Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Summer Fun

What fun things do you have planned for the summer??
We will be continuing our homeschool work for at least part of the summer. I'm thinking normal schedule for the rest of June and part time only in July and August.
As far as fun, here are some of OUR ideas.

Trip to one of the local springs

Pick your own blueberries

Snorkeling at the jetties (on a weekday to avoid the crowds)

Camping trip to Caverns, bonus if it's during one of the meteor showers

Make a Fairy Garden

Make a toad house

Tie dye a t shirt, pillowcase, etc 

Mommy and Me painting class

Pool day at local park

Build a stick raft and try it out

DIY Glow in the dark bowling with a friend

Make a butterfly feeder

Build a simple tiki hut

Nighttime walk on the beach

Water park day

Early morning shell hunt

Bake cinnamon rolls

Free movie days

Play dates with homeschool friends

Painting with nature-leaves, flowers, sticks


Monday, August 31, 2015

Update to my out of date BLOG

What is going on in OUR BUSY WORLD:
* I have an 8 year old!
* We will be starting on our 2nd year of homeschooling on Monday
* We have a lot of field trips and special events planned for the next 2 months
* We will be using Heart of Dakota (Bigger Hearts for His Glory) for History, Bible, Geography, etc
* We will be restarting Math U See Beta for Math
* Homechool Co-op starts in 2 weeks, I will be an assistant for Science for 3rd and 4th
* A friend and I are co-captains of our Relay for Life team
* I am part of Event Leadership for Relay for Life this year
* Trying to visit my Dad every 3 months, he is in a nursing home and wheelchair bound and has dementia
* Still working part time in Mental Health
* Researching and exploring work at home options (Suggestions welcomed)
* Just got chickens last week and 4 of 8 have already died :( All 4 were from the same farmer, 2 of his alive, 2 from someone else
* My garden was a BUST this year. Lots of time, energy and $$ with ZERO (well almost zero) return
* Going to plant a fall garden anyway
* I need to PURGE stuff and am struggling with it
* R reads chapter books
* Budgeting with irregular income is HARD

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Disney Restaurants we tried and our experience with the Dining Plan-part 1

We had a fabulous Disney vacation in October..planning another already :) We stayed at a Moderate Resort-Caribbean Beach, visited 3 parks (MK, AK, Epcot), and got the Disney Dining plan.
Some people say the dining plan is a waste of $$$ but for us, it was great!! If you plan on many character meals then it actually saves you money and it takes the worry away about how much you will spend in food. We ate at more expensive restaurants than maybe we normally would have so the tips were kinda high in my opinion but loved all the other aspects of it.
Our dining plan included 1 table service, 1 quick service, and 1 snack per night of our reservation. Each meal included an entree, dessert (except breakfast), and regular drink. We made a grocery store run for bottled water, sodas, and breakfast food. We ate breakfast in the room except for the days we had a character breakfast booked. FYI-Our room did not have a microwave but we asked for one after we checked in and they brought us one pretty quickly.
Tips for using the dining plan:
1) Quick service meals are often large enough to share with a child or another adult. We shared a few meals between one adult and a child.
2) Quick service credits aren't specifically for a child or an adult. Just have an adult order.
3) If you are eating at your resort using a quick service credit and you have the refillable mug-use it for your drink and get a bottled water/juice/soda for the room or park.
4) If you don't want dessert, especially at quick service locations, ask if you can sub a fruit or side item. Sometimes they let you. AND some places have packaged fruit as a dessert choice. These are great for snacks later in the day.
5) Speaking of desserts, at some resorts they have packaged "snacks" as dessert options. I brought home a few Mickey Rice krispy treats this way:)
6) If you are late for a reservation, they will still seat you. It may take a while but they will. This was awesome to know after a very late night and an early morning Character Breakfast reservation.

Boma at Animal Kingdom Lodge-We LOVED this restaurant. It was buffet style and had a huge variety of foods. There were lots of African specialties as well as a few familiar items. The soup selection was incredible- Coconut Chicken Curry was my favorite! The famous Zebra Domes were yummy too. Take time to explore the lodge while you are there and check out the animals too.

O'hana at The Polynesian-We ate a late dinner at O'hana and watched the fireworks at MK from our table. The dumplings were really good here as well as the spicy shrimp. They bring ALL the food you could want ...protein overload. The Bread pudding was surprisingly yummy-not something I would have normally tried. The chairs are super comfy too-I wanted to curl up and take a nap after such a late dinner.
We also ate breakfast at O'hana for the Character breakfast. It was a standard family style Disney breakfast complete with Mickey Waffles. Stitch, Lilo, and Mickey Mouse all made an appearance at our table.

Akershus in Epcot (Norway)-The Princess breakfast here was one of the highlights of R's trip. We got to meet and get photos with Belle, Aurora, Jasmine and Ariel. The princesses didn't seem rushed, interacted with my child, and posed for MANY pictures with the family. The croissants were light and fluffy, the fresh fruit was sweet, the typical Disney meats and hashbrowns were good too. This is an expensive breakfast but only 1 table service credit on the dining plan.

Be Our Guest-We had lunch at BOG and had a fast pass for it. We received an email ~60 days before our arrival date for a beta test fast pass. I reserved a date and time and pre-ordered our food via a link in the email. When we got there they had a record of our FP but not our food order. There were some issues with ordering (scanned my 7 year old's band and it canceled out the whole order) but nothing major. The food was okay, not great and not bad. The grilled cheese my little girl ordered was bland but otherwise the food was acceptable. The restaurant itself is gorgeous!! There are 3 rooms to choose from and we chose the ballroom with the big chandelier. Make sure to check out the other rooms and the fabulous artwork. FYI-Lunch at BOG is a counter service credit and there are no characters.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Fall Wish List

Temperatures are getting cooler and I can't wait for Fall and all the fun activities. There are so many things I want to do with little R but know time, distance, and $$ will put some limits on it. BUT, girls can dream right??

OUR Fall Wish List

  • Pick your own pumpkins (somewhere!)
  • Paint pumpkins
  • Collect fall leaves
  • Crafts with fall leaves
  • Pumpkin craft
  • Corn Maze and more at Sweet Seasons
  • Peanuts and fun at Holland Farms
  • Make caramel apples
  • Make pinecone turkeys
  • Make pinecone bird feeders
  • Plant spring blooming bulbs
  • Plant lettuce
  • Camping at Joe Wheeler for Thanksgiving
  • Bake a sweet potato casserole
  • Bake pumpkin bread
  • Smores by the campfire
  • Fishing at cypress Cattle
  • Play in a pile of leaves
  • Church Fall Festival
  • Buy discounted costumes for dress-up 
  • Visit dad
  • Play w/ cousins


Thursday, March 7, 2013

51 things

Saw this list over at and thought it was really neat!!

so far little R has done the following:

1. Camp out in a tent
2. Wear a costume as clothing-all the time, we've been to Walmart with wings on, dinner in a tink costume, etc
3. Climb a tree-yep, specifically the fig tree in our backyard
4. Catch fireflies-at Mom and Dad's
5. Fly a kite
6. Plant a garden and eat what grows-she loves bellpeppers straight from the plant
7. Go fishing
8. Take care of a pet
9. Build something out of gigantic cardboard box
10. Ride on a ferris wheel
11. Roast food over a campfire-did this Christmas 2011 in NC
12. Have dessert for dinner-does Toaster Strudel count??
13. Build a snowman
14. Get a library card-done
15. Go on a hayride-done
16. Get lost in a corn maze-Milton 2012
17. Pick the perfect horse on the carousel-Pier Park
18. Run through the sprinkler-many times
19. Make a slingshot
20. Carve a jack o’lantern
21. Make mud pies-and mud soup!
22. Run a lemonade stand
23. Play on a sports team
24. Swing on a rope swing
25. Build a sandcastle and stay at the beach until the tide washes it away-done!!
26. Roll down a big grassy hill=Seaside flutterby festival but it isn't very big
27. Build a gingerbread house-attempted w/ sissies but not so successful
28. Hatch a monarch butterfly from a cocoon-no but we have w/ gulf fritallarries
29. Make homemade ice cream
30. Blow bubbles-yes
31. Play kickball outside with neighbors
32. Go on a family car trip-yes
33. Fly on an airplane
34. Paint a painting-lots! They make great Christmas gifts
35. Have a water balloon fight
36. Play miniature golf
37. Make a tie dye t-shirt
38. Eat lunch in a blanket fort
39. Play in the rain-Did I mention she likes mud?
40. Go to a county fair
41. Ride a horse-only walked but she was on one
42. Identify the constellations in the night sky-we have watched a meteor shower
43. Play jump rope-trying to learn
44. Learn to play a musical instrument
45. Put on a puppet show
46. Have a picnic-yep
47. Learn to ice skate
48. Learn to juggle
49. Do a cartwheel
50. Catch tadpoles and watch them change-done
51. Rake and jump in a giant leaf pile

Hope to add to this this Spring and Summer!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

As I sit here in the office trying to focus on work, my mind and heart inevitably end up with my Dad. He is back in the ER for the 2nd time in a few short days. He complains of pain in various places, is not eating much and is losing weight. Today's ER trip was due to complaints of pain when he swallows and stomach pain but when he gets there he tells them his feet/legs hurt and burn. Just a few days ago he fell and hit head (earlier ER visit). No news as to what is going on but at least this time my brother is there to keep me informed.
My dad's brother has been the primary support for him with me being 300+ miles away and my brother being 100+ miles away and at times overseas. But now he is having his own health problems and has a new grandbaby he wants to visit-this leaves my brother and I trying to figure out what to do. Dad has not wanted to move every time we have addressed it in the past but now I'm thinking we must insist even if it's against his wishes. I feel like I should move him here with me but then I consider how small our house is, our need for a dedicated office (tax purposes and practicality since we are both self employed), our demanding 5 year old, and having unfamiliar people in my home for hours a day caring for him. I feel guilty and feel like I'm being selfish for thinking about those things but remind myself I have to be realistic.
What to do?????????????????????????????????

Friday, January 25, 2013

Christmas Fun

How did you spend your Christmas? We spent ours in Georgia and Alabama with family. We headed to Georgia a few days before Christmas and visited the Georgia Aquarium (awesome) and Stone Mountain (okay, should have reserved a snow time) and spent time with the sisters-hubbie's two older children. R had a fabulous time hanging out with her sisters-watching movies, playing games, going to the playground, getting her nails painted and more. I also got to spend an afternoon with my college roomie and her sister!
We opened presents Christmas morning, spent some time with the sissies and then headed to Alabama to see my Dad.
We stayed in Alabama for a few days and my nieces and their children drove down and spent the days with us and visited their Grandpa. It was nice for us all to be together, even if only for a short time. AND Dad got to eat real food the day after Christmas. Technically it was mush but it was food and not through a tube!


Saturday, November 17, 2012

child of an aging parent

Once again I find myself sitting in a hospital, my heart heavy and torn between being a mommy and wife and being a daughter. My daughter, husband, home and job in one state, my Dad in another. I leave tomorrow to go back home to work for a few days, take care of my little person, and spend some time with the hubby. What happens from then, I have no idea. Hubby and I are both torn about Thanksgiving. We would like to spend it with his parents but also want to take little R to see her Poppy. They don't interact alot but she brightens his day and he enjoys watching her play.
My Dad has had a significant cognitive decline, a possible TIA, is unable to swallow and had a hip replacement in the past few weeks.
Tomorrow's barium swallow test determines whether or not he can resume eating or has to have a feeding tube put in. Even if the test comes back positive, he may still need a tube for meds and additional nutrition. Either way, he will be moving to a nursing home in the next few days.
The idea of my Dad being in a nursing home 300 miles away makes my heart ache. The thought of him possibly not being able to get up and get around, get dressed, go to the potty, etc on his own and relying on others to do these things for him makes me cry.
So, I will pray for God's Will and peace and comfort for both my dad and me.