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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Wednesday, August 31, 2011
July Disney Trip, Part Two
I've been sick for several days, so I decided to stay home and take it easy. I'm not good at resting, so I thought I would take this opportunity to write more about our July Disney trip. On Friday morning, we headed to Animal Kingdom. We only had a few things we wanted to do, so we headed to Asia for Expedition Everest and Kali River Rapids. We also took a rest in a rickshaw.

We enjoyed the rapids twice, and we left the ride SOAKED. We rode with the same family both times, and they stayed dry while we were drenched. My kids were thrilled.

Next, we went to the character greeting area and found several friends.

After playing in the Boneyard playground, we headed to Downtown Disney to play video games at Disney Quest. This is 5 stories of interactive fun, but it is the only part of Disney I don't enjoy! There are no windows, so it's dark and filled with video game noises. My kids, however, had a wonderful time, so I rested in the nice air conditioning while they played.

When we left Disney Quest, the clouds were rolling in, but we headed to Blizzard Beach anyway. We enjoyed about half the slides before they made everyone get out of the water because of lightning. The kids were disappointed, but knew they would be coming back.

On Saturday, we headed to my favorite park, the Magic Kingdom! We enjoyed Pooh, Peter Pan, Splash Mountain, and Big Thunder Mountain.

For lunch, we headed to Casey's for corn dog nuggets. I ate the corn bread from my Best Girl's nuggets. This was a big cheat on my grain-free diet, but it was so yummy!

After lunch, my Best Girl and I watched the parade while my Favorite Boy rode Pirates of the Caribbean (yes, I let him ride alone).

Later in the afternoon, the kids enjoyed some cool snacks.

We usually let the kids get one souvenir per trip, and this time they chose light sabers. They made their own in Tomorrowland, and they enjoyed choosing their own parts.

After a super fun day at Magic Kingdom, we headed back to Blizzard Beach. We had good luck with the weather, and my Best Girl and Favorite Boy were brave enough to attempt Summit Plummet. This is a 12-story drop, and my Best Girl was barely tall enough to ride. I couldn't believe she did it, but they both said, "It was AWESOME!"

Friday and Saturday were lots of fun! Stay tuned for the last few days of our trip.

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  posted at 8:05 AM  
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Tuesday, August 23, 2011
What's On My Nightstand
I am a one book at a time kind of girl. Sometimes, I may have a nonfiction and fiction going at the same time, but not often. I don't know why, perhaps because my brain is going in many directions at the moment, but I am reading four books at once. Here's a glimpse at what's in my current reading pile.

Outdoor Parents Outdoor Kids: A Guide to Getting Your Kids Active in the Great Outdoors is my next book for Kirkus Reviews. As I type, my kids are playing outside with all the neighborhood kids, but we have room for improvement when it comes to exploring the great outdoors. I am looking forward to the suggestions in this practical guide.

We're Not Leaving: 9/11 Responders Tell Their Stories of Courage, Sacrifice, and Renewal is a raw and touching collection of stories from the first responders of 9/11. I will be reviewing this at 5M4B soon. It's difficult to believe it's been almost ten years since the terrorist attacks.

Fairer than Morning is a new historical fiction title from Thomas Nelson. I haven't gotten very far into it, but I am excited to read this story because the author worships with my brother and his family. My sister-in-law had mentioned the book to me, so I was excited when it was sent to me for review.

Leaving is one of the books in the Bailey Flanigan series by Karen Kingsbury. This series piggybacks on three other series by the same author. One one hand, I enjoy feeling like I am keeping up with old friends. On the other hand, the books follow a typical pattern. I feel like things are being drawn out just to make more books. It's become like watching a train wreck; I'm having a difficult time walking away.

If you would like to find out what others are reading, be sure to visit the Nightstand carnival today!

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  posted at 6:41 AM  
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Wednesday, August 17, 2011
July Disney Trip, Part One
We are back in the swing of things with school. Both the kids like their teachers and have great classes. I have been at the school daily for PTA stuff, but I am really enjoying it. Since I was a teacher before my kids came along, I am in my element, and I am glad to help the faculty, staff and students. The challenge will be making sure I spend enough time at home taking care of things that need to be done around here!

I'm backtracking a bit to document our July Disney trip. The kids and I drove down to Orlando (an 11 hour trip that was broken up by a sleepover with Aunt Adrienne in Atlanta). We arrived in Orlando around 5PM on a Tuesday evening and headed straight for Cici's Pizza. Our Cici's closed, and my kids were so excited to eat at the Orlando location. My Favorite Boy would like me to note that he ate an entire pizza, two breadsticks, a brownie, and a cinnamon roll. He is proud of this gluttonous accomplishment. Of course, I am not eating grains, so I had some lettuce and carrots from the sub par salad bar. After dinner, the kids spent some time in the pool, and we hit the sack in preparation for our first day in the parks.

On Wednesday morning, we headed for Hollywood Studios. I am sure you think that we've done everything at Disney World by now, but since that's impossible, we added a few new fun things to our agenda. As soon as the park opened, my Favorite Boy masterfully grabbed us Fastpasses for Toy Story Mania, and then we headed to the Rock-N-Roller Coaster. After the ride, the kids started a pressed penny collection. They had been looking forward to this since May.

We excitedly headed to meet two of my kids' favorite characters: Phineas and Ferb. This duo recently started greeting their adoring fans, and my kids were very excited to see them. While we waited for Phineas and Ferb to arrive, the cast members engaged the waiting crowd by having them act out scenes from the show. My Favorite Boy hesitantly agreed to participate.

Then came the big moment... Hey, where's Perry????

Sadly, Perry was no where to be found, but we did spot Lighting McQueen and Mater, both had been souped up to match their appearance in Cars 2.

We headed through the Streets of America to play on the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids playground. Both kids got wet in the fire hydrants, and then my little poser smiled for the camera.

After playing, we enjoyed Toy Story Mania and Star Tours before heading out of the park for lunch. Since we had a car, we headed off-property to Chili's (it was Kids Eat Free day).

Because it was HOT, we spent the late afternoon and evening at Typhoon Lagoon, one of Disney's two amazing water parks. This became a pattern for the entire trip. We visited parks in the morning, and then headed to the water parks in the late afternoon to cool off. This worked out to be a very good plan!

On Thursday, we headed to Epcot. We decided to devote this day to the Future World section. We enjoyed Soarin', Nemo, Mission:SPACE, Journey into Imagination, and Test Track. While we waited for Test Track, I managed to take a surprise picture of my Favorite Boy, and I captured my Best Girl while saying something I said repeatedly throughout the trip: Please get off the rails!

We decided to cool off by enjoying a yummy treat, so we stopped for ice cream.

I'm sure some of you will think I am a negligent parent, but at this point, I let my Favorite Boy play a video game at Innoventions while my Best Girl and I visited the Energy pavilion for the first time and chatted with Minnie and Goofy. Be assured that I knew he wouldn't move from his spot in front of the PS3 (I could have left him there for hours, and he would have been in the same spot), and he had been given specific instructions about what to do if he needed me.

Thursday was the one day we didn't visit a water park. Instead, we headed to the mini-golf course. We play once each trip, and we played on the Winter-Summerland course, which is our favorite.

The water features on the course were especially appreciated in the heat!

The first few days of our trip were great fun! I'll be back soon to post more.

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  posted at 11:27 AM  
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Saturday, August 13, 2011
Family Time
In late July/early August, my brother and his family came for a visit. They live in New Mexico, so their visits are a treat for all of us in Tennessee. My kids couldn't wait to see their cousins! We spent a couple of days hanging out with them. On one of the days, we took the kids to a nearby pool. They had so much fun playing together!

We also had an early birthday party for my youngest nephew. He will be turning two in September. All the kids were super excited about digging in to the cake.

My Favorite Boy has learned how to Skype his Uncle. Now that they have returned to New Mexico, we look forward to regular computer chats until we get to see them again in person!

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  posted at 10:19 AM  
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Thursday, August 11, 2011
FIrst Day of School
Alas, summer break is gone. My kids had their first day of school today. We have had such a great summer, and I hated to see it end. On the positive side, maybe I'll have some time to document some of our fun now that the kids are in school.

We started the morning off by taking some pictures with our neighbors. This is a first day of school tradition. A picture of my Favorite Boy and Best Girl together is a tradition as well, but I forgot that one!

I always take a picture of the kids with their teachers. I am hoping to do this through fifth grade. My Favorite Boy is thrilled to have the same teacher as last year (she moved up to fourth). He didn't want me to take his picture, so he suggested that I use last year's picture again. I didn't fall for that.

My Best Girl was excited to start first grade, and thankfully, there were no tears, but she did ask me to stay until the last possible second.


I am serving as co-president of the PTA this year, so I will be at school a lot. I am excited about this, and I know it's going to be a good year for all of us. We are truly blessed to be a part of our school community!

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  posted at 8:18 PM  
  3 comments



Previous Posts
  • A Disney December, The Final Chapter
  • A Disney December, Part Five
  • A Disney December, Part Four
  • A Disney December, Part Three
  • A Disney December, Part Two
  • A Disney December, Part One
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