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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Something to blog about

OK, wow. Well, first of all, I am catching my blogging breath after all of those posts. And the truth is, it is this particular post that has motivated me to get caught up to this point!
You saw the mini golf pics in the previous post. Our family took a vacation to Kissimmee Florida last week. The whole thing was a tremendous gift. I feel so blessed. We benefited from a few different connections and people's generosity... you know who you are. THANK YOU!!!
We stayed at a resort there, and enjoyed some pool time, some relax time, and while we were there... you guessed it, we visited Walt Disney World.

Now. Throat clear. I have to admit that I have some issues with Disney. They range from brainwashing children with youth, beauty and self worship to materialism to just plain old culture manipulation and fantasy propaganda: you know, the kind that says that you can and should be whatever you want, and that you should spend your life pursuing said goals.
Also, the last time we came to Disney World, Jon David was 18 months old, and well, if it hadn't been for Mom and Dad giving Don and me a day to do the parks alone, I'm not sure how much we would have enjoyed it. Jon David's favorite part was Tom Sawyer's Island and the escalator at Epcot. Needless to say, my expectations were kinda low. At least, they were fairly low for Caleb. I had a feeling that Jon David and Luke would have fun.
Having said this, we own a plethora of Disney movies. Among my favs are the Incredibles, Cars, and Finding Nemo. And Jon David and Luke frequently enjoy Phineas and Ferb, among other Disney cartoons.
As of today, I have to add this to the list: I am a fan of the parks. We spent our two days at the Magic Kingdom, and to quote the cheesy Disney slogan, we really did make some memories to last a lifetime. Many of our conversations lately have centered on when we might go again, and I confess, it appeals to me too!
We did not tell Jon David and Luke what we were scheming until the night before our first day. When we broke the news to them, that we were going to be able to go to Disney World, they were shocked. "It's probably going to take 6 hours to get there, isn't it?" asked Jon David. Next surprise: "No, it's about fifteen minutes away," was our response. They were elated.
So Caleb woke up promptly at 4:45 A.M. the next morning (thankfully, he went back to sleep eventually), and once all of the preparations were made, we set out for Disney World.

I've gotta tell ya, it was so fun. The boys all loved it, they were great. Don't get me wrong, Caleb had his meltdowns alright, but nothing that you can't expect from a two year old. Don and I were both pleasantly surprised at how much he liked being there, at how well he adjusted to being pushed with his naps. He was a good sport about the stroller. We went on Monday and on Wednesday. We had arranged with our friend to not enter the park until 11:00 A.M. on Wednesday, which I thought would be catastrophic considering Caleb usually wakes up between 6 and 7 pretty much like clockwork, and naps around noon. But again, it felt like God's blessing was upon us. That particular day, he woke up early, like 6 ish, but Don went in and settled him down and he slept until after 9:00 A.M.!!!! I don't know if this has EVER happened to him before. Unreal!! Also, on the first day, he dozed in the stroller for about a half hour--again, something he hasn't done in ages.

I confess, I am having nostalgic feelings about it, wishing we could go back, etc... yes, to Disney World!! What is wrong with me?! Don and I both had a ball. We enjoyed so much experiencing it for ourselves, but also through our children.
And now for the pictures.

The anticipation... so fun!
Our friends were super generous with our kiddos. They bought each of them some souvenirs. Again, such a blessing.
The obligatory Cinderella Castle pic. Among the gifts that the boys received was an autograph book that we decided to turn into a Disney World experience journal. Jon David drew a pic in there that was hilarious. First, he drew many of the characters he saw in the parades (Mickey, Goofy, Pluto, etc...). Then he drew himself with the princesses. He had a frowny face. The caption said "me and the princesses. By the way, I'm a boy." Then, he tore it out. Too funny! It was neat to see how different their reactions were. Jon David really enjoyed the parades. He loved seeing all of the characters.

The classic Dumbo ride. Caleb LOVED all of the rides we took him on.
He even did Pirates of the Caribbean with us!

One of his favorite pastimes when we were not heading somewhere: pushing the stroller himself.
Below: this was my favorite parade! And one of my favorite moments of the entire time! Disney knows how to put on a show. They invited everyone to join in and dance with the characters and dancers in the street! It was so fun. Even thought this white girl can't dance!!!

Caleb was such a good sport in and out of the stroller. The picture at the top of this post is one of my favs! I asked him if he wanted to go see the monkey, and he walked right up to him! When we went on Wednesday, the characters didn't seem quite as warm and friendly, so I don't know if it was a fluke that Caleb got the monkey hug, but I was lovin it!!

Taking a break here to feed some ducks. I tried this again on Wednesday, and Don kindly pointed out the "Please do not feed the animals" sign. Sheepish grin...

Below: cooling off at the fountain. During this time, Don had taken the older boys to the Buzz lightyear ride. This one turned out to be the only ride that they kinda got burned on as far as the wait. They ended up waiting about an hour. For all of the other rides, we either did fast passes, or the lines weren't too bad. On Monday, the waits were in the 20 minutes or less range. On Wednesday, it was 10 minutes or less! Again, huge blessing, and I totally recommend going to Disney World over fall break!

Watching a show in front of Cinderella's Castle: "Dream Along with Mickey." The older two boys wanted to catch this one again on Wednesday. I was stressin' trying to make it to this one. We were running late, and it was just me with the boys while Don got a few fast passes. I do not have a great sense of direction, and we ran all around the park before finally making it! Jon David and Luke were so sweet: "it's OK, Mom, we just missed the princess part." Ah, the joy of having boys.


LOVE the jungle cruise. The tour guides are always hilarious! This one let Jon David and Luke drive the boat! One of our favorite jokes (that Luke especially likes to repeat): "Why is Cinderella so bad at soccer? Because she keeps running away from the ball!" Haha.

Waiting for "It's a Small World" ride to begin. Don and I would say that this one was Caleb's fav. He was precious staring at all of the moving figures at every turn.

He also really like the carousel.
Below, he caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror! And here we are at Tom Sawyer's Island. This brought back memories of my brother Daniel and me, yikes... would it really be 23 years ago???!!

Caleb caught on to Mickey Mouse real fast. After seeing a few shows, he would say "I like a Mickey Mouse." Below, he was waving and saying "Bye Bye Mickey Mouse!"

At one point back at the condo, as I was putting him to bed, he patted the mattress to his side and asked to Mickey to sleep right here. I talked him into letting Mickey sleep close by, but not in the bed. Today, however, Mickey Mouse had joined us for story time. Again, after his request, I tried to talk him into Mickey napping on the changing table. He was too sad. I gave in. The Mickey Mouse was one of gifts from our friend. A hit for sure!

Well, the end of the story is that Jon David and Luke proceeded to ride Thunder Mountain railroad with Daddy, which ended up being their favorite part of their experience (although Luke really like riding the race cars, and Jon David really enjoyed seeing the characters in the parade too). Then, after buying one last souvenir for each of them, we headed back to the condo.


  1. That is really cool. I'm glad you had a great time. :D

  2. What a wonderful post. So glad you liked Disney. Your pictures are beautiful and so colorful!!

  3. I'm so glad everyone had a good time! Y'all will always remember this trip. We went when I was 5; my dad's cousin in north FL accidentally spilled the beans, so my poor parents got trapped in a car for hours with three hyper kids asking "are we there yet?!" and "what's it gonna be like?!" :P



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