Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Disney--Day 1

Well, a long time ago, I promised a blog about our trip to Disney in April. Since we are now 56 days from our next trip, I guess it's time to follow through.

We spent 2 days at the All-Star Movies Resort. I currently don't have those photos available due to an unfortunate memory card incident. They are in snapfish and I don't know how to get them back on my computer without paying. Anyway, here's a disney photo of the ASMo.

The pool with Sorceror Mickey fountain

The room

When we got checked in, we crashed for a much-needed nap. We left for the airport at 5:15 a.m. that morning! Once we were rested, we headed to Downtown Disney. Katelyn was in awe of the World of Disney store and the giant Lego characters. Again, no pics available. :( Katelyn made her own princess crown and bought souvenirs for Charlotte and Aunt Joanna. Daddy coveted the monorail playset, but decided to hold out for something cheaper!

The next day, we were at Magic Kingdom bright and early for Extra Magic Hour. This is an awesome perk for resort guests to get into certain parks an hour before the general public. We just missed the "rope drop" ceremony, but were excited to see Chip & Dale in the Town Square. After a playful photo shoot and autograph session with those silly chipmunks, we were off to Fantasyland. Katelyn got to ride Cinderella's very own horse on the carousel. (Psst, it's the one with a gold ribbon on its tail.) In her words, it was her "first dream come true"! She got quite freaked out over the volume and "4-D" effects of Mickey's Philharmagic ("Milpharmagic", in Katelyn-ese), so we had to do some damage control. I was pretty irritated with her, but Randy calmed her down and we were off to more rides. We did quite a lot before lunch and rest time, but I won't bore you with the details.

After a rest in the room, we cleaned up and boarded a bus to the Magic Kingdom for dinner in Cinderella Castle! This was Katelyn's big birthday surprise, and she was so excited.

Josh & Daddy waiting to eat

Unfortunately, she got a little shy when she actually came face-to-face with The Princess in Blue herself! This is where we got our first bit of Disney magic. Cinderella and her royal photographer were so patient with her and took their time to draw her out of her shell so she could have a good photo to remember this by. Cinderella even personally escorted her to get her magic wand from the hostess. I thought this was the best picture!

The princesses

After dinner, we rode a few more things, then staked out a spot for the Spectromagic parade. We met a sweet girl from TN and her family. Talking to her helped Katelyn get excited about the parade and be brave when she really wanted to be scared. We thanked Lakeland's parents for sharing her with us, and went to find a good viewing location for the fireworks. At this point, Josh had fallen asleep in the Ergo backpack. We were too close to the castle and the fireworks freaked Katelyn out, so we headed for the exit. As we got farther away, she got more interested. Both kids konked out on the bus back to the resort and pretty much slept through getting pjs on and getting into bed.

Tomorrow, fun with Grammer & Grandaddy for Joshua and Katelyn get Mommy & Daddy to herself.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Just a little perspective

I'll be blogging our trip to Disney World very soon, I promise, but I wanted to share this with you all before I forgot. Just something to mull over this weekend.

I'm the 48,157,314 richest person on earth!

Discover how rich you are! >>

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Win a Free Ergo Baby Carrier!

Just wanted to give everyone a chance to win one of my favorite baby carriers. Randy just wore Joshua in this all through Magic Kingdom (pics to come soon, I hope) and it was really comfortable. Anyway, visit Along for the Ride to enter. Good luck, all!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Deep Thoughts #1

I realize that by titling this post "#1" I may be causing you to assume that I will make more posts like this one. Don't. You know you can't count on me to post reliably, let alone predictably. I don't usually post deep stuff on here. I save that for my personal conversations, but David's sermon yesterday bears some reflection, so here goes. Hope it's not too disjointed for you to follow.

For a sermon to touch my heart, it has to get through all the noise and distraction of my kiddos and my inner dialogue. Therefore yesterday's topic was pretty powerful. I won't bore you with a recap of the sermon. If you missed it, go to www.vrcc.net and listen from there.

What was important to me was my reaction. David asked, "What if you only spoke to your spouse or children as often as you speak to God in prayer?" Wow! In my case, that would be pretty silent. Which got me to thinking about my relationship with God.

Lately, it seems that I'm running in circles--take Katelyn to school, get Joshua down for his nap, do the laundry, clean the house, grocery shop, visit with my friends, call my mom, check my email, get Katelyn & Joshua down for a nap, rest, email, watch my Tivo'd shows, fix dinner, feed the kids, bathe the kids...Oh, yeah! Don't forget your new children's ministry job, get your clothes ready to consign, shop for deals to resell at consignment...The list goes on and on. And when I get a chance to sit and relax, what do I do? I channel surf, surf the Net (lots of surfing going on...), take a nap, read a book (no, not the Bible), talk on the phone. Almost anything to avoid being completely still & in communion with God. I go to church every time the doors are open. I write my checks. I teach classes. I greet visitors. I go to Home Teams. I do all the things a good Christian is supposed to do.

Did you notice that all those sentences start with "I"? Perhaps that's not a coincidence. Maybe I need to slow down and let God do some talking and some working. Here's the problem. Have you ever had someone that you were really close to? You talked all the time. You went out together. You told each other everything. Then somewhere along the way, for whatever reason, you drifted apart. One day, you see their profile on facebook. You want to message them and say, hey, what's up? Only now it's awkward. You haven't spoken in a while and you don't even know if they're married, have kids, have a job, remember you, whatever. That's how I feel with God right now. I know it's foolish, but I feel like if I say, "Dear Lord...", he'll look down and go, "Who's calling me? LaRae? Do I know her? Oh, yeah. Girl, where've you been? Why are you calling me now? Oh, you need something, huh? Feeling like you're at the end of your rope? Well, duh, you can't do it yourself." I know He's overjoyed when 1 of 100 sheep returns, but right now it just feels...embarrassing, somehow, to know that I've lost my way so badly. Is this my perfectionism rearing it's ugly head again? Is it evidence of me still trying to be in control?

Whatever it is, I have to figure out what this "personal relationship with Jesus Christ" looks like for me. I have a hunch it means turning off the noise (including my own mouth) and taking time to listen & remember that God has been faithful to me even when I'm not being particularly faithful to Him.

If you made it this far, thank you for reading. I have 2 requests. 1) Please remember me in your prayers right now. 2) Please don't tell me I'm being too hard on myself. I know I'm a good worker for the Lord. What I want to be is more in tune with The Spirit. I want my kids to know that I have a relationship with Jesus. I want them to know that church is not where we go to work, it's where we go to worship/adore/praise God and that we work because He is good, not because we are good.

Okay, aaaaaand, done.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

In the category of is this kid easy or what...

This is Joshua taking his breathing treatments for RSV/Pneumonia
And this is big sister Katelyn hiding from the noisy nebulizerTo all of you whose kids scream, cry and pitch a fit when you break out the breathing machine: I know this is not fair, but I'm sooooo relieved! What a trooper our little guy is!

In other news, I'm becoming a babywearer. Here are pictures of my wrap (named LaRae) and my sling (Jetson). Joshua loves being carried and it's so much easier than a bulky stroller for fairly short jaunts.

Monday, December 17, 2007


Okay, I've been tagged twice, both times by my sisters, so here goes...

Words that describe me using the letters of my middle name:
(sucks that my middle name is so long)
Eldest (all that birth order stuff really does ring true)
Loving (especially to my dear children)
Insightful (when I'm not completely exhausted)
Zany (not a whole lot of z adjectives out there)
Accomplished (at least I think so)
Bathroom Humor (this may surprise some of you, but I love a good fart joke!)
Eclectic (in my tastes-such range must be sign of genius)
Thoughtful (I do try...)
HSO's (hot sports opinions-I've got 'em!)

12 Random Christmas Facts:
1. Christmas is by far my favorite holiday! I love finding just the right gift and seeing the expression on the person's face when they open it. This is why I hate shipping gifts to people out of town. I would rather be there when they open it, even if they have to wait until July!

2. I usually decorate all out for Christmas, but this year we only have a tree and stockings out. I may get out a little more, but all of our surfaces are covered with kid stuff and I don't relish keeping little fingers off my precious snowmen, so they may be in storage for a couple years. At least they will seem all new when they re-emerge.

3. Our tree is 7 1/2 feet tall and pre-lit. I love it! Especially cause we got it for $75 dollars (originally over $275) after Christmas a couple years ago.

4. I'm the only one here that doesn't have a stocking made by my grandmother. My mom made mine when I was born.

5. This year's Christmas card was the first professional photo we've ever used. I think it turned out really well and may have to keep that as our new tradition.

6. I prefer to be at my own home for Christmas. When we are anywhere else, there tends to be too much hoopla and other people. It makes for cranky kids and, frankly, cranky LaRae.

7. This is Joshua's 1st Christmas and Katelyn's 4th. Don't really have point, but that's pretty random.

8. I love to decorate with snowmen, especially ones with blue hats, mittens, and scarves. BUT, I am thinking of changing to red/white peppermint or gingerbread men or both. Just an fyi if anyone is planning to add to my collection.

9. My mom used to always make cinnamon rolls for us to eat for breakfast on Christmas morning. We have done it a couple times since I've been grown, and it is fabulous. I would consider making this a tradition for my family, but it is a lot of work to do by yourself. And face it, I would be doing it by myself...

10. Running out of random Christmas facts. How about places I've spent Christmas morning: my childhood home in Woodstock, GA; my Grandma & Grandpa Brown's house in Farwell, MI; my Nana & Daddy Ray's farm in Lake Butler, FL; my Uncle Ralph's mountain house in Waynesville, NC; Randy's parents home in Monroe, LA; our first apartment in Irving, TX; an our home in Carrollton, TX.

11. How about a funny Christmas story? When I was 1 1/2, Santa came to see all us cousins at my Nana's farm in FL on Christmas Eve. While he was talking with us, my uncles realized that the utility shed out back (where all our Christmas presents were hidden) had caught on fire. So, they were outside frantically putting out a fire and trying to "save Christmas" while Santa distracted us inside. My cousin, Susan's, presents bore the brunt of the punishment, so in the true spirit of Christmas, we all (of course, unwittingly) contributed to Susan's "Santa pile" from our own stashes and were never the wiser until about 3 years ago, when Joanna finally stopped believing so they could tell the story! ;)

12. Here's a final memory. One time, when I my other sister, Shelly, was very sick, she was home from the hospital when Santa and his elves came to visit. For some reason, Santa decided to come to our house for a personal visit. I was so excited even though Shelly was too little to really get it anyway. I also remember the elf made us wait in my room until Santa left because she said the reindeer were shy and didn't want to be seen.

Okay, Joanna don't tag me again. I don't tag anyone because I don't want too. If there was an S in my middle name I would have put Strong-willed!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Thank You For Your Support!

Okay, you guys surprised me! I never expected the first 2 comments on my breastfeeding HSO's to be men, and I really thought you would all just ignore that part and focus on the other things. Shows how well I know my friends, huh? I even got Linda to come out of lurkdom to comment!

Anyway, not too much going on in our neck of the woods. Right now, we are dealing with a lot of crazy sleep stuff. We're trying to teach Katelyn to go to sleep on her own and stay asleep later than 5:30 a.m. No, this problem did not just start with the time change. Anyway, we have a book by "The Sleep Lady" that is very practical, so we are working our way through things. The real downer is that she is getting in trouble at school because she is so tired in the afternoons. Having some serious doubts about whether she should be at the this school at this time, but I had my first parent-teacher conference earlier this week and her teacher seems to think she'll snap out of it with more rest and more time.

Success! I wrote the above yesterday and saved it, and this morning Katelyn accomplished all the goals on her sleep chart! She was so proud to get stickers in every box and is so much happier and less whiney this morning. Keep your fingers crossed for school...