Sunday, May 12, 2013

Dining with Pooh and friends

“Some people care too much. I think it's called love.”
(A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh)

Pooh and friends was one of the five character meals we had from our recent trip to Disney World.  This meal was at Crystal Palace, which is inside Magic Kingdom.  We were able to get one of the first breakfast reservations of the day, since we called many months in advance.  This was a tip that we had learned for our first visit and it has really paid off....  making the reservation ahead of time saves us one of the first spots in the morning, and gets us in the park before it opens and allows us to be happily fed and close to all the rides and shows right when the park opens.  All without having to fight the crowds!  The food is great here, the characters are wonderful, and the kids get to march around with them in a little parade.  Here is a look at our breakfast with Pooh and friends....

“We'll be Friends Forever, won't we, Pooh?' asked Piglet.
Even longer,' Pooh answered.”
(A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh)

Mother's Day 2013

What a blessed mother I am!  God has given me seven wonderful children and allowed me to be completely spoiled by them today.  We celebrated Mass this morning, had a nice relaxing day today (I even snuck in a nap while snugging little Olivia!!!) and then we ran around this evening to visit my mother-in-law, sisters, and my own mom.  Yesterday morning, my three girls and I visited my Grandma in the nursing home and celebrated with a Mother's Day brunch.  And, last Sunday, my sisters and all our of families gathered to celebrate my mom's birthday.  Here are some pictures from all these gatherings/celebrations....

Neil, his mom, his brother and the 16 grandchildren

Grandma and my girls

My Grandma, Mom and girls

My mom, sisters, and I
What a wonderful, blessed mother, wife, sister, daughter, sister-in-law, and daughter-in-law I am.  Thank you, God!!  Lord, please continue to bless these amazing, wonderful people in my life!!! 

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Making of a Princess: DISNEY-style

We just came back a few days ago from an AMAZING family vacation -- Disney World!!!  It was our third time going as a family.  Neil and I went for our honeymoon and were totally hooked.  There is just something SO magical to be part of every Disney movie you have ever seen and all you have to do is walk through the gates and just show up to let the fun, festivities, and feasting begin.  JUST.  SHOW.  UP.  In a world that is busy, busy, go, go, go, Neil and I made a pact at the beginning of our homeschooling journey to make family vacations a MUST.  Obviously with our family size and the expense of Disney, we really can't go every year (although we would LOVE to!).  We've been able to space out our trips every three years, and it has seemed to work good for us.  This year, we went with two of my sisters and their families - there were a total of 18 of us!!  My other sister and her family weren't able to go, but you'll notice in the pictures some "flat" people....  my parents and my sister (who couldn't go) made up "flat" people for us to pose with and to take along to the parks so their presence could be made known and they could stil be part of the fun.  I will be writing up many posts over the next couple weeks with tips and plenty of pictures of our lovely vacation, so stay tuned.  For now, we'll start the posts with the way we started our 2013 trip - the "official" making of the "Princesses of Illinois"!! 

BEFORE:  Melody, my niece, Ariel

checking in

an official invitation to the Bibbidy Bobbidy Boutique

They accepted!!!

Ariel with her Fairy Godmother AND holding Flat Grandma Mary and Flat Aunt Carie

Melody with her Fairy Godmother AND holding Flat Aunt Carie and Flat Grandma Mary

Melody getting all "dolled up"

Ariel getting all "dolled up" -- look at that pretty crown!

My niece getting all "dolled up"

Ooooh, look who else has a crown -- Melody! 

Make-up time

Fairy dust

Princess Ariel

Princess Ariel (posing with her Fairy Godmother)

Melody getting her make-up done

Me nursing Baby Princess Rose

Melody getting her nails done

the great reveal of Princess Melody!! 

Introducing the "Princesses of Illinois"  (who even starred on, were introduced, and made it  on-screen at the Monsters Inc Laugh Floor!!!!!!!!!!!!)

My 3 princesses and I, my sister (Laura) and her daughter, and the youngest of our sisters (Amanda), and LAST, BUT NOT LEAST....  we even included Flat Grandma Mary and Flat Aunt Carie
My Young Princesses

And, like I mentioned above, when we attended the Monster Inc Laugh Floor show that afternoon, they always pick people from the crowd and ask them questions and introduce them, and what a SHOCK and wonderful surprise to all of us that our 3 princesses were chosen and were introduced, shown on-screen and asked a joke....
Why was Cinderella never good at sports?? 
She ran away from the ball!

Hee, hee!!!

What a wonderful, fun, blessed day we all had during our first day down at Disney!!  Thank you, God!!!!!!!!!!!! 
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