Friday, August 31, 2012


 At the Amarillo Airport

We were so blessed this summer to take a family trip to Disney World! It was truly a magical experience in SO many ways. First of all, it was the first real family vacation we had taken since Tyler was a baby...yes we have gone many places but the majority of the time it has been to see family or related to ministry. However, this was JUST US and JUST FOR FUN!! It was also the first time that the younger three had ever been on an airplane!!! They were full of mixed emotions but mostly they were excited. Finally, well it WAS Disney after all and THAT makes in magical in itself!

 On the Magical Express to our Cabins!

Day 1 was filled with travel. We flew from Amarillo to Houston and then had a 3 hour lay over. I had scheduled the longer lay over just because we hadn't all flown together, I knew we would need to eat, etc. As it turned out that was the perfect amount of time! We weren't rushed, we enjoyed our lunch and all was good. We arrived at our cabin at Fort Wilderness around 8;00. There was a little delay in getting our luggage - it didn't arrive until 10:30 but we enjoyed ourselves anyway!

 Ready to explore EPCOT!!

Day 2 - we headed out to Epcot! Epcot is mostly educational but they have done a GREAT job of making it a fun educational experience! We all loved the ride Soarin which is a simulated hang glider ride over the state of California. I was especially proud of Kestra on this ride. She doesn't typically like thrill rides or rides that are high...she jumped in and did it anyway!!! Another highlight from Epcot was the laser light show that night - it was FANTASTIC!!! To sit by the lake with funnel cake and watch it was perfect!!!

 My little man on our Safari!

Day 3 - off to Disney's Animal Kingdom. By far this was one of my favorites and of course my little animal lover Tyler loved it. The thing I liked the most was that it was so much slower paced and relaxing. We were able to just stroll through and enjoy it! Again, Kestra got out of her comfort zone and road Mt Everest which is a CRAZY roller coaster - she loved it too!!! We also went on a little African Safari - this really was fun especially in light of Joel's upcoming trip and my past trip to Zimbabwe.

 At the Carousel trying to pull out the sword!

Day 4 - Magic Kingdom...what else to say except - MAGICAL! That first view of Cinderella's castle really does capture your heart and put you in Disney mode! We just enjoyed everything there. Rides were great and we had a fun day. That night we went to the Electrical Parade and had a blast!

 In front of the Castle waiting for fireworks!

Day 5 - Return trips to Epcot and Magic Kingdom as well as shopping and eating in Downtown Disney. We had a few things we hadn't done at Epcot plus Tyler wanted to ride the Monorail so we did those. Then, we went to Downtown Disney for dinner at Planet Hollywood - kids had fun with that! Shopping was a hit - especially the GINORMOUS Disney store and Lego store!!! Finally we finished the day with fireworks back at the Magic Kingdom!!!

 Live Action Stunt Show at Disney Hollywood Studios

Day 6 - Disney's Hollywood Studios. This was our only semi-rough day. We were all getting tired and on top of that, it was raining, no pouring, no like REALLY RAINING hard the whole time. We enjoyed the Rock N Roller Coaster and the Toy Story Mania rides but after all being soaking wet - we made it an early day and went back to the cabin to rest and pack up for the return home.

Day 7 - traveled home!

We booked our vacation directly through Disney and that is the way I would do it if I were to do it again. They truly do an AMAZING job of taking care of everything! They shuttle you everywhere, check in your luggage and you for the return flight, they deliver luggage to your room, etc. We didn't use the meal plan because the one thing we wanted to save money on was food so I fixed a lot of our meals at our cabin and we took snack foods for most of our lunches. If we were to go again - we may include the meal plan if we had the money but then again it really was cost effective to have the cabin to fix our meals!

The VERY BEST part for me was simply enjoying some fun time with my kids! They did so well. There weren't too many arguments, they all had great attitudes and really enjoyed being together! It is a memory I will cherish! If you plan to go with your family - the Cabins at Fort Wilderness Campground are GREAT!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The crazy summer in a quick post~

So, I promised I would post about our crazy busy summer! We have been so many places and done so many things that I am just going to do a quick summary here...some pictures were on my lap top which died (I did back them up on an external hard drive but it doesn't work great on the desk top) so I may not have pics of everything but that's okay - you will get the gist!

First up: Amazing Wonders Aviation Vacation Bible School!
 This was our first VBS with First Borger and it was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G! We averaged 130 kids a day and had so much fun! For me, the highlight was being able to teach the preschoolers. It has been a few years since I have been in the preschool VBS room and I loved being back!!!

Friday that VBS ended, I loaded up with 7 of our Special Needs friends including my niece Bethany and headed out to Special Friends Camp. Special Friends Camp has held a special place in my heart for MANY years! I love people with special needs...I just think they are simply wonderful! It was particularly neat to take my sweet Bethany for her first time!!! 

 Bethany is the one with crutches - I love them all!!!

After Special Friends Camp, we had a week of down time before ALL four kids were off to camp. The three oldest went to youth camp and Tyler went to Sonlight Christian Camp in Colorado. Many people wondered what Joel and I would do with out our kids..we enjoyed some much needed time for US and celebrated our anniversary early with a night in Amarillo and going to downtown Amarillo! We did miss the kids but it was nice to just have some us time! 

The three oldest got home and we had another week and then it was off to Colorado for family time and to get our sweet Tyler Bay! We enjoyed the fourth of July in beautiful Silverton Colorado and had fun with my Aunt, Uncle, cousins and other new friends! 
 This is at Andrews lake in the RAIN!!! Love mountain rains!

Upon returning from Colorado, we had all of two days before Kestra and I left for Student Life Camp in Sherman Tx. There were three girls and two adult sponsors. We had a really fun time!!! 

Student Life Camp ended on Wednesday, the following Monday Joel and I loaded up with our three youngest and 7 other kids and went to Panfork Baptist Camp for Kids Camp. Once again I had a cabin of 3 girls while Joel with the help of Malachi had 6 boys! The kids ate it up and had a blast! They got to shoot, try archery, go down a waterslide, paddle boat, etc. 
Joel doing his job well...relating and interacting with kids! 

We returned from Panfork, had another week of down time before the three oldest and I headed out for Mission Arlington! Mission Arlington is a mission in downtown Arlington, Tx that reaches families in need through apartment ministry, food, medical, dental, clothing, etc. Our primary job was picking up and delivering furniture to families that had little to no furniture. It was an eye opening experience for us all to realize that there are those in need right here in the US! 
Picking up donations from a home to deliver to the Mission

We got home from Mission Arlington on mine and Joel's 17th anniversary. The following week we celebrated Malachi's birthday with Joel's parents which was really fun! Then we had a family cookout with Joel's sister and her family later in the week to celebrate all the birthdays and anniversaries of the summer! Love getting the cousins together! 
 Such diverse personalities but so fun!!! 

That pretty much brings us up to date. We have enjoyed the week at home and are now doing laundry and getting ready for our family vacation to DISNEY WORLD!!! Oh my!! We leave on Monday and all 6 of us are so super excited! For the younger three, it will be the first time on an airplane. They are excited and nervous about that. So, look for future posts about our trip - I am sure there will be plenty!