About Me
Name: Lauren         Location: Middle Tennessee, USA

Welcome to my blog! I am a Christian, wife, and mother who enjoys reading, running, and all things Disney. Stop by regularly for a glimpse into my life!
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Friday, October 26, 2007
A Fun-Filled Weekend
We had such a great weekend! We attended fall events with groups from church on Friday and Saturday evenings. Both outings were wonderful, and I couldn't help being thankful for our wonderful church family. It is such a blessing to be able to spend time with like-minded friends.

On Saturday at lunchtime, we celebrated my Best Girl's birthday with a few friends and family members. She had a wonderful time. We did a craft activity, played games, ate cake, and opened gifts. My Best Girl enjoyed blowing out her candles. A few people chose to skip the cake. I don't know this for sure, but they may have declined because my Best Girl spritzed the cake (and Grandma) as she blew out the candles. :)

The pink convertible was a big hit! After crashing into a few trees, she decided to let her brother drive her for a little while. They had a ball!

My Best Girl loves to play dress-up. Several of her gifts were dress-up items, including this Tinkerbell costume. My Best Girl kept jumping up and down, and I finally asked what she was doing. She said, "I can't even fly!" I wished I had a jar of pixie dust to help her leap off the ground!

In this picture, her wings were upside down. Maybe that was the problem with the flying. We'll have to try again. Also, I hope you notice her Snow White footwear. My fashionista is not afraid to mix and match her Disney characters.

Thanks to all of you who wished my Best Girl a happy birthday. According to my daughter we are still celebrating. I told her that her birthday is over, but she replied, "No it isn't! I still have cake!" I guess we get to celebrate for a few more days!

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  posted at 3:27 PM  

Thursday, October 25, 2007
Small Talk about Mr. John
This past Sunday, we ate lunch with friends in their home after church. Mrs. Kim is my Best Girl's Bible class teacher, so my Best Girl was very excited. Mrs. Kim's husband just happens to be named John. Before arriving, this is what was on my Best Girl's mind...

BG: Mom, is Mr. John going to be there?

Me: Yes.

BG: What are we going to eat?

Me: I don't know.

BG: Are we going to have bugs and honey?

Can you guess what my Best Girl has been studying in Bible class? We had to convince her that Mrs. Kim is married to Mr. John, but not that John!

(In case you have no idea what I am talking about, be sure to read Matthew 3:4 and Mark 1:6)

Have a great Thursday!

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  posted at 3:25 PM  

Monday, October 22, 2007
A Ghoulishly Good Time
On Friday evening, our family headed to the zoo for its annual Halloween party. Our zoo hosts this special event on the two weekends before Halloween. This was our first year to attend, and the kids had a wonderful time. In a large field, there were bouncers, a magician, carnival-type games, and ghost stories. They also had areas set up for photo opportunities. I am sure you are not surprised that I took advantage of this.

In another area, there was a monster lab. You could touch brains, hearts, intestines, eyeballs, etc... My kids looked, but they didn't want to touch. After we left the monster lab, my Favorite Boy said, "Let's don't go back in there!"

Throughout the zoo, there were treat stations for the kids. They got coloring books, stickers, candy, toys, and even Krispy Kreme doughnut holes (okay, I had a couple of these too). As we visited each treat station, we collected stamps on our maps. We had to fill our entire map so we could claim a prize on the way out of the zoo. My son loved this. He loves having a list and marking things off; he takes after his Mommy in this regard. You can see his card in this photo. He carried it with him all evening.

At all of the treat stations, the volunteers were dressed in costumes. We just happened to run into the Wicked Queen!

She offered my little Snow White a poisoned apple, but my Best Girl was too smart for her tricks! Actually, my Best Girl has never seen the movie, but her brother warned her to steer clear of the witch's evil schemes.

We finished the evening with a scary hayride. It was the fun kind of scary, not the kind of scary that leaves you with a screaming child on the back of a wagon in the middle of nowhere. :)

Although we all had a great time, Dad was a little disappointed that we saw almost no animals. Considering we were at the zoo, it was strange that we viewed only two or three animals the entire evening. I am guessing that the animals refused to work overtime without some kind of bonus.

I love fall and all the fun activities of the season! I hope you are enjoying your fall as well!

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  posted at 3:24 PM  

Thursday, October 18, 2007
Small Talk with My Favorite Boy
My Favorite Boy is not the hugging and kissing type. He shies away from any kind of emotionalism. This conversation, which took place Monday night at bedtime, is typical.

Me: I love you.

FB: I know. Why do you have to tell me that all the time? I remember.

Yes, he knows how to make a girl feel special. :) Because of this, you can imagine how my heart melted when we had this conversation on the way to get his flu shot Tuesday afternoon.

FB: Mommy, when I get my shot, can I hold your hand? I just want to hold your hand and look at you while I get my shot.

Me: Of course you can! I would be happy to hold your hand while you get your shot.

FB: And Mommy, every year I want to always hold your hand when I get my shot. Even when I am big, I will call you and tell you when my appointment is so you can come hold my hand.

Ahhhh....My dear boy, you call, and I will be there! And, I love you, even if you don't want to hear it. :)

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  posted at 3:23 PM  

Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Apparently, We Can't Get Enough of the Goats
Remember what we did on Friday? This is what we did on Monday...

Yes, that is my Best Girl hugging a goat. I don't think the goat enjoyed the hug as much as my Best Girl did. As a matter of fact, the goat started walking off mid-hug, and my Best Girl yelled, "Hey, goat! You get back here!" :)

Because my Favorite Boy is out for fall break, we spent Monday morning at the zoo (which also happens to have a petting area with goats). The weather was perfect, and we had a wonderful time. Of course, no trip goes smoothly without a navigator. My Favorite Boy was just the man for the job.

He especially enjoyed telling his sister all about each animal. "Look Sister, this is a snake...."

I am sure he told her the exact type of snake, but I don't remember the name. I really don't like snakes. However, I do like the behind glass kind much better than the roaming free around the earth type.

Because we have a zoo membership, we didn't have to pay admission. So, I decided to surprise the kids with a carousel ride. It was fun to say, "Kids, do you want to ride the carousel?" Usually, they beg; I say no. It was fun to say yes!

After visiting most of the animals, we spent some time on the playground. Our zoo has an amazing playground. It is worth the trip just to play for a while.

Alas, we could have stayed longer, but I did say no when it came to paying for lunch at the zoo. :) We headed home around noon. Parting wasn't too sorrowful because we plan to attend the zoo's Halloween party for little ones this weekend. We have never been to this event before, so we are very excited. I am sure I will have plenty of pictures to share.

Thanks for reading. Have a great Tuesday!

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  posted at 3:22 PM  

Sunday, October 14, 2007
The Goat Festival
My Favorite Boy is out of school for fall break (last Friday through this Wednesday). On Friday, my hubby took a day off as well so that we could enjoy some family fun. We decided to head to my hubby's hometown where they were having a goat festival. We had never been to a goat festival, but as the name suggests, we saw a lot of these...

The kids really enjoyed going up to the pens to check out the goats. This spotted breed was my favorite.

The goats were very friendly. Sometimes they were a little too friendly, and the kids felt the need to back up a little bit.

My Best Girl started waving to the goats. None of them waved to her, but this didn't stop my Best Girl from trying. :) She liked getting up close and personal.

She also talked to the goats, and some of them did talk back (in goat language, of course). She thought this was hilarious.

My Favorite Boy enjoyed the festival, but the highlight of his day came later. We went to Grandma and Papa Don's house for dinner, and then my Favorite Boy and his daddy went to see the high school team play football. My Favorite Boy loved this! Dad's alma mater won 42-0, so my Favorite Boy got to see plenty of offense. Too bad I wasn't there to take pictures because my husband said that my Favorite Boy was doing a lot of yelling and cheering. :)

We had a great Friday, and we are so thankful for fun, family days like these. I hope your weekend was wonderful as well. Come back tomorrow for a book review. I will be giving the book away to one of you!

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  posted at 3:21 PM  

Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Small Talk at Naptime
Yesterday, as I was helping my Best Girl go down for a nap, she asked me to snuggle. I said sure, and I climbed in next to her. I rested my arm across her back, and this conversation followed:

BG: Mom! You're not supposed to touch me!

Me: I thought you wanted to snuggle!

BG: Mom, the rule is no touching. Always keep your hands to yourself.

Oh, yes. What a pity that she doesn't think of this while sitting in the back seat of the car next to her brother! :)

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  posted at 3:20 PM  

Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Our Wonderful Week, The Conclusion
I know, I know. You're thinking, "Could it really be true? Is this really the last Disney post?" And yes, it is the last time I will post about our vacation. I cannot promise, however, that I will never mention Disney World again. :)

On our final day at Disney World, we headed back to the Magic Kingdom. The park opened an hour early for resort guests; it was called "An Extra Magic Hour for Little Ones." All the rides in Fantasyland were open (with no lines), and there were characters out and about playing games with the kids. Minnie and Daisy were playing "Duck, Duck, Goose"; Wendy and Peter Pan were playing "Hide-and-Seek"; Stitch was riding Dumbo. It was a very fun hour!

We spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon doing some of our favorite rides again (Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, the Indy Speedway, Goofy's Barnstormer), and we also enjoyed some things we hadn't tried earlier in the week. My Favorite Boy decided he was brave enough for the Haunted Mansion, which he determined was not so scary after an initial moment where they turned out the lights unexpectedly. We also went to see the Country Bear Jamboree. In my opinion, this show is a little hokey and needs to be redone; but, my Best Girl loved it! My Best Girl and her daddy also enjoyed the Liberty Belle Riverboat, which had been closed earlier in the week.

Another fun happening on Friday was that we ran into my husband's college roommate and his family. We hadn't seen them in a couple of years, and we had no idea they were at Disney World. We were overjoyed to see them!

We also went to visit Ariel. While I waited in line, the kiddos played in the fountains. My Favorite Boy got a little wet.

My Best Girl was wet too, but she took a break to pose with Ariel. Ariel even gave her a flower!

After meeting Ariel, my Best Girl was standing by a rail singing "It's a Small World" at the top of her lungs (after riding it six times, she knew the tune). She was oblivious to the fact that she was singing next to a covered seating area where there were about 50 people resting. When she finished her energetic rendition, all the people began to clap for her. It was so cute, but she really had no idea why they were clapping. She just turned and smiled at them.

For our final character meal, we visited Piglet, Pooh, Tigger, and Eeyore at the Crystal Palace. We have eaten there twice, and both times we have been pleased with our meal. And, who could resist a visit with Winnie and the gang?

After dinner, my Best Girl and her daddy went back to the hotel to turn in for the evening. My Favorite Boy and I headed to MGM to watch Fantasmic. On the way to the show, we passed the Tower of Terror. Because there was no line, I asked my Favorite Boy if he wanted to ride. He hesitated for a moment, and then answered, "No." Later, he told my husband that he was "almost brave enough to ride Tower of Terror!" :)

Fatasmic was good, but not as good as I had expected it to be. I had heard really good things about it, so my expectations were very high. A large portion of the show focused on every Disney villain imaginable, so my Favorite Boy kept his eyes closed and ears covered for a good portion of the 30 minute show. Because you have to arrive very early to get a seat, we probably won't do that show again for a while.

Sadly, on Saturday morning, it was time to pack up for the trip home. We couldn't leave, however, without having Mickey waffles for breakfast!

As our bus drove away from Disney World, my Favorite Boy teared up a little bit (although he would never admit it). We had such a good time, and we can't wait to go back. Okay, maybe Dad can wait; but he tries to enjoy it because he loves us so much. :)

Good-Bye Disney World! We hope to see you again soon!

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  posted at 3:19 PM  

Sunday, October 7, 2007
Our Weekend
Our weekend started off wonderfully. On Friday evening, we attended my son's fall festival. My Favorite Boy had a great time seeing his buddies and playing with the games and inflatables. My daughter enjoyed her first pony ride. Unbelievably, I was "recognized" by a very nice someone who has read my blog. Even more unbelievably, our sons have the same first, middle, and last names! What are the chances of that???

Unfortunately, on Friday night, our weekend took a turn for the worse. My Best Girl has croup. As I type this on Sunday afternoon, she has been asleep for about 40 minutes, and that's the longest stretch of sleep she has had since her Friday afternoon nap (yes, we are all very tired). She hasn't really eaten anything or played since lunch on Saturday. I am waiting for a call back from the doctor right now. It is possible we will have to take her in for a breathing treatment or chest x-ray. I just hope she is feeling better soon. It is so pitiful when kids just lie around doing nothing!

I will post an update on my Best Girl when we know something, and I'll be back with more posts when things get back to normal!

Update: My daughter ended up napping today (Sunday) for 2 1/2 hours. She is not well, but her fever is gone, and we did not have to take her to the doctor this afternoon. I hope this means that she has rounded the corner and that she will get some longer stretches of sleep tonight. (And hopefully, we won't spend anytime in the bathroom tonight as Susan mentioned in her comment below. My Best Girl really doesn't like sitting in the steamy bathroom in the middle of the night.) Thanks for all your concern, comments, and prayers!

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  posted at 3:18 PM  

Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Our Wonderful Week, Part Four
Welcome to Part Four of our Disney World vacation. If you are interested, you can also read Parts One, Two and Three.

On Thursday, we visited Epcot.

Epcot has added some great rides since I was there last. Two of the rides my Favorite Boy enjoyed the most during our week were Mission: SPACE and Test Track. (Thanks to Dana for encouraging me to let my son ride Mission: SPACE; I was hesitant about it.) I really enjoyed the Test Track ride, but Mission: SPACE was not my favorite. I am claustrophobic, and the quarters were a little tight. In all honesty, I was having a panic attack while my Favorite Boy was having the time of his life! Perhaps I should have listened to all the warnings which said, "If you dislike tight spaces, do not ride this ride!" Test Track was much more open. In fact we were racing at 60+ mph in an open-air vehicle. My hair was a sight after that! This is a picture of my Favorite Boy waiting to ride Test Track.

Because my Best Girl was too short for Mission: SPACE and Test Track, I took her to a character greeting area where she enjoyed visiting with Mickey, Goofy, Pluto, Minnie, Chip and Dale. This was much more her speed.

We all met up and went to ride The Seas with Nemo and Friends. This was very cute, and it was nice to enjoy a calm, fun ride for a few minutes. We also rode Soarin'. This ride was new to us, and we enjoyed imagining that we were hang-gliding over California.

For lunch, we dined with the princesses at the Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in the Norway section of Epcot. We saw Cinderella and Jasmine again (we had seen them at Cinderella's castle on Tuesday). Belle was a repeat as well, but she was in her ball gown instead of her blue and white dress. My Best Girl was very impressed with the diamonds all over Belle's dress. I thought it was cute that my kids didn't realize the princesses were really different people than the ones we had seen previously. They just believed that they were seeing the real princesses each time. :)

Additionally, we met Ariel and Pocahontas.

After lunch, we rode the ride in Norway and the Mexico Boat ride. Then, my Favorite Boy wanted to head back to Mission: SPACE and Test Track. We let my Favorite Girl play in the fountains; she loves fountains! After this, my husband took her back to the hotel for a nap. She was so wet that he changed her back into her princess costume before boarding the bus. She wanted to take off her wet underwear, so he let her (it was only for a few minutes, and he thought no one would notice under that big costume). As soon as she stepped on the bus, she looked up at the driver and announced, "I don't have on any big girl panties!" She thought this was so funny! Of course, my husband really appreciated this announcement. :)

After Dad and my Best Girl left, my Favorite Boy and I rode Journey Into Imagination with Figment and Living with the Land. Then we headed to Innoventions. In this part of Epcot, there are all kinds of video games, robots, new technology, etc... My son found a PlayStation immediately. He would have stayed there all afternoon if I would have allowed it. At the end of the day, I said, "What has been your favorite part of Disney World?" He said, "THE PLAYSTATION!" I thought, "Wait a minute buddy! We could have stayed home and played the one at Wal-Mart for free! "

That was Part Four! Only one more day to go. Thanks for joining me on our vacation adventures. Have a great Thursday!

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  posted at 3:17 PM  

Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Grammy, Lambie, and Other Events
Lately, I have been writing about our vacation, but I haven't mentioned much about what is going on now that we are back home.

Last week, Grammy (my mom) came for a visit. Because she lives in California (which is, in my opinion, too far away from Tennessee) we hadn't seen her since June. You can imagine that my Favorite Boy and Best Girl were thrilled to see her. They got home from a visit with Mickey, and then Grammy arrived. You can't beat that! Grammy stayed for a week, and the kids enjoyed playing and talking with her so much. My hubby and I also took advantage of her generosity and went to Outback on Friday night while she served as the babysitter. Now, we look forward to seeing her and Papa at Christmas, and we are counting the months until they move back to Tennessee!

In other news, we are trying another tactic to get my daughter to sleep through the night. Our newest attempt is named Lambie. My Best Girl is now sleeping with Lambie, and we have told her that Lambie will take care of her in the middle of the night. It worked the first two nights; we'll see if it lasts. If it does, Lambie will earn celebrity status around here. :) My Best Girl is almost three, so you can imagine that I am ready to quit our nighttime visits. (Update: Last night wasn't so great, but I am going to give Lambie a few more nights before I give up on her!)

I am room mom this year in My Favorite Boy's kindergarten class, and I have been busy getting volunteers for the fall festival. During fall festival week, the school has several fun events. Today I am going to PE class for Boogie Day. I can't wait to see all the other parents participating with me. I am sure the kids will laugh at us! Additionally, the kids are encouraged to wear different types of outfits each day. Yesterday, all the kids and teachers wore pajamas; today is hats and glasses day. On Friday night, the official carnival is held at the school. I remember my elementary school's fall festival so well; it was one of the highlights of the year. I hope my Favorite Boy will enjoy his as much as I enjoyed mine. I plan to take pictures, so I will share next week.

Well, that's what has been going on around here! I hope you are having a wonderful day!

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  posted at 3:16 PM  

Monday, October 1, 2007
Our Wonderful Week, Part Three
Welcome to Part Three of our Disney Vacation! Thanks for sticking with me. I really do want to document some of the memories. If you missed my earlier posts, you can read Part One and Part Two as well.

On Wednesday morning, we woke to a light rain, but we didn't let it ruin our fun! Here is a picture of the kids waiting for the Animal Kingdom bus in front of our hotel (my lens was a little foggy from the humidity, but I like the picture).

When Animal Kingdom opened, we headed for the Safari ride. The ride is a fun trip through the African savanna. Even though it was raining, most of the animals were visible. We were so close to a baby giraffe that we could almost reach out and touch it. After the Safari, we watched the Lion King. They do a live, 30-minute show, and it was wonderful. The kids especially enjoyed the monkeys swinging from trapezes.

After the show, it was time for a character meal at Donald's Breakfastasaurus (it was technically breakfast, but we chose the latest seating so it would serve as our lunch). We ate from a delicious buffet and also visited with Goofy, Mickey, Donald, and Pluto.

After eating, we headed for the Kali River Rapids ride. Let's just say that after riding three times (they let us stay on because there was no line), we didn't really care about the rain anymore. This picture doesn't accurately show how wet my Favorite Boy was. He didn't have a dry spot anywhere, and he was thrilled. Both my kids really enjoyed the rapids ride.

Our other favorite attraction at Animal Kingdom was the Bug's Life 3-D film. It was so cute! My Best Girl thought it was scary, but she was fine after she took off her glasses. On the other hand, my Favorite Boy thought the movie was a "fun" scary. Here he is modeling his glasses.

After an nap, we went back to Magic Kingdom to see the fireworks. We also stopped in for a visit with Mickey.

We settled in at the Main Street train station with some popcorn to watch the fireworks. Because it had been rainy, the smoke from the fireworks didn't rise very well. The smoke then blocked some of the fireworks from our view. This was a little disappointing to me, but my Favorite Boy didn't even notice. He loved it! We had never taken him to a big fireworks display before, so he didn't know the difference. My hubby and I kept our disappointment to ourselves and let him enjoy it. My Best Girl didn't enjoy the fireworks as much. She didn't get upset during the show, but later, she let us know that she thought it was too loud.

That was Day Three; only two more to go. Thanks for reading!

P.S. I really appreciate your comments. Several people have visited lately who do not have their profile available. I can't visit you if your profile is not public. If you would like a return visit, please be sure I can find you!

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  posted at 3:14 PM  

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