Monday, December 28, 2009

Finding Blessings in the impossible Pt. 2

On January 1st, I will be applying for an on-line weight-loss campaign called Mamavation. I followed along during the last campaign and lost 12 pounds but as an official Mamavation Mom there would be perks that would help me better reach my fitness goals. To all my friends on Twitter, please tweet @bookieboo and tell her why I should be the next Mamavation Mom. She's looking for a lot of support for me and I SOOO need to get healthier. I know I can't do it without the support!! My Twitter handle is @ElsklingDyr and you'll need to reference that if you tweet @bookieboo.

To better familiarize you with why I'm doing this and in hopes that it will help another mom in her journey, I would like to share part of my story. For myself, finding a kindred soul in Mamavation Mom, Alyssa Becthold, has already inspired me and given me a boost. Just knowing that someome understands what you've gone through and are going through makes me feel greatly supported.

I was told I might have difficulty getting pregnant due to a hormonal imbalance. At the time I weighed 108 pounds. My mother said I looked like I came from Auschwitz. I started working at Disneyland and that job didn't help any. It was such a fun job but I never sat down and I did nothing but walk for 8-12 hour shifts. My regular off time was 2AM and after work sometimes I'd go for doughnut runs or to Denny's with my friends. I ate the most fattening food I could find and I'd snack on candy bars. My parents said they'd take me to Walt Disney World if I could gain ten pounds. I tried so hard!! At times I got close but being a sickly child I caught everything that went around. Everytime I'd gain some weight I'd get sick and lose it all. I used to be called anorexic by everyone, even though it wasn't true, and remember even one time walking through Disneyland in my Indiana Jones costume and hearing someone say,"Oh my GOSH! Look at HER!" I turned around to look and realized that the girl was pointing at me. It didn't feel good to be scrutinized for being so thin. I don't know that anyone thinks about the opposite side of being obese, ya know? I mean it doesn't matter if you're too fat or too thin people will make fun of you. It hurts just as much when people make fun of you for being too skinny as it does when they make fun of you for being too fat. Make sense? I used to get full quickly so I also got into the habit of eating very fast so that I could finish my whole meal. I would relax my stomach so I'd look thicker instead of keeping my muscles taut. Then I started working at a bank. I went from walking nonstop for 12 hours a day and eating anything I wanted to standing in one place 8 hours a day and still eating anything I wanted. Since I had never done any formal excercise I never thought to start an excercise routine. I got up to 125 and thought I should probably start being careful but didn't really know how and since I'd never had to, it just wasn't a priority. Then I got married! So 30 pounds later and after trying to have children for a year I went to a doctor. She said she could see no reason that it wouldn't happen soon.I started working out at Curves with the idea that I could continue through a pregnancy. We kept trying and just about the time I decided I could be happy and fulfilled even if I never became a mother we took of for NYC for Christmas. I had the BEST time there and it was so relaxing and I was so HAPPY! Weeeellllll, let's just say that if Brody had been born a girl his name would have been Brooklyn. He was born in September and delivery was a nightmare. Pregnancy was the worst thing I have ever experienced. I had early contractions and was given several shots to keep them at bay but had to stop workng out. I was still throwing up after he was born and well, I could go on and on about pregnancy but back to delvery. It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be......until after. The doctor kept me waiting, fully dilated and ready to go on the table for hours! The baby's head did some damage sitting there for so long and on top of it the doctor performed a 4th degree episiotomy. She wasn't my regular doctor and when my regular doctor did come the next day and saw what she did he kind of freaked. He said there was no reason for her to do that and she didn't document why she had done it either. So, I had a repair surgery that didn't work and a second one that didn't fix me either. While I recovered from delivery and two surgeries I wasn't allowed to excercise so it took me a long time to lose the baby weight. Almost as soon as I'd done it and was set to rid myself of 30 more I got pregnant again. Because of the complications with Brody I was required to have a c-section. They said if I didn't, there would be no way to fix me again and since I wasn't fixed completely from the first time, well, obviously.............I'd be WAY worse off than I am now! So hoping for an easier pregnancy was just a hope. Rhys was transverse and so painful to carry because of his position. I lost his twin but because he was horizontal in my tummy I looked HUGE and people kept saying, "Are you sure it isn't twins?" not knowing I had lost one. Very hard! When Rhys was born I realized how much of a blessing the delivery complications with Brody were. Had it not been for that I might not have Rhys. The cord was wrapped around his neck three times and twice around his leg. Not being born c-section would have killed him or severly damaged his brain. During my pregnancy with him we were living with my sister because we were remodeling our house, which meant tearing it down! After Rhys was born I moved with the boys to my parents house over 100 miles from my home. My husband had to stay at home because of work so for the first five months of Rhys' life we only saw him on the weekends. Amidst all this we got a restraining order against our next door neighbors for threatening us and stalking. So it was an extremely stressful time and very hard to lose the weight. Rhys is two and I have lost the baby weight but can't seem to get rid of the excess 30 pounds. I have health problems that have made it difficult to workout, as well. Condritis, Sciatica, Sacroiliitis, Asthma, Fibromyalgia......and now for the past year I have been having convulsions after passing out and dizzy spells. I grew up passing out so that's no big deal but the convulsions are getting worse when I wake up. The last time I passed out during a blood donation, I didn't remember my family or where I was. I didn't know I was married or that I had kids and that WAS scary when I remembered it later. The dizziness has kept me from certain activities and I've fallen a couple of times. I have blind spots and migraine headaches, nausea.....let's just say a lot to work through! I have had an MRI and I'm waiting on some more tests. So while I don't know what's wrong with me yet, I know that I don't need to feel this lousy. I don't remember a day without physical pain of some kind and the neurologist was right when he guessed that I don't remember the last time I felt good. I'm on Cymbalta for depression...any surprise???

I'm ready to get healthier and feel better!!! I realize it's time to reach out for help. So I tell part of my story, not to have a pity party but to have the support of those who will love me even though I'm messed up!! Those who won't let me feel sorry for myself but will lift me up!!

God bless you and thanks for listening to what I felt it was time to share!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Finding blessings in the impossible: Part 1

A couple of weeks ago my husband went missing. He's found and fine and lucky I didn't kill him. Once a month He teaches a phlebotomy class out of town. Usually, we all go and stay with family. This time I stayed home with the baby who was sick with a fever of 104. I was very sad not to be going. For one thing, I love staying with my in-laws! They are fabulous! For another, we were to attend a going away party for my closest friend who was moving completely across the country. My husband went to the party and left Brody with his parents. His mom told him, "Stay out as late as you want." Meanwhile, I expect a good night call before bed when we are apart from each other. At about 1:30 AM I checked the time and figured the party must be swinging along and I'd call him at 2AM. I was only a little concerned that he might be out too late since he had to be up early the next morning to teach. He never goes to bed past midnight when he's going to teach! Shortly after I checked the time I got a call from his mom wondering if I had heard from him. She tried calling but his cell phone went straight to voicemail. Also not weird because his battery doesn't usually last a full day. I told her I would check in with him at the party. I tried his phone first just in case but, of course, no answer. So I called my friend's phone. Imagine my surprise when I found out Dave had left the party at around 10PM and I woke my friend up with my call. We'll skip ahead a few hours. Filling out missing persons is NOT easy. So many questions you never thought you'd be asked unless someone is dead. Any scars? Dentist's phone number? Recent photo? Any enemies? Did you fight? Any friends in the area? Six people out in the middle of the night looking for my husband. He called at around 4AM. My first instinct after I knew he was okay was NOT to be thankful but to think, "He better have a really good reason for this." It wasn't. He had gone to a co-workers house to play video games. My anger didn't last very long. I had to realize that his safety was what I had been praying for over the past 3 hours. Now that I had the answer I wanted I was mad about it. I really needed to be thankful that he was safe. In the end I am actually grateful to Dave. For the first time, in a crisis, I remembered to turn to God. He kept me calm, focused and strong. A year ago I would have said a quick, "Please let him be okay." but not this time. I have learned so much this past year and been through many trials that have not only made me stronger but have realy developed my relationship with God. It's an amazing feeling! Romans 8:28 says, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him". Dave didn't really do anything wrong having been allowed to not worry about rushing home to take care of Brody. But he should have called and paid more attention to the time since he was out so late. He learned something. Especially how much he is loved! I learned that there is no better place to turn than to God, who is ever reliable and faithful! I tell this story not to embarass or badmouth Dave but to show that out of awful circumstances we can all learn something. Especially me! And I have more peace than I've had before.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Disney University

Okay, I've been promising this for a long time now! Finally, I'm going to do it!
I worked at Disneyland from 1995-1996 in Costume Issue and Attractions. When you hire in, after quite a process and hours of paperwork where you sign your very own thoughts over to the company, you attend what is known as Disney University. Most jobs call this "orientation" but that would be too ordinary for Disney!! Disney University is merely learning more about the park and how it operates. You get a tour of Disneyland where they point out things that one might not normally notice. We will startat the beginning of the tour. The first thing you see when you enter Disneyland is Main Street. The buildings here are built in forced perspective and fashioned after Walt Disney's hometown of Marceline, Missouri. As you walk down Main Street heading into the park the buildings closer to you are larger and get smaller as you get closer to the hub. Disney wanted the street to look long and inviting. But at the end of the day as you exit, of course you get the opposite effect. You're tired and just want to get to your car, so the street appears much shorter. One of the shops on Main Street is Candy Palace where the candy makers make oh so yummy treats all day long. Click on "Candy Palace" above and you'll see a photo. Notice the three blue circles near the sidewalk? The other buildings have solid circles but not Candy Palace! There are little holes where they pump out vanilla scent in the summer and peppermint in the winter. This is also true of the Popcorn stands throughout the park. Ever noticed that even if the cart is empty you can still smell the buttery popcorn?

Okay, I can't possibly divulge all the secrets of Disneyland in one post. So we'll move on to what I call Disney Speak. Everything is done is show terms. Before Disney's California Adventure was built there was red concrete leading the ticket booths which were all in one long line. Disney wanted the guests to feel that they were walking a red carpet into a movie theater. You are not an employee, you are a cast member. There are no customers!! Everyone who visits Disneyland is your guest!!! A cast member's immediate "supervisor" is a Lead. Cast members are not allowed to sit, stand with your hands in your pocket, wear sunglasses that are too dark to see your eyes, drink or eat where the guests can see you, also known as on-stage. If you do any of these things on-stage it's called "bad show". Cast members must direct with at least two fingers. Never point with one finger as in some countries this is considered offensive. For men, you hair cannot touch your collar and yes there is a barber shop stage if your lead says your hair is too long. If you have too much facial hair there are vending machines backstage that sell razors.
Have I given you too much for one day? Well, we'll continue with the next post. Thank you for joining me at Disney University!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I'm not worthless!! or To no avail.......

I received an email today and boy was the timing right! I often feel that I have no strength yet I keep going. I often feel misunderstood and quite frequently I am. I make mistakes that I try to fix to no avail and that's defeating. I can't be perfect and I'm going to make mistakes. If I have apologized it's heartfelt and genuine. I have more that one flaw and one of them is apologizing. It's hard for me to do. I like to be right, after all, who likes to be wrong? But I'm working toward the opposite end of pride, which is humility. I don't always have to be right. In order for me to be right means that someone else has to be wrong. Get the picture? Maybe not, but I'm in a deep mood today and I know for myself what I mean. If anyone recieves an apology from me it's none other than a completely genuine thing. Have you ever had someone tell you to forget the past and move on? Heal thyself! But then in a cruel twist of fate the person who told you that won't forgive you when you've made a mistake and apologized for it?
One of the things I don't like about women and, really, why I get along better with men in general is because of the games women play. Hypothectical conversation:
Person 1, "You insulted me!"
Person 2, "How did I do that?"
Person 1, "Don't lie."
Person 2, "I'm not."
Person 1, "Well, if you don't know then I'm certainly not going to tell you."
Person 2, "Was it the comment I made yesterday?"
Person 2, "Well was it the other thing thing I said then?"
Person 1, "Are you serious? You really don't know?"
Person 2, "Well, I just made two guesses."
Person 1, "I'm not gonna play games with you."
Person 2, "I'm not playing games!"

Sounds like two women, huh? SURPRISE! It's not. Person 1 is a man.

So here's the email and while the part before the poem can be painful it's probably true. I am hurting and don't know how I can fix something when I don't know for sure what it is I'm supposed to fix. Maybe I'm stupid. It wouldn't surprise me. But that doesn't mean that I don't deserve a chance and for a friend to just come out and say what's on their mind. I'm not the one playing games here. I have feelings and problems just like the next guy. Even though I might not succeed at least I try and when I mess up I admit it. I'm not worthless!

God doesn't give you the people you want; He gives you the people you NEED... to help you, to hurt you, to leave you, to love you and to make you into the person you were meant to be.

One Flaw In Women

Women have strengths that amaze men....
They bear hardships and they carry burdens,
but they hold happiness, love and joy.
They smile when they want to scream.
They sing when they want to cry.
They cry when they are happy
and laugh when they are nervous.
They fight for what they believe in..
They stand up to injustice.
They don't take "no" for an answer
when they believe there is a better solution.
They go without so their family can have.
They go to the doctor with a frightened friend.
They love unconditionally.
They cry when their children excel
and cheer when their friends get awards.
They are happy when they hear about
a birth or a wedding.
Their hearts break when a friend dies.
They grieve at the loss of a family member,
yet they are strong when they
think there is no strength left.
They know that a hug and a kiss
can heal a broken heart.
Women come in all shapes, sizes and colors.
They'll drive, fly, walk, run or e-mail you
to show how much they care about you.
The heart of a woman is what
makes the world keep turning.
They bring joy, hope and love.
They have compassion and ideas.
They give moral support to their
family and friends.
Women have vital things to say
and everything to give.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Operation: Christmas Child

Every year for several years I have put together a shoebox for Operation: Christmas Child. It's always felt good to know that I could help make a poor little child who has nothing, smile an extra big smile on Christmas day. Last year has been the greatest so far! I took my 3 year old son shopping for the shoebox gifts and he was SO excited. It was the first year he understood what we were doing. He decided he would fill a box for a boy his age and I would fill a box for a girl. He put everything he liked into the cart and was very disappointed when I explained that we couldn't fit ALL the toys into a shoebox, especially a $200 two foot dinosaur. He sorted out his favorites and we got creative to fit it all in. It was so amazing to see how excited he was. I was a little afraid that he would think he could keep it all when we got home but he knew exactly what we were doing and it warmed my mother's heart to see him share the love of Christ and the spirit of Christmas. If you've never done this before I highly recommend it! Especially if you have children; what a way to teach them how demonstrate compassion. For more stories on what Operation: Christmas Child has meant to others click the button below. For more information on how to participate or to find a drop off location near you click on the title of this post.

your life your blog

Thursday, October 29, 2009

When the crypt doors creek.....

Welcome foolish's time to Trick or Tweet! Check out the party here for prizes and a whole lot of fun all day long! Until 5 PM PST, for each tweep who can tell me (@ElsklingDyr) the name of Micah Gower's condtition using the #MicahGower hashtag I will donate 10 cents to the Micah Gower Foundation! On with the scavenger hunt!! Find the clue at the bottom for your chance to win a See's 1pound box of chocolates! The 13th tweet wins!!

I was going through some photos to see what I could do for a Halloween post and while these photos aren't necessarily from Halloween they do have a sense of creepines about them. These two photos are of my husband and myself the year we met working at Disneyland.

These here below are photos from our summer trip to Pennsylvania.
Can you see the ghosts in the haunted house or in the spooky tunnel?

Does anybody like spider webs?

We went deerspotting at midnight one night on the family farm. In an overgrown cluster of trees lies.......... Mother but why is there no date of death?

Can you see the Headless Horseman at the end of the tunnel?

Now here's your clue!
Look for the photo out of place,
Among those departed from life's long race,
Near you will find the words you seek
Meant to read and then to tweet.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Hollywood Forever Part 3

There is special Providence in the fall of a sparrow
If it be now 'tis not to come
If it be not to come, it will be now
If it be not now, yet it will come
The readiness is all.
Good night sweet prince
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

William Shakespeare
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Hollywood Forever part 2 or "Momma, I'm gonna give you a collage." "No, honey. That's massage."

While I was writing this three part post my four year old gave me a very nice "collage"!

In case you haven't noticed, I love old movies. I also love the art deco style. Which made this tour perfect for me. No one paid me for my opinions on Hollywood Forever Cemetary or the ADSLA. I do hope to attend more events by them!

Hollywood Forever

A few weeks ago I attended a tour of Hollywood Forever Cemetary with the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles. It was so interesting! I have always enjoyed visiting cemetaries because of the history. I love the different style of headstones and they say so much about the different time periods; the epitaphs about the way people lived. I have never been afraid of cemetaries like some. I believe that there are only bones there. Peoples' souls go one of two places and since my faith in the grace of Jesus tells me where I'm going, I have nothing to fear there!

Why do we mourn departed friends
or shake at death's alarm?
'Tis but the voice that Jesus sends
to call them to his arms.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Things I learned from my aunt

I know when I post things here it auto sends to my Facebook account so, Amina if you're reading this and have not been to your mother's grave you may not want to read further. Your mom was a very special person and I loved her very much. I love you too!!

My Aunt Peggy passed away on August 15, 1998. She died from lung cancer but never smoked. Those of you out there who smoke around your kids, well my grandfather smoked like a train around Peggy until he passed away when she was a pre-teen. The doctors think that had something to do with it. She died way too young and left me with many unintended lessons. Like, you really should use your good china any day you feel like using and even if you have children. She had 5 kids and was saving her china for the time when the kids were older and it wouldn't get broken. That day never came. She didn't know how to play the piano but she saw one she wanted and her husband bought it for her. She always laughed even when she had cancer. After surgery and chemo she , of course, lost her hair. Without her wig she made fun of herself. She picked out a wig that she liked and the style name was "Violet". She didn't always wear her wig because it itched but when she wore it she became Vaahlut, the southun' belle. She'd slip into a different walk and talk when she put it on. Except while walking down the aisle at my wedding. My wedding day was on her birthday and that's how she spent her last one. Doing something for me. I wanted to remember her birthday in song at the reception but amidst the turmoil of the day, I forgot. How could I have forgotten? But I did. She died nine months later, just days after her youngest turned eight.
I think I miss her at Easter most because of how fun she made it. We always had a hunt for the adults too and she would run you over to get to the candy first! Always in good fun and it's such a special memory. Even with that many kids and stresses she found time to do things she enjoyed. She learned how to decorate cakes and started crafting. She liked to decorate her house and she had an appreciation for pretty things. I loved shopping with her and wish we could have done it more. One of the most special times I had with her were my lunch breaks from one of my first jobs. I worked at Mr. T.V.Video, just a few miles from her house , while I did my two week training for a different store. She had me to her house for those lunch breaks and I had her all to myself. She had a stash of sweet treats she hid from the kids because if they found it she'd never get any but.....sshhhhh.......she shared with me! She could not eat a burrito without the thing falling apart and turning into the messiest thing you've ever seen. But she always laughed at herself!! And she could always make people laugh with the most mundane circumstances! She was amazing.

I was feeling kind of down one day a couple of months ago and stopped by her grave. Drawn there my God I'm sure! In reading her headstone I was reminded of a funny story. Soon after she passed away I visited her grave and it had on it a verse, "God is love, and she that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in her. John 4:16 The Bible says "he" or "one" but they made it "she" referring to Aunt Peggy of course. A few days later a girlfriend at work was feeling down because she didn't have a boyfriend and felt her time was running out. Knowing she had a heart for God I passed on to her an encouraging card and wrote in it John 4:16. I couldn't remember all the words exactly and I knew she kept a Bible at work so I just wrote the scripture reference. I went back to my work station and wanted to try to memorize the verse so later in the day when business slowed down I looked up John 4:16 and read each word very slowly in horror........"He said to her,"Go call your husband." Even in death, unitentionally, my Aunt Peggy made someone laugh. After I explained the mistake, my friend said the laugh made her feel better even though the original verse was encouraging! Remembering that story lifted my spirits. So it wasn't a feeling that I was close to her or anything like that that made me feel better, because I didn't feel that. The fact the she could make so many people happy and the memory of making a woman who was sad over being manless by uplifting her with the wrong Bible verse, that was my aunt. That lifted my spirits. Aunt Peggy is in heaven! She's not in that grave, oh, her body is but she isn't!! She's laughing and having a good time in heaven! That lifted my spirits too. I always knew my aunt loved me, truly loved me. And I think that's why God led me there. I wish she could've met my boys but if I can teach them what she taught me then she's still made a difference in their lives. Look up!!
Oh, and the verse on her headstone should be referenced as 1 John 4:16

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

In Touch Magazine Registration - In Touch Ministries - Dr. Charles Stanley 2009

This is a great magazine for men and women looking for daily inspiration, hope, and encouragement!! I have loved reading it and hop you will too.
In Touch Magazine Registration - In Touch Ministries - Dr. Charles Stanley 2009

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Magic Kingdom

The first thing to strike me when I enter the Magic Kingdom is the size of Cinderella’s castle. California’s Sleeping Beauty castle is dwarfed by it! The whole park is very much more spread out however the attractions are very similar. The major differences in attractions is what FL has that CA doesn’t…..anymore. They still have Country Bear Jamboree, Carousel of Progress, Tomorrowland Transit Authority or Peoplemover to us Californians and Tom Sawyer Island. For those of us who remember these lost treasures it’s a refreshing taste of childhood that we don’t see anymore at Disneyland. Then there’s the stuff they have we never did have in CA. Mickey’s PhilharMagic is a fabulous 3-D show, Hall of Presidents is like Great Moments with Mr. Linclon on steroids, and Stitch’s Great Escape. We, here in CA, also have stuff they don’t have in FL, such as Matterhorn, which is not in any park in WDW!! We also have Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye which is one of the best rides in the Park! AND we have the one and only original Enchanted Tiki Room!!! FL completely ruined theirs with Zazu and Iago screeching and rapping through the whole thing. My nephew actually cried!!! There Haunted Mansion is prettier and so is their Pirates but not necessarily better. Liberty Square and New Orleans Square are very different and both are a nice place to get good food and relax in a soothing blend of architecture. So, if you would have asked me in 1989 I would have said Disneyland is the winner but there have been so many changes in both that a visit to each Magic Kingdom on both coasts is warranted if you can afford to!! Little known fact about Magic Kingdom in FL is that you can get a great haircut on Main Street!! If it’s your child’s first haircut they’ll receive some mouse ears fully embroidered and a certificate. For anyone…..all the glitter you want!!

Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom is most definitely a Disneyfied Zoo but to me that’s all it is. It is the hottest of all the parks temperature-wise having very little shade and even less of a breeze. It’s the park to be missed if you’re going to miss one, in my opinion. But then we are full of zoos and botanical parks in SoCA. The only true highlight of this park for me was the DinoLand USA area!! They have an attraction comparable to Mulholland Madness in Disney’s California Adventure called Primeval Whirl. SO MUCH FUN!!! The difference is that the cars spin as it goes on the track and MM does not. Big difference!

The last time I was there Expedition: Everest was closed so I have not been on that one. Some have said that this is Matterhorn but if you ask an Imagineer, Everest is a completely different mountain and the track is similar to Disneyland's Indiana Jones and the Temple of hte Forbidden Eye. Oh, they will also say it is a Yeti on the attraction and not the Abominable Smowman. Umm, aren’t they the same thing?

Walt Disney World Resorts

I've had some people asking me questions about Walt Disney World. I recently posted comments on another blog and decided to post them here. There is so much to say about this incredible and truly magical place! These posts however are short and don't go into detail. If anyone has any questions please feel free to ask and I'll be happy to answer!!

"While I love Disneyland, if you’re comparing the resorts themselves then it’s WDW all the way, hands down, make no mistake about it, waaaaaaayy better! WDW is comprised of four theme parks, two water parks and over 23 resort hotels. Disneyland Resort is comprised of two theme parks and three resort hotels. ‘Nuff said?

If you’re going to compare WDW’s Magic Kingdom and Disneyland Resort’s Disneyland, Downtown Disney in either CA or FL, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s California Adventure respectively then that is where the ONLY comparisons can be made. Even then there really is not much that is comparable. We’ll start with Downtown. Florida’s is a village of shopping and California’s is a promenade. Florida’s includes Disney Quest Indoor Interactive Theme Park. 5 floors of every video game you could imagine and some you will have never even dreamed of. You can climb into a pirate ship and fight pirates on a giant surrounding screen and go whitewater rafting with a boat and paddles. You can even build your own roller coaster and ride in it! Then there’s La Nouba the only permanent Cirque du Soleil venue the east side of the Mississippi. California’s has some shopping and some dining. If my fellow California natives don’t hate me then follow along……"


EPCOT is the most unique of the parks and CA does not have one to compare. Future World has some interesting pavilions as Disney calls them but the very best part of the whole entire Future World is Mission: SPACE! There is no ride like it in any of the other parks on either coast. It is the must see of Future World!! Spaceship Earth is a good attraction and Universe of Energy is pretty funny. However, with Christian Creationists like myself and our gracious hostess of FD2DAB the evolution theory should just have had no part in the attraction. Test Track left me with a “Huh?” reaction and was not worth the 1 and 1/2 hour wait. It’s like riding Mr. Toad with a quick burst of speed at the end. The Land is a good place to get food and learn about hydroponics.

World Showcase should have been a stand alone theme park! You can spend days in it’s wonder!! As a Norwegian I must point out that it wasn’t listed in the blog! But Norway has THE friendliest people, unlike France. The cast members in each country are actually on a work program from that country. So when you go to Morocco they are all Moroccans. This can lead to some language barriers but it also adds to the feeling of being in another country. That said, these representations are of the smaller villages and areas so if you do ever visit these real countries, it might not be what you saw at WDW, however they are fairly authentic. Insider tip: When visiting EPCOT most people start at the front so start at the back and work your way forward.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Day in the Life of Us

Preface: I started this post last Tuesday night. I finished it this morning but somehow my computer didn't save after I clicked save and I had to start the last half over again. So it's a few days late but after you read it you may understand why. I know I can't be the only one! Please share with me your day to day!!

I have insomnia. I go for a couple of weeks without much sleep and then I sleep, really super hard for two weeks at the most. Right now I'm in a super hard sleep week. In the wee hours of the morning I hear the screams and I can't move. Dave wakes up and sits there so I tell him it's Brody. He gets up and runs to our son while I still can't move and I'm seeing strange patterns in my vision. I never heard Dave come back and I never heard the alarm go off four times. I never made Dave his breakfast, poor guy. But I had to wake up when the baby was plopped into bed with me and I got a kiss good-bye from Dave. Rhys slides off the bed and heads for the bathroom. He emerges with his tongue sticking out, Dave's deodorant in one hand and my toothbrush in the other. He has licked the deodorant and decides to brush his teeth with my toothbrush. I take it all away and wipe his mouth out. Rhys wants breakfast.......right now. So I go downstairs and make us a nice healthy one consisting of vanilla yogurt with granola and blueberries. Rhys and I go back upstairs and Brody wakes up much later than usual after his night of nightmares and cuddling with Daddy. He wants to play a video game.........right now. So I set the timer for ten minutes, being too tired for arguing, and turn on "the racing game." I decide to call my brother while the boys are occupied because I told him I'd call him yesterday. We talk for a little bit and Brody decides that this course is too hard, and no I don't want the motorcycle and Rhys "stop touching the control because you're going to mess me up." I just get him going and happy when the timer goes off. I'm still talking on the phone and turn everything off which sets Brody to screaming. Still trying to have some kind of a conversation I tell him to cry in his room if he's going to be that loud but he refuses and screams all the more. He gets a scolding from me and then lays on the floor. So Rhys decides to climb and step on him which sets Brody to screaming. I pull Rhys off and he tries to be more careful which makes Brody happy for about two seconds. Rhys decides that it's too boring to be gentle and sits on Brody's head. This kind of thing goes on until I hang up and Brody decides that he is ready to eat. We all head downstairs and Brody eats a bagel. I tell him I need to call his grandparents and ask a quick question and he says it's okay he'll be quiet. So I call. But of course he isn't quiet and I try to hurry with my phone call. Brody finishes his bagel and we go into the other room. I make the ultimate mistake of sitting on the floor with them. They decide that they both need me.........right now. And I become swarmed with only two can all that swarming be only two boys?! I am screaming and being violently attacked while my dad listens in helpless at the other end of the phone line. They think this is hilarious and I can't help but laugh. But it's the only laughter for the rest of the day. When I finish my conversation, less hair, more bruises and ten minutes later, I notice that something stinks. "Brody, did you go stinky this morning?" "Yes, Momma." "Did you wipe your buns?" "Ummmmm, no." As I turn around, I notice that Rhys has undressed himself and removed his diaper. Up we go to the bathroom for a bath. A quick one, as we are supposed to meet Dave for lunch. I turn the water on and get Brody ready to get in just as Rhys grabs the pump off of the baby wash bottle and drops the whole thing into the half full tub. (Notice at this point I am still saying half full.) It has turned into a bubble bath which now neither child wants to leave. Too bad. When the bath is over Brody wants to watch his Pooh movie.........right now. Realizing this will keep him out from underfoot as I prepare lunch I turn it on for him. It is now 11:46 and we are supposed to be leaving. It is a cold day so I make Mac and Cheese. Remembering that I need to print a coupon for a book I need before Saturday I get on-line while the water is boiling. Dave sends me an instant message and wants to know why I'm still at home. When I explain the stinky pants he is understanding and asks if I would rather stay home. I have already started our lunch and kept the baby up from his nap and the are expecting to go see Daddy so I press on. I yell to Brody to put on his socks and shoes. Two minutes later he hasn't moved so I tell him again and he argues. I tell him to put his socks and shoes on...........right now. He does. I throw our lunch into a bag and we head out. I try to take a quicker route and I'm so concentrated on how to get to his work that way that it's where I go instead of our pre-arranged meeting place. I'm at a red light at the intersection by his building. But wait! What's this? Dave is crossing the street right in front of me on his way to our meeting place. I scream out the window but he has his iPhone earbuds in his ears. I try a few more times and he looks my way. I quickly clear a spot on the front seat and he runs to get in. As he opens the door and climbs in he accidentally kicks one of Brody's toys out the door and into the street but it rolls under the car out of reach. Brody starts crying and the light turns green. I make my turn and Dave said something that confused me so I pulled into his office parking lot. I asked him which way to go and in my confusion I step on the brake instead of the gas. I pull into a parking spot telling him that I am unsafe to drive at this point and we head toward our dear fountain where we normally eat down the street. But Brody is still crying and begging for Daddy to get his toy. We drive that direction and see his toy rolling all over the place in the face of traffic. Dave makes a u-turn and pulls into a gas station. He gets out and crosses the street in hopes of being able to get the toy. Success!! Now it's too late to get to the fountain so we go back to his office building and park. Brody wants to sit in Daddy's lap so Dave gets him out of his seat. In my haste to leave home I forgot forks and plates. Luckily, I remember before Dave leaves his office so I call him and he grabs a couple of forks. Dave decides he better sit in the back and feed Rhys off the lid of the storage container so he hops in the back of the van and Brody sits in front with me. Dave can't feed himself and Rhys while holding the lid and the fork. Brody is very squirmy and I decide it will be easier if I just feed him instead of cleaning the carpet. So, Dave feeds Rhys, I feed Dave and Brody and myself. Then lunch is over and Dave has to go back inside leaving me to finish feeding Rhys and Brody. Now, I need to run over to Borders and buy Tony Curtis' new book, American Prince. We are going to the Jules Verne Festival on Saturday and Tony Curtis will be there! I park and take the boys in the store. I search where I saw it last with no luck but it's hard to read the titles when Brody is whining at me every 10 seconds that he is ready to go in the elevator. Finally, I say yes and when someone else pushes the button before he gets there he starts to cry. When we do get to the second floor it is completely torn apart and they are rearranging everything. I look for the right section and stumble upon a book called Coraline: A Visual Companion. My friend Shane Prigmore did the character design so I try to see if he's in it but Rhys will not hold still and keeps running away. I chase him down three times and finally get a good hold on his wrist but he decides it will be a good idea if he goes limp. I decide it's not a good idea and a battle of wills ensues. I win but he continues to scream. I give up looking through Coraline (sorry Shane) and continue my search for the section I need. I find it but no American Prince. So I ask a twenty something girl if she knows where I can find Tony Curtis' autobiography. I am shocked and stand there...stunned....staring at her....when she asks, "Who's he? I've never heard of him." Realizing that my reaction was not even close to being hidden I stammer, "I'm sorry, I just can't believe that you've never heard of him." I regain my composure and she looks in the computer for the book. It's downstairs. Off we head to the elevator where Brody is happy because he gets to push the button this time. Holding a writhing Rhys, I find my book! When I go to pay, I sit Rhys on the counter because he's stinkin' heavy. Not a good idea. He finds the can of pencils....and the gift cards.....and the candy. Now Brody is begging for a candy bar, No, now a ball, No. On the way out he just has to play with a ball for a second. We leave and head for the car. Rhys doesn't want to go in the car and makes his body just as straight and stiff as he can. When I finally get us on the road Rhys is screeching and Brody is yelling at him to stop. Fifteen minutes later we get home and I put Rhys' to bed. Brody wants to play his Happy Meal game. We go upstairs and I turn on the computer. The doorbell rings and I run for it because the doorbell is right outside the door of the room where Rhys is sleeping. If I take too long getting to the door and it's the neighbor boys then the younger one will start pounding on the door. I did, it is and he does. They want their ball from my backyard. I go to get their ball and Brody starts crying because I won't let him go outside with me because he doesn't have his shoes on. I throw the ball back over the fence and argue with Brody all the way back upstairs about his shoes. We sit down and I put the laptop on my lap when the doorbell rings again. I take off again but not fast enough because there is now pounding. They need their ball again so I go and throw it back again but this time Brody doesn't argue. Whew! We get settled again and, wait, what's that? Yes, the doorbell again. I go down again and throw the ball over again and go upstairs again and just sit down again, when the baby starts to cry. I get him and while he is playing we make another attempt at the computer. Rhys loves the computer, especially the power button. He pushes it, Brody screams and I restart the computer. This happens a couple of times and the boys decide they need a snack. We all head downstairs and get something to eat. It must be nearly time for Dave to get off work. I glance at the clock and it's 2:30. SIGH It's about this time that I remember it's Date Night and my sister will be bringing her two boys over for us to babysit. I don't remember much between this realization and the time that my sister's family arrived at my house so I'll pick it up from there. Our four boys love each other and have so much fun a very high volume. After my sister and her husband leave and Dave gets home we have dinner. When it's all over and the milk is spilled by the baby and the potatoes are flung and half the dinner is uneaten the boys go play. I clean up and Dave plays with the boys. Finally, it's bedtime and they all get ready for bed. We put Rhys in the guest room so that Dave can paint his room. The three other boys all decide to sleep in Brody's room. There is argument over the nighttime music and where one should sleep and I need more blanket. They finally settle in and we tuck them in for the night.....or at least a few minutes. Dave goes to paint Rhys' room and I start this blog post. First the oldest one come out because the younger one needs a drink of water. I get the water and take it to him. I sit down and a few minutes later the oldest comes out again the complain that the little boys are too loud and he can't hear the The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd. I go in and tell the little ones to settle down. Then I try again myself to settle in on the couch. Next the oldest one and the youngest one emerge to complain that the other little one keeps wanting them to move because he doesn't like where he is laying. I go in and settle everyone in again. Next the little one I just settled appears and says he wants the others to move. I offer to let him sleep in my bed and he agrees so I tuck him in there and head for the couch yet again. A few minutes later I hear crying coming from my room. I go in and check on him and he tells me that he needs his shirts. These are his comfort items so I go into Brody's room to get them. I open the door to hear the two boys talking at the same time. The little one is telling the older one a story and the older one is telling him to stop so he can hear Dr. Floyd. I quiet them both, get the shirts and take them to the little one on my bed. He settles in and I drag myself to the couch. But a few minutes later I hear knocking on the front door and go down to let my sister and brother in law in the house. Dave comes out to say hi and says, "They went right down. No one even got up!"

Thursday, May 14, 2009

"Oh, yeah?!"

That's a quote from Rhys this time! It's his favorite new word. Well, this is a short post just to let everyone know about my new blog called From Our Couch. It features reviews on kids television shows. I am very excited to be doing this and I decided it needed a spot of it's own!! Soon I will be seperating the info in my blogs to highlight the personal insights, the freebies, and the reviews. In the very near future I will also be reviewing products for Leap Frog!!! Stay tuned for more from Everything Stacy!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

"Are you kidding me?"

No, Brody! I'm not kidding! Check this out, I was selected as a guest blogger on Miscellaneous Finds 4 U. Yay! I'm so excited!! Can you tell?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

"You can't go up the stairs with your hands. Just your feet."

Brody was so right! I should never have tried that. Well, some things work and some things don't, right? I told you about some sites I was using to get free samples. Let me refresh your memory:

Freeflys says "Cheap is good but free is better!" Today I requested a Free Sample of Quaker® Dark Chocolate Raspberry Almond True Delights! Sounds yummy! They also have soooo many categories to choose from and will send you e-mails to remind you that you need to get more free stuff. I just joined another one today called Shop4Freebies that had a lot of good stuff for free. I ordered hair care products and rice cake samples and GoodNites which will come in handy for my 3 year old. I also requested a potty training DVD that has songs and stuff to make going potty fun!!! Is that possible? I guess I'll find out when it comes. I'll share some more ways to save money and earn gift certificates next time.

Well, these sites worked great. So, I got the Quaker® Mini Delights in Chocolatey Drizzle. It's a 90 calorie snack pack and oh, so good! I was pouring every little last crumb into my mouth. You've gotta try them!!! Unfortunately, the GoodNites® didn't work out so well. They leaked. And they were boxer style! Hellllo. What? I guess my son didn't complain but I can't see that wearing big paper shorts is very comfortable. I am right now this very minutes licking a Quaker® Simple Harvest All Natural Multigrain Chewy Granola Bar (could they have made the name any longer?) out of my teeth. I kinda want to know what happened to the Dark Chocolate Raspberry Almond True Delights. Nevertheless, it was tasty but a little too sweet for me. That said, I can pronounce everything on the label!! I just received the Huggies® Pull-Ups potty training DVD so I'll let you know how fun they make going potty! I can hardly wait.

I said I would get back to telling you about more ways to save money and earn gift certificates. So, my favorite website site for earning gift certificates so far is MyPoints. Here's how it works. Become a member for free (duh!) then go shopping! So, if you want to buy from Old Navy then go to MyPoints and click on SHOP, look through the hundreds of stores until you find Old Navy (or you could do it the easy way and put Old Navy in the search line....boooorrrrriiiiing!). Click on the store name and it takes you straight to their website. Right now they are offering 4 points per dollar at Old Navy and that is on top of the sale prices you will find on the website. Every store has different point rewards and they have so many fabulous stores. FAO Schwarz, Sephora, Gap, Home Depot, Banana Republic, Apple Store, Avon, Babies 'R' Us, Barnes and Noble, Bath & Body Works, Bose, Cheaptickets, Leap Frog, Lord and Taylor, Priceline, I mean I could go on forever! When you make your purchase through the MyPoints website the points are credited to your MyPoints account. They will also send you offers for bonus points and you will earn 5 points for every e-mail you read. The offers are always different but they are always great. I've been thinking about sponsoring a child through Christian Children's Fund for a long time. I put things to the back of my mind to bring up to my hubby and then I always forget. Well, I got an e-mail from MyPoints and the offer was for CCF! They were offering 750 points to sponsor a child. I finally remembered to speak with my husband and I got a 755 point reward (remember 5 points to click through the e-mail) for something I was going to do anyway! I am a very forgetful girl and hardly ever remember to go to MyPoints first. So, I'll go to Old, place an order and then remember that I would have earned points for it. UGH! Well, even with my forgetful brain I have earned 3 gift cards worth $50 each. Just for clicking a button in an e-mail!! Now, redeem your points for gift cards by clicking on REWARDS. Again, you can choose from some great stores like Old Navy (shocker!) and Kohl's and , oh, I don't know just a ton of stores!! You can also earn points by playing games but I haven't tried that yet. When you sign up be sure to refer your friends because when your friend joins and earns 250 points then you'll get 250 points too. Now who wouldn't want 250 points extra? So, if you want to sign up and help me get extra points then leave me a comment with your e-mail and I'll refer you. If, you don't want to help me get extra points :( you should still sign up yourself. Free money people!!

Oh, and no I didn't really try to go up the stairs with my hands. I have no idea why Brody said that. He must've been considering the idea.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"My throat hurts when I spit at it."

"You mean swallow?", I said. Brody insisted that he must wear pajamas today, all day, because he had a sore throat. Amazing how it cleared up when he wanted to go outside and blow bubbles. Brody, with his little brother in tow, set out to catch bubbles with his teeth. He caught one. When he decided that his teeth weren't the best option he promptly switched to barbecue tongs. Rhys, wanting to be like his big brother, grabbed the closest match to barbecue tongs, a rubber mallet. Of course, the tongs being too tight to be effective, Brody quickly abandoned that idea too. Rhys let go the mallet. Lo and behold he finally found the perfect thing. My little boys danced with glee catching bubbles with their hands. Imagine that!

Friday, April 17, 2009

"Momma, can you please not do that anymore?"

He can't really be saying this! Did he really just say that?! Ever since Brody could sit in a high chair we've had this routine. I'd wipe his little face and he'd try to eat the towel, as I'm sure all babies do. But I'd let him have it when I was done and say, "Missed a spot." As he got older our routine changed. He'd stick out his tongue and I'd say it. Then when he could talk he'd say, "You missed a spot." and stick out his tongue. Then he'd wipe his own mouth and I'd come to do the parts he'd really missed and I'd say it and he'd stick his tongue out. Then we moved in with my sister to have our house remodeled. I continued the tradition there but when Rhys was born we moved to my mom and dad's house while Dave stayed behind to work. When Brody ate, my mom would get the spots we missed but she didn't know about the tongue. When he stuck it our at her she was a little confused and I had to explain. Eventually, because she kept forgetting, I think, he quit getting his tongue wiped. When we moved back into our house I started up our eating ritual but Brody had forgotten. I said, "Missed a spot." and he just looked at me waiting for me to wipe his face. I told him to stick out his tongue and I dabbed at it. He said, "Why did you do that?" I could not believe that he didn't know. I explained it to him and he laughed. We've been doing it again ever since....until this morning and that's what he said!! I must've looked pretty heart broken. He quickly said it was okay if we kept doing it. I don't ever want my kids to feel like I'm laying a guilt trip on them so we'll see if he asks to do it at lunch. Maybe I won't argue if he wants to do it but I just can't keep him a baby forever. I just don't want to lose the special things that we have. The stupid little things like dabbing at his tongue with a wet paper towel and saying, "Missed a spot."

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

"I swallowed thrreee pennies!"

Oh, Brody! Not the best way to save money!! Okay, moms, I told you my next post would have more tips on how you can save money , right? Check out this site to learn about how you can not only save money on things that you already buy but how you can make money too! I just learned about this and am so excited to get started myself!!!! I've been talking to people who have saved so much! Please leave me some comments and let me know what you think. More to come so stay tuned.......

Monday, March 23, 2009

"That sounds wonderful good!"

Brody was referring to Mac and Cheese for lunch but for me and most moms, it's all about a good deal or better yet....FREE!! I'm sure all of us are feeling the economic crunch in one way or another. My husband and I prefer that as long as we are able, I will remain a stay-at-home mom. I am so blessed to be able to do that and am well aware that not a lot of moms are! Well, in my own little way I want to help our situation. I have discovered so many ways to save money on the web... well I'm just so excited about it that I had to share it with the rest of you moms!! Have you ever bought a brand of diapers that leaked and then you can't return them? Or bought a snack food that tasted terrible? Or a beauty product that didn't work? Well, the list goes on and on, doesn't it?! There are several sites that link you to companies that will send you free samples of hundreds of items and they change often!!!
GoFreebies "Links to Free Stuff" will send you a daily e-mail with all the new and featured freebies of the day and they have a Daily Prize Winner for a $10 gift certificate.
Freeflys says "Cheap is good but free is better!" Today I requested a Free Sample of Quaker® Dark Chocolate Raspberry Almond True Delights! Sounds yummy! They also have soooo many catagories to choose from and will send you e-mails to remind you that you need to get more free stuff. I just joined another one today called Shop4Freebies that had a lot of good stuff for free. I ordered hair care products and rice cake samples and GoodNites which will come in handy for my 3 year old. I also requested a potty training DVD that has songs and stuff to make going potty fun!!! Is that possible? I guess I'll find out when it comes. I'll share some more ways to save money and earn gift certificates next time. Let's all continue to enjoy the party!!
Ultimate Blog Party 2009

Saturday, March 21, 2009

"I'm joining the party" or "Brody, please don't stand on your brother's head."

Ultimate Blog Party 2009

Okay, so there are words I NEVER thought I would hear come out of my mouth. Like, "Because I said so!" but that's for the obvious reason that we all hated to hear that from our own parents mouths. Then there's the words I never thought I'd hear for a totally different reason. One of those reasons is that I just never thought of certain words ever linking together in one sentence. I was on the phone and didn't really hear myself until my friend started laughing and then I thought to myself, "Oh my gosh! Did I actually just hear myself say, "Brody, please don't stand on your brother's head."? I did! Did I? NO! Yes, I really did! Here's the thing that's really crazy to me. Brody saw what he wanted and the way to get taller was to stand on his little brother's head. So did he see a stool in his mind? Or did he see his brother's head? Did he even stop to think about what he was doing? According to Brody, nothing was going through his head. How is that possible?! Is this a boy thing? And then I am reminded that I started this blog because of the crazy and wonderful things I hear, coming not only out of my own mouth, but out of his. What memories! Oh, the joys that children bring. Without them could we laugh at ourselves as much as we do? Could we laugh, in general, as much as we do? So, this time my thoughts are not about what he said but about what I said and maybe in future I'll reveal some more of my own silliness!

Now, I am going to join the Ultimate Blog Party 2009 and have some fun meeting other bloggers! Won't you join me in some silliness? You might even win some prizes whether you're a blogger or not!

Ultimate Blog Party 2009