When PinkGirl and I go to Disney, we often pray and look for opportunities to “speak life” to the people God places in our path.
I wish I could say “always” instead of “often” but I can’t.
Sometimes we forget. Sometimes we are obliviously self-involved.
But not today.
I posted this on facebook last night:
“I was reminded again tonight.
Everybody is #justadifferentkindofbroken
Sometimes, it’s all I can do NOT to abandon “appropriate” surface conversation and take someone by the hand, lead them to a quite corner, look them in the eye, and ask, “How are you, REALLY?” and really SEE them and LISTEN to them.
PinkGirl and I are going to Magic Kingdom tomorrow. Already praying we recognize God’s prompting when he nudges us to encourage the person or people He places in our path. yeah. we know we’re weird. but we’ve almost come to terms with that. #seepeople #edify #loveGodloveothers”
A friend commented:“Sometimes takes multiple conversations and kind gestures before someone will share. Trust is a big thing when you share your stuff. And you have to make sure that someone will walk through it with love and kindness.”
I responded this morning:
“I’m willing to put in the time. Since I asked God to break my heart for what breaks his, I have been amazed – and blessed – at how many times He’s equipped me to step out of my comfort zone and reach out to people – to see them and listen to them – in love, with no judgement.
In the beginning, I was blown over when someone – friend or stranger – shared something deeply personal, but now, it’s happened so many times that when I pray for God to show me who He wants me to reach out to, I already know He will.
“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Mark 11:24
I pray most of all for the Holy Spirit to nudge me, not only for the who, but the when. I also pray that He won’t let me miss the opportunity out of fear or oblivion.
Strangely, He nudges me OFTEN in a Disney waiting line. Strangers to friends in the time it takes to meet a princess.
Today, I find myself thinking I need to offer to pray for someone. Not sure if He’ll prompt me to do it, but if He does, I pray He’ll bless me with the courage and motivation to be immediately obedient.”
PinkGirl and I see Disney as one of our many mission fields.
Our mission is not to “save” people, but to serve people.
Our prayer is that, through whatever interaction we’ve had with them, someone might be drawn closer to Christ.
It’s not our job, it’s our prayer.
I know we risk ridicule and rejection, be we don’t hide our faith in these interactions. If the natural flow of conversation leads us to share something about our lives with someone, it’s not uncommon that we acknowledge our dependance on God and His influence on our lives.
So, if someone who wasn’t thinking about God and spiritual things before spending time with us, begins or continues to think about God and spiritual things after spending time with us, then our prayer was answered with a big YES.
Even if we never know it.
This is our Disney theme song:
(I love that the person speaking life in this video is a little blonde girl.)
Monday, May 26, 2014
“I woke up in America for the love of God.
I woke up in America for something bigger than myself.
More than fireworks and fanfare.
More than a star-spangled banner.
You’re still beautiful America”
Saturday, March 15, 2014
shared Judah Smith’s status:
“If we’re not careful, we’re going to take the greatest message on the planet and turn it into a horrible form of humanism.”
#JesusIs #Passion2014 http://goo.gl/SDO77w
Sunday, March 16, 2014 Me, as we were leaving IKEA today: “You’re welcome.” Hubs: “You ain’t kiddin.”
That’s Mills code for “We NEVER have to come here ever again.”
(Our 1st visit today. I wanted to sue the building for harassment. & I wanted OUT.)
#wherestheexit #wheresthepassinglane #ihateshopping #clickaddtocart
Answer: 18. so far.
Who knows the question?
(How many browser tabs do I have open right now?)
Monday, March 17, 2014
Our two new living room chairs are cat approved.
If you hear someone screaming “OMYGOSHOMYGOSHOMYGOSHOMYGOSH!!!” it’s PinkGirl. The Frozen DVD we pre-ordered just arrived in the mail. The day BEFORE it is supposed to be released. “ITCOMESWITHPOSTERSOMYGOSHOMYGOSHOMYGOSHOMYGOSH!!!!” When I went to the mailbox to get the rest of themail, my neighbor just asked me if she was okay. True story.
There’s a book I want. It’s in stock at Brightlight Books. I wonder how many books I will actually buy. #cantbuyjustone #bookbinge
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Can you tell we like symmetry in this house?
(Ellen and Genie were best friends when they were kids, but grew apart over the years. Until this reconnection in their early twenties, as written by Genie.) “For the next hour I stormed the conversation with highly exaggerated accounts of my great successes…
She [Ellen] listened quietly and at one point when my voice was way up and bragging she broke in: “That’s all very interesting. I know you’ve done some fine work, but you’re probably the unhappiest looking person I’ve ever seen, Genie. What’s really the matter?”
from Burden is Light by Eugenia Price
Thursday, March 20, 2014
EPCOT. Norway. 3 hour wait for Anna and Elsa. #ilovemydaughter #springbreak2014
Only a 3.5 hour wait for Anna and Elsa today. MUCH better. (than 6.5) Time to put some steps on the fit bit zip. #ilovemydaughter #springbreak2014
Dear fellow Disney patron: I do NOT commiserate at the most Magical place on earth. You complain to me about ANYthing while waiting in line with me and you will be subtlety innundated with a steady stream of reminders of why you are here: Making dreams come true. I’m either going to turn your attitude around or annoy the crud out of you. Your choice. #NOcranky
We’ve been at EPCOT since before it opened. Met Anna, Elsa, Jasmine Aladdin, Aurora, Alice, Mary Poppins and of course Mickey, Minnie and Goof. We’re going to Magic Kingdom tomorrow. 5:10pm PinkGirl: “Can we go home now? I’m tired.” #disneypassholderscanalwayscomebacktomorrow
oops. The only sunscreen I remembered to wear today was the tinted sunscreen I wear instead of makeup. #themeparkproblems
9578 steps today because pedometers don’t count hours of standing on concrete as exercise. 30 minutes for the sauna to heat up. 20 to 30 minutes in the sauna (depending on how many times I go in). Quick shower, with an ibuprofen chaser. I should be curled up in bed with my Kindle app by 9:15pm. Hopefully, I can stay awake until my hair dries.
shared Carlos Whittaker‘s status:
Sometimes the hardest thing to do is nothing. Many times the best thing to do is nothing.
Watching PinkGirl dance and lip sync. “Hello my name is child of the ONE TRUE KING!!!”
Friday, March 21, 2014
Got on the Peoplemover for a break and it got stuck.
We were secretly hoping for that.
Back row of Carousel of Progress. #naptime
But we may wake up with a song stuck in our head. #wdw #magickingdom
“There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow…” It’s just wrong. Who remembers the original song/lyrics? #wdw #magickingdom
THIS is what Carousel of Progress should sound like. #wdw #magickingdom #throwback
PinkGirl and Gaston. Just before he dipped her. #ilovemydaughter
(He was SO funny. She hugged him and he immediately asked,
“How does it feel to have your arms around me?”
And he kept telling people “It’s nice to meet me.)
Magic Kingdom really is beautiful at night. #wdw
To see more previous facebook update and compilation blog posts, CLICK HERE.
Last night was a lazy family night. The boys were doing calculus at the kitchen table, PinkGirl was watching Disney’s Cinderella on DVD and I was reading in the recliner.
I must have dozed off.
But it was obviously a REM nap.
I was driving PinkGirl to school, but we had to stop somewhere because the car was having trouble. It turned out to be a different school and there were kids EVERYWHERE. PinkGirl went off to explore while I took care of the car and then all of the sudden, there was never anything wrong with the car, we were just lost and I somehow had a GPS I didn’t have before.
But now I couldn’t find PinkGirl.
I kept calling her on her cell, but she didn’t answer – and she didn’t call me. So I started walking all over the campus looking for her and realized this school overlooked the New York harbor? (No wonder we were lost.) I was walking all over campus, carrying an armful of stuff at this point (Don’t know where it all came from…)
Near the swimming pool, I saw a table along a wall and put all the stuff down to rearrange it so I could carry it more easily. While I’m doing that, I hear PinkGirl say, “May I try the slipper on?” amplified over the loud speaker.
I turn around and discover she’s in an aquatic performance of Disney’s Cinderella. So I just stand there and watch the rest of the performance with the rest of the audience.
When she’s done and changed and finally comes out to meet her adoring fans, I asked her, “WHY didn’t you tell me where you were and what you were doing?!” She said “Mom. There was no time. I wandered in just after Cinderella got sick. I had to volunteer.”
In my opinion, the BEST time to go. Living in Central Florida, and premium annual passholders for years, we’ve been to Disney too many times to count. FirstHusband and FavoriteSon aren’t feeling the magic so much anymore, but PinkGirl and I are still Disney Freaks. She and I spent the day at Magic Kingdom on February 12th, last year and we did EVERYTHING we wanted to do in ONE day.
And, of course, no SNOW.
Here’s PinkGirl lounging in Minnie Mouse’s Living room – ALONE. No other kids in the photo. That’s because there were NO OTHER KIDS IN THE ROOM! She had the place all to herself! This photo was taken at 11:12 a.m.
Here’s PinkGirl taking a load off in Minnie Mouse’s Sunroom, (next door to Mickey’s House) – again, the only kid in the room! This photo was taken at 7:05 p.m.
We’re trying to work out a week at Daytona Beach Ocean Walk Resort again in the next few weeks. Last summer, we stayed there for 5 nights. SO much fun! I posted photos and a kind of review last year. We loved the fact that everything we wanted to do was within walking distance. We parked the van in the garage when we got there and didn’t get back into it until the day we checked out. The beach, two pools with a lazy river, entertainment complex with movies, restaurants, shops and across the street a water park, arcade, laser tag, go carts, mini-golf and the BEST? A SPA at the hotel that accepted the Spa Finder gift certificate I won at a Christmas party, so I even got a massage! GREAT vacation. Bought it on eBay. Seriously. GREAT deal.
I’m a Florida girl. I went to the beach on Saturdays, some when I was in high school, more when I was in college. I remember I parked my car on the beach at New Smyrna once. (It was allowed back then.) Hung out with friends all day. Then the tide came in. Not good. The tires did not budge. Not good. No cell phones back then. Just lots of freaking out about how much trouble I was going to get in and how I was going to get the car home with an engine full of salt water. Thankfully, lots of tanned, good looking guys, drippin in machismo, surrounded my Mustang and pretty much lifted it out of the sand and back a few feet before it was completely water logged or dragged out to sea and turned into an artificial reef. What? I was 16. I thought it could happen.
So I’ve been to the ocean a few times. Mostly the east coast of Florida. Daytona Beach, Cocoa Beach, Cape Canaveral, Jetty Park, New Smyrna . . . I love the beach. Kinda. Here’s a few things I’ve learned about myself:
I DON’T like swimming in the ocean. I’ve gone in far enough to STAND and catch a wave with a boogie board or a raft, but actually SWIM in the ocean? No. Riptides. Fish touching my legs. The movie Jaws. eek.
I DO like walking, basking, sleeping and reading on the beach. I know I’m not supposed to sleep and bask – skin cancer – I know. I don’t really do it anymore. We all lather up SPF50+ now. But the days of SPF2 Coppertone Suntan OIL? I can still smell it. The deep brown skin and bleached blond hair from a bottle of Sun In spray? Good times. Good times.
I DO like sitting on the beach, building sand castles and sand . . . stuff. Digging trenches. Burying my feet and legs. Digging up sand crabs for bait. Sand fills up in your bathing suit bottom and you have to trudge out to the ocean at least waist deep and do a little dance, hopping nobody has goggles and can hold their breath for a long time.
I DON’T like going to the beach for the DAY. The 60 to 90 minute, sand in my pants, wet bathing suit, sticky skin drive home is miserable. HATE that.
I LOVE going to the beach when we stay overnight. Spending the entire day outside in the sun and sand and getting to take a shower IMMEDIATELY after. Then going out for a bucket of Cajun shrimp and ICE cold beer at Bubba Gumps. Then waking up the next and doing it all over, but with different sea food at the end of the day? Like maybe blackened mahi mahi? Oh, now why did I go there? I’m ready for vacation now.
I LOVE sitting out on the balcony of a hotel at night, listening to the surf and (hopefully, if the moon is right) watching the waves.
I DO like walking on the beach at sunrise and sunset. Breathtaking.
I DO like riding out the channel at Cape Canaveral in a boat EARLY in the morning. You can actually FEEL the tension sliding off your back behind you as you get farther away from land.
I especially like standing on the top deck of a Disney Cruise Ship as it makes its way down the channel.
I DON’T like walking on the beach at night. The scurrying little sand crabs freak me out. If I walk at night, I want a flash light. A BIG one.
oh. And my final DON’T like? Shaving my legs the same day I’m going to the ocean. ow. ow. ow. ow. Shave the night before. Trust me.
I love my HOME. Because it is within our means and a cozy, memory making, safe, happy, comfortable blessing. I am SO thankful, that a few years ago, when the real estate market was going crazy, we didn’t buy a house we really couldn’t afford. Our daily lives would be very different. Our house would own us.
I love TheHallelujah Chorus. Every year, I have to go to EPCOT for the Candlelight Processional and get my annual Hallelujah Chorus fix. I try to go when Marlee Matlin is narrating. The year before last, we sat in the front row, near the musical sign language interpreter. Marlee, front and center, signing the Christmas story and an extremely talented sign language interpreter practically right in front of me, signing the music. INCREDIBLE.
I love the song “Hip to Be Square” It’s my ringtone. It’s my motto. What’s a motto? Nothing. What’s the motto with you? (movie trivia again. where’s it from?)
I LOVE the sound of Happy Children. Especially my own. My daughter. Singing at the top of her lungs. Her own made up songs. Without a care in the world. My son. Singing to whatever is on his itouch. When he thinks I’m not listening. If you are out somewhere trying to shush a loud child, don’t ever do it on my account. I knew kids were loud before I had them myself.
I love my Honda Odyssey. Because it’s paid for. And it starts EVERY time I turn the key. Do I want a different/new vehicle? No. And again NO. Because I would have to pay for it.
I love strong, tight Harmony. The harmony that comes when people are perfectly in tune. When they know and sing their own unique part, smooth and steady, while at the same time, they listen and adapt to blend . . . just right. I LOVE harmony. Musically and otherwise. I prefer harmony over unison. Musically and otherwise.
Heat. DRY heat. Specifically, the 6 x 4 foot cedar sauna in my garage. I bought it on eBay over 6 years ago. Someone won it at a home show and didn’t want it. I was digging my heels in at the expense, but FirstHusband strongly encouraged it. I haven’t gotten tired of it. I used it today. And I’m already planning on using it tomorrow.
Health. I’m so thankful for it and I’m not taking my health or the health of my family and friends for granted. I do NOT want a handicap sticker for my car. NO THANKS. I’m getting stronger. I’m walking. I’m eating healthier.
I got stuck here at the end. Do I cheat? Something like, “Honkin Big Pile of Books” or “Huge cup of coffee?”
I asked FirstHusband what he thought. He immediately said “Hope.” I asked him what he meant and he said, “Whenever you run across someone who is in, what they believe to be, a hopeless situation, you don’t accept that the situation is hopeless. You encourage them to consider an option or a path they hadn’t considered before. You love hope.
He’s right. I can be annoying that way. I was talking with FavoriteSon just yesterday about a problem he had and I clearly remember saying:
“I’m not saying I know what you should do. I don’t have the answer right now. I just believe there IS one.”
Walt Disney World in the summer is HOT. And I mean REALLY Hot. If you can go ANY other time of the year, do it. You will not miss the melting, the heat rash or the dehydration. And I am not exaggerating.
Expect the lines to be long. And I mean REALLY long. 120 minutes for Space Mountain is normal. It is possible to spend 12 hours at a Disney theme park and ride only 5 or 6 attractions. If you see a 45 minute line, be thankful. You will NEVER see this:
That’s Pirates of the Caribbean in February of 2008. Three days ago we waited 12 minutes. (February is a GREAT time to go to WDW.)
The heat and the lines aside, we’ve vacationed there in the summer for years. Even though we live 45 minutes from Walt Disney World, we’ve stayed in the resorts. Due to school schedules, we had to go in the summer just like everyone else. But we learned a few things about going to Disney in the summer:
We try to go when surrounding counties are still in school or back in school. Since we’re in private school, our calendars are sometimes off from public school by a week or two. For instance, the last day of school for Osceola County, where WDW is located, is June 4, 2009. Surrounding counties get out on June 3rd. Our last day of school is May 21st. The public schools begin again on August 24th. We begin on August 13th. So THIS year, if we were to go to Disney for a week, we would try to go at the beginning of the summer so we wouldn’t have to contend with locals so much.
Extra Magic Hours. Each day, one of the four theme parks at WDW has Extra Magic Hours. Resort guests – DISNEY resort guests – are allowed admittance into one of the parks one hour early and can stay inside that same park an extra three hours after closing. (You can leave and come back. You don’t have to stay the entire time.)
We NEVER take advantage of MORNING Extra Magic Hours. For example. Today, Sunday, February 15th, Magic Kingdom has extra magic hours. If we were staying on property we would NOT go to Magic Kingdom MORNING Extra Magic Hours because Magic Kingdom would be MOBBED with resort guests. We would instead, go to one of the OTHER parks because MOST of the resort guests are at Magic Kingdom.
Exception to the Morning Extra Magic Hours? Animal Kingdom. By far, the hottest of the parks. Not a lot of air conditioning at Animal Kingdom. If you want to see the animals, go EARLY. Leave when it gets hot. Come back in late afternoon or early evening. When you are on the safari and you see the animals lounging in what seems to be the perfect Kodak spot, it’s no accident. There’s an air conditioning vent out there to make that spot more attractive to them. The animals get air conditioning. You don’t. For years, we flat out skipped Animal Kingdom in the summer. It’s better in February.
We ALWAYS take advantage of the EVENING Extra Magic Hours. Even when PinkGirl was little. She adjusted to the change in schedule very quickly. Sometimes FirstHusband or I would take her off into a nook somewhere so she could nap in the stroller, but for the most part, she was right there with us, having fun.
My FAVORITE Extra Magic Hours are at Typhoon Lagoon on Saturday nights. A water park in the dark is FUN. Blizzard Beach doesn’t do Extra Magic Hours.
Water to Drink, Water to Spray.
Drinking. A bottle of water is $2.50. And it’s Dasani. We either bring our own bottles of spring water or buy ONE bottle of Dasani and fill it up at water fountains. We invested in the Disney bottle straps and either wore them around our neck or hung them on the stroller when PinkGirl was younger.
Spraying. Disney sells bottles of water with battery operated fans attached. For $17.00 each. Because they have Disney characters on them. Walmart sells similar bottles for about $3.99 each. No Disney characters. (A few years ago – the price is probably higher now.) We have both, but I got my Disney “misters” at garage sales. (okay, except for one. I bought ONE for $17.00 one year.) FirstHusband rigged up a fan and mister for PinkGirl that attached to her stroller canopy.
Sunscreens and Hats. Waterproof sunscreen. Nowhere near a baby or toddler’s hands. They WILL rub it in their eyes. That only happened to us once. Once was enough. Hats or visors means sunscreen isn’t needed on the forehead – which means it won’t run into eyes. Sunscreen in the eyes: BAD.
Extra Change of Kids Clothes. There are various places in the parks that kids can get squirted with water. And it is a GREAT way to cool off. But later? Wet socks can lead to blisters. Wet clothing can lead to chaffing. We kept a change of clothes for each kid in a a Ziplock bag. Wet clothes went in there after the kids got soaked. I’ll write another post on our “best practices” with regard to clothing, but let me say here – denim is NOT moisture wicking and when it gets wet, it can take a while to dry, no matter how hot it is.
Take a Break During the Heat of the Day. When PinkGirl was little, we would take a break during the heat of the day. If you’ve read ANYthing on Disney vacations, you’ve seen this before. DON’T IGNORE THIS ADVICE if you have little ones. We stayed at the Yacht and Beach Club resorts, for 3 summers. They are within walking distance to the back gate of EPCOT. From EPCOT, you can take a boat to Hollywood Studios or a monorail to Magic Kingdom. So it was VERY easy for FirstHusband and I to split up during the day. One of us would take PinkGirl back to the room for a nap while the other would take FavoriteSon on some “big kid” rides. It was wonderful. One grown-up got to rest with PinkGirl and the other got one-on-one time with FavoriteSon. (We were able to stay at these resorts because we had friends and family who got us what is called a “Friends and Family” rate, but there are less expensive resorts in that same area, still within walking distance from the back gate of EPCOT.)
But our BEST strategy for going to Disney World in the summer?
We Went Nocturnal. When PinkGirl got older and didn’t need naps, we adapted again. We went nocturnal. Here’s the typical schedule:
Spend the heat of the day at (1) Typhoon Lagoon, (2) Blizzard Beach or (3) the resort pool.
Take showers and get washed up for an early dinner (between 5 and 6pm)
Go to a REALLY nice dinner on property. (Character dinners are GREAT!)
Right after dinner, go to whichever park has Extra Magic Hours.
Stay for extra Magic Hours after the park closed for regular guests.
Leave that park around 2:00 a.m., getting back to the room and in bed around 3:00 a.m.
This is a GREAT summer schedule. By the evening, most of the resort guests who were at the theme park gate bright and early for Extra Magic Hours have long since left that park because they’re exhausted.
I’ll be writing more on our Walt Disney World “Best Practices” and I’ll list them under the “peace.love.mickey” page above, so check back!
So FirstHusband and FavoriteSon are in Washington DC for FavoriteSon’s 8th Grade Washington trip. Some of you already know I don’t post about travel until it’s over, but in this case, it’s almost over. They are traveling home tomorrow. Anyway.
I took PinkGirl to Disney’s Magic Kingdom today because her dad was on a field trip with her brother . . . on the day the 2nd graders were hosting a Father’s Breakfast, complete with poems and songs and Valentines. After discovering the conflict, she said,
“But . . . I can’t sing songs and say poems to everybody ELSE’S dad!”
So I said, “Well, how about we go to Magic Kingdom that day? Just you and me?”
That was the situation today. FirstHusband and FavoriteSon, in Washington DC and PinkGirl and I at Magic Kingdom. Here’s the text message string:
FirstHusband: “Standing in front of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.”
Me: “Standing in line for Small World, waiting on a Big Thunder Fastpass.”
Now that is just wrong. FirstHusband told FavoriteSon. “We are standing in front of what are, after the Bible, the three most important documents in the United States. Your mom is standing in line for Small World.”