Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Disney Surprise Trip 2017 & TIPS

Disney Adventure 2017

13 day trek across the lower southeastern states

Happy Harveys’
How much longer
Where are we?
Can we swim at the pool?
Where are we eating?
I’m hungry
I’m past hungry
(We must have seen HAN-gry 17 times!)

Kids Disney surprise quotes (before/after reveal):
Why are we driving in Disney World?
Are we going to Disney?
I wish we could go to Disney. We are already here.
We’re going right now? Why right now…it’s so late! (Cale)
Disney for 4 days! (Reece)
We're at Disney! This is crazy!! :)

Reece made friends on every ride, in every single line.
Cale hated drops in general.  
Magic Kingdom:  (several are repeated below)
Rides for fast passes: Space Mountain, Seven Dwarf Mine Train, Peter Pan, Pirates, Splash Mountain, Railroad, Buzz Lightyear
Other cool stuff: Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse
Eats: Crystal Palace-character dinner, Dole Whip (stand), Cinderella’s Royal Table- (didn’t do this but have heart it’s a cool experience but $$)

Download the Disney app to your phone!

Book your fast passes in advance:
Using a travel agent gets you 60-90 day access to book them early before your trip
Book them back to back. Use the 3 up early in the day then you will have more to use through the rest of your day at each park.

Do the Dining Package: easily pays for itself, then some! Know how many quick service, snacks, and sit down/table dinners you have for the entire time. Plan that out, booking table service meals/character dinners AS SOON AS you book your trip. These places fill fast and your reservation ensures that you have a spot and AC in the hot parts of the day! Dinners were nice breaks for the outside. This particular package is so nice when you don’t want to think about $ once your in the park.

Do the Photo Pass/Memory Maker: All the pictures you take in the park are covered and download straight to your app! Remember to download your pictures once your home by the date they tell you!

Get up close for Magic Kingdom fireworks on the upper right side of the castle. Tinkerbell flys over you at the end and makes for some great pictures. Get there 1 hour before the 9pm show to get your seat. I managed to find a spot for us 40 minutes before one but it was a process!

Buy Disney Gift Cards in the Months before you go from Walmart, Target, Sams, etc. That way you have money set aside before you go. We gave these to the kids for money they got to spend on stuff they wanted. Super helpful to give them $$ and YOU hang onto it.

Save on the Disney Hotel: Before you read this, stay where you want. I’m very logical and if you’re at the park from 7-8am-11pm to midnight daily, save your Monday and use an All-Star Disney resort room. You sleep and shower there, literally nothing else. The kids used the pool one night and it was HUGE with a good gift shop and dining hall with free drinks in the cup that is included on the dining package. The cup is free refills only at your resort hotel, not the parks. BUT take it with you to the park. Pour your drink in it from lunch. The cups are huge and some places that are quick service allowed free refills.

Magic Kingdom:
Opening show for the day- front of cinderella’s castle
Fast Passes:
7 Dwarf Mine Train
Buzz Lightyear
Splash Mountain
Jungle Cruise
Peter Pan
Space Mountain

Fun rides/ shows (no fast pass if wait is short):
Dumbo- cool indoor play area at this is optional
Magic Carpets
Astro Orbit: if you hate heights it might get you. It did me and rode it at night. I personally did not appreciate that it angled slightly being up that high and would not ride it again. This is the only ride I feel this way about. J
Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse
Stitch Show
Laugh Floor (Monsters Inc)
Small World (long, cool ride, indoor for most lines if its raining)

Animal Kingdom:
Have a fast pass for Flight of Avatar. GREAT RIDE! One of the BEST! Cale hated it because of thrill/drops. It’s all 3D, so if you hate that you can CLOSE YOUR EYES, which he quickly learned…once he finally listened. J He tried to crawl out but literally you can’t easily thank goodness.
Tusker House is where we did a character safari lunch. Great buffet and good AC. Arrive at your reservation time and check-in, expect a short wait.
Yak & Yeti: quick service- most counters can give you gluten free options, so just ask.
Starbucks: There’s one at every park. You can use a “snack” for this! A bonus because I needed coffee day 2-4!
Rides to Fast Pass:  Kilomanjaro Safari, Expedition Everest, Avatar, Navari Jungle Cruise (Pandora), Dinosaur
Tree Awakening: Check times. Starts at 9pm and goes every 10 minutes
River of Life: Night boat lightening Parade (10:30pm if your not exhausted by this point)

Hollywood Studios:
Jedi Training: through 12 years old. Arrive at the park early!! 2.5 hours before it opens or make breakfast reservations at Hollywood and Vine to get in park early. They only take a certain amount of “Jedi’s” daily so get there to sign them up.
Eats: Drive-In (eat in the old cars)
Hollywood & Vine (character dinner)
Backlot Express (Star Wars quick service lunch)
Fast Pass:
Tower of Terror
Aerosmith Rockin’ Roller Coaster (check the height limit- Cale was 44” and couldn’t ride it)
Toy Story Mania (SOOO much fun you have to do it 2-3 times!)
Star Tours
Fun Stuff:
Storm Trooper March: parade that open the day in AM
Indiana Jones Epic Stunts
Star Wars: Launch Bay- meet the characters!
Beauty and the Beast: check times; for us they were before 2pm so catch it early
Fantasmic: night show
Star Wars Fireworks: 9pm- awesome but overlaps with Fantasmic times a bit
FROZEN (sing-a-long): this was my pick! AND PROBABLY one of the FUNNIEST things I’ve gone to. The 2 hosts are SNL great! Do not miss it especially if you like the music already. Such a fun time! (Times run throughout the day.)

Epcot/Magic Kingdom Day Split: (Day 4):
Sorry if you like this place. It was fine, but not for me. I’m a saver and next trip I will not save time for this park unless the kids just want Test Track again. I’m glad I didn’t give it any more than 3.5 hours on the last day.  
Test Track: This is why you go!! Get there early. We did our fast passes at lunch and on at Magic Kingdom. You cannot book fast passes at multiple parks. Epcot opened at 8 and we walked very briskly to the back left corner to this ride for a 30 min or less wait. GREAT RIDE! Build your own race car and then “test” it out!
Spaceship Earth: Within the famous Epcot ball. Cool ending to the ride.
Soaring: Jody and Reece did this. Cool quick world tour in a hang glider.
Nemo: Cale and I did this. Very special time with my little guy. He’s still a fan of the movie he’s loved as long as he’s been alive. Nemo ride, walk through aquarium section, and do turtle talk show (~10-15 minutes).

Extras to Take into the Park:
-Ponchos: it rains a lot so be prepared!
-Camel Back for water (saved us in the 90 min wait lines when fast passes were not available)
-Water bottles/spray fans
-Chilly Pads
-Extra snacks, Gatorade
-If you have small kids take a stroller! There is stroller parking everywhere across the park. Have a stroller with folding ability, making it easier to go through buses and check points at the parks. Cale was 6 and rode the whole time. He traded Reece whose 9 when she was super tired from all the walking. Animal Kingdom for us was exhausting and many things were back and forth and seemed spread out.
-Take 2 power sources to charge your phone. Switch them to LOW Battery source under settings to save charge. We had 2 charged power packs and used them daily; charge them back up at night.
-Tennis shoes are a must. Flip flops are pain waiting to happen. Do not do it. You’re gone too much of the day to mess with anything but tennis shoes that are supportive. There were people in wedges, flops, converse, etc that just were not great choices when you’re doing multiple days in the park. No jellie sandals. You’re asking for blisters galore!

Other Adventures: 
Savannah, GA
Historic Downtown
Wormsloe Plantation entrance for the famous tree lined drive shot! (This for me was epic!)

Hilton Head, SC
Beach House Resort- highly recommend this place
Good pool, poolside movies for kids, good eats, live bands, beach access is direct from the pool.
Catch 22: dinner
Doughboy Pizza: great chopped salads and pizza

Bonus Stops & Visits:
Duck Commander
Monroe, LA

Kristin & Jonathan
Fairhope, AL
Pier, Lunch, and Mr. Gene’s Beans

Destin, FL

Ole Miss Stop to visit Cara & Brian
Oxford, MS

Big Bad Breakfast is the best!

Sunday, March 12, 2017


Entrusted Study with Beth Moore
(Study of 2 Timothy)
My summary through the study

Throughout the study there is urgency in Paul’s letter to Timothy. Timothy is young and needs the encouragement from his mentor. Paul is not quiet about anything he wants to say to him. Any mentor should be willing to poor into an appointed student. Much like Paul and Timothy.

Personally I was very curious as I went through this study to do some additional counting as I read. Below are the places throughout the 2 books of Timothy where Paul is charging, encouraging, and reminding Timothy of all he has been ENTRUSTED with. The gospel and the people who he has been positioned with the lead.

Do no neglect your gift.. (1 Tim 4:14)
Be diligent… (1 Tim 4:15)
Watch your life & your doctrine closely. (1 Tim 4:16)
Take care of family (instructions for the people) (1Tim 5:8)

Do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord.. (2 Tim 1:8)
Guard the deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the Help of the Holy Spirit. (2 Tim 1:14)
You then, my son, be strong.. (2 Tim 2:1)
Endure.. (2 Tim2:3)
Reflect on what I am saying.. (2 Tim 2:7)
You, however, …. (2 Tim 3:10
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced…. (2 Tim 3:14)
I give you charge, Preach the Word; be prepared in and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. (2 Tim 4:1-2)
But You, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.  (2 Tim 4:5)

In Beth's emphasis, 2 Timothy 4:2 give us the biggest summary.
Be urgent and patient.
URGENT with the gospel.

Patient with the people.

Finally reflecting on Matt 25:14 she brings us full circle to what have we done with what we have been entrusted with. I hope that I am living to the full, doing all I am supposed to do. Once day we will hear that verse directed toward us;
"What did you do with what I entrusted to you?"

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Celebrate 2016, Happy 2017

For wrapping up 2016 I always take time to pray and thank God for another year. It's a NYE with the Lord which is a party all by itself!! Each year is a gift never meant to be taken for granted. My idea of ringing in the new year now is to hang out with friends or now my family while writing and reading through journal entries from the last year. I did it driving to Dallas today because we will be celebrating at a wedding tonight!

It’s always so overwhelming that no matter where I am, how I feel, what I’ve been through—through the pages of a year I watch God unfold my days. I see what I asked for last year. The goals that I set and now get to date and check off, praising Him for each one I got to meet. It’s crazy to see that only 1 was not answered but it is because I made other choices and moved on from it.  Sometimes not meeting a goal is a good choice because they are ever evolving as we come across challenges and have to make new goals and say WAIT. There were definitely 2 that were wait because they would have been rushed to meet them.

Here’s my list cause that’s my style from 2016:
-  CSM (PT conference)- Anaheim, CA

-Disneyland- I had NEVER been! Go Mickey! Hey Yoda! The light show was awesome!!

 March- watching our B-ball team go to regionals
  Skied spring break at Steamboat
Helped lab assist with APTA women’s health courses (3)- fun stuff love to travel: took to to Houston, St. Louis, and Little Rock. (I really like Arkansas y’all!)

    Port Aransas-1 week vacay with family. Kids had a BLAST and we love the water. Surfing next time

 Deep sea fishing- caught 2 red snapper

    Returned to Steamboat- because it is just in my blood. Good food, good friends, good hiking. Got to fly fish this trip and now I know what I’ve been missing!
 Have a 3rd grader and a kindergarten kiddo

Signed these kids up for more than I can handle: chauffeur city! Musical theatre x 2, gymnastics X 2, ballet 2x/week, indoor soccer. Learned I love to do this and cram my bible studies and reading into every free minute in parking lots!

Went to a Beltway SHAPE retreat: studied more on spiritual gifts and met some sweet ladies

Completed ARMOR of GOD and ACTS (by Lisa Harper). Gracious y’all- if you add anything to your list for 2017- DO THESE 2 bible studies!!!

Found a Life group we love!

 Had the blessing of being included in a life (changing) event.

Went Dove hunting for the first time!

Celebrated 12 years of marriage to an AWESOME man!

 Wrote some chapters, reviewed more articles than I count. Studied more anatomy because it is just what makes me feel alive.

Decided to keep on despite some unexpected events

Developed more as a mentor: this is giving of yourself freely because it’s who you are, what you love, and because we have to offer the best possible care out there. Because sometimes it’s just scary what the options are. 

 Read some productive books, encouraging books, bettering me books, and most of all some really good junk books (I have to call them this because they are fiction, have no work relevance, and basically benefit no one else but me. These are important too!)

Started planning this summer’s family vacation! There’s too many places we want to go! J Stay tuned!


Set your goals. Give them to GOD. Let HIM water the garden of your life. (I cannot wait for Kari Jobe's new CD to come out!) 
But produce MUCH FRUIT over the next year to the GLORY of HIS NAME.  

*apologies for the awkward editing for the list. Tried to fix it several times but when it posted it was still off. smh. Happy NYE!