd level day with 3 kids 6 years and under in tow. This should go without saying, but I would never ever wish for my daughter to be deaf so we can go to the front of the line at Disney. I try to teach the boys she’s just like us, she’s not handicapped, etc. It actually made me feel bad to have our special card because we do try to treat her just like the other 2 kiddos. But I did appreciate it because it did make it much easier with our little wild princess.
Highlight of the day? EK rode her first roller coaster. Here she is immediately after:


And here she is after she saw the boys:


We met another little girl with a hearing aid while waiting for Dumbo. EK loved her.

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We hung out at MK until about 4. We had a late afternoon shower that left us pretty wet, but we headed to Contemporary to grab some dinner anyway. You know most kids get whiny or quiet when they’re tired? EK doesn’t. She get CRAZY. She runs around like a rat on acid. There is no controlling her, so we headed back to the room and bathed everyone and put them to bed by 8:30…which at
Disney is a miracle from the Lord. I even got to take a run around the boardwalk. Right now I’m doing a steady 5k every time I run. I need to bump it up some but I feel close to death by the end of the 3.1 miles so I stop. Jeb ran too. He always beats my time by a few minutes and Disney was nice enough to celebrate the end of his run with fireworks. :) I had planned to write day 3 but my parents just walked in so I’ve got to finish later.

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So, we’re back at Disney. Don’t judge. We love it….even Jeb, I promise. We flew out yesterday morning. We got to pre-board because of EK’s “ears,” so that was nice. We didn’t have to sit way in the back. Jeb sat with Caden and I sat with JL and EK. I didn’t have high hopes for me retaining much of my sanity by the end of the flight, but to my surprise, they were great. JL looked out the window, chatted with me, ate food, and played on his “phone” (Jeb’s old iPhone, that has been deactivated and is now an iPod touch). I read to EK almost the whole time, and she played with her car. I’d say more often than not, she has a car in her hand. Sometimes she goes to sleep with them.


When we got to Disney we celebrated with suckers!


By the time we arrived to Disney’s Boardwalk Resort, we’d stopped by the potty 12 times. That would be 12 times between the airport, airplane, airport again, and Magical Express bus. Potty training isn’t for the faint at heart. We’ve had a few accidents, but I’d say we’re doing much better than a few weeks ago.
I had checked in online, so we had minimal check in time when we got here. That was nice. We found our room and headed straight to EPCOT for lunch. We ate at America, which proved to be a fair to mediocre. The boys acted exhausted, so we headed back to the room. In a not so unusual turn of events, they mustered up boat loads of energy when we got back to the hotel. We were able to calm them down to take a nap. We watched a little Burn Notice and enjoyed this view…


Once the kids woke up they BEGGED to go swimming, so we obliged. We forgot their puddle jumpers, but they have life jackets here. When we first got there EK sat next to me. She wasn’t too sure about the water. I thought, “wow, this is going to be EASY!” then she got used to it all and started jumping off the side of the pool before I could even get to 3. (you know 1,2,3 JUMP!). It was close to 7pm, so we decided it was dinner time. You would have thought we had told EK it was time to be beaten. She’s apparently a new fan of the water. On our way to dinner we noticed marshmallow roasting, so we stopped. Get this, Disney offers FREE marshmallows and a FREE dowel to roast them on over a little fire pit. We need to work on our marshmallow roasting skills because the boys ended up with wood in theirs.


We ate dinner after marshmallows and then bought Caden some new sunglasses, which was exactly what we needed to do to find the ones we lost…seriously, I’ve been looking for his glasses for days…we buy him new ones and I find the other ones immediately when I get back to the room. So, that was day one in a nutshell, a really big nutshell.

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The trip home was just as pleasant as the trip down to Disney. The kids were rock stars. Not much asking “how much longer?” Not too many potty breaks (mainly because our kids pee in 20 oz bottles while we continue driving). You do what you have to do, right? Don’t judge. Ek used to yell instead of using words, but now she’s started whining a little but mainly babbling to get what she wants. SO much better. Sometimes she will even use the proper word for things to get me to give it to her. So wonderful! Hard work is paying off. Jeb an I asked each other a million trivia questions, favorite Disney ride, favorite ice cream, favorite shape ( that one was just to be funny because JL asked us the same question on the way down – how do you pick a favorite shape? I said square. Jeb said circle). I really enjoyed talking to Jeb about various and a sundry things, but I also enjoyed when he asked me to drive so he could read an AAFP Journal for CME credit. I think he thought the passenger seat was a cush job. All the moms out there say amen with me…he said he never wanted to be passenger again…it was too much work! Mom, I need to pee, mom, I want a snack, mom where did jay the ninja go? Mom, can you change the movie? There are lulls where you can squeeze in a round or two of draw something or temple run, but passenger is not as easy as Jeb once thought it was. :)

I am definitely glad we went to Disney. There were moments where I thought we were just as crazy as most other people did. Going driving 21 hours to
stay 2 1/2 days seems silly, but it was totally what we needed as a family…time together!
This was the first Easter we didn’t do an egg hunt in Easter or dye eggs. It’s the first Easter since Caden was born that we didn’t spend time with the kings and the first Easter in 3 or 4 years that we didn’t eat lunch at Scott and loris house. All of those things are super fun and I missed them all, but we did what matters most…discussed what Jesus did for us on the cross, and why we celebrate Easter… HE ROSE AGAIN! We did resurrection eggs in the car and watched veggie tales an Easter carol. And we spent quality time together. 😊

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Disney has fast passes. You can go to an attraction, put your ticket into a kiosk and a little piece of paper comes out with a time on it. It’s an hour long window, like 4:55-5:55. That means you return to that ride during that time period. Until this trip it was common knowledge, at least among the Disney veterans, you could go back to that ride anytime as long as it was past the first time in your window. That was true until one month ago. Now they’re strict with their one hour window. Sad story. Apparently the large influx of fast pass returns at random times throughout the day wasn’t what they had intended for the fast pass program. So now, we have a one little hour window. That made for a pointless trip to Epcot last night. :( no soarin’ for us. Live and learn.


We did get to ride Nemo, Mexico, The Land, and maybe that’s it. And 2 of those rides we were able to go to the front of the line because of Eks assistance card. If we had waited in those lines it would have been too long for our crew. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it, but the lines are so very long. Apparently they aren’t lying when they said the crowds were a level 10 every day we are here. You know what? I don’t care. I just love being here!

You know what one of my favorite parts is now? Jeb loves it too! That makes me proud. We have won over another one.


Another thing I love, there was a man who went around to every bench at our hotel this morning and cleaned the water off of them. Disney thinks of everything. It’s all so beautiful and well manicured and clean!


We’re in the car on our way to animal kingdom. We stopped at the Hess station and washed our car and vacuumed it out. Yay! Who knew disney had a car wash and vacuum? Not me. So glad they do though. Our car was looking rough after 10 hours of driving and JL spilling a family size cheez-it box on the floor.
I’m hoping to get to use our card for kilimanjaro safaris. And wondering if Caden will ride expedition Everest. He’s ridden tower of terror, space mountain, big thunder mountain, splash mountain, and test track. He’s still not tall enough for rockin roller coaster, but he plans to wear his tennis shoes so he’s taller when we come back next month. Fun times. :)


Oh! Ek is MUCH better! Only a 48 hour bug! So thankful!