Monday, October 29, 2012

Walt Disney World Tips! Epcot

Dear Ones,
Epcot is our family's favorite of the Disney parks. We usually try to spend two days there. This is written as if you had two days to spend there, and how to make the best of your adventure. If you are staying at a Disney resort, try to do Epcot on a day when you have Extra Magic hours. This will give you more time to explore!
Epcot is broken up into two sections. This first part of the park is called Future World. This includes the following areas:

Test Track Presented by Chevrolet
Mission: SPACE® Pavilion
Imagination! Pavilion
The Land Pavilion
The Seas with Nemo & Friends Pavilion
Universe of Energy

First thing! Remember to get your Fast Passes for Soarin'! If you are interested in driving a race car, Fast Passes for Test Track are also a must! If you are traveling with older children that don't get motion sickness, get a Fast Pass for Mission: Space too!
Then head to The Sea Pavilion for "The Sea with Nemo and Friends" It is a very sweet ride, and kids of all ages seem to enjoy it. There is another attraction worth mentioning, called Turtle Talk With Crush. Crush interacts the audience in this one. The Sea Base and Caribbean Coral Reef Aquarium is great!

The Land Pavilion is where you will find Soarin' and also a ride that takes your behind the scenes of Epcot. If you have two days, take time to ride Living with the Land. It is really interesting. There is also a wonderfully educational behind the scenes tour available in the Land Pavilion, called Behind the Seeds at Epcot. This tour offers a one-hour indoor walking tour of the greenhouses seen during the Living with the Land attraction at Epcot. We did it when Bitty was 5, and she loved it!

Make sure to take in the Imagination! Pavilion. There you can ride the Journey Into Imagination With Figment attraction or see the Captain EO 3-D film starring the late Michael Jackson. i haven't seen it, but have heard that it is worth the time.

If you have two days in Epcot, then you can take a lot of time exploring the Innoventions East and West. There is a ton of hands on stuff for the entire family. Before you leave the Future World of Epcot, make sure to stop by the Coca Cola shop. It is at the end of Innoventions West, before you cross over into Showcase Plaza. You can sample different sodas from around the world. This is really neat, and my girls think this is a must do!

Beyond Future World is the World Showcase area, an adventure through a collection of international pavilions around the World Showcase Lagoon. Within each pavilion, you'll find shops, attractions and restaurants that represent the culture and cuisine of these 11 countries: Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Norway, United Kingdom, and the good ol' USA!

Important thing to remember is that there are ferries that can take you back and forth across the lagoon. They run from Showcase Plaza to Morocco, or Showcase Plaza to Germany. IF you do this, it will save your feet. The World Showcase is big!

A fun thing for the smaller children is the Kidcot Fun Stops located in each pavilion. My girls have enjoyed this over the years. We also have them stamp our girls' autograph books. Usually, the cast member will also write something in their native language to go with the stamp! These are amazing souvenirs!

First thing to do: Get dinner reservations! We usually get ours at The Rose and Crown in The United Kingdom. They have wonderful fish and chips, and the service is great! We usually try to get it later in the evening, if there are going to be Fireworks. That way, we can linger over dessert, (the treacle tart is superb!), and watch the display from the patio. Make sure to request an outside seat, if you want to do this. ;)

Since you will probably head to the UK first for those dinner reservations, you will pass through Canada, the home of Anne of Green Gables! The scenery here is majestic! There is a great 360 degree movie called O Canada that is really good. It is hosted by Martin Short.

In the United Kingdom, enjoy the quaint shops, and scenery. Sometimes there are street shows to enjoy. Look out for Mary Poppins, and Tigger and Pooh while you are there.

Cross the International Gateway, and it is onto France. If you like pastries, this is the place to get them! There are shops here and you can be on the lookout for Marie, from the Aristocats,and Princess Aurora, from Sleeping Beauty. There is also a film called Impressions de France that is quite lovely, and relaxing.

Morocco is the next land you will enter. It is fun, rather like walking through a small market in Marrakesh. The air is spicy and the music is terrific! You can see arts and crafts from the middle east, and enjoy a snack of falafel or hummus and pita chips. You may run into Aladdin and Jasmine here... or perhaps the Genie!

Then it is on to Japan. We love the shop there called Mitsukoshi. It is supposedly the oldest store in Japan. There are lots of cute Sanrio things to shop for as well as adorable Japanese anime products. My girls love shopping at the candy store in the back. You can watch pearls being taken from oysters, and may see a demonstration of Japanese Kimono dressing. Make sure to see "Visions of Beauty: World Heritage Sites of Japan",The Taiko drummers may be performing in the garden.

Now we are in the United States! The main attraction here is The American Adventure. This is a must do! :)
Ben Franklin and Mark Twain present an inspirational story of our precious history. The girls love this! i must admit that i get a little misty eyed, when i hear the music! The USA is home of Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox, and Brer Bear. :) You can also get a yummy, warm funnel cake here! If you are lucky, while you are eating your funnel cake, you will get to hear the melodious voices of Voices of Liberty.

In Italy, we usually just enjoy looking around. The food there is great, but, since we usually eat in the UK or China, we tend to pass this by. The chocolates are yummy here! :) The plaza is full of sights and sounds to make your Italian adventure perfect!

Germany, home of my ancestors, and Snow White and the Seven Drawfs too! Make sure you take a few minutes to stroll through the shops here. There is a lot to see. This is a great place to shop for toys, and teddy bears! For those who enjoy beer, this is a good place to sample one, and a bratwurst to go with it.

Between Germany and China, there is an area called the Outpost. This is an area for enjoying African tribal music and stories.

Ah, China!! The land of my heart. You must see the Reflections of China! It is a Circle Vision 360 degree movie. It will show you the wonders of China. There is also another display of the Terra Cotta warriors next to the theater. When you walk into the theater building, which is a copy of the Temple of Heaven, make sure to look up! It is an amazing, beautiful sight to see.
There may be Chinese acrobats performing in the garden. Do take time to stroll through the shops. There is much to delight the eyes! :) Be on the lookout for Mulan outside the theater, she is our personal favorite!

Leaving China, you will enter Norway. The Stave Church is a exhibit styled after the Gol Church in Hallingdal, Norway. It is remarkable, made without nails! The attraction in Norway is the Maelstrom ride. i have not been on it, but, my family likes it. At the Spirit of Norway, you can enjoy products from this country. In Norway, you can dine inside a castle at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, including Princess Storybook Dining, and delight in fresh baked goods and coffee at the Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe. We usually buy the baked goods to save for the next morning's breakfast.

Mexico is the last "land" in the World Showcase, if you start in Canada. The food here is heavenly at La Hacienda De San Angel! Enjoy riding on Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros. It is a nice and calm ride. And a good way to relax your feet! This "land" is filled with the sights and sounds of old Mexico.

On your way out Epcot, make sure you stop by Spaceship Earth, it is the big round globe at the entrance of Epcot. If the lines are short, this is a entertaining option. This is narrated from an evolutionary standpoint, but, if you go in knowing that, it will open up great conversations with your children on the way back to the hotel! Don't do this when you first get into the park, as the lines are usually longer.

Another thing my girls enjoyed at Epcot is the Kim Possible missions. These have been changed to Phineas and Ferb's Agent P's World Showcase Adventure. You can find out more information about this at the Odyssey Bridge, Norway Pavilion, Italy Pavilion or near the International Gateway. This is great fun for the whole family! It basically sends you out as a secret agent to thwart the bad guys while exploring The World Showcase!

i hope this helps get you in the mood to explore Epcot! As i said before, this is our family's favorite of all the Disney theme parks. Any questions? Just leave me a comment, and i will answer!
i will post about the Magic Kingdom later this week.


Friday, October 26, 2012

i'm back!

Dear ones,

i must apologize for not posting lately! Actually, i cannot believe it has been so long since i last posted!
We have had so much going on in our lives, i simply hadn't the time to post. Thankfully, things are looking up, and i am back!

Want to update you about our life. First of all, Lady spent the summer, six weeks of it, in China! She was volunteering at the foster home where Baby lived for 3 years.
Lady had a wonderful time working with the babies there. If you would like to see these precious wee ones, take a look here:
Baby lived at New Day from 13 months until she was nearly five. That is when we came to bring her home. She was well loved and healed of her broken heart there. If you are looking for a place to financially support this Christmas, this is a wonderful place to do it. They are currently in need of Poly-Vi-Sol baby vitamins. Interested in sending some, leave me a message, and i will connect you with someone who is sending a box over there.

Back to Lady... She is getting married next summer! She and her beau have been friends since January, and have become very good friends. They are actively seeking the Lord's will for their lives. Although we have yet to meet her Prince Charming, we are excited (and nervous) for them both! Lady is meeting PC's parents today, will you pray for her?

Bitty is doing well, and is in 5th grade. She is very much a dancer. We discovered a wonderful blessing right down the street from us. We have a new friend who danced as a soloist with the American Ballet Theater! She was actually hired by Mikhail Baryshnikov! Best thing about Miss Shawn? She has a 10 year old daughter too! Bitty is in heaven!
This year at dance, Bitty is taking Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Modern and Lyrical. She is so excited about dancing, and one can find her dancing everywhere!
Another thing that Bitty excels in, is baking. She is a wonderful chef and loves coming up with new delights.

Baby is in the 1st grade this year. To make things easy on her i made her a "Daily Learning" binder. It has a bunch of pages that i gleaned from different blogs. She usually writes the day of the week, the weather and the ordinal number of the day, each day. If you are interested in what this looks like, leave me a message, and i will do a post on this.

As for me, i am still plugging away at life. Some days are easier than others. This past few months have been extremely stressful and difficult. We are relying on the Lord to get us through! Thankfully, we serve a mighty God who is able to do so much more than we can fathom!!!
Recently, the Lord has lead me to go gluten and dairy free. Well, almost dairy free. i cannot tolerate drinking milk, or eating ice cream or yogurt, but, a bit of butter or cream in my coffee doesn't bother me.
Going gluten free has been tough on this bread lover! i am learning to do without and have found that i feel much better when i don't eat any gluten. That being said, i really notice it if i accidentally eat something with gluten in it!

For the next few days, i will be posting about Walt Disney World. Last week, a friend of mine went to WDW for the first time. She asked me for any tips that i may have for their visit. i sent her four emails full of tips! She said that i should post them for all to read, so, that is what i am going to do. We will start with our personal favorite park, Epcot. i hope you enjoy it!

If you read my posts, will you leave me a quick comment to let me know? i would love to know who is reading this!


Monday, August 13, 2012

In the Hands of a Child

In the Hands of a Child is having their annual Back to School Sale

on their HUGE selection of Lapbooking and Notebooking Products.

Save 50% on over 400 different titles!

See complete details here:

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

We have a winner!

Hi all!
We have a winner!
Congratulations to Gloria Cottrell Phillips for winning
the We Choose Virtues poster.
Thank you all for entering!
i hope that you will come back and check my blog again soon.
i love to have you visit!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

We Choose Virtues Review and Giveaway!

Hi all!

i am SO blessed to be able to review another fantastic product for We Choose Virtues.
You know from my last review, that i love their products! This time, they have graciously allowed me to do a giveaway too! My first one!!!
Exciting, isn't it?!?

What am i reviewing this time? The Kids Virtue Poster

It has all 12 of the virtues {diligent, helpful, perseverant, gentle, content, attentive, honest, kind, self-controlled, patient, obedient, forgiving} listed as well as their catchphrases and antonyms. For example:
I am Obedient. "Okay, whatever you say, I will obey, right away!" "I am NOT....argumentative, unwilling, or slow and I don't refuse to do what I'm told."
i posted ours in our school room and "the Bugs" have been looking at it all week! Bitty has been especially interested in it, and enjoys telling Baby what each one says.

The poster is 11x17 and is printed on heavy duty paper. It is brightly colored, and easy to read. It retails for $14.99 regularly, but We Choose Virtues has a special for this month, right in time for Father's Day.
From the We Choose Virtues website:
"June is for Fathers!
We Choose Virtues is dedicated to helping dads set a standard of excellent character in their homes.
It doesn’t have to be hard! With 12 Virtues and Three Rules, our simple tools take the guesswork out of it! These 2 posters ship free this month. Use code POSTER35 at checkout for 35% off ALL our posters."

Also, here is a chance for you to win a Kids Virtue Poster for your homeschool or classroom! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Attention Teachers... START25 is the promo code you need to get 25% off ANY of We Choose Virtues' great classroom kits!

Don't forget to check out their other products on the website at While you are there, consider downloading the Student's Character Assessment sheet. It will help you keep track of your student's progress. There is also an assessment sheet for families as well as Kids Memory Verses, Bible Heroes and Truths sheet... for free! These will help you as you work to instill virtues in your kids.

Blessings to you all!


P.S i received the Kids Virtue Poster in return for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received.

Friday, May 18, 2012

New Review Coming SOON!

i am so blessed to announce that i will be doing another review for "We Choose Virtues"
This time i will be reviewing 2 of their posters. i am really excited about this!
Also, i will be having my first giveaway!
Mark your calendars to come back on June 8th to read the review and enter the giveaway!


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Homeschool Conferences

i was recently asked to be a Partner Blogger with AHEAD, American Home Education and Discipleship. In exchange for my blog posts, i am now listed as a Partner Blogger on the AHEAD blog, and i received a complimentary admission to the AHEAD conference of my choice. :) There are thirty-nine AHEAD conferences in the United States, Mexico, and Canada. Here’s a link to a map of AHEAD conferences
AHEAD is affiliated with The National Alliance of Christian Home Education Leaders.

Last weekend, i attended an AHEAD conference. It was wonderful! i didn't get to go to many of the workshops as i was working a booth. That being said, i had a lot of opportunities to explore and shop. Which i did! i got all the remaining things that i need for the coming year. :)

Don't think you need to attend a convention or conference this year? Here is a great article about many reasons that you should consider it. It was written by Mbuyi and Mong-Tham Khuzadi.

Why Go to Convention

"I think each of us can come up with not just a few reasons to skip this year’s homeschool convention. In fact, some of you may already have your list in your head. Before succumbing to the “why nots,” consider some of the “whys.”

Renew your vision

Maybe you don't want to go to convention because you are burned out. What better way to get recharged than to renew your vision? Just being in the same building with hundreds other people who think the way you do is uplifting.

Hearing once again the encouraging words of a familiar speaker will remind you why you are teaching at home in the first place. The words of a speaker you've not heard before just may be the boost you need.

Make connections with others in your boat

If you are attending a workshop on a specific topic, say special needs, the other parents in that room have similar concerns. These are the very people who are going to understand your situation as well as your heart. This is the place to make those connections.

The workshop speakers aren't the only authority on the subject. The person next to you or in back of you may have just the answer or word of encouragement you need. Your seat neighbor may be shy about approaching the speaker after the session, but you have the same experiences to offer love and support as well.

Take some personal cards with your name and contact information so you can share with others and find someone to mentor you.

Encouraging others

One year I as I was wandering through the exhibit hall, a mom stopped me in the middle of the aisle. She told that me that since I was wearing a badge from the Leadership Conference I could answer her question. We stood there and talked for the entire next workshop session. We both went away encouraged.

You never know whom God is going to send your way. Be available to His work. It's possible that you can answer a curriculum question for a new mom while the exhibitor is busy. That just might be an appointment from God.

Go to a convention ready to give as well as receive.

Weekend get away

Two friends of mine consider the convention their much deserved get-away weekend. They save all year, book a suite, order room service, spend time in the spa, and, if available, get a massage. Oh yes, they do attend some workshop sessions but they don't spend much time in the exhibit all. They find it too hectic for their relaxation.

Whether it is with other moms or with your husband, just the weekend away and pampering yourself, can do more to encourage than a dozen workshop sessions. You don't have to buy your entire curriculum during that one weekend. Maybe sleeping in an extra hour and having one breakfast served to your room is just the luxury you need to be refreshed for the upcoming year.

I'm through home schooling. I don't need the convention.

Maybe you don't think that you need a convention because you are nearing the end of your homeschool season. The convention needs you. Hundreds of volunteers are needed for a smooth running convention. Veterans who may not need to attend every workshop session or spend time in the exhibit hall are needed to fill one of the many volunteer slots. Not only does this serve your state organization and the convention, but also provides a valuable service to younger homeschool parents.

Not Just Any Convention

Don’t just attend just any convention; attend one sponsored by your state organization. State homeschool organizations plan their conventions based on the needs of homeschoolers in their area. These events are “local” rather than regional, you can often attend one day without incurring hotel expenses, and have lower travel expenses.

Your state organization will be around mid-school year when you need help. Your convention attendance helps support the work these groups do on your behalf twelve months out of the year.

With thirty-nine events in thirty-two states, provinces, and nations, you’re sure to find one close by. Don’t miss the chance to be encouraged and be an encourager."

Mbuyi and Mong-Tham founded Exploring HomeschoolingTM to help other Christian parents discover the joy of homeschooling their children in the admonition of the Lord. They want to encourage parents to continue in their journey of raising up wonderful, loving, and God-fearing children. They are currently homeschooling their four children.

So, there you have it! Great reasons to attend a wonderful, and enriching homeschool conference this year. If you haven't given it much thought yet, i hope i helped you to decide to attend!