Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

'Hope you all enjoyed the day!
I know we did!

Here's Jayden decorating cupcakes (I got the idea from Carol on one of her posts @ Charli and Me , thanks, Carol, he had lots of fun with this!):

And here he's very happy and proud with his results!

And Jayden had a variety of costumes to choose from, he decided he wanted to be a Power Ranger so first he dressed as Optimus Prime (not sure if that is the correct name, I'm not up on my Power Rangers!):

And later in the afternoon he dressed as Bumble Bee:

Here's Bumble Bee and Speedy.

Mia decided on Sleeping Beauty from her array of Princess costumes:

But she was a very sad trick-or-treater when she got to Grandma's house and saw (and heard) our house guest (Speedy, my sister's dog) and she refused to come into the house!

But she did agree to come up on the front porch. Here she's opening a goody bag that my sister Diane left for her.

And here she's adding the little duck Grandpa bought for her!

My son just called now and said when they got back home Mia said she really wants to visit, so Ray found the old baby gates in the basement and is putting them up right now to try and contain Speedy, let's see if she'll come into the house now.

Yea! She sees that Speedy is safe in the kitchen, and he's actually behaving himself, only barked a little this time, and Mia being safe in Grandma's arms, she's happy and she's willing to come in.

And here comes Mario (Jayden's third costume for the day)!

Now we're all set to enjoy Jayden's handiwork!

Jayden's teacher did a little surprise 'Pumpkin Hunt' in the playground during his school Halloween party yesterday, and then today his Mom and Dad helped him carve a little jack-o-lantern:


Friday, October 30, 2009

The House Guest

This is Speedy...

...he is our house guest for the weekend. My sister dropped him off this morning and all was well until Jayden came home from school. Since then Speedy has jumped up on Jayden numerous times and he has tried to steal his food. I put Speedy out in the foyer and closed the door until Jayden could finish eating his after school snack, and when I went to retrieve Speedy I found that he left me a quite a few gifts! He not only knocked down all the pillows to the floor that were on the bench in the foyer but he also left me a very moist gift and a not-so-moist gift! My sister warned me that he will do that when he gets mad. I guess he was mad!
Oh, for goodness sakes!
Well, I got out the gloves, the Lysol, the carpet cleaner, the anti-bacterial spray, and I went to work scrubbing the offended spot. And Speedy acts like the insulted one!
Before this he wouldn't leave my side, now he's just laying on his pillow in the kitchen.
Jayden tried to coax him out of his bad mood, but Speedy would have none of it! (In fact, I think he's growling! He looks like he's growling, doesn't he? Or sneering at us anyway!)

And now I have lots of scented candles burning trying to rid the house of Speedy's lingering gifts!

On a happier note, here's Jayden heading out to school this morning dressed for his Halloween party there. He's supposed to be Captain Jack Sparrow, the jacket finally fits (way too big in previous years), but the pants wouldn't fit over his gym uniform, and his head is now way too big for the hat (with attached dreadlocks) that came with the costume. Even the hat he has on I had to cut the back of it to get it to fit!

(Finally a day where he is happy about leaving the house for school!)

And, a BIG THANK YOU to Jill @ Grandma Honey for posting about her breakfast (Oat Bran with Almond Butter or Peanut Butter) the other day! I tried it this morning, and, Jill, I loved it!
You can read about it at Our Favorite Breakfast on her blog. It's now my favorite breakfast too! Jill's post is complete with pictures, I forgot to take one.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


I was tagged by Marcy @ Blessings Each Day for an 8 Question MeMe!

Here goes!

Six names you go by:
1. Mom
2. Umma
3. Grandma
4. Eileen
5. Hey, Loser (said in jest and love ~ I hope!)
6. Leenie (not really anymore, but it was a nickname when I was little)

Three things you are wearing right now:
1. Jeans
2. Mickey Mouse tee shirt
3. Mom's bracelet

Three things you want very badly at the moment:
1. Peace
2. Jayden to feel secure
3. My mouth to heal and stop hurting

Three things you did last night/yesterday:
1. Watched Mia
2. Visit with my Aunt Florence
3. Talked to Jayden about school

Two things you ate today:
1. Cinnamon Toast
2. Coffee

Two things you are going to do today/tomorrow:
1. Watch Mia
2. Get out warmer coats from storage.

Two people you talked to on the phone:
1. My son Erik
2. Ray

Three favorite beverages:
1. Coffee
2. Coffee
3. Coffee

I was also tagged by Cathy @ A Bit of the Blarney and again Marcy @ Blessings Each Day (I find both these blogs fun, uplifting, and inspirational!) with this Award:

If you could come back as an animal, which would it be?
A fly. I've said enough times in my life, "I wish I could have been a fly on the wall..." and here would be my chance!

Something you couldn't live without?
Love and Forgiveness.

What do you value most in another person?
The ability to carry on in the face of adversity without losing Faith.

Colors you tend to wear?
I have lots of black and lots of pink in my wardrobe.

Three words that define you:
1. Bratty
2. Grateful
3. Mediocre

A place you would travel to:
I do not like to travel.

Your favorite quote from a book or movie?
I have many favorite quotes, but I'll use this one today:
"Despite everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart." ~ Anne Frank

Something you would like to do:
I wish I had the qualifications to be a good politician/leader, which is really strange because I hate politics!

Your main strength/forte?
No clue. Really.

I think both these awards have already been forwarded to all the bloggers I know and read, so if anyone reading here hasn't already been tagged, consider yourself tagged now!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Disney World

My next few posts on our trip to Disney World will be all about the positive. And then I'll let you in on the negatives!

A few years ago Ray and I were lucky enough to be able to buy into the Disney Vacation Club, it all works on a point system and we bought enough points to have a seven day vacation in Disney World staying in a two-bedroom villa at some of their resorts. Disney has since 'played around' with the point system so that has changed a little now, but that's one of the negatives that I'll go into at another time.

For now, I'll concentrate only on the good!
And it was a good trip and we were all Blessed to have been able to do this together.
Ray and I 'banked' some of our points from last year and we 'borrowed' some points from next year and pooled all of them together with this year's vacation points so that we could do a three-bedroom villa this year as we had lots of people making this trip with us (Ray, myself, four of our kids, two grandkids, our daughter-in-law, her mother, a friend of the family and her son).

Some of us traveled together on the first morning Delta Airline flight down to Orlando from New York. My oldest son was traveling with the friend and her son and they flew on Jet Blue. (Delta is another negative, but I'll go into that at another time, suffice it to say we will be traveling Jet Blue from now on).

I'm just going to talk about the trip down and the hotel today or this post will be going on forever.

Here we are waiting to board the plane (Mia is occupying herself with her ducks of course!):

All ready for take-off:

Then as we taxi away from the gate something goes BUMP-BUMP-BUMP underneath us. That doesn't sound very good to me! It didn't sound very good to the pilot either, he announces that we are going back to the gate so maintenance can check out that noise. After awhile we are told to disembark and go to another gate (no, that's not the negative about Delta. Kudos to the pilot!).

Waiting to re-board:

Maybe we'll have better luck with this plane:

Yea! All went well this time and we got to Orlando about an hour and a half later than we were supposed to be here, but we're here and everyone is happy and excited!
We then board the Magical Express Bus which takes us to our destination ~ the happiest place in the world! And here's one little boy ready to burst with happy anticipation!

We stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge which actually now has two resorts. In previous years we stayed at their Jamba House as we had bought into the Vacation Club before our 'home' resort Kidani had even been built. Some construction was still going on but we were able to stay at Kidani this time.
A wall of lanterns flanked either side of the entrance to the hotel:
(Jayden said he was 'rock resting' here, I guess that's supposed to be akin to 'rock climing'?!)

The lobby is really beautiful:
(This ceiling is amazing!)
The Kidani lobby is much smaller than the one at Jamba House but it's still awesome.
While Ray was taking care of everything at the check-in desk I did some exploring around the lobby and nearby lounge areas.
There are many places to sit with lots of comfortable chairs and sofas:

There are massive windows with beautiful views:

Great outdoor balconies with these wonderful rockers and fantastic views of the savanna!

There was a nice little shop in the lobby where we were able to buy some staples for our stay, in addition to souvenirs and clothing, they sold groceries too:

And there is even entertainment for the little ones:

(Here's Justin and Jayden enjoying a show while waiting for check-in to be completed)

I loved the adobe-like walls, and the African decor and all the artwork on display around the hotel:

The lighting, the rugs, the furnishings, the colors, everything had that African flair. I particularly liked this wood carved column in this archway, it reminded me of a Native American totem pole:

And I loved how little niches were carved out to hold many of the African art pieces:

And here's a piece of art I spotted one day as I walked off the elevator that I actually decided to take home with me!

Okay, we're all checked in and we head up to our room.
'Love the door to the room! Now let's see what's behind it...

...a room with a view!

And what a view we had!

This giraffe got tired of bending down to eat so he just collapsed his legs and took a rest while eating!

The room was gigantic and really beautiful, it was more like renting a house for the week, with two floors, three bedrooms, and two sofa beds (lots of room for sleeping which we needed with lots of people!).

That's Melissa on the couch with her son Justin, Brian in the background with Mia, Ray's walking into the bedroom, and Ellie is sitting in the foreground. The staircase to the upper floor is behind that divide by Ray & Brian.

This is looking up at the loft area. I thought we might be too crowded all staying together, I really thought we'd be on top of each other, but it was big enough and everything worked out very nicely.

There was plenty of room!

Behind the couch was a nice sized dining area and the kitchen also had a counter with stools on the dining side. We were on the Disney Dining Plan so we had lunch and dinner at the parks, but we all had breakfast in the room before heading out in the mornings.

I really liked how the rooms were decorated, they really pay attention to detail!

There was a nice outdoor playground:

And a beautiful pool area...

...with a water playground too:
(The weather was actually quite cold, but it did get warm enough on a few afternoons to enjoy the pool.)

Accommodations get high marks!!
This vacation club has been worth it, there is no way we could ever afford to stay in these accommodations if we hadn't joined the vacation club. We used to stay at the cabins in the campground when we vacationed at Disney World, but even that was getting to be too expensive for us.
This is one of the best investments we've ever made. It really gives us a vacation once a year that we otherwise could not afford to do, plus we get the added bonus of taking others along with us!

If Blogger cooperates I'll post some pictures later in the week of the fun we had at all the parks.