Tuesday, July 27, 2010
I have been on the it's a small world ride before. I have always thought it was a neat ride...mostly just to cool off:) But as I was on there this time I had a totally different thought process. As I looked around and saw all of these children...brown hair, pink hair, dark skin, light skin, curly hair, stright hair...I couldn't help but think of my family now and how we have been so blessed with all of our children. Some with dark hair, some with light. Some are blue eyed, some brown, some green. And even now we have one with dark skin and one with really dark skin. One with very straight black black hair and one with very very curly black hair. These boys would have spoken a different language, had a different culture, but they are now part of our family, our culture, our heritage. I am so thankful for our very diverse family, for each one of these precious children. And as we were at Disney I heard so many different languages. Some of them looked just like me but spoke a language I couldn't understand. Some of them looked very different from me, but yet spoke my own language. Each one of us is a special and unique creation from God and God loves each and every one of us. I want to be used to help some of these special people to know who God is and what He has done for each one of us. Am I willing to step out and be bold enough?
SATURDAY, JULY 17TH
We dropped Gracie off at the kennel and headed for the airport! Our flight went perfect and we landed in Orlando. We then took the Magical Express bus to our resort and check in was great. We took a look at our room, grabbed some dinner at the Contempo Cafe, and headed to Magic Kingdom! We were just so excited! We stayed pretty late that night....we were exhausted and slept like rocks that night!
We slept in a little this morning....ahhh refreshed, ready to go again. We went back to Magic Kingdom! We rode more rides and saw some Characters! We had dinner at Tony's Town Square. It was a nice Italian restaurant. The lady and the tramp were on their fountain there....it was yummy! Then we went back to the resort and went for a swim. The kids loved the pool and they had a blast on the waterslide! Then we got cleaned up and went down for the outdoor movie.."Bedtime Stories"....another great day.....exhausted again:)
We got up and caught the monorail over to Epcot. Brady was very impressed with the size of that huge ball!!! The monorail gave us a nice little tour of some of Epcot before dropping us off. We rode the Nemo ride which was just next to our lunch stop. We ate at Coral Reef Restaurant. It was a seafood place and our table was up next to the big aquarium of fish, sting rays, sharks and other sea creatures. Pretty Cool! The kids got to be Kim Possible secret agents that day and they got to save France! We then went back to the resort and ate some dinner at Contempo Cafe again. Then we got ready to swim and went swimming in the dark!!!! Fun night!
Off to Hollywood Studios today! It was hot, hot, hot! We had lunch at a really cool place, 50's Prime Time cafe. It was all set up just like the 50's and it was a nice "homemade" meal for us! We did the Star tours ride twice because Brady loved that so very, very much! Then we just got too hot, so we headed back to the resort to the pool again! We decided to ride over to the Grand Floridian to have dinner and see that hotel and then we went back to Magic Kingdom....that's where the kids wanted to go! And late that night while we were there, Brady and JB went off to ride some things while Rach and I did Space Mountain, but the line was so long that we decided not to. So we decided just to sit and relax while we waited for the boys. While we sat there we had the best conversation. We just talked about lots of things...how much we missed Daddy last year and just about lots of things.....just "life"! I love moments like that, just talking with my kids one on one and hearing what is on their hearts....I will always remember that spot!
To Animal Kingdom we go! Lots of really neat animals to see. We got to take a safari which was really cool! Giraffes, elephants, lions and all kinds of animals roaming freely. We got wet on the Khali River Rapids which felt really nice! We left in time to go back to the room and get ready for Chef Mickey's! The kids enjoyed seeing all the characters and eating off of the buffet. That night we just stayed at the resort. I did a load of laundry (realizing that I had never used a laundromat before...spoiled) and JB took the kids to the game room upstairs. They were in there for like 2 hours...they had a great time and came back with prizes!
We took the morning easy, trying to figure out just what we wanted to do. We went by the Contempo Cafe for a quick bite for lunch and then spent the whole afternoon at the pool. It was so fun just to swim and watch the kids go down the slide...ofcourse JB and I went some too:) Brady tried real hard to swim without his floaties and got real brave about going all the way under the water. We made dinner reservations at The Plaza Restaurant at Magic Kingdom. It was good. Then we went to Mickey's Toon Town for our "Family Time" which Brady had all planned for us. He learned his way to Mickey's Toon Town from anywhere in the park, so he led the way. We rode Goofy's rollercoaster...yet again...and toured Mickey and Minnie's houses....also yet again:) We stayed for the fireworks and then the 11:00 electrical lights parade which was really neat to see. We walked back to the hotel because the monorail was really packed with everyone leaving at the same time.....it was a great day!
FRIDAY, JULY 23RD
We headed back to Magic Kingdom for our lunch at Crystal Palace with Pooh and his friends. That was a really nice lunch buffet and the kids had a great time seeing the Characters. They got to follow Piglet around for the "dance party"! JB and Rach went to ride the stitch ride and Buzz lightyear again while Brady and I went to......you guessed it.....Mickey's Toon Town.....and we rode goofy's rollercoaster and toured Minnie and Mickey's houses......just something different:) Then we got all settled down to watch the show at the castle and then it rained....and it rained hard. We were soaked to the core...but all we could do was laugh! It was refreshing. We decided to order Papa John's pizza for dinner (which was not on the dining plan...but it sounded so good). So we ate that in the room and then went for one last swim at the pool. The hot tub was nice in the evening too. Then we got showers and walked over to the Bay Lake Tower to see what their hotel was like. It was very nice too.
SATURDAY, JULY 24TH
Well, it's time to go. We all had such a good time. I couldn't believe how smoothly our entire trip went. This was a trip that JB and I have talked about for years and it finally happened and it happened just how we wanted. I am so thankful for the opportunity to go and just truly enjoy this week as a family and so thankful that everyone was happy, healthy and safe. We caught the magical express to the airport. The Orlando airport has shops and everything so we looked around in them. Then we got to eat at Chick-fil-A(another restaurant that we miss from home) and then we headed to our gate. Our flight was delayed about an hour and a half, but I wasn't about to complain after the wonderful week we were given. I was really just sad that it was all over, but had to focus on being happy and thankful for such good memories. It was truly a dream come true vacation!!!!
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Living the Navy life we have definitely learned that friends come and friends go. We come and we go. We have been so blessed throughout all of these years to meet so many different people and families. Some are for a short time, a season of our life. Some are forever friends. JB and Carl checked aboard the USS Memphis the same year and Cindy and I met shortly after. We soon realized that our children were the same ages, Drew and Rachel were even in the same class. We were from the same part of the country, she knows the town where my Grandmother lives.....no one knows that! We soon learned that she and I had a mutual friend in Georgia where we both lived at the same time but didn't know each other.....all sorts of little coincidences. We also found that we had something greater in common and that was Christ....we both love Him and wanted to live our lives in accordance with that. Our husbands headed for sea and then were gone several months of the next year and a half. They did a six month deployment together in which they were able to be there for one another as well. Cindy and I developed a wonderful friendship that would serve as a "live preserver" during a very hard year. We laughed, cried, prayed and just spent time together passing the days until our husbands were home. And ofcourse we have spent Friday nights together for a couple of years at McDonalds and then back to one of our homes to talk or play games or whatever.......with our without hubbies! Our children love to be together! But now they are moving forward in their life, Carl just retired from the Navy and they are moving home. I am so excited for them to be doing that, but ofcourse I will miss them with all my heart. But we will keep up, and one day, we will live much closer to them............Thank you Lord for Forever Friends!!!!
Every year Dad has taken pictures of me and the kids (or the kid) since Rach was a baby. Some years we go all out and some years we make it simple. We've been in all sorts of environments. In paducah, in Ga, in Connecticut, at the water, in the swamp:), by the trees, in backyards, frontyards, in swings, downtown, out in the country.....just all over the place. This year we chose to stay inside in the cool airconditioning....I cherish these pictures year after year!
I didn't really get very many pictures from my trip this year because I took my video camera, but here are a few. We had a wonderful time visiting. We got to go to Kimberly's and swim with all the kids, I got to go to dinner with my school friends, got to spend some time with Yvonne and the boys, got lots of good time with our family. Fishing with PawPaw, Six flags and the "Big play", get together at Aunt Janices where we got to see lots of family and just lots of fun times. Meeting A.J. for the first time was definitely a highlight, boy is he amazing! We got to be a part of Syd's birthday party....very fun! And ofcourse Brady and Rachel both had strep throat and Rachel had some very sore and swollen places on her feet??????, but somehow we can't go there without medical problems:) We ended our trip again this year at Uncle Kevin and Phebe's. We went to Chick-fil-A, the zoo, and then they grilled a yummy dinner for us that night. We are blessed by all of the family and friends that we have back home...........truly blessed!
My aunt Retie and Uncle Bob came through town on their way to his family in Vermont. They camped down the road in Mystic. We went over to visit the night they got there and then spent the whole day together the next day. We went to the sub museum(uss nautilus), then we went to Mystic and ate at Mystic Pizza and walked around, then back to our house for a bit and then back to the campsite. They started a fire and we had roasted hotdogs and made yummy smores!!! It was so much fun spending time with them. We also played volleyball with Retie.....I don't think any of us are quite ready for the pros, but it was fun!!!!
Rach has finished her 3rd year of ballet and her first year of Tap. She absolutely loves to dance. She practices almost every day or any time that she is bored. I love that she loves it so much. I don't know if her love for it will fade over the years or if it will be a lifelong love, but for now, it is a wonderful part of her life. I am so proud of her and her dedication to it!
Well my baby boy if officially done with preschool and I am officially not a mom of babies or preschoolers! I spent most of my life waiting for the day to come when I could have babies and be a mom.....although I will always be a mom....I never really thought about the day that they would be "big kids". But we have all been so very blessed by their preschool experiences. Rach at Happy Apple in GA and Brady at Tollgate here in Groton. Wonderful teachers with hearts for Jesus, assisting us in helping our children learn to walk with Him. I always try to remember, although I do not always keep it together, that each moment with my children is a gift and a moment to try to lead them closer to the Lord. Is that always easy when everyone is grumpy or I've been up half the night with sickness or accidents in the bed or whatever.....NO! But I can see now that time is fleeing away and I pray that each and every day I can see what is really important. May God be with Rachel and Brady as we all enter a brand new season......we'll see just what God has in store for me too!
PawPaw came to visit in May. Rachel had a special Grandparent's day at school and he was able to come for that. It was a very nice day. While he was here, we had some very gorgeous weather. We went to Devil's hopyard and Gillette castle (got some great pics there too) and then we spent one day going to Long Island to visit Theodore Roosevelt's home. It was really neat to see and it was just a beautiful area. We were able to walk to the water too. The pictures are of his home and then of JB, Dad, Rach and Brady just following directions....we just couldn't figure out why they had to place their butts there, but they obeyed!