Was it just me or was anyone else a little upset when their last day of school didn’t end with the soundtrack to ‘We Go Together’ playing while riding a huge ferris wheel in an all you can eat junk food carnival?
Spontaneous perfectly choreographed dancing would have been great as well.

Just me?

Maybe I watched Grease one too many times, but the fan fair went more like teachers stuffing all of my work that had been on the walls into my backpack while walking out of school unaccompanied by nothing other than my thoughts that someone yet again had dropped the ball on this very momentous occasion.

Well, I couldn’t spring for a ferris wheel and Danny Zucco was unavailable as well as fictional, so I opted instead to have my own little family to-do for the kiddos.

So, this is how we chose to ring in the summer!
On the last day of school Ella and I walked down to pick Jackson up from school. As we walked home with the little man with us, he was greeted by an 16 ft. sign on our fence.

Here is a video of him coming home and seeing his surprise party. PRICELESS!!!


I had most of Jackson’s favorite foods waiting for him.  As you can see….he isn’t the healthiest eater. :/

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I wanted each kiddo to have a fun end of the year basket that was filled with little goodies.  These I saved until after the obstacle course, and gave it to them like a prize after they finished it.


And we made cotton candy ice cream cones!


The first thing we did was a pool noodle tunnel. This was super duper easy and was all over Pinterest.  We used small wooden skewers or dowels and hammered them so that about 6 inch were remaining above ground.  Then we bent each noodle and placed the inner hole over each rod.  Its that simple!




The next obstacle was the water balloon run.   They had to carry all of the water balloons from one bucket to another that was at the end of a slip n’ slide.

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Once they completed that they had to throw the water balloons into a bucket until they made two each. Ella cheated a bit. ;)






Next, and by far the favorite of my kiddos was the water balloon piñata.  I just tied balloons to string and hung them at differing heights and gave the kids a plastic bat.  It was awesome.


Lastly, they had to slide down the slide into the pool.
securedownload-12Once they got their prizes for completing the obstacle course, it was time to have a party!!!  We invited a few friends over for a pool party to celebrate little man’s big accomplishment in graduating from Kindergarten!   blog7


securedownload-7We had a blast!  A big thanks to my mom for helping me get everything together.  Hope your summer is filled with water balloons and fun too!!!

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 Welcome to our Living Room and Entry!

So, this is the second post of our home tour.  If you haven’t seen the first post of our home tour, check it out HERE. We have been super busy with life stuff that I have fallen behind on blogging, but better late than never right?  So, here we go….lets check out the living room first.


As you can see, once again we decided to paint everything light light light.  Now, if we are getting technical, the wall color is a grey….but you would never know it by looking.  It looks white, which is what we really wanted.

I didn’t want a hospital sterile white, but a more subdued clean looking white. We love how it turned out and how all of our accessories pop off of the walls.

We also painted the fireplace as well, the tan bricks just weren’t working with the white walls.



We ran the same oiled wide plank hard wood floors that are in the playroom/dining area throughout the living room and entry.  Its actually in the kitchen, laundry room and hallways as well.

We put can lights in the ceiling surrounding the sky light, because this room was pretty dark with only the fan light and some double doors bringing light to this space.


Here are a few of the details of the living room.  All things were thrifted in these pictures except for the coffee table book which we made for Jackson and the subway sign that we made, all with places that mean something to us as a family.


One of my favorite things we did was hang this large wooden beam for our fireplace mantle.  It was also from the Bridlewood bridge that was just begging for us to haul home. :)


We LOVE these chairs that we scored at a thrift store!  The rug we got from IKEA.


I found these end tables on Craigslist for super cheap, but they were BAD!  They had cigarette burns and scratches and were just looking pretty sad.

With lots of sanding, wood filler, and pretty grey paint we transformed them with some work.  It also doesn’t hurt to add cute little hand painted knobs. :)  And in case you were wondering, that frame has a quote from Jackson when he was 5 and that sweet little book is of Ella’s first year.


So, thats pretty much the living room.  We have grand plans for built-ins around the tv, but I for now we will just have to wait.

On to the entry!  One of the biggest changes in my opinion came from painting our front door a fun poppy color.  I love the blue!   We also made this shelf and hung hooks on the wall.


Here is a view of the bar and stools we added.



This bench we made out of reclaimed wood that we happened upon.  The top was from an old bridge from Bridlewood golf course that they tore down.

We also used some of that wood for open shelves in our kitchen…post hopefully coming soon!

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Anyone who can tell me where this quote is from and who said it wins 10 points!!!! :)


And this beautiful gold mirror came from Canton for a STEAL!!! It was the last day of the sale and I snagged it for a great price.  You can see in the reflection our chalkboard wall in the office.

bloghome21So, thats it.  I hope you enjoyed the tour!  Planning on a Kitchen post soon.  I would love to hear what you think, but please comment on Facebook. Thanks!

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Home Tour- The Playroom

February 1, 2014

home127Welcome To Our Playroom



Thats my little peanut in her favorite spot in the house.  Its actually mine as well.


And this is my big boy who is the most happiest with a wii remote in his hands.

 I have been wanting to blog our new home transformation for awhile now, but things seemed to always get in the way.  I would like to say it was my busy life, but if I’m honest it just boils down to my perfectionism.

There I said it.  I am a perfectionist. I am working on it, and as part of my journey through laying down the unattainable and laughable goal of perfection, I am going to document this journey of house transformation


Be gone perfectionism! I am PROUD of my home and I am not afraid to blog it!

Ok, so there are two reasons that I am starting with the playroom. First, I happened to have cleaned it this morning, which inspired me to grab my camera, and second, it is the place in our house we LIVE.  We do most everything in this space.  We have our dining table here, which is where we eat most breakfasts and dinners.  It is the room we come into from the garage, which is pretty  much the only door we use.  The kids color at their desk, play with their toys, and watch movies cuddled on the sectional couch in here.  And, honestly, it is my favorite spot in the house to get cozy after the kids go to bed. :) It is not the most finished room in our house, but we love this ‘bonus room’.





The previous owners used this space as their dog room, so the dogs had free reign.  It was dirty, closed off and just a mess.  We had our work cut out for us, but I love how the room is progressing.  Here is a shot from our dining room table into the playroom.  As you can see, this space was an add on, so the right wall used to be the outside wall.  That picture hanging on the wall, was hiding a lovely window….into our laundry room! Not sure what you think of that, but for us that was not going to work.  So, we took the brick off that wall and drywalled it in, including the window.   I am a huge fan of exposed brick, but it was a bit awkward in this layout, so while we took out the one wall of brick we kept the other wall as is.  We love it!

Anyway, as I said early it is still such a work in progress, but we love the touches that have been done so far.  We framed out the windows.  And by ‘we’, I mean our amazing friend Darrell. Shout out!  We built a cabinet to hold tons of toys and cords.  And by ‘we’ I mean my dad and Joey.  Shout out again!  And our favorite DIY project was this sectional we created from two twin mattresses and some outdoor fabric.  Click HERE to see the plans we loosely followed.  We chose to put casters on for legs, so when we have guests, we can push them together, dress the bed with king sheets and have another bed for guests to sleep on.  It was a pretty long project, but for us it was well worth it!


And here is a view from the other side of the room.  As you can see they had a bay window turned bar that closed off this room from everything.  So, we opted to knock that out, so the room’s only accessibility wasn’t from the hallway.  Now, we can see into this space from the living room and keep an eye on things without having to actually be in the room. The door to the garage is in this room, as is the double doors to our backyard.  And yes, there is also a doggy door, which we really don’t need at the moment.  Maybe in a few years…..maybe :/

And, we redid the floors.  Oh, the floors.  It was a crazy process trying to get someone to understand what I wanted, but FINALLY we found some that didn’t break the bank.  It is an oiled wide plank distressed European Oak and we just love them.

One reason that I love this room is the LIGHT! We have two skylights, three little windows, and double doors that bring so much natural light into this space.  This would be a great indoor photography studio someday.  Hmmm….maybe I should get started on that.

This is the room where you are likely to find princess shoes and lego monsters laying on the floor after great adventures and epic battles.  home111 home112




Another thing we knew we wanted to change was the beige and brown combo.  It really made the room feel small, so we opted for white. And LOTS of it!  Whoever said you can’t paint a house white, would NOT want to come into our space, cuz, thats what they are going to see….everywhere!  I love how everything pops off of white.  I love how ‘clean’ it feels, though it rarely is. :)


Most everything in our home has been thrifted or is homemade.  It is much better for our budget, and it is fun to have things in our home with history and with stories.  I adore things that add character.  So, the hutch was thrifted, painted, and decorated with amazing dishes I scored from a garage sale.  Our table is a thrift find, along with all the chairs.  With some paint and some pretty fabric, we now have something that has our specific style, and didn’t break the bank.


Here is a picture from the kitchen.  It just opened up our home tremendously by taking out that bar!  And, we didn’t lose it really, because we added a bar to the kitchen, when we knocked out half a wall.  But, that is for another post.




This armoire is probably my most favorite thrifting find ever! I love it and it was $5!!!!  It holds tons of toys and blankets too, which is such a bonus.

Oh, the plans I still have for this space….a rug, the kids artwork up, large black and white kid pics on the wall, coat hooks by the door, finishing the tv cabinet…and on and on. :) Our house will continue to be a work in progress, but it is fun to look at where it has come and dream of where it will go.

Please let me know what you think on Facebook.  Due to spam we don’t do comments on the blog.  :)

Thanks for stopping by!


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My Goals For 2014

January 9, 2014


I will start by saying that this particular post helps a bit with my obsession with list making.  If you are anything like me, and you make lists to remember to make lists, than you understand my mind.  Though I love lists, I am by nature a pretty scatter brained person.  I am not naturally organized in mind or life. I find myself  often unable  to focus on a task at hand, easily distracted by other things.  I will be cleaning the kitchen, then think of the laundry and start that.   I will remember an email I had to respond to, so I will send that and then I am somehow standing in my shower designing plans for my dream bathroom. :/   This explains it the best……

my mindThere are so many things that I want to get done. So many creative projects that swirl around in my mind ready to be designed.  I find that when I put all of these things down on paper (or on my computer) it tends to detangle my mind and I can better focus on the task at hand. Alot of people are doing the challenge of 101 in 1001, but I am choosing to only focus on one calendar year as it seems not to intimidate me as much as 1001 days. I have also read blogs that are encouraging a one to two word mantra for 2014 instead of listing tons of things to accomplish.  While I see the point in this, for a scatter brain like me this only accentuates the lack of focus.  I need more structure in my world, so I am choosing a hybrid.  I am choosing a  two word focus for ALL of my tasks in 2014.

My  focus  I want for every goal I have set, whether on this list or not, is to be ‘Gospel Centered’.  Whether I am cooking new recipes, expanding my photography business, or crafting with the kiddos, I desire it to all be for the glory of God.  I want to live my life under the truth that “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” – Gal. 2:20

I have a hope and a joy beyond my circumstances and no matter what happens for 2014 my foundation is Christ, my savior.  I want to approach my goals and this year in praise to my God!

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” -Math. 5:16

So, with ALL that said….here are my goals for 2014:

       1. Get all of the kids videos onto DVDs

  1. Fix lockers and move them into Jackson’s room- 1-26-14
  2. Post the weddings we have shot to our blog
  3. Buy/make curtains for Ella’s room- 2-4-14
  4. Print new business cards
  5. Try 5 new recipes from Pinterest- Strawberry and Cream Pie - Yuuuuummmmy!;
  6. Do at least one Facebook RR contest
  7. Set up office area with new large monitor  1-5-14
  8. Hang hooks for towels in guest bathroom
  9. Create at least one art piece for each of the kids rooms
  10. Choose 5 pinterest DIY ideas and tackle those
  11. Talk with at least 5 wedding venues to promote RR-
  12. Finish the gallery wall with pictures and quotes in office 1-12-14
  13. Post a blog about my children’s education
  14. Have a date night once a week for a month- 2-3-14
  15. Go to a Broadway play (off broadway of course :)
  16. Register for a photog conference
  17. Try to publish at least one wedding in mag or blog
  18. Stripe the bathroom wall
  19. Host a hot chocolate party
  20. Recover the two ottomans- 2-3-14
  21. Make a barn door for laundry room
  22. Get a teepee for reading area and prop
  23. Make something from reclaimed wood
  24. Sign Ella up for a class or sport
  25. Sign Jackson up for a team sport
  26. Take kids to a waterpark
  27. Finish reading corner for Ella’s room
  28. Find shams and curtains for guest bedroom
  29. Take the neighbors homemade Christmas gifts
  30. Adopt an angel at Christmas
  31. Read three new fiction books: As Sure as The Dawn- Francine Rivers 1-6-14; The Best of Me- Nicholas Sparks 1-12-14; Redeeming Love 1-20-14
  32. Read three new non fiction books
  33. Plan a surprise trip for the whole family
  34. Put down deposit for next summer’s Florida vacation
  35. Go on a weekend getaway with my hot hubby- Lake Livingston 3 night getaway on our 9th anniversary. :)
  36. Use gym membership at least 4 days per week for 6 weeks straight
  37. Paint a canvas
  38. Clean out and organize my email accounts
  39. Clean off computer desktop 1-1-14
  40. Learn 5 more bible verses
  41. Teach the kids 5 more verses too-
  42. Create an office I can be inspired by (put up things on the walls)
  43. Master manual mode on camera
  44. Study how to shoot indoor photography
  45. Make homemade ice-cream with the kiddos
  46. Organize our closet
  47. Organize the playroom-2-1-14 Click HERE to see!
  48. Put contacts into my address book on computer
  49. Do graham cracker gingerbread houses
  50. Have a pallet night and let the kiddos sleep in the playroom together
  51. Have an 80′s movie night marathon
  52. Take Ella to the movie theater- 2-22-14 We went to see ‘Frozen’ we lasted 30 minutes before she was bored.  :)
  53. Hang Granny’s, mom’s, and Fran’s recipes in the kitchen- 2-4-14
  54. Serve someone without them knowing who did it
  55. Ask 5 friends to suggest a book and read them all-Divergent by Veronica Roth; Insurgent by Veronica Roth; Austenland by Shannon Hale;
  56. Go on a family vacation to Florida
  57. Take each of the kids on a mom date
  58. Try two new restaurants- Fresco’s Mexican restaurant in Flower Mound and
  59. Refurbish 5 new pieces of furniture
  60. Plant some flowers
  61. Read the first 8 chapter books of The Magic Tree House with Jackson- Books 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,  6
  62. Post blog about goals for 2014     1-8-14

So, what are your plans for 2014?

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So, you’re getting married. First of all, congratulations!!! What a special time in your life.  Celebrate it!!!!

Although this is such a happy time in your life, this adventure of planning your wedding can be daunting to say the least.  But with a little help, you can have peace of mind and enjoy this special journey.  So, we want to help out by offering you some invaluable tips on all things photography for your special day.  There is so much to plan for when getting a wedding together, so let us take the guess work out of the photography part for you.  Ready?  Alright….lets just get to it.  

First, what to start with?  Do you start looking up photographers as soon as he pops the question?  Do you ask a friend to do it for free to save money?  Where should you start?

Before the Big Day.

First, before you can even begin to think about wedding albums and pictures, you need to decide early on how important your wedding photos are to you.  Do you dream at night about your pictures, and someday showing your grandchildren your album?  I thought I was the only one. ;)  Well, then I would say you rank photography at the top of your list.  If this is the case than it will take a larger portion of your budget than say something further down.  I knew before I ever got engaged that the most important detail of my wedding, apart from my groom and my wedding party, was the photography.  Because of this I chose to ‘splurge’ on this area of the planning and sacrifice on some other areas.  For me, it was the flowers.  I wasn’t near as worried about the flowers, probably because they die quickly and thinking of spending thousands of dollars on somehthing that would end up in the trash 48 hours after I said ‘I do’ made me cringe!  So, we chose to do a more simple decor where that was concerned.  So, lets say that you are reading this and you are the furthest from this person.  You are the person that doesn’t dream in pictures, and feel just as happy with a print from Walmart as you would from a professional printer.  If you are leaning toward just getting a friend, than I have two suggestions for you.  First, make sure two people are shooting at the most important moments.  So, ceremony especially!  As a professional photographer I can’t tell you how important a back up photographer is!  We are all dealing with little machines that can randomly go nutty at a most inconvenient time.  You definitely don’t want it to be as your daddy is walking you down the aisle!  Have a back up!  This is also important to think about for you bride’s hiring a photographer as well.  I would NEVER shoot a wedding without a backup.  That is just my opinion, and I know of lots of photographers wh0 shoot alone, but there is way too much risk for me to ever do it.  Just food for thought!

Who to choose to take these important pictures?  Well, I would suggest first to decide what type of pictures you are drawn to.  Do you lean more traditional and posed?  Do you like the vintage feel to pictures?  Most photographers out there have a style. They like shooting a certain way, and editing a specific way as well. Do your homework.  Look at different photographers work, not just their price tag.  If you save money on one, but lose the style you really like then I don’t think you have made a good trade.  Raspberry Rain images shoots with a feel that we are just a fly on the wall on your wedding day.  We will obviously do some posed pictures, but the majority are us catching special moments between you and your loved ones.  This is what we LOVE!  Find the style you love and start there!

So, now lets say you have chosen your budget for this piece of the puzzle and your photographer.  Now what?

Getting Comfortable With The Camera

Well, first we like to suggest that our brides have a pre-wedding photo shoot, which can improve your wedding pictures dramatically.  Think about it, do you really feel comfortable in front of a camera?   Like anything else in life, the more you do it the more comfortable you will be.  We love  getting to know you and having you feel comfortable with us, so having an engagement shoot will help with that.   This is when we can laugh and be silly, and you can start to feel comfortable in front of the camera. This is where you can just be you.  When else are you going to be able to capture this fun time in you and your fiance’s life?  Don’t miss out on capturing some special pictures that can also be used in a wedding slideshow or also for decor at the wedding.

Hair and Makeup

In my opinion, your big day is not the time to experiment with your hair and makeup.  Choose a day beforehand to practice how you want to present yourself on your wedding day.  A great suggestion is to get your hair and makeup done and schedule your bridal shoot for the same day.  Having a bridal shoot will again, help your nerves in front of the camera and show you the hair and makeup style in photos before your big day.  It is true that you want more make up on during your photo shoots because the camera tends to wash it out a bit.  However, and I strongly emphasize the ‘however’…..don’t over do it!  If you are not a person who wheres a lot of make up naturally than don’t do it just because it is your wedding day.   


There are so many little things that brides can do to put themselves in the best light possible.  Lets talk about a few.

1. Chin up and  shoulders back are two things you can do to help your pictures.  No matter who you are these are flattering. No one wants a double chin in their wedding pictures, so be aware of your chin. Also, when you draw your shoulders back, you automatically lean your frame.

2. Hold your elbows away from your body. This reduces the apparent width of your torso and accentuates the chest.  So having a slight bend in your elbows will show your waist and will also look much more natural than straight arms down by your sides.  This just thickens you in a picture. And ladies, no one wants to look thicker.  Am I right? :)

3. Shift your weight to your rear foot. This lifts your hips into a position that gives you a sexy curviness.  Naturally we don’t stand stiff legged.  We shift our weight.  So, to look natural just place most of your weight on your back foot.  You will be amazed at how you can show your curves in a positive light.

4. When you are going for a more serious or sexy pose, slightly part your lips.  Remember, just slightly nothing drastic.  Again, going for a natural look means posing naturally.  And we don’t naturally have our lips together.  We tend to have a slight part.

Your photographer should walk you through these tips and others to get the most flattering poses for you. However, if you know a few things that will give you a leg up than it will only help the end product!

Last tip….PRACTICE!

All of these tips can be practiced in a mirror at home.  :)

Screen shot 2013-02-18 at 8.37.44 AM


I am a big fan of having a few props at any photo shoot I do.  What I have found is having something to hold or ‘play’ with takes away some of the nerves of posing for a camera.  It loosens up the couple or bride and can create some fun photos that are unique to you.  This fun couple wanted, at the end of their shoot to have  a water balloon fight.  Priceless!  

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 Location. Location. Location!

A great location can just enhance the beauty of the bride.  Check out how this place just draws the eye right to the beautiful bride.

Screen shot 2013-02-18 at 8.55.14 AM

Also, I love the contrast of a beautiful bride in a place that is imperfect, a place like this run down old building.  Gorgeous!  If you are unfamiliar with any locations in your area, just ask your photographer. They should have a number of ones to choose from.  I would have a clear vision of the style you are wanting so that you can clearly articulate that to your photographer and then work together to find the perfect location for you!

Screen shot 2013-02-18 at 9.01.41 AM

I hope these tips were helpful for you in your wedding planning.  Stay tuned for more helpful wedding tips!! For more help in the planning process, and more posing ideas check out our Raspberry Rain pinterest page!  

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Disney Or Bust- Part 4

November 19, 2012

I am seriously loving doing these Disney posts.  I love reliving the fun!  Jackson, almost daily, watches some of the Disney videos on my phone, points out his favorite things from the Sea World map in his room, or just brings up something we did there.  It was such an amazing trip, and I am so thankful we went!

Ok, so now on to Magic Kingdom!!

I LOVE this view down Main Street!

And another one.  :)

Here is where we started our Magical journey, The Crystal Palace.  This is the place where we were going to meet all of the characters from the Hundred Acre Wood.  And this picture of Joey was his ‘Ok, I thought I knew what I was getting into, but I had no idea just how massive this place is face.’  Isn’t it priceless!!!

We waited here for a few minutes until Jackson asked to go see the castle, so while Joey waited for our reservations, me and Jackson went to see it. But first, we spotted a super cool horse and caradige coming down Main st.

Look closely at the one legged horse. Hmmm…interesting. So, let me explain.  To me, the coolest new feature on the iphone 5 is the panoramic option for pictures.  I got so many amazing shots of Disney using this feature. However, there are some issues with it, namely a whole lot of movement.  You can see the couple that walked right in front of me as I was shooting it.  Boo!  Oh well, still a fun pic!

Here we are. Right in front of the castle! Both of these pictures, by the way, were panoramics.  I would have gotten hardly any of the castle if it weren’t for this fab feature.



‘What? They have called our reservation already!’

Insert here a picture in your head of Jackson and I literally running through masses of people to get back to the restaurant.  Lets just say they frown upon people being late for their reservations.  Oh well, time to meet Pooh!!!

This is what you see when you walk in.  These are all made out of flowers!!! Amazing!
And here is the food!  Yum!!  You can see that Jackson’s breakfast choice was picking off the icing of some cinnamon rolls.  A buffet of breakfast goodness all around him, yet that is all he found.  It was definitely the most expensive icing I have EVER purchased!

Anwho, it was WELL worth it when these guys started strolling over!

All I can say is Jackson LOVED every minute of meeting these characters!  He was star struck.  But even so, he still interacted with each of them.  He asked Pooh if he found any honey today, and he bounced with Tiger, and asked Eeyore if he found his tail.  So fun! :)

Eeyore was my favorite!!!

What was super cool, is we got to our seat right as the characters were finishing their ’rounds’ so we saw them immediately when we sat down, and then as we were finishing eating they came by again, so we got to meet them all TWICE!  Best surprise ever!

This was definitely a perfect start to our day!

What to do next?  Well, how about  the Winnie the Pooh ride?

This is at the entrance of the ride and Jackson LOVED going in the tree to see where Pooh lived.  He still talks about this.  They had a cute little set up inside the tree, but I didn’t get a picture. :(



Here were the honey pots we rode in.  How cute?


Winnie the Pooh ride was a little dark, so Jackson didn’t like that, but overall he still said he liked the ride.   There is much more to be said about our Magic Kingdom day, but this is all I can post for now.   I will post more soon, and I will include the amazing Illuminations parade!

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Disney or Bust- Part 3

November 9, 2012

Animal Kingdom, here we come!!!  Today was the first day we were actually in a Disney World park.   So, lets get to the fun!

The first thing we did was the safari ride.  It was so amazing seeing all of the animals.  They were pretty active, and the giraffes actually came right up to our jeep.  Here are some of the safari pictures.


After the safari, we went to meet some of our favorite characters.  Of course Mickey was first!!!


After we met some of our favorite characters it was on to Dinoland, where Jackson and I rode the Triceratop Spin.

After Dinoland and a quick lunch break, we hoped on the train that led to the Affection Section, where we could pet some animals. Jackson really loved this area, because it was also like a museum with animal skeletons and crazy critters to see everywhere.

Here we are heading on the train.

After this fun time we headed over to the Kali river rapid ride.  This was MY favorite thing we did in Animal Kingdom!!!

And, finally here are a few extra pictures of our fabulous time at Animal Kingdom.

I won’t spoil this picture with words.  I will just let the goodness of this photo sink in.   Mmmmmmm……

Jackson LOVED this guy.

We even had fun playing with all of the fun things in the gift shops.

And last, but certainly not least a super great strawberry mango daiquiri on a hot day.  Yum!


So, if you couldn’t tell from the pictures we had a GREAT day!  It was a great way to start off our Disney experience.  Up next, Magic Kingdom!!

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Disney or Bust- Part 2

October 30, 2012


So, here we go!  We have already surprised our little guy with the biggest trip of his short 4 years, and we are now heading to Disney World!  Before we get to it, I have to say that there will be lots of pictures, but being that we were fast and furious on this trip, most of the pictures are from my iphone.  Ok, now that I have gotten that out of the way…where was I?

Oh yeah,  flying to Disney!

It was a great flight and Jackson loved it.  He sat next to the window and loved looking out at clouds.

Once we finally made it to Orlando, we picked up our rental car and headed to our resort.  It was the Lake Buena Vista ResortVillage and Spa. I did plenty of research on this place before we booked it, but to be honest I was a little nervous about how itwould REALLY be. I have had some camera trickery fool me once on the internet once before (shout out to the Lost Parrot

cabins in Austin) :)  and was just hoping that everything was going to be nice.  Well, it was MORE than I expected!  Here are

some highlights:

-Huge place 1100 sq ft.

-Huge jetted tub

        -Full kitchen
        -Starbucks coffee to brew
        -2 Bedroom 2 Bathrooms
        -Large balcony to enjoy said coffee in the mornings
        -Washer and Dryer
So, once we checked in, we headed to the on site Irish Pub and ate some yummy grub before heading to the pool with
the pirate ship.  We didn’t stay at the pool long, mainly because there were some kiddos with pool noodles being rough
with each other, so Jackson decided quickly that he wasn’t even getting close.  We would have to try this one later.
On to other fun things!!!  Next stop…..downtown Disney!  We had so much fun here walking around and seeing everything.
Jackson had so much fun and one of his favorites was the Lego store.  Check out these AMAZING creations all done with legos!!!!
I loved this!  You could fill a bucket with any combo legos you wanted!
He chose a lego toy for his toy of the day, and we made our way to more toy stores where he played with everything!
He really enjoyed playing in the water fountain and one of his favorite things was the popcorn he got at the end of the day.
Apparently Disney makes good popcorn according to my little picky eater.  We really only scratched the surface of the downtown
Disney experience, but we had to get back because we had an early morning tomorrow.  Once we made it back to the resort, we
got ready for bed, but before we got cozy,  I showed Jackson the window decals that I got for him to decorate our room with.
He LOVED making our room look spooooooky :) We had so much fun hanging out on the balcony together and talking about our
first day of VACATION!!!
We had a great first day, and we were super excited for day #2….ANIMAL KINGDOM!!!!
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Disney or Bust….Part 1

October 23, 2012

Ok…so anyone who knows me, knows that when I get really exciteed about something, I kinda get banana crazy about the details.  I think I get that from my mother.  Anywho, I am a ‘its all in the details’ person, so this trip for me was all about the little things.  I think the little things make the big things that much better.  With that said, you can’t just tell a 4 year old who is BEGGING to go to Disney World in a casual, ‘hey by the way, we’re going to Disney’ sort of boring way.  You have to write it in the sky, or shout it from the roof tops.  Something with some pizazz!  Well, at least I do anyway. :)  I wanted it to be memorable and something special to Jackson.  So, I got to thinking and at about 2am I jumped out of bed, grabbed a notebook and planned a pirate treasure hunt start to finish.  About an hour later I ahd the whole thing planned out, down to the five rhyming clues and where those clues would be hidden in the backyard.  I always get my best ideas in the middle of the night!  So, I had a plan, now I just had to execute said plan!

There had to be a treasure map, so next I got to work in Photoshop creating it.  I made the map with a nod to Disney…..its the little things that make me so happy. :)

Next, I cut the map into five pieces.

Finally, I gave him the first clue rolled in a pirate scroll. Then, the hunt was on!

So, lets get to some swashbuckling treasure hunting fun!

He opened the scroll addressed to him.  It read:

‘Ye He He! And a Yo Ho Ho!

On a pirate treasure hunt we will go.

A grand adventure is what awaits

So, find all ye clues me scurvy mate!

This treasure you’re hunting is a ‘magical’ one’.

It is sure to bring you a ‘World’ of fun!

Solve each clue and you’ll be on your way,

to finding your treasure this terrific day.

With each clue, ye shall see,

a piece of the map to bring to me.

When you have each piece, now all thats left

is putting the map together to find the X.

For X marks the spot where ye treasure lies,

And there you will find your GREAT BIG prize!’

He ran around finding all of the clues….(a few iphone pics of his finding the clues)

until he found the final clue that told him to put the pieces of the map together.

Here is the video from that point on.

As you can see, he had fun with the treasure hunt. It took a couple hours for the idea of Disney World to sink in. By that night he was jumping around his bed squealing that he couldn’t sleep because he was SO excited. I loved seeing him get so excited. So, the next post we will actually be at Disney. :) Stay tuned!

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They’re Boo-tiful!!!

October 22, 2012

A few weeks ago I did a little painting with Jackson.  While Ella slept we got to work.  I had left over mason jars and lots of paint, so we made some halloween jars to put candles and candy in.  I saw a version of these from a few different sites, but just tweeked my own ghoulish creatures.  And of course my little assistant helped too.

Here is my little worker bee painting away on his Frankenstein jar.

Inevitably, he quickly discards the brushes for a more rustic form of painting! 

If he could fit, I am sure he would climb his whole body into the paint.

Here are the finished products.  I think they turned out super cute.  Can you guess which one Jackson did?  :)  This was a fun fall craft that we will definitely be doing again.

Here is one of the jars we filled with candy.  These would make super cute gifts!  Hope your halloween is filled with crafts and candy too!!!

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