The evidence is clear…

My mind is gone.  I’m not sure when this happened, maybe it’s been gradual, but it’s gone.

Let’s start at the beginning…I used to be the girl who could remember everyone who I ever went to school with, every teacher, everyone I went to camp with…I could remember it all.  I have 2 solid instances that have assured me that my mind has left the building…

#1

My mom’s birthday was a couple weeks ago.  The kids and I went up to spend the evening with her and take her to dinner.  (Blake was out of town)  We had a great evening, great food and were sitting out in the yard watching the kids play.  Mom and I had a whole conversation about how she hadn’t received a birthday gift from my grandma (which was highly unusual).  That evening after we got home, I called my grandma to see if she liked the Mother’s Day card I had gotten her and she asked what Mom thought of the gift Grandma gave her…WHAT?

Oh I completely forgot! When we were in Ohio on spring break, my grandma gave me mom’s birthday present so she would have it.  Yeah, I totally forgot even when Mom and I were discussing it.  It gets even funnier when you think about the fact that right after we got home from Ohio I realized I had misplaced the gift.  Blake and I were searching our house late one night until we finally found it and then we put it somewhere we would never forget…

#2

The day before Mother’s Day, I talked to my brother and told him I would pick up something for him for our mom.  My plan was to get two matching flower pots for her deck.  Parker and I were on the mission to find flowers while Paige attended a birthday party.  Parker started throwing fits and we never even made it inside some of the stores because I refused to take him in while he was throwing a fit…Mother’s Day came and I still had nothing for my mom so I ended up just getting her a gift certificate…

My brother is in town this weekend and wants to know what he owes me for the Mother’s Day present…Whoop!

Conclusion:

I work really hard to teach my children to be considerate of others and to be thoughtful.  Last summer Paige and I worked really hard on those two traits because they just aren’t around that much in society.

I do not consider myself an inconsiderate person.

I believe that Parker is somehow sucking the brain out of my body.  Summer break can’t get here fast enough…

Advertisements

Saving Money at Disney World

When I told people we were headed to Disney World, lots of people wanted to know how it went when we got home.  Instead of telling the same things many times when I will probably forget something each time, I’m just going to tell you all here.  If you don’t care, sorry…

One of the reasons we decided to go to Disney this summer is that Parker is 2 1/2.  Children under 3 are free at Disney.  He was able to share food with us on our dining plan, eat at the buffets we ate for free, and get free admission to the park.  That positive stuff outweighed the fact that he didn’t want to ride in the stroller and we had to carry him a lot of the time.  He enjoyed all of the rides and met all of the characters.  I’m looking forward to taking him when he is older (with no stroller) but it was definitely worth taking him now too.

Disclaimer:  I am in no way an expert on anything Disney.  This was my first trip but I did my research (I’m a librarian, I have to research) and tried to get the most for our money.

The LowDown

If you are going to Disney World, it’s going to be expensive.  There’s no way around that, but it doesn’t have to be crazy expensive.  There are many ways that you can be plan ahead and it will save you tons of money.

The first way to save some money is to watch for deals.  I teach with an expert on everything Disney and she was able to let me know when some great deals were happening.  We were able so score a deal that included hotel, park admission, and dining plans.

Lodging

There are tons of places to stay at Disney World.  You can stay at a Disney resort or somewhere else.  We decided early on that this was going to be a vacation all about Disney so we were going to take advantage of their transportation, lodging and everything else Disney so we decided to stay at a Disney resort.  This is still quite a decision.  Some of those resorts are crazy expensive!  They are beautiful too, so if that’s where you want to spend your money, go for it, but we really just wanted someplace clean to sleep.

Image

We chose to stay at Disney’s All Star Movie Resort.  Disney considers this a value hotel.  We had bus rides to all the parks whenever we wanted.  There was a great food bar where we could eat on our dining plan.  The rooms were clean.  The pools were super cool.  There were super cool themes like Toy Story and 101 Dalmatians that had gigantic characters and cool things to look at (Watch for my trip blog for pictures of this).  The rooms were clean.  The rooms were nothing extra special, but they were clean and the people who were worked there were helpful and nice.  Our room was quiet.  With all the crazy kids at that resort, I never heard anyone in another room.  I hope no one heard my kids either…

Food

We chose to do a quick-service dining plan.  This meant that we each got 2 meals and 1 snack per day for no additional cost.  We could eat at the food court at our hotel or anywhere we went that had the quick-service plan available.  We all know food at amusement parks is high so it was very fulfilling when the kids starting getting restless, I could just go get some popcorn, count it as one snack for the day and not pay a penny.

In addition to our dining plan, we also did a couple character meals.  I chose not to do some of the most expensive ones but we still had a great time.  We had breakfast one morning with Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland and the Mad Hatter.  We also had supper one night with Cinderella, the stepsisters and stepmother and Prince Charming.  I’m really glad we paid the extra to do these because the food was wonderful and the kids really loved the experience.

Even with Parker sharing food, we felt like we ate a ton.  We even had so many snacks leftover on the last day, we just went and picked out a bunch of snacks to take on the plane and bring home.  I definitely would do the dining plan again.

Other Money Saving Things

I bought “autograph books” from the $1 bins at Target that were Disney themed.  You can buy an autograph book at a Disney gift shop but I’m sure they won’t be $1 each.

I bought 89 cent ponchos at Walmart and kept them in our backpack wherever we went.  It never rained but if it had rained, I didn’t have to buy super expensive rain gear.  I was prepared.

I brought breakfast food/snacks so we could have some snacks in our room and not waste our dining plan meals on breakfast.  This must have worked because we didn’t bring any of these home.

Bring water bottles that you can refill for each day in the parks.  You can bring snacks and drinks into the park so pack a backpack to keep everyone happy.

Paige got a princess makeover at the Bippity Boppity Boutique.  This is not a cheap thing but I saved a ton by bringing Paige’s own princess dress up outfit instead of buying a princess gown there for $70!  Yes their dresses are pretty but Paige enjoyed having a little bit different outfit than everyone else walking around.  Seeing her face and how much she enjoyed the rest of that day was definitely worth it.

We brought a plethora of medicines and bandages just in case.

Our kids had been saving money for months for this trip.  I told them (Paige especially) that if they wanted to buy souvenirs, they could save for it.  We definitely bought them things too but it helped teach how much things cost and if it was worth it.  Paige wanted to get character pictures painted of both of them. It was going to cost $70 for both of our kids to get a painting done.  When I explained to Paige just exactly how many trips to the movie theater that would be, she understood that it was kind of outrageous and she would save her money for something better.  I overhead one lady tell the child with her that they could pick out something from the gift shop each day.  I thought, Holy Moly!  That would get expensive!

My lovely librarian at the public library, thought to show me the Unofficial Guide to Disney World.  I checked it out and took it with us.  It had tons of great information in it that helped me with a lot of these tips.

There’s a free app called “Undercover Tourist” that tells you which parks are busy and how long the waits are on the more popular rides.  I would pull it up while we were riding the bus to the park to see which ride we wanted to head to first.

Our daily schedule was:  Get up early and get to a park.  It was amazing how short the lines were early and it was much cooler.  We would head back to the hotel for lunch and rest/swim time.  Then later in the afternoon/evening we headed back.  The lines once again weren’t that bad and it was much cooler.

What would I do different?

I would arrive later in the day on the first day and leave earlier in the day the last day.  We wasted some time on travel and would have rather had full days to spend on fun.

I would rent a stroller from one of the companies in Orlando that does that.  The strollers I saw that had been rented looked nice.  I got a deal on a double stroller on CraigsList but the rented strollers were a lot nicer and seemed to work a little better.

I hope there was something here that you found helpful if you are thinking of taking a trip to Disney. If you are still wondering about something, please ask and I will be happy to give my opinion, if you want it.  I’m a librarian.  It just comes natural to me that we should all pool our resources to help each other.

Coming Soon:  Our family takes on Disney!

Here we go!

Do you know how long I’ve wanted to go to DisneyWorld? As long as I can remember. I was in high school and still receiving Disney related Christmas presents. Then the Baptists boycotted Disney for awhile. It was horrible!
So tomorrow my little family will embark on the adventure I have waited for my whole life. I am beyond excited!

For those of you who enjoy the escapades of him children, here are a few already:
Parker is currently on a corn only diet, apparently.
Paige has decided she would like to own hotels when she grows up. Seriously, my daughter loves hotels more than anything.
Parker has begun a new stage today where he randomly makes up songs. We endured a very long song about poop a little while ago.
It’s going to be an adventure, I’m sure. I’ll keep you posted.

Update: I forgot to tell you that Paige accidentally shot catsup in her eye during dinner.
Right after we had the kids in Jammie’s in the hotel getting ready to settle down for a busy day, Blake’s shoe literally fell apart and we had to make an emergency run to a shoe store.
Maybe I was the cause of all the crazy Appleberry family vacations. Interesting events are following me…

Day at the K

The Kansas City Royals have a big part of my childhood.  My dad is an avid Royals fan.  I grew up watching and listening to the games.  I also grew up going to Kauffman Stadium and experiencing the games first hand.  I’m sure my mom has some great pictures of us suffering through 100+ degree days at the ballpark!

Some of my favorite memories include seeing numerous people thrown out of the old General Admission for bringing in alcohol and other crazy stuff.  For awhile, I knew the head of security by sight because I have seen him throw people out so many times.  Then there was the time I went to a game with some friends and a guy stripped off all of his clothes and jumped the fence.  The streaker ran clear across the outfield, slid into second base before getting tackled in right field.  Watching Jermaine Dye just shake his head as the naked dude ran by him still makes me chuckle.  I always enjoyed a Colossal Dog, Friday night fireworks and whatever antics Slugger was up to.

Imagine my excitement when I got to chaperon the 7th grade field trip to tour Kauffman stadium!  Now I will admit, I usually dread field trips but usually have a great time once I get there.  This trip was no exception but once I could see the stadium, my spirits were lifted.

We had a great tour guide named Ben who showed us the inner workings of the stadium.  I was disappointed to not run into my first crush, George Brett, but it was an awesome day!  My group of students were not Royals or even baseball fans so guess who knew all the answers to the trivia questions…yep it was me!  Reminds me of when the Royals players used to come visit our school every year and I would be one of the only girls who knew the answer to the trivia questions so they would pick me to answer and I would get to go shake their hands…that was awesome!  Anyway, back to the tour…

Image

We didn’t get to go in the Royals Clubhouse but we did get to see the visitor’s clubhouse!

Image

Next we got to walk on the rubber mat that the Royals walk on to their dugout!

Image

Image

Next up, the interview room.  I got to pretend to be the manager and field some questions from the “media”.

Image

The tour guide told us we couldn’t use the microphone.  I never touched it.  (I would like to point out that I took this picture after the students I was in charge of had left the room.  They did not witness me “bending” the rules)

Image

I was kind of obsessed with George Brett when I was a kid.  I even thought I might marry him some day.  My students found this highly amusing today and we were excited to find a picture of my guy!

Image

Next up, to the pressbox!

Image

We ate lunch outside on a beautiful May day at the K.  After lunch, the students go to go into the Hall of Fame and participate in class activities that used baseball to teach science, math and history.  Overall I think it was a pretty good field trip and I’m glad I got to go.

On the way out, our tour guide, Ben, told me that he hoped the students enjoyed it half as much as I did.  I guess my excitement was noticeable!  Ha!  

I took these pictures for my Dad and also my brother who are the two biggest Royals fans I know.  I got excited when I saw pictures of the first All Star Game at Kauffman stadium because I know my dad was part of that history.  I wish there was a way we could get to the All Star game this year!  (If anyone would like to get us there, I would appreciate it, wink, wink)  We will keep rooting for our Royals whether they win or lose all the days of our life. It’s in our blood.  I always think that it’s easy to be a fan of a winning team but when you stick with a team like the Royals, that takes true dedication.

Go Royals!

 

Rules, who needs them

I am a rule follower. I’ve said it before. If there’s a rule I follow it. It doesn’t matter if it is the speed limit or the express check out at the grocery store.

What really bugs me is when I am following a rule and then people who aren’t following the rules get mad at me for following the rules. Follow me?

So I guess I apologize for thinking that a rule in August should still be the rule in May.

Thank you, my rant is over.

What’s going on?

 

What’s been going on??  Let me see…

  • I got my garden planted.  It’s not the prettiest thing you have ever seen but I have expanded and am thinking about referring to it as “the farm” now.  I’m ready for the veggies to be ready.
  • Parker cursed in public…enough said.
  • Paige performed in her first school program.  She was too scared to have a speaking part but looking back, she had fun and thinks maybe next time she will try a speaking part.
  • School is winding down for all of us.  Vacation is on the horizon…9 1/2 more days with students…I think I can!
  • Our Disney vacation is booked, researched and paid for.  Watch out Mickey, we will be there in 20 days!  I think I’m more excited than the kids.

Things have been going good, very busy but good.  Hopefully this next two weeks will fly by and then let the fun begin!