Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Cocoa Beach

We also spent an afternoon at Cocoa Beach during our Florida vacation.   The water was cold, but that didn't stop Aaron and the kids from spending lots of time in the water.



 Caleb and the Sand Castle the kids had fun making.

Joe and cousin Micah

Sarah having fun in the sand.

Caleb and cousin Malachi


Wordless Wednesday

photo taken 12/5/2012

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Disney World - Animal Kingdom

We only visited Animal Kingdom one day, and it was the first day we spent with all the family.  







Monday, February 25, 2013

Disney World - Hollywood Studios

We also went to Hollywood Studios two days.  The first day we spent several hours in Homeschool Days presentation.  We learned a lot about all the science that goes into building an amusement park ... and got our tickets deeply discounted to boot! We were also to hit all the big rides, and see 3 shows. We had another great day!


Alex got a little restless during the Homeschool Presentation, so he and Aaron left and got a chance to meet Lightning McQueen and Mater.  Every two year old boy's dream!

Our second day, our goal was to be out of the park by 2:00.  The rest of the family decided to go to Hollywood Studios they day we were heading home, so we went on our own again.   Caleb and I were able to do the Animation Class twice, which was a lot of fun.  Thanks to the child rider swap, the older kids got to take turns riding the bigger rides twice (once with Aaron, then again with me).  

Ready for a fun day!

The girls on Toy Story Mania.




Playing at the Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground.



      Photo0379FourBySix                                                  Rock 'n' Roller Coaster


Tower of Terror

Beware of the Expert


These days it seems like everyone is an expert.  Everywhere you go, you'll meet someone ready and willing to share their expertise with you ... whether it's wanted or not.  I think no area is this more apparent than in the world of parenting.  You can't step foot outside the house with a child, and not receive unsolicited advice.  They know exactly what you should be doing, because they've been there before and they were successful.  I know they're just trying to help, and occasionally they do.  But, if you pay attention, you'll soon notice something peculiar.  All that expert advice you hear is conflicting ...  one "expert" will tell you one thing and the next "expert" will tell you the exact opposite.

I've been a mother for 12 1/2 years.  I've parented 6 different children.  I think having a larger family has made me realize that it's impossible to be an expert at parenting.   Not only am I different than any other mother on this earth, but each and every one of my children is completely different from another.  What worked perfectly with one of my children, is a complete disaster with another.   I've gained experience along the way.  There's nothing wrong with sharing our experiences.  The problem comes when we equate our experience with expertise.  Experiences are valid, but they are not universal.   When something works, that's great!  But, we need to realize that it might not work again.


I'm not saying we should never listen to those who have been in the trenches.  There is so much wisdom to be gleaned from the men and women who have gone before us.  It would be foolish not to gain as much information as we can.   But, we need to use wisdom as we apply this information to our lives. The so-called expert's experiences are legitimate, but it may not fit your children.  Weigh their advice against what you already know.   Ask God for wisdom.  Trust your instincts.

Likewise, the next time you want to play the expert, remember to cover your advice in grace.  There isn't necessarily one right way to parent.  Just because someone is doing things differently than we did doesn't mean they're failing.  It also doesn't mean that they are making an indictment on our parenting.  Share your experiences with others in your life, and let them decide what will work for them.   Support those around you, even if they make different choices than you would have.

 I will never be an expert at Motherhood.  But, I can become an expert on what Caleb, Josiah, Rachel, Jada, Sarah and Alex need to grow and thrive.  That should be my goal.  Treating each of my children as individuals and trying my hardest to meet them where they are at.  I encourage you to become an expert on your own children.


So, heed my advice ... and be wary of the information you see on this blog.  I'm sharing what has worked in raising my children.  Be pre-warned - my advice is subject to change.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Disney World - Magic Kingdom

We spent 3 days at Magic Kingdom.  The first day was crazy busy, and we didn't get to see much beyond fantasyland.

Waiting to go into Enchanted Tales with Belle.  Beast's Castle looming in the background.

We ate lunch at Be Our Guest, the restaurant located in Beast's Castle.  Beauty and the Beast is my favorite Disney movie, so I loved this restaurant.  All three dining rooms were beautiful and the food was very good.

Meeting Goofy!  I was nervous that Alex would be scared of the characters, but he absolutely loved meeting them.   He and Sarah were star struck more than once!


Our second day at Magic Kingdom was much calmer and we were able to get a lot more done!

The boys waiting to get on Space Mountain.


Riding Space Mountain




Meeting Buzz!

Sarah loved meeting Rapunzel.

She also loved Cinderella and had to wear her matching dress.

Mickey only had a 5 minute wait, so we had to make another trip to see Alex's favorite!

A cute picture of Alex.


Our final trip to Magic Kingdom was with the larger group.
All of us ready to start our fun day!

I love Alex's face in this picture ... it show how enamored he was with all the characters.

Alex and Sarah are so cute in this one!

Three days full of fun!  

Most of the pictures are Disney Photopass photos, with a few pictures from my point and shoot camera.


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